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 Posted Jan 4, 2013 Weather Girl Goes Rogue. Back in September when the ice cover in the Arctic was reaching its all-time low, came this absolutely hilarious and right-on video, which juxtaposes the idiocy of what passes for TV news with the need for straight talk about the climate crisis. [Produced by the Canadian political satirist, Deep Rogue Ram.]

Weathergirl goes rogue

   Posted Dec 31, 2012: Nuclear Roulette: The Truth About the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth. Truthout interviews the author of the new book "Nuclear Roulette", outlining issues of large numbers of small accidents, major catastrophes, radioactive waste, the industry PR machine, and the planned Generation IV reactors. [Mark Karlin, Truthout-Interview, Dec 29, 2012]

   Posted Dec 31, 2012: Elections 2012: The Good, The Bad, and The Ironic. (PDF) What could have accounted for Karl Rove's election-night meltdown? A fascinating look at the various methods (and possible counter-methods) of rigging election. Underlined once again is "the fundamental unacceptability of concealed and unobservable vote counting".[Jonathan Simon and Sally Castleman, Election Defense Alliance (via Mitchell Cohen), Dec 28]

   Posted Dec 29: The Deadly Fantasy of Assault Weapons. Got $2500 to spare? Now's the time to treat yourself to a Bushmaster assault rifle so's you can "consider your man card reissued", announced a recent Bushmaster campaign (pulled just after the Newtown Bushmaster AR-15-enabled massacre), typical of the kind of assault-weapon propaganda aimed at amateur shooters who want to play soldier. (Science for the ) people has it limits...) [Editiorial, NY Times, Dec 29, 2012]

Bushmaster AR-15

   Posted Dec 28: Nuclear power plant flood risk: Sandy was just a warm-up. Although the winds at the Oyster Creek power plant, 40 miles north of Atlantic City NJ reached only 75 mph as Sandy's center came ashore, the 7.4-foot storm surge caused widespread power outages, forcing a plant shutdown and a switch over to diesel to maintain crucial cooling. A rise of less than 2 additional feet would have flooded the backup generators, as happened at Fukushima. Other U.S. nukes are similarly vulnerable, especially with rising sea levels and the possibility of storms of increased strength.. [Heather Rogers, Remapping Debate (via The Daily Climate), Dec 19]

   Posted Dec 28, 2012: Why We Should be Grateful to the NRA. Amid all the hand-wringing over the Newtown massacre, the NRA has came up with a sensible solution to the problem: armed guards in all the schools. The implications of this course of action if followed coherently, are truly exciting...[Christopher Brauchli, Counterpunch, Dec 28-30]

   Posted Dec 25: Real and Virtual Firearms Nurture a Marketing Link. Video shooter games, real weapons and military training - and Connecticut... See any connection? Doesn't take much imagination. Electronic Arts. maker of "Medal of Honor Warfighter" a top video game claims it was unaware of links on its site to weapons catalogues(!) - already a widespread practice among shooter gaming sites. But, surprise - the military has long known and used virtual killing to attract the interest of and then train new recruits (see "Keyboards First. Then Grenades"). [Barry Meier and Andrew Martin, NY Times, Dec 24, 2012]

   Posted Dec 23: The heat is on in West Antarctica. It's not only happening, but twice as fast as was thought: findings published 3 years ago (and criticized by some) on the rapid warming of West Antarctica (the part south of South America) have been corroborated and found to be too conservative. Discussion has been renewed about the chances of a collapse of parts of the ice sheet and resultant catastrophic rises in sea level. Press coverage will be widespread, but read it here direct from the horse's mouth.[Eric Steig,Real Climate,Dec 23,2012]

   Posted Dec 23:The Coming Drone Attack on America. The coming importation of tens of thousands of drones into US airspace "with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization" could herald the arrival heree of a police state, according to Wolf. Some will be as small as hummingbirds - excellent for personal surveillance; others as big as passenger planes. They will be used by police, corporations and the military. [Naomi Wolf,Guardian, UK, Dec 21]

Posted Dec 20: Alaskan Natives Take on Fossil Fuel Disinformation in Kivalina. Author's introduction to her new book, "Kivalina: A Climate Change Story", gives a nice perspective on climate change in history and introduces the story of the threatened villagers exposure of climate-change denial by Big Oil. [Christine Shearer, Counterpunch, Dec 16, 2012]

Posted Dec 20: Canada's 'War on Science - Environmental groups say recent measures show that Harper's government is stepping up its attack on climate scientists. A combination of budget cuts and Canada's aggressive drive to develop its oil sands (Canada has the world's third-largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela)have won for it a recognition of the world's worst in climate policies in the developed world, according to the Climate Action Network. [Al-Jazeera, Dec 11, 2012]

Posted Dec 20: Robots and Robber Barons. The economic crisis is over if you look at record corporate profits - but that may be news for labor. Why is capital grabbing and ever-larger slice of the pie? Krugman's explanation is the continuing ability of high tech to displace not only unskilled but skilled and highly-paid workers.On the capital side, monopoly power is riding high again, fueled by the collapse of serious anti-trust legislation and accompanied by the loss by labor of much of its bargaining.[Paul Krugman, NY Times (via Common Dreams), Dec 10]

Posted Dec 20: Change Is Coming: Factory Farms' Days May Be Numbered. "In one of history's most stunning victories for humane farming, Australia's largest supermarket chain, Coles, will as of January 1 stop selling company branded pork and eggs from animals kept in factory farms." The other dominant Australian chain which together with Coles controls 80% of supermarker sales in Australia is moving in the same direction. Driven by consumer pressure, changes are beginning in some states in the US and in Europe. For more information on the subject and a great read, see "Eating Animals" a book by Jonathan Foer, review here. [Ocean Robbins,Common Dreams,Nov 28,2002]

Factory-farmed chickens. Source: Advocacy for Animals

Posted Dec 20: World Energy Report 2012: The Good, the Bad, and the Really, Truly Ugly. Signalled by its euphoric reception by Wall Street, this year's Internationak Energy Agency report seems to contain only bad news - both for the global economy and the future of the planet. Cheering about an expected rise of US to first place in oil production has more to do with a decline in the competition; rosy estimates of the benefits of fracking and tar sands are figured in; coal use is down only because coal exports are rising and the estimated global warming is now not to be a "mere" 2C, but 3.6C, or 5.5 degrees F [Michael T. Klare,TomDispatch(via Common Dreams),Nov 27,2012]

Posted Dec 20: As drug industry’s influence over research grows, so does the potential for bias. This update of the continuing scandal over pervasive pharmaceutical industry ontrol power over scientific drug research - not just over the choice of topics investigated, but over the findings released as well. Over th year ending last August, of 73 articles about new published in the New England Journal Medicine, 50 were co-written by drug company employees and 37 "had a lead author, typically an academic, who had previously accepted outside compensation from the sponsoring drug company" [Peter Whoriskey, Wash. Post,Nov 24]

Posted Dec 20: Inside the Monsanto Information War. Inside the Monsanto Information War. An update on the controversy over genetically-modified corn. The French rejected a long-term study that linked corn to massive tumors in rats genetically modified to resist Monsantos Roundup herbicide; but they also called for further research. [Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report , Oct 24, 2012]

Posted Nov 14: Climate Change's 'Terrifying Math' Coming to City Near You. (Coming to Washington Nov 18th - see http://math.350.org/).Just 24 hours after Obama won re-election with nary a mention of the coming climate meltdown, 350.org has launched a nationwide "Do the Math" tour to try to organize grassroots pressure to reign in the fossil fuel industry which has shown that they are willing "to burn five times as much carbon as the most conservative estimates say is compatible with a livable planet." [Common Dreams staff, Nov 6]

Posted Nov 14: New Weapons Systems Could Give Pentagon Unprecedented Power Over the Planet ... or Lead to Future Military Disaster. When Mitt complained about our shrinking navy in Debate III, Obama pounced: “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed.". But what lies down the road as we bulk up on drones, cyber warfare and weaponization of space? See also Nov 12 article.[Alfred McCoy,TomDispatch, Nov 8,2012]

There are 7,000 drones in the US armada of unmanned aircraft, including 800 larger missile-firing drones [REUTERS]

Posted Nov 14: Superstorm Sandy—a People's Shock? The author of The Shock Doctrine sees, just days after the departure of Sandy, ample new evidence of the efforts of big capitalism toredouble its efforts to seek advantage in the midst of disaster.[Naomi Klein, The Nation, Nov5,2012

]Posted Oct 29: End Polluter Welfare. Romney, complaining about clean energy subsidies, is correct in pointing out that Washington is picking winners and losers in the fight over the future of energy. And as always, "the big winners of federal support are the already immensely profitable fossil fuel and nuclear industries, not sustainable energy."[Bernie Sanders,Common Dreams, Oct 16]

Posted Oct 29: : Will E-Voting Machines Owned by His Buddies Give Mitt Romney the White House? Which way will Ohio go? The answer may depend on who owns the software in the voting machines. "US courts have consistently ruled that the software in electronic voting machines is proprietary to the manufacturer, even though individual election boards may own the actual machines." And in critical areas of Ohio, site of massive election frauds in 2004, machines are still controlled by the GOP and their big donors. [Bob Fitrakis, Harvey Wasserman, Common Dreams,Oct 14]

Posted Oct 29: Bomb, Bomb, Bomb-Bomb Iran. If you ask Iranians they will tell you that the war against Iran has already begun.[Vijay Prashad,Counterpunch, Sep 29]

Posted Sep 26: Bias Persists for Women of Science, a Study Finds. Women earn less because they may get pregnant/married and quit their job, right? Working scientists are objective in their hiring decisions and don't discriminate against women, right? This gender discrimination is worse in physical than biological science, right? All doubtful, according to this new study by researchers at Yale. [Kenneth Chang,NY Times,Sep 24, 2012]

Posted Sep 26: Dr. Frankenstein and the APA's Decade of Monstrosities. Roy Eidelson former president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, shows step by step how APA (the American Psychological Association) acted hand in hand with the Bush regime.[Roy Eidelson,Truthout,Sep 24]

Posted Sep 26: America's miasma of misinformation on climate change."Denial ain't just a river in Egypt; it's also in places like North Carolina and perhaps even embedded into America's cultural DNA." The mass media over the last three years have given less and less air time to the subject of climate change.And worse yet, who had the most coverage? Right, Fox News. [Anna Clark,Guardian, UK,Sep 23]

Posted Sep 16: Alzheimer's Could Be the Most Catastrophic Impact of Junk Food. Increasing evidence is ariaing that there is a connection between diabetes and Alzheimers, suggesting that the two may be linked to the global rise of diets rich in junk food .[George Monbiot,Guardian,UK(via RT), Sep 15]

Posted Sep 16: Two articles on the disappearing Arctic Sea Ice: 'Unprecedented,' 'Amazing,' 'Goliath': Scientists Describe Arctic Sea Ice Melt [staff, Common Dreams, Sep 7] and Arctic sea ice shrinks to smallest extent ever recorded - Rate of summer ice melt smashes two previous record lows and prompts warnings of accelerated climate change. The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado cited current 5-day averages as unprecedented in the available 40-year data base. Typical ice coverage in summer is about 8 million square km; the previous record low was around 4 in 2007; the present coverage has just bottomed out at about 3.4. The collapse came in spite of Arctic summer weather that hadn't been unusually warm and is probably due to the unprecedented thinness of the ice. [John Vidal and Adam Vaughan, Guardian,UK,Sep 15]

: Photograph: John Mcconnico/AP

Posted Sep 16: A Deeper Look at Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest in ‘Frackademia’. A new word has entered the language, courtesy of the University of Texas: Frackademia. It was inspired by a major risk assessment study done there in February of the hydraulic fracturing industry in which it was found that the lead author was a member of board of a major fracking company, held $1 million worth of its stock,was paid almost half a million for the study and didn't disclose it. [Andrew Revkin, NY Times dotearth blog,Aug 1,2012]

Posted Sep 16: 5 Ways the Stanford Study Sells Organics Short. Is the marketing of organic food just a scheme to separate well-off consumers from their food dollars? That's the apparent conclusion of the study done by Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute(abstract), which is financed by outifs such as Cargill, Monsanto and other food industry heavies. The study does find that the nutritional values is not much different, but critics havefoundmass media coverage of the report biased and the report itself weak on evaluating the effects of pesticide traces and ecological impacts from conventional foods. More information here and here. [Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, Sep 5]

Posted Sep 16: The Current Patent System Favors Corporations The issuing of patents for trivial changes in existing technologies has been favoring large corporations and stifling innovation. A proposal has been made to initiate a debate on patent quality at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). [Carlos M. Correa,OtherNews,Aug 20]

Posted Sep 16: 100-Year Forecast: Drought. Regarding last summer's drought: "Future precipitation trends, based on climate model projections for the coming fifth assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indicate that droughts of this length and severity will be commonplace through the end of the century unless human-induced carbon emissions are significantly reduced".[Christopher Schwalm , NY Times. Aug 11, 2012]

Posted Sep 16 : The Coming Hunger Wars: Heat, Drought, Rising Food Costs, and Global Unrest. "Because so many nations depend on grain imports from the U.S. to supplement their own harvests, and because intense drought and floods are damaging crops elsewhere as well, food supplies are expected to shrin' and prices to rise across the planet. 'What happens to the U.S. supply has immense impact around the world,” says Robert Thompson, a food expert at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs". [Michael T. Klare, Common Dreams(via TomDispatch), Aug 7]

Posted Sep 16: Climate Change is Here — and Worse Than We Thought. NASA's James Hansen, the 'Godfather of Global Warming,' says earlier predictions "too optimistic"Hansen says that the increased frequency of weather extremes due to global warming can be likened to the increased frequency of yourlosing when the casino has decided to load the dice.[James Hansen,Common Dreams,Aug 5]

Posted Aug 9: Nuclear Security Unmasked. A gang of three anti-nuclear war activists were able to break into a high-security nuclear weapons site in Oak Ridge TN, led by an 82-year old nun. Armed with wire-cutters, they broke through a chain-link fence, were arrested, charged with felonious destruction of property. They succeeded in shutting down the H-bomb factory for several days. [John LaForge,Counterpunch, Aug 8]

Posted Aug 9: A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot a World Away. From a computer console in a Syracuse, NY suburb, an Air Force officer monitors weeks of daily life in an Afghan village taking detailed videos from his remotely piloted aircraft. At some time he will move a joystick and bring down sudden death. Then, another day's work done he returns to his own home and family nearby. How does it feel? See also this article in Common Dreams.[Elisabeth Bumiller, NY Times, July 29]

Posted Aug 9: The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic. A long-time questioner of the existence of human-caused global warming and even global warming itself announces a change of position - not in a published paper, but in an op-ed in the NY Times based on a paper that he has submitted for publication. Richard Muller, who was bankrolled by Koch Brothers money, has managed not only to infuriate his former fellow-skeptics, but also annoy the scientific community in general by rushing to the press with unpublished results, by proclaiming what has been widely accepted for two decades and by presenting seemingly weak arguments in his own behalf. [Richard A. Muller, NY Times, July 28, 2012]

Posted Aug 9: The military-industrial-fossil fuel-nuclear-state terror complex - a response to the McKibben article above published in A World to Win by Dave Schwartzman. [Dave Schwartman,A World to Win, July 21]

Posted Aug 9 : Zombie nouns. Is the public losing repect fo intellectuals, scientists, universities and big institutions in general? Maybe it has something to do with the way these guys talk to the public? [Helen Sword,NY Times, July 23]

Posted Aug 9: Global Warming's Terrifying New Math. See response by dcmetro sftp's Dave Schwarzman below. Many other responses here.Are repeated prophecies of gloom and doom ultimately disempowereing? Can even the threat of this catastrophe motivate capitalism to reform itself? [Bill McKibben,Rolling Stone,July 19]

Posted July 15: The FDA Surveils Its Employees. In a story broken in the NYT, it was revealed that the FDA engaged in massive surveillance of e-mails of its scientists in an effort to prevent public exposure by whistleblowers of its approval of dangerous medica devices. A follow-up Times story revealed that the spying extended to communications of journalists and Congressional officials as well.[Alexander Kelly, Truthdig,July 15]

Posted July 15: Nuclear "Regulatory Capture" -- A Global Pattern. "The conclusion of a report of a Japanese parliamentary panel issued last week that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster was rooted in government-industry "collusion" and thus was "man-made" is mirrored throughout the world. The "regulatory capture" cited by the panel is the pattern among nuclear agencies right up to the International Atomic Energy Agency."...[Karl Grossman, Huffington Post, July 13]

Posted July 15: US near tipping point on politics of pot. Have people suddenly awakened to tons of scientific studies that have found marijuana to be no more harmful than tobacco or alcohol? Probably not, but polls are showing strong and growing support for state medical marijuana laws and even some support for the decriminalization of general pot use. [Paul Armentano, Alternet, July 10]

Posted July 15: Rate of Climate Change's 'Evil Twin' Has Scientists Worried - Ocean acidification is moving at a rate faster than scientists had expected. NOAA head Jane Lubchenco addressed a plenary of thousands of ocean scientists at a conference on coral reefs in Cairns, Australia today, warning of serious effects on sea life and calling for reductions in carbon emissions.[staff, Common Dreams, July 9] See also July 10 follow-up article by Steven Leahy in IPSnews.

Pristine coral reef situated in a Jordanian marine reserve wrapped by a drifting fishing net. Credit: Malik Naumann/Marine Photobank

Posted July 15: The "Monsanto Rider": Are Biotech Companies About to Gain Immunity From Federal Law? Want to create your own Frankenfood? There's good news for you in the "Monsanto rider" that has been slipped into the FY2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill under consideration: you must be granted temporary permit to plant your GM crop even if you haven't yet filed an enivornomental impact statement.[Alexis Baden-Mayer,AlterNet(via TruthOut.org, July 8]

Posted July 15: New Report on the Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods. A study by geneticists at Earth Open Source of hundreds of peer-reviewed papers concluded "not only that GM food crops pose significant, if largely under-evaluated, health risks, but that they have so far failed to deliver on their promise to increase crop yields and lower herbicide and pesticide use"....[Richard Schiffman, CommonDreams,July 5]

Posted July 1: Warmest May in history for Northern Hemisphere. NOAA's combined land surface-sea surface temperature analysis revealed that the month of May in the Northern Hemisphere was warmer than any in the entire 132-year instrumental reccord. For the world as a whole, May was only the second watmest on record. The warmest was way back in 2010.[NOAA Global Analysis, June, 2012]

Posted July 1: Lone grad student exposed Google privacy invasion. Jonathan Mayer a Stanford student exposed one of the biggest privacy scandals of the past year: Google was secretly planting cookies on millions of iPhone browsers.The Federal Trade Commission which is the lead agency reponsible for protection against precisely this type of invasion of privacy is battling against serious understaffing and anti-government political pressures.[Peter Maas, Pro Publica (via Nation of Change), June 30]

Posted July 1: Brazil tribes occupy contentious dam site. Citing broken promises of compensation and local development aid, a group of 150 indigenous Brazilians representing three tribes invaded one of the contruction site for the massive Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River in the Amazon basin state of Pará. The occupation, which is in its second weekend is part of widespread resistance on the part of residents to be affected by the project and more demonstrators are arriving daily.[Gabriel Elizondo and Maria Elena Romero, Al Jazeera, Jun 30]. More on Brazilian dams here: The Dam Boom in the Amazon. [Charles Lyons, NY Times, July 1]

Posted July 1: Rising Oceans to Wreak Havoc this Century. Two new studies have revealed that the projected rise of 2-3 feet in sea level by the end of the century is an average so that certain coastal areas will see greater increases than others due to local differences in the water temperature, wind-driven currents and changes in elevation of land masses. A report in Nature warned of catastrophic rises along the mid-Atlantic and northeast US coasts, while a separate report in Nature warns of sea level rises of over five feet along the Pacific coast by 2100. [staff. Common Dreams, Jun 25]

Outer Banks - NC

Posted July 1 :Appropriate Technology helps Coexistence with Drought in Brazil. In the face of a sevethe traditional maize and bean crops, local NGO's are working with impoverished residents to install systems for harvesting and storing rainwater, introduing drought-resistant crops and creating vegetable gardens. [Mario Osava,IPSNews, JUn 16]

Posted Jun 23: Nada: Rio+20 Draft Text is 283 Paragraphs of Fluff. This scathing indictment of the document about to be signed by world leaders in Rio representing 190 nations,who have "spent 20 years bracing themselves to 'acknowledge', 'recognize' and express 'deep concern' about the world's environmental crises, but not to do anything about them."[George Monbiot,The Guardian/UK (via Common Dreams),Jun 22, 2012]

Posted Jun 23: Monsanto Loses $2 Billion Judgment to Brazilian Farmers. About 85% of Brazil's massive soybean crop (a qurter of its ag exports) is grown from seeds descended from genetically modified stock bought from MOnsanto. Monsanto has been charging a two percent royalty on every crop; Brazilian framers, claiming that Monsanto unfairly collects exorbitant profits every year worldwide on the royalties has sued the multinational for $2 billion and won. An appeal is expected.[Subodh Varma, The Times of India (via RSN, Jun 12]

Posted Jun 5: Did America's Cyber Attack on Iran Make Us More Vulnerable? "After years of downplaying offensive U.S. cyber capabilities and fretting about Chinese cyber weapons, a major assumption has been turned on its head: America has now conceded that it conducted the most sophisticated state-sponsored cyber attack in the history of civilization."[Marc Ambinder, Atlantic,Jun 5, 2012]

Posted Jun 5: BP successfully subpoena's scientists' emails. Oceanographers Richard Camilli and Christopher Reddy, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, after having done intensive research on the BP oil spill in the Gulf, have been forced to turn over to BP lawyers not only 50,000 pages of documents, raw data and reports used in their research, but also their entire e-mail correspondence. They expressed serious concern that BP will be free to quote out of context (as in the case of the "Climategate") e-mails and lead to a further chilling effect on open scientific deliberation. [staff, Common Dreams, Jun 5]

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig after it exploded on 20 April 2010. Photo: KPA/Zuma/Rex Features

Posted June 5: Pollution, Poverty and People of Color: Living with Industry. A "triple whammy of race, poverty and environment converging nationwide to create communities near pollution sources where nobody else wants to live. Black leaders ...called [it]...environmental racism, and beginning in the early 1980s, they documented the pattern at North Carolina’s Warren County PCBs landfill, Louisiana's "Cancer Alley," Chicago's South Side, Tennessee’s Dickson County, Houston's Sunnyside garbage dump and other places across the country.[Jane Kay and Cheryl Katz, Sci American,June 3, 2012]

Posted June 5: Who Needs Wall Street Giants? "...after watching in dismay as their ineptness and avarice drained more than $19 trillion from America's household wealth since 2007 and plunged our real economy into the worst financial crisis since the 1930s Depression; after witnessing their shameful demands for trillions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts to save their banks and their jobs; and now after seeing them return immediately to business as usual, including paying multimillion-dollar bonuses to themselves — we have to ask: Huh!?!"[Jim Hightower,Nation of Change,May 29]

Posted May 30: Obama's Secret 'Kill List'. President Obama has not only taken personal charge of an intense campaign to kill suspected terrorists by targeting them for drone strikes, but has also "...preserved three major policies - rendition, military commissions and indefinite detention - that have been targets of human rights groups since the 2001 terrorist attacks." He has also been able to claim extremely low non-combatant deaths by inventing a very broad definition of who is a combatant. This article is setting off a storm of criticism, especially on the paranoid far right, as for example this piece in Rapture Forums.[Jo Becker,Scott Shane, NYTimes, May 29, 2012]

Posted May 30: Will Americans Speak Out Against Obama's Drone Warfare? Medea Benjamin comments: "US leaders areputting people on a hit list who are as young as 17, people who are given no chance to surrender, and certainly no chance to be tried in a court of law." [Medea Benjamin,Common Dreams, May 30]

Posted May 26: Petroleum and Propaganda - a review of James L Powell's "The Inquisition of Climate Science." The book gives a detailed look at the global warming denial industry and its tremendous success in inspiring widespread distrust of science and scientists. [John Farley, MonthlyReview.org, May 21]

Posted May 26: Arctic Melt Releasing Ancient Methane. A survey of ice-covered lakes in Alaska and Greenland has revealed widespread releases of methane from melting margins.Isotope techniques reveal that much of the methane had been trapped under the ice for thousands of years, a further indication of possible massive realeases yet to come as the Arctic warms.See pre-publication realease of original article.[Richard Black, BBC News, May 20, 2012]

Posted May 26: 1,000 years of climate data confirms Australia's warming. A massive study over the last 1000 years of 27 natural climate indicators covering the Australasia region over land concludes that the sudden recentdeparture was mostly man. The team of researchers has shown that the last 60 years were the warmest on record.The first such study in the region, it will be published soon in the Journal of Climate. This is discussed in RealClimate(Fresh hockey sticks from the Southern Hemisphere, May 22) along with two other new Southern Hemisphere studies. [Alvin Stone,PhysOrg, May 17]

Posted May 19: Heartland Insitute Strikes Again. The Heartland Institute, recipient of truckloads of money from wealthy climate deniers, briefly outdid itself. The billboard below, linking folks who "still believe in global warming" to the Unabomber, erected in Chicago last week in advance of their annual meeting, was quickly pulled down after strong public outcry. The story was linked to a NYT piece by Andrew Revkin about a proposed update to national review of K-12 science teaching standards. [Maggie L Fox, Climate Reality Project, May 18, 2012]

Chicago billboard (hastily removed)

Posted May 13: USAF Drones May Conduct “Incidental” Domestic Surveillance. "U.S. Air Force policy permits the incidental collection of domestic imagery by unmanned aerial systems (drones), but ordinarily would not allow targeted surveillance of a U.S. person. The Air Force policy was restated in a newly reissued instruction on oversight of Air Force intelligence." [Ordinarily? Read the article] [Steven Aftergood,Fed. Amer. Sci. Secrecy News, May 8, 2012]

Posted May 13: Agent Orange Corn-on-the-cob Anyone? Meet thenewest happy couple: Frankencorn and 2,4-D. The chemical giant Dow is in line for approval for a new line of corn that has been genetically altered so that it can stand treatment with new more-potent weed-killers, this time laced with 2,4-D, known in Vietnam as Agent Orange - just as Monsanto did in the case of the herbicide Roundup. [Jim Hightower, Nation of Change, May 9, 2012]

Posted May 13: Norway: NATO Rehearses For War In The Arctic. For military leaders, global warming is a sure bet and in anticipation of a largely ice-free Arctic Ocean, feverish military activity taking place under the official label of a joint 'Norwegian-NATO-Partnership for Peace.' "The largest military exercise in the High North[involving 15 nations]...since the end of the Cold War ... was completed on March 21 in northern Norway. [Rick Rozoff,voltaireNet.org,(courtesy Maggie Zhou) Apr 23, 2012]

Cold Response 2012 military exercise in Nordland, Norway. The yearly air land and maritime exercise is organized within NATO with a UN mandate.

Posted May 13: Australian Scientists: Deep Ocean Beneath Antarctic Responding Rapidly to Climate Change. New research reported by Agence France-Presse suggests that over half the dense Atlantic bottom water that forms and sinks along the edges of Antarctica and spreads globally along the ocean floors has vanished in the last 40 years. [Based on clarification by Maggie Zhou: It is thought that global-warming-induced melting has diluted the highly saline water and interfered with the sinking process, leading to "slowing down of the thermohaline circulation (a.k.a. the ocean conveyor belt), reducing nutrient and oxygen mixing, and can have profound effects on ocean ecosystems, and global/regional climate."[staff,Common Dreams, May 4,2012]

Posted May 10: Game Over for the Climate. NASA's Hansen at his most alarming - calculates that if all the carbon contain in Canadas tar sands were oxidized, it would raise atmospheric CO2 to 500 ppm, leading to 50-foot+ sea level rises and drowning costal cities. He calls for defeat of the tar sands pipeline and a gradually-rising carbon tax. [James Hansen, NY Times, May 9, 2012]

Posted May 10: 40 Acres and a Rule: Draft Federal Fracking Regs Cover Only a Sliver of Land. proposed federal fracking rules would only apply to federally-managed land and the proposed requirement for disclosing the chemicals injected into the ground would be revealed to the public ,in many cases, only after drilling is completed. [Lena Groeger, Nation of Change, May 8]

Posted May 10: The Evolution Paradigm Shifts - interivew with James Shapiro. Shapiro's new book, "Evolution: A View from the 21st Century" is stirring up a storm of controversy by trying to questioning the paradigm of Darwinian evolution, just at a time when establishment scientists are being harrassed by the religious right. At the core of Shapiro's new synthesis is that "...the DNA record definitely does not support the slow accumulation of random gradual changes...", but the cell itself has the ability to participate in engineering. its own DNA. [Suzan Mazur, Counterpunch, May 7, 2012]

Posted May 3: We Already Grow Enough Food For 10 Billion People -- and Still Can't End Hunger. A new study posted April 25 in Nature (Seufert, et al.) shows that non-organic methods are of growing food are still on average more efficient than organic methods, on average by 25%, but the variability is high. A combination of methods is suggested for feeding the world's growing population, but Gimenez points out that "Hunger is caused by poverty and inequality, not scarcity. For the past two decades, the rate of global food production has increased faster than the rate of global population growth. The world already produces more than 1 ½ times enough food to feed everyone on the planet."
[Eric Holt Gimenez, Huffington Post, May 2, 2012]

Posted May 2: Trivializing Fukushima. In response to an April 23 Washington Post editorial attempting to downplay the Fukushima nuclear tragedy and cheerleading a new expansionof nukes, Linda Gunter of Counterpunch sets out a powerful point-by-point rebuttal, emphasizing the distortions in the Post piece and pointing to the rapid growth in many areas of the world of non-carbon-based alternatives to nuclear.[Linda Pentz Gunter,Counterpunch,May 1 2012]

Posted May 2: Impacts of wind farms on land surface temperature. Wind farms were found to cause a locally significant warming at night by mixing warmer air downward to dilute the near-surface cold inversionlayer. Grist predicts that the media will spin this into a big right-wind feeding frenzy and the Christian Science Monitor tries to head 'em off at the pass, reminding readers that the laws of thermodynamics haven't been repealed[yet]. [Zhou, et al., Nature Climate Change, Apr 29]

Posted Apr 29: Why Fukushima Is a Greater Disaster than Chernobyl and a Warning Sign for the US. The meltdown at Fukushima last year has led to the shutdown of the reactor complex there, but there is a serious ongoing problem with no solution in the near future: the highly radioactive spent fuel rods that contain 85 times more radioactivity than was released at Chernobyl and are sitting in cooling pools that require constant circulation of water, essentially forever. Some of the pools are elevated, some are exposed to the elements and all are still located in a highly active earthquake zone[Robert Alvarez, Common Dreams, Apr 24]

Posted April 26: Rio+20 and the Neoliberal's "Green Economy". Seeking a Socially Inclusive Strategy for Climate Negotiations. The official pitch for Rio Earth Summit 1992 was "our common future", but the Rio+20 meeting in Brazil this June offers a negotiating text called The Future We Want. The question of course is, who is this "we"?[Ariel Salleh, USSF Updates, April 2012]

Posted April 26: Should we really worry about solar storms? Last month, the British government took the unprecedented step of declaring space weather one of the greatest threats to the country. Alongside terrorism, flooding and pandemics. Informative discussion of solar flares and CMEs(coronal mass ejections) and possible effects on our electronics-dominated technosphere.[Ian O'neill, Al jazeera, Apr 20, 2012]

Posted April 26: Our Bodies, Their Politics. In view of the posturing going on around birth control issues in the current political campaigns, we remind ourselves of a few grim facts: "More than 500,000 women die around the world each year from pregnancy-related causes, according to the WHO. A majority of those deaths occur in developing countries, but only a century ago American women faced similar fates. It was not until the 20th century that pregnancy-related death rates in the United States declined – a result of modern medicine, better sanitation and the advent of modern female contraception". [Marilyn Katz, In These Times, Apr 16, 2012]

Posted April 26: State of Charge: Electric Vehicles’ Global Warming Emissions and Fuel-Cost Savings Across the United States. Driving an electric carinstead of a gasoline-powered car may actually increase net carbon emission, depending on the source of electricity.[Don Anair and Amine Mahmassami, Union of Concerned Scientists, Apr 2012]

Posted April 16: Record Warm March Temperatures Continue Record-Breaking Periods. [Editorial comment: Common Dreams somewhat breathlessly reports that 15,000 new temperature records had been broken in the US March.This is a pretty meaningless number, since the map showsthat many of the measurements cited come from many stations located so close to each other that multiple record breakings are guaranteed]. But the lead sentence is scary enough: "The contiguous United States experienced the warmest March ever in the warmest start of the year ever in the warmest 12-month period ever."[staff, Common Dreams, Apr 9 2012]

---Cartoon published April 14 in Folha, São Paulo, Brazil---

Posted April 16: How the US Uses Sexual Humiliation as a Political Tool to Control the Masses. What happened in the prisons of Iraq may soon be coming soon to a police station near you. Last week's 5-4 Supreme Court decision removing most restrictions on strip searches for even minor offenses is part of increasing sexual intrusion upon citizens.[Naomi Wolf,Common Dreams, Apr 6, 2012]

Posted April 16: The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center(Watch What You Say) A heavily fortified $2 billion complex is rising quickly outside an isolated desert town. It is the Utah Data Center, to be finished in Sept 2013, and is to capture and store in "near-bottomless databases...all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches".[James Bamford Wired ,Mar 15, 2012]

Posted April 8: Protecting Psychologists Who Harm: The APA's Latest Wrong Turn The APA (American Psychological Association) has been struggling since the attacks of 2001 to contain dissident elements within the organization that have been speaking out against the co-operation of psychologists with torturers. In spite of a solid majority for an anti-torture resolution in 2008, APA leadership has continued to evade its implementation. [Roy Eidelson, Truthout, Apr 7 (credit: Phil Gasper)]

Posted Apr 7: ‘Public Transportation is a Human Right’: Demonstrators in 18 Cities Occupy Transit. Occupy ducked undergound last week, chaining open subway entrances in at least 18 cities to dramatize "the diversion of billions of tax dollars to war and the corporations that benefit from war,” said ATU International President Larry Hanley in a press statement.
     "And this has led to service cuts, transit worker layoffs, and higher passenger fares which are really just another kind of tax, levied on those who can least afford it.” Transit systems in several cities are heavily in debt to banks that have received multi-billion-dollar bailouts.
[Rebecca Burns, In These Times, Apr 5. 2012]

Posted Apr 7: Why Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer to Global Warming. Some prominent environmentalists have been embracing nuclear power as a "green" alternative to burning carbon to buy us some time; and there the industry with government support is holding out hope for a "nuclear renaissance". But a promised new generation of nukes "has not been built and won’t be, because Wall Street won’t fund them. The only way nukes get built is with real or de facto socialism. The public sector has to pick up the tab, either during construction or after the fact, when bankrupt utilities get bailed out."[Christian Parenti,AlterNet, Apr4, 2012]
     See also: New Nukes on the Brink. A combination of safety concerns and serious taxpayer resistance to sinking more public subsidies into nuclear power may signal the end of nuclear power in the US.[ For now?]
[Harvey Wasserman, Counterpunch, April 6]

Posted Apr 4: Hacks of Valor. A Harvard law professor argues that the paranoid worldwide reactions to the creative hacks by Anonymous may be counterproductive to the capitalist power structure. The successful global campaign against ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) used the symboism of Anonymous as a kind of "soft power that allows millions of people, often in different countries, each of whom is individually weak, to surge in opposition to a given program or project enough to shape the outcome. In this sense, Anonymous has become a potent symbol of popular dissatisfaction with the concentration of political and corporate power in fewer and fewer hands." [Yochai Benkler,Foreign Affairs, Apr 4, 2012]

Posted Apr 4: Extreme Weather is the New Normal. The new IPCC report released Mar 28 once again increases the urgency of warnings about extreme events related to global warming. Events such as the unprecedented March heat over much of Eastern North America have been happening with increasing frequency, and are expected to become even more common.
    Other serious consequences to come are extreme rainfalls, increased duration and intensity of droughts in southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, central Europe, central North America, Central America and Mexico, northeast Brazil, and southern Africa.
    Sea level rise combined with increases in extreme weather will make many places uninhabitable by the end of the century, said Christopher Field, co-chair of IPCC’s Working Group II, which together with Working Group I produced the report.
[Stephen Leahy, IPS,Apr 3]

Posted Mar 31: Money Talks, Science Walks: Millions Spent to Weaken FDA. Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has just released a report showing that "between 2009 and 2011, prescription drug, biotechnology and medical device companies spent more than $700 million[(2/3 of this from drug companies] lobbying Congress and the Obama administration."
    This stepped-up activity is directed at coming legislation aimed in part at easing restrictions on FDA conflicts of interest connected with FDA links to industries it regulates. The huge sum exceeds even the spending of the oil and insurance sectors
. [Staff, Common Dreams,Mar 30]

Posted Mar 29: Tennessee Passes Bill to Support Teaching of Climate Change Denial. More worries are ahead for science teachers in Tennessee (famous for the anti- Darwin "Scopes Monkey Trial") - not only do they have to tread carefully when they mention evolution, but now also face the ire of ignorant parents when they say "climate change" in the classroom.
    Thanks are due in part to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), bankrolled by corporate polluter lobby groups, such as Heartland Institute and American Electric Power. Climate change, like evolution, is just one theory among others...
.[Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog, Mar 27]

Posted Mar 29: Why the Supreme Court Should Kill ‘Obamacare. The court, says Lindorff, has the opportunity to create a crisis by "killing this monstrosity of political expedience and lobbyist strong-arming...and moving to real national health reform which would reduce costs substantially, provide quality health care to all, and finally drive a stake through the heart of the health insurance industry". It is noted that "family health crises are the major single cause of bankruptcies and homes foreclosures in the country". [Dave Lindorff, Counterpunch, Mar 26, 2012]

Posted Mar 27: How to Write Like a Scientist. Why are articles in scientific journals so boring and badly written? "Why can’t we [scientists]write like other people write? Why can’t we tell our science in interesting, dynamic stories? Why must we write dryly? (Or, to rephrase that last sentence in the passive voice, as seems to be the scientific fashion, why must dryness be written by us?)"[Adam Ruben,Science Careers(Science), Mar 23.2012]

Posted Mar 27: Why Magicians are a Scientist's Best Friend. Science for the People always complains about the mystification of science, and pseudo-science. What can we learn from magicians? "No matter how well educated, or how basically intelligent, trained, or observant a scientist may be, s/he may be a poor judge of a methodology employed in deliberate deception." [James Randi, Wired Science, Mar 23, 2012]

Posted Mar 26: Lessons from Obama's Keystone Cave-In. In a March 22 speech in Oklahoma, Obama reminded us how, over the last three years, " 'I’ve directedmy administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore.' And ...' We are drilling all over the place now.' As for pipelines, 'we’ve added enough new oil and gas pipelines to encircle the earth.' Climate blogger Joe Romm called the address 'Obama's worst speech ever.' " [Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone, Mar23, 2012]

...at the southern site of the Keystne XL pipeline in Cushing, OK

Posted Mar 26: Judge to FDA: Remove Superbug-Breeding Antibiotics from Animal Feed. In 1977 - 40 years years ago, the FDA was ordered to begin proceedings againstwidespread us of antibiotics in animal feds. In the meantime the use has continued to spread, leading to increasing occurrences of of drug-resistant infections in humans. The new order from Judge Theodorem Katz is "to start proceedings to withdraw approval for the use of common antibiotics in animal feed". Again. See original Reuters story.[A. Gucciardi, Nation of Change, Mar 25, 2012]

]Posted Mar 24: 400 Chernobyls: Solar Flares, Electromagnetic Pulses and Nuclear Armageddon. There are 450 nuclear reactor power plants in the world and hundreds more under construction. They are all dependent on a reliable source of electricity to keep water flowing for cooling the reactor and usually, the spent fuel pools as well. What would happen if (or when) a giant electromagnetic storm of the magnitude observed in 1921 and 1859 causes massive long-term power disruptions blackouts? [Matthew Stein, Truthout,Mar 24]

Solar Flare - NASA

Posted Mar 18: Decline in Global Poverty? The World Bank recently (proudly) reported that the percentage of people living in extreme poverty (earning $1.25/day or less) has declined in almost every region of the developing world during the years 2005-2010.But questions are being raised about every aspect of this figure: Does this earnings-per-day approach really measure poverty? Does setting the threshold at $1.25 make any sense? Is the adjustment for purchasing power unbiased? [Adam Parsons, Counterpunch, Mar 16 2012]

Posted Mar 18: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy. The parasite Toxoplasma gondii, carried and excreted by cats also infects many humans and may lie dormant in our brain cells. It was found to make strange changes in rats; not only did they lose some of their fear of cats, but became attracted to cat scent. In humans, t is claimed that T. gondii is involved in schizophrenia and also capable of making subtle changes in human behavior, even according to one study, to the extent of making infected people more prone to traffic accidents.. [Kathleen McAuliffe,Atlantic, March 2012]

Posted Mar 18: The Hidden Costs of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The battle over the pipeline is far from over; lots of money rides on the deal, and Obama's objection was mostly technical and didn't comment on the merits of the proposal. In fact, there is no shortage of gasoline; the U.S. is actually exporting gasoline. [Curtis Moore, Counterpunch, Mar 15]

Posted Mar 18: The Wind Industry’s License to Kill. Environmentalists are beginning to complain about wind-turbine-caused bird kills numbering in the hundreds of thousands, especially in the light of plans for accelerating growth of the wind energy sector.[Robert Bryce, Counterpunch, Mar 15, 2012]

Posted Mar 18:Plan to Unleash Genetically Modified Mosquitoes. The plan is described by environmental groups as "dangerously misguided" and by scientists in Germany as based on ‘questionable pivotal scientific assertion[s]’; the company seeking permission, Oxitec, insists that there would be "no permanent change to the wild mosquito population". [Staff, Common Dreams, Mar 15, 2012]

Posted Mar 13: Spying on Occupy: Prosecutors Subpoena Tweets, NYPD Arrests Protesters for ‘Thought Crimes’ The Tweets Belong to the People? Not in New York City they don't. Hi-tech protest tools cut both ways, and the cops can subpoena anything you've tweeted or intend to tweet (see also occucopters, Dec 23).[Allison Kilkenny, In These Times,Mar 13]

Posted Mar 13: "How Economics Shapes Science", interview with book's author Paula Stephan covers topics such as the impact of the competition for funding upon risk-taking in pursuing lines of research vs incremental advances; interactions with industry; increasing number of patents and attraction of foreign researchers. [Serena Golden, Inside Higher Education, Mar 9]

Posted Mar 13: All Red Meat is Bad for You: . More good news for some of the creatures we feast upon: "Eating red meat — any amount and any type — appears to significantly increase the risk of premature death, according to a long-range [An Pan et al., Harvard] study that examined the eating habits and health of more than 110,000 adults for more than 20 years." [Eryn Brown, L.A. Times, Mar 12]

Posted Mar 7: An Executive Power to Kill? According to Attorney General Eric Holder, "The President of the United States can order the killing of US citizens, far from any battlefield, without charges, a trial, or any form of advance judicial approval." How did we get to this point? Do you trust Obama with this power? How about future presidents, with even more accurate ability to assassinate a presumed enemy from thousands of miles away? Will there be a future drone with your name on it?[David Cole, NY Review of Books Blog, Mar 6]

Posted Mar 4: WikiLeaks vs. Stratfor: Pursue the Truth, Not Its Messenger. If you're an activist you aren't only being spied on by the FBI or the CIA; probably the Stratfor people also have a file on you. A trove of 5 million e-mails hacked from Stratfor servers in December by the group "Anonymous" and being gradually released by Wikileaks will detail the inolvement of Stratfo on behalf of the above clients, plus corporations, and the military and its leading contractors.[Amy Goodman, Truthdig, Mar 1]

Posted Mar 4: Save the Lorax: Shun the Stuff. What would the Lorax do? According to the new Universal Studios animated film and "The Lorax" and its spinoff marketing, Mr. Lorax would be in elementary schools flacking everything from Mazda CX-5 SUVs with the “Truffula Seal of Approval” - to Truffula Chip Pancakes at IHOP.[Josh Golin and Susan Linn, Common Dreams, Mar 1]

Posted Mar 4: Psychologists and Torture, Then and Now. The 1963 CIA interrogation manual was the fruit of CIA-funded psychological research on electroshock treatment and sensory deprivation. Versions were widely used by governments in Asia and Latin America and eventually the techniques resurfaced in training protocols for post-9/11 interrogators at Gitmo.[Laura Melendez-Pallitto and Robert Pallitto,FPIF(Foreign Policy In Focus, March 1]

Posted Mar 4: Human Engineering and Climate Change. Climate change is coming; why waste untold wealth on alternatives to carbon, or on dreaming up monster geo-engineering projects trying to prevent it? Does the answer may lie in engineering a better homo sapiens. This is apparently a serious article and has provoked much discussion on the list-serve of our sister group, SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE (see archive for February: "Science for (Improving) the People", by Stewart Newman and check out the discussion posts as well) [Forthcoming as a Target Article in Ethics, Policy and the Environment]

Posted Mar 4: Colonialism in Africa helped launch the HIV epidemic a century ago. A fascinating peek into how the probable forays of colonial explorers into the African bush a century ago probably created the conditions for the jump of the HIV virus from primates to humans.[Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin, Wash Post, Feb 27]

Posted Mar 4:The new anti-science assault on US schools - how anti-evolution campaigners are combining with climate change deniers to undermine public education. [Katherine Stewart, The Guardian-UK,Feb 12]

Charles Darwin, ca. 1854

Posted Feb 17: Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science. It's well known that the well-heeled Heartland Institute is devoted to undermining scientific research on climate change. But a recent leak of sensitive Heartland documents, which were then published by the DeSmogBlog revealed plans for a stepped-up campaign, including a portion aimed at altering the teaching of science in schools. (see our Feb 4 post below for an idea of how efforts like this are already affecting science teachers)and also Heartland's counter-charges.[Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian UK, Feb 15]

Posted Feb 17: Hacking Group Attacks Weapons Maker. Anonymous strikes again! This time the hackers with the white hats took down the web site of Combined Systems, supplier of weapons used to put down the last year's revolt in Bahrain. The group also "claimed to have stolen employee names, e-mails, addresses, passwords and client lists, and threatened the site’s administrators that if they helped Combined Systems rebuild its Web site, they would expose those companies’ client lists and e-mails as well." Combined Systems describes itself as a tactical weapons company and has recently supplied Egyptian security forces with riot control agents. [Nicole Perlroth, NY Times bits blog, Feb 14]

Posted Feb 17: Propaganda stepped up post-Fukushima. "After Fukushima, almost every country with nuclear power stations paused to consider its position...The response of the UK was completely different. Only a day or two after the tsunami, when the situation was spiralling out of control and no one could know what the consequences would be, the government got together with the nuclear industry, not to consider what lessons could be learned from the events at Fukushima but to put out propaganda to allay any fears the public might have.[Staff report, Institute for Science in Society, Feb 14]

Posted Feb 17: The right's stupidity spreads, enabled by a too-polite left. George Monbiot on the basis of a Canadian study concludes that conservatives have on average relatively low "general intelligence" and tend to be more intolerant than average folks. If they're dumb, how come they're in charge?Says Monbiot - the left is too timid - "liberals in politics on both sides of the Atlantic continue to back off, yielding to the supremacy of the stupid. It's turkeys all the way down."[George Monbiot, The Guardian UK(via CommonDreams, Feb 6]

Posted Feb 10: Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds. A series of successive global images of year-by-year departures of surface temperatures from normal. Excellent depiction of how the warming process fluctuates from year to year and place to place. [Data from NASA,Climatecentral.org,Jan 30]

Posted Feb 10: So What’s A Teacher to Do? Years of well-funded fossil-fuel industry propaganda have succeeded in recruiting the right wing to plant misinformation and outright lies in the minds of school parent, who in turn have successfully intimidated science teachers - as if creationism hadn't done enough damage. Be sure to read the discussion![Eugenie Scott. RealClimate,Feb 4]

Posted Feb 10: Did Global Warming Cause Sidney Crosby’s Concussion? Parallels between denying that humans cause climate change and denying that sports-violence-caused concussions cause dementia.[Jeff Grant,Climatecentral.org,Jan 30]

Posted Feb 4: Wall Street Journal Slammed for Giving Platform to Climate Change Deniers.In response to a widely-panned op-ed piece by a well-known group of global warming deniers, many without expertise in climate forecasting, a group of 39 climate scientists published a short rebuttal pointing out that the view prominently published in the WSJ was not shared by some 97% of actively publishing climate scientists and noted that the last decade again was the warmest in history. We at dcmetrosftp.org have just updated our climate links - please check them out.[Staff, CommonDreams,Feb 1]

Posted Feb 4: US Uses Depleted Uranium, makes graveyards in Afghanistan. "An Afghan activist [Dr. Mohammad Daud Miraki]reveals the US is still using horrific depleted uranium weapons in Afghanistan, creating graveyards of people who die of cancer and other unusual diseases, Press TV reports." Also picked up by poorrichards-blog. [presstv.ir, feb 1]

Posted Feb 4: Search for Aliens Is on Again, but Next Quest Is Finding Money. "Operating on money and equipment scrounged from the public and from Silicon Valley millionaires, and on the stubborn strength of their own dreams, a band of astronomers recently restarted one of the iconic quests of modern science, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence — SETI, for short — which had been interrupted last year by a lack of financing..." [Dennis Overbye,NY Times,Jan 29]

Posted Feb 4: Declaration of 2012 World Social Forum, Porto Alegre Brazil. Jan 28: "We, people of all continents ... fight against the causes of a systemic crisis expressed as the economic, financial, political, food, and environmental crisis, that puts at risk the survival of humankind. Decolonizing oppressed peoples and confronting imperialism is the main challenge of the social movements of all over the world..." [continued...]

Posted Jan 30: Presidential Commission Gives Short Shrift to Radioactive Waste from Bomb Production. The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research(IEER) commented on recommendations of the final report of the Presidential Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. The commission was created to address U.S. nuclear waste issues after the Obama administration cancelled the Yucca Mountain program."It is tragic that the Commission did not substantively address the most pressing radioactive waste contamination threats to precious water resources – for instance hundreds of times the drinking water limit at Hanford, Washington on the banks of the Columbia River." Reprocessing was not accepted for now and onsite wet vs dry storage is stil to be decided.[Arjun Makhijani, IEER Press Release, Jan 28]

Posted Jan 30: Shale Gas a Bridge to More Global Warming. Extraction of natural gas from shale formations by "fracking "is already problematic because of groundwater pollution; but wait, there's more: New research by Robert Howarth of Cornell University finds that "Shale gas also has a larger greenhouse gas footprint than oil or coal over the short term,". Howarth is co-author of a study called "Venting and Leaking of Methane from Shale Gas Development" to be published in the journal Climatic Change. [Stephen Leahy,IPSnews.com,Jan 24]

Posted Jan 30:Puerto Rico: Cleaner Energy Sources Prove Divisive. "As an island we are in the dead end of oil dependence, and the government is trading that for the dead end of natural gas, when we have abundant sun, wind and water resources with which to generate the energy we need", says University of Puerto Rico professor Arturo Massol-Deya, member of a group opposing a giant newnatural-gas pipeline across Puerto Rico.[Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero,IPSnews.com,Jan 24]

Posted Jan 22: The Radioactive Waste Crisis. By the end of this month, DOE will release the result of a 2-year study on how to manage 70 years of nuclear waste. The solution is not yet known -either reprocessing or remote storage for an indeterminate time, but hardened on-site storage is not under discussion and neither is stopping the ongoing production of radioactive waste until a solution is found. [Linda Penz Gunter Counterpunch, Jan20-22]

Posted Jan 22: Blood on Whose Hands?: Bradley Manning, Wikileaks, and the Blood of Civilians. The high-tech US strikes on Afghanistan constantly claim civilian lives, but the details were usually hidden or at best distorted - until this high-tech counter-strike: the hundreds of thousands of sensitive douments released via Wikileaks by the soon-to-be-court-martialed Army private Bradley Manning. [Chase Madar, Tom Dispatch (via Commondreams), Jan 20]

Posted Jan 22: Open Climate 101 Online: The most popular undergraduate science course at the U of Chicago is "Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast". The professors have just made the course available on-line and free of charge.[Ray Pierrehumbert and David Archer, RealClimate, Jan 16]

Posted Jan 22: Study raises new concerns about safety of genetically modified food. A new Chinese study, published in Atlantic, has indicated that a certain type of RNA when ingested from food can alter the functioning of cells in the human body. This may have serious implications for genetically altered food products. [Ari Levaux, Atlantic (via Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing.net),Jan 09]

Posted Jan 11: Iran Accuses Israel, US of Assassinating Nuclear Scientist According to an AP report "Two assailants on a motorcycle attached magnetic bombs to the car of an Iranian university professor [Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan] working at a key nuclear facility, killing him and another person Wednesday, state TV reported. The slayings suggest a widening covert effort to set back Iran's atomic program.The attack in Tehran bore a strong resemblance to earlier killings of scientists working on the Iranian nuclear program." The US has denied commmiting the crime; Israel has not commented.[Common Dreams staff report, Jan 11]

Posted Jan 11: NY Times Readers Complain About Biased Coverage on IAEA Iran Report; Times Public Editor Rules for the Plaintiffs. The New York Times along with most major public media ran misleading headlines about the content of the recent International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran's nuclear capabilities, exactly when certain presidential hopefuls are openly calling for regime change or military attacks against Iran. The Public Editor of the NYT, responding to a storm of reader protest against the article's bias, sided with the readers. The Times removed part of the article from its online edition but published no correction. Was it by any chance the same NYT whose biased reporting lent respectability to lies about Iraq's nukes in 2003? [Robert Naiman, CommonDreams, Jan 11]

Posted Jan 5: Canaries in the Data Mines - civil libertarians raise alarm over America’s national surveillance network. Fueled by the 9/11 attack, a "vast and intricate system" of data collection and sharing has been steadily growing over the last decade. Disparate bits of information are assembled together in an array of 72 state and urban "fusion centers", which are secretive and resistant to efforts to determine what information exists and how much of it is accurate. The human effort to feed these fusion centers involves "at least 800,000 local and state law enforcement officials".[Nan Levinson, In These Times, jan 5]

Posted Jan 5: Memo to Obama. A letter from members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) raises questions about a nuclear threat from Iran and warns against going down the same road that has already led in the last few years to U.S. attacks on seven Muslim countries. The letter concludes "...we should not undertake another dumb war against a country almost three times larger than Iraq, that would set off a major regional war and create generations of jihadis. Such a war, contrary to what some argue, would not make Israel or the U.S. safer. [Coleen Rowley, Common Dreams, Jan 5]

Posted Jan 5, 2012: Iraq, Afghanistan and the End of US Supremacy. The immensity of the US's tragic eight-year fiasco in Iraq can be grasped not only through looking at the near-trillion-dollar price tagand the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed and millions displaced but at the fact that 505 bases are being dismantled and 20,000 truckloads of materiel exported. What remains behind is still impressive: an ëmbassy"to be staffed by over 15,000 people and guarded by another 5000 mercenaries. And now the worldest greatest superpower - having concluded, in the words of Secretary of Defense Panett, that "the price was worth it" - is free to concentrate on finding ways of declaring the ongoing 10-year debacle in Afganhistan was also "worth it" as we once more leave the patient in worse shape than she was before the operation. An important reality that has been exposed is that "we no longer live on a planet where it's obvious how to leverage staggering advantages in military technology into any other kind of power. [Tom Englehart, Common Dreams, Jan 3]

Stuck in the sand in Afghanistan

====================== 2011 =============================

Alaska Oil Pipeline Leak - SftP member interviewed on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Aug 8

Education Research vs. Rhetoric: Congressional Hearings on No Child Left Behind, by Tim D'Emilio (Jan 4, 2007) Torture: America's Brutal Prisons, by John.Kelly (Jan 5, 2007)Salvage Logging - A New Scientific Scandal, by Doug Boucher(Aug 15, 2006) Junk Science, Wrongful Convictions and Terrorism, by John Kelly (Aug 20, 2006)Research Evidence and the Debate on Education: Reform vs. Change, by Tim D'Emilio (Aug 20, 2006)Somethin's Fishy About Agricultural Biotechnology, by Preston Covington and Jane Zara (Aug 31, 2006) Response and Resistance to Corporated-Backed Agrobiotechnologyby John Tharakan (Aug 31, 2006)