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Links With Your Coffee - Monday

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From the evil scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory we get some new research that will among other things help:

"To fuel and feed the planet for the future, we need new approaches," said Brookhaven scientist Safiyh Taghavi, the study's lead author. "Biofuels derived from plants are an attractive alternative energy source, but many biofuel feedstock crops are in direct competition with food crops for agricultural resources such as land, water, and fertilizers. Our research is looking for ways to improve the growth of biofuel feedstock plants on land that cannot be economically used for food production. What we learn might also be put to use to increase the productivity of food crops," she added.

Remember genetic engineering is a method not a product and no one is making the claim that genetically engineered plants will end world hunger. What they are claiming is that they can play an important role in working toward that end.

Machakos, Kenya - Fog shrouds the terraced hills, and a stream is swollen from the rain that fell overnight, but the damage of a drought that left 10 million Kenyans dependent on food aid is still evident. On many of the small farms, the ground is bare at a time when corn crops should be several feet tall.

"We had no maize because we planted and there was no rain," said Victor Mutua, who feeds an extended family of 15 from his 20-acre plot.

Poor small-scale farmers like Mutua are at the center of a battle over the future of global agriculture and biotechnology. Scientists are preparing to test in Kenya a genetically modified variety of corn that would be resistant to drought. The seeds are the product of a $47 million project funded largely by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' foundation and using technology and breeding expertise donated by U.S. seed giant Monsanto Co.


 

Comments

Re: The pope ...

Isn't is interesting? The SCOTUS ruled 7-2 today that sex offenders can be detained even beyond the time of their sentences if it is established that they "would have difficulty controlling themselves" by 'clear and convincing' evidence — a heightened standard, but short of “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Whatever one thinks of that decision, it is clear that when it comes to sex offenders "the rules" by which they're treated in this society are tough. Tough, that is, unless they're a priest or a church official shielding a priest: "A spokesman for the Vatican ... dismissed the campaign to arrest Benedict as a publicity stunt."

I was glad to see that some of the commenters were as curious about the word "plot" in the article title as I was. The text says a "bid" to arrest the pope - whatever. It's as if they're willing to acknowledge that the Pope/Cardinal Ratzinger pushed aside cases of child abuse, but this thing where people are calling for arrest is suspicious.

I've known some incest and other types of child abuse victims, and they've all managed to get their lives together, but the transition to "normalcy" wasn't pretty.

Ah, Sam Harris, that well known expert on English law. Has he finished his PhD yet?

That's a little disingenuous. Does he claim to be an expert on English Law, I think he is be advised by those who do, and has he finished his PhD yet, is just a mean-spiritied personal attack, apparently because you oppose his view on the topic.

Is sex with children legal in the England?

Great, let's take over the rest of the planet's surface to grow fuel for ourselves.

Norm, as a little antidote to your recent love affair with GE, perhaps you'd like to take a look at The Dark Mountain Project?

http://www.dark-mountain.net/

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