St George is late to the rescue

Have you noticed the weather. There’s a possibility that you’re reading this in the UK, so it’s likely that you’re similarly obsessed by the weather. April has been dry and cold and our weather-obsessed press has been frothing about ‘records’ being set, without ever really revealing that the ongoing climate chaos is a harbinger of doom.

Our changing climate is causing all sorts of disruption to the timing of life on Earth. Here’s one minor one: A St George’s Mushroom Calocybe gambosa in June, a full month late. It’s traditionally around on 23rd April, St George’s Day, to the end of May. It’s not been wet enough for them to fruit in April. They need April showers and this year’s April Showers have been in May.

Calocybe gambosa - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

St George is the patron saint of England and we have his flag as our national flag. St George was a Roman officer of Greek descent, born in Palestine and beheaded for believing in a different sky fairy than the official sky fairy of the Roman Empire. That was before the Roman Empire became the Holy Roman Empire and started believing in the same sky fairy as St George and started torturing and killing people who didn’t believe in that sky fairy instead. Confused yet? It’s simple; powerful states adopt popular superstitions and abuse them to kill their enemies, based on justification from imaginary supernatural beings.

St George isn’t just an adopted Christian symbol (what isn’t?). Muslim legends also tell of George, who was killed three times and resurrected each time. He made dead wood sprout fruit and vegetables, which is a pretty cool superpower. What a shame all the miracle workers died out before mobile phones were around to record them performing. The Al-Tha`labi says “When he died, God sent stormy winds and thunder and lightning and dark clouds, so that darkness fell between heaven and earth, and people were in great wonderment.” It contains all the hackneyed old Bronze Age superstitious tropes of miracles, resurrection and darkness in the middle of the day to signify the death of someone important. You could almost think it was bad Harry Potter fan fiction.

If you combine Biblical, Quranic and other ancient mythical heroes, then in George you have a winning formula, with added dragon for full effect. It’s embarrassing that people who believe this nonsense are in charge of countries, laws, schools and access to healthcare.

St George is also the patron saint of Ethiopia. His name is used for the well-known Ethiopian St George’s Beer, the Addis Ababa football team, and he’s on the back of the Ethiopian imperial flag of Haile Selassie I. If only we could call upon St George in our hour of need.

Calocybe gambosa - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Climate destruction is too powerful a dragon to slay. Not even St George can’t help us now.

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