Severe drought threatens Chinese wheat crop

Low rainfall in the north has put nearly half of the country’s harvest at risk

A severe drought in northern China – considered the country’s breadbasket – has hit almost 43% of the country’s wheat crop this winter, senior officials have warned.

Low rainfall since October has affected more than 9.3m hectares (229.71 acres) of land in northern China across six major grain-producing provinces, according to the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. Last week it warned that 3.7 million people and 1.85 million livestock had lost access to drinking water.

Vice-premier Hui Liangyu has urged local officials to make tackling the water shortage a priority, state media reported today. Beijing has set aside 100m yuan (£10m) of funding to help farmers combat the problem and have sent specialist teams to the worst affected areas. Provincial governments are planning to seed clouds to ensure it rains.

Henan Daily reported that the drought is the province’s most severe since 1951, with no rain for 105 days. It warned that up to 63% of the region’s wheat crop is threatened.

Read moreSevere drought threatens Chinese wheat crop

Britain ‘must revive farms’ to avoid grave food crisis

GMOs are not the solution:
Austrian Government Study Confirms Genetically Modified (GM) Crops Threaten Human Fertility and Health Safety (Institute For Responsible Technology)

Exposed: the great GM crops myth (The Independent):
“Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.”

Life running out of control – Genetically Modified Organisms (Documentary)
The World According to Monsanto (Documentary)
Greenpeace: No need for condoms – GE corn can do the job
(Greenpeace)
Europe’s secret plan to boost GM crop production (The Independent)
FDA Considers Engineered Animals For Food (CBS NEWS)
Genetically ‘improved’ oysters behind France’s shellfish plague (Telegraph)
Prince Charles warns GM crops risk causing the biggest-ever environmental disaster (Telegraph)
At stake is no less than control of the world’s food supply
(Edmonton Journal)
BIODIVERSITY: Privatisation Making Seeds Themselves Infertile (IPS)

Yes, there will be a engineered global food crisis – like the engineered financial crisis – in the near future and the elite is preparing for it:
‘Doomsday’ seed vault opens in Arctic
(msnbc):

They are storing “real” seeds. Take a close look who is behind this:
Investors Behind Doomsday Seed Vault May Provide Clues to Its Purpose (Natural News):
“The group of investors includes The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation, and the Government of Norway.”

If there would be no crisis coming and/or GMOs would not be a problem for the environment then why would they do this ‘now’?


Source: The Observer

Top thinktank issues stark warning of unrest over prices and says GM crops could offer a solution

Britain faces a major food crisis unless urgent steps are taken to revive its flagging agricultural sector, warns one of the world’s most influential thinktanks.

Following a week in which world leaders and the United Nations expressed deep concern about the prospect of global food shortages, Chatham House suggests there needs to be a major shake-up in the UK’s supply chain if the country is to continue feeding itself.

Controversially, the report’s authors claim the debate about the use of GM crops in the UK will have to be reopened if productivity is to be increased, a suggestion likely to spark anger from the green lobby.

Read moreBritain ‘must revive farms’ to avoid grave food crisis

Gaza desperately short of food after Israel destroys farmland

Officials warn of ‘destruction of all means of life’ after the three-week conflict leaves agriculture in the region in ruins

Gaza’s 1.5 million people are facing a food crisis as a result of the destruction of great areas of farmland during the Israeli invasion.

According to the World Food Programme, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and Palestinian officials, between 35% and 60% of the agriculture industry has been wrecked by the three-week Israeli attack, which followed two years of economic siege.

Christine van Nieuwenhuyse, the World Food Programme’s country director, said: “We are hearing that 60% of the land in the north – where the farming was most intensive – may not be exploitable again. It looks to me like a disaster. It is not just farmland, but poultry as well.

“When we have given a food ration in Gaza, it was never a full ration but to complement the diet. Now it is going to be almost impossible for Gaza to produce the food it needs for the next six to eight months, assuming that the agriculture can be rehabilitated. We will give people a full ration.”

Read moreGaza desperately short of food after Israel destroys farmland

World is getting colder: It’s the sun, not CO2, that’s to blame

David J. Bellamy is a professor at three British universities and an officer in several conservation organizations. Mark Duchamp, a retired businessman, has investigated global- warming theory and written more than 100 articles.

After the wet and cold centuries of the Little Ice Age (around 1550-1850 A.D.), the world’s climate recuperated some warmth, but did not replicate the balmy period known as the Middle Age Warm Period (around 800-1300 A.D.), when the margins of Greenland were green and England had vineyards.

Climate began to cool again after World War II, for about 30 years. This is undisputed. The cooling occurred at a time when emissions of C02 were rising sharply from the reconstruction effort and from unprecedented development. It is important to realize that.


Related article: BBC abandons ‘impartiality’ on warming (Telegraph):
Again and again the BBC has been eager to promote every new scare raised by the advocates of man-made global warming. As late as August 28 this year it was still predicting that Arctic ice might soon disappear, just as this winter’ s refreezing was about to take ice-cover back to a point it was at 30 years ago.


By 1978 it had started to warm again, to everybody’s relief. But two decades later, after the temperature peaked in 1998 under the influence of El Nino, climate stopped warming for eight years; and in 2007 entered a cooling phase marked by lower solar radiation and a reversal of the cycles of warm ocean temperature in the Atlantic and the Pacific. And here again, it is important to note that this new cooling period is occurring concurrently with an acceleration in CO2 emissions, caused by the emergence of two industrial giants: China and India.

To anyone analyzing this data with common sense, it is obvious that factors other than CO2 emissions are ruling the climate. And the same applies to other periods of the planet’s history. Al Gore, in his famous movie “The Inconvenient Truth,” had simply omitted to say that for the past 420,000 years that he cited as an example, rises in CO2 levels in the atmosphere always followed increases in global temperature by at least 800 years. It means that CO2 can’t possibly be the cause of the warming cycles.

So, if it’s not CO2, what is it that makes the world’s temperature periodically rise and fall? The obvious answer is the sun, and sea currents in a subsidiary manner.

Read moreWorld is getting colder: It’s the sun, not CO2, that’s to blame

Once-in-century Australian heatwave claims almost 30 lives


Spectators seek shade at the Australian Open in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (AFP) – Australia’s second-largest city Melbourne ground to a halt Saturday, crippled by a once-in-a-century heatwave that has claimed almost 30 lives and razed at least 17 homes.

Wildfires raged through the southeastern state of Victoria, where authorities said flames had come dangerously close to major electricity transmission lines which supplied power to Melbourne on Saturday.

More than 500,000 homes and businesses in Melbourne were left without power on Friday night after an electrical substation exploded in the heat, bringing the city to a standstill.

Temperatures in Victoria topped 43 degrees Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) for a record-breaking third consecutive day on Friday, when 10 homes and a timber plantation were destroyed in a 6,500 hectare (16,000 acre) blaze.

Read moreOnce-in-century Australian heatwave claims almost 30 lives

Residents face long, icy wait for power to return

A vehicle drives under a tree that is weighed down by ice on Old Wire Road as a result of wintry weather on Wednesday Jan. 28, 2009, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Beth Hall)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – More than a million homes and businesses were left in the cold without power Thursday in the wake of an icy winter storm could face a lengthy wait for electricity to come back, even as federal help was promised to two states hit hardest by the blast.

Read moreResidents face long, icy wait for power to return

Sun, sea and sewage in the playground of the rich in Dubai

A noxious tide of toilet paper, raw sewage and chemical waste has transformed Dubai’s most prestigious stretch of shoreline into a foul-smelling health hazard.

A stretch of the exclusive Jumeirah Beach – a magnet for Western tourists and home to a string of hotels – has been closed.

“It’s a cesspool. Our tests show too many E. coli to count. It’s like swimming in a toilet,” said Keith Mutch, the manager of the Offshore Sailing Club, which has posted warnings and been forced to cancel regattas.

Related articles:
Arab countries have lost $2.5 trillion in the past four months
Once Booming Dubai Goes Bust
Gulf stocks plummet in turbulent year; Dubai shedding almost three quarters of its value

The pollution is a blow to Dubai’s reputation as an international holiday destination offering almost guaranteed sunshine and clear seas.

Read moreSun, sea and sewage in the playground of the rich in Dubai

Liberia declares state of emergency as caterpillar plague wrecks crops

Insect invasion is worst in the African country in 30 years

Liberia has declared a state of emergency over a plague of caterpillars that has destroyed plants and crops and contaminated water supplies, threatening an already fragile food situation.

Tens of millions of marching caterpillars have invaded at least 80 towns and villages in central and northern Liberia, preventing some farmers from reaching their fields and causing others to flee their homes. The inch-long pests – the caterpillar life stage of the noctuid moth – have spread to neighbouring Guinea and are threatening Sierra Leone, which has set up monitoring teams along its border.

Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, said in a televised speech on Monday night that the country’s worst plague of caterpillars in three decades had “the potential to set back our progress in the production of food and export crops”.

Read moreLiberia declares state of emergency as caterpillar plague wrecks crops

World warned of ‘food crunch’ threat

The world faces “the real risk of a food crunch” if governments do not take immediate action to address the agricultural impact of climate change and water scarcity, according to an authoritative report out on Monday.

Chatham House, the London-based think-tank, suggests that the recent fall in food prices is only a temporary reprieve and that prices are set to resume their upward trend once the world emerges from the current downturn.

“There is therefore a real risk of a ‘food crunch’ at some point in the future, which would fall particularly hard on import-dependent countries and on poor people everywhere,” the report states. “Food prices are poised to rise again,” it adds.

The warning is made as agriculture ministers and United Nations officials gather from Monday in Madrid for a UN meeting on food security likely to conclude that last year’s food crisis, with almost 1bn people hungry, is far from over.

The UN will warn ministers in Madrid that “as the global financial crisis deepens, hunger is likely to increase” under the impact of rising unemployment and lower remittances, according to three officials briefed ahead of the meeting.

Read moreWorld warned of ‘food crunch’ threat

Cowskulls and dust: Worst Drought in 100 Years grips Argentina


Farmer Edgardo Vazquez walks by dead cows in Stroeder, Argentina, Monday, Jan. 19, 2009. Farmers nationwide are demanding the government’s help after a year long drought that has killed nearly one million animals and destroyed crops. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

STROEDER, Argentina (AP) – Skeletons of livestock are piling up in the scorching sun of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer as the worst drought in a generation turns much of Argentina’s breadbasket into a dust bowl.

The nation’s farm sector stands to lose $5 billion this year alone – a huge blow to the economy of Argentina, a top world exporter of soy, corn, wheat and beef – as well as to the government of President Cristina Fernandez, which faces billions of dollars in debt payments this year.

Wheat fields that once supplied flour for pasta-loving Argentines now resemble deserts, and spiny thistles are all that survive on cattle ranches in southern Buenos Aires province.

Nothing edible grows, said Hilda Schneider, a 65-year-old rancher who has lost nearly 500 cows to starvation.

Read moreCowskulls and dust: Worst Drought in 100 Years grips Argentina