When I took finger to keyboard to write a short story it never crossed my mind that first it would become a full length novel or that it would be the first of a few. Neither did I realise that I would be writing about so many modern day conundrums. The list is formidable: from genetic manipulation to food security and taking in population growth/control, climate change, globalisation and the modern world with all its toys.
It is fair to say I am interested in all of them and hold, as do many others, mixed and sometimes conflicting views on most of them. On many of the above subjects I have come to decisions but don’t see how anything will be managed, others I know ‘I shouldn’t’ but find I ‘still do’. Life is never easy, I envy the purists in any discipline for their fortitude but I am full of human frailties!
The ‘Sefuty’ in the ‘Sefuty Chronicles’ stands for food security in this post apoplectic world I have invented. ‘Se’ and ‘ty’ are the first and last parts of security and the ‘fu’ for the food in a manner that so many pronounce the word. Of all the problems that may, or may not, face the world I feel that food security is the most pressing. Solve that and much good would ensue and not just because we would not be at the mercy of the markets. Many disputes and wars would cease! Hopefully, resources that are fast running out, such as useable water, would cease to be plundered in a crazy manner, healthcare in so many parts of the world could be afforded, and population would stabilise. Well - these things could happen if there was food security around the world; of course, as with many great ideas such as communism and democracy, if human beings are involved it will probably go wrong!
A cynic? Me? No!
Many decades ago I declared to the world – well family and friends – that I thought our greatest danger lay not in nuclear holocaust but in the movement of the hungry, when they got desperate. I was dismissed as an idiot because I thought both sides having the bomb made us safer; of course, as far as large and nasty bombs are concerned, the goal posts have changed now. However, at the time, I had started out on my travels and was young and impressionable; I journeyed to countries where the gap between ‘us’ and ‘them’ was extreme in a way we hardly know here.
I am talking of the days before rolling news and wars fought and won by TV. Decades ago and even now there is no better way of seeing what hunger, want and despair looks like than by being there. It looks, smells and sounds different in the reality. As we wandered around poverty we were also aware that there was the land, the water and the wherewithal for this not to happen. We were not in any war zones; there a different grim picture was emerging. It was the beginning of learning about politics, local and global, of differing ways of ruling and containing societies. Not a particularly political animal I learnt the lessons very slowly over the intervening years of travel and reading and listening.
Food security is not just a problem for the undeveloped nations nowadays, although they are already suffering from the effects of globalisation and price capping. For us, a small shiver of anticipation occurred when a volcano blew its top on our doorstep. The percentage of food that we consume in this country which starts its life overseas is staggering; the amount that relies on crossing boarders and seas to reach us should be real cause for concern for all of us. We worry over foreign countries owning our gas and water, of imports of coal from thousands of miles away. Worry over food supplies. Worry over the declining agriculture industry here, of the closing of farms, the drain of farming youngsters into cities. We could live without the gas – I don’t want to mind – we cannot live without food and a population at 60 million + and rising living in these islands, it is time to be afraid, be very afraid.
Parts of this blog I have posted before in different places but it shows some of the thoughts that have fed into the creation of this new world I have created for the Sefuty Chronicles.
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