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Agriculture Minister David Littleproud was asked about how farmers react to discussion about climate change making weather events more extreme, he replied “Yeah, look, I don’t think they take much notice. They’re more worried about survival.”
Littleproud’s comment was slammed by environmentalists and workers in the agricultural industry on Twitter.
One said: “Muppet. Coming from a farming family, I can attest that a key part of farming is careful observation and long-term tracking of environmental conditions and seasonal extremes.”
... from bushfires like they've never seen before,
... droughts longer than any they're heard about
... floods that wipe out everything,
so they can start again and have
.... bushfires like they've never seen before.... etc.
— Peter G Martin (@prescribal) October 14, 2021
They don't take much notice of climate change because they're more worried about survival? I wonder if the minister had ever asked them what exactly is threatening their survival?
— Em🌏Ψ. ENOUGH. (@elchsa) October 14, 2021
Another added: “Surprised by his comments. I am constantly amazed at how innovative and forward-thinking our agricultural sector is.”
“Smarter water use, crop development to improve disease and insect resistance, rolling out green power. He doesn’t know his portfolio.”
The Independent has attempted to contact Littleproud for a comment.
Climate change is already affecting Australian farmers. Compared with historical averages, agricultural profits have fallen 23% over the 20 years to 2020 and this trend will continue as temperatures rise, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
The organisation also predicts a likely scenario that overall farm profit will fall by 13% by 2050.
Littleproud has faced criticism over his stance on climate change before. In 2019 he was slammed for saying he “didn’t know” if climate change is man-made.
Soon after he said he “100 per cent” believed the science on the human contribution to climate change.