That’s it. That’s all I can say. Well you know me, that’s not all I can say. Like the National Geographic Magazine says, they are divided about the results. We have accomplished alot but never enough because the root cause of climate change is evil greed, better known as capitalism. As long as we practice those economics, we will continue down the drain. The drain that looks like this:
As governments around the globe debate how to respond both to the coronavirus itself and the economic chaos it has unleashed, a theme that’s come up over and over is how to prioritize what makes it into spending packages. In the United States, right-left fault lines have emerged over the question of bailing out emissions-heavy industries versus a greener stimulus. On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a large-scale rollback of environmental regulations as a response to the pandemic—allowing many emitters to police themselves when it comes to pollution.
While some argue that the oxygen in the climate debate should be taken up by the pandemic instead, the two issues aren’t mutually exclusive, experts say. In a warming climate, more diseases are likely to emerge and spread, making climate change action an important part of addressing future health crises. Moreover, the perception that climate change isn’t as urgent as other crises may rely on misunderstandings about how climate-related changes will happen. The rate isn’t constant: Instead, there’s reason to believe everything from Arctic melt to Amazon deforestation might experience what’s known as “tipping points,” where small changes in nature shift into rapid and irreversible damage.
Greenland and Antarctica are melting six times faster than they were in the 1990s, according to a new study in the journal Nature. Between 1992 and 2017, Greenland and Antarctica lost 6.4 trillion tons of ice. This falls under the worst-case scenario projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the effects are already being felt in many parts of the world. The IPCC predicts that by the end of the century, 400 million people around the globe could be at risk of coastal flooding every year from sea-level rise alone.
But food poisoning is pretty common. Just think of the energy use on the farm. Huge machines powered by diesel gasoline, and huge energy consumption in fertilizers. We then transport the food huge distances. We sell them in huge stores oh keep the lights on at the local utility companies. Finally those of us in the first world drive it home in our and put it in our always on refrigerator. So the fact that we let this thing called food sicken us but also kills us is just inexcusable. This on top of what some of us throw away. Well here is a site thate has on the facts. Unfortunately it is done mostly in photographs and this blog has problems with pictures so go there and look.
The need to feed billions of people efficiently (and make billions of dollars off it) has given rise to large-scale animal farming operations. But are these mega-operations helping feed us or making us all sick?
The Rise of the Factory Farm
Factory farms, more accurately called concentrated animal feed operations (CAFOs), are large-scale industrial agricultural facilities that raise animals (usually at high density and kept in confined spaces) for human consumption. 5%
Proportion of CAFOs among all U.S. animal farming operations 50%
Food animals that come from CAFOs
Due in part to these massive factory farms, since 1960 …
… milk production has doubled
… meat production has tripled
… egg production has quadrupled
Such operations also have introduced means to make animals grow heavier more quickly; chickens, for instance, grow twice as large in about half the time: DecadeGrowth timeWeight
1920 16 weeks 2.2 pounds
2013 7 weeks 5 pounds
The Filthy Truth
In addition to the moral and ethical problems with keeping animals in tiny pens where their natural behaviors are stunted, there’s the very real problem of what to do with all the waste they produce.
These operations can house upwards of …
1,000+ beef cows
That adds up to tons and tons of — well, poop. 300 million tons
Annual manure production of animals from CAFOs; that’s 65% of the waste from all animal operations in the U.S. And it’s more than double the amount of waste produced by the entire U.S. human population.
This manure contains a variety of potential contaminants, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, E. coli, growth hormone, antibiotics, animal blood, copper sulfate and more. These contaminants find their way to the groundwater and even pollute the air.
In addition to the manure concern is the possibility that keeping animals in such close quarters encourages infections that are then passed to consumers.
The Risks of Factory Meat
CAFOs are susceptible primarily to three pathogens that also make people sick. E. coli
Introduction of a grain-based diet, rather than a grass-based diet, has raised E. coli rates among cows. While E. coli is always present in cows’ stomachs, grain-based diets have given rise to more harmful strains, such as O157:H7, which has found its way into water, produce and meat in recent years. 16%
Percentage of foodborne illnesses caused by strains of E. coli MRSA
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus can be spread by human and animal carriers and has become abundant in our environment. European studies have shown a link between MRSA and factory pig farms. 80,000
Annual MRSA infections in humans, though many cases occur in hospital settings Campylobacter and salmonella
Campylobacter and salmonella are most commonly found in eggs and poultry, and both pathogens have recently shown signs of drug resistance. Positive tests for salmonella
Farms with caged hens 23.4%
Organic flocks 4.4%
Free-range flocks 6.5% 62%
Chicken sold in supermarkets contaminated with campylobacter
The Environmental Effects
Potential damage to the environment from mismanagement of the tons of waste produced by these massive operations extends to both the air and water.
There are many things that environmentalists have said over the years. The 2 most consistently true ones are that there are too many people on this planet and the other is that we will pay a price for befouling our planet. This has led some to talk about the possibility of a human “die back”. Is this what the beginning of one might look like?
China’s mysterious pig, duck, and people deaths could be connected. And that should worry us.
BY LAURIE GARRETT | APRIL 1, 2013
Here’s how it would happen. Children playing along an urban river bank would spot hundreds of grotesque, bloated pig carcasses bobbing downstream. Hundreds of miles away, angry citizens would protest the rising stench from piles of dead ducks and swans, their rotting bodies collecting by the thousands along river banks. And three unrelated individuals would stagger into three different hospitals, gasping for air. Two would quickly die of severe pneumonia and the third would lay in critical condition in an intensive care unit for many days. Government officials would announce that a previously unknown virus had sickened three people, at least, and killed two of them. And while the world was left to wonder how the pigs, ducks, swans, and people might be connected, the World Health Organization would release deliberately terse statements, offering little insight.
It reads like a movie plot — I should know, as I was a consultant for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. But the facts delineated are all true, and have transpired over the last six weeks in China. The events could, indeed, be unrelated, and the new virus, a form of influenza denoted as H7N9, may have already run its course, infecting just three people and killing two.
Or this could be how pandemics begin.
On March 10, residents of China’s powerhouse metropolis, Shanghai, noticed some dead pigs floating among garbage flotsam in the city’s Huangpu River. The vile carcasses appeared in Shanghai’s most important tributary of the mighty Yangtze, a 71-mile river that is edged by the Bund, the city’s main tourist area, and serves as the primary source of drinking water and ferry travel for the 23 million residents of the metropolis and its millions of visitors. The vision of a few dead pigs on the surface of the Huangpu was every bit as jarring for local Chinese as porcine carcasses would be for French strolling the Seine, Londoners along the Thames, or New Yorkers looking from the Brooklyn Bridge down on the East River.
We need to make the global economy green. Agriculture provides significant opportunities for growth, investment and jobs to help make this happen.
Everyone needs agriculture. Agriculture feeds our entire population and produces fibre for clothing, feed for livestock and bioenergy. Particularly in the developing world, agriculture contributes significantly to GDP growth, leads the way in poverty reduction and accounts for the lion’s share of employment opportunities, especially for women. Agriculture also has one of the highest potentials for reducing carbon emissions and helping vulnerable people adapt to climate change.
Damming large rivers to generate electricity seemed like a good thing when there were only 1 billion or 2 people on the planet. But now with a planet nearing a human die back at 7 billion people and having stressed the planet to nearly its bursting point they are causing more problems then they are worth. I only include a couple of paragraphs here but you have to love, “making America the most damming country” part. You go girl..
Environmental Impacts of Large Dams: African examples
October 1, 1996
Some 40,000 large dams, most of which were built in the past 50 years, now obstruct the world’s rivers. More than 400,000 square kilometers––an area larger than Zimbabwe, and 13 times the size of Lesotho––have been inundated by reservoirs worldwide. The world’s largest impoundment, the 8,500 sq.km. Volta Reservoir behind Ghana’s Akasombo Dam, flooded 4% of that nation’s land area. In the United States, whose 5,500 large dams make it the second most dammed country in the world, we have stopped building large dams, and are now spending great amounts of money trying to fix the problems created by existing dams.
The Environmental Consequences of Big Dams
Although the impacts of large dams have been well documented for some time now, in case after case, new ones are proposed whose environmental impacts are downplayed or even ignored. A 1990 internal survey of World Bank hydroelectric dam projects showed that 58% were planned and built without any consideration of downstream impacts, even when these impacts could be predicted to cause massive coastal erosion, pollution and other problems.
The following are some of the more serious environmental impacts of dams on rivers and the life they support. I have concentrated on the kinds of impacts that might affect the Orange River watershed, leaving out other major dam–caused problems that have affected rivers under different ecological circumstances.
Effects on River Systems
Reducing the flow of water from a river changes the landscape it flows through, which in turn can affect the ecosystem’s flora and fauna. A dam holds back sediments, especially the heavy gravel and cobbles. The river, deprived of its sediment load, seeks to recapture it by eroding the downstream channel and banks, undermining bridges and other riverbank structures. Riverbeds are typically eroded by several meters within a decade of first closing a dam; the damage can extend for tens or even hundreds of kilometers below a dam. Within nine years of closing Hoover Dam in the US, the riverbed below the dam had lowered by more than 4 meters. Riverbed deepening will also lower the groundwater table along a river, threatening vegetation and local wells in the floodplain and requiring crop irrigation in places where there was previously no need. The depletion of riverbed gravels reduces habitat for many fish that spawn in the gravelly river bottom, and for invertebrates such as insects, molluscs and crustaceans. Changes in the physical habitat and hydrology of rivers are implicated in 93% of freshwater fauna declines in North America.
Before the Aswan High Dam, the Nile River carried about 124 million tons of sediment to the sea each year, depositing nearly 10 million tons on the floodplain and delta. Today, 98% of that sediment remains behind the dam. The result has been a drop in soil productivity and depth, among other serious changes to Egypt’s floodplain agriculture. The Aswan Dam has also led to serious coastal erosion, another problem stemming from the loss of sediments in a dammed river. Another example of this problem is along the mouth of the Volta River in Ghana. Akosombo Dam has cut off the supply of sediment to the Volta Estuary, affecting also neighboring Togo and Benin, whose coasts are now being eaten away at a rate of 10–15 meters per year. A project to strengthen the Togo coast has cost US$3.5 million for each kilometer protected. The story is the same on coastline after coastline where dams have stopped a river’s sediments.
Atrazine in water tied to menstrual irregularities, low hormones
Women who drink water contaminated with low levels of the weed-killer atrazine may be more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles and low estrogen levels, scientists concluded in a new study. The most widely used herbicide in the United States, atrazine is frequently detected in surface and ground water, particularly in agricultural areas of the Midwest. The newest research, which compared women in Illinois farm towns to women in Vermont, adds to the growing scientific evidence linking atrazine to altered hormones.
The herbicide atrazine is frequently detected in surface and groundwater, especially near cornfields in the Midwest.
By Lindsey Konkel
Environmental Health News
Nov. 28, 2011
Women who drink water contaminated with low levels of the weed-killer atrazine may be more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles and low estrogen levels, scientists concluded in a new study.
The most widely used herbicide in the United States, atrazine is frequently detected in surface and ground water, particularly in agricultural areas of the Midwest. Approximately 75 percent of all U.S. cornfields are treated with atrazine each year.
The newest research, which compared women in Illinois to women in Vermont, adds to the growing scientific evidence linking atrazine to altered hormones.
The women from Illinois farm towns were nearly five times more likely to report irregular periods than the Vermont women, and more than six times as likely to go more than six weeks between periods. In addition, the Illinois women had significantly lower levels of estrogen during an important part of the menstrual cycle.
Tap water in the Illinois communities had double the concentration of atrazine in the Vermont communities’ water. Nevertheless, the water in both states was far below the federal drinking water standard currently enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
It is a long article. I stopped at the mention of Illinois. Go there and read. More tomorrow.
When are the poor countries of the world going to catch a break. First they are conquered by the countries of Europe. Then they are handed over to corrupt and inept “local” leadership. Finally they are bought and paid for by the new corporate elites. This is just to0 nasty for words. But this is humans finest hour.
Africa: The New Land Grab in Africa – An Alarming Scramble for the Continent Is On
3 November 2011
Multinational corporations are buying enormous tracts of land in Africa to the detriment of local communities. Agazit Abate warns that the land grab puts countries on the path to increased food insecurity, environmental degradation, increased reliance on aid and marginalisation of farming and pastoralist communities.
The recent phenomenon of land grab, as outlined in the extensive research of the Oakland Institute, has resulted in the sale of enormous portions of land throughout Africa. In 2009 alone, nearly 60 million hectares of land were purchased or leased throughout the continent for the production and export of food, cut flowers and agrofuel crops.
Land grab was in part spurred by the food and financial crisis of 2008 when international bodies, corporations, investment funds, wealthy individuals, and governments began to re-focus their attention on agriculture and food as a profitable commodity. As outlined in the reports, the consequences of land grab include increased food insecurity, environmental degradation, community repression and displacement, and increased reliance on aid.
MEET THE INVESTORS
While media coverage has focused on the role of countries like India and China in land deals, the Oakland Institute’s investigation reveals the role of Western firms, wealthy US and European individuals, and investment funds with ties to major banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Investors include alternative investment firms like the London-based Emergent that works to attract speculators, and various universities like Harvard, Spelman and Vanderbilt.
Several Texas-based interests are associated with a major 600,000 hectares South Sudan deal which involves Kinyeti Development LLC, an Austin, Texas-based ‘global business development partnership and holding company’ managed by Howard Eugene Douglas, a former United States Ambassador at Large and Coordinator for Refugee Affairs. A key player in the largest land deal in Tanzania is Iowa agribusiness entrepreneur and Republican Party stalwart, Bruce Rastetter.
US companies are often below the radar, using subsidiaries registered in other countries, like Petrotech-ffn Agro Mali which is a subsidiary of Petrotech-ffn USA. Many European countries are also involved, often with support provided by their governments and embassies in African countries. For instance, Swedish and German firms have interests in the production of biofuels in Tanzanian. Addax Bioenergy from Switzerland and Quifel International Holdings (QIH) from Portugal are major investors in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone Agriculture (SLA) is actually a subsidiary of the UK based Crad-1 (CAPARO Renewable Agriculture Developments Ltd.), associated with the Tony Blair African Governance Initiative.
I just wanted to post the villains. For the rest of the analysis, go there and read that. More tomorrow.
OK, so I am the first one to admit that humans have tinkered with animal’s and plant’s genetics for a 100,000 years before we even knew what genes were. The most famous was the creation or the domestication of wolfs. If you feed them and they did not bite you they got to stay. If they bit you, you killed it and got another one. Made sense when a friendly wolf bred with another friendly wolf, the puppies would be more friendlier. Same with cattle. Breed a big cow with another bigger cow and you get bigger stronger cows. But this process many times took 100s of years and you had time to figure out whether it was safe or not. This is now happening in a single year’s time. There is no telling what we could be unleashing on ourselves. Worse yet, the big players in this area are some of the worst players on the planet. Monsanto, Dow, BSF. Companies known to be rapists of the planet.
The Economist has used ISAAA’s data to make a map showing where in the world GM crops are grown. As you can see, the United States is by far the leader in the field, with 165 million acres (66.8 million hectares) of GM crops under cultivation, an increase of nearly 7 million acres on 2009 levels.
Clive James, ISAAA’s director and founder, told the BBC that more than 15 million farmers grow GM crops, and that, “during 2010, the accumulated commercial biotech plantation exceeded one billion hectares [2.47 billion acres]— that’s an area larger than the U.S. or China,” and equivalent to 10 percent of the world’s arable land.
Developing countries are planting GM crops at a more rapid rate than rich countries. Brazil has added some 10m hectares [24.7 million acres] since 2008 and overtook Argentina as the second-biggest grower in 2010. India, too, increased its area by over 10 percent last year. The most popular crop is soya, while the most common modification is tolerance to herbicides.
Slightly cooler wetter Summers, and slightly warmer and wetter Falls with earlier first frosts. Oh that sounds so scary. But if you think about it, it is. I have said all along that the biggest early effect of Global Warming is the disruption in farming. Farmers won’t know when to plant. They will have replant and they may not be able to harvest…This will mean that we can feed ourselves but we can’t feed the world. Food riots have already happened 2 years ago, thought governments were better prepared last year.
El Niño and La Niña refer to periods when sea-surface temperatures along the equator in the Pacific Ocean are either unusually warm (El Niño) or cold (La Niña). These events typically begin in the spring or summer and fade by the following spring. A more complete description of El Niño and La Niña can be found under Other Resources below.
The NOAA Climate Prediction Center has identified a weak El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean. This event is expected to strengthen and last through this winter (2009-2010). Here is a series of maps on the historical impacts of El Niño on monthly temperature and precipitation (pdf). In general, they produced warmer-than-normal temperatures in September and during December-March. In contrast, cooler-than-normal temperatures prevailed in August and April-May. The impact on monthly precipitation was both weaker and less consistent. Somewhat wetter conditions prevailed in August, October, and December while drier conditions were found in September. [posted September 22, 2009]
Summary of Impacts of El Niño
El Niño events vary in size, intensity, and duration. As a result, the impacts can vary from one event to the next. In addition, there may be other factors that influence our weather during these events.
Summers tend to be slightly cooler and wetter than average
Falls tend to be wetter and cooler than average
Winters tend to be warmer and drier
Springs tend to be drier than average
Snowfall tends to be 70 to 90 percent of average
Heating degree days tend to be 80 to 90 percent of average. Lower heating degree days mean lower heating bills.
Tends to reduce tornado activity in the High Plains and Midwest and increases it in the Sout
He wants to blame it on El Nino, but notice later he says they have been getting weaker and weaker…What happens when they do not come?
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A costly deadline looms for many growers in the Midwest, as every day of waiting for the weather to cooperate to plant corn and soybeans reduces potential yields. Research indicates that Illinois growers who plant corn or soybeans near the end of June can expect a 50 percent reduction in crop yield, according to a University of Illinois agriculture expert.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that corn and soybean growers in several Midwestern states are behind schedule on their planting. A cooler and wetter-than-average spring has left Illinois and Indiana furthest behind on planted corn and soybeans. Several other states are lagging behind their normal planting schedules, but by a lesser margin.
In Illinois, 95 percent of the corn is planted and 88 percent has emerged, but less than half of that is reported to be in good or excellent condition. Fully 14 percent of the acres planted are in poor or very poor condition, with another 38 percent reported as fair. Those acres in poor or very poor condition may have to be replanted.
In Illinois, the corn was 7 inches high as of June 9, compared to an average of 17 inches by this time in recent years. Illinois crop sciences professor Emerson Nafziger says cool temperatures and the third wettest January-April since 1895 in Illinois have led to delays that are undercutting potential yields.
Thinking of taking a disk or field cultivator to last year’s no-till field? Agronomists warn that just one tillage pass is enough to negate many of the long-term benefits of no-till farming.
“After two to five years of continuous no-till farming, we see significant improvements in soil structure and organic matter levels,” says Jerry Hatfield, a researcher with the USDA-ARS Soil Tilth Lab in Ames, Iowa. No-till ground also resists crusting and has a higher cation exchange capacity, which is the soil’s ability to hold onto nutrients. Tillage — even just one pass – diminishes those benefits.
Once you revert back to tillage, you’re also giving up more immediate benefits like time, labor, and fuel savings, points out Mike Plumer, natural resources educator with the University of Illinois.
Despite these benefits, no-till corn acreage has leveled off nationally and declined in some eastern Corn Belt states, according to the Conservation Technology Information Center. Many blame unseasonably cool and/or wet spring weather. In Iowa, for example, last April was the coldest April since 1983 and the 16th coldest in 125 years of state record keeping. Last May was
the seventh coldest May in 125 years.
Under these conditions, no-till soils start out cooler and can take longer to warm up. That can put a strain on corn emergence and early growth.
If El Nino brings warm, dry weather to the Corn Belt this spring, no-till corn acreage could rebound, says Wayne Pedersen, plant pathologist with the University of Illinois. “No-till systems always do well in dry years,” Pedersen says. “No-till soils hold onto moisture better than tilled soils. As a result, no-till corn can tolerate a lack of rainfall — without yield loss — for a much longer period than conventional till corn.”
I know that is 2008 analysis and comment. but like I said what if it doesn’t go away? hmmmmmm
Mother Nature did not allow many graziers to frost seed red clover in late February-early March. Wet conditions have prompted several forage producers to ask about seeding. In the recent Iowa State University Integrated Crop Management News newsletter, Steve Barnhart, Extension forage specialist addressed the topic of “wet spring forage planting considerations”. With some minor modifications for Illinois, the article follows.
Can spring forage stands still successfully be plant? The short answer is – yes, into the first ten days to two weeks of May (late-summer seedings are more successful in southern Illinois). The end of the spring forage planting season is limited by seedling development and growth into the summer months. Most forage seedlings are emerging and growing root systems
into the top one to three inches of the seedbed during the three to four weeks following germination.
The increasingly dry and hot soil surfaces in late May and June increase the risk that the small forage seedlings do not establish. So, the risk depends on rainfall and soil temperatures
from here on. If conditions turn normal or hotter and dryer than normal, the risk of late planted forage seeding failures increases. If late May and early June conditions remain cooler and wetter than normal, then later-than-desired spring forage seedings may survive very well.
Planting later than desired, adds to vulnerability to erosion and weed competition. Keep
cereal companion crop planting rates to half of a full seeding rate or less, and mow or clip new
seedings several times during the early seedling development months to allow sunlight to reach small developing legume and grass seedlings. Also scout for and manage potato leafhoppers in new alfalfa seedings.
He is the master of the bad word. He sits around and thinks up phrases like Nature Nazis, Envirowussies, and the “fear promoting business”. He hides behind the skirts of his right wing masters. You never see him in public and if only he had a last name like Drudge….but he doesn’t…he sounds like a quarterback and looks like a pug.
Meet the 17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb global warming in Tim Dickinson’s “The Climate Killers.”
The Drudge of Denial
Founder, Climate Depot
Morano, who worked for Sen. James “Global Warming is a Hoax” Inhofe, left Congress last year to set up shop as the Matt Drudge of climate denial. Today he runs Climate Depot, a website whose sponsor is funded by oil heir Richard Mellon Scaife. A private version of a congressional blog that Morano ran for Inhofe, the site serves as a clearinghouse for climate kooks. “He’s a central cell of the climate-denial machine,” says Kert Davies, research director for Greenpeace. “He’s been very effective in delaying action on this crisis.”
Morano says climate scientists are in the “fear-promoting business” and accuses them of waging a “war on modern civilization.” But it’s Morano who trafficks in wild claims, routinely distorting the work of climate scholars and charging that “proponents of man-made global warming have been funded to the tune of $50 billion.” A former producer for Rush Limbaugh, Morano gained fame as one of the first to trumpet Swift-boat lies about John Kerry’s military record. Andrew Watson, a British climate professor who recently debated Morano on the BBC, said it best in a whispered aside at the end of the show: “What an asshole.”