Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A third of this year’s French harvest has reportedly been lost to late-season frost. Winemakers turned to fossil fuel burning to save their crops.
A third of French wine that has been lost after rare cold spells devastates the vines
Unusual frost is an “agricultural disaster of the 21st century” as ice decimates the grape harvest after warm weather
Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
Fri 16 Apr 2021 02:53 AEST
At least a third of nearly € 2 billion (£ 1.7 billion) worth of French wine production will be lost this year after rare freezing temperatures devastated many vines and fruit crops across France and raised concerns about the climate crisis.
“This is probably the greatest agricultural disaster at the beginning of the 21st century,” French Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie said this week as the government declared an “agricultural disaster” and began preparing emergency financial measures.
The unusual wave of bitter frost and ice struck suddenly after a bout of warm weather, worsening the damage. The warmth had encouraged vines and fruit trees to develop earlier than usual, only to be withered by the sudden cold.
The national federation of agricultural owners’ unions told AFP that at least a third of French wine production would be lost as certain grape harvests could be decimated in many of France’s best-known wine-growing regions.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/apr/15/agricultural-disaster-two-billion-worth-of-french-wine-production-lost-after-cold-snaps
President Macron tweeted a picture of farmers burning thousands of gallons of kerosene to keep global warming from killing more of their grapes. No news yet on whether President Macron will relieve French global warming taxes on fossil fuels burned to contain the intense cold.
To you, farmers who have fought tirelessly night after night across France to protect the fruits of your labor, I would like to express our full support in this struggle. Hold tight ! We are by your side and will remain so. pic.twitter.com/uaW9TmPxYh
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 10, 2021
Perhaps the WMO was pondering the impending shortage of French wine for the 2021 season when it said the effects of the climate crisis were already too costly for the world to afford. Let’s hope the world wakes up and deals with global warming before we all freeze to death.