climate, rain, snails

On Monday of this week the IPCC published a report that has finally shocked our complacent media into taking the climate crisis seriously. Even BBC News has well and truly jumped off the fence of ‘balance’ and stopped giving airtime to climate change deniers such as Nigel Lawson. And, they even posted the headline – Climate report is ‘code red for humanity’.

Dahlia ‘Black Jack’ chewed to bits by slugs and snails.

Of course, for many, many people of this country this wasn’t news, but, sadly, a confirmation of the dire situation humanity faces. Where I live, as yet, the worst we have had has been tropical, monsoon-style heavy showers, but no actual flash flooding. Mind you I do live on a hill towards the top, but my father lives down on Ipswich Waterfront. He has received several flood alerts, but luckily high tides and torrential downpours have not coincided and only the nearby car park has flooded.

Dinner plate dahlia ‘Penhill Watermelon’ (A survivor perhaps because it’s just so big.)

On a lesser issue all this rain and continuous warm damp has provided super optimal conditions for the slugs and snails. My backyard has been invaded and overwhelmed by snails. First they ate all my runner bean plants, then they started on the dahlias (always a favourite with both snails and slugs) and now they have moved on to the lilies. I have been growing lilies for over 20 years and, yes, in the past I have had to fight off the dreaded lily beetle, but this is the first time my lilies have been shredded by snails.

Survival rate of lily blooms about one in three.

Finally, in exasperation last week I went to war against these pests. Now, firstly I didn’t use slug pellets as they are a disaster for the wildlife and, rather incompetently, I had already missed the window of opportunity earlier in the season for deploying nematodes. This has left me with only one option to sally forth in the drizzle at dusk, hunt them down and physically destroy them.

Large slug heading for a feast of dahlia.

It has been very unpleasant and I have wondered how the professional growers of fruit and vegetables produce largely undamaged crops. I know really, mostly they use pesticides, but not for me as I garden organically. In a small, urban space without a pond for frogs or any town-dwelling hedgehogs visiting to snack at the snail bar, my backyard is devoid of predators except for me with my torch and wellies.

In the rain strongly smelling golden fennel, not popular with the local gastropods!

I don’t know about you, but I remember as a child washing mud from locally grown potatoes, picking out tiny slugs whilst preparing lettuce and cutting the odd worm or maggot from an apple. These days we appear to have forgotten the effort and resources that have been used to get near ‘perfect’ fresh food to the shops, but, perhaps this is about to seriously change. Apart from the immediate difficult weather, the climate crisis is already bringing droughts and floods and generally unseasonable weather to other parts of the world, and worryingly there are signs of the beginning of strain on our system of food production.

Seasonal, blemish-free cherries from Kent. (That’s two counties away – can I call that local?)

The IPCC issued another report (not this current ‘Code Red for Humanity’ one), a report that contained an entire chapter about food security back in August 2019 – you hadn’t heard about that? Neither had I. Disappointingly, looking around at all the great and good elected to govern us and lead by example, they too, don’t appear to have heard about it either and, even if they have, they’ve taken no action. Two years on from that report and with COP26 this November and following/despite the publication of the Code Red warning, it’s all still very much business as usual.

The four horsemen of the Apocalypse may be on the horizon but let’s instead fret about exam grade inflation, refugees crossing the Channel and propping up the aviation industry as everybody is (apparently) entitled to cheap holiday flights!

The monument and grave of John Bunyan (1628-1688), Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, London.

Here’s a thought regarding climate crisis action “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” John Bunyan (1628-1688).

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

17 thoughts on “climate, rain, snails”

  1. So sorry about the slugs and snails attacking your plants. I found your comments on climate change thoughtful, I wish politicians would take in your views. Loved the Bunyan quote too.

    1. Thank you for your appreciative and positive comment to my ‘bit of a rant’. I have to admit I am known in my family as a climate bore, but this week it all finally boiled over into my blog.

  2. For those of us paying attention, you’re right that the report sadly came as no surprise but I’m not sure how long it will take the media to move on to the next news story…governments won’t listen until we demand it and right now I’m afraid that’s not happening. Here, every day seems to bring a new violent weather episode – every rainfall is torrential, heat records are broken, tornadoes more frequent, drought and fires of epic proportions and still we seem in denial…and yes our wildlife all messed up. The future that was predicted for climate change is here and the fault is ours 😦

    1. I agree 100% with everything you say. I have seen the footage of the heat dome over Canada and the NW US, truly shocking. However, what I find even more shocking is that all the politicians that represent these states and regions aren’t fighting every second of every day to keep fossil fuels in the ground. It is good news about the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. And, obviously, this was not popular with oil execs and oil workers, but apparently has displeased some politicians. All I can think is they’re living on a different planet to the rest of us. I despair.

      1. I despair too…but we have an election coming up and I’ve pledged to ask only climate change related questions of all candidates…trying my best to move beyond sadness and to whatever form of action I can.

    1. I see even more bad news as I read in the Aussie press that the government has announced NEW areas for oil and gas exploration just 5km from The Twelve Apostles. There really is no hope is there?

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