A great hunger coming 1

Googled information:

David Beasley, head of the [useless] U.N. World Food Program, said its latest analysis shows that “a record 345 million acutely hungry people are marching to the brink of starvation” — a 25% increase from 276 million at the start of 2022 before Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 Feb. 2022. (Jul 7, 2022)

And –

What percentage of the world [population] is starving in 2022?

10%

Up to 811 million people — about 10% of the world’s population — regularly go to bed hungry. The war in Ukraine is likely to make conditions worse in 2022, as conflict restricts global food supplies, drives up prices, and threatens the world’s most vulnerable people and countries. (Jul 6, 2022)

And yet –

The authoritarian Woke, the Great Resetters, in the name of “saving the planet”, are ordering the decrease of food production.  

John Hinderaker writes at PowerLine:

How many people have died, or will die, as a result of the Left’s “green” fantasies? To begin with, who has taken responsibility for the hundreds of thousands–maybe millions–of Africans who have died because of the Left’s insane banning of DDT? No one, of course. Will there ever be an accounting?

Currently, the war between Russia and Ukraine dominates the headlines. We all know that global petroleum supplies have been disrupted by the war, but perhaps more significant is the war’s impact on agriculture. Ukraine and Russia are two of the top grain-exporting countries in the world. Ukraine has been selling grain to the West since ancient times. With those supplies disrupted, a global food shortage impends, and many are predicting that populations in some vulnerable areas that can’t produce enough food for themselves will starve.

So where are the environmentalists in all this? They are doing their best to reduce agricultural output. In Sri Lanka, the government mandated organic farming, with the result that yields declined catastrophically, prices skyrocketed, and, no doubt, many died.

In the U.K., carbon offset schemes are causing hedge funds to buy up farm land and turn it to a less productive use:

A growing number of farms in Wales are being bought by companies to generate carbon credits.
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The Times revealed in February that a tenant farmer with a young family had been prevented from achieving his dream of owning his own sheep farm when he was gazumped by a company planning to plant trees and sell carbon credits. Ian O’Connor, 36, had had an offer accepted for Frongoch, a 270-acre farm in Cwrt-y-Cadno, Carmarthenshire. Two weeks later the estate agent told him the Foresight Group, a private equity company incorporated in Guernsey, had offered 10 per cent more.
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Foresight has bought six farms in Wales and estate agents acting for similar companies have been cold-calling Welsh farmers to ask if they want to sell.

Trees are great, but what is happening in the U.K. has nothing to do with either free markets or national interest. The exorbitant demand for carbon credits is government-created as a result of global warming hysteria, and reduced food production is collateral damage.

How about the U.S.? Our farmers produce more food than anyone. But here, too, environmentalist fantasies are reducing food production. Countless acres of productive farm land are being taken over for wind and solar installations. Wisconsin Congressman Tom Tiffany and my colleague Isaac Orr collaborated on this piece in the Washington Examiner. It advocates for Tiffany’s proposed FARM Act:

By strangling U.S. energy producers, the White House has fueled skyrocketing oil prices and enriched Russia’s rulers. An added consequence: Americans are now grappling with the highest gas prices ever recorded. And the pain doesn’t stop at the pump. Food prices, in particular wheat, have soared to record-breaking levels as well.

That’s why our response to Moscow’s aggression must be to maximize our ability to produce the energy and food the world desperately needs right here at home. That starts with preserving farmland for future generations.

Thanks to the dizzying array of renewable energy carve-outs that litter our tax code, taxpayers are forced to underwrite generous “green energy” giveaways, allowing power companies to effectively tap the public treasury to subsidize unreliable wind and solar farms. As a result, prime agricultural land is often taken out of production, posing a long-term threat to America’s ability to feed the world.

Industrial solar and wind facilities are land-hungry ways to generate electricity that often fail to show up when we need them most. It takes approximately 8 acres of land per megawatt of installed solar capacity and an average of 106 acres per megawatt of wind energy. While it is possible to “farm around” wind turbines, this is not possible with solar panels.

This means increasing our reliance on unreliable wind and solar energy will consume enormous quantities of land while paradoxically making us more reliant on foreign countries for the power we need to heat our homes and run our factories.

The amount of land needed for unreliable, intermittent wind and solar installations (which always must be backed up by natural gas plants that supply electricity most of the time, when wind and solar are idle) is immense. Robert Bryce, in a paper written for American Experiment, calculated that it would require an area more than twice the size of California to meet America’s existing electricity needs (not all energy needs) with wind turbines. Of course that isn’t going to happen. But as the destructive Green Machine rolls on, the land devoted to turbines and solar panels won’t be in cities or suburbs. It will be farm land. …

Wind and solar are not remotely competitive. They exist only because of government subsidies and, worse, mandates. The FARM act would at least ensure that we, the taxpayers, are not paying to destroy farm land at a time when the world needs all of the food America can produce.

But, with or without the FARM act, the US will not be allowed to produce all the food it can. It will be among the countries that produce the most food and must be stopped from doing so.

John Hinderaker writes again at PowerLine:

You probably know about what has happened in Sri Lanka, where the government’s attempt to impose organic farming led to food shortages, impoverishment, and a revolt that caused that country’s prime minister to flee. Also the Netherlands, where the government’s attempt to drastically reduce fertilizer use has led to massive protests by farmers that continue to this day.

At Hot Air, Jazz Shaw notes that farmers in other countries are up in arms as well:

There are already protests by farmers taking place in a number of countries besides the Netherlands, though the farmers there are currently drawing the most headlines. Similar uprisings are happening in Spain, Ireland, and New Zealand. There are food shortages gripping a number of countries around the world, but our elite climate warriors are pushing to reduce food production rather than expanding it.

Next up is Canada:

Undaunted by the uproar in the Netherlands over the impact on farmers of rules limiting nitrogen emissions, Canada’s government is now looking to go down a similar route.

Global warming religion is international, and the same anti-farming movement is coming soon to the U.S., the world’s number one agricultural economy. The first target will be nitrogen-based fertilizers, which are a principal foundation of the world’s agricultural productivity. Without fertilizers, the world will go hungry. …

Conservatives, and conservative politicians, need to stop conceding the premises of global warming to the Left. “Climate change” – that is, the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming – has been decisively refuted as a matter of science. But it lives on as a religion for those seeking meaning in their lives, and as a cynical political tool of the Left.

Posted under Canada, Economics, Energy, Environmentalism, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 5, 2022

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The evil creator god 3

Irish police are now “investigating” Stephen Fry [“Jeeves”] for blasphemy.

Here’s a video of the television interview that caused offense: Stephen Fry on RTE, the partly state-owned Irish national public broadcaster, in February 2015.

From Wikipedia:

In Ireland, blasphemy against Christianity is prohibited by the constitution and carries a maximum fine of €25,000; however the offense of blasphemous libel, last prosecuted in 1855, was ruled in 1999 to be incompatible with the Constitution’s guarantee of religious equality. A controversial law was passed on 9 July 2009 and went into effect on 1 January 2010. The law prohibits publishing or uttering “matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion”.

No charges have been brought under that law until possibly now.

Stephen Fry is being “investigated”  – after all this time – but how likely is he to be prosecuted?

The complainant who set the wheels of justice turning in the case accused Fry not of blasphemy but of “defamation”. Blasphemy comes under the heading of Defamation in the Act, and is a crime.

Usually, defamation is a matter for civil action. But can someone sue someone for defaming someone else? Especially when the someone else is of dubious existence and no fixed address, so he cannot be subpoenaed to testify.

Hmm. But it would be delightful to hear Fry’s accusations repeated in court. And as long as his accusers insist that “God” is real, and really did create everything, how will they answer the defense that Fry’s accusations of his evil-doing are true and that by their own claims he is responsible for them?

It’s a fascinating encounter between moral indignation (Fry’s) and moral hypocrisy (his accusers’).

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Update May 10, 2017:

Gardaí [the Irish police] have decided not to proceed with a blasphemy investigation against Stephen Fry after they failed to find a large group of people outraged by comments he made on an RTÉ show. …

Under the controversial legislation, introduced by then Justice Minister Dermot Ahern in 2009, it is illegal to publish or utter a matter that is “grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion”.

How many make “a substantial number”?

That the gardaí are not revealing.

Posted under Christianity, Judaism, Theology by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 7, 2017

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Christian loving-kindness 15

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Children’s Home, Dublin Road, Tuam, Ireland circa 1950. (Courtesy of Catherine Corless/Tuam Historical Society)

This heart-searing story comes from the Washington Post.

In a town in western Ireland, where castle ruins pepper green landscapes, there’s a six-foot stone wall that once surrounded a place called the Home. Between 1925 and 1961, thousands of “fallen women” and their “illegitimate” children passed through the Home, run by the Bon Secours [“Good Help”] nuns in Tuam.

Many of the women, after paying a penance of indentured servitude for their out-of-wedlock pregnancy, left the Home for work and lives in other parts of Ireland and beyond. Some of their children were not so fortunate.

More than five decades after the Home was closed and destroyed — where a housing development and children’s playground now stands — what happened to nearly 800 of those abandoned children has now emerged: Their bodies were piled into a massive septic tank sitting in the back of the structure and forgotten, with neither gravestones nor coffins. …

The grim findings, which are being investigated by police, provide a glimpse into a particularly dark time for unmarried pregnant women in Ireland, where societal and religious mores stigmatized them. Without means to support themselves, women by the hundreds wound up at the Home. …

Malnutrition and neglect killed many of the children, while others died of measles, convulsions, TB, gastroenteritis and pneumonia. Infant mortality at the Home was staggeringly high. …

Special kinds of neglect and abuse were reserved for the Home Babies, as locals call them. Many in surrounding communities remember them. They remember how they were segregated to the fringes of classrooms, and how the local nuns accentuated the differences between them and the others. They remember how … they were “usually gone by school age — either adopted or dead”. …

A 1944 local health board report described the children living at the Home as “emaciated,” “pot-bellied,” “fragile” and with “flesh hanging loosely on limbs.” …

The historian Catherine Corless, who uncovered the septic tank grave, remembers the Home Babies:

“If you acted up in class, some nuns would threaten to seat you next to the Home Babies.” … She recalled one instance in which an older schoolgirl wrapped a tiny stone in a bright candy wrapper and gave it to a Home Baby as a gift. … I copied her later and tried to play the joke on another little Home girl. I thought it was funny at the time…. Years after, I asked myself what did I do to that poor little girl that never saw a sweet? That has stuck with me all my life. … “

Locals suspect that the number of bodies in the mass grave, which will likely soon be excavated, may be even higher than 800.

A photo of some of the children at “the Home” in 1924 (Connaught Tribune, 21st June 1924)

Posted under Christianity, Commentary, Ethics by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 5, 2014

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Atheist Ireland 3

Such a transformation has come upon Ireland, not long ago so staunchly Catholic.

When did it come? With prosperity? With mass immigration?

From Creeping Sharia – a website we recommend to our readers – we learn this:

Ireland is to hold a referendum on removing a blasphemy ban from the constitution, the justice minister announced yesterday.

At the beginning of the year, the republic introduced legislation making blasphemy a crime punishable with a fine of up to €25,000 (£22,800).

Interesting that the constitutional ban needed to be augmented by legislation. And then, so soon after the new law is passed, the referendum is proposed.

The law defines blasphemy as “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted”.

The referendum will be held this autumn.

The advocacy group Atheist Ireland welcomed the decision today. When the law became operational, Atheist Ireland published 25 blasphemous statements on the internet to challenge it, including Richard Dawkins calling the Old Testament God a “petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; … a capriciously malevolent bully” …

Atheist Ireland chairperson Michael Nugent said: “This is a positive move by the minister. We look forward to the autumn referendum as part of our overall campaign for an ethical, secular Ireland. We ask all reasonable citizens to work together to ensure that the referendum is won.

“We reiterate that this law is both silly and dangerous: silly because it is introducing medieval canon law offence into a modern pluralist republic; and dangerous because it incites religious outrage and because its wording has already been adopted by Islamic states as part of their campaign to make blasphemy a crime internationally.

“The blasphemy reference is one of several anachronisms in our constitution that will ultimately need to be changed. Other examples are the religious oaths that prevent atheists from becoming president, or a judge, or a member of the council of state.”

Posted under Atheism, Christianity, Islam, Muslims, News, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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