Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The drought and compassion and opportunism

from w
I am disturbed about the farming community along the Murray River, not angry at the farmers but at the government policies of taking away their water rights and planning to put in a pipeline to keep Melbourne city's gardens green! It's outrageous. Melbourne people can actually use their garden hoses still.

Okay, Australia is a dry, dry country, and droughts occur periodically but this time the Murray River is really in crisis and there just isn't water for irrigation to produce grapes and soft fruits, let alone pastures for sheep and cattle. It has been a mistake to assume that it will always rain. In my hometown in the Mallee area the annual rainfall used to be 11 inches a year, and now it's even less.

Then there's the quick fix of the government offering cash to farmers who walk off the land - which makes city people angry that they can get money so easily. Of course when the wheat crops fail, prices go up for bread, etc. When farmers chop their vines to the ground or let them die, there will be no wine. Anyway here are three cartoons from today's Age newspaper.

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