Monday, May 22, 2006

Weekly Roundup - Food and Air

Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point
In five of the last six years, global population ate significantly more grains than farmers produced.
"Many Canadian and U.S. farmers are going out of business because crop prices are at their lowest in nearly 100 years," Qualman said in an interview. "Farmers are told overproduction is to blame for the low prices they've been forced to accept in recent years."

This item featured prominently on several energy and environmental sites. The quality of the article disappointed. It appears to be hacked up, and missing references for key points. If the world is eating more grain than it is producing, how much more? Information on trends here would be extremely compelling. One would hope it not sharply negative, but the lessons of climate change past tells us to expect shortages.

Interesting to me is the blurb on the farmers, and the low prices for grains which are driving them out of business. I’ve posted on this before. The question of “Why?” remains. Seems fishy. Still digging.

Lure of the Urban Veggie Garden
So they started sowing niche-market crops -- spinach, radishes, lettuce, carrots -- in yards ranging from 500 to 3000 thousand square feet. After paying rents ranging from $100 to $200 per yard per summer, the two were able to make up to a few thousand dollars per plot. In their first year, Satzewich and Vandersteen stopped telling the homeowners just how much they were making off their property.

In counterpoint to the depressing news in the lead article, consider turning your lawn into a cash crop! Annoy the neighbors, raise ducks and weasels. If one out of every 100 homeowners did this, it would point a way out of hell if serious shortages do develop. Be like Cuba.

Shoppers' thirst for palm oil threatens ... orangutan
The demand for a cheap ingredient found in thousands of products, from shampoo to biscuits, is contributing to the extinction of the orangutan, warn conservationists. One in 10 mass-produced foods on Britain's shelves is estimated to contain palm oil, a bulking agent and preservative, but supermarkets and food manufacturers have been accused of doing too little to ensure their supplies are not threatening forests that are vital to the survival of Asia's only great ape.

The place one can consistantly find a forest these days is in a 2 mile strip on either side of the freeway, blocking views of the starving orangutans in the aft of the boat. Screw the primates, bulking agent tastes great!

IEA could cover cutoff of Iran oil for 4 years
"When you take all of the stocks that all of the countries hold together in the IEA, we have the ability to meet a complete shutoff of Iranian oil for over four years," Karen Harbert, assistant secretary for policy and international affairs at the Energy Department, said at a hearing before a House Government Reform Committee panel.

I call bullshit.

Oil Prices Rise Past $70 a Barrel
Crude futures gained Tuesday as scientists' predictions that the next Atlantic hurricane season would be an active one renewed concerns about potential supply disruptions at U.S. Gulf of Mexico refineries. Also supporting prices was news that Nigerian oil workers have threatened to strike over wages, snags at a couple of Gulf Coast area refineries as well as persistent concerns about how the West's standoff with Iran over its nuclear ambitions will affect that nation's oil exports.
But worries about sluggish demand, rising supply, and slowing economic growth limited the increase in oil prices, analysts said.

Good heavens, oil has crested $70 bucks AGAIN? A popular target these days, on the dartboard of oil prices. Bullseye not yet marred. Air. I need air.

Sales of canned oxygen to create fresh market
A drop in the amount of oxygen in the body can make people start to yawn and sigh. Normal air contains only about 21 percent oxygen, but the oxygen concentration in the cans is 95 percent, and breathing it in can reportedly bring on a feeling of invigoration.

No one is worshipping Mel Brooks yet, but I suspect we are close.


Post a Comment

<< Home