Politics Blogs - Blog Top Sites Blog Flux Directory Green Assassin Brigade: December 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Questioning our future

I had not intended to blog today but yesterdays proroguing of parliament along with the other issues like thwarting committee work, being in contempt of parliament for withholding documents, outright lying and of course the systematic and deliberate sabotaging of climate change talks brings me to these questions I’ve been refusing to ask greater blogdom because I’m afraid of where the answer lies.

When the will of the people is no longer relevant and the democratic system has for all intensive purposes failed what do we have left?

When citizens, soldiers, courts, traditions, parliamentary will, election watchdogs, international law, democracy and national image are no longer valued or respected by the very government charged with defending them how can we not surmise we’ve become a failed state?

When the government continues to act against our needs and desires by heaping on debt, embracing war, sabotaging international negotiations on climate change, pandering to corporate interest and ignoring health and environmental issues over tar sands and asbestos and many others too numerous to list how can you not expect civil disobedience and radical action to grow?

We’ve all seen how failed or unstable democracies either breed contempt, lawlessness and violent action from their citizenry or outright oppression of their citizenry; which path are we on?

What options do we have now? Is this enough to scare the opposition parties into a concrete agreement/collation/accommodation to squash this bastard?Recommend this Post

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Food security: Ending the year on a downer

Unlike last year before the crash there’s been little talk about food shortages in 2009 but it's my belief that this will change by spring/early summer 2010.

There have been a series of crop failures world wide with China, Australia, and Argentina all suffering long term droughts which have severely damaged grain production. India not only had a poor monsoon season but also heavy winds and rain damaging crops in their other growing season. All these problems could cause food issues during any normal year but it would also appear that the USDA has been cooking the books on crop yields to keep prices in check; a great ploy when you know it’s only going to be a short term blip but in this case it could be the fraud before the famine.

This article from Marketsceptics.com shows that 2009 USDA corn and soy predictions (in most cases) not only went up from earlier in the year but are also above the 5 year average making it look like a bumper year, so what’s the problem? Well it seems that the USDA is ignoring its own data on counties that have been declared Natural disaster areas,(areas suffering 30% or higher crop damage). In fact the in the 30 days before the article was written a staggering 274 counties were added to the list. An additional 66 counties were added on Christmas Eve, I guess they figured people would be too busy to notice.

Some areas just barely qualify for the 30% damage criteria but other counties are virtualy destroyed, making the USDA predictions that much more suspect.

Despite all these declared emergencies there have been no modifications to the already overly optimistic crop estimates. Come next spring it will become obvious that these predictions were bogus when shortages in corn and soy will begin to hit the markets. There is also potential for shortages in wheat, rice, and other grains due to both the U.S. and foreign disasters driving food inflation through the roof. As we saw in 2008, food shortages will lead to higher prices, a rush to hoard, the banning of exports which lead to more local shortages and last but certainly not least civil unrest.

Read the whole article and judge for yourself if there are reasons to worry, but other people such as the National Inflation Association is also predicting food shortages and high prices plus I’ve been telling you that we’ve been one bad crop away from problems for several years.

This is just another wake up call for the move towards localization and food self sufficiency, get involved in a local food movement, a transition town group, Food Not Lawns; Something! Also don't forget that next years food shortages will inevitably turn into 2011’s retail seed shortage. I would suggest buying one the several garden kit packages being offered that give you a wide selection of seeds packaged for long term storage. Some of these companies offer both northern and southern garden kits giving you the varieties more suited for your climate. I think the best deals out there are these collections from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds
I wish these guys had an associate program I’d love to join.

These seeds can be stored and will maintain their viability for years to come giving you the opportunity to either save money now gardening or prepare for your future food security. Learn to save seeds from each years crop and the benefit will be perpetual. Don’t leave it until too late, one of the companies I’ve listed before and purchase some of my own survival seeds from a few years ago increased their sales volumes by several times and ran out of seed last season. Many people see this trend and are acting.

If you don’t know how to grow your own food I’d recommend this book on gardening small spaces and this one on Seed saving

Food shortages are inevitable as we move along the peak oil path but are not solely dependant on peak oil. We can and will face shortages in the near future and we need to adapt now because the end of cheap oil will only make them that much worse in the coming decade.Recommend this Post

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Obama's Billions, all smoke and mirrors

In a grand gesture in Copenhagen the U.S. promised to back a fund that would by 2020, supply $100 billion dollars a year in aid for developing countries so they can adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change. Sounds good no?

Well, of course the devil is in the details, the EU had already suggested a fund of 100 billion Euros making the U.S. plan 40% less, that sucks

The plan calls for $100 billion a year by 2020. So speak up Hillary, how much is the U.S. putting in and how much does it expect other, imaginary donors to cough up?

$100 Billion a year is a goodly amount but this is the goal for 10 years down the road, how much is slated for use as Jan1 2010? Is there any money yet?

The statement that the money is for mitigation and adaption is a message to all that we are not going to even try to stop climate change, simply slow down the inevitable die off, or more likely funnel money to compliant governments so they can oppress their own people, and keep resources flowing to the west while the developing world starves, fry's or drowns

Who are these mysterious benefactors who will fund this venture. Canada, hell no!. Our government does not care for the planet, our international image, or the various brown peoples destined to suffer most.

Greece, not likely they are on the verge of civil unrest over internal debt, poor credit, EU demands to commit to austerity plans

Spain, Portugal, Italy, Japan, UK, U.S are all suffering under huge government debts, low gov revenue, and for all but Japan real unemployment in the mid to high teens.

So who is funding this and when if ever will this fund actually get to it's promised $100 billion/year

It's obvious there is no plan on who, how and when , but lets say they do get off their asses and write the cheques; how will this money be used?

My bets include giant hydro dams and irrigation systems. These kinds of projects are rife with corruption, padding and opportunities to reward the usual corporate suspects who feed on the teats of government. Expect billions more of untendered poorly planned projects to be just dropped in Halliburton's lap.

Expect straight handouts to dictators to maintain order and resource deliveries to the west, or at least buy a new palace and Limo

Billions funneled to Monsanto to create new crops that require a great deal of fertilizer, pesticide, unavailable water and will be far beyond the means of the average subsistence farmer to afford.

Solar power plants built in North Africa, of course none of this power will be used to improve the lives of Africans rather it will be sent under the Med so that Europeans will not have to cut back.

I bet a whole bunch of money will be used to bribe poor country A to absorb refugees from poor country B as sea levels displace more people.

What obvious fiascos do you see for this money?

How should this money be used? (if it ever shows up)

First and foremost because of the time lag involved money must be used to promote the preservation of existing forests and jungles while starting massive tree nurseries to begin reforesting the developing world.

Money to eliminate or drastically reduce the use of wood and charcoal for cooking over an open fire. These are not new technologies and for a couple of bucks a person can build or buy a rocket stove or some other form efficient wood stove. A billion dollars could, using local materials and skills take 200 million families from open fires to rocket stoves that use 50%+ less fuel.. Other efficient stoves the the Jiko stove showcased on the BBC World Challenge this year can also lower fuel use by 50% or more and only cost $2-3. Create Solar Oven factories and those people in uber sunny climates can all but eliminate their need for tree fuel, add forestry projects we can move towards net increase in forest cover which will both mitigate local temperature increases, sequester Carbon, supply food and protect habitat and biodiversity.

Spend money to identify, breed and disperse local, open pollinated, drought and heat resistant seeds getting developing world farmers out of the Monsanto debt and reliance trap.

Livestock dido, parts of the developing world have bought into N.A. genetics and now have cattle and sheep that need insane amounts of water to live or produce milk, these breeds will not thrive in warmer or dryer climates.

Training in no till farming and the building of local reservoirs and sealed irrigation systems.

Education and health programs to both lower mortality and birth rates.

Small local power

The clay pot-in-pot evaporative refrigeration. A locally made clay device that allows those in hot dry regions to keep food longer , so even if yields drop from the heat decreased spoilage rates will make up for the difference.

There are many things that can be done with this imaginary $100 billion dollars a year but honestly, does anybody think they will bother?Recommend this Post

Monday, December 14, 2009

Conservative Christmas Gifts

For those having trouble buying for their favourite family Conservative this year, here are a just a few of our top choices.

Tin foil hats many styles to choose from

Life time supply of Cool aid Yummm!

A variety pack of Sharpies I hear Stockwell fans can't get enough of these bad boys

Peter Mackay has been very popular and newsworthy with Conservatives this year encouraging a great range of themed gifts for young and old

For stocking stuffers there are lots of great little gifts like a

new Rubber hose,

or battery cables.

If you’re buying for someone in the midst of redecorating their basement perhaps a more substantial gift like their very own

Iron maiden

or water board
These items are destined to become the focal point of any Conservative party.

There is even a home Waterboard game, great fun for all the little Cons

Don’t forget clothing! Can a Conservative ever have enough of these?

For those who admire John Baird (I hope they've been sterilized)

perhaps a dog collar

Or even a muzzle It even comes in conservative colours

I forgot a gift for Conservative closet druggies like Jaffer

A subscription to High times, I'm sure they probably send it in a brown rapper so the neigbours and mail carriers think its just raunchy porn.

A conservative foodie would love just love some

Athabasca marinated duck

If you're really loaded you can give someone a Pacific Island. This is the perfect Conservative gift because even after it sinks beneath the waves they’ll never complain about it, they'll even deny it ever happened. "How’s the Island?" , “Oh it’s great, we enjoy it so much, thanks so much for giving it to us”

Considering how much they've been giving it to us, it's only fair.

.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Canadian Blog Awards 2009, read me please

This year I’ve been somewhat of an absentee blogger yet when I did blog I often found something to write about that was not just malcontent bitching, I guess no election will do that to you.

This year I’m nominated for the bestBlog Post Series for my discussions on the doomer movement/mindset/obsession, starting with my post Embracing the Doom: What kind of doomer am I?

I don’t know if they are worthy, I don’t even care that you vote for me but I would hope you’d read what I consider some of my best and most relevant work.

.Recommend this Post