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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
View By Scenario:
Species Collapse:(9)
Plague/Virus:(1)
Climate Chaos:(10)
Resource Depletion: (4)
Biology Breach:(4)
Recovery:(5)
This Week's Top Ten Very Scary Tags:
ecosystem interrelationships  ~ climate impacts  ~ anthropogenic change  ~ global warming  ~ water issues  ~ predator depletion  ~ stupid humans  ~ hunting to extinction  ~ deniers  ~ unintended consequences  ~ overfishing  



ApocaDocuments (33) gathered this week:
Sun, Mar 21, 2010
from New York Times:
California Tribe Hopes to Dance Salmon Home
The unusual journey centers on an apology, to be relayed to the fish on the banks of the Rakaia River through a ceremonial dance that tribal leaders say has not been performed in more than 60 years.... As the Winnemem see it, the tribe's troubles began in early 1940s, with the completion of the Shasta Dam, which blocked the Sacramento River and cut off the lower McCloud River, obstructing seasonal salmon runs, and according to the tribe, breaking a covenant with the fish. "We're going to atone for allowing them to build that dam," said Mark Franco, the tribe's headman. "We should have fought harder." As luck would have it, the United States government once bred millions of Chinook eggs from the McCloud and shipped them around the world in hopes of creating new fisheries, including a batch that went to the South Island of New Zealand, where the fish thrived.... The trip to New Zealand is not the first time the Winnemem have turned to ancient methods to try to change policy. In 2004, while fighting a proposed plan to raise the Shasta Dam 18 feet, the tribe staged a war dance, a four-day, round-the-clock ceremony carried out by their dwindling numbers of warriors. "We were exhausted," Mr. Franco said. But in the end, the dam was not raised. Once in New Zealand, the Winnemem plan to rendezvous with local Maori leaders and stage a four-day ceremony starting March 28 that will culminate with the rare "nur chonas winyupus," or middle water salmon dance. The Francos say they intend to ask local fish and game officials if they can bring back some of New Zealand's salmon eggs -- once of California stock -- back to the McCloud. "We have to do more than pray," Ms. Sisk-Franco said. "We have to follow through." ...


Uh-oh. If this works, we'll have a *lot* of apologies to make!

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Sun, Mar 21, 2010
from National Geographic News:
Silent Streams
...Lakes, swamps, and rivers make up less than 0.3 percent of fresh water and less than .01 percent of all the water on Earth. Yet these waters are home to as many as 126,000 of the world's animal species, including snails, mussels, crocodiles, turtles, amphibians, and fish. Almost half the 30,000 known species of fish live in lakes and rivers, and many aren't doing well; in North America, for instance, 39 percent of freshwater fish are imperiled, up from 20 percent only a few decades ago. Freshwater animals in general are disappearing at a rate four to six times as fast as animals on land or at sea. In the United States nearly half the 573 animals on the threatened and endangered list are freshwater species.... ...


These fish ... are up a crick!

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Sun, Mar 21, 2010
from The Daily Climate:
Global cooling is bunk, draft NASA study finds
Global warming has neither stopped nor slowed in the past decade, according to a draft analysis of temperature data by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The analysis, led by senior scientist Jim Hansen, attempts to debunk popular belief that the planet is cooling. It finds that global temperatures over the past decade have "continued to rise rapidly," despite large year-to-year fluctuations associated with the tropical El Nino-La Nina cycles. The analysis also predicts, assuming current El Nino conditions hold, that 2010 will go down in history as the hottest year on record despite an unusually snowy winter in the Northern Hemisphere. ...


What a relief! -- oh wait

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Sun, Mar 21, 2010
from Times Online:
Solution to a thirsty world: sea water without the salt
In the coastal town of Al Khaluf, Oman's minister for water turned on a desalination plant that will provide the area with 100 cubic metres of fresh, clean water every day -- enough for 80,000 people.... In less than 20 years, 5.3 billion people -- two-thirds of the world's population in 2025, according to UN estimates -- will face a shortage of water. London could be among those places.... Modern Water, based in Guildford, Surrey, claims its technique differs from most desalination procedures. [Most] rely on high pressure, needing huge amounts of electricity, to push salt water through an enormous filter. The company's patented "manipulated osmosis" technology uses a chemical reaction to separate the salt from the water -- a process that uses far less energy. "It reduces energy consumption by as much as 30 percent," said McDougall. ...


Seventy percent of "huge amounts" is still "very large amounts of energy" for desalination. Thankfully, we have the coal!

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Sun, Mar 21, 2010
from PhysOrg.com:
Sandstorms blanket Beijing in yellow dust
Beijingers woke up Saturday to find the Chinese capital blanketed in yellow dust, as a sandstorm caused by a severe drought in the north and in Mongolia swept into the city. The storm, which earlier buffeted parts of northeastern China, brought strong winds and cut visibility in the capital. Authorities issued a rare level five pollution warning, signalling hazardous conditions, and urged residents to stay indoors.... Scientists blame a combination of deforestation and prolonged drought in northern China for the phenomenon.... In the southwest of the country, drought has left 16 million people with a shortage of drinking water, according to a statement issued by the State Commission of Disaster Relief. Since late last year, the provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou, have received only half their annual average rainfall, leaving water supplies severely depleted. ...


Deforestation is just part of natural variation. There's nothing *we* can do.

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Sat, Mar 20, 2010
from :
Perils of plastics: Risks to human health and the environment
Halden's study reiterates the fact that the effects to the environment from plastic waste are acute. Measurements from the most contaminated regions of the world's oceans show that the mass of plastics exceeds that of plankton sixfold. Patches of oceanic garbage--some as large as the state of Texas--hold a high volume of non-biodegradable plastics.... "We're doomed to live with yesterday's plastic pollution and we are exacerbating the situation with each day of unchanged behavior," he said.... BPA has been recognized since the 1940s as an endocrine disrupting chemical that interferes with normal hormonal function. Adding to the health risks associated with BPA is the fact that other ingredients--such as plasticizers [like pthalates]--are commonly added to plastics.... "Today, there's a complete mismatch between the useful lifespan of the products we consume and their persistence in the environment." Prominent examples of offending products are the ubiquitous throwaway water bottles, Teflon-coated dental floss and cotton swabs made with plastic PVC sticks. All are typically used for a matter of seconds or minutes, yet are essentially non-biodegradable and will persist in the environment, sometimes for millennia. ...


Are you asking me to give up my single-use plastic toothpick?

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Sat, Mar 20, 2010
from Digital Journal:
Expert Says Policy Makers Underestimate Climate Change Problems
In a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Oceanography, March 2010, Greene, Cornell professor of Earth and Atmospheric Science, has published a paper called "A Very Inconvenient Truth" along with colleagues D. James Baker, professor of the William J. Clinton Foundation and Daniel H. Miller of the Roda Group, Berkeley, California. They conclude that the United Nations Panel on Climate Change of 2007 underestimated the specific dangers that man-made climate change has created. The social problems now and in the future are considerable, according to these scientists.... "Of course, greenhouse gas emissions will not stop tomorrow, so the actual temperature increase will likely be significantly larger, resulting in potentially catastrophic impacts to society unless other steps are taken to reduce the Earth's temperature." ...


Don't worry -- we'll get back to preindustrial levels eventually!

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Sat, Mar 20, 2010
from New Scientist:
Global warming changes natural event: first causal link
For the first time, a causal link has been established between climate change and the timing of a natural event - the emergence of the common brown butterfly. Although there have been strong correlations between global warming and changes in the timing of events such as animal migration and flowering, it has been hard to show a cause-and-effect link.... The researchers compared temperature changes in Melbourne - where the butterfly is common - with recorded observations of the first brown butterfly to be seen in the spring since the 1940s. With each decade, the butterflies emerged 1.6 days earlier and Melbourne heated by 0.14 C. Overall, the butterfly now emerges on average 10.4 days before it did in the 1940s, says Kearney. "And we know the rise in air temperature links to butterfly emergence in a cause-and-effect pattern." ...


I'm not prepared for a butterfly in a coal mine.

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Sat, Mar 20, 2010
from Winnipeg Free Press:
Mysterious bat-killing illness previously seen in the U.S. now in Ontario
A mysterious illness that has killed upwards of 500,000 bats in the northeastern United States has now been detected in the animals in Ontario. The Ministry of Natural Resources is confirming the first case of bats with a disease known as white-nose syndrome in the Bancroft-Minden area, in eastern Ontario.... It was first documented in Albany, N.Y., in the winter of 2006. Since then, the syndrome has spread across nine states in the northeastern U.S. and has wiped out anywhere from 75 to 98 per cent of the overwintering bat population. Ontario says it will continue monitoring for the syndrome until bats leave hibernation sites in May. ...


And I was scared when it was moving south!

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Sat, Mar 20, 2010
from New York Times:
Consumers Buy More Efficient Refrigerators, but Keep the Old Ones Humming
Each year millions of Americans with old, inefficient refrigerators in their kitchens buy new, energy saving ones. That may sound like an efficiency boon, but what's vexing efficiency advocates is that an increasing number of consumers don't actually get rid of the old fridge. Instead, they move it to another area of the house and keep using it -- increasing their energy usage over all.... Further, every year about 10 percent of households that purchase new refrigerators keep their old units, a practice that is adding as many as one million secondary units to homes annually.... Individual owners could save from $420 to $750 in energy costs over the lifetime of an older, secondary unit by retiring it, depending on the age of the unit, the agency found. ...


I love having that second fridge cold -- "just in case"!

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Fri, Mar 19, 2010
from The Age:
The ticking TB time bomb
Widespread misuse of the antibiotics created to combat tuberculosis -- particularly in the former Soviet Union and China -- has led to drug resistant strains that now infect at least half a million people globally each year, less than 3 per cent of whom receive proper treatment. Big cities with high immigration rates such as London and Paris have also had increases in tuberculosis rates. And the United States last year uncovered its first case of XXDR - extremely, extensively drug resistant tuberculosis, a new and virtually untreatable category - in a 19-year-old Peruvian man studying in Florida.... ''Most developing countries don't survey drug resistance. In Indonesia, we think there are nearly half a million new cases [of tuberculosis] a year and we have no clue whatsoever how many of them are MDR [strains resistant to the main first-line drugs] and XDR.'' ...


Laurie Garrett, are your ears burning?

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Fri, Mar 19, 2010
from Columbia, via EurekAlert:
Pesticide chlorpyrifos is linked to childhood developmental delays
Exposure to the pesticide chlorpyrifos--which is banned for use in U.S. households but is still widely used throughout the agricultural industry--is associated with early childhood developmental delays, according to a study... "Although this pesticide has been banned for residential use in the United States, chlorpyrifos and other organophosphorus insecticides are still commonly used for a variety of agricultural purposes," said study co-author Virginia Rauh, ScD, professor of clinical population and family health, and co-deputy director for the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health. "We hope that the results of this study, further demonstrating the neurotoxicity of chlorpyrifos under a range of community conditions, may inform public health professionals and policy-makers about the potential hazards of exposure to this chemical for pregnant women and young children." ...


Just think how stupid the pests are getting!

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Fri, Mar 19, 2010
from Times Online:
World votes to continue trading in species on verge of extinction
Proposals to ban trade in bluefin tuna and polar bears were overwhelmingly rejected yesterday at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), meeting in Doha, Qatar.... Campaigners reacted with dismay. Oliver Knowles, of Greenpeace, said: "It is an own-goal by Japan. By pushing for a few more years of this luxury product it has put the future of bluefin, and the future of its own supply, at serious risk. The abject failure of governments here at Cites to protect Atlantic bluefin tuna spells disaster for its future, and sets the species on a pathway to extinction."... The Cites process, which requires a two-thirds majority for a proposal to be adopted, is vulnerable to well-funded lobbying by countries and industries that depend on trade in a species. The vested interests exploit uncertainties in the estimates of population numbers, and strike backroom deals to secure the votes of developing countries where endangered species are far down the list of political priorities. ...


The "world" didn't vote -- the moneyed status quo voted.

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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, Mar 19, 2010
from Duke, via PhysOrg.com:
High Fructose Corn Syrup Linked to Liver Scarring
"We found that increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup was associated with scarring in the liver, or fibrosis, among patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)," said Manal Abdelmalek, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology at Duke University Medical Center.... The researchers found only 19 percent of adults with NAFLD reported no intake of fructose-containing beverages, while 52 percent consumed between one and six servings a week and 29 percent consumed fructose-containing beverages on a daily basis.... "Our findings suggest that we may need to go back to healthier diets that are more holistic," Abdelmalek said. "High fructose corn syrup, which is predominately in soft-drinks and processed foods, may not be as benign as we previously thought." ...


You'll pry my Coca-Cola from my cold, dead hands!

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Thu, Mar 18, 2010
from Guardian:
Bluefin tuna fails to make UN's list of protected fish
Japan, Canada and scores of developing nations opposed the measure on the grounds that ban would devastate fishing economies.... Global talks on the conservation of endangered species have rejected calls to ban international trade in bluefin tuna, raising new fears for the future of dwindling stocks. Countries at the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in Qatar voted down a proposal from Monaco to grant the fish stronger protection. The plan drew little support, with developing countries joining Japan in opposing a measure they feared would hit fishing economies. ...


It's clear the long-term interests of the economy are in good hands.

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Thu, Mar 18, 2010
from New York Times:
Alaskan Aerial Wolf Hunt Begins
State employees began an aerial wolf hunt on the Yukon border on Tuesday in what officials describe as an effort to preserve caribou for shooting by hunters. Officials at the adjacent Yukon-Charlie Rivers National Preserve argued against the hunt, saying that the wolves have had a particularly hard winter and need to recover. The state plans to kill as much as 80 percent of the local wolf population in the next week, or 185 wolves; there are an estimated 46,500 caribou. Since 2006 the state has regularly granted hunting licenses or assumed the task itself in planes or helicopters. ...


You betcha.

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Thu, Mar 18, 2010
from BBC:
Africans 'take blame for climate change'
Many Africans blame themselves for climate change even though fossil fuel emissions there are less than 4 percent of the global total, a new survey suggests. The report, the most extensive survey ever conducted on public understanding of the issue, found that others blamed God for changes in weather patterns.... It has become a well-worn truism of international climate politics that those that did the least to cause climate change are those set to suffer the most from it.... ...


As a Westerner, let me just say: mea maxima culpa! And, good luck!

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Thu, Mar 18, 2010
from CBC:
Bluefin tuna export ban opposed by Japan
Opposition grew Wednesday against a proposal to ban the export of Atlantic bluefin tuna, with several Arab countries joining Japan in arguing it would hurt poor fishing nations and was not supported by sound science. Other countries, including Australia and Peru, have expressed support for a weakened proposal, which is expected to be introduced Thursday at the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES. They want the trade regulated for the first time by CITES but not banned outright as demanded by conservationists, who contend the Atlantic bluefin is on the brink of extinction. "Most Mediterranean countries are afraid because they export this tuna," said Ahmed Said Shukaili, a delegate from the Persian Gulf country of Oman, whose nation will follow the Arab League position opposing the ban. ... "The big players will continue fishing," Miyahara said. "If necessary, let's stop fishing using ICCAT measures. Then everyone must give up the fishing. But here, it is very unfair." Critics, however, argue that ICCAT consistently ignores its own scientists in setting quotas and does little to stop countries from exceeding already high quotas or cracking down on widespread illegal fishing. ...


Don't make me shoot myself -- I'd rather do it on my own!

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Thu, Mar 18, 2010
from NOAA, via DesdemonaDespair:
February 2010 had 2nd-hottest oceans on record, following hottest January
# For the year to date, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature of 12.7C (54.9F) was the fifth warmest January-February period on record. This value is 0.60C (1.08F) above the 20th century average. # The worldwide ocean surface temperature for February 2010 was the second warmest on record for February, 0.54C (0.97F) above the 20th century average of 15.9C (60.6F). # The seasonal (December 2009 - February 2010) worldwide ocean surface temperature was also the second warmest on record, 0.54C (0.97F) above the 20th century average of 15.8C (60.5F). # In the Southern Hemisphere, both the February 2010 average temperature for land areas and the Hemisphere as a whole (land and ocean surface combined), represented the warmest February on record. The Southern Hemisphere ocean temperature tied with 1998 as the warmest February on record. ...


Thank God that statistics are the Devil's plaything.

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Wed, Mar 17, 2010
from AP, through DesdemonaDespair:
Nonbinding shark conservation proposal defeated at UN meeting
China, Japan and Russia helped defeat a U.S.-endorsed proposal at a U.N. wildlife trade meeting Tuesday that would have boosted conservation efforts for sharks, expressing concern it would hurt poor nations and should be the responsibility of regional fisheries bodies. The opposition to the shark proposal came hours after the marine conservation group Oceana came out with a report showing that demand for shark fin soup in Asia is driving many species of these big fish to the brink of extinction. The nonbinding measure, which called for increased transparency in the shark trade and more research into the threat posed to sharks by illegal fishing, had been expected to gain approval by a committee of the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES.... Oceana, a Washington, D.C.-based group, found that as many as 73 million sharks are killed each year, primarily for their fins, with much of the trade going to China.... Shark fin soup has long played central part in traditional Chinese culture, often being served at weddings and banquets. Demand for the soup has surged as increasing numbers of Chinese middle class family become wealthier. ...


It's as if our short-sighted rapaciousness never stops moving forward.

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Wed, Mar 17, 2010
from USA Today:
Poll: Worries about environment hit low
Americans' worries about environmental issues have hit a 20-year low, largely because of economic concerns, according to a Gallup Poll released Tuesday. Fewer adults worry "a great deal" about each of eight issues surveyed, including global warming, than a year ago, according to the poll of 1,014 Americans taken March 4-7. Their concerns about six of the issues hit record lows. At the same time, in findings Gallup will release later this week, a record number -- 53 percent -- say economic growth takes precedence, even if it hurts the environment, says Frank Newport, Gallup's editor in chief. ...


Do Americans hate the environment or just love money?

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Wed, Mar 17, 2010
from Environmental Health News:
Depleted and enriched uranium affect DNA in different ways
Radiation is not uranium's only health concern, say researchers who report the less radioactive form of the metal can also damage DNA, but in a different way that could also lead to cancer... Meticulous research identifies for the first time how two main types of uranium - enriched and depleted - damage a cell's DNA by different methods. The manner - either by radiation or by its chemical properties as a metal - depends upon whether the uranium is processed or depleted. This study shows that both types of uranium may carry a health risk because they both affect DNA in ways that can lead to cancer. Why does it matter? Regulatory agencies determine safe uranium exposure based on the metal's radioactive effects. Currently, safe exposure levels for workers and military personnel are based on enriched uranium - which is the more radioactive form and is considered to have a higher cancer risk than depleted uranium. Uranium exposure has been shown to affect bone, kidney, liver, brain, lung, intestine and the reproductive system. ...


Pray... for radiation's abeyance.

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Wed, Mar 17, 2010
from London Daily Telegraph:
The Biggest Dump in the World
Fifty years ago, most flotsam was biodegradable. Now it is 90 per cent plastic. In 2006, the United Nations Environment Programme estimated that there were 46,000 pieces of floating plastic in every square mile of ocean. With its stubborn refusal to biodegrade, all plastic not buried in landfills - roughly half of it - sweeps into streams and sewers and then out into rivers and, finally, the ocean. Some of it - some say as much as 70 per cent - sinks to the ocean floor. The remainder floats, usually within 20 metres of the surface, and is carried into stable circular currents, or gyres "like ocean ring-roads", says Dr Boxall. Once inside these gyres, the plastic is drawn by wind and surface currents towards the centre, where it steadily accumulates. The world's major oceans all have these gyres, and all are gathering rubbish. Although the North Pacific - bordering California, Japan and China - is the biggest, there are also increasingly prominent gyres in the South Pacific, the North and South Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. Our problems with plastics are only just beginning. ...


Planet Plearth

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Tue, Mar 16, 2010
from New York Times:
A Risk of Poisoning the Deepest Wells
Fertilizing the oceans with iron has been proposed as a way of fighting climate change. The idea is that iron will promote blooms of phytoplankton that will remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. When the phytoplankton dies and sinks, the carbon will effectively be sequestered in the deep ocean. Enthusiasm for the idea has waned, in part because of concerns about large-scale manipulation of ocean ecosystems. Now, a study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences points out a specific risk: by promoting the growth of certain organisms, iron enrichment may result in the harmful production of a neurotoxin[, domoic acid].... The researchers found evidence that increased domoic acid production enabled Pseudonitzschia to outcompete other phytoplankton. "So it's more toxic than it was before," Dr. Trick said, "and there's more of it." ...


Good thing we have other consequence-free geoengineering options to turn to!

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Tue, Mar 16, 2010
from Stanford, via EurekAlert:
The environmental and social impact of the 'livestock revolution'
Global meat production has tripled in the past three decades and could double its present level by 2050, according to a new report on the livestock industry by an international team of scientists and policy experts. The impact of this "livestock revolution" is likely to have significant consequences for human health, the environment and the global economy, the authors conclude.... # More than 1.7 billion animals are used in livestock production worldwide and occupy more than one-fourth of the Earth's land. # Production of animal feed consumes about one-third of total arable land. # Livestock production accounts for approximately 40 percent of the global agricultural gross domestic product. # The livestock sector, including feed production and transport, is responsible for about 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. ...


Gosh -- that's almost, almost enough to make me go vegetarian.

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Tue, Mar 16, 2010
from NUVO Newsweekly:
Lucky animals get a whole week!
Governor Daniels proclaimed March 15-21 as National Wildlife Week in Indiana. To celebrate, animals throughout Indiana will experience a pause in the relentless destruction of their habitat. Indiana animals will enjoy a pristine environment for seven days, as coal-fired plants will suspend operations. Therefore the mercury, arsenic and other damaging pollutants will temporarily cease to contaminate the air, water and soil. Indiana CAFO operators won't dump hog, chicken and cow manure and Indiana farmers won't pour fertilizer into nearby streams and waters, so the fish and amphibians and other aquatic beings won't have to ingest phosphorus and other dangerous toxic substances -- or have the oxygen in the water robbed by algal blooms. ...


This bit o' satire is by yours truly.

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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, Mar 16, 2010
from University of Minnesota, via EurekAlert:
Researcher finds people will forgo luxury for green products when status is on mind
Environmentally friendly products are everywhere one looks. Energy efficient dishwashers, bamboo towels, the paperless Kindle and, of course, the ubiquitous Prius are all around. But why do people buy these "green" products? Do they care about the environment or is there something else at play? "Green purchases are often motivated by status," says Vladas Griskevicius, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. "People want to be seen as being altruistic. Nothing communicates that better than by buying green products that often cost more and are of lower quality but benefit the environment for everyone." In the recently published paper "Going Green to Be Seen: Status, Reputation, and Conspicuous Conservation," Griskevicius and co-authors find that people will forgo luxury and comfort for a green item. The catch? People will forgo indulging for themselves only when others can see it. "Many green purchases are rooted in the evolutionary idea of competitive altruism, the notion that people compete for status by trying to appear more altruistic," says Griskevicius. ...


"Competitive altruism" -- is that like aggressive kindness?

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Tue, Mar 16, 2010
from BBC, distilled by DesdemonaDespair:
'Failed miserably.' Tigers 'now literally on the verge of extinction'
Governments need to crack down on illegal tiger trading if the big cats are to be saved, the UN has warned. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in Doha, Qatar heard that tiger numbers are continuing to fall. Organised crime rings are playing an increasing part in illegal trading of tiger parts, CITES says, as they are with bears, rhinos and elephants.... "If we use tiger numbers as a performance indicator, then we must admit that we have failed miserably and that we are continuing to fail," said CITES secretary-general Willem Wijnstekers. "Although the tiger has been prized throughout history, and is a symbol of incredible importance in many cultures and religions, it is now literally on the verge of extinction...." ...


Cockroach, Cockroach, burning bright/ In the forests of the night,/ What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

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Mon, Mar 15, 2010
from NUVO Newsweekly:
Have you taken this week's PANIQuiz?
Each week, Docs Michael and Jim sift through the week's miasma of news stories and craft the Pre-Apocalypse News & Info Quiz (PANIQuiz) to test your knowledge of just how close we are to climate collapse. Or recovery! This week's test involves questions about PCBs, advances in plastics recycling, where Americans stand on belief in global warming, and just what has been discovered above Boulder, Colorado. Check it out, and if you haven't signed up for the quiz, it's easy. It's fast fun and free -- and maybe a little scary. ...




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Mon, Mar 15, 2010
from Wiley - Blackwell via ScienceDaily:
'World's Most Useful Tree' Provides New Low-Cost Water Purification Method for Developing World
A low-cost water purification technique published in Current Protocols in Microbiology could help drastically reduce the incidence of waterborne disease in the developing world. The procedure, which uses seeds from the Moringa oleifera tree, can produce a 90.00 percent to 99.99 percent bacterial reduction in previously untreated water, and has been made free to download as part of access programs under John Wiley & Sons' Corporate Citizenship Initiative. A billion people across Asia, Africa, and Latin America are estimated to rely on untreated surface water sources for their daily water needs. Of these, some two million are thought to die from diseases caught from contaminated water every year, with the majority of these deaths occurring among children under five years of age. ...


Just so these trees don't get too big a head on their shoulders.

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Mon, Mar 15, 2010
from CanWest News Service:
Climate-change scientists feel 'muzzled' by Ottawa: Documents
A dramatic reduction in Canadian media coverage of climate change science issues is the result of the Harper government introducing new rules in 2007 to control interviews by Environment Canada scientists with journalists, says a newly released federal document. "Scientists have noticed a major reduction in the number of requests, particularly from high profile media, who often have same-day deadlines," said the Environment Canada document. Media coverage of climate change science, our most high-profile issue, has been reduced by over 80 per cent."..the policy also required them to get approval from supervisors of written responses to the questions submitted by journalists before any interview, said the document, obtained in an investigation into the government's views and policies on global-warming science... ...


Climate scientists "muzzled"? Well, they ARE the Dogs of Hell!

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Mon, Mar 15, 2010
from Vancouver Sun:
Chinese dams blamed for Mekong's dwindling flows and fish stocks
...there are widely differing views on why the Mekong has shrunk to its lowest levels in 20 years, with only half its normal volume in some places, so that vital fish migrations have been disturbed and river shipping had to be halted. Some blame global warming and shrinking glaciers in Tibet where the Mekong starts its 4,900-kilometre journey through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia before spreading out through Vietnam's "Nine Dragons" delta and easing into the South China Sea. Others blame the El Nio effect on Southeast Asia's monsoons and especially the lack of rain in Laos, which in normal times supplies 35 per cent of the water in the main reaches of the Mekong. But a favourite culprit among the peoples of the five countries of the lower Mekong is China and its massive program of hydroelectric dam building on the river as it flows through Yunnan province. ...


I'd say it was an act of God (dam).

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Mon, Mar 15, 2010
from Washington Post:
Bees are busier than ever as disease besieges colonies
...More than three years after beekeepers starting seeing the sudden disappearance of hive populations, scientists have yet to find the cause -- let alone the fix -- for a condition called colony collapse disorder (CCD). Meanwhile, the commercial beekeeping industry is struggling to provide pollination services to the nations' farmers. One-third of food crops rely on insect pollination. A recently published survey suggests that hive losses have stabilized at around 30 percent a year, but that high figure is based on last winter's data. Anecdotally, the losses have climbed this winter, although a formal tally won't occur until the spring....scientists think the cause is not a single factor but a cocktail of maladies that together weaken and sicken the bees. "We know CCD bees get all the pathogens causing the symptoms; it doesn't leave answered what's the underlying cause," said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Pennsylvania's acting state apiarist. ...


I fear the cocktail will nail us all.

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Other
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