It's when And what you eat

SUBHEAD: Eating along with the cycles of the natural world may aid your digestion, your sleep and your health.

By Rebecca Tolin on 8 November 2014 for Mother Nature Network -
(http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/its-not-just-what-you-eat-but-when)


Image above: Something savory for breakfast. From (http://www.2stews.com/2010/04/light-spring-brunch.html).

What if you could eat more and gain less weight? Or eat at a different time and feel more energy? It may sound like a gimmick, but 5,000 years of wisdom show us that living in tune with nature can help balance our weight, blossom our energy and clear our minds.

With Ayurveda, yoga's sister science and arguably the oldest recorded medical system on the planet, it's not just what we eat, but when we eat it.

"Lunch, Ayurvedically, is designed to be the main meal of the day," says Mark Bunn, a Maharishi Ayurveda practitioner and author of "Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health." "Lunch is like the foundation of your house.

Regularly skipping lunch or eating on the run when you're doing something else is like pulling the foundations out from under the house. Eventually the whole house comes crashing down."

This sounds revolutionary for Westerners, whose largest meal and family gathering is dinner. And we've been told for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day (although new studies have started to refute that). But we also face chronic disease epidemics for which modern medicine has few cures.

At a recent talk at the Transcendental Meditation center in San Diego, Bunn pointed out that native peoples and the world's longest living inhabitants thrive by living in harmony with the seasons and cycles of the natural world.

According to Ayurveda, we're made of the same elements as nature — space, air, earth, water and fire. When the sun peaks in the sky at high noon, so does the digestive fire in our bellies.

Think of a sputtering bonfire getting started in the morning. You stoke it slowly with kindling, rather than a pile of logs. Analogously, Bunn recommends beginning the day with a light breakfast — instead of a heaping plate of sweet, sticky ooey gooey that will dampen the flame.

By midday, however, the fire is ablaze. Digestive fire peaks between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., noon being the apex. The best news about this window? You can eat more and gain less.

What your body can't eliminate, it stores. In Ayurveda, toxins called Ama block the subtle channels of the body. That can contribute to joint pain, arthritis, poor circulation, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune conditions, even cancers, according to Bunn.

By evening, the sun is setting and so is our digestive fire. If we sit down to a mountain of supper, we're eating beyond our capacity to digest. And that's where our life force goes during sleep: digestion. But there's a big down side.

Bunn says big dinners hamper our body from performing vital overnight functions like detoxifying the liver, repairing tissue and storing memories in the brain.

"The main reason we wake up feeling like a log is large, heavy dinners," Bunn said.

For years, even in the traditional world, that's why health care practitioners have discouraged eating heavy meals too late at night. The adage "eat late, gain weight" isn't so much because of the time of the meal, however. It's more because we're likely to choose higher-calorie foods when we're dining and snacking later at night. 

Planning your day, Ayurveda-style
According to Ayurveda, here's how our body clock works best. (Keep in mind this is optimal, not what you have to do tomorrow!)
Breakfast:
Ideal time is 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., after exercise and meditation. Keep it light and choose savory rather than sweet, as your appetite allows.

Lunch:
Ideal time is noon to 12:30 p.m. Eat your main meal, including harder-to-digest foods like dairy, nuts and meat at this time, if at all. If you're not hungry, eat less breakfast tomorrow.

Snack:
Ideal time is 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fruit or nuts with tea can curb your appetite for a hearty dinner. The snack is optional.

Dinner:
The earlier the better. Stick with light and easy-to-digest foods, such as cooked vegetables, soups and grains or simply eat less harder-to- digest foods.
This is how traditional cultures have lived, and the world's longest-living inhabitants in places like Hunza, Pakistan and Campodimele, Italy continue to thrive, Bunn says. Think of families gathering for a long midday meal followed by a siesta in Italy, Spain and much of the Latin world. When we

live in tune with the pulse in and around us, we enjoy greater well-being. When we override our natural rhythms, our health will suffer in some way, Bunn says.

"Wherever you can, shift your main meal of the day from the evening when the sun has set towards the middle of the day," Bunn says. "I guarantee that your energy levels and the quality of your sleep will go through the roof. If you've been trying to lose a few pounds, regardless of exercise or diet, you can lose more weight more easily than anything else."

This freelance writer is testing out Bunn's guarantee for herself, with encouraging results so far. A little nut butter and steamed almond milk does me just fine, sans the guilt of not eating a big breakfast like I've always been told I should.

No more dining with the laptop over a late lunch, or those after-dinner snacks for no reason other than comfort and habit.

Sure, being a social creature in the 21st century means some later dinners than our cave-dwelling ancestors enjoyed — but now I'm more mindful of what I eat after dark and how I feel the next sunrise. Observing cause and effect is a powerful tool.

For the many people who have short lunch breaks at work and cherished evenings with family at home, it's equally important to respect your situation and make the changes you can without adding stress. Take that 45-minute lunch break your boss affords you and look at something other than a glowing screen.

Tune into the smells, flavors and textures of the food that nourishes you. Consider weighting your dinner plate with vegetarian fare, or simply skip seconds. Stay away from ice water, which hastily extinguishes that much-needed digestive flame and sip room temperature beverages or warm tea.

As I do, you may find this exciting in its splendid simplicity at times, and utterly impossible at others. There's always the sky to look to, that endless mirror for what's happening inside our very own bellies, and the simple comfort of coming back to a living, breathing world working its eternal mysteries through us.

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PMRF RIMPAC Claptrap

SOURCE: Gorden Labetz (glabedzmd@aol.com)
SUBHEAD: PMRF propaganda says navy exercises not harmful to marine life, but facts disagree.

By Chris D'Angelo on 21 November 2014 for the Garden Island -
(http://thegardenisland.com/news/local/no-scientific-evidence/article_0006f856-713f-11e4-9ff7-6bf7648d8280.html)


Image above: A pod of dolphins swims in front of the USNS Alan Shepard. From article below.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor says community concerns that the Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise and Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility are negatively impacting marine life are unfounded.

In early October, after hearing from several constituents, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard requested information about the Navy’s efforts to monitor the effects of RIMPAC and PMRF on the ocean and marine ecosystems.

“In response to concerns of your constituents, there has been no scientific evidence that RIMPAC 2014 or exercises at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) have caused damage to marine life,” USPF Commander Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. wrote in a response to Gabbard.

In his three-page letter, Harris discussed the aggressive steps taken by the Navy to avoid harming marine mammals, sea turtles and corals, through the use of protective measures during training, especially with sonar and explosives.

Harris also pointed out that the Navy funded over $300 million in independent research over the past 10 years, making it a world leader in marine mammal research and monitoring.

“The Navy works with regulatory agencies, using the best available science, to obtain necessary authorizations and continues to further our understanding of marine mammals through research and monitoring,” he wrote.

Others, however, say the military exercises are harming marine life.

Katherine Muzik, a local marine biologist, said it is proven — as written about in Joshua Horwitz’s book “War of the Whales” — that sonar is lethal to whales. It is only logical, she said, that it would also have deleterious, if not lethal, effects on invertebrates, including shrimp and coral, which rely on vibrations for detecting prey, escaping predators and reproducing.

“I would bet on my life that sonar is hurting other creatures,” she said. “We don’t have the proof, but the absence of proof doesn’t mean it’s an absence of fact.”

Muzik said that with so many factors already damaging the marine environment — warming ocean temperatures, acidification and pollution — for the U.S. military to insist on purposefully, knowingly and deliberately maiming and killing marine life in the name of practice is unacceptable and tragic.

In August 2013, a pair of environmental impact statements detailed that U.S. Navy training and testing activities could inadvertently kill hundreds of whales and dolphins — an injure thousands more — between 2014 and 2018. The studies included waters off the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Southern California and Hawaii.

Most of the deaths — as many as 155 off Hawaii and Southern California — would come from detonating underwater explosives, while some could be caused by sonar testing or animals being struck by ships. In addition to deaths, the EIS report said the activities off Hawaii and Southern California could cause 2,039 serious injuries, 1.86 million temporary injuries and 7.7 million instances of behavioral change.

“I think it’s bogus when they say they have a lookout,” Muzik said. “I think the truth is there are animals there, they know there are animals there, and they are allowed to take them.”

Held every two years and hosted by the Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime war exercise. In total, 22 nations, 49 surface ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in this year’s event, which lasted from June 26 to Aug. 1 and included live fire target practice and the sinking of the decommissioned USS Tuscaloosa 57 nautical miles northwest of Kauai.

The drills take place in the Hawaii Operating Area and several off-shore ranges, including PMRF.

Harris told Gabbard there are steps the Navy must take to minimize harm to the environment — per environmental laws such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act — during its trainings, including RIMPAC.

Before each RIMPAC, Harris wrote, the Navy briefs participating U.S. and foreign units about protective measures, as well as reminds service members to avoid interaction with sea turtles, Hawaiian monk seals, dolphins, coral reefs and Essential Fish Habitats. Additionally, Navy officials complete Marine Species Awareness Training and units are required to report sonar use and submit daily marine mammal sighting reports.

Prior to and during training with sonar, the Navy uses trained, qualified lookouts to search the area for marine mammals, according to Harris. If one is sighted within 1,000 yards, sonar transmissions are reduced. Within 200 yards, sonar is shut down completely.

“Safety zones are also established to protect marine life from the effects of explosive and non-explosive munitions,” he wrote.

In an emailed statement Wednesday, Gabbard said she has been “deeply concerned about the scope of devastation” of Kauai’s coral reefs, which continue to suffer from an outbreak of black band coral disease. Over the past year, she said she has reached out to experts in marine biology, local and federal officials, and the U.S. military to ask about potential causes and how the disease can be stopped.

“The broader scientific community does not point to the U.S. Navy as the cause of this coral disease,” Gabbard wrote to The Garden Island. “Rather, experts agree it likely is a combination of runoff, growing population and development, and overfishing, among other cited causes.”

Gordon LaBedz of the Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter, which sued the Navy over the 2006 RIMPAC exercises, described Harris’ response letter as “100 percent predictable,” and said he puts the Navy right up there will the commercial fishing industry in terms of the world’s most environmentally destructive entities.

“In my 30 years of suing the Navy, I’ve never experienced them as good stewards of the environment,” he said.

As for Harris’ comments about there being no evidence, LaBedz said it bothers him. When a whale dies, it sinks. It doesn’t float on the surface where it can be found, he said.

In his letter, Harris also addressed a situation in July in which a 16-foot sub adult pilot whale washed ashore and died in Hanalei Bay. In response, the Navy conducted an aerial survey in accordance with the Pacific Fleet’s Stranding Response Plan.

While LaBedz said he is convinced that whale died as a result of sonar, Harris said, “To date, there is no evidence of a connection to Navy.”

When asked how someone would obtain the scientific evidence referenced by Harris, and what that evidence might be, or look like, Pacific Fleet spokesman Mark Matsunaga wrote, “The Navy uses the best available science in its environmental analysis and lists these references at the end of each resource section of our EISs,” and referred TGI to a series of websites, including www.hstteis.com.



Navy Plans to Kill Marine Mammals
SUBHEAD: Navy five year plan expects to kill hundreds of dolphins and whales and injuring thousands.

By David Wagner on 30 Augusat 2013 for the Garden Island -
(http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/aug/30/navy-says-its-probably-about-bomb-hundreds-dolph/)

In two reports published August 30th, 2013, the U.S. Navy acknowledges that bomb testing and sonar use over the next five years will likely kill hundreds of marine mammals and seriously injure thousands more.

In two reports published Friday, the U.S. Navy acknowledged that bomb testing and sonar use over the next five years will likely kill hundreds of marine mammals and seriously injure thousands more.
To get permits for these training exercises, the military is required to report on the environmental impact of its proposed operations.

By the Navy's own count, training procedures from 2014 through 2019 could result in the deaths of over 340 dolphins and whales.

Most of those deaths would be caused by bombs the Navy plans to detonate off the East Coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and between Southern California and Hawaii. But some deaths—as well as "behavioral changes" for millions more susceptible marine mammals—could stem from the Navy's active sonar use, which environmentalists have been criticizing for years.

"Mid-frequency sonar is an intense noise source that propagates through the ocean at the frequency that certain whales and dolphins are most sensitive to," says Giulia Good Stefani, an attorney with the Southern California office of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Researchers are still trying to fully understand the effects of sonar on marine mammals, but they've found connections between sonar and recent mass whale strandings. Sonar has been known to damage hearing in marine mammals, which can prove fatal for creatures that rely on echolocation to move through the ocean and find food.

But the Navy contends that bomb training and sonar operation are crucial to national security and cannot be simulated. In a video statement, Rear Admiral Kevin Slates describes these as "perishable skills that require training at sea under realistic conditions."

"We don't argue that the Navy doesn't need to train," counters Stefani. "We simply have asked the Navy to try to reduce the impact it's having on marine mammal populations.



See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC Impact Postmortem 10/22/14
Our congresswoman Tulsi Gabbarb seeking information from Navy on their methods of protecting ...
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC 2014 - another whale death 7/26/14
It's not like this has not happened here before. The Navy washes off the blood and wears white.
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC 2014 in Full March 7/17/14
Even if RIMPAC didn't harm wildlife or the environment these war games are pointless.
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC War on the Ocean 7/3/14
The unseen wars on the Pacific Ocean lead by the United States Navy is cranking up this summer.
Ea O Ka Aina: The Pacific Pivot  6/26/14

RIMPAC is only a small piece of a huge, systemized federal project of destruction in the Pacific.
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC IMPACT 6/8/14
If you think that RIMPAC 2014 will be anything but harmful to Hawaii you are delusional.
Ea O Ka Aina: Operation Dominic & Hawaii  6/3/14
US nuclear tests on Johnson Island tell us that this year's RIMPAC will be more of the same destruction to the Pacific Ocean.
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC Now and Then 5/16/14
The history of RIMPAC exercises tells us that this year will be more of the same. Destruction to life in the Pacific Ocean.
Ea O Ka Aina: Earthday TPP Fukushima RIMPAC 4/22/14

Excuse us while we turn the Pacific Ocean into a radioactive ashtray.
Ea  O Ka Aina: An Ugly Dance  - The Asian Pivot 12/5/13
It's a feeble attempt by USA to outplay Asia in the game of who can destroy the planet the fastest.
Ea O Ka Aina: End RIMPAC destruction of Pacific 11/1/13
Pacific Rim countries led by the US Navy take part in exercises in death and destruction in our ocean.
Ea O Ka Aina: Sleepwalking through destruction 7/16/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Military schmoozes Guam & Hawaii 3/17/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Pacific Resistance to U.S. Military 5/24/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Shift in Pacific Power Balance 8/5/10
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC to Return in 2010 5/2/10 
Ea O Ka Aina: Living at the Tip of the Spear 4/5/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Guam Land Grab 11/30/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Guam as a modern Bikini Atoll 12/25/09
Ea O Ka Aina: GUAM - Another Strategic Island 11/8/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Diego Garcia - Another stolen island 11/6/09
Ea O Ka Aina: DARPA & Super-Cavitation on Kauai 3/24/09
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2008 - Navy fired up in Hawaii 7/2/08
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2008 uses destructive sonar 4/22/08
Island Breath: Navy Plans for the Pacific 9/3/07
Island Breath: Judge restricts sonar off California 08/07/07
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2006 sonar use feared 5/23/06
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2006 sonar compromise 7/9/06
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2004 Strands whales in Hanlei 09/02/04 
Island Breath: PMRF Land Grab 6/5/04 

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The American mall surrenders

SUBHEAD: It’s a time of reckoning for an industry that once expanded pell-mell across the American landscape.

By Matt Townsend on 20 November 2014 for Bloomberg.com -
(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-21/a-dying-mall-in-concord-new-hampshire.html)


Image above: Kiddie rides near JC Peeny anchor store at Steeplegate Mall in Concord, New Hampshire. From (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/500603314800102259/).

On a crisp Friday evening in late October, Shannon Rich, 33, is standing in a dying American mall. Three customers wander the aisles in a Sears the size of two football fields. The RadioShack is empty. A woman selling smartphone cases watches “Homeland” on a laptop.

“It’s the quietest mall I’ve ever been to,” says Rich, who works for an education consulting firm and has been coming to the Steeplegate Mall in Concord, New Hampshire, since she was a kid. “It bums me out.”

Built 24 years ago by a former subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corp., Steeplegate is one of about 300 U.S. malls facing a choice between re-invention and oblivion. Most are middle-market shopping centers being squeezed between big-box chains catering to low-income Americans and luxury malls lavishing white-glove service on One Percenters.

It’s a time of reckoning for an industry that once expanded pell-mell across the landscape armed with the certainty that if you build it, they will come. Those days are over. Malls like Steeplegate either rethink themselves or disappear.

This summer Rouse Properties Inc., a real estate investment trust with a long track record of turning around troubled properties, decided Steeplegate wasn’t salvageable and walked away. The mall is now in receivership.

As management buys time by renting space to temporary shops selling Christmas stuff, employees fret that if the holiday shopping season goes badly, more stores will close. Should the mall lose one of its anchors -- Sears, J.C. Penney Co. and Bon-Ton Stores Inc. -- the odds of survival lengthen.

‘We Surrender’
“Rouse is basically saying ‘We surrender,’” said Rich Moore, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets who has covered mall operators for more than 15 years. “If Rouse couldn’t make it work and that’s their specialty, then that’s a pretty tough sale to keep it as is.”


Image above: Chart demonstrates that operations like Steeplegate Mall are at great risk. From original article.

Incidentally, our mall here on Kauai - the Kukui Grove Mall - fits into the A Mall category. That's l likely because there is no other place to to "mall-crawl" without getting on a jet plane. Even so the place often looks like a ghost town.



Mysterious case of Steeplegate Mall

By Rebecca Lavoie on 3 April 2012 for New Hampshire Public Radio -
(http://nhpr.org/post/mysterious-case-mall-investigation)


Image above: Parking lot at the Steeplegate Mall in Concord, New Hampshire. From original article via An Orchard Away on Flickr.

Last week, after we aired a segment on creative methods of discouraging teenage loitering, listener Jennifer Army sent us the following email:
I just heard the piece about using high-pitched noise makers to deter loitering teens and it reminded me of something that happened recently.  I was at the Steeplegate Mall with my sons (ages 11 & 9) and we parked in front of the main entrance by Talbots.  As we walked closer to the big bell tower my sons started complaining of a horrible noise.  I didn't hear anything and didn't know what they were complaining about.  We finished shopping and they insisted that I "listen" to the noise as we exited.  I really tried but I didn't hear ANYTHING.  Yes, I guess it's time to admit I'm 40 and I didn't hear the examples you played over the air either.  My immediate thought at the time was that the sound was to deter pigeons from roosting in the bell tower but maybe it's actually to deter all those rowdy Concord teenagers!
After placing a couple of calls to the management office at the mall, I finally heard back from Joseph Eaton, who confirmed that yes, in fact, there is a pigeon deterrent system at the mall.

It was also clear that Joseph had done a little digging on us before he called back, because although I hadn't mentioned loitering in my message, he wanted to make is very clear that the Steeplegate Mall would "never, ever" put into use a system to discourage their "target demographic." Namely, teenagers.

Case closed.
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Eat Your Vegetables!

SUBHEAD: New research indicates that a plant-based diet is best for the planet and people.

By Carol Smith on 15 November 2014 for Our World -
(http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/new-research-says-plant-based-diet-best-for-planet-and-people)


Image above: Photo of edible vegetables in original article. From (https://www.flickr.com/photos/40385177@N07/9737650722/in/photostream/).

As cities grow and incomes rise around the world, more and more people are leaving gardens and traditional diets behind and eating refined sugars, refined fats, oils and resource- and land-intense agricultural products like beef. This global dietary transition is harming the health of both people and the planet, says new research.

But the study also shows that shifting away from this trajectory and choosing healthier traditional Mediterranean, pescatarian or vegetarian diets could not only boost human lifespans and quality of life, but also slash emissions and save habitat for endangered species.

And we better hurry; the scientists project that if the trend continues, the situation will be worse yet with greenhouse gas emissions up by 80 percent by 2050.

Examining almost 50 years’ worth of data from the world’s 100 most populous countries, University of Minnesota Professor of Ecology G. David Tilman and graduate student Michael Clark illustrate how current diet trends are contributing to ever-rising agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and habitat degradation.

On top of that, they write: “These dietary shifts are greatly increasing the incidence of Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and other chronic non-communicable diseases that lower global life expectancies.”

In the study, published in the November 12 online edition of Nature, the researchers found that as incomes increased between 1961 and 2009 people began consuming more meat protein, “empty calories” and total calories per person. (“Empty calories” — sugar, fat, oils and alcohol — now account for almost 40 percent of food purchased in the world’s 15 wealthiest countries, according to the research.)

When the researchers combined the trends with forecasts of population growth and income growth for the coming decades, they were able to project that diets in 2050 will contain fewer servings of fruits and vegetables, about 60 percent more empty calories and 25 to 50 percent more pork, poultry, beef, dairy and eggs.

These are changes that are known to increase the prevalence of type II diabetes, coronary heart disease and some cancers.

Using life-cycle analyses of various food production systems, the study also calculated that, if current trends prevail, these 2050 diets would also lead to an 80 percent increase in global greenhouse gas emissions from food production as well as habitat destruction due to land clearing for agriculture around the world.

“We showed that the same dietary changes that can add about a decade to our lives can also prevent massive environmental damage,” said Tilman, a professor in UM’s College of Biological Sciences and resident fellow at the Institute on the Environment.

“In particular, if the world were to adopt variations on three common diets, health would be greatly increased at the same time global greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by an amount equal to the current greenhouse gas emissions of all cars, trucks, plans trains and ships. In addition, this dietary shift would prevent the destruction of an area of tropical forests and savannahs as large as half of the United States.”

The study compared health impacts of the global omnivorous diet with those reported for traditional Mediterranean, pescatarian and vegetarian diets. Adopting these alternative diets could reduce incidence of type II diabetes by about 25 percent, cancer by about 10 percent and death from heart disease by about 20 percent relative to the omnivore diet.

Adopting these or similar alternative diets would also prevent most or all of the increased greenhouse gas emissions and habitat destruction that would otherwise be caused by both dietary changes and increased global population.

The authors acknowledged that numerous factors go into diet choice — but also pointed out that the alternative diets already are part of the lives of countless people around the world.

“This is the first time this data has been put together to show these links are real and strong and not just the mutterings of food lovers and environmental advocates,” Tilman said.

Noting that variations on the diets used in the scenario could potentially show even greater benefit, the authors concluded that “the evaluation and implementation of dietary solutions to the tightly linked diet-environment-health trilemma is a global challenge, and opportunity, of great environmental and public health importance.”

Meanwhile, the paper offers a number of nuanced findings about the environmental impacts of various dietary choices. Here are a few takeaways to keep in mind:
  • While the difference in greenhouse gas emissions for animal-based versus plant-based foods is well known, emissions per gram of protein for beef and lamb are about 250 times those of legumes; pork, chicken, dairy, and fish have much lower emissions;
  • Twenty servings of vegetables have fewer greenhouse gas emissions than one serving of beef.
  • Fish caught by trawling, which involves dragging fishnets along the ocean floor, can have three times the emissions of fish caught by traditional methods.
  • And among cereal grains, rice has five times the emissions per gram of protein as wheat.

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Hawaii’s anti-GMO laws matter

SUBHEAD: The islanders who spearheaded the initiative intended to simply protect their own health and their environment.

By Nathan Johnson on 20 November 2014 for Grist Magazine -
(http://grist.org/food/heres-why-hawaiis-anti-gmo-laws-matter/)


Image above: GMO corn fields growing in Hawaii From original article. See (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yasa_/5936642266/in/set-72157627067448469).

On Election Day two weeks ago, Maui County, which includes the Hawaiian islands of Maui, Lanai, and Molokai, (IB note: as well as Kahoolawe) approved a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically modified crops. This decision, by one small county, could throw a monkey wrench into the entire production system for genetically engineered seeds.

When the island of Kauai passed GM-farming restrictions last year (later overturned in court), I wrote that it could have an outsized impact on the industry. Hawaii is unique: It’s the only place inside the U.S. with a year-round growing season.

Being inside the U.S. frees companies from a great deal of red tape (they don’t need to get approval under two different regulatory systems as they would abroad), and the tropical climate allows for multiple crops each year.

Kauai is important to the biotech industry, but Maui and Molokai may be even more important. As Monsanto acknowledged: “The majority of the corn seed we sell to farmers in Argentina, Brazil and the U.S. has originated from Monsanto’s Maui operations.”

If the law stands, Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, the biotech firms with operations in Maui County, will be left scrambling to find a different way of producing seeds. Prices would almost certainly go up.

The islanders who spearheaded the initiative intended to simply protect their own health and their environment. (I’m not taking on those issues here, but I have in the past.) But in passing this law, they have broken a crucial link in the biotech business model. If it stands up in court.

Lawsuits

That’s a big if. The lawyers moved in almost as soon as the ballots were counted. But curiously, the first lawsuit came from the leaders of the SHAKA Movement — the group campaigning in favor of the GM moratorium. Usually it’s those who lose at the ballot box that sue.

But this time it was the winners suing the county, Monsanto, and Dow AgroSciences, to demand rigorous enforcement of the law just a week after it passed. (I left a voicemail and emailed the lawyers representing the SHAKA Movement, but didn’t hear back.)

The next day, November 13th, the agribusiness companies and a group of other plaintiffs (including a trucking company and a farm that grows GM sweet corn), filed the lawsuit everyone was expecting, which asked the court to invalidate the law. On November 14th, the court issued a temporary injunction, blocking the Maui law until it could review the matter.

Michael Lilly, former attorney general of Hawaii, who appeared in ads urging citizens to vote against the initiative, told me he expected the court to strike down the law.

The case was assigned to judge Barry Kurren, the same judge who had struck down Kauai’s bid to restrict GM farming. “He previously overturned a similar, but not identical, anti-GMO ordinance on Kauai,” Lilly said. “He found that state law preempted the county ordinance, and I expect he will do the same with this ordinance.”

Proponents of that law have appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

At the same time, Kurren is also considering another lawsuit challenging a GM ban on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Can biotech firms pivot?

Ashley Luckens, program director at the Hawaii Center for Food Safety, said the disruption may amount to a headache and lost money for the biotech companies, but not an existential threat.

“We’ve learned that they can relatively easily move their operations around,” she said. When a lawsuit temporarily prevented Monsanto from planting Roundup Ready sugar beets in U.S. soil, the company was able to move production without much of a hitch, she said. “We didn’t see a market disruption.”

On the other hand, the amount of money the seed companies have spent to campaign and challenge these laws in court “does speak to how invested these companies are in Hawaii.”
According to Monsanto, the law would at least slow down the development of several new crops. In a blog post explaining the rationale for challenging the Maui moratorium, it wrote:
Research and breeding work involving traits that confer resistance to multiple types of insects and diseases in seed occurs on our Maui farms. One example is the research we are conducting on anthracnose stalk rot — a disease that can impact about 90 million acres of corn in the US and Brazil with an average harvest loss of 5%.  In Maui, we are working to develop seeds resistant to this disease, much in the way that the rainbow papaya seeds are resistant to the ringspot virus that nearly destroyed the papaya industry in 1997. Hawaii’s climate is unique in that we can continue this work year round.
If GM production stopped on Maui, it would wound the biotech companies. But a minor wound perhaps, just a flesh wound.

Economic and environmental consequences

Both Dow and Monsanto sell non-GM seeds, and could conceivably work strictly on those in Maui County. When I asked Monsanto representative Charla Lord if the company could simply switch, she said, via email, that it wouldn’t be so easy. “Banning GM crops in Maui County has no impact on the demand farmers have for GM seeds or on the significant benefits GM seeds provide to their own farming operations. It is not just as simple as planting different seeds.”

If the companies couldn’t find a non-GM use for the land they own, some fields would lie fallow. That would mean less plowing and spraying — which would be good for the environment. But, as Lord pointed out, there’s still demand for GM seeds, and as Lukens pointed out, the plowing and spraying would probably just shift elsewhere.

If the seed companies move production it would also transplant jobs out of Hawaii. Jack Suyderhoud, a University of Hawaii professor of economics, said that would be a loss for the state that relies so heavily on tourism. “There’s no difference between having a diversified portfolio of investments and having a diversified economic base,” he said. “So much revenue comes from tourism, that when we hear news about a recession in Japan, for example, everybody’s alarm bells start ringing.”

On the island of Molokai, however, there’s almost no tourism; agriculture is the primary employer, followed by the government. Monsanto and Mycogen, a subsidiary of Dow AgroSciences, provide 11 percent of the jobs, said Robert Stephenson, president of the Molokai Chamber of Commerce. On Molokai, 65 percent of the voters voted against the moratorium.

Political fault lines in a changing state

Alika Atay, a burly farmer with a white beard and big, resonant voice, told me there are three reasons he wanted to pass this law. First, he wanted more testing of genetically modified crops. Second, he wanted fewer pesticides sprayed and more information about what chemicals companies were using.

And third,  he felt he has a duty to fight for the environment of the island. The imperative to protect the land is written into Hawaii’s constitution; it’s called the public trust doctrine. And that, he said, is the most important, least mentioned part of the law.

The people working for the seed companies don’t feel the same sense of responsibility, he said. “I’m Hawaiian,” he said. “My genealogical line here traces back over 1600 years ago. Many employees for these companies, they just sleep here.”

“There’s a long history of resistance in Hawaii to this kind of agroindustry,” Lukens said. It was white plantation owners who brought down the Hawaiian monarchy, around the turn of the century. “Twenty thousand native Hawaiians protested the annexation of Hawaii into the U.S.,” she said.
The history is complex and the allegiances are interwoven.

After annexation, people from the Philippines, Japan, Asia, and Portugal immigrated to Hawaii to work on the plantations, and intermarried with the Hawaiians. It’s hard to say who represents native Hawaiian interests at this point. “It’s my understanding that 60 percent of the seed industry employees are native Hawaiians,” Stephenson said.

In 1959, when the islanders voted overwhelmingly to become a state, the plantation workers took control of the government, breaking up the oligarchy of plantation owners and rich Hawaiians.

As I was reporting this story, several people who disagreed with the GM moratorium mentioned that their family had come to Hawaii to work in agriculture. This may be a key point in understanding the politics of the struggle, wrote historian Rachel Laudan, author of The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii’s Culinary Heritage, in an email:
Underlying the debate about GMOs in Hawaii, I suspect, is a tension between those who have lived in the islands for generations and newcomers from the mainland. For the locals, the islands have always been a place of high-tech agriculture. The great grandparents of many of them came from Asia to work on the big sugar and pineapple plantations. Successive generations saved to buy small plots of land. Those who farm these plots know that the papaya growers (small local farmers) have survived thanks to genetically modified varieties that have been safely used since the 1990s.
The real conflict may be between these descendants of plantation owners, and newer residents of the islands, who came to Hawaii looking for paradise, rather than a working agricultural landscape.
“It’s two quite different world views in conflict,” Laudan wrote.

Those contrary visions — Hawaii as a place for high-tech farming, or Hawaii as a residential and tourist archipelago — will soon be debated on Capitol Hill, where the chairmen of the two agriculture committees represent profoundly different positions on this issue.

The immediate future of biotech in Hawaii will be decided in the courts, but in the long-term it’s the state government that will set the course. If Hawaii opts to stop biotechnology, that would be a serious blow to the industry. Not a killing blow. But still, as Monty Python’s black knight knows too well, a flesh wound here, a flesh wound there, and before you know it can get pretty hard to operate.

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Learning from Icarus

SUBHEAD: A reflection on how making society more resilient may be worse than doing nothing at all.

By Erik Assadourian on 20 November 2014 for Resilience -
(http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-11-20/learning-from-icarus)


Image above: Detail of painting of legend of Daedalus and Icarus by Jacob Peter Gowy (circa 1635) in the Prado Museum. From original article. See (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gowy-icaro-prado.jpg).

What if Icarus’ father—knowing his son would fly too close to the sun—had made the wings he designed more resilient? What if he had used bone and string and not just wax to bind them? Would this ancient myth have turned out any differently? Probably not.

Icarus would have simply flown closer to the sun before the sun destroyed his wings—perhaps igniting them on fire rather than just melting the wax. And so the boy would have fallen even further and have been crushed even more brutally by the onrushing wall of ocean below.

Let’s apply that question to today. What if we make our globalized consumer society more resilient? That is to say, what if—as more people in the sustainability community are advocating—we make our economic and social systems more able to withstand the inevitable shocks that come with an ever larger human population living within a destabilizing Earth system.

What if we build future coastal homes on stilts. And invest billions of dollars and massive amounts of natural capital (in the form of cement and embodied fossil fuel energy) in sea walls around cities like New York and New Orleans. And we even genetically modify crops—even livestock—to withstand drought and heat.

What happens then? We fly higher, we grow bigger, and our inevitable crash into the sea is delayed temporarily. But as with Icarus, the crash would be made far worse. These technologies may delay civilizational collapse a few decades.

If that’s the difference between 2030 and 2050, that might mean a peak population of 9.4 billion instead of 8.3 billion, a number far harder to sustain—even without the productivity losses that will come with a changing climate.

This delay might also translate to an overall temperature increase of 5 or 6 degrees Celsius rather than just 3 or 4 degrees, which could mean the difference between meters and tens of meters of sea level rise and the difference between millennia of misery and just centuries.

Instead, let’s learn the lesson that the myth of Icarus is supposed to teach: avoid hubris. Do not fly too high. Acknowledge limits exist, including the keystone limit that infinite growth is not possible in a finite system.

This isn’t an easy lesson—especially for a business community seemingly locked into a growth-dependent system. But it can shape the way the sustainability community discusses and advocates for resilience. No sane person should be advocating for a more resilient growth-centric society. That’s the very worst scenario we can have, because that’ll allow this economic system to disrupt more of Earth’s ecosystem services before its eventual collapse.

Instead the pursuit of resilience should be fully embedded in a degrowth paradigm, ensuring that programs that work to bring us back within Earth’s limits—and minimize catastrophic climatic changes—also help us weather those changes with as little suffering as possible.

So let’s ask the crucial question then: what gets us closer to living within planetary limits while simultaneously making us more resilient?

Some examples: Rebuilding local economies and community food self-sufficiency; finding ways to rapidly accelerate small scale energy production investments (but planning for a far lower electricity usage norm than what we currently use); investments in public infrastructure like bicycle sharing systems; and most importantly cultural changes that denormalize unsustainable forms of consumption: luxury travel, pet ownership, daily portions of meat, sub-arctic levels of cooling in the summer, and so on.

Yes, I recognize this isn’t the technological utopia that futurists promise. There will be no robot slaves to make living easy; no intelligent computer operating systems that simplify our lives and also double as romantic partners for the lonely.

Life will be harder—humans will probably labor more, including in simple day to day chores, but hopefully this simplification will prevent dystopic futures portrayed in movies like Soylent Green or Snowpiercer.

Naturally, we’d use some high technologies—appropriately: solar panels on tops of homes for example, but probably not in such densely concentrated arrays that they incinerate birds flying overhead; antibiotics—for life-threatening diseases, but not in ways that make bacteria more resistant (or should I say more “resilient”?); bicycles; zero net energy buildings; composting toilets; wind turbines—perhaps once again for moving water, grinding grain, and sawing wood more than for producing electricity; and the list goes on. But a lot of modern luxuries would be phased out.

The challenge is ensuring that all our efforts to become more resilient make us more sustainable—and vice versa.

But even if we fail at that, we should still work to stop any ‘resilience’ projects that serve to extend the reach and robustness of the consumer society. That, at least, may help cushion our eventual fall when we crash into the proverbial sea.

IB Publisher's note: Overall I think this is a useful article. However, I take exception to one point made. It is described in a comment I left on the Resilience website. See below.



I think the author (like a few others) has confused solar photo-voltaic panels for directly generating electricity with solar reflective panels for heating water to generate electricity.

Assadourian writes: "Naturally, we’d use some high technologies—appropriately: solar panels on tops of homes for example, but probably not in such densely concentrated arrays that they incinerate birds flying overhead."
His link does not refer to a PV system killing birds.

PV systems do not incinerate birds. In fact they don't reflect much light at all - they absorb light.

I'm not aware of any residential rooftop mirrored solar concentration systems for generating electricity.

I have a rooftop PV system in the tropics and even insects like dragon flies and butterflies are not injured in bright sunlight over the panels.

Juan Wilson




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Beauty in a Landscape

SUBHEAD:  The post-modern American hedgerow, a landscape form that offers benefits to humans and nature.

By Adrian Ayres Fisher on 18 November 2014 for Ecological Gardening -
(http://www.ecologicalgardening.net/2014/11/where-do-we-find-beauty-in-landscape.html)


Image above: Separating agland from the road are hedgerows of eucalyptus creating the Tree Tunnel on the way to Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii. Photo by Brian Harig. From (http://fineartamerica.com/featured/eucalyptus-tree-tunnel-kauai-hawaii-brian-harig.html).

Part one of a series on the post-modern American hedgerow, a landscape form that offers benefits to humans and nature.

Before we get to hedgerows’ multifaceted functionality and usefulness, and why and how we should plant them, let’s start with beauty, a quality not often associated with the mundane, anthropocentric landscapes, whether urban, suburban or rural, of many parts of the Midwest—or elsewhere in the US, for that matter. Beauty—deep, profound, emerging through complexity, impossible to quantify—matters immensely.

As Aldo Leopold and a host of others, most recently Courtney White in Land, Soil, Hope, have pointed out, though there is struggle, suffering and disease, predation and often early death among the wild denizens, enmeshed in the food web as they are, nevertheless, an ecologically sound landscape—wherever it is, however lush, arid or in between—is beautiful in a way a degraded one can never be.

Beauty’s necessity is a fact of life for indigenous peoples and for us moderns who have lived close to the land in regenerative fashion, who’ve been worked on by it until we have become re-enchanted, until we’ve have become naturalized citizens of our home ecosystems. Artists, writers, poets, composers and musicians have always known and celebrated this fact, as have certain religious writers, philosophers and scientists.

I believe even the most urbanized, nature-phobic among us recognize and understand this necessity, though they may be unaware of it, or may have suppressed this knowledge to the detriment of their own psychic health and much else.

Because of the extreme degradation of so many human-occupied landscapes, some people might only associate beauty with a manicured corporate campus, or Disney-fied theme park, with the neat and tidy in general.

 Some of these landscapes might be pretty, but they have none of the deep mystery and complexity—and delight—that beauty entails. Others might only associate wild nature’s beauty—and ecosystem health—with nature reserves, national parks, and places of spectacular scenery well away from cities.

This camp includes people, even respected conservationists and scientists, who hold the ethos that true ecosystem health and beauty depend on a lack of humans in the landscape, where nature can do its thing free of our interference.

This attitude is important and necessary: it is why we need and have our great national parks and nature reserves and must continue to set aside land where other species can live and humans can visit without the threat of shopping malls apartment complexes, industrial farming and, worse, extractive industries, ruining the land.

However, and this is where hedgerows and other forms of greenways such as wildlife corridors come in, human-occupied landscapes can also be ecologically sound, full of a beauty not imposed according to strictly human rules and principles.

While an overly controlled landscape or one managed only for short-term gain, function or appearances never can be beautiful, a working landscape will be beautiful if it is managed with close attention to natural processes and room for the messy complexity of wild nature.

Unless there is room for wild nature, there will be no beauty or health—and there will be no life, in the sense of all the processes and cycles of living and dying that form that landscape.

There will only be that tendency toward cessation, toward depletion, degradation and impoverishment—toward death in its guise of “nevermore,” that is, of finality, of entropy, of extinction, of the dissolution of complexity that is the ruin of any piece of land.

As far as I know, the first peoples understood that humans can be part of an eco-system without destroying it, and that human influence is not necessarily negative.  I’m pretty sure that those original settlers of my part of the world never thought about the question of belonging or not in the terms set forth here.

Often the question was, and is, one of how humans can fit in properly, can earn the right to partake of the gifts our ecosystem offers, and of what we will give back. This is obvious if you read any of the old creation myths and stories about life on our continent, sometimes called Turtle Island. Humans belong here.

The wilderness that Europeans “settled” was actually land that had been lived in and managed by its peoples since the Laurentide ice sheet retreated 10,000 years ago.

We humans, if we live and work, think, plan and do as citizens of the biotic community, can actually be of benefit to an ecosystem, but only if we make an effort to follow the rules, sometimes called the “original operating instructions.”

This ancient, vital knowledge is only now being redeployed. Combining it with modern ecological science forms a powerful hybrid that can lead to truly regenerative land management practices.


Image above: Endless GMO soy and corn fields in Kansas stretch to the horizon. Photo by Galen Maly. From (http://www.imbikingacrossthecountry.com/?p=692).

Some caveats
Now it’s true that some farmers, the ones who grow commodity crops like soybeans and corn on vast fields, don’t like hedgerows. Nor do many developers, park districts, or conventional landscaping firms.

Hedgerows are inappropriate in large prairie areas, whether remnant or restored, where grassland birds require vast, treeless areas on the order of 10,000 acres or so to feel comfortable enough to nest and start families. They are shaggy, messy, unkempt looking. They require effort to put in, nurturance while young, and regular maintenance thereafter. We have fences.

I would never promote use of hedgerows in areas of the country where they’d be inappropriate, such as the desert southwest, or arid grasslands (except possibly where trees and shrubs might occur naturally, such as riparian areas) or large public lands managed for restoration. They have their own beauty and ecosystem complexity.

My aim during this series of posts will be to talk about how, in temperate areas of our country that are already built on or farmed, that can’t be restored or set aside, hedgerows can be used to help heal the land. They can be an important component of green infrastructure, complementing bioswales and raingardens.

Further, as our climate changes, hedgerows and greenways could be crucial not only for their carbon-storage properties, but also for their ability to serve as corridors linking larger, wilder areas so that animals and even plants can migrate to more favorable habitats.

Some of the plant migration could even be human-assisted, though that is controversial. In all, they are a prime example of reconciliation ecology, the practice of designing human-centered landscapes to accommodate the needs of other species.

Unless you’ve visited places with thriving hedgerows and have seen how they can positively impact a landscape, you may not understand why they are so vitally important.

This is partly a case of shifting baselines. You can’t appreciate or miss a type of landscape that nurtures all the creatures that live in an area unless you experience it, and beyond that, have the cultural understanding to value it.

In England, enough hedgerows have continued to exist and enough people and organizations have kept the cultural and historical knowledge alive to enable hedgerows as a concept to remain viable, and as a landscape feature to be to be saved and resuscitated.

Here in the US, both the concept and the reality are having to be reinvented. A friend of mine, who has been studying hedgerows and advocating their use for twenty years, calls these new efforts “post-modern hedgerows.”

Gardeners, conservationists, permaculturalists and organic farmers are already practicing hedgerow making, particularly in California.

By so doing they are reinvigorating ancient art and utilizing modern science that could, if practiced widely enough, help knit back together many of our fractured landscapes, providing habitat for pollinators, other beneficial insects, birds, and other animals while simultaneously providing food, materials, and shelter—in the form of privacy and microclimate enhancement—for humans.

Properly planned and maintained, they can increase bio-diversity, store carbon, help manage rainwater, and add beauty and livability for all.

When a farmer plants and manages a wide, ecologically diverse hedgerow, or enriches an old fencerow, or a government agency does the same along a road, they might say they are creating a pollinator reserve, wildlife corridor, game bird habitat, micro-climate enhancer, even a carbon sequestration system.

The same goes for those of us who have smaller pieces of land to work with in suburbs or city, whose small yards can link together in beneficial ways. But what we all really are doing is co-creating beauty.


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Happy talk about the climate

SUBHEAD: Climate activists continue tooting their horns as if they have achieved something other than defeat.

By Dmitry Orlov on 18 November 2014 for Club Orlov -
(http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2014/11/happy-talk-about-climate.html)


Image above: Activists representing NGO Oxfam demonstrate at failed 2009 COP 15 Summit on CO2 global-warming/climate-change in Copenhagen. From (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1235708/Copenhagen-climate-change-summit-Talks-suspended-African-nations-walk-emissions.html).

The non-binding climate deal which the US and China just signed will allow the Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to go to 500ppm and beyond by the end of the century, far past the current concentration of 400ppm. Historically, this concentration was sufficient to produce an ice-free Arctic, significantly higher ocean levels, and an environment unlikely to be able to sustain large human populations.

According to a November 2011 study published in Science, “On our current emissions path, CO2 levels in 2100 will hit levels last seen when the Earth was 29°F (16°C) hotter.” Scientists participating in the IPCC have warned that just a 4ÂșC rise will mean that “people won't be able to cope, let alone work productively, in the hottest parts of the year.”

In short, this deal does nothing to forestall a complete, total, unmitigated disaster that is likely to spell the end of agriculture, urbanized civilization, and may doom humans, along with most other large vertebrate species, to extinction.

At the same time, May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org, had this to say: “It’s no coincidence that after the biggest climate mobilization in history, world leaders are stepping up their ambition on climate action.

This announcement is a sign that President Obama is taking his climate legacy seriously and is willing to stand up to big polluters.”

Perhaps it is time to rename 350.org to something closer to reality. This organization has obviously lost its fight to limit atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 350ppm, and the fact that its leaders are claiming victory and want to continue the fight can only mean one thing: there never was a fight, just some of the usual useless politicking.

Of course, the White House was also quick to take credit, claiming that “the new U.S. goal will double the pace of carbon pollution reduction from 1.2 percent per year on average during the 2005-2020 period to 2.3-2.8 percent per year on average between 2020 and 2025.”

Against this backdrop of unmistakeable failure of environmentalism, there are actual reductions in carbon dioxide emissions taking place in the US—certainly too small to save us, but real nevertheless. The reason they are taking place is that the US economy is becoming increasingly hollowed out.

At this rate, the US will not have much of an industrial economy left in the time frame addressed by this climate deal. Obama's willingness to sign it signals, among other things, a recognition of the ongoing economic collapse, and an assumption that it will only accelerate. His “2.3-2.8 percent per year on average” sets an optimistic upper bound on how slowly the US will collapse.

China's situation is rather different. In signing the climate deal, the Chinese played to a domestic audience that is increasingly upset by the environmental devastation it cannot possibly ignore, including filthy air, rivers full of dead pigs and other such wonders. At the same time, the Chinese leadership still sees economic growth as something that's required for it to maintain political stability, and economic growth in turn requires burning more fossil fuels.

Yes, there was talk of “renewables” such as wind and solar, but wind and solar installations are built and maintained using an industrial base that runs on fossil fuels. They only provide energy when it's sunny and/or windy and are incapable of providing for the constant base load that an industrialized society demands.

There was also talk of “zero-carbon” energy sources such as nuclear, and the plan requires China to build an additional terawatt of nuclear power generation, but it must be kept in mind that nuclear power plants consume prodigious amounts fossil fuel energy during their decade-long construction phase, then pay it back while operating, but then continue to consume fossil fuel energy into the indefinite future—or melt down like Fukushima Daiichi in Japan.

Unlike the US, which, once the current, short-lived fracking bonanza is over, will go back to juggling resource depletion and economic collapse, China is building two massive natural gas pipelines to connect it to Russia's plentiful reserves which, unlike the very expensive “tight gas” produced in the US by fracking, can be produced quite cheaply.

This may allow China's economy to continue growing for some time, and placate its population by reducing the urban smog problem through lessening its reliance on coal.

Thus, this climate deal seems to mean the following things:
  1. The US is going to continue collapsing, and even the Obama administration takes this for granted and has set a safe upper bound on how slowly this collapse will unfold.
  2. China will continue growing, gobbling up ever more reserves, until something breaks (which it will).
  3. Climate activists in the US will continue tooting their horns, expecting us to believe that they have achieved something other than defeat.

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Gluten or Glyphosate Intolerance?

SOURCE: Michael Shoolz (mshooltz@aol.com)
SUBHEAD: Maybe you aren't actually gluten intolerant. Maybe you're just poison intolerant to Roundup.

By Daisy Luther on 15 November 2014 for the Organic Prepper -
(http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/maybe-you-arent-actually-gluten-intolerant-maybe-youre-just-poison-intolerant-11152014)

http://www.islandbreath.org/2014Year/11/141118wheatroundupbig.jpg
Image above: Illustration of Roundup being sprayed on food we eat. From (http://gmo-awareness.com/2014/02/25/glyphosate-wheat-linked-gluten-intolerance-celiac-disease-and-irritable-bowel-syndrome/). Click to embiggen.

Over the past couple of years, I had the unpleasant experience of having bloodwork done to confirm that I am gluten intolerant, only to have it come back and say, “Nope, you’re just crazy.”
The same thing happened to my good friend Melissa Melton, who was terribly ill before she cut wheat out of her life.

It’s happened to scores of other people, who pass the test for the anti-gliadin antibodies but still know that their health issues directly correlate with what they eat.

Now we may know why. The tests were right. I’m not gluten intolerant.  I’m poison intolerant.

I read a mind-blowing article last night that put it all together for me. (Please go read the entire piece by Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist.)
Standard wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as withered, dead wheat plants are less taxing on the farm equipment and allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest.

Pre-harvest application of the herbicide Roundup and other herbicides containing the deadly active ingredient glyphosate to wheat and barley as a desiccant was suggested as early as 1980.  It has since become routine over the past 15 years and is used as a drying agent 7-10 days before harvest within the conventional farming community.

According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT who has studied the issue in depth and who I recently saw present on the subject at a nutritional Conference in Indianapolis, desiccating non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate just before harvest came into vogue late in the 1990′s with the result that most of the non-organic wheat in the United States is now contaminated with it.  Seneff explains that when you expose wheat to a toxic chemical like glyphosate, it actually releases more seeds resulting in a slightly greater yield:   “It ‘goes to seed’ as it dies. At its last gasp, it releases the seed.”

According to the US Department of Agriculture, as of 2012, 99% of durum wheat, 97% of spring wheat, and 61% of winter wheat has been doused with Roundup as part of the harvesting process. This is an increase from 88% for durum wheat, 91% for spring wheat and 47% for winter wheat since 1998. (source)
How horrifying is it that they douse this stuff for human consumption with the most toxic, prevalent herbicide around, an herbicide which has been linked to all sorts of problems, just days before the harvest? That stuff doesn’t get removed – it gets milled in with the wheat and lurks in your bags of flour, your loaves of bread, and your desserts.

This could also explain why some people who have terrible gluten symptoms are able to eat products made from organic Einkorn wheat.  It may not be that it’s heirloom Einkorn – it could just be that it hasn’t been doused in glyphosate.

Modern farming practices are killing us. Here’s a little rundown on glyphosate:
The first study found that glyphosate increases the breast cancer cell proliferation in the parts-per-trillion range.
An alarming new study, accepted for publication in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology last month, indicates that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide due to its widespread use in genetically engineered agriculture, is capable of driving estrogen receptor mediated breast cancer cell proliferation within the infinitesimal parts per trillion concentration range.

The study, titled, “Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors,” compared the effect of glyphosate on hormone-dependent and hormone-independent breast cancer cell lines, finding that glyphosate stimulates hormone-dependent cancer cell lines in what the study authors describe as “low and environmentally relevant concentrations.”
Another study found that consumption of glyphosate causes intestinal and gut damage, which opens the door to numerous human diseases, such as diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, obesity, autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s:
However, another classification of allergy-type food is emerging and getting recognized for adverse effects on the human intestinal tract and gut. Those foods are genetically modified organisms known as GMOs or GEs. There is scientific research indicating intestinal damage from GMO food and the article “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Disease” discusses how the inordinate amount of pesticides sprayed on GMOs leaves residues in GMO crops that, in turn, are being traced to modern diseases. (source)
The Organic Consumers Association says:
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. According to the EPA, at least 208 million tons of Roundup were sprayed on GE crops, lawns and roadsides in the years 2006 and 2007. In 2007, as much as 185 million pounds of glyphosate was used by U.S. farmers, double the amount used just six years ago.

A 2009 study found that Americans use about 100 million pounds of glyphosate annually on their lawns and gardens. It’s safe to assume all these number are much higher now. Why? Because GE crops are now being invaded by new strains of herbicide-resistant “superweeds” requiring higher and higher doses of poison.

Beyond Pesticides has assembled extensive documentation of past research linking glyphosate to increased cancer risk, neurotoxicity and birth defects, as well as eye, skin, respiratory irritation, lung congestion, increased breathing rate, damage to the pancreas, kidney and testes.

Glyphosate also endangers the environment, destroys soil and plants, and is linked to a host of health hazards. The EPA’s decision to increase the allowed residue limits of glyphosate is out of date, dangerous to the health of people and the environment and scientifically unsupportable. (source)
Nearly all of the symptoms we chalk up to gluten intolerance can also be related to glyphosate exposure.  This horrific little farming shortcut may have created an epidemic across the country.
Just last week I picked up a loaf of organic sourdough bread to serve with some beef stew.  I was hesitant but astonished when I didn’t suffer abdominal pain, bloating, and digestive upset.  I thought, “Yay!  I ate bread and didn’t die!”

Sarah’s article blew my mind, because when I read it, all of the inconsistencies with my own gluten issues began to make sense. It explains why I can eat the fancy Italian pasta that a friend sent as a gift. It explains why the odd baked good from the organic bakery doesn’t make me sick. It explains the blood test that says I don’t have a problem with gluten, even though my gut says that I do have a problem.

It’s time to say no to Big Food. Vote with your wallet and forgo eating anything containing poisoned wheat. Either skip the wheat products entirely or choose organic wheat products.

Perhaps our family diet can get a little bit broader now. It would be far less expensive to buy a bag of organic flour than the gluten free flour that we use for baking, pancakes and thickening stuff.

Maybe the bloodwork was right. Maybe we aren’t actually gluten intolerant at all. Maybe we are just poison intolerant.

Resources:
The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (it’s not the gluten)


The Gluten Connection: How Gluten Sensitivity May Be Sabotaging Your Health – And What You Can Do to Take Control Now

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers

Gluten Intolerance Isn’t Just a Fad: It Can Wreck Your Whole Life

Gluten Intolerance: Is It Just a Fad or Is Today’s Wheat Really Toxic?

How to Go Gluten-Free Without Contributing to the Billion Dollar Big Food Rip-Off

See also:
Do US farmers apply Roundup to non-GMO wheat crops?



More on Glyphosate in food

By Steve Tober (stevetober1@gmail.com) on 18 November 2014 in Island Breath -
(http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2014/11/gluten-or-glyphosate-intolerance.html)

Have a look at this evidence based research explained in short video clips Theybacks up the article above.  How Monsanto manipulates the data.  Sad and horrific.

From NutritionFacts.org comes this:

"Higher levels of pesticides on GMO soy is a concern since Monsanto’s Roundup has been shown to be to have adverse effects on human placental tissue."

Video above: The acceptable amount of glyphosate in good for human comsumption have been increased. From (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-monsantos-roundup-pesticide-glyphosate-safe/) at (http://youtu.be/EVZK4n82u6w) 11/14/2014.

And this too from NutritionFacts.org:
"Genetically engineered soybeans have significantly higher pesticide residues than organic or conventional non-GMO soy."

Video above: Are GMOs Safe? The Case of Roundup Ready Soy. From (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-monsantos-roundup-pesticide-glyphosate-safe/) at (http://youtu.be/EVZK4n82u6w) 11/14/2014.
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The Instability Express

SUBHEAD: The banks will find themselves in a position of being unable to trust each other on any transaction.

By James Kunstler on 17 November 2014 for Kunstler.com -
(http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-instability-express/)


Image above: Drive locomotive sliding and tipping on ice in "The Polar Express" animated movie, 2004. Taken from the book written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. From (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338348/mediaindex).

The mentally-challenged kibitzers “out there” — in the hills and hollows of the commentary universe, cable news, the blogosphere, and the pathetic vestige of newspaperdom — are all jumping up and down in a rapture over cheap gasoline prices. 

Overlay on this picture the fairy tale of coming US energy independence, stir in the approach of winter in the North Dakota shale oil fields, put an early November polar vortex cherry on top, and you have quite a recipe for smashed expectations.

Plummeting oil prices are a symptom of terrible mounting instabilities in the world. After years of stagnation, complacency, and official pretense, the linked matrix of systems we depend on for running our techno-industrial society is shaking itself to pieces. 

American officials either don’t understand what they’re seeing, or don’t want you to know what they see. The tensions between energy, money, and economy have entered a new phase of destructive unwind.

The global economy has caught the equivalent of financial Ebola: deflation, which is the recognition that debts can’t be repaid, obligations can’t be met, and contracts won’t be honored. Credit evaporates and actual business declines steeply as a result of all those things. Who wants to send a cargo ship of aluminum ore to Guangzhou if nobody shows up at the dock with a certified check to pay for it? 

Financial Ebola means that the connective tissues of trade start to dissolve, and pretty soon blood starts dribbling out of national economies.

One way this expresses itself is the violent rise and fall of comparative currency values. The Japanese yen and the euro go down, the dollar goes up. It happens in a few months, which is quickly in the world of money. Foolish US cheerleaders suppose that the rising dollar is like the rising score of an NFL football team on any given Sunday. “We’re numbah one!” It’s just not like that. The global economy is not some stupid football contest.

When currencies change value quickly, as has happened since the past summer, big banks get into big trouble. Their revenue streams are pegged to so-called “carry trades” in which big blobs of money are borrowed in one currency and used to place bets in other currencies. 

When currency values change radically, carry trades blow up. So do so-called “derivatives” such as bets on interest rate differentials. When the sums of money involved are grotesquely large, the parties involved discover that they never had any ability to pay off their losing bet. It was all pretense. 

In fact, the chance that the bet might go bad never figured into their calculations. The net result of all that foolish irresponsibility is that banks find themselves in a position of being unable to trust each other on virtually any transaction.

When that happens, the flow of credit, a.k.a. “liquidity,” dries up and you have a bona fide financial crisis. Nobody can pay anybody else. Nobody trusts anybody. Fortunes are lost. Elephants stomp around in distress, then keel over and die, and a lot of “little people” get crushed in the dusty ground.

The happy dance about low gasoline pump prices featured on Fox News, combined with the awful instability in currency markets, will cut a swathe of destruction through the shale oil “miracle.” That industry has been relying on high yield “junk” financing to perform its relentless drilling-and-fracking operations — imperative due to the extremely rapid depletion rate of shale oil wells. 

Across the board, shale oil production has not been a profitable venture since it was ramped up around 2006. Below $80 a barrel, chasing profit only becomes more difficult for those who couldn’t make a profit at $100. A lot of those junk bond “investments” are about to become worthless, and the “investment community” will lose its appetite for any more of it. 

That will leave the US government as the investor of last resort. Expect that to be the object of the next round of Quantitative Easing. 

The ultimate destination of these shenanigans will be the sovereign debt crisis of 2015.

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