The Watering Hole, Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Environmental News and Food Politics

The good times are here. Well, let’s say there is some good news this week with respect to the environment. The first two have to do with the importance of biodiversity and resiliency in nature. Who could be against that? The last shows that we can have clean energy and jobs. In Georgia, of all places. Who could be against that?

1. Stinging nettle chemical improves cancer drug

Yes our common weed that itches like crazy when you brush against it also has the same effect on cancer cells.

2. Plastic-Eating Corals Discovered on Great Barrier Reef

A way too early study, with more research to come.

3. Georgia’s clean energy industry provides nearly 20,000 full-time jobs

Open thread, discuss.


58 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Environmental News and Food Politics

  1. Mylar balloons are a pet peeve of mine.
    Along with a host of other plastic products.
    I seem to have more luck at catching them out at sea than I do at catching fish.
    I’ve made a conscious effort to get away from plastic products and it is not easy.
    It is ubiquitous and unavoidable.

  2. Today is Environmental News and Food Politics day here. Tomorrow is Earth Day everywhere.

    Tomorrow is also the premiere of Just Eat It, on MSNBC, at 10pm, EDT. Learning to waste less food is helpful in many ways, even if it just lowers the cost of food overall by slightly lowering demand. I try to never throw out food, since I see the dollars it cost me going into the trash at the same time. I think if you do your own shopping, you’re more cognizant of what it costs.

    I have one factor in what trash I throw out not ending up in the environment. We have a waste-to-energy incinerator that burns all household waste here. Only yard waste and old appliances and furniture gets sent to the landfill, and most metal objects get picked up by scrap metal collectors before the city gets it.

    • Plastics. I’ve not tallied it, but I’m guessing that close to 3/4 of our trash is plastic of one sort or another, including the garbage bag in the waste basket that are filled with grocery bags (filled with cat litter box ‘stuff’), grocery store meat packaging (foam plastic tray, clear plastic wrap), frozen food wrappers, milk cartons, “purified” water bottles (we have lately had to buy bottled water because of Metro District tap water screw-up — trihalomethanes), and that’s just what I can think of off-the-cuff. The only “bright” spot is that at least the wine bottles are still made of glass! (as opposed to most gin, vodka, run, and most whiskey bottles — none of which we use, but which lots of other people do).

      Plastics are convenient, therefore widespread. Plastics are potentially noxious and environmentally dangerous, but nobody cares about that because they’re convenient and cheap. Besides, by the time the consequence of plastic shit really hits the fan, we’ll all be dead anyway, so why worry.

      Humans should change their biological classification from Homo sapiens to Homo stupido, or something equally definitive.

  3. Jon Stewart has announced the date of his final episode as host of “The Daily Show.”

    It’s August 6th.

    Not exactly the birthday present I was hoping for.

  4. A little good news?


    href=””>Carbon Emissions Are Up In The Energy Sector, But There’s A Silver Lining

    The energy sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, so an increase in those emissions is certainly not ideal for the purposes of stopping human-caused climate change. What is positive, though, is that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 2014 more than carbon emissions from the energy sector did, indicating that America is at least doing a little better at decoupling emissions from economic growth.

    If the GDP increase was primarily from renewables, I bet the decoupling would be even better. I could stand to have a job building parts for wind turbines and generators.

    • When I lived in Santa Barbara in the 70’s attending UCSB, the water connection moratorium sent rental prices skyrocketing.
      The golf courses, however, got their water at 1/100th the price of residential users.
      FIgger that out.!

      • In the Phoenix metro area back in the seventies and eighties, a substantial number of golf courses were watered with reclaimed and treated sewage water. I always advocated turning all the golf courses into desert parks, but for some odd reason nobody listened.

    • We can only hope. Imagine a world populated only by us sinners, one where all the Christers and all the Republicans were poofed on up. Heaven on earth, I think that’s called.

      • Well I’ll still be here as I don’t believe that rapture shit, though if only non-sinners can go, we’re all staying.

  5. Responsible Gun Owner Accidentally Second-Amendments Toddler Daughter

    According to an arrest affidavit, a witness told police that the young girl’s father, 27-year-old Ashton Blake Salvato, was “playing with a gun” when he shot the young girl

    The little girl was three years old, papa’s toy was an AR-15 semi-auto.

    And the little girl wasn’t even “a bad guy with a gun” — but she stil was killed by “a good guy with a gun”, right? Right. Thank all gods for the second amendment.

    • I can’t find it in my heart to have any sympathy for people like this. They’ve chosen to live this way and must suffer the consequences of their actions.

    • You ever tried to lug a 10 kilotonne warhead and detonator around in a back pack, across a desert?

      What a total penis.

    • Using that logic, shouldn’t the U.S.A. have been inundated with and possibly anihilated by these terrorists walking across the border?///

      How can it not hurt to be that damn idiotic?

  6. I’m starting to wonder just what does the word “religion” really mean? Is atheism a religion? How about fairness? Non-discrimination? No hate? No fear? Does that stuff automatically become a “religion” when it’s used to disallow discrimination, and imposition of irrational hates and fears? Or is Sick Rantorum simply nuts?

    Sick Rantorum: Obama Established A Secular Theocracy

    For the first time in the history of our country, the government is attacking people, prosecuting people, calling for people to be rehabilitated, constraining in the military with our chaplaincy. We now see chaplain after chaplain being dismissed for not accepting the secular orthodoxy that this administration wants to put forward, criticizing people for holding biblical truth and counseling them in a biblically coherent way. We see businesses being prosecuted. We see all sorts of activity on the legislative front, where they are pushing — as we saw in Indiana — pushing bills that simply protect employees’ rights to be able to practice their faith consistent within an employment situation. And those things which were unanimously passed are now being fought against.

    It’s a hostility to religion that we’ve never seen in the history of our country. And I read an interesting article the other day; it’s actually not the free exercise of religion that is being attacked, it’s actually a new religion that is being established. So we have the state establishing a new religion, a secular state religion, a secular orthodoxy that everybody is going to have to comply with. We don’t have as the threat was at the time of our Founders, the Church of England imposing the English church on America. We have now the secular church that is being imposed on this country and anybody that defects is subject to persecution and prosecution. That is a very serious threat to liberty in America.

    • Nope atheism does not fall under this definition:

      “A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

      Oh and Sick Rantorum – he’s cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

    • I’m going with nuts. When religion conflicts with another person’s inherent human rights, or the constitution, religion must yield.

    • Must be on a memo of talking points, since at least January,
      here’s this:

      Huckabee: ‘Secular Theocracy’ America Needs God’s Law …
      24 Jan. 2015

  7. via The Mark Twain House & Museum

    On this date 105 years ago, Halley’s Comet returned and Samuel Clemens rode out with it.

  8. Happy Birthday

    Charlotte Brontë (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and the eldest of the three Brontë sisters whose novels have become enduring classics of English literature. She first published her work under the pseudonym Currer Bell.

  9. Looking back on Ansel Adams’ photographs of Japanese American internment
    70 years ago, the camps were closed but the pain was not forgotten

    …It’s easy to look at his internment photos and judge them harshly. They’re well-composed and sometimes they’re pretty. They are everything Adams was as a photographer. Compared to Toyo Miyatake’s photographs, they sometimes seem dishonest.
    Miyatake was a Los Angeles-based professional who was interned in Manzanar, the same camp Adams’ pictures were taken. His are more documentary in nature. They tell a different story than Adams.
    The two photographers met at the camp and in 1979, Adams and Miyatake produced a book, ‘Two Views of Manzanar.’

    • “How bad would it be to get a large, 4-foot pipeline, keep it above ground — because if it leaks, you’re irrigating!” – simply beautiful!

  10. Tennesee GOPer Opposes Exceptions To Abortion Restrictions Because Rape Is ‘Not Verifiable’

    Tennessee state Rep. Sheila Butt (R) on Tuesday moved to table an amendment that would have exempted victims of rape and incest from new restrictions on access to abortion because she said that their claims were “not verifiable.”

    I really hate to post this nonsensical link, but there was one little tidbit in addition to the rampant stupidity of Ms Butt’s premise. I wonder if Sheila Butt is somehow related to Seymour? He’s the guy we heard of back in Jr. High, circa 1955. He was an author, they said. He wrote the book “Under The Bleachers” — by Seymour Butt. 😯

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