Dear Mr. Mystic:
I got a bit of a chuckle when you read the piece from the FT about corn and ethanol. The eco-freaks (and later large Agra conglomerates) lobbied hard for this insane use of food. And the left-wing media outlets were singing the song of “save the planet”, as an unholy alliance of big Agra and green-freaks lobbied hard, their respective whores in Congress. By many estimates, the resultant energy yield from corn to ethanol is about parity or slightly above. A free market environment would only turn valuable food stock into fuel, if it made economic sense to do so at any given point in time. But government bureaucracy is not known for it’s quick reaction time when real-world circumstances change. Is it better for the environment to burn ethanol as opposed to oil? They say it is. (I guess if we pretend all the input energy (oil, coal, nuclear) used to produce the ethanol “doesn’t count”, then burning ethanol is good for the environment). Bizarre.
Common sense and common courtesy would go a long way in solving many problems, such as the water dilemma you covered. Livestock has always been a mainstay of the economy in my area. The other big “cash crop” was tobacco, but as the “smart” folks in public health and government have all but destroyed the local tobacco growers (we now simply import most of what we smoke), farm income from this crop has dropped drastically. In the 1980′s, as local farmers looked for something to replace plunging tobacco and row crop revenues, large scale pig farming became an attractive alternative for many families. Thousands of hog houses sprung-up around the countryside as family farmers scrambled to find a way to generate income.
Another trend got underway in the early 1990′s. Lots of folks that had previous;y lived their entire lives in cities, found that farmland was “cheap”, and credit was readily available to build big, sprawling houses. And many of these big, sprawling “people” houses got built in areas, where just a decade before, thousands of big, sprawling pig houses had been constructed. At times, (when waste disposal lagoons malfunction) these pig houses can smell “intense” and generate massive swarms of flies. And on these (rare) occasions, the folks from the cities, living in their new, shinny McMansions, built smack in the middle of an already established pig farming area, would “pitch a fit” to local authorities, DEMANDING that these “terrible environmental eyesores” be shutdown. The result of all the stupidity was “right to farm” regulations (and a bit more critical thought as to where to build shinny, new, 4000 square foot McMansions).
“Water is a finite resource”. ”Farmers need to grow food (and make a profit)”. “Golf courses and McMansions are a luxury”. “The world doesn’t revolve around me”.
Until common sense and common courtesy find their way back into the broad psyche, these truisms will remain “incomprehensibly complex dilemmas”, and we will be left with only the heavy-hand of very fallible bureaucrats to “fix it and make it all better”.
As a side note: Indigestion for ‘les Riches’ in a Plan for Higher Taxes – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/08/business/global/frances-les-riches-vow-to-leave-if-75-tax-rate-is-passed.html?_r=2&hpw
I appreciate your insight, John. One of the reasons that I snuck back onto this site is to let you know that fact. Like I said to Windy, you should start your own blog. You two men have a lot to offer the world.
Rules and regulations… Can’t live with ‘em, and can’t live without ‘em – what’s a world to do?
Oh, and a quick shout out to Sned. I miss your daily “chiming in”… and simply hope all is well with you (or as well as can be expected, ;-)).
And another shout out to Lyle. I’ve missed your regular “chiming in” as well (and your just right videos to add to the mix, along with that overall “Lyle way” of yours).
This is like when Mystic went missing for a while…
Anyway, I simply hope you guys are well…