Daily Archives: February 25, 2014

Plan B Updates – 121: Can the World Feed China? – Lester Brown

February 25, 2014
Can the World Feed China?
Lester R. Brown
Overnight, China has become a leading world grain importer, set to buy a staggering 22 million tons in the 2013–14 trade year, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture projections. As recently as 2006—just eight years ago—China had a grain surplus and was exporting 10 million tons. What caused this dramatic shift?

It wasn’t until 20 years ago, after I wrote an article entitled “Who Will Feed China?”, that I began to fully appreciate what a sensitive political issue food security was to the Chinese. The country’s leaders were all survivors of the Great Famine of 1959–61, when some 36 million people starved to death. Yet while the Chinese government was publicly critical of my questioning the country’s ability to feed itself, it began quietly reforming its agriculture. Among other things, Beijing adopted a policy of grain self-sufficiency, an initiative that is now faltering.

Since 2006, China’s grain use has been climbing by 17 million tons per year. (See data.) For perspective, this compares with Australia’s annual wheat harvest of 24 million tons. With population growth slowing, this rise in grain use is largely the result of China’s huge population moving up the food chain and consuming more grain-based meat, milk, and eggs.

In 2013, the world consumed an estimated 107 million tons of pork—half of which was eaten in China. China’s 1.4 billion people now consume six times as much pork as the United States does. Even with its recent surge in pork, however, China’s overall meat intake per person still totals only 120 pounds per year, scarcely half the 235 pounds in the United States. But, the Chinese, like so many others around the globe, aspire to an American lifestyle. To consume meat like Americans do, China would need to roughly double its annual meat supply from 80 million tons to 160 million tons. Using the rule of thumb of three to four pounds of grain to produce one pound of pork, an additional 80 million tons of pork would require at least 240 million tons of feedgrain.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

Birth of the Moon

SpaceRip

Uploaded on Feb 11, 2012

Scientists have been reconstructing the history of the moon by scouring its surface, mapping its mountains and craters, and probing its interior. What are they learning about our own planet’s beginnings?

Decades ago, we sent astronauts to the moon as a symbol of confidence in the face of the great cold war struggle. Landing on the moon was a giant leap for mankind. But it’s what the astronauts picked up from the lunar surface that may turn out to be Apollo’s greatest legacy.

When the astronauts of Apollo stepped out of their landing craft, they entered a world draped in fine sticky dust, strewn with rocks, and pocked with craters. They walked and rambled about, picking up rocks that they packed for the return flight.

…..(read more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGTBJHFNywI ).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Historic Storms, Flooding U.K. West Coast

yaleclimateforum

Published on Feb 25, 2014

Historic storms rip through much of southwestern coast of United Kingdom virtually since the start of 2014, suggesting slim odds they occurred naturally.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Sun Spits Bright Fire In Latest X-Flare Explosion

VideoFromSpace

Published on Feb 25, 2014

A old Sunspot (now called AR1990, formerly AR1967) has made its way back around to the Earth-facing side of the Sun. It has unleaded a X4.9-class solar flare that ejected a bright glob of plasma on February 24th, 2014 (EST). — Read more about it here: http://goo.gl/j6yyA6

Credit: NASA / SDO / Mash Mix: Space.com

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

S0 News February 25, 2014: Major Flaring, Seismic Watch


Suspicious0bservers

Published on Feb 25, 2014

Welcome to the Channel: http://youtu.be/Wo3prvrLInE
Our Website: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Brown Energy: German towns risk destruction as coal company spreads

RT

Published on Feb 25, 2014

Last year the amount of energy produced from coal in Germany rose to its highest level since the 1990’s. That’s despite a campaign to shift to greener sources of energy. RT’s Lucy Kafanov visited a small town there, which now risks being destroyed by the country’s coal addiction.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Free Trade Agreements Ruin Mexican Agriculture

NewsClickin

Published on Feb 25, 2014

Maria Leticia Lopez Zepeda from the National Association of Producers’ Enterprises del Campo (ANEC) speaks to Newsclick about the agrarian conditions in Mexico. She says the signing of NAFTA has devastated Mexican agriculture as its markets are dumped with cheaper priced agro-products, specially from the United States. This has badly affected the livelihood of the farmers.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters
Global Climate Change