A meandering blog with no clear topic. You will find me talking about knitting, building, kids, social and economic issues, Alaska, and lots of other stuff.

Monday, February 16, 2009

is a global food shortage looming this summer?


This was an interesting article to read. The analysis is very simple. It looks at which countries produce the most food, and which countries are experiencing drought. Basically, all of the countries that produce large amounts of food are experiencing moderate to severe drought. Just based upon lack of rainfall, it appears that globally, we are going to have at least a 20 to 40% decrease in food production this year. And, yes, here in the USA too.

I have mentioned before that right now, we have the lowest food reserves in decades. Now is a really bad time to not be able to grow enough food, since we don't have enough stored to make up the difference.

We should all be doing the Victory Garden thing this year. Not only for our own food security, but every little bit we don't have to buy is some left over for someone else. But if we don't have enough water for farmers, will we have enough for everyone to have a vegetable garden?

It is high time to look at the ways we use water, and make decisions about what is really important. Is it more important to have a green lawn of grass in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, or any of the other naturally dry areas, or is it more important to use that water to grow food? Is it really a good idea to take perfectly clean drinking water to flush our waste away? What can we do to conserve water, individually, and at a societal level, for the most important things?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mt. Redoubt

We have a volcano acting up a few miles away:

This is Mt. Redoubt, located just across Cook Inlet from Anchorage. The last time it erupted was during a 4 month eruptive period from Dec. 89 to April 90, during which it erupted several times. In the last week or so, it has suddenly gotten active again, and there is a likelihood that it will erupt sometime soon.

Depending on which way the wind is blowing when it happens to erupt, the ashfall may happen over Anchorage and Wasilla. So all the stores are selling out of dust masks and vehicle air filters, just in case. We cover our computers with plastic bags when we leave for the night, as volcanic ash is extremely abrasive and damaging to electronics, and gets into everything.

Updates on the volcano are available here: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Redoubt.php