Quietly in public, loudly in private, climate scientists everywhere are saying the same thing: it's over.
The years in which more than 2degrees of global warming could have been prevented have passed, the opportunities squandered by denial and delay. On current trajectories we'll be lucky to get away with 4degrees.
There is no more denying it. Meat contains highly toxic substances that are responsible for many deaths and diseases. Heavy meat consumption increases your risk of dying from all causes, including heart disease and cancer, according to a federal study conducted by the National Cancer Institute and featured in Archives of Internal Medicine on Monday.
Research presented today at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen shows that the upper range of sea level rise by 2100 could be in the range of about one meter, or possibly more. In the lower end of the spectrum it looks increasingly unlikely that sea level rise will be much less than 50 cm by 2100. This means that if emissions of greenhouse gases is not reduced quickly and substantially, even the best case scenario will hit low lying coastal areas housing one in ten humans on the planet hard. [...more]
The thriving use of private military contractors in place of citizen-soldiers allows nations to externalize the costs of war and outsource accountability during wartime, according to sociologist Katherine McCoy, writing in the winter 2009 issue of Contexts magazine. [...more]
Rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the resulting effects on ocean water are making it increasingly difficult for coral reefs to grow, say scientists. A study to be published online March 13, 2009 in Geophysical Research Letters by researchers at the Carnegie Institution and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem warns that if carbon dioxide reaches double pre-industrial levels, coral reefs can be expected to not just stop growing, but also to begin dissolving all over the world. [...more]
Researchers have found what they say is some of the first unambiguous evidence that an animal other than humans can make spontaneous plans for future events. The report in the March 9 issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, highlights a decade of observations in a zoo of a male chimpanzee calmly collecting stones and fashioning concrete discs that he would later use to hurl at zoo visitors. [...more]
In the March/April 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, researchers from the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota report on one of the first studies to examine the long-term benefits of regular family meals for diet quality during the transition from early to middle adolescence. In general, the study found adolescents who participated in regular family meals reported more healthful diets and meal patterns compared to adolescents without regular family meals.
In Cambodia they’re once again endeavoring to hold trials to bring some former senior Khmer Rouge officials to justice for their 1975-79 war crimes and crimes against humanity. The current defendant in a United Nations-organized trial, Kaing Guek Eav, who was the head of a Khmer Rouge torture center, has confessed to atrocities, but insists he was acting under orders.1 As we all know, this is the defense that the Nuremberg Tribunal rejected for the Nazi defendants. Everyone knows that, right? No one places any weight on such a defense any longer, right? We make jokes about Nazis declaring: “I was only following orders!” (”Ich habe nur den Befehlen gehorcht!”) Except that both the Bush and Obama administrations have spoken in favor of it. [...more]
U.S. taxpayers doled out more than $6.4 billion in subsidies to the commercial fishing industry between 1996 and 2004, possibly accelerating the ongoing collapse of fish stocks worldwide and adding to the devastation of large ocean fish species. [...more]
Petroleum supplies slowly dwindle as demand rapidly soars. So the prices of gasoline and oil that supply modern societies with their industrial production of food will go up, up, and away. A radically different future than the oil-energized twentieth century is dawning. [...more]