Drought and collectivisation

There was a short but brutal drought in the East of England this year. It is over now, but from March to May, there was no rain, at all. But the problem is not so much that there wasn’t any rain, but that the condition of the soil means that it cannot hold onto winter rain and make it available to crops through dry months. This spring was particularly bad because we had had a dry winter, and this after last year’s dry spring. We will have to dig the field drains up, so that less winter rainfall runs into the ditches. Our field is protected only by its own hedges, so there is little shelter from the wind that blows across the much larger fields all around. The wind draws what moisture there is out of the soil, and the water level drops faster than our crops can grow roots to find it. We have planted a belt of trees round the whole field, but not many survived the drought.
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Two Doles and some forgiveness

There are many pacts of mutual dependency, some good, some not so. Let’s have a look a couple that are not so good, and which are vaguely related. We’ll start with the global, then look at the local.
The Middle East supplies us with cheap oil. There is oil elsewhere in world, but it hasn’t come onto the market yet because it is too expensive for us to extract. Over many happy decades our industry, and our societies, have got used to this cheap oil. So used to it that it is now a question whether we could convert to the more expensive stuff, which is soon to be the only oil there is. Without oil, we are capable of no economic activity at all. The West is on a petroleum dole, which the Arabs (and Russians and Venezuelans) are kind enough to supply. So far, we do not resent being on this dole, and they do not resent supplying it.
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