Famine Early Warning System Warns 70+ Million May Need Emergency Food in 2017

The combined magnitude, severity, and geographic scope of anticipated emergency food assistance needs during 2017 is unprecedented in recent decades. Given persistent conflict, severe drought, and economic instability, FEWS NET estimates that 70 million people, across 45 countries, will require emergency food assistance this year. Four countries – Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen – face a credible risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5). In order to save lives, continued efforts to resolve conflict and improve humanitarian access are essential. In addition, given the scale of anticipated need, donors and implementing partners should allocate available financial and human resources to those areas where the most severe food insecurity is likely.[...] Read More

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Stop hoping we can fix global warming by pulling carbon out of the air – Scientists warn of “dire consequences for food production or the biosphere”

Desdemona posted this title and topic (which I highly recommend you read), a topic near and dear to the message I’ve long stated here. The future means starvation – for billions.

Nobody is listening to this message. It’s rather stunning.

Even the majority of scientists themselves are really not listening. Obviously, a few are, but it’s an appalling small number.[...] Read More

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When The Permafrost Fails…

When the permafrost fails, you can expect this to happen: Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts.

Does this mean that the world’s food supply is in trouble? Well sure. It’s always been in peril. The impacts of climate change are going to absolutely wreck food production.

If they can’t get these seeds safe, it means that if these crop species are lost for whatever reason, there is no backup plan either. I’ve looked. You might be shocked to learn that there really isn’t a plan to provide food if we lose our existing production capacity. These seeds are being set aside in case of catastrophic disaster (blight, insects, whatever) for crop diversity, but they’re not considered to be a part of a global backup plan for feeding the world during climate collapse. That plan does not actually exist.[...] Read More

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Spring Planting

It’s spring, finally and I’m busy trying to get seeds into the ground.

I found these critters in the greenhouse:

This ugly sucker was getting ready to pop deadly little babies all over the place.

Looks like they came in with the fertilizer I bought some years back.

I don’t like black widows and they’re not native to this particular area (too cold here), but they survived the winter apparently. In the greenhouse, where it stays a lot warmer then the surroundings. I had tried to let the greenhouse freeze up hard by leaving the doors open for a while, but spiders can create a natural anti-freeze and if it is not really cold enough, they’ll survive.[...] Read More

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Additional Signs of Collapse

America’s Most Common Drug Ingredient Could Be Making You Less Empathetic — Every week, a quarter of Americans take a painkiller that could be dampening our collective feelings of empathy. In a paper published online this week, scientists claim that acetaminophen, Tylenol’s main ingredient, makes people more likely to think that other people’s pain isn’t a big deal.  Researchers from the National Institutes of Health and Ohio State University published their findings in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience after studying the effects of the drug on between 80 and about 120 college students across three different experiments.  One group of students drank a liquid with 1,000 mg of acetaminophen, while another took a placebo. An hour later, everyone read short stories about situations such as feeling emotional pain from the death of a parent, or physical pain from a knife that had cut through to the bone. The students who drank the acetaminophen assigned lower ratings for perceived pain and distress than the students who didn’t. In the second experiment, participants socialized with other people and then, while alone, watched a game supposedly involving three of the people they had just met. The game showed two people excluding the third from an activity, and asked students to rate how hurt the excluded member was. Again, students who took the painkiller assigned lower pain ratings. Given how common acetaminophen is (it’s present in more than 600 products) it’s worth looking into what the researchers have called its “broader social side effects” and whether other painkillers could have similar results.

Zika Virus May Spread To Europe In Coming Months, WHO Warns: The Zika virus, an infectious disease linked to severe birth defects in babies, may spread into Europe as the weather gets warmer, although the risk is low, health officials said on Wednesday. In its first assessment of the threat Zika poses to the region, the World Health Organization’s European office said the overall risk was small to moderate. It is highest in areas where Aedes mosquitoes thrive, in particular on the island of Madeira and the north-eastern coast of the Black Sea. “There is a risk of spread of Zika virus disease in the European Region and … this risk varies from country to country, said Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO’s regional director for Europe. “We call particularly on countries at higher risk to strengthen their national capacities and prioritize the activities that will prevent a large Zika outbreak.” The WHO’s European region covers 53 countries and a population of nearly 900 million. It stretches from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Mediterranean Sea in the south and from the Atlantic in the west to the Pacific in the east. A large and spreading outbreak of Zika that began in Brazil has caused global alarm. The virus has been linked to thousands of cases of a birth defect known as microcephaly in babies of women who become infected with Zika while pregnant. The WHO has said there is strong scientific consensus that Zika can also cause Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome that causes temporary paralysis in adults. The WHO’s Geneva headquarters in February declared the Zika outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), warning it was spreading “explosively” in the Americas.[...] Read More

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World faces four famines as Trump administration plans to slash foreign aid budget

World faces four famines as Trump administration plans to slash foreign aid budget

‘Biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II’ about to engulf 20 million people, UN says, as governments only donate 10 per cent of funds needed for essential aid’.

YAWN. Go back to sleep. The people dying of acute malnutrition aren’t Americans, so what does it matter? Or that this is the largest humanitarian crisis in history?[...] Read More

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Methane and Meat

In a warming world, cows are going to produce less meat and milk and more methane. That is the results found in a study from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Frankfurt.

“… plants growing in warmer conditions are tougher and have lower nutritional value to grazing livestock, potentially inhibiting milk and meat yields and raising the amount of methane released by the animals. Higher amounts of methane are produced when plants are tougher to digest – an effect of a warmer environment. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, around 25 times better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. More than 95% of the methane produced by cows comes from their breath through eructation (belching) as they “chew the cud”.  Making Cows More Environmentally Friendly[...] Read More

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Expect 350 Million More People To Suffer Heat Stress by 2050

2050 isn’t that far off. I might even live that long myself. But I’d be among the old, young and infirm that are certain to suffer from heat stress, potentially killing millions.

An analysis of 44 of the 101 most populous “megacities” showed that the number of cities experiencing heat stress doubled with 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) of warming, researchers reported.[...] Read More

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