Opinions on anthropogenic climate change vary greatly across society, and it appears that Australia’s farmers remain largely sceptical about the causes of climate change.
Recent surveys show that only 28% of primary producers accept that human activity is the cause of climate change, compared to 58% of urban dwellers.
However, the science tells us that future agricultural production is at risk from climate change as well as being a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
Thus agricultural producers face a complex challenge of adapting to an increasingly difficult climate, while simultaneously increasing production and lowering emissions in order to meet market and societal expectations.
Regardless of farmers’ beliefs on whether the climate is actually changing and what’s causing the changes, there are impacts that will need to be managed.
When communicating with farmers on these issues, it is often helpful to talk separately about the physical, policy and peripheral impacts of climate change. This allows the conversation to move beyond a discussion of purely physical impacts, where there is often much room for scepticism, and engage with imminent policy and peripheral impacts.
Thus we coined the term – the three Ps of climate change and agriculture.