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Old 01-20-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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You know, milk is NOT the only dairy product. Cheese, whey, and a myriad of other important products are also produced from dairies. Your argument also misses a very important fact. Milk cows take something that humans can not eat--grass--and there are a lot of grass-fed dairy cows still around--and turn into something that we humans CAN eat: dairy products. I agree that feeding ruminant animals grain rather than grass is inefficient and is going to have to stop, and economics and water depletion in the Ogallala aquifer probably will stop it in the Plains region within a decade or so.

And, yes, Mike ethanol is a bad, harmful joke that needs to stop, too. As is damming up every free-flowing river left in this region or building even one more damned water diversion, so that Josseppie and his water buffalo friends can keep irrigating their bluegrass lawns. The farmers and ranchers are NOT the main groups demanding more of those pork-barrel reservoirs and diversions these days--its the metro developers and the metro water providers. Follow the money.

As to treedonkey's South Dakota comment, apparently he didn't stop by my high schoolmate's 6,000 acre ranch in South Dakota where he raises natural beef--one of several in the area in which he lives. And he sure as hell ain't 80 or 90 years old, either.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:40 PM
 
2,437 posts, read 7,110,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
As to treedonkey's South Dakota comment, apparently he didn't stop by my high schoolmate's 6,000 acre ranch in South Dakota where he raises natural beef--one of several in the area in which he lives. And he sure as hell ain't 80 or 90 years old, either.
I was assigned to Bon Homme county and it was almost exclusively industrial corn farming (mainly for feed) out there, so I met no ranchers at all. I don't understand your point... Kudos to the independent farmer/rancher who can make it work, regardless of their age, but are you DOUBTING that traditional farming has been severely and irrevocably scarred by large scale industrial operations whose business is to make a profit at any human or environmental cost? And are you DOUBTING that such practices adversely affect far more people and land than some fool on the front range growing a KBG lawn does?

I see that you have declined to respond to my earlier proddings, which is pretty telling. It's pretty easy point fingers from behind an internet firewall, but what have you ever done in real life to offer any sort of help or hope for a solution? Because to me it seems that your main purpose in life is to grumble about all the out of state transplants moving to the cities and resorts in order to ruin your beloved homeland with their large homes and green grass?
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:17 PM
 
20,311 posts, read 37,810,444 times
Reputation: 18092
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
You know, milk is NOT the only dairy product. Cheese, whey, and a myriad of other important products are also produced from dairies. Your argument also misses a very important fact. Milk cows take something that humans can not eat--grass--and there are a lot of grass-fed dairy cows still around--and turn into something that we humans CAN eat: dairy products. I agree that feeding ruminant animals grain rather than grass is inefficient and is going to have to stop, and economics and water depletion in the Ogallala aquifer probably will stop it in the Plains region within a decade or so.

And, yes, Mike ethanol is a bad, harmful joke that needs to stop, too. As is damming up every free-flowing river left in this region or building even one more damned water diversion, so that Josseppie and his water buffalo friends can keep irrigating their bluegrass lawns. The farmers and ranchers are NOT the main groups demanding more of those pork-barrel reservoirs and diversions these days--its the metro developers and the metro water providers. Follow the money.

As to treedonkey's South Dakota comment, apparently he didn't stop by my high schoolmate's 6,000 acre ranch in South Dakota where he raises natural beef--one of several in the area in which he lives. And he sure as hell ain't 80 or 90 years old, either.
Agree. I've at least six various cheeses in the house/fridge. I'm way in agreement that dairy and beef should be grass fed, not corn fed. If people would just read the book "Omnivore's Dilemma" they'd understand the points we're trying make. Your pal in SD is on the right track and his practices fit in with the book, which is simply marvelous reading about how King Corn is one of the most wasteful things going on today.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:22 PM
 
35 posts, read 98,764 times
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Originally Posted by proveick View Post
Right now the snowpack in central and northern CO is just over that of 2002.
That was the worst drought in recent history. Could be an interesting summer for wildfires. Might be the summer of "the big one". RP

"impending"..."might be the summer of"....is that like the "impending" return of jesus christ and "the summer of" a strikingly alluring woman ringing my front doorbell.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:33 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,107,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treedonkey View Post
I was assigned to Bon Homme county and it was almost exclusively industrial corn farming (mainly for feed) out there, so I met no ranchers at all. I don't understand your point... Kudos to the independent farmer/rancher who can make it work, regardless of their age, but are you DOUBTING that traditional farming has been severely and irrevocably scarred by large scale industrial operations whose business is to make a profit at any human or environmental cost? And are you DOUBTING that such practices adversely affect far more people and land than some fool on the front range growing a KBG lawn does?

I see that you have declined to respond to my earlier proddings, which is pretty telling. It's pretty easy point fingers from behind an internet firewall, but what have you ever done in real life to offer any sort of help or hope for a solution? Because to me it seems that your main purpose in life is to grumble about all the out of state transplants moving to the cities and resorts in order to ruin your beloved homeland with their large homes and green grass?
First paragraph: I'm no fan of big, industrial farming--just like I'm no fan of mega-corporations and big government. Now, a lot of pretty big farms and ranches still are family-owned and operated, that is a fact. A lot of the "abuses" in farming and ranching practices date back to the "Green Revolution" of th 1940's-1980's, when the watchword was basically figuring out how to convert non-renewable minerals and petroleum products into critical components of food production. That was championed by those who would benefit from it financially--the oil and chemical companies, farm machinery manufacturers, the big food processors, etc., etc. Along with, of course, a big government bureaucracy with idealistic, but flawed goals of "saving the world." Though rife with unintended problems, the "Green Revolution" allowed the explosion of worldwide population that we see now. Unfortunately and tragically, it also means that as those cheap and plentiful resources deplete, it also means that our ability to produce food is also going to decline. That will be when the savage Darwinian survival game will get into high gear.

As to the second paragraph, all I can say is that I have been involved in the grass-roots political process my whole adult life, and have been working for meaningful change whenever I can. That's more than most folks do. If I complain about what is happening in my native state of Colorado, it is because, despite all of my efforts, the tide of crap development and stupid growth has yet to stop. Believe me, if I had the power to stop it in it tracks, I sure as hell would have used it. Frustrated? You bet.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:40 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,793,244 times
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Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
Not misleading at all. It's one of the most accurrate posts in this thread. Mike makes a good point that that mega-farm agriculture is a wasteful practice. IMO, we don't need most of their products anyway, especially a product like milk. If we live in a place where milk needs to be brought in from a distance, then simply don't drink milk. IMO, we'd all be healthier if we ate mostly local produce, and very little food that comes from a long distance away. But I digress. This statement from MIke is the crux of the matter...federal subsidies lead to the extravagant use of water. All across this country, rural residents decry government intervention, but it's OK if it's something that benefits their lifestyles....wasteful or not.
Mike's argument is misleading because your water footprint doesn't stop at your meter or even the boundary of the city. For every gallon you use at your house, many, many more gallons are used on your behalf for ethanol production, growing your food, producing your electricity, fracing gas wells to heat your home, washing your dishes in restaurants, etc.

Your assertion that we should eat local produce isn't as simple as it sounds either. By doing so, you'll be saving oil and reducing pollution in the air, but you'll also help to deplete water resources which will slow the growth of the cities, cut back on jobs, etc.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:49 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,839,172 times
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Wink This land

To begin with, I'd like to offer three movies for your consideration:

'King Corn'
Amazon.com: King Corn (Standard Packaging): Michael Pollan, Ian Cheney, Curt Ellis, Stephen Macko, Chuck Pyatt, Ricardo Salvador, Dawn Cheney, Rich Johnson, Al Marth, Scott McGregor, Bob Bledsoe, Sue Jarrett, Dean Jarrett, Allen Trenkele, Loren Corda

'Food, Inc.'
Amazon.com: Food, Inc.: Eric Schlosser, Robert Kenner: Movies & TV

'Flow'
Amazon.com: Flow How did a handful of corporations steal our water: Maude Barlow, Vandana Shiva, Irena Salina: Movies & TV

While I've listed these from Amazon due ease and the reviews offered, they can be procured from other sources, such as Apple's iTunes.


You know, I happen to like a green lawn sometimes, and something such as Kentucky Bluegrass can be particularly attractive. It also happens to require a lot of water. A place such as Ft. Collins, CO exhibits many such beautiful lawns. While I also personally like xeroscaping in such locals as Tucson, if all the lawns within Ft. Collins were gone I would miss them.

There isn't any reason everyone in Colorado couldn't have such a lawn. But it should also be patently clear that should Colorado's population double to 10 million people that all of them will have exactly HALF as much water to share amongst them. Which means that if everyone wants a beautiful lawn, there are only so many of them in total who will be able to do so. That goes for dairy cows, agriculture in general, municipal water, and everything else, as well as lawns.

By some measures I'm the model water user. I can't remember the last time I washed my car, and I don't particularly care. My lawn is still alive and relatively happy, and it hasn't seen any water from me in over a year. The rest of the landscape here is mostly natural and, as far as I'm concerned, can take care of itself as well as the lawn does. I don't see the need of a shower every single day. But on the other hand, when I do I'm damn sure going to enjoy it, no Navy showers thank you.

All of which means what? It still means Colorado has just so much water and no more. One can quantify and measure that. We might return bison to the better part of the eastern plains. We might use water more efficiently in places such as the Arkansas Valley where agriculture actually makes sense. We might do a lot of things in conservation and wiser usage. But at the end of the day we are still apportioning a fixed amount, and simply a question of how that best done.

As for Aaron Million:
Colorado pipeline proposal stirs water fears - Salt Lake Tribune

… as far as I'm concerned he is a criminal. If technically within the law, what he is proposing is harmful to everyone and everything, save his purse.

While Colorado may still retain water rights to a portion of the Green River of Wyoming, his argument that removing water from this river would do no harm is totally specious. Aside from the wildlife that would suffer, this water would be taken from a drainage that is already over subscribed. The downstream dams of Glen Canyon at Lake Powell and Hoover at Lake Mead hold back about half the water they could, their reservoirs half dry and unlikely to be full again any time soon. The Colorado river is already so heavily taxed that it fails to reach its natural destination at the Gulf of California.

One might look to cities such as Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix, AZ, and rightly question why Colorado should forsake even a drop of water when they still waste so much, and would continue to grow in size if permitted. While a valid question, it is no less applicable to the citizens along Colorado's front range. By what right do they presume to take more than they should, in drying up wetlands and otherwise harming an environment that is shared by all, whether human or not?

From the suburban front range the snow clad Rocky Mountains are a lovely and remote sight. They remain as much to most people. The connection between limitless clean water from the kitchen tap and the level of snow pack in the distant mountains is often lost in translation. They are but a beautiful view when one wakes long enough from daily routine to notice as much. But each and every one living in suburb or city could as well be living within the highest reaches of Rocky Mountain National Park, and direct witness to the growing pollution of lake and stream. Of just that much less snow come winter. Of temperatures just that much warmer in earlier and earlier springs, and just that much less water in the rivers come fall. Of species such as the White-tailed Ptarmigan that are less and less seen in such an alpine environment, quite likely one day never. They, we, might as well be living there.

For what we do at home (and all it constitutes) ripples out to all the rest of this land . . . this this land within which we live will nurture us or not in measure we do her.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,755 posts, read 16,457,602 times
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sterlinggirl wrote:
Your assertion that we should eat local produce isn't as simple as it sounds either. By doing so, you'll be saving oil and reducing pollution in the air, but you'll also help to deplete water resources which will slow the growth of the cities, cut back on jobs, etc.
You're right. There are bound to be complexities that I'm not aware of, though the depletion of water resources would be only minimal if the food growers would employ drip irrigation systems like Mike proposed. Tremendous amounts of water are being wasted with the current mode of blow-it-in-the-air irrigation that is used by the mega farmers and even by most of the smaller farms. Subsidizing ( bad word ) drip irrigation for the growing of vegetables might be a worthwhile government pork project, if the economy can ever support it without defecit spending.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:02 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,793,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
sterlinggirl wrote:
Your assertion that we should eat local produce isn't as simple as it sounds either. By doing so, you'll be saving oil and reducing pollution in the air, but you'll also help to deplete water resources which will slow the growth of the cities, cut back on jobs, etc.
You're right. There are bound to be complexities that I'm not aware of, though the depletion of water resources would be only minimal if the food growers would employ drip irrigation systems like Mike proposed. Tremendous amounts of water are being wasted with the current mode of blow-it-in-the-air irrigation that is used by the mega farmers and even by most of the smaller farms. Subsidizing ( bad word ) drip irrigation for the growing of vegetables might be a worthwhile government pork project, if the economy can ever support it without defecit spending.
I don't see any difference between a lawn sprinkler and a crop sprinkler other than size. There's better ways for everyone to use water, and Mike singling out agricultural users using the same methods as residential users is just another form of the "beggar thy neighbor" policies that he complains about.

Municipal users already have a filtered water supply which would be a lot easier to convert to drip systems than the unfiltered agricultural water supplies which would plug up drip systems in just a few days. If we really want to save water, wouldn't it make more sense to pick the low hanging fruit and make residential users switch over to drip systems first?
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:27 PM
 
20,311 posts, read 37,810,444 times
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If 86-90% of water in COLO is used for ag, and 2% for lawns, then ag is the low hanging fruit. Ag is the one beggaring thy neighbor.
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