Can climate change affect volcanic activity?

Summit County Citizens Voice

Vesuvius is part of a volcanic region that became more active when the Mediterranean Sea dried up about 5 million years ago. A study of the era suggests climate change can influence volcanic activity. @bberwyn photo.

Study suggests link between sea level and eruptions

Staff Report

European researchers say they’ve found more evidence supporting links between climate change and volcanic activity.

Geologists from Switzerland, France and Spain studied compared data on eruptions and climate from about 5 million years ago, finding that volcanic activity in southern Europe doubled during a time when the Mediterranean Sea dried up. They suspect that the changes on the surface contributed to the way magma behaves deep in the Earth.

The era they studied is known as the Messinian salinity crisis, when the Strait of Gibraltar was blocked and the Mediterranean temporarily isolated from the Atlantic, according to the study published in Nature Geoscience.

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Guggenheim, Bowing to Animal-Rights Activists, Pulls Works From Show – The New York Times

Guggenheim, Bowing to Animal-Rights Activists, Pulls Works From Show

By MATTHEW HAAGSEPT. 25, 2017
Photo Huang Yong Ping’s “Theater of the World,” which features live insects and reptiles. Credit Huang Yong Ping/Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

Facing an avalanche of criticism, the Guggenheim surrendered late Monday and said it would remove three major works from a highly anticipated exhibition of art by Chinese conceptual artists, including the signature piece of the show, which opens next month.

The museum, in Manhattan, made the decision after it had come under unrelenting pressure from animal-rights supporters and critics over works in the exhibition, “Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World.” Protesters marched outside the museum over the weekend, and an online petition demanding “cruelty-free exhibits” at the Guggenheim had been signed by more than half a million people as of Monday night.

The three works, which all involve animals, are “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” “Theater of the World” and “A Case Study of Transference.” The pieces were among about 150 works selected for the show, mostly experimental art and many of them shocking, intended to challenge authority and use animals, in video, to call attention to the violence of humankind.

The museum planned to show a video of “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” in which four pairs of dogs try to fight one another but struggle to touch because they are on nonmotorized treadmills, and a video of “A Case Study of Transference,” which shows two pigs having sex before an audience. But “Theater of the World” was the signature work of the show and was going to feature hundreds of live insects and reptiles milling under an overhead lamp.
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Xu Bing’s “A Case Study of Transference,” 1994. The artwork originally featured live pigs, but the Guggenheim was going to use a video of the Beijing performance. Credit Xu Bing

The museum said the works were being removed “out of concern for the safety of its staff, visitors and participating artists.”

“Although these works have been exhibited in museums in Asia, Europe and the United States, the Guggenheim regrets that explicit and repeated threats of violence have made our decision necessary,” it said in a statement posted on its website. “As an arts institution committed to presenting a multiplicity of voices, we are dismayed that we must withhold works of art. Freedom of expression has always been and will remain a paramount value of the Guggenheim.”

Criticism of the show grew quickly online, on social media and on animal-rights websites, with the initial focus on “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other.” The museum tried to quell the backlash last Thursday, releasing a statement acknowledging that the work was difficult to view but encouraging patrons to consider what the piece “may be saying about the social conditions of globalization and the complex nature of the world we share.”

A spokeswoman for the museum said Thursday that “it was not a question that it would stay in the exhibition.”

But the criticism only grew over the weekend. On Monday, the president of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said that only “sick individuals” could enjoy watching “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” and the American Kennel Club said that dogfighting “should not be displayed in any manner and certainly not as art.”

Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” a seven-minute video with eight American pit bulls on eight treadmills. Credit Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, Habana

Two works removed by the Guggenheim have come under previous criticism.

Huang Yong Ping, who created “Theater of the World,” withdrew it from a show in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2007 rather than comply with a request from an animal rights group to remove scorpions and tarantulas from it.

Mr. Huang said by telephone from Paris that he had no comment on the Guggenheim’s action. He said the museum had not informed him about the decision to withdraw his piece.

“I am hearing about this for the first time,” he said.

Peng Yu, who created “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other” with her husband, Sun Yuan, denied her art was animal cruelty.

“These dogs are naturally pugnacious,” Ms. Peng said in an interview last year.

Reached in Beijing on Tuesday, Ms. Peng blamed the controversy on a recent article about the exhibition. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” she said, adding that the dogs were examined by veterinarians before and after they were used in the performance.

The Guggenheim originally agreed to include the third piece, “A Case Study of Transference,” but only as a video of a Beijing performance. The boar and sow are stamped with gibberish composed of nonsensical English words and invented Chinese characters — intended to make patrons consider the relationship between the West and China.

Jane Perlez and Zoe Moe contributed from Beijing.

Follow Matthew Haag on Twitter: @matthewhaag.

A version of this article appears in print on September 26, 2017, on Page A25 of the New York edition with the headline: Guggenheim, Bowing to Animal-Rights Activists, Pulls Works From Coming Show. Order Reprints| Today’s Paper|Subscribe

https://www.change.org/p/promote-cruelty-free-exhibits-at-the-guggenheim/u/21477142

Looking after Chernobyl’s radioactive puppies

nuclear-news

The Puppies of Chernobyl

 

HUNDREDS OF RADIOACTIVE PUPPIES JUST GOT SPAYED, NEUTERED AT CHERNOBYL DISASTER SITE http://www.newsweek.com/hundreds-puppies-got-spayed-and-neutered-chernobyl-year-669093, BY KATE SHERIDAN An American nonprofit organization, Clean Futures Fund, has started a spay and neuter clinic for the four-legged descendants of survivors of one of history’s worst nuclear disasters.

After the Chernobyl nuclear reactor melted down on April 26, 1986, some dogs and cats left behind survived and began to breed. More than 400 animals were spayed and neutered in the first year of the clinic’s operation at the former reactor, which ended earlier this month.

The laws governing the exclusion zone around Chernobyl strongly advise people to avoid feeding or touching the dogs, due to the risk of contamination. Not only is the dogs’ fur potentially loaded with radioactive particles, but their food and water is contaminated. The radioactive molecules they ingest may also linger in their bodies.

“We could…

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Petition: Charge Killer of Tiburon Doe and Fawn with Animal Cruelty


https://www.thepetitionsite.com/415/439/959/charge-killer-of-tiburon-doe-and-fawn-with-animal-cruelty/

Upscale Neighborhood Outraged By Resident’s Shooting Of Doe And Fawn | Care2 Causes

By: Laura Goldman
September 21, 2017

About Laura
Follow Laura at @lauragoldman

Very early one morning earlier this month, in the affluent town of Tiburon in Northern California, a doe and her young fawn grazed on some newly planted landscaping in the yard of resident Mark Dickinson.

The two deer had been there before. To protect his new plantings, did Dickinson install a fence or try using any other deer repellents? No. Did he make some noise to scare them away? Nope.

Dickinson grabbed a high-powered pellet gun equipped with a scope, laser beam and flashlight attachments. He aimed it at the mama and her baby, and shot them both in their sides.

The two deer died slow, “agonizing and painful” deaths, Tiburon Police Sgt. Steve Hahn told the Marin Independent Journal.

Dickinson, who claimed he was only trying to scare off the deer, was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty. In California, anyone who “maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal” can be charged with a felony. This charge could mean jail time and a fine of up to $20,000 per deer.

Additional misdemeanor charges, such as hunting deer out of season, hunting a fawn and not obtaining a hunting license could also apply in this case.

Dickinson is out on bail while the case is being investigated by the Tiburon Police Department, Marin Humane Society and the Marin County District Attorney’s Office. He was supposed to be arraigned Sept. 20 but it has been delayed, according to The Ark newspaper’s Facebook page.

“He had no intent to be cruel or to harm the deer,” his attorney, Charles Dresow, insisted to the Marin Independent Journal. “Rather, he was simply trying to scare them away from consuming new landscaping.”

Really? There are better ways to scare away deer than by shooting them with a high-powered pellet gun. When neighbors heard about the killings, they were understandably upset. The doe and her fawn had been a welcome and familiar sight in the neighborhood for weeks.

“This is outrageous,” Tiburon resident Linda Meinberg told KGO. “To scare deer away, all you have to do is look at them. You don’t need to shoot them.”

When officers from the Marin Humane Society arrived at Dickinson’s residence, the doe was already dead. The fawn died about an hour later.

“We were pretty shocked and disturbed,” Lisa Bloch of the Marin Humane Society told KPIX 5. “To kill two innocent animals like this and make them suffer is really egregious and we’re pretty concerned.”

On its Facebook page, the Marin Humane Society wrote, “This tragic incident serves as a reminder that we promote the respect of wild animals through peaceful coexistence. There are many ways to protect your yard from deer, whether it’s by building appropriate fencing or planting deer-resistant shrubs, trees and plants.”

Dickinson could have dealt with the doe and fawn in any of these much more humane ways. Please sign and share this petition urging the Marin County District Attorney’s Office to charge him with felony animal cruelty.

http://www.care2.com/causes/upscale-neighborhood-outraged-by-residents-shooting-of-doe-and-fawn.html

Photo credit: bobistraveling
Copyright © 2017 Care2.com, inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved
Care2 Team Blog

‘Where’s the tranquilizer gun?’ Outrage as young bomb-detector dog shot dead at airport — RT Viral

The killing of a young trainee bomb-detector dog that caused flight delays at Auckland Airport in New Zealand has sparked outrage on social media. People are questioning why the animal wasn’t simply tranquilized.

Source: ‘Where’s the tranquilizer gun?’ Outrage as young bomb-detector dog shot dead at airport — RT Viral

After the lead crisis started, Flint’s fertility crisis began | Grist

Sarah Rice / Stringer / Getty Images
Climate Desk
After the lead crisis started, Flint’s fertility crisis began
By Edwin Rios on Sep 25, 2017
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This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

In the year following the start of its water crisis, Flint, Michigan, saw fewer pregnancies among its residents and higher fetal deaths, according to a working paper published last month.

Kansas University economics professor David Slusky and West Virginia University economics professor Daniel Grossman examined health statistics in Flint between May 2007 and March 2015 and compared them to 15 other cities in Michigan. What they uncovered was alarming: After April 2014 — when, in an effort to cut costs, Flint officials switched its water supply from Detroit to the Flint River, leading to elevated lead levels — fertility rates among women in Flint dropped 12 percent. Fetal deaths spiked by 58 percent.

“This represents a couple hundred fewer children born that otherwise would have been,” Slusky said in a university press release this week. The researchers project that between 198 and 276 more children would have been born from November 2013, when the child was first conceived, to March 2015 had the city not switched its water supply.

The researchers also conclude that the water change and the corresponding increased exposure to lead prompted a decline in the overall health of children born. Children exposed to high levels of lead can suffer from irreversible neurological and behavioral consequences. Moreover, children born in Flint since the start of its water crisis saw a 5 percent drop in average birth weight compared to those in other parts of Michigan during the same time period.

Shortly after the move in April 2014, residents complained about the water’s stench as it became inflicted with lead from old pipes in residential homes. Even after doctors and experts alerted state and federal officials to the elevated lead levels in Flint’s children and in houses’ water, Governor Rick Snyder and other state officials didn’t concede to the public health emergency in Flint until September 2015. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality eventually acknowledged that it erred in not requiring the city to add anti-corrosive chemicals into its water.

Health officials found that between June 2014 and November 2015, 91 residents in Genesee County, which includes Flint, contracted Legionnaires’ Disease, a bacterial illness that can arise out of contaminated water, though not all were conclusively linked to Flint’s water crisis. At least 12 people from the disease died after 2014.

As of September 2017, 15 officials have been charged for their involvement in Flint’s water crisis, with five charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the Legionnaires’ outbreak. Earlier this year, a federal judge approved a $87 million settlement for the city of Flint that would pay to replace 18,000 water lines by 2020. The state still faces a number of lawsuits. One calls for the state to provide more special education services for children exposed to lead as a result of the water crisis.

After the lead crisis started, Flint’s fertility crisis began

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The Fight From Below Seen From Above: New Map Details Local Fossil Fuel Resistance | Global Justice Ecology Project

The Fight From Below Seen From Above: New Map Details Local Fossil Fuel Resistance

Posted on September 25, 2017 by GJEP staff
In an attempt to highlight and bolster the “groundswell of resistance” against fracking wells, pipelines, and other fossil fuel projects throughout the United States, a coalition of environmental groups on Thursday launched the Fossil Fuel Resistance Mapping Project, which details precisely where opposition to Big Oil is taking hold throughout the United States and how others can join in.

“People demand a safe and clean environment, and they will not rest until that is guaranteed for every community across the country.”
—Kelly Martin, Sierra Club

“From the Gulf Coast where people are recovering from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to the Pacific Northwest where wildfires are raging, many communities are leading fights against fossil fuel projects amidst life-altering climate impacts,” the coalition—which includes 350.org, Sierra Club, and Bold Alliance—said in a joint statement Thursday.

“These fights are not isolated events, but rather a groundswell of steadfast and widespread local resistance to fossil fuel projects across the continent in the absence of federal climate action,” the groups continue. “Grassroots leaders in these efforts are pushing back on the fossil fuel industry’s injustices, from environmental racism to violating Indigenous sovereignty.”

(Image credit: Fossil Fuel Resistance Project)
The groups hope that the map, which can be accessed on the coalition’s website, will serve as “a resource for people to find, start, or join a campaign in their community to resist fossil fuel projects, and for those involved in existing fights to connect with each other.”

They also believe the map will serve as a tool to raise awareness and concern about the risks those who live near oil refineries and pipelines face on a daily basis.

“With the climate-denying Trump administration putting the the health of Big Oil billionaires’ bottom lines before anyone else, the time to join your local fight to protect our air, water, and planet is right now.”

—Cherri Foytlin, Bold Louisiana “This map highlights what too many Americans are forced to grapple with everyday: a life, community, and clean water and air threatened by fossil fuel infrastructure,” Kelly Martin, director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels project, said in a statement. “That’s why we’ve seen the movement to oppose these projects grow rapidly in recent years. People demand a safe and clean environment, and they will not rest until that is guaranteed for every community across the country.”

The new project comes as the Trump administration continues its efforts to empower the fossil fuel industry and roll back regulatory measures designed to protect the air and water—even in the aftermath of deadly hurricanes like Harvey and Irma, which have left millions exposed to dangerous pollutants.

Foytlin, executive director of Bold Louisiana, said that the Trump administration’s blatant and “reckless” contempt for the planet should serve as a potent motivator for people across the country to join the burgeoning opposition movement and fight back.

“The extractive industry is like a cancer, and our efforts to stop this industry’s expansion are holistically connected on many fronts—this map makes that clear,” Foytlin observed. “With the climate-denying Trump administration putting the the health of Big Oil billionaires’ bottom lines before anyone else, the time to join your local fight to protect our air, water, and planet is right now.

Originally published by Commondreams.org

Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Global Justice Ecology Project
http://globaljusticeecology.org/the-fight-from-below-seen-from-above-new-map-details-local-fossil-fuel-resistance/

Report: Algae Biofuel Claims Overhyped; GE Algae Poses Environmental Risks  | Global Justice Ecology Project

Report: Algae Biofuel Claims Overhyped; GE Algae Poses Environmental Risks

Posted on September 26, 2017 by GJEP staff
SAN DIEGO, C.A. – As the Bio-Based Live Americas conference meets today to discuss topics including industrial scale production of biofuels and chemicals via genetically engineered (GE) microorganisms such as GE algae, a new report suggests that these organisms pose serious environmental and health risks.

Microalgae Biofuels: Myths and Risks and a companion briefing, released today by Biofuelwatch and Friends of the Earth U.S., reveals that even after decades of investment, viable commercial production of algae biofuels has failed and is unlikely to succeed. Meanwhile, genetically engineering microalgae to produce fuels, chemicals and other products poses under-recognized, serious threats to the environment and public health.

“As we are witnessing more frequent toxic algae blooms such as those currently plaguing the Finger Lakes region in New York, it seems particularly unwise to be encouraging mass-scale production and inevitable release of GE microalgae,” said Dr. Rachel Smolker, Co-Director of Biofuelwatch. “Scientists are clear that GE microalgae will inevitably escape from cultivation facilities. Many of the traits that are being engineered to create algal ‘chemical factories’ could result in their outcompeting and proliferating out of control in the wild.”

“Rushing genetically engineered algae into production ahead of safety assessments and oversight could result in serious unintended consequences. These organisms could become ‘living pollution’ that is impossible to recall,” said Dana Perls, Senior Food and Technology Campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S. “We need a common sense moratorium on the commercial cultivation of GE microalgae, and investment should be redirected toward more promising and sustainable solutions.”

Key findings of the report include:

Even after decades and millions of dollars in public and private of investment, production of algae biofuels has failed to become commercially viable.
Genetically engineering microalgae to produce fuels, chemicals, and other products poses serious threats to the environment and public health: invasive algae outcompeting native species, potential for increased harmful algal blooms, and land use impacts from chemical, energy and water intensive feedstock production.
Several major companies invested in producing genetically engineered algae are turning to low volume, high-value products to remain economically viable, with some such products already on the market, including ingredients for food and consumer products, all of which are derived from GE algae.
Government agencies, including Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), along with various state and private sources, continue to invest heavily in algae biofuels.
The continued market hype about GE algae biofuels as sustainable, claims of unrealistic productivity, and historic promises of commercial viability just over the horizon perpetuate the myth of a “miracle fuel” and that unsustainable energy consumption may continue “business as usual.”

The report explores the biological and technical barriers to algae biofuel production, providing perspective as to why decades of investment and hype has yet to yield any commercial biofuels. It argues that whether it is for biofuels, “bio-products”, or face creams, the large-scale cultivation of GE microalgae poses unacceptable risks, perpetuates the myth that algae biofuels will provide a viable and substantial alternative to fossil fuels, and diverts attention, funding and resources from safer solutions. The report calls for more sustainable and proven solutions to climate and energy concerns, such as efficiency, solar and wind energy, relocalization, expanded public transportation, and regenerative agriculture.

http://globaljusticeecology.org/report-algae-biofuel-claims-overhyped-ge-algae-poses-environmental-risks/
Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Global Justice Ecology Project