Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations.Albert Einstein
Recently it was reported in the Guardian that the risk of nuclear accidents is rising. Having always been pro nations having these weapons I seriously now wonder whether individual nations should be trusted. Humanity does need these nuclear weapons to protect the Earth from asteroids, comets and possible expansionist aliens. Unfortunately the risk from human/computer error seems to be too great for nations to have these weapons. One could argue that nuclear weapons actually stop world wars. With greater complexity and political insanity comes greater errors that could kill us all. UN could be the only intergovernmental organization to have these weapons to protect the Earth from threats from space. There’s no way that the USA, Russia, China and the EU would give up their weapons to the anemic UN.
It is unlikely that the Russian Federation will invade the EU’s Baltic states since such an invasion would lead to WW3. Russian invasion is unlikely to happen to the EU since the EU is also Russia’s largest economic partner. Invading the EU would mean economic suicide for Russia. Since the very concept of Russia invading the EU is being taken seriously by experts and European authorities it now proves that the EU needs a strong united army to defend its borders and citizens. If the EU can outperform the Russian horticultural, agricultural and wine industries why can’t the EU defend itself with or without its American allies? Problem with the EU is that it is not united like the USA. EU is too fragmented and bureaucratic to make decisions that have impacts on everyone on this planet. When one day Russia really does try to grab land from the EU the EU will be too busy arguing about the shapes of fruit to organize a proper response to any threat to its citizens. Europe should focus more on unification of its member states when it comes to common defense than creating bureaucratic problems that cause decisions not to be made and put into action. Many Europeans not just the British would object to a shared common policy but as NATO becomes less effective in the years to come a common EU army only becomes more necessary for the security of Europe. Nobody who grows crops wants a world war. War destroys not only the crops themselves but also the people who grow the crops. A war would destroy vineyards, farms, homes, people and the economic trade. It is so much more necessary for all of Europe and Russia to work together economically and politically to solve Eastern Europe’s problems. Ukraine that is currently neither Russian nor European should work with both the EU and Russia to solve its problems. Politics should not damage crop production that feeds the world economy.
After a mild winter that saw little snow the crocuses have been blooming while the grapevines, shrubs and trees slowly wake up to spring. Luckily there now has been some rain which is good for crocuses and other plants that are now active. With the spring weather more plants that are still dormant will become active now that it is the new growing season. Crocuses being the first to flower are always delightful in Poland especially in the mountains. This year the crocuses have been flowering in the absence of snow. Usually the crocuses can be seen flowering when the snow is still on the soil. Most people even gardeners don’t even notice how active crocuses can be. In the morning the crocuses petals open when the sunlight reaches them so that insects can pollinate their flowers. During the night the petals close. This is because crocuses are nyctinastic plants. Luckily the insects in Poland have become active now that the bees having already been visiting the crocuses. Even without bees the crocuses spread via the very people that plant them as corms in their gardens.
Scotland wants to leave the UK, Catalonia wants to leave Spain, UK wants to leave the EU, Texas wants to leave the USA and the Cape should want to leave South Africa. Now Crimea will leave Ukraine with the help of Russia. No matter what one feels about secession it is the democratic right of a people to leave a nation or Union even when leaving is economically damaging. Even the USA that fought against secession in the American Civil War was born from the American revolution that lead to secession from the UK. In case of Crimea a major wine region of the world secession from Ukraine will not mean the end of the wine industry there. Vineyards and wineries will remain as they were before the Ukrainian crisis. It is extremely unlikely that the Russians will not embrace the viticultural opportunities in the region that they too have historical connection to. In fact the wine industry could even benefit since the Russians will invest into the region. Russia needs to prove to the world that Crimea made the right decision to join the Russian Federation. Sadly the wine from Crimea will probably never be European but since everyone seems to be buying wine from Crimea in the shops I doubt that Crimean wine is going to be boycotted for Crimea’s secession from Ukraine. It is rather scary how a wine that was made in Crimea and labelled as a product of Ukraine is no longer associated with Ukraine even when the EU and Ukraine do not recognize the secession of Crimea. Planet Earth’s borders have always been changing. There’s nothing really new to the Ukrainian crisis when one looks at how the borders of Europe have changed in the past. Fortunately for those who want Ukraine to join the EU it would be crazy not to allow Ukraine to join the Union. When Ukraine does inevitably join the Union its other wine regions will too.
Yes Ukraine does make wine and it has a long history of viticulture with traditions far older than both the American and Australian wine industries. If one is shopping for Ukraine’s wine outside the EU or Ukraine one is unlikely to find it since most of the wine made in Ukraine is sold to the EU and of course Ukraine itself. Unfortunately for the Ukrainian wine industry but fortunately for the Russian wine industry one of Ukraine’s major wine regions Crimea is now once again under Russian administration. If Crimea does remain that way for the years to come that would be a major gain for the Russian wine industry since the wine made in Crimea would no longer be Ukrainian but would now be Russian which would give Russia another wine region to use for its growing wine industry. Crimea is not Ukraine’s only wine region there is also Balaklava, Bessarabia, Carpathian Ruthenia, Kherson Oblast, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Odessa Oblast some of these regions could too could come under Russian administration. One thing that is certain is that the Western consumer is not going to want to buy either Ukrainian or Russian wines since the reputation of the wines made in these two nations has been damaged by the conflict and the media attention to that conflict. With so much wine made in the world why buy wine made in Ukraine and Russia that has the reputation of waging wars and that continuing revolutions. On other hand the USA invaded nations in the middle east and no one in the EU ever boycotted American wine the same could happen with the Russian and Ukrainian conflict. Ukrainian wine industry will severe the most if not from losing its regions to Russia but also from the damage to its reputation when the European consumer wants to buy wine from other countries.
Unique natural disaster that does not happen everyday but actually was not so dramatic since windstorms do more damage to grapevines than this natural disaster did. Entire vineyards can have their grapevines killed off by European windstorms that are damaging not just to grapevines of course. This disaster was notable and dramatic which is why it was reported in the media.