Daily Archives: May 8, 2014

Environmental Prize Winner Opposes Fracking

E120, e145, e130

Stop Drinking Koch…

E120, e130

Keystone XL Pipeline Likely Not Headed for Senate Vote


Published on May 7, 2014

First Nation activist Clayton Thomas-Muller & journalist Steve Horn discuss reports that the push to force a Senate vote on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline has been thwarted

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Net Neutrality And The End Of The Equal Internet

May 8, 2014 at 10:00 AM

The uproar over net neutrality. We’ll look at the new F.C.C. push that critics charge will kill it.

Members of global advocacy group Avaaz stand next to a digital counter showing the number of petition signatures calling for net neutrality outside the Federal Communication Commission in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. Avaaz joined other US advocacy groups to deliver more than a million signatures for a free and democratic internet to the FCC. (AP)

“Net neutrality” has long been a holy of holies in the Internet world. The idea – and by in large the fact – that everyone on the web competed on the same field, the same plane, at more or less the same speed. That there were not fast lanes for established giants and slow lanes for newcomers. That innovators could, therefore, come onto the internet and give fat cats a run for their money. A new push by the Federal Communications Commission to reset the rules has the Internet world in uproar. It’s all hitting the fan right now. This hour On Point: the firestorm over net neutrality and the web.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

CO2 Producing Hollow Food – Inter Press Service

By Stephen Leahy

Women plant rice in Nepal. More than 2.4 billion people get key nutrients from rice, wheat, maize, soybeans, field peas and sorghum. Credit: Mallika Aryal/IPS

UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 7 2014 (IPS) – Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels will make many key food crops like rice and corn less nutritious, a new study shows.

Important food crops will contain lower levels of zinc and iron by mid-century without major cuts in CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels, an analysis of field experiments conducted on three continents has found.

“Higher levels of CO2 helps plants grow faster but it is mainly in the form of increased starch and sugars.” — David Wolfe

“Two billion people already suffer from low levels of zinc and iron. It’s an enormous global health burden today,” said Samuel Myers of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, co-author of the Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition study published in the journal Nature Wednesday.

Deficiencies of zinc and iron have wide range of impacts on human health, including increased vulnerability to infectious diseases, anemia, higher levels of maternal mortality, and lowered IQs.

More than 2.4 billion people get these key nutrients in their rice, wheat, maize, soybeans, field peas and sorghum, Myers told IPS.

Myers and colleagues assessed new data from 143 experiments growing crops at CO2 levels that are 100 percent greater than the pre-industrial average. At current emission rates, CO2 in the atmosphere will be 100 percent greater around the year 2060. Wheat grown at those concentrations has 9.3 percent lower zinc and 5.1 percent lower iron than those grown at today’s CO2 concentration.

“We found significant effects from higher CO2 for all of these crops but some cultivars [seed varieties] did better than others,” he said.

The nutrition content of many food crops has already declined over the past 100 years, Myers acknowledged. One reason is that plant breeders have favoured rapid growth and yield while ignoring nutrition. Add to this the reality that CO2 levels today are 42 percent higher than 150 years ago.

“Higher levels of CO2 helps plants grow faster but it is mainly in the form of increased starch and sugars,” said David Wolfe, a professor of plant and soil ecology at Cornell University in New York State.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Another step in the wrong direction | Harvard Gazette

May 7, 2014    By Alvin Powell, Harvard Staff Writer

The world made a down payment on decades of dangerous weather last month, reaching an average atmospheric carbon dioxide level above 400 parts per million.

“No human being — ever — has witnessed this atmosphere, so breathe in deeply,” Daniel Schrag, the Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology and the director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, said Monday during an event at the Geological Lecture Hall.

Though daily carbon dioxide concentrations did top 400 parts per million at times last year, April marked the first time the monthly average topped that mark, reaching 401.33 ppm, according to Ralph Keeling, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography geochemist and son of the late Charles Keeling, whose “Keeling curve” alerted the world to rising carbon dioxide levels in the 1960s.

At one point during the conversation, Keeling was asked how to persuade climate change skeptics and create greater momentum for action. He called for a stronger emphasis on outreach and building trust.

“Just shouting louder doesn’t do it, they’ve already tuned us out. You don’t build trust by shouting louder.”

The event, titled “Brave New World! Entering an Age of Climate Change Beyond 400 PPM,” was sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment and included a video address from former Vice President Al Gore. It came a day before a major report from the National Climate Assessment warned that climate change is already being felt across the United States — dry regions are growing drier, torrential rainstorms are increasing, heat waves and wildfires are becoming more severe, and forests are under attack from invasive pests accustomed to warmer temperatures.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics