Asian Parasite Killing Western Bees – Scientist {Planet Ark}

A parasite common in Asian bees has spread to Europe and the Americas and is behind the mass disappearance of honeybees in many countries, says a Spanish scientist who has been studying the phenomenon for years.
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[Thanks David for the link]

Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations – Why Being Dirty is A Good Thing {WWeek}

The narrative Montgomery describes for each fallen or falling civilization is simple, and repeats itself with variations. It goes kind of like this: The population goes up, so farmers use more aggressive farming practices to feed the growing populace. The food production increases accordingly, until the last of the fertile soil either gets its game salted or deposits itself uselessly at the bottom of the ocean. At which point nobody can grow their apples, their corn or their luxuriant pomegranates. So what’s the solution Montgomery proposes? It ain’t better fertilizer, and it seriously is not better irrigation (unless you want to turn our nation’s midsection into a salt flat). No, it’s pretty simple: Farm multiple crops on much smaller plots, which, believe it or not, have higher growth and cost efficiencies than the big industrial wheat fields. That, and could you please leave poor Oklahoma and the hill country entirely alone, please?
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The Health Benefits of Paleocuisine {Science}

Swedish men with diabetes showed a dramatic drop in their blood sugar after 3 months on a “Paleolithic” diet, according to researchers in Sweden, who found that a diet free of grains and dairy products worked better than the oft-recommended “Mediterranean” diet.
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Bumblebees get a buzz out of British gardens {Yahoo News}

Britain once had more than 25 native species of bumblebee, but three of those have been lost in the past 50 years and several more are under threat. Scientists blame the decline on modern farming methods that have deprived bumblebees of many traditional flowering plant food sources.
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Seed Sense {Guardian}

Hundreds of vegetable varieties have been lost from UK soils and are now illegal to grow. But the conservation battle goes on

…These days, it is easier to grow cannabis than Carruther’s Purple Podded peas or Auntie Madge’s tomato or Mr Stiff’s bunching onion. Worried that these old varieties would vanish unless they were in circulation, Garden Organic set up what it calls the Heritage Seed Library to rescue our vegetable treasures from extinction. To stay within the law, a scheme was established whereby gardeners pay to become members of the seed library, and each year they are given a selection of six of the hundreds of varieties to grow.
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Ozone hampering plants’ absorption of carbon dioxide {LA Times}

Rising levels of ozone pollution near the ground are damaging the ability of plants to take up carbon dioxide, reducing their potential to act as a counterbalance to greenhouse gas accumulation, scientists said Wednesday.

When affected by projected high levels of ozone, plants can absorb up to one-third less carbon dioxide than healthy plants, the researchers found.
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Ethical shopping is just another way of showing how rich you are {Guardian}

But these measures, and the long hard political battle that is needed to bring them about, are unfortunately required to prevent the catastrophe that the recent floods presage – rather than merely playing at being green. Only when these measures have been applied does green consumerism become a substitute for current spending, rather than a supplement to it. They are harder to sell, not least because they cannot be bought from mail order catalogues. Hard political choices will have to be made, and the economic elite and its spending habits must be challenged, rather than groomed and flattered. The multimillionaires who have embraced the green agenda might suddenly discover another urgent cause.
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Is Bottled Water Bad for the Environment? {Wise Geek}

While the contents themselves are not especially harmful, the process of producing bottled water is not doing the environment any favors. Many health-conscious consumers strongly believe bottled water is preferable to ordinary tap water, and the bottled water industry’s profits run in the billions of dollars (USD) annually. Even if the bottling and shipping aspects of bottled water have a negative impact on the environment, the end result is still viewed as a healthier alternative than tap water processed through municipal treatment plants.
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[Thanks Lindsay for the link]

Closer to home….
After drop, gang violence flares up in Pasadena {LA Times}

Double killing rattles city that has seen 18 slayings in as many months.

A double killing early Friday in Pasadena is the latest in a string of gang-related shootings over the last year that has officials and residents in the city’s northwestern district on edge.
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{The racially mixed Northwest section of Pasadena has been our home for over 20 years and 1/2 these reported homicides have been within a 1/2 mile of the urban homestead. Never before have we seen such senseless violence….}

No Comments

  1. Florence says:

    Why do you think there is so much violence?