Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘corn’

Amazon Deforestation Climbed 28 Percent in 12 Months

Posted by feww on November 15, 2013

5,843 km² of Brazil forest denuded in 12 months to July 2013

Deforestation rate in Brazil rose to 5,843 km² between August 2012 and July this year, a staggering rise of 28%, compared with the previous period, according to provisional figures released by the government.

More than 600,000 km² of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed in the past 40 years to make room for cattle ranching, farming and extensive transportation projects.

Agriculture accounts for almost 5.5% of the Brazil’s GDP, and is responsible for the majority of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions.


Cattle rest in deforested jungle near Maraba, in Brazil’s central state of Para, May 3, 2009.  Soon thousands of cows will be chewing pasture on the freshly cleared land in Brazil’s Amazon state of Para, just a tiny part of Brazil’s 200-million-strong commercial cattle herd, the world’s biggest, that makes it a beef superpower. More than 70 million are in the Amazon area, three for every person. This is where the industry has grown fastest in recent years, a trend activists say is due to cheap land, widespread illegal clearing and weak government enforcement. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker. Images may be subject to copyright.

Relate Links

Posted in Climate Change, environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Monsanto’s Pesticides Causing Cancer, Birth Defects in Argentina

Posted by feww on October 24, 2013

Pesticides sold by Monsanto poisoning Argentina: AP

The Associated Press (AP) has documented dozens of cases around Argentina where widespread misuse of Monsanto’s products are causing major health problems.

Toxic pesticides were sprayed close to populated areas and close to the water supply; farmers mix and apply poisons without protective clothing; villagers store water in pesticide containers.

In Santa Fe Province [population: 3.2 million, 3rd most populated province,] Argentina’s number one producer of cereals, toxic chemicals were used about 30 meters from homes, instead of the mandatory 500 meters, according to the AP report.

Unsurprisingly, cancer rates in the province are up to four times higher than the national average. In the neighboring Chaco province [population 1.2 million,]  birth defects quadrupled since the mid 1990s when Monsanto convinced the Argentines that  its patented seeds and agrochemicals would sharply increase crop yields and lower pesticide use, thus dramatically transforming farming in Argentina.

Health authorities are now warning that growing health problems among nearly a third of the country’s 41 million population may be due to uncontrolled use of pesticides.

Today, all of Argentina’s soy crop and most of its corn and cotton are genetically modified.

“The change in how agriculture is produced has brought, frankly, a change in the profile of diseases,” says Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez, a pediatrician and neonatologist who co-founded Doctors of Fumigated Towns, part of a growing movement demanding enforcement of agricultural safety rules. “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects, and illnesses seldom seen before.”

Farmers in Argentina use about 320 million liters of agrochemicals last year, applying about 5 kg of pesticide per hectare (4.3lbs. per acres), or more than twice the amount used in the U.S., to boost production, as pests become ever more resistant to the poisons.

“As we’ve also learned in the United States, herbicide-resistant GE crops lead to dramatically increased pesticide use. And as weeds develop resistance to these chemicals, industry rolls out even more hazardous chemicals to battle the superweeds. Farmers get trapped on the pesticide treadmill.” Pesticide Action Network International told AP.

Notes:

  1. Total agricultural land in Argentina is 1,333,500km², or 48.0 % of the area.
  2. Argentina’s soy planting area is a projected at 20.65 million hectares for the current 2013/14 season, with corn at 5.7 million hectares, and wheat 3.4 million hectares.

Posted in disaster diary, disaster watch, disaster zone, disasters, environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, health, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Global Disasters/ Significant Events – 30 May 2013

Posted by feww on May 30, 2013

Rare Tornado Leaves a Trail of Destruction in Milan, Italy

A ferocious tornado struck the northeastern outskirts of Milan, destroying buildings, overturning trucks, uprooting trees

  • “It kept growing and growing. It was like having the engine of a plane next to me,” said a local resident.

Milan has a population of about 1.35 million; however, its urban area is the largest in Italy, and 5th largest in the EU, with a population of more than 5.2 million. The Milan metropolitan area is located within the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest industrial output.

-oOo-

U.S. Drought Eases in the Northeast

us drought map 2013may28

Rain threatens yields in the US Midwest

“Additional rainfall from late Thursday into the weekend will further stall corn and soybean plantings in the U.S. Midwest, threatening to trim acreage and yield potential for each crop, an agricultural meteorologist said on Thursday,” said a report.

-oOo-

Hurricane Barbara slams into the Pacific Coast of Mexico

Hurricane BARBARA slammed into Mexico’s Pacific Coast Wednesday, leaving at least two people dead and 14 others missing, before being downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved north toward the Gulf of Mexico.

-oOo-

Saudi Arabia reports 3 more deaths from MERS-CoV

Saudi Arabia says three more people have died from MERS-CoV, a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the global total to 30. The three victims, ranging in age from 24 to 60,  had chronic diseases, the Health authorities said.  A total of 38 infected cases had been reported in the country, 49 worldwide, as of May 30, 2013.

Despite major scaremongering by the World Health Organization (WHO), calling the virus a “threat to the entire world,” MERS does not appear to be as easily transmitted as SARS was.

So far, MERS has not shown any signs of sustained person to person transmission, and nearly all of fatalities have occurred in patients with underlying medical conditions.

The SARS outbreak in South China and later Hong Kong, which didn’t become  a pandemic, led to 8,273 cases and 775 deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

[The novel coronavirus called “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” (MERS-CoV) was identified in 2012 as the cause of respiratory illness in people, CDC said.]

-oOo-

DISASTER CALENDARMay 30, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,017 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,017 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ISAAC Landed in SE Louisiana, Heading Toward NO

Posted by feww on August 29, 2012

Hurricane ISAAC landed in Louisiana with 80MPH winds

ISAAC has forced tens of thousands to evacuate, and is forecast to strike New Orleans. The storm triggered widespread  flooding and damage in the Caribbean, claiming at least 24 lives in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.


Hurricane ISAAC landing in SE Louisiana. Image source: UW-SSECAnimate this image

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

  • California.  Yosemite National Park has warned about 2,000 visitors who stayed in its canvas and wood cabins in Curry Village this summer that they may have been exposed to the deadly hantavirus.
    • Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome has killed at least two campers who stayed at the park earlier this year.
    • Two other campers have acquired the infection.
    • Symptoms of hantavirus include aches, chills, dizziness and fever.
    • Hantavirus is carried in the feces, saliva and urine of infected deer mice, and has no specific treatment.
    • The virus has a 30% fatality rate.
  • U.S. Corn and Soybean Crops. The U.S. corn and soybean conditions have both deteriorated by an additional one percent, according to the USDA’s latest Crop Progress for the week ending August 26, 2012.
    • The amount of corn crops considered to be in very poor or poor conditions increased to 52 percent, an increase of 1 percent from the previous week. It was 19 percent last year.
    • Soybean crops in very poor or poor conditions also increased by 1 percent to 38 percent since last week.   It was 15 percent last year.

Previous Corn Progress

GLOBAL WARNING

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Watching Events Unfold, Frame by Frame, Exactly as Forecast

Posted by feww on July 20, 2012

Drought 2012 could linger for months

Corn and soybean prices break all-time records. Corn prices have climbed 53 percent in one month, as worst drought and poorest crop conditions in decades decimate yields in the Corn Belt region and beyond.


U.S. Drought Map for July 17, 2012, released July 19.

List of Disaster Areas Continues Growing

On Wednesday, USDA designated an additional 39 counties in 8 states as Primary Natural Disaster areas due to worsening drought, making up a disaster total of 1,297 counties in 29 states.  Additionally,  several hundred other counties have been declared as contiguous disaster areas.

One Way Drought

Drought is intensifying in the Corn Belt region and creeping to the areas beyond including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, southern Minnesota and parts of Missouri, Kentucky and the Dakotas.

Drought and Deluge Double Whammy

The historic drought could finally end in an epic deluge, in which case what is already extreme stress on the topsoil would be incalculable.


NASS Crop Production Data. Map of drought superimposed on the corn production areas, July 10, 2012.

Drought Stats

  • Nearly two-thirds of Continental U.S. is currently in drought condition
  • More than 42 percent of the lower 48 states were in SEVERE, EXTREME or EXCEPTIONAL Drought Conditions (D2-D4) as of July 17, 2012, a rise of over 5 percent since last week.
  • As of July 17, 2012,  the entire Continental U.S. with the exception of Maine was experiencing Abnormally Dry or Drought Conditions (D0 -D4)  in full or in parts of the states, a situation which has since worsened due to scant precipitation and a persistent heat wave in the past few days.
  • More than 81 percent of the Contiguous United States was Abnormally Dry or in Drought  Conditions (D0 – D4).
  • Drought 2012 is considered as the worst drought since 1956 and worst agricultural drought since 1988.
  • About 40% of the U.S. corn crop is in poor-very poor condition.
  • Good-excellent soybean crop dropped to 34% – down from 56% at start of season.
  • Some 1,297 counties in 29 states have been declared as primary natural disaster areas, with several hundred other counties designated as contiguous disaster areas.
  • Less than 10 percent topsoil moisture is left in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
  • Topsoil moisture in the entire Central Region is below 50 percent of normal.
    • Drought is expected to persist or intensify across Central Region.
    • About 98 percent of corn is grown within Central Region.
  • About 80 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is experiencing drought.

Deadly Heat Persists

Meantime, preliminary records from NCDC showed 145 high temperature records broken Wednesday and 67 records tied in 23 states: Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.


High temperatures in the triple digits will be the norm for the next several days for parts of the central U.S., with heat indices reaching into the 110 degree range. Some NWS Forecast Offices have already extended their heat advisories to last through the middle of next week. Source: NWS


Daily Max Heat Index Forecast

Latest Related Posts

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages, global Precipitation, global precipitation patterns, global Temperature Anomalies, global temperatures | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ethanol Dries You Out

Posted by feww on April 18, 2009

US: One drought away from food crisis

Alcohol Dries You Out and Eats Through Your Food Security

Disturbing facts about ethanol production in the US:

  • In 2008, the United States was responsible for 52 percent of ethanol production in the world production, fermenting mostly corn to 9 billion gallons (~34.1 billion liters)  of fuel ethanol.
  • Ethanol production rose by 38.5 percent in 2008 compared to the previous year (from 6.5 billion gallons, or 24.6 billion liters in 2007).
  • United States imported an addition 557 million gallons of ethanol in 2008, from Brazil, Jamaica,  El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica.
  • Federal mandates encourage more ethanol production [not less overall consumption.]
  • The U.S. target for  for 2015 is 15 billion gallons, though it’s difficult to see where the industry is planning to get the water from.  [Data from the Renewable Fuels Association.]
  • As of January 2009, at least 170 ethanol biorefineries were operating in the United States with 24 additional ones (new location or expanding plants) being planned.
  • Corn is a thirsty crop requiring about 109 gallons of water for each pound (910 liters of water for each kg) of corn (shelled maize).  [Other estimates include 20 inches of soil moisture per acre of maize planted, producing about 150 bushels of corn per acre). Most of the water usually comes from the rain.
  • Research performed at Cornell University showed that 26.1 pounds of corn is needed to produce a gallon of ethanol (3.13kg of corn per liter).
  • Based on various sources, fresh water consumption is increasing globally by at least 1.2 percent per year, and the rate is rising.
  • Typical ethanol plants use about 4.2 gallons of water to make one gallon of ethanol, says the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. However, the ethanol  industry insists the water requirement is ‘only’ a ratio of 3 to 1.
  • Annual harvest of corn in the US (2008) was 12,101 million bushels (307.37 MMT). [Source: USDA]
  • Total amount of corn used to produce ethanol in 2008 was a staggering 3,600 million bushels (91.44MMT),  or 29.75 percent of the annual US corn harvest.[Source: USDA]
  • Total amount of water needed to produce 15 billion gallons of ethanol, the US production target for 2015, is about 22 million-million gallons (83.5 trillion liters). That is about a fifth of the estimated volume of water in Lake Erie.

Notes:

1. A bushel of shelled maize (corn) weighs 56 pounds ( 25.40 kg).
2. MMT = Million Metric Tons.
3. FEWW calculations show that about 14.28 percent of the ethanol produced in the US in 2008 came from milo, other feedstocks, biomass, cheese whey and beverage waste.

Posted in 2009 crop harvest, corn to ethanol, drought an deluge, US ethanol production, water security | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

No Fertile Land, No Food!

Posted by feww on July 2, 2008

Accelerated land degradation threatens food security of a quarter of the world’s population: FAO

Main entry: Land degradation threatens 1.5 billion people


A dried up river filled with sand winds its way across the desert in eastern Chad, June 5, 2008. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly.
Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Related Links:

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Environmental Disasters: Too Close for Comfort?

Posted by feww on June 14, 2008

submitted by a reader

“You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

Beginning to feel that the environmental disasters are getting up close and personal?

One minute you are in your comfortable home near Paradise, north of Sacramento, the next minute you are being consoled by the firefighters as you stand in the front garden watching your home turn into blackened cinder. They apologize for failing to help you, but it wasn’t their fault. They ran out of water!

Wondering why?


Butte Valley fire, Humboldt, Thursday night. Image: Jason Halley / Chico Enterprise-Record. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Into the SUV with what little you could snatch away from the mouth of the fire heading east to Iowa to stay with Aunt Molly. On interstate 29 a twister is about to touch down. Whoosh! You swerve out of the way just in time.


Parkersburg Tornado.
Photo AP. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Aunt Molly’s house in Cedar Rapids wasn’t so lucky. It didn’t have wheels to drive away and avoid the floodwater; it is completely deluged.


An aerial photo shows a flooded area of downtown looking North over Cedar Rapids, Iowa June 13, 2008. Interstate I-380 can be seen at top while Mays Island, with Cedar Rapids City Hall, is seen on the left with its bridges under water. Floodwaters have inundated about 100 city blocks of Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s second-largest city with 200,000 residents. REUTERS/Ron Mayland. Photo AP. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Five hours and a dozen phonecalls later, you are finally heading to the calm of Wisconsin to stay with Cousin Thelma and her family. Turn the radio on. Homes on Lake Delton in central Wisconsin have been ripped apart by deadly storm and washed away by floodwaters. Chilly gooseflesh grow on your forearms. Something tingles deep inside your gut, that uncomfortable feeling something is wrong. And you are right! Well, It’s Friday the 13th, you hear yourself murmuring.


Lake Delton is a popular tourist spot south of the Wisconsin Dells. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Distant Cousin Joe and his family are in deep mourning in Loveland. Two of their kids with four of their classmates and a teacher didn’t make it back from a fishing trip. And his 5,000 acre cornfield is submerged in floodwater …


Corn crop submerged in floodwaters near Loveland, Iowa, June 12, 2008.
REUTERS/Dave Kaup. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Back to Iowa to stay with an old classmate who lives in Marshal Town, Iowa, and who invited you to visit her last summer. A rain check is as good as … a rain check! Finally you arrive in Marshal Town. But the whole town has been evacuated and the power plants have been shut down!

Well, at least you have the good old, reliable SUV, and it’s not as if the world is running out of corn to make ethanol for you!

Related Links:

feww

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Climate Change Crusades

Posted by feww on June 10, 2008

Are YOU a Climate Change Crusader?
How Do YOU Fight Climate Change?
Should YOU Crusade Against the Climate Change, or just STOP heating the globe?

A Shrinking World Series

Make No Mistake: Nature Always Has the Last Word!

Midwest Flood Update:

A dam near the Wisconsin Dells resort area broke on Monday, causing mudslides that swept away homes, as torrential rains caused more flooding across the U.S. Midwest.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle declared a state of emergency in 30 counties in the south of the state. In Iowa, where 33 counties were flooded, and Indiana, where flooding forced hundreds of people to evacuate homes in the central and western parts of the state, similar declarations have been made. Parts of Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota have been affected by flooding.

“This is an area that’s been bombarded with rain over the weekend, anywhere from 5 to 10 inches, and you’re dealing with saturated soils. So any rain that falls becomes run-off,” the National Weather Service’s Pat Slattery said.

OUCH! Too Close to the bank! Like the Kubeniks and the Pekars (see image caption), rivers are “living” creatures; they need room to complete their cycle of life!


The homes of the Kubeniks (R) and the Pekars are damaged after a dam broke at man-made Lake Delton, Wisconsin June 9 2008. REUTERS/Allen Fredrickson. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice.

“Flood damage estimated in the tens of millions of dollars were being added to recent storm damage in Iowa, including a tornado that flattened the town of Parkersburg two weeks ago.” Reuters reported.

In Iowa:

  • The water treatment plant in Mason City was swamped by the Winnebago River.
  • Three of four bridges in the town of Charles City were swept away by flooding of the Cedar River.
  • The town of New Hartford was evacuated.

Corn and soybean fields were submerged under the floodwater in Midwestern states. Iowa and Illinois account for about 35% of U.S. corn and soybeans, usually the world’s largest harvests of those crops. However, the prospects of a bumper crop year were further eroded, following a wet spring that had already delayed planting. (Source)

Related Video:

Related Links:

The World’s one harvest from starvation!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Food: Worse times ahead

Posted by feww on May 4, 2008

Climate Change + Higher temperatures + Droughts + Floods + Soil erosion + Loss of topsoil + Pollution + Ground-level Ozone = Much Less Food in the Future

Scientists are warning that global warming would present great challenges on the way to produce more food in the future.

“There certainly are going to be lots of challenges in the future. Temperature is one of them, water is another,” said Lisa Ainsworth, a molecular biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture.

“In Northeastern China, low temperatures, a short growing season and lack of water limit production, so rising temperatures in the future may have beneficial impacts there,” said Ainsworth.

“However, in the southern parts of the country, higher temperatures will likely cause yield losses,” she told the reporters.

Higher temperatures coupled with ground-level ozone, which is produced as a result of sunlight interacting with greenhouse gases, added to extremes of floods and droughts is a recipe for disaster.

Ozone is a growing problem in the northern hemisphere and is already costing farmers billion of dollars in crop damage.


Effect of increasing ozone concentration (left to right: about 15, 80 and 150 ppb) on growth of (A) Pima cotton and nutsedge grown in direct competition with one nutsedge per cotton; (B) tomato and nutsedge
grown in direct competition with nutsedge (two-to-one); and (C) yellow nutsedge grown in the absence of competition. (Photo and caption: David A. Grantz & Anil Shrestha, UC Kearney Agricultural Center )

“In the major rice-growing regions, which are India and China, ground-level ozone concentrations even today are very high and certainly exceed the threshold for damage. Ozone is already decreasing yield potential in many areas,” Ainsworth said.

Significant amounts of rice yield are lost annually due to various abiotic stresses (e.g., salinity, droughts). Rice is the staple diet for about half of the world population, and about 90 percent of the world’s rice is produced in Asia.

UN experts believe that in low-latitude regions, slightest temperature rises of about 1ºC could affect crop yields.

The atmospheric CO2 levels have now reached about 388 parts per million from about 280 ppm prior to the Industrial Revolution.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty in the climate modeling when it comes to the regional level,” said Reiner Wassmann coordinator of the Rice and Climate Change Consortium at IRRI. “But it was clear temperatures would rise.”


A train travels along the flooded Darbhanga-Sitamadhi railway line in Bihar in this August 2, 2007 file photo. Massive monsoon floods in eastern India damaged vast areas of corn and affected the rice crop, government officials and farm experts said on Tuesday, adding that losses are being assessed. REUTERS/Krishna Murari Kishan (image may be subject to copyright!) See FEWW Fair Use notice.

“The other mega trend we see is that we will have more climate extremes. In some places there might be more drought, in others it may be submergence, from floods, in some places it might be both,” said Wassmann.


Lake Hartwell, February 2008, western South Carolina. Photo courtesy South Carolina Department of Natural Resources staff. (Source UNL)

“That is really a new challenge for development of cropping systems and I don’t want to limit it to only plant breeding. We have to be clear that this is no silver bullet and that if we speed-up plant breeding everything will be fine. Certainly not.

“We also have to improve crop management and water saving techniques have come into the picture to cope with drought,” he said. (Source)

High ozone levels can damage leaves on trees and crops (such as corn, wheat, and soybeans), reducing growth rates and crop yields. In 1995, ground-level ozone caused $2.7 billion in crop damage nationwide, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Due to its reactive nature, ozone also can prematurely degrade and wear out rubber, paints and other materials. (Source)

Related Links:

-..-

Posted in Climate Change, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

But Will It Prevent Food Riots in the US?

Posted by feww on May 1, 2008

‘Clean’ Energy Scam: U.S. senator seeks to freeze ethanol requirement

ASHINGTON (Reuters) – Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is drawing up legislation to cap the U.S. renewable fuels requirement at 2008 levels – 9 billion gallons per year. Texas ranches are home to 2.8 million head of cattle. Cattle and poultry producers rely on grain for feed and have been hit hard by skyrocketing corn prices.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry petitioned the federal government to cut its renewable fuel requirement by 50 percent this year to break the vicious circle of grain price hikes.

Corn Belt lawmakers such as Iowa’s Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, whose state farmers are profiting handsomely from the soaring grains prices, have vowed to combat any legislative attempt to reduce or postpone the renewable fuels mandate.

left
A tiny sliver of transitional rain forest is surrounded by hectares of soybean fields in the Mato Grosso state, Brazil. (Caption: TIME). Photo:  John Lee / Aurora Select for TIME. (Image may be subject to copyright). See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

President [sic] George W. Bush said on Tuesday he is deeply concerned about high food prices but believes ethanol production is responsible for only a small part [sic] of food inflation.

“And the truth of the matter is, it’s in our national interest that we—our farmers—grow energy, as opposed to us purchasing energy from parts of the world that are unstable or may not like us.”

The new energy law calls for the production of 9 billion gallons of biofuel in 2008 and 10.5 billion gallons next year, and a rise to 36 billion gallons in 2022 – with ethanol supply from corn capped at 15 billion gallons.

About 26 percent of corn production would be diverted to make biofuel in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grain prices hit record highs breaking above $6.50 a bushel. (Source)

Related links:

..

Posted in A Warning to the World, agirculture, environment, food, food riots, grains, health, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Famous Last words …

Posted by feww on April 24, 2008

“With the worsening of the global food crisis, the time is coming when it will be inevitable to discuss whether we preserve the environment or produce more food. There is no way to produce more food without occupying more land and taking down more trees … In this moment of crisis, the world needs to understand that the country has space to raise its production.” ~ Blairo Maggi, the governor of Mato Grosso state and Brazil’s largest soy producer (aka, “King of Soy”)


Soybean USDA

Between August and December 2007, at least 2,700 square miles of Amazon rain forest were clearcut illegally for soy farming and cattle ranching.

In the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, verdant green Amazon Rainforest is broken up by broad tracts of pale green and tan deforested land. In 2005, the government of Brazil said that 48 percent of Amazon deforestation that took place in 2003 and 2004 occurred in Mato Grosso.

The transformation from forest to farm is evident in the photo-like images, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. The top image was taken on June 28, 2006, while the middle image is from June 17, 2002. The bottom map shows the difference in deforested areas over the time period, with some of the largest cleared areas marked in red. On this map, areas that were non-forested (either naturally or already deforested) in 2002 are light gray, while areas that remained forested in 2006 are darker gray.

Although some deforestation is part of the country’s plans to develop its agriculture and timber industries, other deforestation is the result of illegal logging and squatters. The Brazilian government uses MODIS images such as these to detect illegal deforestation. Because the forest is so large and is difficult to access or patrol, the satellite images can provide an initial alert that tells officials where to look for illegal logging.

These images were produced by the MODIS Rapid Response Team, which provides both the 2006 and 2002 images in a variety of resolutions, including MODIS’maximum resolution of 250 meters per pixel.

NASA images courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at Goddard Space Flight Center. Map by Robert Simmon. (Text: NASA Earth Observatory)

Relate Links:

Posted in cattle ranching, energy, environment, ethanol, food | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Only One Guess Allowed!

Posted by feww on April 24, 2008

Who said:

  • “I think that ethanol is the most popular whipping boy in the agricultural world at the moment”
  • “So to say that biofuels are the culprit clearly underestimates the demand and really shows a gross misunderstanding of the world food situation,”
  • “We have to grow more food. We have to increase yields”

Hint: To increase yields, farmers are forced to buy lots and lots more fertilizers!

Related links:

Related Reading:

See the tags for the answer!

Posted in agirculture, agriculture, Bill Doyle, corporate lies, corporate profit, environment, food riots, North America, Potash Corp, soil erosion, topsoil, toxic | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are the poor terrorists?

Posted by edro on April 23, 2008

Delivering Climate Security: International Security Responses to a Climate-Changed World

According to the above-titled report written for Britain’s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), governments around the world have hugely underestimated the potential conflicts resulting from climate change. The highlights of the report are:

  • If climate change is not slowed and critical environmental thresholds are exceeded, then it will become a primary driver of conflicts between and within states

  • In the next decades, climate change will drive as significant a change in the strategic security environment as the end of the Cold War,” said Mabey.
  • If uncontrolled, climate change will have security implications of similar magnitude to the World Wars, but which will last for centuries
  • A failure to acknowledge and prepare for the worst case scenario is as dangerous in the case of climate change as it is for managing the risks of terrorism or nuclear weapons proliferation
  • Unless achieving climate security is seen as a vital and existential national interest it will be too easy to delay action on the basis of avoiding immediate costs and perceived threats to economic competitiveness

Source

Would the world elite brand the poor and starving masses as “terrorists” in order to eliminate them?

Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.” According to a report by New York Sun.

News Reports:

Special Links:

Posted in california, consumer, crop damage, crops, Drought, Ecological footprint, economy, ethanol, water rationing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »