Should scientists offer more than just practical solutions on climate change?

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:


The debate over global warming should be broadened to consider a full range of human values.

What are the boundaries between science and politics?

Staff Report

FRISCO — Scientific advice alone isn’t enough to shape the public debate about climate change. Instead, the discussion needs to include consideration of the full range of human values.

“Global environmental change raises profound questions … such as whether humans lack humility and wisdom,” said University of Manchester professor  Noel Castree, lead author of a new Nature Climate Change paper that explores the role of scientists in the global warming debate.

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I Want to Live to See This World

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Originally posted on Pause for Clarity:

UN Climate Summit Opening Film

Entitled “What’s Possible”:

UN Opening Film What's Possible

Wrote a full blog post on climate change a while ago.

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Wildlife Populations Have Dropped by More Than Half

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Originally posted on TIME:

Vertebrate species populations have dropped by more than half over the course of 30 years, according to a new report from WWF, marking a larger decrease than ever previously documented.

The Living Plant Report measured more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish and found a 52% decline between 1970 and 2010. The facts are grimmer for some species: freshwater dwellers showed an average decline of 76%.

The study chalked up most of the decline to human impact. Habitat loss and hunting and fishing were the primary culprits, and climate change was the next largest threat, the report said.

“This latest edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint-hearted,” writes Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, says in a forward to the report.

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North America’s Key Birds Facing Extinction

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment


314 species, including the bald eagle and 10 state birds of US at risk from climate change

Half of North America’s bird species, from common backyard visitors like the Baltimore oriole and the rufous hummingbird to wilderness dwellers like the common loon and bald eagle, are under threat from climate change and many could go extinct, an exhaustive new study has found published by the National Audubon Society.

Seven years of research found climate change to be the biggest threat to North America’s bird species. Some 314 species face dramatic declines in population, if present trends continue, with warming temperatures pushing the birds out of their traditional ranges. Ten states and Washington DC could lose their state birds.

The scale of disruption that is being projected means that many familiar sounds, and many familiar birds that people may see in their backyards and on their walks, that help them define a…

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The day Russia nuked itself: The Kyshtym Disaster.

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Originally posted on

kyshtym header

Fifty-seven years ago today, on September 29, 1957, something happened in the former Soviet Union that is so frightening, shocking and horrifying that it’s almost beyond belief–but it really did happen. Many people have heard of the great nuclear disasters like Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, but the words “Kyshtym Disaster” are virtually unknown, even in Russia. Yet it was the worst nuclear accident ever at that time, possibly causing directly and indirectly as many as 8,000 deaths, though it’s impossible to tell for sure.

The history of Kyshtym is closely linked to the Cold War. In the late 1940s, Stalin was eager to catch up to the United States in the number of nuclear weapons the USSR possessed. A nuclear bomb plant called Mayak was built not far from the town called Kyshtym, and a closed village, named Ozyorsk, was constructed around it to house the workers and…

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Newly Discovered Dart Frog in Amazon’s Caribbean coast is smaller than a Coin

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Originally posted on Repeating Islands:


Scientists have discovered a toxic, brightly colored and extremely small dart frog in the hilly areas near the Caribbean coast. Measuring just 12.7 millimeters in length, the newly described Andinobates geminisae is quite mysterious, reports.

The first strange thing about it is that it looks very different from its closest genetic relatives; namely, it’s bright orange. Andrew Crawford, a professor of evolutionary genetics and biostatistics at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia said:

“The new species superficially looks much more like the strawberry poison dart frog (Oophaga pumilio),” Crawford said. “Perhaps A. geminisae had been observed previously but was confused with Oophaga.”

Oophaga pumilio is also called strawberry poison frog or strawberry poison-dart frog; it’s a fairly common species throughout central America, ranging from central Nicaragua through Costa Rica and northwestern Panama. It seems possible to mistake the two species one for another, because the strawberry poison…

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EnviroWatch: Illness, climate, nukes, & fuels

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Originally posted on eats shoots 'n leaves:

And so much more.

We begin with a mysterious outbreak here in the U.S. via the Washington Post:

CDC probing reports of paralysis in 9 Colorado children, including some with Enterovirus 68

Several children in Colorado, including some that have tested positive for the Enterovirus 68 respiratory illness, also reported neurological symptoms including muscle weakness and paralysis.

Colorado health officials say nine children were identified between Aug. 8 and Sept. 17 after they developed neurological symptoms that are not commonly associated with Enterovirus 68, which causes severe breathing problems particularly in children with pre-existing asthma or respiratory problems.

That virus has been confirmed in the District of Columbia and all but 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it has sickened more than 277 people, mostly children.

A video report from WTHR television:

Mystery illness gives Colorado kids polio-like symptoms

The Japan Times covers…

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