Thursday. I hadn't realized how bad it's gotten in Australia. I wish Kathryn Ash were still keeping her journal. She would have been a reliable witness in a world where reliable witnesses, like red heads, are hard to find. From the UK Independent, May 16, 2007:
“The Prime Minister, John Howard, a hardened climate-change sceptic, delivered dire tidings to the nation's farmers yesterday. Unless there is significant rainfall in the next six to eight weeks, irrigation will be banned in the principal agricultural area. Crops such as rice, cotton and wine grapes will fail, citrus, olive and almond trees will die, along with livestock.
A ban on irrigation, which would remain in place until May next year, spells possible ruin for thousands of farmers, already debt-laden and in despair after six straight years of drought.”
Listening to the radio yesterday evening on my way to Beverages and More (being out of sake) a commentator described the depth of the disaster. They're expecting a radical increase in suicides among farmers who are losing everything they've ever owned and the government has increased its budget for suicide related support programs in anticipation. Gets a little closer to home when you read something like this. Then again, with plenty of sake in the cupboard, I can sing the night away here in Oakland (while Kathryn's Queensland burns).
A little droll even for you, don't you think?
Life is just a story until it happens to people you know.