Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Is Anyone Happy Because of a Drought?

This is the news headline I saw in the Sydney Morning Herald Yesterday:

Farmers depressed by big dry: report
Australia's farmers are both poorer and more depressed as a result of the drought, according to a major new report on the impact of the big dry.

Isn't that kind of stating the obvious?

I mean I'm no expert on farming and droughts, but I have enough basic knowledge to know that plants need water to grow. And if the plants aint growing, the farm will probably not be doing so well.

I think it's also obvious that if your source of income is in jeopardy--if your life and home are in jeopardy; it's very likely you'll be depressed.

Although I DO have a degree in psychology. Maybe the average person can't put two and two together like that; and they need a study and news report to make it clear. (being sarcastic here)

I think I'd be more intrigued by a news article that said Study Shows Farmers are Happy because of a drought. At least, that would be surprising. I'd really be interested in reading about why a farmer is happy that his crops are probably going to fail.

It would probably be better to focus on dealing with water issues than trying to figure out the psychological state of farmers.

This is not the first article I've seen like this. I've seen similar stuff in American Newspapers. There's stuff about how Americans are depressed because of 9/11 or have post-traumatic stress disorder. And these articles were written less than a year after the event. Are we really supposed to be surprised?

I'd be honestly surprised if a large group of people were STILL depressed about it. But so soon after? Of course, most of us were depressed and scared.

Of course, farmers are depressed about a drought.

Bad things happen and people get sad.

I don't think we need a study to prove that to us.


  1. It's like the results of a study I read years ago where scientists had spent gazillions of taxpayers dollars to prove that pregnant women waddle like ducks (due to the extra weight moving the centre of gravity, etc).
    C'mon, every single woman who's ever been pregnant could have told them that, for free!
    Actually that particular study- about the farmers - might be good in a way, in that it could be used as ammunition for more rural health funding from the govt ;)

  2. I'm all for rural health funding! Sad that it needs a study to prove it is needed. But if it works out better for the farmers, that's good!

    The pregnancy thing also makes me think of the whole "Baby Blues" thing.

    I mean I know some women have an actual psychosis where they want to kill their babies and themselves. That's a true tragic problem and needs to be treated.

    BUT baby blues?????

    You have this HUGE new responsibility.
    Your hormones are all crazy.
    Your in-laws and parents are down your back.
    You're not getting any sleep.
    Your breasts are sore.
    You're constipated because you fear taking a crap will tear a hole in your body.

    I remember certain people visiting making comments that they thought I might have post-partum depression.

    I'd be more freaked out/concerned about new moms who were totally happy.

    Actually....No. I think new moms have the right to have a mixed RANGE of emotions without being accused of having some kind of psychological disorder (unless they're to the point of wanting to kill someone).

    And pregnant women have the right to waddle without scientists studying them.

    What kind of world do we live in???????

  3. The only people I can think of who would be happy there's a drought would be remote irrigation businesses. But, that's a double edge sword since how can the farmers pay for the service if they can't raise a decent crop!

    On a different but related topic...there's an article (forgot where) I read a few weeks back touting water will be the next precious commodity (like oil is now). Scary...at least there are alternative energies to oil...but water?

  4. Gun-Bae,

    You silly. We'll just all drink beer!!

    Well, not me since I don't drink. But the rest of you guys....

    Maybe I'll be a vampire and drink blood. Although everyone will be dehydrated and the blood will taste gross.

    Hey. You're right. The water thing IS an issue.

  5. Oh and Gun-Bae?

    You better not start stalking me! I'm watching you. I have my eyes on you.

    And I know where you live.

    So beware!!!!!!!!!

  6. “according to a major new report”

    Where can I land a job studying the obvious? I bet it pays well!!!
    Perhaps until this study we didn’t know why Farmers were depressed. Maybe people thought they were depressed only because they were poor. Just how much more depressed are they with the drought? Did the study qualify depression? Would we really care if these farmers were just a little depressed like not eating? Or are we talking major depression like suicide? If this depression continues this will lead to fewer farmers, eventually having a positive effect on the supply and demand laws, so in the long run we (actually the farmers) will all be happy.

  7. Yes i do think it is obvious that in drought the farmers would be sad but there has been an increase in depression leading to an increase in suicide in rural areas particulary in Farmers and people have been urging farmers to talk about their issues because they are typically very proud men who keep their problems to themselves and are unlikely to seek help and assistance.

  8. Rinniez,

    That makes sense.

    Maybe the headlines could have said "Farmers Being Urged to Seek Help".

    I wonder if any of them will or if they'll be too proud--like Claire McLeod.

  9. How did I miss this post??? It must have flown by me??
    Jayne, that is so funny-- don't you wonder who decided to spend the money on that research???