Friday, June 29, 2018


A senior North Korean military officer who told colleagues they no longer needed to “suffer and tighten our belts to make rockets and nuclear weapons” has been executed by firing squad, according to reports in dissident media.

Saving Moms' Lives During Childbirth Just Got Easier

Contaminated irrigation canals may have helped spread the E. coli bacteria that spoiled fields of romaine lettuce and made the crunchy salad green off-limits to millions of Americans for weeks this spring, the government said on Thursday.
The CDC and the FDA said the outbreak was over weeks ago, but the investigation into how so much lettuce got contaminated will take months. No single farm was implicated in the outbreak.

In a series of recent decisions, the Trump Administration is taking steps that will sharply raise insurance premiums for people aged 50 to 64, just before they become eligible for Medicare. While these steps are likely to make coverage less expensive for young, healthy consumers, they will inevitably raise costs for middle-aged people with chronic conditions. For many, insurance will become unaffordable. And that lack of coverage will eventually result in higher costs for Medicare.

As courts, law enforcement, and the Trump administration continue to sort out what to do with the steady stream of migrants either crossing the southern border illegally or seeking asylum, the roots of the current misery are often forgotten. The desperate border-crossers often come from Central America’s “Northern Triangle”—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—and are fleeing high homicide rates and violence in those countries. But this instability did not arise in a vacuum. Many historians and policy experts are quick to point out that much of the troubles in Central America were created or at least helped by the US’s interference in those countries going back decades. In other words, the foreign policy of the past has profoundly shaped the present immigration crisis.

Why It’s Okay To Cut Toxic Family Members Out of Your Life

Thursday, June 28, 2018


Satellite images from last week show that North Korea is making numerous improvements to the infrastructure at a nuclear research facility, according to a new study.
The images, obtained by North Korea analysis outlet 38 North, come just weeks after President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement that called for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

The Myth of the Intrapreneur

So far I haven't heard NPR discuss the effect of changes on the supreme court on the environment, including climate disruption.
If Trump gets to choose another justice young enough to serve for decades, it will another step towards devastation of our world, possibly leading to the extinction of our species.
I wonder if their big fossil fuel donors would allow that.

Despite the growth of the nation’s overall economy, the study notes that workers who entered the workforce in 1983 made about $283,000 less during their lifetimes—$243,000 less when factoring in employment benefits separate from pay—than workers who entered the workforce in 1967, when using the Consumer Price Index to account for inflation. Meanwhile, the wealthiest workers have benefited from more and more economic gains, increasing the gap between the rich and everyone else.

‘The doomsayers were right’: James Hansen’s 30-year-old climate warning rings true today

People are defecting from the GOP. But not to the Democrats
All the same, the decline in Republican affiliation may affect our understanding of the party. If a lot less people even consider themselves Republicans or Republican-leaning, the lowering levels of support that Donald Trump gets among Republicans and his recent uptick look even worse. The Americans who were Republicans a year or two ago, who have now defected, won't even have their unhappiness picked up in these polls, softening the result.

Modest reductions in air pollution can prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of infants in sub-Saharan Africa each year, according to a new scientific study that investigated the link between breathable air pollutants and premature deaths in 30 countries across the continent. There is a "robust relationship" between breathable particulate matter and infant mortality in some of the world's poorest countries, according researchers from Stanford University and the University of California, San Diego published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Last month, WHO reported that nine out of 10 people worldwide breathe air with high levels of pollutants. It said there are 4.3 million deaths a year due to exposure to outdoor air pollution and 3.8 million deaths each year due to household exposure to smoke from fuels and dirty stoves.

Our personal vehicles are a major cause of global warming. Collectively, cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all US emissions, emitting around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases for every gallon of gas. About five pounds comes from the extraction, production, and delivery of the fuel, while the great bulk of heat-trapping emissions—more than 19 pounds per gallon—comes right out of a car’s tailpipe.
In total, the US transportation sector—which includes cars, trucks, planes, trains, ships, and freight—produces nearly thirty percent of all US global warming emissions, more than almost any other sector.

Agriculture accounts for about 6 percent of total heat-trapping emissions in the United States, and beef production alone accounts for 2.2 percent of the total—roughly the equivalent of the annual emissions of 24 million cars or light trucks, or 33 average-sized coal-fired power plants. So while the emissions contribution of beef production may sound small, it is not an insignificant part of the problem.
The good news is that beef production can also be part of the solution. A February 2011 Union of Concerned Scientists report, Raising the Steaks: Global Warming and Pasture-Raised Beef Production in the United States, looks at ways pasture-based beef producers could lower their climate emissions and take greater advantage of pastures’ capacity to remove heat-trapping carbon from the atmosphere and store it in soil.

Prideful of their own higher learning and cultivation, the intellectual classes could not absorb the idea that, thanks to “invisible wire-pullers”—the self-interested groups and individuals who believed they could manipulate the charismatic maverick [Hitler] for their own gain—this uneducated “beer-hall agitator” had already amassed vast support.
I thought of one other crucial technique that Zweig identified in Hitler and his ministers: they introduced their most extreme measures gradually—strategically—in order to gauge how each new outrage was received. “Only a single pill at a time and then a moment of waiting to observe the effect of its strength, to see whether the world conscience would still digest the dose,” Zweig wrote. “The doses became progressively stronger until all Europe finally perished from them.”
[I suggest reading this whole article.]

Trump’s Immigration Ban Excludes Countries With Business Ties

Buyers connected to Russia or former Soviet republics made 86 all-cash sales — totaling nearly $109 million — at 10 Trump-branded properties in South Florida and New York City, according to a new analysis shared with McClatchy. Many of them made purchases using shell companies designed to obscure their identities.
“The size and scope of these cash purchases are deeply troubling as they can often signal money laundering activity," said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and a former federal prosecutor. "There have long been credible allegations of money laundering by the Trump Organization which, if true, would pose a real threat to the United States in the event that Russia were able to leverage evidence of illicit financial transactions against the president."
Some of the buyers appeared to spend above market value — one of the signs, along with a lack of information about where the money comes from and properties sitting empty — that raises suspicion, said Elise Bean, former staff director of a Senate subcommittee that investigated money laundering.

A Vox analysis of hiring records for seasonal workers at three Trump properties in New York and Florida revealed that only one out of 144 jobs went to a US worker from 2016 to the end of 2017. Foreign guest workers with H-2B visas got the rest.

ICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody. Other records subject to destruction include alternatives to detention programs, regular detention monitoring reports, logs about the people detained in ICE facilities, and communications from the public reporting detention abuses. ICE proposed various timelines for the destruction of these records ranging from 20 years for sexual assault and death records to three years for reports about solitary confinement.

George Will, a longtime political commentator and staunch defender of the conservative movement, chided the Republican Party, citing the party’s support for Donald Trump in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
“Vote against the GOP this November” is the title of his column for June 22, 2018

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Supreme Court rules against public unions collecting fees from nonmembers

by Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow June 27 at 5:54 PM Email the author

Conservatives on the Supreme Court said Wednesday that it was unconstitutional to allow public employee unions to require collective-bargaining fees from workers who choose not to join the union, a major blow for the U.S. labor movement.

The court, in a 5-to-4 decision, overturned a 40-year-old precedent and said forcing nonmembers to pay such fees was a violation of their free-speech rights. The rule could require workers to give financial support to public policy positions they oppose, the court said.

“States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority. “. . . This procedure violates the First Amendment and cannot continue.”

He was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch and Anthony M. Kennedy, on his final day on the bench before announcing his retirement.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the dissenting liberals, objecting to a decision that she said would “wreak havoc” by undoing labor agreements throughout the country.


The decision came on the term’s last day and was another example of how President Trump’s selection of Gorsuch to fill the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016, refortified the conservative majority. It came just hours before Kennedy announced he will leave the court at the end of July, clearing the way for a further shift to the right.


Unions were already restricted from using the dues for political purposes such as support for candidates. But opponents of the mandatory fees say it is difficult to disentangle the two — raises for workers, for instance, might involve advocating for the government to raise taxes.

Challengers asked the court to overturn a 1977 decision, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, that favored the unions. That ruling said states could allow public employee unions to collect fees from nonmembers to cover the costs of workplace negotiations over salaries and benefits but not the union’s political activities.


Kagan delivered part of her dissent from the bench, a fairly rare move for her. She and Alito sit next to each other, and she began just after he finished his summary of the decision.

Kagan broadly criticized the majority, which she said had overstepped its role by intervening in a political debate and “weaponizing” the First Amendment.

And “not for the first time,” she added


June 27, 201810:39 AM ET
Heard on All Things Considered


In Wisconsin, the law limiting union activity, Act 10, dramatically scaled back the union's ability to bargain. After it passed in 2011, the state affiliate of the National Education Association lost more than half its members.


In Michigan, the researchers found, "in the three years after the reform, the state NEA lost about 21 percent of its members."


"Doing away with agency fees," Malkus says, "that choice becomes, to pay either a thousand dollars in dues or nothing." And, he believes, many teachers, especially low-end earners, will opt for paying nothing.

Martin, the union leader in Wisconsin, heard from many of these teachers in the wake of Act 10. He says they would often ask: " 'Well, why should I pay the dues? I'm gonna get whatever you guys work hard for me anyways.' "

In economics, this is called a free-rider problem. In states that previously allowed agency fees, unions will still be legally required to represent all workers at the negotiating table — a service that workers can now enjoy for free.

"I cannot imagine we would require Bank of America to provide services to folks that they do not charge any kind of reasonable fee. It would just be unheard of," says Celine McNicholas, director of labor law and policy at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.


If you look at the wave of teacher uprisings that swept the country this spring, the majority happened in right-to-work states where unions were small and weak (and already could not collect agency fees).

"What you see in the red state strikes was teachers fed up and unions not being strong enough to return to teachers raises and pension reforms that were acceptable to them," says AEI's Malkus.

Marianno and Strunk write, "By causing teachers unions to return to collective action on behalf of their members, the Supreme Court decision may, in the end, invigorate the unions that these court cases and the groups that sponsored them intended to incapacitate."

Agustina Paglayan is a political economist who focuses on education. She told NPR in May that, in the same states where teachers have been covered by collective-bargaining and agency fees, they have also accepted costly strike penalties. This ruling tends to erode both union power and the bargains that have upheld it. More militant grass-roots and online organizing may be the result. "You could end up having a wave of strikes in a lot more states."

McAlevey, the union organizer, agrees. So does EPI's McNicholas.

"I would point to West Virginia and Oklahoma" to see what's going to happen as a result of this decision, McNicholas says. "I think that not having effective collective bargaining, which I think will be the result, means workers will be forced to resort to other tactics to ensure their wages and fundamental benefits, and also quite frankly the quality of services they provide."



Private-sector unions have a greater effect on wages and benefits for their members, but because of lower unionization rates in the private sector, they have less effect on total compensation than do public-sector unions. (See Figure 2.) While public-sector workers are more likely to belong to unions than their private-sector counterparts, private-sector unions generally have larger effects on member wages and benefits. Controlling for experience and education, for example, public-sector unions raise wages by almost 15%, compared to the over 20% increase achieved by private-sector unions. Private-sector unions have much large effects on benefits like health insurance and pensions.

Because there are now so few private-sector union members, their effect on wages and benefits for workers as a whole is much less. The greater coverage of public-sector unions means that they do more to raise wages and pensions for all workers then do private-sector unions.



So, When Will YOU Hit Your Musical ‘Peak and Paralysis Age’?

U.S. Army Veteran Deported to Mexico After 2 Tours in Afghanistan

The secret to a meaningful life is simpler than you think
[The definition of the meaning of life that resonates with me is to maintain the interdependent web of life. ]

Reality L. Winner, a former Air Force linguist who was the first person prosecuted by the Trump administration on charges of leaking classified information, pleaded guilty on Tuesday as part of an agreement with prosecutors that calls for a sentence of 63 months in prison.
Ms. Winner, who entered her plea in Federal District Court in Augusta, Ga., was arrested last June and accused of sharing a classified report about Russian interference in the 2016 election with the news media.
Ms. Winner, who is now 26, has been jailed since her arrest
Defendants facing such charges are not permitted to argue to jurors that they should vote to acquit because the disclosure was in the public interest.
[Why was the NSA keeping the fact that Russia was waging cyber war on our voting system secret? I would say it was the NSA that was harming the U.S., and aiding a foreign adversary by keeping this information secret.]

Modified polio vaccine helps fight deadly brain tumors
Some patients with 'dismal' diagnosis were alive as long as six years later

Judge Tosses City Climate Change Lawsuits Against Big Oil

Neil Gorsuch Declares War on the Voting Rights Act

'Squeezed' Explores Why America Is Getting Too Expensive For The Middle Class
She reports on how the costs of housing, child care, health care and more have far outpaced salaries and how that's changing the lives of middle-class Americans, as well as life in American cities.
[Of course, if it's too expensive for the middle class, it's way too expensive for the lower wage class.]

From Facebook, info on immigration matters from an immigration lawyer

It's funny we used to be able to get enough workers who were citizens. It's shameful that we think it's ok to allow big business farmers to underpay, cheat, and mistreat immigrants under the guise of niceness, really that we are not willing to pay a decent wage.

In his new memoir, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence, Clapper describes evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin swayed the election in a bid to secure Trump’s election as “staggering.”

Remembering when a baker turned away Joe Biden and received praise from conservatives

Ex-Republican Operative Steve Schmidt: 'The Party of Trump Must Be Obliterated. Annihilated. Destroyed'

Young Trump staffers are complaining they can't date in DC because everyone hates them

I was often harassed by conservatives at work. I would try to react calmly and rationally. If I finally got fed up and gave them some of their own medicine, they would act hurt and try to make me feel guilty for being mean to them. When I pointed out that I was treating them the same way they had been treating me, several times they would say that since I was a liberal, I was supposed to be nicer than them!
What they didn't realize is that I come from a mean, hateful family, so I know how to be mean and hateful. I have chosen to develop better ways of relating, but I have found that being nice to mean people tends to cause them to get worse. I read that sadists don't like people who let them get away with it because it makes them feel guilty.

The Red Hen Affair: Demands for 'civility' are almost always aimed at shutting down free speech
Many of the staff were LGBTQ individuals upset, understandably, at the Trump administration’s documented hostility to LGBTQ rights. She took a staff vote, which came down on the side of asking Sanders to leave.
Wilkinson and Sanders both say the 86-ing was handled politely and in private. Sanders left quietly.
The next day, however, she confirmed the episode in a tweet, in which she named the restaurant, gave its location, and took a sidelong swipe at Wilkinson. For some reason, many progressives seem to think this shows that Sanders dealt with the episode with “class.”

Trump's history of health code violations at his businesses comes under fire after he blasts 'filthy' restaurant that kicked out Sarah Huckabee Sanders

A farm bill that opponents say would harm endangered species, land conservation efforts, small-scale farmers and food-stamp recipients passed the U.S. House of Representatives 213 to 211, with every House Democrat and 20 Republicans voting against it, The Center for Biological Diversity reported.

Farmers in America are killing themselves in staggering numbers
The suicide rate in the field of farming, fishing and forestry is 84.5 per 100,000 people -- more than five times that of the population as a whole. That's even as the nation overall has seen an increase in suicide rates over the last 30 years.

Five Pacific islands lost to rising seas as climate change hits
six other islands had large swaths of land washed into the sea and on two of those, entire villages were destroyed and people forced to relocate, the researchers found.

Five years after a mysterious virus wiped out millions of starfish off the western coast of North America, causing them to lose legs, dissolve into fleshy goo and taking various species to the brink of disappearance, scientists have announced a remarkable reversal.
In what the authors of a new study say may be an example of evolution in action, a species appears to have evolved genetic resistance to a virus decimating it.
Researchers theorize the disease is a densovirus, which has existed in the region for decades, but may have proliferated in response to climate change impacts such as warmer waters or ocean acidification.

Climate Links

Exxon’s Sitting on Key Records Subpoenaed in Climate Fraud Investigation, N.Y. Says

Oil and Gas Fields Leak Far More Methane than EPA Reports, Study Finds

A new directive from the Trump administration instructs federal scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey to get approval from its parent agency before agreeing to most interview requests from reporters, according to employees and emails from officials with the Department of the Interior and USGS.
USGS employees who spoke with The Times on condition of anonymity because they were unauthorized to do so say the new protocol represents a dramatic change in decades of past media practices at the scientific agency and will interfere with scientists’ ability to quickly respond to reporters’ questions. They expected that taxpayers would see less of the USGS’ scientific expertise as reporters seek scientific comment elsewhere.

Sinking Land and Climate Change Are Worsening Tidal Floods on the Texas Coast
More than 10,000 homes along the Texas coast will flood at least 26 times a year by 2045, researchers say.

Deadly Tensions Rise as India’s Water Supply Runs Dangerously Low
A government report released on Thursday said that India was experiencing the worst water crisis in its history, threatening millions of lives and livelihoods. Some 600 million Indians, about half the population, face high to extreme water scarcity conditions, with about 200,000 dying every year from inadequate access to safe water, according to the report. By 2030, it said, the country’s demand for water is likely to be twice the available supply.
In Shimla, rising annual temperatures and dwindling rain and snowfall — the city’s main water sources — have been major factors in the crisis.

President Donald Trump has nominated Daniel Simmons, a former fossil fuel lobbyist who has questioned climate science, to head the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

How Georgia Became a Top 10 Solar State

Since 2008, an average of 24 million people have been displaced by catastrophic weather disasters each year. As climate change worsens storms and droughts, climate scientists and migration experts expect that number to rise.
Meanwhile, climate impacts that unravel over time, like desert expansion and sea level rise, are also forcing people from their homes: A World Bank report in March projects that within three of the most vulnerable regions — sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America — 143 million people could be displaced by these impacts by 2050.

Scott Pruitt Has Spent More Than $4.6 Million on Security, New Disclosures Show — Including $1,500 on “Tactical Pants”
The expenses eclipsed spending by Pruitt’s predecessors. Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who served during President Barack Obama’s first term, averaged less than a third of the travel and security costs accrued by Pruitt in his first fiscal year, according to records.
The profligate public spending is a far cry from Pruitt’s political rhetoric. Announcing his bid for lieutenant governor of Oklahoma in 2006, Pruitt asked supporters to join him to “reverse our course and embrace fiscal conservative principles.”

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Reality Winner, N.S.A. Contractor Accused in Leak, Pleads Guilty

Why was the NSA keeping the fact that Russia was waging cyber war on our voting system secret?

By Charlie Savage and Alan Blinder
June 26, 2018

Reality L. Winner, a former Air Force linguist who was the first person prosecuted by the Trump administration on charges of leaking classified information, pleaded guilty on Tuesday as part of an agreement with prosecutors that calls for a sentence of 63 months in prison.

Ms. Winner, who entered her plea in Federal District Court in Augusta, Ga., was arrested last June and accused of sharing a classified report about Russian interference in the 2016 election with the news media.

Ms. Winner, who was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 2016, was working as a contractor for the National Security Agency when she obtained a copy of a report that described hacks by a Russian intelligence service against local election officials and a company that sold software related to voter registration.

The Intercept, an online news outlet that a prosecutor said Ms. Winner admired, published a copy of the top secret report shortly before Ms. Winner’s arrest was made public. The report described two cyberattacks by Russia’s military intelligence unit, the G.R.U. — one in August against a company that sells voter-registration-related software and another, a few days before the election, against 122 local election officials.

At a detention hearing last year, the prosecutor, Jennifer G. Solari, said that Ms. Winner had been “mad about some things she had seen in the media, and she wanted to set the facts right.”


The Justice Department prosecuted Ms. Winner under the Espionage Act, a World War I-era law that criminalizes the unauthorized disclosure of national-security secrets that could be used to harm the United States or aid a foreign adversary.
[I would say it was the NSA that was harming the U.S., and aiding a foreign adversary by keeping this information secret.]


prosecutors’ recommendation of more than five years in prison — followed by three years of supervised release — was unusually harsh for a leak case.

For most of American history, people accused of leaking to the news media were not prosecuted at all. In the flurry of cases that have arisen during the 21st century, most convicted defendants were sentenced to one to three and a half years.


Defendants facing such charges are not permitted to argue to jurors that they should vote to acquit because the disclosure was in the public interest.


Warming drives spread of toxic algae in US, researchers say

Jun. 22, 2018

The words blasted to cellphones around Oregon’s capital city were ominous: “Civil emergency . prepare for action.”

Within half an hour, a second official alert clarified the subject wasn’t impending violence but toxins from an algae bloom, detected in Salem’s water supply.

Across the U.S., reservoirs that supply drinking water and lakes used for recreation are experiencing similar events with growing frequency. The trend represents another impact of global warming and raises looming questions about the effects on human health, researchers say.

“When water bodies warm up earlier and stay warmer longer ... you increase the number of incidents,” said Wayne Carmichael, a retired Wright State University professor specializing in the organisms. “That’s just logical, and it’s being borne out.”

Technically called cyanobacteria, the ancient class of organisms that create the blooms are present nearly everywhere water is found but thrive in warm, still bodies like lakes and ponds. They also create a unique class of toxins, the impact of which on humans is only partly understood.

Long linked to animal deaths, high doses of the toxins in humans can cause liver damage and attack the nervous system. In the largest outbreaks, hundreds have been sickened by blooms in reservoirs and lakes, and officials in some areas now routinely close water bodies used for recreation and post warnings when blooms occur.

But less is known about exposure at lower doses, especially over the long term.

Small studies have linked exposure to liver cancer — one toxin is classified as a carcinogen, and others have pointed to potential links to neurodegenerative disease. But definitively proving those links would require larger studies, said Carmichael, who helped the World Health Organization set the first safe exposure standards for the toxins.


Because they prefer warm water, higher summer temperatures and more frequent heat waves help the organisms. More frequent droughts also cause reservoirs to be shallower in summer, causing them to warm faster.

And more intense rainstorms, also conclusively linked to climate change, can wash more nutrients into lakes and reservoirs, especially from farms where nitrogen and phosphorous-rich fertilizers are used, Chapra said.

In Utah, a 2016 algae bloom in a recreational-use lake sickened more than 100. When the story made national headlines, other states reached out.

“We started getting calls from other health departments all over the country saying, ‘Hey, we’re dealing with an algal bloom in a lake that has never ever had one before,’” said Aislynn Tolman-Hill, Utah County Health Department spokeswoman.

Officials only recently started carefully logging the blooms, but they seem to be becoming more intense, said Ben Holcomb, a biologist for Utah’s environmental agency. “They’re starting earlier, they’re lasting longer, and their peaks seem to be getting bigger,” Holcomb said. “I don’t think any state is isolated.”

In Lake Erie, a major bloom in 2014 caused authorities to warn against drinking tap water in Toledo, Ohio, for more than two days, cutting off the main water source for more than 400,000 people.


Testing for the blooms isn’t required by either federal or state law, officials noted.

Researchers say that needs to change because blooms are likely to become more common, including in states where low temperatures previously provided a buffer against them.


Immense rains are causing more flash flooding, and experts say it’s getting worse

by Tim Craig and Angela Fritz June 24, 2018 at 7:05 PM


Torrential rain events across the United States are becoming more frequent and more intense, leading to record rainfall, rare extreme flooding and perilous infrastructure failures.

Experts say the immense rains — some spawned by tropical ocean waters, others by once-routine thunderstorms — are the product of long-rising air temperatures and an increase in the sheer size of the storms. Because warmer air can hold more water, large storms are dropping far more rain at a faster clip.

Such rains in recent weeks have deluged the Great Lakes region, the Deep South and the suburbs of major cities along the Atlantic coast. Philadelphia, Charlottesville, and Ocean City, Ellicott City and Frederick in Maryland all have experienced major flooding since mid-May. Several locations in Maryland had their wettest May on record, including Baltimore, which tallied more than eight inches, most of which fell in the second half of the month.

“Things are definitely getting more extreme,” said Andreas ­Prein, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. “You just have to look at the records. All areas of the continental U.S. have seen increases in peak rainfall rates in the past 50 years. . . . And there is a chance that we are underestimating the risk, actually.”


Several atmospheric researchers said in interviews that they agree with that perception. They say it is getting worse.

Since 1880, global temperature has risen just more than 0.13 degrees per decade, for a total of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius). The amount of water air can hold is based on temperature — put very simply, the warmer the air is, the more water it can hold.

Theoretically, experts say, an additional 1.8 degrees would amount to about 7 percent more water in the air, resulting in a similar increase in extreme rainfall. But what Prein and other researchers have found is much higher across a vast portion of the United States.
[Seems to me it could result in a larger percent increase, depending on the location. The atmosphere is a container which can hold a certain amount of moisture at a given temperature. Once the maximum is reached, I would think the same percent change would make for relatively much more precipitation. I will try to get an expert opinion on my hypothesis.]

According to the 2014 National Climate Assessment, the eastern half of the continental United States has seen the most dramatic change in extreme rainfall. The amount of rain during the most extreme storms in the Northeast has risen 71 percent since 1958; in the Midwest, heavy rain has ­increased 37 percent; in the Southeast, it’s up 27 percent.

And the area covered by each storm also is getting larger, Prein said, another major factor in the increased precipitation. Prein’s new research suggests thunderstorms will become 80 to 90 percent larger by the end of the century.


Monday, June 25, 2018


Flight attendants get more uterine, thyroid and other cancers, study finds
Disruptions in circadian rhythm -- a person's daily sleep-wake cycle -- are linked to an increased cancer risk, studies have shown.

Wells Fargo is once again being accused of misconduct, this time because it allegedly used complex financial investments to take advantage of mom-and-pop investors.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday that between 2009 and 2013, Wells Fargo (WFC) reaped large fees by "improperly encouraging" brokerage clients to actively trade high-fee debt products that were intended to be held to maturity.

Hidden health hazards of climate change
Climate change is a health hazard. Air pollution and changing weather patterns give rise to heat-related illnesses, such as asthma and allergic disorders.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, insect-borne diseases from ticks and mosquitoes have tripled in the United States in recent years, and warmer weather is largely to blame.

A recent presentation by the acting head of the United States’ top weather and oceans agency suggested removing the study of “climate” from its official mission statement, focusing the agency’s work instead on economic goals and “homeland and national security.”

The ideal of religious tolerance has crippling flaws. It’s time to embrace a civic philosophy of reciprocity

Here’s How That Tablet On The Table At Your Favorite Restaurant Is Hurting Your Waiter
[This is terrible. I'm sure I'm not the only person who rarely answers such questions with extreme values, as a matter of my personality.]
Ziosk scores are tabulated as an average out of five stars, and on the device, it says four out of five stars means “satisfied.” But anything less than perfect drags a score down and has the potential to hurt the server.
“The company only counts fives as good scores,” said Mathew, who works at an Uno Pizzeria & Grill in New Hampshire. “Everything else is basically a complaint.”

The best employees are not the agreeable ones, according to Adam Grant
While the worst employees are disagreeable takers— in a slide, Grant compared them to the vicious Lannisters on Game of Thrones—the agreeable takers are deceptively terrible, fooling colleagues into thinking they’re generous while secretly undermining the organization.

A Canadian company is looking to begin mining in land that was previously protected as part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah.
President Clinton established the monument in 1996, but in December President Trump cut the 1.87 million-acre site nearly in half, removing many of the federal protections.

President Trump on Sunday called for immigrants who illegally enter the U.S. to be sent “back from where they came” without going through the judicial process in deportation cases.
“When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order,” Trump tweeted.
[First step on the way to dictatorship and end of the rule of law.]

For the first time in 110 years, General Electric will not be a member of the elite Dow Jones Industrial Average.
S&P Dow Jones Indices announced on Tuesday that the iconic maker of light bulbs and jet engines will be replaced in the 30-stock index by Walgreens Boots Alliance.
GE (GE) was an original member of the Dow in 1896 and has been in it continuously since November 7, 1907.

A woman in Arizona made the brave choice this week, to make a very private loss — a miscarriage — into a public discussion, in the hopes that her story can save other women from what she went through at her local Walgreens. The pharmacist there refused to fill the prescription required to help her end her pregnancy, citing moral objections, even though her fetus no longer had a heartbeat.

After 25 years of being homeless, he learned there’s one simple thing you can do to help

Microplastics in our mussels: the sea is feeding human garbage back to us

Friday, June 22, 2018


Alongside rising top incomes, the level of living of America’s poorest has fallen

White House Proposes Merging Education And Labor Departments

Hillary Clinton Raised $1.5 Million to Help Kids Torn From Their Families at the Border

Sinclair Forced Its Local Stations to Discredit Outrage Over Family Separation

Instead of ‘finding your passion,’ try developing it, Stanford scholars say

Thursday, June 21, 2018


Melania Trump makes unannounced visit to Texas border amid crisis over separated families

Days of torrential rain lead to Texas' worst flooding since Hurricane Harvey
[Weather extremes like this are becoming more frequent because of global warming. And Texas chooses to vote for politicians who deny GW.]

Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers

Of course, a certain amount of immigration is helpful, as well as moral. I suggest reading the who article at the following link for a fuller discussion of how to mitigate the problems.

Nobody denies that the current abundance of lawyers has made it harder for them to get jobs, and depressed their wages.
Over the decades, we have seen the pattern of a shortage of engineers leading to higher salaries, leading to more people going into engineering, leading to a surplus, leading to lower salaries.
Why should we expect any difference for low wage workers?

I have personally been hurt by the fact that employers bringing in lower paid H1-B programmers have allowed them to discriminate against me because of my age.

The candidates tell drastically different stories about immigration. They’re both skipping half the truth.
By GEORGE J. BORJAS, Politico Magazine
September/October 2016


Here’s the problem with the current immigration debate: Neither side is revealing the whole picture. Trump might cite my work, but he overlooks my findings that the influx of immigrants can potentially be a net good for the nation, increasing the total wealth of the population. Clinton ignores the hard truth that not everyone benefits when immigrants arrive. For many Americans, the influx of immigrants hurts their prospects significantly.

This second message might be hard for many Americans to process, but anyone who tells you that immigration doesn’t have any negative effects doesn’t understand how it really works. When the supply of workers goes up, the price that firms have to pay to hire workers goes down. Wage trends over the past half-century suggest that a 10 percent increase in the number of workers with a particular set of skills probably lowers the wage of that group by at least 3 percent. Even after the economy has fully adjusted, those skill groups that received the most immigrants will still offer lower pay relative to those that received fewer immigrants.

Both low- and high-skilled natives are affected by the influx of immigrants. But because a disproportionate percentage of immigrants have few skills, it is low-skilled American workers, including many blacks and Hispanics, who have suffered most from this wage dip. The monetary loss is sizable. The typical high school dropout earns about $25,000 annually. According to census data, immigrants admitted in the past two decades lacking a high school diploma have increased the size of the low-skilled workforce by roughly 25 percent. As a result, the earnings of this particularly vulnerable group dropped by between $800 and $1,500 each year.
[Which is a big amount for people in this income level.]


Wednesday, June 20, 2018


I am happy Trump changed his policy of separating children and parents.
Please don't make derogatory comments here. There is no reason for him to do better if he gets as much criticism no matter what he does. What is important is that the right things get done, not indulging in bashing people we don't like. If you bash anything Trump does just because you don't like him, you doing the same things conservatives do to others.

Melania Trump Pressured President Trump To Change Family Separation Policy.
Separately, every other living first lady also condemned the practice of separating children from their parents.

I've been around long enough to know that a lot of people saying their problem is with people coming here "illegally", have no problem with themselves breaking the laws, like speeding, cheating on taxes, etc.
I do think that too much immigration at one time causes problems, and that is the case now, but I deplore the way many people, including political leaders, use our primitive tribal instincts against outsiders to rev up hate against immigrants for their own political gain.

A Texas sheriff's deputy was being held Monday on a charge of "super aggravated sexual assault" of a 4-year-old girl after authorities say her mother, an undocumented immigrant, was being blackmailed to stay silent about the abuse — or face deportation.

President Trump Hired Undocumented Immigrants for $4 An Hour for Demolition Project: Court Docs

'How Democracies Die' Authors Say Trump Is A Symptom Of 'Deeper Problems'
the primary way in which democracies have died since the end of the Cold War, over the last 30 years or so, is at the hands of elected leaders, at the hands of governments that were often freely or close to freely elected, who then use democratic institutions to weaken or destroy democracy.
Since the end of the Cold War, most democratic breakdowns have been caused not by generals and soldiers but by elected governments themselves. Like Chávez in Venezuela, elected leaders have subverted democratic institutions in Georgia, Hungary, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Ukraine. Democratic backsliding today begins at the ballot box.

Why are so many migrants crossing the U.S. border? It often starts with an escape from violence in Central America

NASA outlines its plans to deal with a large asteroid impact
[Happy to see they are going to take action. Only thing that scares me more than global warming, except that global warming is happening right now, and it might be a long time before the next life-threatening asteroid hit. Or it could be next week, but probably not. We need to be prepared before it happens. At this time, we are the only creatures who can prevent this. Doing so could justify our otherwise destructive existence.]

Researchers find last of universe's missing ordinary matter

A Republican strategist who managed Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign said Wednesday he is leaving the Republican Party in the wake of the Trump's administration's immigration policies that have led to the separation of families.
"29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of The Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump," Steve Schmidt tweeted early Wednesday morning.
Schmidt went on to call the party "corrupt, indecent and immoral."
"With the exception of a few Governors like (Massachusetts Gov. Charlie) Baker, (Maryland Gov. Larry) Hogan and (Ohio Gov. John) Kasich it is filled with feckless cowards who disgrace and dishonor the legacies of the party's greatest leaders," Schmidt said in a series of tweets.

If you have a school-aged student in need of breakfast and lunch this summer, simply text “FOOD” to 877877 and receive a message back with a location closest to where they can get free summer meals.
Even if you aren’t in need, someone else’s kids are. No child deserves to go hungry, ever.
This is a nationwide program so please repost for all of the children who are struggling to get enough food.
To use the service, text “FOOD” to 877-877 and enter your zip code when prompted. Spanish-speakers can also text “COMIDA” to 877-877.

Why employment rates in the US have lagged other countries

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Adelaide Infections Linked to Pre-Cut Melon
Posted June 19, 2018 3:00 PM ET

Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka Infections Linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks Cereal
Posted June 15, 2018 7:30 PM ET

House Republicans released a proposal Tuesday that would balance the budget in nine years — but only by making large cuts to entitlement programs, including Medicare, that President Trump vowed not to touch.

The United States is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council citing "chronic bias against Israel," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Tuesday.
Her announcement comes just a day after the U.N.'s top human rights official, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, criticized the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy that has resulted in the separation of nearly 2,000 children from their parents at the border.

Koch billions fight mass transit, including in Little Rock
Between asphalt, car parts and fuel, the Kochs make a lot of money from increased spending on highways.

Iraq suspends farming of crops due to drought

Why Dutch teenagers are among the happiest in the world

Senay Boztas in Amsterdam
Sun 17 Jun 2018 03.00 EDT

In report after report, the Netherlands tops OECD countries for high life satisfaction among its young people.

It contrasts starkly with the picture in countries like Britain, where depression and anxiety are on the rise among teenagers, and the US, where the number of young people taking their own lives has risen sharply.
Young people can be champions of change in mental health care
Read more

So why is this flat, damp country of 17 million people with its history of Calvinism and colonialism so good at giving young people an optimistic outlook?

Dr Simone de Roos, a researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), says life satisfaction among teenagers has not dropped since 2013.

“I think Dutch children have generally positive interactions in all their social surroundings,” says De Roos. “They have a supportive environment at home, with friends and also at school. Dutch parents give a lot of support and have mild control. There’s an egalitarian climate, teachers are not authoritarian but accept the feelings of pupils, and pupils trust teachers.”


According to that report, young people in the Netherlands were also in the top five for eating breakfast on weekdays, watching more than two hours of weekday television, having kind and helpful classmates – and in the bottom five for being overweight, having sex before 15, and feeling pressure from schoolwork. They were less likely than average to experience bullying and generally found it easy to talk to parents.


Of course, the general state of the nation helps. There is little unemployment in the Netherlands, relatively low inequality and a healthy economy.


Despite the country’s reputation for cannabis smoking, the Trimbos Institute reports a downward trend for using alcohol and drugs and smoking in Dutch children aged 12 to 16. Such activities are described by HBSC experts as “risk behaviours” that impact happiness.


Monday, June 18, 2018


Understanding Maslow's Theory of Self-Actualization

Why You Can’t Really Trust Negative Online Reviews
Research suggests that people heed negative reviews more than positive ones — despite their questionable credibility.

Gunman wounds 2, is fatally shot by bystander at Walmart store

Climate Change May Already Be Hitting the Housing Market
Between 2007 and 2017, average home prices in areas facing the lowest risk of flooding, hurricanes and wildfires have far outpaced those with the greatest risk

Sunday, June 17, 2018


Roads Washed Out, Dozens of Sinkholes Reported as Flash Flooding Slams Upper Midwest

On May 17, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Aimovig for the preventive treatment of migraines in adults with episodic or chronic migraines.

Secret VA nursing home ratings hide poor quality care from the public

Giant Hogweed, an invasive plant that can cause third-degree burns and permanent blindness, has been found in Virginia, according to researchers at the Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech.
So far, there has been just one confirmed sighting of Giant Hogweed — in Clarke County, Virginia, but the dangerous plant also grows in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, according to CBS.
The plant can easily be mistaken for other harmless plants, such as Queen Anne’s Lace and Cow Parsnip.

All about 'plogging': The new eco-friendly workout trend

Pittsburgh cartoonist says he was fired after 25 years for making fun of Trump

An insect Armageddon is under way, say many entomologists, the result of a multiple whammy of environmental impacts: pollution, habitat changes, overuse of pesticides, and global warming. And it is a decline that could have crucial consequences. Our creepy crawlies may have unsettling looks but they lie at the foot of a wildlife food chain that makes them vitally important to the makeup and nature of the countryside. They are “the little things that run the world” according to the distinguished Harvard biologist Edward O Wilson, who once observed: “If all humankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed 10,000 years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”
[I have only seen a few fireflies in my yeard for the past few years. Used to be a lot.]

Friday, June 15, 2018


Trump told 4 lies about the inspector general report in one short Fox News hit

Greater levels of vitamin D associated with decreasing risk of breast cancer
[Too much vitamin D is toxic.]
Except under medical supervision and monitoring, intake of vitamin D3 must not exceed 10,000 IU per day. Blood serum levels exceeding 125 ng/ml have been linked to adverse side effects, such as nausea, constipation, weight loss, heart rhythm problems and kidney damage.

The results of a 23-year, follow-up study presented today at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018) suggest early, intensive treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has long-term benefits including the normalisation of mortality to levels consistent with the general population.

Large international study links blood vitamin D levels to colorectal cancer risk
However, risk did not continue to decline at the highest concentrations.

Flavor additives used in electronic cigarettes and related tobacco products could impair blood vessel function and may be an early indicator of heart damage

Teenage girls who regularly binge drink may fail to reach their peak bone mass

In a recent study, scientists at the Department of Cardiology at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have identified an enzyme responsible for aircraft-related vascular damage. The researchers were also able to show that night-time noise has a particularly harmful effect and thus demand that night-time sleep be protected from noise.
Aircraft noise leads to an increased development of cardiovascular diseases in the long term, as a series of precursor studies has now shown unequivocally. In 2013, the research group of Professor Thomas Münzel succeeded in demonstrating that simulated nocturnal noise increases the stress hormone epinephrine, reduces sleep quality, and damages the vascular system, called endothelial dysfunction. Further studies on a newly developed animal model showed last year that aircraft noise leads to a significant increase in stress hormones, a vascular dysfunction, increased oxidative stress, and inflammatory processes in the vessels as well as a marked change in the expression of genes in the vessel wall.

House Republicans propose financial penalties for states that block offshore drilling
[Why do republicans only think states rights are important when it would lead to evil, not to allow states to protect people, the environment, etc.]

Tdap vaccine given during pregnancy reduces occurrence of infant pertussis

Children with eye conditions commonly referred to as lazy eye and crossed eyes were slower at marking answers on multiple-choice answer forms typically used in timed, standardized tests

The effect of portable music players on the hearing of children is unclear. A new study found that about 1 in 7 children (9 to 11 years of age) showed signs of noise-induced hearing impairment, prior to exposure to known noise hazards such as club and concert attendance. Portable music players, used by 40 percent of 2,075 children in the study from the Netherlands, were associated with high-frequency hearing loss. Repeated measurements are needed to confirm this association.

Patients maintain muscle mass 5 years after surgically induced weight loss

. While high saturated fat levels in red meat have long been known to contribute to heart disease for people in general, the new finding suggests that a subgroup of the population may be at heightened risk for a different reason - a food allergen.

The scientists found that linuron, which is used as a pesticicide, impaired the males' fertility, and that tadpoles developed ovaries instead of testicles to a greater extent, which caused a female-biased sex ratio

The American College of Physicians (ACP), together with the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in the case of Texas vs. the United States. The College strongly opposes a lawsuit that would jeopardize key health care protections patients rely on that were put in place by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
ACP is concerned that this case risks turning back the clock on federal health policy and that it would disregard several vital provisions of the ACA-- making it harder for patients to access care and for physicians to treat them. Should the case move forward, protections for patients with pre-existing conditions would be eliminated; annual and life-time dollar limits on coverage plans could be reinstated, negatively impacting patients who need it the most; and individuals under the age of 26 would no longer be eligible to be covered by their parents' health plans.

study by researchers investigating the 2015 HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana, found that a syringe services program is an important tool to control and prevent HIV outbreaks among people who inject drugs in a nonurban area

161 genetic factors for myopia identified
"We have known for some time that education-related behavior is a major environmental factor in developing short-sightedness", said co-author Professor Norbert Pfeiffer, Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Mainz University Medical Center. It was unclear which role close-up work during reading plays in the process, or if lack of sunlight is responsible. The new results provide important insights into the underlying biological mechanisms. They also support the most important advice Pfeiffer can give to concerned parents as a preventive measure against myopia: "Send your kids to play outside for two hours every day. And it's not just their eyes that will benefit."

Both quantity and quality of sleep affect cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents

Gum disease may be a key initiator of rheumatoid arthritis related autoimmunity

not only may opioid use increase the risk of bone fractures, but opioids may also impair healing.


Citibank will pay a huge fine for manipulating an important interest rate.
The bank settled with attorneys general in 42 states for $100 million. Following an investigation, the states said Citibank manipulated Libor, a benchmark interest rate that helps set lending rates across the world.
Citibank made millions of dollars of gains from its "fraudulent conduct," the attorneys general said.

Supermassive black hole violently swallows star, and researchers watch

Peggy Whitson, NASA's record-breaking astronaut, announces retirement
She's spent more time off the planet than any other American: 665 days over three space station missions. She's also the world's most experienced female spacewalker, with 10 under her spacesuit belt.


West Antarctic ice melt poses unique threat to U.S.

Antarctica’s ice is melting 3 times faster than in 2007
Antarctica is melting so fast, scientists say, that it will contribute 6 inches to sea-level rise by 2100.

New York’s attorney general filed suit against President Trump and his three eldest children Thursday, alleging “persistently illegal conduct” at the president’s personal charity and saying that Trump had repeatedly misused the nonprofit organization to pay off his businesses’ creditors, to decorate one of his golf clubs and to stage a multimillion-dollar giveaway at 2016 campaign events.

Combining fat and carbs overloads the brain and makes us overeat

According to a recent paper, relaxing land use regulations in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City could increase the average U.S. worker’s income by almost $9,000 a year and add trillions to the economy.
Economists Chang-Tai Hsieh of the University of Chicago and Enrico Moretti of the University of California, Berkeley argue that U.S. workers are poorer because certain cities use zoning to constrain their housing supply, limiting the number of workers who can share in those cities’ economic success. They conclude that these exclusionary zoning policies lowered the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by more than 50 percent between 1964 and 200

Disposable wipes – essentially baby wipes designed for adults – have become the scourge of residential and municipal sewer systems around the world.
Nonwoven cloths have been getting stuck in pipes and sewer machinery, creating massive, expensive clogs in New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Toronto, Sydney, London and many other places for years, sparking lawsuits from cities and consumers.

Human disturbance is turning mammals into night owls, with species becoming more nocturnal when people are around, research has revealed.

A new NASA-led study shows that climate change is likely to intensify extreme weather events known as atmospheric rivers across most of the globe by the end of this century, while slightly reducing their number.
The new study projects atmospheric rivers will be significantly longer and wider than the ones we observe today, leading to more frequent atmospheric river conditions in affected areas.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


The team of biologists surveyed select species around the world to determine how the hues of modern light-emitting diode (LED) lamps affect wildlife. They found that blues and whites are worst while yellow, amber and green are more benign. Some creatures, including sea turtles and insects, are especially vulnerable.

Intensifying river floods could lead to regional production losses worldwide caused by global warming. This might not only hamper local economies around the globe - the effects might also propagate through the global network of trade and supply chains

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C could avoid around 3.3 million cases of dengue fever per year in Latin America and the Caribbean alone

Fires ignited by lightning have and will likely continue to increase across the Mediterranean and temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere under a warmer climate

Sunny California may be getting too sunny. Increasing summer temperatures brought on by a combination of intensifying urbanization and warming climate are driving off once common low-lying morning clouds in many southern coastal areas of the state, leading to increased risk of wildfires, says a new study.

Changing our lifestyles and the way we travel could have as big - if not more of an impact on CO2 transport emissions, as electric vehicles and the transport technology revolution, according to new Oxford University research.

Hazardous chemicals such as bromine, antimony and lead are finding their way into food-contact items and other everyday products because manufacturers are using recycled electrical equipment as a source of black plastic

The wealthiest areas of the world will experience fewer changes in local climate compared to the poorest regions if global average surface temperatures reach the 1.5°C or 2°C limit set by the Paris agreement, according to new research.

A truck kicking up dust as it speeds down a dirt road is a typical image in country music videos. But this dust from unpaved roads is also an environmental and health hazard. To prevent dust clouds, some states treat dirt motorways with oil and gas wastewater. Now one group reports in Environmental Science & Technology that this wastewater contains harmful pollutants that have the potential to do more harm than good.

Policymakers are being misinformed by the results of economic models that underestimate the future risks of climate change impacts, according to a new journal paper by authors in the United States and the United Kingdom, which is published t4 June 2018.

Plastic nanoparticles - these are tiny pieces of plastic less than 1 micrometre in size - could potentially contaminate food chains, and ultimately affect human health, according to a recent study by scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS). They discovered that nanoplastics are easily ingested by marine organisms, and they accumulate in the organisms over time, with a risk of being transferred up the food chain, threatening food safety and posing health risks.

What would happen if all petrol and diesel-powered vehicles were removed from a smaller European city? Up to 4% of all premature deaths could be prevented, according to a new study from Lund University in Sweden.

Global warming can be limited to 1.5°C by changing how we travel, heat homes, use devices

Since the 1960s, scientists at the University of Vermont have been documenting the decline of red spruce trees, casualties of the damage caused by acid rain on northeastern forests.
But now, surprising new research shows that red spruce are making a comeback--and that a combination of reduced pollution mandated by the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act and changing climate are behind the resurgence.

Weather-related disasters can make people more religious but it depends on the toll they inflict, suggests new UBC research. If a disaster injures a significant number of people, it can strengthen religiosity among those who are already religious. But if a disaster inflicts mostly economic damage, the opposite effect applies.

A two year project to repeat a famous bird survey by driving over 20, 000km in a 4x4 across Botswana has confirmed researchers' fears: many birds of prey are fast disappearing from one of Africa's last great wilderness areas.
Reported sightings of iconic species of eagle and vulture declined by as much as 80% compared with the previous survey, while some migrant species recorded last time have vanished,

Pollution is changing the fungi that provide mineral nutrients to tree roots, which could explain malnutrition trends in Europe's trees.

Nutrient pollution makes ocean acidification worse for coral reefs

Nutritional quality of fish and squid reduced by warm water events

Some hurricanes are moving more slowly, spending increased time over land and leading to catastrophic local rainfall and flooding, according to a new study published Wednesday (June 6) in the journal Nature.

Consumer food choices can help reduce greenhouse emissions contributing to climate change

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September of 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began distributing emergency food. An analysis of 10 consecutive days of federal food aid delivered during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria reveals that much of this food exceeded the dietary limits for sodium, added sugars and saturated fats outlined in federal dietary guidelines.

Moderate and extreme temperatures could increase the risk of occupational injuries
Extremes of cold and heat increased the risk of injury by 4% and 9%, respectively.

Ukrainian villages still suffering legacy of Chernobyl more than 30 years on

If no action is taken to reduce the negative impacts on agricultural yields, the researchers estimate that the environmental changes predicted to occur by mid- to end-century in water availability and ozone concentrations would reduce average yields of vegetables and legumes by 35% and 9% respectively. In hot settings such as Southern Europe and large parts of Africa and South Asia, increased air temperatures would reduce average vegetable yields by an estimated 31%.

Which food type is more environmentally costly to produce -- livestock, farmed seafood, or wild-caught fish?
The answer is, it depends. But in general, industrial beef production and farmed catfish are the most taxing on the environment, while small, wild-caught fish and farmed mollusks like oysters, mussels and scallops have the lowest environmental impact, according to a new analysis.

The results show that warmer temperatures by the end of this century will reduce yields of corn/maize throughout the world, confirming previous research. But the study also shows dramatic increases in the variability of corn yields from one year to the next and the likelihood of simultaneous low yields across multiple high-producing regions, which could lead to price hikes and global shortages.