For its birthday, Svalbard will receive seeds from war-torn Syria and celebrate years of success preserving our inheritance from Neolithic times.
The world’s agricultural hard drive, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, turns four years old today. The vault was a media sensation when it first opened in 2008, but it hasn’t been in the news much since. I figured it was time to check in and see how these first four years have gone. An awesome technology by any measure, the vault is a steely compound tunneled five hundred feet into an icy mountain in the Norwegian Arctic, just 600 miles from the North Pole. It is designed to last a thousand years, and to withstand a wide range of global disasters, including climate change, nuclear war, and even an asteroid strike. Over the past four years the vault has amassed some 740,000 seed samples and eventually it may house every crop seed ever used by a human being.
Chicago-As if the heartland hasn’t faced enough this summer, with wildfires, droughts, and punishing heat, cattle ranchers are now facing a hay shortage.
The triple-digit temperatures, expected to result in the worst drought north-central Texas has ever experienced, follows spring wildfires, which scorched millions of acres that traditionally nourish the nation’s largest steer population – five million head of cattle.
Most Texas pasture and range lands – 86 percent – are currently “poor” or “very poor,” according to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The same rating applied to 69 percent of Oklahoma and 40 percent of Kansas.
The hardships this year “don’t compare to any in recent years,” says Jason Miller, a county agriculture agent for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service (TALES). “The ranchers are just holding on.”
July temperatures have topped 110 degrees in the heart of cattle country, from Texas to Kansas. Ranchers complain that Read more…
The insatiable lust among genetic engineers to tamper with the natural order has reached new freak-show proportions. Genetic butchers from AgResearch, which NaturalNews recently reported had reluctantly abandoned a 13-year animal cloning operation due to an overwhelming number of animal deformities and deaths (http://www.naturalnews.com/031573_c…), are once again in the news, this time for their plans to milk the transgendered offspring of genetically-engineered (GE) goats.
In a truly disgusting display of “science” gone wild, AgResearch scientists have been intentionally breeding GE goats, most of which are now producing transgendered babies that are essentially females in sterile male bodies. And just like the animals in the company’s previous cloning project, the GE goats’ offspring are Read more…
Costs rise 37 per cent in past year; more women, girls negatively impacted
Photograph by: Noah Seelam, AFP, Getty Images, Postmedia News
Soaring food prices and health concerns are prompting people around the world to change what they eat, according to a new 17-nation survey done for Oxfam. And Canadians aren’t exempt from the trend.
Of the 16,421 people surveyed by GlobeScan, 53 per cent said say they’re no longer eating the same foods they did two years ago. Nearly four in 10 of those say some of the food they used to eat is now too expensive, while one-third changed their diets for health reasons.
“The rising cost of food is pushing more Read more…
Access to running water remains in a state of crisis for a huge number of people across Africa, writes Michel Makpenon. With growing urbanisation across the continent, African cities will need the political determination to ensure sustainable water resources based on social need rather than commercial concerns, he stresses.
The water issue is a major problem for people in sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, the water situation in sub-Saharan Africa remains characterised by the difficult access to this resource, the poor supply management of watering places and the high costs of water network connections. For instance, in Benin one household in three doesn’t have access to drinking water, and the problem is much more acute in rural areas.
Households having access to drinking water are considered as households who have drinking water at home or within 200 metres from home: running water from the company’s distribution network, fountain water, water from the village pump, water tank and water from protected wells.
Various consultations led with the populations have indeed confirmed that the water issue is a major problem for them. The concerns, as raised by the populations, focus on the difficult access to water and the poor management of the watering places, the difficulties to call for the financial participation of the population for the creation and the management of watering places and the borehole characteristics which are Read more…
North America, southern Europe and China all likely to undergo extreme temperature shifts within 60 years
Tropical regions in Africa, Asia and South America could see ‘the permanent emergence of unprecedented summer heat’ in the next 20 years, scientists have warned.
The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their present rate, a study claims.
Researchers at Stanford University said North America – including the U.S. – southern Europe and China are likely to undergo extreme summer temperature shifts within 60 years.
Red dunes in Namibia. Much of Africa, Asia and South America could see ‘the permanent emergence of unprecedented summer heat’ in the next 20 years
This dramatic change could have severe consequences for human health, agricultural production and Read more…