Invisible Dust

London | Wednesday 16 January
Pollution level: Moderate

Flooding in Britain Causes Serious Crop Losses


The severe and repeated flooding Britain experienced last year has already had dire consequences for farms and the national food supply.

Although many crops can survive the occasional flood, the constant flooding that affected some parts of the country in 2012 meant that the land was never properly able to drain, and the excess water rots the grains and vegetables being grown. Farmers must pay to have their land cleaned up, often with no insurance or compensation, even after their livelihood – the crops – have been ruined. Wheat yields haven’t been this low since the 1980s, and the potato crop is at its lowest since 1976. This also drives up the price of animal feed for livestock farmers, impacting both their livelihood the cost of meat at supermarkets.

As a result, supermarkets who have contracts with local farmers are forced to turn to imported produce, which must be flown or shipped in at great cost – both in terms of the money spent and the carbon footprint such methods of transportation leave behind.

These low yields and the domino-effect consequences each loss has on the next step of the food production chain bring up worrying questions about Britain’s food security, especially as the population grows and the climate becomes more unpredictable.

The record levels of rain in 2012, like record heat in the American East Coast, record cold in European winters, all coalesce to form a worrying picture of climate change, one characterized by unpredictable extremes with dire consequences. Invisible Dust tries to raise awareness of climate change and its impact on our daily lives so that these issues may be addressed, and solutions can be found before it is too late.


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