Monday, July 18, 2005

Biblical retribution?

I don't wish ill of the French. I took French for eight years in primary and secondary school. French historical figures (Lafayette and Napoleon, to name two), French mathematicians (Laplace, Pascal, Poisson, Fermat, Descartes, Poincare, and Hadamard), French wine, French pastries, the Tour de France (since Lance Armstrong began to dominate it!)...mais, oui! But French philosophers (Rousseau, Derrida, and Sartre), French politics, the Maginot Line, French politics, French whining...did I mention French politics?

But I don't wish ill of the French. It's just that a story like this made me think of the increasing ratio of Muslims living in France and the fact that France was a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq while at the same time being heavily involved with Saddam Hussein as a supplier.

So, comes this story and I just naturally thought of the Egyptians and the Jews with a decidely modern twist: "the only insecticides which might make a difference are banned." Can't have locusts dying from deformed mandibles!

France faces drought, locusts

Jul. 17, 2005 at 9:41 pm

On top of a severe drought, France is fighting a plague of hundreds of thousands of locusts.

The locusts are devouring everything from crops to window-box flowers, reported the Observer.

"At the beginning they seem small, insignificant insects but they grow very quickly," said Aveyron region farmer Gerard Laussel. "They eat everything that is green, leaving only stalks, and when they have finished they leave some kind of scent so the cattle do not want to graze on what is left."

The French environment ministry said drought could be felt across most of France, but it mostly impacted from the Atlantic Ocean to Paris.

"There is nothing we can do for the 700 or 800 farmers affected," said Patrice Lemoux, an agriculture official. "The locust has no known predator and the only insecticides which might make a difference are banned."

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