items found (Total items:79)
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Author: Carey Gillam
Description: Documents obtained through a U.S. Freedom of Information Act request indicate that the U.S. FDA has been testing food samples for 2 years for the presence of glyphosate--a main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup and other widely-used herbicides. However, the FDA has not yet released any test results. IARC "classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015." Despite glyphosate being used for over 40 years, the FDA did not start testing for it until after the IARC classification. The U.S. Department of Agriculture dropped a plan to start testing for glyphosate in 2017. The documents indicate that glyphosate residue has been found in many common food products such as wheat crackers, granola cereal, cornmeal, honey, oatmeal, and corn. Many scientists say that prolonged dietary exposure to even low levels of pesticides can be harmful.
Title: Weedkiller found in granola and crackers, internal FDA emails show: The FDA has been testing food samples for traces of glyphosate for two years, but the agency has not yet released any official results
Publication: The Guardian
Full text: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/30/fda-weedkiller-glyphosate-in-food-internal-emails
Dig deeper: https://usrtk.org/pesticides/fda-foia-documents-regarding-glyphosate-residue-testing/
Serial Number: 46
Author: Christopher Flavelle and Jeremy C. F. Lin
Description: Another direct impact of climate change: the Amtrak Northeast Corridor carries 12 million people by rail each year on stops between Washington, D.C. through New York City to Boston in the U.S. According to a multi-year Amtrak study, parts of the route “face continual inundation” through “flooding, rising seas, and storm surge [that] threaten to erode the track bed and knock out the signals that direct train traffic.” “There is not an alternate route that can be used as a detour.” As with many other coastal areas on the U.S. east coast, “sunny day flooding”–flooding on days with no rain–is already impacting homes, roads, businesses, and, in this case, one of Amtrak’s major routes and even its Consolidated National Operations Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Chronic inundation/flooding will impact the Northeast Corridor route in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey as well as Delaware by 2050-2100, if not before. The Northeast Corridor route runs close to rivers and the ocean through many heavily-populated urban areas. If the Northeast Corridor starts to go underwater, there’s a risk to much more than Amtrak.
Title: Rising Waters Are Drowning Amtrak's Northeast Corridor
Publication: Bloomberg Businessweek
Full text: https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-amtrak-sea-level/
Serial Number: 74
Author: Damian Carrington
Description: Corporate agriculture/the global food system is a major driver of climate change, land-use change, and biodiversity loss as well as depletion of fresh water and pollution and ecological damage through fertilizer runoff. Certain kinds of agriculture are especially damaging, and meat and dairy production are particularly resource-intensive. The concern is that as global population approaches 10 billion by 2050 and incomes rise in some formerly poor nations, more people will choose “meat-rich western diets.” To a point that may be positive; but, not in western nations; for example, “UK and US citizens need to cut beef by 90% and milk by 60% while increasing beans and nuts/seeds between 4 and 6 times.” This “flexitarian” diet (less beef, less pork, fewer eggs, much more beans, nuts, and seeds) could “halve emissions from livestock.” That, and technological changes in farming practices will help further reduce the greenhouse gas emissions attributed to agriculture. “The evidence is now unequivocal–we need to change our diets if we are to have a sustainable future. The fact that it will also make us healthier makes it a no-brainer."
Title: Huge reduction in meat-eating ‘essential’ to avoid climate breakdown: Major study also finds huge changes to farming are needed to avoid destroying Earth’s ability to feed its population
Publication: The Guardian
Full text: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/10/huge-reduction-in-meat-eating-essential-to-avoid-climate-breakdown
Dig deeper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0594-0
Serial Number: 62
Author: Damian Carrington and Lily Kuo
Description: It’s well-known that high levels of air pollution are linked to various physical and psychological ailments in humans–including premature death (an estimated 7 million deaths per year), increased risk for dementia, and increased mental illness in children. New research also links air pollution to a decrease in intelligence--"with the average impact equivalent to having lost a year of the person’s education.” “The effect is worse for the elderly, especially those over 64, and for men, and for those with low education.” The loss for those people may be as much as a few years of education. This study was based in China and looked at 20,000 people. However, the results are relevant world-wide; by some estimates, 95% “of the global population” breathes unsafe air. The longer people were exposed to air pollution, the larger the damage. “High air pollution can potentially be associated with oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration of humans.” "There is no shortcut to solve this issue; governments really need to take concrete measures to reduce air pollution."
Title: Air pollution causes ‘huge’ reduction in intelligence, study reveals: Impact of high levels of toxic air ‘is equivalent to having lost a year of education’
Publication: The Guardian
Full text: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/27/air-pollution-causes-huge-reduction-in-intelligence-study-reveals
Dig deeper: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/08/21/1809474115
Serial Number: 42
Author: David Cox
Description: Is a high protein diet healthy? Does it build muscle? That's what the multi-billion dollar protein supplement and food animal industries say. But, research has indicated for years that this is not the case. Many studies show that people who "consume large amounts of protein, especially in the form of red and processed meat, are more likely to be obese or develop type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer" as well as face a higher risk of heart failure. The "idea of requiring additional protein in your diet to build up muscle, either through meat or supplements like protein shakes, is a myth." What builds muscle is exercise and load bearing. In comparison to other mammals, humans are actually "naturally adapted for a relatively low protein intake." Follow the science, not the advertising.
Are you eating too much protein? Some sources aren't as healthy as you think: For years we’ve been fed the line that a diet of red meat, supplements and protein shakes can have real health benefits. If only it were that simple
Publication: The Guardian
Full text: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/04/are-you-eating-too-much-protein
Dig deeper: http://circheartfailure.ahajournals.org/content/11/6/e004531
Serial Number: 27
Author: David Malakoff
Description: Another consequence of climate change--a new study predicts that warming ocean waters are and will be pushing valuable fish and shellfish to move north. For some species, their ranges will shrink; for others, their ranges could potentially vastly expand. For humans, the impact may be economic disruption in the fishing industry including the loss of jobs and higher costs for operators and consumers, and increased political friction as countries contest fishing rights for species moving into new areas. The modeling showed fish and shellfish shifting some 600 km north along the U.S. Atlantic coast and more than 1,500 km north for some species along the U.S. Pacific coast.
Title: Warming seas may scramble North America’s fishing industry
Full text: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/05/warming-seas-may-scramble-north-america-s-fishing-industry
Serial Number: 33
Author: Donald G. McNeil, Jr.
Description: "The number of people getting diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick, and flea bites has more than tripled in the United States" between 2004 and 2016. The reasons are varied and complex--warmer weather is an important cause but increased jet travel, lack of vaccines, lack of resources at state and local health departments, lack of rodent predators, and more all play a role. And, the real numbers of people affected may be far larger--perhaps only about 10% of cases in the U.S. are reported. Not only are more people affected but diseases new to the U.S. are appearing--at least 9 new diseases (such as the Heartland virus) since 2004. It's not just the U.S. either; the same is happening in many wealthy countries. Click the link to get more information.
Title: Tick and Mosquito Infections Spreading Rapidly, C.D.C. Finds
Publication: New York Times
Full text: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/01/health/ticks-mosquitoes-diseases.html
Dig deeper: https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/vector-borne/
Serial Number: 34
Author: Elizabeth Rush
Description: “Sunny day flooding”–where coasts flood due to rising seas and high tides is increasingly frequent today. This is not a theory or a prediction; it is happening today “from Portland, Maine to Key West” in the U.S. High tides top seawalls and bubble up through storm sewers. Most of the excess heat being driven by climate change is stored in the oceans. That heat is causing sea level rise–by expanding ocean waters and, more importantly, causing increasingly rapid melting of ice at the Poles. Estimates of sea level rise range from 2 to 6.5 feet by 2100; others predict more. Research suggests that approximately 13 million Americans may have to move due to sea level rise by the end of the century and economic losses and impacts will be huge.
Title: Meet America's new climate normal: towns that flood when it isn't raining
Publication: The Guardian
Full text: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/28/rising-elizabeth-rush-extract-towns-flooding
Dig deeper: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/26/rising-seas-florida-climate-change-elizabeth-rush
Serial Number: 13
Author: Erica Tennenhouse
Description: Microplastic pollution is a major environmental concern globally. Mosquito larvae, living in ponds and puddles, tend to eat everything in sight (that is small enough for them to ingest) and that includes microplastic that is present in their environment. Not only do the larvae ingest the plastic, but a recent study found that microplastics can linger in an insect’s body even as it shifts from its larval to adult life stage. The implication? Microplastics eaten by mosquito larvae stay with the mosquito as it matures and leaves the water. Predators on land that eat mosquitoes–birds, bats, and dragonflies–then ingest the plastic when they eat the mosquito. It’s already known that microplastics can be toxic to many underwater animals; this transport of microplastics “may pose a threat to insect-eating species on land as well."
Title: Mosquitoes may be contaminating ecosystems with tiny bits of plastic
Full text: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/09/mosquitoes-may-be-contaminating-ecosystems-tiny-bits-plastic
Dig deeper: http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/14/9/20180479
Serial Number: 55
Author: Erin Winick
Description: A chronic problem in the U.S. today is the lack of agricultural workers; “the number of field and crop laborers available to farms has been rapidly declining” since the early 2000’s. That has been very expensive to the U.S. economy in terms of lost farm production and revenue, plus the loss of revenue and jobs in related industries like trucking, marketing, and manufacturing. To meet this challenge, a company called Iron Ox is developing a largely automated indoor hydroponic facility where robots overseen by software grow, tend, and harvest a variety of leafy greens. The production of the initial indoor facility may be comparable to an “outdoor farm that might be five times bigger.” The potential of smaller, intensive, indoor automated growing facilities could solve two challenges–“the shortage of agricultural workers and the distances that fresh produce currently has to be shipped.” Robotics here may not eliminate human jobs so much as fill existing gaps in the human workforce. Plus, the smaller size of these growing facilities allows placing them “close to urban areas … [which] will enable stores to choose vegetables fresher than those that had to travel thousands of miles to get there."
Title: New autonomous farm wants to produce food without human workers: Down on a new robot farm, machines tend rows of leafy greens under the watch of software called “The Brain.”
Publication: MIT Technology Review
Full text: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612230/new-autonomous-farm-wants-to-produce-food-without-human-workers/
Dig deeper: https://www.newamericaneconomy.org/news/ten-year-decline-u-s-farm-labor-cost-u-s-economy-3-1b-annually-crop-production-report-shows/
Serial Number: 59