Sunday, 31 August 2008
But Colony Collapse Disorder has caused devastation to bee colonies, so it is more than relevant that the German organization ‘Coalition against Bayer Dangers’ have brought legal action against Werner Wenning, chairman of the Bayer AG Board of Management, by filing a charge against him accusing Bayer Crop Science of "marketing dangerous pesticides and thereby accepting the mass death of bees all over the world."
Since 1991, Bayer has been producing the insecticide imidacloprid, which is one of the best selling insecticides in the world, often used as seed-dressing for maize, sunflower, and rape. Exported to more than 120 countries and the substance is Bayer's best-selling pesticide. Since patent protection for it expired in most countries, in 2003 Bayer brought a similarly functioning successor product, clothianidin onto the market. Both substances are systemic chemicals that work their way from the seed through the plant. The substances get into the pollen and the nectar and can damage beneficial insects such as bees. The coalition alleges that the start of their sales coincided with the occurrence of large scale bee deaths in many European and American countries. Up to 70 percent of all hives have been affected. In France, approximately 90 billion bees died over the past 10 years, reducing honey production by up to 60 percent.
The Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency said “Clothianidin may pose a risk to honey bees and other pollinators, if exposure occurs via pollen and nectar of crop plants grown from treated seeds," said the Canadian agency.
Germany banned neonicotinoids for seed treatment in May 2008, due to negative effects on bee colonies. Beekeepers in the Baden-Württemberg region suffered a severe decline linked to the use of clothianidin.
In the United States, the non profit ‘Natural Resources Defence Council’ filed a lawsuit in the Washington Federal Court to force the federal government to disclose studies it ordered on the effect of clothianidin on honey bees. NRDC attorneys believe that the EPA has evidence of connections between pesticides and the mysterious honey bee die-offs reported across the country called Colony Collapse Disorder that it has not made public.
God’s created environment is a fragile thing; we mess around with it at our own risk.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 12:22
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Yes, there they are, square melons! Grown in square glass containers they are easy to pack and transport and easy to fit into the fridge. It just shows what can be done without altering the genetics of His creation.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 08:45
Saturday, 23 August 2008
According to the Environment News Service tremendous quantities of food are wasted after production - discarded in processing, transport, supermarkets and kitchens - and this wasted food is also wasted water, finds a policy brief released Thursday at World Water Week in Stockholm. The brief authored by the Stockholm International Water Institute, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the International Water Management Institute shows that the current food crisis is less a crisis of production than a crisis of waste. Tossing food away is like leaving the tap running, the authors say. "More than enough food is produced to feed a healthy global population. Distribution and access to food is a problem - many are hungry, while at the same time many overeat," the brief states. But, it says, "we are providing food to take care of not only our necessary consumption but also our wasteful habits."
"As much as half of the water used to grow food globally may be lost or wasted," says Dr. Charlotte de Fraiture, a researcher at IWMI. "Curbing these losses and improving water productivity provides win-win opportunities for farmers, business, ecosystems, and the global hungry. An effective water-saving strategy requires that minimizing food wastage is firmly placed on the political agenda," she said. In the United States, for instance, as much as 30 percent of food, worth some US$48.3 billion, is thrown away. "That's like leaving the tap running and pouring 40 trillion liters of water into the garbage can - enough water to meet the household needs of 500 million people," says the report.
World Water Week is hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute, a policy institute that contributes to international efforts to combat the world's escalating water crisis. Virtual water is a measurement of how water is embedded in the production and trade of food and consumer products and is the concept on which the policy brief, "Saving Water: From Field to Fork - Curbing Losses and Wastage in the Food Chain," is based. While studying water scarcity in the Middle East, Professor Allan developed the theory of using virtual water import, via food, as an alternative water "source" to reduce pressure on the scarcely available domestic water resources there and in other water-short regions.
The Romans were superb engineers and sent water vast distances via aquaducts and pipes. The Holy Land was, and still is an area where water is scarce. The Bible has many references about 'living water', that is, fresh water. it is quite simple, no water, no life. It seems to be a lesson ignored by many as the virtual water in much food imported from water scarce areas of the world ends up in landfill.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 01:27
Monday, 18 August 2008
I read this book ‘The Waste Makers’ in 1970, it was first published in 1960, and I looked at the world in a different light afterwards.
So many things that are in it have come to pass. Peak oil, the world population explosion, water shortages, planned obsolescence, the way society now values people by what they earn rather than what they are as human beings, the advertisers aim to make people consume as much as possible and especially the throwaway society.
One thing that really hit home when I first read Packard’s book was the prophecy that in the future we would be mining our rubbish dumps for the material we had thrown away when the natural resources that had been squandered had started to dry up, so when I heard on the BBC World Service radio that this had indeed was being planned in the UK I felt almost sick, see the details HERE.
Packard ends his book by saying that we should not be forced to make a virtue out of wastefulness.
Sadly Vance that has happened, we have become an addicted society that seems always discontent with what it has and is always looking for something ‘better’. Whether our clothes, furniture, TV’s, cars or personal relationships, if we don’t like it, it can be dumped. So why are people so unhappy, could it be as Paul (Phil 3:19) said, that since their mind is on earthly things their destiny is destruction?
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 13:27
Saturday, 16 August 2008
Because the fact is that without us ‘The Planet’ would actually be OK. We have already seen just how life on Earth has changed with more extremes of weather and food shortages so if humanity disappeared from the Earth tonight; ‘The Planet’ would manage quite well without us thank you. No, it’s not about ‘Saving the Planet it’s about saving Gods crowning work... humanity.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 16:01
Monday, 11 August 2008
In the UK the ‘superbug’ MRSA is a major problem in hospital infections. Recently though 52 patents who were suffering from hospital acquired MRSA infected wounds were asked to take Stabilised Allicin capsules, (a Garlic derived compound) and to treat their wounds with a stabilised Allicin cream or spray. In every case the wounds healed. This is of course a case of the cure already being available to us through God's creation of nature; many of our medicines are based on plants.
But there is the problem. Every day dozens of plant species with their complex chemical structures are being wiped out by deforestation, logging and development. A new generation of antibiotics, new treatments for thinning bone disease and kidney failure, and new cancer treatments may all stand to be lost unless the world acts to reverse the present alarming rate of biodiversity loss. Who is to say that in the image above there was not the cure for cancer or aids waiting to be discovered?
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 07:59
Friday, 1 August 2008
But this is the UK... a nation of animal lovers and there are moves to change the circumstances these animals live under, but at the moment the situation is that poultry scientists have bred chickens which grow fast. As they grow, their living space – smaller than an A4 piece of paper for each bird – gets more and more cramped as they near the end of their short lives. With around 17 birds packed into each square metre they have barely enough space to walk, preen, stretch their wings or even turn around.
Such cramped conditions and rapid growth cause severe welfare problems. Chronic lameness is common – one third of chickens have difficulty walking without pain. The stress on their hearts and lungs can cause heart failure. About 5% die or have to be culled prematurely. A typical chicken shed holds 40,000 birds, they never set foot outside or see natural light, they feed around the clock - with as little as one hour of darkness for every 24 hour period but there is a plus point... our chickens and eggs are cheap!
To put it bluntly, these animals are living in torture conditions. I was thinking about this recently when the circumstances of Jesus being denied three times by Peter came to mind and a cockerel crowed. Alone in all of creation a chicken cried out at the betrayal of God. They have certainly paid for it since then, haven't they?
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 07:02