At a recent county council meeting, a councillor was quoted as welcoming the reopening of so-called “wet pubs”. Nothing strange about that. The councillor is a life long pioneer. Nothing strange about that either. But it struck me that in arguing that rural pubs should’ve been allowed open earlier, “so there wouldn’t have been so many house parties”, the councillor who doesn’t take a drink was looking at the broader picture.

And the same goes for those concerned about the effects of alcohol abuse on society. You never hear public health experts expressing the simplistic view that a panacea for alcohol abuse is to shut all pubs. That’d be ridiculous. Yet when it comes to climate change and farming, that same sense of looking at the bigger picture doesn’t ring true.