The Watering Hole Tuesday May 6, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics – Open Thread

Here is a sad statement about our last unexplored places:

“Most of the deep sea remains unexplored by humans, and these are our first visits to many of these sites, but we were shocked to find that our rubbish has got there before us.” stated one researcher from an international study team.

Trash before we get there.

Staying with our ocean theme, we seem to be slowly but steadily destroying the food chain, starting with the largest organisms first (think whales, tuna, sharks) and now right to the bottom of it, where acidification of the ocean melts the shells of tiny marine snails. Dare to dream of a fishless ocean.

Will fish farming be the only way to obtain seafood in the future?

And now for the good news: Vermont Legislature passes GMO labeling law, and the governor is expected to sign it.

Finally, a state with courageous politicians.


67 thoughts on “The Watering Hole Tuesday May 6, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics – Open Thread

  1. The Danube ‘loses’ its blue due to plastic pollution

    Of the beautiful “Blue Danube” to which Johann Strauss dedicated the famous Viennese waltzes in 1867, it is only the name that remains. Instead there are never-before-seen levels of plastics, garbage and industrial wastes in the river, according to a recent study published in the Austrian capital.

    • Someone else, with someone else’s money. Emphasis on the MONEY.

      Because we all know that he who dies with the most money, will be the most confused when his money doesn’t arrive in his bank account in Hell.

  2. “Last-Minute Message for a Time Capsule”
    by Phillip Appleman; from New and Selected Poems, 1956-1996
    (University of Arkansas Press).

    I have to tell you this, whoever you are
    that on one summer morning here, the ocean
    pounded in on tumbledown breakers,
    a south wind, bustling along the shore,
    whipped the froth into little rainbows,
    and a reckless gull swept down the beach
    as if to fly were everything it needed.
    I thought of your hovering saucers,
    looking for clues, and I wanted to write this down,
    so it wouldn’t be lost forever –
    that once upon a time we had
    meadows here, and astonishing things,
    swans and frogs and luna moths
    and blue skies that could stagger your heart.
    We could have had them still,
    and welcomed you to earth, but
    we also had the righteous ones
    who worshipped the True Faith, and Holy War.
    When you go home to your shining galaxy,
    say that what you learned
    from this dead and barren place is
    to beware the righteous ones.

  3. Titled the “Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act of 2014,” the bill would put a variety of new restrictions on how funds are doled out by the National Science Foundation. The goal, per its Republican supporters on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, would be to weed out projects whose cost can’t be justified or whose sociological purpose is not apparent.

    Oh, Alexander Fleming was straightening up a pile of Petri dishes where he had been growing bacteria and some mold was growing on one of the dishes… that he saw was killing the staph bacteria around it. Hence, penicillin.

  4. CBS Still Won’t Come Clean About Lara Logan And The Benghazi Debacle

    Did Lindsey Graham Coordinate With Lara Logan On Benghazi Smear Piece?

    While the walls were collapsing around Lara Logan at CBS News last year in the wake of her bungled Benghazi report on 60 Minutes, and as more and more holes appeared in her poorly-sourced report about the terror attack, the foreign correspondent reached out to a Republican senator and fierce White House critic for advice and counsel.

    The partisan move, in which Logan solicited help from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — who’s been professionally committed to pushing the tale of a White House cover-up surrounding the September 11, 2012 terror attacks — suggests Logan viewed both Benghazi and her spin control mission through a political prism.

    Indeed, Logan even met several times with Graham while preparing the initial Benghazi story, according to a new report in New York magazine. The senator did not appear in the 60 Minutes report but when the report aired he immediately took to the television airwaves to tout it as a “death blow” to the Obama administration’s telling of the Benghazi attacks and their response to it. In retrospect, this looks suspiciously like coordination: Graham helped shape the Benghazi story with an anti-White House angle and then forcefully cheerled it, even announcing he’d block every White House appointee until he got answers about Benghazi. Once trouble erupted, the senator was naturally there for Logan when she called for help.

    How nice to know in advance when a Benghazi hit piece is going to air, and have prior knowledge of the content, so you can ‘react’ ahead of the opposition.

  5. NY Times:

    Wide Impact of Climate Change Already Seen in U.S., Study Says

    The effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States, scientists reported Tuesday, with water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains increasing in wet regions, heat waves becoming more likely and more severe, wildfires growing worse, and forests dying under assault from heat-loving insects.

    Such sweeping changes have been caused by an average warming of less than 2 degrees Fahrenheit over most land areas of the country in the past century, the scientists found. If greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane continue to escalate at a rapid pace, they said, the warming could conceivably exceed 10 degrees by the end of this century.

    “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the scientists declared in a major new report assessing the situation in the United States.

    • The United States’ power comes largely from it’s ability to grow food and feed ourselves. The Republicans will live in denial and one day that won’t be true.

      • According to Bill Moyers, Reagan’s Secy of Interior “James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, ‘after the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.'”

        Republicans have a long history of nuttiness, and it seems to only get worse and worse with every passing DAY.

  6. Summary of the West’s moral collapse indicated by its response to the new fascism of Putin’s Russia:

    Meanwhile – there are reports of shooting and planes landing in yet another city in southern Ukraine:

    Unconfirmed report:Aircrafts are landing in #Mariupol Airport, shooting is heard @Sergey_Osadchiy |EMPR News #Ukraine— Euromaidan PR (@EuromaidanPR) May 6, 2014

  7. OMG!

    For you fans of MST3K and people who debunk religious bullshit; I submit a MST3K take off dealing with a Rapture movie from 1941. It would be interesting to see what the same film makers did a few months later, after Pearl Harbor, or a few years later, after we dropped the bomb. My guess is that they would claim shooting japs will get you into Heaven and would fail to point out that atomic bombs are the closest approximation to Hell that man has ever devised.

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