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Hello (hello, hello, hello), is there anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there any one at home?
Einstein famously declared that when the bees go, in four years we will go.
This month’s Rolling Stone has a very good article up about just that, and why we cannot seem to keep them from dying…
Supposedly standing guard between the tiny pollinators and the agrochemical giants is the EPA. It’s the EPA’s job to parse all this, and if not to fully protect the environment, per se, then at least to make sure that one particular industry doesn’t ruin nature to such an extent that it too drastically hurts the bottom line of others. In 1972, revisions to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act placed the responsibility on manufacturers to provide the safety data for the products they make, the idea being that American taxpayers should not cover the bill for tests done to products that financially benefit private companies. In practice, what this means is that the studies provided to the EPA when a product is up for approval are, by law, generated and submitted by the manufacturer of that product. Jim Jones, the assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention at the EPA, maintains that compliance monitoring is designed to keep companies honest: “They have to generate the data according to good laboratory practices, and our scientists review this.” Loarie, the attorney for Earthjustice, isn’t so sure. “I think there are many, many opportunities for the data to be played with,” he says.
Also of concern then is the fact that agrochemical companies are not only responsible for reporting how much environmental exposure a pesticide might have, they’re likewise responsible for submitting to the EPA’s review the lethal dose for non-target organisms — what amount it would take to kill 50 percent of a population. “It’s the fox guarding the henhouse,” says Ramon Seidler, a former senior research scientist in charge of the GMO Biosafety Research Program at the EPA. “And the fox is the one collecting the eggs and bringing them to the regulators.”
Even if the EPA wanted to test a product itself, the agency isn’t set up that way. EPA scientists are meant to review studies conducted by others (including independent research), not to conduct studies themselves. It can take the agency two to three years to do a full review of a commercial product. “And with 80,000-some-odd of these chemicals to do?” says Seidler. “My God, it’s an impossible task.”
For this reason, regulators mainly consider a compound’s active ingredient, which, as the entomologist vanEngelsdorp explains, can be problematic. “There is data that the inert ingredients may be having a negative effect on colonies on their own,” he says. “Or that in combination with the active ingredient, they’re much more toxic than they were before.” Nor are regulators generally considering the combinations of multiple insecticides and herbicides sometimes coated on a single seed or how any of this might interact with the other agrochemicals applied to crops, a chemical bath that the program director for the Pollinator Stewardship Council, Michele Colopy, calls “meth in the field.”
“It’s the fox guarding the henhouse,” says a former EPA research scientist. “It’s corporate greed over environmental safety.”
“We do look for some obvious interactions, but you can’t test for every possible combination of chemicals that might occur out in the real world,” says Fischer. Yet it’s unclear what the agrochemical companies are testing: Because they contain “proprietary information,” the insecticides’ nonactive ingredients are not publicly disclosed.
Despite these limitations, many feel that the body of evidence against neonics is strong enough that the EPA should be taking a stand. Which raises certain questions. “Why did the Europeans put a hold on the use of neonicotinoids?” Seidler asks. “And why did the EPA look at that and stare it right in the face and say, ‘No’?” Why is the EPA not restricting neonics when another government agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announced that it would phase them out on national wildlife refuges by 2016?
In fact, just three days after the European ban was announced, the USDA/EPA National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health issued its report in which the potential harm posed by neonics was not mentioned at all in the executive summary. “That really got to me,” says Dr. Eric Chivian, founder and former director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. “There was huge international press attention that the EU banned the most widely used insecticides in the world because of concern about honeybees, and the part of the report most people read doesn’t even mention them?” At the EPA/USDA Pollinator Summit in March 2013, less than two months after the EU issued its initial neonic warnings, “Half the speakers were from industry,” says Chivian. “It would be as if the Surgeon General held a conference on the dangers of smoking and half the speakers were from Big Tobacco.”
No one is saying that what the EPA is tasked with comes easy. “Go after Congress,” Seidler says. “They are the ones who are not providing a sufficient budget for the EPA and other regulatory scientists to stay up with industry discoveries.” Indeed, the number of laboratories serving the office of the pesticide program at the EPA has dropped from a reported dozen in 1971 to two today, which means it’s very difficult for the EPA to keep pace with industry. “It’s always a challenge,” says the EPA’s Jones, who maintains that despite the difficulties, the agency is resourced and operating adequately. But according to Loarie, “They’re using 20th-century methodologies to test 21st-century pesticides. The EPA still doesn’t appreciate the extent to which systemic pesticides are different.”
With their livelihoods in the balance, beekeepers have grown frustrated with the EPA’s lack of action. “I’ve been going to Washington for years working on these issues, basically asking them to do their job, and my experience has been that generally the agencies don’t understand, and their approach doesn’t get to the heart of the problem,” says Zac Browning, a fourth-generation Idaho beekeeper who lost 50 percent of his hives in 2009. “On the ground, we’re not seeing results.”
What beekeepers are seeing, however, is that chemical companies — and their lobbyists — seem effective at fighting off tougher standards. “The problem is that industry knocks on the door and walks in,” says Doan. “Beekeepers knock on the door, and it’s like, ‘Hold on, we’ll see you in a while.’ Industry has an open door into the EPA and beekeepers do not.”
Read that last line again: Industry has an open door and beekeepers do not.”
It’s the fox guarding the henhouse, corporate greed over environmental safety.
You fucking animals are destroying the world my grandchildren are growing up in, and I think it is about time to do something about that. You really should fear me.
So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, in a speech On Why Environmentalism Is A ‘Patriotic Duty’, defined what it was to be a progressive, and why the true nationalists and patriots were progressives, and environmentalists, and you ain’t it:
Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us, and training them into a better race to inhabit the land and pass it on. Conservation is a great moral issue for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation. …
“I ask nothing of the nation except that it so behave as each farmer here behaves with reference to his own children,” Roosevelt explained in the speech. “That farmer is a poor creature who skins the land and leaves it worthless to his children. The farmer is a good farmer who, having enabled the land to support himself and to provide for the education of his children leaves it to them a little better than he found it himself. I believe the same thing of a nation.”
Roosevelt then immediately pointed out, “Let me add that the health and vitality of our people are at least as well worth conserving as their forests, waters, lands, and minerals, and in this great work the national government must bear a most important part.” And he was blunt about the solution:
There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done….
It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced.
- The “greatest good for the greatest number” applies to the number within the womb of time, compared to which those now alive form but an insignificant fraction. Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wild life and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method.
- If in a given community unchecked popular rule means unlimited waste and destruction of the natural resources — soil, fertility, waterpower, forests, game, wild-life generally — which by right belong as much to subsequent generations as to the present generation, then it is sure proof that the present generation is not yet really fit for self-control, that it is not yet really fit to exercise the high and responsible privilege of a rule which shall be both by the people and for the people. The term “for the people” must always include the people unborn as well as the people now alive, or the democratic ideal is not realized.
- The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.
- The United States at this moment occupies a lamentable position as being perhaps the chief offender among civilized nations in permitting the destruction and pollution of nature. Our whole modern civilization is at fault in the matter. But we in America are probably most at fault … Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals’not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements.
- To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them.
This is what it means to be a progressive in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt.
The bottom line is it is immoral for one generation to destroy another generation’s vital soil — or its livable climate.
You are an enemy of the American People, enemy of the American Way of Life.
And a clear and present danger to my grand-children’s future.
Flying a Confederate battle flag is no different than flying a NAZI swastika. If you fly a Confederate battle flag or a NAZI swastika you are a traitor, an enemy of the American People, enemy of the American Way of Life, and should be shot on sight. No hesitation, no questions asked. No quarter.
So too the Israeli battle star.
You are a clear and present danger to my grandchildren’s future.
According to new data released by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Tuesday, globally averaged temperatures over ocean and land surfaces between January and June of 2015 were the hottest on record since 1880.
A statement by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) revealed on Jul. 21 that “the average temperature for the six-month period was 0.85°C (1.53°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F), surpassing the previous record set in 2010 by 0.09°C (0.16°F).”
Average global sea surface temperatures for the January-June 2015 period outstripped the previous record in 2010 by 0.04°C (0.07°F).
Land surface temperatures also hit record levels, surpassing the previous 2007 high by 0.13°C (0.23°F), according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The average land surface temperature from January to June was +1.40°C (2.52°F).
“Most of the world’s land areas were much warmer than average,” the organisation stated. “These regions include nearly all of Eurasia, South America, Africa, and western North America, with pockets of record warmth across these areas. All of Australia was warmer than average.”
March, May and June of 2015 all broke their monthly temperature records this year; January and February each witnessed the “second warmest” temperatures recorded and April experienced the fourth warmest monthly temperature ever.
NOAA’s Global Analysis for June 2015 further stated…
“These six warm months combined with the previous six months (four of which were also record warm) to make the period July 2014–June 2015 the warmest 12-month period in the 136-year period of record, surpassing the previous record set just last month (June 2014–May 2015).”
In an even more disturbing trend, the world’s leading meteorological body stated that the average Arctic sea ice extent for June 2015 was 350,000 square miles (7.7 percent) below the 1981-2010 average and 60,000 square miles larger than the smallest June sea ice extent on record that occurred in 2010.
“This was the third smallest June extent since records began in 1979 according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center using data from NOAA and NASA,” the WMO release explained.
Meanwhile, the Antarctic sea ice extent in June was 380,000 square miles (7.2. percent) larger than the average for the 1981-2010 period, making it the largest ever Antarctic sea ice extent for the month of June.
Just prior to the release of this new data, on Jul. 1, the WMO together with the World Health Organisaiton (WHO) put out a set of guidelines designed to deal with the health risks associated with hotter global temperatures.
The joint guidance on Heat–Health Warning Systems, released earlier this month, aims to address “health risks posed by heatwaves, which are becoming more frequent and more intense as a result of climate change,” the agencies said.
“Heatwaves are a dangerous natural hazard, and one that requires increased attention,” said Maxx Dilley, Director of WMO’s Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch, and Maria Neira, Director of WHO’s Department of Public Health, Environmenl and Social Determinants of Health.
“They lack the spectacular and sudden violence of other hazards, such as tropical cyclones or flash floods but the consequences can be severe.”
Over the past 50 years, according to WHO data, hot days, hot nights and heatwaves have become more frequent.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted, “The length, frequency and intensity of heatwaves will likely increase over most land areas during this century.”
Heatwaves also place an increased strain on infrastructure such as power, water and transport.
The agency cited the recent heatwaves in both India and Pakistan that killed thousands of people this summer.
In Pakistan alone, 1,200 perished in the month of June, mostly poor people and manual labourers who were forced to remain in the streets despite government warnings to stay indoors to avoid the blistering 45-degree heat.
According to the WHO, the European heatwaves in the northern hemisphere summer of 2003 were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people, as were the Russian heatwaves, forest fires and associated air pollution in 2010.
You are a clear and present danger to my grand-children’s future.
Something needs to be done about that.
White fucking punk on dope walks into a black church and kills nine people, tells them as he is killing them he is killing them because they are black, tells the cops as they are arresting him he was trying to start a race war with black people, and his public persona is rife with racism and white supremacism, so don’t try to turn this into something anti-religion. It’s racism. Other than the racism that is your religion it has no connection with religion and no connection with those of us who are anti-religion, who are against religion. I would bet even money the little cock-sucker – and that is exactly what he is going to be when he gets to prison – is a “christian”.
He is, afterall, white, a supremacist, and from South Carolina.
And all you stupid assholes can come up with is the pastor should have been packing a gun? You are animals. Less than sufficiently evolved. Less than human.
United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke on Thursday at his granddaughter’s graduation from a Catholic high school in Bethesda, Maryland. During the speech, however, the sitting Supreme Court justice offered a subtle nod to young earth creationism, the belief that that the earth was created by God and is only several thousand years-old.
“Class of 2015, you should not leave Stone Ridge High School thinking that you face challenges that are at all, in any important sense, unprecedented,” Scalia said, adding that “Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so, and I doubt that the basic challenges as confronted are any worse now, or alas even much different, from what they ever were.”
As Think Progress notes, Humanity began to develop much more than 5,000 years ago. Early human ancestors began to diverge from the chimpanzee lineage about six million years ago. The first members of the species Homo sapiens are believed to have lived in Africa about 100,000 years ago, and cave paintings and other evidence of human culture exist that are believed to have been created 50,000 years ago.
The current pope, Pope Francis, warned in 2014 that creationist narratives lead to a kind of magical thinking about God. “When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining that God was a magician, with such a magic wand as to be able to do everything,” Francis said. “However, it was not like that. He created beings and left them to develop according to the internal laws that He gave each one, so that they would develop, and reach their fullness.”
Scalia, for his part, has not only stated that he believes that the Devil is a “real person,”he’s also speculated as to why the Beast That Is Called Dragon does not manifest in obvious ways. “You know, it is curious,” Scalia said in a 2013 interview, “In the Gospels, the Devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore.”
The justice said that the Father of All Lies no longer causes pigs to fall to their deaths because “he’s smart.” “What he’s doing now,” according to Scalia, “is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.”
Boiled down to nutshells, to ones and zeros… if your entire ethnicity is predicated upon your distant ancestress having mated with extraterrestrial visitors then you’re not entirely human. You are less than human. Two-fifths human.
Sprawled drooling Pavlovianly across a “couch” the back-seat out of a nineteen and seventy-one Chevy Suburban, your typical Republican (Retard), a barely-literate bare-footed rube blind drunk on the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox News Kool-Aid following a charismatic “leader” to suicide.
James Hoover, no flaming “liberal”, writes:
Probably the most infamous cases of mass mind control involves religious cults, with the People’s Temple Jonestown Massacre in Guyana, South America being the most tragic. In 1978, Jim Jones, most likely suffering from megalomania, forced 912 followers into committing mass suicide. Attempts to rescue the followers, ultimately by a member of the US House of Representatives, ended in the representative’s murder and the deaths of all sect members.
The totality of Jim Jones’ control was blamed on a religious extremism administered through a charismatic leader with a regimen of 24/7 control of mind and body. In today’s world, religious cultism is not dead, but is still a problem.
Panic mongering uses fear, overstatement, misinformation and such to terrorize the audience. All media does it, but Fox does it with an agenda. Keep your audience fearful of something every waking moment through threats against your livelihood, threats to your life, threats to your job, and so on. If it isn’t ISIS or Ebola at your border, it’s the American military planning takeover with defense exercises in Texas.
Character assassination, projection or flipping, rewriting history as a strategy of psychological warfare, scapegoating or othering, bullying, confusing the argument, saturation, topped all off with lying with statistics.
If it were me, I’d be ashamed at having been so sucked in by a big bottle of snake oil. Be afraid, pussies, be very afraid.
From 21st Century Wire…
It’s Memorial Day weekend in the U.S.A. and there’s another important part of history, dare we say Forbidden, that will not be televised. Lest we forget…
Retired Major General Smedley Butler was onto something in 1933, when he was recruited to be a “gangster for capitalism” by a group of wealthy Americans calling themselves the “American Liberty League”. Damn interesting, indeed.
If you know your history, you know that in 1934 there was an attempted coup in the United States that was thwarted largely due to the efforts of U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler (ret.)
Look it up. The playbook is eighty years old.
Butler was only one of 19 people ever awarded the Medal of Honor twice and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions.
After it dawned on him how his heroism and the heroism of the troops under his command had been misused, he wrote a book called “War is a Racket”, which I can guarantee you never heard about in school.