Archive | Environmental

Trump’s lawyer sue Greenpeace, make jaw-dropping accusations

Solidarity

Still reeling from a D.C. district court loss in June, Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), has sued Greenpeace and other environmental groups in a $300 million racketeering case, accusing them of inciting terrorism, fraud and defamation and violating state and federal RICO laws. On Tuesday, ETP released a statement… Continue Reading →

The land of property rights, with one notable exception

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Even if I didn’t have friends who were NDNs, just as a human being, it’s hard to mix the hypocrisy of taking Indian lands. Charlie Pierce:

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA—The involvement of the indigenous populations in both the United States and Canada in the opposition to various pipelines, including the Keystone XL, should come as no surprise. As we have said, the abuse and misuse of the eminent domain process in the construction of the pipeline here has been an effective organizing tool to bring together environmentalists and ranchers to oppose the project. And if it is nothing else, the history of the native peoples on this continent is the greatest example of eminent domain abuse in human history. They know better than anyone the feeling that greater forces from the outside can overwhelm and threaten long-standing ways of life.

On Tuesday, in a basement ballroom of a downtown hotel, the Ponca, Santee, Omaha, and Winnebago peoples organized a treaty among themselves, and several other tribes, expressing their opposition to the pipeline. From the start, here and in Canada, the indigenous peoples of the continent have been at the heart of the opposition to projects like this one, most visibly during the extended confrontation over the Dakota Access pipeline. In Nebraska, the alliance between Native Americans and ranchers, particularly over issues of eminent domain, not only was shot through with remarkable historical je ne sais quoi, it was a pragmatic decision based on common interests. People shouldn’t buy the right to steal your land. The Native people are familiar with this phenomenon and with how angry its victims can become.

Huge drop in men’s sperm levels confirmed by new study – here are the facts

Sperm count declining in the West: study

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vchal/Shutterstock

Chris Barratt, University of Dundee

Sperm count in men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand declined by 50-60% between 1973 and 2011, according to a new study from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Surprisingly, the study, which analysed data on the sperm counts of 42,935 men, found no decline in sperm counts in men from Asia, Africa and South America, although there was limited data from these areas.

Overall, this is a very disturbing report. There has been a longstanding debate among scientists as to whether sperm counts have decreased or not. But what’s different about this study is the quality of the analysis. It was done in a systematic manner, accounting for several of the problems that had affected previous studies, such as the method used to count sperm and comparing studies performed sometimes decades apart. As such, most experts agree that the data presented is of a high quality and that the conclusions, although alarming, are reliable.

So what is going on? There has been concern for a number of years about an increase in abnormalities in male reproductive health, such as testicular cancer. The decline in sperm counts is consistent with these increases and this adds weight to the concept that male reproductive health is under attack and is declining rapidly.

In fact, if the data on sperm counts is extrapolated to its logical conclusion, men will have little or no reproductive capacity from 2060 onwards. The most rational explanation for the decline in male reproductive health is the changes in the environment. Current research suggests that the male foetus is particularly susceptible to exposure to pollutants and so changes that occur early in foetal life can have a very significant effect on the adult.

Could environmental pollutants be to blame?
Fotokostic/Shutterstock

What can be done?

The simple answer is that we need much more research to find out why this decline in sperm count is happening. We cannot be complacent about the potential negative effect on fertility and must now urgently rally to substantially increase the research effort into male reproductive health.

Also, although the prevailing evidence shows a decline in reproductive health, not all studies show this; there are some geographical differences. It will be critical to determine what the key differences between geographical regions are – such as genetic differences and exposure to specific pollutants – so we can then examine treatment strategies to limit these negative effects.

The ConversationIf it’s the foetus that is mainly affected, what can the adult man do? Even in adults, exposure to chemicals, such as bisphenol A, which are thought to affect fertility, can have a negative effect, so men should limit their exposure to toxic chemicals. This includes stopping cigarette smoking. Also, a healthy lifestyle is very important as there is a known link between obesity and reduced sperm count.

Chris Barratt, Professor of Reproductive Medicine, University of Dundee

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Russian hackers/FSB have breached U.S. nuclear and energy networks

NRC Executive Director for Operations Tour of Palo Verde

Breaking news coming from the Washington Post Saturday night regarding Russian hacking. No, this isn’t election hacking. This time it is much worse. Now they are in the nuclear and energy companies systems. U.S. government officials have confirmed that the cyber intrusions into the networks were fishing expeditions designed to “assess their networks.” The Washington Post… Continue Reading →

Don’t people get tired of this?

Deepwater Horizon memorial on Elysian Fields, New Orleans

Being lied to about these disasters? I realize the people who live there are dependent on the fishing industry, but Gulf seafood is most likely unsafe to eat:

Scientists have already reported finding what they called a 1,235-square-mile “bathtub ring” of oil on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico left over from the huge 2010 BP oil spill.

Now it appears this ring is part of a washroom set: A different team of scientists has found that up 10 million gallons of oil have created what can be called only a “bath mat” beneath the sediment of the gulf’s floor.

First the ring. David Valentine and colleagues from the University of California at Santa Barbara wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in October that about 10 million gallons of the spilled oil settled on the gulf’s floor. Its size: about the size of the state of Rhode Island.

But what about the rest? As much as 200 million gallons of oil were spilled after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, owned by BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., exploded off the coast of New Orleans, killing 11 workers on the rig, injuring 17 more, and allowing oil to gush into the gulf for nearly three months.

All that oil has been hard to find. But a team of scientists led by Jeff Chanton found between 6 million and 10 million gallons buried in the sediment at the bottom of the gulf about 60 miles southeast of the Mississippi Delta. Chanton is a professor of oceanography at Florida State University.

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