Upsetment
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Upsetment
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Curated by Kenneth Weene
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Tibetans in anguish as Chinese mines pollute their sacred grasslands

Tibetans in anguish as Chinese mines pollute their sacred grasslands | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Beijing’s thirst for mineral resources is causing unrest in Tibet.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Paradoxically, mankind advances most when we use the minerals and organic matter found deep in the earth. The bronze age. The iron age. The age of steel. The age of petroleum. Even now, in the modern electronic age we need minerals, indeed many of these are very rare and found only where the earth has pushed up from the core towards the surface, places, for instance, like the Tibetan plains. The problem is that bringing those materials to the surface for human consumption endangers the people involved. Consider what uranium has done to the Navajo. Consider the blackened lungs of miners. Consider this sad story from Tibet. Were I the leader of an underdeveloped nation that might have such hidden resources, I would surely want to keep the greedy great powers at bay. China, the US, and in the near future India and Iran all hungry for more. Beware! 
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Humans Are Close To Killing Off Two-Thirds Of All Wildlife In Just 50 Years

Humans Are Close To Killing Off Two-Thirds Of All Wildlife In Just 50 Years | Upsetment | Scoop.it
"At some point the earth is going to say 'enough.'"
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In our endless demand for more we humans are destroying the earth, depopulating nature and making our home ultimately unlivable. Still we don't stop lying to ourselves, saying that population growth is fine, that consumption is a good thing, that we can live without the consequences of selfishness. Meanwhile, the sustainability of humanity is seriously at question. 
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Five myths about mosquitoes

Five myths about mosquitoes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Sorry, air conditioning and citronella won’t protect you.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Mosquitoes aren't going to disappear. Maybe they're nature's way of reminding us that we live in the world, that the environment has to be reckoned with and treated responsibly. Meanwhile, can we get the government to do some Zika research? 
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Climate Change May Be Doubted by Some, But Now It’s the Law

Climate Change May Be Doubted by Some, But Now It’s the Law | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A federal court allows the Obama administration to incorporate the price of global destruction.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It may only be a small, policy wonk step, but Mr. Obama has once again shown that he is aware of Climate Change while so many politicians want to play the ostrich in the face of a growing crisis. 
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How to Lead a Nation That Will Be Swallowed by the Sea

How to Lead a Nation That Will Be Swallowed by the Sea | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The president of low-lying Kiribati has spent nearly a decade trying to save his people from rising sea levels. There’s a good chance he will not succeed. This is how he leads a nation that will lik…
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In this distant and relatively unknown land, mankind is facing the future, and is sadly a future without gills. When an entire nation slips beneath the waves, perhaps we will take a moment to realize what we are doing to our planet—or then again, perhaps not.Perhaps we will live in denial until we can no longer live at all.  
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31 scientific societies just told Congress to take their climate denial and shove it

31 scientific societies just told Congress to take their climate denial and shove it | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An impressive 31 scientific societies issued a joint statement to Congress on global warming, but it won't have much impact.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is well-passed time for politicians to stop their denial of massive climate change. We need to do what we can to improve the future of the Earth and for the quality of life of generations to come—EVEN IF THAT MEANS CUTTING THE PROFITS OF TODAY.
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Donald Trump’s Energy Plan: More Fossil Fuels and Fewer Rules

Donald Trump’s Energy Plan: More Fossil Fuels and Fewer Rules | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Speaking in North Dakota, at the heart of America’s oil and gas boom, Mr. Trump vowed to restore coal mining jobs and “cancel” the Paris climate change accord.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Ignoring the reality that we are almost totally energy independent, especially if you subtract exports from imports.and the reality that this has been achieved with improved air quality, Mr. Trump pushes for coal and fracking, two bad ideas but he knows there's money to be made even if it hurts Americans. Has anybody noticed that gas is cheaper, the air is cleaner? As for the Keystone pipeline, just another great reason to keep him out of the White House; it would be an environmental disaster waiting to happen and with little advantage to us or even to Canada.  In the end his motto is, "Money aead of environment."
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Why the EPA is Partly to Blame for the Flint Water Crisis

Why the EPA is Partly to Blame for the Flint Water Crisis | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The federal agency knew the water toxic long before the public
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There is no clear mechanism by which the federal government could have pushed this issue more effectively. Could the EPA have gone public? Well, that would have become another "example of the Obama administration using its power to harass Republicans." That is the sad truth about anything the feds do, it can be used as political fodder no matter how it impacts lives. Could they have tried to go over the state bureaucracy's head to the governor? Good luck on that; it gets called federal overreach and becomes fodder for the "anti-government" far right. Maybe the real problem is our system isn't always the best. Maybe the problem is that we let politics run things until they go awry and then scream in pain. Maybe, just maybe, it's time to let the scientists and engineers do their jobs properly.
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We’re drinking ourselves to death: The alarming numbers behind our bottled water addiction

We’re drinking ourselves to death: The alarming numbers behind our bottled water addiction | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Last year, Americans drank more than 10 billion gallons of bottled H2O. The toll on the environment was devastating
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The waste of energy and the creation of undesirable plastic are the major reasons we should turn to reusable bottles. Even when recycled, those bottles are harmful to the environment. And, to be honest, bottled water is seldom any better than the water from the tap. For my part, I seldom buy bottled water and at home I use a water filter, which is itself of course an environmental issue if a much smaller one, because the tap water is overly chlorinated and has too many minerals for my taste. The bottom line is we have to learn how to live more in harmony with nature and without taking so much from the environment.

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Zimbabwe calls for extradition of Cecil the lion's killer

Zimbabwe calls for extradition of Cecil the lion's killer | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The American dentist who killed Cecil the lion was a "foreign poacher" who paid for an illegal hunt and he should be extradited to Zimbabwe to face justice, environment minister Oppah
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I have the definite sense that he knew he was breaking the law and didn't think that mattered. So, yeah, I'm for extradition. How do others feel about sending Walter Palmer to Zimbabwe?

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American recycling is stalling, and the big blue bin is one reason why

American recycling is stalling, and the big blue bin is one reason why | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Falling commodity prices have left U.S. cities with big bills to dispose of once-profitable products.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Most Americans are willing to recycle, but they are not getting good training in that skill. I wonder if any schools try to teach what is and what is not good recyclable material. As for composting, there is almost no effort to encourage that at a local level, especially not in cities. The big improvement that I do see is more people are using Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and the like to recycle usable objects and clothing. Do you recycle?

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The Weird Effect Climate Change Will Have On Plant Growth

The Weird Effect Climate Change Will Have On Plant Growth | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Climate change could turn forests them into carbon emitters
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Whether or not you believe that climate change is man-made, whether or not you believe that climate change is real, just imagine a world in which we, and other species, are slowly suffocating. Now, that's the stuff of horror.

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When Humans Declared War on Fish

When Humans Declared War on Fish | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Victory in 1945 meant a new era of violence against ocean life.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It isn't just war on animals but on the oceans themselves. Consider the dumping of sewage and garbage that has gone one, the discharge of oil from ships and from wells. We are such foolish animals we humans; our wanting knows no bound. Sadly, while we are able to find ways to take more we are often unable to see how our greed will affect the future. Well, isn't that the nature of "war."

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Buried Antarctic Lake Is a Climate Surprise - D-brief

Buried Antarctic Lake Is a Climate Surprise - D-brief | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Meltwater appears in East Antarctica, long thought to be resistant to warming temperatures.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
For a long time I have been saying we should not talk about global warming but net energy absorption. This is an example of what I was trying to get people to understand. The ice cubes in the glass are melting at a faster rate. One day, poof, the ice will be gone and we'll all be in the drink, a beverage that will soon turn into a stew. 
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Global CO2 Concentration Passes Threshold of 400 ppm—And That's Bad for the Climate

Global CO2 Concentration Passes Threshold of 400 ppm—And That's Bad for the Climate | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The average level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere across the globe passed 400 ppm last year, a symbolic milestone, the WMO said Monday
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is a foolish species that fouls its nest and a truly stupid one that does so knowing the eventual consequences. Are we humans really that dumb or do we just not care beyond our immediate pleasures? 
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Your drain on drugs: Meth in Baltimore's streams

Your drain on drugs: Meth in Baltimore's streams | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new study finds aquatic life in Baltimore is being exposed to illegal drugs methamphetamine and amphetamine and it's having an impact on their growth.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Another reason to stop the war on drugs. Dumping prescribed drugs is bad enough for the environment, but when we have no control over the production and distribution of the self-medicating drugs, we are asking to have them dumped incorrectly and produced in ways that produce ecological disasters. We need to help people fight the reasons for getting hooked, help them get alternatives, and stop the obvious failed approach of making drugs a toy for the  criminal justice system. . 
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America is set to spend billions on taming its growing wild-horse population

America is set to spend billions on taming its growing wild-horse population | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Galloping off in all directions with taxpayers’ money
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A perfect example of government done badly, and the culprit is Congress, but let's not forget the people who are putting their horses into the wild rather than caring for them. At any rate, what exactly is wrong with culling herds since there aren't enough natural predators? I don't expect we can get hunters to go after horse, but we can slaughter some in order that the herds have decent food supplies. Maybe, the French have a good idea. 
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Is The GOP Trying To Destroy The Earth?

Is The GOP Trying To Destroy The Earth? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Republican party casts doubt on climate change, rejects the Paris Agreement and calls coal "clean."
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If a political party serves not the wellbeing of the people but the growth of corporations, then it cannot give proper concern to climate and environmental issues. Hopefully, the Democratic platform will be more in touch with the evidence of science and the needs of the future. Denial ain't a river in Egypt; last week it changed course and inundated Cleveland.
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Birds’ Beaks Deformed in Alaska; Grants Help Researchers Investigate

Birds’ Beaks Deformed in Alaska; Grants Help Researchers Investigate | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scientists in Alaska are studying ever-increasing beak deformities, and others are investigating climate change effects on songbirds.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
How sad that we humans have so disconnected ourselves and our ways from the animals with whom we share the earth. 
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Almost everything you buy, from cereal to mascara, is killing the rain forest

Almost everything you buy, from cereal to mascara, is killing the rain forest | Upsetment | Scoop.it
So I tried to give it all up. It was almost impossible.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Let's keep asking the companies from whom we purchase products to make a difference in their policies. Let's cut down on waste and do our best to recycle. Plant trees and encourage tree farming. Remember that the trees of the rain forests are a precious world resource. Most of all: HONOR NATURE!
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A Question of Environmental Racism in Flint

A Question of Environmental Racism in Flint | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Civil rights advocates say that the Michigan city’s health crisis smacks of the kind of discrimination that causes the disproportionate exposure of blacks to polluted air, water and soil.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I do not know that racism was at the heart of the bad decisions or the failure to act when problems became clear, but I do know that government is supposed to protect the most vulnerable not hang them out to dry, or in this case to soak in unhealthy water. Over and over, however, government at all levels has demonstrated its inability to take those little people and their needs into serious consideration. We can blame bureaucracy, we can yell racism, we can shout for free market solutions: all of that is crap. Until there are penalties for those who fail public trust, nothing will change. For a governor to say, "I let you down" without himself being forced to step down is as meaningful as saying next time we'll have cadmium in the water or arsenic instead of lead. Until public officials are really accountable to the public there is no possibility of good government. The question is will the people of Michigan hold the Republican party responsible for this disaster. That is the way to force real change, and it is why we need more than two parties in this country. Going from Tweedle-dy to Tweedle-dum doesn't make for real change, just musical chairs. 

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Drone flights overhead cause stress for black bears, study says

Drone flights overhead cause stress for black bears, study says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Drones operated by researchers may have unintended consequences for wildlife, warns the lead author of a new study showing the buzzing of unmanned aerial vehicles overhead can leave black bears stressed, with racing hearts.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is a given in science that the process of studying something has its own effects. Therefore, scientists, especially those studying animals, must have a clear sense of responsibility and take care to not do harm. Drones are not toys but invasive incursions into the environment.

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One of the World's Largest Tiger Habitats Has Only 100 Left

One of the World's Largest Tiger Habitats Has Only 100 Left | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new survey in Bangladesh's Sundarban forests is alarming.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Tigers are a threatened species, but more importantly they are a glorious animal that reminds us of the incomprehensible beauty that is nature.

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The Power Plant Fueling America's Drought

The Power Plant Fueling America's Drought | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Navajo Generating Plant powers pumps that push trillions of gallons of water out of the Colorado River and send it shooting over mountains and through canals to cities like Phoenix and Tucson. It's also an environmental disaster.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A very disturbing review of the history of one of Arizona's biggest mistakes. If we must keep moving that water, perhaps it's time to build nuclear plant. More importantly, we have to stop wasting water, which includes the waste built into poor infrastructure. If we keep kicking the can down the road, we may find that we have run out of road.

 

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Here's What a Massive 5-Year Study of Ocean Life Reveals

Here's What a Massive 5-Year Study of Ocean Life Reveals | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scientists don't know how climate change may affect life in the ocean
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Plankton, oxygen and viruses: all are showing changing levels and reactions to the rise of global temperatures and therefore the rise in temperatures of the seas. While the oceans are under that attack, we humans continue to dump waste and contaminants into the water. Let us not forget that the oceans, our largest single bio-system may be vast but it is vulnerable.

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