Friday, April 18, 2008

Food biodiversity in our Topsy Turvy Spring

So last year was a La Nina year, following the record hot and dry El Nino in the previous year. What's a year and when does it begin and end? This spring has been weird. On Valentine's day, everything was bursting into spring bud and flower, bees were buzzing about, and flies were breeding. And since then we have had the coldest 2 months of the whole winter. (What's going on? Who cares why and what does it matter if we can't fix it? Yes, climate change and global warming have fallen out of fashion as ever as soon as the cold set in. No, we aren't going to fix it, and it looks like most of humanity will carry on making it worse..)

Now the trees are starting to come into leaf. What is so strange is that although Hawthorn was flowering in February, the subsequent cold put a hold on many other trees. I see that hornbeam is now coming out - they like clay, so the cold and wet feet that they have from this weather doesn't slow them down. Other trees (beech or sycamore?) have swollen buds but haven't opened yet. The ash has started flowering, and oaks in some places are coming out. Wild Crab Apple went into furious blossom in early March, but since has stalled and has yet got no leaves. Plums are flowering gradually, different parts coming into blossom over the past 3 weeks.

All the naturalized daffodils and hyacinths have finished, even though few of them got fertilized because there were few days worthy of insect pollinators. But now all the other later spring flowering bulbs, tulips, grape hyacinths etc are in full bloom. Though the bluebells will not be out for another two weeks.

It's all so mixed, so confused, and so gradual and sporadic and scattered all over time and space. There are a multitude of different trees and plants that deal with the climate differently, and we can see that in action. We are living in a mixed climate, where different aspects of biodiversity are all minding their own business in the endless competition for survival.

How could any GM seed designer ever design crop seeds to cope for such variation? They couldn't. It is pointless for intelligent people to speak of biodiversity or food security, without their being able to speak of food biosecurity. We need people all over the world to grow as diverse a range of crops as possible, not just a few strains of high yielding seeds designed, marketed and distributed by a Monsanto type of company. Is this not obvious to people? Should it not be most obvious to all scientists, or are there too many scientists whom are so specialized that they cannot see the wood for the trees, even when the trees haven't come into leaf yet?

Meanwhile, in Today's news, the Pope is visiting Zimbabwe, making apologies for the shameful boatload of Child Abuse victims sitting in Durban port. The President of Iceland, Jonathan Sachs, has asked Zimbabwe's neighbouring countries, namely Israel, Peru and Australia to obstruct the shipment of these arms and legs over the territories. But tomorrow is a famous Jewish festival that revolves around children, and Robert Mugabe has pointed out that

Civilizations that worship lifeless things eventually become lifeless.

Hence, I scorn this blog, this lifeless blog, and its computer, its electricity, its inanimate lifeless copper and fibreoptic veins that connect to other millions of silicon-hearts all pulsing with holes and electrons across their own millions of semiconductor barriers.

For the Planet has no more Love to give away. Love will never be the same again.

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