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Member since: Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:01 PM
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11 Things You Should Know Right Now About Honey Bees

1. A hive of honey bees will fly 90,000 miles, the equivalent of three orbits around earth, to collect 2.2 pounds of nectar to produce honey.


Must have been the 1%ers


Governor Christie and the Kochtopus

7 ways pesticide companies are spinning the bee crisis to protect profits

Bees and other pollinators are essential for two-thirds of our global food crops, from apples to watermelons.1 Bee pollination of crops has been valued at $20 billion in the United States2 and $217 billion globally.3,4 Unfortunately, bees and other pollinators are in great peril, with populations rapidly declining worldwide. A strong and growing body of evidence points to exposure to a class of neurotoxic pesticides called neonicotinoids–the fastest-growing and most widely used class of synthetic pesticides–as a key contributing factor to bee declines.5,6,7

Neonicotinoids (also called neonics) are used as seed treatments on more than 140 crops. Virtually all corn and a large percentage of soy, wheat and canola seeds planted in the U.S. are pretreated with neonics, despite research finding that this practice usually doesn’t increase crop yields or benefit farmers.8 Neonics are systemic pesticides that are taken up through roots and leaves and distributed throughout the entire plant, including pollen and nectar. They are persistent and accumulate over time in the environment.

Numerous studies reveal that neonicotinoids can kill bees outright by attacking their nervous systems, while low levels of exposure have been shown to disrupt foraging abilities,9 navigation, learning, communication, memory10 and suppress the immune systems of bees, making them more vulnerable to disease and pests.11 While other factors have been identified as possible contributors to bee declines and hive failure–such as pests,12 diseases, loss of forage and habitat13 and changing climate14--neonicotinoid pesticides are a core problem that must be addressed. Science shows that exposure to neonics is a compounding factor that increases bee vulnerability and decreases natural resilience to external stressors such as varroa mite pests and pathogens.15,16,17,18,19



Poison does kill bees and people and other living things

Politicians appear in denial on climate change

WASHINGTON – If a politician were told that, after lengthy study and analysis, more than 97 percent of political observers concluded that that politician was going to lose, do you think such a warning would spur a campaign to immediate action?

Of course. Unless the politician was delusional.

Well, consider this: Precisely that overwhelming percentage of scientists involved in climate research have concluded that there has been “unequivocal” warming of the Earth’s average global temperature in recent decades and that human-generated greenhouse gases are mostly responsible.

But while it is evident that the science of climate change, also known as global warming, is convincing and conclusive, it is not an exaggeration to say that the politics of an issue that will determine the fate of the planet is quite unsettled.

Last week, the Obama administration released a landmark, 800-page climate assessment report that essentially told the public that climate change is a threat and is affecting every part of the nation (and, of course, the rest of the globe). The sea levels are rising, floods and storm surges are more severe, rains are more intense in the Northeast, droughts and wildfires more pronounced in the West. The changes are affecting or will affect, among other things, where we live and work, how healthy we are, what we grow and what we eat and what other species will thrive or perish, including us.



Or they are paid to be in denial

Realistic Universe Simulation

Chris Christie’s latest misery: N.J.’s finances

Here’s how drastically Chris Christie’s political fortunes have turned: Bridgegate might not be his biggest problem.
Just as the New Jersey governor is trying to turn the corner on the traffic scandal and restore his national luster, now he’s getting blamed for a yawning budget deficit and recent downgrade of the state’s debt.

Christie and state lawmakers have less than two months to close a sudden budget hole. Analysts say the governor’s administration brought on the problem by projecting the state would collect much more in tax revenue than it did; Christie’s aides insist the Legislature and changes in federal tax laws bear some of the blame.

Either way, the stream of bad headlines could undercut a central tenet of Christie’s comeback attempt and message in a potential 2016 bid: that he’s led an economic “miracle” in the Garden State.



The bully on the shore has a lot to juggle

The Science of Your Racist Brain

When the audio of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling telling a female friend not to "bring black people" to his team's games hit the internet, the condemnations were immediate. It was clear to all that Sterling was a racist, and the punishment was swift: The NBA banned him for life. It was, you might say, a pretty straightforward case.

When you take a look at the emerging science of what motivates people to behave in a racist or prejudiced way, though, matters quickly grow complicated. In fact, if there's one cornerstone finding when it comes to the psychological underpinnings of prejudice, it's that out-and-out or "explicit" racists—like Sterling—are just one part of the story. Perhaps far more common are cases of so-called "implicit" prejudice, where people harbor subconscious biases, of which they may not even be aware, but that come out in controlled psychology experiments.

Much of the time, these are not the sort of people whom we would normally think of as racists. "They might say they think it's wrong to be prejudiced," explains New York University neuroscientist David Amodio, an expert on the psychology of intergroup bias. Amodio says that white participants in his studies "might write down on a questionnaire that they are positive in their attitudes towards black people…but when you give them a behavioral measure, of how they respond to pictures of black people, compared with white people, that's when we start to see the effects come out." You can listen to our interview with Amodio on the Inquiring Minds podcast below:



But the Supremo Court said there is no racism

Former Israeli Nuclear Head says No Iran Bomb for More Than Ten Years

The former head of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission Brigadier General (res.) Uzi Eilam just dropped a bombshell (no pun intended): “The Iranian nuclear program will only be operational in another 10 years,” he told the Israeli paper Yediot Ahronoth. “Even so, I am not sure that Iran wants the bomb.” And he added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is employing needless fearmongering about Iran’s atomic aspirations in order to further his own political aims.

Mindful of the ongoing—and thus far successful—nuclear talks with Iran, and Netanyahu’s vocal opposition to them, Eilam’s statement must be music to the ears of the Obama administration. It further embarrasses those in Washington who so uncritically swallowed Netanyahu’s talking points hook, line and sinker—and repeated the Israeli prime minister’s arguments as their own.

But when such an Israeli authority as Eilam publicly tears apart the official Israeli narrative about Iran’s nuclear intentions, one must ask oneself why such a unfounded narrative—in the words of Netanyahu himself, “It’s 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs”—ever gained foot in the first place.

Particularly when ample evidence has existed in the public realm that the Israeli-Iranian enmity is exacerbated, but not caused or driven by Iran’s nuclear program.



Listen to an expert or a politician, hmmmmmmmmmmm

Obama administration limits on soot pollution upheld by appeals court

The Obama administration on Friday scored its third major legal victory on air pollution in less than month when a federal appeals court rejected an industry challenge to its latest health standards for fine particulate matter, or soot.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was within its discretion in 2012 when it tightened limits on lung-damaging soot.

The National Assn. of Manufacturers filed a legal challenge to the regulations last year, saying the agency had overreached and would crush businesses' plans for growth.

The 11-page decision rejected industry complaints and found that the EPA had acted reasonably and within its bounds when it adopted stricter nationwide standards for fine particulate matter. The tiny, chemical-laden particles and liquid droplets are emitted by power plants, diesel trucks, refineries and factories. They lodge deep in the lungs when inhaled and are linked to heart and lung disease, respiratory illnesses and premature deaths.



Score one for climate change
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