Well, you might want to check on those Amerinds. They saw the value of a
meadow in feeding large ungulates which fed them.
You must have gone to other places in the uplands than I. There the
combination of latitude and altitude gave a boreal forest. Or peat bogs,
which is pretty acid.
Indeed. But those were small localized fires. Drought is rare
in the East. Shade from the canopy kept temperatures on the
forest floor humidity high and suppressed understory growth
so that dead wood on the ground went from green timber to a
sopping wet sponge usually without passing through a stage of
ydryness that would promote fire.
An area recently denuded by an ice storm would allow the sun in
to dry the fallen wood and allow the understory to grow
Yes, it would take a lot of potash to neutralize a peat bog.
Don't know where the uplands are, but have spent a fair bit of time
in New England. The conifers there are mostly at the highest
elevations, while down near the lakes decidious trees are more common.
Deciduous trees also seem to be faster to colonize open space.
Almost of the wooded land East of the Mississippi is second growth
dating back to the early 20th century.
Were it not for silviculture, there would be a LOT fewer conifers in
the Eastern US.
I'm not clear on where the uplands are.
I believe you are the first person I have ever heard suggest that
acid rain produced by polution local to the rainfall in question.
If I am mistaken about this, please elaborate a bit on what
you think is causing acidic rain in the Northeastern US.
On Sat, 02 Jul 2005 11:05:56 -0700, Mark & Juanita
<< Snipped for brevity >>
Yeah, I don't go for the arguments that we must stop moving forward-
all I'm saying is that sticking one's head in the sand is just about
as dangerous as the "strident extreme" of complete denial. There are
a lot of things we can and should do as inhabitants of the planet to
make sure we leave the place in a decent condition. Most of them are
common sense, and we've already got some good ideas floating around.
We don't need to all recycle our cars and walk everywhere wearing
sandals, but it's not a bad idea to carpool if you can, and get the
most efficient vehicle that meets your actual needs. If a guy is
hauling truckloads of bricks and lumber on a daily basis, then he
probably needs an SUV. If that same person is merely hauling one
person around, a compact car makes more sense. If they've got a large
family but little cargo, a station wagon or minivan is more sensible
than an armored troop transport. Simple stuff. When a local
businessman gets nabbed by the DNR for the fifth or sixth time because
he's dumping toxic waste into the storm drains, he should be shut down
until he fixes the problem- not given a slap on the wrist because he
provides a lot of tax revenue.
It's less a problem of what is actually happening with the enviroment
than it is a problem of what is actually happening with society, once
you cut through some of the BS. When people stop hiding behind insane
opinions supported by plays on words and mindless yes-men, most folks
tend to behave in a decent manner because they know they have to look
their neighbors in the eyes when they get home. For a simplified
example- if you own a company that produces widget X, and that process
creates 1000 gallons of liquid chlorine waste a week, and you decide
that the most cost-effective way to dispose of it is to dump it out
into the grass behind your building, no one should tolerate you
getting huffy and yelling about how the science is not entirely proven
when the neighborhood demands that you stop it. But a slick spin
doctor can turn even the most egregious offence into something that
sounds reasonable to the average person, and that is the brick wall
everyone keeps hitting thier collective head on. If we had a couple
of retarded kids with limited vocabularies reporting the daily news,
people would gag on on the clarity of the real evil we do to one
another on a daily basis. Instead, we have some doofus with an MBA in
business and a thousand dollar haircut arguing with wild-eyed one-pony
pundits on CNN about what the definition of an obscure term is- while
somehow completely ignoring the orginal issues. Every day yields
thousands of classic examples of sophistry, but that's just how things
are "done", I guess.
Less BS would really help the environment the most- it's getting hard
to see anything with all those stinky methane clouds in the way. It's
a good arguement for wind power- the hot air all around us could
supply all the energy we need.... though the poison it drips in our
ears is worse than any black-lung cancers from inefficiently burning
coal, or completely sterile oceans. It doesn't destroy the greenery,
it destroys our minds, and those are the things we cannot afford to
destroy. Everything else can be figured out with a clear head and a
Historically, three most important factors to reducing population
growth, in order of effectiveness have been shown to be:
1) Reduced infant/child mortality.
2) Improved general education (not indoctrination, the three R's, and
job-related education) especially for women.
3) Improved access to birth control, especially for women.
Absent immigration, France and Italy would have negative population
growth indeed, near the end of the 20th century they had the lowest
birth rates in the world. Hmm, maybe conversion to Catholocism would
There may be draconian measures that could reduce population growth
but the three stated above, appear to be more than adequate, few
people find them objectionable as a matter of priciple, and those
that do number in inverse proportion to the relative effectiveness.
Further, more draconian measures can backfire by fostering rebellion.
I recall that a cow-orker helped his sister-in-law and her family
emigrate from China to the US back in the 1990s. The couple
had twelve (12) children all under the age of 18, some born during
the period when childbirth in China was illegal, all born when
having more than one child was illegal.
I don't claim to have a deep understanding of the whys but the reasons
for the effectiveness of these factors seem to be:
1) Improved infant and child survival rates encourage parents to have
fewer children and to invest more in those they have (which feeds
back into the second factor.)
2) Improved education, especially for women, gives people, especially
women, something to which to dedicate their time besides making
3) Pretty much self-explanatory but the interesting thing is the
effectiveness of the first too.
The principle obstacles to implimenting them seem to be that all three
and the resultant reduced population growth itself serve to reduce
the world population that is easily explaoitable for political and
especially for economic purposes.
I think you overestimate this scenario extensively...for one thing, at
present there are millions of acres of formerly-producing crop ground in
the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that could, <IF> (that's the "big
if" :) ) it were necessary and economical, be brought back into
production for many of these ancillary crops as well as corn and
soybeans. As for land "exhaustion", if there is any segment that is
concerned w/ maintaining productivity of the land, it is we
producers--after all, that is our <direct> livelihood, not indirect.
Duane Bozarth (in email@example.com) said:
| Morris Dovey wrote:
|| We can expect that as the cost of fuel rises, more and more land
|| will be given over to ethanol production - and other crops will be
|| sacrificed until a (shifting) economic balance is achieved. Soybean
|| derivatives (everything from livestock feed to plastics) will
|| become sharply more expensive.
|| If the pressures to maximize ethanol production are sufficiently
|| high, we face the danger of taking a giant step backward to
|| repetitively planting the same crop on the same land until the
|| soil is exhausted. Should we get to that point, there will be
|| serious breakage - and the worst of it won't be in the corn belt.
| I think you overestimate this scenario extensively...for one thing,
| at present there are millions of acres of formerly-producing crop
| ground in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that could, <IF>
| (that's the "big if" :) ) it were necessary and economical, be
| brought back into production for many of these ancillary crops as
| well as corn and soybeans. As for land "exhaustion", if there is
| any segment that is concerned w/ maintaining productivity of the
| land, it is we producers--after all, that is our <direct>
| livelihood, not indirect.
You're right, the scenario I presented assumed no major scientific
breakthrough - and a prolonged "emergency" (as defined by folks in
The really sad scenario would be removing control of the land from
those who have a sense of stewardship in favor of management by larger
("more efficient") organizations who aren't able to do much of
anything well except make campaign contributions.
The Supreme Court's recent decision in the Connecticut condemnation
case provides precedent for other cases that *will* affect family
farms. The only questions are how many farms, and where, and for what
"National security interests" appears to have become a buzz phrase to
justify even the most outrageous behavior. These days it even trumps
principles like "due process".
I wish I shared your confidence and optimism.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
No point in being "gloomy Gus" as Grandpa always said (and he made it
through the Dust Bowl days in SW KS--right in the middle of some the
most severely ravaged areas--and we raised some 60 bu/A <dryland!> wheat
this year on that same ground.
The Court specifically allowed for States to set controls over such
behavior and I strongly expect them to do so. Most midwestern states
already have limitations on corporate farming altho istr that Iowa is
not as strict as the "bread basket" states from ND to TX? I know there
is more pressure in some areas in Iowa from increasing urbanization that
isn't as strong farther west where it's drier. The key production
limitation here continues to be water, which will become more so, even
more limiting than fuel availability and cost.
[the behaviour in question being abuse of emminent domain to effect
tranfer of ownership from one private party to another private party]
That's the problem, not the solution! Leaving it up to government
to decide who may keep their property and who must sell it to
another PRIVATE party is not only morally wrong it is also certain
to result in land-usage that favors short-term monetary profit at
the expense of anything else including what would be best for
society in the long run.
Agriculture will never be able to lobby as effectively for a
specific parcel of land as will 'developers'. The money to
be made per acre per election cycle for 'development' will
always be orders of magnitude greater than that made from
agriculture for the same acreage over the same election cycle.
duration of one election cycle. Now factor in the tax-revenue
generated per acre post-'developement' as compared to that
for farmland or, God forbid undeveloped land. Only that
rarest of creatures, a politician acting for the best long-term
interests of society, can resist all that.
The decision for which, I will reiterate, was rendered by the *liberal*
block of the Supreme Court with the collusion of the "moderate" Sandra
O'Connor (moderate in this usage being defined as a liberal without the
brazos to declare themselves so).
Your reference above had nothing to do with "national security
interests" in the referenced case and everything to do with tax revenue and
the ability to advance the cause of statism.
Actually, screwing farmers for the sake of "national security" is nothing
new. Ask the heirs of some of the farmers during WWII who were "relocated"
by Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver or some of the other military
infrastructure needs at the time.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
On Thu, 30 Jun 2005 10:05:17 GMT, the opaque Tom Quackenbush
Since -she- fielded the main dissention paper, it seems doubtful that
he would be able to. O'Connor, Thomas, Scalia, and Rehnquist were the
4 Conservative(+ Mod) dissenters. The Libs pulled this one themselves
and Souter is about to pay for it heavily. His land may be next. Is
this justice, or what?
The nasty Kelo decision and opinions of the justices is here:
I'm surprised there haven't been any shootings yet.
- This product cruelly tested on defenseless furry animals -
http://diversify.com Web App & Database Programming
My apologies, the vote for the siezure case was 5-4. In this case
O'Connor actually voted in the dissent; the original story upon which I
based my comment above had indicated she was one of the 5. (No, it was an
AP posting shortly after the ruling, so don't go "right wing whacko media
here"). That was obviously in error and has since been corrected as a
Google search just indicated.
My original rant was based upon that originally erroneous story and the
fact that she has in the past sided with things such as upholding the
reversal of first amendment rights in the campaign finance reform law
decision. Given that occurence, I didn't question what I had originally
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
Pulling land out of CRP is a *short*term* only 'fix'. *SMART* farm
production involves carefully designed rotation of crops planted on a
given plot *AND* the cycling of that land _out_of_production_use_ as a
regular element in that rotation. *MOST* CRP acres are land that would
be 'idled' even if CRP didn't exist.
You get more acres in production, *BUT*, over time (meaning 5 years, or
*less*), due to degraded land quality from continuous use, yield/acre goes
_down_. The effective increase in production is nowhere close to the
The last of those is definitely <not> true...well over half of the
county in which I reside is now in CRP (including a sizable fraction of
ours). The reason is only that it was an available option at a time
when a significant number of those farming it were, as my Dad, at the
age of retirement and the kids (including me) had left owing to various
factors, a lot having to do w/ the great "land depression" after the
Carter era grain embargoes that killed the small grain export markets.
No, the average production of the similar land still in production has
actually increased dramatically since the time of the initial CRP
put-ins. This is owing to continuing improvements in genetics as well
as practices. Low- and no-till has had marked success in actually
<improving> tilth as opposed to degrading it combined w/ decreasing
inputs. Of course, the cultivation cycle <does> include rotation,
including fallow periods. This is a mandatory part of an effective pest
control strategy even without the consideration of fertility.
There is <no> chance that any significant numbers of people living on
and farming it for a living will not continue to improve practices, not
degrade them. It is economically required to survive as well as common
sense. Plus, if my input requirements were to skyrocket owing to such
practice, my friendly hometown banker would immediately demand to know
why and put a stop to my endangering his collateral! :)
I've not and do not advocate widespread removal of CRP ground--I only
mentioned it as it is there in quite large acreages and could, if
circumstances were right, be returned to production. If the 2007 farm
bill reduces the payout as much again as the last time, I think it will
be inevitable that a sizable amount <will> be broken back out as it will
not be feasible economically to maintain it with it not producing more
than it would be at that point. I'm hoping it won't, but making long
term plans just in case...
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