Academics are sometimes accused of living in an ivory tower, divorced from the everyday concerns of the ‘real world’. But, in truth, they are not alone. Many of us spend much of our time in the virtual reality of the internet and children growing up in cities sometimes take a while to realise that food doesn’t actually grow on supermarket shelves.
So it’s probably not a bad thing to be reminded, every so often, that human beings’ survival is largely dependant on a thin layer of topsoil and the weather.
Vegetable growers yesterday warned of possible shortages following this year’s unusual weather, with the ‘Beast from the East’ in the spring being followed by heavy rain and then a scorching hot, dry summer. Carrots, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes and leeks are likely to be smaller than usual and yields may also be lower.
Scientists have warned that climate change is likely to lead to more extreme weather events, the consequences of which could be far more serious than the usual storm damage and a few snow days off work. A view from an ivory tower, to some, but perhaps such heights help them see further.