People eating dirt in Haiti
So, there are food riots in Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen, Mexico and Indonesia, but damn, this is awful.
"Yolen Jeunky, 45, collects dried mud cookies to sell in Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince on Nov. 29, 2007. Rising prices and food shortages threaten the nation's fragile stability, and the mud cookies are one of very few options the poorest people have to stave off hunger.
Food prices around the world have spiked because of higher oil prices, needed for fertilizer, irrigation and transportation. Prices for basic ingredients such as corn and wheat are also up sharply, and the increasing global demand for biofuels is pressuring food markets as well.
The problem is particularly dire in the Caribbean, where island nations depend on imports and food prices are up 40 percent in places.
...cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.
"When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day," Dumas said.
A reporter sampling a cookie found that it had a smooth consistency and sucked all the moisture out of the mouth as soon as it touched the tongue. For hours, an unpleasant taste of dirt lingered."
In the booming southern province of Guangdong, many power plants had just two days of coal left, the official Guangzhou Daily reported on Wednesday, and authorities were shipping in emergency supplies on a fleet of 125 cargo ships." LINK
Last week, after a mass protest at the price of soya beans in Indonesia (which rose because of the shortage of corn and other crops to supply the biofuel industry), Ashok Gulati, director at the International Food Policy Research Institute said: 'It's finally a trade-off between filling stomachs and filling diesel tanks in cars and trucks.'"
"In some poor countries, desperation is taking hold. Just in the last week, protests have erupted in Pakistan over wheat shortages, and in Indonesia over soybean shortages. Egypt has banned rice exports to keep food at home, and China has put price controls on cooking oil, grain, meat, milk and eggs.
According to the F.A.O., food riots have erupted in recent months in Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen."
"Economic alarm bells have been ringing in the U.S. for some time. There was no sense of urgency as long as those in the lower ranks were sinking in the mortgage muck and the middle class was raiding the piggy bank otherwise known as home equity.
But now that the privileged few are threatened (Merrill Lynch took a $9.8 billion fourth-quarter hit, and the stock market has spent the first part of the year behaving like an Olympic diving champion), it’s suddenly time to take action.
I’d start with a broad program to rebuild the American infrastructure. This would have the dual benefit of putting large numbers of people to work and answering a crying need. The infrastructure is in sorry shape. New Orleans comes to mind, and the tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis.
The country that gave us the Marshall Plan to rebuild postwar Europe ought to be able, 60 years later, to reconstitute its own sagging infrastructure.
There are also untold numbers of jobs and myriad societal benefits to be reaped from a sustained, good-faith effort to achieve energy self-sufficiency. Think Manhattan Project."
The gist of it is this. European and other demand for fish has decimated African fish stocks to the point that Africans are attempting to enter Europe in record numbers, as their lives are hopeless at home. Meanwhile, a major black market in fish is a 1.6 billion dollar money machine in Europe- where, one presumes, eaters of these endangered and often protected species also complain about the humans who are flooding into Europe trying to stay alive after losing their livelihood- fishing. F*ckity f*ck f*ck. It doesn't get more FUBAR than this.
"“Life is better there. There are no fish in the sea here anymore.”
That has crippled coastal economies and added to the surge of illegal migrants who brave the high seas in wooden pirogues hoping to reach Europe. While reasons for immigration are as varied as fish species, Europe’s lure has clearly intensified as northwest Africa’s fish population has dwindled." LINK to NYT article 1
"Some 50 percent of the fish sold in the European Union originates in developing nations, and much of it is laundered like contraband, caught and shipped illegally beyond the limits of government quotas or treaties. The smuggling operation is well financed and sophisticated, carried out by large-scale mechanized fishing fleets able to sweep up more fish than ever, chasing threatened stocks from ocean to ocean.
If cost is an indication, fish are poised to become Europe’s most precious contraband. Prices have doubled and tripled in response to surging demand, scarcity and recent fishing quotas imposed by the European Union in a desperate effort to save native species. In London, a kilogram of lowly cod, the traditional ingredient of fish and chips, now costs up to £30, or close to $60, up from £6 four years ago. "
LINK to NYT article 2
Who knows what these people are seeing- that is not my question. I just want to know how the hell UFO sightings make these folk think that good ol' Jesus is ready to make a comeback. 1 + 1 + 42?
"People wonder what in the world it is because this is the Bible Belt, and everyone is afraid it's the end of times," said Steve Allen, a freight company owner and pilot who said the object he saw last week was a mile long and half a mile wide. "It was positively, absolutely nothing from these parts."
To make it all a little funnier and scarier is that another dude who claimed to see whatever it was was checking it out through his rifle scope. I couldn't make this up.
"Sorrells said he has seen the object several times. He said he watched it through his rifle's telescopic lens and described it as very large and without seams, nuts or bolts."
Yup- he's armed.
Sleep well, chickadees.
"Scientists are warning that acid sulphate soils are turning river banks and billabongs into death traps for fish and birds and hazards for humans.
It is impossible for animals to survive NSW's Bottle Bend lagoon, which now has a pH -- or acidity -- level dropping as low as 1.8 -- equivalent to the sulphuric acid found in car batteries. And it is corrosive to the touch.
The waterway is just one of dozens of sites throughout South Australia, NSW and Victoria which falling water levels have turned into aquatic graveyards.
Paula D'Santos, project officer for the NSW Murray Wetlands Working Group, says the alarm was raised at Bottle Bend, upstream from Mildura, when the lagoon's pH fell from a healthy seven to a deadly three after it became cut off from the river's main flow. Fish died in their thousands, the banks were lined with toxic aluminium and manganese salts and the gnarled red gums on its banks began to die. "It is like a scene from the apocalypse. It's just incredible," Ms D'Santos says.
NSW's Tareena Billabong -- where acid-sulphate soils have also been found -- recently suffered a fish kill that left nine tonnes of fish rotting in the mud. The acid-sulphate problem -- caused by nutrient-rich submerged banks being exposed to air for the first time in decades -- is already rivalling salinity, overextraction and blue-green algae as threats to the river. "
Fark's headline is unbelievably perfect so here it is: NOAA's official, scientific, statement on yesterday's crazy weather in Midwest: "Wow Crazy"
But still- pretty ridiculous. It sounds like it was pretty, well, crazy, no? (seriously, so funny!)
"NOAA'S National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office
Wow - crazy weather over southern Wisconsin for January 6th & 7th!
If you think the weather can’t make up its mind, you’re correct. We seem to have a little bit of everything going on. Let’s try to summarize the recent crazy weather, and make some sense out of it.
Get ready, get set, go.....
1. The Milwaukee/Sullivan NWS office issued 3 different Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for 4 counties during the morning hours of January 7th due to the likelihood of penny-size hail stones. This is crazy - in the past 14 years, this office never had a reason to issue a Severe Thunderstorm Warning in the month of January. Winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings - yes, but not Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. Several severe weather spotters reported hailstones up to 1/2 inch in diameter, and an amateur radio operator measured hailstones up to penny size about 4 miles west-southwest of the Capitol Square in Madison at 10:30 A.M. The last time we experienced severe weather in a winter month was February, 1999, when storms in southern Wisconsin produced hail up to golf-ball size and wind gusts to 70 mph. Crazy.
2. Many streams and rivers in southern Wisconsin are running at near-bankfull or bankfull stage, and some have exceeded flood stage. Some rivers are forecast to exceed flood stage. Normally, river flooding is a spring-time event due to snow melt and heavy rains, or perhaps a summer event due to very heavy thunderstorm rains. But in January? Crazy. We’ve experienced a noteworthy warm up the past couple days along with some rain, which caused the 15 to 33 inches of snow that fell in December, 2007 to melt. The Fox River at New Munster in western Kenosha County is forecast to crest at 13.2 feet around the noon hour on Thursday, January 10th. Crazy.
3. We have areas of dense fog this morning which continues a period of several days of dense fog. The worst of the dense fog occurred on January 6th. There was a group of multiple-vehicle accidents (about 100 vehicles) on Interstate 90/39 about 2:25 P. M. just south of the interchange with State Highway 12/18, in which there were two fatalities and around 50 injuries that required medical treatment Dense fog was a factor and had reduced visibilities to 25 to 100 yards in that area. Crazy.
4. Temperatures over southeastern Wisconsin rose to the upper 50s to lower 60s in the early afternoon hours of January 7th, with dewpoints in the mid to upper 50s, while southwest winds gusted to 25 to 30 mph. This is spring-time weather - more typical of April. Milwaukee’s temperature reached 63 degrees, smashing the old record of 47 for January 7th set back in 2003. Madison reached 50, which broke their old January 7th record set back in 2003. Milwaukee tied their old record high for January 6th of 52 set back in 1933. Crazy.
Return to Top News of the Day
LINK to NOAA page
This article takes the whole bloody fiasco to the only rational answer- these people have to move back into the emptied cities of the industrial north, where the effing water is.
"Bill Richardson, governor of arid New Mexico, had his region's plight in mind when he told the Las Vegas Sun that Northern states need to start sharing their water: "I want a national water policy. We need a dialogue between states to deal with issues like water conservation, water reuse technology, water delivery and water production. States like Wisconsin are awash in water." (emphasis mine)
Sun Belters, there's a man in Detroit with the answer to your water problems. "They can have all the water they want," says Hugh McDiarmid Jr. of the Michigan Environmental Council. "All they have to do is move here." There's plenty of room. Some Detroit neighborhoods are so bereft of houses that pheasants hide in the vacant lots. And the cost of living is unbeatable. Earlier this year, an auctioneer was trying to unload a bungalow for $18,000. When no one would bid, he reminded his audience, "You get the land under the house, too."
OK, so Detroit's a tough place to find a job. How about Cleveland? It's half the size it used to be, which means 500,000 people are driving on freeways built for a million. Commuting is a breeze. Syracuse would love to have you, too. They've lost a higher proportion of young people than any other city in the U.S., perhaps because they engineered their own demise, being the headquarters of Carrier Air Conditioning, the appliance that made the Sun Belt possible."
Read this article, please- funny, concise, and dead on point. We can't keep doing this anymore.
Link to fantastic article.
What? Boston hospitals not taking patients for 4 freaking days because of norovirus outbreak? wtf, mate?
"A wave of vomiting and diarrhea has swept through wards at two Boston hospitals in the past month, leaving more than 70 patients and staff members ill from a germ whose spread can be slowed by thorough hand-washing.
more stories like this
The outbreaks of norovirus spawned several days of gastrointestinal misery at Brigham and Women's and Massachusetts General hospitals and at a day-care facility run by Children's Hospital Boston, where 33 children and employees fell ill.
The stricken medical ward stopped accepting patients for four days..."
Someone very nice I know is in treatment at one of these hospitals for something very serious. I very much hope she knew before it finally made the news that it wasn't ok for people with compromised immune systems to go anywhere near there.
Think gas is expensive?
"Wheat prices alone have risen 92% in the past year, and yesterday closed at US$9.45 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade."
and how about
"The price of corn has risen about 44% over the past 15 months, closing at US$4.66 a bushel on the CBOT yesterday - its best finish since June 1996.
This not only impacts the price of food products made using grains, but also the price of meat, with feed prices for livestock also increasing. "
LINK to full article
Yesterday this was the glorious blaze of colour in Cornwall, where row upon row of bright yellow flowers burst forth on a dark winter's day.
There, lilacs which are supposed to flower in May have come into life already this winter and another traditional spring flower, camelias have also blossomed.
And months ahead of schedule, primroses have been seen flourishing in Sussex, crab apples in Nottingham and wild strawberries in Cardiff. "