Archive | November 3, 2015

Saudi Arabia Farming Arizona Land after Depleting its Own Water Sources*

Saudi Arabia Farming Arizona Land after Depleting its Own Water Sources*

Outside of Phoenix, in the scorching Arizona desert, sits a farm that Saudi Arabia’s largest dairy uses to make hay for cows back home.

That dairy company, named Almarai, bought the farm last year and has planted thousands of acres of groundwater-guzzling alfalfa to make that hay. Saudi Arabia can’t grow its own hay anymore because those crops drained its own ancient aquifer.

Reporter Nathan Halverson tells NPR’s Renee Montagne that Almarai bought about 15 square miles in the Arizona desert.

“They got about 15 water wells when they purchased the property. Now, each one of those wells can pump about 1.5 billion gallons of water. It’s an incredible amount of water they’re going to be drawing up from that aquifer underground,” Halverson says.

The land in question had previously been under cultivation for corn, cotton and other crops, including smaller amounts of alfalfa for hay, he tells The Salt. Halverson’s sources told him that the farm is now consuming significantly more water, since alfalfa is a particularly thirsty crop.

Halverson, along with producer Ike Sriskandarajah, visited that farm for a story for Reveal, an investigative radio program and podcast from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX.

The remarkable thing about Saudi Arabia’s story is that it’d done something similar in the desert until the water ran out. The aquifers essentially went dry. Ancient springs that were mentioned in the Bible began drying up, and the Saudi Arabian government told its dairy companies to start importing their hay and their wheat from other parts of the world.

It turns out that hay yields in the desert are the best in the United States. You can literally get three or four times as much hay growing in the desert because you have a very long growing season: It’s hot, so the hay dries really quickly once you cut it. But the rub here is that you need … lots of water. The temperatures are so high that it takes a lot more water to keep that barren soil moist for the alfalfa to grow.

On regulating the practice of exporting water in the form of alfalfa hay

The laws were put in place in the ’70s, and kudos to Arizona — they were really one of the first states to put in groundwater laws. But the laws were really designed for local or domestic farming. The idea that another country would come and essentially export your water via crops just wasn’t really around 30, 40 years ago. And so the laws that are in place are really inadequate for dealing with this new trend.

This is occurring in a part of Arizona that is unregulated for groundwater. So there are no limits on how much water they can pump.

On the United Arab Emirates doing something similar nearby

We had gone out to the desert to look at Almarai. We had found them in this cactus-filled valley in the very remote part of Arizona, and as we’re driving down the road, all of a sudden we see a sign for a company from United Arab Emirates, Al Dahra, and we realize that another company has come out here and essentially replicated the exact same thing. They are growing hay. They are using the groundwater. And they are shipping it overseas — in this case, we were told, to China.

On reaction from local farmers

No one we talked to has issue with these corporations coming in and wanting to make money. And the fact that it’s going to Saudi Arabia or China, the locals simply didn’t care. But what they did care about is that their water tables are falling. So their domestic wells that they use for their homes are increasingly dropping, and at some point, they’re going to lose access to water.

I think this is a very new issue. I think people are just waking up and recognizing that they are exporting huge amounts of their water overseas, even during a drought. And so I think folks are just reconciling with this issue, and folks are grappling with what it means. But the paramount need for them is access to water. Without it, there is no living in the desert.


Related Topics:

Drilling for Water Greens the Saudi Deserts

Organic Food and Meat Shortages Hit a Morally Unstable Drought-Ridden America*

Nestle ‘Liberating’ Water from Drought Stricken Indian Reservation*

Illegal to Collect Rain Water, yet Bottled Water Comes from Drought-Riddled Areas*

Fracking Companies Free to Use 70 Million Gallons Of Clean Water in the Midst of U.S. Record Drought*

The U.S. No Longer Has Any Strategic Grain Reserves*

Encroaching Drought in Brazil and World’s Agricultural Regions*

Gov’t Warns Farmers to Sell Livestock in Face of Spreading Drought in S. Africa*

Gov’t Warns Farmers to Sell Livestock in Face of Spreading Drought in S. Africa*

Gov’t Warns Farmers to Sell Livestock in Face of Spreading Drought in S. Africa*

South African cattle, sheep and goat farmers were urged by the government on Tuesday to cut the size of their herds as drought conditions scorch grazing land.

The forced sale of cattle will hit farmers big and small but will have its most severe impact on subsistence herders who graze their livestock mostly on communal lands and cannot afford to provide the animals with feed supplements.

This will push down prices for live cattle and other livestock but if farmers also resort to reducing numbers by slaughtering animals it could cap rising meat prices in Africa‘s most advanced economy.

Farmers are advised to further reduce livestock to protect the limited pastures, i.e. by selling of animals,” the department of agriculture said in a climate advisory.

Livestock must continually be kept in line with the veld’s carrying capacity,” it said.

South African prices for yellow maize, used mostly for animal feed, scaled their highest peaks in 2015 on Monday as drought concerns mounted, fueling food price pressures in Africa’s most advanced economy.


Related Topics:

Protestors Shut down Nestlé Plant in Drought Stricken California*

Evidence Proving California Drought Was Geo-engineered*

Fracking Companies Free to Use 70 Million Gallons Of Clean Water in the Midst of U.S. Record Drought*

Corbyn Triumphs as Cameron Fears Failure to Achieve Mandate on Invading Syria*

Corbyn Triumphs as Cameron Fears Failure to Achieve Mandate on Invading Syria*

By Mike Carr

David Cameron has abandoned plans to push for military action in Syria. He will not call for a vote in the House of Commons on the issue, according to both the Guardian and The Times. This will bolster Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition to military intervention in Syria.

Cameron fears he may look weak if he calls for a vote on military action in Syria and loses it again, like he did in 2013. Although 20-30 Labour MPs may vote in favour, this would be counteracted by the same number of Conservative MPs who might vote against.

Cameron’s U-turn is good news for Corbyn as he continues to grow in his role as Labour leader. Last week Cameron appeared ashamed of avoiding Corbyn’s questions at prime minister’s questions. In addition, Corbyn has been praised as responsible for scuppering the British government’s deal with the human rights abusing regime in Saudi Arabia. This week, the Scottish Labour party has also backed Corbyn’s calls to cancel Trident.

Downing Street have responded by describing the claims as “complete nonsense”, according to the BBC.

Conservatives wary of war 

The foreign affairs committee, which has a Conservative majority, has recently cast doubt on the worth of military action in Syria. They have also questioned the legality of any U.K. intervention. The committee said that although something must be done:

“We believe that there should be no extension of British military action into Syria unless there is a coherent international strategy that has a realistic chance of defeating ISIL and of ending the civil war in Syria.

In the absence of such a strategy, taking action to meet the desire to do something is still incoherent.”

Parliament may finally be learning its lesson from the failures of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are regaining territory despite 13 years of a British military presence. In Iraq, Western intervention led to the emergence of ISIS, al-Qaeda and Shia militias – adding to the chaotic bloodshed. This has led the U.K. to try and fix the mess it helped create, by bombing Isis out of Iraq. The result of this is clear to see – Isis is stronger than ever.

And the forgotten disaster in Libya – Cameron’s Iraq – has led to a mass exodus of people as chaos continues to rule in Libya. There is a recurring theme here.

History shows us that adding more bombs into the equation is not the answer to the suffering of the Syrian people.


Related Topics:

British Pilots Bombing Syria in Secret*

British Government Firms Behind ISIS Oil Sales*

British SAS Special Forces “Dressed Up as ISIS Rebels” Fighting Assad in Syria*

British General Threatens ‘Mutiny’ Against Corbyn Leadership*

Reality of British Empire should be taught in Schools – Corbyn*

Radiation from Iraq War Detected In U.K. Atmosphere*

U.K. Starts Building New, Permanent Navy Base in Bahrain*

U.K.’s Intelligence Chairman Resigns – part of the battle to stop WW3*

U.K. Lifts Restrictions on Arms to Israel*

U.K.’s “Anti-extremism” Plan Brings Repression at Home and War Abroad*

U.K.’s Israeli Lobby gets a Seat on the House of Lords*

U.K. to Take Children Away from Parents if They ‘Might’ Become Radicalized*

How the British Empire aka New World Order Sowed Seeds of Destruction towards Islam*

Israel’s Undeclared Final War Killed 2,600 Palestinians in October Alone*

Israel’s Undeclared Final War Killed 2,600 Palestinians in October Alone*

Palestinians wave their national flags as they carry the bodies of five Palestinians who were killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank on October 31, 2015. AFP photo

At least 2,617 Palestinians have been shot and injured by Israeli forces using live and rubber bullets in the month of October, a Red Crescent officials says.

On Sunday, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an released a report quoting a Red Crescent spokesperson as saying that at least 760 Palestinians were shot with live rounds across the occupied Palestinian territory, while another 1,857 were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets.

At least 5,645 Palestinians sustained injuries, including burns from tear gas canisters and excessive tear gas inhalation.

At least 72 Palestinians were also killed in Palestinian territories by Israeli soldiers in October.

Tensions have been running high over the past several weeks between the Israeli regime and Palestinians in the occupied territories.

The latest wave of tensions was triggered by Israel’s imposition in August of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The number of Israelis killed in the same period has been put at 10, while 130 others have allegedly been injured.

The unrest seemed unabated at the start of November with new clashes leaving two more Palestinians injured  by live rounds in a refugee camp on Sunday, according to medics in the besieged Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian was also shot dead by Israeli forces in the village of Beit Einun in the occupied West Bank in what is being called as the first death this month by Palestinian media.

Israeli forces shot and injured two Palestinians with live rounds in the village of Sair near the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).

The ongoing Israeli aggression on Palestinians in the West Bank has been the deadliest since an uprising a decade ago.


Related Topics:

Israeli Forces Invade Palestinian Hospitals*

Israeli Media Fabricating Palestinian Attacks Of Jews*

Israel Lures Protesters into Trap*

Black-Palestinian Alliance Emerges to Confront Global Violence and Racism*

Israel’s Latest War in the Planning Eight Years*

Israel Takes Advantage of Syrian Civil War to Expand Illegal Golan Heights Settlements*

Argentinean Protesters Slam Israeli Violence against Palestinians*

Thousands Stage anti-Israel Rally in Morocco*

Putin Blows the Whistle on the Who and the Why of ISIS*

Israeli Report Admits They Are Descendants of Khazars*

Zionists Argue for the Boycott of Israel*

Letter to Karl Marx from Baruch Levy 1928*

Hamas Asks Russia to Help Stop Israeli ‘Aggression’*

The Earth is a Battleground between Good and Evil. The Same Battle Goes on Within All of Us.

U.S. White Middle-Aged People Dying Quicker than in any other ‘Developed’ Nation*

U.S. White Middle-Aged People Dying Quicker than in any other ‘Developed’ Nation*

City workers cross the Millennium footbridge over the River Thames on a misty morning in London, Britain, November 2, 2015. © Toby Melville / Reuters

Nobel Prize-winning scientist Angus Deaton and Anne Case have come out with shocking conclusions that white middle-aged Americans are the only ‘first-world’ group of people dying faster than their counterparts in any other developed country.

According to them, this is due to an out-of-control alcohol and drug habit, as well as suicide and depression. Researchers have described this as an “epidemic” that threatens the fabric of future America.

The research by economists Deaton and Anne Case, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, follows another paper of theirs from 1999, where questions were raised regarding the relationship between income and mortality.

The worrying trend has been developing since 1998, when mortality rates for 45-54 year-old Americans suddenly jumped. Worryingly, the exact reasons remain unclear. Experts could only determine a correlation with a rise in the availability of prescription drugs – such as painkillers – as well as a marked shift toward heroin use.  On top of this there was the steady economic deterioration of the last 20 years, Deaton suggests.

Since that year, some half a million Americans were killed by HIV/AIDS. “Only HIV/AIDS in contemporary times has done anything like” what the authors describe for the other contributing factors, the report said.

“Addictions are hard to treat and pain is hard to control, so those currently in midlife may be a ‘lost generation’ whose future is less bright than those who preceded them,” the authors said.

“Increased availability of opioid prescription drugs, chronic pain (for which opioids are often prescribed), and the economic crisis which began in 2008 may all have contributed to an increase in overdoses, suicide, and increased liver disease associated with alcohol abuse.”

What is strange is the sudden shift. In the decade from 1978 to 1998, mortality rates were dropping, much like in any well-developed Western nation. But at the tail-end of that period, mortality began rising by half a percent every year.

“For those with a high school degree or less, deaths caused by drug and alcohol poisoning rose fourfold; suicides rose by 81 per cent; and deaths caused by liver disease and cirrhosis rose by 50%,” Deaton and Case said.

In some sort of nightmarish fashion, organ damage was combined with rising depression, inability to relate to others and various other forms of pain – bringing with them often an inability to work. The authors even found a strict rising correlation between the number of people reporting mental illness and the number reporting that they had difficulty in socializing with others.

Despite popular speculation, obesity – which was also on the rise – was not viewed as a prime contributor to the trend.

One correlation, however, was obvious: among middle-aged white people, those with the lowest levels of education have been dying out at a quicker pace.

“All-cause mortality rose by 22% for this least-educated group. Those with some college education saw little change in overall death rates, and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher actually saw death rates decline.”

The broad conclusion here is that the government should really change its attitude to prescription drug policy, but that alone would be a fraction of the story, as social and economic factors undoubtedly feed into the compounded effect, Deaton and Case said.

Deaton’s and Case’s research represents the most comprehensive and thorough study of the aforementioned relationships, and how these relationships contribute to mortality among Americans.

To arrive at their conclusion, the authors used data from the CDC, individual death records and a slew of national surveys on population and mortality.


Related Topics:

The Hidden History of the Human Race*

U.S. and E.U. Block the Family from new U.N. Development Goals*

U.N. Raises Replacement Migration for Eurasian Countries with Aging Populations*

Western Medicine Is Rockefeller Medicine*

Iraq Captures ISIL Leaders who Confess Receiving U.S. intelligence Support*

Iraq Captures ISIL Leaders who Confess Receiving U.S. intelligence Support*

Spokesman of Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Battalions) popular forces Jafar al-Hosseini disclosing that captured ISIL leaders have acknowledged receiving logistical backup and intelligence support from the U.S.

“As the ISIL commanders captured in Iraqi popular forces’ recent military operations have confessed, the U.S. supports for the terrorist groups are not limited to the dispatch of logistical support,” Al-Hosseini told FNA on Sunday.

He reiterated that the U.S. has provided the ISIL with intelligence about the Iraqi forces’ positions and targets.

“ISIL commanders trusted the U.S. officials who had assured them that the Iraqi forces would not attack Fallujah because the U.S had urged the Iraqi government to prevent the popular forces from entering Fallujah and raid Beiji instead; hence the terrorists left Fallujah for Beiji to stay on the alert in there,” Al-Hosseini added.

Al-Hosseini had also stated on Wednesday that his forces plan to win back the city of Ramadi only after expelling the American forces from Anbar province.

“Our forces have two operations underway; first seizing Ramadi from ISIL and second keeping away the American forces from Anbar province,” al-Hosseini told FNA.

He underlined that preventing the U.S. forces from getting close to Anbar province will expedite operations for winning back the province, especially after the military operations in Salahuddin province that led to the liberation of the city of Beiji.

Iraqi officials have on different occasions blasted the U.S. and its allies for supplying the ISIL in Syria with arms and ammunition under the pretext of fighting the Takfiri terrorist group.

Earlier this month, the Iraqi army and volunteer forces discovered U.S.-made military hardware and ammunition, including anti-armour missiles, in terrorists’ positions and trenches captured during the operations in the Fallujah region in Al-Anbar province.

The Iraqi forces found a huge volume of advanced TOW-II missiles from the Takfiri terrorists in al-Karama city of Fallujah.

The missiles were brand new and the ISIL had transferred them to Fallujah to use them against the Iraqi army’s armoured units.

On October 10, the Iraqi forces discovered U.S.-made military hardware and ammunition from terrorists in Beiji.
In Late December, Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defence Commission MP disclosed that a U.S. plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province.

MP Majid al-Gharawi stated that the available information pointed out that U.S. planes are supplying ISIL organization, not only in Salahuddin province, but also other provinces, Iraq TradeLink reported.

He added that the U.S. and the international coalition are “not serious in fighting against the ISIL organization, because they have the technological power to determine the presence of ISIL gunmen and destroy them in one month”.

Gharawi added that “the U.S. is trying to expand the time of the war against the ISIL to get guarantees from the Iraqi government to have its bases in Mosul and Anbar provinces.”

Salahuddin security commission also disclosed that “unknown planes threw arms and ammunition to the ISIL gunmen Southeast of Tikrit city”.
“The military hardware and weapons had been airdropped by the U.S.-led warplanes and choppers for the ISIL in the nearby areas of Beiji,” military sources told FNA.

In February, an Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that the US airplanes still continue to airdrop weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists.

“The U.S. planes have dropped weapons for the ISIL terrorists in the areas under ISIL control and even in those areas that have been recently liberated from the ISIL control to encourage the terrorists to return to those places,” Coordinator of Iraqi popular forces Jafar al-Jaberi told FNA.

He noted that eyewitnesses in Al-Havijeh of Kirkuk province had witnessed the U.S. airplanes dropping several suspicious parcels for ISIL terrorists in the province.

“Two coalition planes were also seen above the town of Al-Khas in Diyala and they carried the Takfiri terrorists to the region that has recently been liberated from the ISIL control,” Al-Jaberi said.

Also in February, a senior lawmaker disclosed that Iraq’s army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province.

“The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,” Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said.

He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.

Also in February, a senior Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that U.S. and Israeli-made weapons have been discovered from the areas purged of ISIL terrorists.

“We have discovered weapons made in the U.S., European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL’s control in Al-Baqdadi region,” the Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz as saying.

He noted that the weapons made by the European countries and Israel were discovered from the terrorists in the Eastern parts of the city of Ramadi.

Meantime, Head of Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli also disclosed that the anti-ISIL coalition’s planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.

In January, al-Zameli underlined that the coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

“There are proofs and evidence for the U.S.-led coalition’s military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes),” he told FNA at the time.

He noted that the members of his committee have already proved that the US planes have dropped advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft weapons, for the ISIL, and that it has set up an investigation committee to probe into the matter.

“The U.S. drops weapons for the ISIL on the excuse of not knowing about the whereabouts of the ISIL positions and it is trying to distort the reality with its allegations.”

He noted that the committee had collected the data and the evidence provided by eyewitnesses, including Iraqi army officers and the popular forces, and said,

“These documents are given to the investigation committee … and the necessary measures will be taken to protect the Iraqi airspace.”

Also in January, another senior Iraqi legislator reiterated that the US-led coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

“The international coalition is only an excuse for protecting the ISIL and helping the terrorist group with equipment and weapons,” Jome Divan, who is member of the al-Sadr bloc in the Iraqi parliament, said.

He said the coalition’s support for the ISIL is now evident to everyone, and continued,

“The coalition has not targeted ISIL’s main positions in Iraq.”


Related Topics:

U.S. Airstrikes Kill 22 Iraqi Troops in Ramadi*

Israeli Colonel Leading ISIL Terrorists Captured in Iraq*

Iraqi Security Forces Find Mass Graves of ISIS Members*

U.S. Delivery of Missiles to ISIS Seized by Iraq*

Tony Blair FINALLY apologises for Iraq War and admits in TV interview the conflict caused the rise of ISIS*

Syrian Army Kills al-Nusra Leader*

Syrian Army Liberates 50 Villages in Aleppo Province*

Three Days of Bombing Russia hits 258 IS Targets, no Civilian Casualties*

U.S. Playing Games Whilst Russia Strike 72 Terrorist Targets in Syria*

Russia, U.S. Sign Memorandum on Military Flights over Syria*

U.S. Plan to Spread Cholera across Syria and Turkey May be Failing*

Syrian Army Seizes Control of Al-Amal Farms in Golan Heights*

Terrorist in-fighting as Russian Jets Destroy ISIS Supply Lines*

U.S. and Israel is Managing Combat Operations for ISIS and al Nusra in Iraq, Syria*

U.S. Caught Faking Recent Bombing Campaign in Syria*

Christians Join Forces with Muslim Group Hezbollah to Fight ISIS in Lebanon*

Does the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army Exist?*