Says Author of IBM Holocaust book, eyed as movie by Brad Pitt,
How does anyone benefit from Muammar Gaddafi’s demise?
Egypt want to eat CORN? Arabs Starving?
Drop Arab Prices on Petroleum then.
Otherwise… NO CORN FOR YOU
More Biofuels, More Greenhouse Gases?
I don’t think so.
If we are starving other countries then
they can lower their petroleum prices!
A new study from the University of Illinois estimates that the world has more than 702 million hectares of marginal land suitable for growing biofuels. The researchers assessed land around the world based on its soil quality, slope, and regional climate. They added degraded or low-quality cropland but ruled out any good cropland, pasture, or forests; they also assumed no irrigation. They came up with the surprising total 2.7 million sq. miles of marginal land that could be available for switchgrass or other biofuel crops.
But the Illinois team didn’t, apparently, factor in a 2010 Stanford University study that found plowing new cropland anywhere in the world would sharply increase the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Plowing would release massive amounts of soil carbon -mostly as nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times as powerful as CO2. The Stanford conclusion was that the 6.6 million square miles of lands not plowed because of the higher yields from the Green Revolution prevented the release of greenhouse gases equal to one-third of all the industrial gases emitted worldwide since 1850!
This makes modern farming-with its nitrogen fertilizer, pesticides, no-till herbicides and high yield seeds-the most fabulous anti-greenhouse-warming project ever implemented by mankind. It is, in fact, the only human project that has ever forestalled a major increase in human-emitted greenhouse gases. Europe, for example has not reduced its greenhouse emissions at all since 1997 despite the Kyoto Treaty.
If we consider both studies valid, we have a big problem, All this untouched biofuel land would have to be plowed. The Stanford soil carbon figures tell us this would be the worst aggravation of greenhouse gases ever. Stanford says in effect we should plow only as much cropland as we urgently need for human food, and leave the rest to wildlife.
The Illinois paper did note a class of low-impact, high-diversity perennial grasses that could be over seeded on the existing grasses without plowing (not included in the 702 M hectare estimate). Unfortunately, the perennial-grasses ethanol yields are dismal. Plus, harvesting costs would be very high. Factoring in the cost of road-building and the highway fuels needed for transporting the harvest, it is hard to see that there would be a net gain in fuel, and there would certainly be a net loss to wildlife.
Why all of this focus on biofuels? Current U.S. and EU ethanol mandates have already produced two huge food-price spikes in the past three years, causing political unrest around the world. Japan says it has spent $78 billion on biomass projects in the past six years-with no effective impact on its global warming emissions.
Let’s remember that the world’s temperatures have officially increased by a net of only 0.2 degrees over the past 70 years. Even that warming assumes we believe the “adjusted” temperatures in the “official” records kept by James Hansen’s NASA and the discredited University of East Anglia.
Let’s burn our newly-abundant natural gas instead of the biofuels, put nuclear higher on the wish list, and let the marginal lands be wild.
[Source, Ximing Cai, “Land Availability for Biofuel Production” Published on Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois. http://cee.illinois.edu]
DENNIS T. AVERY, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org©2011 Dennis Avery. All rights reserved.
the crops are engineered to create conversion to oxygen
The mass murderers of 1988 now hold power in Tehran. The world must make them face justice
This weekend marks the first anniversary of the death of democracy in Iran – the rigged election which the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared lost by reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. Afterwards protesters were shot dead in the street and taken for torture to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison; several have been hanged as mohareb – enemies of God. This intolerance of dissent should have come as no surprise: this is the same regime that got away with the murder of thousands of political prisoners – and has never been called to account.
It happened in the summer of 1988, after the war with Iraq ended in a bitter truce. Iran’s prisons were full of students sentenced for protesting against Ayatollah Khomeini in the early 1980s – Marxists and leftists of all varieties and supporters of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation – a guerrilla movement with a different version of Islam. They had been sorted by prison officials into groups of those who remained “steadfast” in their political beliefs or who were apostates. The regime decided they should be eradicated so they would not trouble the postwar government, and Khomeini issued a secret fatwa authorising their execution.
Revolutionary guards descended on the prisons and a “death committee” (an Islamic judge, a revolutionary prosecutor and an intelligence ministry official) took a minute or so to identify each prisoner, declare them mohareb and direct them to the gallows erected in the prison auditorium, where they were hanged six at a time. Later their bodies were doused in disinfectant and transported in meat trucks to mass graves. Their belongings were returned in plastic bags to their families three months later, but the regime still refuses to reveal the location of the graves and continues to forbid relatives from gathering at one site which has been identified in a Tehran cemetery.
Comparisons between atrocities are invidious, but this involved almost as many casualties as Srebrenica and was a cold-blooded killing by the state of prisoners after the war had ended. It bears some comparison to the death marches of allied prisoners at the end of the second world war – the Japanese generals responsible were sentenced to death at the Tokyo trials. So who was responsible for the Iranian prison slaughter?
Ayatollah Khomeini is dead. But the three leading figures of his regime are still very much alive, and available to be put on trial in an international court. The then president, Ali Khamenei, is now Iran’s Supreme Leader – the man who endorsed last year’s rigged election. Ali Rafsanjani, still a powerful political player, was then the commander of the Revolutionary Guard, who were ordered to carry out the killings. Then there is the man who in 1988 was Iran’s prime minister – Mir Hussein Mousavi, today’s reform movement leader.
Mousavi was challenged at election meetings last year by chants of “1988” but has declined to tell what he knows of the mass murder. In the course of an inquiry conducted for the US-based Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation I have come across an interview he gave to Austrian television in December 1988. In answer to allegations Amnesty International was making, he dishonestly said the prisoners were planning an uprising: “We had to crush the conspiracy – in that respect we have no mercy.” He appealed to western intellectuals to support the right of revolutionary governments to take “decisive action” against enemies. It is an irony that the regime he defended with such hypocrisy now crushes his own supporters without mercy.
But this is what happens when political and military leaders are vouchsafed impunity. The UN did not bother about Saddam Hussein’s use of poison gas at Halabja earlier that year, and it turned a deaf ear to Amnesty reports about the prison slaughter (Iranian diplomats claimed the deaths had occurred in battle). But there is no statute of limitations on prosecuting crimes against humanity, and the mass murder of prisoners already serving sentences for political protests must count as one of the gravest of unpunished crimes. The fact that they were killed ostensibly because they did not believe in God – the God of the ayatollah’s revolution – makes their slaughter a form of genocide: the destruction of a group because of its attitude to religion.
Most of the judges and officials who implemented the fatwa are still in high office in Tehran – under a supreme leader who, when asked about killing prisoners replied: “Do you think we should have given them sweets?” There is still time for the UN security council to enforce international law by setting up a court to try the perpetrators of the prison massacres. This may be a better way to deal with a theocracy whose behaviour in 1988 provides the best reason for concern over its future behaviour with nuclear weapons.
• Geoffrey Robertson QC’s report The Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran 1988 can be downloaded here.
• This article was amended on 8 June 2010. Due to an editing error, the
original incorrectly described the MKO – Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation – as “a guerrilla sunni-Marxist movement”. This has been corrected.
Green Revolution is Dead – Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the leader of Iran’s opposition green movement was involved in the massacre of more than 10,000 political prisoners in 1988, according to a report.June 15, 2010
Photo: REUTERSMr Mousavi, the defeated candidate in last June’s presidential election, served as Iran’s prime minister when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the regime’s spiritual leader, issued a fatwa that sentenced thousands of political prisoners to death without trial, according to the report by one of Britain’s leading human rights lawyers.Mr Mousavi is one of several prominent Iranian politicians who are accused of implementing the order. According to a detailed report published by Geoffrey Robertson QC, who specialises in human rights law, the prisoners were executed for refusing to recant their political and religious beliefs.
if Bret Stephens is right, what Mousavi did is irrelevant to Iran’s future: The ‘green revolution’ is dead.
Suppose that in the days following last year’s fraudulent election in Iran, the U.S. and its Western allies had warned Tehran’s leaders that their repression at home would be met, swiftly and severely, with consequences abroad. For every Neda Soltan shot dead in the street, an Iranian diplomat posted abroad would be expelled. For every foreigner put on trial in Iran, a Western firm doing business in the country would close its doors. For every opposition activist hanged, deliveries of imported gasoline would be curtailed.
And for every call to wipe Israel off the map, the U.S. would supply the Jewish state with 100 bunker-busters suitable for use against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Had any of that happened, it’s just possible that Iran’s leaders might have hesitated before moving ahead with their bloody crackdown and, in hesitating, given Iran’s democratic opposition the opening it needed to sustain itself. But it didn’t happen. In those critical June days, as the regime wobbled, the Obama administration opted to ease the regime’s fears instead of multiplying them. And instead of creating leverage for himself, the president conceded it preemptively in hopes of currying favor for a nuclear deal.
A year on, we are living with the consequences of his failure.
Worst of all, the Green movement is, if not extinguished completely, little more than a flickering ember. The three million Iranians who marched for freedom last June may have to wait another generation for a similar opportunity.
Revolutions are also a question of luck and circumstance. In Berlin in 1989, a befuddled East German Politburo member misread his instructions and announced that East Germans were henceforth free to travel to the West. Thus—thus!—did the Wall come down. Two years later in Moscow, some visibly nervous coup plotters took to a stage to announce Gorbachev’s early retirement. Their shaky performance allowed Boris Yeltsin to rally Russians against them. It helped that Yeltsin didn’t have, in George H.W. Bush, an American president who refused to “meddle” in the country’s internal affairs.
“They were hung from cranes, four at a time, or in groups of six from ropes hanging from the stage of the prison assembly hall,” the report states. “Their bodies were doused with disinfectant, packed in refrigerated trucks, and buried by night in mass graves.”
In an interview given to Austrian television in December 1988, Mr Mousavi tried to defend the mass executions of the prisoners, many of whom were members of the Marxist “Mojahedin Khalq” organisation, which opposed the Islamic regime established by Khomeini following the 1979 Iranian revolution.
“We had to crush the conspiracy,” said Mr Mousavi. “In that respect we have no mercy.”