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Tropical Fish Moving Toward Poles Due To Climate Change, Could Affect Global Fisheries: Study

A tropical fish farmer holds a dead silver dollar fish. Reuters

By Kukil Bora @KukilBora on October 13 2014 6:03 AM

Climate change and warming of the world's oceans are prompting tropical fish to move toward cooler waters near the poles, according to a study, which predicts that a large number of fish will disappear from the tropics by 2050, if the current trend of changing temperatures continues.

USDA Grants Final Approval to Toxic New GMO


Seriously?!?! This move will increase toxic pesticide use up to sevenfold, according to the government's own estimates.
By LEAH ZERBE

Despite the objections of hundreds of thousands of Americans and more than 50 members of Congress, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted final approval to a new generation of genetically engineered (GE) crops on Wednesday.

Food Supply: 

Second Silent Spring? Bird Declines Linked to Popular Pesticides

Second Silent Spring? Bird Declines Linked to Popular Pesticides

Neonicotinoids are aimed at insects, but they're affecting other animals too, study says.

Pesticides don't just kill pests. New research out of the Netherlands provides compelling evidence linking a widely used class of insecticides to population declines across 14 species of birds.

Those insecticides, called neonicotinoids, have been in the news lately due to the way they hurt bees and other pollinators. (Related: "The Plight of the Honeybee.")

This new paper, published online Wednesday in Nature, gets at another angle of the story—the way these chemicals can indirectly affect other creatures in the ecosystem.

Scientists from Radboud University in Nijmegen and the Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology and Birdlife Netherlands (SOVON) compared long-term data sets for both farmland bird populations and chemical concentrations in surface water. They found that in areas where water contained high concentrations of imidacloprid—a common neonicotinoid pesticide—bird populations tended to decline by an average of 3.5 percent annually.

"I think we are the first to show that this insecticide may have wide-scale, significant effects on our environment," said Hans de Kroon, an expert on population dynamics at Radboud University and one of the authors of the paper.

Second Silent Spring?

Pesticides and birds: If this story sounds familiar, it's probably because Rachel Carson wrote about it back in 1962. Carson's seminal Silent Spring was the first popular attempt to warn the world that pesticides were contributing to the "sudden silencing of the song of birds."

"I think there is a parallel, of course," said Ruud Foppen, an ornithologist at SOVON and co-author of the Nature paper.

Foppen says that while Carson battled against a totally different kind of chemicals—organophosphates like DDT—the effects he's seeing in the field are very much the same. Plainly stated, neonicotinoids are harming biodiversity.

"In this way, we can compare it to what happened decades ago," he said. "And if you look at it from that side, we didn't learn our lessons."

How Neonicotinoids Work

In the past 20 years, neonicotinoids (pronounced nee-oh-NIK-uh-tin-oyds) have become the fastest growing class of pesticides. They're extremely popular among farmers because they're effective at killing pests and easy to apply.

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The Promise of the Commons

Cigarette makers can't market to kids. Why do tobacco farms employ them?

Author(s): Margaret Wurth
Published in: the guardian

Some companies even allow for lower standards of protection for children in their US supply chain than for those elsewhere.

Grace, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, doesn't smoke – at 15, she's too young to buy a pack of cigarettes, anyway – but she might as well have had a regular habit. At her job on a tobacco farm last summer, she handled tobacco plants for up to 12 hours a day, steadily absorbing nicotine through her skin.

Putting the Freeze on Global Warming

April 25, 2014

ENOUGHNESS: Restoring Balance to the Economy

Duke Energy Caught Intentionally Dumping 61 Million Gallons Of Coal Waste Into North Carolina Water

By Emily Atkin on March 21, 2014 at 10:21 am

Photographs show Duke personnel using a portable water pump to empty its 1978 coal ash pond. The plant’s Clean Water Act permit only authorizes discharges when the pond level overtops the vertical discharge pipe visible in the photo, in order to reduce discharges of toxic solids in the effluent.

CREDIT: waterkeeper.org

The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics

And the Big Tobacco-style campaign to bury it.

—By Mariah Blake
| March/April 2014 Issue


Photographs by Evan Kafka

Update (3/3/14): After this story went to press, the US Food and Drug Administration published a paper finding that BPA was safe in low doses. However, the underlying testing was done on a strain of lab rat known as the Charles River Sprague Dawley, which doesn't readily respond to synthetic estrogens, such as BPA. And, due to laboratory contamination, all of the animals—including the control group—were exposed to this chemical. Academic scientists say this raises serious questions about the study's credibility. Stay tuned for more in-depth reporting on the shortcomings of the FDA's most recent study.

Each night at dinnertime, a familiar ritual played out in Michael Green's home: He'd slide a stainless steel sippy cup across the table to his two-year-old daughter, Juliette, and she'd howl for the pink plastic one. Often, Green gave in. But he had a nagging feeling. As an environmental-health advocate, he had fought to rid sippy cups and baby bottles of the common plastic additive bisphenol A (BPA), which mimics the hormone estrogen and has been linked to a long list of serious health problems. Juliette's sippy cup was made from a new generation of BPA-free plastics, but Green, who runs the Oakland, California-based Center for Environmental Health, had come across research suggesting some of these contained synthetic estrogens, too.

Read full article at Mother Jones

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