How land clearing has affected climate: Philip & Freya Mulvey speak with Robyn Williams on The Science Show on ABC Radio

November 18, 2023 12:00 PM

The Science Show ABC Radio with Robyn Williams

Could the way we have changed the landscape for farming be the unrecognised extra factor in climate change? In their book Ground Breaking Freya and Philip Mulvey argue it could be a huge contributor. Evidence is drawn from the Rabbit-Proof Fence which runs for 800Km and divides Western Australia into two halves. To the east, native vegetation. To the west, agricultural land. And there is a documented change in climatic conditions each side of the fence. Clearing native vegetation for agriculture has seen rainfall drop by 20% between 1976 and 2002. Clearing the vegetation for farming has depleted soils and affected rainfall.

Freya and Philip Mulvey argue that managing land use to reduce bare ground, restore the water cycle and sequester carbon in the soil will be major contributors if we are to turn around climate change and return global conditions to those which saw civilisation develop.

Ground Breaking is published by Kerr Publishing

Philip Mulvey
CEO of EESI Group and Ryzo
Freya Mulvey
Regulatory Lawyer

Robyn Williams

David Fisher

Broadcast 18 Nov 2023

Listen to the full episode on the ABC website here

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