Frank Coughlan: Climate shame against farmers by city dwellers sounds hollow

My knowledge of farming is limited to what I learned about free range eggs back then while watching Glenroe, or occasionally and accidentally coming into contact with Ear to the Ground.

But a little study is a dangerous thing, and I would express my opinions on agriculture with the same confidence that I could lecture on epidemiology and, perhaps more relevantly, climatology.

Which is not certain at all.

But it won’t stop many others, especially city dwellers, from compulsively wringing their hands and hooting about the farm emissions deal agreed between the ruling parties last week.

According to scientists and environmentalists, a 25 percent cut by 2030 is far from enough.

They argue that if Ireland gets where it belongs in eight short years, other sectors will now have to fill the gap.

I have no reason to believe they are wrong, nor would I question the farm lobby’s insistence that a proposed 30 percent cut in such a short period of time would be disastrous for businesses, families and communities.

A quarter of everything seems like a lot from here, but in this vast echo chamber of public opinion, it seems far from enough.

But those sitting in judgment, reflecting with outrage at the intransigence of farmers in their suburban kitchens, will not be reducing their personal emissions by 25 percent, or anywhere near, anytime soon.

Everyone wants to live sustainably, but who can pass up a bargain?

Is there a realistic expectation that people will fly a quarter less over the rest of the decade?

Judging by the chaos and queues at Dublin Airport this summer, no ice cube stands a chance. People who want to save the planet want a lot more tan.

Any realistic signs that fast fashion — cheap, disposable clothing shipped from the farthest corners — will decline by 25 percent by 2030? Everyone wants to live sustainably, but who can pass up a bargain?

Does anyone seriously believe that there will be measurably fewer cars on our roads in eight years?

Or imagine that treat mommies didn’t dump their 4x4s on sidewalks while delivering the clever fiachra to a school a few hundred yards from home?

Does anyone seriously think internet shopping will shrink by 25 percent in the next few years?

The opposite is more likely.

Seems all the cardboard, plastic, bubble wrap, air and nautical miles are worth it for something you don’t need and will most likely return.

I won’t suggest trying a local store instead. That would be very 20th century of me.

Much of this chatter about farming, farting cattle and the near end is conducted over lattes and flat whites – all of which creates a Himalayan heap of disposable cups weekly.

Recyclable, of course, but that also costs crippling energy.

We all want to save the planet it seems. But at least 25 percent of that appears to be hot air. Frank Coughlan: Climate shame against farmers by city dwellers sounds hollow

Fry Electronics Team

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