11/24/09

Forced land Resettlement in Kenya.  Concerned about environmental impacts of deforestation,  the Kenyan government is resettling forest dwellers to the plains, according to this NYTimes report.

posted November 24, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.

 

Will More Pollution Solve Climate change?  There has been an internet squall over the past week about some emails that were hacked or "whistle-blown" from the University of East Anglia's  Climatic Research Unit. One of those emails contains some speculation about a possible technological fix for global warming.  The solution:  More pollution!  (Release SO2 into the atmosphere.)   Mike MacCracken writes in an email to some of his colleagues: 

That there is a large potential for a cooling influence is sort of evident in the IPCC figure about the present sulfate distribution--most is right over China, for example, suggesting that the emissions are near the surface--something also that is, so to speak, 'clear' from the very poor visibility and air quality in China and India. So, the quick, fast, cheap fix is to put the SO2 out through tall stacks. The cooling potential also seems quite large as the plume would go out over the ocean with its low albedo--and right where a lot of water vapor is evaporated, so maybe one pulls down the water vapor feedback a little and this amplifies the sulfate cooling influence.  Now, I am not at all sure that having more tropospheric sulfate would be a bad idea as it would limit warming--I even have started suggesting that the least expensive and quickest geoengineering approach to limit global warming would be to enhance the sulfate loading

So did acid rain policy contribute in some way to global warming?  And when  you google "acid rain policy" you come upon this paper on "Lessons learned," which has some interesting insights and observations.

posted November 24, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.

 

 Foreign Ownership of Farmland in Ethiopia.  The Washington Post has an article about the growth of foreign ownership (and management) of farmland in Ethiopia.  One sales poster reads: ""Vast, fertile, irrigable land at low rent. Abundant water resources. Cheap labor. Warmest hospitality."   "Relatively wealthy countries are shoring up their food supplies by growing staple crops abroad. The desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for instance, is shifting wheat production to Africa. The government of India, where land is crowded and overfarmed, is offering incentives to companies to carve out mega farms across the [African] continent."  Related:  "Is Africa Selling out its Farmers?"    Also related from the NYT:  Is there such as thing as "Agro-Imperialism?" 

posted November 24, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.