Daily Archives: October 6, 2011

Oh dear… Canadians might need tinfoil long johns, too

Wi-Fi making kids, teachers sick?
KRISTY KIRKUP

A growing number of Canadian students and teachers are convinced wireless Internet at school is making them sick and they’re wondering why Health Canada has remained silent about the potential risks linked to Wi-Fi.

Canada’s health agency issued new advice on mobile phones Tuesday, advising parents to encourage kids under 18 to cap their cellphone use.

But Health Canada has not issued information about the possible risks associated with other wireless devices, including wireless Internet. It maintains Wi-Fi is “safe.”

In May, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cancer arm classified all radiation emitted by wireless devices as possibly carcinogenic. (Toronto Sun)

No need to panic over cellphone use by kids, expert says
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People should stop seeking magic potions

A reasonably balanced, well-rounded diet and at least an attempt at moderate fitness through some exercise will give you a fair shot at health and longevity people but of magic potions there are none.

Radical thinking on antioxidants
Researchers say the compounds may not be that effective and could do more harm than good
Julie Deardorff

Antioxidant-rich products promise an easy way to stave off disease. Simply swallow two softgels daily or knock back a glass of goji-pomegranate juice and the “supercritical” compounds will neutralize those nasty free radicals that threaten your health.

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Stirring up fluoride scares again

Fluoride safety debate bubbles up once again
Wendy Koch

Consumers hearing that some U.S. communities will no longer add fluoride to their drinking water, such as Florida’s Pinellas County, may wonder whether this cavity fighter is safe.

The short answer: Most health professionals say yes, as long as people don’t ingest too much of it.

Studies in the 1930s found tooth decay was less severe in areas with more fluoride in drinking water, prompting U.S. communities to add it to their water.

Yet the Obama administration is moving to lower its recommended amount in drinking water as newer research shows high levels can cause tooth and bone damage. (USA TODAY)

Lookout! Clean clothes!

Cleaning clothes dirties oceans
Stephen Ornes

You can’t see it, but plastic pollution mixes with the sand on coasts around the world. The tiny, human-made threads come from polyester clothing that’s been through the wash. Credit: Bryan Bell, National Park Service
It’s easy to pollute coastal areas, even for people who live far from the beach. All it takes are a washing machine and polyester clothes.

Polyester is everywhere: The plastic fabric can be used to make fleeces, shirts, pants, furniture and blankets. It’s synthetic, which means it’s created from chemicals in a lab to resemble something natural. Scientists recently found that polyester clothes shed plastic fibers while in the washing machine. During the rinse cycle, these microscopic threads wash down the drain, zip through water treatment plants and end up on the coasts. (SNfK)

Unusual positive item about sewage outfall and wind farm platforms – and check out the source publication

Accidental Nature: The benefits of human waste
Richard Taylor-Jones

I’m now well into filming for this year’s Autumnwatch series and already we’ve come across plenty of stories that apply very well to Accidental Nature.

The first films involved tracking the migration of young Osprey chicks from their nest site in the Dyfi Estuary in Wales, to their overwintering grounds in West Africa. The chicks have been fitted with satellite tags so we can monitor the route they take.

There are three chicks and the first named Einion made a very direct journey straight across the English Channel, down through France and across the Bay of Biscay. This fast and determined start must have left him very hungry. So, as he hit Spain he spent a short while in one particular coastal cove, presumably fishing.

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Jonathan H. Adler on the failure of the ESA

The Leaky Ark
By Jonathan H. Adler
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The failure of endangered species regulation on private land.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted with much fanfare and little controversy in 1973. At the time, few anticipated how broadly the law would affect both government and private activities.1 Yet ever since its celebrated passage, the nation’s premier wildlife conservation law has been a source of conflict and controversy; it has been rightly described as “one of the most contentious of our federal environmental laws.”2 The ESA is a focus of controversy in part because of its strength. Indeed, the ESA may be the most powerful environmental law in the nation.

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In case their tinfoil hats blow off, presumably

Health Canada issues new cellphone safety advice
KRISTY KIRKUP

OTTAWA – Parents should encourage kids under 18 to cap their cellphone use, according to new advice from Health Canada.

The national health agency issued a precautionary safety update Tuesday – a response to a recent World Health Organization study on the radiation emitted by wireless devices. QMI Agency has also done a series of stories in recent months on the safety of wireless devices.

Health Canada says people can reduce their exposure to radiation from cellphones by limiting the length of phone calls, texting and using hands-free devices. (Toronto Sun)

Wireless group opposes health disclosure ordinance

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Mike Shaw reports from the rubber room

A different kind of vibrator

This week’s HND piece examines the physical therapy and training method called “Whole Body Vibration.” I take you through the history, which includes Swedish fitness pioneer Dr. Gustav Zander, and full-on health nut Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, brother of the corn flakes magnate.

Yeah, I’d call someone a “nut,” who thought sex was bad for you, and bragged that he and his wife had not partaken in 40 years.

Proponents of WBV, as it is usually abbreviated, make some extravagant claims, but so far the clinical data does not quite match up with them.

Read the complete article. (Shaw’s Eco-Logic)

Unusually honest organic food report (even admits organic never found to be ‘better’)

Organic food no guarantee against foodborne illness

Eating organic may limit your exposure to pesticides. It may make you feel environmentally conscious. It can help support local farmers.

But scientists warn it won’t necessarily protect you against foodborne illnesses. Organics, like conventionally farmed foods, can harbor dangerous pathogens including E. coli and salmonella, News21 reports.

A 2006 study in the Journal of Food Science did not find a significant difference in the prevalence of E. coli between organic and conventional produce. And a 2009 Kansas State University study did not find a difference in the prevalence of E. coli between organically and conventionally raised cattle. (iwatch news)

Now fruit juice is ‘dangerous’

The rotten truth: Why ‘fruit sugar’ is one of the most damaging ingredients in our food
JOHN NAISH

Sweet, cheap and natural — fructose sounds like the ideal ‘healthy’ sweetener.
However, the sugar, which is found naturally in fruit but is now added to many processed foods, may hide a range of deadly secrets.

Scientists are discovering that fructose appears to be linked to serious modern epidemics such as cancers, heart disease, hypertension, kidney damage and even dementia. (Daily Mail)

It’ll benefit people, so naturally enviros are agin it

Homegrown GM Bean Won’t Fight Hunger, Critics Say
By Fabiana Frayssinet

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 4, 2011 (IPS) – Critics complain that a genetically modified bean developed in Brazil, resistant to one of the country’s most damaging agricultural pests, was approved without enough debate or guarantees that the crop will not affect human health or the environment.

The GM bean, named 5.1, was developed by Embrapa, the government’s agricultural research agency, to resist the bean golden yellow mosaic virus (BGYMV), whose main symptom is a bright yellow or golden mosaic on the leaves, as well as leaf wrinkling and rolling. The seeds and plants are also stunted, malformed and discoloured, and flowers are aborted, leading to the loss of between 40 and 100 percent of the beans.

According to Embrapa, the virus transmitted by the whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) causes annual losses of between 90,000 and 280,000 tons of beans – enough to feed six to 20 million more adults in this country of 192 million people.

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Rogue agent? The entire Department of Misanthropy is rogue and should be expunged

Rogue EPA Agent Pleads Guilty to Obstructing Justice
LAWRENCE HURLEY

A former U.S. EPA agent who spearheaded the wrongful indictment of an refining plant manager — possibly to cover up his affair with an FBI agent — has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and perjury in a related civil case.

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They were more scientific when they were the wrestling federation

But now they are the World Whacko Fund and they produce absurd misanthropic propaganda:

Hot to be the new normal as species struggle
Max Mason

Soaring temperatures last century may have been hard work for many species across the planet but, by the end of this century, those temperatures, once considered extreme, will become the norm for many of the world’s most delicate ecosystems.

Research suggests that, over the coming decades, increased temperatures and rainfall will put increased stain on the survival of the Global 200 ecoregions, threatening both plant and animal life.

The Global 200 is a set of ecoregions that the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has classified as having exceptional biodiversity. They contain a high concentration of the earth’s species. (Sydney Morning Herald)

“Change the world anyway” & a utopian reality check

Change the world anyway
Vicki Kerrigan

If you’ve switched on the air con today or driven your car, did you think at all about the carbon emissions and how that is affecting the planet? Or do you think it’s a whole lotta hogwash?

Climate change sceptics say that yes the climate is changing but that’s just the normal weather cycle. Some go so far as to say that the carbon tax should not be introduced because humans are not contributing to global warming.

Today, this cartoon popped into my inbox and as i’m still thinking about the conversation with Professor Bob Carter, i thought i’d share this cartoon with you after having a conversation earlier this week with one of the worlds leading climate change sceptics.

Take a listen to Professor Carter, Emeritus Fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs, and consider the cartoon. Let me know what you think. (link to radio interview embedded in original) (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

Utopian reality check

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Nigel Calder: Further attempt to falsify the Svensmark hypothesis

Further attempt to falsify the Svensmark hypothesis

Falsification tests of climate hypotheses

The trouble with clouds

Against the Danish physicist’s claim that cosmic rays influence the Earth’s low cloud cover and thereby the climate, there’s one contention that keeps turning up like the proverbial bad penny. During recent years, so the story goes, the Sun has been weak, cosmic rays have been relatively intense, and yet the expected increase in low clouds has not occurred. On the contrary, we’re told, low cloud cover has remained relatively sparse. That’s according the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project, ISCCP, which pools data from the satellites of several nations,

The contention is repeated in a forthcoming paper in Journal of Climate by Ernest M. Agee, Kandace Kiefer and Emily Cornett of Purdue University, entitled “Relationship of Lower Troposphere Cloud Cover and Cosmic Rays: An Updated Perspective.” An advanced version of the full text is available from: http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/agee-cosmic-rays.pdf A favourable commentary appears on the Ars Technica website: http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/09/do-cosmic-rays-set-the-earths-thermostat.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss (Calder’s Updates)