Environmentalists blame global warming.
This was the wettest summer in a century and the second wettest in the UK since records began, Met Office figures indicate. The only summer – defined as June, July and August – which was wetter since national records began was in 1912. A drought across much of England during the spring followed by record-breaking wet weather has meant a poor wheat harvest for many farmers, the NFU said.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said wheat yields in England were down by almost 15% on the five-year average, with productivity down to 1980s levels.
“There are many farmers who are down 25 to 30% on the wheat crop,” said NFU President Peter Kendall. “It’s been soul destroying for the farmers growing the crops.”
Poor UK harvests also mean smaller fruit and vegetables than normal.
Martyn Jones, from the Morrisons supermarket chain, said that, for example, carrots were not quite as sweet as previous years, and the available volumes of some food was down – about 25% across most potatoes and root crops.
According to English Apples and Pears Ltd, the apple crop is estimated to be down 27% on 2011, while the overall pear crop is estimated to be down 10%, with Cox and Egremont Russet varieties down 37%.
“I’ve been farming now for 40 years and it’s the worst harvest I have ever known,” says Paul Harris, an arable farmer in Dorset, who believes the difficult times may be set to continue.
The bad weather is also affecting the UK’s wine industry, with the quality and volume of the fruit not up to standard.
Environmental group Friends of The Earth predicts that the situation will deteriorate in the years to come due to global warming.
Global warming? How blind can they be?
According to the late U.K. climatolgist H. H. Lamb, one of the greatest climatologists the world has ever seen, these sorts of wet conditions can be the harbinger of an ice age.
Here’s how I put it in “Not by Fire but by Ice”:
I think our biggest problem will be food. I think we’ll be fighting in the streets for food long before we’re covered with ice.
You see, you don’t need a full-fledged ice age to affect food supplies. Increase the amount of precipitation (as is happening today), and you’ve shortened the growing season.
During the 1600s, for instance, as the world descended into what is known as the Little Ice Age, glaciers began expanding out of the Alps. Conditions deteriorated to the point that farmers had to petition for lower taxes because their roads and pastures were covered with ice. In central England, snow remained on the ground for five weeks longer than normal, wheat crops failed, and millions of people died of starvation. (p. 215)
The next ice age “could quite well be imminent,” said Lamb (p. 187)
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Thanks to John Brown in Ardrossan, Scotland for this link