Open thread August 22, 2021 Dan Crawford | August 22, 2021 6:00 am Comments (14) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
US orders six commercial airlines to help transport Afghan evacuees.
Capt. John Perkins, a spokesman for the military’s Transportation Command, said on Sunday that the commercial airliners would begin service on Monday or Tuesday and that they would fly evacuees both from the Middle East to Europe and from Europe to the United States. …
Civilian planes would not fly into or out of Kabul, where a rapidly deteriorating security situation has hampered evacuation flights. Instead, commercial airline pilots and crews would help transport thousands of Afghans who are arriving at U.S. bases in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. …
From the bases in the Middle East, the airliners would augment military flights carrying Afghans to Germany, Italy, Spain and other stops in Europe, and then ultimately to the United States for many of the Afghans, officials said. …
Why Biden’s Lack of Strategic Patience Led to Disaster
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We visited a girls’ school that had just opened thanks to U.S.A.I.D. Chairman Biden was a strong supporter. He understood the importance of societal change, and he understood that it takes time and requires patience. While statistics in Afghanistan have never been reliable, U.S.A.I.D. estimates that when the Taliban were defeated, there were some 900,000 children in school, all of them boys. When I left as ambassador in 2012, a decade after that first school visit, the number of students was nearly 8 million, about 37 percent girls. It is important to note that this progress was not by any means exclusively the result of U.S. or other international efforts. Afghans on their own launched private initiatives in education, especially for girls.
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And that is why a decade later after 9/11, Pakistan welcomed the return of the United States — and U.S. assistance. It would work with us against Al Qaeda. But we soon learned that the Taliban were a sticky matter. I was ambassador to Pakistan from 2004 to 2007. I pushed Pakistani officials repeatedly on the need to deny the Taliban safe havens. The answer I got back over time went like this: “We know you. We know you don’t have patience for the long fight. We know the day will come when you just get tired and go home — it’s what you do. But we aren’t going anywhere — this is where we live. So if you think we are going to turn the Taliban into a mortal enemy, you are completely crazy.”
We have again validated their skepticism.
As Mullah Omar famously stated: ‘The Americans may have the clocks. But we have the time.’
Ho Chi Mihn may well have said the same thing.
A Little Bit Can Go A Long Way
Post after post of hydraulic shovels pulling orchards up in California, news of the large almond producers having to cull hundreds of acres at a time to divert water and resources to other parts of their farms. We saw the Midwest run hot and dry all summer and when harvest season arrived, monsoon rains made harvest impossible.
Even in parts of Canada we are hearing about exceptional drought, heat waves, and Greenland losing surface ice at an alarming rate. Mexico, where about half of our produce comes from, varying by crop (https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/mexican-fruit-and-vegetable-agriculture) is at a 75% drought rate with exception drought now plaguing 25% of the country. Mexico also consumes everything they produce, and as yield decreases so do their exports to us.
We also have reports from Chile and Argentina of drought conditions so bad that rivers are at an 80 year low.
All of the productive regions that the United States relies upon to feed our population are in some sort of drought, severe drought, and/or active decline into desertification.
We are now well into a 20 year stretch that recently warranted NOAA to update their models.
This constant barrage of data points has had journalists and average Joe’s preach the ho-hum pessimism of “were already screwed so why bother”. Why bother. Why…bother.
What most folks don’t realize is how little farmable land it takes to feed people. For every quarter acre, we can successfully supply 25 families with fresh produce every week. There are only two times in the year during the very hot and the very cold where we have to shut down deliveries. Its hot, that’s one reason, but we still have pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, and watermelon. Another reason we stop delivering is time. The fall crop of 120 day cultivars we are babysitting through to get pumpkins by October. This is time intensive. In the future we will not be able to do this and will have to push back to late November (this will be our last year, the water price to have Jackolanterns is too high). Also we have to dedicate time to disc the next field and seed a cover for November forage. We also canned and, in theory could continue to sustain folks in those two off months, if my kid would stop eating all of the pasta, sauce, and pickles we produced and had in dry storage.
If we do the math, one acre of planted assorted fruits, vegetables, herbs, and whatever the farmer fancies, can sustain 100 CSA customers per year. We can also devote another acre for meat and egg production with no more than 1,000 pounds of rumen per acre. Renderable meat production we can process out around 60% of that 1,000 pounds.
Now, using what we have learned from the above, let’s also throw in proper crop rotation that will help both with plant and animal health, but also sequestration of carbon. To do this, we need a third and final acre to seed a cover crop, such as Rye, Titricale (wheat and rye hybrid), or any number of other organics that help affix nitrogen into the soils. We can also run chickens over a field to help with bugs and nitrogen. Chickens are omnivores and also require feed, so the 1,000 pounds per acre isn’t effected. Just don’t let goats eat chicken feed. You and your boots will thank me later.
Let’s put it all together, from 3 acres we can feed an average family of four every week for arguably 10 months out of the year with fresh produce and around two pounds of fresh meat, eggs, and dairy from rumens. As long as all of the cycles are working properly, those acres can sustain 400 people. We will not be able to 100 percent offset the grocery store with those 3 acres but it is close. With more farms in a region doing the same, the more diversity, so we could theoretically replace grocers.
Per the quarter acre profit? Per Team New Terra: “Net income from this quarter acre farm could be as high as $10,000, depending on how good you are at ‘scrounging’ the necessary equipment and materials, and how much of the work you do yourself.
Extrapolate, and a 3 acre farm run very lean can net $40,000 per year. If you scale to 9 acres and replicate this on a factor of 3, the net income would be around $120,000 a year. Now you would obviously need to hire a hand or two, but as Temple Grandin puts it: “Its about making a living, not a killing.” A net income of after paying temp staff to help in heavy production times could, in theory, net a farm family income of $90,000 per year on the high end, EBITDA. So, why bother? There’s a gold mine here if people are willing to work for it. Don’t have 3 acres? Start in a back yard, proposition for use of city utility easements, or rent! If we can move the 1 million small Mexican farms into production here, and folks go back to buying from the farmer, we could have food security and start working toward mending our soils to pull GHG out of the air, and stop burning so much diesel to truck tomatoes from Mexico. Why bother indeed!
I should note, the New Terra Experiment looks a little high for a backyard setup. We are actively farming 3 acres with two productive acres. This in theory should have a net income of $40,000 per year.
The Atlantic had this THE WELL FIXER’S WARNING up about California water.
It parallels what you are saying. California water table dropped 60 feet.
Ogallala aquifer in the pan handle is in trouble, Edward’s aquifer under San Antonio they can no longer pump at 100%, and the Carrizo complex that runs from south Texas to Dallas dropped 56 feet once San Antonio started pumping in April. Houston is planning another surface lake in Brazoria County. Up north in Nebraska, surface retention isn’t as abundant, neither is rain water, and I am sure the aquifers are being taxed hard. Some friends in Tennessee say that part is looking stable. New York and the northeast seem to be ok but are only farmable at certain times a year. Interesting days ahead. I keep thinking if all those master planned communities switched the golf courses over to farm share coop for the 2,000 homes in those communities we could really solve some problems.
the problem with the Ogallala aquifer, and probably others, is the Army core of engineers….aquifers get recharged when rivers flood over a wide area, and the core of engineers has all our Missouri and Mississippi basin rivers running in unnatural narrow channels….so all we’re doing is taking water out, not allowing for any water to get back in…
i’m working on the carbon capture and storage problem, since that seems to be our policy choice, and need to know the number of cubic feet in the atmosphere…
does anyone know that offhand?
since atmospheric CO2 levels are now at 417 parts per million, we need to know the volume of the atmosphere in order to figure out how much CO2 storage space we’ll need….
Approx 3 meters thick around entire planet per this:
Take all the CO2 in the atmosphere and put it into a layer on the surface of earth, how thick would the layer be?
ok, the diameter of the earth is 12,742 km, or 12,742,000 meters, so the radius is 6,371,000 meters…plug that into the formula for the area of a sphere, and we find the surface of the earth is 510065664662000 square meters…at one meter deep, that means the volume of atmospheric CO2 would come in at 510065664662000 cubic meters, give or take…now all we have to do is find a place to hide all that CO2 until hell freezes over…
whoops, i see i misread you, the CO2 would be three meters deep…so it’s three times my original figure, or 1530196993990000 cubic meters, not counting for the slightly larger diameter at the top of the pile…