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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
View By Scenario:
Species Collapse:(6)
Plague/Virus:(3)
Climate Chaos:(12)
Resource Depletion: (8)
Biology Breach:(7)
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This Week's Top Ten Very Scary Tags:
climate impacts  ~ global warming  ~ contamination  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ water issues  ~ unintended consequences  ~ superbugs  ~ massive die-off  ~ arctic meltdown  ~ pandemic  ~ stupid humans  



ApocaDocuments (5) matching "contamination" from this week
[see full week] ~ [see all stories tagged "contamination"]
Sun, Mar 22, 2009
from Merced Sun-Star:
Overrun by waste: Large agriculture operations add billions to our economy but what price are we paying?
Welcome to one of the most serious tradeoffs of the 21st century: as America and the world gird to become green, they're finding that ecology and economy sometimes don't stroll hand in hand into an unpolluted sunset. The cost of cleaning and greening has to come from somewhere. Increasingly, that cost is being paid by consumers in the form of higher prices passed along by businesses trying to meet ever-stricter environmental regulations. Another factor is that residents of communities where some companies may pollute have to decide whether the jobs offered at those companies are enough to offset any environmental harm that may occur. With an unemployment rate pushing 20 percent, Mercedians have to ask themselves whether the fate of a fairy shrimp or more chicken guano in their soil matters more to them than a world-class research university or a decent-paying blue-collar job. ...


Me... I'd always be on the side of the fairy shrimp.

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Mar 22, 2009
from The Japan Times:
Oceans awash in toxic seas of plastic
Go down to the beach today and you'll find plenty of garbage among the sand but that's nothing compared with the continent-sized whirlpools of lethal waste out there beyond the horizon... Umbrella handles. Pens. Popsicle sticks. Lots and lots of toothbrushes. These are just a few of the items that make up the approximately 13 million sq. km Eastern Garbage Patch, an immense plastic soup in the Pacific Ocean that starts about 800 km off the coast of California and extends westward. Sucked from the coasts of Asia and America by ocean currents, or discarded at sea, plastic debris accumulates there in an ever-growing mass that does not biodegrade and is said to be already larger than the United States. Scientists have long known that plastic in the garbage patch and elsewhere is stuffing the stomachs of seabirds and causing them to starve, suffocating fish and choking marine turtles. But what is now becoming clear is that when pieces of plastic meet other pollutants in the ocean, the results can be even more toxic. That's because, as a growing number of studies are showing, the plastic debris absorbs harmful chemicals from the seawater it floats in, acting like a "pollution sponge" that concentrates those chemicals and poses a different, more insidious threat to marine and other life. ...


Perhaps we're just building a plastic Pangea!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Mar 21, 2009
from AP News:
Critics question safety of storing coal slurry in mines
Regulators in a handful of Appalachian states that let coal companies inject slurry into abandoned mines say they're confident the practice is safe, but an Associated Press survey shows they lack scientific data to answer citizens who believe aquifers, water wells and their own health are at risk. None of the five states contacted by AP has studied the chemical composition of slurry, a byproduct left when clay, sulfur and other impurities are removed from coal to make it burn more efficiently. For decades, slurry has been injected into abandoned, underground mines in Appalachia as a cheap alternative to building massive dams or filtration and drying systems. But hundreds of West Virginians are suing coal companies in two cases, claiming chemicals and metals in the slurry have leaked into aquifers, contaminated well water and caused health problems ranging from kidney disease to cancer. ...


Seems like maybe we should just burn it instead. I'm confident that's safe.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Mar 17, 2009
from Montreal Gazette:
Brain cancer linked to youngsters using cellphones
An international group of scientists is calling on Canada and other countries to bring in tougher safety standards for cellphone use after a Swedish team found a fivefold elevated risk of malignant brain tumours in children who begin using mobile phones before the age of 20. The plea and the science underlying it is published in the forthcoming edition of Pathophysiology, devoted to peer-reviewed research about the biological effects of the global explosion of wireless technologies and devices like cellphones, cordless phones, wireless Internet and cell towers. The findings of 15 studies from health researchers in six different countries, looking at the effects of electromagnetic fields and radio frequency radiation on living cells and on the health of humans, should jolt government agencies into action as a precautionary measure, Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health & the Environment at the University at Albany, and one of the co-authors, said in an interview. ...


Yeah right -- governments are sooooo geared toward "precautionary measures."

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Mar 16, 2009
from Inter Press Service:
Blessed and Cursed by Water
In 2008, the United Nations (U.N.) International Year of Sanitation, it is estimated that 2.16 billion people in developing countries lack that most basic of amenities - a proper toilet. They do not have water conveniently pumped in and out of their homes for use in flush toilets. Many have no choice but to relieve themselves in ditches, behind the house, down the road, or at any other 'convenient' location. The result: "widespread damage to human health and child survival prospects; social misery especially for women, the elderly and infirm; depressed economic productivity and human development; pollution to the living environment and water resources," according to the U.N. report 'Tackling a global crisis'. Of course, water is not only a question of sanitation. This year is also part of the U.N's international decade for water, titled 'Water for Life'. Some more statistics: about 700 million people in 43 countries are affected by water scarcity, according to the U.N. In 2025 the number could be 3 billion. Around 1.1 billion people are said to have no access to safe drinking water. ...


Turns out that
the "real thing"...
is water.

ApocaDoc
permalink

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