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22 Aug 2012 Drought in Vojvodina

22 Aug 2012 - Drought in Vojvodina
ImageImageWe stopped in a small village to buy some strings of garlic. “Is the drought serious?” I asked. A long list of woes came out. The maize is shrivelled, barely half a crop, people are selling stock and worried about fattening the pigs. The wheat was just about all right but maize and sugar beet are a disaster. Harvesting normally happens at the end of September and October but lots of crops are being harvested now. It’s too late. And those who can are putting the crop into silage clamps.
The village of Stara Moravica in northern Serbia has some fine village vineyards and we went off at 0600 to help pick a neighbour’s grapes while they were cool. Some grape crops are only 10% of what they should be. But they have good sugar and quality seemed to cheer our friends up. The same was true for the orchards found beside most village houses; a very poor plum harvest. ImageImageThese are fermented and then distilled to make pelinka (sljivavica in Serbian). Double distilled plum brandy, the solution to and sometimes cause of many disharmonies.
Boffins staring at satellite pictures report another record reduction in Arctic sea ice. “Much faster reduction than expected” etc. This is of course a self reinforcing problem in the “Gaia” view of the world as a single self adjusting system. As protective ice is removed, the dark Arctic waters absorb the summer radiation. Waters warm, ice melts, polar bears float away, oil companies rub their hands. The planet’s foundations are melting beneath our feet.
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