Monday, July 18, 2005

Try A Half-Pail of Molasses

France faces drought, locusts
Jul. 17, 2005 at 9:41PM
On top of a severe drought, France is fighting a plague of hundreds of thousands of locusts.
The locusts are devouring everything from crops to window-box flowers, reported the Observer.
"At the beginning they seem small, insignificant insects but they grow very quickly," said Aveyron region farmer Gerard Laussel. "They eat everything that is green, leaving only stalks, and when they have finished they leave some kind of scent so the cattle do not want to graze on what is left."
The French environment ministry said drought could be felt across most of France, but it mostly impacted from the Atlantic Ocean to Paris.
"There is nothing we can do for the 700 or 800 farmers affected," said Patrice Lemoux, an agriculture official. "The locust has no known predator and the only insecticides which might make a difference are banned."
You hear so much about French protectionism of their agribusiness. I guess that just means pieces of paper get shuffled the right way in Brussels. Apparently it doesn't translate into actual preservation of crops.

This is mindboggling. These guys are a bare three days as the locust flies from the Sahara, where locust swarms predate the wheel, and they had absolutely no contingency for a locust infestation? Just get eaten and let the banque sell the farm to fresh adventurers?

There are tacit tests for First World membership, and mastery of the insect kingdom is one of them. France just failed by default.

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