Thursday, 22 September 2011

Mankinds 'stupid' gene

As part of The Sefuty's Book Tour I am posting a few posts relevant to the subjects dealt with in the books today I'm on having a tiny rant about a stupidty here in UK and I am sure everyone from the west outside these shores will find it applys to their countries also -I maybe wrong.

I got to thinking of one of the UK’s idiocies the other morning when attempting to gather the fallen hazelnuts in my garden.  Nettles barred my path.  Now I allow nettles in my garden for (a) the wildlife and (b) dye for fibre.  They grow everywhere and I do actually control them although friends may not think so.  I allow dandelions to proliferate for the same reasons.  They need no help.  None of the so called ‘weeds’ do, ask anyone with ground elder in their patch!

Why don’t we plant fields of nettles?  They are incredibly nutritious, need no artificial fertilisers, are best when picked young therefore a couple of crops a year could be gathered.  Why don’t we plant orchards of elders?  Flowers and fruit.  Why do we leave them for the few foragers around?  Why don’t we treasure our food resources now?  One day we may have to.

The Sefuty Chronicles are set in a time of limited resources caused by extreme climate change.  When people think of the effects of climate change it is principally of those things we see as essential to our wellbeing; lack of fuel being the main concern, how will we cope without fossil fuel?  Just on a personal level we all find it difficult to imagine a world without our ‘toys’, our comfort, our mobility.  We watch the price of heating, the cost of running our cars, the cost of turning on our TV’s and computers rising, and think of fossil fuel.

However the most serious problem, for the West at least, will be the collapse of food security.  The shortage of land, the scarcity of water and the lack of fossil fuel will bring our cosy world of supermarkets and inexpensive food crashing down.

Shortage of land?  Here in the UK we have acres of land – don’t we?  As a nation we import something in the region of 60% of our food, would we have enough land if we grew all that, or even most of it, here? Could we feed 60 million?

Scarcity of water?  Here?  Where it seems to do nothing but rain?  Come on – get real, as they say.  Some parts of the South East struggle now to provide water to consumers, farmers and industry; in a few years time they will fail.  Rivers, and our precious water table, are robbed at speed with alarming consequences for the environment.

Inexpensive food?  Yes.  For years now we have not been paying the true cost of food production, with some years showing farmers working for nothing.  What kind of employment would the rest of us consider doing where there was no surety of any kind of profit at the end of the year?  We import such as beans from Africa because it is cheaper to do that then grow them here!  Crazy.  Why are we so very reluctant to pay our workers to produce our food.

After the Second World War a new agricultural policy was put into place to ensure we would never be in the precarious position we had been in during the war.  At any time our supplies from abroad could have been cut – if the Germans had been luckier or us less so – and we would have lost.  We had been urged to ‘Dig for Victory’ – gardens and wasteland being turned over to growing food.  With the help of this personal effort and food rationing the country survived, in better health than before.  Never again, the government declared, must we be so dependent on food from overseas. 

What particular ‘stupid’ gene does mankind possess which makes us forget lessons learnt? 

I am running a give away during the tour. (links to host sites can be found on side bar under pages-book tour)

2 winners of draw will win an e-book edition of

The first two books of the Sefuty Chronicles
Ellen's Tale and The Storyteller's Tale

3 runners up will win an e-book edition of

Ellen's Tale
 (unless already read in which case The Storyteller's Tale)

How to win

A comment on each visited host site gives you one chance to win, also on my sites on those days I am posting there during the tour

an extra entry will be given if you mention the post on Twitter or Facebook
an extra entry will be given for a mention of the post/tour on your own blog

Let me know where you have spread the word


  1. Our memories are too short, that's the problem. When things are going well, we caccoon ourselves in a bubble and when the bubble bursts, we look around to see who we can blame

  2. Congrats on the release. There's plenty of stupid genes at work over here [US]. I'm surprise the species hasn't imploded yet.

    If you ever want to come do a promo guest post on my blog, let me know. :) I'd love to have you and have you talk more about that stupid gene. :)

  3. I agree with Claire up there - short memories, and then we want to blame everyone else when the house of cards comes tumbling down.

  4. I agree with you. We waste our resources because we live in the present. We don't care what'll happen in the future because we're selfish.
    PS: I've given you the Versatile Blogger Award. If you'd like to take it, it's here: