A Cautionary Tale:  Good Idea, Disastrous Results

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen  —  11 March 2022

Exotic Ceylon, once a colony of the British Empire and after 1948, an independent country, in 1972, became a republic within the Commonwealth and changed its name to Sri Lanka.

Its location in the warm Indian Ocean made it a haven for scuba divers seeking the best reef diving.  That feature attracted the science fiction visionary  Sir Arthur C. Clarke who made it his home. 

Like many of the newly independent British colonies, it suffered political divisions and unrest for many years.   A 26-year civil war involving the Tamil ethnic minority finally ended in 2009.

With peace came relative prosperity until they had a Good Idea

For the least 50 years, certain segments of the world’s population have been abuzz with the concept of Organic Farming.  While there are a lot of different definitions of organic farming, the basic concept is to limit or eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.).  In general, this is a good idea – using the natural environment to supply agricultural inputs and more natural methods of controlling pests are net positives when they can be done in a sensible and practical way. 

When my wife and I were in our homesteading phase, we utilized basic organic methods in our gardens and with our animals to produce about 75-80% of our own food for our growing family, with a bit to sell or trade on the side.  Our advantage, of course, is that our health, livelihoods and lives did not depend on our gardening or husbandry success.  If our lettuce crop failed, we could buy lettuce or eat something else, as we live in one of the most prosperous nations on Earth.

Sri Lanka is not a rich nation, but neither is it a strikingly poor nation.  The economic situation there has greatly improved since the end of the civil war (2009).  However, a large percentage of the population lives on the proceeds of smallholder agricultural

In 2019, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised in his election campaign “to transition the country’s farmers to organic agriculture over a period of 10 years. Last April, Rajapaksa’s government made good on that promise, imposing a nationwide ban on the importation and use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and ordering the country’s 2 million farmers to go organic.” [ source ]

Apparently, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa failed to understand the concept of “transitioning” which should be “undergoing or causing to undergo a process or period of transition” or a shift of one state or condition to another.  No gentle or gradual transition in Sri Lanka from the decades of modern agricultural methods which had brought about relative prosperity for smallholding farmers, but an abrupt forced shift to new and untried and unfamiliar methods.

Quoting Ted Nordhaus, the executive director of the Breakthrough Institute, and Saloni Shah, a food and agriculture analyst at the Breakthrough Institute:

“The result was brutal and swift. Against claims that organic methods can produce comparable yields to conventional farming, domestic rice production fell 20 percent in just the first six months. Sri Lanka, long self-sufficient in rice production, has been forced to import $450 million worth of rice even as domestic prices for this staple of the national diet surged by around 50 percent. The ban also devastated the nation’s tea crop, its primary export and source of foreign exchange.”

“By November 2021, with tea production falling, the government partially lifted its fertilizer ban on key export crops, including tea, rubber, and coconut. Faced with angry protests, soaring inflation, and the collapse of Sri Lanka’s currency, the government finally suspended the policy for several key crops—including tea, rubber, and coconut—last month, although it continues for some others. The government is also offering $200 million to farmers as direct compensation and an additional $149 million in price subsidies to rice farmers who incurred losses. That hardly made up for the damage and suffering the ban produced. Farmers have widely criticized the payments for being massively insufficient and excluding many farmers, most notably tea producers, who offer one of the main sources of employment in rural Sri Lanka. The drop in tea production alone is estimated to result in economic losses of $425 million.”

“Human costs have been even greater. Prior to the pandemic’s outbreak, the country had proudly achieved upper-middle-income status. Today, half a million people have sunk back into poverty. Soaring inflation and a rapidly depreciating currency have forced Sri Lankans to cut down on food and fuel purchases as prices surge. The country’s economists have called on the government to default on its debt repayments to buy essential supplies for its people.”  [ source ]

Nordhaus and Shah call this a “farrago of magical thinking, technocratic hubris, ideological delusion, self-dealing, and sheer shortsightedness”.  And they are certainly correct. 

The Rest of the World is being set up for an even greater fall, an even greater disaster, by the misguided mandates of governments who have blindly jumped onto the NetZero bandwagon with no thought of where it is headed and where it will take them and their countries.  Wildly mandating, paralleling what Sri Lanka did with agriculture, near-time abandonment of long-term successful transportation methods and energy sources and their replacement with the  as-yet-unproven Good Idea of all-electric automobiles and all-renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.  Only after several grid disasters have the most strident advocates finally begun to come around to the indisputable fact that nuclear must be a part of any transition to less polluting energy production. 

Already all too evident in Europe and at the gas pumps of North America, rapid shifts away from fossil fuels to renewables leave entire nations at risk of energy blackmail from their enemies.  With a border dispute in the old Soviet Union ramping up to a full-scale invasion of the Ukraine by Russia, energy supplies to Europe have been hugely disrupted.  And they find they have closed nuclear power plants and shuttered coal electrical generating plants that have kept the lights on and the occupants of millions of homes heated by abundant Russian natural gas find themselves at risk.  The UK had already suicidally ordered its domestic natural gas supply wells to be cemented over forever – which has been narrowly avoided this week by their Prime Minister.

Championed by rabid misanthropic environmental advocacy groups, the United Nations and its many entities like the IPCC, and the European Union, NetZero madness threatens to destroy the prosperity of modern society.

# # # # #

Author’s Comment:

We see in Sri Lanka’s mis-step with organic farming a cautionary tale for the rest of the world, which is charging blindly ahead with NetZero policies seemingly without even a tiny bit of forethought or understanding what the results will be for everyday people – their citizens — in the real world.

Already, in the United States, people working low paying jobs in grocery stores, mini-marts and dollar stores are finding it hard to pay for the gasoline their cars need to get them to their jobs – spending an extra $25 or more per week just to travel to work.  Those same $25 are nothing to the elite who have caused the problem – that’s just the cost of a visit to Starbucks for them which they pay for with their “tap to pay” credit card without even glancing at the total.

Those who know the dangers of NetZero need to speak up and speak out.  The war in Ukraine is giving you – us – a break in the cloud cover and lifting the fog that has been preventing the general public from seeing what is happening and where NetZero will lead us. 

Thanks for whatever you are doing to help.

and Thanks for Reading.

# # # # #

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Bob
March 10, 2022 10:41 pm

Kip is exactly right.

Pat from kerbob
March 10, 2022 10:59 pm

It’s all about calling out the climate insane

Vuk
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
March 11, 2022 12:49 am

Telegraph: Geothermal heating drilling ’caused’ earthquake?
” Frightening earthquake at Cornwall’s Eden Project forces halt to drilling
Alarm among nearby residents as tremor beneath geothermal testing site causes homes to shake.
Geothermal heat from rocks 4.5km below the surface will be used to heat water that will supply heating for the Eden Project’s biomes, greenhouses and offices, if the project proves successful. ”
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/environment/2022/03/10/frightening-earthquake-cornwalls-eden-project-forces-halt-drilling/

Disputin
Reply to  Vuk
March 11, 2022 7:30 am

It was a magnitude 1.7 FFS. That is only detectable by a seismometer.

Rick C
Reply to  Disputin
March 11, 2022 8:50 am

Disputin: Right and at 1.7 is about 64 times bigger than the 0.5 limit the UK would impose on fracking operations. Maybe some one will drill a “Geothermal” well and accidentally hit a natural gas pocket – would they then be able to collect and sell the NG? Just a thought.

Peter Barrett
Reply to  Vuk
March 12, 2022 9:58 am

Unfortunately the Telegraph is inaccurate, once again, in its reporting. The drilling ceased last year, the rig went before Christmas. The operators are currently pumping water down the shaft to determine feasibility. I am not a geologist, but imagine this has had a lubricating effect and caused a slippage. I live in a village closer to the works than is the bottom of the shaft. The “event” was similar to a rumble of thunder, those who were alarmed by it had probably been subjected to BBC reports of impending nuclear war.

Chris Nisbet
March 10, 2022 11:07 pm

Do civilisations improve because of our governments, or despite them?
Given what they’ve inflicted on us recently, I really do wonder.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
March 11, 2022 1:03 am

Despite them.
It is instructive to view all civilisational advances as, at heart, technological. We call the ages after their technology – stone age, bronze age and iron age.
That is, the base level of a culture is set by its technology and as agriculture drove the hunter gatherers out, simply because its a more peasants per acre lifestyle, so too the notion of ownerhsip emerges with cattle,women and corn being the primary commodities of wealth. Of these cattle and corn become two intimately associated with land ‘ownership’ and at this point warriors whose job is to protect land ownership or acquire other peoples cattle women, and land, become viable lifestyles, and a hierarchical civiliation emerges.

The rest, is history. Warrior kings and queens come and go, but technology marches on. Religions arise to create a myth that instils cultural stability, politicians arise to arbitrate without the need for open warfare.

But what counts is technology.

whiten
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 11, 2022 1:10 pm

Leo Smith

“But what counts is technology.”
—-

And in consideration of the “definition” of organic, as utilized these days, almost any food product is by a non organic source… as per merit of technology…
unless the source of food is wild or semi wild… with still the consideration of some exceptions there in some cases there when it comes to wilderness, as for example in the case of the wild honey of “killer bee”, which technically according to the definition is to be considered and labeled as non organic.

One of the most confusing and also most regressive terminology utilized in proposition of technological progress, happens to be the one circulating and marshaling in proposition of organic food or organic products, as per the standing definition of it.

A confusing and paradoxical terminology, regressive and malicious towards the technological evolution and it’s success… with a very wide carry range for deception.

cheers

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
March 11, 2022 5:21 am

Governments are typically initiated to provide for the safety of its citizens, from both internal and external sources. They are typically not initiated to provide for the prosperity of the citizens. Once the government gets the idea that they *can* provide for the prosperity of the citizens things go down hill from there. Any prosperity is in spite of government, not because of it.

Chris Nisbet
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 11, 2022 7:41 am

When all this lockdown nonsense first started I was a little bit shocked (and horrified) to learn that the primary role of government was apparently to keep the people ‘safe’ (well, I suppose there is law and order to consider).
I have never heard a politician try and convince me to vote for them by claiming they’ll keep me safer than the others will. I had always voted for people/parties that I figured would:
– do the least worst job of spending our hard-earned tax money.
– value our liberty
– keep out of our way and _not_ meddle in our daily lives too much
That sort of stuff.
Apparently, I’ve been doing it wrong all these years.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 11, 2022 5:46 pm

A government that keeps the barbarians from pillaging your fields, raping your women, and burning your house is an essential good.

The problem is that all too often, the government BECOMES the one pillaging your fields, raping your women, and burning your house.

Philip
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 13, 2022 4:50 pm

No maybe about it, sooner or later when a Government taxes you enough to “give ” you everything you want, they are big enough to take everything you have and they will do it to “protect ” you from yourself.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  writing observer
March 11, 2022 6:39 pm

G’Day Observer,

A government that keeps the barbarians from…….”

King Alfred realized that he was unable to protect coastal settlements from Viking raiders with the forces he had available. He decreed that all men must be armed.

The ‘arms’ clause in the English Bill of Rights (1689) ends with “… as allowed by law”.

The corresponding article in the US Bill of Rights ends “… shall not be infringed.”

(Just remember, Attorney General Reno had an answer to that.)

joe x
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
March 11, 2022 5:35 am

i think through out human history governments have been a net desrtoyer of civilizations.

Dean
Reply to  joe x
March 12, 2022 3:01 am

Lol, I’d much rather live today than 200 years ago thanks very much. If the advances we have made over the last 200 years have been caused by the net destruction of civilisation then good on governments!!

Governments may be a brake on some forms of progress, but hell its mind boggling that you think they have been a net destroyer over history.

CapitalistRoader
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
March 11, 2022 8:39 am

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

— Robert Heinlein

Drake
Reply to  CapitalistRoader
March 11, 2022 10:22 am

Heinlein, brilliant!

And The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, the guide to TRUMP!’s space force, moon base plans.

Ian Magness
March 10, 2022 11:07 pm

Well written thanks Kip. I wonder why I never saw this story covered by the rabidly anti-GM, pro-organic farming BBC?

Richard Page
Reply to  Ian Magness
March 11, 2022 5:06 am

Something that might have escaped notice (except for a few rabid zealots) is that the UK has recently lifted a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides for the sugar beet industry. Whilst it’s only a start it has received a certain amount of vilification from environmentalists who bought into the wrong-headed, politicised rubbish about them being fatal to bee populations. Time will tell if this is a one-off or a full necessary reversal of the EU’s neonicotinoid ban.

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  Ian Magness
March 11, 2022 10:10 am

Lysenkoism is alive and kicking.

Rhoda R.
Reply to  Curious George
March 13, 2022 5:46 pm

And not just in the UK. Or even the Anglosphere — France, Germany and others also seem to have fallen into that same pit.

whiten
Reply to  Ian Magness
March 11, 2022 2:23 pm

Maybe because, to the mind and mentality of “pro-organic farming BBC”;

“free pesticide GM products will still consist as organic”

Yes, very confusing, of course… and highly discriminating.terminology, by intent and purpose, from the “pro-organic” lobby… completely senseless in proposition of “organic”

cheers

Ben Vorlich
March 10, 2022 11:11 pm

Two thoughts, if XR are successful in closing UK refineries then we’ll test Net Zero fairly soon.
Second in the 19th century my father’s parents families were crofters in Argyll and North Uist. By the start of the 20th century they were in Glasgow, Canada, USA and Australia and they weren’t Crofters. That life style is hard work. For the land owners keeping sheep was more profitable. I don’t know if these farmers rent their land but not paying rent will have severe consequences, no doubt Climate Change will be the cause

Leo Smith
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
March 11, 2022 1:06 am

XR have taken their orders from Moscow,. Their job is to increase the suffering that will arise from lack of access to hydrocarbons, How much longer they will get paid to do so remains moot. Russian economy is rather isolated right now…

Derg
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 11, 2022 1:41 am

Well they have the resources the world needs…the rise of the black market.

Mac
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 11, 2022 4:34 am

The Russian economy is in the dumpster now. I hear from my ex in Tula Russia how much more food and other goods cost. The Russian propaganda media however continues to broadcast how well the war is going; minimizes the number of Russian dead soldiers, never mentions the destruction wrought in Ukraine and continues to blame the war on Ukraine and the conflict in Donbas which had been going on for at least 8 years.

Rich Lambert
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
March 11, 2022 4:52 am

What is XR?

Richard Page
Reply to  Rich Lambert
March 11, 2022 5:09 am

eXtinction Rebellion – a group of radical extremists and anarchists wishing to topple western governments through domestic terror campaigns. I think that just about covers it.

OweninGA
Reply to  Rich Lambert
March 11, 2022 5:10 am

Extinction Rebellion:
A group of marxists pretending to be green activists. They pull stunts like gluing themselves to pavement on very busy highways and blocking commerce wherever they think the press will cover.

Last edited 2 months ago by OweninGA
H.R.
Reply to  OweninGA
March 11, 2022 6:31 am

I wondered on another thread how the police would react to XR stunts after a Winter of high electric and gas bills.

It will be interesting to see if traffic is directed around the XR protesters or over them.

Rhoda R.
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 13, 2022 5:50 pm

Amazing, but that was the argument that the Trudope government used to declare the truckers’ strike illegal. Too bad it’s only used against people protesting government encroachment on civil liberties.

Mike Dubrasich
March 10, 2022 11:50 pm

Well done, Kip.

The sudden shift to “organic” farming in Sri Lanka was motivated by irrational fear of pesticides and fertilizer pumped up by politicians and academic “experts” who had never farmed, knew next to nothing about farming, and who had no empirical evidence of the alleged dangers they touted. It was folly based on models cobbled by posers.

The hysteria over alleged global warming allegedly caused by fossil fuel use is similar if not identical. There are no dangers associated with warming. If the planet was to warm 1, 5, or even 10 degrees, it would be a boon for life, not a catastrophe. The alarm is misconceived. The politicians and “experts” are perpetrating folly based on ignorance with phony models. The fear they stoke is irrational.

Same, same. The world has enough real problems to deal with. The insane “solutions” to imaginary problems are dangerous and destructive by themselves. As we all can see.

TonyL
March 10, 2022 11:55 pm

The war in Ukraine is giving you – us – a break in the cloud cover and lifting the fog that has been preventing the general public from seeing what is happening

Once again, I do not believe it is more possible to be more wrong.
Several days ago, I had some remarks lined up, but I thought it was just too obvious, they would not be used. Well, here we are.

Let me introduce you to the concept of “Scapegoat”. Here is how it works. You take all of your disastrous decisions, all of you policy failures, and *especially* all your “feel-good policies with the terrible real-world effects and bundle them all together. Good and tight. Throw the whole bundle straight at the Scapegoat.
Blame it all on the Scapegoat.
If you own the Media, particularly the News Media as in the Anglo-sphere, you get clean away with it.The sheeple will believe it was all the fault of the Scapegoat, because that is what they are told to believe.

Let me give you a real world example from one of the bigger and more important of the English speaking countries:
Jan, 2121, a guy by the name of LG Brandon takes over the Presidency.
He immediately puts in place policies which:
Drive up energy costs,
Cause supply chain disruptions,
Unleash inflation like unseen for 50 years.

So who is at fault for the mess the country is in right now, after a full year of these problems getting worse and worse???

RUSSIA….. Russia, Russia Russia…..RUSSIA!!!!!!

The war in Ukraine is giving you – us – a break in the cloud cover and lifting the fog that has been preventing the general public from seeing what is happening

See!!!! It was RUSSIA all along, we just never saw it. Now, because of Ukraine, it is clear, we all see it, it really was Russia.

You want to know something else?? COVID – That was the Russians, too. You heard all that talk about China? That was disinformation. It was the Russians the whole time.
By now, you may have heard of US bio-weapons labs in Ukraine, all that is more disinformation. Those really were the Russian COVID labs.

The Russia-Ukraine situation has created an opportunity for the US Govt. which has responded with what can only be described as the largest propaganda blitz against the US peoples, Ever.

The war in Ukraine is giving you – us – a break in the cloud cover and lifting the fog that has been preventing the general public from seeing what is happening

Lord help us.

Ron Long
Reply to  TonyL
March 11, 2022 1:00 am

Add “Trump” to “Russia” and you will be even closer to your theme, which I agree with.

Leo Smith
Reply to  TonyL
March 11, 2022 1:26 am

Both the Russians and China (and the EU) are operating on a somewhat passé mindset – that of colonial imperialism – grabbing other peoples land and resources by force (or in the case of the EU, guile).
Of course they are happy to use any means at their disposal to do that, that does not invite retribution.
Buying politicians, activist groups, and the media and organizations whose basic theme is anti-establishment unless the establishment is properly autocratic, is the long game here, and with unlimited time in office, they can play the longer games.
The aim of the soviet era communists (as explained to me in great detail by a soviet era communist) was to essentially get themselves jobs in every single institution, and start to bend public policy by dint of dominating the performing arts, the education system, the media and the political system. In short their methodology was to create a narrative based not on what was real- energy, wealth, science, the nuclear family – but one based on faux notions of morality – human rights, equality and so on.

They carried on after the cold war finished, because Russians and Chinese never stopped trying to rule the world. Oligarchs made billions, provided they left the politics alone. And supported the overall policy of destabilisation by pouring money at arms length into every single organisation that could destabilise the West, from the Greens to BLM, whilst playing off each political party by on the one hand allowing flase flag funding to be used to discredit them, and by funding anyone who advanced their global aims.

Pay enough into someones bank account and you own him, if he squirms, release the information that shows he was bought… It isn’t rocket science. It’s basic Mafia 101, and its how the West’s politics work.

Climate change is simply a small part of the overall picture – its handy because it destroys the West’s energy independence, and their economies and increases dependence on Chinese tech and Russian gas.

As a fake Russian meerkat says – “Simples”.

The problem is that the West has beleived their nonsense and their assurances that they were not at war with the West since the moment the Communist party took over back in the day. They just never declared it.

We have been fighting world war three since the fall of the Berlin wall, but something has happened – probably that Putin is terminally ill, and no longer cares to play the long game, so it’s all out attack on the West.

Derg
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 11, 2022 1:45 am

Sure…Putin allowed China to become the 2nd largest economy in the WORLD 😉

TonyL
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 11, 2022 8:12 am

A reasoned argument, but I do not think so. To my eye, NetZero was collapsing just fine on it’s own. Particularly in both Germany and the UK. Maybe the help from Ukraine was needed, but I think not.

“it could have been anything”
All depends on how you look at it. Start with a system which is robust and with large safety margins. Now go to work on it (NetZero). Your safety margins get eaten up, one nibble at at time. Capacity falls, even while load increases. The network’s intrinsic ability to reroute capacity becomes progressively more and mote constrained.
At some point your network has become so fragile you can knock it over with a feather.
Your distribution system started out as so robust that a major winter storm could and would damage it, but never come close to bringing the whole show down. But that was then, this is now. Now, a routine winter storm brings about a total system shutdown via a catastrophic cascading failure.
So what was the cause if the catastrophic failure and total grid collapse?
Enter the Scapegoat!
Obviously, it was the storm. “It could not have been anything We did!
No, the truth is that it was *Everything* you did. The storm had nothing to do with it.
As a side note, anybody who notices that routine winter storms never collapsed the grid in the past, is instructed that there are some things you are not allowed to notice.
Anybody who continues to notice these inconvenient things becomes guilty of spreading misinformation and disinformation.

“it could have been anything”
Remember back in the “Good Old Days”, when the Power Grid would take a 5% or 10% price or supply shock and just shrug it off. Worst case, they would just temporarily use some of the reserve capacity until price/supply stability was restored.
Those Were The Days“.
These days a 5% or 10% price shock it enough to bring down the house.

TonyL ==> You misunderstand
No I think I understand perfectly well what is going on.

TonyL
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 11, 2022 12:17 pm

OK, so you are looking for the silver lining in a big black cloud. Unfortunately that cloud is a big cloud of chemical warfare agent which is going to kill everybody it touches.
Always the eternal optimist. Good for you.
My position has been that we can look at the results so far.
Result, electric rates doubled, grid stability hanging by a thread. Inescapable conclusion: NetZero Bad. Did they wake up? No. Will they wake up? No. Will war wake them up? No, it will be the fault of the war.
Is it hopeless? Is there anything to be done?

We have been doing it wrong!

Point: Germany did not do Energiewende using reason and logic. Nor did the others use logic and reason for their NetZero gutrot policies. We are not going to convince them of their errors with reason and logic.
Energiewende and NetZero are the products of Feel-Good and emotion. That is it. And the Key.
So how do we use this?
Make them feel BAD.
Laugh at them.
Mock them.
Humiliate them.
This they cannot stand. They have stood firm against a 20 year assault of fact and reason.
Mock them. They will crumple and fold like yesterday’s newspaper.
I swear, if somebody ran a campaign of Mocking Energiewende, they could start a civil war in Germany over energy policy in a Month.
That would actually do some good.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 11, 2022 9:25 am

A caution: The Left is using FF shortages and price increases to double-down on NetZero.

Keitho(@bat1heavy)
Editor
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 12, 2022 2:49 am

The increase in fossil fuel energy prices was a stated policy objective of the Biden Administration, as it was for the Obama one. The Ukraine imbroglio is just a serendipitous addition speeding along the price increases. The point I take from your writings here is that even the complaisant owned media will be unable to keep herd quiet and I agree with that 100%.

We are slow to wake but terrible when aroused.

Steve Case
March 10, 2022 11:58 pm

Those who know the dangers of NetZero need to speak up and speak out.
____________________________________________________________

The “go along to get along” party sits their hands afraid to offend the Democrats.

Leo Smith
March 11, 2022 12:54 am

Be a hero
Kick net Zero
No ifs, no buts
kick it in the nuts

Drake
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 11, 2022 10:34 am

Only the leftists who have no JOB to go to, or who’s job IS to protest.

Right thinkers have jobs and STUFF to lose when the leftists District Attorneys enforce the lay against them, although the dropped all the charges against leftist rioters.

When TRUMP! reforms the DOJ, the constitutional “equal protection under the law” should be used for RICO prosecution of all government prosecutors who went after the conservatives while not prosecuting the left. EX. Jan 6 “insurrectionists”, vs. those who attacked Rand Paul AND a police officer on camera, not prosecuted.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 11, 2022 10:46 am

Where are the nuts?

Joao Martins
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 12, 2022 1:53 am

I did not refer to MINE, I asked were (there) are THEIRS!

(Perhaps it is too idiomatic, so here is a linguistic explanation for those that are not aware of those botanical details. In my language, that kind of … vegetables … are called tomatoes — in Spanish they use the proper word, c***nes; in both languages political courage is a binary variable: to have them or not. The amount of courage is measured by the size and color of those vegetables: “big as melons” and “black” are the best)

Last edited 2 months ago by Joao Martins
Joao Martins
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 12, 2022 11:42 am

Of course!

Joao Martins
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 13, 2022 5:05 am

My native is Portuguese (the brand from Portugal, not from Brazil or elsewhere; Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, etc. also have some specific variations in grammar and something that can be described as “drift of meaning” of some words). All of them have differences of the kind you find in English (from USA, England and Australia, for instance) plus some bigger grammar variations.

Besides my profession in biological/agronomicl sciences, I also study History and love literature. If you come to have the need to solve any doubt in understanding some text, you are welcome to ask!

Last edited 2 months ago by Joao Martins
Joao Martins
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 14, 2022 3:51 am

Good old days!… In 1974 I was specializing in England. Yes, you may still have our traditional warmth (social, not climatic!…) around Oporto and north up to the Spanish border (in Minho); Lisbon, my city, is now rather uncharacteristic.

Checking this site everyday is a pleasure besides being very informative.

Philip Mulholland
March 11, 2022 2:19 am

Kip,
The whole purpose of this is to destroy the economy.
Alex Jones was right.

Drake
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 11, 2022 10:37 am

And they are succeeding at just the right time, before the mid terms in the US.

There is nothing anyone can do to stop inflation before the 2024 presidential election, so hopefully, 2 federal elections in a row with conservative “politician” growth, leftist collapse.

Keitho(@bat1heavy)
Editor
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 12, 2022 2:50 am

He often is which is why The Media ® attack him so violently.

Peta of Newark
March 11, 2022 2:31 am

Couple of points arising in this corner..
1/ Today’s email from Farmers Weekly magazine reports that nitrogen is headed towards £1,000 per tonne = roughly triple its price this time last year AND conditional on you actually finding someone to sell it you.

(When I used to buy nitrogen about 15 years ago, my usual supplier apologised that the price had gone from £70 last year to nearly £80 ‘this year’
I told her that that was OK. I’d worked out that fertiliser only ceased to be economically useful to me when it got beyond £300 per tonne)

The scary bit that was new to me was the amount of Potash that comes out of Russia = 40% of global usage.

Fertiliser price sky-high as….

2/ Sri Lanka
I know what’s happened there, I know exactly what happened. The guy was seduced.
How do I know – because I nearly was also.
I’ve just been through a docu-series presented by a very enthusiastic and good looking woman – the series called The Joyful Gardener
All about how to grow your own ultra organic pesticide and ferticide free vegetable garden.
Seemingly she’s been doing for years and years on a semi-professional basis, about 50/50 money & time-wise with educating people to follow her lead

It did really really all seem very lovely until….
She recounted how someone’s garden, after following her lead, had been a Truly Dismal Fail = as per Sri Lanka

She recounted the tale and her first question to the failed gardener was:
Where did you get your compost from?

The failed gardener simply replied: I didn’t get any this year

And THAT (you do see where I’m going here) was The Key to the entire docu-series and her ultra organic garden – according The Recipe for success was that at least 2″ depth of new compost be applied over every square inch of dirt every year

Yet all through the 8 hours of that series, she only briefly mentioned compost and we saw some brief shots of her digging her compost pile = about a cubic metre pile supported by pallets

There was the secret of her successful garden and where all attempts to copy her would fail=
Where the <expletive> did all that compost come from?

We saw plenty of her luscious garden, it would have 100 metres on a side and ‘somehow’, I don’t see a single cube of compost covering all that to a depth of 5 or 6 centimetres

…..the guy from Sri Lanka was far too busy watching the good looking girl selling the story and not listening for what she wasn’t telling everyone
(It’s where a GSOH comes in handy = the ability see see the ‘unusual’, spot the ‘difference, the ‘little things’ and then, really important, the self-confidence to act accordingly)

See the story – soil organic material & soil erosion, micro nutrients & human/plant health and not least, water retention & climate ##

The Joyful Gardeneress had it all – its just that one teensy weensy little thing that she didn’t tell anyone that wrecked it all.

## Recall the story about Tokyo getting colder and colder these last 20 years?
From what I put here, has the penny dropped?
Tokyo, as a city has not only ‘grown’ but will have tidied itself up.
It will have swept up all the loose fallen autumn leaves, kept the parks/gardens/lawns neatly cropped short.
IOW: Making the place nice and clean and tidy, bigger wider roads, less parks & garden etc has turned it into a desert (cities already are) but with immaculate maintenance, taken away any water and thus heat storage capacity the city itself had within it.

Deserts are Cold Places – therein lie Tipping Points…

Last edited 2 months ago by Peta of Newark
rhs
Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 11, 2022 5:57 am

Knowing how important compost is, I’m curious where the organic growers get so much? I know a lot comes from animal excrement. Where do these short sighted kool-aid drinkers expect to get their compost once they ban meat?

I know animal excrement isn’t the only source of carbon and nitrogen for compost, but when one goes beyond the household garden, lawn clippings, leaves, egg shell’s, unused food and vegetable greens only cover so much economy of scale needed to feed large groups.

Ethan Vos
Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 11, 2022 12:12 pm

Quite a few years ago I was at a sustainable conference in Quebec City as I was then involved in biodiesel from waste. There was a speaker on sustainable farming. Room full of people anticipating a wealth of practical knowledge from the expert. The first thing he said was “Rule number 1 of sustainable farming is that I need to make enough money to afford to farm again next year”.

Jan de Jong
March 11, 2022 2:55 am

I’m afraid the lesson learned will be to double down…

rhs
Reply to  Jan de Jong
March 11, 2022 5:58 am

I was going to down vote your comment, not because it is wrong. Rather, I hate the idea that you’re most likely right!

Drake
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 11, 2022 10:40 am

And the “more of it” is always “other people’s money”

Oldseadog
March 11, 2022 3:05 am

Kip, GB has only two wells producing gas by fracking which were going to be closed off, the story from the Guardian was that rag’s usual hype and fraud. All other gas sources are alive and working well and, so far, are only under threat from ER.

Richard Page
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 11, 2022 8:31 am

Two test sites. They hadn’t even got to the stage of commercial extraction, just seeing if they could extract any gas from the geology.

Oldseadog
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 12, 2022 2:46 am

Everything from the N. Sea is operating well; 5 more new gas fields came on stream during the last few weeks and 4 more will do so in the next few months. The anti-fracking lobby are afraid of earthquakes, not the gas itself.

Richard Page
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 12, 2022 11:25 am

Nothing yet. Kwasi Kwarteng and a small group are trying to expand the North Sea sites whilst Nicola Sturgeon and others are trying to shut them down. SNP and Conservative parties appear to be split on the issue whilst Labour and Lib Dems are dithering. Meanwhile Nigel ‘our man down the pub’ Farage is threatening a referendum on the whole net zero agenda. By the time everyone has had a say chances are that some of the problems will have passed the danger point. Our government in the UK seems to be firmly behind the idea of kicking the can down the road a bit more.

D Boss
March 11, 2022 4:31 am

No it was not a good idea. This and other similar insane idea pathogens (See Gad Saad, “The Parasitic Mind”) has the potential to destroy civilization.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x70Pd4LQIq8 (‘The Parasitic Mind’ author Gad Saad warned that if we don’t put a stop woke ideas, it will be a ‘slow train ride to hell’)

Drake
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 11, 2022 10:43 am

But they were full of GOOD INTENTIONS, like all leftists.

As Rush always said, the left is full of good intentions, just no good ideas.

Giorgio
March 11, 2022 4:32 am

Not only that, unfortunately: the Farm2Fork policy the UE is trying to enforce goes exactly in the same direction as this Sri Lanka’s folly. The results will be the same, if someone doesn’t get to stop it.
I wonder if they are planning to make Europe more welcoming to African migrants, by making it more similar to Africa.

Gordo
March 11, 2022 5:04 am

The Sri Lankan dive into organic farming was purely driven by a foreign exchange crisis. The country has run out of money, and the Rajapaksa brothers thought they could avoid paying for the imports of foreign produced agricultural chemicals and fertilizers if they went “Green “

Last edited 2 months ago by Kip Hansen
Joao Martins
Reply to  Gordo
March 11, 2022 11:00 am

Gordo, you seem to be confusing causes and consequences.

joe x
March 11, 2022 5:31 am

great article. many great articles on the site. now the hard part. how can we transform information like this into a pill, that’s available over the counter that the greens can take with their morning tee?

joe x
Reply to  joe x
March 11, 2022 6:41 am

tea.

Richard Page
Reply to  joe x
March 11, 2022 8:32 am

Very true little joe; I have yet to see a Greentard golfer!

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard Page
Reply to  joe x
March 11, 2022 11:58 am

Sri Lankan tea please.

John the Econ
March 11, 2022 5:36 am

Has an economy centrally micromanaged by self-described “smart” people ever thrived?

Tom Halla
March 11, 2022 6:27 am

Organic farming is but renamed biodynamic agriculture, so beloved by Heinrich Himmler. I would suggest the rejection of science is characteristic of what led to the rise of the NSDAP and other border sciences (grenzwirtschaft) like Ariosophy.
While mysticism has a place, relying on it to feed oneself is hazardous.

Graham
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 11, 2022 8:23 pm

I have been farming for over 63 years and have seen many changes over that time .
The basics are still the same but the scale of operations has increased probably eight fold .
We have organic dairy farmers in New Zealand .I know some of them and one of my neighbors has moved to organic milk production.
What so many people fail to realize is that the milk and the animals that are sold off the farm take away a great deal of phosphate, potassium and calcium that has to be replaced into the soil ,otherwise grass and crop production falls steadily as the nutrients are removed from the farm soils.
Weeds tend to take over as chemical weed killers are banned .
Their maize crops for silage were a disaster so they have moved to sunflowers for silage which was OK the first year out of pasture but terrible after a maize crop.
Nutrients have to be replaced in the soil but the rules are stupid.
We are not organic but we buy in truck loads of poultry manure for not much above the cost of cartage but as it is not certified organic the organic farm next door cannot use it .
I also know an acquaintance who brought an organic milk farm and immediately moved it back to standard production .
He immediately applied a good amount of much needed nutrients and nearly doubled production with the use of some strategic nitrogen applications his first year.

Bill Rocks
March 11, 2022 6:57 am

Very welcome essay. Outstanding brief cautionary tale and helpful commentary such as the case of the attractive promotor and the cryptic compost deception.

This story has potential power to alert many because of the quality of the writing and the relevance and simplicity of the events. I hope the author and or WUWT can find credible media vehicles where writing of this quality and substance can be placed.

“Championed by rabid misanthropic environmental advocacy groups, the United Nations and its many entities like the IPCC, and the European Union, NetZero madness threatens to destroy the prosperity of modern society.”

ResourceGuy
March 11, 2022 8:02 am

“Good ideas” is a rather milk toast label for one-track-minded policy deployment which is what the Biden climate change rollout looks like over all sectors, agencies, regulations, and institutions.

Richard Page
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 12, 2022 11:33 am

Kip – with respect, I beg to differ. The “Good Idea” is to end all this Cro-Magnon burning of stuff now in the hope that we can find better, cheaper, less polluting sources of energy in the future.

Michael Nagy
March 11, 2022 8:19 am

Kip it won’t do a bit of good until the President is removed and someone with a lick of sense gets into the White House. I am almost glad the price of gas keeps going up as that will make more people vote for a Republican, although that isn’t the total answer as Mitt Romney proves day by day. The people who need to know this won’t read it. I can’t remember (I am 75) a time when the country was in a bigger mess.

Gregg Eshelman
March 11, 2022 9:00 am

Does anyone else think of the free* internet service when NetZero is mentioned?

*As long as you use it less than 10 hours a month and don’t care about having advertisements on your screen all the time you’re online.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Gregg Eshelman
March 11, 2022 10:16 am

I can see free internet supplied by government largess if you only have access to “approved” outlets. Having propaganda continuously pumped into your home would be a plus for authoritarians.

buggs
March 11, 2022 11:30 pm

Organic is a mythological approach to things.

Look, I get the notion of doing “less harm” to earth. But that notion, if associated with the concept or philosophy of organic, is entirely unscientific. The reason for that is “organic” is quite simply philosophical. It doesn’t jive with the basic tenets of toxicology ( the dose makes the poison) because the notion that “natural” is meaningful is really quite simply BS. You should know this Kip. Botulinum alone should be proof: the entire organic crowd is the same crowd that is injecting this crap into their face.

Not good enough? Ok, fine. How about the notion that under organic systems, there is ample evidence that on average it yields about 2/3 of what “conventional” agriculture does. That’s ignoring the evidence that conventional agriculture is capable of using many approaches that organic agriculture may adopt – mineral oils (though I’d contend their use started in conventional agriculture rather than organic in the first place). But the point is that if your yield is 2/3 of what can reasonably be expected you need a 1/3 more land – is that a good approach? Maybe if you’re living in a rural community and concerned with feeding your family but less so if you’re actually concerned with production outside your own family.

Cornell tried some time ago to calculate an EIQ – Environmental Impact Quotient – and found that organic doesn’t actually fare quite so well. Largely because the organic fungicides don’t really do much to save the planet, are quite harmful, and synthetic fungicides have a much lower impact overall. The EIQ study is quite dated though even at that, considering it was using OP and OC insecticide as the standards, most of which have been (wrongly) banned at this point. https://nysipm.cornell.edu/eiq/

Consider that the Soil Association in Britain will allow synthetic pyrethroids for control of primary screwworm fly under organic production because the pest is so utterly heinous. So they’ll compromise their principles because of sympathy for the hideous death of animals under true organic production. Never mind the fact that some synthetic pyrethroids have considerably lower LD50 than pyrethrins in the first place – truly a sign that it’s more about philosophy than actual science.

Organic, whatever you may consider it to mean, is philosophical, not scientific. The philosophy costs lives in the long run (consider the European approach to imports on African produce). It deludes people into believing in pixie dust. That’s not to say that widespread, indescriminant application of pesticides is the solution, but there are few extension/government bodies recommending that. It’s a buzzword and failed philosophy, accounting for a remarkably small portion of the world’s food supply. Good way to starve people, if that’s your goal. Sri Lanka drank the magic potion, unicorns should appear shortly.

RobK
Reply to  buggs
March 12, 2022 1:12 am

Buggs,
Good post.
Minor point:” But the point is that if your yield is 2/3 of what can reasonably be expected you need a 1/3 more land ”
To get the same yield if you’re hit with a 1/3 reduction, you need to plant half as much again. A 50% increase in land and fixed costs. It’s a massive impact.

ATheoK
Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 12, 2022 5:59 pm

There are methods of improved agriculture, as you know. The 1950s “just dump on more commercial fertilizer” worked the soil to death — not so great.”

Fallacious slur.

Farmers have always been about improving the soil.
Fertilizers are mostly composed of salts. Dump on more industrial fertilizers is the same as dumping more salt on the lands. What doesn’t wash off with the rain goes towards killing plants instead of improving growth.

When pollution controls were initiated in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, farmer fertilizer use was frequently maligned and blamed.
So much so, that governments and activists actively sampled farm runoff to pin the blame.

Most such efforts failed. The only farms they discovered with issues were farms raising a lot of cattle, chickens or turkeys. Bird guano can be toxic to plant life unless diluted.
Except those farmers were happy to install runoff control systems to prevent raw animal wastes reaching streams or other bodies of water.
Most farm runoff were benign.

Which brings up the cost of fertilizing or for that matter spraying crops. Farmers want just enough and not a bit more. A relative who still farms spends thousands fertilizing and more when spraying herbicides or insecticides.

Most farmers that I’ve met have farmed for decades on farms their families have owned for generations.

Yet, people want to blame them for allegedly dumping fertilizer wholesale on land and ruining the land…

Farmers rotate crops, till in silage and leave land fallow. Something Native Americans taught them in the 1600s.

Graham
Reply to  buggs
March 12, 2022 11:17 am

Well written Bugs.
Organic farming is almost a religion .Here in NZ you probably need twice as much land to produce the same amount of produce because weeds can be very hard to control..Every organic farm of scale that I know of are very weedy .The organic farm on my boundary is reverting to gorse on the steeper slopes .

very old white guy
March 12, 2022 7:40 am

I wonder how many millions will have to die for the foolishness.

ATheoK
March 12, 2022 8:52 am

While there are a lot of different definitions of organic farming, the basic concept is to limit or eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.). In general, this is a good idea – using the natural environment to supply agricultural inputs and more natural methods of controlling pests are net positives when they can be done in a sensible and practical way.”

Nonsense.

I attended several USDA presentations in the early 1970s, courtesy of Pennsylvania’s Extension services that touted “organic” vegetables farming for small farmers.

Their whole concept was that small farmers could prosper by selling “organic” foods at higher prices to prosperous fools.
Fools, because there is zero to negligible differences with zero nutritional differences between “organic” and modern cultivation foods.
The real difference is based on ‘belief’.
USDA and Pennsylvania Extension representatives admitted the whole thing was just a marketing concept with the bald lie that “organic” is healthier.

All those small farmers either went bankrupt or stopped farming “organic”.
Instead, large farms and corporations stole the entire concept, aggressively marketing “healthier organic foods” and flooding markets with “organic” foods. Often farmed in countries that do not practice actual “organic” farming.

Nor did USDA’s nutritional database ever identify nutritional differences between “organic” and conventionally farmed goods as I checked details regularly. Right up to USDA’s changing the easy to use nutritional database into a complex inferior database.

“we utilized basic organic methods in our gardens and with our animals to produce about 75-80% of our own food for our growing family, with a bit to sell or trade on the side.”

Really?
How many acres?
People with poor soils have a terrible time harvesting enough lettuce for a daily salad. To feed a growing family with organic methods requires extensive work on more than a few acres. People worldwide are stuck in poverty trying to do the same thing without much success.

Grew your own “organic” foods through winter? Or is a lot of that 80% root vegetables?
My Grandmother and grandfather came to America to escape starving and violence in the Ukraine. They only used natural fertilizers, when they had any. Cattle and sheep may defecate frequently, but in small amounts every day.
Their diets were heavy on boiled brassicas, tubers and infrequent very small portions of meat. Scurvy and rickets was common, especially during the winters.

Cheese was valuable, that and eggs could be sold to richer town folk.

When they set up household in Camden, New Jersey one of the first things they did was dig a deep hole in the back yard with a canvas cover for their food storage.

Our small farm?
Broccoli was host to copious aphids. The choice was obvious, spray insecticide or just eat aphids. Soap solutions didn’t work. Alcohol solutions only worked on exterior aphids, those aphids inside broccoli buds survived and quickly raised hordes of new aphids. Far more than ladybugs could cope with.

Strawberries were good for revenue for a couple of months a year. However they required hard work all twelve months if one wants the plants to survive. Where I live now, I’ve lost multiple plantings to deer. Deer browse down to the roots autumn through spring, they especially love any small shoots growing in spring. Entire rows vanish every night. Our local deer have eaten all squash and melon plantings and even have eaten lushly growing tomato plants and rhododendron plants. That’s with the proverbial “Irish Spring” soap bars hung over the growing plants. (Not the rhododendron, I hadn’t thought our local deer to be that stupid.)

Acres of “organic” tomatoes got sold off our porch at the local ‘prices’. Selling tomatoes at lower prices pisses off all of the neighbor farms, selling at higher prices leaves a lot of spoiling tomatoes for the pigs.

One year had perfect weather for tomatoes. Enough regular rain with copious sunlight and our ‘patch’ grew far more tomatoes than we could sell. My father put up a broken scale and we filled shopping bags with 3 pounds of tomatoes. It’s rather shocking how few honest people there were. Only a few told us our scale was broken. Quite a few bit their lips, but their eyes gave them away.

Corn was decent money for a few months. Corn also requires a farmer to plant and till weekly as the ‘sweet spot’ for fresh corn is short. Every morning we harvested fresh corn and every afternoon we fed the pigs what was left after we removed corn for dinner and freezing.

Selling corn by the dozen is the problem. People kept ripping open ears and bitching about the kernel size while ripping open another ear. Opened ears lose their sweetness very fast, and the sweetest corn has small kernels. Large kernels means the corn is approaching maturity, also known as “field corn”.

Another fool was ripping open ears of corn, bitching non stop. Just as my brother and I were going to throw him off the porch, my father appeared at the door.
“What’s the problem here”, he said. He stopped the fool in mid tirade, the fool waved an opened ear at my father and made a number of false accusations; too old, kernels too small, corn wasn’t fresh…
My father looked at the fool for most of a minute while my brother and I waited for the command to throw him out.
Instead my father said, Corns growing in the back. Go pick your own, same price.

The fool gleefully grabbed several bags and ran to the corn plot in the back. A plot several weeks beyond “sweet corn” stage. He soon returned with bags full of corn, paid us a couple of dollars and ran off, afraid we were going to count the corn.
Corn that old is called field corn, great stuff for the pigs, but very starchy and not very sweet at all.
A great lesson taught us, by my father.

We put up tomatoes and corn nonstop during their seasons. We steamed the wallpaper off the kitchen walls boiling the milled tomatoes down into sauce. Spent hours husking fresh corn and running the ears through tools to remove the kernels, packaging, labelling and freezing corn. Corn ears take up far too much room.

After all of that work, seeing the prices for these items in the grocery store gives us the opposite of satisfaction. Commercial packaged vegetables, when bought in quantity, are far cheaper than the work we put into the same amount of home grown vegetables.

I ate that home canned tomato sauce for quite a few years after my father sold that small farm.

Oh, one year I planted a couple acres of “organic” wheat. My father “forgot” that he wanted one the acres for pepper plants and I had to plow under an acre of half grown wheat.

I harvested that remaining wheat by scythe and tried separating chaff from seed during the windless weeks in August. Tossing the harvested kernels up in the air, only to discover the chaff falls back with the wheat when there is no wind. It also turns out, chaff loves to stick to hot sweaty people. Nor is chaff a benign coating for humans.
Obviously, I needed a partner and we could toss the wheat so the chaff could fall between us.
A few folks tried to help me, for five or ten minutes before they remembered other more important things they could be doing.

That entire acre of “organic” wheat, harvested and separated by hand, resulted in a very disappointing amount of wheat, a few bushels.

All of that wheat in the field and in my bushel baskets caused the local rat population to explode.

Those crops were grown on land farmed since the late 1700s. Once plants consume all of the accumulated nutrients laboriously tilled in by nature or farmers, crops will not grow so lush. Natural fertilizer is very labor intensive and requires additional external sources. Local horse farms help, a little.

Those experiences, plus most of a lifetime working outdoors are the root of my skepticism! Especially when alarmists’ froth over fractions of a degree temperature or when natural weather occurs. People raised in suburbia or urban insulated A/C environments, lusting for a return to nature for everyone, are stupidly clueless.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, one worked at any and every menial job to earn enough money to cover the differences, heat, food, shelter between natural and modern living.

Touting such lifestyles without clear warnings are similarly clueless.

Graham
Reply to  ATheoK
March 12, 2022 11:23 am

Very interesting post Atheok

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