Viewpoint: It's time for us farmers to get real about climate change
Published 16/12/2015 | 02:30
Thousands of farmers along Ireland's waterways have been given a taste of the kind of climate chaos that scientists have been predicting over the last fortnight.
It just so happens that many of those same climate scientists were gathered in Paris for the last fortnight, arguing with politicians and interest groups - including farmers- for greater action on climate change.
Predicting what way emissions will go over the coming decades is virtually impossible, with so many unknown variables such as economic activity and new technologies.
The leaves even the best scientists' predictions open to challenge, spin and interpretation.
Here's what we do know.
Farm emissions fell by more than 15pc after a peak in 1998, largely due to de-stocking linked with the decoupling of CAP payments.
Despite increased milk production adding over 1m tonnes to the sector's greenhouse gases emissions by 2020, total emissions from the sector will still be 4-5pc lower than the EU's base year in 2005.
Thankfully, EPA projections suggest that the rest of the economy is going to do the heavy lifting to allow Ireland to still sneak in with a 20pc overall reduction by 2020, thus escaping disastrous EU fines.