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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
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Species Collapse:(5)
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contamination  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ health impacts  ~ stupid humans  ~ economic myopia  ~ global warming  ~ toxic water  ~ water issues  ~ plastic problems  ~ toxic buildup  ~ carbon emissions  



ApocaDocuments (34) gathered this week:
Sun, Mar 28, 2010
from via ScienceDaily:
Dawn of the Anthropocene Epoch? Earth Has Entered New Age of Geological Time, Experts Say
Geologists from the University of Leicester are among four scientists- including a Nobel prize-winner -- who suggest that Earth has entered a new age of geological time. The Age of Aquarius? Not quite -- It's the Anthropocene Epoch, say the scientists writing in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. And they add that the dawning of this new epoch may include the sixth largest mass extinction in Earth's history... The scientists propose that, in just two centuries, humans have wrought such vast and unprecedented changes to our world that we actually might be ushering in a new geological time interval, and alter the planet for millions of years. ...


Let's call it the Age of Anthroposcrewup.

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Sun, Mar 28, 2010
from London Guardian:
The trillion-dollar question is: who will now lead the climate battle?
Some of the planet's most powerful paymasters will gather in London on Wednesday to discuss a nagging financial problem: how to raise a trillion dollars for the developing world. Those charged with achieving this daunting goal will include Gordon Brown, directors of several central banks, the billionaire philanthropist George Soros, the economist Lord (Nicholas) Stern and Larry Summers, President Obama's chief economics adviser. As an array of expertise, it is formidable: but then so is the task they have been set by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon. In effect, the world's top financiers have been told to work out how to raise at least $100bn a year for the rest of this decade, cash that will be used to help the world's poorest countries adapt to climate change. ...


Since nothing else has worked, I'd say let's give the antichrist a shot!

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Sun, Mar 28, 2010
from Associated Press:
123 trapped in flooded coal mine in northern China
At least 123 people were trapped underground Sunday after water gushed into a coal mine in northern China, a government agency said. The Wangjialing coal mine in Shanxi province was flooded by underground water as 261 miners were working in the pit, the State Administration of Work Safety said on its Web site. The administration said 138 of the miners were lifted safely to the ground but the others remained trapped and rescue work was under way. It said the cause of the flood was still under investigation. Although China's mine safety record has improved in recent years, it is still the deadliest in the world, with blasts and other accidents common. ...


May God bless all the canaries.

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Sun, Mar 28, 2010
from Science:
Scientists Call for 'Climate Intervention' Research With 'Humility'
An international group of scientists, ethicists, and governance experts meeting here this week has agreed that research into large-scale modification of the planet is "indispensable" given the "threats" posed by climate change... a 5-day meeting on geoengineering, the idea of deliberate tinkering with the climate to reduce global warming. More than 175 scientists from 15 countries spanning the geosciences, ethics, business, and political science, convened on the leafy grounds of the Asilomar Conference Center along the Pacific Ocean in Northern California. Molecular biologist met here 35 years ago to hash out initial ethical and safety rules on recombinant DNA. So researchers dubbed this meeting "Asilomar 2." Scientists emphasized that they are not saying whether large-scale geoengineering to combat climate change is needed--or if it is morally acceptable. Indeed, the statement urged that any discussion of the topic should be undertaken with "humility." ...


We won't need geoengineering if we adopt "humility" as a lifestyle. Now.

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Sun, Mar 28, 2010
from Pottstown Mercury:
Toxic plumes spreading into groundwater
Twin underground plumes of potentially carcinogenic chemicals from two industrial sites are merging and mingling with the groundwater beneath 47 homes, fouling their wells and posing health hazards for the residents there, state officials have confirmed. The source of the contamination is believed to be the Teleflex Inc. plant on South Limerick Road and the former Stanley Tool Works, on Lewis Road, said Lynda Rebarchak, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection... The chemicals found in the well water samples are familiar to those familiar with headlines in the region in recent years -- trichloroethylene, more commonly known by its call letters TCE; tetrachloroethylene, or PCE; 1,1-dichloroethylene, or DCE; 1,2 dichloroethene or Cis, as well as 1,4-dioxane. ...


Sounds like these folks are toastioxethylened.

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Sat, Mar 27, 2010
from Guardian:
NatGeo cheapens its brand by linking with vile air freshener
So it was with a considerable sense of disappointment and deflation that I saw an ad on TV recently urging me to buy an Ambi Pur plug-in air freshener produced "in association with National Geographic". Surely not, I thought. National Geographic, one of the world's most recognised and respected brands, would never demean itself by agreeing to a marketing tie-up with one of the most pointless consumer items of the modern age - an air freshener that you plug into an electric socket so that it can periodically pump its revolting, synthetic fragrance at you?... Let's recap: glaciers and emissions from power stations are not exactly the best of buddies at the moment, are they? And how does one go about recreating the scent of Alaska's Glacier Bay? Well, here's the ingredient listing from the website of Sara Lee, Ambi Pur's parent company (not for long it seems as it is being bought, according to the financial press, by another friend of the environment, Proctor & Gamble - if it can hurdle an EU investigation: Ppg-3 Ethyl Ether, Parfum, Linalool, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Hydroxycitronellal, Geraniol, Coumarin, Citronellol, Cinnamyl, Alcohol, Limonene, Cinnamal Mmmmm, I love the smell of Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde in the morning. Don't you? ...


Say it ain't so, NatGeo!

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Sat, Mar 27, 2010
from GOOD, via DesdemonaDespair:
Infographic of the Great Pacific Garbage Gyre
Fabulous overview exploration of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the ocean cloud of plastic particles slowly turning, turning. "The sun breaks down plastic into smaller and smaller pieces, but can never break it down entirely. Unlike organic materials, which eventually biodegrade, the plastic breaks into ever smaller pieces while still remaining a polymer. As it breaks apart, the plastic ultimately becomes small enough to be ingested by aquatic organisms... Plastic waste enters the food chain." ...


C'mon guys -- can't we invent a plastic magnet?

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Sat, Mar 27, 2010
from London Guardian:
Beijing to sweeten stench of rubbish crisis with giant deodorant guns
Beijing is to install 100 deodorant guns at a stinking landfill site on the edge of the city in a bid to dampen complaints about the capital's rubbish crisis. The giant fragrance sprays will be put in place by May at the Asuwei dump site, one of several hundred tips that are the focus of growing public concerns about sanitation, environmental health and a runaway consumer culture. Municipal authorities say they will also apply more plastic layers to cover the site in response to furious protests by local residents who have to put up with the stench when the wind blows in their direction. The high-pressure guns, which can spray dozens of litres of fragrance per minute over a distance of up to 50m, are produced by several Chinese firms and based on German and Italian technology. They are already in use at several landfill sites, but they are merely a temporary fix. ...


I think we need one of these guns big enough for the entire planet!

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Sat, Mar 27, 2010
from ENS Newswire, via DesdemonaDespair:
Worst Ice Year on Record Kills Canadian Seals Before Hunters Can
Thousands of harp seal pups are presumed dead in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence and starving pups are being found abandoned on the beaches of Prince Edward Island, victims of the worst ice conditions ever recorded in the region. Environment Canada said March 16 that ice conditions in the Gulf were the lowest in the 41 years it has kept records. Off Newfoundland, Canada's other seal hunting ground, ice has formed only off the Northern Peninsula when, by now, it has usually extended along the island's northeast coast.... "The conditions this year are disastrous for seal pups. I've surveyed this region for nine years and have never seen anything like this," said Sheryl Fink, a senior researcher with IFAW. "There is wide open water instead of the usual ice floes, and rather than the hundreds of thousands of seal pups that we normally encounter, only a handful of baby harp and hooded seals, animals that are normally found on ice, remain on the beaches," she said. ...


The Canadian government, however, knows better: it increased the quota on harp seals last week.

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Sat, Mar 27, 2010
from Science News:
Alternative flame retardants leach into the environment
Two chemicals that are becoming widely used replacements for potentially toxic flame retardants in household products such as televisions and furniture have shown up in peregrine falcon eggs in California. The discovery, part of a larger study monitoring contaminants in wildlife, adds to evidence that these new flame retardants escape into and persist in the environment, as the original ones do....While the replacement compounds were found in much smaller quantities than the flame retardants that have been on the market for years, their presence in bird eggs is cause for concern, said June-Soo Park of the California Environmental Protection Agency in Berkeley. Little is known about the toxicity of the replacement compounds and their potential to accumulate in people and wildlife, said Park, who presented the new research March 25 at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society. ...


I'm waiting for the TV show on this I can watch while sitting in my furniture.

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Fri, Mar 26, 2010
from Science Daily:
World Oil Reserves at 'Tipping Point'
The world's capacity to meet projected future oil demand is at a tipping point, according to research by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University. The age of cheap oil has now ended as demand starts to outstrip supply as we head towards the middle of the decade, says the report. It goes on to suggest that the current oil reserve estimates should be downgraded from between 1150-1350 billion barrels to between 850-900 billion barrels, based on recent research. ... The report also raises the worrying issue that additional demand for oil could be met by non-conventional methods, such as the extraction of oil from Canada's tar sands. However, these methods have a far higher carbon output than conventional drilling, and have been described as having a double impact on emissions owing to the emissions produced during extraction as well as during usage. ...


Reserves downgraded? But I thought growth could continue forever!

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Fri, Mar 26, 2010
from Bloomberg News:
Sickness Stalks Indian Farmers Using Chemical Banned in Europe
Seven-year-old Yeshaswini Gowda lies on the floor of her home in southern India unable to talk or walk. Her mother blames the severe disability on endosulfan, an insecticide banned in 60 countries... While a 2007 European Union report tied endosulfan to physical and mental illnesses and deaths, India's federal government says there's no evidence that long-term exposure carries health risks. Indian companies led by Hindustan Insecticides Ltd. are the world's biggest producers and the government has vowed to vote against including the pesticide on a United Nations list of dangerous chemicals at a conference in Geneva from Oct. 11. The dispute underscores the dilemma India faces in balancing health concerns while feeding the world's second-most populous nation after the weakest monsoon since 1972 propelled food-price inflation to among the highest in Asia. ...


I wonder what would happen if the cows were getting sick from the chemical?

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Fri, Mar 26, 2010
from London Guardian:
Blighted beaches: Britain's shores are drowning in litter
From the mundane debris of food wrappers and cigarette butts, to a laboratory incubator and a dead goat, Britain's beaches are strewn with litter, according to the Marine Conservation Society. The volunteers who conducted the survey, the UK's biggest, found one piece for each step along the shore. The results showed litter levels along the coasts have increased dramatically since 1994, from 1,000 items per kilometre to over 1,800 items. It also found that plastic litter was at its highest level ever. In 2009, the overall number of items on beaches declined - falling 16 percent from last year's record high to 342,000. But the percentage of plastic litter reached an unprecedented 64 percent. Emma Snowden, litter projects coordinator at MCS, said: "It's a lot of these single throwaway items." ...


For humans, it seems, earth itself is a throwaway item.

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More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Fri, Mar 26, 2010
from Associated Press:
Death of Coral Reefs Could Devastate Nations
Coral reefs are dying, and scientists and governments around the world are contemplating what will happen if they disappear altogether. The idea positively scares them. Coral reefs are part of the foundation of the ocean food chain. Nearly half the fish the world eats make their homes around them. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide -- by some estimates, 1 billion across Asia alone -- depend on them for their food and their livelihoods. If the reefs vanished, experts say, hunger, poverty and political instability could ensue. ...


I feel such reef grief!

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Thu, Mar 25, 2010
from The Vancouver Sun:
New way of fish farming could help fix environment
New designs for fish farms could keep them in the ocean and help restore damaged marine environments at the same time, says a biologist working on a five-year nationwide aquaculture project. Marine biologists in New Brunswick and in B.C. are employing mussels, oysters, sea cucumbers, urchins and seaweed to dramatically increase the amount of food created by salmon farms, and they believe they can extract excess carbon and nitrogen pollution from the sea in the process. ...


That's a win-win! Er, except for the fish, of course.

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Thu, Mar 25, 2010
from Discovery News:
Taking Showers Could Contaminate Drinking Water
With every shower you take, you may be unwittingly polluting the environment. As you scrub off dirt, you also wipe off medicines from your skin and pharmaceuticals excreted in sweat, according to a new study. Those chemicals pass through the sewage system and might even end up in our drinking water... Their research revealed that human skin fails to absorb much of the medicine that is applied topically, such as antibiotic ointments and steroid creams. Showers, baths and laundry wash those drugs directly into the sewage system. Chemically, these compounds often remain whole, unlike the broken-down versions in feces and urine. ...


We could just lick each other clean, like cats.

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Thu, Mar 25, 2010
from Reuters:
Higher birth-defect rate seen in Chernobyl aread
Rates of certain birth defects appear higher than normal in one of the Ukraine regions most affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, according to a new study. The findings, reported in the journal Pediatrics, stand in contrast to a 2005 U.N. report stating that there is no evidence of an increased risk of birth defects or other reproductive effects in areas contaminated by radiation from the Chernobyl accident....The 2005 position statement from the International Atomic Energy Agency and other U.N. bodies may have had a "chilling effect" on research into congenital defects in Chernobyl-affected areas, Wertelecki notes in his report. The current findings, he said, "suggest that we should re-evaluate that position." ...


Position statements are so much sexier than actual science.

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Thu, Mar 25, 2010
from New Scientist:
Petropolis: Filming Canada's tar sands
Canadian media artist and filmmaker Peter Mettler aerially filmed the tar sands of Alberta, Canada from a helicopter to highlight the vast scope and impact that the industrial mining site has on the environment. The result is his new film, Petropolis, which screens tomorrow evening at the Flatpack Festival in Birmingham, UK. The mining area of the tar sands is as big as all of England and the tar sands oil production releases five times more greenhouse gases than conventional oil production. As Mettler explains, getting the oil out of the tar sands uses roughly as much water as a city of two million people. Afterwards, 90 per cent of this water is so contaminated with toxic chemicals that it must be stored in tailings ponds so huge that they can be seen from outer space. ...


I'm not liking the visible hand of the marketplace.

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Thu, Mar 25, 2010
from Times Online:
Public scepticism prompts Science Museum to rename climate exhibition
The Science Museum is revising the contents of its new climate science gallery to reflect the wave of scepticism that has engulfed the issue in recent months. The decision by the 100-year-old London museum reveals how deeply scientific institutions have been shaken by the public's reaction to revelations of malpractice by climate scientists. The museum is abandoning its previous practice of trying to persuade visitors of the dangers of global warming. It is instead adopting a neutral position, acknowledging that there are legitimate doubts about the impact of man-made emissions on the climate. Even the title of the 4 million gallery has been changed to reflect the museum's more circumspect approach. The museum had intended to call it the Climate Change Gallery, but has decided to change this to Climate Science Gallery to avoid being accused of presuming that emissions would change the temperature. ...


How about we change your name to "The Belief Museum"? The Cro-magnon yee-hawing atop Brontosaurus will be a big draw.

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Wed, Mar 24, 2010
from Wired:
Chemical From Plastic Water Bottles Found Throughout Oceans
A survey of 200 sites in 20 countries around the world has found that bisphenol A, a synthetic compound that mimics estrogen and is linked to developmental disorders, is ubiquitous in Earth's oceans. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is found mostly in shatter-proof plastics and epoxy resins. Most people have trace amounts in their bodies, likely absorbed from food containers. Its hormone-mimicking properties make it a potent endocrine system disruptor. In recent years, scientists have moved from studying BPA's damaging effects in laboratory animals to linking it to heart disease, sterility and altered childhood development in humans. In their new findings, they showed that BPA-containing hard plastics can break down too, and found BPA in ocean water and sand at concentrations ranging from .01 to .50 parts per million. ...


This story seems to imply that humans have some responsibility. What about the natural variation of BPA in the ocean?

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Wed, Mar 24, 2010
from Laura Bassett, via HuffingtonPost:
Even The Cows Have Cancer: EPA Weighs Tougher Regulation of Toxic Coal Ash
Young has no doubt about what she believes is causing all the cancer: coal. For the past 10 years she's lived in Meigs County, Ohio, home to four coal-fired power plants within an 11-mile radius, and has become an environmental activist. "There isn't a house on this road that hasn't been touched by cancer... I had melanoma and I currently have two more precancerous conditions for breast and thyroid cancer, none of which are in my family," said Young, 47. "My dog died of cancer, my best friend died of cancer and her dog died of lymphoma. I just gave up a dog because I couldn't afford to take him into the vet. He was getting lumps on him."... John Wathen, an environmental investigator and clean water advocate for Perry County, says the toxic ash is being very sloppily handled at its new site. "Literally within 100 feet of people's homes, they're dumping coal ash on the ground, allowing it to blow around," Wathen said.... Wathen said that anyone who claims that coal waste is non-hazardous hasn't had to stand near it. "I'm a healthy man and I literally break down and throw up every time I'm exposed to it," he said. ...


But it's only poor people who live near coal ash, right? Do they count as much?

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Wed, Mar 24, 2010
from AP, via Yahoo:
Bees in more trouble than ever after bad winter
The mysterious 4-year-old crisis of disappearing honeybees is deepening. A quick federal survey indicates a heavy bee die-off this winter, while a new study shows honeybees' pollen and hives laden with pesticides. Two federal agencies along with regulators in California and Canada are scrambling to figure out what is behind this relatively recent threat, ordering new research on pesticides used in fields and orchards. Federal courts are even weighing in this month, ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overlooked a requirement when allowing a pesticide on the market.... Bees have been declining over decades from various causes. But in 2006 a new concern, "colony collapse disorder," was blamed for large, inexplicable die-offs. The disorder, which causes adult bees to abandon their hives and fly off to die, is likely a combination of many causes, including parasites, viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition and pesticides, experts say. ...


Wait -- pesticides can affect bees?

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Wed, Mar 24, 2010
from AP, via PhysOrg.com:
Disputed isle in Bay of Bengal disappears into sea
For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them: the island's gone. New Moore Island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said. "What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Hazra. Scientists at the School of Oceanographic Studies at the university have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal. Until 2000, the sea levels rose about 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) a year, but over the last decade they have been rising about 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) annually, he said. ...


Who would have expected nature to help us resolve our political differences?

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Wed, Mar 24, 2010
from BBC:
UN body to look at meat and climate link
UN specialists are to look again at the contribution of meat production to climate change, after claims that an earlier report exaggerated the link. A 2006 report concluded meat production was responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions - more than transport.... But a new analysis, presented at a major US science meeting, says the transport comparison was flawed.... In an attempt to capture everything associated with meat production, the FAO team included contributions, for example, from transport and deforestation. By comparison, the IPCC's methodology collects all emissions from deforestation into a separate pool, whether the trees are removed for farming or for some other reason; and does the same thing for transport. This is one of the reasons why the 18 percent figure appears remarkably high to some observers. ...


Oh, I see -- transportation may be more, so meat might be somewhat less proportionally -- so bring on the BBQ!!

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Tue, Mar 23, 2010
from USDA:
USDA, DOE & NSF Agree to Joint Climate Change Prediction Research Program
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) today created a joint research program that designates nearly $50 million to develop climate system models that provide insights on climate variability and impacts on ecosystems. "Climate change and its impacts on the land, crops and animals raise some of the most serious issues faced by producers and by society at large," said Roger Beachy, director of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. "It is important to understand its potential effect on our world and how we can proactively mitigate its consequences. Accurate and reliable scientific information is critical to sustain economically viable agricultural operations."... The program seeks proposals that couple climate models at different spatial and temporal scales to erosion, geomorphic change, land use, water management and food production. ...


Is this a new kind of TriLateral Commission? Sounds like a conspiracy of some kind.

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Tue, Mar 23, 2010
from AP, via PhysOrg.com:
Hammerhead sharks lose fight at UN meeting
A U.S.-backed proposal to protect the heavily fished hammerhead sharks was narrowly rejected Tuesday over concerns by Asia nations that regulating the booming trade in shark fins could hurt poor nations.... [R]egional fisheries bodies have done nothing to regulate the trade in endangered scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead as well as the threatened smooth hammerhead, and their numbers have dropped by as much as 85 percent. "The greatest threat to the hammerhead is from harvest for the international fin trade and the fin of the species is among highly valued of the trade," Strickland said. Shark fin soup is a much prized delicacy in China.... Hammerheads, more than any other shark species, are killed for their fins and are the most threatened. Fishermen, both industrial and small-scale and many operating illegally, slice off the fins and throw the carcasses back in the ocean and there are as many as 2.7 million hammerheads are caught annually. ...


UN, CITES: WTF?

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You're still reading! Good for you!
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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 23, 2010
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Rare animals are being 'eaten to extinction'
Research in the Congo Basin in Africa found more than three million tonnes of 'bush meat' is being extracted from the area every year, the equivalent of butchering 740,000 bull elephants. Most of the animals are small antelopes like blue duiker or rodents like the porcupine but larger mammals like monkeys and even gorillas are also taken.... But in a 500 million acre region of the Congo Basin stretching into eight countries, hunting has reached an unprecedented scale. Researchers from the Overseas Development Institute calculated that 3.4 million tonnes of bushmeat is removed every year from that area alone, equivalent to the weight of 40.7 million men. ...


The hunterier I go, the hungrier I get.

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Tue, Mar 23, 2010
from Reuters, via DesdemonaDespair:
Uganda says pollution of Lake Victoria worsening
Pollution in parts of Lake Victoria is worsening so fast that soon it may be impossible to treat its waters enough to provide drinking water for the Ugandan capital, a senior official said Monday. The lake, east Africa's largest by area, also supplies water to millions in neighboring Kenya and Tanzania, and supports fishing communities in all three countries.... "The water has become so thick from effluent that is being discharged directly into the lake because the wetlands that used to filter it have all been destroyed by developers." Fisheries experts say heavy concentrations of pollutants are killing certain fish species. "As more algal blooms, phosphates, nitrates, heavy metals and fecal matter all pile into the lake, it's going to be harder and harder to clean the water," Sawula said. ...


The Queen Mum would not be pleased.

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Mon, Mar 22, 2010
from London Guardian:
Wind contributing to Arctic sea ice loss, study finds
Much of the record breaking loss of ice in the Arctic ocean in recent years is down to the region's swirling winds and is not a direct result of global warming, a new study reveals. Ice blown out of the region by Arctic winds can explain around one-third of the steep downward trend in sea ice extent in the region since 1979, the scientists say. The study does not question that global warming is also melting ice in the Arctic, but it could raise doubts about high-profile claims that the region has passed a climate "tipping point" that could see ice loss sharply accelerate in coming years. The new findings also help to explain the massive loss of Arctic ice seen in the summers of 2007-08, which prompted suggestions that the summertime Arctic Ocean could be ice-free withing a decade. About half of the variation in maximum ice loss each September is down to changes in wind patterns, the study says. ...


Shoo-eeee!! Maybe we can bio-engineer ourselves out of this mess after all!

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Mon, Mar 22, 2010
from The Epoch Times:
Carbon Dioxide 'Domes' Over Cities Could Increase Deaths, Study
Carbon dioxide "domes" that form over cities contribute to more deaths in those areas, a new study shows. Although the total health impacts of such concentrations of CO2 are uncertain, they are of concern the study concluded. "It is estimated that local CO2 emissions may increase premature mortality by 50 to 100 per year in California and 300 to 1,000 per year in the U.S.," the study says. Conducted by a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, Mark Jacobson, it states that, "Reducing locally emitted CO2 may reduce local air pollution mortality even if CO2 in adjacent regions is not controlled." The research also highlights a gap in the carbon dioxide "cap and trade" proposal that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June last year. Current air pollution regulations worldwide are broad and do not account for local health impacts under domes. The cap and trade system also does not consider controlling local CO2 based on local health impacts. ...


This is one way to take a bite out of overpopulation!

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Mon, Mar 22, 2010
from Reuters:
Waste water kills mlns of children, pollutes sea
Human beings are flushing millions of tonnes of solid waste into rivers and oceans every day, poisoning marine life and spreading diseases that kill millions of children annually, the U.N. said on Monday. "The sheer scale of dirty water means more people now die from contaminated and polluted water than from all forms of violence including wars," the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said. In a report entitled "Sick Water" for World Water Day, UNEP said the two million tonnes of waste, which contaminates over two billion tonnes of water daily, had left huge "dead zones" that choke coral reefs and fish. It consists mostly of sewage, industrial pollution, pesticides from agriculture and animal waste ...


This is where scatology meets eschatology.

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Mon, Mar 22, 2010
from Annie Leonard, via HuffingtonPost:
The Story of Bottled Water: Fear, Manufactured Demand and a $10,000 Sandwich
[On World Water Day, along] with a bunch of North America's leading environmental groups ... release our new film: The Story of Bottled Water. It's a seven-minute animated film that, like The Story of Stuff, uses simple images and words to explain a complex problem caused by what I call the 'take-make-waste' economy. In this case, we explain how you get Americans to buy half a billion bottles of water a week when most can get it almost free from the tap in their kitchen.... Each year, according to the Pacific Institute's Peter Gleick, making the plastic water bottles used in the U.S. takes enough oil and energy to fuel a million cars. And that doesn't even include the fuel required to ship, fly or truck water across continents and state lines.... Three-fourths of the half-a-billion plastic water bottles sold in the U.S. every week go to the landfill or to incinerators. It costs our cities more than $70 million to landfill water bottles alone each year, according to Corporate Accountability International. ...


I like the convenience.

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Mon, Mar 22, 2010
from BBC:
Internet threatens rare species, conservationists warn
Conservationists say the internet has emerged as one of the biggest threats to endangered species. Campaigners say it is easier than ever before to buy and sell anything from live baby lions to polar bear pelts on online auction sites and chatrooms. The findings were presented at the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), which is meeting in Doha, Qatar. Several proposals to give endangered species more protection were defeated.... A proposal from the US and Sweden to regulate the trade in red and pink coral - which is crafted into expensive jewellery and sold extensively on the web - was defeated. Delegates voted the idea down mostly over concerns the increased regulations might impact poor fishing communities. ...


Internet doesn't kill species, profit kills species.

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Mon, Mar 22, 2010
from EurekAlert:
Researchers find Clostridium difficile is more common than MRSA in southeast community hospitals
Researchers studying epidemiology of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in community hospitals in the southeast U.S. found that rates of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) surpassed infection rates for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Scientists also discovered that healthcare-associated CDI, which is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis, occurs more often (21 percent) than healthcare-associated infections due to MRSA. In addition, healthcare-associated CDI occurs approximately as often as healthcare-associated bloodstream infections and combined device-related infections.... "In addition, our study likely underestimates the true scope of the problem since we did not include cases of community-onset healthcare-associated CDI." ...


Head's up, skipper -- another dangerous acronym on the horizon!

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