Phillip Schneider – Government Criminalizing Rainwater Collection In All Out War On Self Sufficiency

November 23, 2015

Collecting rainwater is classically seen as a safe and sustainable way of supplying your household with an off-the-grid water supply. Some people collect rainwater only for a backup reservoir, while others prefer to go all the way and maintain their household with pure off-the-grid rainwater collection. This method ensures water during emergencies, can help control floods, saves money and liberates us from company-dependence for our water. Consequently, this freedom to collect our own rainwater is currently under attack. State laws have been set up in several U.S. States including Oregon, Utah, California, Florida, Colorado and Washington that prohibit the collection, or “diversion” of rainwater, including water that is falling on your own property and is to be used for your own private use or as an environmental conservation technique. Read

VALERIE BROWN AND ELIZABETH GROSSMAN – Why the United States Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market

November 17, 2015

A 6-month investigation finds that the revolving door between government and the chemical industry has led the EPA to rely on easily manipulated research. The result? Toxic substances remain in everyday products. Scientists are trained to express themselves rationally. They avoid personal attacks when they disagree. But some scientific arguments become so polarized that tempers fray. There may even be shouting. Such is the current state of affairs between two camps of scientists: health effects researchers and regulatory toxicologists. Both groups study the effects of chemical exposures in humans. Both groups have publicly used terms like “irrelevant,” “arbitrary,” “unfounded” and “contrary to all accumulated physiological understanding” to describe the other’s work. Privately, the language becomes even harsher, with phrases such as “a pseudoscience,” “a religion” and “rigged.” Read

KENNETH CHANG – Stonehenge Begins to Yield Its Secrets

November 12, 2015

AMESBURY, England — About 6,300 years ago, a tree here toppled over.For the ancients in this part of southern England, it created a prime real estate opportunity — next to a spring and near attractive hunting grounds. According to David Jacques, an archaeologist at the University of Buckingham, mud was pressed into the pulled-up roots, turning them into a wall. Nearby, a post was inserted into a hole, and that may have held up a roof of reeds or animal skin. Read

Massive influence of biotech industry on EU research projects on risks of genetically engineered plants

November 11, 2015

* Report shows close networking between experts and industry The results from the EU research project GRACE are to be presented in Potsdam, Germany on 9 and 10 November. The GRACE team of experts conducted feeding trials with genetically engineered plants on rats and reviewed existing publications on risk research. Testbiotech analysis shows the biotech industry has seriously impacted the results of the research project. As a Testbiotech report published today also shows, the biotech industry has not only systematically influenced the GRACE research project, but four other similar EU research projects. All of the coordinators of these projects are part of a close network of institutions that are funded by industry. Read

Tim Radford – West Antarctic ice cascades towards crisis

November 11, 2015

Just a few more decades of ocean warming would be enough to destabilise the relatively small region of ice by the Amundsen Sea − starting a cascade of slipping and sliding that would tip enough ice into the ocean to raise sea levels by three metres. The loss of ice would continue for centuries. Two scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they wanted to take a look at the long-term future of the mass of south polar ice that has been worrying researchers for decades. Planetary temperatures Read

William Boardman – US Senator Defends the Empire Against Freeing the Innocent

November 9, 2015

hat do you say about the blameless man who was held at the Guantanamo concentration camp for 13 years, without trial, without charges against him, without credible evidence that he had done anything remotely deserving of 13 years of torture and isolation, with no hope of anything remotely like justice? If you happened to be US senator Dianne Feinstein, you might write a chilly op-ed piece for The New York Times, calling for the umpteenth time since 2007 for closing the festering moral abscess you previously supported. In your op-ed you won’t mention those eight years of failure to close the human rights crime scene in Cuba because, after all, you never tried very hard to get it closed. You just tried hard to get on the record appearing to try to get it closed. In 2008, you even sounded critical of Guantanamo, without actually challenging any of its underlying assumptions: Read

Tim Radford – Birds and reptiles feel the survival heat

November 9, 2015

A series of new scientific reports highlights yet again the threats that climate change and rising temperatures are posing for many species. LONDON, 7 November, 2015 – The gloriously-coloured forest birds of Hawaii may lose at least half their living space because of climate change, according to new research. And soaring global temperatures mean that many of the world’s lizards could be in trouble by 2100, and could seriously compromise the loggerhead turtle, whose sex is decided by the heat of the day at the time of incubation. The plight of lizards is highlighted by Elvire Bestion, an ecologist at the University of Exeter Environment and Sustainability Institute, UK, and the Experimental Ecology Research Station at Moulis in France and colleagues in a report in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS Biolog. Read


November 9, 2015

“We know that exposure to nature enhances our well-being, but we know less about the specific features that create these positive effects,” said MaryCarol Hunter, ASLA, University of Michigan, at the ASLA 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago. A set of fascinating studies by Hunter and Marc Berman, a psychologist and neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, are beginning to converge on what those feature are. The goal is to translate knowledge of these features into design guidelines landscape architects and other designers can apply. All of this research is happening under the rubric of the TKF Foundation, which has invested millions over the past two decades creating more than 130 small, healing parks and financing research studies on the health benefits of green spaces in dense, urban areas. The TKF Foundation wants to know: with increasingly limited space in cities for green space, how can we have the biggest impact? Humans evolved in wild lands, but we mostly live in urban environments now. While we inherently connect with our ancestral landscapes, we are constantly exposed to cacophonous city life. Wild landscapes can’t be fully translated into urban environments, but “some elements can be transported to downtowns. We can get close to the effects

Tim Radford – Scorched earth threat to US agriculture

November 9, 2015

A deadly mix of prolonged drought and wildfire, driven by climate change, could do more than just lay waste to crops and woodland in the western US. It could scorch the earth and trigger ever greater levels of soil erosion. Joel Sankey a researcher at the US Geological Survey, told the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, that by 2050 an increase in wildfires may double soil erosion in some western states. As a consequence, soil would blow or be washed into water courses. Read

Paul A. Philips – The Manipulation of Our Water Supply and Fracking

November 9, 2015

On visiting supermarkets you see them stacked, row after row, brand name upon brand name … we’re spoiled for choices … but it can indeed be quite costly when added up after a while. It’s better to choose the glass option as opposed to plastic which leaches out toxic chemicals such as Bisphenol A which could affect health when taken frequently and long term. I’m talking about bottled water supplies, which leads to my question, why should we have to buy bottled drinking water? I remember as a child in the ’60s the idea of someone charging for water in bottles would have been quite laughable. To this day I still have a somewhat sinister regard for the fact that we’re being charged for water, and not without reasoning: There is in fact something covertly sinister and devious going on. Read
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