Saturday, October 19, 2013

Good Saturday, All.

Cool and wet at the moment.  The clouds moved in late afternoon yesterday and should move out a bit later today--for a while at least.  I did get the peppers pulled collecting the few remaining that of are any useable size.  The plants were blooming fantastically and if I had another month and a bit I might have had another crop.  But the freeze and frost warnings are coming closer so I (and they) didn't have that time.  And yes, Kay, you will be getting some of this weather.

I also got some of my containers rearranged.  I wanted do a dry run on an arrangement I had in mind but found it simply wouldn't work in my small space.  It simply takes up too much space.  So I am going to plan b which seems to be working.  We'll see next season.  I plan to replace the Tidy Cat buckets with new five gallon buckets.  As I moved them yesterday the rim splintered nearly taking several of my fingernails along with it.  Thankfully, only one nail actually broke and I cut it off to make sure it didn't tear.  But those we haven't used those buckets for litter for at least four or five years.  We went to smaller quantities because we couldn't easily handle the weight any more.  In between waves of rain I should be able to finish and get my remaining plants protected.

Found this post on Naked Capitalism this morning.  I like it for a couple of reasons.  One, the author questions, as I have, our political and economic leaders' commitment to "growth."  I put that in quotation marks because, as he shows, sometimes the growth is an illusion.  The "growth" we saw for the last forty years was an illusion based on debt.  He also points out, rather starkly, the consequences for our society when a blind faith in an illusory growth (based on cherry picked data) conflicts with real world conditions.  We have been assured that the economy is growing though not at the pace the pundits want.  We are assured that all we need is patience and growth will resume at the desired pace and we will all be prosperous again.  But what if that doesn't happen?  How do we live in a world of no or slow growth or, perhaps, contraction?  And how do we define "we" in that case?  Our politicians and economists can't answer that because they are all busy denying the very possibility that the economy won't grow the way they want it to again.

And then I found this Economist article (by way of Naked Capitalism also).  I spent more time than I, sometimes, like to think engaged in academic science.  I have both bachelor's and master's degrees in biology/zoology.  And I remember spending a lot of frustrating time trying to verify other researchers' work in the process of going on to my own.  Most of what I found then I couldn't verify.  I have watched over the years as dueling studies coming to seemingly opposite conclusions made headlines only to be debunked (quietly) some months later.  Unfortunately, our news media is (for the most part) scientifically illiterate, are given too little time to tease out the real significance of the studies, and assume (perhaps correctly) that their audience isn't either interested enough or educated enough to understand the issues.  But how do ordinary Americans make informed choices about health, nutrition, the environment when we don't know what information to trust?

Now this is a perplexing item.  Where have all the sardines gone?  Note it wasn't just the sardine fishery in British Columbia that seems to have collapsed.  That off South Africa also evaporated.  I wonder if this is in any way related to the numbers of seal pups that washed ashore on the west coast severely malnourished.  No one seems to have any answers.

Well, someone with the food industry has finally made some sense on the issue of genetically modified foods: tell the consumer, advertise the benefits, and stop trying to stop the labeling movement.  I don't know that there are really any benefits.  The GMOs, to date, have failed to deliver the higher yields and lower pesticide/herbicide usage promised.  And the pests are becoming resistant.  I, also, don't trust the assurances that the GMOs don't have any detrimental effect on those (human or otherwise) that eat them.  I totally resent the companies' attitude that the consumer has no right to know where in the diet these products appear.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

You just a font of enlightenment today, aren't you? I really appreciate your keeping up on the gmos & sardines -- not to mention your garden -- I read far too much on politics so I would miss a lot if I didn't read you!!! Thanks!!!!