A Shepherd’s Environmental Angsts

I already had prepared the question “have you applied for agri-environmental measures? You know, there are the measures in the EU Common Agricultural Policy such as Measure no. 214 that gets you at least 100 Euros per hectare of lawn maintenance. ” The shepherd has already demanded compensations via EU agri-environment measures, and my infatuation of a ad-hoc consultant turned to shame. We live with the false impression that farmers are living well below the time.

Raul Cazan

 

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Mr. Tzutza is a shepherd in the hamlet of Calene, in the mountaineous area of Cugir somewhere in the Transylvanian Alps. He has 12 cows that graze on the rich pastures of Calene and Mugeşti and 60 sheep that wonder up the hills over the valley of Cugir. The shepherd’s story has nothing extraordinary, he makes salty cottage cheese, soft cow cheese or curd that he sells in Cugir’s weekly farmer’s market. He produces locally, he sells locally. The man knows his interest and mountain community’s, he is not the witty type nor spiritual. He is a rational person who knows well how compensation funds in agriculture are distributed, knows what climate change is and how puzzling the European hygiene-ism is, or how the over-regulation of traditional products actually lacks content.

 

New regulations regarding hygiene in markets are discarded. “Those things, the new law with labels and packaging, are made for nothing. Good working and selling conditions are not being created, but hey! people want some good cheese. How can I run all the way down to the city as fast as possible and carry as much cheese as my old barrels were able to carry in two thousand years? You want me to wrap it in plastic? I was told not long ago that plastic is the most dangerous garbage; plastic bags get thrown in the river valley – well, they should ban plastic, shouldn’t they? Or, they want me to pour milk in a glass bottle? Tell me where to purchase those bottles and I’ll go right now get them. ”
But returning to compensations, “I do not know if Europeans still give out compensatory payments on their side, in the West. I heard the Spaniards are stopping compensations this year. But for tens of years they benefited those payments, no one cares about us.”

 

What can we do anyway? “Vote. Yes, all we can do is vote.”
Agricultural hysteria comes from TV. ”Agriculture is a horror. Wherever you go you see deserted land. Those fellows on TV scare you with floods and droughts and nobody ever works the land. People just watch TV to get scared harder.”

And here is a synthesis of climate change effects summarized by Mr. Tzutza for skeptics.
“Now, when the sun comes up, it burns way much harder. It gives you blisters on the skin. And at night it is colder than other times, it might not be a problem, but there is a large temperature difference between day and night.”
“There is higher pollution and too many cars that climb up the mountains. They come by dozens and spit out too much gas into the air. “
“Today the sun and pollution and burn up even potatoes. Not many years ago potatoes resisted until winter, no one thought of pesticides, we were hoeing them from under the hoarfrost and they were tip-top! We also spotted new types of bugs in the grass. In the summertime we have to send the cattle higher in the mountains just to live and graze in a cooler environment.”

Consequence. 2 Years After

A few months ago, while strolling the mountains in a short weekend hike, I met the man and I was stunned by his words: “Could you possibly know anyone that installs solar panels? Not a big thing, I need them for my barn, it’s a matter of 50 kWh per month.” He needs a stand-alone PV system for lighting and refrigeration of the cheese he produces.

Excellent cheese, excellent idea!

 

Posted in Climate Change, Development by / March 6th, 2013 / No Comments »

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