Posts Tagged ‘climate’

Reuters  |  By Posted: 10/01/2012 9:18 pm EDT

By Carey Gillam

(Reuters) – U.S. farmers are using more hazardous pesticides to fight weeds and insects due largely to heavy adoption of genetically modified crop technologies that are sparking a rise of “superweeds” and hard-to-kill insects, according to a newly released study.

Genetically engineered crops have led to an increase in overall pesticide use, by 404 million pounds from the time they were introduced in 1996 through 2011, according to the report by Charles Benbrook, a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University.

Of that total, herbicide use increased over the 16-year period by 527 million pounds while insecticide use decreased by 123 million pounds.

Benbrook’s paper — published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe over the weekend and announced on Monday — undermines the value of both herbicide-tolerant crops and insect-protected crops, which were aimed at making it easier for farmers to kill weeds in their fields and protect crops from harmful pests, said Benbrook.

Herbicide-tolerant crops were the first genetically modified crops introduced to world, rolled out by Monsanto Co. in 1996, first in “Roundup Ready” soybeans and then in corn, cotton and other crops. Roundup Ready crops are engineered through transgenic modification to tolerate dousings of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.

The crops were a hit with farmers who found they could easily kill weed populations without damaging their crops. But in recent years, more than two dozen weed species have become resistant to Roundup’s chief ingredient glyphosate, causing farmers to use increasing amounts both of glyphosate and other weedkilling chemicals to try to control the so-called “superweeds.”

“Resistant weeds have become a major problem for many farmers reliant on GE crops, and are now driving up the volume of herbicide needed each year by about 25 percent,” Benbrook said.

Monsanto officials had no immediate comment.

“We’re looking at this. Our experts haven’t been able to access the supporting data as yet,” said Monsanto spokesman Thomas Helscher.

Benbrook said the annual increase in the herbicides required to deal with tougher-to-control weeds on cropland planted to genetically modified crops has grown from 1.5 million pounds in 1999 to about 90 million pounds in 2011.

Similarly, the introduction of “Bt” corn and cotton crops engineered to be toxic to certain insects is triggering the rise of insects resistant to the crop toxin, according to Benbrook.

Insecticide use did drop substantially – 28 percent from 1996 to 2011 – but is now on the rise, he said.

“The relatively recent emergence and spread of insect populations resistant to the Bt toxins expressed in Bt corn and cotton has started to increase insecticide use, and will continue to do so,” he said.

Herbicide-tolerant and Bt-transgenic crops now dominate U.S. agriculture, accounting for about one in every two acres of harvested cropland, and around 95 percent of soybean and cotton acres, and over 85 percent of corn acres.

“Things are getting worse, fast,” said Benbrook in an interview. “In order to deal with rapidly spreading resistant weeds, farmers are being forced to expand use of older, higher-risk herbicides. To stop corn and cotton insects from developing resistance to Bt, farmers planting Bt crops are being asked to spray the insecticides that Bt corn and cotton were designed to displace.”

(Reporting By Carey Gillam; Editing by Ken Wills)

She of the Cruach

The Receptive Principle. Nurturing. Fertility.

This is the Great Goddess, the many-named mother of all, and all goddesses are attributes or aspects of her. Her cup, the Cruach, overflows with bounty for all. She is the yin energy of the universe – nurturing, compassionate, and wise. She gives form and brings into manifestation the will and life force of He of the Fiery Sword. His is the intention, the action, and hers is the manifest reality. In a sense, she is the Cruach holding all the worlds within her being.

One Oracle group member saw the Cruach as a great bowl, like a scrying tool for seeing past, present, or future potential, but filled with energy instead of water. Within it he saw a tower with a moon above it, a farmhouse, and many other bits and pieces of our world. He felt that if you dropped something in the water, these things would scatter out to become reality – archetypes manifesting everywhere. He said, “She is the woman who dreams, and her dreams are the worlds and all that is in them.”

Looking at this card, another Oracle group member notes, “What I see here is the energy of being held lovingly in the palm of the hand of the great goddess, followed by a relaxed sigh and release.”

She of the Cruach is the holder of all of our sorrows and all of our joys. Her Cruach, the miraculous chalice, is the womb of birth and the cauldron of rebirth, the chalice of healing, the container holding the germinating seed. She is the body, the soul-shrine that holds the spirit and keeps it from being lost or dissipated in a formless fog. She is pattern and form in the abstract and in the specific. Within her we take form, grow, achieve fulfillment, and let go of that form to move on to the next phase of our being.

All of the universe, each individual particle, every being, is cherished by her.

She of the Cruach may indicate a form of pregnancy, a necessary time of nurturing and development. We need to be open to her overflowing grace. She may also indicate a need to allow her nurturing grace to flow through us to others in the form of unconditional receiving, of making the best of what we are offered. She also reminds us that unbounded love and grace is ours, just waiting to be accepted.

The presence of this card in a reading radiates comfort and nurturing to the cards around it.

REVERSE

Like He of the Fiery Sword and all of the other Singers, She does not have a reversed meaning as such. She fills the universe and is available to all. Reversal here speaks of her archetypical energy blocked or unaccepted by the querent or another involved in the issue. Read the cards around her to begin to understand the cause of this. When She of the Cruach is reversed, the question we need to ask ourselves is “How may I free this energy of acceptance and nurturing in my life and allow it to flow through me?”

Hiroshima Peace Ceremony (Japan)

Nakisawame-no-Mikoto

Themes:

Peace; Honor; History; Death; Forgiveness

Symbols:

Trees

About Nakisawame-no-Mikoto:

The goddess of mourning in Japan, Nakisawame-no-Mikoto weeps with the memories of the many innocent people who have died in wars throughout the ages. She comes into our hearts today in the hope that we will learn from our collective past.

According to tradition, Nakisawame-no-Mikoto lives in the base of trees, her roots holding firm to the earth and its history. This also speaks strongly of our family trees and the importance of kinship.

To Do Today:

On August 6, 1945, the atom bomb landed in Hiroshima, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and many years of radiation sickness. In the spirit of Nakisawame-no-Mikoto, today acts as a memorial to the people who died and a celebration of the peace that has since been maintained. Traditionally, tiny paper lanterns are floated on flowing waters as wishes for the dead. So, light a candle today for someone you know who died needlessly, or fighting for a just cause. The flame of the candle represents the goddess and the memory of that person whose efforts light the way for a better future.

To encourage peace between yourself and someone else, plant a token that represents your desire beneath a tree so that this goddess can begin helping you achieve harmony.

Doris ~ August 5

Posted: August 5, 2012 in 365 Goddesses
Tags: , , , , ,

Fairhope Jubilee (Alabama)

Doris

Themes:

Abundance; Providence; Water

Symbols:

Seawater, Plants, and Animals (especially fish)

About Doris:

The daughter of Oceanus, this Grecian sea goddess is associated with the sea’s gifts and its wealth. She joins in today’s festivities by bringing an abundance of seafood to nourish the body, as well as spiritual sustenance to fulfill our souls.

To Do Today:

The Fairhope Jubilee takes place in Mobile Bay, Alabama, sometime in August when there’s an overcast sky, an easterly wind, and a rising tide. When these three factors are in place an odd phenomenon occurs: bottom-dwelling fish get trapped between the shore and low-oxygen water. So people rush out with any containers they can find and gather up Doris’s plenty! For us, this equates to gathering up the sea’s plenty figuratively, perhaps by having fish for dinner. Remember to thank Doris as you eat so that you internalize her providence.

To make a Doris charm that will draw abundance into any area of your life in need, find a seashell, a tumbled sea stone, or something similar that comes from the ocean. Place the token in seawater for three hours by a waxing moon so that abundance will grow like the moon. Bless it saying,

Doris, by this gift from your seas, draw abundance and wealth to me.

Like a wave upon high tide, let your blessings here abide.

Carry the token regularly.