Funcioneta over Complex
Posts made by Complex
RE: On oil prices and food prices
- improve organic agriculture
Yeah, well, that has been done for 5000 years now, so there is no real possibility to further enhance the mediocre harvests (when compared to “conventional” agriculture) of organic farming.
- eat less meat
Nice slogan, but not really an option, as lots of people just WANT to eat meat (me included). Systems and ideas that don’t work because “the people don’t get it right” are bad systems and ideas. Those things have to work with the people that are around, else they are useless systems and ideas.
No, a bit wrong, in Europe it’s the other way around. After the war, Europe’s countries decided they should be self-sufficient, they didn’t want to rely on foreign policies for their most basic need: food. That’s why the governments started sponsoring agriculture, leading to the cheap surplus they have today. It’s not investing to keep the prices high, but investing to keep the prices low. Hell, they even exported to Africa, and the prices of European food were lower there than the price of food produced by the local farmer, who as a result couldn’t climb out of the pit colonialism had left because he couldn’t sell his food to his subsaharan palls. Shuck, now I’ve really dragged everything into this. Just note that Europe should stop sponsoring it’s agriculture (especially France, ces imbécils!).
The conclusion (stop to sponsor agriculture) is right, although for different reasons, which go too far into politics, and I don’t want to get this thread closed. The rest is almost totally wrong. After the war there have been sponsorings for increasing agricultural production, and after ca. 1970 there has been a vast overproduction. Since 1992 it has been obligatory for farmers not to use a certain amount of their arable land in order to recieve direct payments from the European Union. So effectively the EU was using tax money to pay farmers not to produce. And that continued until the end of 2007, as can be read here:
So according to this press release (26/09/2007):
The current area under obligatory set-aside amounts to 3.8 million hectares in the EU. If the set-aside rate was set to 0 %, the effective return of land could be between 1.6 and 2.9 million hectares. Considering average trends, it is likely to bring around 10 million tonnes of grains onto the market.
So it seems there could be a massive boost in the amount harvested this year, which will take some pressure off the market for agricultural goods, but it will take some time until you can harvest that extra amount.
RE: On oil prices and food prices
Another problem concerning food prices could be organic food.
Imagine an island with 1000 people and 100 “units” of arable land. With “conventional” agricultural methods, they they are producing enough food to feed the 1000 people on this area. Then, 30 % of the farmers switch to organic production, harvesting only 50 % of the amount before. Of course the organic food is more expensive, but there are rich people on the island, who pay for that. In effect you lose the production of 15 “units” of land, which means there is only food for 850 people total available. So also the price of the conventional food rises.
There are only three alternatives
- improve the “conventional” agricultural methods (introduce genetically modified agriculture for example) to raise production on the land available
- cut down forests to gain 15 units of arable land
- quit organic agriculture
RE: On oil prices and food prices
Well I think the whole CO2-thing is overestimated. People are telling us how the weather will be like in 50 years, if we continue to burn fossile fuels. Those actually are the same people who tell us how the weather will be like in three days, and get it wrong every other day. So with the best and most modern methods available today it’s not really possible to generate a reliable weather forecast for one week. Period. They do have the best scientists and the hugest calculating power available over there in Japan for predicting the course of typhoons. 72 hours before it hits, they can only tell you it will be “somewhere between the Philippines and Taiwan”. The problem is that those calculations cannot be exact at the moment, because there are huge influences on weather and climate which we simply do not know or just start to understand.
It’s not that I say that it doesn’t matter if we release all the CO2 absorbed within millions of years within a very short period of time. It will have an effect, that’s for sure. But I say that we do not know what the effect will be. At the moment there is a trend towards warmer climate, but it is far from sure that the main cause for that is CO2-emissions. After all, it has been much warmer back in the middle ages, where the good Scottish (!) wine was famous and olives grew in southern Germany. The Vikings were choosing the names “Greenland” and “Vinland” (Labrador, “Wine-Land”) for a reason. And all that without CO2.
The rest comes down to costs. How much money is spent to prevent CO2-emissions - where the results are doubtful - and how much could be done to further other causes and where you would get good results for sure? And even if the CO2-emissions are the real big reason for global warming? How much would it cost to cut down CO2-emissions to prevent it, and how much would it cost to mitigate the negative effects of say +2° in climate. And don’t forget, that there would be huge benefits too. Millions of square kilometers additional arable land in Canada and Russia to feed the growing demands of a wealthier population? More freshwater available around the world? I do not know, if such calculations have ever been made, but I think it should be done before spending trillions in money and reduced standard of living with doubtful results.
As for the prices of oil and food:
Speculation can be an additional reason for the high prices but it’s not really the main problem. Most of the so-called “speculations” are futures traded by shipping companies, airlines, chemical plants and so on. The just want to make sure now they will get their fuel or oil later at a certain price so that they can calculate their costs and make their offers accordingly. Flights for the summer holidays are booked in late winter, and people want to know how much it costs. So the airline has to know the price then. Simple as that. And this kind of speculation has always been around, so it’s nothing new.
It seems the phenomenon of high oil prices will last. You have to fuel the huge worldwide economic growth in the last years somehow. And oil has not really gotten so expensive if you compare it to other commodities like copper, nickel, cobalt, tungsten, etc.
The problem with food is the low investment into agriculture during the last decades. Because the USA and Europe have always had a surplus of food, they even spent lots of money (in Europe, not so sure about USA) to reduce agricultural production to keep the prices high. Investment in agricultural sciences has been very low too, and many countries even banned some of the more promising venues. And since the surplus production of Europe and the USA was cheap to buy on the international markets, there have not been very huge incentives for other countries too to invest in their own agricultural sector. This incentives are here now, but it will take a year or two until the investments in the agricultural sector pay off.
So concerning food prices, this year they can well rise a bit more, but I think they will come down again in a year or two.
So all said here is purely speculative of course. I do not know much about world markets, just making up a few things with the limited information I have. Reading this post in a year or two will be fun, I think.
RE: EURO 2008
About Spain - in the last World cup they got a bit unlucky against France, when they lost against them. So perhaps with some more luck this time they could make it into the final.
About Russia - it’s not only Hiddink. I think, concerning the individual players Russia has, they are better then the Greek champion team of 2004. AND they have the bonus you mentioned. So they can very well be the big surprise this time.
Hmm - I just realize, I chose two of the teams playing in my city. I’m not quite sure if this is coincidence or some subconscious thoughts … :?
RE: EURO 2008
Nice work, but I would have included Holland in the poll instead of Russia, Greece or even Croatia. Even if they are a really hard group.
As I may name two teams, I choose Spain as the more realistic option - even as I know, their tournament history is somewhat bleak. They are overdue for some strong results.
As the crazier option - Russia. They do have a strong team, and are somehow underestimated, even if they played a strong qualification.
Most of the Bud/Miller/Coors fit your description but pick up something from Stone Brewing or Great Lakes Brewing, or Victory Brewing (their Storm King Stout bears very little resemblance to water) or even Boston Beer Company whose Halertau Imperial Pilsner qualifies as an alpha acid delivery vehichle.
That’s absolutely correct. Over here in Europe, the only American beers you can get are Miller light, Bud light or things like that. So it’s no wonder they have a bad reputation. When I’ve been to California, there have been such wonderful things as Red Tail, Nevada Brew or Anchor Steam. Sure, they cost a bit more, but it’s absolutely worth those pennys. If you taste them, the question if American beers can match some Bavarian, Czech or Belgian brews boils down to personal taste and is no longer a matter of overall quality.
@Jermo: The cultivating of the yeast really is the simplest part of it, as you in fact do it anyways whilst brewing. It’s just like having dough in the fridge all the time and always leave a little bit behind when baking, refilling with flour and water to use it again next time. And again. And again. Same as with yoghurt, if you do it yourself, or Sauerkraut.
RE: Soccer in USA
Bad thing is, that A&A players don’t seem too interested in soccer (honestly it’s only World cup and Euro for me too). Well, the Americans are not known to be big fans anyway, they do have lots of other alternatives (Green Bay anyone, by the way?). But the Europeans do really let me down. I could not get statements from Ranor (German, not interested) or Funcioneta (Spanish, also not interested - a Spaniard not interested in soccer, imagine that :lol:) concerning the Euro08. Would have been fun to have a little bet-game here on the forum.