Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

World population’s appetite TO DOUBLE by 2050, boffin warns

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2012 at 3:54 am

World population’s appetite TO DOUBLE by 2050, boffin warns
Change farming attitude to help poor nations or face catastrophe

By Kelly Fiveash • Get more from this author

Posted in Environment, 22nd November 2011 15:20 GMT

In just 40 years from now, global food demand could double with potentially devastating consequences for planet Earth, a top eco professor has warned.

“Agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions could double by 2050 if current trends in global food production continue,” said David Tilman, who is Regents Professor of Ecology in the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences.

“Global agriculture already accounts for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions,” he added.

According to the prof, food production on that scale could massively inflate levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the environment.

The end result could lead to the extinction of numerous species because of the demand for more land for farmers to grow the food needed, Tilman cautioned.

However, he noted that such a catastrophe can be dodged if the high-yielding technologies of rich nations are adapted to work in poor nations. The professor also urged countries across the globe to use nitrogen fertilizers more productively.

Poor countries are currently on a dangerous trajectory based on their current “extensive” agricultural practices, the report said.

Those nations are expected – by 2050 – to clear a land area bigger than the US, which has nearly two and a half billion acres. If wealthier countries step in and improve yields to achievable levels, that number could be reduced to around half a billion acres.

Based on 2005 figures, crop yields for the the world’s richest nations stood at more than 300 per cent higher than that of poorer countries.

The research paper claimed that adopting nitrogen-efficient “intensive” farming practices would not only meet the globe’s growing demand for food but also help reduce damage to the environment.

“Strategically intensifying crop production in developing and least-developed nations would reduce the overall environmental harm caused by food production, as well as provide a more equitable food supply across the globe,” wrote Tilman’s colleague, Jason Hill, who is assistant professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the university.

During the study, the scientists looked at different ways of meeting demand for food and considered each methods’ environmental effects.

Farmers can either push up productivity on existing land, clear more land, or combine the two methods. Scenarios were mulled over to work out how the amount of nitrogen use, land cleared, and resulting greenhouse gas emissions differed.

“Our analyses show that we can save most of the Earth’s remaining ecosystems by helping the poorer nations of the world feed themselves,” Tilman concluded. ®


Dollars flowing fast, but inflation stands pat

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2012 at 3:50 am

Dollars flowing fast, but inflation stands pat
Published Sunday, Mar. 18, 2012 4:42PM EDT
Last updated Sunday, Mar. 18, 2012 7:31PM EDT

Money supply is rising fast, so where is the inflation? U.S. consumer prices rose 0.4 per cent in February, but that was mostly gasoline. Year-on-year, inflation is above the Fed’s 2 per cent target but not by much. Yet money supply is going through the roof. Either inflation is on the way, or Milton Friedman should lose his Nobel prize.

Mr. Friedman argued that “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” He proposed that central banks should increase money supply at a constant annual rate, ignoring economic cycles, so as to minimize self-reinforcing bouts of inflation and deflation.

What has happened in recent years is a long way from Mr. Friedman’s recommendation. Broad money supply, whether by the so-called M2 measure or the St. Louis Fed’s money of zero maturity – a proxy for the M3 metric – is up almost 10 per cent over the past year, while the adjusted monetary base, a narrower measure of money, is up over 18 per cent. Mr. Friedman’s idea was that the money supply should increase at the same rate as real GDP. Other things being equal, the implication of money supply rising at 10 per cent while real GDP has expanded less than 2 per cent over the past year is that inflation should be running at more than 8 per cent.

The relationship can be delayed. For instance, U.S. monetary policy became unusually expansive around 1965, whereas inflation did not hit 5 per cent a year until 1969 and only topped 10 per cent in 1974. The so-called velocity of money, essentially the pace at which each dollar is spent and recycled, is also a factor. The 2008 crash and the subsequent deleveraging process may have subdued velocity.

Nevertheless, assuming as recent data suggest that the U.S. economy is now recovering from the 2008 shock, velocity should rise to more normal levels. Applying Mr. Friedman’s theories, that in turn could bring a rapid acceleration of inflation.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and most of his colleagues believe that inflation will remain muted, justifying near-zero interest rates until late 2014. If Mr. Bernanke proves right, he’ll look smarter than the 1976 Nobel Committee.

the hand is faster than the eye !

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2012 at 3:43 am

the hand is faster than the eye !

Duo Maintenant

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2012 at 3:39 am

Duo Maintenant
Absolutely Fantastic

100 years in 10minutes

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2012 at 3:19 am