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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits: food for thought on farmland

Ammunition for Barnaby Joyce et al. It’s only a throwaway line really but it will arouse the interest of the campaigners against Australia letting foreigners buy up farmland.

The US National Research Council (NRC), in a just-released study commissioned by the CIA and other intelligence agencies on the security aspects of global warming has this to say:

…an action such as buying foreign agricultural land might go almost unnoticed at first, only creating a crisis when the country where the land is located experiences a crop failure it cannot manage with imports.

The NRC report says it excluded from its study such questions as the security implications of policies that countries might undertake to protect themselves from perceived threats of climate change (e.g., geoengineering to reduce global warming or buying foreign agricultural land to ensure domestic food supplies). But, it said, “these kinds of climate security connections could prove highly significant and deserve further study and analysis”.

Denmark to abolish tax on high-fat foods. Hooray! A setback for the social engineers! The BBC News reports:

The Danish government has said it intends to abolish a tax on foods which are high in saturated fats. The measure, introduced a little over a year ago, was believed to be the world’s first so-called “fat tax”. Foods containing more than 2.3% saturated fat — including dairy produce, meat and processed foods — were subject to the surcharge. But authorities said the tax had inflated food prices and put Danish jobs at risk. The Danish tax ministry said it was also cancelling its plans to introduce a tax on sugar, the AFP news agency reports.”

A troubling example. As the call for inquiries into p-edophilia reach a new crescendo in Australia the painfully incorrect naming of a prominent Conservative Party supporter by the BBC’s Newsnight program as a child molester should be kept in mind by our politicians making the decisions. Cases of mistaken identity — and sometimes completely false memories — are inevitable when dealing with events of 30, 40 and 50 years ago. That suggests to me that any inquiries that are decided upon should be held in private to avoid the wrongful destruction of the reputations of innocent people.

A quote of the day. Ross Gittins from The Sydney Morning Herald:

Forget those polar bears, what about the pandas? Those climate change researchers really know how to pluck the heart strings. Now it’s the panda that’s under threat. In this week’s international journal Nature Climate Change (not on the website when I looked this morning), scientists from Michigan State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences give comprehensive forecasts of how changing climate may affect the most common species of bamboo that carpet the forest floors of prime panda habitat in northwestern China. Even the most optimistic scenarios show that bamboo die-offs would effectively cause prime panda habitat to become inhospitable by the end of the 21st century.

We will need proactive actions to protect the current giant panda habitats,” researcher Mao-Ning Tuanmu said. “We need time to look at areas that might become panda habitat in the future, and to think now about maintaining connectivity of areas of good panda habitat and habitat for other species. What will be needed is speed.”

Femmes fatale. CIA boss and former military commander David Petraeus might have been exposed as a potential security risk by the FBI finding an email or two but on the other side of what was once the iron curtain the Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was found by police in the flat of his mistress when they went investigating another matter entirely. The retirement of both men is the stuff of classic spy novels.

Odds and sods noted along the way.

4
  • 1
    klewso
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    So “Jethro” will have to throw his own party?

  • 2
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanx for drawing attention to another insight from Gittins; indeed, I found his whole piece well worth reading.

  • 3
    Bro Sheffield-Brotherton
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    If Richard Farmer regards the repealing of Denmark’s Fat Tax as a victory over the social engineers can we expect him to start campaigning for the repeal of tobacco and alcohol taxes on that basis?

  • 4
    Richard Farmer
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Bro Sheffield-Brotherton
    You shouldn’t tempt an old tobacco lobbyist in that way!

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