Population of Africa: 933,448,292 according to http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats1.htm
Area of Africa: It has 2 billion acres of arable land that are not being cultivated http://www.theglobalist.com/DBWeb/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=2892
Area of Africa: About 874 million hectares of Africa’s land is considered suitable for agricultural production. Of this, about 83 percent have serious soil fertility or other limitations and will need costly improvements and amendments to achieve high and sustained productivity. http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y6831e/y6831e-03.htm
“Agricultural growth is more important for Africa than for any other continent. About 70 percent of people in Africa and roughly 80 percent of the continent’s poor live in rural areas. These people depend on agriculture and non-farm rural enterprises for their livelihoods, and increasingly are unable to meet their basic food needs as population pressure on land grows, and land and water resources become scarce or degrade and agricultural productivity stagnates” states http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y6831e/y6831e-03.htm
And now this: http://www.thestar.com/article/185292
“Scientists estimate that if even a quarter of the continent’s arable land was ploughed into jatropha plantations, output would surpass 20 million barrels a day, enough to satisfy at least America’s appetite for oil.”
It’s hard to surpass this sort of mindless greed, except, perhaps, for Victorian England.
Some of my best friends are American, some even live in the USA.
I must ask them how they can in all good conscience be comfortable with their image, that one quarter of the arable land in a continent which, we are told, is starving, could be assigned for America’s appetite for oil.
Words like “rape” come to mind.
Phrases like “Rape of foreigners” come to mind.
Of course, my mind races ahead and considers what ¼ of the USA’s arable land would look like.
http://go.hrw.com/atlas/norm_htm/usa.htm tells me that 19% of the USA is arable land.
tells me that 18% of the USA is arable land.
http://www.greatestcities.com/North_America/USA.html tells me that 19% of the USA is arable land.
I’m going to use 20% as an easy figure.
A quarter of that is 5%.
Here’s a list of states of the USA that could be assigned to Africa to yield a quarter of the arable land of the USA, sorted in ascending sequence, that is, let’s assign all the smallest states first.
I bet no one is asking the Africans.
Insanity Is Non-Sane, Or Non-Sense.
The Toronto Star reports ( http://www.thestar.com/News/article/184126 ), “While recyclers chafe at the bit, De Baeremaeker pleads for patience. The city’s waste diversion battle is being fought on many front, he says. For the moment, top priority is being given to starting Green Bin collection and driving up recycling rates in high-rise apartment buildings. The big blue recycling carts due next year will give the city more room to focus on bags and foam. But De Baeremaeker also says that he doesn’t see the city’s primary job as one of providing material for recyclers.”.
There you have it: The city is too busy setting up a program to deal with compostable waste to set up a program to deal with plastics.
Let me rephrase that: The city is too busy setting up a program to deal with “things that householders can deal with”, to set up a program to deal with “things that householders can’t deal with”.
Let me rephrase that: The Blue/Green box recycling scheme is now totally off-course. Out-of-whack. A senseless waste of money.
Let me rephrase that: The Blue/Green box recycling scheme is an insane waste of money.
The Toronto Star reports ( http://www.thestar.com/News/article/178509 ), at long last “However, there are concerns that Ontarians, long accustomed to putting bottles into the blue box for recycling, won’t go to the trouble of taking them back to a Beer Store – which isn’t even where they bought them – for such a small deposit.”.
This regarding the new move to ask residents to return their bottles for a refund, rather than toss them into the Blue Box.
This is called “re-use”, as in “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Reuse is preferable to recycle.
The same article tells us “Only about 20 per cent of LCBO bottles get recycled into new glass because most glass gets broken and, once the colours mix, its value drops“, which suggest that about 80% (or 4 out of every 5 bottles) recycled through the blue box program ends up in a landfill in Michigan anyway.
This article must have dampened many a Torontonian conscience, as it should.
CTV news tells us ( http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20070206/bottle_deposit_program_070206/20070206?hub=TorontoHome ) that “The government says the plan will divert 80 million bottles away from landfills.“.
Mind you, CTV is just telling us what the government is telling us.
What does this mean?
It means that political ends are served by touting the blue box program as a success, whereas the truth is that it encourages well-meaning people to do what-is-not-the-right thing. The Blue Box program encourages people to divert material away from reuse (healthy) into a stream that sometimes, but not always, diverts expensive material away from landfill.
Any system that diverts material into landfill is basically burying a nation’s gold into places where it can’t be recovered.
That is impoverishing the nation.
The Blue Box program has convinced citizens that as long as they put it in a blue (gray, green, red, yellow etc) box that they are being good citizens.
The government must now do an about-face and try to persuade citizens that putting things in the blue box is not a good thing.
That’s going to be a hard sell.