2015 Archive

December 25, 2015 ... México : Zapatistas speak for Peace on Earth when they describe governmental barbarism in México.

"We recognize ourselves in the struggle for respect for our ancestral way of life, a struggle that we undertook together, in which we have spoken out and demanded respect, and in which we have been repeatedly betrayed by bad governments.

"We have learned through the course of this struggle that the powerful do not respect the honor of the word, which they have violated and betrayed again and again throughout this country called Mexico. There have been innumerable betrayals of our people in the diverse regions and struggles of an Indian Mexico that is still alive and standing, with one heart that grows large, as large as the pain that we suffer and the hope with which we struggle.

"Despite the increasingly violent war of extermination against us, we are still here.

"We are the Indians that we are, determined to reconstitute ourselves as an other possible world."

Read more, vivir bien

December 18, 2015 ... Democrats seize Bernie's Mailing List : Get on Bernie's new mailing list. Send $10 and then make it go viral. Support Bernie

December 15, 2015 ... Atlanta, Georgia : Bernie Sanders and Rapper Killer Mike sit down and talk Barbershop video

December 15, 2015 ... COP 21 France : Canadians are telling us. Elizabeth May is telling us. Concentrate! Accentuate the positive! Read more

December 15, 2015 ... Oak Brook, Illinois : MRI shows 'brain scars' in military personnel with blast-related concussion. Brain damage present in a surprisingly high percentage of active duty military personnel who suffered blast-related mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), according to a new study appearing online in the journal Radiology. Read more

December 8, 2015 ... Switzerland : The Rhine has highest known microplastic pollution of any river. This is reported by researchers from the University of Basel, who evaluated, for the first time, the plastic concentration at the surface of one of the big European rivers. The University of Basel is the oldest university in Switzerland. Read more

graph showing top 10% income bracket causes 50% of pollution

December 1, 2015 ... Kunduz, Afghanistan : In the early hours of the morning, Medicins Sans Frontieres’ trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan came under precise and repeated airstrikes. Under attack, our colleagues fought for their lives and for the lives of their patients with extraordinary determination and courage.

In Memoriam: Medicins Sans Frontieres colleagues killed in the Kunduz Trauma Centre attack by pentagonians.

Fourteen MSF colleagues lost their lives that tragic day. All of MSF grieves with the victims’ families. They will be tremendously missed and never forgotten.

As our colleague Zabiullah wrote in one of his poems:

“Time will fly, but its memory will remain,

Wounds will heal, but its stain will remain.”

30 November 2015 ... National Academy of Sciences : The history of life from its beginning is recorded in minute detail by RNA. Read this special report released today from the National Academy of Sciences ... read it for two days free, then its $10.

An interesting explanation of this NASA funded research is presented here. No one has given a reason why taxpaying citizens should pay to see tax supported research. Really. What gives? Especially for something as important as this. Not to mention that digits are free.

25 November 2015 ... Holiday food for thought about endless war and zero waste

Photo of kilocalorie money

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 ... Physics.org : New scientific analysis focuses on collapse of United States culture and democracy. “Sociologist suggests corporate disinformation at root of climate change polarization … contrarian efforts by some actors seeking to mislead the public have caused so much confusion that many Americans are no longer able to figure out who to listen to or believe.” Read more

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 ... Public Release : New derivation of pi links quantum physics and pure math. Interesting discovery of pre-Newtonian formula for pi while computing the energy levels of a hydrogen atom. Read more

The article, "Quantum mechanical derivation of the Wallis formula for pi," is authored by Tamar Friedmann and C.R. Hagen. It will be published in the Journal of Mathematical Physics on November 10, 2015 (DOI: 10.1063/1.4930800). After that date, it can be accessed at: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/jmp/56/11/10.1063/1.4930800

Tuesday, 9 November 2015 ... England : Researchers at King's College London have found that muscle fitness as measured by power in the legs is strongly associated with a reduced rate of ageing in the brain. Read more

Thursday, 5 November 1965 ... fifty years ago : Accurate scientific global warming predictions were given to President Lyndon Johnson fifty years ago. The first government report spelling out global warming if fossil fuels continued to be burned very accurately predicted the amount of CO2 and temperature increase expectable in 2015. Much earlier 1859 experiments by Irish and Swedish physicists predicted burning coal would heat Earth by increasing CO2.

"Furthermore, Johnson’s scientific committee rebutted objections that continue to be used today by those who deny the dangers of climate change, including the claim that natural processes might be behind the rise in CO2 levels. By showing that only about half of the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels remains in the atmosphere, the committee proved that the earth acts not as a source of greenhouse gases, but as a sink, soaking up half of our emissions." Read more

Thursday, 5 November 2015 ... United States : Bernie Sanders on the Trans Pacific Partnership; "Outrageously, the proposed agreement includes violators of international human rights, like Brunei, where gays and single mothers can be stoned to death and Malaysia where tens of thousands of immigrant workers in the electronics industry are working as modern day slaves. Read more

US Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Sanders introduce bill to help austerity plagued seniors. Read more

Tuesday, 3 November 2015 ... Europe : Collapse of social and economic justice in Europe parallels North America. Read more

United States : Death rates, health problems, rise among middle-aged white Americans. Read more

Friday, 30 October 2015 ... United States : Value of US assets rapidly fading behind China. Read more

Thursday, 29 October 2015 ... China : Repeal of the one child per family law will not change population growth appreciably. Century-old knowledge that education automatically creates a gentle decline in population also holds for China. Allowing two children is projected to place the slow Chinese population decline on a par with Germany and Japan. Africa, where European and American neocolonial resource wars and land grabs continue to disrupt peace and education, is projected to be Earth's last major population surge. Read more

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 ... California : Gas-tax revenues are falling as more fuel-efficient cars take over the roads in California and across the US. How to repair roads and bridges is becoming ever more contentious. Meanwhile, two people were hospitalized in an Oct. 20 California bridge railing collapse.

Infrastructure maintenance is a coast to coast problem. From Sacramento to Washington, D.C. Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on how to pay for public works or even what public works should be.

Is indecision more than ideological gridlock? Might it be related to endless war spending priorities and inflation from deficits. Is avoidance of modern unsubsidized alternatives hidden in the political backroom? Hints lie between the lines. Read more

Monday, 26 October 2015 ... New York : Analysis of cord blood from pregnant women reveals Brooklyn women have the highest levels of parabens - antibacterial substances that are endocrine disruptors and are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics and other products. Read more

Sunday, 25 October 2015 ... Brazil : The Workers Party (PT) has not proven its ability – and in many cases not even shown a desire – to respond to the demands of social movements and diverse groups. They have not made any clear effort to enact agrarian reform, protect indigenous lands or impose stricter norms on sectors such as agribusiness or the communication oligopoly. Yet once more, the orthodox core of the Workers Party is singing the same song: “Support us unconditionally, for we are the only alternative to the threat posed by the right.” Read more

Thursday, 22 October 2015 ... Arctic Plastic : Plastic waste finds its way into the ocean, and from there to the farthest reaches of the planet -- even the arctic far north. This was confirmed in one of the first litter surveys conducted north of the Arctic Circle, carried out by an international research team from the Alfred Wegener Institute. Read more

Thursday, 22 October 2015 ... United States : Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explains legislation that would drastically change higher education in the US — Free education for all at public universities. It's better for students and a money maker for the country. Bernie Sanders Op-ed for The Washington Post Read more

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 ... China 中國 : Atmospheric chemistry hinders growth to infinity on Earth. 大氣化學阻礙增長到無窮遠在地球上。 Cleaning up city and indoor air will require a deeper understanding of the unprecedented chemical reactions between pollutants, says Markku Kulmala. Read more

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 ... University of Central Florida : Sunscreen may prevent sunburn, but it is also killing coral reefs around the world. Researchers found that oxybenzone, a common UV-filtering compound, is in high concentrations in the waters around popular coral reefs in Hawaii, and the Caribbean. The chemical not only kills the coral, it causes DNA damage in adults and deforms the DNA in coral in the larval stage, making it unlikely they can develop properly. The highest concentrations of oxybenzone were found in reefs most popular with tourists. Read more

Monday, 19 October 2015 ... University of California - Los Angeles : Carbon has been found in zircon with a life-specific ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-13 that indicates the presence of photosynthetic life at least 4.1 billion years ago, 300 million years earlier than previously found. This discovery places the origin of photosynthetic plant life close to when Earth formed, 4.54 billion years ago. An early date suggests that even earlier and more primitive life started almost instantly after Earth formed. The shortened time indicates life is abundant throughout Cosmos and awaits formation of favorable homes like Earth. Read more

Monday, 19 October 2015 ... Canada : Justin Trudeau defeats right wing and becomes Canadian Prime Minister. Will this ease the totalitarian style corporatist pressure of the Canadian extraction industry on indigenous and rural peoples throughout the Americas? Will Justin Trudeau consider the world whale and porpoise capitol off British Columbia? How exciting can politics be?

Friday, 16 October 2015 ... Canada : Canadian Mining Puts Lives and Democracy at Risk in the Americas.

MiningWatch Canada and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) released a report this week that squarely links Canadian mining interests throughout the Americas with intensifying repression and violence against mining-affected communities. Read more

Thursday, 15 October 2015 ... Stockholm University, Sweden : A new material with micropores might be a way to fight climate change. Scientists have created crystals that capture carbon dioxide much more efficiently than previously known materials, even in the presence of water. Read more

Wednesday, 14 October 2015 ... New York : New York's rich live 11 years longer than its poor. Read more

Saturday, 10 October 2015 ... New York Times : "The refugees at our door." The US is paying Mexico to keep people from reaching the US border, people who are fleeing central american violence. A heart breaking story that completely ignores that US and Canadian corporations and governments are among those causing central americans to flee their homes and families in the first place. US military actions are causing terrorized northward migrations world-wide and the New York Times helps cover it up. Read more

Thursday, 8 October 2015 ... Yucatan peninsula : A remote Mexican village, La Mancalona, is producing clean drinking water using the power of the sun. Residents of the community, most of whom are subsistence farmers, have operated and maintained a solar-powered water purification system engineered by researchers at MIT.

“The village has been operating it as a business, selling 20-liter bottles of water to residents for 5 pesos—a price that the community agreed upon, and about one-tenth the price of bottled water that is intermittently supplied by a centralized facility an hour's drive from the village. Read more

Potable water supplied at a locally affordable price is also described as an economic model using low technology rainwater capture at ferrocement.com The chosen price of five pesos for twenty liters pays for the example 40,000 liter ferro cement cistern in four to six years in the Yucatan region.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015 ... Albuquerque, New Mexico : Sandia National Laboratories researchers seeking to make hydrogen a less expensive fuel for cars have upgraded a catalyst nearly as cheap as dirt — molybdenum disulfide, “molly” for short — to stand in for platinum, a rare element with the moonlike price of $1,500 a gram.

“We used sunlight for the experiment’s motive power," said Sandia National Laboratories post-doctoral fellow Stan Chou. The light is processed through a dye, which harvests the light. A photocatalytic process stores that energy in the chemical bonds of the liberated hydrogen molecule.

“It’s photosynthesis, but using inorganic materials rather than plants,” Chou continued. “Plants use enzymes powered by sunlight to break up water into hydrogen and oxygen in a delicate process. We’re proposing a similar thing here, but in a more rapid reaction and with sturdier components.” Read more

Tuesday, 6 October 2015 ... Nature : South Korean economist to lead climate-science panel.

Nature assesses the challenges facing Hoesung Lee, the new leader of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Read more

Saturday, 3 October 2015 ... Springfield, Massachusetts : Bernie Sanders called for a political revolution in the town where the first American revolution began. Springfield is the city where American patriots did not allow a foreign king's judges to open their courts unless they pledged allegiance to citizens of the Connecticut River Watershed.

Six thousand in attendance thundered gleeful and raucous agreement when Bernie told them no president could heal America without a people's political revolution as the wellspring of presidential power.

A nurse's union representative began the rally by pointing out that nurses remained interested in breaking the glass ceiling, yet, for the health of all Americans, were concentrating on breaking the class ceiling with Bernie Sanders. Next came a student who eloquently explained why students should receive free education; educated people help build America far more than the cost of education. Bill McKibben was there to warm up the rally and point out that Bernie is an actual leader in solving the riddle of human caused global environmental collapse while rebuilding the security of America's middle class and lifting the impoverished out of living in hunger and misery.

A clear majority of fresh young voters reflected another interesting aspect of the Bernie Sanders for President rally. Bernie's refusal to accept donations from the billionaire class and his calls for peace, a living wage, free education at public colleges plus Medicare for all received loud cheers. The Bernie Sanders for President campaign has all the fun of real democracy in action. Read more

Bernie left Springfield for a 32,000 strong rally in Boston, where he welcomed another multi-generation crowd to the political revolution that had been so enthusiastically supported in Springfield. Read more

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 ... University of Michigan : Exposure to BPA in pregnancy tied to low birth weight in girls.

Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting chemical, is used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins and commonly found in consumer products such as water bottles, medical equipment, consumer electronics, lining of food cans, cosmetics, and dental sealants. BPA is so widespread that it is detected in drinking water and indoor dust. Read more

Saturday, 26 September 2015 ... Greenfield, Massachusetts : One of two piles of trash pulled from the Connecticut River watershed during the annual source to sea clean-up. About Eighty-five groups consisting of nearly 2,500 people participated from the Canadian border to the river's junction with the sea. Sponsored by the Connecticut River Watershed Council. Read more

pile of trash from the Greefield area Connecticutt River source to sea river clean-up

A decomposing beach ball nested on a sunlight-frayed plastic tarp are close-up example trash hauled from the river.

Imagine how many thousands of tons of plastic tarps decompose in the sun every year. The tarps fray into smaller and smaller pieces and then drift seaward to join the ranks of micro-bit plastic quasi plankton that attracts pollution ions like a squeaky rubbed balloon, before being eaten. If no fatal blockage occurs from eating plastic mistaken for plankton, the plastic is excreted clean. Once back in the ocean, recently rubbed and clean plastic is ready to pick up another load of pollution ions and be eaten again. This cycle of plastic plankton continues until the plastic finally decomposes into pieces too small to be mistaken as plankton.

Even so. Tiny plastic bits remain in the environment becoming ever smaller as the sun eventually breaks them down toward the size of plastic molecules.

trash close-up from the Greefield area Connecticutt River source to sea river clean-up

Science does not yet suggest much about what molecular sized plastic bits do in the environment, other than being an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen. Even so. The destiny of Disney's ball, before capture, may well have been a plug in a whale's intestines or micro-bit plastic plankton, or both. The swallowed fatal ball will eventually float out of the dead whale's carcass and reach sunlight, for further decomposition into chemical pollution.

Every Cetacean on Earth thanks the Connecticut River Watershed Citizens and their Connecticut River Watershed Council. Whales and dolphins of every family know what is happening in all the oceans and seas. They know the Connecticut River is becoming cleaner. Cetaceans in the know thank the Connecticut River Watershed and eagerly await the day when all dams have been removed.

Thursday, 24 September 2015 ... Guatemala : Guatemalan court orders palm oil company to suspend operations after a major pollution disaster which killed millions of fish and contaminated drinking water. Pollution from the farm lands corporatists have stolen from the people is destroying the rivers. Read more

September, 23, 2015 ... Sweden : Lund University scientific studies have proven exposure to plastic phthalates reduces sperm motility. "We have studied metabolite levels of the phthalate DEHP (diethylhexyl phthalate) in urine as an indicator of exposure, as well as the semen quality of 300 men between the ages of 18 and 20. The results show that the higher metabolite levels the men had, the lower their sperm motility was," reports Jonatan Axelsson, a researcher at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University.

Phthalates is an umbrella term for a group of substances based on phthalic acid, some of which are suspected to be endocrine disruptors. Many phthalates are found in soft plastics in our daily surroundings: wallpaper, sandals, nail polish, perfume, floors, carpets and more. Read more

September, 22, 2015 ... United States : Jeb Bush targets EPA rules in the regulatory platform of his presidential campaign. Regulation of coal ash storage would be weakened. Read more

September, 19, 2015 ... The Intercept : Plastic teflon coated no stick pots and pans are still around. Remember old stories about leaving a nonstick pan on the stove and killing canaries with fumes? Now teflon is in court and not over canary rumors. Read more

September, 17, 2015 ... Washington : Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) today introduced bills to ban private prisons, reinstate the federal parole system and eliminate quotas for the number of immigrants held in detention. Read more

September, 16, 2015 ... Physics.org : An outright ban on the common use of plastic "microbeads" from products that enter wastewater is the best way to protect water quality, wildlife, and resources used by people, a group of conservation scientists suggest in a new analysis. Read more

September, 11, 2015 ... Carnegie Institution for Science/University of California Riverside : Earth's remaining fossil fuels are sufficient to melt most of Antarctica, leading to a 50 or 60 meter (160 to 200 foot) rise in sea level. This would put many highly populated areas where more than a billion people live under water, including New York City and Washington, DC. Published in Science Advances. Read more

September, 10, 2015 ... Tampa, Florida : One in four Gulf War veterans suffers from Gulf War Illness. The condition is characterized by unexplainable chronic fatigue, muscle pain and cognitive dysfunction and may be associated with exposure to chemicals, many identified as genotoxins, during deployment. Previous studies suggest that the symptoms of GWI are due to dysfunction of the mitochondria, the site in cells where molecules that power the body's processes are produced. Not producing enough energy slows down the body and leaves the individual feeling tired. New preliminary research to be presented at "Physiological Bionergetics: From Bench to Bedside" shows for the first time direct evidence of greater mitochondrial damage in Gulf War veterans. Read more

September, 4, 2015 ... California : Lawmakers have followed the lead of Illinois and Vermont and passed a law banning plastic microbits in products such as toothpaste and soaps.

Paradoxically, Californians who switch to artificial plastic lawns are now protected by a different law passed on the same day. This new law will legalize thousands of acres of plastic lawn exposed to solar radiation decay. Old astro-turf is environmentally as awful as decomposing plastic tarps and is equally disgusting to touch.

Will the the plastic micro particles drifting seaward from California’s new decomposing plastic lawns outweigh the plastic microbits banned in toothpaste and skin products? Oddly, California legislators could have read voluminous state-wide scientific research to discover solid reasons why plastic lawns and tarps are just as intelligent to limit as styrofoam packaging material and shopping bags.

read California microbead law here...

September, 3, 2015 ... La Vía Campesina

When it comes to food, agriculture, and rural livelihoods, peasant agriculture and local food systems have proven themselves capable of feeding people for centuries. According to the UN Environment Program, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, FAO and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, small farmers today still produce up to 80% of the food in non-industrialized countries (where the majority of the world's people live). That is why we in La Vía Campesina declare once again that Food Sovereignty – based on peasant agroecology, traditional knowledge, selecting, saving and sharing local adoptive seeds, and control over our lands, biodiversity, waters, and territories – is a true, viable, and just solution to a global climate crisis caused largely by Trans National Corporations. To implement Food Sovereignty, however, we need comprehensive agrarian reforms, public procurement of peasant production, and an end to destructive free trade agreements promoted by Trans National Corporations. In short, we need justice – social, economic, political, and climate justice.

Vía Compesina ecological agriculture poster for food sovereignty

September, 2, 2015 ... Guatemala : Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina was stripped of his high office immunity and resigned. Molina was a U.S. trained College of the Americas graduate who participated in the genocide and torture of indigenous people. Otto Molina's current disgrace is stealing from the Guatemalan people and bending the laws to benefit Canadian mining companies. He joins the vice president behind bars. The new caretaker president is reportedly also from the oligarchy. Molina's resignation and incarceration opens the door to examine many decades of US supported indigenous genocides and democracy destructions throughout Latin America.

September, 1, 2015 ... Alaska : US president Obama was in Alaska to sell bottled water and faster economic growth that saves the environment. More ice breakers are also needed, to match the Russians. Perhaps drinking glacier water freshened in a hot, bottle-shaped bubble of plastic alters one's thinking as much as one's hormonal balance. Who knows what a big swig of leached endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen can do for a guy? Really — check those manly shoulder pads. Estrogen effect cover-up?

president with plastic water bottles

The global economy consumes 1.5 Earth planets worth of resources and pollution disposal services. The US consumes Earth at a four planet rate, while more efficient Europe only consumes Earth's life support systems at the three planet rate. How long can human life exist with this happening? Does anyone really want to find out? Will real democracy focus distributed intelligence and forge a more perfect union unconstrained by crass corporatist propaganda as shown above?

August 31, 2015 ... Seabirds : In 1960, plastic was found in the stomach of less than 5 per cent of individual seabirds, rising to 80 per cent by 2010. Researchers predict that plastic ingestion will affect 99 per cent of the world's seabird species by 2050, based on current trends. read more

August 30, 2015 ... China : Study of Microplastics in urban estuaries - The most remarkable feature of all studied estuaries is that micro-plastic collections tend to be less than 2 mm, a similar size range with zooplankton that begin the food chain leading to people. (discussed further on).

August 1, 2015 ... Chicago : The city of Chicago is now among more than 100 counties and municipalities across the nation that have enacted legislation to discourage or prohibit the distribution of single-use plastic bags.

July, 8, 2015 ... Microwave / Dishwasher : Avoid heating food in plastic with a microwave or washing plastic in hot dishwasher Read more ...

July, 8, 2015 ... New York University : A new series of studies out of Langone Medical Center indicate that two chemicals increasingly used during manufacturing to strengthen plastic wrap, soap, cosmetics, and processed food containers have been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes in children and adolescents. Read more ...

July, 1, 2015 ... Hawaii : The first state reusable shopping bag law becomes active. read more ...

April 7, 2015 ... Norway : "Norwegian scientists say that plastic pollution and environmental contaminants are affecting the endocrine system and the reproductive system of polar bears." Read more ...

February, 24, 2015 ... Australia : "Corals are non-selective filter feeders ... If microplastic pollution increases on the Great Barrier Reef, corals could be negatively affected as their tiny stomach-cavities become full of indigestible plastic." Read more ...

February, 17, 2015 ... Brasil : Oceanos 'recebem 8 milhões de toneladas de plástico por ano'

Oceans receive 8 million tons of plastic per year. One thousand big truck loads of compressed plastic trash cut loose and dumped in the oceans every day.

January 28, 2015 ... Vermont : The Vermont House overwhelmingly approved legislation to ban unnecessary, harmful plastic microbeads from face and body washes, toothpastes, and other personal care products. Vermont Conservation Voters has been working in support of this legislation alongside partner organizations including VPIRG, Lake Champlain Committee, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Seventh Generation and others; we are excited the bill, H.4, moved through the House so smoothly.

Note: These plastic microbeads are completely unnecessary – safe alternatives such as oatmeal, almonds, and silica have been used for years. The bill now moves on to the Senate, where we hope it will pass quickly and be sent to the Governor’s desk! Thanks for all you do!

January 8, 2015 ... The Big Apple. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio extended styrofoam regulation to all food vendors above $500,000 annual sales.