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Saturday, June 15, 2024
EditorialsUp Front 09/03

Up Front 09/03

Isn’t progress a wonderful thing? Much of it makes us want to go back to how things were. The latest heatwave has many discussing global warming and the book reviewed on page 43 doesn’t bode particularly well for our future. However there is good news for cockroaches! Apart from being around long before man, dinosaur or indeed anything on earth, they are also the most likely to survive the worst catastrophes thrown at the planet, and recent findings from Russian scientists should make them even happier. By applying DNA-diagnostics, the researchers have rectified an error in cockroach classification. According to new data, the German cockroach (Blatta germanica) and oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis), belong to different families! They must be very pleased. Whilst the happy family cockroach is resilient to temperature change, agriculture isn’t. Politicians may battle over who should supply what and where, but it looks as though nature will decide where its grown. A recent report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Brussels, showed that a prolonged drought was causing drastic changes in agricultural output, especially in southern Europe. Yields have risen in northern Europe, which has not been affected by drought while southern areas affected by water shortage may, in the future, be unable to support agriculture at all. The threat of water wars is perhaps not so distant – not that this will bother cockroaches much.

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