More information is coming out now about the frequency of disasters worldwide. According to one insurance think tank over the past 3 decades natural weather disasters have quintupled. If you ever wondered why your insurance premiums have increased this factoid could be the key.
Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and derechos as a group are on the upswing and they are getting more expensive as property values in the more desirable waterfront areas becomes more expensive. As we throw good money after bad in rebuilding in places in coastal areas that are prone to flooding I am hoping someone will begin to reassess that waste.
We have to become a bit smarter about the places where we want to build our neighborhoods when it comes to wildfires, hurricanes and flooding. Does it make sense to rebuild in areas that can just disappear in the blink of an eye? At what cost both financially and in human lives does this equation become sensible?
Tornadoes can hit just about anywhere and there are things one can do to decrease loss of life so the positioning of towns etc is not as much of a concern as taking proper precautions in the event one strikes near you.
Whatever the cause of these disasters, for the common man, the reality is that they happen and you can’t ever tell where or when they will occur-only that they will happen. Thus, ultimately it is up to the individual to make these choices and then live with them even in the face of extreme hardship. The question becomes should a bad decision by one or many be borne by those who make better choices?
The world is becoming a different place and we must adjust our living habits and desires to increase our chances of survival, or at least existence with a minimum of suffering. Nature is not forgiving and second chances should be carefully evaluated and hopefully good decisions will be made!
The news never stops when it comes to Iran vs. The West/Israel. It certainly looks as if an armed conflict is on the horizon. The belligerence from all parties is getting pretty intense in my opinion.
With Russia and China both supporting Iran, looks like they are itching to see the pawns at play…Will the U.S. take the bait? Or will someone in D.C. become suddenly enlightened and figure a way out of this mess.
A war will be devastating for the population and the world economy. Then again, going further down the bunny hole, maybe that is what the power elite want…less people and more control over resources…anything is possible in my opinion.
Iran threatens to hit any country used to attack its soil
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran will target any country used as a launchpad for attacks against its soil, the deputy Revolutionary Guards commander said, expanding Tehran’s range of threats in an increasingly volatile stand-off with world powers over its nuclear ambitions.
Last week, Iran’s supreme clerical leader threatened reprisals for the West’s new ban on Iranian oil exports and the U.S. defense secretary was quoted as saying Israel was likely to bomb Iran within months to stop it assembling nuclear weapons.
Although broadened and sharpened financial sanctions have begun to inflict serious economic pain in Iran, its oil minister asserted Saturday it would make no nuclear retreat even if its crude oil exports ground to a halt.
Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian energy purposes. But its recent shift of uranium enrichment to a mountain bunker possibly impervious to conventional bombing, and refusal to negotiate peaceful guarantees for the program or open up to U.N. nuclear inspectors, have thickened an atmosphere of brewing confrontation, raising fears for Gulf oil supplies.
“Any spot used by the enemy for hostile operations against Iran will be subjected to retaliatory aggression by our armed forces,” Hossein Salami, deputy head of the elite Revolutionary Guards, told the semi-official Fars news agency Sunday.
The Guards began two days of military maneuvers in southern Iran Saturday in another show of force for Iran’s adversaries associated with tensions over its disputed nuclear program.
Sunday Israel appointed a new air force chief who last month, in his position as top military planner, warned publicly that Israel could not deal a knock-out blow to its enemies, including Iran, in any regional conflict.
The United States and Israel, Iran’s arch-enemies, have not ruled out a military strike on Tehran if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear stalemate. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to visit Washington next month, his office said Sunday, and Israeli political sources said he is likely to meet U.S. President Barack Obama while there.
Iran’s Salami did not identify which countries he meant as possible hosts for military action against it.
The six, U.S.-allied Arab states in the Gulf Cooperation Council, situated on the other side of the vital oil exporting waterway from Iran, have said they would not allow their territories to be used for attacks on the Islamic Republic.
But analysts say that if Iran retaliated for an attack launched from outside the region by targeting U.S. facilities in Gulf Arab states, Washington might pressure the host nations to permit those bases to hit back, arguing they should have the right to defend themselves.
The Gulf states that host U.S. military facilities are Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.
THREAT TO SHUT VITAL OIL CHANNEL
Iran has warned its response to any such strike will be “painful,” threatening to target Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf, along with closing the Strait of Hormuz used by one third of the world’s seaborne oil traffic.
Betraying nervousness about possible blowback from any military strike on Iran, two of its neighbors – Qatar and Turkey – urged the West Sunday to make greater efforts to negotiate a solution to the nuclear row.
Speaking at the annual Munich Security Conference attended by top world policymakers, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said an attack would be a “disaster” and the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program could be ended very rapidly.
“If there is strong political will and mutual confidence being established, this issue could be resolved in a few days,” he said. “The technical disputes are not so big. The problem is mutual confidence and strong political will.”
He added: “A military option will create a disaster in our region. So before that disaster, everybody must be serious in negotiations. We hope soon both sides will meet again but this time there will be a complete result.”
Turkey was the venue of the last talks between Western powers and Iran a year ago which ended in stalemate because participants could not even agree on an agenda.
Qatari Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Mohamed al-Attiyah said an attack “is not a solution, and tightening the embargo on Iran will make the scenario worse.
“I believe that with our allies and friends in the West we should open a serious dialogue with the Iranians to get out of this dilemma. This is what we feel in our region.”
Tehran has warned several times it may seal off the Strait of Hormuz, throttling the supply of Gulf crude and gas, if attacked or if sanctions mean it cannot export its oil.
A military strike on Iran and Iran’s response, which might include an attack on the oilfields of No. 1 exporter Saudi Arabia, would send oil prices soaring, which could seriously harm the global economy
(Additional reporting by William Maclean in Munich and Michael Holden in London; Writing by Mark Heinrich; Editing by Sophie Hares)
I suggest prayer and lots of it might be in order here. Appears that the human logic to the situation is lacking.
You might want to consider preparing with some food and water stored up at home…just in case.
In my mind WW III will begin with a strike on Iranian Nuclear facilities. China and Russia are firmly in the Iranian camp. That this will happen is almost a certainty now.
The best case is that the ‘super powers’ allow their pawns to fight it out and not get involved directly. Sure lots of covert business will most likely transpire but short of a ‘declaration of war’ or an invasion might keep the contest from spreading.
I personally hope and pray that all of this can be avoided. How is anyone’s best guess considering the belligerent stances of everyone involved.
Israel, U.S. Divided Over Timing of Potential Military Strike Against Iran
By Nicole Gaouette and Jonathan Ferziger – Feb 3, 2012 2:21 PM MT
The U.S. and Israel are publicly disagreeing over timing for a potential attack on Iran’s disputed nuclear facilities, as that nation’s leader said it won’t back down.
The U.S. and Israel have a “significant analytic difference” over estimates of how close Iran is to shielding its nuclear program from attack, Aaron David Miller, a former Mideast peace negotiator in the Clinton administration, said today.
“There’s a growing concern — more than a concern — that the Israelis, in order to protect themselves, might launch a strike without approval, warning or even foreknowledge,” he said in an interview.
The differing views were underscored by public comments this week by senior Israeli and U.S. defense officials.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said yesterday that Israel must consider conducting “an operation” before Iran reaches an “immunity zone,” referring to Iran’s goal of protecting its uranium enrichment and other nuclear operations by moving them to deep underground facilities such as one at Fordo, near the holy city of Qom.
“The world has no doubt that Iran’s nuclear program is steadily nearing readiness and is about to enter an immunity zone,” Barak said in an address to the annual Herzliya Conference at the Interdisciplinary Center campus north of Tel Aviv. “If the sanctions don’t achieve their goal of halting Iran’s nuclear weapons program, there will arise the need of weighing an operation,” Barak said.
The U.S. holds the view that “there is still time and space to pursue diplomacy” with Iran over its nuclear program, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said today in Washington. He added that the U.S. “is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”
In Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today that his nation won’t abandon its nuclear efforts and warned that a strike against the nuclear program would damage U.S. interests in the Middle East “10 times over,” according to the Associated Press. He said, without providing details, that he would disclose a letter that he said President Barack Obama sent Iran’s leaders.
Referring to Israel as a “cancerous tumor,” Khamenei said in his Friday sermon that “if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will help.” He said that Iran has assisted anti-Israel groups such as Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.
The U.S. Senate Banking Committee unanimously approved yesterday a bill that would increase the economic pressure on Iran. The proposal targets Iran-related banking transactions, Iran’s national oil company and leading tanker fleet, joint ventures in mining and energy projects. It also would require corporate disclosure of Iran-related activity to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
One provision calls on the administration to provide a report to Congress within 60 days detailing Iran-related financial transactions facilitated by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, the Belgian member-owned institution known as Swift, and its competitors. The measure would give the president authority to sanction Swift to cut off such services. A similar bill, with stronger language mandating the imposition of sanctions, was submitted in the House yesterday.
Within Israel, there isn’t consensus that striking Iran is either good or necessary. Ephraim Halevy, a former head of Israel’s Mossad security agency, is one of two former intelligence chiefs who have spoken against a strike.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declined to comment directly on a report by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius that Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June. Panetta and other U.S. officials have repeatedly warned Israel not to act alone.
“Israel has indicated that they’re considering this” through public statements, Panetta told reporters traveling with him yesterday in Brussels. “And we have indicated our concerns.”
Israelis think Iran will reach the immunity zone in “half the time the Americans think it will,” Miller said. “To take that difference and talk about a growing rift” between Israel and the U.S. “is by and large an overstatement,” he said.
Tension between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be complicating communications on the issue, a U.S. defense official said. “There’s no love lost between the two of them, and there’s a trust deficit,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the news media.
Defense officials have been concerned that Obama hasn’t warned Netanyahu directly enough about the risks of a Israeli preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, including for U.S. interests in the region such as bases in in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, according to the official.
James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, said Jan. 31 that communication with Israel was good. “We’re doing a lot with the Israelis, working together with them,” he told the Senate intelligence panel.
The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, has said it is “premature” to resort to military force because sanctions are starting to have an impact on Iran. In a Jan. 26 interview with National Journal, Dempsey said he delivered a similar message of caution to Israel’s top leadership during a visit to the Jewish state in early January.
U.S. intelligence agencies think Iran is developing capabilities to produce nuclear weapons “should it choose to do so,” said Clapper.
“We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons,” he said.
While leaders of both countries agree that time must be given to gauge the impact of the latest set of economic sanctions on Iran, Israel’s patience is shorter than that of the U.S., Ephraim Kam, deputy director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, said.
“It will take at least six months to see whether sanctions are effective and by then it may be too late,” said Kam, author of the 2007 book, “A Nuclear Iran: What Does it Mean, and What Can be Done.”
“We’re definitely using different clocks,” he said.
Israeli Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz told the Herzliya conference on Feb. 1 that his nation must be “willing to deploy” its military assets because Iran may be within a year of gaining nuclear weapons capability. Gantz said international sanctions are starting to show some results.
Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s vice prime minister and its former top military commander, played down Iran’s ability to shelter its activities from a military attack. “It’s possible to strike all Iran’s facilities, and I say that out of my experience as IDF chief of staff,” he said at the conference, referring to the Israeli Defense Forces.
The U.S., its European allies and the International Atomic Energy Agency have challenged the government in Tehran to prove that its nuclear work is intended only for energy and medical research, as Iranian officials maintain.
Mehdi Khalaji, an Iran specialist at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said in an interview that he doubts that the U.S. or Iran will launch a military strike this year. Rather, he cited the possibility than Iran might stage a provocation and use any response as an excuse to launch an asymmetrical attack against U.S. and Israel targets using proxies such as Hezbollah
My advice is to keep praying for peace and preparing for some hard times to come….food, water, guns and ammo. Preparedness is not a bad idea especially considering the hardship you could experience if you don’t…
It is amazing to me the knowledge that we have forgotten as our technological advances have spoiled us into a lifestyle of complacency that expects the refrigerator to always be cold, water to always come from the tap, the stove to always turn on and of course electricity to always be there.
Have you ever thought to ask yourself, What did we do before all of these conveniences came into being?
I came across a great article that deals with at least on part of the question, what did we do before refrigerators…click here to learn more about this. Some really great info…
I don’t know if you will find the below article as disturbing as I but regardless the truth continues to come out and I suspect we will be seeing more on this cover up.
That these guys to not distribute information, real and truthful, to their citizens to avoid widespread panic is just absurd! I am sure there are and will continue to be needless deaths as a result of overexposure to radiation in the days, months and years to come due to their callous disregard for the people.
I am wondering when this breaking truth about how our government behaved and continues to behave about Fukushima and what that will eventually lead to for the people here in the U.S.
Japan kept silent on worst nuclear crisis scenario
By MARI YAMAGUCHI and YURI KAGEYAMA | Associated Press – Wed, Jan 25, 201
TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese government’s worst-case scenario at the height of the nuclear crisis last year warned that tens of millions of people, including Tokyo residents, might need to leave their homes, according to a report obtained by The Associated Press. But fearing widespread panic, officials kept the report secret.
The recent emergence of the 15-page internal document may add to complaints in Japan that the government withheld too much information about the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
It also casts doubt about whether the government was sufficiently prepared to cope with what could have been an evacuation of unprecedented scale.
The report was submitted to then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his top advisers on March 25, two weeks after the earthquake and tsunami devastated the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, causing three reactors to melt down and generating hydrogen explosions that blew away protective structures.
Workers ultimately were able to bring the reactors under control, but at the time, it was unclear whether emergency measures would succeed. Kan commissioned the report, compiled by the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, to examine what options the government had if those efforts failed.
Authorities evacuated 59,000 residents within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the Fukushima plant, with thousands more were evacuated from other towns later. The report said there was a chance far larger evacuations could be needed.
The report looked at several ways the crisis could escalate — explosions inside the reactors, complete meltdowns, and the structural failure of cooling pools used for spent nuclear fuel.
It said that each contingency was possible at the time it was written, and could force all workers to flee the vicinity, meaning the situation at the plant would unfold on its own, unmitigated.
Using matter-of-fact language, diagrams and charts, the report said that if meltdowns spiral out of control, radiation levels could soar.
In that case, it said evacuation orders should be issued for residents within and possibly beyond a 170-kilometer (105 mile) radius of the plant and “voluntary” evacuations should be offered for everyone living within 250 kilometers (155 miles) and even beyond that range.
That’s an area that would have included Tokyo and its suburbs, with a population of 35 million people, and other major cities such as Sendai, with a million people, and Fukushima city with 290,000 people.
The report further warned that contaminated areas might not be safe for “several decades.”
“We cannot rule out further developments that may lead to an unpredictable situation at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, where there has been an accident, and this report outlines a summary of that unpredictable situation,” says the document, written by Shunsuke Kondo, head of the commission, which oversees nuclear policy.
After Kan received the report, he and other Japanese officials publicly insisted that there was no need to prepare for wider-scale evacuations.
Rumors of the document grew this month after media reports outlined its findings and an outside panel was created to investigate possible coverups. Kyodo News agency described the contents of the document in detail on Saturday.
The government continues to refuse to make the document public. The AP obtained it Wednesday through a government source, who insisted on anonymity because the document was still categorized as internal.
Goshi Hosono, the Cabinet minister in charge of the nuclear crisis, implicitly acknowledged the document’s existence earlier this month, but said the government had felt no need to make it public.
“It was a scenario based on hypothesis, and even in the event of such a development, we were told that residents would have enough time to evacuate,” Hosono said.
“We were concerned about the possibility of causing excessive and unnecessary worry if we went ahead and made it public,” he said. “That’s why we decided not to disclose it.”
A Japanese government nuclear policy official, Masato Nakamura, said Wednesday that he stood behind Hosono’s decisions on the document.
“It was all his decisions,” he said. “We do not disclose all administrative documents.”
Japanese authorities and regulators have been repeatedly criticized for how they have handled information amid the unfolding nuclear crisis. Officials initially denied that the reactors had melted down, and have been accused of playing down the health risks of exposure to radiation.
In another example, a radiation warning system known as SPEEDI had identified high-risk areas where thousands of people were continuing to live while the reactors were in critical condition. Officials did not use that data to order evacuations; they have since said it was not accurate enough.
The outside panel investigating the government response to the nuclear crisis has been critical, calling for more transparency in relaying information to the public.
“Risk communication during the disaster cannot be said to have been proper at all,” it said in its interim report last month.
Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mariyamaguchi and Yuri Kageyama at http://twitter.com/yurikageyama
If someone asks me why I don’t trust any government this article is probably as good as any to support my view…how about you?
This new FEMA commercial is great and alarming. On the one hand it is urging you to be prepared and on the other you have to wonder why it is coming out now…
Is there something coming that ‘they’ don’t want to tell you about? ‘They’ just want to urge you to be prepared, I doubt that. There is something coming and ‘they’ know it!
Don’t be left behind! EnerHealth Botanicals has some great organic storable food and other nutrition products as well as herbal remedies that can make the difference in your life should you come face to face with a survival situation!
Check out the video
Commercial continued: As the small family walks out the door with their grab n go bag, they are met at the sidewalk by ‘FEMA’ trucks (deuce and a halves) staffed by the U.S. military armed with semi automatic weapons ‘ready’ to escort you to a ‘FEMA’ camp…and the small family is so happy to have been ‘SAVED’!!!
Pay attention to the minimum preparedness requirements below!
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS TIPS
Published 08/24/2011 – 10:55 a.m. CST
As First Hurricane of the Season Heading to mainland U.S., Check Your Preparedness
National Preparedness Month starts September 1, and the first hurricane of the season is fast approaching the U.S. east coast.
Hurricanes are severe tropical storms that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. People who live in hurricane prone communities should know their vulnerability, and what actions should be taken to reduce the effects of these devastating storms. The information on this page can be used to save lives at work, home, while on the road, or on the water.
Step 1: Build A Kit / “To-Go Bag”
Get an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car in case you are told to evacuate.
Step 2: Make a Plan
Prepare your family
Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency. You should also consider:
Utility shut-off and safety
Prepare Your Business
Businesses have a critical role in preparedness. Putting a disaster plan in motion now will improve the likelihood that your company will survive and recover. Ready Business outlines commonsense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready.
Plan to Protect Property
Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection. Flood insurance is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the NFIP Web site, www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419.
In addition to insurance, you can also:
Cover all of your home’s windows with pre-cut ply wood or hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds.
Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
Secure your home by closing shutters, and securing outdoor objects or bringing them inside.
Turn off utilities as instructed. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
Turn off propane tanks.
Install a generator for emergencies
Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage, it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting www.FoodSafety.gov.
Step 3: Be Informed
Hurricane hazards come in many forms: lightning, tornadoes, flooding, storm surge, high winds, even landslides or mudslides can be triggered in mountainous regions. Look carefully at the safety actions associated with each type of hurricane hazard and prepare your family disaster plan accordingly. But remember this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.
Learn about damaging and potentially deadly hurricane hazards
What to do during a hurricane
Get your children involved (kids site)
People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs
Care for pets
Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a hurricane.
A hurricane watch means a hurricane is possible in your area. Be prepared to evacuate. Monitor local radio and television news outlets or listen to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest developments.
A hurricane warning is when a hurricane is expected in your area. If local authorities advise you to evacuate, leave immediately.
Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on their wind speed, central pressure, and damage potential. Category Three and higher hurricanes are considered major hurricanes, though Categories One and Two are still extremely dangerous and warrant your full attention.
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
Scale Number (Category) Sustained Winds (MPH) Damage
Very dangerous winds will produce some damage
Minor damage to exterior of homes
Toppled tree branches, uprooting of smaller trees
Extensive damage to power lines, power outages
Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage
Major damage to exterior of homes
Uprooting of small trees and many roads blocked
Guaranteed power outages for long periods of time – days to weeks
Devastating damage will occur
Extensive damage to exterior of homes
Many trees uprooted and many roads blocked
Extremely limited availability of water and electricity
Catastrophic damage will occur
Loss of roof structure and/or some exterior walls
Most trees uprooted and most power lines down
Isolated residential due to debris pile up
Power outages lasting for weeks to months
More than 155
Catastrophic damage will occur
A high percentage of homes will be destroyed
Fallen trees and power lines isolate residential areas
Power outages lasting for weeks to months
Most areas will be uninhabitable
FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) has developed a training program to encourage community hurricane preparedness. This computer-based course provides basic information about dealing with tropical cyclones and hurricanes. Visit www.training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is324a.asp and select the ‘take this course’ option at the top of the right hand column to take the interactive web-based course.
Federal and National Resources
Find additional information on how to plan and prepare for a hurricane by visiting the following resources:
Federal Emergency Management Agency
NOAA Hurricane Center
American Red Cross
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control
Encourage Electronic Payments for Federal Benefit Recipients
Keep in mind a disaster can disrupt mail service for days or even weeks. For those who depend on the mail for their Social Security benefits, a difficult situation can become worse if they are evacuated or lose their mail service – as 85,000 check recipients learned after Hurricane Katrina. Switching to electronic payments is one simple, significant way people can protect themselves financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:
Direct deposit to a checking or savings account is the best option for people with bank accounts. The Direct Express ® prepaid debit card is also available for people who don’t have a bank account. Federal benefit recipients can sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or at www.GoDirect.org.
For a great preparedness pail of organic food click here.
That some groups of folks are coming together to begin to explore how to establish a ‘sustainable’ food production system in their immediate area is a conversation that is way past due in my opinion!
Given the state of the world at this point, economics, social destabilization, natural and man made disasters, wouldn’t you agree. Please read the article below and perhaps you will gain some insight and get some ideas on how and why this discussion needs to begin today!
Coffee, Tea and Sustainability
A Sunday breakfast and panel discussion informed Bethesdans about creating a sustainable food system in Montgomery County.
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Sunday, a group of local residents, advocates, and food industry professionals met at Bethesda Green for the first of three events in the group’s “On the Farm, Around the Table” series.
Hosted by Bethesda Green and Full Plate Ventures, Sunday’s event, entitled “Closing the Loop in Our Food System – Let’s discuss over breakfast!” attracted a large group. Attendees first enjoyed a breakfast of quiches, fruits, breads, jam and butter made from local foods and produce. After breakfast the group listened to a panel of area experts talk about efforts to create a sustainable food system in Montgomery County.
The panel focused on successes as well as roadblocks that challenge a sustainable food system in the county. Panelists included Montgomery Countryside Alliance executive director Caroline Taylor, Shannon Varley, owner of Bella Terra Family Farm, registered dietician and author Diane Welland, Yamas Mediterranean Grill owner Tony Alexis, and Jessica Weiss, executive director of growingSOUL. Cheryl Kollin, a principal with Full Plate Ventures, moderated the discussion.
The Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve Welcomes a New Generation of Farmers
The demand for locally grown food is on the rise and the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve is uniquely suited to support a new group of farmers committed to growing and selling locally. The Montgomery Countryside Alliance, which oversees activities in the Ag Reserve, has been working to support farmers focusing on sustainable farming.
“The Agricultural Reserve came into being in 1981 by some very forward looking planners. They made farming, not development, the primary use of the land and 70,000 acres of the 93,000 acres in the reserve is protected from development. We can mentor and provide the educational tools to the next generation of farmers,” said Taylor during the panel discussion.
Varley, a former environmental lawyer, represents the new generation of farmers in Montgomery County and echoed Taylor’s comments about the potential of Montgomery County for sustainable farmers.
“There’s a lot going on to ensure that the next generation of farmers have access to land,” Varley said.
Taylor also observed that the growing demand for local and sustainable food has started to change farming in the Ag Reserve.
“There is a transition going on in the reserve. Historically the crops have been very large scale – soy, wheat, corn and hay,” Taylor said. Most are genetically modified crops. However, even this group of farmers is starting to be aware there is a market for heritage crops, specific table crops, and organic meat, poultry and eggs for consumers that want to know where their food is coming from.”
Industry Professionals Say That Eating Locally Calls For a New Mindset About Food
Alexis and Welland both emphasized that eating locally means that people need to think – and act – differently when it comes to eating and shopping for food.
“Bethesda is a wonderful place for business,” said Alexis. “I felt there was so much wrong with the way people eat, especially in the restaurant business. Most people are not able to slow their life down enough to eat natural and whole foods. We’re looking to bring a little bit of that culture to Yamas.”
Welland spoke about the need to think differently when it comes to food shopping.
“You have to understand the seasons,” Welland said. “For a couple of generations we haven’t really had to think about seasons.”
Welland emphasized that local foods are available in many places – farmers markets, local stores, CSA’s, food co-ops, and that now is a great time to shop for local foods.
“Around here, August and September is the most abundant season. At farmers markets, take advantage of the people who grow the food who are right there. If you start learning about the foods and what goes together you can start menu planning. What goes together, grows together.”
Creating Sustainable Links Between Restaurants and Farmers
Weiss talked about creating relationships with local restaurants to take food waste from restaurants, turn it into compost and deliver the compost to local farmers.
“We think of nutrients as the most valuable thing the planet has to offer.” Weiss said. “By composting we are creating a viable, sustainable loop.”
Weiss is facing a current challenge, and mentioned during the panel discussion that she is seeking a new location for growingSOUL. “Our biggest barrier is land. We need to be off our current location by September 15. Everyone says there is a need for compost. We just need to find the right location.”
Despite challenges, Weiss has created a network of restaurants that provide a source of food waste for composting. “Our biggest mission is zero waste. That’s our sustainability goal.”
Bethesda Central Farm Market Showcases Local Farmers and Producers
After the breakfast and panel discussion, the group walked over to the Bethesda Central Farm Market to meet Mitch Berliner, the market’s founder. Berliner talked about the creation of the market, working together with the Federal Realty Investment Trust to offer a complete farmer’s market on Bethesda Row.
“We have the longest season of most markets,” said Berliner. “We have farmers from the northern neck of Virginia, from Maryland and from Pennsylvania. So, as strawberries finish for the northern neck, they’re just getting started in Maryland. When they’re finishing in Maryland they’re still ripening in Pennsylvania.”
Berliner had good news about the future of the market. “We’re staying in this spot indefinitely, and we’re going year-round.”
Berliner said he is always open to new farmers and vendors, even those who just want to sell at the market for part of the year.
Thank you to Bethesda Green and Full Plate Ventures for such an informative – and delicious – morning! The next event in the On the Farm; Around the Table series is ‘Fertile Ground – Local Farm Tour and Lunch’ at Rocklands Farm in Poolesville from 12:30p.m. – 3p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10. For this event a bus to Rocklands Farm will leave from Bethesda Green at 11:30a.m. and return by 4p.m. for attendees who prefer to travel by bus. Sign up here to take part in this unique opportunity to enjoy a farm lunch and tour a local farm practicing organic farming.
It is only through community will we have a chance in the world to come! No one can make it in the current circumstances alone either! In a very disconnected way the majority of folks rely on ‘distant’ others to fulfill their requirements to live! Think about that!
I hope that the people that might be in the path of this hurricane are prepared!
Hurricane Irene could become a Category 4 storm tomorrow
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 7:30 PM Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 10:19 PM
By National Hurricane Center, NOAA
Hurricane Irene is centered at latitude 23.5 north and longitude 75 west, about 185 miles southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas and about 810 miles south of Cape Hatteras, N.C., according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
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Hurricane Irene has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, making it a Category 3 storm. Some strengthening is forecast, and Irene could become a Category 4 hurricane by Thursday.
Hurricane Irene is moving northwest at 12 mph and has minimum central pressure of 954 millibars or 28.17 inches.
A hurricane warning is in effect for the southeastern, central and northwestern Bahamas.
The core of Hurricane Irene will move across the central Bahamas tonight and over the northwestern Bahamas on Thursday. People from the Carolinas northward through New England are urged to monitor the progress of the storm.
View full sizeLynne Sladky, The Associated Press
Palm trees blow on an empty beach as bands of rain and wind from Hurricane Irene hit Nassau, on New Providence Island in the Bahamas, on Wednesday.
Waves generated by Irene will begin affecting portion of the southeastern U.S. coast on Thursday. These swells are expected to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Meanwhile, farther east, a low pressure system about 1,200 miles east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands is producing limited shower and thunderstorm activity. Although the low is moving toward warmer waters, upper-level winds are unfavorable for significant development. This system has a low chance, 10 percent, of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.
Still farther east in the Atlantic Ocean, showers and thunderstorms continue to show signs of organization in association with an area of low pressure about 300 miles southwest of the southern Cape Verde Islands. Environmental conditions appear favorable for the development of a tropical depression, and this system has a high chance, 70 percent, of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours as it moves west or west-northwest at 10 to 15 mph.
This promises to be a heck of a storm, very dangerous as it continues to grow!
I wake up every day hoping that this nightmare is going away, unfortunately almost every day there is even more disturbing news. It just seems like the Japanese continue to throw teaspoons of water on a bonfire. Someone over there needs to take the bull by the horns and get the entire facility buried under tons of cement. If not we will continue to have more and more bad news.
As this radiation, the gift that keeps on giving, continues to be blown by the winds all over the world and governments, at least ours and the Japanese, continue to deny any lasting problems we will never be aware of the true extent of this problem. Only decades later will someone do a study on how many still births, cancer deaths, etc. were seen in the aftermath of this disaster…by then TOO LATE!
We have already seen the data, worldwide, on the health issues that can be tied to the increased radiation across the globe from the Chernobyl disaster. Why on earth this news blackout continues is way beyond my ability to understand. There should be a ton of effort right now into how to decontaminate land (tune in to our show in about 3 weeks to hear about the theory and practice…yes this has been done post Chernobyl) to grow radiation free produce. More product research into what works the best in decontaminating your body.
In the meantime we know that Spirulina, Chlorella and seaweeds do work (all found in Enerfood, ThyRobust, bladderwrack and Sargasso Seaweed from EnerHealth) and recommend these and other natural forms of iodine supplements. Of course, if things get really bad then pull out the potassium iodide to really fill up the thyroid gland with iodine. But you still have to detox your body!
I have found a couple of blogs that ring of fellows trying very hard to get to the kernel of truth about this situation. What they are writing is as disturbing as it gets!
Click on the following links to learn more:
and referenced in that blog is another found at:
Folks pay attention to the writings of many and if we see enough real data to make you comfortable to make a decision then do so! You will need products and food to get through all this mess! If you don’t get it from EnerHealth do get it somewhere as the likelihood of needing them is growing daily.