This only stands up as a credible argument if the amount of crops/land used for bio-fuel is significant. I've never actually seen anyone provide any actual stats or percentages for that.
There are many reasons why there is a food crisis right now, the world economy has gone to *, the Chinese and Indians just won't stop breeding,eating and making money, been quite a bit of droughts, floods and bad crop seasons in the last few years. And quite a lot of the world has always been starving and so to accredit those to anything now when they have occurred throughout history is pushing it.
Is bio-fuel contributing to a food shortage? Well anything that takes crops and food and uses them for something other than food will obviously reduce the amount of food in supply.
Is there a food shortage? Yes but there always has been, the third world has been starving for all of living memory. And the population of these third world countries is expanding (bizarre how starving people still fing the time for copulation) and some of them are becoming richer and so able to buy even more food.
This was always going to happen, it could be argued that we have never produced enough food to feed everyone, now more people can afford more of it and so the rest of us can afford less.
And while contributing to global famine and poverty may not be a nice thing we need bio-fuels. The world keeps whining about how much co2 is being outputted and bio-fuels help reduce that, if we stopped using them the environmentalists would soon get back on their high horse and tell us to stop destroying the planet, now we just have the humanitarians whining at us. You can't pleas everyone, it's a lose-lose situation.
But are there not alternative forms of energy? What about wind power and the like? Well yes those are perfectly good for everything else except for transport. That would be fine if we all moved to electric cars, but that just ain't gonna happen.
So we're stuck with bio-fuels and I won't be convinced of their humanitarian impact until someone shows me some hard figures.
Is it so bad to ask some people in this country to stop being the greedy wasteful b****** they are?
And while the G8 dinner might seem hypocritical stop and think about it for a minute. 8 Courses may seem extravagant but those kinds of courses are small. And as long as they've cleaned their plates (no-one actually checked that did they?) they've just eaten expensive food, and no-one is actually whining about that.
It's not like Africa is starving due to a lack of caviar now is it? Is the water crisis in India is not going to be solved by Burgundy?
These people like it or not are consuming food they can afford (at our expense of course but that's a different matter) and as long as their not throwing half of it away then their not really doing anything wrong.
Someone's got to keep the sturgeon farmers in business don't they?
Brazil achieves a ratio of up to ten times anergy gained versus energy input from growing ethanol crops. The USA is less than double!!! The USA is the biggest producer in the world nonetheless. I wonder what the yield from hemp would be?
With recent reports downplaying the possibility of biofuels as a solution to climate change, Giulio Sica wonders why there has been no mention of hemp as an alternative crop
January 28, 2008 4:03 PM
The Royal Society, the European Commission and the UK government have all managed, in the last few days, to take the wind out of the sails of the biofuel industry, publishing reports that suggest biofuels could be causing more harm than good, the crops not being as environmentally friendly as first thought, with the Commons environmental audit committee calling for a moratorium on biofuel targets until more research can be done.
What struck me as astonishing about these reports is that they all managed to ignore the one crop which has been successfully used for many years to create bioethanol and biodiesel, is environmentally friendlier to produce than sugar beet, palm oil, corn or any of the crops mentioned in the report and can grow in practically any temperate to hot climate leaving the ground in better condition than when it was planted.
That plant is hemp.
Last year, the Conservative MP David Maclean tabled a question to the then environment secretary, Ian Pearson, asking what assessment had been made about the potential to grow hemp as a biofuel crop in England. Pearson responded:
Research into the potential of hemp as a biofuel crop suggests it is not currently competitive compared to other sources of biomass. However, hemp does have a number of high-value end uses. For example, as a fibre crop it is used in car panels, construction and as horse bedding. In addition, hempseed oil is used in food, cosmetics and various industrial applications. As a result, there is little interest in this country at present in growing it for biofuel production.
So the government cannot point to ignorance of hemp's uses, which makes hemp's omission from any of the recent reports even more perplexing.
The fact that hemp does not need to have land cleared to grow it, grows faster than any of the crops currently used and leaves the ground in a better state when it is harvested should surely be enough for it to be considered a perfect crop to offset the carbon currently produced by fossil fuels and by the less efficient biofuels currently being so roundly criticised by the various official research bodies.
The influential Biodiesel magazine reported last year on the cultivation of hemp as a biofuel and it too could only point to its lack of economic competitiveness (due to its minimal production) as a reason for not seeing it as a viable biofuel. But surely if it was mass-produced, this one drawback could be overcome and its many benefits as an efficient biofuel could be harnessed.
As far as research and implementation of hemp for biofuel, the US is way ahead of Europe and there are a range of websites dedicated to the use of hemp as a fuel for cars.
In the UK, companies such as Hemp Global Solutions have been set up very much with climate change and the reduction of carbon emissions in mind, but there is little, if any, research in this country that has looked into the viability of the hemp plant as a fuel for cars.
So why was there not a single mention of this miracle crop, that, in addition to being able to be used as fuel, can also be used as paper, cloth, converted into plastic and is a rich food source containing high levels of protein?
http://hempmuseum.org/index.htm _________________ "The conflict between corporations and activists is that of narcolepsy versus remembrance. The corporations have money, power and influence. Our sole influence is public outrage. Extract from "Cloud Atlas (page 125) by David Mitchell.
Joined: 27 Mar 2006 Posts: 486 Location: Manchester
Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:27 pm Post subject:
The following comes from a poster in response to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingtons question "
As we appear to be on the brink of a global food crisis, is it time to rethink farming methods? How?
Given that we appear to be on the brink of a global food crisis, should we be making the world's farms even bigger and more efficient, or should we be making them smaller? Is it time to dismantle the industrial food machine, or should we be cranking it up to the next level?
found here;http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AjgGjaPuQ3JBuYM7t KbKQq4gBgx.;_ylv=3?qid=20080716023212AA2930M
I'm not vouching for the information but is is better sourced than many comments from that dire argument. It went largely ignored but I feel it is probably closer to the truth than the idea that we struggle globally to produce enough food to feed everyone. Admittedly the references are old and thus are they now relevant?
Here is what the poster had to say;
Farming methods have nothing to do with the level of hunger in the world. We already create more than enough food for every single person on this mudball to stuff themselves until they drop dead from overeating. The U.N.'s Population Reference Bureau is quite clear that the main cause of hunger in the world today is poverty. In their landmark study on hunger, “Population, Food, and Nutrition” they don’t even consider increased food production as a possible solution to the hunger problem. Hunger still exists because many poor people around the world lack the resources to buy enough food. In other words, people are starving to death (more correctly, being starved to death) through poverty, not though lack of food. It's pointless trying to work out why poverty exists in the world, but considering the money thrown at the problem – the G8 summit increased aid to Africa from $25 billion to $50 billion US in 2005 – it is certainly an intractable one. What desperate sinkhole of poverty couldn’t be cured by fifty billion dollars?
The fact remains that we produce enough food to supply all six billion people on this planet with a massive excess left over. There is so much food available, in fact, that everyone who can afford it has a plentiful supply. This is what the United Nations has to say on the subject:
“... Despite the dire predictions that the world’s population would soon outstrip food production, it has been the other way around: food production has risen a full 16 per cent above population growth. The American Association for the Advancement of Science has noted that 78 per cent of the world’s malnourished children live in countries with food surpluses. Clearly, this condition indicates a need for a keener social conscience and better political leadership ....There is enough food to go around now and for at least the next half-century. The world is not going to run out of food for all.” (http://www.goveg.com/worldhunger)
It is not a matter of making more food. We don’t need to. We already make more than enough. The problem is with food distribution. Food surpluses in Europe and the United States are either suppressed by subsidies to farmers who agree not to grow certain crops during periods of overproduction, or they are destroyed. They are not loaded into bulk grain carriers and shipped to areas of the world blighted by famine. If they were the problem might be solved. Might.
How can we have a net surplus of food in the world while a significant proportion of the human population is not merely undernourished but starving to death en masse? Given that it is true that "Due to advances in agriculture of many countries, there is now a substantial world surplus of food" (Abelson, P.H. (1972). World Food. Science, 236,9.) how is it that “more people than ever before are undernourished or malnourished”. (Curtain, M.E. (1985 July). Development and food. Inter-American Development Bank News, p. 3.)
The standard economic definition of surplus is not just ‘too much’, as you would think it might be. Economists can make anything more complex than it needs to be, that’s why they have a Nobel Prize just for them. “Surplus” is defined as a supply situation where buyers do not exhaust available supply while still paying a unit price acceptable to sellers. Right. Glad we got that sorted out. Used in connection with world population and their food requirements, the words "food surplus" are worse than misleading. Only from food producers' point of view is there surplus. From many potential customers, there is shortage. There is widespread famine even in countries that are net exporters of food. (Poleman, T.T. (1969). World food: A perspective. Science, 173, 510-518) There is surplus largely because millions of people in these countries simply don’t have the financial clout to create an economic demand sufficient to interest suppliers. (Wortman, S. (1980). World food and nutrition: The scientific and technological base. Science, 209, 157- 164.)
For example in India the National Institute of Nutrition estimated that as many as 50% of rural households and 55% of urban slum households do not have enough food to meet daily energy requirements. Yet India exports massive amounts of food and makes huge export income as a result. The food has been distributed out of the country and away from starving people because they cannot afford to buy it, and consumers in other countries can. India exports rice, wheat, sugarcane, tea, cotton, jute, cashews, coffee, spices, “other vegetables”, melons, sorghum, millet, corn, barley, chickpeas, bananas, and mangoes, all of which are desperately needed by their indigent, underfed people, none of whom can afford to pay the prices we Westerners can.
We make enough food for the entire population of the world. Food shortages are caused by poverty and inequitable distribution of food, not the lack of food supplies.
* 2 days ago
Is this total bunkum or does this chap have his facts straight despite the age of the references? _________________ The Peoples United Collective TPUC.ORG
Mexico loses 80-100% of crops to freeze, US prices to skyrocket
Houston - The cold weather experienced across much of the US in early February made its way deep into Mexico and early reports estimate 80-100 percent crop losses which are having an immediate impact on prices at US grocery stores with more volatility to come.
Wholesale food suppliers have already sent notices to supermarket retailers describing the produce losses in Mexico and the impact shoppers can expect. Sysco sent out a release(pdf) this week stating the early February freeze reached as far south as Los Mochis and south of Culiacan, both located in the state of Sinaloa, along the Gulf of California. The freezing temperatures were the worst the region has seen since 1957.
According to Sysco’s notice sent out this week:
“The early reports are still coming in but most are showing losses of crops in the range of 80 to 100%. Even shade house product was hit by the extremely cold temps. It will take 7-10 days to have a clearer picture from growers and field supervisors, but these growing regions haven’t had cold like this in over half a century.”
At this time of year, Mexico is a major supplier to the US and Canada for green beans, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, asparagus, peppers and round and Roma tomatoes. Compounding the problem is the freezing cold that hit Florida in December and January.
Sysco continued with its dire report:
“Florida normally is a major supplier for these items as well but they have already been struck with severe freeze damage in December and January and up until now have had to purchase product out of Mexico to fill their commitments, that is no longer an option.”
Validating that statement, The Packer released a statement at the end of December stating:
“Freeze damage to Florida crops could increase demand for Mexican vegetables for the rest of winter, grower-shippers say.”
That December report noted Florida’s cold temperatures and crop loss but was optimistic over Mexico’s produce, even if prices were climbing. “My gut feeling tells me the Mexican deal is going to be very active,” said Ken Maples, sales manager for Plantation Produce in Mission, Texas, according to The Packer.
“Green beans in Florida were seriously hurt. Romas that are $10 or $10.95 today in 25-pound bulk, I look for it to be in the mid-teens,” Maples added.
But that was December. On Wednesday, The Packer reported that:
“Supplies of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and other vegetables from Mexico will be severely limited until at least March following an early February freeze.”
Wholesale prices for many crops have already begun climbing, doubling and almost tripling what they were at the beginning of February.
The Packer notes that the short-term, mid-term and long-term outlook for some crops is “devastating” and using this week’s pricing as a gauge of what is in store for consumers noted:
“On Feb. 8, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $22.95-24.95 for two-layer cartons of 4x4, 5x5 and 5x6 vine-ripe field-grown tomatoes from Mexico, up from $6.95-9.95 the week before and $5.95-7.95 the year before.”
Jerry Wagner, sales and marketing director for Farmer’s Best, based in Nogales, AZ, said: “The end of February and the first half of March, there will be even worse shortages of product” than during the first part of February, The Packer reports.
Wagner called it “a miracle” if 20 percent of the cucumber crop survives. Yellow, green and grey squash took the biggest hit. “Some plants will come back but the vast majority is lost,” Wagner added.
Sysco called the Mexico freeze an “unprecedented disaster” and noted the volatility of the matter in its release:
“With the series of weather disasters that has occurred in both of these major growing areas we will experience immediate volatile prices, expected limited availability, and mediocre quality at best.”
Mike Alton, marketing director for Prime Time International LLC based in Coachella, CA said: “We’re in for a long, tough haul,” according to The Packer.
The Repugnant/Demoprat 'Punch-and-Judy show' continues; in reality, they work together behind the scenes, with the Banksters' NWO as the goal.
They could intentionally create this crisis, and I believe they have. There were all kinds of reports of drills, food rations to schools, FEMA-camp readiness and so on all to be ready by October 1st.
Glad I'm this side of the Pond! (But I know it can come here too - Gordon Brown's revelations of his musings on 'putting troops on the streets' in the last Financial Fiddle (or 'Banking Collapse') seems ominous, in view of the generally expected inevitability of a worse 'Financial Crisis' to come. _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
Joined: 30 Jul 2006 Posts: 5837 Location: East London
Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:55 pm Post subject:
Probably related to the above:
'Nukes going AWOL'; when I first heard it, I thought it was the six nuke cruise missiles that went 'Walkabout' a year or two ago, but this appears to be another, replete with Generals being sacked:
Exclusive: High Level Source Confirms Secret US Nuclear Warhead Transfer to East Coast:
http://www.storyleak.com/exclusive-high-level-source-confirms-secret-u s-nuclear-warhead-transfer-east-coast/ _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 16287 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:01 pm Post subject:
Utterly brilliant article on Monsanto
Guardian front page, Panorama documentary please!!
Putting Profits Before Populations
Monsanto, the TPP and Global Food Dominance
NOVEMBER 26, 2013 by ELLEN BROWN
“Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. “Control food and you control the people.”
Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.
Profits Before Populations
Genetic engineering has made proprietary control possible over the seeds on which the world’s food supply depends. According to an Acres USA interview of plant pathologist Don Huber, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, two modified traits account for practically all of the genetically modified crops grown in the world today. One involves insect resistance. The other, more disturbing modification involves insensitivity to glyphosate-based herbicides (plant-killing chemicals). Often known as Roundup after the best-selling Monsanto product of that name, glyphosate poisons everything in its path except plants genetically modified to resist it.
Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate is an essential partner to the GMOs that are the principal business of the burgeoning biotech industry. Glyphosate is a “broad-spectrum” herbicide that destroys indiscriminately, not by killing unwanted plants directly but by tying up access to critical nutrients.
Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.
The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.
Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified. By contrast, in at least 26 other countries—including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia—GMOs are totally or partially banned; and significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.
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