There was a small and short-lived flurry of optimism a few months ago that perhaps Jeb Bush’s 2016 candidacy would represent a major shift in the Republican posture towards climate change. With the help of deep-pocketed fossil fuel interests, the GOP and the conservative movement have spent the past couple of decades dismissing and sneering at climate change science, casting it as a global left-wing conspiracy. But Jeb came out with some moderate-sounding rhetoric that a few eager and hopeful observers interpreted as a sign that he might actually be serious about climate change, or at least that he was less pig-headed about the science behind it than, say, Ted Cruz.
If the world built nuclear power plants at the rate Sweden had, there would be no need for fossil fuels in 25 years
With all its cons and pros, at this time, nuclear power remains our best shot at decarbonizing the planet and ridding the world of its dependence of fossil fuel. During the 60s and 70s, many of the world’s governments, including France, the US or the USSR embarked on ambitious projects to electrify their nations using nuclear power. Accidents like those at Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986) or Fukushima (2011) served to halt this rapid pace of deployment and even shift policy back to massive fossil fuel deployment. Anti-nuclear power public sentiment did little to help, of course. Considering that the combined power of solar, wind and hydropower can’t yet rid us of pesky oil and gas, wouldn’t it be better if we embraced nuclear nevertheless, with all its shortcoming (many of which have been addressed by modern technology)? Two researchers wondered if the world was to hypothetically shift in high nuclear gear, how long would it take to completely shelve fossil. Their analysis showed if we built nuclear power plants at the rate Sweden had between 1960-1990, this target would be reached within 25 years.
Slammed by critics, Chipotle has been forced to back track on its non GMO claims. Its beef, pork and chicken are sourced from farm animals fed with GMO grain. And all of its calorie-packed sodas are sweetened with GMO sugar.But it has yet to come clean on its most controversial GMO ingredient: all of its cheese is genetically modified. That’s right. The clotting agent used to curdle the milk into cheese is genetically engineered. So much for Chipotle’s bragging claim of transparency.
The controversial Senate Bill 277, in the California Senate that is about vaccines, was passed this week. The passage of the measure came amidst great resentment from many parents who had testified against the legislation during crowded and often tense committee hearings. SB277 was introduced by Democratic Senator Richard Pan of Sacramento. It was passed by members of the Senate following over an hour of intense discussion amongst the senators.
A federal report finds that states once unlikely to have temblors now have them due to these injection wells.
Childhood vaccinations are apparently causing a holocaust and killing the brains of our children, claims Robert F. Kennedy Jr. according to a report in the Sacramento Bee. The environmental lawyer and activist addressed the audience at a Sacramento, California, screening of the documentary Trace Amounts, which links autism to thimerosal, a vaccine preservative.
“They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone, This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.”- Kennedy Jr.
The goal of the film screening is to stop California SB-277, a bill that would require schoolchildren in the state to be vaccinated, and parents would no longer be able to send unvaccinated children to school with waivers for religious or personal beliefs. Exemptions would be available only for children with health problems. (more…)
In the last few days dozens of articles have suggested a causal link between fracking and an increase in radon levels in homes in Pennsylvania. Headlines range from conservative as USA Today’s article – “Study suggests fracking could release radon from ground” and CBS News with a question “Is fracking causing a spike in radon levels?” to inflammatory headlines from liberal activists stating that a link between fracking and rising levels of radon gas in homes near fracking sites has been established based on a study published yesterday in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Radon is a chemical element with symbol Rn and atomic number 86. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tastelessnoble gas, occurring naturally as an indirect decay product of uranium or thorium.
In fact no such link was found by the study. The authors say they focused on Pennsylvania because it has one of highest residential radon levels in the country, and because the state has a huge, detailed database of home radon measures. They found that levels in some sites had risen since 2004, which is the date they claim fracking started to increase, however there is no controlled analysis of claim. The authors state the study is a preliminary “first look” into a “possible connection” between fracking and radon. (more…)
Although climate change is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, it is not the function of every public agency. Many have a sole purpose defined and paid for by taxpayers. Bloomberg Business and most of the media reports on the issue were jumping on this story and paraphrasing each other without any original thought.
Last Tuesday, the Wisconsin’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands voted 2-to-1 to prohibit staff “from engaging in global warming or climate change work” while on the clock at the Board of Commissioners. According to the board, working on climate change, or even just talking about it while at work, is a waste of public funds. (more…)