Country Life Today: British farmers want to lead the fight on climate change

Farmers want to take action to battle climate change and many are already doing so, while we also pay tribute to former England cricket captain Bob Willis.

85% of British farmers ‘feel responsible’ and want to take action on climate change

The vast majority of farmers in the UK want to get involved with fighting climate change, ‘with 85 per cent suggesting they feel responsible to take action,’ according to a Farmers Guardian report on a new survey.

The research also showed that 39% are already taking steps such as installing solar panels and wind turbines, or using more efficient machinery and practices. Almost 60% said that they will put measures in place in the next two years.

Full story (Farmers Guardian)

Good news/bad news for climate change predictions

Sometimes a triumph for science is bad news for humanity. That is certainly the case for climate change prediction models created by scientists going back to the 1970s. A new analysis looking at 17 predictive models going back five decades found that they have proven to be very accurate in predicting man-made climate change.

Earth in deep space with lighting sunlight.

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The bad news, of course, is that we’d all rather they had massively overstated the case, that everything will be fine after all, and that we’ve no need to worry. ‘Since climate models have accurately anticipated global temperature changes so far, we can expect projections of future warming to be reliable as well,’ writes The Guardian, to hammer home the point.

Full story (The Guardian)

World of cricket pays tribute to Bob Willis, hero of the 1981 Ashes

Bob Willis makes his way to the commentary box - Essex CCC vs England - LV Challenge Match at the Essex County Ground, Chelmsford - 02/07/13

Bob Willis makes his way to the commentary box – Essex CCC vs England – LV Challenge Match at the Essex County Ground, Chelmsford.

Tributes flooded in yesterday for former England cricketer — and captain — Bob Willis, who died age 70.

A bowler, and a very quick one at that, Willis took 325 wickets in 90 Tests over 13 years, famously helping his country to beat Australia in the 1981 Ashes.

Though it’s Ian Botham who stole the headlines at Headingley, in truth Botham had just opened the door with his century. It was Willis’s performance with the ball — 8 wickets for 43 runs — which turned a chance into a win.

Vic Marks writes in his obituary in The Guardian: ‘In that famous spell in Leeds he was in a trance, oblivious to the outside world, a state he often pursued with the ball in his hand. [Captain Mike] Brearley had told him to forget about the no-balls that had been plaguing him and to bowl fast. And so he did.’

Willis retired in 1984, not before he captained England in 18 Tests and 29 one-day internationals, then spent many years as a hugely popular — and brutally honest — cricket broadcaster. RIP to an English sporting legend.

Obituary (The Guardian)

Today is… World Soil Day

Plants being potted in cardboard pots

That’s right — a day dedicated to giving thanks for the wonder that is soil,  and the perfect moment at which to consider today’s fun fact: there are more microorganisms in a handful of soil than there are people on earth.

And finally…

An important question to debate before polling day on December 12th;  if the animal worlds can coexist, why can’t we?