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U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy

'NEW YORK TIMES' SHEDS LIGHT ON ARDUOUS PATH AHEAD AS DEPICTED IN THE LANDMARK COMPREHENSIVE 'NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT.' This sobering NYT article spotlights the economic conundrum we face as depicted in the new definitive report released by 13 Federal agencies and authored by 300 scientists.
The important takeaway is that we can minimize imminent harm facing our country, our planet and our children but we must move quickly and with selfless dedication. Caleb, Jim & Megan

"But in direct language, the 1,656-page assessment lays out the devastating effects of a changing climate on the economy, health and environment, including record wildfires in California, crop failures in the Midwest and crumbling infrastructure in the South. Going forward, American exports and supply chains could be disrupted, agricultural yields could fall to 1980s levels by midcentury and fire season could spread to the Southeast, the report finds…

"All told, the report says, climate change could slash up to a tenth of gross domestic product by 2100, more than double the losses of the Great Recession a decade ago…

"The previous report, issued in May 2014, concluded with nearly as much scientific certainty, but not as much precision on the economic costs, that the tangible impacts of climate change had already started to cause damage across the country. It cited increasing water scarcity in dry regions, torrential downpours in wet regions and more severe heat waves and wildfires…

"The report puts the most precise price tags to date on the cost to the United States economy of projected climate impacts: $141 billion from heat-related deaths, $118 billion from sea level rise and $32 billion from infrastructure damage by the end of the century, among others…

"The nation’s farm belt is likely to be among the hardest-hit regions, and farmers in particular will see their bottom lines threatened.

:'Rising temperatures, extreme heat, drought, wildfire on rangelands and heavy downpours are expected to increasingly disrupt agricultural productivity in the U.S.,' the report says. 'Expect increases in challenges to livestock health, declines in crop yields and quality and changes in extreme events in the United States and abroad.'"

U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy

Without major action to rein in global warming, the American economy could lose 10 percent of G.D.P. by 2100, according to a report from 13 federal agencies.


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Right after Monsanto’s deadly ‘Roundup,’ Syngenta’s dangerous ‘Atrazine’ is America’s #2 herbicide.
If you need background on sick Syngenta, find it here in this MUST READ 2014 expose’ in ‘The New Yorker’ about Syngenta’s unforgiveable abuse of Atrazine-researcher, courageous Dr. Tyrone Hayes (…/2014/02/10/a-valuable-reputation).
Fraudulent water testing like this is nothing short of outrageous. Deadly toxins are deadly toxins.
It’s good to remember, in this era of unrestrained self-serving Industrial Ag corporations and dishonest public water utilities, that for MANY decades honest Organic Family Farmers have been growing organic corn – and EVERY other crop – without using a single drop of Atrazine or Roundup or Chlorpyrifos. Crops that have been grown organically mean NONE of those toxins will be in the environment or in your family’s water or diet.
Organic farmers have the know-how of successfully growing healthy crops without needing persistent synthetic chemical inputs. All we really need to transition American ag over to organic farming is the political will and the visionary leadership to get us there. Jim

“Seasonal spikes of atrazine – a weed killer that can disrupt hormones and harm developing fetuses – contaminate drinking water in corn-growing areas of the Midwest and beyond, according to an analysis of federal records by the Environmental Working Group.

“Environmental Protection Agency data show that in some Corn Belt communities, atrazine levels can spike three to seven times above the legal limit in late spring and early summer. But by avoiding water testing during peak periods, some water utilities stay in compliance with drinking water regulations – and don’t have to tell customers they were exposed to a hazardous chemical in their tap water.

“’Our investigation found that nearly 30 million Americans have atrazine in their tap water’…

“EWG’s investigation is the most comprehensive analysis to date of national data on the pervasive contamination of drinking water by this chemical. EWG found that last year, utilities in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio had atrazine spikes much higher than the federal legal limit of three parts per billion, or ppb. The two highest spikes were reported in Evansville, Ill., at 22 ppb, and Piqua, Ohio, at 16 ppb…

“Atrazine is the second-most heavily used herbicide in the U.S., with more than 70 million pounds sprayed in 2016. It is used mostly to control weeds in cornfields, but it is also applied to sorghum, sugarcane and other crops.

“Studies show that atrazine and similar chemicals harm the reproductive system and disrupt the nerve and hormone systems, affecting the brain, behavior and hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and dopamine. Even short-term exposure to elevated levels of atrazine can pose health risks to expectant mothers and their babies, including an increase in the risk of preterm delivery and lower birth weight…

“The European Union banned atrazine in 2003 because of its potential to contaminate drinking water sources. In 2016, California state scientists listed atrazine, simazine and related chemicals as substances ‘known to cause reproductive toxicity.’ According to EWG’s Tap Water Database, which aggregates testing data from utilities nationwide, in 2015, atrazine was found in water systems serving nearly 30 million Americans in 27 states.”

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Seed supplies for the new Non-GMO ‘Caribou Russet’ – named after the nearby potato town in Aroostook County – will continue to be tight in the potato industry for the next couple of years as seed growers multiply up supplies.
We grew a good supply of Organic Maine Certified Seed Caribou Russet this year (…/certified-organic-seed-potatoes) and have been shipping them steadily to customers since September. We know we’ll sell out, it’s just a matter of when.
Caribou Russet’s new found fame is detailed in this article (…/caribou-russet-is-now-a-main…/…). Jim

“The Caribou Russet hit store shelves with limited supply in 2016. A year later, Hannaford stores began stocking the new variety in produce sections throughout Maine. This year, more Hannaford stores will carry the Caribou Russet, as well as Stop and Shop stores, making it widely available throughout New England.”

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It takes incredible and uncommon courage to act out of conscience and to place the common good ahead of one’s own self interest. Dr. Rommerns is such a remarkable man.
In an effort to preserve humanity, he has renounced as false the conventional beliefs shared by former colleagues in the biotech industry. In battling for truth, he has sacrificed his professional career and his livelihood.
Dr. Rommens is the rare sort of individual whose commitment to good deserves a Nobel prize. Jim

“Of all the genetic engineers who have renounced the technology—Arpad Pusztai, Belinda Martineau, Thierry Vrain and John Fagan, among others—because of its shortsighted approach and ability to produce unintended and potentially toxic consequences, Caius Rommens’ story may be the most compelling.

“Rommens was director of research at Simplot Plant Sciences from 2000 to 2013 where he led development of the company’s genetically engineered Innate potato. But over time, Rommens started to have serious doubts about his work and worried about potential health risks from eating the GMO potatoes, which are now sold in 4,000 supermarkets in the U.S.

“Rommens’ concerns about the GMO potato led him to write a book, ‘Pandora’s Potatoes,’ which was recently published. The book is a case study on how a scientist’s initial enthusiasm about genetic engineering turns to doubt and fear as he realizes the hazards the technology can create…

“‘Silencing is not gene-specific. Any gene with a similar structure to the silencing construct may be silenced as well. It is even possible that the silencing that takes place inside the GM potatoes affects the genes of animals eating these GM potatoes. I am most concerned about bees that don’t eat GM potatoes but may use GM potato pollen to feed their larvae. Based on my assessment of the literature, it appears that the silencing constructs are active in pollen’…

“‘It is my experience that genetic engineers are biased and narrow-minded. They may not be able to critically assess their own creations’…

“‘My concern about genetic engineering is that the absence of unintentional effects can never be guaranteed. It may take dozens of years before these effects reveal themselves, and we should be extremely cautious applying the technology’…

“‘CRISPR has the same problems as genetic engineering. In my book, I explain that it requires manipulations in tissue culture that cause mutations. These mutations have a negative effect on crop performance and cannot be removed from certain crops including apple and potato’…

“‘Genetic engineering is meant to increase crop uniformity. I believe the opposite approach—to increase crop diversity—will be more effective in increasing the sustainability of farming.’

“‘I am most hopeful in the efforts of small companies such as Solynta (A Dutch company that has developed an innovative non-GMO technology for targeted breeding of potatoes). The main benefit of Soylnta’s approach is that it breeds potatoes that have a simpler genetic structure than cultivated potatoes—more like that of wild potatoes—so that genetic traits can be combined much more effectively.'”

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Sikkum is a small Indian State in the Himalayas.
For 25 years, Vandana Shiva’s organization, ‘Navdanya International,’ worked in tandem with visionary local government leaders. Together, they shepherded a remarkable agricultural transition which dedicated itself to converting Sikkum to 100% organic production.
Now, that quarter-century conversion to 100% organic production has come to fruition. What’s more, the Sikkum model has been designed to be exportable to help other regions.
Recently, a delegation from Sikkum traveled to Italy to share their success with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The Sikkum story is related here, including a good video (1:47) by Vandana herself. Jim

“Vandana Shiva: ‘Join hands with Sikkum. Sikkum leads the way to 100% organic work that is Pesticide-Free, Poison-Free, Plastic-Free. Free of conflicts, free of violence, free of crime.'”

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Asserting warming ocean waters – caused by climate change – have damaged fisheries and thus their livelihoods, West coast crabfisherman are turning to the courts for protection. Jim

“Crab fishing on the West Coast has become so threatened by warming oceans that a coalition of commercial fishers has now joined the climate litigation fray with a lawsuit filed Wednesday to hold 30 fossil fuel companies accountable for losses caused by climate change.

“The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco County Superior Court by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, seeks damages on behalf of crab fishers, their businesses and families, and local communities in California and Oregon.

“It describes losses caused by the closing of crab fishing waters over the past four years because of algae blooms in the warming Pacific waters, and warns that these closures will keep happening as warming continues.

“‘These changes threaten both the productivity of commercial fisheries and safety of commercially harvested seafood products,’ the lawsuit says. ‘In so doing, they also threaten those that rely on ocean fisheries and ecosystems for their livelihoods, by rendering it at times impossible to ply their trade.’

“At the heart of the 91-page lawsuit are claims similar to those being used by several California cities that are suing the fossil fuel industry over sea level rise. It accuses some of the world’s largest oil and gas producers, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP, of negligence, defective-product liability, creating a nuisance, and failing to warn about the dangers of fossil fuel products that the companies knew would result in warming of the oceans and atmosphere”…

“‘We’re out fishing all the time, and it’s obvious the oceans are getting warmer,’ said John Beardon, who fishes for Dungeness crab out of Crescent City, California. ‘That’s bad for crabs and other fish, and it’s bad for those of us who make a living on the water'”…

“The federation’s lawsuit adds to a growing list of municipalities that have turned to the courts in the last two years seeking to hold fossil fuel companies financially responsible for the threat posed by climate change.”

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For the last 15 years talented Paul Cyr has captured the sheer beauty of natural and working Northern Maine with his stunning photography…/).
Now, Paul has released his new book which contains 450 of his best shots (
Subject areas covered in the new book include Amish Life, Aroostook County, Bald Eagles, Fall Foliage, Farming, Moose, Northern Lights, Potato Fields, Snow, Tractors and Wildlife. Jim

Paul Cyr releases new photography book

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Who could have imagined voluntarily wrapping a stylized rope around your neck might have a downside?
In a new study, researchers in Germany have documented necktie-wearers have reduced blood flow to the brain capable of causing decreased and lackluster mental performance.
Who will be the first to make the connection between unstable decision-making in our wayward capitols of political and economic power – spelled Washington and Wall Street – where use of tight neckties is uncontrollably epidemic? Jim

“A study published in the journal Neuroradiology used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to demonstrate what happened to cerebral blood flow when men wore neckties. If you are wearing a necktie and don’t understand what cerebral flow blood is, it is the amount of blood that is flowing through your brain at a given time. Blood is important because it brings oxygen and nutrients to your brain and removes waste materials so that you can think and stuff…

“Among the necktiers, the MRI scans revealed that cerebral blood flow dropped by an average of 7.5% after the neckties were tightened and continued to remain decreased by an average of 5.7% after the necktie was loosed. All but 2 of the necktie wearing subjects had a drop in cerebral blood flow with 5 having a greater than 10% decrease. The control group did not experience such as decrease but instead on average cerebral blood flow actually increased slightly during the second MRI. Maybe they were excited about not having to wear a necktie. Gee, who would have thought that wearing something around your neck would actually reduce blood flow to your brain?”

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Over the past weeks we’ve seen this yearling Black Bear hanging out in a distant corner of this year’s clover hay field. Recently, when Caleb was mowing the field to make hay, he had to get off the tractor in order to clear away a fallen branch. While on the ground he could hear rustling nearby in the bushes and concluded it was this same bear moving around.
We cut that clover field right before the 4th of July, and baled the hay up the first of last week. Caleb, Jim & Megan



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Answer: colossal culpability.
The fact is, from both a public health AND national security standpoint, the United States would be MUCH MUCH better off if it were fed by local family farmers. By definition, small-scale production has small-scale impact should there be a problem which surfaces.
One might say Industrial Ag is the beneficiary of the consolidation-landslide created by our Federal Cheap Food Policy. HOWEVER, it would be much closer to the truth to say Industrial Ag AUTHORED the Cheap Food Policy.
The disastrous reality is that concentration of food production increases by gargantuan magnitudes risks to our nation’s food supply.
Author Michael Pollan has written that one facility in California processes a jaw-dropping 100 MILLION SERVINGS of leafy greens per week. So it follows, when Industrial Ag has a food safety problem, its risky scale of massive concentration GUARANTEES IT WILL BECOME AN ENORMOUS PROBLEM. Jim

“The CDC’s green light to eat romaine again may have marked the end of the lettuce crisis in consumers’ minds, but the situation is far from over. The agency and the FDA are still investigating why and how a dangerous strand of E. coli wound up contaminating lettuce in Yuma. No single grower, harvester, processor, or distributor has been blamed, and investigators are still unsure whether contamination happened during the growing, washing, chopping, or bagging process. So far, the agencies have only released one finding: That the same E. coli strain found in sickened people across the country was also in Arizona’s canal water, which is used to irrigate crops.”