Climate change, not natural variations in weather, has reduced crop yields globally leading to food price increases, according to a summary in the UK’s Guardian newspaper today of a research study in Science magazine. Fine Energy does not yet have the Science article but will provide more on this story once we have read it and absorbed it. Meanwhile we welcome thoughts from arable and livestock farmers on this topic. It seems to us to combine short-term good news for farmers (food prices being driven up) with a worrying prognosis for the longer-term viability of conventional agriculture if yields continue to drop. We note however, in advance of seeing the full article, that a 20% increase in food prices over the 28-year period represents a low annual growth rate.
Low-cost paint-on solar panels suitable for use on rooftops are being developed by Prof Paul Dastoor at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. In addition to the low cost, Paul cites flexibility as a benefit. From our experience of sites where otherwise promising rooftops are overlooked by residents who would object to titled panels on their roof, we would add as a planning benefit the capability to paint on to a low-profile support structure. Find out more at www.newcastle.edu.au/research-centre/COE