“It’s a pretty tough old time,” says Coonabarabran farmer Ambrose Doolan. “But if you’re working with your family and everyone is looking out for each other, you count your blessings.” In the central-west region of New South Wales, farmers continue to battle a crippling drought that many locals are calling the worst since 1902. In Warrumbungle shire, where sharp peaks fall away to once fertile farmland, the small town of Coonabarabran is running out of water.
Yadav Bhavanth grows vegetables on family land in the south-central Indian state of Telangana. On this small farm in a drought-prone region, his crop production—and income—depend heavily on seasonal rainfall.
In 2015 and 2016, water shortages threatened his crops. And when the rains came, they were often so heavy that they damaged even the hardier plants, causing disease or infestation.
When Simon Leather was a student in the 1970s, he took a summer job as a postman and delivered mail to the villages of Kirk Hammerton and Green Hammerton in North Yorkshire. He recalls his early morning walks through its lanes, past the porches of houses on his round. At virtually every home, he saw the same picture: windows plastered with tiger moths that had been attracted by lights the previous night and were still clinging to the glass. “It was quite a sight,” says Leather, who is now a professor of entomology at Harper Adams University in Shropshire.
But it is not a vision that he has experienced in recent years. Those tiger moths have almost disappeared. “You hardly see any, although there used to be thousands in summer and that was just a couple of villages.”
ATLANTIC MACKEREL, A fatty schooling fish, for years has been caught by fleets in parts of Europe and sold around the world—where it gets pickled, grilled, smoked, and fried. It is among the United Kingdom’s key exports.
But a decade ago, warming temperatures began driving this popular fish north, into seas controlled by Iceland. Almost overnight, this seafood gold began shredding relations between some of the world’s most stable governments. It led to unsustainable fishing, trade embargoes, and boat blockades. It even helped convince Iceland to drop its bid to join the EU. And that was among friendly nations.
ON THE south side of Alice Springs, a Thursday afternoon, five adults are gathered around a sedan at the entrance to the showgrounds. A man king-hits a woman and she goes down, hard. She is helped up, then carefully lined up and smashed again, in the face. She’s so drunk she has no hope of defending the punch. She goes down again.
Sitting on the window ledge of the car, watching, is a child. This is what she thinks is normal: incoherent adults enacting the brutal afternoon rituals of total alcohol dysfunction, as desensitised locals drive by with barely a glance.
The rapidly spinning maelstrom which has become the abnormal normal of the Administration of Donald Trump over the year plus that has elapsed since his inauguration has seemed to accelerate in recent weeks. Whether the news concerns primarily new developments in the Special Investigation led by Robert Mueller, more self-inflicted turmoil in terms of hiring, firing and/or otherwise dealing with turnover in his cabinet and other key White House staffers, or using his inimitable style to either create or deal with chaos on the international scene, the 24 hour news cycle seems to be covering our President almost to the exclusion of anyone or anything else.
As a week began with a ratcheting up of the Mueller investigation with a related warranted search of a key Trump lawyer’s home, office and hotel gave the vaunted Trump twitter feed a not-unexpected jolt. Speculation continues unabated as to how he will react…