Low carbon agriculture the way forward - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Dr Stuart Galey, Cheltenham.

I AGREE with Barry Crowther’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, April 21) that we need to take food production in the UK seriously and not rely so much on imports, and that food shortages are an ever increasing danger.

However in one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries we have to take the regeneration of nature seriously too and accept that rewilding and tree planting are not crazy ideas.

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His letter seems to imply that intensive farming, with a high reliance on fertilisers is the way forward. If I am interpreting him correctly then I must disagree. Such methods have degraded soils to a dangerous level over the last 70 years and made agriculture a major source of carbon emissions. Using this system we may have less than 30 years of top soil remaining to feed ourselves.

Pic: Gary Longbottom.

An integrated approach is both possible and desirable which produces low carbon agriculture, restores soils, combines growing crops with rewilding marginal land and caring for hedgerows and secures the UK’s food supply. It won’t happen if we keep making all the same old mistakes.

We need solar and wind turbines too as part of that integrated approach, but perhaps not, as Barry says, on quality agricultural land. The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill could provide us with that approach. Google it and ask your MP and local councillors to support it.

From: Philip Mitchell, Dewsbury.

I WELCOME the nyclimatecoalition.org website putting would-be councillors on the spot regarding their climate pledges (The Yorkshire Post, April 22), but party leadership should also be considered. It seems that only the Green Party has been consistent in its approach.

Politics.co.uk (April 22) found that a third of Conservative voters surveyed thought the Government’s response has been inadequate, but also suggests that green-minded voters may turn away from the Labour Party. The website highlighted Labour’s silence following the important IPCC report this month.

Labour has long supported nuclear power, whereas Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Ed Davey, who ignored protests and secured his party’s commitment to nuclear in 2013, now agrees that renewables are better.

The Green Party, with both co-leaders renewables experts, seems much more reassuring.