By Staff on 10 June 2012 for Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition -
Image above: Kauai has over 12,000 acres of GMO's... and that's just one island. From video below..
For over 20 years, Hawaii has been the global center for the open-field testing of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's), including pharmaceutical crops. Over 5,000 experimental tests have been conducted by Monsanto, Dow, Dupont/Pioneer, Syngenta and BASF that spray chemicals on an almost daily basis on our most valuable lands.
They are supported by tax-breaks, and beneficial relationships with landowners, regulators and politicians. We estimate GMO companies own or lease 40,000 -- 60,000 acres that are sprayed with over 70 different chemicals.
A new vision for Hawai'i would promote small farms that grow chemical-free produce, employ our youth and restore the indigenous ahupua'a system. Hawai'i has less than 3,000 acres of certified organic farmland, which is 0.27% of Hawaiian farmland. Kamehameha Schools is Hawaii's largest private landowner.
Despite Kamehameha's public statements about sustainability and conservation, they lease substantial amounts of land to multi-national biotech firms, including Monsanto, Dow, Dupont/Pioneer and Syngenta for GMO open field tests and seed corn production. Kamehameha is the only institution with the land, capital and resources to reduce our food imports, that are now over 90%, and ensure that Hawai'i does not run out of food in case of natural disasters or rising oil prices.
Video above: A 43 minute film on genetic engineering of food plants in Hawaii with the use of pesticides. From (http://youtu.be/uZgrOFjhzdg).
Paul Craig Roberts has noticed collapse is at hand. And small wonder, now that fear is starting to paralyze the entire global financial system and stock markets are more fragile than before the Lehman event of 2008, which nearly terminated industrial civilization. Derivatives represent yet another near-term threat to the industrial economy. They have run wild, they continue to run wild, and and they remain an unregulated global casino for banks.
The industrial economy of the globe is so interconnected at this point that the flapping of the proverbial butterfly’s wings at a coffee shop in Florence could well cause an economic tornado in Kansas City. Recognizing this threat to the world’s industrial economy, President Obama is begging Europe to print money to support failing banks while he continues to create an ever-increasing number of terrorists by approving weekly Predator drone strikes throughout Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. The interconnected nature of the flawed and failing paradigm is all the more reason, as if you needed one, to invest in localization and your neighbors.
On the other side of the fossil-fuel coin, March 2012 was the warmest March on record for the contiguous United States, 0.3 degrees Celsius (0.5 degrees Fahrenheit) above the previous 1910 record, and 4.8 C (8.6 F) above the 20th century average. Meanwhile, some scientists have discovered a previously unknown and still little understood source of methane in the Arctic while others are really going out on a limb by concluding human activities probably are responsible for climate change. Additional positive feedbacks are on the rise, and completion of the ongoing collapse is the only way to stop them. Indeed, it might be too late already. But if we act as if it’s too late, that act becomes self-fulfilling prophecy. I’d rather not see how that turns out.
Video above: This is dinosaur Earl Sinclair's speech at the end of the last episode of Dinosaurs titled "Changing Nature" in 1995 - a Disney/Henson production. From (http://youtu.be/pPTUA_wdp78) and in original article.
The Age of Consequences By Guy McPherson on 11 June 2012 for Transition Voice - (http://transitionvoice.com/2012/06/the-age-of-consequences)
As we continue into the centuries-old, but only recently acknowledged era of destruction and extinction, it’s apparent the current model is not working.
Largely too fearful of individual retribution to disrupt the industrial culture that’s making us sick, making us crazy, and killing us, we hang tightly to the only system we’ve ever known. Pathetically reluctant to consider what lies beyond the omnicidal industrial machine, we cling to a system that has failed to nurture the living planet, human individuals, and human communities.
At some point, we simply lost track of the importance of communities, human and otherwise. Along the way to becoming a nation of multitasking, Twittering, Facebook “friends” we abandoned the ability to connect meaningfully, viscerally, individually. If we are to thrive during the post-carbon era, we’ll need to create groups of straight-talking, look-’em-in-the-eye, mean-what-you-say, say-what-you-mean, self-reliant, individuals who are not afraid to ask for help from the neighbors and who, when asked, readily offer assistance.
How it was
I know you hate those stories that start with, “When I was a kid, ….” But regardless, here goes.
I grew up in a tiny, backwoods, red-neck logging town. By the time I was 18 years old, I’d seen more bar fights than first-run movies. I knew that when a man was driving home after getting whipped in a bar fight, and the man who beat him up drove drunkenly into a ditch on the way home, the guy who got pummeled had no choice but to stop and give a hand to the guy who whipped him. If the whippee didn’t stop to help, and anybody in town found out, he’d be better off driving to the next state than hanging around.
Helping neighbors in need was not optional. The benighted community of my youth was a worthless pile of crap. But to me and my neighbors, it was our worthless pile of crap, and an outsider who threatened people in our town would’ve been better off bobbing for apples in a bucket of piranhas.
The people who lived in that town, like the ones who comprise my current neighbors, are shoulder-to-the-wheel, down-to-earth folks who care about their community.
For a diametrically opposed perspective, see contemporary suburbia. Our self-proclaimed independence is a bad joke made possible only by cheap energy. As we leave cheap energy in our wake, it becomes increasingly clear the joke’s on us.
As Dmitry Orlov points out with his usual brilliant wit, communities arise organically. Despite the multimillion dollar efforts of countless scientists at Biosphere II, for example, the resulting collection of communities is a pale and pathetic imitation of the naturally occurring ecosystems they are designed to replicate.
As with ecological communities, we know little about human communities and what makes them “work.” Nonetheless, we fill tomes about both kinds of communities.
Although communities are self-organizing, we are able to nurture them and therefore influence species composition. We can plant trees and pull weeds. We can add water and compost. In fact, we do all these things, and we call the result a garden. Scale matters: I’m a huge fan of gardens, for reasons that run from healthy food to healthy psyches, but I detest farms. The former characterize Eden, the latter civilization.
As with ecological communities, I think we can and should nurture our human communities, recognizing and encouraging positive elements and weeding out negative ones. We may not be capable of building communities, but we can work with the ones we’ve got to the betterment of individuals who contribute to the common good.
And, as with ecological communities, our ability to nurture human communities will vary. Every community is unique, and will require a unique set of approaches.
Location, location, location
Location is vitally important.
Try nurturing community in the suburban wasteland characterizing most American cities, and you’ll run smack into the horrifically omnivorous maw of culture. If the most visible portion of every house is the garage, good luck organizing the neighbors into building community gardens fed by harvested rainwater and humanure. If it works in the short run, be sure to keep tabs on all the unprepared, self-indulgent free riders you’ll need to feed and water in the longer run. If it works in the long run, it will be only because the community stops extracting life’s vital materials from the adjacent countryside. In other words, it will work because the city ceases being a city.
Community starts at home.
If you can find somebody who is willing to take you in, I propose pooling resources. Given the increasing poverty in a nation addicted to the stock markets, this counter-cultural notion — which goes against the American cultural ideal of “independence” — is starting to make a lot of sense. I suspect we’ll see a lot more collaboration and a lot less ego-laden, look-at-me-and-my-mansion competition in the years ahead.
Chop wood, carry water
After establishing a home-based beachhead, the remainder involves common sense and little else. This ain’t rocket surgery, after all. Make yourself valuable by finding a niche. Provide a service, or set of services, integral to the daily lives of your neighbors. What do they do?
They drink water. So find a way to extract, purify, and deliver water when municipal power is no longer available.
They eat. So find a way to produce healthy food at a smaller scale than the big-box grocery store. Grow chickens, ducks, and goats. Make yogurt, butter, and cheese. And then develop a means of preparing the food without fossil fuels. Think drying racks, sun ovens, and firewood.
They wear clothes. So stock up on needles and strong thread, and sell your skills as a tailor, or even a mender.
They sleep. Make ’em blankets. Or, if you have the requisite skills, beds and other furniture.
Can you care for animals, including human animals? They have tender psyches and bodies that were not designed for the rigors to which they’re about to be subjected. They need therapy, just like the rest of us, and they’ll soon need a lot more. Can you provide it, at a finer scale than the current model, and can you do so by exchanging gifts or barter?
Are you a medical herbalist? Can you become one?
People need respite from the drudgery of labor. Imagine what our lives will be like when we can’t take our annual summer driving vacation, much less the once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe or the Caribbean. Can you spin a yarn or play a tune? I recommend traveling minstrel as an occupation about to make a serious comeback, along with vigorous local theaters operating with minimal sets and electricity.
They want educated people, and some of them want educated children. If you can write a coherent paragraph and perform long division, you’ll be in constant demand in a world without hand calculators. If you can teach children to perform these miracles, get set to launch your career as a post-carbon teacher.
They have sex. Never mind the world’s oldest profession: The potential for midwives and childcare should be obvious.
Welcome to the Age of Consequences
I could go on, but the point should be clear by now. As we leave the Age of Entitlement and transition into the Age of Consequences, everybody will need to make a contribution to his or her community. Those who are unwilling or unable to make a contribution will not be welcome.
If you value living in a particular place, think about tight-knit Stone Age communities or contemporary Amish communities. The worst possible fate for an individual is to be shunned, because that means you’ll need to find your own way in a large, unknown world. In short, we thrive when our community thrives. We suffer when our community suffers.
I’m certain I’m missing many things. But any number can play, so please help me out. What skills should we learn in anticipation of a contracting economy and therefore an enlarging world? What other services can we provide, within the constraints of a small piece of land and little money?
And what about you? How are you preparing for a life of service in the Age of Consequences?.
By Juan Wilson on 11 June 2012 for Island Breath -
Image above: "Oh, crap! Was that today?" The cartoon was done for a Hallmark card in 2010 by Dan Regan. From (http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/nannalee/397582/).
I write this with a sense that the second half of this year will be crucial to your ability to set up for life in a very different world. To the degree you can it will be best to create the circumstances that allow you to be free of large networked systems that use external sources of energy. For us here on Kauai that means being less dependent on KIUC, the Gas Company, the Water Department, Hawaiian Telecom, Time-Warner Cable the banks and even your local supermarket.
Their utility in your life will dwindle - perhaps quickly. THE DILEMA Between the human and natural catastrophes we face, some people are getting a little down in the mouth about the future. Some who have had their antennae up are experiencing clinical depression or are turning to drugs, magic or even Fox News.
Anything to get away from the truth. The truth is that the jig is up. We can no longer expect that the negative waste from our activities to be absorbed by planet Earth, or the consequences outsourced to the Third World across the sea. We are quickly becoming the Third World. It's true that the cheap energy run petrochemical activities of the past century-and-a-half have created a perfect storm of human overpopulation, environmental degradation and resource depletion. We've had the energy and material to really fuck things up. There is no route back to a growth economy based on consumption.
One with higher education, jobs and homes available for all. One with all our needs satisfied by many brands of solution just a jaunty drive away. We are caught in the dilemma of not having the energy to back up our money. And that is a crucial nub. Money in one sense is the promise to do work or provide a valued resource. Some would have money be based on the inherent value of the means of exchange; like gold, copper or silver coins. Others have suggested that money be an exchange of time between parties.
But that is not what we practice now. As long as there has been plenty of cheap fossil fuels we have had the ability to spend more than we have, and devil take the consequences. We can print more money and then back it up with ever larger energy expenditures (aka growth). That's how the jig is up. We have played out the resources and energy that supported easy growth and easy living. Our money isn't even paper anymore. Our money is now merely an electronic record - a wisp on the grid - about to be snuffed like candles in a future electrical brownout.
The solution has been obvious for over 40 years. It is simple: Stop poisoning the planet, get our population under control and achieve a no growth economy. We've known it since Rachel Carlson wrote Silent Spring in 1964. We've known it since Paul Erlich wrote The Population Bomb in 1968. We've known it since The Club of Rome wrote The Limits to Growth in 1972 and Mankind at the Turning Point in 1974. We've had the solution since Bill Mollison wrote Permaculture: A Designer's Manuel in 1979. Instead we chose to be led by Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. There was that brief fling with Jimmy Carter, but that ended when he suggested we turn down our thermostats and enforced a 55mph speed limit on the interstate.
But we don't want to face any of that bullshit. We've got people to see; places to go and way too much to do to deal with it now. Maybe later. "I got a project to finish and a big payment due". Just about everybody has been putting on the blinders and going ahead with business as usual. That includes the Sierra Club committee chairperson and the Monsanto corporation board member. One watches MSNBC while the other watches Fox News. Bottom line - it's all just cable TV brought to you by industrial civilization.
The most critical thing our mass media/culture does is embed like flies in amber within the unreality of our anthropocentric world view. It used to be the job of religion. But, by and large, they couldn't keep up with the technology. Where's that iPhone app for Catholic confession anyway? The mantle of our belief systems has been passed on to the New Age bloggers and Techno-Optimist pundits. They use the media to create a fake future that alleviates our angst through either apocalypse or nirvana. In either case it won't take much work on our part - and that last part is why it sells - both promise golf-carts in Heaven.
At a recent conference on The Age Of Limits several of the people we follow closely came together. Among them Dmitry Orlov, Carolyn Baker, and John Michael Greer. We posted articles by several of them. A new theme seemed to be emerging from them. On one hand there was a turning to the spiritual aspects of our lives here in this moment of time. It was combined with an acceptance of industrial civilizations collapse. Together they pointed to a personal strategy that if acted upon could be important. John Michael Greer made a presentation and was asked afterwards in the Q&A;
"So what you’re saying is that what we need to do, individually, is to go through collapse right away." "Exactly," he said. "Collapse now, and avoid the rush."His point is that;
"The skills, resources, and lifeways needed to get by in a disintegrating industrial society are radically different from those that made for a successful and comfortable life in the prosperous world of the recent past, and a great many of the requirements of an age of decline come with prolonged learning curves and a high price for failure. Starting right away to practice the skills, assemble the resources, and follow the lifeways that will be the key to survival in a deindustrializing world offers the best hope of getting through the difficult years ahead with some degree of dignity and grace."MAN THE LIFEBOATS
Many people have sensed the change needed in their lives and have made plans to do something about it… later than sooner. There is not a lot of time left to get something done and be ready in place. You are likely yo see a further degradation of the world economy through this year. The Chinese and Indian economies are stalling. The economic malaise in Europe is contagious.
The train-wreck effect of the Greek, then Spanish and Italian economies will have a worse effect on our economy than the crash of 2008 (when oil hit $147 a barrel). The US economy is much more feeble than it was then and will not bounce back. No amount of printed funny money will fill the gorge. If there is a worldwide bank crash you likely will not be able to use credit to buy those solar panels you've been planning on. You may not even have a job. You may not be able to relocate easily. By the end of this year (or sooner) you may have to face the future where you are, who your with and with what you have now. And that's if your among the lucky ones.
My advise to all is to act accordingly. Besides taking care of shelter and food - that means discovering the work you can do to support yourself without a job or computer. But you know all this. You've heard it before from me. In fact you've heard it too many times. I've been kind of a One-Note-Johnny since I read James Kunstler's "The Long Emergency" in 2006.
In fact, if what I say is true I need to pull back from doing this blog everyday with its heavy dependence on the necessary home equipment, telecommunications systems, server farms across the mainland and all the required grid connections to reach the screen your reading now. Maybe I should pick a date to stand-down.
My first pagan instinct is to stand-down at a solar solstice or equinox. The summer equinox is coming up… maybe it should be then… June 20th 2012… just stop publishing this blog and spend that time in our garden. On the other hand, I could keep playing this song until the last lifeboat leaves the Mothership on December 20th 2012.
What do you think?
Ea O Ka Aina: The Titanic or Noah's Ark 3/4/12
Ea O Ka Aina: We are still aboard the Titanic 2/18/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Winter Solstice 2011 12/21/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Top-Down and Bottom Up 10/11/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Infallible, Unsinkable & Inconceivable 2/2/11
Ea O KA Aina: Only one kind of sustainability 2/9/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Welcome Aboard! 12/9/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Here's the Deal 7/5/09
By Kohola Leo on 9 June 2012 in Island Breath -
Image above: A still from from Superbowl ad for movie "Battleships", filmed in Hawaii. Note ship firing all its weapons at sunset near what looks like northern coast of Kauai. From (http://www.youtube.com/v/20cvxGcT0tY).
Wilcox Elementary School Cafeteria,
4319 Hardy Street, Lihue, HI.
[IB Publisher's note: We have been informed by Kip Goodwin (firstname.lastname@example.org) that on on the day representatives of the Navy will appear in public to promote their Expansion Plan for war preparation exercises in the eastern Pacific a demonstration is planned. While the topic is an EIS addressing potential harm to marine mammals, many see an opportunity to address the exercises in a greater perspective:
Who are the real winners and losers in US military power projection in the Pacific basin? A demonstration with signs will begin at 4:15pm, prior to the 5pm event start, and the attached flyer will be handed out. Anyone who wishes can bring a sign and participate. We will be in front of the meeting venue at Wilcox Elementary, across the street from Lihue Library.]
By Staff on 7 June 2012 for Common Dreams -
\Image above: A familiar but alien planet. From (http://hdw.eweb4.com/out/478830.html).
Humankind is facing an imminent threat of extinction, according to new research released on Wednesday by the science journal Nature. The report Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere reveals that our planet's biosphere is steadily approaching a 'tipping point', meaning all ecosystems are nearing sudden and irreversible change that will not be conducive to human life.
The authors describe what they see as a fast paced 'state shift' once the tipping point is reached, which contrasts with the mainstream view that environmental change will take centuries. "It's a question of whether it is going to be manageable change or abrupt change. And we have reason to believe the change may be abrupt and surprising," said co-researcher Arne Mooers, a professor of biodiversity at Simon Fraser University in Canada's British Columbia.
"The data suggests that there will be a reduction in biodiversity and severe impacts on much of what we depend on to sustain our quality of life, including, for example, fisheries, agriculture, forest products and clean water. This could happen within just a few generations," stated lead author Anthony Barnosky, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California in Berkeley.
"My colleagues who study climate-induced changes through the Earth's history are more than pretty worried," he said in a press release. "In fact, some are terrified," said co-researcher Arne Mooers, a professor of biodiversity at Simon Fraser University in Canada's British Columbia.
The report, written by 22 scientists from three continents ahead of this year's Rio+20 summit, claims that the 'state shift' is likely; however, humans may have a small window to curb over-consumption, over-population growth and environmental destruction, with drastic efforts to change the way we live on planet earth through international cooperation.
Environmental collapse now a serious threat
The Nature paper, written by biologists, ecologists, geologists and palaeontologists from three continents, compared the biological impact of past episodes of global change with what is happening today.
The factors in today's equation include a world population that is set to rise from seven billion to around 9.3 billion by mid-century and global warming that will outstrip the UN target of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
The team determined that once 50-90 percent of small-scale ecosystems become altered, the entire eco-web tips over into a new state, characterized especially by species extinctions.
Once the shift happens, it cannot be reversed.
To support today's population, about 43 percent of Earth's ice-free land surface is being used for farming or habitation, according to the study.
On current trends, the 50 percent mark will be reached by 2025, a point the scientists said is worryingly close to the tipping point.
If that happened, collapse would entail a shocking disruption for the world's food supply, with bread-basket regions curtailed in their ability to grow corn, wheat, rice, fodder and other essential crops.
"It really will be a new world, biologically, at that point," said lead author Anthony Barnosky, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California in Berkeley.
Earth reaching an environmental 'State Shift'
Or, as Canadian co-author Arne Mooers, at Simon Fraser Univeristy in British Columbia, puts it: "Once the shift occurs, they'll be no going back." A shift or tipping point is "speculation at this point," Mooers told Postmedia News. "But it's one of those things where you say: 'Hey, maybe we better find out,' because if it's true, it's pretty serious." [...]
The climate is warming so fast that the "mean global temperature by 2070 (or possibly a few decades earlier) will be higher than it has been since the human species evolved," they say. And to support the current population of seven billion people, about 43 per cent of Earth's land surface has been converted to agricultural or urban use.
The population is expected to hit nine billion by 2045 and they say current trends suggest that half Earth's land surface will be altered by humans by 2025. That's "disturbingly close" to a potential global tipping point, Barnosky says in a release issued with the report. The study says tipping points tend to occur when 50 to 90 per cent of smaller ecosystems have been disrupted.
"I think that if we want to avoid the most unpleasant surprises, we want to stay away from that 50 per cent mark," Barnosky says. The "ultimate effects" of a state shift are unknown, but the researchers suggest it could have severe impact on the world's fisheries, agriculture, forests and water resources. And they warn that "widespread social unrest, economic instability and loss of human life could result.
Tipping Point? The Earth is headed for catastrophic collapse.
Barnosky and his colleagues reviewed research on climate change, ecology and Earth's tipping points that break the camel's back, so to speak. At certain thresholds, putting more pressure on the environment leads to a point of no return, Barnosky said. Suddenly, the planet responds in unpredictable ways, triggering major global transitions.
The most recent example of one of these transitions is the end of the last glacial period. Within not much more than 3,000 years, the Earth went from being 30 percent covered in ice to its present, nearly ice-free condition. Most extinctions and ecological changes (goodbye, woolly mammoths) occurred in just 1,600 years. Earth's biodiversity still has not recovered to what it was.
Today, Barnosky said, humans are causing changes even faster than the natural ones that pushed back the glaciers — and the changes are bigger.
By Koohan Paik on 10 June 2012 fo Island Breath -
Image above: An idealized "Jeju Island Girl" stands in a field of rapeseed flowers before Mount Sanbang. By Yoo Choong Yuel, 2012. From (http://fineartamerica.com/featured/-jeju-island-girl-yoo-choong-yeul.html).
It is dreadful and it must be stopped. From my experience today, it appears as if all the gureombi as been fenced off, not with the normal kind of construction dust fence, but very serious blockades with barbed wire and guards. Needless to say, I never made it to the sea.
I can only try to imagine how gorgeous it must have looked to stroll down the hill from the village with the ocean before you. Now all the ocean view has been replaced by that barbed wire fencing. It is sickening and depressing. One thing that surprised me--after having heard so much about the incomparable, pristine beauty of Jeju Island from both anti-base and pro-development people--is how much of the island is already destroyed by loads of development.
Crowded superhighways criss-cross the island. Hourly superferries ply the waters, arriving from all over the mainland. There are as many flights between Seoul and Jeju as there are between San Francisco and L.A. On my way from the ferry terminal to Gangjeong, the bus made the rounds at Joongmoon tourist area, which is a conglomerate of Vegas-style theme mega-hotels separated by vestiges of forest.
The most "tasteful" one is the Hyatt (an excellent facsimile of an Italian villa), as opposed to the Lotte, which looks like a Doubletree Homewood Suites on steroids. Cross the L.A-style parking lots of these hotels and you hit the sorts of attractions you might find at Fisherman's Wharf: a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, a love and sex museum, an oversized version of a Zanzibar building with a huge polyurethane elephant and other African animals out front, and a Starbucks that looks more like a Disneyland ride than a coffeehouse. Tacky and garrish, it's like Kim Jong-il was Joongmoon's director of city planning.
By contrast, Gangjeong is so quaint and authentic, a ten-minute drive away. Real farmers and fishermen live on these picturesque paths lined on each side with lava-rock walls. Beauty and community are everywhere, as is the impressive presence of the protestor community, with anti-base banners and flags festooning all neighborhoods. Tangerines, aloe, apricots and figs grow along the streets and pathways.
Image above: The grim reality. Protesters at the site of the future navel base with concrete tetrahedral construction "pods" that will create foundation pf seawalls for base. From (www.dmzhawaii.org/?taxonomy=post_tag&term=solidarity).
Indeed, it is the spirit of the villagers that takes your breath away. This is Mecca for anti-military activists. In the center of town is a visitors' center. There is a lounge and information there for tourists about Gangjeong, all with a decidedly anti-base stance, with schedules available for all the daily anti-base events.
Every day at 11:00 and 3:00 a mass is held outside the gates to the construction site. Lunch and dinner are served for free every day to activists at a spacious temporary building that is surrounded by fields of strawberries. At eight every evening is a candlelight vigil. I just returned from the candlelight vigil -- wow! That was the first candlelight vigil I've ever been to with karaoke. A karaoke candlelight vigil.
The mayor was decked out in the traditional silk Jeju attire and shades as he rocked out at the mike, telling everyone to stand up and dance, which we all did, of course, since the mayor went to jail for five months to defend his village. Everyone here is so passionate and smart and committed. And entertaining. And human.
I met the head cook, the head of "field activities," the head of the media team, the head of the kayak team, the head of the "international team," and the head of the explosives team (they block trucks; not detonate dynamite).
I met a famous actor from a television series who now lives here and fights in the struggle. I met an arrogant journalist from D.C. who kept interrupting everybody and was here on a grant to study and publish about the militarization of Jeju and Okinawa, and who didn't even know about the intimate connection between Okinawa and the Guam buildup, or much of anything else about Asia-Pacific militarization. I met the famous Father Moon, known nationally here for all his antics in protest of Pyongtaek military base, but not as famous as his brother, who is in all the history books for crossing the DMZ in protest of the division and serving time for five years for doing so.Every night, about fifty people from near and far, come to sing and dance after a day of anti-base protests. If this was the "candlelight vigil," I have yet to discover what the catholic mass tomorrow morning will be like. Will keep you posted...
• Koohan Paik from Kauai, Hawaii just arrived in Gangjeong village and will be there for 3 1/2 weeks. She's been heavily involved in the campaign to stop the Navy base and helped host our Global Network delegation last February when we visited Kauai. The Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility is located on Kauai and is the key testing area where Aegis destroyers practice firing their "missile defense" systems. It is the only range in the world where submarines, surface ships, aircraft and space vehicles can operate and be tracked simultaneously. There are over 1,100 square miles (2,800 km) of instrumented underwater range and over 42,000 square miles (109,000 km) of controlled airspace. The base itself covers roughly 2,385 acres (965 ha). These Aegis warships will be ported on Jeju Island and will play important roles in the Pentagon's first-strike attack planning against China. .
Production and exports are plummeting in Italy, Holland, Finland, Germany, just about anywhere; in China, production growth falls sharply. But your "leaders" will keep on talking about restoring growth, recovery etc. Spain will - secretly - ask for some $200-300 billion in bank bail-outs on Saturday (and get much less, the Wall Street Journal reports it will be €125), and 24 hours later play its first game in the Euro Cup, for which it's the great favorite.
The potential Spain bailout will need to be financed through EFSF bonds. The IMF has stated that the banks will need €40 billion, but that number looks ridiculously low. €40 billion every week over the entire summer sounds more like it.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard quotes a few voices:
Megan Greene, from Roubini Global Economics, says Spain's banks will need up to €250bn - a claim that no longer looks extreme. New troubles are emerging daily. The Bank of Spain said yesterday that Catalunya Caixa and Novagalicia will need a total of €9bn in new state funds.
JP Morgan is expecting the final package for Spain to rise above €350bn, while RBS says the rescue will "morph" into a full-blown rescue of €370bn to €450bn over time - by far the largest in world history.
But then there's always that nasty and inconvenient question:
"Where is the money going to come from?" asked Simon Derrick, from BNY Mellon. "Half-measures are not going to work at this stage and it is not clear that the funding is available."
In theory, the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) and the new European Stability Mechanism (ESM) can raise a further €500bn between them, beyond the sums already committed to Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. "There is sufficient firepower available. In addition, the EFSF/ESM can leverage resources," said Christophe Frankel, the EFSF's chief financial officer.
In theory, sure, Europe can further leverage and rehypothecate till Kingdom Come. But only in theory. The EFSF depends on international finance markets for their bond issues. Leveraging collateral won't exactly help it build or restore credibility there. And that's not all:
It may not prove so easy to convince global investors to mop up large issues of debt. "Our clients won't touch the EFSF because nobody knows what it really is. They have cut it out of their benchmarks altogether," said one bond trader.
The Chinese issued their own verdict yesterday. The country's sovereign wealth fund said it will not buy any more debt in Europe until the region takes radical steps to restore credibility. "The risk is too big, and the return too low," said Lou Jiwei, the chairman of China Investment Corporation. "Europe hasn't got the right policies in place. There is a risk that the eurozone may fall apart and that risk is rising," he told the Wall Street Journal. The EFSF had hoped to sell yuan "Panda bonds" but this may prove hard.
Eric Dor, from the IESEF School of Management in Lille, said Spain would have to step out of the EFSF as a creditor the moment it asks for funds. This has instant effects on the residual core. Italy's share rises from 19pc to 22pc, and Italy is in no shape to face extra burdens. France's share rises from 22pc to 25pc, and Germany's from 29pc to 33pc.
"The credibility of the guarantees given to EFSF bonds would collapse. This would cause an incredible turmoil on the European sovereign debt markets," he said. [..]
If you think this through, and include Italy ceasing to be a Eurozone emergency fund creditor, with other countries on the verge, you're left with Germany in the not too distant future paying over 50% of what's needed to "save Europe". If the Germans accept that at all (they probably won't), it will do so only with very stringent strings attached, like a much stronger political and fiscal union effectively run by Berlin. There is zero chance of a consensus for that in all member countries.
Any rescue must be a loan to the Spanish state, even if the money goes to the bank restructuring fund (FROB). The cost will push Spain's sovereign debt even higher .[..]
The EFSF had trouble raising funds last year. The spread on 10-year EFSF yields over German Bunds reached 177 basis points in November. Moody's said at the time that the EFSF "cannot meaningfully support the euro area's large government bond markets".
The fund placed a three-year bond last week at 1.116pc, compared with 0.15pc for German three-year debt, or 0.69pc for French debt. In effect, the EFSF is already paying a premium, and that was before the Spanish crisis had fully metastasized.
The permanent ESM may have more luck when it comes into force next month, since it will have €32bn of paid-in capital and a stronger mandate - but it still bears the stigma of EMU break-up talk. "If they want anybody to the buy the rescue bonds, they should make them redeemable in the German currency on the day of the redemption: let us call them D-Mark bonds," said Charles Dumas, head of Lombard Street Research.
The Spain bank bailouts, if they happen, will be a temporary "solution", more like a bank band aid, and it will, for one thing, do absolutely nothing to alleviate the (debt-)pressure on the Spanish government, let alone its regions, which are also miles over their necks in debt (re: China). Nor will it do anything at all to help the over 50% of unemployed young people find jobs.
Which means that all hope of recovery or growth in the Spanish economy remains a lost and lonely mirage for many years to come. Which in turn guarantees that all numbers used to figure out the right number of billions for the banks will turn out to be hugely over-optimistic. And that of course guarantees more talks and more bailouts in the future.
One of the smartest things I read the past week was the assertion that it doesn't make one iota of difference who wins the June 17 Greek elections; just like in Spain, Greece's economy is getting so much worse so fast that any and all treaties concluded in the past will need to be renegotiated regardless of what anyone claims.
The idea is that if the "traditional" parties win, which support the "Troika treaty", all will be fine, but that's just a load of doo-dog-doo. Everything Europe and the IMF have come up with so far has been one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind the reality that underlies what they're talking about in the first place. If they would address the actual reality, nobody would show up at the negotiating table anymore. And the Spanish people would perhaps not quite as peacefully stay home to cheer their team.
So reality is off the cards. No truth for you; word is you can't handle it. And if you can't handle the truth, what are the chances you can handle reality when it catches up with you?
And now that we're asking questions, answer me this one: where's the growth going to come from that your leaders are dangling before you?
Tick 'em off: not from Spain, not from Greece, that's the easy ones. Not from the PIIGS. And not from the FANG countries (Finland, Austria, Netherlands, Germany): their production numbers are falling as we speak. Not from the US, which are hopelessly stuck in their unemployment swamp (officially and unofficially), which have a housing market that has a long way down ahead yet even with (or because of) 40 million underwater "homeowners“, and which have so much government debt only divine intervention would offer solace (which is perhaps why so many Americans attend church). And not from China either, where numbers are falling so hard a soft landing looks like a faraway dream.
This is a classic Mexican stand-off. Europe can't afford to save Spain, and it can't afford to not save it. I've said it before: there is no solution for Europe. In its battle for credibility, it destroys that very credibility, since it has no choice but to expose its weaknesses in the process.
Weaknesses like Germany's potential inability to pay for bailouts. Satyajit Das writes this:
The standard narrative states that Germany does not want to bail out troubled peripheral nations within the euro zone. The reality is that the more highly rated and larger euro zone members, Germany and France, may not have the necessary financial resources for the task.
• German Gross Domestic Product is €2.5 trillion and its debt levels are around 80% of GDP. French GDP is €2.1 trillion and its debt levels are around 90% of GDP.
• Germany and France’s greatest vulnerability is the large financial exposures arising from the current European debt crisis. Their exposures to the troubled peripheral economies are large. German and French banks have exposures of around €800 billion to the debt issues of peripheral nations.
• The German and French states have indirect exposure through support of various official institutions such as the European Union, European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and special bailout funds. As of April, the exposure of the ECB to Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy was €918 billion and rising rapidly, driven by capital flight from these countries.
• German and French guarantees supporting the European Financial Stability Fund are around €200 billion each.
• Germany also has the additional burden via the Bundesbank’s €644 billion exposure to other central banks in the euro zone under the TARGET2 (“Trans-european Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System”), which is designed as a payment system to settle cross-border funds flows.
Surplus countries such as Germany have been forced to use TARGET2 to finance peripheral countries without access to money markets as a way of funding trade deficits and offsetting capital flight. Germany is by far the largest creditor in TARGET2. The Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg are the other creditors, with all other euro zone countries being net debtors within the system.
.. [greater monetary and fiscal integration] would require mutualization of debt through the issue of euro zone bonds backed jointly or severally by all member states. Germany’s and France’s financial exposure would increase through their liability for euro-zone bonds.
• Germany’s TARGET2 exposure would also continue to increase, at a rate of €80-160 billion annually to finance expected trade deficits in the rest of Europe. The increase in exposure may be higher if needed to finance budget deficits of weaker euro zone members and the anemic banking sector.
• A credible deposit insurance scheme would have to be around €1.3 trillion in size. A European deposit guarantee system, provision of capital or further funding of banks would potentially increase Germany and France’s financial liability.
• If integration is not undertaken or the partial solutions fail, then some European countries will need to restructure their debt and potentially leave the common currency. Germany and France would suffer immediate losses. A Greek default would result in losses to Germany of up to €90 billion. France would suffer losses of up to €65 billion.
The BBC reports that Spain has restated again on Saturday morning that it doesn't need or want a bailout, at least not before a domestic stress test which will be made public 2 weeks from now. However, the EU and ECB want it all done in one week, before June 17, the Greek election. It will be. But once again, nothing will be solved when it is.
Still, the Eurozone countries are stuck with each other and with nowhere to go. But down.
Greece can't leave, or be allowed to leave, because other countries (the PIIGS) would follow. Either of their own will or because the bond markets would force them. It's possible that Germany et al. could at some point think a Greek exit could be controlled, but that would be a huge miscalculation.
Germany can't leave either, and also because other countries would follow. The Netherlands, Finland, Austria, maybe one or two others. France would want to join this group, but the other countries wouldn't want it to. And France would never accept being in the PIIGS group.
The only thing that's certain is chaos.
It's a restless hungry feeling
That don't mean no one no good
When ev'rything I'm a-sayin'
You can say it just as good
You're right from your side
I'm right from mine
We're both just too many mornings
An' a thousand miles behind.
- Bob Dylan
On behalf of the Hanalei Farmers Market 'ohana of farmers, artisans, and food vendors, we are THRILLED to announce that the Hanalei Farmers Market will reopen next Saturday, June 16, from 9:30am-noon!
We are truly grateful for the outpouring of support from our island community, as well as from visitors around the world. More than 1500 individuals signed the petition urging the market be saved! You demonstrated how beloved and integral a part of the community our market truly is, and our hearts are forever touched.
We applaud the County of Kauai and Hale Halawai Board of Directors for working together to expedite the permit review process, helping save a true Kauai community treasure. We also appreciate the generous support of Namahana Farmers Market, for graciously accepting our vendors on a temporary basis, while these issues were being resolved.
NOTE: THIS SATURDAY ONLY, the Hanalei Farmers Market will take place at the Namahana Market, located at Kauai Mini Golf, 5-2723 Kuhio Hwy, from 9-1pm. Beginning next Saturday, June 16, we will resume operations from 9:30am-noon, at the site of the Hanalei Community Center, located near the Wai’oli Hu’ia Chuch (the beautiful green church).
We look forward to everyone working together to address any remaining concerns, in a way that reflects the true Spirit of Aloha.
Mahalo nui loa for all of your support. Aloha!
See also: Ea O Ka Aina: Save Hanalei's Farmer's Market 6/6/12
This letter is in response to Pat Gegan's of 6/1 to Christopher Schaeffer. Christopher wrote the board, asking KIUC to produce an expert of comparable credentials to Dr. David Carpenter to refute Dr. Carpenter's testimony concerning the documented health hazards of WIFI. Pat wrote:
"...we have seen this information and unfortunately it does not pertain as closely as many are stating. The frequency used in the Portland school example is based on 2.4GHz while the frequency used by Landis and Gyr meters is the Gridstream RF which is in the neighborhood of 902-908 MHz." and later, "I present no expert, just some differences between the study being used to make some assertions and the actual specifications of the Landis and Gyr Meters."You and everyone on the board will apparently be surprised to learn that the smart meters KIUC selected utilize both 900 MHz AND 2.4GHz.
The Landis+Gyr literature you recently sent me clearly states "comes with Zigbee home area network radio for communicating with in-premise devices, such as energy monitors, thermostats and appliances." http://style.landisgyr.com/apps/products/data/pdf1/RFResidential_ProdSheet.pdf
Zigbee is a 2.4 GHz communication protocol - a fact which should long since have been known to all of you on the board and been made known to the people of Kauai...especially those interested in the in home display program which will immediately utilize Zigbee. I request that KIUC amend its website, its publicity, and its literature to reflect this revelation. I request that an email be sent to all coop members alerting them to this new information and reminding them that they may ask for a deferral or for removal of their smart meter at no additional cost. Since all of you have missed understanding or communicating this fundamental point (whether intentionally or otherwise I cannot say), you may perhaps appreciate why Chris and many others feel that the board's due diligence and transparency on all issues regarding smart meters, is not to be trusted. Having established the fact that KIUC smart meters are configured for 2.4GHz, it should be plain to you that Chris is correct: Dr. Carpenter's research is highly relevant and you all have a duty to answer his concerns. Unless KIUC can disprove Dr. Carpenter's concerns, I respectfully request that you immediately institute a moratorium on further installations and remove all smart meters which have already been installed. I further request an EIS and additional research on human and animal health issues. Please also read the amended declaration of microwave specialist Barrie Trower. See (http://www.wirelesswatchblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/11/20-Amended-Declaration-of-Barry-Trower.pdf). This too details numerous studies of serious health problems resulting from exposure to pulsed microwaves carried on 2.4 GHz communication.
At the Marriott courtyard meeting, on 4/24, Jan TenBruggencate dismissed citizen concerns about the effect of smart meters on human health, saying that had read dozens of studies and was convinced Smart Meters are safe. Which studies did Mr. TenBruggencate consider? Did he ignore studies which did not specifically pertain to 900 MHz? Did he understand the significance of the pulsed microwaves carried on 900 MHz? (see next paragraph) While it is always important that KIUC presents truthful information about smart meters, focusing primarily on carrier frequency may cause us to miss the most important issue of all. Current research strongly suggests that pulsed microwave radiation is the most damaging to our biology, regardless of whether it is carried on the 900 MHz or 2.4 GHz band. See:
- Andrew Goldsworthy The Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Fields March 2012, p. 4 http://www.cellphonetaskforce.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Biol-Effects-EMFs-2012-NZ2.pdf
- The Amended Declaration of Barrie Trower p. 17, #59 http://www.wirelesswatchblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/11/20-Amended-Declaration-of-Barry-Trower.pdf
- The Amended Declaration of Dr David Carpenter, p. 5, #17; p. 8, #25; and p. 22, #33 http://www.magdahavas.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Amended-Declaration-of-Dr-David-Carpenter.pdf
Remember, smart meters communicate via pulsed microwaves. I will cover the hazards of pulsed microwaves in greater detail in answer to the letter Pat sent me on 6/3 in which he asked if I could show you what he was missing in his understanding of the studies. Pat and I had planned to meet in person to discuss this, but events at the 6/4 KIUC meeting make it essential for this communication to occur in public.
At the meeting Pat Gegan interrupted Ken Taylor's request that Brad, your engineer, answer my technical questions about smart meters originally submitted to Jan TenBruggencate. Pat claimed he had already answered my questions in writing and in full. This is FALSE. Was this a deliberate ploy by the board to prevent the truth from being revealed in an open public forum? Finally, the recent measurements of an actual smart meter on Kauai call into question the remaining reasons you gave for the inapplicability of Dr. Carpenter's statements. You wrote: "at the 99.9% a smart meter is on for about 14 minutes in a 24 hour period and the average is closer to 45 seconds." Based on actual measurements, analyzed frame by frame in video, Mr. Naea writes on (http://stopkiuc.com/2012/06/actual-smart-meter-microwave-exposure-video-taped-kapaa-kauai/)
"As the graph shows, extrapolated over a 24 hour period that amounts to 3.2 hours of exposure to a pulsed modulated microwave frequency radiation at over 2 milliwatts per square meter (mW/m )."Revelations about the dangers of smart meters and the deceptions perpetrated on Kauai's people are just beginning. Please, let us invoke the precautionary principle and implement a moratorium now, before any further damage is done. .
By Maryam Henein on 2 February 2012 for Gather Green -
Image above: A patented Monsanto replacement for living honey bees - a beebot. From (http://singularityblog.blogspot.com/2007_02_01_archive.html).
There was quite a stir amongst beekeepers and anti-gmo activists this past October when chemical and seed giant Monsanto purchased Beeologics , a small company best known for its “groundbreaking research” vis a vis the application of RNAi technology on honeybees, a mechanism meant to block gene expression.
This was Monsanto’s first acquisition of a pest control biotech company. Yet surprisingly the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Since its inception in 2007, Beeologics has been developing Remebee,® an anti-viral treatment for use in honeybees affected with Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a bee-specific virus, which originated from Australia and found and named in Israel in 2002.
I first heard about Beelogics, which is headquartered both in both Florida and Israel, in April 2008 when President and CEO Eyal Ben-Chanoch reached out to Vanishing of the Bees via email after viewing our trailer and spotting some familiar faces.
Eyal explained that Beeologics was assembling scientists, beekeepers and business people “to create the missing corporate support” in an industry that traditionally has only been supported by a few hardware manufacturers. Sure there were hives, tools, bee suits and the like being offered but very little had been invested in technology and medicine for the bees — until Beeologics came along that is.
To put things in context, many scientists were all abuzz about IAPV at the time. Many firmly believed that it was a primer for Colony Collapse Disorder. Remembee, meanwhile, was regarded as a first line of defense to control the virus and its effect on bee mortality.
We inoculate humans, why not insects?
Eyal assured me that Remembee wasn’t another “snake oil” product but rather a treatment developed by ‘real’ scientists at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. They were testing the product with the help of the University of Florida, Penn State, the USDA/ARS and some of the largest beekeepers in the country including David Hackenberg, CCD’s poster child and the main character in our film.
While CCD is a complex issue no-doubt,
I told Eyal that our findings pointed to another cause: newfangled chemicals called systemic pesticides. Instead of being applied to leaves, they are enrobed on seeds and/or entrenched in the soil, allowing for the poison to literally become part of the plant.
Consequently, honeybees bring the systemics back to the hive in the form of pollen and nectar and store it in their honeycomb. When future generations dip into their reserves, they ingest toxins that target their central nervous system, affect their navigational capabilities and impair their memory. More importantly, the chemicals compromise their immune system – the number one key to fighting any kind of insult to the body, including a virus like IAPV.
As a scientist Eyal didn’t quite agree with our conclusions.
“While I am also concerned with the world we are going to leave to our children, those who are using so-called facts that are based on pseudo or incomplete scientific work are as dangerous as the chemical companies who don’t release the data they have,” he concluded.
Which brings us back to Monsanto, arguably the most detested chemical company on the face of the planet.
Why were they drawn to Beeologics? Was it because the competition (Syngenta and Bayer Crop Science) had also expressed interest? Or was it because they’d identified some low-hanging fruit to add to their portfolio of proprietary life forms? Perhaps Monsanto, which boasts a revenue of more than $10.5 billion per year, plans on buying anything and everything to do with gene manipulation?
Considering that the honey bee has been sequenced, how long before we bear witness to a genetically modified bee? I’ve been saying this since 2008 for the record!
… Introducing pesticide-resistant SUPER BEE Patent # 2457842149…
I mean, if seeds are any indication, Apis Melifera may also soon belong to Monsanto. Kill the bees with GM and pesticides, offer a band aid solution by creating a bee that is resistant to all the crap peddled on the market and then persuade/force beekeepers to buy Monsanto bees or else. It’s wicked genius.
But I am sure Monsanto and many others would call all of this paranoid phooey.
Take one well known scientist/beekeeper’s take on the subject.
“Honeybees aren’t an organism that anyone, who understands anything about their molecular biology, would advise as a subject for genetic modification,” he recently told colleagues on the online Bee List. “Do you really think that Monsanto envisions that there would be any substantive return on investment on a patented bee? It would need to be propagated by instrumental insemination, so there would be a very limited market. This discussion is beginning to sound like the Twilight Zone.”
Insect inoculation may be the latest rave, but is it the best solution?
Today we know that subsequent research failed to confirm a link between CCD and IAPV and found that although IAPV can result in honey bee mortality, the symptoms are not consistent with those of bees dying from CCD.
With that said, why does Monsanto’s site claim that ”the Remebee® product line is now proving to be a viable solution to “Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), “Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) infection and other diseases that threaten the world’s bee population.”
Is this just bad advertising copy?
Opponents meanwhile wonder whether using an antiviral agent will result in any significant decline of CCD when we now know that bees around the country and across the world are constantly exposed to an array of highly toxic pesticides that are known to have serious effects not only on our virgins of toil, but a range of other pollinators.
Perhaps anti-viral remedies are the next generation of products used to combat agricultural pests and pathogens but they don’t deal with the root of our problems such as native bee extinctions & unsustainable agriculture (ie GE crops, pesticides and herbicides). In the end we will still have a polluted environment.
Furthermore there may likely be unknown effects in gene expression, in anti-viral abilities, and in their cability to evolve inherent defenses against viruses, etc, adds Brian Dykstra, who holds a degree in both environmental policy & in progress pollination biology. He also manages Ethnobeeology’s FB page.
And yet Beeologics is confident that the acquisition comes at an ideal time and that they are in safe hands.
Shortly after the purchase, Nitzan Paldi (CTO and co-founder of Beeologics) posted a blog where he stated that Monsanto’s “leadership team and scientists are just as passionate about helping growers and agriculture as [they] are.”
“As a scientist, it’s gratifying that research we’ve been working on may have an opportunity to be tapped for much broader use in agriculture; potentially helping growers around the world meet the ever increasing demands being placed on agriculture worldwide.”
And if you still have doubts fear not!
According to a Monsanto press release we should not be concerned, because it will be business as usual. Beelogics will continue to “promote bee health” under the new ownership. And Monsanto will simply use “the base technology from Beeologics as a part of its continuing discovery and development pipeline.” Whatever that means.
How is using science to circumvent the laws of nature ever a positive thing? Facelifts and stem cell research aside of course.
To further reassure folks, the press release goes to describe Monsanto as “a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improves farm productivity and food quality.” They even state that they are into sustainability.
My jaw dropped. Apparently Monsanto is experiencing delusions about its identity. Because the Monsanto I know is pretty much a ‘U.S. backed bioterrorist organization worthy of international intervention.’
In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets!!
They make gobs of cash and yet sue farmers in poor countries who make less than $500 per year. In many cases farmers are forced to stop growing certain organic and conventional crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America’s farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. Due to these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy.
As one person recently remarked on our FB page, “it’s a shitty business model to create something that can’t be controlled except by suing the hell out of people.”
And in India, thousands of farmers have committed suicide- by drinking insecticide no less- because they were promised harvests and income only to have crops fail and debts surmount thanks to their newly planted GM seeds.
So you be the judge. Is Monsanto really getting into bee protection? Or is this another example of man tampering with the bees – with seemingly a lot more money?
Remembee is currently being reviewed for potential commercial sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Another product RemebeePro, is also on its way.
In Part II Maryam asks Monsanto and Beelogics some critical questions.
Researchers studying honey bees in Hawai'i have found that the varroa mite, besides weakening and killing bees itself, also spreads a devastating bee-killing virus. Indeed, in places where the mite has spread, infections of the deformed wing virus (DWV) have increased from being in 10% to 100% of the bees in infected hives. An international team of researchers, including two from the University of Hawaii, used the relatively new infestation of varroa mites in the Hawaiian Islands to study how the virus spreads along with the mite.
Their work is in the June 8, 2012, issue of Science and the June 7 issue of Science Express. In other parts of the world, the combination of the mite and the virus has led to colony death. That has also happened in Hawaii, but only after the mites have been in place for a long period to time--two years or more.
Varroa mites are sucking pests that live off the blood of bees. They will often begin feeding on bees that are still in the larval stage. The DWV can spread on its own, but is much more effectively spread by the mite, which can inject the virus directly into the bee's body.
The researchers also found that as the mites spread the virus, they have also played a role in the genetics of the virus, resulting in significantly lower viral diversity. In varroa-infected colonies, only a single strain of DWV is now dominant, they found. The varroa mite is in all the state's major bee-farming islands except Kauai.
A 2005 study by University of Pennsylvania Diana L. Cox-Foster and Xiaolong Yang found that varroa mite infestations reduce bees' immune response, making them more susceptible to infection. Some reports indicate that in the absence of the mites, bee hives can sustain infection with DWV, but that instances of actually deformed bees increase when mites are present--perhaps because of the mite-induced reduced immune response.
There are signs of hope with regard to the mite, whose scientific name is Varroa destructor. Some strains of honeybees have a self-cleaning gene that causes them to groom the mites off themselves. And, researchers in both Great Britain and the United States are studying fungi that may help control varroa mites.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture report on this is here: ( http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/oct04/bees1004.htm).
The Hawaii mite-virus work paper is:
"Global honey bee viral landscape altered by a parasitic mite" by Steven J. Martin and L. Brettell, University of Sheffield; A.C. Highfield and D.C. Schroeder, Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom; E.M. Villalobos and S. Nikaido, University of Hawaii; G.E. Budge and M. Powell, Food and Environment Research Agency, York, UK.See also: Ea O Ka Aina: They're Here! 5/31/12 Ea O Ka Aina: Pesticide and Beehive Collapse 4/5/12 Ea O Ka Aina: Nicotine Pesticides and Bees 12/13/11 Ea O Ka Aina: Neonicotinoid pesticides kill bees 1/24/11 Ea O Ka Aina: Let's talk about bees 1/18/11 Ea O KA Aina: Mystery of westside bee decline 7/5/10 .
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