Demeter’s MDT – Day 13: What modern cultural issues are close to Demeter?

Χαίρε ἀναγνώστες!

Today I will discuss cultural issues which are close to Demeter.

The growing agricultural crisis would probably be the main issue that Demeter cares about. Climate change is changing the weather, which affects how well crops do, or important cyclical weather events like the monsoon may become thusly disturbed or fail at all that widespread famine erupts. This is already happening in some places in the world, like South, East, and South-East Asia, which are the most populated regions on the planet. It will only get worse.

Related to this is the issue of soil erosion, caused by overexploitation of the soil, as well as not properly filling up empty space between crops. Extra plants would allow for all those roots to better keep the soil together, as well as prevent rain from directly impacting the soil too much. Soil erosion is a dangerous issue, much of Northern Africa is as desertified as it is because of overexploitation and soil erosion in ancient Roman times, particularly the Cyrenaica. The Cyrenaica, which is the East-Libyan coastal area, used to be lush and fertile land, along with Egypt the grain store of Rome. But through lack of understanding ecology, overexploitation caused soil erosion, leading to desertification. This is now repeating across the world as modern agricultural practices are damaging to the soil.

Another element is the overexploitation of fresh water sources. Be they rivers, ground water, aquifers, etc., these sources are overexploited and rapidly declining. While the issue of agricultural use or water is more the domain of Poseidon, it naturally affects Demeter’s domain as without water: crops can’t be watered, crops don’t grow, crops die, famine erupts. I read some article that explained that in the US, ground water and surface water are still treated as separate resources, even though we know that they are not. Agricultural lobbyists have in many places managed to prevent law changes to reform the management of water resources because it would take a lot of reform from farmers, many of whom are unwilling to put in the effort.

These are serious issues that could spell disaster for the world, which can and will cause wars to erupt over resources as food and water, very basic existential needs of people. These things need to be addressed properly and decisively, NOW, so that we don’t have to deal with the worst possible outcomes. If you can, educate yourself about these issues, possible solutions, and petition your local politicians to deal with them. If you are a farmer or grow some of your own food, start implementing what changes you can if you don’t already, to prevent soil erosion or excess use of water.

Ἔρρωσο.

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