Ladybug Lost

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

[ Just a note about a curious thing to lighten your day. ]

This is the time of year that ladybugs start to look for places to spend the winter.  They don’t migrate like songbirds, but hibernate, more like bears or turtles.  Many of us find ladybugs  inside our homes once the weather starts to get cold, or,  even more often, in the spring  when the ladybugs that have been sleeping inside our home’s  walls all winter come out on the inside of the house instead of the outside!

 

Ladybugs are Good Bugs!

In your flower or vegetable garden, ladybugs are beneficial – both the adult (ladybug) and the larvae eat aphids, mealybugs and spider mites, all of which cause damage to your plants.  Ladybugs are so helpful that they are sold as natural “pesticides”, shipped to your home for release in your garden.

 

 

 

 

 

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Financiers of Poverty, Malnutrition and Death – Part 1

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Private ‘philanthropic’ foundations join government agencies in funding anti-technology NGOs

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization, anti-development banks, the Agency for International Development (USAID), NGO (non-government organization) pressure groups and other eco-imperialists are properly condemned for using their money, power, and control over trade and lending to keep millions of African, Asian and Latin American families from having access to reliable, affordable energy, pesticides and spatial insect repellants to prevent disease, and modern agricultural technologies.

Those outfits perpetuate poverty, disease, malnutrition and death. Yet the eco-manslaughter continues.

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Iowa Agriculture in Consideration of Climate Change

By Kevin Kilty – Re-Blogged From WUWT

A recent article in Physics Today[1] presents use of regional climate modeling in forecasting how climate change might impact agriculture in the U.S. Midwest. This guest blog offers a summary of this effort, and makes additional observations.

Introduction

The introduction makes a case that Iowa is a proxy for the Midwest itself, and that agricultural productivity in the Midwest is very important to the national and global food supply. It is clear that climate conditions in Iowa have improved markedly for selected crops since the 1980’s. One may find supporting evidence in the changing agricultural practices of farmers. However, the authors argue that this present “Goldilocks” period cannot last, and that by mid-21st century climate change could decrease Midwest agricultural productivity back to 1980s levels. This dire warning comes by way of the Fourth National Climate Assessment made in 2018. David Middleton has poked fun at this assessment.

Average annual precipitation in Iowa 1981-2010. Note the 50% gradient northwest to southeast across the state. Figure from reference [3].

Average annual precipitation in Iowa 1981-2010. Note the 50% gradient northwest to southeast across the state. Figure from reference [3].

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Corn Belt Update Mid-August 2019

By David Archibald – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The USDA continues to predict a big corn crop of 13.9 billion bushels at an average yield of 169.5 bushels per acre. AccuWeather’s estimate is 6% lower at 13.07 billion bushels. What happens from here is largely dependent upon when the first killing frost hits. As the Indiana crop progress report released on August 19 notes, “Growers continued to hope for a late killing frost.” They are hoping because there is a lot of doubt whether or not the crop will have matured by then.

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Figure 1: Indiana Corn Crop Condition

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The Setup is like 1315

By David Archibald – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The area planted for corn and soybeans this season is well below historic averages. This was mostly due to waterlogged fields and flooding which precluded planting. The planting windows for corn and soybeans are now closed. The USDA crop progress reports provide weekly updates by state. For example this is the state of the corn crop in Indiana to Monday June 17:

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Figure 1: Indiana corn crop progress to Monday June 17.

The emerged crop is one month behind where it was in 2018. Which means that maturity will be one month later at best, assuming that the rest of the summer isn’t abnormally cold.

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NASA Testing Method to Grow Bigger Plants in Space

By Danielle Sempsrott of NASA – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In an effort to increase the ability to provide astronauts nutrients on long-duration missions as the agency plans to sustainably return to the Moon and move forward to Mars, the Veg-PONDS-02 experiment is currently underway aboard the International Space Station.

The present method of growing plants in space uses seed bags, referred to as pillows, that astronauts push water into with a syringe. Using this method makes it difficult to grow certain types of “pick and eat” crops beyond lettuce varieties. Crops like tomatoes use a large amount of water, and pillows don’t have enough holding capacity to support them.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch initiates the Veg-PONDS-02 experiment on the International Space Station within Veggie by filling the upper reservoir on April 25, 2019. Credits: NASA/David Saint-Jacques

NASA astronaut Christina Koch initiates the Veg-PONDS-02 experiment on the International Space Station within Veggie by filling the upper reservoir on April 25, 2019. Credits: NASA/David Saint-Jacques

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CO2 and Crops: NAS vs. Science

By David Burton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

One of the most pernicious examples of disinformation promoted by the Climate Industry is the claim that manmade climate change from CO2 emissions threatens agriculture and “food security.” That’s the exact opposite of the truth. CO2 is “plant fertilizer,” and hundreds of agricultural studies have shown that higher CO2 levels are dramatically beneficial for agriculture, to levels far above what we can ever hope for outdoors.

Most plants grow best with daytime atmospheric CO2 of at least about 1500 ppmv. That’s about what CO2 levels are thought to have averaged during the Cretaceous. It’s 1090 ppmv higher than the current average outdoor level of about 410 ppmv.

In other words, most plants would grow best if CO2 levels were increased by more than eight times the measly 130 ppmv by which mankind has managed to increase CO2 levels since the “pre-industrial” Little Ice Age. (Levels even higher than that wouldn’t hurt plants, but they wouldn’t help much, either.)

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #338

Brought to you by http://www.SEPP.org, Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President

Quote of the Week: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” — Attributed to Abraham Lincoln

Number of the Week: Minus 211,000 bb/d


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The Persistent Sun: In his first blog post in ScienceBits for some time, Nir Shaviv, Chairman, Racah Institute of Physics, describes his brief presentation to Environment committee of the German Bundestag. The invitation was quite a surprise, because Shaviv is a climate “skeptic” meaning he does not believe carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary driver of climate change – the sun is. Shaviv makes another important distinction between his work and the work of global warming promoters of CO2-caused warming such as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its US followers, the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). As Shaviv states:

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Major Myths about Vegetation, Soil, and Climate

By Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From WUWT

People like Vladimir Koppen (1846 – 1940) knew more about climate and climate mechanisms than any member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and most people purporting to study or know about climate today. He demonstrated his understanding in the creation of a climate classification system that is still the basis of all attempts to produce something better. His grasp of the interplay and interactions between, temperature, precipitation, soils, and vegetation are unequaled.

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The Fight Against Global Greening – Part 1

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Something odd happened between April 2017 and July 2018.  I haven’t discovered exactly what prompted it but the rather good science writer and journalist, Carl Zimmer, seems to have flipped his wig.  Well, at least he flipped his viewpoint on Global Greening.

In April 2017, Zimmer wrote a nice article for the New York Times titled “Antarctic Ice Reveals Earth’s Accelerating Plant Growth”.   The article is a straightforward report on research performed by Dr. J. E. Campbell of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, University of California in Merced, California (and others…) called “Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production” published 5 April 2017 in the journal Nature.

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Robots With Soft Hands Could Be the Future of Sustainable Production

By Carl Vause – Re-Blogged From World Economic Forum

In 2011, Professor George Whitesides of Harvard University helped rewrite the rules of what a machine could be. He developed biologically inspired ‘soft robots’, in collaboration with Harvard and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Food handling and packaging, primarily in produce and baked items, is a highly manual process
Image: Soft Robotics

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We Can Grow Vegetables in Antarctica. Next Stop: Mars

By Claudia Geib – Re-Blogged From Futurism

In the icy white desert of Antarctica, without the help of sunlight, soil, or pesticides, something green is growing.

And the scientists at Germany’s Neumayer Station III are eating well tonight.

Neumayer III’s researchers just harvested their first crop of Antarctica-grown vegetables, picked from a high-tech greenhouse that makes up the centerpiece of their “Eden ISS” project. The project is testing how plants can grow – not only in hostile places on Earth, like the poles and in deserts – but also in the inhospitable conditions of other planets (hopefully providing humans fresh vegetables when they colonize the moon, Mars, and beyond).

Neumayer Station III, where the vegetables are growing: a long, rectangular station in red, white and gray set on poles above the ice.
Neumayer Station III, where the vegetables are growing. Image Credit: Felix Riess, AWI

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Modern Agricultural Miracle

By Steve Goreham – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Agriculture is under attack. Environmentalists label modern farming as unsustainable, blaming farming for polluting the planet and destroying the climate. But today’s food is abundant and nutritious—a modern agricultural miracle.

 

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Urban Farming

By Patrick Caughill – Re-Blogged From Futurism

Surplus and Scarcity

The planet is growing more food than ever, and yet millions of people continue to starve worldwide. People are hungry everywhere — in the country, in the suburbs. But increasingly, one of the front lines in the war against hunger is in cities. As urban populations grow, more people find themselves in food deserts, areas with “[l]imited access to supermarkets, supercenters, grocery stores, or other sources of healthy and affordable food,” according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

New technologies are changing the equation, allowing people to grow food in places where it was previously difficult or impossible, and in quantities akin to traditional farms.

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Trade Negotiations Sow Seeds of Doubt for U.S. Agriculture

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Grant Wood’s 1930 painting “American Gothic” is quintessential Americana. The austere depiction of a farmer and his land evokes the agrarian core that has long underpinned the United States’ geopolitical strength. Today, the U.S. agricultural system is still central to the country’s success, though it looks much different now than it did in Wood’s time.

Small family farms have given way to massive industrial operations, and the agricultural sector as a whole has become far more globalized. In fact, despite its reputation as the “breadbasket of the world,” the U.S. agricultural sector depends as much on other countries as they depend on it. The United States exports more than 20 percent of its agricultural production by volume, and export revenues account for about 20 percent of net farm income. As productivity improves each year with help from technological advancements, moreover, it will outpace domestic demand, leaving exports to sustain the U.S. agricultural sector. But the extent to which they can depends in large part on the future of international trade deals such as NAFTA.

U.S. agriculture lobbies have long advocated trade agreements to keep the country competitive with other major producers. Since the mid-20th century, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and subsequent deals have sent the value of agricultural exports from the United States soaring. NAFTA gave U.S. agriculture another boost when it took effect in 1994. The deal opened a massive market in Mexico to corn producers in the American Midwest, while also providing American consumers with a wealth of fruits and vegetables from their southern neighbor. It was hardly surprising, then, that the U.S. agricultural sector rallied behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement before it fell apart. Nor is it surprising that the United States’ farming industry is wary of the current administration’s plans to renegotiate NAFTA.

A Vulnerable Sector

Of all the sectors that have benefited from NAFTA, the agricultural industry is the most vulnerable to changes in its terms. Though agricultural exports represent only about 8 percent of the United States’ exports to Mexico, they would account for roughly 42 percent of the total increase in tariffs on U.S. exports in the unlikely event that NAFTA were revoked. (Meat and sugar would be among the hardest hit exports from the United States, while sugar and vegetables would be two of the imports most affected by the reintroduction of tariffs.)

Mexico is already working to expand its trade ties with South American countries such as Brazil and Argentina to offset the repercussions that a NAFTA overhaul would have on its agricultural imports and exports. And the U.S. agricultural industry will likewise have to deal with the fallout of a revised trade deal. Farm states — especially those, such as Texas, that do more trade with nearby Mexico — would feel the effects of the changes most acutely. After all, much like manufacturing, agricultural processing depends on intricate cross-border ties. Cattle born in Mexico, for instance, are often raised and slaughtered in Texas for export back across the border.

Rehashing a Familiar Problem

This won’t be the first time a disagreement in the NAFTA bloc has targeted the United States’ agricultural sector. In 2009, Mexico imposed tariffs on specific facets of the U.S. agricultural industry during a dispute about trucking. By targeting individual congressional districts, including parts of Oregon and California that rely on agricultural and processed food exports, Mexico City pressured Washington into complying with the trucking ruling.

But agricultural communities are losing their political clout; in 2006, researchers at Montana State University found that farming is the primary economic activity in just 40 of the United States’ 435 congressional districts. The agricultural lobby has atrophied enough, in fact, that the last farm bill — a hefty piece of legislation proposed every five years to fund the country’s agricultural activities — failed in 2013, before Congress eventually passed a diluted version. Spending on lobbying activities for agribusiness, too, has declined in recent years, though it is still higher than it was at the start of the 21st century.

An Uncertain Future

Considering their waning influence in U.S. politics, the country’s agricultural producers were particularly nervous as President Donald Trump took aim at their two most important trade partners, China and Mexico, during his campaign for the presidency. Several agribusinesses and farming concerns joined together to write a letter to the president after his inauguration in January outlining the importance of open trade to the agricultural sector. If Trump’s efforts to correct the United States’ trade imbalances prompted countries such as China or Mexico to curtail their imports of U.S. agricultural products, for instance, the American farming sector would suffer disastrous consequences. So far, though, the worst-case scenario appears unlikely. Geographic constraints, coupled with 20 years of progressive integration in numerous industries, including agriculture, will limit the Trump administration’s options to deliver on its promises to amend or discard international trade deals.

That’s good news for U.S. agriculture. Domestic demand alone would fall far short of supporting production in several agricultural sectors. Without China and Mexico, the pork, beef, grain and dairy industries would have no clear alternative market to turn to that could match those countries’ demand, and excess supply could cause prices to plummet. But until the negotiations over NAFTA are complete, the U.S. agricultural sector’s future will be tinged with uncertainty.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #267

By Ken Haapala, President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Joint Petition to Reconsider: Although not discussed in prior TWTWs, SEPP joined the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in filing a joint petition to the EPA to reconsider its 2009 finding that greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, endanger public health and welfare. The petition was filed on February 17, 2017, and slightly revised on February 23.

Such actions fall under the “right to petition” stated in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. The petition has added weight because both CEI and SEPP originally objected to the endangerment finding. The filing has been in the news, but TWTW has mentioned it only in passing. The legal issues were handled by CEI. The chance of success is not high, but the action is important.

By necessity the petition is short, and concise. It focuses on the strongest empirical science available in January, but not available in 2009, that contradicts the assertion that CO2 endangers public health and welfare. The testimony of John Christy on February 2, 2016, was chosen. [Christy’s written testimony to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on March 29, 2017, was even stronger evidence, but did not yet exist.]

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Why Did Agriculture Start 13,000 Years Ago?

WUWT reader Susan Corwin writes:

Because it would work as CO2 became plentiful!

All the academic articles say: “and then agriculture happened”.

The “accepted wisdom”/consensus is:

….here was no single factor, or combination of factors, that led people to take up farming in different parts of the world.

But It is simple: it occurred because it Started Working.. 13,000 years ago.

People are clever, resourceful, adaptive, looking out for the best for their kids.

If it doesn’t work, it won’t happen.
If it will work, someone will figure it out and their kids/tribe will be successful

The Greenland Ice Chart for 9000 to 21000 years before present shows why agriculture arose:
(as presented on WUWT by Andy May)
GreenlandIceCore

So, my conclusion is that over 4,000 years or 160 generations, things improved and they tried, and tried, and tried again until it worked: people are smart.
…and animals actually could be pastured.

Starting 14,000 yag, the sparse, scraggly growth started getting thicker and slightly more abundant.  It wasn’t very good, but is was much better than 16000 yag.
=> and clever people could keep various animals alive in a herding lifestyle.

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