Global warming: good for soybeans, bad for everyone else

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, December 7, 2009
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Wu Xianqing, a 68-year-old farmer in a small county in Hunan Province, who makes a living by growing rice and vegetables. He has been living there all his life.

I feel very strongly about climate change. The most obvious change to me is that the winter is much warmer now. Before the 1980s, it snowed every year and normally it would last at least for a week. The snow normally came up to my knees and the lakes were all frozen.

My children used to have snow fights and build snowman every year. It was so much fun to watch them playing.

In recent years, it's not so cold any more. I sometimes just wear a jacket when I go out to the field.

Also I noticed some changes with the crops. I don't know if it is because of climate change. We used to grow wheat in our county several decades ago, and the wheat yield was normally equal to a season's rice. But now we don't grow wheat because it doesn't grow very well in hot weather.

We couldn't make money out of it at all and sometimes we couldn't make both ends meet when we grew wheat. That's why a lot of farmers only grow rice now and many of them have abandoned their land.

But it is very obvious that the crops didn't have any diseases before and we didn't have to use pesticides. Over the years the pests are getting stronger and diseases more severe. Sometimes even the pesticides cannot kill them.

I am more concerned about the quality of the rice and vegetables. In our village, several people had food poisoning after eating the vegetables over the last few years.

It doesn't actually cause so much inconvenience in the winter. But summers are getting so hot.

Back then we didn't have any electric fans, let alone air conditioners. We used to go under big trees and use a fan to cool down.

Now even the electric fans only blow hot air. Some farmers bought air conditioners. Also the spring and autumn seem very short now. It's like summer right after winter.

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