“I want to breed horses, not camels” – Hungarian farmer

Farmers in Hungary have reported historic drought damage affecting about 550,000 ha of land. Andras Eordogh breeds horses in (or near) Jászszentlászló, a village in the southern Great Plain region of southern Hungary. His horses are playing and kicking up the dust after a scorching summer. He thinks that he will have to sell up because of climate change in this rural south east corner of Hungary. He can no longer harvest enough fodder to feed his horses. He said that he really wants to keep them and he has been farming in the area for nearly 3 decades and can’t remember such a severe drought. He added, “I want to breed horses, not camels”.

Drought in Hungary
Drought in Hungary. Image: Reuters.

The region where he lives is particularly vulnerable to drought because it sits higher than the two rivers surrounding it and the sandy soil dries out quickly. There used to be a lake in the middle of Jászszentlászló but that dried up years ago. Kids used to swim in it. That pleasure is now denied them.

Winter and spring rains mostly failed. Five years ago, they blocked up hundreds of kilometres of channels that criss-cross their land in an effort to retain rainwater. They were built in communist times to drain the area. They had tacit permission to block them up.

The director of the General Directorate of Water Management, Istvan Lang, said that his department is spending 200 billion forints ($511 million) over the forthcoming eight years to try and save the region from drying up. Farmers said that they had not been notified and had only heard about it through news media.

Some farmers say that all they can do is wait for rain. Another farmer, Gergely Lajko said that he had bought a farm and three horses. He wanted to expand the farm into a small business breeding chickens, pigs and sheep but the drought appears to have scotched the plan.

He said: “Maybe we should find out what thrives in the desert. Arab horse breeds? Kiwifruit? Camels?” Lajko chuckled and admitted that “These are bitter jokes these days”.

The report comes from Reuters. What percentage of people believe that global warming is happening? A 2016 Gallup poll in America found that 64% of Americans were worried about global warming and that 59% believe that it was actually happening while 65% were convinced that it was caused by human activities. These are quite low figures because, for instance, it means that 35% of Americans don’t believe that global warming is caused by human activity.

I am 73-years-old and therefore have seen quite a lot of life in the UK and, for me, global warming is happening because the climate has dramatically changed and I miss the old climate. The climate today can be freaky. There is global scientific agreement that human-made global warming is happening and it is going to place enormous pressure on humankind to survive. Everything will change and water will be by far the most precious commodity on the planet.

Putin’s war has interrupted efforts to curb climate change. He has caused enormous amounts of damage in different ways.

Below are some more articles on global warming.

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