Wednesday, May 25, 2016


We had an interesting morning already. Our internet was out for about 45 minutes so I was very late starting on my usual routine. As always we have no idea of why the service was out. The cable was fine so we got the morning news--such as it is.

Grist has an interesting snippet on the effects of increased temperatures on our food crops. Since India is experiencing a heat wave with temps exceeding 120F and the British Isles have unusually  warm weather for the coming month and areas of southeast Asia are also locked into unusual heat, perhaps we should pay attention.

This story from Minnesota is interesting for a several reasons at least a couple of which weren't mentioned. The first interesting point is the question over whether the new soybeans would be marketable in Europe since it hasn't yet been approved there. On that point alone Minnesota farmers are being warned off planting the new Monsanto product. Second, and one point not mentioned in the article, is the product wouldn't be acceptable in two other large markets: Japan and China. Both of them refuse to accept GMO seeds and crops. Third, and a second point not even considered in the article, is a trend I see which mirrors what has happened with antibacterial resistance. Round-up resistance was supposed to allow farmers to apply the herbicide to kill weeds without killing the crops. But now the weeds are also resistant so the developed a new soybean which is resistant to Round-up and another herbicide, dicamba. How soon before the weeds are resistant to both herbicides? We started out with bacteria resistant to penicillin and, as we introduced new antibiotics, the bacteria became resistant to those as well. Now we have bacteria resistant to all but the most toxic, last-line-of-defense antibiotics. Perhaps we should pay attention to this trend also.

So Lake Chad may be a repeat of the destruction of the Aral Sea, which was once one of the four largest lakes in the world.

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