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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
View By Scenario:
Species Collapse:(4)
Plague/Virus:(1)
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ecosystem interrelationships  ~ global warming  ~ contamination  ~ climate impacts  ~ economic myopia  ~ carbon emissions  ~ rising sea level  ~ toxic water  ~ governmental idiocy  ~ anthropogenic change  ~ holyshit  



ApocaDocuments (31) gathered this week:
Mon, Feb 1, 2010
from AP, via DesdemonaDespair:
Brown pelican migration disrupted, birds starving
Brown pelicans have steadily been expanding north. They typically migrated from Oregon and Washington in October or November, but they lingered until late December last winter. No one is certain why there are still here in late January, but theories range from the weather to an abundance of bait fish in early winter that enticed them to stay. Strong winds and severe storms have limited the pelicans' ability to hunt and dive for food that has since been pushed by currents to deeper waters, Grafe said. "They don't have the energy," Grafe said. "They're so emaciated, so starving." So the pelicans try to survive on bread crumbs or anything else they can get from humans. Typically unapproachable, the birds are surrounding visitors who come to see the breeding plumage -- a look not seen in summer months. ...


Can't someone just buy 'em tickets to LA?

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Sun, Jan 31, 2010
from Washington Post:
Tough choices follow in wake of invasive species
Which is worse? Closing two locks on a waterway that's used to ship millions of dollars' worth of goods from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi basin? Or allowing a voracious Asian carp to deplete the food supply of native fish sustaining a Midwestern fishing industry that nets $7 billion a year? And how do you put a price tag on the damage caused by the Burmese python and other constrictor snakes that are strangling the precious ecology of the Everglades? Invasive species, long the cause of environmental hand-wringing, have been raising more unwelcome questions recently, as the expense of eliminating them is weighed against the mounting liability of leaving them be. ...


Why don't we just sit back, relax, and let these deck chairs on the Titanic re-arrange themselves?

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Sun, Jan 31, 2010
from Rolling Stone:
As the World Burns
How Big Oil and Big Coal mounted one of the most aggressive lobbying campaigns in history to block progress on global warming... This was supposed to be the transformative moment on global warming, the tipping point when America proved to the world that capitalism has a conscience, that we take the fate of the planet seriously.... Over the past year, the corporations and special interests most responsible for climate change waged an all-out war to prevent Congress from cracking down on carbon pollution in time for Copenhagen...."In the long term, the fossil-fuel industry is going to lose this war," says Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "But in the short term, they are doing everything they can to delay the revolution. For them, what this fight is really about is buying precious time to maximize profits from carbon sources. It's really no more complicated than that." ...


Our guiding light should be all our children but sadly ... these are the last days of our lives.

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Sun, Jan 31, 2010
from Fort Myers News-Press:
Much of Collier, Lee counties put at risk by rising sea
For the first time, three big government agencies in South Florida are issuing a red alert on global warming. They all acknowledge that global warming is happening and may be accelerating, that the climate is changing and the sea is rising because of it. Now they want to do something about it, with each issuing new climate change directives in the last six months.... This means that any remaining debate, complacency or indecision government agencies once had about the threat of global warming has given way to urgency. ...


Now I think I prefer blissful ignorance.

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Sun, Jan 31, 2010
from PhysOrg.com:
Coral in Florida Keys suffers lethal hit from cold
Bitter cold this month may have wiped out many of the shallow water corals in the Keys. Scientists have only begun assessments, with dive teams looking for "bleaching" that is a telltale indicator of temperature stress in sensitive corals, but initial reports are bleak. The impact could extend from Key Largo through the Dry Tortugas west of Key West, a vast expanse that covers some of the prettiest and healthiest reefs in North America. Given the depth and duration of frigid weather, Meaghan Johnson, marine science coordinator for The Nature Conservancy, expected to see losses. But she was stunned by what she saw when diving a patch reef 2.5 miles off Harry Harris Park in Key Largo.... Star and brain corals, large species that can take hundreds of years to grow, were as white and lifeless as bones, frozen to death. There were also dead sea turtles, eels and parrotfish littering the bottom.... "Corals didn't even have a chance to bleach. They just went straight to dead," said Johnson, who joined teams of divers last week surveying reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. "It's really ecosystem-wide mortality."... Cold-water bleaching is unusual, last occurring in 1977, the year it snowed in Miami. It killed hundreds of acres of staghorn and elkhorn corals across the Keys. Neither species has recovered, both becoming the first corals to be federally listed as threatened in 2006. ...


"Ecosystem-wide mortality" -- is that a euphemism?

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Sun, Jan 31, 2010
from Telegraph.com:
Row threatens plan to save bees
The British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA), the country's largest beekeeping body, believes that money put aside for a £2.8 million Whitehall initiative to protect the health of honeybees is being misspent. The organisation has now walked out of the management board set up to run the Healthy Bees strategy, which is aimed at reversing the decline in honeybees in Britain.... The report says that without them, many crops would need to be pollinated by hand, an exercise that could cost 1.5 billion pounds a year. If such action was not taken, farm income could slump by 13 per cent, costing the economy more than 440 million pounds. The latest research has revealed that managed honeybee populations in England have declined by 54 per cent in the past 20 years while numbers of wild bees such as bumblebees have also plummeted. ...


Bureaucracy trumps bees any day, right?

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Sat, Jan 30, 2010
from AP, via PhysOrg:
State to probe birth defects spike in Calif. town
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered two state agencies to investigate a rash of birth defects that have confounded impoverished Kettleman City for more than a year.... The birth defects became a rallying point last year for residents trying to stop the expansion plans of the West's largest hazardous waste facility by Chemical Waste Management Inc. Their stories of miscarriages and the photographs they carried of children with facial defects failed to convince the Kings County Board of Supervisors that the company's expansion plans should not go forward.... Officials of Waste Management said they welcome the investigation and are confident it will show their operation is not to blame for the facial defects in five of 20 children born there between September 2007 and November 2008. ...


It's just a fluke!

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Sat, Jan 30, 2010
from Houston Chronicle:
Officials fear another whooping crane die-off
The world's last remaining natural flock of endangered whooping cranes, which suffered a record number of deaths last year, will probably see another die-off because of scarce food supplies at its Texas nesting grounds this winter, wildlife managers said. The flock lost 23 birds in the 2008-2009 winter season, in part because its main source of sustenance, the blue crab, all but vanished from drought-parched southern Texas. The rains eventually came, but they were too late to produce healthy amounts of blue crabs for this winter. "We're looking at a pretty slender year, prey-wise, and it's going to make the cranes work harder to get food," said Allan Strand, field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in South Texas. "I feel that we're probably going to have a die-off. It's conceivable that we could have a significant die-off."... According to the most recent aerial survey, there are an estimated 263 birds in the Texas flock. The survey, conducted last week, found that one chick has already died and another was missing. ...


Can't we just truck in some crabs?

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Sat, Jan 30, 2010
from Orange County Register:
MTBE cleanup starts now, San Juan says
The city said it has detected the additive MtBE in "all of its wells," constituting an emergency condition. The report says an emergency condition exists if the city must act to "safeguard life, health or property." The city has been in talks with Chevron for about two years to decide on the cleanup of MtBE from city groundwater. Chevron has proposed a solution that would require the company to access city land, but the city has refused access over disagreements about how the cleanup should proceed. MtBE spilled into city soil years ago from two Chevron gas stations. The additive was discovered two years ago in city groundwater. The city's groundwater-recovery plant has been hobbled by the council's decision not to pump water from wells that contain MtBE. The city has been supplementing its water supply by purchasing water from the Metropolitan Water District.... Mayor Lon Uso said, "Chevron has not stepped up and been responsible." Chevron spokesman Sean Comey said the groundwater is safe to drink. ...


Chevron? Not taking responsibility? How unusual.

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Sat, Jan 30, 2010
from IRIN:
PAKISTAN: Drought fears for wheat farmers
Drought-like conditions across Pakistan in December and January are worrying wheat farmers who fear large-scale crop failure. "Things are looking dismal right now. The wheat crop, sown late last year, needs to be watered. It is our main crop of the year. The lack of rain is a disaster for those of us who depend on wheat," Muhammad Fiaz, a farmer from the Vehari area of Punjab Province told IRIN.... "The lack of rain means the water table is falling and it is hard even to grow vegetables for use in our house. Things are really looking very bleak, and there is still no sign of rain," said Fiaz. The water volume in rivers has fallen by 21 percent due to the lack of rain, while reservoir levels have dropped by around 34 percent since September, when the monsoon ended, according to media reports. ...


I like to think of the reservoirs as being two thirds full.

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Fri, Jan 29, 2010
from Detroit Free Press:
Fatal fish virus now in all of the Great Lakes
A fatal fish virus has been detected in Lake Superior for the first time, meaning it has spread to all the Great Lakes, Cornell University researchers said Wednesday. Scientists said they recently detected the viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, while testing fish in the largest of the Great Lakes. VHS has been identified in 28 freshwater fish species within the Great Lakes watershed since 2005, including sport and commercial varieties such as walleye, muskellunge and whitefish. It causes bleeding, bloated abdomens and bulging eyes in fish before killing them. Although not dangerous for humans, the virus has caused large fish kills in Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron. It also has turned up in Lake Michigan. ...


It's the bulging eyes that get me.

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Fri, Jan 29, 2010
from Louisville Courier-Journal:
Kentucky greenhouse-emission growth is worst in nation, panel told
Kentucky's greenhouse gas emissions are increasing at twice the rate of the rest of the nation, according to a draft inventory prepared for state environment officials. The Center for Climate Strategies found greenhouse gases -- mainly carbon dioxide -- rose 33 percent from 1990 to 2005, compared to 16 percent for the nation. Left unchecked, emissions are projected to increase to 62 percent above 1990 levels by 2030... "it's an important issue, said Len Peters, secretary of the state's Energy and Environment Cabinet, because many thousands of jobs are at stake in the state's coal, automotive, aluminum and steel industries if electricity rates go too high. "As we go forward, we have to link energy, the economy and the environment together," he said. ...


Good luck with that.

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Fri, Jan 29, 2010
from Mongabay:
Will it be possible to feed nine billion people sustainably?
Sometime around 2050 researchers estimate that the global population will level-out at nine billion people, adding over two billion more people to the planet. Since, one billion of the world's population (more than one in seven) are currently going hungry -- the largest number in all of history -- scientists are struggling with how, not only to feed those who are hungry today, but also the additional two billion that will soon grace our planet. ...


We can do it -- especially if we are willing to BE food.

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Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Fri, Jan 29, 2010
from GQ:
Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health
Ever worry that that gadget you spend hours holding next to your head might be damaging your brain? Well, the evidence is starting to pour in, and it's not pretty. So why isn't anyone in America doing anything about it?... Though the scientific debate is heated and far from resolved, there are multiple reports, mostly out of Europe's premier research institutions, of cell-phone and PDA use being linked to "brain aging," brain damage, early-onset AlzĀ­heimer's, senility, DNA damage, and even sperm die-offs (many men, after all, keep their cell phones in their pants pockets or attached at the hip). In September 2007, the European Union's environmental watchdog, the European Environment Agency, warned that cell-phone technology "could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking, and lead in petrol." Perhaps most worrisome, though, are the preliminary results of the multinational Interphone study sponsored by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in Lyon, France. (Scientists from thirteen countries took part in the study, the United States conspicuously not among them.) Interphone researchers reported in 2008 that after a decade of cell-phone use, the chance of getting a brain tumor -- specifically on the side of the head where you use the phone -- goes up as much as 40 percent for adults. ...


If I keep switching ears does it only go up 20 percent?

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Thu, Jan 28, 2010
from China Daily:
China sea levels reach record high
The sea level in China late last year hit a record high for the past three decades, threatening the safety of thousands of people in the coastal areas, the national ocean agency said yesterday. The average rise in sea level for the past three decades occurred at a rate of 2.6 mm a year, much higher than the average rate of 1.7 mm annually across the world, a report on the sea-level rise in China for 2009 released by the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) showed. "Last year, the sea level was 8 mm higher than 2008 with the rise in sea level in Hainan Province reaching 113 mm, the highest across the country," Lin Shanqing, director of forecast and disaster relief department of the SOA, said yesterday. ...


We call this a tsea-nami.

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Thu, Jan 28, 2010
from New York Times:
Radiation Levels Cloud Vermont Reactor's Fate
Levels of radioactive tritium have risen rapidly in recent weeks in the groundwater surrounding Vermont's sole nuclear power plant, leading both longtime supporters and foes of the reactor to question whether it will be allowed to keep operating... the rising radiation levels, an indication that reactor water is leaking into the soil, have stirred deep concern about the plant's safety and the credibility of its operators. So far no tritium has been found in any drinking water wells, nor have raised concentrations of radioactive material been found in the river, the source of the plant's cooling water. ...


Just the soil? Whew! Not like we use THAT for anything.

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Thu, Jan 28, 2010
from PhysOrg.com:
Study finds prenatal exposure to certain chemicals affects childhood neurodevelopment
A new study led by Mount Sinai researchers in collaboration with scientists from Cornell University and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has found higher prenatal exposure to phthalates -- manmade chemicals that interfere with hormonal messaging -- to be connected with disruptive and problem behaviors in children between the ages of 4 and 9 years. The study, which is the first to examine the effects of prenatal phthalate exposure on child neurobehavioral development, will be published January 28, on the Environmental Health Perspectives website.... "There is increasing evidence that phthalate exposure is harmful to children at all stages of development," said Stephanie Engel, PhD, lead study author and Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "We found a striking pattern of associations between low molecular weight phthalates -- which are commonly found in personal care products -- and disruptive childhood behaviors, such as aggressiveness and other conduct issues, and problems with attention. These same behavioral problems are commonly found in children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or Conduct Disorder." ...


WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I'M AGGRESSIVE??

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Thu, Jan 28, 2010
from Nature, via BBC:
Temperature and CO2 feedback loop 'weaker than thought'
The most alarming forecasts of natural systems amplifying the human-induced greenhouse effect may be too high, according to a new report. The study in Nature confirms that as the planet warms, oceans and forests will absorb proportionally less CO2. It says this will increase the effects of man-made warming -- but much less than recent research has suggested. The authors warn, though, that their research will not reduce projections of future temperature rises. Further, they say their concern about man-made climate change remains high.... The team's calculations are based on a probabilistic analysis of climate variation between the years 1050 and 1800 -- that is, before the Industrial Revolution introduced fossil carbon into the atmosphere.... "We have plenty of reason to believe that the shape of the relationship may change (be nonlinear) when we 'hit the system harder'. So, I don't think they can rule out that the positive feedback from the carbon cycle could become stronger in a significantly warmer climate." ...


A nudge is a little different than a shove.

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Thu, Jan 28, 2010
from Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, via EurekAlert:
Fewer honey bee colonies and beekeepers throughout Europe
The number of bee colonies in Central Europe has decreased over recent decades. In fact, the number of beekeepers has been declining in the whole of Europe since 1985. This is the result of a study that has now been published by the International Bee Research Association, which for the first time has provided an overview of the problem of bee colony decline at the European level. Until now there had only been the reports from individual countries available. As other pollinators such as wild bees and hoverflies are also in decline, this could be a potential danger for pollinator services, on which many arable crops depend.... Through the investigation, the mystery of bee losses has by no means been solved, emphasize the scientists, who were however able to add another piece to the puzzle. Furthermore, the data would have to be interpreted very carefully because of the very different evaluation methods in individual countries. "With the limited evidence available it is neither possible to identify the actual driver of honey bee losses in Europe nor to give a complete answer on the trends for colonies and beekeepers...." ...


What a buzzkill.

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Wed, Jan 27, 2010
from Johann Hari, in Slate:
NASA's Prophet Will Give You Nightmares
Ice sheets can go fast, and when they do, sea levels rise remorselessly and do not settle for centuries. He reasons: "If ice sheets begin to disintegrate, there will not be a new stable sea level on any foreseeable time scale. We will have created a situation with continual change, with intermittent calamities at thousands of cities around the world. It will continue for as many generations as we care to think about.... Global chaos will be difficult to avoid." So it is sobering to hear Hansen say -- based on large numbers of scientific studies -- that "a disintegration of the ice sheets has begun." Now we need to concentrate on forestalling a tipping point at which they would begin to internally collapse. Once that has happened, we will be powerless to stop a disaster. It will be too late to cut our emissions: They would still fall. ...


Evidence? I don't see evidence.

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Wed, Jan 27, 2010
from NUVO Newsweekly:
Remembering the White River fishkill
On Dec. 13, 1999, a white wall of foam came pouring out of the Anderson, Indiana, Wastewater Treatment Plant. A few days later, dead fish began to be discovered downriver, and by Christmas some 100,000 fish were estimated to be dead. Eventually, it was understood that aquatic life for 57 miles along the White River had been profoundly harmed, either completely killed or partially killed, including the death of 4.6 million fish. The source of the toxins: a discharge from Anderson-based Guide Corp., a factory that made automobile headlights.... Money was dispensed, remediation practices were put in place, and the White River was, ostensibly, restored. But it wasn't. I know because the White River is in my backyard. ...


This is my story, and you can read it.

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Wed, Jan 27, 2010
from New York Times:
Iceland Leads Environmental Index as U.S. Falls
A new ranking of the world's nations by environmental performance puts some of the globe's largest economies far down the list, with the United States sinking to 61st and China to 121st. In the previous version of the Environmental Performance Index, compiled every two years by Yale and Columbia University researchers, the United States ranked 39th, and China 105th. The top performer this year is Iceland, which gets virtually all of its power from renewable sources -- hydropower and geothermal energy. It was joined in the top tier by a cluster of European countries known for their green efforts, including Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Finland. ...


We are so good at getting worse and worse!

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Wed, Jan 27, 2010
from Environmental Defense Action Fund:
Today: National Climate Action Day
Tonight, President Obama will announce his legislative priorities for 2010 in his State of the Union speech. We need your help to make sure fighting global warming is at the top of the agenda. That's why we've declared today National Climate Action Day in support of a strong climate and energy bill in the Senate. Here are 5 things you can do today to help make our National Climate Action Day a big success: 1) Write Letters: Watch the State of the Union speech tonight with your family and use the opportunity to write letters to your Senators. Our goal is to collect 100,000 letters from around the country. We've already received about 55,000 and we will start delivering them to Senate offices tomorrow, so please get your letters in now. Go to our 100,000 Letters for Climate Action page for instructions. 2) Call Your Senators... ...


Here in America we have to REMIND people global warming matters.

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Tue, Jan 26, 2010
from BBC:
Using religious language to fight global warming
If the case for tackling climate change is backed by science, why do so many green campaigners rely on the language of religion? I am looking at a clock that is counting down the months, days, hours and minutes until planet Earth reaches "the point of no return". As I type, we have 83 months to go. The end of the world, if not exactly nigh, certainly seems to be on its way. But this doomsday countdown has not been devised by a religious cult or millenarian seer. It is on the website of the New Economics Foundation (Nef), designed to raise awareness about climate change. ...


How would we know, we're just the ApocaDocs!

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Tue, Jan 26, 2010
from NPR:
Methane Causes Vicious Cycle In Global Warming
Carbon dioxide is the gas we most associate with global warming, but methane gas also plays an important role. For reasons that are not well understood, methane gas stopped increasing in the atmosphere in the 1990s. But now it appears to be once again on the rise. Scientists are trying to understand why ā€” and what to do about it. Methane gas comes from all sorts of sources including wetlands, rice paddies, cow tummies, coal mines, garbage dumps and even termites. Drew Shindell, at NASA's Goddard Institute in New York, says, "It's gone up by 150 percent since the pre-industrial period. So that's an enormous increase. CO2, by contrast, has gone up by something like 30 percent." ...


I think I hear the Mars-bound space shuttles warming up their engines...

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Tue, Jan 26, 2010
from Newport News Daily Press:
Virginia scraps its annual water pollution monitoring program
Tasteless, odorless and nearly as clear as water, polychlorinated biphenyls are among the most dangerous toxic chemicals in Virginia's waterways. Every year, state officials monitor the chemicals, known as PCBs, by testing fish from selected river basins. Fish advisories follow. Not this year. Facing a $5 million funding cut, the state Department of Environmental Quality last summer scrapped the $365,000 PCB monitoring program. "There won't be any new advisories in Virginia because there's no new data," said Rob Hale, a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, which was under contract to do the work. ...


I've seen their state motto: "Virginia, where health comes last!"

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You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Tue, Jan 26, 2010
from Environmental Health News:
Scientists link flame retardants and reduced human fertility
Women exposed to high levels of flame retardants take substantially longer to get pregnant, indicating for the first time that the widespread chemicals may affect human fertility, according to a study published Tuesday. Furniture cushions, carpet padding and other household items contain hormone-disrupting flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs. Two of the most widely used compounds have been banned in the United States since 2004, but they remain ubiquitous in the environment, inside homes and in the food supply. Epidemiologists from the University of California at Berkeley studied 223 pregnant women in Californiaā€™s Salinas Valley, an agricultural community with predominantly low-income, Mexican immigrants. More than 97 percent of the women had PBDEs in their blood, and those with high levels were half as likely to conceive in any given month as the women with low levels. ...


What if you're actually having sex ON these furniture cushions?

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Mon, Jan 25, 2010
from Washington Post:
Officials fear toxic ingredient in Botox could become terrorist tool
In early 2006, a mysterious cosmetics trader named Rakhman began showing up at salons in St. Petersburg, Russia, hawking a popular anti-aging drug at suspiciously low prices. He flashed a briefcase filled with vials and promised he could deliver more -- "as many as you want," he told buyers -- from a supplier somewhere in Chechnya. Rakhman's "Botox" was found to be a potent clone of the real thing, but investigators soon turned to a far bigger worry: the prospect of an illegal factory in Chechnya churning out raw botulinum toxin, the key ingredient in the beauty drug and one of world's deadliest poisons....Al-Qaeda is known to have sought botulinum toxin. The Lebanese Hezbollah movement, which the United States has designated a terrorist organization, and other groups have bought and sold counterfeit drugs to raise cash. Now, with the emergence of a global black market for fake Botox, terrorism experts see an opportunity for a deadly convergence. ...


But if I don't get rid of my crow's feet the terrorists will win!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jan 25, 2010
from London Independent:
Campaign to save tropical forests failed by food giants
Western food manufacturers are buying so little sustainable palm oil that the system set up to limit damage to tropical forests caused by the world's cheapest vegetable oil is in danger of collapse. Palm-oil producers say the industry may quit the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) because so few firms are financially backing the scheme. Houshold products giant Unilever and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) founded the RSPO seven years ago, to encourage producers of the oil, used in products such as biscuits and margarine, to minimise forest destruction, greenhouse gas emissions and loss of endangered wildlife, such as tigers and orangutans. Palm oil is in hundreds of branded foods such as Kit Kat and Hovis and household products such as Dove soap and Persil washing powder. The first certified RSPO supplies arrived in Europe in November 2008, yet only 27 per cent of present supply has so been sold, leading to claims of hypocrisy among Western buyers. ...


That roundtable is starting to look pretty square.

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Mon, Jan 25, 2010
from NPR:
New Anti-Smog Restrictions Could Warm Planet
The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to tighten the ozone standard for smog will have an unfortunate side effect: Because of a quirk of atmospheric chemistry, those measures will hasten global warming. There's no question that smog is a hazard that deserves attention. Lydia Wegman of the EPA says the new ozone limits would have significant health benefits. Less smog means fewer asthma attacks, fewer kids in the hospital, fewer days of lost school, "and we also believe that we can reduce the risk of early death in people with heart and lung disease," she says. Here's the tough part: The way many states and localities will reduce smog is by cracking down on the chemicals that produce ozone. And those include nitrogen oxides, or NOx. ...


Stories like this are the very definition of being between a rock and a hard place.

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Mon, Jan 25, 2010
from Environmental Health News:
Younger mothers' breast milk has highest levels of flame retardants
A study of breast milk samples from more than 300 women in North Carolina finds flame retardants contaminate the milk from almost three-quarters of the woman in the study. Women older than 35 had the lowest levels of PBDEs in their milk. The highest levels were measured in breast milk from women aged 25 to 29, followed by women younger than 25 years old. The results suggest that younger mothers may have higher exposure to these flame retardant chemicals through their environment or lifestyles. PBDEs are chemicals used in electronics, furniture, carpeting and textiles to reduce the risk of fire. In rats, early life exposures to PBDE has been associated with altered thyroid hormone function, hyperactivity and poorer learning and memory. Human health effects are not so well understood. Most Americans have detectable levels of PBDEs in their blood. Dust and food may be the biggest sources for people. Breast fed babies are exposed through breast milk, however, experts agree that breastfeeding also provides important nutritional and immune benefits for the infant. ...


I can eat less food... but I don't think I can give up my beloved dust!

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