As I write this, the news is filled with the visit of Mr Trump; I don’t take to the man personally, although I think it was right he was here as part of the D Day celebrations. We would after all have struggled without the American involvement. Grumpy has a similar view, although it does appear they have some common ground in one area – man-made climate change!

Like many small boys growing up, it appears he developed an interest in space and the cosmos, avidly watching the Apollo moon landings on the black and white telly of the day. Today it is Dr Brian Cox that fronts such programmes, but back in the day it was James Burke and Carl Sagan, for those of you not around at the time. Anyway unlike the rest who grew up and moved on, this appears to have been an interest that stuck.

We have been known to subscribe to long range weather forecasts that use the activity of the sun and sun spot activity as the dominant factors that affect the weather, and in quieter moments we can be found watching YouTube videos on the theories of Serbian astronomer Milutin Malankovich, known as the Malankovich cycles.

There is hardly a day goes by when either on the radio or the telly the words Climate Change are not beamed in to the living room, office, car, van, truck or tractor of all in the land, to the point where most now believe that this is absolute fact and Armageddon is upon us unless we stop eating meat and give up using the internal combustion engine. 95% of all scientists agree we are told.

Just to be unconventional, or darn right awkward, Grumpy puts forward an alternative view, not claiming to be a scientist or to have any expertise in this field, just perhaps a general interest and a questioning perspective.

The reality is that there is not the universal acceptance of this catastrophic scenario that the media would like to portray and the models of warming put forward by the IPCC are turning out to be less than accurate in their predictions to date. Universally agreed temperature records have only been around for 200 years as prior to this the records are not reliable which is nothing but a blink of an eye in the history of the planet currently thought to be 4.5 billion years old.
The years 2000 to 2009 were deemed the hottest decade since records began, only 200 years ago, yet average temperatures rose by average 0.1 of a degree, not statistically significant. Now, given that the shortest Malankovich cycle takes 24,000 years to complete and the longest 400,000 years, in that time we have seen natural variation alone take us from the ice age and glaciers to what we have today. So ask how much of that 0.1 of a degree is natural and how much man made? And that doesn’t even touch on the natural counter measures that the planet may have, after all we know the planet has been much warmer before yet has managed to cool itself down. In fact we live today in one of the cooler periods in its history. It’s been colder but it has also been hotter. So, far from being definitive there is still much to learn and find out before we can say anything for certain.

Yet the argument seems to be moving from the political sphere to the regulatory, we now have taxes such as climate change levy, pressure to move to more expensive forms of energy which only loads cost on to society and affects our ability to be competitive, be that in production, manufacturing or just the cost of living for the ordinary Joe. President Trump kicks back against that and his approval rating goes up, I can see why!

It’s just an alternative view, food for thought perhaps or perhaps not, just bear in mind just because you go a different way to the majority doesn’t mean you are wrong and in 1492 when Columbus set sail on his voyage of discovery the majority of scientists said the world was flat and he would fall off the edge.

A family BBQ at the beginning of June produced a lovely surprise for Monty, having thought he had a barren nanny goat we put her out with the billy for company and lo and behold she produced three lovely kids, she has just enough milk for them so we top them up with a bottle before bed!

Back home on the farm

The heavy rain at the beginning of June helped the crops significantly. The sun has shone in the South East (unfortunately not all the country has been so fortunate) for the majority of the month, harvest is looming ever closer, let us hope we all have a trouble-free season. Fergus has fortunately or unfortunately qualified for the riding club championships in Oxfordshire at the beginning of August. This is a three-day event with dressage, show jumping and cross country on separate days, so we are rather hoping harvest comes a little late! The children have nearly broken up from school for the summer holidays (a little bit of free labour goes a long way!) sports days, presentation days etc etc. It would appear to be manic in the run up to the holidays. Upon reflection it’s no different when the children aren’t at school, life seems so incredibly busy.

The sale of hay and straw to the continent continues to be slow. Foreign importers will not take the risk of having lorries stranded in the UK in the case of a no-deal Brexit. The price of hay and straw continues to hold (provided that it is barn stored), long may it continue past harvest 2019.

It would appear that in last month’s article one paragraph didn’t appear in the printed version quite how I thought it would. In any case, just for clarity, this is how it should have read.

By the time you read this the 15 May deadline for BPS may well have passed. There was a time, I am told when the claim was submitted without outside assistance but for the last few years such is its complexity that we have used advisors to help us in this task. How long I wonder before we start thinking along these lines for farm assurance. There are already companies out there that offer this service. My guess five years and it will be the norm… another new cost!