|So the weather is going crazy|
So the weather is going crazy-what's the worst that can happen?
It seems to many, this year, that the weather is going crazy. Abnormal events keep recurring as a tumble of dominoes. Droughts, floods, gales and hurricanes. Of course we have always had them, but are they growing worse, more erratic?
Life behind the mines would have been bearable for a while for those who started off with an agricultural or horticultural background, such as Blaisemill and Belacot, the first a communal self sufficient holding and the second a small farming community. For those without this knowledge a good supply of books and reasonable intelligence would maybe be enough to see a small community through a few years. There were many small communities who survived in The Sefuty Chronicles.
However, life, real life, has a habit of stacking bad fortune against a good. We are mostly, in the Western world, fortified against natural disasters; if there’s a bad growing season we have to spend more on food as prices rise, in a few words we can summon food across the globe to fill our empty shelves. If some particularly nasty bug, disease, or blight attacks our crops we have an endless array of chemical solutions to aid us, if we over graze our agricultural land we have an endless supply of chemical fertilizers to help us boost the yields
If these solutions run out?
What happens then behind those mines, when the sun doesn’t shine day after day after day, as happened here in the UK in the summer of 2012. Our farmers were brought to their knees and spiraling costs sent many out of business.
How does the livestock cope when cold winds howl from the north and the east, when snow drifts into sold coffins for animals on the hillsides , when a whole generation of new lambs freeze hardly before they have drawn their first breath, as has happened in recent winters?
What happens to our hard working and intrepid farmers in the wet years, when rivers overflow and wash away the topsoil, or, as is happening this year in Somerset, the floods remain so long, all vegetation dies and there is no grazing, no crops for the next couple of year?
The year your livestock succumb to disease such a foot and mouth or swine diseas?. Can you afford to keep livestock, if the food supplies are low? But, if you don’t have livestock and you can’t leave your area, because of land mines, what happens when the crops fail? The continuing effects of selling livestock in a famine can be seen year after year in those countries who already struggle on the edge.
In 2012 when it rained all summer I tried to sow seeds in the garden, they rotted before they could come up, the crop yield was low, miserable, I tried to gather what few crops there were, a matter of going out in sou'wester and gumboots. It was frustrating, irritating, but not actually catastrophic because the greengrocers in the village could fill in the gaps for me.
How long can we continue to rely on the artificial to keep the natural alive and thriving.? We may be painting ourselves into a corner.
Behind the mines, a bad harvest, at the very least, means you’re lacking nutritionally, your energy levels will dip dangerously low and at worst means famine and eventual death from starvation. It is not hard to see how despair and desperation could lead to suicide or a complete giving up on any hope, or faith that rescue would eventually come.
When does one, in fact, give up on the rescue? When do you look around you and start to look for the components of an equation for life? When do you look at your available land, your available manpower, and begin to calculate just how large a population can be sustained on through the bad years.
When do you start putting a value on each person in the community?
Next week: How my character's dealt with the problem of population v food supply