Science

How Far Should Water Recycling Go?

In much of the western U.S., water demand vastly outstrips supply. Some municipalities are moving toward a greater use of recycled waste water as a means to stretch supply. It sounds good in theory, but how far should it go?

Bee Mystery Solved?

According to Mariano Higes, leader of a team of research scientists in Guadalajara, the mystery of the disappearing bees has been solved.

Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Approved In Georgia

I am usually reticent to repeat a press release for mass consumption, but I consider this one to be very newsworthy. A company called Range Fuels has gotten approval to open an ethanol production plant where the ethanol is produced from cellulose rather than sugar.

Questionable Science On James Taranto's 'Best of the Web'

James Taranto, the extreme right-wing Wall Street Journal pundit responsible for the 'Best of the Web' column has a knack for being selective in his commentary if it helps him score quick points with his conservative readers. In an attack yesterday on Al Gore, Taranto made a significant slip-up in his rush to smear Gore's reputation.

Farmers Respond To Corn Demand

With corn being used as food, livestock feed and for Ethanol production, farmers are in a rush to increase the size of their corn crops. As a result, the U.S. Is on track to grow the largest crop of corn since 1944.

First Born Children Smarter? Try To Tell Matilda That!

A new study, released today, shows that first born children have IQs 3-4% better than their siblings. Meanwhile, a curiously times story from the U.K. of two year old Matilda who is the fifth born in her family, and, oh yeah, a member of Mensa with a 152 IQ.

Canada Moves To Ban Terminator Genes

The practice in question is creation of genetically modified seeds that will produce a crop that is seedless. Canada is looking to join India and Brazil in banning such a practice.

Global Warming Accelerating Three Times Faster Than Predicted

Three new studies, released just before the G8 summit, add new evidence that action on global warming is needed sooner rather than later.

Project Censored: 25 Stories Kept Out Of The News

Project Censored is a news site that reports stories that have been kept out of the news for whatever reason.

U.S. Rejects G8 Climate Proposals

Ahead of the G8 Summit, Germany has proposed some tough measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions that the U.S. has squarely rejected.

Headlines (5/18/2007)

Today's headlines are a mixed bag of political, business, and environmental news. Some good, some bad, some just more of the same:

Google wins part of nude-photo suit. This is a victory for search engines and fair use. It's not all great news however, as the court is still deciding whether Google can link to a website without permission.

Scientists cast doubt on Kennedy bullet analysis. A new look at old evidence debunks the single-shooter theory of the assassination. Please, please, no one tell Oliver Stone.

Deal May Legalize Millions of Immigrants. Much to the chagrin of the border-control crowd I suspect. If you're wondering whether it's a good plan, consider that people at both ends of the spectrum hate it. That's a victory for the silent majority.

Headlines (5/17/2007)

Big area of Antarctica melted in 2005. It was thought that melting in Antarctica was limited to the peninsula. Now scientists think it could be a lot worse.

For ’08 Resumes, Don’t Ask Them to Fill in Blanks Candidates on both sides are dodging questions about questionable episodes in their past. Can the American people get an attention span long enough to demand answers.

Senators Renew Call for Gonzales' Ouster. Two more Republicans have crossed over to asking him to step down.

Book Excerpt: The Assault on Reason. This is Al Gore's latest book and hopefully his platform to a Presidential bid.

Disappearing Bees Threaten Food Supply (UPDATED)

For a couple hundred years, there have been reports of bee keepers finding hives completely empty of bees: Not just no live bees, but no dead bees either. Recently, the rate of this phenomenon occurring has markedly increased.

The impact of these disappearances, if trends continue, could threaten our food supply as bees play an important role in agriculture. Farmers hire bee keepers to pollinate their crops. A scarcity of bees will drive up the price of pollination.

Many worry that what's shaping up to be a honeybee catastrophe will disrupt the food supply. While staple crops like wheat and corn are pollinated by wind, some 90 cultivated flowering crops – from almonds and apples to cranberries and watermelons – rely heavily on honeybees trucked in for pollinization. Honeybees pollinate every third bite of food ingested by Americans, says a Cornell study. Bees help generate some $14 billion in produce.

The rise in disappearances is so rapid that scientists are having a difficult time pinning down a cause. In the past year, in 24 states, keepers have reported loses between 50 and 90 percent.

Antarctic Melting Has Definite Human Cause

Scientists studying the 2002 collapse of the Larsen Ice Shelf believe they have conclusive proof that the cause is human in origin.

The 2002 event can now be pinned down to a specific change in climate, which is in turn linked to human-induced global warming, the authors say. Some argue that this is the first single event proved to have been caused by manmade climate change. "It's close to being evidence," says Ted Scambos, lead scientist of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

It is believed that westerly winds circulating the south pole have strengthened over the past 50 years. They believe this to be caused by an increase in CO2 emissions combined with the CFC created ozone hole.

Artic Meltdown Reaching Record Levels

The sea ice in the arctic circle seasonally grows and shrinks each year; however, a disturbing trend, caused by rising sea temperatures is that the summer ice is reaching record lows during the summer.

The summer ice has dropped from about eight million square kilometers in the early 80s to just under 6 million in 2005 with similar drops in the winter.

The maximum amount of sea ice in the Arctic winter has fallen by six percent over each of the last two winters, as compared to a loss of merely 1.5 percent per decade on average annually since the earliest satellite monitoring in 1979. This is happening as summer sea ice continues its retreat at an average of ten percent per decade.

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