Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Biofuels: "Greed Overtaking the Common Good"

BBC News reported today that Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram "has said that it is 'outrageous' that developed countries are turning food crops into bio fuels."

As I read the brief article, I was caught up in the complexity of the issue. In an attempt to decrease carbon emissions (thus lessening our damage to the environment) and our dependence on foreign oil, we have managed to create an even worse situation for poorer countries. With 20% of corn crops heading for biofuel production (along with other grains, sugar cane and soybeans), food prices have soared. Did we not consider this before beginning such vast biofuel production? And are there not more corn, grain, sugar cane, and soybean acres being planted to make up for the difference? I don't actually know what the statistics are, but it's tragic that our efforts to decrease our carbon footprints have had such a negative immediate effect upon our own food prices, and that of poorer countries. We are interconnected and the byproducts of our choices effect many.

My mind then wonders - is there a viable solution to this problem? Can't we produce enough of these necessary crops to keep food prices at a reasonable level (for our sake and the sake of those much less fortunate), and at the same time produce these renewable fuel options that are less damaging to our planet? My father the agriculturalist educator and small-scale biofuel producer probably has some light to shed on this topic... Maybe I'll discuss it with him in search of answers. Anyone else?

Monday, 24 March 2008

Obama in Eugene!!

Senator Barack Obama made an appearance at McArthur Court (known as"the pit" for how loud and intimidating it is for opposing teams playing the Ducks there in basketball) in Eugene Friday night, and I made sure to be there! I had Friday off in observance of Good Friday, so that allowed me plenty of time to stand in line for hours with friends as we awaited our chance at seeing Barack Obama speak live and in person.

We were not disappointed. I was impressed and inspired by Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech last week, as were many ministers around the United States who apparently spoke on the same topic during their Easter sermons or homilies this Easter Sunday. And I was not let down by Obama's Eugene speech. I was inspired by his vision for education - from preschool to college and beyond, and his vision for restoring America's morality by helping other countries gain access to clean water and appropriate housing. I was impressed by his compassion for those who are less fortunate, and for his desire do teach our young people not just to be good at science and math, but to be well-rounded and well-informed citizens of the United States. I am impressed that he has not financed his campaign on even one dollar of from special interest groups, but has rather raised all his campaigning dollars from over 1 million people across the nation - and he has raisd an un-precedented amount of money for his campaign!

Obama has convinced me that he is able and ready to take on the most challenging issues our nation and our world have to throw his way, and to do so in a way that I can be proud of.

You can check out a slide show of professional pictures with audio here, and see the whole Eugene speech here. And you can click here to see more pictures I took at the rally.

Tim and I - still waiting in line... (and pointing to my Obama '08 sticker)


Kissing babies...

And shaking hands...

Monday, 10 March 2008


This weekend Tim and I traveled back to Eastern Oregon for my grampa's 80th birthday celebration! I love my grampa dearly, and enjoyed spending time with him around his special day. My grandma was also in the hospital following her knee-replacement surgery, so we got to visit her in the hospital too!

I baked my grandpa's birthday pie - mixed berry in the shape of a heart - and made my first lemon meringue pie too! The lemon pie came out beautiful (that's me pulling it out of the oven) even though the crust was a bit too hard. My mother and aunt Kathy made the meal, which was delicious, and the company was precious.

Grampa got to visit with a small group of family and friends around dinner and dessert. He also received a bundle of letters, cards and birthday greetings from family and friends who have known him throughout his life. These were very special to him, as he cherishes the written word - especially from his family and friends. After dinner he shared with us a poem sent to him on his birthday by one of his favorite professors at Blue Mountain Community College. I love the look I captured of him reading from the poem his professor sent. He really gets into his poetry reading!

Grampa's 80th birthday was definitely worth the long (though rushed) trip back home!