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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
View By Scenario:
Species Collapse:(6)
Plague/Virus:(2)
Climate Chaos:(6)
Resource Depletion: (2)
Biology Breach:(14)
Recovery:(3)
This Week's Top Ten Very Scary Tags:
contamination  ~ oil issues  ~ health impacts  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ arctic meltdown  ~ capitalist greed  ~ climate impacts  ~ short-term thinking  ~ toxic leak  ~ economic myopia  ~ global warming  



ApocaDocuments (33) gathered this week:
Sun, May 30, 2010
from NPR:
New Ebola Drug 100 Percent Effective In Monkeys
The Ebola virus first emerged in 1976, striking fear with the uncontrollable bleeding it causes and mortality rates up to 90 percent. Ever since then, scientists have been struggling to find a way to treat the infection or protect against it. There has been progress, but nothing quite like the report in the May 28 issue of the scientific journal The Lancet. A team led by Thomas Geisbert of Boston University has used an experimental drug to protect monkeys from death after injecting them with massive doses of the most lethal strain of Ebola. "We were stunned," Geisbert says. "I've been working with this virus for my whole career -- 23 or 24 years -- and we've had some mild successes where maybe we could go up to 50 percent protection," he said. "But I was really shocked that we got complete protection."... "I think this will most likely also work for other related viral hemorrhagic fevers," Feldmann said, such as Marburg, Lassa and Crimean-Congo fever. All are deadly to one degree or another and cause outbreaks in Africa and elsewhere. ...


"Hemorrhagic" will never be misspelled again!

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Sun, May 30, 2010
from AP, via PhysOrg:
Alaska sues feds over predator control
The state of Alaska sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Friday, seeking a court order allowing it to go ahead with a controversial predator control program. At issue is the state's plan to kill wolves to preserve a caribou herd inside the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge on Unimak Island, beginning as early as Tuesday.... While the program is in place in at least six locations around Alaska, it would be the first time in recent history that aerial predator control would be used inside a national refuge in Alaska.... The feds responded Monday, cautioning the state that killing the wolves without a special use permit would be considered "a trespass on the refuge" and immediately referred to the U.S. attorney. ...


Natural systems out of whack? Just call Humans™ and we'll set things right!

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Sun, May 30, 2010
from Palm Beach Post:
Scientists: Subsurface oil from Gulf gusher may be heading toward Florida coast
University of South Florida researchers have discovered a huge plume of subsurface oil they say is heading from the Deepwater Horizon spill toward an underwater canyon whose currents would ferry it straight to Florida's West Coast. The plume - 22 miles long and more than 6 miles wide - is invisible, and can only be detected with special equipment and chemical tests. But if it enters the DeSoto Canyon, it might spread droplets of oil throughout the ecosystem of West Florida's waters, potentially washing the tiny plants and animals that feed larger organisms in a stew of toxic chemicals. The plume, discovered by researchers on the University of South Florida College of Marine Science's Weatherbird II vessel, may be a result of BP's unprecedented - and controversial - use of chemical dispersants to break up oil directly at the site of the leak. It is the second such plume found so far, though the other was headed out to sea. ...


If I can't see it, how can it be toxic?

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Sun, May 30, 2010
from Guardian:
Caviar gangs dish up illegal roe to bypass authorised importers
Organised criminal gangs are being blamed for a thriving trade in caviar imported illegally into the UK. A global shortage of the delicacy - made from the raw eggs of sturgeon - is playing into the hands of black market traders smuggling it into the country and bypassing legal importers. The finest beluga caviar can cost up to 4,000 per kilogram, but much of the smuggled caviar is unlabelled - which means its provenance cannot be checked, an issue raising concerns with environmentalists who fear fishing stocks are being depleted. ...


I'll follow that appetizer course with some shark's fin soup. Mmmm. Then, hummingbird tongue!

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Sun, May 30, 2010
from New Scientist:
Did early hunters cause climate change?
IT'S not just for the last century that humans have been messing up the climate. It may have been going on for thousands of years. When hunters arrived in North America and drove mammoths and other large mammals to extinction, the methane balance of the atmosphere could have changed as a result, triggering the global cool spell that followed. The large grazing animals would have produced copious amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from their digestive systems. They vanished about 13,000 years ago.... "It is conceivable that this drop in methane contributed to the Younger Dryas cooling episode," says Smith. This would mean humans have been changing global climate since well before the dawn of civilisation ...


All we have to do to cool the planet is kill a bunch of large mammals? We're great at that!

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Sat, May 29, 2010
from New York Times:
Not Dead, Only Resting? The Climate Bill
A popular parlor game in Washington is trying to figure out whether the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has helped or hurt chances for passage of comprehensive energy and climate change legislation. President Obama tried to bolster its prospects in his news conference on Thursday, saying the crisis highlights the need to find alternatives to the deadly and dirty fossil fuels oil and coal. ...


Games are over, dude.

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Sat, May 29, 2010
from Chemical and Engineering News:
Turning Plastic Trash Into Treasure?
Plastic grocery bags are handy and durable, but after the bread and milk are put away, most of the bags wind up in landfills. Now Vilas Pol, a materials scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, has found a way to "upcycle" discarded plastics into carbon microspheres... For the new method, he places waste plastics, such as polyethylene bags and disposable polystyrene cups, into a closed, heatable reactor. Using mass spectrometry, Pol found that at 700 [degrees] C, the chemical bonds between the carbons and hydrogens break down. The products are solid carbon, as well as hydrogen and hydrocarbon gases. Pol says that the upcycling process could provide an environmentally friendly alternative to typical methods that produce solid carbon. He generates the same product but starts with discarded plastics instead of fossil fuels. ...


Pol has soooo been smokin' pot!

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Sat, May 29, 2010
from Charlottesville Daily Progress:
Creeping kudzu poses new threat
Researchers have found a new reason to hate kudzu, the much maligned and rapidly spreading invasive plant that is often referred to as the "vine that ate the South." Kudzu, a green leafy vine native to Japan and southeastern China, emits the chemicals isoprene and nitric oxide, which combine with nitrogen in the air to form ozone -- a pollutant that can be harmful to human health and crops, trees and other vegetation. A new study has found that kudzu is a significant contributor to surface ozone pollution and the problem is projected to grow as the vine continues to spread. ...


Soon, we shall call it the "vine that ate the planet."

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Sat, May 29, 2010
from CBC News:
Disposable diapers: Are they dangerous?
...diaper manufacturers are not obligated by law to disclose the component parts of their diapers -- via documents such as material safety data sheets -- even though in many cases they share the same ingredients as cosmetics and personal-care products, which do list their ingredients... In the study conducted on mice, scientists found that "diaper emissions were found to include several chemicals with documented respiratory toxicity," according to lead author Rosalind Anderson, a physiologist. She found that the mice suffered asthma-like symptoms when exposed to a variety of diaper brands. It was noted that xylene and ethyl benzene were emitted by the diapers, chemicals that are suspected endocrine, neurological and respiratory toxins; along with styrene, a chemical linked to cancer and isopropylene, a neurotoxin. Diapers contain a variety of plastics, adhesives, glues, elastics and lubricants, some of which can cause irritation. ...


Whatcha gonna do? Let 'em poop and pee on the floor?!?

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Sat, May 29, 2010
from McClatchy, via Miami Herald:
As oil spill damages Gulf, will U.S. change energy use?
Are the worst spill in U.S. history and images of dead birds and toxic syrup lapping at Gulf shores shocking enough to be a tipping point for energy policy and consumer behavior, however? Will Americans rush to smaller cars or spend more to buy hybrids? Will politicians embrace gas taxes and charges on large carbon polluters or adopt other measures to punish fossil fuel-burning and encourage alternative energy use? ... For now, many experts say Americans aren't ready to change. "I don't think it's a game-changer," said Antoine Halff, the head of commodities research at Newedge, a New York-based brokerage firm. "It drives home the risky nature of meeting the demand for oil," but he predicted that perspective largely would be offset by a more powerful reflex: "People like to have their cake and eat it too."... The searing images of the spill already are having some impact. In a USA Today/Gallup poll released this week, 55 percent of those polled said environmental protection should be prioritized, even if it meant limiting U.S. energy production. In the same poll, however, 50 percent said they still supported increased offshore drilling.... ...


Maybe "having your cheap and hating it too."

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Fri, May 28, 2010
from Toronto Star:
Polar bear population could fall by 30 per cent in a year: study
A mathematical analysis for the first time has uncovered the prospect of a sudden, dramatic decline among Canadian polar bears as they starve to death. "This is much, much different. This is not a gradual change," said Dr. Andrew Derocher, one of the world's leading polar bear authorities and co-author of the study. "We're looking at a decrease by 20 or 30 per cent or even much more in a year."....Scientists factored in the shrinking sea ice, which affects how many seals the bears can eat before they hibernate and how easily they can find mates. Without enough food or opportunity, mating is less successful, fewer, less robust cubs are born, and teenage bears spend longer "wandering around trying to find something to eat." ...


Sounds just like my sons.

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Fri, May 28, 2010
from Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Texas agency gave inaccurate air pollution test results to Fort Worth
The state agency in charge of testing for air pollution gave inaccurate test results to the city of Fort Worth about toxic emissions from gas wells in January, and when it realized what it had done, it failed to notify the city or the public for weeks, according to an audit made public this week....At issue is a series of tests that the agency conducted in December in Fort Worth after activists raised questions about the amounts of benzene and other toxic compounds released from natural gas wells. Sadlier presented the results to the Fort Worth City Council on Jan. 12, saying, "Based on this study, the air is safe." Sadlier said the samples showed that none of the sites exceeded either the long-term or short-term screening levels for 22 airborne toxic compounds. However, state officials later discovered that the tests had been done with equipment that wasn't sensitive enough to measure some of the compounds at the long-term levels. ...


We are s'oh! sorry we bullshitted you!

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Fri, May 28, 2010
from Science (AAAS):
Extensive Methane Venting to the Atmosphere from Sediments of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf
Remobilization to the atmosphere of only a small fraction of the methane held in East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) sediments could trigger abrupt climate warming, yet it is believed that sub-sea permafrost acts as a lid to keep this shallow methane reservoir in place. Here, we show that more than 5000 at-sea observations of dissolved methane demonstrates that greater than 80 percent of ESAS bottom waters and greater than 50 percent of surface waters are supersaturated with methane regarding to the atmosphere. The current atmospheric venting flux, which is composed of a diffusive component and a gradual ebullition component, is on par with previous estimates of methane venting from the entire World Ocean. Leakage of methane through shallow ESAS waters needs to be considered in interactions between the biogeosphere and a warming Arctic climate. ...


I hear Lindsay Lohan has a new gal-pal.

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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, May 28, 2010
from NOAA:
April 2010 warmest ever
April 2010 was characterized by very warm conditions across much of the world. Warmer-than-average conditions during April 2010 were present across much of the world's land areas. The warmest anomalies occurred in southern Asia, northern Africa, the north central and northeastern U.S., Canada, Europe, and parts of northern Russia. Although much of the world's land area was engulfed by warmer-than-average temperatures, cooler-than-average conditions prevailed across Argentina, Mongolia, eastern and southern Russia, and most of China.... Sea surface temperatures (SST) during April 2010 were the warmest on record, with an anomaly of 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average. ... Overall, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature anomaly for April 2010 was the warmest April on record since records began in 1880. The previous record was set in 1998. The combined global land and ocean temperature anomaly was 0.76°C (1.37°F) above the 20th century average. ...


April is the cruelest month.

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Thu, May 27, 2010
from Adirondack Daily Enterprise:
Scientists believe a European fungus is killing bats
The fungus can be found on the bat's nose, ears and wings. Hicks said one of the major problems it causes is that it eats away at the tissue in the bat's wings. Attempts to help the bats with anti-fungal agents have so far been unsuccessful, Hicks said.... Over the past few winters, some Adirondack bat caves and mines that have been affected include those near Lyon Mountain, Chapel Pond near Keene Valley and the Graphite Mine in Hague. The Graphite Mine was especially hard hit. This mine was the site of the largest-ever bat count in the Northeast in March 2000, when 185,019 bats were found there. However, this February, a survey found only 2,545 bats in the mine. That means the populations declined by 99 percent. Scientists believe the fungus geomyces destructans, which has existed in Europe since at last 1980, is what's killing the bats.... [T]his almost is certainly (the case of another) invasive exotic species.... "It spread as far this winter as it spread in the previous four years combined," Hicks said. "So it's not looking good." ...


Chiroptera unite! Geomyces destructans must go!

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Thu, May 27, 2010
from NOAA, via Reuters:
US govt warns of worst hurricane season since 2005
The Atlantic storm season may be the most intense since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina killed over a thousand and disrupted oil production by crashing through Gulf of Mexico energy facilities, the U.S. government's top weather agency predicted on Thursday. In its first forecast for the storm season that begins next Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast 14 to 23 named storms, with 8 to 14 developing into hurricanes, nearly matching 2005's record of 15. Three to seven of those could be major Category 3 or above hurricanes, with winds of more than 110 miles per hour (177 km per hour), the agency said, echoing earlier predictions from meteorologists for a particularly severe season that could disrupt U.S. oil, gas and refinery operations. ...


I thought all that oil might calm the waters.

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Thu, May 27, 2010
from Associated Press:
Gulf spill surpasses Valdez; plug try going well
An untested procedure to plug the blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico seemed to be working, officials said Thursday, but new estimates showed the spill has already surpassed the Exxon Valdez as the worst in U.S. history. A team of scientists trying to determine how much oil has been flowing since the offshore rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20 and sank two days later found the rate was more than twice and possibly up to five times as high as previously thought. The fallout from the spill has stretched all the way to Washington, where the head of the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling resigned Thursday and President Barack Obama insisted his administration, not BP, was calling the shots. ...


Clean out of ideas, BP tries out the butt plug approach.

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Thu, May 27, 2010
from New Scientist:
The taste of tiny: Putting nanofoods on the menu
So what is a nanofood? It isn't just about nanoparticles. Many foods have a natural nanostructure - the proteins in milk form nanoscale clusters, for example - that can be altered on the nanoscale to enhance their properties. In fact, researchers have been changing the nanostructure of food for years, for example by adding emulsifiers to improve the texture of ice cream. It's the emergence of technologies such as atomic force microscopy that has changed the game by finally opening a window on the nanoworld. Rather than working blind, Morris can now take a close look at the tiny structures he works on, understand their behaviour and then make changes in a more rational and deliberate way.... "We know that the food industry is looking at encapsulating certain ingredients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins or minerals," says Frans Kampers, who researches bionanotechnologies at Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands. The idea is an attractive one. Oil-soluble nutrients can be poorly absorbed in the watery environment of the gut, with a proportion passing right through the body. Nano-encapsulation converts them to a dispersed form that is more easily taken up (Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, vol 14, p 3). Wrapping them in nano packages also extends their shelf life, masks any unpleasant tastes and, in the case of nano-emulsions, makes them invisible to the naked eye so that they don't affect a food's appearance. ...


I'm sure any unintended consequences will be really small!

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Thu, May 27, 2010
from Scientific American:
Madagascar bird driven to extinction by invasive fish
A bird from the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar called the Alaotra grebe (Tachybaptus rufolavatus) has been declared extinct by conservation group BirdLife International. BirdLife contributed to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with a major update on the world's bird species, which was released on Wednesday. The grebe, previously found only on Lake Alaotra in eastern Madagascar, was driven to extinction in part by the introduction of snakehead murrel, a carnivorous fish, to the area. Fishermen's modern nylon gillnets, which caught and drowned the birds, also contributed to their demise. The bird was incapable of long flights, so it had a limited range and was vulnerable to attack. ...


Those snakeheads are good eatin'!

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Thu, May 27, 2010
from IRIN:
Mutant wheat killer on the prowl
Just when scientists thought they had managed to curb a mutant fungus, Ug99, a variation of wheat stem rust, four new forms of the killer pathogen have surfaced in the last three years, posing a significant threat to the world's most consumed cereal. The newest mutation, or race, of Ug99 was discovered in 2009 in South Africa; another was found in the wheat-growing belt of South Africa's Western Cape Province in 2007, said Zak Pretorius, professor of plant pathology at University of the Free State.... The new mutations or "races" have acquired the ability to defeat two of the most important stem rust-resistant genes, used widely in most of the world's wheat breeding programmes. Singh said when the new race of Ug99 surfaced in Kenya, CIMMYT had to delay releasing new lines of wheat that had only one of the stem-rust resistant genes. ...


Wheat rust never sleeps.

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Wed, May 26, 2010
from National Wildlife Federation:
Hold Big Oil Accountable to Paying Full Price
The snowy plover is one of the most at-risk species from the BP oil spill. In addition to coming in direct contact to the oil, the snowy plover is at-risk of being poisoned by eating smaller invertebrates that have been tainted with oil. Rather than assuming full responsibility for the costs of their recklessness on wildlife like the snowy plover, BP is trying to push the price tag off on the American taxpayer. Currently, outdated legislation puts BP off the hook for damages above $75 million, even though this is less than one day's profit for BP! Edit and send the message below, urging Congress to hold Big Oil polluters accountable to paying the full cost of their negligence. ...


Sign, baby, sign!

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Wed, May 26, 2010
from Reuters:
Global CO2 Emissions To Rise 43 Percent By 2035: EIA
The world's emissions of carbon dioxide from burning coal, oil, and natural gas should rise 43 percent by 2035 barring global agreements to reduce output of the gases blamed for warming the planet, the top U.S. energy forecaster said on Tuesday. Global emissions of carbon dioxide from the fossil fuel sources should rise from 29.7 billion tonnes in 2007 to 42.4 billion tonnes in 2035, the Energy Information Administration said in its annual long-term energy outlook. ...


Actually... it shouldn't.

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Wed, May 26, 2010
from BBC:
'Synergy' explanation for bee decline
Scientists from the US Department of Agriculture say the pathogens to blame are a fungus and a family of viruses.... Jay Evans of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, a researcher on the study, says that when these two very different pathogens show up together, "there is a significant correlation with colony decline".... So how do bees get CCD? Evans believes the infection is spread primarily through pollen on flowers.... "Once the viruses become prevalent in a colony, they spread quite rapidly both by contact among the bees and often by a parasitic [Varroa destructor] mite that lives on them. "We've been able to see the viruses move within that mite and actually be transmitted from bee to bee by the mite," said Evans. As for the fungus, it is transferred by the insects' excretions, he said. ...


Thank God it's not our fault! ... er, much.

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Wed, May 26, 2010
from National Geographic:
Gulf Coast Pipelines Face Damage as Oil Kills Marshes
A vast network of pipes and platforms is woven into these wetlands, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill could literally expose them to potential ruptures and wreckage, experts say. If oil kills off marsh plants, wetlands will turn to open water, putting the shallowly buried coastal pipelines at risk of ships strikes, storms, and corrosive salt water. Each rip means more leaking oil, costly repairs and replacements, and in some cases, new wetland-restoration projects.... About 26,420 miles (42,520 kilometers) of onshore oil and natural gas pipelines snake through coastal counties between Mobile Bay (map), Alabama, and Galveston (map), Texas, according to Virginia Burkett, chief scientist for global change research at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana.... What's more, the Gulf coastline has been literally sinking as fossil fuels are pumped out of the earth, according to the Gulf research institute. And as the coast sinks, sea level rises--submerging and killing off marshes, according to the USGS.... Add the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and you've got a "perfect storm of wetlands loss," Harte Research Institute director Larry McKinney said in an email. ...


Glad the oil companies saved us all that money finding the cheapest way to feed our addiction.

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Wed, May 26, 2010
from PBS:
PBS's Oil-Volume-O-Matic.
...


I can't help but slide it up to the "experts' worst case."

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Wed, May 26, 2010
from BBC:
Polar bears face 'tipping point' due to climate change
Climate change will trigger a dramatic and sudden decline in the number of polar bears, a new study has concluded. The research is the first to directly model how changing climate will affect polar bear reproduction and survival. Based on what is known of polar bear physiology, behaviour and ecology, it predicts pregnancy rates will fall and fewer bears will survive fasting during longer ice-free seasons. These changes will happen suddenly as bears pass a 'tipping point'.... Male polar bears find females by wandering the ice, sniffing bear tracks they come across. If the tracks have been made by a female in mating condition, the male follows the tracks to her. The researchers modelled how this behaviour would change as warming temperatures fragment sea ice. They also modelled the impact on the bears' survival.... "In both cases, the expected changes in reproduction and survival were non-linear," explains Dr Molnar. ...


EX-cellent! That means we don't have to care until it matters!

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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, May 25, 2010
from Ars Technica:
Not just oil: US hit peak water in 1970 and nobody noticed
...A new analysis suggests that it may be valuable to consider applying it to a renewable resource as well: the planet's water supply. The analysis, performed by staff at the Pacific Institute, recognizes that there are some significant differences between petroleum and water. For oil, using it involves a chemical transformation that won't be reversed except on geological time scales. Using water often leaves it in its native state, with a cycle that returns it to the environment in a geologic blink of an eye. Still, the authors make a compelling argument that, not only can there be a peak water, but the US passed this point around 1970, apparently without anyone noticing. ...


You'd think the cotton mouth would have been a dead giveaway.

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Tue, May 25, 2010
from Sydney Morning Herald:
Mammoth gas emissions helped keep planet warm, scientists say
Gassy mammoths helped fill the atmosphere with methane and keep the Earth warm more than 13,000 years ago, scientists say. Together with other large plant-eating mammals that are now extinct, they released about 9.6 million tonnes of the gas each year, experts estimated. When the megafauna disappeared there was a dramatic fall in atmospheric methane, which may have altered the climate. Analysis of gases trapped in ice cores suggests the loss of animal emissions accounted for a large amount of the decline. ...


And now we have mammoth humans doing the same.

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Tue, May 25, 2010
from Kansas City Star:
Cancer panel warning: Babies born pre-polluted
Toxic chemicals - some known to cause cancer - are in our bodies and in our newborns as well. Researchers have found some 300 contaminants - industrial chemicals, consumer product ingredients, pesticides and pollutants from burning fossil fuels - in umbilical cord blood of newborn babies, rendering our babies 'pre-polluted' according to the esteemed scientists and medical experts of the President's Cancer Panel... Some 80,000 chemicals are produced and used in the U.S. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been able to require testing on just 200 and only five have been regulated under the Toxics Substances Control Act. Even asbestos, known to cause lung cancer, has not been entirely banned from use in commercial products because of flaws in the law. ...


They need my new product: Foetal respirators!

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Tue, May 25, 2010
from New York Times:
Inspector General's Inquiry Faults Regulators
Federal regulators responsible for oversight of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico allowed industry officials several years ago to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil -- and then turned them over to the regulators, who traced over them in pen before submitting the reports to the agency, according to an inspector general's report to be released this week. The report, which describes inappropriate behavior by the staff at the Minerals Management Service from 2005 to 2007, also found that inspectors had accepted meals, tickets to sporting events and gifts from at least one oil company while they were overseeing the industry. ...


From an efficiency standpoint this is genius!

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Tue, May 25, 2010
from New York Times:
Despite Moratorium, Drilling Projects Move Ahead
In the days since President Obama announced a moratorium on permits for drilling new offshore oil wells and a halt to a controversial type of environmental waiver that was given to the Deepwater Horizon rig, at least seven new permits for various types of drilling and five environmental waivers have been granted, according to records. The records also indicate that since the April 20 explosion on the rig, federal regulators have granted at least 19 environmental waivers for gulf drilling projects and at least 17 drilling permits, most of which were for types of work like that on the Deepwater Horizon shortly before it exploded, pouring a ceaseless current of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. ...


It's not so much a moratorium as it is a lessatorium.

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Tue, May 25, 2010
from Washington Post:
Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP
...the Nature Conservancy lists BP as one of its business partners. The Conservancy also has given BP a seat on its International Leadership Council and has accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations over the years... The Conservancy, already scrambling to shield oyster beds from the spill, now faces a different problem: a potential backlash as its supporters learn that the giant oil company and the world's largest environmental organization long ago forged a relationship that has lent BP an Earth-friendly image and helped the Conservancy pursue causes it holds dear. ...


Beware the strange fellows with whom you bed.

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Mon, May 24, 2010
from Philadelphia Inquirer:
Trade center crews now suffering loss of smell
At first, Mike Greene thought it might just be a bad allergy. But when his sense of smell didn't come back for months, the paramedic suspected it was caused by polluted air he'd breathed at the most harrowing job site of his career: the wreckage of the World Trade Center. Turns out he is not alone. A significant portion of those on duty at the twin towers suffered long-term damage to their sense of smell and their ability to detect harmful irritants through the nose, Philadelphia researchers reported in a new study last week. Far from being just an inconvenience, this chronic condition represents a breakdown in the body's defense against toxic substances, said lead author Pamela Dalton, an experimental psychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. In a sample of 102 workers in construction, emergency services, and other fields, 22 percent had an impaired sense of smell more than two years after exposure at the twin towers site, and 74 percent had a reduced ability to detect irritants. ...


Sometimes the nose just doesn't want to know.

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