Nov 082012

(PhysOrg) A study conducted by scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK), in collaboration with scientists in Ethiopia, reports that climate change alone could lead to the extinction of wild Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) well before the end of this century. Wild Arabica is considered important for the sustainability of the coffee industry due to its considerable genetic diversity.

The Arabicas grown in the world’s coffee plantations are from very limited genetic stock and are unlikely to have the flexibility required to cope with climate change and other threats, such as pests and diseases. In Ethiopia, the largest producer of coffee in Africa, climate change will also have a negative influence on coffee production.

The climate sensitivity of Arabica is confirmed, supporting the widely reported assumption that climate change will have a damaging impact on commercial coffee production worldwide.

via Arabica coffee could be extinct in the wild within 70 years, study suggests.

 November 8, 2012  Posted by at 5:14 am Comments Off
Nov 072012

By  Elizabeth Fernandez (EurekaNet) Laws that end smoking at work and other public places result in significantly fewer hospitalizations for heart attacks, strokes, asthma and other respiratory conditions, a new UCSF analysis has found.

The research provides evidence that smoke-free laws that cover workplaces, restaurants and bars have the biggest impacts on hospitalizations, reduce health care costs and also raise quality of life, the researchers said.

The authors found that comprehensive smoke-free laws were followed rapidly by significantly lower rates of hospital admissions than before the laws went into force:

  • A 15 percent drop in heart attack hospitalizations;
  • A 16 percent drop in stroke hospitalizations;
  • A 24 percent drop in hospitalizations for respiratory diseases including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

via ‘Smoke-free’ laws lead to fewer hospitalizations and deaths.

 November 7, 2012  Posted by at 7:08 pm Comments Off
Nov 042012

By Dan Nosowitz (PopSci) But for days, the internet’s most authoritative article on a major tropical storm system in 2012 was written by a man with no meteorological training who thinks climate change is unproven and fought to remove any mention of it.

via Meet The Climate Change Denier Who Became The Voice Of Hurricane Sandy On Wikipedia | Popular Science.

 November 4, 2012  Posted by at 10:55 am Comments Off
Jul 272012

By Curtis Brainard (CJR) Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann is demanding that National Review retract and apologize for a July 15 post that compared him to Jerry Sandusky, the convicted child molester and former Penn State assistant football coach.

The post in question, by Mark Steyn, accused Mann of academic fraud, dredging up a discredited charge that emerged in 2009 following the leak of emails between Mann and other scientists, which critics claimed were evidence of data manipulation. Despite the fact that almost half a dozen investigations affirmed the integrity of Mann’s research, Steyn quoted a post from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) that referred to Mann’s work as Penn State’s “other scandal,” and read:

Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.

CEI has deleted that and another sentence from its post, which was written by Rand Simberg, one of its “scholars,” calling them “inappropriate” in an editor’s note appended at the end. Steyn’s post remains unaltered, but in it he distanced himself from the Sandusky reference very slightly, writing, “Not sure I’d have extended that metaphor all the way into the locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr Simberg does, but he has a point.”

In the minds of Simberg and Steyn, the numerous investigations that supported Mann were “just another cover-up and whitewash.”

In a letter sent Friday to Scott Budd, National Review’s executive publisher, Mann’s attorney, John B. Williams, called Steyn’s allegations defamatory:

“Your allegation of academic fraud is false, and was clearly made with the knowledge that it was false….” Williams wrote. “And further, you draw the insidious comparison between Dr. Mann and Jerry Sandusky, who as you point out, was recently convicted of child molestation. This reference is simply outrageous and clearly subjects your publication to a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

via ‘I don’t bluff’ : CJR.

 July 27, 2012  Posted by at 7:22 am Comments Off
Jun 112012

By Walter Brasch (Moronia) Garder54 calls Kevin June “a real scum.”

LadyDawg4 calls him a “sleazeball.”

Proud2bMom calls him a “liar and a thief.”

Kevin June is the reluctant leader for the 37 families of the Riverdale Mobile Home Village in Jersey Shore, Pa., who were evicted from their homes, most of which they owned and paid a monthly lot fee. Some of the residents lived there for more than three decades. Most of the residents are elderly, disabled, or living slightly above the poverty line. Several are employed; all are struggling to survive in a bad economy.

In late February, Aqua–PVR, a joint operation of Aqua America and Penn Virginia Resource Partners, bought the 12-acre trailer park for $550,000. It plans to build a pumping station to withdraw up to three million gallons of water a day from the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, and send that water through a newly-constructed pipeline system to natural gas companies that use fracking. The controversial practice involves forcing as much as 10 million gallons of water, sand, toxic chemicals and potential carcinogens deep into the earth to withdraw natural gas. The Marcellus Shale, primarily in Pennsylvania and parts of four surrounding states, is one of the nation’s largest sources for natural gas. Health and environmental pollution problems are widespread near the wells.

Aqua-PVR had originally ordered the residents to leave by May 1, but then extended it a month. It dangled a $2,500 relocation incentive in its eviction. However, the cost to move each trailer is between $6,000 and $11,000 plus any sheds and ramps. Continue reading »

 June 11, 2012  Posted by at 7:58 am Comments Off