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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
View By Scenario:
Species Collapse:(6)
Climate Chaos:(8)
Resource Depletion: (1)
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This Week's Top Ten Very Scary Tags:
climate impacts  ~ oil issues  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ health impacts  ~ anthropogenic change  ~ toxic leak  ~ contamination  ~ economic myopia  ~ capitalist greed  ~ short-term thinking  ~ deniers  

ApocaDocuments (34) gathered this week:
Sun, May 2, 2010
from The ApocaDocs:
From the ApocaDesk: The 'Docs are in
We've been hearing from you. You're calling, you're emailing (ApocadocsATgmail.com), you're hurting. This oil of river pouring from the wound in the Gulf of Mexico is just beginning.

Your hearts are breaking, and so are ours, but we are Doctors of the Apocalypse and we are here to help with some advice.

First: Keep an eye on it. Take breaks, but stay with the horror. Look it square in the face.

Second: Realize that, despite how terrible this seems, it is happening, more or less, all over the planet. Just read our site -- Biology Breach is a clarifying scenario for this. Climate Chaos, too. People everywhere are already in the grips of habitat collapse, whether due to toxins like oil or ewaste or plastic -- or by climate change itself. Ask the Inuits, the Indians, the Australians, the Tanzanians.

Third: Do something, today. Commit to some change in your consumer or energy-use behavior. Stop driving your car. One day a week. Then make it two. Stop using plastic, whether in packaging or, worst of all, water bottles. Let this be the beginning of your stewardship of the earth.

Fourth: Speaking of stewardship, start something. Go to our Recovery scenario, then read the amazing feats that humans can do. Just yesterday, we found the story of an 82 year old woman who convinced her town of Concord, Massachusetts, to outlaw plastic water bottles.

Fifth: Hold the criminals accountable, whether they are politicians who do nothing to address climate change, or CEOs who don't change their corporate cultures to care for the planet. The rights of nature MUST BECOME transcendent.

Sixth: Download our book. This is not self-promotion. The book is free. You can read it in one afternoon (if you have the stomach). We want you to see what we are learning, what we are witnessing.

Let the horror of what's happening in the Gulf of Mexico be the awakening we need.



Sun, May 2, 2010
from Hindustan Times:
India's wastelands endanger 5m poor
At sunset, the sky above Ram Ganga river in Moradabad, 200 km from Delhi, turns black with smog. Tiny chimneys belch smoke, the result of hundreds of small waste processing plants that residents have opened in their homes. A huge waste processing accident in Delhi, where one person died and seven were taken ill after radiation exposure, has caught the media's attention. But far from the media glare, five million of the country's poorest are exposed to hazardous waste -- including radioactive -- every day as India turns into the wasteland of the world. In the last three years, India's hazardous waste import spiked 48 per cent. Last year, the developed world dumped 64 lakh tonnes of waste in India, adding to the 59 lakh tonnes produced domestically. ...

Maybe they can take on all this leaking oil from the Gulf!


Sun, May 2, 2010
from Environmental Health News:
Treated fabrics exposed to faux sweat release silver nanoparticles
Researchers find that fabrics laced with silver nanoparticles designed to limit bacterial growth release those particles when the fabric is exposed to artificial human sweat... This is the first study to use faux sweat to mimic conditions of human skin; it determined that silver nanoparticles can migrate out of fabric after exposure to the simulated perspiration. It is not known if the silver materials in sweat would be absorbed through human skin...There is concern that the the tiny particles may be more toxic than other, larger-sized and more traditional types of silver compounds, as the smaller particles could be more easily absorbed and distributed throughout the body. ...



Sun, May 2, 2010
from Mobile Press-Register:
Gulf of Mexico oil spill 2010: The worst-case scenario
The worst-case scenario for the broken and leaking well gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico would be the loss of the wellhead currently restricting the flow to 5,000 barrels -- or 210,000 gallons per day. If the wellhead is lost, oil could leave the well at a much greater rate, perhaps up to 150,000 barrels -- or more than 6 million gallons per day -- based on government data showing daily production at another deepwater Gulf well. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill was 11 million gallons total. The Gulf spill could end up dumping the equivalent of 4 Exxon Valdez spills per week. ...

If you like shrimp, eat your last today.


Sat, May 1, 2010
from The Boston Globe:
Concord fires first shot in water battle
CONCORD -- For years, Jean Hill has been reading about the environmental consequences of the countless plastic bottles filling landfills and polluting local waters. She has watched as other towns around the country have cut purchases of bottled water, which she views as a wasteful, environmentally damaging alternative to tap water. This week, after lobbying neighbors and local officials for months, the 82-year-old activist persuaded them to take more drastic action than perhaps any other municipality in the country: At Town Meeting on Thursday, Concord residents voted to ban all sales of bottled water....And the $10 billion bottled-water industry quickly reacted. "We obviously don't think highly of the vote in Concord,'' said Joe Doss, president of the International Bottled Water Association, a trade association that represents bottlers, suppliers, and distributors. ...

She better be careful, lest the head of a reverse osmosis filtration system be found in her bed.


Sat, May 1, 2010
from London Daily Telegraph:
Gulf oil slick is a disaster for world climate deal
Could the greatest casualty of the giant oil slick surging through the Gulf of Mexico turn out to be not Louisiana's magnificent wildlife, or the biggest US fishery outside Alaska, but the last remaining chance of an international agreement to combat climate change? It seems counter-intuitive. Surely an economic and ecological disaster, caused by exploiting the fossil fuels that emit all that carbon dioxide, should make the world keener to tackle global warming by moving to cleaner sources of energy? But that would be in a rational universe - one where agreement did not depend on two increasingly dysfunctional institutions: the UN climate treaty negotiations and the US Congress. In the real world, there is no possibility of a new treaty unless Congress first passes legislation to reduce emissions from the United States. And, until the oil started gushing from the well beneath BP's Deepwater Horizon rig, the best chance of getting this through was for Capitol Hill, and the whole of the United States, to stop worrying about slicks and learn to love offshore oil drilling. ...

Don't you want to just take the US, spank 'em, and send 'em to bed without their energy.


Sat, May 1, 2010
from Environmental Health Perspectives:
Human Exposure to PBDEs, with Heather Stapleton
...Flame retardant chemicals can be found in everything from kids' car seats to the cushions in your old living room couch. The bad news is that they can probably also be found in you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PBDEs--or polybrominated diphenyl ethers--show up in the bodies of almost 100 percent of the U.S. population,1 and they may be negatively affecting human health and development... A PBDE is a man-made--anthropogenic--chemical, and they are produced by companies throughout the world and then sold to manufacturers of certain products that require flame retardants. So as you have increasing temperatures with fire, what happens is that the bond that keeps the bromine to the molecule breaks; it decomposes and releases bromine to the surrounding environment and to the atmosphere. And bromine is a very effective scavenger of free radicals. So by scavenging these free radicals, you're basically reducing the potential of the fire to propagate, so it basically smolders out. And so that's how these PBDEs, when they're present in such products as foam in your furniture or in your plastic for your electronics, helps to reduce their inherent flammability. ...

We 'Docs kind of fancy ourselves "scavengers of free radicals."


Fri, Apr 30, 2010
from NUVO Newsweekly:
Oil disaster as metaphor
Some are calling it a "river of oil" now, instead of an oil spill. "Spill" makes it sound like the oil rig exploded, then "spilled" some oil, which is now creeping toward the coast. Instead, the broken rig is pouring 210,000 gallons of oil into the sea each day, and might continue, according to estimates, for two months or more. I could weep, I could scream, I could wax holy as I did not use petroleum products to get to work today. Except for all I know the asphalt I rode my bicycle on -- as well as parts of the bicycle itself (and my helmet), were made of petroleum. Or the keyboard I type on. But I don't want to go there. I want to see this event as larger, as a metaphor. Think of it this way. We humans are the initial explosion. ...


Fri, Apr 30, 2010
from MNN:
So long, shellfish: Oysters falling victim to ocean acidification
Could seafood fans be saying goodbye to shellfish sometime soon? Millions of oyster larvae have been dying in Northwest farms due to increasingly acidic ocean waters, which robs them of their ability to grow their shells, according to ABC News. The world's oceans are absorbing more carbon dioxide than ever as greenhouse gas emissions increase on land. "The chemistry is very simple. It is 101. Carbon dioxide makes the water more acidic, that is irrefutable," said Oregon State University professor of oceanography Burke Hales. Oyster farmers Mark Wiegardt and Sue Cudd of Tilamook, Oregon's Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery called in Hales and his team when their larvae suddenly started dying. The hatchery's 8,000 gallon tanks were pumping in water from the Pacific Ocean, which turned out to be increasingly acidic. But the oysters aren't alone. Clams, mussels, lobsters, shrimp and smaller-shelled sea creatures are all forming weaker shells due to the increased ocean pH dissolving calcium carbonate, the material that allows shells to harden or calcify. "At first, scientists thought, oh, isn't this great, the ocean's taking up carbon dioxide that's resulting in less greenhouse warming. And it's only later that scientists realize this carbon dioxide in the oceans forms carbonic acid, and that attacks the shells of marine organisms," explains Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institute at Stanford University. ...

Heck, it's just the ocean. Besides, we're diluting it with melting icecaps. That'll take care of the problem, right?


Fri, Apr 30, 2010
from CBC:
Massive oil spill reaches Louisiana shore
A massive and growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has reached the coast of Louisiana, which is in a state of emergency to help prevent catastrophic environmental damage. Faint fingers of oil sheen began lapping at the state's shoreline on Thursday night while thicker oil hovered about eight kilometres offshore. Oil is expected to wash ashore in Mississippi on Saturday before reaching Alabama on Sunday and Florida on Monday.... "I am frightened," said David Kennedy, the acting assistant administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Ocean Service. "This is a very, very big thing," Kennedy said. "And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling."... About 34,000 birds have been counted in the national refuges most at risk, McKenzie said. Gulls, pelicans, roseate spoonbills, egrets, shore birds, terns and blue herons are in the path of the spill. ...

We can't even learn Blue-heronese fast enough, much less Spoonbillese, to tell them to RUN!!!


Fri, Apr 30, 2010
from American Chemical Society, via EurekAlert:
A roadmap for 'the only practical way to preserve the planet'
The United States could completely stop emissions of carbon dioxide from coal-fired electric power plants -- a crucial step for controlling global warming -- within 20 years by using technology that already exists or could be commercially available within a decade.... Pushker Kharecha and colleagues say that the global climate change problem becomes manageable only if society deals quickly with emissions of carbon dioxide from burning coal in electric power plants. "The only practical way to preserve a planet resembling that of the Holocene (today's world) with reasonably stable shorelines and preservation of species, is to rapidly phase out coal emissions and prohibit emissions from unconventional fossil fuels such as oil shale and tar sands," they state.... They include elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels; putting rising prices on carbon emissions; major improvements in electricity transmission and the energy efficiency of homes, commercial buildings, and appliances; replacing coal power with biomass, geothermal, wind, solar, and third-generation nuclear power; and after successful demonstration at commercial scales, deployment of advanced (fourth-generation) nuclear power plants; and carbon capture and storage at remaining coal plants. ...

That's too hard. Can't we just put up a big space umbrella over 10 percent of the globe?


Thu, Apr 29, 2010
from USDA, via EurekAlert:
USDA Survey reports latest honey bee losses
Losses of managed honey bee colonies nationwide totaled 33.8 percent from all causes from October 2009 to April 2010, according to a survey conducted by the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Beekeepers identified starvation, poor weather, and weak colonies going into winter as the top reasons for mortality in their operations. This is an increase from overall losses of 29 percent reported from a similar survey covering the winter of 2008-2009, and similar to the 35.8 percent losses for the winter of 2007-2008. The continued high rate of losses are worrying, especially considering losses occurring over the summer months were not being captured.... The 28 percent of beekeeping operations that reported some of their colonies perished without dead bees present--a sign of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)--lost 44 percent of their colonies. This compares to 26 percent of beekeepers reporting such dead colonies in the 2008-2009 winter and 32 percent in the 2007-2008 winter. ...

It's not our fault. It's those damned serial killer bees.


Thu, Apr 29, 2010
from PNAS, via Environmental Research Web:
Double whammy for amphibians
It's clear that the world's amphibians are in trouble - many species have become extinct since the 1980s. What's less obvious is exactly what's causing the problem; climate change and a chytrid fungus are both suspects. Now a US team has linked the extinctions to increased temperature variability caused by El Nino events. They believe this is reducing amphibian's defences against disease.... "Given that global El Nino events and temperature variability were the best predictors of amphibian declines, we believe our results support the notion that global climate change might be contributing to increases in tropical, and perhaps worldwide, enigmatic amphibian declines."... "If changes to climate variation and extreme climate events affect disease risk and species interactions in general, models based on changes to mean climate alone will not effectively predict the biological effects of climate change." ...

Hey Professor: "Weather extremes ruin amphibian health worldwide. It's much worse than we thought" might have carried more punch.


Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Thu, Apr 29, 2010
from BBC:
Gulf of Mexico oil slick said to be five times bigger
The US Coast Guard says five times as much oil as previously thought could be leaking from a well beneath where a rig sank in the Gulf of Mexico last week. Rear Admiral Mary Landry said 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) a day were now thought to be gushing into the sea 50 miles (80km) off Louisiana's coast. A third leak had also been discovered at the site, Adm Landry said. One fire-fighting expert told the BBC the disaster might become the "biggest oil spill in the world". "The Exxon Valdez [tanker disaster off Alaska in 1989] is going to pale [into insignificance] in comparison to this as it goes on." If US Coast Guard estimates are correct, the slick could match the 11m gallons spilt from the Exxon Valdez within less than two months.... With the spill moving towards Louisiana's coast, which contains some 40 percent of the nation's wetlands and spawning grounds for countless fish and birds, she said a "controlled burn" of oil contained by special booms could limit the impact. Environmental experts say animals nearby might be affected by toxic fumes, but perhaps not as much as if they were coated in oil. ...

This British Petroleum-based catastrophe is Becoming a Possible Bottomless Pit of Bad Planning.


Thu, Apr 29, 2010
from Geophysical Research Letters, via ScienceDaily:
Melting Icebergs in Polar Oceans Causing Sea Level Rise Globally, New Assessment Finds
Scientists have discovered that changes in the amount of ice floating in the polar oceans are causing sea levels to rise -- by a mere hair's breadth today, but possibly much more if melting trends continue.... According to Archimedes' principle, any floating object displaces its own weight of fluid. For example, an ice cube in a glass of water does not cause the glass to overflow as it melts. But because sea water is warmer and more salty than floating ice, changes in the amount of this ice are having an effect on global sea levels. The loss of floating ice is equivalent to 1.5 million Titanic-sized icebergs each year. However, the study shows that spread across the global oceans, recent losses of floating ice amount to a sea level rise of just 49 micrometers per year -- about a hair's breadth. ...

That Titanic analogy is too big to sink.


Thu, Apr 29, 2010
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Mysterious new disease threatens oak trees
Acute oak decline (AOD) causes ancient native trees to bleed extensively, cutting off the supply of water and nutrients, and killing them within a few years. Since it was first identified five yeasrs ago, the disease has been spotted on thousands of trees across the country and it is feared many more are infected. But scientists are at a loss to explain its cause. What concerns them most is the speed at which decades-old trees are killed off. The outbreak is one of a number of threats to Britain's ancient trees. A separate disease, sudden oak death, has spread across the country, killing beach, larch and ash as well as oaks since it was introduced from abroad 10 years ago.... "We're looking at a disease that has the potential to change our landscape even more than Dutch elm disease, and nothing is being done about it," he said. "We can't afford a repetition of what happened then. Action is needed now." ...

The mighty oak from a tiny acorn grows/'til felled for reasons no-one knows.


Wed, Apr 28, 2010
from Reuters, via DesdemonaDespair:
Arctic explorers get nasty surprise: rain
In what looks to be another sign the Arctic is heating up quickly, British explorers in Canada's Far North reported on Tuesday that they had been hit by a three-minute rain shower over the weekend. The rain fell on the team's ice base off Ellef Rignes island, about 3,900 km (2,420 miles) north of the Canadian capital, Ottawa. "It's definitely a shocker ... the general feeling within the polar community is that rainfall in the high Canadian Arctic in April is a freak event," said Pen Hadow, the team's expedition director. ... The Arctic is heating up three times more quickly than the rest of the Earth. Scientists link the higher temperatures to the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.... Experts say the thick multiyear ice covering the Arctic Ocean has effectively vanished, which could make it easier to open up polar shipping routes. U.S. data shows the 2009 ice cover was the third-lowest on record, after 2007 and 2008. ...

Raindrops keep falling on my head/ that doesn't mean my world will soon be seeing red....


Wed, Apr 28, 2010
from American Chemical Society:
Gypsy Moths Keep Fluttering
Nature gets a little out of control sometimes, and despite our best chemical efforts to level the playing field, we simply can't win. That's the case with the gypsy moth. This destructive insect pest has been plaguing the Northeast U.S. and parts of Canada for more than a century. A bevy of innovative chemical solutions has been devised over the years, but the moth continues to annually defoliate substantial tracts of forest and blemish suburban landscapes.... "The story of gypsy moth battles is an interesting one," Lance told C&EN. "It runs from spraying trees with heavy doses of lead arsenate a century ago to currently using relatively small amounts of a nontoxic sex pheromone to disrupt mating."... Another development in the gypsy moth war is the nucleopolyhedrosis virus (NPV), which infects only gypsy moth larvae, Lance told C&EN. NPV causes a "wilt" disease that is spread by larvae living in close quarters. The disease can reach epidemic proportions, killing up to 90 percent of the larvae in gypsy moth populations.... "That is why we had the symposium--to raise awareness for the need for better pheromones, pesticides, and pest-management tools. History shows us that the very act of discussing the problems, describing the needs, and visualizing the next level sets us on the path to developing it." ...

I bet nobody's tried high-volume Gypsy music, to make them dance themselves to death.


Wed, Apr 28, 2010
from HandsOffMotherEarth:
Hands off Mother Earth
Hands Off Mother Earth (H.O.M.E) is a global campaign to defend our one precious home, Planet Earth, against the threat of geoengineering experiments. The HOME campaign provides a common platform for organizations and individuals around the world to register their opposition to geoengineering experiments. The campaign asserts that the seas, skies and soils of our home planet should not be used as a laboratory for these unjust and risky technological fixes. The HOME campaign was launched in April 2010 at The World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba Bolivia by a coalition of international civil society groups, indigenous peoples organizations and social movements. These groups invite other organizations worldwide as well as individuals to sign up in support of the campaign. ...

Aw, c'mon. WE understand Nature better than Nature does.


Wed, Apr 28, 2010
from GOOD:
On Fracking and Human Folly
The [Columbia Natural Gas] man described how they would get through the Devonian shale beneath Ingraffea's 70 acres using a method called hydraulic fracturing, and that it was very safe and the impact on the surface of his land would be minimal. Ingraffea didn't buy the woods with the small trout stream for the Devonian shale or natural gas reserves, so he was surprised--but not for the reasons the man at his door that day might have thought. Ingraffea has his Ph.D. in rock fracture mechanics and knows all about Devonion shale. He also knows all about hydraulic fracturing: He's been teaching courses on fracture mechanics at Cornell since 1977.... When fracking knocked on his front door that day, he knew it was also coming to his neighbors' doors, to his whole community around Ithaca. "I looked at my situation and said: Crap, I know a lot about what's going on here and I know that what's being told to the public is not the complete story. If I don't say something, I'm just like one of my bad examples." So, like a true professor, he made a PowerPoint lecture about it. In fracking, the actual splitting of the rock is only one part of a very large, very complex process. Ingraffea uses that word throughout his lecture: "large" (also "big," "huge," "immense," "giant"). Focusing on the fracking itself to determine the safety of a given mining operation, he says, is like looking at a generator to find out if an engine is good or bad. Yeah, it's a key part of the process, but it's also just that: one part of a very (you guessed it) big process. In order to hydraulically fracture, a company has to use certain chemicals--hydrochloric and citric acid, ammonium persulfate, dimethylformamide, petroleum distillate, potassium chloride..... Rather, Ingraffea suggests we use natural gas as a way to wean ourselves off coal, the dirtiest fuel we burn. But this, he says, points to the largest myth of all, the myth that "somebody's in control." We have, he says, "No national energy strategy, no oversight to maintain the standard of living while decreasing our impact on the environment, which should be the cornerstone of any energy policy." ...

I'm reasonably sure the Holy Ghost of the Invisible Hand is "in control."


Tue, Apr 27, 2010
from Nashville Public Radio:
Bat-Killing Fungus Spreading Faster Than Expected, Could Affect Agriculture
A fungus that kills bats by the thousand is spreading faster than expected through Tennessee's caves. White-nose syndrome first turned up a few years ago in a cave in New York, and has since rippled out from one cave to the next, wiping out millions of bats. And in this last few months it's begun to show up in caves in Middle Tennessee.... The fungus has wiped out millions of bats in New England and can devastate populations in just a few years' time. And that's bad news for farmers, who depend on the bats to keep many flying insects in check. "Bats are the number-one predator of night-flying insects. You think about the night-flying insects we have in the southeast in Tennessee and it's mosquitoes, it's moths, beetles - things that can be large crop pests and agricultural pests." ...

I'll just spray-mist Moth-B-Gone and Beetle-B-Dead hourly, all night long. Problem solved!


Tue, Apr 27, 2010
from Business Insurance:
Insurance risk managers worry climate may change rules: Survey
More that three-quarters of risk managers say they are concerned about regulatory risk arising from climate change, according to a survey released Monday during the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.'s Annual Conference & Exhibition in Boston. In a survey of more than 200 risk managers across a variety of industries, nearly 79 percent of respondents indicated that they believe their organizations will have to address regulatory risks imminently or in the near term, within two to 10 years.... Nearly 31 percent said their companies would have to pay closer attention to climate risks, while 26 percent said they would have to change some products in response to increased liability or to take advantage of subsidies. Twenty-five percent said they would change pricing to compensate for increased risk, and 22 percent were not sure of the effect on risk management. About 16 percent said they would assess their current insurance coverage, and almost 15 percent said climate regulation would not affect their company. ...

Regulatory risk is way more likely than climate risks. Whew!


Tue, Apr 27, 2010
from SciDev.net:
Agricultural biodiversity research plan dropped
The conservation of crops and livestock in agricultural areas has become a high-profile victim of a radical overhaul of international agricultural research conducted by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). 'Mobilising agricultural biodiversity for food security and resilience' was one of several thematic areas (or megaprogrammes) proposed by the CGIAR, a group of donors that funds a major international network of agricultural research centres.... But a meeting of donors and the CGIAR consortium earlier this month (1 April), held to discuss the proposed themes, failed to approve the idea of a separate programme on agricultural biodiversity. Instead, biodiversity will continue to be promoted as a "cross-cutting theme" alongside gender, it was decided. Certain aspects of agricultural biodiversity conservation - such as the use of a range of climate change-resistant crops by poorer farmers, and promoting nutrition and health through more crop diversity -- will be incorporated into other thematic areas that are still to be finalised. ...

I guess that megaprogramme on "Agricultural Colonialism via Monocrops" had more appeal.


Tue, Apr 27, 2010
from The Economist:
A radial brew
...About a billion tyres are made every year--each one requiring about 26 litres (or seven American gallons) of oil. Now a way has been found to make greener tyres by using genetically modified bugs to produce isoprene biologically. The work is being carried out by Genencor, an industrial biotech company based in California, in collaboration with Goodyear, one of the world's biggest tyremakers...Genencor used a genetically modified form of E-coli, a favourite species of bacteria in microbial genetics, to produce BioIsoprene. By splicing in genes from other bugs, the company was able to engineer synthetic metabolic pathways--ones that do not exist in nature--that enable the bacteria to produce isoprene from the sugars found in plant materials such as sugar cane, corn cobs and switchgrass, a tall-growing variety native to North America. ...

Just so we don't end up having to eat these tyres.


Tue, Apr 27, 2010
from NPR:
How Cap And Trade Was 'Trashed'
It's not clear whether climate-change legislation has any chance in the Senate this year. What is clear is that even if the chamber does manage to pass a bill, it will be much less ambitious than the version approved by the House last year. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spent months negotiating with Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) over what was expected to be the Senate's blueprint for action on the issue. Over the weekend, Graham pulled out of the effort, canceling the bill's introduction, which had been set for Monday... Graham has been castigated in his home state for working with Democrats on the issue and had not been able to win over any GOP co-sponsors. Climate change has become an increasingly partisan issue. ...

The planet is not partisan, though the poor will suffer far more than the rich.


Tue, Apr 27, 2010
from NASA:
Satellite image: Huge Oil Slick from Damaged Well in Gulf of Mexico
An estimated 42,000 gallons of oil per day were leaking from an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico in late April, following an explosion at an offshore drilling rig on April 20, 2010. The rig eventually capsized and sank.... The oil slick may be particularly obvious because it is occurring in the sunglint area, where the mirror-like reflection of the Sun off the water gives the Gulf of Mexico a washed-out look. The close-up view shows waves on the water surface as well as ships, presumably involved in the clean up and control activities.... The slick may contain dispersant or other chemicals that emergency responders are using to control the spread of the oil, and it is unknown how much of the 700,000 gallons of fuel that were on the oil rig burned in the fire and how much may have spilled into the water when the platform sank. ...

Luckily, there are two wildlife refuges nearby to absorb it.


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, Apr 27, 2010
from BBC:
Australia shelves key emissions trading scheme
The Australian government has put plans for a flagship emissions trading scheme on hold until 2013 at the earliest. The move comes after the scheme was rejected twice by the Senate, where Prime Minster Kevin Rudd's government does not have a majority. Mr Rudd, who came to power promising tough climate action, blamed opposition obstruction and slow global progress on emissions cuts for the plan's delay. Australia is one of the highest per capita carbon emitters in the world.... Some lawmakers had questioned the scientific case for global warming and said that the emissions trading scheme would damage Australia's economy. ...

Enough shelves, and we'll have a library!


Mon, Apr 26, 2010
from PhysOrg.com:
Ancient artifacts revealed as northern ice patches melt
High in the Mackenzie Mountains, scientists are finding a treasure trove of ancient hunting tools being revealed as warming temperatures melt patches of ice that have been in place for thousands of years.... Tom Andrews, an archaeologist with the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife and lead researcher on the International Polar Year Ice Patch Study, is amazed at the implements being discovered by researchers. "We're just like children opening Christmas presents. I kind of pinch myself," says Andrews. Ice patches are accumulations of annual snow that, until recently, remained frozen all year. For millennia, caribou seeking relief from summer heat and insects have made their way to ice patches where they bed down until cooler temperatures prevail. Hunters noticed caribou were, in effect, marooned on these ice islands and took advantage.... Andrews is currently in a race against time. His IPY funds have run out and he is keenly aware that each summer, the patches continue to melt. In fact, two of the eight original patches have already disappeared. "We realize that the ice patches are continuing to melt and we have an ethical obligation to collect these artifacts as they are exposed," says Andrews. ...

Worldwide climate collapse does pinch just a wee bit, doesn't it?


Mon, Apr 26, 2010
from Agence France-Press:
BP struggles to cap leak as US oil slick spreads
British oil giant BP used robotic underwater vehicles Sunday to try to cap a leaking well and prevent a growing oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico from developing into an environmental disaster. Satellite images showed the slick had spread by 50 percent in a day to cover an area of 600 square miles (1,550 square kilometers), although officials said some 97 percent of the pollution was just a thin veneer on the sea's surface. BP has dispatched skimming vessels to mop up the oil leaking from the debris of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which sank on Thursday, still blazing almost two days after a massive explosion that left 11 workers missing presumed dead. ...

Use of fossil fuels is ALREADY an environmental disaster.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010
from Telegraph.co.uk:
David Attenborough warns of ecological disaster in 'Silent Summer'
The naturalist made his comments in the foreword to a new book, Silent Summer, in which 40 prominent British ecologists explain how humankind is wiping out many species.... The new book explains the negative impact of pesticides, population growth, farming and other factors on the plants and species that prop up Britain's ecosystems.... The book details how three quarters of British butterfly species are in decline, thanks in part to the destruction of the plants caterpillars feed on, treated by farmers as weeds. Moth numbers were down by a third from 1968 to 2002 for the same reasons, with at least 20 species having seen populations decline by more than 90 per cent. Rivers in Britain have also suffered, with caddis flies, mayflies and stoneflies said to have badly suffered from the increased use of pesticides on sheep and cattle, which can wash off and poison the water if the animals enter a river or stream. ...

Fewer critters just means more room to expand!


Mon, Apr 26, 2010
from Reuters:
Climate debate gets ugly as world moves to curb CO2
Climate scientists, used to dealing with sceptics, are under siege like never before, targeted by hate emails brimming with abuse and accusations of fabricating global warming data. Some emails contain thinly veiled death threats. Across the Internet, climate blogs are no less venomous, underscoring the surge in abuse over the past six months triggered by purported evidence that global warming is either a hoax or the threat from a warmer world is grossly overstated. A major source of the anger is from companies with a vested interest in fighting green legislation that might curtail their activities or make their operations more costly. ...

Livelihoods ... over lives.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010
from Raleigh News and Observer:
Scientists flag possible risks from soy
Recent research has raised concern about chemicals in plastic that mimic hormones and might pose risks for infants, but a similar concern is now emerging in a common food - soy. Animal studies indicate that natural substances in soy have the same hormone-mimicking qualities as some plastic additives, and a debate is unfolding among scientists about how seriously to take the threat.... studies in lab animals have found a link between estrogen-like substances in soy - natural compounds called isoflavones - and developmental harm in offspring. Animal studies suggest that fetal or newborn exposure to genistein, a major isoflavone in soy formula, may cause early puberty and other problems later in life. ...



Mon, Apr 26, 2010
from London Independent:
Out for the count: Why levels of sperm in men are falling
...Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the WHO conference where a Danish scientist first alerted the world to the fact that Western men are suffering an infertility crisis... Experts in human reproductive biology were astonished by the Danish study. The declining trend seemed to indicate that men were on a path to becoming completely infertile within a few generations... There is now an emerging consensus among some experts that whatever it is that is exacerbating the problems of male infertility, it probably starts in the womb. It is not the lifestyle of men that is problem, but that of their mothers. ...

Men are nothing but a bunch of oedipussies.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010
from GSA:
Geological Society of America revises position statement re climate change
Decades of scientific research have shown that climate can change from both natural and anthropogenic causes. The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s. If current trends continue, the projected increase in global temperature by the end of the twentyfirst century will result in large impacts on humans and other species. Addressing the challenges posed by climate change will require a combination of adaptation to the changes that are likely to occur and global reductions of CO2 emissions from anthropogenic sources.... Scientific advances in the first decade of the 21st century have greatly reduced previous uncertainties about the amplitude and causes of recent global warming. ...

Looks like the TriLateral Commission got to the GSA too!


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