The People United, Will Never Be Defeated.

If you have taken part in a progressive demonstration or rally for any cause what so ever in the last forty years or so you have chanted that phrase or at least heard that phrase chanted.

Great phase, extremely accurate and reflective of American progressive sentiments dating to the Abolition Movement and the early days of the labor movement.

Hell the American Labor Movement was built on the idea that as individuals, workers were powerless against the well organized bosses of the corporations, who had the weight of the government and the strong arm of various police agencies to back them up.

One of the slogans of the Industrial Workers of the World aka The Wobblies was “One Big Union.”

When progressives try to get together as one big group, united for common purposes in this country the right wing calls them a bunch of commies and tries to break them up.

I also noticed how Godwin’s rule leaves the right wingers free to label everyone to the left of a conservative Democrat like Obama as a “Communist” and nobody says shit to them or tells them they lose for red baiting.

I’ve also noticed how the second a progressive movement starts to unite with others outside their particular small identity group suddenly a groups of purer than thou and more radical than thou individuals pop up and start to destroy any possibility of a unified movement that brings various minority groups together.

The much maligned LGBT alphabet coalition has been an attempt to unite different groups with similar, if slightly different, needs together to withstand the buffeting of attacks from the ‘conservatives” and the religious right.

Has it been a marriage of identical needs?  No, it hasn’t but then it was never meant to be that.  It is more like a family, sometimes a dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless.

Transgender was supposed to unite the various groups of people whose lives have been impacted by trans-prefixed words.

I actually recall a point in the pre-internet period between  the time when the rat fuckers, um er radical feminists at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival threw the transsexual woman out for the sin of not quite passing.  I say the sin of not quite passing because it turned out that one of the people who led the attack was herself transsexual.

Then the more radical than thou dogmatic set took over and started issuing edicts demanding allegiance to an ideology of gender and a worship of political correctness to what had been a coalition of people who ranged from lawyers and professionals to gender queer punks with bad attitudes.

Thus killing the possibility of working together because everyone knows how ridiculous it is to expect those who think of themselves as pure and proper to work with trash like those other people.

Someone whose idea of proper activism entails visiting a politician in his/her office while wearing proper pumps and professional power suit is going to have a hard time relating to throwaway kids doing survival sex whose idea of activism includes cans of spray paint and an occasional rock thrown through a window.

It breaks down even further when you have one class of people who are comfortably ensconced in a profession and can afford surgeries that have become ridiculously expensive and another class of people living in single room hovels getting hormones from free clinics and/or boticas where one can buy hormones without prescriptions.

Last fall I saw a whole lot of sisters and brothers getting involved with Occupy.  This spring I saw other groups like Move-On become involved because reality dictates that we have to support Obama and the Democrats to avoid slipping into full-blown fascism/Nazism.  Up pop the ultra radicals because Gaia forbid we work to re-elect the candidate who is slightly to the left of Attila instead of the full blown Fascist, who will after all heighten the contradictions and bring on the revolution.  By the way that strategy has been a total failure since 1968.

Any excuse to stay pure and perfect victims.

There is this incredible right wing/religious right war on women.  Women are losing all the gains of reproductive rights that have been made over the last 50 years.

What a perfect time for the “Radical Feminists” to pop up spouting their garbage about “men in the women’s room.”  Just as predictable the sisters of transsexual purity take their side.  I get a bunch of news feeds and Wing Nut Daily had the following post: ‘Coed showers’ plan could hit even churches.  The funny thing about this bullshit is that one can find the same sort of blood libel at “Radfem Hub”.

Things are pretty fucking pathetic when I can’t tell the difference between crap from Phyllis Schlafly/Maggie Gallagher and shit from Cathy Brennan/Elizabeth Hungerford.

Near as I can tell the only difference is that we aren’t supposed to attack the transphobic bigotry when it comes from Brennan/Hungerford.

We aren’t supposed to notice how this clique of self-anointed “radical feminist” crops up every time transsexual and transgender people start making gains and start being accepted as part of the women’s movement.

These same people have viciously attacked people like Julia Serano.

Isn’t it odd and who profits?

Who profits when the right wing bribes Black ministers to join them in attacking LGBT people?  Who profits when women are distracted from feminism and the war on women to attack an even more powerless minority group?

One of my friends commented the other day about how the right wing trolls seem almost organized.  The only other alternative to their getting paid for trolling is their being total social misfits without lives beyond trolling.

There is a War on Women just as there was during the first time the “radical feminists” pulled this distracting bullshit.

Anything to prevent minority groups from uniting with other minority groups.

Identity politics did the trick for some thirty years until Obama and later Occupy started pulling us into thinking about uniting

Who does this sort of minority inter-group hostility serve?

It has an old history.  The slave-owners of the South used it with Blacks and the poorest of Whites who weren’t much better off.

Divide and conquer.

One has to wonder what people like Brennan and Hungerford are gaining from their attacks on transsexual and transgender people.  Is it the thrill of being important, of leading the lynch mob? Or is it something else?

“The People United, Will Never Be Defeated.” has an equal and opposite corollary.  “The People Divided Will Always Be Defeated.”

Which Side Are You On?

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New NOM Hate Video Features African-American Gay Bashers

From Pam”s House Blend:

By: Scott Rose
Wednesday April 25, 2012

Reposted with Permission

In response to criticismof its deliberate strategy of attempting to pit African-Americans against gays, NOM is attempting to pit African-Americans against gays.

NOM’s new gay-bashing hate video is titled “Is Gay Marriage a Civil Right? African-American and Latino Leaders Speak for Themselves.”

For its gay-bashing hate video, NOM did not interview any African-American and Latino leaders who favor LGBT equality.

You read that right; NOM has not posed the question “Is gay marriage a civil right?” in order to provide an objective answer to that question. It has posed the question in a hateful propagandistic attempt to rile African-American and Latino anti-gay bigots up against gay people, to fan, disgracefully, hostilities between the minorities.

NOM and its supporters are scumbag anti-gay bigots.

NOM’s Maggie Gallagher is a lying scumbag. NOM’s Robert George is a lying scumbag.

NOM’s latest hate video lies about civil rights, and lies in implying that no African-American or Latino leader supports LGBT equality.

The phrase “The Civil Rights Movement” does in the United States most commonly refer to the gradual undoing of the racial apartheid system. However, civil rights are universal, whether any particular society is granting them to everybody or not.  Civil rights do not belong exclusively to African-American anti-gay bigots, nor do African-American anti-gay bigots, or anti-gay bigots of any race, have any authority to evaluate whether a right for gay human beings is a civil right.  Examples of civil rights movements in the United States pre-dating that which undid the racial apartheid system abound.  Jews, for example, did not have the vote in Maryland until 1825; and even then, they had to sign a paper saying they believed in the afterlife.

The anti-Jewish bigots of that time believed that Jews had no civil right to vote, just as anti-gay bigots of our time believe that a homosexual person has no civil right to marry a person of their same sexual orientation. Yet, for American Jews prohibited from voting, voting was a civil rights issue.  And, today, for gay people prohibited from marrying a person of their same sexual orientation, marriage is a civil rights issue.

NOM is so shameless with its gay-bashing bigotry, that this latest hate video includes footage from last May’s anti-gay hate rally in the Bronx, where a NOM-approved speaker told a mob of gay-bashers that homosexuals are “worthy to death.”  Present at the anti-gay hate rally, wearing a pimp’s outfit, was the arch-bigot Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr.  He screams at the crowd that in New York, marriage equality was pushed in people’s noses by the legislature and the courts, even though his own son Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. supports equality, and his lesbian grand-daughter Erica Diaz published an article in the New York Post condemning her grandfather’s bigotry. Creating a further impression that he is profoundly ignorant, Diaz whipped the crowd of gay-bashers into a frenzy “Let the people vote for it.”

Civil rights are civil rights; there is no legitimate voting by bigots on whether civil rights should be allowed to the object of their bigotry.

NOM”s video features a hit parade of bigots, not acknowledging that there is no legitimate voting against civil rights. Reverend Patrick Wooden, who has suggested that this publication’s editor Pam Spaulding needed a so-called “corrective rape” to make her sexually happy with a man, and has in one million additional ways proven himself to be a gay-bashing bigot, says in NOM’s video that African-Americans are overwhelmingly against LGBT equality.  Again with that erroneous idea that a bigot block can legitimately vote down a hated minority’s civil rights.

Other homo bigots shown in NOM’s hate video include the ethically-challenged, violence-inciting Pastor Herbert Lusk, saying that neither same-sex marriage nor homosexuality can be considered civil rights. Note that Lusk’s ethically-challenged relationship with the Bush administration echoes that of NOM’s lying sack of gay-bashing bigotry Maggie Gallagher. (Gallagher has yet to comment about this article enumerating her gay-bashing lies. She has not commented on it, because she is a lying scumbag anti-gay bigot). Lusk’s thought  – that homosexuality itself is not a civil right — is in line with that of NOM mastermind Robert George, who wrote a Supreme Court brief arguing that gay people should be jailed for their intimacy. In these sick bigots’ minds, twisted with hate, (which they should be discussing with competent therapists), the freedom of association does not extend to gay people having a right to be intimate with each other.

At the end of NOM’s bigot parade, arch-bigot George D. McKinney is heard ranting about how African-American anti-gay bigots must not let LGBT equality supporters “steal” civil rights.

McKinney evidently has not heard that the National Black Justice Coalition says that Bayard Rustin “was a proud Black gay man who was an indispensable architect of the Civil Rights Movement.”

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is named for one white gay, and one black victim of ignorance-fueled bigotries.

That law involves protection of the basic civil right, not to be murdered because you are a particular minority member. (Hater Harry Jackson, who figures in NOM’s gay-bashing video — fraudulently alleging that LGBT rights supporters are “hijacking” civil rights — was fiercely opposed to the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act).

NOM’s gay-bashing hate video, by a most revealing, characteristic contrast to the Matthew Shepard Act, includes footage from a NOM hate rally where bigots were told that homosexuals are “worthy to death.”

Neither NOM nor anybody in NOM’s bigot parade has any authority to evaluate whether marriage equality is a civil right.

It is.

Watch the video at that link. It shows a Faith Press Conference headed by the African-American Reverend Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, an equality supporter.

Now watch this video of North Carolina NAACP leader Reverend William Barber condemning the proposed anti-gay, anti-human bigot ballot in his state. The African-American Reverend Barber says “Far right forces are trying to roll back civil rights.” Listen as Barber issues his scathing condemnation of NOM and other far-right haters and officious manipulators.

The integrity, intelligence, and decency of Barber’s statement puts every sleazebag character in NOM’s gay-bashing hate video to shame.

NOM itself is sleazy and shameful for titling its hate video “Is Gay Marriage a Civil Right? African-American and Latino Leaders Speak for Themselves” without giving Reverend Spearman and Reverend Barber a chance to speak in it. At this link you can read the African-American Pastor Michael Bledsoe’s rebuke of NOM’s anti-gay bigotry.

Sleazy. Shameful. NOM.

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Couple learn to accept that son’s gender identity is as a girl

From The Columbus Dispatch:

By  Ashleigh Barry
Wednesday April 25, 2012

Sitting around the kitchen table, playing a spirited game of Monopoly, they look like the quintessential Midwestern family.

Take away the contemporary hairstyles and clothing, and the scene could be mistaken for a Norman Rockwell illustration from the 1950s: Mom is laughing, Dad is grimacing, and their daughters, Samantha and Jackie, are wearing conspiratorial smiles that suggest they’re just a few rolls of the dice from forcing their parents into bankruptcy.

This isn’t a typical family, though.

Jackie began her life 11 years ago as Jack.

Parents Michael and Lynn — the couple agreed to share their story on the condition that the family’s last name and rural Ohio hometown not be used — noticed early on that their son didn’t have much interest in toys and activities usually associated with little boys.

He preferred to mimic his sister, two years his senior.

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Frank calls Romney ‘despicable’ for anti-gay views

From The Washington Blade:

By Chris Johnson
April 25, 2012

Rep. Barney Frank tore into Mitt Romney for his anti-gay positions Tuesday night, calling the presumptive Republican presidential nominee “despicable.”

The gay lawmaker, who late last year announced his retirement after serving 31 years in Congress, made the comments about Romney during an interview with the Washington Blade following his keynote speech at the National Stonewall Democrats’ Capital Champions reception in D.C.

Frank took issue with what he said was Romney’s “willingness … to switch and become very anti-gay” after pledging in 1994 to be better on LGBT issues than the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. He also criticized Romney for statements that Frank said “trivialize our marriages.” During a speech in February, Romney said he “fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage.”

“That’s saying our marriages were a trick, were a shame,” Frank said. ”He’s clearly prepared to embrace the most — oh, and supporting a constitutional amendment. What that says is that existing marriages are abolished. That’s just outrageous.”

Frank criticized Romney on the same night that the candidate swept five Republican primaries in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York. Following Romney’s wins, multiple media outlets reported that former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich would suspend his campaign next week. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, Romney’s main challenger in the primary contests, exited the race earlier this month.

While widely viewed as more moderate than his primary opponents, Romney signed a pledge from the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage committing himself to back a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court and set up a commission on religious liberty to investigate the alleged harassment of same-sex marriage opponents. NOM has also endorsed Romney.

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Budget Brief – A Tale of Two Budgets

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How Christian Groups Push Right-Wing Religion With the Help of Your Tax Dollars

From Alternet:

Taxpayer-funded crisis pregnancy centers are using religion to oppose abortion, and many of them only hire Christians.

By Sofia Resnick
April 24, 2012

If you want to help carry out the anti-abortion mission of the taxpayer-funded Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center, you have to be a Christian.

It’s right there on the Rapid City, S.D., center’s volunteer application.

“Do you consider yourself a Christian?” “If yes, how long have you been a Christian?” “As a Christian, what is the basis of your salvation?” “Please provide the following information concerning your local church. Church name … Denomination … Pastor’s name.” “This organization is a Christian pro-life ministry. We believe that our faith in Jesus Christ empowers us, enables us, and motivates us to provide pregnancy services in this community. Please write a brief statement about how your faith would affect your volunteer work at this center.”

But that hasn’t stopped the center from receiving federal funding and other forms of government support.

In 2010, it was awarded a $34,000 “capacity building” grant as part of President Obama’s stimulus bill.

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Earth faces a century of disasters, report warns

From Raw Story:

By John Vidal, The Guardian
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

World population needs to be stabilised quickly and high consumption in rich countries rapidly reduced to avoid “a downward spiral of economic and environmental ills”, warns a major report from the Royal Society.

Contraception must be offered to all women who want it and consumption cut to reduce inequality, says the study published on Thursday, which was chaired by Nobel prize-winning biologist Sir John Sulston.

The assessment of humanity’s prospects in the next 100 years, which has taken 21 months to complete, argues strongly that to achieve long and healthy lives for all 9 billion people expected to be living in 2050, the twin issues of population and consumption must pushed to the top of political and economic agendas. Both issues have been largely ignored by politicians and played down by environment and development groups for 20 years, the report says.

“The number of people living on the planet has never been higher, their levels of consumption are unprecedented and vast changes are taking place in the environment. We can choose to rebalance the use of resources to a more egalitarian pattern of consumption … or we can choose to do nothing and to drift into a downward spiral of economic and environmental ills leading to a more unequal and inhospitable future”, it says.

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How Europe’s Double Dip Could Become America’s

From Robert Reich:

By Robert Reich
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Europe is in recession.

Britain’s Office for National Statistics confirmed today (Wednesday) that in the first quarter of this year Britain’s economy shrank .2 percent, after having contracted .3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. (Officially, two quarters of shrinkage make a recession). On Monday Spain officially fell into recession, for the second time in three years. Portugal, Italy, and Greece are already basket cases. It seems highly likely France and Germany are also contracting.

Why should we care? Because a recession in the world’s third-largest economy, combined with the current slowdown in the world’s second-largest (China), spells trouble for the world’s largest.

Remember – it’s a global economy. Money moves across borders at the speed of an electronic impulse. Wall Street banks are enmeshed into a global capital network extending from Frankfurt to Beijing. That means that notwithstanding their efforts to dress up balance sheets, the biggest U.S. banks are more fragile than they’ve been at any time since 2007.

Meanwhile, goods and services slosh across the globe. If there’s not enough demand for them coming from the second and third-largest economies in the world, demand in the U.S. can’t possibly make up the difference. That could mean higher unemployment here as well as elsewhere.

What’s the problem with Europe? Don’t blame it on the so-called “debt crisis.” There was no debt crisis in Britain, for example, which is now experiencing its first double-dip recession since the 1970s.

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My Health is NOT Up for Debate: Protest

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Debt Collector Is Faulted for Tough Tactics in Hospitals

From The New York Times:

Published: April 24, 2012

Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside.

This and other aggressive tactics by one of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debts, Accretive Health, were revealed on Tuesday by the Minnesota attorney general, raising concerns that such practices have become common at hospitals across the country.

The tactics, like embedding debt collectors as employees in emergency rooms and demanding that patients pay before receiving treatment, were outlined in hundreds of company documents released by the attorney general. And they cast a spotlight on the increasingly desperate strategies among hospitals to recoup payments as their unpaid debts mount.

To patients, the debt collectors may look indistinguishable from hospital employees, may demand they pay outstanding bills and may discourage them from seeking emergency care at all, even using scripts like those in collection boiler rooms, according to the documents and employees interviewed by The New York Times.

In some cases, the company’s workers had access to health information while persuading patients to pay overdue bills, possibly in violation of federal privacy laws, the documents indicate.

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Fukushima is Falling Apart: Are You Ready?

From The Intel Hub:

By Christina Consolo
April 21, 2012

Thirteen months have passed since the Fukushima reactors exploded, and a U.S. Senator finally got off his ass and went to Japan to see what is going on over there.

What he saw was horrific.

And now he is saying that we are in big trouble.

See the letter he sent to U.S. Ambassador to Japan Ichiro Fujisaki, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and NRC’s Chairman Gregory Jaczko here.

But what is so ironic about this is that we have been in this heap of trouble since March of 2011. March 17th, to be exact, when the plume of radioactive materials began bombarding the west coast of California.

And Oregon. And Washington. And British Columbia. And later Maine, Europe, and everywhere in between.

Independent researchers, nuke experts, and scientists, from oceanography to entomology and everywhere in between, having been trying to sound the alarm ever since.

The scientists most upset are those who have studied the effects of radiation on health. I’ll say it again, so its really clear: we are in big trouble.

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Mad Cow California: Stop Weaning Calves on Cattle Blood

From Huffington Post:


I was still in medical training when I was called to testify in defense of Oprah Winfrey in the infamous “meat defamation” trial. If you remember, Oprah swore she would never eat another burger again after hearing that cows were being fed the remains of other cattle. After she tried to remind the audience that cows were supposed to be herbivores, the meat industry representative defended the practice by stating, “Now keep in mind, before you view the ruminant animal, the cow, as simply a vegetarian — remember that they drink milk.” The absurdity of the statement aside, it’s not even entirely accurate. In modern agribusiness, humans drink the milk. Calves typically get milk “replacer.”

Like all mammals, cows can produce milk only after they’ve had a baby. Most newborn calves in the United States are separated from their mothers within 12 hours — many immediately after birth — so the mother’s milk can be marketed for human consumption. Though some dairy farmers still wean calves on whole milk, the majority of producers use milk replacer, which too often contains spray-dried cattle blood as a cheap source of protein.

According to the American Protein Corporation, which boasts to be the world’s largest spray-dryer of blood, the chief disadvantage of blood-based milk replacer is simply its “different color.” Milk replacer containing blood concentrate typically has a “chocolate brown” color, which can leave a dark residue on the bottles, buckets, and utensils used to feed the liquid. “For some producers,” a company official remarked, “the difference is difficult to accept at first, since the product does not look ‘like milk.'” But the “[c]alves don’t care,” he was quick to add.

The calves may not care, but Stanley Prusiner does. Prusiner won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of prions, the infectious proteins that cause mad cow disease. He was quoted in the New York Times as calling the practice of feeding cattle blood to young calves “a really stupid idea,” because it could complete the “cannibalistic” circuit blamed for the spread of the disease.

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U.S. Electoral System Wallowing in a Sea of Money, Idiocy, and Corruption

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While Walmart boasts ‘sustainability,’ shrimp factory workers protest

From Grist:

By Twilight Greenaway
18 Apr 2012

Shrimp has been hovering near the bottom of the list of things I will eat for a while. Unless you make a point to get it wild, chances are very good it has been raised in a crowded pond and treated with loads of antibiotics. Factor in its mammoth carbon footprint, and the fact that many of the developing world’s mangroves have been displaced in recent years to make room for shrimp farms, and my appetite for these crustaceans all but disappears.

Now we can add labor abuse to shrimp’s laundry list of problems.

A group of shrimp workers has been protesting dismal conditions in a Thai factory for weeks. The factory, Phatthana Seafood, is one of several brands under a corporate umbrella called PTN Group, and is distributed by Rubicon, a major supplier to Walmart here in the U.S.

Not only is Phatthana being accused of skimping on the pay they’ve promised to workers (and keeping a percentage of it against the debt workers incur to travel to the factory — a practice described in the human rights community as “debt bondage”), but they’ve also reportedly been keeping the workers’ passports and releasing them only for a (steep) fee.

Sok Sorng traveled from Cambodia to Thailand to work in a large, industrial seafood factory and is now regretting the choice to leave home. According to the Bangkok Post, the 20-year-old was told he “would have the job for two years and would receive living arrangements and a food allowance.” But when he arrived, he found that fees for both living expenses and passports not mentioned in the original contracts had been deducted from workers’ salaries. The Thai paper also reports:

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Are You Underemployed?

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To Kick Climate Change, Replace Corn With Pastured Beef

From Mother Jones:

By Tom Philpott
Wed Apr. 25, 2012

Corn is by far the biggest US crop, and a network of corporations has sprouted up that profits handsomely from it. Companies like Monsanto and Syngenta sell the seeds and chemicals used to grow it, while Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, Tyson, and their peers buy the finished crop and transform it into meat, ethanol, sweetener, and a range of food ingredients. Known in Washington as King Corn, the corn lobby wields formidable power in political circles.

And the economic pie these companies gorge on is massive. Pesticide Action Network’s Heather Pilatic has an great post about how integrated-pest management in US corn fields collapsed with the introduction of Monsanto’s seeds engineered to contain the pesticide Bt and with the rise of Bayer’s neonicotinoid-pesticide seed treatments—representing billions in annual sales to those companies. On the corn-processing side, government mandates ensure that a huge portion of the corn crop—currently, 40 percent—gets diverted into the fuel supply in the form of ethanol, a huge boon to ethanol giant Archer Daniels Midland.

Yet King Corn sits on a rickety throne. That’s the message of a new study (abstract here) by Stanford and Purdue researchers on how the nation’s vast annual corn crop will likely fare as the climate warms up over the next 30 years. Short answer: it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The researchers looked at what would likely happen to corm production if average temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels over the next 30 years—the target limit accepted by nations participating in global climate talks. (This is actually a rosy scenario, because at current rates of global greenhouse gas emissions, the temperature rise could be quite a bit higher.)

What they find is that the area known as the “corn belt”—the upper Midwestern states where most corn is grown—will likely experience periods of extreme heat that will drive down corn production during some years, leading to a series of price spikes. “Severe heat is the big hammer,” one of the study’s authors, Stanford’s Noah Diffenbaugh says in Stanford’s press release. “Even one or two degrees of global warming is likely to substantially increase heat waves that lead to low-yield years and more price volatility.”

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