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Trees, and Food

29 July 2012
Climate change

The global warming controversy has travelled down some funny lanes to nowhere but surely it has taken a wrong turn when it encourages planting trees instead of food crops. In order to reduce co2 emissions the European Union is suggesting farmers and landowners plant trees. This has caused some criticism at www.woodlands.co.uk but not solely for sceptic reasons. Planting trees, they say, will force up food prices, by as much as 25 per cent in Britain. Is this a very clever idea for the stand up comics in Westminster and the bureaucrats that have no real idea of what happens in the world outside the four walls of their Whitehall offices? Lots of hungry people may not be such a good idea – they could get angry. There is also the other angle. By focussing on the feelie good notion of planting more trees they are effectively ignoring the problems in the woodlands we already have – and by concentrating on the PR involved they effectively damn those woodlands to further degradation and abuse. It is a question of ignoring the real problems that trees have and going hell for leather in promoting a scheme that will end in more badly looked after woodland – but they are only interested in brownie points. However, how many brownie points will they get from the electorate when their food bills rise sharply. They need to take a deep breath on this one – but will they?

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