Global food prices set to rise by 50% in 5 years. Australian farmers pay 50 times more for irrigation water than in 2002. California cuts off water to farmers to save fish species, French wine growers harvest grapes 8 weeks earlier than in 1978. Russia considers a wheat export ban. Holland: bread prices to rise 20% next year. Milk named the new oil. UK: many crops just drowned. [insert deep breath] Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, had another crop-killing sweltering summer. Australia relives last year’s drought (and this time may not recover). The UN predicts a global food crisis. Topsoil vanishes at record pace. 2008 declared the Year of the Frog: up to half of amphibian species could be wiped out in coming years - the biggest mass extinction since dinosaurs disappeared. North American songbirds: going going gone, and we all know where our bees are by now. Not here.Or maybe I'm just mourning the summer past. I was working all labour day weekend, in financial preparation for my soon-to-commence graduate studies, and frankly I'll say that working inside during the last glorious weather of the summer makes me want to stab people.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
I'm working on a line of reasoning that both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush -- their successes and failures -- can be described as much by the generation from which they emerged (the Baby Boomers) as by their own individual stories. I'll have more to say about this later, but basically I think my parents' generation did not understand at the time what a precious opportunity they had for transforming human society, and will only fully appreciate what it's like to live in a society of opportunity when we see it in the rearview mirror. Meanwhile, there's this depressing-as-hell post at The Oil Drum, Canada: