A story that is of major concern to all working in the agricultural field. It seems a group of scientists working in Italy have developed a gizmo that will enable plants to talk. And these aren’t a group of mad scientists working in some creepy castle where thunder and lightening is a constant happening.
They are a bunch of seemingly sound scientists, working for the EU. Talking plants, or ‘cyborg plants’ as the scientists call them, will be able to share a variety of information on how they are feeling, if they are getting enough sun, water and so on. While on paper, or indeed in the scientific labs of Italy, this may sound like a great advancement, on the ground in the fields of rural Ireland, I foresee such progress as damaging beyond belief.
The last thing us farmers need right now are talking plants. There is enough talking about farming already, without the plants joining in. “In other words, the plant will tell you how it feels and why,” European Commissioner Neelie Kroes said.
Well, Neelie Kroes, have you anything better to be doing?
Talking plants will be a pure disaster. Worse again, the sensors that will be used to make this disaster a reality are readily available and produced at a low cost. So in other words, before too long, we will all have taking plants. Can you imagine a more nightmarish world?
The pleasure of walking through dear old rural Ireland, free of racket and noise, gone for good.
Talking trees, talking flowers, even talking ragwort. I can hear them now, fields sounding more like a busy bar on a Saturday night than the quiet places they used to be.
“Come here,” the grass will be saying to me, whenever I appear on the land, “I’ve an awful hunger up on me this afternoon. Is there any chance at all you could toss out a nice shot of fertiliser?”
“Also, when you get the chance, a bit of lime wouldn’t go astray either. “God, but I love the sweet taste of lime, so I do.”
“Ok grass,” I’ll be replying, “I’ll see what I can do.”
“Good man, Denny. Yerra, ’tis only that I do be dead jealous of the grass over the boundary ditch there. Your neighbour is a mighty man. The grass grown by your neighbour is lush and green, while here I am, yellow and sickly looking. I’m embarrassed really. That’s the truth.”
“Alright grass,” I’ll say, “I get the message. But fertiliser is expensive.”
“I know,” the grass would respond, “but European Commissioner Neelie Kroes said that we should be expressing our feelings, and that is all I’m doing.”
“I understand grass, but does Neelie not think about my feelings, the feelings of the farmer who has to cough up the money for the fertiliser?”
“I don’t think she does, Denny boy,” my grass would reply, in sympathy to my plight.
“Damn it all grass, I’m not made of money,” I would fume, before stamping the ground beneath my feet.
“Easy there Denny, with the stamping, you’re hurting me,” my grass would cry out. “Oh sorry, grass, I didn’t realise.”
“Look, grass,” I would say with deep sincerity, “The simple truth is that I cannot afford fancy fertiliser like my neighbour, and you will just have to go make the best of it.”
My grass will of course be heartbroken on hearing such a statement. Talking plants will be a disaster. Having to explain myself to my grass could well be the last straw.