We only go to WORLD BANK/UNITED NATIONS press releases for information to understand what propaganda global banking it trying to sell to developing nations around the world----developed nation citizens know never to believe anything coming from these global institutions. Below we see World Bank telling LATIN AMERICAN nations that LEVEL 4 CLIMATE CHANGE may be coming but that global green corporations may mitigate the damage. Meanwhile global banking is slashing and burning the heck all over the world still EVEN IN AMAZON RAIN FOREST NOW UNDER THREAT OF COLLAPSE. Yet, World Bank PRETENDS there are conservation efforts ongoing in South America. Remember, as in Baltimore-----we are seeing a few million dollars thrown locally to pretend environmental/fresh food structures are being built ----the same of course is happening in LATIN AMERICA.
Below is a simple explanation as to why our southern continents will become inhabitable before our northern arctic circle land regions----it is the land mass vs ocean mass that will make the southern hemisphere heat up and become more hostile than our northern hemisphere and as North America and Europe head to the farthest northern arctic territories to beat climate change----the southern hemisphere continents losing ANTARCTICA will get the brunt of heat from a spinning EARTH.
The biggest factor in differences in the climate in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres has to do with the distribution of land vs. ocean. The Northern Hemisphere has much more of Earth’s land masses, while the Southern Hemisphere has a larger fraction of ocean.
There is more than one reason this is important. First, land and ocean heat and cool at different rates. Land heats up and cools down much faster (over a period of a day) compared with ocean (over a period of months).
Second, there mountains on land that act as physical barriers to wind flow. Air responds to these barriers in different ways, both from creating local changes upwind and downwind of mountains (wetter in the case of the former, drier in the case of the latter), to having continental effects (the Rocky Mountains create atmospheric waves thousands of kilometers in size that affect the continental US all the way to the east coast and North Atlantic).
Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current flows unobstructed around the continent of Antarctica. With no land to divert winds, the atmospheric circulation around Antarctica is stronger than at the same latitude in the Northern Hemisphere.
STOPPING MOVING FORWARD FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE DEVELOPMENT WILL SLOW CLIMATE CHANGE AND ALLOW WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% TO MITIGATE THESE CLIMATE CHANGE PATTERNS.
Who has been the population group moved from building one US Foreign Economic Zone after another? Our displaced LATINO 99%----they are literally building their way to NO FUTURE. Staging the same for US MID-SIZE CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES and heading to CANADIAN FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES for more of the same.
'Friedman and his co-author, geography professor John Chiang, found that as the Northern Hemisphere warms up at a relatively faster rate, tropical rain bands that form near the equator, where trade winds collide to build towering thunderstorms, may shift northward, drying out parts of the Southern Hemisphere'.
Speeches & Transcripts“Climate Change Impacts in Latin America and the Caribbean: Confronting the New Climate Normal”
December 2, 2014
Jorge Familiar Washington, D.C., United States
Climate change is a clear and dire threat to Latin America and the Caribbean. A threat in which the region has had little or no role in the making, but in which it is already an important part of the solution.
Dear friends, I appreciate this opportunity to address you on this important and timely topic. The report we are launching today is the third in the Turn Down the Heat series and, for the first time, covers our region.
This report is based on the findings of a global research series commissioned by the World Bank to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics.
We thought a stand-alone report for Latin America and the Caribbean would add value to the solutions-focused discussion already taking place in the region.
In this regard, I would like to thank Cindy Arnson and the Latin America Program at the Wilson Center for partnering with us to further the discussion on the development implications of climate change for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The challenges climate change poses to development are significant: the economic, social, and political costs of unchecked climate change make it one of the most important areas of action for decision-makers today.
This report makes it clear in a scientifically rigorous way why tackling climate change is so important for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Being aware of these challenges is a necessary first step to prepare and implement policy responses, both in a catastrophic four degree scenario or in the two degree world we are already moving towards.
I would like to highlight some of my takeaways, based on the report’s findings:
The first is that a four degree world can and must be avoided.
The projections for our region in a four degree warming scenario are daunting:
- Almost all land area in the region – 90% – will likely be subject to heat events that are currently experienced only every 700 years.
- The Amazon basin and many highly inhabited areas are expected to experience extreme droughts.
- The Andean glaciers will be gone by the end of the century. Glacial melt will at first raise the risks of floods and then result in drought for the communities that depend on them.
- Category 4 or 5 hurricanes may occur more frequently and more powerfully. This, together with a one meter sea-level rise will have devastating impacts, especially on the Caribbean.
- A 4 degree world would mean that Rio de Janeiro and Barranquilla would have to cope with a massive 1.4 meter rise in sea level.
Events such as the massive 2005 and 2010 Amazon droughts, the increase in frequency in Atlantic hurricanes, and the 90% loss of tropical glaciers are clear evidence of this.
Even a two degree world would be highly damaging to Latin America and the Caribbean, jeopardizing decades of development achievements.
- The number of severe hurricanes will increase by 40%, with double the energy of the current average.
- Ecological changes would endanger up to 70% of Brazil’s soya bean and 45% of Mexico’s corn.
- Bleaching of coral reefs would increase and the Caribbean fish catch volume would decrease by up to 50%.
So, my second key takeaway is that we need to move faster.
As a Latin American, I am greatly encouraged that the region is showing that there is no room for complacency regarding mitigation.
- It has preserved its forests more than any other region,
- It is the most bio-diverse region in the world,
- It has the largest freshwater reserves and is home to the Amazon, the world’s largest carbon sink,
- It also historically has had the cleanest energy matrix of any region.
It is clear that the world’s greatest emitters of greenhouse gases need to demonstrate decisive leadership to solve the climate change crisis. But Latin America and the Caribbean has not been waiting, and should not wait, for what others can do.
Climate change even at today’s level of close to 1 degree already requires adaptation. The region is doing much to prepare for a 2-degree world while avoiding a 4-degree one.
Chile plans to drive a renewable energy boom, with a law to generate 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
Mexico – which could see its GDP decrease between 3.5 to 4 percent due to climate impacts – has set the target of reaching 35 per cent of renewable energy use by 2024.
Moreover, Latin America and the Caribbean has become a hotbed of innovation, focusing investment on green transportation systems, clean energy, as well as payments for environmental services and forest conservation programs, that combine advanced technology with the knowledge of local communities.
Innovations such as climate-smart agricultural practices offer promise to Latin America and the Caribbean to manage the climate risks to agricultural productivity, ensure food security, and advance the region’s potential as a global ‘bread-basket’.
On the governance agenda, Latin America is leading in legislation to prevent or mitigate the effects of atmospheric change. We find examples in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. Brazil has also shown leadership by enacting one of the world’s most effective conservation regimes in the Amazon, greatly containing deforestation.
In summary, many countries in the region have shown that they are willing to take action today. The fact that the COP negotiations are taking place in Lima shows not only the leadership Peru has taken, but also that the entire region seeks to find, incubate, pilot, and apply solutions to climate change that are globally replicable.
Latin American and Caribbean countries are not alone in advancing the agenda. My third key message is that there are partnership structures in place to support countries’ action agendas.
Multilateral development banks like the IDB and the WBG, national development banks, and international funds like the Global Environmental Facility, and the Adaptation Fund have been crucial partners in providing financial and technical support for country-led action. An example would be an innovative weather insurance mechanism for Uruguay that we presented to our Board this morning. This new hedging instrument protects the country’s energy sector against climate and oil price vulnerabilities.
- The Climate Investment Fund, a joint fund by the World Bank Group and other multilateral development banks for country-led investments in clean technology, renewable energy, and climate resilience, co-finances investments in 13 countries of the region.
- The Green Climate Fund, once operational, is envisaged as a mechanism for scaled-up financial support to enable countries meet the additional costs that climate change places on economic growth.
The region has made incredible advances on the socio-economic front in the last decade. It has achieved steady and dramatic declines in poverty, cutting extreme poverty by half since 2003.
Since 2011 and for the first time in recorded history, there are more people in the middle class than in poverty in Latin America.
The rise of the Latin American middle class represents a historic achievement for a region long associated with wealth inequality, especially at a time when other regions have become more unequal.
All these gains, however, may be jeopardized by the hazardous effects of climate change. Climate change is not only an environmental challenge, it is a fundamental threat to Latin America’s development that risks undoing the hard won achievements of the recent decades.
To quote World Bank Group President Jim Kim: “We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change.”
To conclude I would like to reiterate that there are options at our disposal to avoid the most disastrous impacts of climate change. We also know that the window for action is rapidly closing.
Emission reductions are urgent, especially in the world’s largest economies and the recent agreement between the US and China is a first promising step in this direction.
The report launched today is a reminder for everyone that the benefits of strong, timely action on climate change, to promote clean, low-carbon pathways and avoid locking in unsustainable growth strategies, far outweigh the costs.
Seeing the track record of Latin American and Caribbean countries, I am confident we can scale up successes achieved to date to guarantee a climate-resilient region for future generations.
I am also confident that the region will continue to set a high bar for international action to minimize future climate risks and maximize future climate resilience.
Here we have GLOBAL BIG AG pretending to be feeding the world behind the devastation of our rain and boreal forests using that Amazon fresh water as fast as US MID-WEST BIG AG-----they are feeding the world while killing the natural resources that will feed the world in only several decades. So, they slash and burn----they use all of South American fresh water resources as in North America----all the while causing CLIMATE CHANGE TO SOAR TO LEVEL 5 and they are feeding the world the JUNK FOOD the America's are fighting to be rid of.
Children have studied for decades the value of rain forest in climate science so we will not go there----we simply want to remind 99% of WE THE PEOPLE---the goals of SLASH AND BURN are often not about feeding people but DESTROYING ENVIRONMENTS making it impossible for people to survive.
THAT IS WHAT GLOBAL 1% ARE DOING TO NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA-----
Think about a goal of bringing a few billion global labor pool to NORTH AMERICA----and a few billion global labor pool to SOUTH AMERICA to fill Foreign Economic Zones that were once in Asia----we have a food structure being built that will feed for ONLY SEVERAL DECADES those global labor pool ---and that will be the lifespan of those industrial global corporate campuses and massive energy platforms.
Amazon Deforestation, Once Tamed, Comes Roaring Back
A decade after the “Save the Rainforest” movement captured the world’s imagination, Cargill and other food giants are pushing deeper into the wilderness.
By HIROKO TABUCHI, CLAIRE RIGBY and JEREMY WHITEFEB. 24, 2017
COLONIA BERLIN, Bolivia — A few months ago, a representative from Cargill traveled to this remote colony in Bolivia’s eastern lowlands in the southernmost reaches of the vast Amazon River basin with an enticing offer.
The American agricultural giant wanted to buy soybeans from the Mennonite residents, descendants of European peasants who had been carving settlements out of the thick forest for more than 40 years. The company would finance a local warehouse and weighing station so farmers could sell their produce directly to Cargill on-site, the man said, according to local residents.
One of those farmers, Heinrich Janzen, was clearing woodland from a 37-acre plot he bought late last year, hustling to get soy in the ground in time for a May harvest. “Cargill wants to buy from us,” said Mr. Janzen, 38, as bluish smoke drifted from heaps of smoldering vegetation.
His soy is in demand. Cargill is one of several agricultural traders vying to buy from soy farmers in the region, he said.
Cargill confirmed the accounts of colony residents, and said the company was still assessing whether it would source from the community. That decision would depend on a study of the area’s productivity and land titles, said Hugo Krajnc, Cargill’s corporate affairs leader for the Southern Cone, based in Argentina. “But if a farmer has burned down its forest we’ll not source from that grower,” he said.
A decade after the “Save the Rainforest” movement forced changes that dramatically slowed deforestation across the Amazon basin, activity is roaring back in some of the biggest expanses of forests in the world. That resurgence, driven by the world’s growing appetite for soy and other agricultural crops, is raising the specter of a backward slide in efforts to preserve biodiversity and fight climate change.
In the Brazilian Amazon, the world’s largest rain forest, deforestation rose in 2015 for the first time in nearly a decade, to nearly two million acres from August 2015 to July 2016. That is a jump from about 1.5 million acres a year earlier and just over 1.2 million acres the year before that, according to estimates by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research.
Here across the border in Bolivia, where there are fewer restrictions on land clearance, deforestation appears to be accelerating as well.
About 865,000 acres of land have been deforested, on average, annually for agriculture since 2011, according to estimates from the nongovernmental Bolivia Documentation and Information Center, an area nearly the equivalent of Rhode Island in size. That figure has risen from about 366,000 acres a year, on average, in the 1990s and 667,000 acres a year in the 2000s.
Now, a new study by an environmental advocacy group points to fresh indications of large-scale forest-clearing by Bolivian and Brazilian farmers who trade soybeans with Cargill.
That organization, Washington-based Mighty Earth, used satellite imaging and supply-chain mapping information from the Stockholm Environment Institute, an environmental think tank, to identify deforestation in Brazil where two American-based food giants, Cargill and Bunge, are the only known agricultural traders. The supply-chain mapping by the environmental institute uses customs, shipment and storage data, as well as production data from Brazilian municipalities to trace agricultural exports back to producers.
According to Mighty Earth’s analysis, the Brazilian savanna areas in which Cargill operates, a region called the Cerrado, saw more than 321,000 acres of deforestation between 2011 and 2015. Mighty Earth also linked Bunge, the other agricultural giant, to more than 1.4 million acres from 2011 to 2015.
In Bolivia, where supply-chain mapping is not available, Mighty Earth sent employees to areas where Cargill operates. The organization used drones to record the clearing of forests and savannas in areas where Cargill operates silos.
The study was funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and a nongovernmental organization, Rainforest Foundation Norway.
A reporter for The New York Times independently traveled to remote areas of Bolivia described in the environmentalists’ report and interviewed farmers engaged in deforestation who said they sold soy to Cargill. The farmers described what they called Cargill’s push to increase its purchases of locally produced soy and its attempts to enhance bonds with local producers.
The reports of fresh deforestation come despite a landmark deal signed three years ago by Cargill and other companies that included a target of “eliminating deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities like palm oil, soy and beef products by 2020.” Experts at the time said the deadline, laid out in the New York Declaration of Forests, would require companies to start straightaway to make their sourcing more sustainable.
Both Cargill and Bunge said the report seemed to inflate its role in the region’s deforestation. Cargill’s share of soy in the Bolivia municipalities in which it operates came to about 8 percent, Cargill said. Meanwhile, in Brazil’s Matopiba region, Bunge’s share was about 20 percent, the company said.
And soy is just one crop behind deforestation, said Stewart Lindsay, Bunge’s vice president for global corporate affairs.
“One company alone cannot solve this issue,” Mr. Lindsay said. “A positive step would be for more companies to adopt zero deforestation commitments, apply controls to block crops grown in illegally cleared areas from entering their supply chains, report publicly on progress and invest millions of dollars to support sustainable land use planning efforts, all of which Bunge has done.” (Bunge, however, is not a signatory to the New York Declaration of Forests.)
In an interview, Cargill chief executive David MacLennan said the company was studying the allegations of deforestation in Bolivia and Brazil linked to the company. “If there’s something there, if it’s substantiated, we’ll do something about it,” Mr. MacLennan said. “If that’s accurate, it’s not acceptable.
“We’re going to honor our obligations and our commitments,” he continued. “We’ve committed to ending deforestation and to do our part in ending deforestation. Our word is our bond.”
Forest loss is detrimental to the earth’s climate. The clearing of woodlands and the fires that accompany it generate one-tenth of all global warming emissions, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, making the loss of forests one of the biggest single contributors to climate change.
Only about 15 percent of the world’s forest cover remains intact, according to the World Resources Institute. The rest has been cleared, degraded or is in fragments, wiping out ecosystems and displacing indigenous communities, scientists say.
Behind the rise in deforestation is a strategy by multinational food companies to source their agricultural commodities from ever more remote areas around the world. These areas tend to be where legal protections of forests are weakest.
The Brazilian Amazon, a poster child for the global forest-conservation movement, has enjoyed increasing protections, like a moratorium announced in 2006 on forest clearing for soy production. Between that time and 2015, Brazil reduced Amazon deforestation by almost two-thirds, according to estimates by Mongabay, the environmental news site, based on data from the Brazilian National Institute of Space Research and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
The uptick in forest loss since then, however, has raised concerns that the progress is far from secure.
“We are very uncomfortable with the bad news that we had a rise in deforestation, and we are taking every possible measure to reverse it next year,” Mr. Lucero said. Budget shortfalls amid Brazil’s recent economic and political turmoil, he said, had wreaked havoc with its policing of its rain forests.
When traveling to remote regions, “Sometimes our command and control units were without fuel for helicopters,” he said. “Hopefully we are on a recovery path.”
Bolivia, on the other hand, presents a different situation. President Evo Morales, a socialist, has made securing “food sovereignty” a major part of his agenda, driving Bolivia’s agricultural expansion. There are relatively few forest protections, and the government’s Forestry and Land Authority is tasked with the potentially conflicting roles of regulating land use, forestry and agriculture, and issuing concessions for logging and farming. The landlocked country has declared that it expects to clear almost 14 million more acres of forest by 2025, to convert into farmland.
Bolivia’s greenhouse gas emissions levels per capita exceed that of many European countries, despite having a far lower per capita income. Deforestation is responsible for more than 80 percent of Bolivia’s total carbon dioxide emissions, according to a recent study by researchers at Insead, a graduate school based in Fontainebleau, France.
A major culprit is the cultivation of soy, which has jumped more than 500 percent in Bolivia since 1991, to 3.8 million hectares in 2013, according to the most recent agricultural censuses. Little of that soy is consumed domestically. The vast majority is processed and exported as animal feed in a commodities trade that serves a global appetite for hamburgers, chicken and pork.
“The forest is seen as useless land that needs to be made useful,” said Nataly Ascarrunz, executive director of the Bolivian Institute of Forestry Investigation, a Bolivian nongovernmental organization that monitors and researches the country’s forests.
“There’s a lot of pressure for economic development,” Ms. Ascarrunz said. “When resources are flowing, production is happening and people have work. It’s very hard to argue with that.”
Looking Toward 2030
Victor Yucra, the director general of Bolivia’s forest and land management at the Forestry and Land Authority, stressed the need for the Bolivian government to balance the protection of its forests with the needs of its agricultural sector.
“Our concern is in ensuring that intensive agricultural production takes place within a framework that also provides for sustainable forestry and protection for standing forests,” Mr. Yucra said.
Mr. MacLennan, the chief executive of Cargill, described a business trip to Brazil last year, during which he saw the Amazon from a plane window. “You look down and you see this beautiful forest,” he said. “Kilometers and kilometers of forest. But you also see these big chunks of dirt.
“The brown really contrasts with the green,” he continued, comparing the forest and deforested areas. “When you see it, it’s like, ‘Holy cow. That’s what’s happened.’ It just hit me when I saw it in broad daylight — the impact the deforestation has.”
Mr. MacLennan initially garnered praise among environmentalists for pledging to extend the no-deforestation pledge it had made regarding palm oil to cover every commodity the company handles. Cargill’s commitment was called one of the most sweeping environmental pledges ever made by a large agricultural company. It earned Mr. MacLennan a photo opportunity with Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general at the time.
Even before the New York Declaration, Cargill had made significant efforts to buy palm oil sourced only from land not linked to fresh deforestation, according to a supply-chain expert with extensive experience working on Cargill’s global sustainability efforts. The expert spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying that to do so openly would jeopardize professional relations with the company.
Cargill continued to invest millions of dollars adding extra staff members and hiring third-party auditors to verify that the palm oil was coming from established fields, not farmland freshly carved from the forest, he said. But Cargill has been less aggressive with other commodities, he said.
Part of the issue was Cargill’s decentralized setup, the expert said. Another problem was the resistance from commodities traders, whose incentive is to seek supplies from as many sources as possible in order to drive down costs. Buying only sustainably grown commodities would mean a more limited supply.
Now, environmental groups accuse Cargill of backtracking on its 2020 deadline. In recent statements, Cargill has adopted a 2030 deadline for elimination of deforestation from its supply chain — a separate deadline, mentioned elsewhere in the New York Declaration, that was meant to apply to ending all forms of deforestation, not just those related to agricultural commodities.
“They’re willfully misinterpreting the Declaration,” said Glenn Hurowitz, chief executive of Mighty Earth. “They’re breaking their own pledge.”
Cargill is committed, Mr. MacLennan said, to eliminating by 2020 deforestation from its production of palm oil, a commodity widely used in food, detergents and cosmetics. But, he said, Cargill had always understood the declaration to give all signatories until 2030 to tackle deforestation.
“I don’t think I or others appreciated the vast complexity of the task,” Mr. MacLennan said. “Let’s say that we are trading or buying and selling soybean meal. Where did the soybeans come from? And did they come from deforested land? Maybe we weren’t buying the soybeans directly. I don’t know.”
Holly Gibbs, an expert in tropical deforestation and agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, called the 2030 deadline interpretation devastating. “If we were to wait until 2030,” Ms. Gibbs said, “there would be no forest left.”
Fire and WaterIn Mr. Janzen’s newly cleared field, a long strip of land flanked by vivid vegetation, blue-white smoke drifted from a smoldering landscape.
The German-speaking Mennonites, who live amid horse-drawn buggies and farmhouses that wouldn’t look out of place in rural Ohio or Pennsylvania, trace their origins to 16th-century Protestant reformists who migrated to Russia, the United States, Canada, Belize and Mexico in search of farming opportunities and religious freedom. Some moved to Bolivia in the last century, and about 57,000 Mennonites now live in 55 secluded settlements here, eschewing some aspects of 21st century technology, like modern cars, but enthusiastically embracing others, such as tractors and genetically modified seeds.
Their trade with companies like Cargill has transformed their communities into a bloc of relatively prosperous landowners. But in recent years, they have also been targeted by land reforms enacted by Mr. Morales, who has pledged to reverse the centuries of subjugation of Bolivia’s indigenous majority.
The farmer, Mr. Janzen, with the help of two laborers, spent the day digging roots from the earth, between smoking woodpiles. There was a brown jumble of slender trees, saplings, shrubs, bushes, vines and roots. Occasional larger trees showed gashes where the bulldozer first made contact, pushing them to the ground.
Farther downfield lay more long, neat cordons of debris, waiting to be burned. “If the rain holds off, I’ll burn the rest tomorrow,” he said.
Here we have those FAKE SOCIALISTS telling us his expansion into Amazon rain forests has to do with food sovereignty when what is being developed in Bolivia and surrounding Amazonian nations is GLOBAL FOOD EXPORT----GLOBAL BIG AG-----so, Morales is not only killing food sovereignty future for 99% of Bolivians---he has allowed GMOs to replace natural seed.
NOTHING LEFT SOCIALIST COMING FROM BOLIVIA.
'Bolivia, on the other hand, presents a different situation. President Evo Morales, a socialist, has made securing “food sovereignty” a major part of his agenda, driving Bolivia’s agricultural expansion'.
Here we have stewards of the land MENNONITES trading with the likes of CARGILL----we have read that our Mennonite and Amish communities are leaving behind their anti-industrialization looking here to cash in on what will be the end of food production in South America. CARGILL is of course the GLOBAL BIG MEAT----GLOBAL BIG AG draining US of all fertile soil and fresh water aquifers in just several decades of global industrial AG AND MEAT----now set to do the same to SOUTH AMERICA.
'Some moved to Bolivia in the last century, and about 57,000 Mennonites now live in 55 secluded settlements here, eschewing some aspects of 21st century technology, like modern cars, but enthusiastically embracing others, such as tractors and genetically modified seeds.
Their trade with companies like Cargill has transformed their communities into a bloc of relatively prosperous landowners'.
Cargill remains a family-owned business, as the descendants of the founder (from the Cargill and MacMillan families) own over 90% of the company. As a result, most of its growth has been due to reinvestment of the company's own earnings rather than public financing. Gregory R. Page, who is not part of either the Cargill or MacMillan families, is the executive chairman of Cargill.
Make no mistake, all these players KNOW these policies are MOVING FORWARD CLIMATE CHANGE and killing food production in the AMERICAS.
The good news is -----CARGILL SHAREHOLDERS ARE BRINGING IN A FEW DOLLARS FROM THEIR INVESTMENTS JUST TO LOSE ALL STOCK VALUES EVERY ECONOMIC CRASH. We see a WORLD BANK report saying they are working to mitigate Climate Change in South America by protecting Amazon while all reports show Amazon is being slashed and burned. It is US GLOBAL BIG AG AND MEAT driving CLIMATE CHANGE and fertile food and fresh water depletion for 99% of US citizens and global citizens -----THE CARGILL FAMILY WITH THE MONSANTO BUNCH NO DOUBT FEEL THEY HAVE A SEAT IN SIBERIAN XANADU.
Cargill – Eating up the Amazon
The Amazon rainforest
The Amazon rainforest is one of the most biodiverse regions on earth. It is home to a staggering 15% of the world’s known land-based plant species1 and nearly 10% of the world’s mammals,2,3 and has as many as 300 species of trees in a single hectare.4 The Amazon is home to about 220,000 people from 180 different indigenous nations5 who live deep in the rainforest, along with many more traditional forest dwellers. The rainforest provides these people with everything from food and shelter to tools and medicines, and plays a crucial role in the spiritual life of indigenous peoples. It also plays a vital role keeping the world’s climate stable. All this is threatened by deforestation and related crimes to grow agricultural commodities such as soya, which is mainly used to feed animals.
Cargill – a global giant
Cargill is a US-based international food and agricultural commodity company that employs over 140,000 people in over 60 countries.6 The world’s largest privately-owned company,7 it had 2005 revenues of over $70 billion.8 With an estimated 13 silos and an illegal port facility already built into the Amazon rainforest, Cargill is leading soya’s invasion of the region – spurring the incursion of illegal farms and building infrastructure to deliver Amazon soya to global markets.
How Cargill is driving destruction
Much of the Brazilian soya that is fed to chickens, cows and pigs in Europe is supplied by agricultural giant Cargill.
Soya farming is one of the primary drivers of deforestation in the Amazon. In the last three years 70,000 km2 of the Amazon have been destroyed. This equates to six football pitches a minute. Much of this destruction is due to the expansion of soya farming. Soya is a cheap and readily available source of protein for farm animals. Greenpeace research on the ground shows that many of biggest poultry companies in Europe, including Cargill-owned Sun Valley Foods, which itself supplies some of the most prominent European supermarkets, are using soya supplied by Cargill, that sources directly from the Amazon rainforest. Soya farmers supplying Cargill are linked to the use of slave labour, illegal land grabbing and massive deforestation.
Brazilian government export figures show that, since March 2005, over 340,000 tonnes of soya were shipped into Liverpool from just one port in Brazil – Santarém.9 As recently as April and May 2006, Greenpeace has documented the import of Amazon soya into Liverpool and Amsterdam. This soya came from three Amazon states – Mato Grosso, Rondonia and Pará. While not all the soya from these states is coming from within the Amazon rainforest, the export figures clearly indicate a significant volume coming from areas where Amazon destruction is rampant.
Greenpeace research shows that the arrival of Cargill in Santarém, and of soya farmers close behind, is having severe environmental impacts in the Amazon in western Pará.11 Since Cargill’s arrival, soya has been the major driver of deforestation in the region. Between 2002 and 2004, annual deforestation rates jumped from 15,000 to 28,000 hectares in Santarém and the neighbouring municipality of Belterra in Pará state.11 The Cargill plant in Santarém itself was built illegally,12 and according to official statistics around 2 million tonnes of soya has been exported through the port since it was opened in 2003.
Taking a bite out of the Amazon
Much of the soya coming into Europe from Brazil is a product of forest crime. Recent Greenpeace investigations in the heart of the rainforest have shown:
• Membeca Farm, Mato Grosso – this large soya farm has invaded the traditional lands of the Manoki people. Deforestation to plant soya continues.
• Roncador Farm, Mato Grosso – 215 slave labourers, working 16 hours a day, seven days a week, were recently freed from this giant soya and beef farm.
• Vó Gercy Farm, Mato Grosso – slave labour on this farm has been used to clear forest land for soya, which was then sold to major international agricultural companies.
• Xingu Indigenous Park, Mato Grosso – this area is home to 14 indigenous tribes. There are claims the Xingu Park is being slowly poisoned by the toxic run off from chemical weedkillers used to grow soya. Satellite photos show that almost 30% of the Xingu River headwaters have been deforested.
• Lavras Farm, Pará – illegal deforestation has been documented on this farm that has sold soya to Cargill.
Cargill can’t handle the truth
Greenpeace has recently obtained copies of a confidential briefing sent by Cargill to its customers in response to the publication of Greenpeace’s recent report Eating up the Amazon. Unwilling to face the hard truths about the soya industry in the Amazon spelt out in this report, Cargill’s briefing is a lesson in obfuscation and denial. The response leaves the fundamentals of the report entirely unchallenged – the environmental destruction, the slavery, and the land grabbing linked to the soya industry in the Amazon. Instead, it seeks to placate major customers by apparently denying or questioning details on six pages in the report. Cargill’s briefing to its customers does not demonstrate to Greenpeace a genuine effort to assess the findings of our investigations.
Greenpeace demands that Cargill:
Ends the destruction – immediately stops buying soya from the Amazon rainforest.
Cleans up the soya trade – demands a full chain of custody to ensure all the soya comes from legal sources outside the Amazon rainforest and guarantees it is non-GE.
Supports the solution – develops responsible soya supplies to eliminate the pressure on the world’s remaining ancient forests.
Those citizens not able to read Spanish can look at this article's schematics to see the SIBERIAN XANADU-----here we see our LATINO FREEMASON groups selling the idea that a PUTIN AND RUSSIA are going MARXIST/SOCIALIST in Siberian agriculture cheering comrade STALIN-----it is crazy stuff. Yes, global banking stated a decade ago that Putin would take Russia back to USSR far-right wing authoritarianism------all collective assets belonging to 99% of USSR citizens was privatized and all wealth handed to the global 1% RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS so now is time to return to brutal STALINISM. This is MOVING FORWARD NORDIC/SIBERIAN XANADU eco-dome region for only that global 1%.
We have shouted earlier the goals of MOVING FORWARD IN US---is sending all US 99% of citizens black, white, and brown citizens overseas to Foreign Economic Zones to be rid of sovereign citizens while our US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES fill with a few billion of global labor pool.
THIS MASS POPULATION MIGRATION HAS ITS GOALS!
Latino 99% are being pushed to NORTHERN TERRITORIES for mining and GLOBAL BIG AG AND MEAT---and they are being recruited to SIBERIA being told all this is SOCIALIST----that these agriculture systems will be COLLECTIVE ------do we not know HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF? Stalin/Mao in Great Leap Forward killed collective farmers by the millions in starvation and civil wars. Please believe any global 99% citizen being brought to GLOBALB 1% SIBERIAN XANADU will not be invited inside the WIZARD OF OZ ECO-DOME GATES.
For our US citizens not reading Spanish just make note of where these agricultural regions are opening---watch as eco-dome infrastructures replace open field----and listen to what labor recruitment is saying to developing nation 99% of citizens. Most US citizens understand that PUTIN/RUSSIA/TRUMP AS MARXIST is not true.
Citizens still believing in these tag team FAKE ALT RIGHT ALT LEFT global 1% extreme wealth global 1% pretending to be left socialist/communist need to WAKE UP-----think of where you would want to be these several decades as climate change and global civil unrest sets in.
PLEASE GOOGLE TO SEE SCHEMATICS OF SIBERIAN AGRICULTURE.
'Patada al neoliberalismo'.
Rusia coloniza Siberia y desplaza a las Corporaciones Agrotóxicas con una medida anticapitalista
Publicado: Domingo, 26 Junio 2016 17:54 | Por: P. Heraklio | Imprimir | Correo electrónico | Visitas: 2212
Patada al neoliberalismo. No queríamos dejar correr el tiempo sin comentar esta noticia, por supuesto relegada a la tercera línea por la mayoría de los medios masivos y combatida a capa y espada por sus masas de periodistas/esbirros. Una noticia que está removiendo los estómagos en Wall Street hasta el punto de hacer caer las acciones de algunas de las Corporaciones Agrotóxicas más importantes, como Monsanto, Cargill y Sygenta.
Putin propone el mayor reparto de tierras de los últimos 50 años. Así dicho parece una medida anodina, pero realmente tiene una enorme importancia. A parte de por las implicaciones comerciales de la nueva "Ley 119-FZ" promulgada en Rusia el 1.5.2016, Putin está usando una medida anticapitalista como es dotar a la población de medios de producción para conseguir sus objetivos políticos y económicos globales. Evidentemente contemplamos la noticia con recelo, así que nos disponemos a estudiarla.
Por la Revolución Social!
Por que se rompan las cadenas que nos atan al capital!
Latin America's global 1% OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE SPANISH/PORTUGESE are partnering with Asian global 1% in staging their FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES with more and more global foreign corporations just as our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones are MOVING FORWARD today. As we said----we don't think there is a REAL 99% Latino left in Latin America----they have been pushed overseas----up into North America and in their place are those growing global labor pool. Latin America is a few decades ahead of US and Canada in these population changes.
The global 1% controlling US are partnered with these Chinese ties with goal of creating FAILED STATE/NARCO STATE/SLASH AND BURN environmental devastation in North and South America as was done in Asia------there is NO COMPETITION between global multi-national corporations with executive boards filled with global 1%----so Latin America is well on its way to being a TRIBUTE STATE left uninhabitable as climate change soars.
Latin American Congresses pretending to pass laws restricting global labor pool when a few billion are slated to fill South America as too North America. This alone will see a shift of 4 billion of global population to the AMERICAs slated to be abandoned by global 1% by end of 21st century------this is the lifespan of our children and grandchildren......
'Latin America: exporting water, importing carbon'
China has 'big role' in Latin America's environmental problems: report
(Image by Presidencia de la República del Ecuador)
China’s increased trade and investment in Latin America over the past decade has resulted in powerful social and environmental impacts such as job losses and pollution, although the growing relationship has also brought some benefits, says new research published today.
The high concentration of Chinese activity in Latin America’s agriculture and extractive sectors has placed a heavy strain on water supplies, and increased deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), a study coordinated by Boston University’s Global Economic Governance Initiative (GEGI) concludes.
But the report, entitled China in Latin America: Lessons for South-South Cooperation and Sustainable Development, also highlights the potential for cooperation on renewable energy projects.
And while China’s mining, hydropower and railway companies are stamping an indelible footprint on Latin American landscapes, the paper notes that Chinese companies do not necessarily perform any worse than other international firms operating in the region, despite their relative inexperience and lower levels of regulation at home.
"While China should not be blamed for the bulk of Latin America’s environmental and social problems," the report says, "as China ‘goes global’ it is important to mitigate the social and environmental impacts of its global activities in order to maintain good relations with host countries and to reduce the potential risks associated with overseas investment."
Latin America: exporting water, importing carbon
Since China launched its "go global” strategy just over a decade ago, Chinese investors have funnelled upwards of US$120 billion into Latin America, more than any other country or international lending institution. Loans to Latin America have risen more than 20% year on year since 2005.These investments, mostly from China’s state-led policy banks, enable the construction of dams, roads, ports and mines that act as a “major driver” of the degradation of sensitive Latin American environments, the paper says.
Around 100 billion cubic metres of water, almost the same volume as Lake Nicaragua, the largest freshwater reserve in Central America, was embedded in Latin American exports to China in 2012 alone, the paper says.
High commodity prices in the 2000s, driven by China’s rapid growth, led many Latin American governments to prioritise the export of primary products. Lucrative returns from exports such as oil, gas, copper and soya alleviated balance of payments problems, and even allowed some countries to build up surpluses. But at the same time this set the region on an environmentally hazardous course.
Latin America has doubled its agricultural exports to China in the last decade. Food security is a top priority in China as it seeks to satisfy the demands of its increasingly carnivorous population and Brazilian and Argentine soya, crushed to make soymeal, are widely used sources of food for Chinese livestock.
Brazil, which has been plagued by drought in recent months, exports around 82% of its soybeans to China, some 32 million metric tonnes each year. But the cultivation of cash crops has put a strain on scarce water resources, and farmers are using ever more intensive methods such as genetically modified (GM) strains and stronger chemical pesticides.
Despite some public resistance, China lifted restrictions on GM food imports in 2013 and GM soya purchases from Brazil have increased as a result. Food safety regulations are slackening and the increasing share of GDP generated by Latin America’s agriculture and hydrocarbons sectors is further empowering its big businesses and ‘dirty’ ministries, encouraging them to relax social and environmental protections in search of higher returns.
Between 2009 and 2013, extractive industries accounted for 56% of all Latin American exports to China, compared with just 25% between 1999 and 2003. As a whole, exports of minerals and metals from Latin America have increased from 22% to 33% over the respective periods, the research states.
But while primary industries are highly carbon- and water-intensive, the amount of GHGs emitted by Latin America in getting products to the Chinese market only amounts to around half of the emissions that result in products that China sends to Latin America, the report finds.
At the same time, importing Chinese manufactured products has had a detrimental impact on Latin American manufacturing. Not only has the share of higher value-added activities fallen over the last 10 years, the prospect of social conflicts has risen as new jobs created in resource-based industries have been far fewer than those lost in manufacturing.
Employment opportunities are a major concern for Latin Americans worried that many of the new jobs created in key industries will be reserved for Chinese workers.
In Ecuador, foreign companies are unable to employ foreign workers as long as local workers are available, But in Brazil, the country's federal parliament recently tabled controversial labour reforms that would make it easier for companies operating in the country to subcontract or outsource to foreign workers.
In Argentina, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had to reassure unions that the majority of jobs constructing two new nuclear power plants will mainly use local workers and not those supplied by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the contractor supplying the reactors and other nuclear technology.
However, not all social impacts from Chinese investment in Latin America are regarded as wholly negative.
Chinalco relocated an entire village of 5,000 inhabitants from the highland town of Morococha in Peru, which was suffering the consequences of poorly regulated copper mining. So as not to exacerbate toxic waste and pollution, the Chinese metals producer built a new town with proper sanitation, a school and a hospital.
The report points out that China, through its production of cheap photovoltaic solar panels, has contributed to an increased share of renewables in Chile’s energy mix.
A Brazilian wind power operator could soon be owned by a Chinese counterpart, which could enable more low carbon capacity to be added to the country’s national grid at a time that hydroelectric output has been curtailed by droughts.
The paper says that low-carbon partnerships can be also developed in other areas, such as creating sustainable cities. Urban expansion accounts for a substantial proportion of Latin American countries' GHG emissions, although China's experience suggests that building in low carbon infrastructure is fraught with obstacles.
Research on China and Latin America gives rise to some worrying statistics, and learning lessons will be crucial for the partnership to pursue a more sustainable development path.
What WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% here in America allowed to happen these several decades of BIG AG GOES GLOBAL BIG AG-----is now happening in Africa and Latin America----AND OUR CANADIAN BREAD BASKET ------our Canadian fertile regions are being more devastated by global mining, oil, and natural gas taking all of CANADIAN AQUIFER water----if we think how quickly BIG AG AND BIG MEAT was able to empty our US aquifers----Maryland has one aquifer in three left and that will be taken by global FRACKING CORPORATIONS.
“We need to sustain groundwater to sustain food production, and we’re not doing it. Is draining the Ogallala the smartest thing for food production in the U.S. and globally? This is the question we need to answer.”
The Amazon River and delta represent the last of real fresh water for 99% of WE THE PEOPLE. The water table of NORTHWEST TERRITORIES is so brackish as ARCTIC ICE melts sea level rises-----
What Happens to the U.S. Midwest When the Water's Gone?
The Ogallala aquifer turned the region into America's breadbasket. Now it, and a way of life, are being drained away.
Left: Bedsprings once served as a corral near Elida, New Mexico, where turbines tap into the High Plains’ unrelenting wind, generating new income for farmers who have lost earnings as their wells dry up.Right: Two-year-old Annalea Garcia is bathed nightly by her mother, Crystal, in a bucket filled with water hauled from town. Their well and the wells of some 30 other families on the outskirts of Clovis, New Mexico, have run dry.
By Laura Parker
Photographs by Randy Olson
This story appears in the August 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine.
"Whoa," yells Brownie Wilson, as the steel measuring tape I am feeding down the throat of an irrigation well on the Kansas prairie gets away from me and unspools rapidly into the depths below.
The well, wide enough to fall into, taps into the Ogallala aquifer, the immense underground freshwater basin that makes modern life possible in the dry states of Middle America. We have come to assess the aquifer’s health. The weighted tip hits the water at 195 feet, a foot lower than a year ago. Dropping at this pace, it is nearing the end of its life. “Already this well does not have enough water left to irrigate for an entire summer,” Wilson says.
Tractors pack down a giant mound of corn at a feedlot near Imperial, Nebraska, before storm clouds roll in. Much of the region’s corn, a thirsty, irrigated crop, is grown to fatten cattle. This mound eventually would stretch 300 feet long, contain five million bushels, and feed 50,000 cattle for a year.
It is three days into January, and we are alone on an endlessly flat expanse surrounded by 360 degrees of pale blue horizon, not a cloud, not a tree in sight. We are 4,000 feet above sea level, the reason this is called the High Plains. The incessant wind that blew topsoil from the Dust Bowl east to the Atlantic Ocean and onto the decks of ships during the 1930s is unseasonably calm, although Wilson’s SUV is packed to the roof with gear for every possible weather calamity. On the field behind us, the spindly steel skeleton of a center-pivot irrigation sprinkler stretches out over brown earth like a giant sci-fi insect, dormant until spring.
High Plains Aquifer Explore the aquifer further, including the history of frustrated farmers, rainmakers, and cloud seeding, in our interactive version of this map.
Wilson, who is 47 with a lean, athletic build, is the water-data manager for the Kansas Geological Survey and part of a team that travels to western Kansas every winter to document how rapidly this aquifer is disappearing. The water beneath our feet has been accumulating in porous rock for about 15,000 years, before the end of the last ice age. For the past 60 years, the Ogallala has been pumped out faster than raindrops and snowmelt can seep back into the ground to replenish it, thanks largely to irrigation machinery like the one sleeping nearby. As a result, in parts of western Kansas, the aquifer has declined by more than 60 percent during that period. In some parts, it is already exhausted. The decline is steady now, dry years or wet. In 2015 rain was exceptionally heavy—50 to 100 percent above normal. Even so, water levels in the wells dropped again. Wilson’s field report will put the best face on it, noting it was the slowest decline in five years.
Tagging along with Wilson, I am nearing the end of a 5,000-mile journey along the back roads of Ogallala territory, from South Dakota to Texas. My drive has taken me through some of the most productive farmland anywhere, home to at least a $20-billion-a-year industry that grows nearly one-fifth of the United States’ wheat, corn, and beef cattle. It’s also a place facing hard choices: Farmers can reduce consumption of water to further extend the life of the aquifer. Or they can continue on their path toward an end that is already in sight. Some don’t like to frame the dilemma quite so starkly. But if they don’t reduce pumping and the aquifer is drained, food markets will be profoundly affected around the world. In the coming decades this slow-speed crisis will unfold just as the world needs to increase food production by 60 percent, according to the United Nations, to feed more than nine billion people by mid-century.
The draining of North America’s largest aquifer is playing out in similar ways across the world, as large groundwater basins in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East decline rapidly. Many of these aquifers, including the southern Ogallala, have little ability to recharge. Once their water is gone, they could take thousands of years to refill.
“The consequences will be huge,” says Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and lead researcher on a study using satellites to record changes in the world’s 37 largest aquifers. “We need to sustain groundwater to sustain food production, and we’re not doing it. Is draining the Ogallala the smartest thing for food production in the U.S. and globally? This is the question we need to answer.”
Wilson’s route takes us 20 miles east of the Colorado border, where little towns are named for springs that long ago ran dry. People who live on the Ogallala, also known as the High Plains aquifer, often describe their water as thick or thin. This is shorthand for the aquifer itself. The Ogallala is a giant underground sponge made of a jumble of gravel, silt, sand, and clay. All the water is contained in crevices of the sponge. If the topsoil were rolled up like a carpet, Wilson says, the sponge beneath would look like an empty egg carton, with peaks and valleys of varying depths. In parts of western Nebraska, where the Ogallala is plentiful, the sponge extends as far as a thousand feet below the Earth’s surface, meaning it is “thick” with water. In western Kansas, where we are, the aquifer undulates so much that “thin” water is often separated from thick water by only a few miles.
A steer is coaxed into its pen at a feedlot near Garden City, Kansas. Sparse population, a semiarid climate, and abundant groundwater turned the southern High Plains into the world’s feedlot capital. A single quarter-pound hamburger requires about 460 gallons of water to raise and process the beef.
“It comes down to the luck of where your ancestors settled,” Wilson says. “Or where you bought ground.”
In midmorning we arrive at Mai Farms, a family enterprise that grows winter wheat for King Arthur Flour. The Mai family, Germans who emigrated from Russia, arrived in Greeley County just in time for the Dust Bowl but lacked the money to join the exodus to California. Their first farm dusted over and went bust. Their second farm, 20 miles away, survived and thrived. Bill Mai was born on it in 1936 and lives there today. That first well we measured was drilled in 1948 by Mai’s father to carry his farm through cycles of drought. It was a marvel at the time, pumping a thousand gallons a minute, a rate that would fill an Olympic-size swimming pool in half a day. Most telling, however, is not the well’s water level: It’s that Mai hasn’t irrigated crops in 16 years. His neighbors are pulling out so much from their wells that his well drops a foot every year. “The neighbor right across the road here is growing corn,” he says. Irrigated corn makes a lot of money but uses a lot of water. I ask Mai what he can do about this. Nothing, he tells me. A legal battle over water rights “is pointless,” he says, especially since his water will run out anyway.
The consequences will be huge. Is draining the Ogallala the smartest thing for food production in the U.S. and globally?
Jay Famiglietti NASA senior scientist
Mai spent 20 years making the shift back to dryland—or unirrigated—farming, in anticipation that his water would not last. He hands me a yellowed newspaper clipping from 1976, which profiled him as Kansas District 10 farmer of the year. “We don’t have enough water out here anymore,” he warned then. Mai wasn’t the first to say it. Reports on the aquifer as a diminishing resource date back to the 1930s, when President Franklin Roosevelt appointed a Great Plains committee to examine the cause of the Dust Bowl. Even then, the committee noted the contradiction in basing an expanding farm economy on a finite resource.
For the eight states that overlie the Ogallala, differences in the complex hydrology belowground—and in state law, politics, and farming tradition aboveground—conspire against sustaining the aquifer rather than mining it. The states monitor water usage, creating an important record for how much is pumped yearly. But cutting use is more difficult. Groundwater in Kansas and Nebraska, for example, belongs to the public. Water rights are granted to property owners by those states, which assign a certain amount that can be legally used. The problem is that in overstressed areas, what’s available on paper often exceeds what’s left in the ground.
Water law in Texas is vastly different. Groundwater is not publicly owned; Texans can pump as much as they can use from beneath their land. In the High Plains water district surrounding Lubbock, 88,000 irrigation wells were stuck into the aquifer like straws, with 73,000 still in use.
Satellite images from 1972 and 2015 show the dramatic transformation of farmland as rectangular fields gave way to crop circles in southwest Kansas. In this view vegetation appears bright red while sparse grasslands and fallow fields are in shades of green.
Irrigated land is worth more and earns more than dryland farming, and pressure is on to keep pumping—from seed salespeople, farm equipment dealers, bankers, insurers, and landlords. “We’ve overdone a good thing,” says Jay Garetson, a proud fifth-generation farmer in Sublette, Kansas. His eldest son is studying aerospace engineering at the University of Kansas, as missions to Mars seem to hold more allure than becoming the sixth generation to farm the family land. “We know we are overdrafting the Ogallala. But we are all so landlocked into these microeconomic decisions that we can’t manage on a larger level.”
As I head south, I encounter a sense of inevitability and resignation. The phrase “managed depletion” becomes part of the Plains vocabulary in water district boardrooms and Elks lodges. Everywhere I stop, I ask people what will happen and what’s to be done about it. Many are concerned that the water will dry up before the next generation, but they don’t have a solution that won’t cause financial pain—or worse, ruin. Others say they’ll let the wells decide. Some farmers “think it’s their water,” one water manager tells me, “and they ought to be able to mine it like coal until it’s gone.” Beef feedlots, high-value enterprises, will endure, but corn will migrate to states that get more rain. Hope lies in technology; farmers show me iPhone apps that track water use so precisely that as little as a tenth of an inch can be applied to their crops. In Colby, Kansas, Lon Frahm, who farms 30,000 acres of wheat and corn, irrigates with two billion gallons of water yearly. He counts among his farmhands an IT technician who collects data to keep his yields ahead of his declining wells.
The irrigation era may come to be called the "great pump up," bookending the other manmade High Plains disaster—the "great plow-up."
As a hedge against declining income when wells go dry, farmers are increasingly tapping into the High Plains’ only truly inexhaustible resource: wind. Across the Plains, I pass wide belts of newly planted wind turbines. Outside Friona, Texas, northwest of Lubbock, Wesley Barnett leases wind rights to an energy company. The going rate runs about $10,000 a year per turbine. “We can’t water our land anymore anyway. For some people, wind is a lifeline,” he says.
Parts of the Ogallala could endure for a century or more. But the aquifer’s heart is at greatest risk of depletion. This overstressed zone runs the width of the Texas Panhandle north 450 miles, from Lubbock to the Kansas-Nebraska state line. There, transition to a new era of permanent depletion is under way.
As an evening storm lights up the sky near Wood River, Nebraska, about 413,000 sandhill cranes—tall, bugling, crimson-capped birds—arrive to roost in the shallows of the Platte River, which is fed by the aquifer.
The aquifer’s decline will be twinned with the increasing impacts of climate change, which will add more warm days and longer, more frequent droughts, scientists predict. Already, warmer-than-average evening temperatures in feedlots in southwest Kansas mean that beef cattle drink more water than they did in cooler years. As more farmers return to dryland farming, large farms are likely to swallow smaller family farms, because dry farming, with lower yields, requires more land to be profitable. Irrigation will disappear from most places, so more small towns will fade away. Countless towns across the Plains already teeter on the brink of extinction. The day I visited Lazbuddie, a hiccup of a community in Texas cotton country with fewer than a hundred residents, the postmistress sold a single stamp. This was a week before Christmas.
The irrigation era may come to be called the “great pump up,” bookending the other man-made High Plains disaster—the “great plow up,” when 5.2 million acres of native grasses were torn out, setting the stage for the Dust Bowl. “A couple of generations from now,” says Burke Griggs, a water law expert who teaches at Washburn University in Topeka, “people are going to look back and say: What the hell were they thinking?”
For an expanding nation in the 1800s, the High Plains didn’t hold much promise. The weather—blizzards, tornadoes, and heat waves—could kill. When it rained, it often rained all at once, triggering flash floods. By 1820 the territories that became Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma had been condemned on maps as the Great American Desert, but the cruelest assessment came from the diarist of a U.S. Army survey expedition: “We do not hesitate in giving the opinion, that it is almost wholly unfit for cultivation, and of course uninhabitable by a people depending on agriculture for their subsistence.” Homesteaders moved west anyway, lured by cheap land and railroad promotional schemes that played down climatic shortcomings. New arrivals in Plainview, Texas, stepped out of the train depot and gazed upon sailboats on Lake Plainview. The lake lasted five years, until the pump broke on the well that kept it full. The great plow up followed, as sodbusters converted grassland into wheat fields and put their faith in the mistaken theory that rain follows the plow.
One of the misconceptions about the Dust Bowl is that it could have been prevented if farmers had known what lay beneath their feet. They did. Most farms had shallow wells with windmill-driven pumps. What Plains residents lacked was the ability to drill deep and the horsepower to bring water to the surface in the volumes needed to irrigate more than a family farm. It took rural electrification and the diesel-powered centrifugal pump to launch large-scale pumping in the 1950s. After that, the invention of the center-pivot sprinkler remade agriculture. Irrigated acres on the Plains increased from 2.1 million in 1949 to 15.5 million in 2005. The change recolored dry earth into thousands of lush, green crop circles that can be seen from space.
Ogallala water made Kansas a leading producer of wheat. Ethanol production and the consolidation of beef feedlots in southwest Kansas and the Texas Panhandle made corn king. The world’s largest contiguous cotton-producing land surrounds Lubbock, thanks to Ogallala water. Large scale hog-processing plants and dairies moved into Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Cheese factories followed the dairies. One of North America’s largest cheese plants is outside Clovis, New Mexico, on the aquifer’s western edge. When I visited, it was undergoing a $140 million expansion to become the world’s largest.
“People can fairly argue there is too much development,” says Nate Jenkins, the assistant manager of the Upper Republican Natural Resources District in Imperial, Nebraska. “It was all legally developed, and it’s tough to undo. You can’t move the clock back.”
Cattle feed and ethanol, made from corn, often are singled out as so water consumptive that they put the Ogallala at risk. But William Ashworth, author of Ogallala Blue, a history of the aquifer, argues that what pushed the Ogallala beyond its limits can’t be blamed on dairies or cotton or corn: “It is dairies and cotton and corn. And alfalfa and millet and beef cattle and lawn sprinklers and every other use that demands a piece of the large but limited Ogallala supply. Individually, there ought to be enough water for any of them. Collectively, they are going to run out, and each of them is going to demand that all of the others have to run out first.”
All the Earth's continents contain aquifers, several larger than the Ogallala. By the beginning of the 21st century, a third of the world depended on aquifers for drinking water and farming. In China, plagued by drought, the North China Plain aquifer sustains 117 million people in Beijing and surrounding areas. Similar aquifers in the Ganges Brahmaputra Basin and the Indus Basin have helped lead to a population boom that will cause India to pass China as the world’s most populous nation by 2022.
The story is virtually the same everywhere. These and other aquifers in several of the world’s most productive, heavily populated regions are being drawn down at precipitous rates. NASA satellites, monitoring changes in Earth’s gravitational pull, found that 21 of the world’s 37 largest aquifers have passed the sustainable tipping point. California’s prolonged drought has driven water levels in much of the Central Valley aquifer to historic lows. India now consumes more groundwater than any other country, and at a faster rate.
Perhaps Saudi Arabia provides the most spectacular example of overdrawing a resource. The Saudis went after the huge Arabian aquifer with a greater passion than they sought their oil, drilling 2,000 feet deep. The dunes turned green with grain, transforming the desert nation into a leading exporter in the 1980s and 1990s. Now the aquifer has been all but emptied. This year wheat wasn’t even planted; the Saudis are growing alfalfa in Arizona and California.
Among the Ogallala states, Nebraska is an exception. Two-thirds of the aquifer’s water lies beneath the Cornhusker State, which ranks first nationally in acres of irrigated cropland. Ogallala water is everywhere. Wetlands and little lakes that appear as brilliant blue jewels are embedded across native bluestem. Rivers boil up out of cattle pastures, gaining in width and strength as they flow east. I spent a day with Doug Hallum, a University of Nebraska hydrologist, wandering the Sand Hills to locate the headwaters of the Dismal River, which oozes to the surface in a sodden pasture not far from CNN founder Ted Turner’s sprawling Blue Creek bison ranch. The region is really a great dune sea, the largest in North America. Rainfall and snowmelt easily percolate through the sand, giving Nebraska the most substantial recharge on the aquifer’s 174,000-square-mile span.
From 2000 to 2008, the years of both a drought and a corn boom, the Ogallala declined at twice the rate of the previous decade, according to Leonard Konikow, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist. The aquifer lost, on average, 8.3 million acre-feet per year—equivalent to about half the annual flow of the Colorado River as it runs through the Grand Canyon. The findings did little to inspire cutbacks in water use. “Everyone wants to conserve, but no one wants to quit pumping,” says Ray Luhman, manager of the northernmost groundwater management district in Kansas.
None of the three water districts in western Kansas that overlie the aquifer has agreed on a plan to cut pumping, although farmers surrounding the tiny town of Hoxie took the long view and agreed to a 20 percent reduction in a five-year trial. It is a small oasis of self-regulation in western Kansas—70 farmers over 99 square miles. Just accomplishing that took years of arm-twisting. “We knew something needed to be done,” says Jeff Torluemke, a local banker and farmer. “We’re looking at our kids and grandkids—not just water for irrigation, but water to live. If we continue to pump like there’s no tomorrow, even that would be in jeopardy.”
River “tanking” in plastic livestock-watering containers is a popular tourist draw along the shallow Calamus River in central Nebraska. With two-thirds of the Ogallala’s water underlying it, the state’s wealth of groundwater feeds countless springs, streams, and rivers.
In southwest Kansas, one of the most severely depleted areas, hopes are invested in an unlikely-to-be-funded $18 billion aqueduct, a massive public works project of eras long past, that would carry Missouri River water 360 miles uphill. Few expect it to be built, and some call it a distraction from writing a plan, like Hoxie, to scale back water use. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon laughed off the aqueduct as “harebrained.”
This past fall I attended a forum, optimistically titled Farming for the Long Haul, where Julene Bair, author of The Ogallala Road, a memoir about love, loss, and selling the farm that had been in her family for three generations, recounted how her father had heard, as she put it, the Ogallala’s “siren call” and switched from sustainable dryland wheat to unsustainable corn. She spoke emphatically about the failure of volunteer efforts to limit pumping of the aquifer. “Local control is not working,” she told the farmers in the audience. “It asks too much of the farmer to regulate himself. It’s not the farmer’s job to decide about the aquifer, it’s the government’s job.”
The Llano Estacado, the largest flat plateau in North America, spreads out from Odessa north to Amarillo, Texas, and west into New Mexico. The aquifer here is so dry that center-pivot sprinklers draw from multiple wells, the unofficial record being one pivot near Lubbock that draws from 21 wells. Not only is irrigated farming in trouble, but water supplies for surrounding towns are too.
“If people who live on the Ogallala want to see the future,” Jeri Sullivan Graham, a senior scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, tells me, “they should look south and west.”
In Lazbuddie, School Superintendent Joanna Martinez, who also drives the school bus, had waterless urinals installed in the boys’ restrooms. When the community well gave out, it coughed up so much sand it destroyed the school’s plumbing fixtures. Even with a new well, water is so scarce that the football field last year was watered only to soften it up enough to prevent injuries—and then, not on the sidelines or in the end zones.
Business is slow midday in downtown Muleshoe, Texas, a 103-year-old community northwest of Lubbock. Small towns struggle in the region, where the Ogallala aquifer is pumped for irrigation.
I cross over the state line into Clovis, a city with ambition but not enough water. Irrigation has drawn the aquifer down so low here that 73 wells deliver less water than what 28 wells delivered to Clovis residents in 2000. “We are in a race to the bottom,” Mayor David Lansford says.
Salvation lies 70 miles north. The eastern New Mexico water authority plans to build a 150-mile pipeline from the Ute Reservoir on the Canadian River to carry water south to Clovis and neighboring towns along the Texas border. Residents in the village of Logan, on the reservoir’s shoreline, fear that this new straw will draw the water down so far it will kill their tourism economy. “Just because you emptied your piggy bank doesn’t mean you get to go break your little brother’s piggy bank and take his money,” says T. J. Smith, a former chamber of commerce head. The pipeline remains unfunded, and in any event, it wouldn’t solve the problems of people such as Buffy Berdoza, who lives beyond the reach of Clovis city water.
Berdoza owns a home just two miles south of town, on Curry Road 5, where all the wells have gone dry. Berdoza is 46 and a home health care aide. Every night after work, she fills more than a dozen five-gallon buckets, sometimes more, in Clovis and hauls them home so her children can flush the toilet and bathe. She has been doing this for four years.
The heart surgeon down the road packed up and moved to Montana, but Berdoza has a mortgage and no chance to sell. Who buys a house without running water? At night, Berdoza says, she dreams about water. The dream is always the same. She is taking a shower or lying in a bath of warm water. She always has plenty.
BUT IT CREATES JOBS JOBS JOBS AND THEY PAY WELL TODAY----THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS!
Where in the world will billions of global citizens brought to North America get their food and water in several decades?
Stefanie Spear Aug. 18, 2014 08:34AM EST
Fracking the Arctic
Among the dozens of rivers that flow unfettered through the Canadian North, the Natla and the Keele may be the most picturesque and culturally important. They are especially significant to the Dene people of the Sahtu region, which straddles the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories. Both of the rivers flow crystal clear out of the Mackenzie Mountains along the Yukon/Northwest Territories border before coming together in their final course to the Mackenzie River.
A Conoco-Phillips shale oil fracking site in the Sahtu region of Canada's Northwest Territories. Photo credit: Conoco-Phillips
For hundreds—if not thousands—of years, the Mountain Dene people have been traveling upstream to salt licks that draw caribou, moose and mountain sheep down from the high country in the early fall. For the Dene, it's the best opportunity to stock up on wild game, fish and berries for the long winter.
Many Dene people living in Sahtu and in other parts of the Canadian North are concerned that this way of life may be at risk now that two energy companies have been given the go-ahead to begin horizontal fracking in a region just south of the Arctic Circle. Conoco-Phillips has already fracked two test wells in the Sahtu, and the company has plans to frack several more in the future.
With several other companies ready with plans of their own, the stakes are high. No one knows yet exactly how much shale oil and gas there is in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and territory of Nunavut. But the government of the Northwest Territories estimates that the Canol Shale underground deposit, which extends from the mountains along the Yukon border several hundred miles east towards Colville and Great Bear lakes, contains 2 to 3 billion barrels of recoverable oil, as much or more than in the highly productive Bakken formation in North Dakota.
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Such potential reserves have drawn significant interest and mark the first time that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and gas has moved this close to the Arctic Circle in Canada.
Critics fear that fracking could pollute groundwater and trigger gas releases and seismic activity. Scientists say that many sensitive ecosystems of northern Canada—which include tundra, peat bogs, fens and permafrost zones—may be especially vulnerable to the large-scale disturbances that occur in areas of high fracking activity. Deborah Simmons, executive director of the Sahtu Renewable Resource Board, has expressed concerns about cleaning up oil and chemical spills in the region’s many wetlands.
Some also worry about the so-called “boomtown effect” that comes with rapid development in remote and unpopulated areas—a phenomenon that is swiftly changing parts of North Dakota, Pennsylvania and other U.S. states affected by so-called “unconventional” drilling for oil and gas.
And residents of the Yukon and Northwest Territories residents fear, as a recent study has suggested, that these remote and sparsely populated territories have neither the governmental expertise nor the infrastructure to evaluate fracking initiatives or deal with the consequences. The Sahtu region has fewer than 1,500 people.
The rich Canol shale deposit lies in the heart of the Northwest Territories. Map credit: AANDC
Jim Tredger, a former high school principal who represents the largely aboriginal community of Mayo-Tatchun in the Yukon legislature, describes the future of fracking as a “defining moment in our history.” He and others successfully called for a moratorium on shallow fracking in the Yukon so that a full public review could assess the health and environmental risks. But the Northwest Territories is moving more swiftly to embrace fracking.
Conventional drilling for oil in the Sahtu region is nothing new; Imperial Oil, the Canadian subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has been extracting oil from the Mackenzie River for nearly 70 years.
But energy exploration has accelerated dramatically in recent years, in part because fracking has made it easier for companies to tap into reserves that were previously too difficult to exploit. To date, active licenses in the Canol shale region cover 1.35 million hectares of wilderness.
John Hogg, vice-president of exploration and operations at Calgary-based MGM Energy Corp, recently told the Financial Post newspaper in Canada that this shale oil play is as big as any in Canada. In testimony before a Yukon select committee on fracking, Hogg said that shale resources can be exploited in a responsible manner provided environmental regulations are in place. Shale oil and gas, he suggested, may be the key to the Yukon attaining energy self-sufficiency.
An oil pipeline corridor that is already along the Mackenzie River could theoretically send this newfound energy south in the future. The National Energy Board, the chief regulator in Canada, has also approved plans by Trans Canada—the company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S.—to build a $16 billion natural gas pipeline from the Arctic coast to Alberta. Low natural gas prices and increased U.S. production have put that project on hold.
Husky Energy Inc., MGM Energy and Shell Canada are also in the Sahtu region, building roads and conducting vertical tests in the oil-rich area. In June 2013, the Sahtu Land and Water Board reversed previous decisions that required a full environmental impact assessment for exploratory wells.
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One of the latest studies on hydraulic fracturing, published in the journal Science last year suggests that the environmental risks associated with fracking can be managed, but only if understanding of the fate and transport of contaminants is improved and if long-term monitoring and data dissemination is increased. For both the Northwest Territories and the Yukon this would be difficult to do. Unlike many regions in the south, groundwater aquifers have not been mapped.
Opposition in northern Canada—which comes from aboriginal groups, environmental organizations, and a Parliament of Elders in the Northwest Territories—has recently called for a moratorium on fracking in the Northwest Territories. These actions come on the heels of a Council of Canadian Academies expert panel report that points to unassessed risks and unknown impacts stemming from this controversial form of drilling.
The Council of Yukon First Nations has also vowed that they will not allow fracking on lands they control. In the face of this opposition, Conoco-Phillips and Husky have taken a pause for a year to address the concerns and questions that have been put forward.
“Fracking has the potential to affect everyone across the North,” says Doug Yallee, a Sahtu trapper, and former councilor for the local government in the Sahtu town of Tulita. “It is a new technique in the Northwest Territories and we do not have enough information about it. We know it is banned in many places around the world because of concerns similar to ours.”
Hydraulic fracturing has proven to be more controversial in Canada than in the U.S., which has undergone a fracking boom in recent years. The government of Quebec has already banned fracking because of concerns about groundwater. The government of New Brunswick recently introduced regulations that put limits on the kind of water that fracking operations can use.
Hydraulic fracturing involves the injection of sand, water and chemicals at high pressure into shale formations deep underground, shattering the rock and allowing small pockets of natural gas or oil to escape from the shale. Depending on geology and how deep a frack must be, several million gallons of water can be used to frack a single well. In many cases, energy companies inject the wastewater back into aquifers.
Scientists such as the University of Alberta’s Karlis Muehlenbachs, a geochemist, have pointed out that boreholes can and do leak when industry doesn’t follow the best practices or when cement casings fail. A 2011 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed “systematic evidence” of methane contamination of drinking water in aquifers in northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York associated with shale-gas extraction.
Fears that groundwater and rivers like the Natla and the Keele may be polluted have been reinforced by fracking efforts that recently went wrong in Alberta. It took Canadian Natural Resources $50 million and more than nine months to cap a continuing series of spills that were caused by a form of fracking—steam injection in this case—at one of its wells last year. More than 12,000 barrels of bitumen seeped through to the surface in what has turned out to be the fourth largest spill in Alberta history.
Bob Bromley, who represents a district from Yellowknife in the government of the Northwest Territories, is calling for a transparent public review on fracking like the one currently underway in the Yukon. He and others have pointed out that the government may have violated its own legislation by failing to call for an environmental assessment before approvals were given to Conoco-Phillips and Husky.
“People from all across the Northwest Territories have contacted me expressing their concerns about what’s going on,” he said. “There’s a real fear for groundwater, for the health and safety of people who live in the region, and for how this will contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Yukon government’s all-party committee on fracking has for the last 14 months heard from economists, toxicologists, medical experts, petroleum engineers, First Nations leaders, environmental organizations and industry experts.
The government of the Northwest Territories has made it clear that it intends to stay the course on fracking. “[Fracking] is not without risk,” concedes Michael Miltenberger, the Northwest Territories’ Minister of Finance, Environment, and Natural Resources, who has championed water issues for more than a decade. “That’s absolutely clear. The issue is whether we can manage this … I think we can protect the environment while expanding our economic base.”
Mark Jaccard, an environmental economist at Simon Fraser University, says that the local economic benefits of fracking in the Yukon could outweigh the environmental risks. But that can only happen, he says, if the government establishes tough environmental regulations from the start, which has yet to be done.
"Better that industry not get started rather than make a mess," he told the Yukon select committee on fracking. He said what most concerns him is that Canadian energy developments, including Alberta’s tar sands, are proceeding rapidly without consideration for how emissions from these new fuel sources will affect the global climate.