People don’t starve because of a lack of resources. They suffer because of bad ideas and wicked rulers.Solomon, the wisest king of all, had a lot to say about poverty. One of his proverbs says, “The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice” (Proverbs 13:23). Here are some of his other proverbs about poverty. Hunger is not the result of a lack of resources, but a lack of character (slothfulness), a lack of truth (mythology and bad beliefs), and a lack of justice (wicked leaders). Recent news articles from scientific discoveries reinforce his maxims, but sometimes you have to think outside the box of natural inclinations.Could duckweed feed the world? (Phys.org). Duckweed: it’s the ugly duckling of aquatic plants, covering water bodies like slime. Ducks slurp it up. Good for them; may they live long and prosper. Actually, duckweed could feed the world, which is approaching a population of 9 billion people, says Pamela McElwee, a human ecology professor at Rutgers U.The duckweed family includes 37 species from locales all over the world. They’re tiny aquatic plants that float on water, they’re easy to harvest and they can grow on wastewater. Some strains have very high protein levels—up to 30 or 40 percent by dry weight. As such, duckweed is more nutritious than salad alone, which has good fiber content and vitamins but not a lot of protein. Some duckweed strains provide nutritional benefits, while others are used in traditional folk medicine. As its name implies, duckweed is eaten by ducks—as well as other waterfowl and animals—and behaves much like a weed: it multiplies rapidly, especially on water rich with nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphate.Like we reported about Moringa, the “miracle tree” filled with nutrients and benefits that grows where it is needed (11 April 2017), duckweed is easily found around the world. It may not look appetizing, but with a little ingenuity it could be used to add its nutritional benefits to a wide variety of tasty foods. Poor farmers could sell this easy-to-grow and reaily-available plant for income. Who would have thought this “weed” could help solve world hunger? It needs a new name, like “miracle salad” or something.Maggots as recyclers and protein sources (Texas A&M U, via Phys.org). Mention maggots and the “ick factor” skyrockets. But entomologists know better; insects and their larvae (maggots) are loaded with nutrition. Jeff Tomberlin, Ph.D., professor in the department of entomology at Texas A&M, sees a gold mine in the larvae of black soldier flies. One is for recycling (a big concern today), and the other in nutrition.At the end of the 14-day cycle, the tower of larvae is dried. These dried larvae become feed for animals that humans then consume. The most common example is as a protein source for chickens.The larvae can also be processed to isolate the protein, which can then become part of a feed for livestock, poultry and fish. The maggot waste can also be used as compost for landscaping. Essentially, it’s the natural life-cycle power of the black soldier fly but harnessed by humans.Tomberlin sees a zero-waste solution to many problems in these maggots. They recycle waste while they are alive, then they become feed for livestock. You don’t have to eat the maggots yourself. It’s like the man who boasts of his new vegetarian lifestyle. He feeds vegetables to cows, then eats steak.In a pinch, you could eat maggots to survive. And like old mountain man Hugh Glass found, maggots can heal wounds. He leaned on the maggots on rotten wood after a grizzly bear mauled him. It just requires a change in attitude to see value in things we learned to despise.Other Abundant ResourcesOver the years, we have reported other “acres of diamonds” in natural resources that could lift people out of poverty.Edible plants: legumes, lupines, roses, purslane, dandelions and many other species readily available from the ground.Insects: Many insects are nutritious. Locust swarms might be a plague, but also a gift of protein from the skies.Water: Drinking water can be captured from the air in desert environments with nets designed like spider webs.Water: Sea water, the most abundant molecule on Earth, is naturally desalinated in clouds and rain.Water: Most areas of the world have groundwater. With some digging, it can be retrieved.Note: Please don’t use these suggestions to run out and gobble down weeds in the garden. Some plants and insects are toxic. Some plants have been sprayed with insecticide. Do your homework, and know before you eat.South American woman and child (Corel photos)Bad Ideas Contribute to Poverty‘It’s okay to be poor’: Why fighting poverty remains challenging in Indonesia (The Conversation). Wasisto Raharjo Jati, an Indonesian scientist, discusses causes of poverty in his part of the world. Despite government handouts, many people never escape the poverty trap. Part of the reason, he found, is because of fatalistic attitudes that teach people that poverty is their fate. These ideas come from negative ideas about God:We provided questionnaires to 1,198 targeted participants and conducted in-depth interviews with 20 households.Our research found people’s fatalistic attitude had prevented them from being lifted out of poverty. Most of our respondents believed being poor was God’s fate, and there was nothing they could do. This attitude is believed to come from a Javanese philosophy of acceptance called “nrimo”.We also found this attitude had led to self-denial. Believing that being in poverty was God-given, most of our respondents claimed they were not really poor as they always found God’s help via social aids and family support.This self-denial creates a problem for government efforts to reduce poverty in the region due to difficulties in identifying poor people who don’t want to admit they are poor.Governments need to understand this theological contribution to poverty, Jati says, in order to be more effective. And in many of the poorest countries on Earth, like Haiti, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Burundi, the problem is not lack of resources, but corruption among government leaders, who live like princes while their subjects perish.The ground was cursed because of sin, but the stewardship role of humanity did not end. The Bible commends work and diligence, but condemns sloth.Contrast the fatalistic view of eastern religions with the Judeo-Christian ethic, coming from the Bible. It teaches that people bear some responsibility for their status. The Bible presents diligence as a virtue, and slothfulness as a vice. From Moses to Solomon to Paul, the Bible emphasizes the value of work: “If a man will not work,” Paul taught, “neither should he eat.” Solomon taught that hunger urges a man on to work harder. Sure, work may be more sweaty than it was in the Garden, but a Biblical anthropology encourages hard work so that one can have more than enough, in order to help those in need. What if the Good Samaritan had no money, medicine or food with him? He would have commiserated with the man attacked by thieves, and been unable to help. It is God who gives people the ability to get wealth, and provides for the needs of us all through abundant resources, if we can just recognize them and apply our minds to utilize them wisely and sustainably. (Visited 303 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
A record number of voters will select from a record number of political parties when South Africa holds its fifth national democratic elections on 7 May 2014, as the country celebrates 20 years of freedom since the end of apartheid in 1994. We bring you a collection of articles on this historic vote. Image: Independent Electoral Commission • IEC National Office Spokesperson: Kate Bapela Tel: 012 622 5700 Fax: 012 622 5784 Cell: 082 600 6386 [email protected] Call centre: 0800 11 8000 • Physical addressElection House Riverside Office Park 1303 Heuwel Avenue Centurion 0157 • Find the IEC online WebsiteFacebook Twitter YouTubeWatch: Why we’re voting in South Africa’s 2014 electionsHey, we get a day off work … South African comedians, musicians, actors and ordinary working people have come together for a video campaign to urge everyone in the country, come Wednesday 7 May, to just get out and vote. READ MOREFrequently asked questions about voting in the 2014 electionsWhy vote? Am I eligible to vote? Where do I vote? What are my rights as a voter? Read our plain English answers to these and many more questions about South Africa’s 2014 elections. READ MORESouth Africa’s 2014 elections – a resource pack On 7 May 2014 South Africans will vote in the fifth democratic elections since the end of apartheid 20 years ago. We bring you a timetable leading up to the elections, a video for first-time voters, and useful contacts for finding out more about the election process. READ MOREElections 2014: ‘Play your part peacefully’ The Cabinet has called on South Africans to celebrate 20 years of freedom by participating peacefully in electioneering and voting in the country’s 7 May elections, “with tolerance for the right of all voters to express their opinions publicly and make their choice privately in the voting booth”. READ MOREPolitical parties pledge tolerance ahead of elections Political parties registered to contest South Africa’s 7 May general election on Wednesday signed the Independent Electoral Commission’s code of conduct, committing themselves to refrain from any acts of violence, incitement or intimidation in the lead-up to the polls. READ MORERecord number of parties to contest South Africa’s elections Twenty years into democracy, multi-party politics is flourishing in South Africa, with a record number of political parties set to contest the country’s fifth national and provincial elections on 7 May. READ MOREElections 2014: A quick guide to all the parties On 7 May 2014 South Africans will vote in the country’s fifth national democratic elections, 20 years after the end of apartheid in 1994. We bring you a brief guide to the 152 parties voters can choose from – the established, the newcomers, and the outliers. READ MORE25.3-million South Africans good to vote Chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya has certified South Africa’s voters’ roll, setting the stage for 25.3-million (25 390 150) voters to cast their ballots in the country’s national and provincial elections on 7 May. READ MORESouth African voters’ roll at record highSouth Africa registered another 1.2-million voters on the final voter registration weekend ahead of the country’s general elections on 7 May, Independent Electoral Commission chairperson Pansy Tlakula said on Tuesday. READ MORECelebrities drive South African youth vote campaignSouth Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission is featuring popular musicians and media personalities in a multimedia advertising campaign in a bid to increase the youth vote in this year’s general elections. READ MORE
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. poultry exports expected to top $1 billion annually(Washington, D.C., November 14, 2019) – United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released the following statement on China’s decision to lift its ban on poultry imports from the United States:“The United States welcomes China’s decision to finally lift its unwarranted ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products. This is great news for both America’s farmers and China’s consumers,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “China is an important export market for America’s poultry farmers, and we estimate they will now be able to export more than $1 billion worth of poultry and poultry products each year to China. Reopening China to U.S. poultry will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the U.S. poultry industry.”Secretary Perdue said, “After being shut out of the market for years, U.S. poultry producers and exporters welcome the reopening of China’s market to their products. America’s producers are the most productive in the world and it is critical they be able to sell their bounty to consumers in other parts of the globe. We will continue our work to expand market access in important markets like China as well as other countries, to support our producers and U.S. jobs.”China has banned all U.S. poultry since January 2015 due to an avian influenza outbreak in December 2014, even though the United States has been free of this disease since August 2017. The United States exported over $500 million worth of poultry products to China in 2013.The United States is the world’s second largest poultry exporter, with global exports of poultry meat and products of $4.3 billion last year.#USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
We need to achieve more like 50-75% energy reductions in our existing housing stock. Achieving such significant savings will be both challenging and expensive. It will require what are now being referred to as “deep energy retrofits.”In new construction, a rule of thumb in northern climates for achieving that 50-75% savings is the “10-20-40-60 rule” for insulation: R-10 under foundation floor slabs; R-20 foundation walls; R-40 house walls, and R-60 ceilings or roofs.While these targets aren’t exactly easy to achieve in new construction, they are doable without too much additional cost or effort. With existing homes, on the other hand, meeting these targets is extremely difficult—and very expensive. It’s rarely possible to achieve all of those targets with existing homes, especially the R-10 goal for basement or floor slabs. But it is possible to achieve dramatic improvement compared with standard weatherization—and that’s what deep-energy retrofits are all about.A few strategies for carrying out deep-energy retrofits of existing homes in a northern climate are described below:Insulate foundation walls on the interior. Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) can be used against existing foundation walls—even rough walls such as stone. A good approach is often to add a couple inches of SPF against the wall, then build interior frame walls with 2x6s that are insulated with cavity-fill cellulose or fiberglass. You have to deal with any moisture problems first, since moisture entry and mold can be very significant problems.Add rigid foam insulation to house walls. Getting anywhere close to the R-40 goal for wall insulation isn’t possible by simply insulating existing wall cavities. (Insulating 2×6 walls with dense-pack cellulose or fiberglass achieves less than R-20.) The best approach for dramatically boosting wall R-values is usually to add a layer of foam insulation. Whether to add this on the interior or exterior depends on what shape the exterior siding and interior walls are in and how much space you have to work with. In a big house where the exterior siding is in good shape, insulating on the interior with 4″ of rigid foam, then adding new drywall and trim may make sense. But in most existing homes, adding a thick layer of foam on the exterior usually makes more sense. Adding four inches is a reasonable plan.Extend roof overhangs and window openings. Assuming rigid foam is added to the outside of walls, the roof overhang may need to be extended to protect the walls and windows. This is a big job that can easily cost $10,000. Window and door openings also will have to be extended, with proper flashing, air sealing, and trim.Replace or upgrade windows. Windows are a key component of deep-energy retrofits. Existing single-glazed or insulated-glass windows will probably need to be replaced with state-of-the-art triple-glazed windows with two low-emissivity (low-e) coatings and low-conductivity gas fill, such as krypton. If the existing windows are in good shape, adding double-glazed, low-e storm windows might be an option, though such windows will likely have to be custom-made, since no insulated-glass storm windows are currently on the market.Add more attic insulation. If you have an unheated attic, more insulation (cellulose or fiberglass batts) can usually be added on top of what’s already there. If you have a cathedral ceiling and insulation in the roof, boosting the R-value can most easily be achieved by adding a layer of rigid foam insulation on top of the roof when re-roofing is done. In this case, detailing at the eaves and gable-end of the roof has to be carefully planned to keep the roof from looking clunky.Cost of deep-energy retrofits, of course, is a huge challenge. For an average-sized house, the cost of this scale of retrofit could easily cost $50,000 to $75,000. I’m hoping that new loan funds will become available that will make this approach more feasible. Starting in the 1970s, following the first energy crisis, major weatherization programs were launched to tighten up American homes. The Weatherization Assistance Program of the U.S. Department of Energy, which focuses on low-income homes, has weatherized some 6.2 million dwellings, reducing energy consumption by an average of 32%, since its inception in 1976. State and local programs and private weatherization companies have weatherized tens of millions of additional homes.All this is great. But it isn’t enough. If the U.S. is serious about reducing our contributions to global warming it is becoming increasingly clear that we will have to go a lot further in reducing the energy consumption of existing houses. Residential buildings account for 21% of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions and 4.3% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.To achieve the sorts of carbon-reduction goals that climate scientists are telling us we need to achieve—a commonly quoted goal is an 80% reduction by 2050—we will have to reduce residential energy consumption by a lot more than the 30-35% that can fairly easily be achieved through simple weatherization. RELATED ARTICLES The High Cost of Deep-Energy RetrofitsA Leaky Old House Becomes a Net-Zero Showcase Roofing and Siding Jobs Are Energy-Retrofit OpportunitiesBest Construction Details for Deep-Energy RetrofitsThe History of the Chainsaw RetrofitAn Old House Gets a Superinsulation RetrofitEnerPHit — The Passive House Approach to Deep RetrofitRemodel Project: Deep Energy RetrofitDeep Energy Makeover: One Step At A TimePart 1: What Is a Deep Energy Retrofit?Deep Energy Retrofits, Part 2: Focus on the Envelope Deep Energy Retrofits, Part 3: Apply the Energy Efficiency Pyramid