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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)
Recovery:(6)
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 (4) matching "unintended consequences" from this week
[see full week] ~ [see all stories tagged "unintended consequences"]
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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Thu, Mar 19, 2009
from SHEA, via EurekAlert:
Study finds extensive patient sharing among hospitals; could impact spread of infectious diseases
"We were surprised to find extensive interlinking of all the hospitals included in the study," said Susan S. Huang, MD, MPH, assistant professor and hospital epidemiologist, University of California Irvine School of Medicine and SHEA member. "The level of patient sharing among hospitals is grossly underestimated because patients often don't transfer directly between hospitals."... A large number of people (22 percent) who are discharged from acute care facilities are readmitted elsewhere within one year.... This research is particularly important for infectious agents with a substantial incubation period or prolonged carrier state such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), since patients may not exhibit symptoms of these diseases until after they have been discharged from a hospital stay. ...


Sharing is a bad thing? That's not what my Mom taught me.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Mar 16, 2009
from AP News:
Economy spurs home garden boom
With the recession in full swing, many Americans are returning to their roots -- literally -- cultivating vegetables in their backyards to squeeze every penny out of their food budget. Industry surveys show double-digit growth in the number of home gardeners this year and mail-order companies report such a tremendous demand that some have run out of seeds for basic vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and peppers. "People's home grocery budget got absolutely shredded and now we've seen just this dramatic increase in the demand for our vegetable seeds. We're selling out," said George Ball, CEO of Burpee Seeds, the largest mail-order seed company in the U.S. "I've never seen anything like it." ...


I'm not ready to declare "victory [gardens]" just yet.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Mar 16, 2009
from Queen's University, via EurekAlert:
Cleaning up oil spills can kill more fish than spills themselves
A new Queen's University study shows that detergents used to clean up spills of diesel oil actually increase its toxicity to fish, making it more harmful. "The detergents may be the best way to treat spills in the long term because the dispersed oil is diluted and degraded," says Biology professor Peter Hodson. "But in the short term, they increase the bioavailability and toxicity of the fuel to rainbow trout by 100-fold." ... [The dispersion] increases the transfer of hydrocarbons from oil to water, Dr. Hodson explains. The hydrocarbons pass easily from water into tissues and are deadly to fish in the early stages of life. "This could seriously impair the health of fish populations, resulting in long-term reductions in economic returns to fisheries," he says. ...


Jeez, you mean adding more shit won't fix the stew?

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