"I would say that farming fruits and vegetables is one of the most serious causes of environmental devastation." - Walter Sikora
This has to be the seventh dumbest comment I've ever seen published in the ABH. Where does Mr. Sikora get his beef, chicken and pork or does he advocate an all wild game diet (about as sustainable for 7 billion people as is organic farming). I have never been a big meat eater and am now mostly vegetarian (for health reasons) and because I can afford it nearly all of my produce is locally grown organic. But to imply that a carnetarian diet is superior to one of mostly fruits and vegetables, and that it is better for the environment, is just a crock of industrially raised, corn fed, hormone injected, bovine fecal matter!
Pesticides and Animal Feed
Approximately 80% of the corn and 22% of the wheat produced in the US every year is used for animal feed, while 30 million tons of US-produced soy meal is consumed annually as livestock feed. This grain is grown by intensive industrial farming G operations that use large amounts of pesticides and other inputs, and often rely on genetically engineered (GE G) crop varieties. Common genetic modifications include plants that are bred to contain insecticides within their genetic makeup (e.g., Bt corn) or to withstand direct application of herbicides (e.g., glyphosate resistant soybeans).
In addition to causing environmental damage, when grain is grown with pesticides and then fed to livestock, pesticide residues can accumulate in the animals' fatty tissue and milk. Pesticides, such as arsenic compounds, are also included in livestock feed to control intestinal parasites and other pests.posted @ Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 08:23
Hard to believe that as recently as the 1970's East Athens had unpaved roads and homes without water and sewar. Sounds like this man did more to bring Athens into the 20th century than did any mayor or politician.
Thank you Walt.posted @ Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 13:56
Green eggs & ham has a lot in common with Obamacare.
Both are hated by grumpy, close minded people. Until they actually try it.posted @ Friday, October 18, 2013 - 10:27
[quote][b]davidxto[/b] - Scientist run the full spectrum on the science of AG climate change. [/quote]
While this is technically true (if one includes the extremes of opinion and also depending on where one draws the line defining a "scientist") it is important to distiguish this from the question of consensus.
A recently published paper looked specifically at this issue and concluded that 97% of climate science papers agree that current warming trends are attributable to human activity.
To those who deny that human activity can change the envirionmental landscape, please learn something about how farming practices in the US led to the great Dustbowl and the subsequent economic collapse of our country in the early 20th century.
While it appeals to our sense of fairness to give voice to dissenting opinions, this should not be confused with giving equal credence to all opinions.
Some opinions are better than others. I tend to listen most closely to informed opinions.posted @ Monday, July 22, 2013 - 11:29
"Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' [linking smoking with disease] that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy...if we are successful in establishing a controversy at the public level, there is an opportunity to put across the real facts about smoking and health."
-1969 Brown & Williamson internal document discussing cigarette advertising
Harold Brown has stolen a page from the Brown & Williamson playbook. Why? Because it still works with a poorly informed electorate.posted @ Monday, July 22, 2013 - 10:58
To those with preconceived ideas about black teens I urge you to Google the words "Temar Boggs"posted @ Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 18:55
My friend Marshall Shepherd says "Weather is your mood that day, climate is your personality"posted @ Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 17:37
@Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass:
Dr. Brown wrote "Some shores are rising, some are sinking." so I was rephrasing something he would agree with.
Also as proftom pointed out, the TOPEX and Jason satellites along with buoys are also measuring in the mid-ocean where some of the greatest increases are being recorded.
Bottom line? The volume of the oceans is increasing and with them the likelihood of coastal damage from flooding and higher than normal storm surge.
The actual data is not as murky or as confusing as Dr. Brown would have us believe.
Dr. Brown correctly points out that sea levels are determined by two things, the actual volume occupied by the oceans, and the relative sinking (and rising) of the land.
So the test as to whether we are seeing local, and natural variation would be to not just look at few places (New Orleans, Florida panhandle, Chesapeake Bay) but MANY places. If land is subsiding in one place it is reasonable to suggest that it is rising in others. Thus on average, sea level rise and sea level drop should both be happening around the world.
Apparently that is NOT the case:
"Since 1993, measurements from the TOPEX and Jason series of satellite radar altimeters have allowed estimates of global mean sea level. These measurements are continuously calibrated against a network of tide gauges. When seasonal and other variations are subtracted, they allow estimation of the global mean sea level rate. As new data, models and corrections become available, we continuously revise these estimates (about every two months) to improve their quality."
A graph of these results and more detailed explanation can be found here:posted @ Saturday, June 29, 2013 - 08:52
@Libralady: In addition to everything else it makes economic sense to start on an alternative energy economy right now. We know that we are going to have to change the way we do things to keep human civilization progressing.
So if we know the change is inevitable, it makes the most sense to start planning for it as soon as we know it.
The transition to a carbon-free economy will require a huge investment in infrastructure. Better to do this now in a thoughtful way than as a reaction to a crisis.
If phased in, along with a thoughtful family planning philosophy, we may yet avoid the societal trauma that davidxto predicts.
Let's see if we can agree on certain things. 1) So far we have burned through about 50% of the fossil fuels in 150 years and are now doing so at a rate that will deplete them entirely within 100 years. 2) It was this reliance on fossil fuels that have enabled human population to grow from 1.5 billion to over 7 billion in that same time frame and power the modern economy and society we have now (complete with electronics, air travel, etc.). 3) At this rate of economic growth and with population on track to reach 10 billion by 2100, the remaining fossil fuels will be gone in a century and CO2 will be 550 ppm, the highest level in millions of years. 4) The RATE of change in CO2 is nearly without precedent in all of Earth's history (4.3 BYA or 6000 years depending on your perspective).
So my question is this. What energy sources will our grandchildren and others use to power society in the 22nd Century?
If the answer is 'non-fossil fuel energy' then why not develop these technologies right now? Today! Especially if CO2 is changing the pH of the oceans and maybe altering the climate?"
Why wait? So that other countries do it first and we become as dependent on them as we have become thanks to our addiction to oil?
Carpe millennium!posted @ Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 08:55
Ah yes, the Daily Mail. England's answer to FOX News.
Yes, I am aware of Dr. Curry's dissenting opinion, but Muller and most other researchers disagree with her because she is not considering all the data.
Furthermore Dr. Curry is claiming only that the warming trend has slowed, (not that it has stopped or never occurred). This point is often overlooked in the popular press.
All of this is nicely explained here, complete with citations to peer reviewed publications
An interesting letter, but I could not determine when it was written.
Have you seen this one from climate skeptic, and member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Richard Muller? It was written last year.
In recent years it has largely been conservatives who have been skeptical, or even openly rejected, the findings of thousands of climate scientists working with diverse data sets from all over the world, all of whom say that the data supports the same conclusion. That anthropogenic increase in CO2 since the industrial revolution, is changing the climate and altering the chemistry of the oceans. Most significantly this is happening at a rate of change (160 years vs. thousands or millions of years) that is almost without precedent in Earth's history. The only comparable sudden changes in environment are the great extinction events such as the Permian or the KT boundary.
Perhaps liberals and conservatives alike would do well to remember the words of President Ronald Reagan:
"If we've learned any lessons during the past few decades, perhaps the most important is that preservation of our environment is not a partisan challenge; it's common sense. Our physical health, our social happiness, and our economic well-being will be sustained only by all of us working in partnership as thoughtful, effective stewards of our natural resources."
Remarks on signing annual report of Council on Environmental Quality, July 11, 1984posted @ Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 07:20
@Used2baFreeCountry: Crichton and others may have fallen for the old "cause but not effect" syndrome. While it is true that malaria deaths began to rise about the same time as DDT was being banned in the US, its use was NOT banned in Africa, and malaria deaths still rose.
This was due to some extent to the independent and separate evolution of chloroquine resistant malaria parasites.
Chloroquine, a manufactured drug based on quinine, started being used in the 1940's (along with DDT spraying) and it was VERY effective. But by the late 1950's the chloroquine resistant strains arose in Asia and South America. The Asian strain spread quickly to Africa, and deaths due to malaria began to rise again.
So yes, DDT did play an important role in limiting mosquitos and stopping malaria in the US. But Crichton's assumption that the rise in malaria can be laid at the feet of Rachel Carson is unsupported by the data. Good old fashioned evolution played a much bigger role.
I'm glad that Ms. Barnett had access to the information with which to make an informed decision.
As the SCOTUS considers the patent of Myriad Genetics for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes I can't help but wonder how many America women are not as empowered due to the artificially high cost of the genetic test.
I had to pass a written test issued by the state and demonstrate competence behind the wheel before I was allowed to drive a motor vehicle. I had to do absolutely nothing other than present cash to buy a shotgun and rifle from a private seller.
Now we have two senators who do not even support the idea of basic background checks for private sales or gun show sales.
My brother in law shot himself dead during a moment of depression. He used a gun that once belonged to his father.
Another close friend lost both parents and a brother when his mentally ill brother came down stairs and started shooting. My friend, a black belt martial arts instructor, was powerless to stop him. Had it been a baseball bat instead of .357 his family would not have been destroyed that day. Only firearms put that kind of power into the hands of the angry, mentally ill, or even more sadly, young children.
It is in the best interests of society to limit access to these weapons of collective mass destruction.posted @ Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 16:08
[quote][b]CharlotteLadyGardner[/b] - Did he have a criminal background? Were there any previous charges regarding domestic violence? [/quote]
Another question. Did he belong to a "well regulated militia"? We will never know for certain but I doubt whether this mother and child would be dead today if he not had ready access to firearms. The gun rights lobby says we need weapons to defend ourselves from bad guys, but sadly most Americans who die by firearms are killed like this. By people they know.
Or by their own hand.
Christians do not envision themselves as self-righteous or myopic.
Ms. Coleman was not addressing her comments to Christians in general, she was directing them at Mr. Yarbrough specifically.
She makes this quite clear when she writes "..using ridicule and fatuous self-congratulatory observations about his own beliefs, Yarbrough seems to feel he has somehow logically countered an atheist’s point of view." identifying him by name and saying that the position she finds objectionable was "his"
I think you are taking offense when none was intended by Ms. Coleman.posted @ Saturday, June 1, 2013 - 11:51
I'm waking this morning to this sad news. Like many others here I too admired his columns, even when I disagreed with them. His voice brought a reasoned and diverse perspective to the ABH opinion page which will be sorely missed. My condolences to his wife and family.posted @ Friday, May 31, 2013 - 06:56
@cyou299: While it is true that five year survival rates for many cancers are significantly better than in the 1970's (which as you correctly say is a complex of conditions, not a single disease) we have not eliminated or eradicated any cancers. We are fighting better battles (most men with prostate cancer end up dying of something else) but we are not defeating the enemy.
By eliminating the cause, HPV vaccine has the potential to eradicate those cancers caused by the virus. We wouldn't have to treat because there would be no illness. This would be a victory unlike any other in the war on cancer.posted @ Saturday, May 25, 2013 - 12:55
My graduation speech is twice as long. Two times a year I send off our Biology grads with these four words: "Do Good - Have Fun"
I stress that one's actions should be carried out in that order
[quote][b]Georgia Boy[/b] - No miracle, just science.
Agreed. While I am delighted for the Saxon and Stockton families, this is not a miracle, at least not in the sense that I use the word.
These families, and thousands of others like them, are enjoying the benefits of work that was started decades ago by scientists trying to understand how a fertilized egg develops into an animal. This sort of basic research, much of which was carried out on creatures like sea urchins, had no immediate practical value. But because the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, supported this sort of research, today Krista Saxon has a son.
If we allow politicians to financially strangle or try to direct basic research in this country, how many other wonderful things will we not know about decades from now? How much poorer will be life of Tucker Saxon and his children?posted @ Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 07:53
Every piece I submit to Jim Thompson and the ABH comes with a long list of references (which BTW I am happy to share with anyone who asks for them)but which the ABH does not publish for space considerations.
In that sprit I would ask that you provide us, the readers of the ABH, with references to the studies you refer to in your letter so that we might read them and form opinions for ourselves.
-Mark Farmerposted @ Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 11:40
@davidxto: When you use the word "doctor" I assume you mean physicians. Physicians are practioners of scientfic knowledge, most are not researchers and very few are scientists or think as scientists. So we are talking about two very different groups of people choosing where to work based on very different sets of criteria.
Look up the story of Neal Copeland and Nancy Jenkin; both American members of the highly prestigious National Academy of Sciences who in 2005 left the US to pursue their research in Singapore. They did this largely in response to what they perceived to be a federal government at the time that was hostile to science:
“We wanted to be in a place where they are excited by science and things are moving upward,”
In 2011 they returned to the US to work at the Methodist Hospital Research Institute. Perhaps the changes in Washington had something to do with their decision to return, but their situation is not unique. I know many colleagues who are considering, or have accepted, positions abroad. And the perception that the governement and people of the US are hostile to scientific progress is almost always a factor in their decsion making process.
This happens at the statewide level as well. How many centers in regenerative medicine will you find in states that have passed these so-called "personhood" amendments?posted @ Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 11:15
Summary: North Oconee's Kawon Bryant was named the Region 8-AAA Offensive Player of they Year. North Oconee's Kawon Bryant was named the Region 8-AAA Offensive Player of they Year. Elbert County's Mecole Hardman was the Player of the Year. Hart County's Sean Harper and Morgan County's Tevin Waller were named Co-Defensive Players of the Year. Here's the rest of the All-Region team: Harison Puder, North OconeeKyle Vaughn, North OconeeTate Adcock, North OconeeJL Banks, North OconeeCole Coker, North OconeeIndy Wilson, North OconeeBradley Glenn, North OconeeBrackin Smith, North OconeeXavier Harper, Jackson County read more
Summary: Nearly 80 players from two dozen high schools will participate in the FCA All-Star game on Friday. Nearly 80 players from two dozen high schools will participate in the FCA All-Star game on Friday. The game will be played at Clarke Central at 7:30 p.m. The West team will be headed by honorary head coach Billy Henderson and assistant head coach Jeff Herron, The East team will be led by honorary head coach Ray Lamb and assistant head coach Michael Gunn.