A report in the Financial Times includes stories from French farmers in the Loire valley who are being put out of business by climate change. This summer’s heatwave has been devastating to them.
One of the farmers, Clément Traineau, described the stunted growth of corn, due to the drought, which means that his harvest will be only half of what it should be, so that there will not be enough to feed his cattle during the winter. Beef prices have also been stagnant due to a number of factors, not the least of which is the latest IPCC report calling on people to eat less meat. One farmer has been forced to sell a quarter of his cows to make ends meet.
Intense storms on August 6th brought some relief to the drought but they also caused flooding and mudslides.
Farmers in the Loire valley are now trying to diversify their income, investing in wind farms and solar panels (on top of the cow sheds). They are also generating power by burning methane from cow dung.
M. Traineau is quoted as saying:
“We farmers are in the front line of climate change as victims, and — in the media — as the guilty ones for producing meat. But people forget we can also be a means of fighting global warming. Meadows and pastures have a substantial capacity for storing carbon.”