Daily Archives: May 7, 2014

BBC News – CO2 ‘significantly reduces’ nutrients in major food crops

7 May 2014 Last updated at 19:01 ET
By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, BBC News

The nutrient content of major crops like wheat is likely to be reduced by rising temperatures

Rising levels of CO2 around the world will significantly impact the nutrient content of crops according to a new study.

Experiments show levels of zinc, iron and protein are likely to be reduced by up to 10% in wheat and rice by 2050.

The scientists say this could have health implications for billions of people, especially in the developing world.

“It is possibly the most significant health threat that has been documented for climate change”

Dr Samuel Myers Harvard School of Public Health

Researchers have struggled over the past two decades to design large scale field trials to accurately model the impacts of increased CO2 levels on the nutritional makeup of crops.

Now an international team has put together a global analysis based on experiments in Japan, Australia and the US.

They’ve grown 41 different varieties of grains and legumes in open fields, with levels of carbon dioxide expected in the middle of this century.

“It is possibly the most significant health threat that has been documented for climate change,” said lead author Dr Samuel Myers from the Harvard School of Public Health.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

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Sen. Inhofe responds to National Climate Assessment JimInhofePressOffice

JimInhofePressOffice   Published on May 7, 2014

On Wed. May 7, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) delivered a speech on the senate floor in response to the release of President Obama’s National Climate Assessment. Inhofe discussed the economic cost of climate change regulations and that the report advises we commit to more unnecessary and costly regulations.

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Enviro Close-Up: Fukushima (Part 4)

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The New Abolitionism | The Nation

Averting planetary disaster will mean forcing fossil fuel companies to give up at least $10 trillion in wealth.
Christopher Hayes    April 22, 2014 | This article appeared in the May 12, 2014 edition of The Nation.

 

Before the cannons fired at Fort Sumter, the Confederates announced their rebellion with lofty rhetoric about “violations of the Constitution of the United States” and “encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States.” But the brute, bloody fact beneath those words was money. So much goddamn money.

The leaders of slave power were fighting a movement of dispossession. The abolitionists told them that the property they owned must be forfeited, that all the wealth stored in the limbs and wombs of their property would be taken from them. Zeroed out. Imagine a modern-day political movement that contended that mutual funds and 401(k)s, stocks and college savings accounts were evil institutions that must be eliminated completely, more or less overnight. This was the fear that approximately 400,000 Southern slaveholders faced on the eve of the Civil War.

Today, we rightly recoil at the thought of tabulating slaves as property. It was precisely this ontological question—property or persons?—that the war was fought over. But suspend that moral revulsion for a moment and look at the numbers: Just how much money were the South’s slaves worth then? A commonly cited figure is $75 billion, which comes from multiplying the average sale price of slaves in 1860 by the number of slaves and then using the Consumer Price Index to adjust for inflation. But as economists Samuel H. Williamson and Louis P. Cain argue, using CPI-adjusted prices over such a long period doesn’t really tell us much: “In the 19th century,” they note, “there were no national surveys to figure out what the average consumer bought.” In fact, the first such survey, in Massachusetts, wasn’t conducted until 1875.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Will Dark Money Reshape North Carolina Political Landscape From Senate Race to State Supreme Court?


democracynow

Published on May 7, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org – In one of the first closely watched races of the 2014 primacy season, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis has won the Republican Senate nomination. Tillis will face Democratic Senator Kay Hagan in November in a race that could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate. The North Carolina primary drew national attention pitting Tillis, backed by much of the Republican establishment, against candidates with close ties to the Tea Party and religious right. As speaker of the North Carolina House, Tillis was a frequent target of the Moral Monday protests over the past two years. Primaries were also held Tuesday to determine who will sit on the state’s Supreme Court. The races have gained national attention because millions of dollars from outside groups have poured in to the state to back conservative candidates. One TV ad bought by a secretive outside group accused state Supreme Court Judge Robin Hudson of being “not tough on child molesters.” North Carolina is one of 22 states where judges on higher courts are elected rather than appointed. We are joined from North Carolina by Chris Kromm, executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Stanford Divests: Student-Led Movement Forces Elite School to Pull Its Money From Coal Companies


democracynow

Published on May 7, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org – One of the country’s most prestigious universities, with one of the world’s largest endowments, has joined the student-led movement to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Stanford University’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to stop investing in coal-mining companies because of climate change concerns. The board said it acted in accordance with guidelines that let them consider whether “corporate policies or practices create substantial social injury” when choosing investments. Stanford’s endowment is valued at $18.7 billion. The move comes as the divestment movement heats up across the country. Seven students at Washington University in St. Louis were arrested last week following a 17-day sit-in calling on the school’s board of trustees to cut ties with coal industry giant Peabody Energy. Also last week, students at Harvard blockaded the office of Harvard President Drew Faust. We are joined by Stanford University junior Michael Peñuelas, one of the lead student organizers with Fossil Free Stanford.

See: http://www.democracynow.org/2014/5/7/stanford_divests_student_led_movement_forces

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Foretelling Devastating Impact, Will White House Climate Report Spark Action on Global Warming?


democracynow

Published on May 7, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org – A new report warns human-driven climate change is having dramatic health, ecological and financial impacts across United States. The White House’s “National Climate Assessment” details how the consequences of climate change are hitting on several fronts — rising sea levels along the coasts; droughts and fires in the Southwest; and extreme rainfall across the country. It warns that unless greenhouse emissions are curbed, U.S. temperatures could increase up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Reportedly the largest, most comprehensive U.S.-focused climate change study ever produced, the report is being called a possible “game changer” for efforts to address climate change. We speak with Radley Horton, a climatologist at the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University, who co-wrote the Northeast region chapter of the new National Climate Assessment. “This report really tells the story very succinctly about how all Americans will be impacted by climate change,” Horton says. “It’s a non-partisan issue.”

See:  http://www.democracynow.org/2014/5/7/foretelling_devastating_impact_will_white_house

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics