Famine Author at LAMMA

February 5, 2010 · Filed Under Peak Food in the News · Comment 

John Gossop, author of Famine in the West and www.peakfood.co.uk attended LAMMA recently as the guest of Nationwide Diamond Concrete.  During the first day of the show he spoke to many farmers about peakfood and the future threats to food production.  Copies of his book were sold at a special show price of £5.99 .

Famine in the West author to attend LAMMA Show 20th and 21st January 2010

January 18, 2010 · Filed Under Peak Food in the News · Comment 
John Gossop, author of Famine in the West and www.peakfood.co.uk  is to attend LAMMA, the UK’s biggest static machinery show in Newark and Nottingham Showground, Winthorpe, Newark  NG24 2NY this Wednesday and Thursday.
During the two day event visitors can talk to John at Nationwide Concrete Flooring’s outdoor stand B74 and if they wish buy his book at a discounted price.  Also present will be Jon Wilcox, Nationwide Concrete Floorings’s sales manager together with some of their concrete plant and machinery.
The company will be running a free competition with a cash prize of £100.

Role of Agriculture in Global Warming

January 16, 2010 · Filed Under Peak Food in the News · Comment 

Peak Food author John Gossop this week had this article printed on pages 28 and 29 of the Farmers Weekly under the topic of the week section. Dated 8th January 2010, the article was entitled ‘Agriculture has a key role in taking heat out of global warming debate’. The issues raised were then then debated on the Farmers Weekly Forum.

Agriculture's role in takingt heat out of global warming

Agriculture has a key role in taking heat out of global warming debate  by John Gossop
(Article published in Farmers Weekly 8th January)
Charlie Flindt’s article about man-made global warming ( Farmers Weekly, Qpinion, 18 December) will have struck a chord with many readers, because if he is right – and the overwhelming number of climate scientists are wrong – we can happily continue with our fossil-fuelled living standards and our fossil-fuelled farming systems until those finite resouces become scare.
Unfortunately, the physics and the evidence clearly favour the scientists.
The present level of greenhouse gasses trap heat energy, reducing the amount that is radiated from the earth back into space, acting as a partial blanket and causing a difference of about 21 degrees C between the average temperature that we would have and the average earth temperature.  Without the greenhouse effect the earth would be uninhabitable.
By increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere we are enhancing the greenhouse effect.  The earth is responding just as we would expect it to, with a well-proven warming trend.  Experts never expected every year to be warmer than the one before.  Does anyone really believe that we can increase the blanket by more than 40% with no effect?

The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time slow the depletion of finite oil and gas reserves has massive implications for the future of farming, which has become nothing more than a system of converting cheap, plentiful calories into a much smaller amount of expensive food calories.  As oil and gas supplies are finite, and their production is expected to peak soon and then decline, our present farming system must be regarded as temporary.

As the world moves to collecting and using more of the abundant solar energy that reaches us every day, the most important method will be to use plants to collect solar energy to synthesise simple carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water – in other words agriculture.  But to feed the nine billion people predicted by 2050 with fewer fossil inputs, we will need to grow more of our input energy, fix more of our nitrogen and recycle more nutrients.  It will be a massive challenge, but agriculture will surely become the most important industry in the world. 

John Gossop speaks on Vegetarianism

December 4, 2009 · Filed Under Peak Food in the News · 1 Comment 

Following headlines in the national news about Sir Paul McCartney’s call for everyone to eat let meat, John Gossop, author of Peak Food, spoke on Andy Comfort’s Morning Show on Radio Humberside. John answered questions alongside Annette Pinner, Chief Executive of the Vegitarian Society.

John Gossop Radio Humberside

John Gossop Radio Humberside

Click below to listen to the interview.  It is in two parts and not all is included due to download limitations.


John Gossop speaking on Radio Humberside part 2

Peak Food Author John Gossop in Yorkshire Post

February 28, 2009 · Filed Under Peak Food in the News · 2 Comments 

Today the Yorkshire Post printed the article below about Peak Food author, John Gossop.

Peak Food Author John Gossop in the Yorkshire Post
Modernisation is the key to sustainability in farming
Published Date: 28 February 2009

FARMERS must modernise their methods to contend with the twin threats of climate change and depleted fossil fuel supplies, a leading Yorkshire campaigner has warned.
In more than 40 years as a farmer in the East Riding, John Gossop has seen the industry respond to a wide range of difficult challenges.

But he considers global warming and farming’s reliance on non-renewable energy to be the greatest problems yet, and has written a book and several articles to illustrate how severe their combined impact may be.

Farmers and academics have turned to Mr Gossop’s book Famine in the West and Peakfood website for his views on how the industry will look in the future.

Now his theories are likely to reach an even wider audience after he was nominated for the Climate Change category in the inaugural Yorkshire Post Environment Awards.

The award category recognises those who show innovative, imaginative and strategic thinking in tackling or adapting to climate change.

Mr Gossop, of Swinefleet, near Goole, said: “With climate change, one of the worries is it is going to make production less reliable.

“The other thing is farming itself and the food production system is dependent on the fuels that are causing the greenhouse gas problem. We are going to have to come up with a better way of using solar energy.”

Mr Gossop believes the industry could help protect the environment by embracing changes to the conventional system of farming.

Current farming practices for these crops involve using a combine harvester to separate the seed from the stem in the field.

The seed is dried using fossil energy so that it can be stored safely in bulk, while the straw is either chopped and incorporated into the soil or baled and transported for animal bedding.

Mr Gossop said: “The present system has revolved around cheap fossil fuels but, some time in the future, if fuel becomes more expensive and scarce then food itself will become more expensive and scarce.

“We need to have a farming system that makes use of the whole crop in a sustainable way. We are so wasteful in everything that we do. If we are going to continue to support a world population using so much fossil fuels, the system must change.

“I would take the crop to a biorefinery or a processing plant which extracts all the energy from the food.

“There is as much energy in the straw as there is in the seed; by collecting the straw as well and possibly turning that into cellulosic ethanol, we would be producing enough energy to ensure the farming is self-sufficient.

“In the past we have not had to worry that we are wasting so much energy, but the system that we are proposing is about trying to get around that.

“We want to fuel farming from its own resources – as it always was.”

For more information about the Yorkshire Post Environment Awards see www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/environmentawards

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