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Thread: Ready for 2011

  1. #21
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    Rising food prices

    Rising food prices is my greatest fear for this year and the next. It was said that food prices will continue to go up and it will be worse than 2008 and will stabilised by summer. But no one can guarantee that another natural disaster such as the big fire in Russia last year will not happen again and cause another food price hike or the fungal stem rust will not propagate and devastated large area of wheat and barley fields. Let's pray that food prices could stabilised or the world will be faced with riots and death from fights and starvation and the majority affected will be the poor. Let's pray also that there will not be too much exorbitant food price increase due to hoarding, profiteering and price speculation. Are we seeing the 3rd seal of Revelation happening before our eyes? I think it is wise to keep some food stock at home but do not hoard, better still grow them. Be wary about investing in oil, ethanol or wine as I expect the price to drop rock bottom ...same as in 2008.


    World food prices hit record high: UN agency
    Feb 3 08:14 AM US/Eastern


    World food prices reached their highest level ever recorded in January and are set to keep rising for months, the UN food agency said on Thursday, warning that the hardest-hit countries could face turmoil.
    Rising food prices have been cited among the driving forces behind recent popular revolts in north Africa, including the uprising in Egypt and the toppling of Tunisia's long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

    And in its latest survey, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said its index which monitors monthly price changes for a variety of staples averaged 231 points in January -- the highest level since records began in 1990.

    "The new figures clearly show that the upward pressure on world food prices is not abating. These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come," FAO economist and grains expert Abdolreza Abbassian said in a statement.

    The Index rose by 3.4 percent from December -- with big increases in particular for dairy, cereal and oil prices. The rises were most significant in China, India, Indonesia and Russia, data from FAO's monthly report showed.

    "There are a lot of factors that could spark turmoil in countries and food is one of them," Abbassian said, pointing out however that several countries have become better at managing prices after a series of riots in 2007 and 2008.

    "They have learnt from previous episodes," he said, adding however: "These are obviously not very easy times. There is now no hope that prices will return to anything we can consider normal, at least until the summer."

    The data from the Rome-based FAO showed that prices for dairy products rose by 6.2 percent from December, oils and fats gained 5.6 percent, while cereals went up by 3.0 percent because of lower global supply of wheat and maize.

    "The increase in prices follows stronger export demand during the last month and concerns about tightening supplies of high quality wheat. The market was also supported by higher oil prices and a weaker US dollar," FAO said.

    Meat prices remained broadly stable due to a fall in prices in Europe caused by last month's scare over dioxin poisoning in eggs and pork in Germany, compensated by a slight increase in export prices from Brazil and the US.

    "High food prices are of major concern especially for low-income food deficit countries that may face problems in financing food imports and for poor households which spend a large share of their income on food," Abbassian said.

    Global aid agency Oxfam said: "Millions of people's lives are at risk."

    "Poor people in developing countries spend between 50 and 80 percent of their income on food, making higher prices, as well as unpredictable prices, a serious threat to their ability to eat," Oxfam said in a statement.

    Oxfam blamed the price rises on reduced production due to bad weather, increased oil prices making fertilizer and transport more expensive, increased demand for biofuels, export restrictions and financial speculation.

    It called on governments to implement social protection programmes for the people hardest hit by the price rises and to help control prices "by increasing support and investments in small scale agriculture."

    The FAO data showed the Food Price Index hit 200 points over the whole of 2008 at the height of the 2007/2008 food crisis. It breached that level for the first time in October 2010 with 205 points.

    In Africa, Somalia has been particularly hard hit by a rise in prices for red sorghum and maize due to a poor 2010 crop, while Uganda has seen a rise in the price of maize because of strong demand from neighbouring countries.

    Meanwhile ongoing unrest in Ivory Coast had helped push up prices in West Africa as a whole because of its status as a key transport hub, it said.

    But the most dramatic rises were seen in Asia and in particular in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia and China, it added.


    Many Blessings.
    Last edited by CWH; 02-05-2011 at 05:38 AM.
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

  2. #22
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    Some more weather woes including the recent forest fire in Australia. What does all these amount to? - Human suffering, loss of property and lives, price increase in commodities. Let's pray that God will provide some relief ..... or is it nothing new under the sun?

    Over one million Sri Lankans hit by flooding
    The News - Natural Disasters
    February 07, 2011

    Sri Lanka's monsoon rains have spread to more villages and towns, leaving at least 14 people dead and more than one million with flooded homes, according to officials.
    The number of people in state-run shelters rose to 236,000 by Saturday evening, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) in Colombo said, adding that 1,053,000 people had had their homes inundated. Most of the flood victims had moved in with friends and relatives living on higher ground, officials said.

    Police figures showed that at least 14 people had been killed in flood-related incidents in the past week. The DMC said that roads and fields were submerged across the east, centre and north of the island -- areas which had already been badly hit by an earlier wave of monsoon rains last month.

    Then, 43 people were killed and the number of people driven from their homes also passed one million. The latest flooding came after the United Nations issued an appeal for 51 million dollars in emergency aid to help people affected by last month's floods. [ YAHOO NEWS ]


    "Stormageddon" latest pain on cities
    The News - Current Events
    February 04, 2011

    Wednesday's massive winter storm is the latest pain in the budgets of U.S. cities, states and counties as it sweeps across the North American continent, freezing finances along the way.
    The snow and ice storm has hit some 30 states and a third of the U.S. population, some of whom have gone on their Twitter feeds to dub it "Stormageddon" and "snOMGeddon."

    From Rhode Island to North Carolina, officials are having to pay for clearing roads and sidewalks, even though anemic revenue and bigger demand for services due to the 2007-2009 economic recession have driven wide holes in their budgets.


    Many Blessings.
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheow Wee Hock View Post
    Some more weather woes including the recent forest fire in Australia. What does all these amount to? - Human suffering, loss of property and lives, price increase in commodities. Let's pray that God will provide some relief ..... or is it nothing new under the sun?
    You got it!

    The only thing "new" in all this is that the human population has exploded from a few million to about seven billion. And when you have lots of people you have lots of "news."
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  4. #24
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    Are we beginning to see "'Two pounds[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages"? - Revelation 6. Let's hope not

    Chinese drought could be 'severe'
    Wheat prices continue climb
    Last Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 | 5:28 PM ET Comments0Recommend0CBC News
    Wheat prices continued to spike Wednesday as Chinese officials said they were preparing for a long, severe drought in the country's already-parched major grain-growing area.

    March wheat settled up 1.3 per cent, to $8.86 US a bushel, on the Chicago Board of Trade after rising as high as $8.9325 earlier in the day. Prices have gone up about 35 per cent since mid-November.

    A farmer walks through a drought-struck wheat field in China's Shandong province on Wednesday. Chinese officials say they expect the winter drought in several provinces to be severe. (Fan Changguo/Xinhua/Associated Press)
    The prospect of a poor harvest on the North China Plain raised the likelihood the world's largest consumer of wheat might have to increase imports, putting more pressure on stretched global supplies.

    China has said the drought is mainly affecting Shandong, Jiangsu, Henan, Hebei and Shanxi, which grow more than two-thirds of the country's wheat.

    "What we are doing now is making full preparations to deal with a severe, long-lasting drought," said the director of emergency relief at Shandong's weather bureau. Like many Chinese officials, he would not give his name.

    State news media have said the eastern province of Shandong faces its worst drought in 200 years, and the other affected provinces in the north and east face their worst in 60 years. Shortages of drinking water have affected 2.6 million people.

    The UN's food agency has warned that the drought is driving up prices.

    Average flour prices rose more than eight per cent in January from the previous two months.

    Harvest is in June
    China's winter wheat harvest isn't until June. Whether it's a failure depends on whether the country avoids a spring drought after the winter one and on whether temperatures don't plunge this month.

    "At the moment, we're not projecting China to be a significant importer in the current year," said Amy Reynolds, senior economist with the London-based International Grains Council.

    She said global wheat stocks are tight, but it's very difficult to tell how much wheat China has stockpiled.

    Reynolds predicted China would import from about two million to three million tonnes of wheat this year under current conditions, not much above the country's usual import level.

    Grain crops in other major producer nations such as the United States, Australia and Canada have been reduced by bad weather and natural disasters.

    Meanwhile, wheat prices shot up in the last few months after Russia imposed a wheat export ban and Ukraine, another major grain exporter, imposed quotas on exports because of drought.


    Many Blessings
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheow Wee Hock View Post
    Are we beginning to see "'Two pounds[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages"? - Revelation 6. Let's hope not
    Cheow,

    We know that happened in the first century when God poured out his wrath upon apostate Jerusalem. Josephus records the the horror of the great famine was so bad that mothers ate their children.

    Why do you continue to imply that bits and pieces of the book of Revelation would apply to today when there is no clear connection between the book as a whole and the current century? You do know that folks have been doing this forever, right? And they've always been wrong, right?

    We don't want to make people believe the Bible is foolishness do we?

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Cheow,

    We know that happened in the first century when God poured out his wrath upon apostate Jerusalem. Josephus records the the horror of the great famine was so bad that mothers ate their children.

    Why do you continue to imply that bits and pieces of the book of Revelation would apply to today when there is no clear connection between the book as a whole and the current century? You do know that folks have been doing this forever, right? And they've always been wrong, right?

    We don't want to make people believe the Bible is foolishness do we?

    All the best,

    Richard
    I understand it happened in all centuries but we must be aware that living in the 21st century, there are record in modern times during famine when mothers also cooked and ate their own children. Things are different now, the environment is different from the 1st century. Can you guarantee what happened in the 1st century will never happened again in modern times?:

    1. I don't think there was global warming in the 1st century as it is now.
    2. The population in the 1st century is much less compared to current population in which the earth resources may find difficult to provide.
    3. There are very efficient war machines such as nuclear bombs, tanks warplanes, machine guns etc. comnpare to the 1st century.

    Why do you continue to imply that bits and pieces of the book of Revelation would apply to today when there is no clear connection between the book as a whole and the current century? You do know that folks have been doing this forever, right? And they've always been wrong, right?
    Well, to them, it's like crying wolf and one day the wolf will come when we least expects it....don't be caught with your pants down! Well, you heard the proverb...many wrongs will make one right. In innovations and researches, it is ok to make mistakes and improve on them....one day it will succeed.

    We don't want to make people believe the Bible is foolishness do we?
    You are just being biased... ON the contrary, it will proved that what the BIble says is true and everyone will then refer serioulsy to what is written in the Bible to see "what the Bible really says"....many then will become Christians.

    Many Blessings.
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheow Wee Hock View Post
    I understand it happened in all centuries but we must be aware that living in the 21st century, there are record in modern times during famine when mothers also cooked and ate their own children. Things are different now, the environment is different from the 1st century. Can you guarantee what happened in the 1st century will never happened again in modern times?:
    Yes, there are famines now. But what does that have to do with the prophecies in Revelation? Are you saying that they applied to every famine in history? There was a big famine in Africa 300 years ago. Was that a fulfillment of Revelation too?

    Are you saying that the Book of Revelation has no specific meaning? It's just always being "fulfilled" by whatever happens to be happening?
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  8. #28
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    Beware of "sun storm" this year and the coming years. Unlikely to cause loss of lives but will cause damages to telecommunication and electronic equipments and causing some inconveniences:

    Solar Storm - Global "Katrina"
    The News - Science-Astronomy
    February 20, 2011

    The sun is waking up from a long quiet spell. Last week it sent out the strongest flare for four years, and scientists are warning that earth should prepare for an intense electromagnetic storm that, in the worst case - could be a 'global Katrina' - costing the world economy $2,000bn.
    Senior officials responsible for policy on solar storms – also known as space weather – in the US, UK and Sweden urged more preparedness at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.

    'We have to take the issue of space weather seriously,' said Sir John Beddington, UK chief scientist. 'The sun is coming out of a quiet period, and our vulnerability has increased since the last solar maximum [around 2000].'

    'Predict and prepare should be the watchwords,' agreed Jane Lubchenco, head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 'So much more of our technology is vulnerable than it was 10 years ago.'

    A solar storm starts with an eruption of super-hot gas travelling out from the sun at speeds of up to 5m miles an hour. Electrically charged particles hit earth’s atmosphere 20 to 30 hours later, causing electromagnetic havoc. Last week’s solar storm may have been the biggest since 2007, but it was relatively small in historical terms. [ FT.COM ]


    Space weather could wreak havoc in gadget-driven world
    The News - Science-Astronomy
    February 20, 2011

    A geomagnetic space storm sparked by a solar eruption like the one that flared toward Earth Tuesday is bound to strike again and could wreak havoc across the gadget-happy modern world, experts say. Contemporary society is increasingly vulnerable to space weather because of our dependence on satellite systems for synchronizing computers, airline navigation, telecommunications networks and other electronic devices.
    A potent solar storm could disrupt these technologies, scorch satellites, crash stock markets and cause power outages that last weeks or months, experts said Saturday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting. The situation will only get more dire because the solar cycle is heading into a period of more intense activity in the coming 11 years.

    "This is not a matter of if, it is simply a matter of when and how big," said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration administrator Jane Lubchenco.

    "The last time we had a maximum in the solar cycle, about 10 years ago, the world was a very different place. Cell phones are now ubiquitous; they were certainly around (before) but we didn't rely on them for so many different things," she said.

    "Many things that we take for granted today are so much more prone to the process of space weather than was the case in the last solar maximum."


    Many Blessings
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

  9. #29
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    Soon we will find more food refugees fleeing into our shores. Not very fair to blame everything on climate change... I think human activities such wars, natural disasters such as floods, droughts etc., plant diseases do play a part.

    50 million 'environmental refugees' by 2020, experts say

    Zeitvogel Karin Zeitvogel – Mon Feb 21, 7:50 pm ET
    WASHINGTON (AFP) – Fifty million "environmental refugees" will flood into the global north by 2020, fleeing food shortages sparked by climate change, experts warned at a major science conference that ended here Monday.

    "In 2020, the UN has projected that we will have 50 million environmental refugees," University of California, Los Angeles professor Cristina Tirado said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

    "When people are not living in sustainable conditions, they migrate," she continued, outlining with the other speakers how climate change is impacting both food security and food safety, or the amount of food available and the healthfulness of that food.

    Southern Europe is already seeing a sharp increase in what has long been a slow but steady flow of migrants from Africa, many of whom risk their lives to cross the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain from Morocco or sail in makeshift vessels to Italy from Libya and Tunisia.

    The flow recently grew to a flood after a month of protests in Tunisia, set off by food shortages and widespread unemployment and poverty, brought down the government of longtime ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, said Michigan State University professor Ewen Todd, who predicted there will be more of the same.

    "What we saw in Tunisia -- a change in government and suddenly there are a whole lot of people going to Italy -- this is going to be the pattern," Todd told AFP.

    "Already, Africans are going in small droves up to Spain, Germany and wherever from different countries in the Mediterranean region, but we're going to see many, many more trying to go north when food stress comes in. And it was food shortages that put the people of Tunisia and Egypt over the top.

    "In many Middle Eastern and North African countries," he continued, "you have a cocktail of politics, religion and other things, but often it's just poor people saying 'I've got to survive, I've got to eat, I've got to feed my family' that ignites things."

    Environmental refugees were described in 2001 by Norman Myers of Oxford University as "a new phenomenon" created by climate change.

    "These are people who can no longer gain a secure livelihood in their homelands because of drought, soil erosion, desertification, deforestation and other environmental problems, together with the associated problems of population pressures and profound poverty," Myers wrote in a journal of Britain's Royal Society in 2001.

    "In their desperation, these people feel they have no alternative but to seek sanctuary elsewhere, however hazardous the attempt."

    Monday's panel cited ways in which climate change has impacted food security and safety.


    Things will get better hopefully.

    Many Blessings to all.
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

  10. #30
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    Headlines:

    -New Zealand's worst earthquake that killed more than 155 people and a few hundreds still missing.
    - Oman in turmoil (Note: Oman is another AL member country. The political turmoils seem to affect only AL member countries....why?).

    2011 will go down in history as a year of natural disasters and political turmoils.

    Let's pray that things will get back to normalcy as soon as possible.

    Christchurch earthquake will 'dent growth'
    Stuff.co.nz - ‎1 hour ago‎
    The Business New Zealand planning forecast for the March quarter, which incorporates the Economic Conditions Index, lifted 6 points in the quarter. The index is made up of a raft of 33 indicators, including economic growth figures, export volumes, ...
    Toll in New Zealand quake rises to 159 dead; police say some bodies may never ...
    The Canadian Press - ‎1 hour ago‎
    CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — New Zealand police say the confirmed death toll from an earthquake that struck Christchurch city last week has risen to 159. Superintendent Dave Cliff said on Wednesday that four more bodies had been pulled from the rubble ...
    New Zealand's Key man
    Sydney Morning Herald - Tim Dick - ‎10 hours ago‎
    Christchurch pauses to remember last week's devastating earthquake as Wellington is rocked by another tremor. IN A country that has faced two destructive earthquakes, a mining disaster and a plane crash within six months, a minor shake is not enough to ...
    NZ quake city prays for miracles amid rubble, toll 147
    Reuters - Rob Taylor, Gyles Beckford - ‎Feb 26, 2011‎
    CHRISTCHURCH, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Grieving New Zealanders prayed in the earthquake-ravaged city of Christchurch on Sunday as rescuers pulled apart levelled buildings in their desperate search for survivors six days after the devastating ...
    .

    Many Blessings
    Last edited by CWH; 03-01-2011 at 05:15 PM.
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

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