In Canada, where I live, the farmers have been under weaponized weather attack for years while "Mother Nature" gets the blame.

Every year it's a new disaster and some years farmers get hit with EVERYTHING in one season - drought, flood, insects, Foot & Mouth, Mad Cow, you name it. Either they can't get their crop IN the ground or they can't get it OUT of the ground or if they DO get it harvested and off to market the market is yanked out from under their feet, ie the USA closing its borders to Canadian beef etc.

This year [2005] the problem the farmers have been hit with is "flood". Torrential rains are pouring down from a cloud parked above the prairie provinces and the fields are nothing but mud. As a consequence the farmers have not been able to plant this year's crop of wheat, barley, oats, you name it.

Every night the talking-heads on every news channel interview desperate farmers posed in front of lake-like fields and ask them "How long can you hang in?" to which the farmer responds "I'll have to take a job in town" and then after that the talking-head passes the story to another talking-head who reports "The government will give farmers disaster relief funds providing they apply by such and such a date etc".

That's then the end of the farm-disaster story and the talking-head then goes on to describe the latest grizzly bear attack which is blamed on the dead victim for encroaching on the land of wild animals (in a country where over 80% of the people live in cities).

The point I am trying to make here is that whenever people talk about farming disasters, the disaster is never connected to loss of "food" but only to loss of "money" (ie farmer's income). The talking-head never says "This is a serious problem for all of us because the farmer is where our food comes from".

I have met many Canadians who actually wonder what the farmers are complaining about, seeing as how they'll get paid out with crop insurance. These are obviously the type of people who go to soul-sucking supermarkets and think that's where food comes from.

This season - as Canada's farmers suffer flood - farmers elsewhere in the world are also being hit by "Mother Nature" in their own versions of hell. Here are but two examples:

Australia drought a food crisis (no rain for planting crops; up to 55% less wheat). Financial Times, Jun 11, 2005

Spain drought killing fish & crops (up to 58% less wheat; asking EU for handouts). The Times, Jun 11, 2005

In almost all the stories not a word is mentioned about the loss of FOOD due to the disasters being inflicted on the farmers. Keep that in mind as you read your local papers and watch your nightly news and understand that when farmers are hit by disaster, we're ALL hit by disaster. ~ Jackie Jura

Heavy rain causes flooding, pits town against farmers
Canadian Press, June 5, 2005

STRATHCLAIR, Manitoba - Farmers' fields were flooded in order to keep a town of approximately 350 dry after 50 millimetres of additional rain drenched an area of western Manitoba on Friday night. "It saves the town but it hurts the farmland," said Strathclair's chief administrative officer, Shelly Glenn. The rain, which fell between 6 p.m. and midnight Friday, came just as water levels were beginning to recede after a heavy rainfall swelled many Manitoba creeks and rivers on Wednesday.

On Saturday, officials with the Rural Municipality of Strathclair shut down the town's water supply to prevent any further flow into the over-taxed sewage treatment system, which had already backed up into several basements. A block in a culvert east of the town kept most of the excess water from flowing into town, even though several centimetres of water was pouring over the top on Saturday afternoon. But leaving it in place meant that fields in the area could not drain. Glenn said the choice between allowing fields to drain and keeping the town from flooding was a tough one. About 20 acres of her own land outside town is under water.

"It will probably mean re-seeding. It's early enough in the season that we can re-seed," she said.

Strathclair reeve Arnold Pirie said farmers try to be understanding, but it hasn't been easy for them. Pirie said the phone in the municipal office has been ringing every 15 minutes from anxious landowners. "The farmers see the water on their land and they get pretty excited," he said. "Every farmer has got it bad."

Premier Gary Doer pledged emergency aid for rain-drenched areas of western Manitoba after taking a helicopter survey of some areas flooded by the week's heavy rain. Roads in many areas were washed out or left impassable because of mud, while agricultural officials said farm fields were left awash and young crops may die because of excess moisture. Environment Canada said the area around Elphinstone got more than 122 millimetres of rain Wednesday night, while some unofficial reports indicate as much as 270 millimetres - almost a foot of rain - fell in isolated areas.

Provincial flood forecaster Alf Warkentin said the danger for most areas had passed Saturday after the weather system that had dumped so much rain on the province had moved west to Saskatchewan. But he said that Friday night's rain, which occurred north of Riding Mountain, would likely mean that the Little Saskatchewan River and Bird Tail Creek would continue to rise for several more days while smaller feeder creeks drain into them. "Rivers are virtually forming where they don't normally exist," Warkentin said. "You learn a lot about draining when (rain) like this happens." Pirie, however, said he has been trying to get better flood control in Strathclair for 10 years. Before the block was installed, he said water used to flood Main Street. Still, he said the block is hardly an ideal solution. "We're holding out the water back on farmers' fields and this time it's gone beyond a joke."


Half of humanity set to go urban ("important step for mankind" ays UN Population Division). BBC, May 23, 2005 & RADICAL ENVIRONMENTALISM & THE WILDLANDS PROJECT & ENVIRONMENTALISM is ANIMALISM

9.Keeping Masses Down

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~