Costco has recently begun rationing rice. And the Global food crisis is expanding exponentially. Why?
These days you hear a lot about the world financial crisis. But there’s another world crisis under way — and it’s hurting a lot more people.
I’m talking about the food crisis. Over the past few years the prices of wheat, corn, rice and other basic foodstuffs have doubled or tripled, with much of the increase taking place just in the last few months. High food prices dismay even relatively well-off Americans — but they’re truly devastating in poor countries, where food often accounts for more than half a family’s spending.
There have already been food riots around the world. Food-supplying countries, from Ukraine to Argentina, have been limiting exports in an attempt to protect domestic consumers, leading to angry protests from farmers — and making things even worse in countries that need to import food.
Maybe it has something to do with the bee's. I would suggest the grain problem is from a combination of drought and hybrid seeds, but there is something else.
Honeybees don't just make honey; they pollinate more than 90 of the tastiest flowering crops we have. Among them: apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash and cucumbers. And lots of the really sweet and tart stuff, too, including citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and other melons.
In fact, about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Even cattle, which feed on alfalfa, depend on bees. So if the collapse worsens, we could end up being “stuck with grains and water,'' said Kevin Hackett, the national program leader for USDA's bee and pollination program.
“This is the biggest general threat to our food supply,'' Hackett said.
Here's what I think is happening to the bee's, birds, trees, fish, and humans.
A wild idea to combat global warming suggests creating an artificial ring of small particles or spacecrafts around Earth to shade the tropics and moderate climate extremes.
There would be side effects, proponents admit. An effective sunlight-scattering particle ring would illuminate our night sky as much as the full Moon, for example.
And the price tag would knock the socks off even a big-budget agency like NASA: $6 trillion to $200 trillion for the particle approach. Deploying tiny spacecraft would come at a relative bargain: a mere $500 billion tops.
The power of scattering sunlight has been illustrated naturally, the scientists note. Volcanic eruptions, such as that of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, pumped aerosols into the atmosphere and cooled the global climate by about a degree. Other researchers have suggested such schemes as adding metallic dust to smoke stacks, to flood the atmosphere and reflect more sunlight back into space.
In the newly outlined approach, reflective particles might come from the mining of Earth, the Moon or asteroids. They'd be put into orbit around the equator. Alternately, tiny micro-spacecraft could be deployed with reflective umbrellas.
A ring created by a batch of either "shades the tropics primarily, providing maximum effectiveness in cooling the warmest parts of our planet," the scientists write. An early version of their idea was presented but not widely noticed in 2002.
Despite a lack of firm evidence that the efforts work, states such as California, Utah, Colorado, and Nevada have recently spent money on cloud seeding to increase precipitation or reduce hail or fog.
Cloud seeding puts chemicals, usually silver iodide, into clouds to condense their moisture into ice, which falls down as snow or rain. The chemicals are either fired up from the ground or dropped from aircraft.
Get used to it
A 2003 report published by the National Research Council (NRC) put a damper on the idea of weather modification, saying there was no convincing scientific proof that cloud seeding works.
The Weather Modification Association (WMA) differs, saying the NRC's standard for proof was so high that the same standard would disprove global warming, humans' less intentional weather modification effort.
(A far-out scheme to slow global warming has also been proposed. It involves ringing Earth with tiny satellites to shade the planet.)
The WMA also favors more efforts to seed and thus clear fog by injecting it with dry ice, liquid nitrogen, liquid propane or silver iodide, especially to clear airport runways for take-offs and landings. This works better with cool fog than with warm fog, research suggests.
Efforts to reduce the size of hailstones are progressing too, according to the WMA. Adding silver iodide smoke into storms appears to limit the growth of hailstones.
When these people pump the clouds over the Rockies, trying to induce more
water for the West Coast, who get's their water from the Colorado River, what
happen when the moisture that was supposed to get the the heart of our country,
and our most important farmlands?
You get drought, and drastic food supply reduction.