American Elephants


John Kerry Lectures African Leaders by The Elephant's Child

John-Kerry-84png

John Kerry went off on an extended rant at a panel on “Resilience and Food Security in a Changing Climate” at the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit on Monday.

Eight thousand children die every single day. Around the world, one in eight people suffers from chronic hunger, and in sub-Sahara Africa that number regrettably is one in four. So looking to the future, it’s only going to be more difficult to bring these numbers down.

He said the seven billion people the world struggles to feed today will be nine billion by 2050, more than half of which is set to occur in Africa.  And climate change will make confronting world hunger even harder. The effects of climate change, he said, are already being felt around the world.

We’re not talking about some distant future. We’re not talking about some pie in the sky, unproven set of theories, as they were in the earliest days of population growth or other challenges that we face. The impacts of climate change are already being felt everywhere in the world. From the Arctic to the Antarctic, and everywhere in between and around, and they are only going to get worse,” he said, noting that will continue to be the case unless world leaders are able to reach an agreement in Paris next year at the UN conference on climate change.

“All you have to do is look at the extreme conditions that farmers are dealing with around the word. Hotter temperatures, longer droughts —like in California for instance and other parts of the world — unpredictable rainfall patterns,”

All you have to do is look at our ocean, the same carbon pollution that drives climate change is literally changing the ocean’s chemistry,” he said, arguing that it is among the difficulties fish populations are facing.

Kerry went on to say that the increase in carbon is not only detrimental to the amount of food available, but it is also making what is available less nutritious.

Drought, storms, monsoons, hurricanes, tornadoes and unpredictable rainfall patterns, are weather, not climate. Climate is a statistic involving worldwide temperature.

CO², carbon dioxide, is one of the building blocks of life, and a natural fertilizer for plants. It makes plants grow.  One of the reasons we have been able to feed growing numbers of the world’s population is that slightly increased CO² has helped plants to grow and flourish. It helps to make plants more resistant to drought. If Mr. Kerry wants to grow more food on the same amount of land, the worst thing he could do is to try to cut back  on what he mistakenly calls “carbon pollution.”

Norman Borlaug, the Father of the Green Revolution, was one of the great figures of the 20th century. He saved hundreds of millions of lives by producing new varieties of plants  and went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for averting malnutrition and famine. From 1950 to 1992, the world’s grain output rose from 692 million tons produced on 1.70 billion acres of cropland to 1.9 billion tons on 1.73 acres, an increase of more than 150 percent.  His innovations have helped to feed the world. Not enough for the left, which marches and demonstrates against GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods, just as they are out there demonstrating against nonexistent “carbon pollution.”

There was a video, but I couldn’t listen to it myself, let alone push it on you.



There Are More Than 50 Million Refugees, For the First Time Since World War II by The Elephant's Child

At the end of 2013, The United Nations Refugee Agency’s report released last Friday says, 51.2 million people were refugees. For the first time since World War II we have more than 50 million people driven from their homes, all too often in fear for their lives. And the numbers can only be increasing exponentially as Iraqis and Syrians flee to neighboring countries.

Of the 51.2 refugees— 12 million are being cared for by the United Nations aid agencies. 6.3 million of those have been displaced for more than five years. The largest numbers of refugees come from Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria. The exodus from Iraq has just started. The countries harboring the most refugees are Iran, Lebanon and Pakistan. At the time the report was released the greatest numbers came from the Syrian civil war, with more than 2.5 million Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries. Lebanon is only a small country of 4.5 million people— one fourth of those are refugees. They are quickly running out of basic necessities. And the chaos in Iraq only erupted this month. It takes a lot of fear to make you grab a little of your stuff and run.



The World Needs Genetically Modified Food! by The Elephant's Child

May 30, 2013, 7:07 pm | Edit this

bigstock_Red_Ripe_Tomatoes_On_The_Vine_6056339

This is re-posted from about this time last year. I don’t know if they are holding protest meetings against Monsanto, but otherwise the beat goes on. They are still trying to force grocery stores to identify any GMO containing foods with labels, by law.

For most people last weekend was the observance of Memorial Day, a time to remember the fallen. For the easily aroused, it was a time to march in a global protest against Monsanto and genetically modified seeds. Well, the global warming thingy is in freefall as a protest message, since most people are noticing that it is significantly cooling (where is summer anyway?), with late snow to emphasize the fact. Are the protesters always just the same people? The pictures look like it. Is there a certain type who just loves to march and wave signs?

Organizers said  “March Against Monsanto” demonstrations were being held in some 300 cities in more than 44 countries that weekend.  It was described as a social media-generated call to action against genetically modified foods and the multinational corporations that produce them. Goodness, you alter a gene to include vitamin A in rice, creating “golden rice,”which will save millions from blindness, and the perennially suspicious go bonkers.

Genetically modified seeds help farmers to grow more on less land, and to conserve resources such as water and energy. Some supporters just want any foods grown from GMO seeds to be so labeled, others want to prohibit the process. Proposition 37, a ballot measure that would have made California the first state to require labels on fresh produce and processed foods whose DNA had been modified by scientists, was defeated at the polls.

Unsurprisingly, much of the misinformation on GMO crops comes from promoters of Organic Food. “Organic” is merely a marketing campaign. Multiple studies have shown no benefits of any kind from organic food, other than the higher prices it brings to marketers, and Whole Foods.

Demographers expect world population to keep growing until about 2050, and then start declining. The industrialized nations , for the most part, have declining birth rates, and as prosperity increases, that seems to be the natural tendency. Until 2050, we need to produce more food to feed the world. If the world continues to cool, we might desperately need GMO foods that are more adapted to cold. Varieties of  grains adapted to particular soils or climates can dramatically increase production. Reducing the cost of weed control, or reducing susceptibility to a virus, can be a very big deal. Reducing pesticide use makes food healthier. Adding beta carotene to golden rice could prevent millions of cases of blindness. Do people not recognize that countries like Egypt cannot feed their own population?

Growers and marketers are sensitive to the protests of activist groups. They have seen foolish scares do tremendous damage to their businesses. Remember the cranberry scare, Alar, and activists attempting to destroy crops?  Always new food fads or fears that seem to grow in some mysterious underground.  Is it just word of mouth? I don’t know. They are still protesting fluoride in our water, but brushing their teeth with it.



The Story of Trade: What’s Each Country’s Highest Value Export? by The Elephant's Child

exports
(Click to enlarge)

Not the only, but the highest value export, although for some countries it could be the only one. A little more geographical knowledge can’t hurt.



It Takes Trey Gowdy Just Three Minutes to Silence the Press. by The Elephant's Child

Apparently American Journalism schools allow their students to graduate without ever learning the true function of the American journalism establishment in a free society.

They think they are there —not to inform the American people and to be vigilant watchdogs of the government— but they blithely have wispy ideas about making this a better world. Not their job. A statement long overdue.

(via CainTV)



Please, Enough Already With The Hashtag Signs by The Elephant's Child

Can we please quit with the celebrities holding up little signs, and the hashtag signs in particular. It is clearly well-meant, but it trivializes serious things.

Tweets can seem memorable if just the right words are chosen, but brevity is not explanatory. It is bumper-sticker sloganeering — mindless and ephemeral.

Boko Haram means literally “books bad,” or “Western education is a sin.” Any education not based and centered upon the Qur’ran and Islam is sinful.

In the first three months of the year, Islamic jihadists in Nigeria have murdered at least 2,596 people. The onslaught by Boko Haram began sometime in 2009. It has come to the attention of the West only in recent savage attacks on schools, with children slaughtered, burned to death, or gathered up to be sold as sex slaves, which is perfectly legal and proper in Islam to prevent men from committing adultery.

Secretary of State John Kerry says it’s because of poverty. You can skirt around the problem of terrorism, refusing to call it by name, but improper designation simply makes the problem worse. The government of Nigeria seems unable to cope, but holding up little signs accomplishes nothing —nothing at all.



A Somali Wild Ass Filly, Born at Zoo Basel in Switzerland by The Elephant's Child

6a010535647bf3970b01a5119c5c20970c-800wi

This charming young foal is a Somali Wild Ass named Lakisha. She was born at Zoo Basel in Switzerland. Zoo Basel is a world leader in the conservation of this Critically Endangered Species. She is the forty-first Somali Ass to be born and raised at this zoo since 1972.  Here she is with Mom, and as you can see, she’s full of energy!

6a010535647bf3970b01a3fcecaed2970b-800wi

The Somali Wild Ass is a subspecies of the African Wild Ass. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are fewer than 1,000 African Wild Asses remaining in the wild. They are hunted for food and medicinal purposes, and compete with livestock for forage and sources of water. The Somali subspecies occurs in small populations in Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

 




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,691 other followers

%d bloggers like this: