Or why the world is going to hell
http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/ - Oct 6, 2013 1:38:05 PM - May 29, 2012 5:25:50 PM
The Coming Famine is a discussion paper by Julian Cribb and Associates
In coming decades the world faces the risk of major regional food crises leading to conflicts and mass refugee movements. This is driven primarily by emerging scarcities of all the primary resources required to produce food and a global failure to reinvest in it. This paper outlines key factors in emerging global food insecurity and proposes some solutions.
‘The Coming Famine’ published by the University of California Press and CSIRO Publishing, August 2010.
We’ve all heard by now the forecast that there will be 9.2 billion people in the world by 2050. And current projections suggest human numbers will not stop there – it will keep on climbing to at least 10-11 billion by the mid 2060s.
Equally, the world economy will continue to grow – and China, India and other advancing economies will require more protein food.
Thus, global demand for food will more than double over the coming half-century, as we add another 4.7 billion people. By then we will eat around 600 quadrillion calories a day, which is the equivalent of feeding 14 billion people at today’s nutritional levels.
The central issue in the human destiny in the coming half century is not climate change or the global financial crisis. It is whether humanity can achieve and sustain such an enormous harvest.
The world food production system today faces critical constraints. Not just one or two, but a whole constellation of them, playing into one another – and serious ones.
This is the great difference from the global food scarcity of the 1960s. Then the constraints were around skills and technology – and the generous sharing of modern agricultural knowledge and technology in the Green Revolution was able to overcome them.
Today the world faces looming scarcities of just about everything necessary to produce high yields of food – water, land, nutrients, oil, technology, skills, fish and stable climates, each one playing into and compounding the others.
So this isn’t a simple problem, susceptible to technofixes or national policy changes. It is a wicked problem.
The world is haemorrhaging nutrients at every link in the chain between farm and fork. On the farm it appears that anywhere up to half of applied nutrients can be lost into soil, water and the environment.
Our resources of mineral nutrients are starting to decline. When Canadian Patrick Dery applied Hubbert’s peak theorem to phosphorus (Figure 2) he found, to his dismay, we had passed it in 1989.
According to the International Energy Agency, peak oil and gas are due in the coming decade. These spell scarcity and soaring prices in the primary nutrients – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) – that sustain all advanced farming systems worldwide. In food production there is no substitute for these three nutrients: they are as essential to plant growth as water and light.
At the other end of this equation we are ruining our rivers, lakes, seas and oceans in ways that prevent us from getting more food from them. Each year we pump around 150 million tonnes more nitrogen and 9 million tonnes more phosphorus into the biosphere than the earth’s natural systems did before humans appeared: we have utterly modified the planet’s nutrient cycle, more radically even than the atmosphere or fresh water cycle. That we may double our release of nutrients to the environment as we seek to redouble food output is alarming.
The rest of this fascinating paper can be read here.6"Fracking by the Numbers""global warming""hydraulic fracturing"banenvironmentfrackingmoratoriumnightmarepollutiontoxicwastewaterenergypeak oilsustainability
The explosion of hydraulic fracturing in the last several years, according to a new report, is creating a previously ‘unimaginable’ situation in which hundreds of billions of gallons of the nation’s fresh water supply are being annually transformed into unusable—sometimes radioactive—cancer-causing wastewater.According to the report, Fracking by the Numbers, produced by Environment America, the scale and severity of fracking’s myriad impacts betray all claims that natural gas is a “cleaner” or somehow less damaging alternative to other fossil fuels.
The report explores various ways in which gas fracking negatively impacts both human health and the environment, including the contamination of drinking water, overuse of scarce water sources, the effect of air pollution on public health, its connection to global warming, and the overall cost imposed on communities where fracking operations are located.
“The bottom line is this: The numbers on fracking add up to an environmental nightmare,” said John Rumpler, the report’s lead author and senior attorney for Environment America. “For our environment and for public health, we need to put a stop to fracking.”
In fact, the report concludes that in state’s where the practice is now occurring, immediate moratoriums should be enacted and in states where the practice has yet to be approved, bans should be legislated to prevent this kind of drilling from ever occurring.
Though the report acknowledges its too early to know the full the extent of the damage caused by the controversial drilling practice, it found that even a look at the “limited data” available—taken mostly from industry reports and government figures between 2005 and 2012—paints “an increasingly clear picture of the damage that fracking has done to our environment and health.”
So what are the numbers?
The report measured key indicators of fracking threats across the country, and found:
• 280 billion gallons of toxic wastewater generated in 2012, • 450,000 tons of air pollution produced in one year, • 250 billion gallons of fresh water used since 2005, • 360,000 acres of land degraded since 2005, • 100 million metric tons of global warming pollution since 2005.
“The numbers don’t lie,” said Rumbpler. “Fracking has taken a dirty and destructive toll on our environment. If this dirty drilling continues unchecked, these numbers will only get worse.”
The Environment America report comes on the heels of a study released by researchers at Duke University earlier this week that found a “surprising magnitude of radioactivity” in the local water near a fracking operation in Pennsylvania.
The report also pointed out the weaknesses of current wastewater disposal practices — wastewater is often stored in deep wells, but over time these wells can fail, leading to the potential for ground and surface water contamination. In New Mexico alone, chemicals from oil and gas pits have contaminated water sources at least 421 times, according to the report.
Those toxic chemicals are exempt from federal disclosure laws, so it’s up to each state to decide if and how the oil and gas companies should disclose the chemicals they use in their operations — which is why in many states, citizens don’t know what goes into the brew that fracking operators use to extract oil and natural gas. Luckily, some states are beginning to address this — California recently passed a law ordering fracking companies to make their chemicals public, an order similar to laws in about seven other states.
The report also noted the vast quantities of water needed for fracking — from 2 million to 9 million gallons on average to frack one well. Since 2005, according to the report, fracking operations have used 250 billion gallons of freshwater. This is putting a strain on places like one South Texas county, where fracking was nearly one quarter of total water use in 2011 — and dry conditions could push that amount closer to one-third.
In addition to the impact on surface and ground water supplies, fracking is a well-known contributor to global warming and numerous studies have shown that the methane emissions created by the extraction and transportation of natural gas far outweighs any benefit generated by its ability to burn “cleaner” than oil or coal.
Download or read the complete report here (pdf).
Author: Jon Queally
Reposted from Common Dreams.
"climate Council""Professor Steffen""sea level rise"2013bushfiresheatwaveshottestipccnasarecord
We’ve just endured the warmest September since records began, according to the Climate Council……. which managed to raise over a million bucks in a couple of weeks! So stick that where the sun don’t shine Tony Abbott….. How much longer before governments become irrelevant?
The latest record also makes the past 12 months the warmest documented, while 2013 is set to go down as the hottest calendar year in Australia, surpassing 2005. But you still have people claiming it hasn’t warmed in 16 years….
”We’ve got high sea surface temperatures around Australia and that usually leads to warmer than average weather conditions, so if I was a betting man I would say that we are going to get the calendar record this year,” climate scientist Will Steffen said. September temperatures were almost 3°C above the long-term average, according to the report released by the Climate Council on Thursday.
Professor Steffen who authored the report, said “the frequency and severity of hot days and heatwaves in Australia were increasing as average global temperatures rose. This exacerbated the risk of bushfires, particularly in south-east Australia.”
”Although Australia has always had heatwaves, hot days and bushfires, climate change is increasing the risk of more frequent and longer heatwaves and more extreme hot days, as well as exacerbating bushfire conditions,” he added.
Last summer saw more than 120 extreme weather-related records broken, including the hottest January and the hottest day ever recorded in Australia since reliable record keeping began in 1910. But Climate Change is crap, right Tony…?
”Temperature records are broken from time to time in Australia, but it is the sheer number of records being broken that is really unusual,” Professor Steffen was reported saying. The persistent heat was recorded Australia-wide for the past 18 months. The oceans that surround Australia have registered record warmth as well.
According to NASA, globally the hottest 10 years all occurred in the past 15 years……..
And the IPCC found that global temperatures are more than likely to rise by more than 2 degrees – and by possibly as much as 4.8 degrees – by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions remained as high as they currently are.
The IPCC’s fifth assessment of climate science also stated that each of the past three decades was warmer than any preceding decade since 1850 and between 1901 and 2010 sea levels rose 19 centimetres, much faster than the average for the last 2000 years……
Bring on the collapse….. because nothing else will fix this.
4 Comments »Tags: "home made", digital, ducks, egg, hygrometer, incubator, thermometerself sufficiency
Our ducklings hatched last week. All five of them, which from two clutches of some thirty six eggs was frankly disappointing. I don’t know if it’s a case of bad mothering on the part of our hens, bad fertilisation from the drakes (yes, we have two drakes, you’d think between them they’d get the job done…), but whilst Christmas Dinner is now secure, five ducks (even every five weeks) is hardly going to keep us in sustainable meat production.
So I hopped on youtube, the fount of wisdom for almost anything you may need to survive life, from how to fix your rideon mower, to building a chicken plucker (my next project – because plucking ducks is not a job I enjoy) to yes, building an egg incubator from scratch. Mind you, you have to screen the idiots from those who know what they are doing, there’s some ning nongs out there with video cameras, let me tell you….!
I already had an old Broccolli polystyrene box with lid lying around, so I started by cutting a rectangular hole in the top so that I can see inside it. The hole was covered with a spare piece of glass I’ve kept in case our old windows ever need fixing. Electrical tape did an excellent job at holding it in place.
Next, I went to Bunnings to spend some of that money a couple of you have donated via this blog (much appreciated, thanks to all concerned – and NO this isn’t me begging for more…) and purchased a reading lamp holder with a dimmer and a 25W incandescent light bulb. I never thought I’d ever buy one of those again, but they make good heaters, which is why no-one uses them anymore, they are even outnumbered ten to one on shop shelves by CFLs and LEDs, making them hard to find….
To incubate eggs you also need to know what the humidity in the box is, so I also
purchased a combined digital thermometer and hygrometer online for the princely sum of twelve bucks. A word on digital thermometers though, I have three of them now, this one, the one I use to make cheese, and the one incorporated in my energy monitor, and you wouldn’t believe it, their readings inside the box were all different….. So, which one to believe? In the end I decided to stick with the one I bought for the job, and suck and see……. proper scientific observations and record keeping (not something I’m particularly good at!) will have to be followed. Apparently Muscovy eggs have to be incubated at 37.5°C, and if you go over 40°C you kill the embryo, and if you go under the eggs take longer than the prescribed 35 days to hatch…. so we will see what we will see.
I’ve had the unit on for several days now trying to stabilise the temperature, but I have serious doubts now that the dimmer I bought (the cheapest one Bunnings had at $30!) is any good…… it makes the light flicker (which would be really annoying if you were actually using it to dim the light in a room) and even if I achieve a steady temperature during the day, it drops significantly overnight which makes me wonder if the dimmer itself isn’t affected by the heat inside the box…… so I may yet return it and buy a dearer one.
I’m also a little concerned that the heat is vaporising the polystyrene. When I lift the lid, this overpowering plasticy odour emanates from within, and I can’t help wondering if the gases may go through the porous egg shells and kill the embryos…… it is getting better with time passing, but I wonder how long before it feels safe to use?
So much to think about….. I’ll of course keep you posted.
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I don't know how many times I've read Andrew Bolt's claims that global warming stopped 16 years ago. Announcing the claim, on one of many occasions he recently asked:
How many more years of no warming before global warmists admit their theory is broken?
New data released two weeks ago shows the pause in global warming has now lasted 16 years.