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Fewer bees in US threaten almond crop

Fewer bees in US threaten almond crop | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Fewer bees are available to pollinate California's growing almond crop. Beekeepers in the US have fewer bees this year because of drought and ongoing colony collapse disorder.
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News that effects the sustainability of life on Earth
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Stupidity Is Not A Valid Defense For Us - The Automatic Earth

Stupidity Is Not A Valid Defense For Us - The Automatic Earth | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

If we can't plead stupidity, what else is there? How do we live with ourselves? Is it all the stuff we buy that manages to numb our brains and consciences?

 

When I see a headline like this one at Bloomberg today, World Needs Record Saudi Oil Supply as OPEC Convenes, there’s just one thought that pops into my head: what the world needs is for us to stop doing this thing we’re doing. Even apart from peak oil concerns, it’s obvious we’re going to run out at some point or another, and it doesn’t matter whether that’s tomorrow or at some other point in the future, though we do know it’s not going to take another 100 years, or even 50.

 

And nothing will ever take the place of oil; once those unique carbons are gone, that’s it, we’ll have to find a completely different way of running our societies, and if we’re not smart enough to prepare for that beforehand, we’ll be cats fighting in a sack and use the last scraps to kill off each other. And our legacy won’t be the Greek thinkers and Picasso and Dostoyevsky and Walt Whitman and Maria Callas, since there won’t be the means for our children anymore to share what makes man great between them. Our main legacy will instead be bloodshed, we will have gone the exact same path that any non-thinking or even primitive organism would have taken, who don’t have opera or philosophy or poetry to their name.

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David Collet's curator insight, August 2, 5:26 PM

A thoughtfull read.

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Unforeseen dioxin formation in waste incineration

Unforeseen dioxin formation in waste incineration | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Dioxins forms faster, at lower temperatures and under other conditions than previously thought. This may affect how we in the future construct sampling equipment, flue gas filtering systems for waste incineration and how to treat waste incineration fly ash. These are some of the conclusions Eva Weidemann ...
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World will 'change course' on climate at UN summit

World will 'change course' on climate at UN summit | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A UN summit on climate change will see the world 'change course' and begin to seriously tackle global warming, UN climate envoy Mary Robinson said Wednesday.
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Last month was hottest August since 1880 (Update)

Last month was hottest August since 1880 (Update) | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Last month was the hottest August on record for global average temperatures over land and ocean surfaces, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.
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Changes in coastal upwelling linked to variability in marine ecosystem off California

Changes in coastal upwelling linked to variability in marine ecosystem off California | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
In findings of relevance to conservationists and the fishing industry, new research links short-term reductions in growth and reproduction of marine animals off the California coast to increasing variability in the strength of coastal upwelling currents—currents that supply nutrients to the region's ...
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Fake sweeteners may mess with the way our bodies metabolize sugar

Fake sweeteners may mess with the way our bodies metabolize sugar | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Diet sodas and those packets of artificial sweetener you put in your coffee may not be as benign as we thought, a new study suggests.
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Vaping and Health: What Do We Know about E-Cigarettes?

Vaping and Health: What Do We Know about E-Cigarettes? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

As a pulmonologist with the San Diego Veteran’s Affairs hospital, Laura Crotty Alexander has probably answered every possible question about smoking. Whether her patients were looking for ways to quit or simply wondering whether their current health problems might be related to smoking, Crotty Alexander provided answers.

 

A couple of years ago, however, her patients began asking new questions: Are electronic cigarettes safer than conventional cigarettes, and should they switch? “I didn’t have the answers. As a physician and a researcher, that was very frustrating,” Crotty Alexander says.

 

Physicians all over the country are encountering the same questions from their patients. Out of nowhere, it seems, e-cigarettes—or electronic nicotine delivery systems, as they are formally known—are appearing at gas stations, convenience stores, and anywhere else cigarettes are sold. Advertisements claim e-cigarettes offer health benefits by helping smokers quit. All e-cigarette users inhale is “harmless water vapor.”1 The e-cigarette, it would seem, takes all the risk out of smoking.

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Reuters - Water's edge: the crisis of rising sea levels

Reuters - Water's edge: the crisis of rising sea levels | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Reuters investigates how rising seas are not a future threat, but a troubling reality in the U.S. and around the world.
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Fish-Choking Microbeads Have States Limiting Cosmetic Contents

Fish-Choking Microbeads Have States Limiting Cosmetic Contents | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Microbeads, the tiny plastic balls added to body scrubs and toothpastes by such manufacturers as L’Oreal SA and Procter & Gamble Co., were marketed as the greatest beauty aid since cold cream. Now fish have a gut full, and some U.S. and state lawmakers want the ingredient banned.
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The great frack forward: A journey to the heart of China’s gas boom

The great frack forward: A journey to the heart of China’s gas boom | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
US companies are salivating over the biggest shale gas resources in the world. What could possibly go wrong?
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Mass murder by botulism: Surge in Great Lakes bird deaths driven by invaders — Environmental Health News

Mass murder by botulism: Surge in Great Lakes bird deaths driven by invaders — Environmental Health News | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The botulism bacterium "is the most toxic natural substance on Earth. Just one gram could kill off like two million people. And for these birds it's essentially just widespread food poisoning." -Stephen Riley, USGS

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Reducing pesticides and boosting harvests

Reducing pesticides and boosting harvests | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Scientists in Italy are experimenting with sound vibrations to replace pesticides. Adapting different eco-friendly methods they are able to boost harvests and open up a new chapter in sustainable farming.
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France to receive first Ebola patient

France to receive first Ebola patient | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
France on Wednesday prepared to receive its first Ebola patient, as the World Bank warned the spiralling epidemic is threatening economic catastrophe in west Africa.
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Ocean-threatened Marshall's leader posts climate video plea

Ocean-threatened Marshall's leader posts climate video plea | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak was forced to heighten the seawall protecting his home last year, but says the year-old defences are now barely enough to protect his family from a 'climate emergency'.
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Far more displaced by disasters than conflict

Far more displaced by disasters than conflict | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Disasters last year displaced three times more people than violent conflicts, showing the urgent need to improve resilience for vulnerable people when fighting climate change, according to a study issued Wednesday.
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Concern grows over pet pills and products, as well as those of owners

Concern grows over pet pills and products, as well as those of owners | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —Scientists have long been aware of the potential environment impacts that stem from the use and disposal of the array of products people use to keep themselves healthy, clean and smelling nice. Now a new concern is emerging – improper disposal of pet care products and pills.
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Scientists monitoring Hawaii lava undertake risks

Scientists monitoring Hawaii lava undertake risks | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
New photos from the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory give a glimpse into the hazardous work scientists undertake to monitor lava that's threatening to cross a major highway.
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The causes of China's record level fine particulate pollution in winter 2013

The causes of China's record level fine particulate pollution in winter 2013 | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
At the beginning of 2013 a greyish-brown blanket of smog lay over large areas of China for several months. The fine particle pollution was higher by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude than the levels normally measured in Western Europe and the United States. An international team of researchers under the lead ...
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Arizona group pushing feds to protect monarch butterflies

Arizona group pushing feds to protect monarch butterflies | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
PHOENIX — The Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity and other groups are petitioning the federal government to make the monarch butterfly an endangered species, citing a population drop of more than 90 percent over the past two decades.
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GMO debate grows over golden rice in the Philippines

GMO debate grows over golden rice in the Philippines | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Vitamin A deficiency is a deadly threat to kids and pregnant mothers in the Third World. In the Philippines, the best nutrient sources are rarely part of the daily diet, so researchers have tried adding vitamin A to rice, a staple food. Science correspondent Miles O'Brien investigates the debate that’s grown up over the development of golden rice, a genetically modified crop. Continue reading →
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Europeans have little appetite for U.S. apples

Europeans have little appetite for U.S. apples | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
With the harvest underway, Jon Alegria figures he’ll pack more than 400 million apples from this year’s crop by mid-November, relying on a widely used chemical to keep them looking fresh for months.
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China Sees Week-Long Protest Against Chemical Plants - The Epoch Times

China Sees Week-Long Protest Against Chemical Plants - The Epoch Times | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Thousands of citizens protested against a chemical plant that emits stinky smell in central China’s Henan Province on Monday, the seventh day since the protest started.
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Time after Time: Environmental Influences on the Aging Brain

Time after Time: Environmental Influences on the Aging Brain | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The population of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to double between 2010 and 2050,1 and by midcentury the proportion of the human population made up of people over age 80 is projected to have quadrupled since 2000.2 So factors that affect this aging population are of increasing importance. Of particular concern are the neurological diseases and disorders typically associated with advanced age, among them Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, dementia, and reduced cognitive function. Investigators are studying the effects of not just present-day exposures and environmental influences such as physical and mental exercise, but also exposures that occurred much earlier in life, whose effects may only become apparent in old age.

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Underwater Compressed Air Energy Storage: Fantasy or Reality?

Underwater Compressed Air Energy Storage: Fantasy or Reality? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Underwater Compressed Air Energy Storage (UW-CAES) — a step beyond underground energy storage in caverns — may soon offer conventional utilities a means of long-duration load shifting for their large-scale electrical grids, and niche microgrid operators a means of reducing their fossil-f
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Global importance of pollinators underestimated

Global importance of pollinators underestimated | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —Declines in populations of pollinators, such as bees and wasps, may be a key threat to nutrition in some of the most poorly fed parts of the globe, according to new research.
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Ebola 'fear factor' risks economic disaster: World Bank

Ebola 'fear factor' risks economic disaster: World Bank | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The World Bank warned Wednesday that fear of the deadly Ebola virus is choking off economic activity in West Africa with potentially 'catastrophic' results.
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