Welcome to Chemophobifornia; don't drink golden water

California, chemaphobia, and the 'Erin Brockovich chemical' (Chromium-6)Chromium 6 found in elementary...

Eating Food like Great-Grandma's: the natural way to reduce life expectancy

I live north of Harbin Hot Springs, a "health resort," which catered (it burned in the 2015 Valley...

Causes and Cures for Deforestation

Cute, clever, incorrect.The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations's Forest...

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Norm BensonRSS Feed of this column.

I am a retired forester who now works in providing water to a neighborhood. I am also a home brewer of beer who lives in northern California. I write about environmental concerns; especially those... Read More »

Burned Plan

Burned Plan

Jun 10 2014 | comment(s)

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves….” Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act 1, scene 2.
Our fire problem has been a long time in the making. It did not happen overnight. We will not fix it overnight, perhaps we never will.

 Library of Congress. Coeur d'Alene National Forest, Idaho. Photo taken between 1909 and 1920. Photo Credit: Library of Congress.

Fermentation Came First

Evidence mounts almost daily that beer started humans on the path to civilization even before the invention of agriculture some twelve thousand years ago. A paper in Evolutionary Anthropology says that, based on tests of artifacts, cereal grains were collected (sometimes from areas as far as sixty miles away) “for the purposes of brewing beer” to be used in feasts, which then “led to domestication...”
Every day, I make my wife two or three cups of coffee. I am serving her a phenol-laced liquid, containing 826 volatile chemical substances, 16 of which are known by the state of California to cause cancer.
Please spare me the anti-biotech crowd’s Argumentum ad Monsantum (the “Appeal to Monsanto” argument) over Genetically Engineered (GE) foods.

I’m speaking, of course, of the anti-GMO push back to my “Golden rice, golden opportunity” column.
"The spotted owl is the poster boy on how to use the Endangered Species Act to accomplish a goal beyond the species itself and how things can get messed up."

Ban Nock writing in the Daily Kos

You people in the developed world are certainly free to debate the merits of genetically modified foods, but can we please eat first?” - Dr. Florence Wambugu
The blind girl lurched toward me across the parking lot at Tirta Empul temple, mewling. I guessed she was ten to thirteen years of age, and shorter than she should have been. A whitish haze coated her eyes, each looking upward in a different direction. She moved herky-jerky due to poorly formed bones.