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Russia Denies Causing Latest Radioactivity Over Europe; UN Agency Says Origin “Still Unclear”

Russia Denies Causing Latest Radioactivity Over Europe; UN Agency Says Origin “Still Unclear”

Last Friday monitors with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) issued an alarming report that its radiation sensors based in Scandinavia picked up abnormal radioactivity levels in the air over the Baltics and Scandanavia. Its ultra-sensitive networked sensors set up across Europe and the world are capable of picking up nuclear weapons testing or possible nuclear power plant leakage anywhere around the globe.Leningrad plant in the town of Sosnovy Bor. TASS/Getty Images.

The Stockholm monitoring station “detected 3 isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated with Nuclear fission at higher than usual levels,”according to CTBTO chief Lassina Zerbo. The UN nuclear agency has been investigating the ‘mystery’ radioactivity, which while not considered in large enough concentrations to harm humans, still “are certainly nuclear fission products, most likely from a civil source,” according to the prior CTBTO statement. “We are able to indicate the likely region of the source, but it’s outside the CTBTO’s mandate to identify the exact origin.” 

However it’s clear that there was a release of “very low” levels of man-made radioactivity.

The UN watchdog said Tuesday that the small amounts of radioactive isotopes detected over a significant area spanning from western Russia to Baltic countries to parts of Scandinavia still have an unclear origin and cause.  

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) director general, Rafael Grossi, also sought to assure the public that “the levels reported to the IAEA are very low and pose no risk to human health and the environment.”

According to the AP, European countries are being asked to self-report any radiation releases. So far at least 29 have voluntarily reported no known incidents within their borders, including Russia. Map issues by the CTBTO showing a spike in radioactivity over Nordic countries. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The epidemic in the US: a comment by the virologist Guido Silvestri

The epidemic in the US: a comment by the virologist Guido Silvestri

Many have noted the spike in the number of coronavirus cases observed in the United States. The fear is, obviously, that this increase will result in a corresponding spike in the number of deaths after some delay. The virologist Guido Silvestri wrote a comment in Italian on Facebook about the situation and I thought it was interesting to translate it in its entirety and post it here. This translation is made by smoothing a Google-translated text and it remains rough, but I verified that it maintains the meaning of the original. This text was written a few days ago and, so far, we saw no large changes in the trends of cases and deaths in the US. But, as Dr. Silvestri himself says, we need to wait a few more days in order to see if the spike will continue and result in an increase in the number of victims. On this subject, see also this post by Chuck Pezhensky.

COVID-19: SITUATION IN AMERICABy Guido Silvestri
June 28 at 7:51 AM

Many ask me to talk about the situation of the COVID-19 epidemic in the US. I try in these lines to start from the data, without making political considerations. Science, always science, and very strongly science, as you and I like it 🙂

First of all, I would start from the curve that you see in the graph, above. Today (28 June), it was the second-highest day in terms of number of cases (yesterday was the highest ever). So it is clear that we are in full pandemic with many new cases diagnosed, especially in the large southern states (CA, TX, AR, FL, GA etc). Not that it is a subject not discussed at length, but it is good to start from these data.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The 100-Mile Diet, 15 Years Later

The 100-Mile Diet, 15 Years Later

Authors Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon on asparagus season, a more just local food system, and pandemic gardens of hope. First in a week-long series.

alisa-and-james-cropped-main.jpg
Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon in the book jacket photo for The 100-Mile Diet, published in 2007 by Random House after the couple launched the concept with a 2005 series in The Tyee. All this week J.B. MacKinnon will guest edit related special coverage. Photo: Random House.

Fifteen years ago, The Tyee launched a series called The 100-Mile Diet written — and lived — by Alisa Smith and James (J.B.) MacKinnon. The idea was simple. Alisa and James were trying to live a year eating only locally-sourced food. The first I heard about it was standing around my barbecue on a sunny day in June 2005, Alisa and James looking on as I grilled some salmon.

They were attending a small backyard party I was hosting for the fledgling Tyee team. Alisa had written the Tyee’s very first cover story on how the BC Liberal government’s weakened child labour laws put kids at risk; James, her partner, was already a well-regarded freelance journalist, too. The two of them listened as I bragged about the Copper River salmon from Alaska I’d procured. I explained I’d paid a premium for those beauties, but I’d probably go to heaven for it because eating sustainably-managed wild salmon was so much better ecologically than farmed salmon. They looked at each other and laughed.

When I asked why, they pointed out that here in B.C. we have our fair share of wild salmon — and it doesn’t have to be flown 2,500 kilometres to land on our plates. They patiently explained that moving food around the globe consumes prodigious amounts of energy and serves to weaken local food security. And that was why lately they’d committed to living only on food grown close to home.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Arctic Heat Overwhelms Green Infighting Issues

Arctic Heat Overwhelms Green Infighting Issues

Image Source: Hunter Allen and Richard Rivera – Public Domain

Arctic temperatures are soaring to new records… and staying there, ever since May of this year. Truth be known, the Arctic’s been heating up for years. Siberia recently hit 105°F. That’s not normal. It’s 30°F hotter than normal.

Farther south, the Amazon rainforest is hit with a drought every 5 years like clockwork, not regular run of the mill droughts but massive excessive devastating droughts. NASA’s GRACE satellite, measuring water levels stored deep beneath Earth’s surface showed Deep Red Zones beneath the Amazon rainforest, not watery blue.

Climate activists have been warning about overheating of the planet for decades, ever since Dr. James Hansen’s testimony before the Senate in 1987: “The greenhouse effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now.” (Hansen)

Fast forward to June 2020: Since Hansen’s testimony, thirty-three years of climate activists bitching, protesting, kicking and screaming and bellyaching about excessive human-generated CO2 has gone nowhere but backward as a relentless rise in CO2 emissions trudges ahead measured at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii.

Post-Hansen’s testimony the annual rate of CO2 increase has more than doubled, not gone down but doubled. Up, up and away, year-over-year, it never goes down. It’s the main culprit blanketing the atmosphere, retaining heat for hundreds of years and fast becoming the Big Oven in the Sky.

Clearly, too much heat has already overwhelmed the Arctic and Amazon rainforest ecosystems. Along the way, greenie frustration is finally coming to a head as environmentalists “catfight” in open public.

For example, Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs’ controversial film Planet of the Humans (Rumble Media) serves as an opening salvo, exposing a green movement that has turned a light shade of brown. The film paints a painful picture of a movement that, in certain instances, has gone off the rails.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

DC Is the Latest to Sue Exxon and Big Oil for Climate Disinformation Campaigns

DC Is the Latest to Sue Exxon and Big Oil for Climate Disinformation Campaigns

DC Attorney General Karl Racine

Washington, D.C. is suing the four largest investor-owned oil and gas companies — BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell — for allegedly misleading consumers about climate change, including historically undermining climate science and even now using deceptive advertising about the companies’ role in leading solutions to the climate crisis.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced the consumer fraud lawsuit on Thursday, June 25. The lawsuit claims that the four oil majors violated the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act by engaging in misleading acts and practices around the marketing, promotion, and sale of fossil fuel products, which produce globe-warming pollution. The D.C. lawsuit alleges that these companies knew since at least the 1950s about the harmful consequences of burning fossil fuels and that they engaged in a campaign to deceive the public about those risks.

“For decades, these oil and gas companies spent millions to mislead consumers and discredit climate science in pursuit of profits,” said Attorney General Racine. “The defendants violated the District’s consumer protection law by concealing the fact that using fossil fuels threatens the health of District residents and the environment. [The Office of Attorney General] filed this suit to end these disinformation campaigns and to hold these companies accountable for their deceptive practices.”

In particular, the D.C. Attorney General’s Office called out the oil industry’s use of fake grassroots groups, such as the Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, which started out as a front group for tobacco giant Philip Morris in 1993. This group had transitioned to become the Advancement of Sound Science Center in 1997 and was run out of the home of climate science denier Steve Milloy, who most recently worked in public relations for coal company Murray Energy.  The group has now been phased out of existence.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Europe On Alert After Unknown Radioactivity Spike Detected Over Baltic Sea

Europe On Alert After Unknown Radioactivity Spike Detected Over Baltic Sea

Almost a year ago Russia admitted to releasing significant amounts of radiation into the air that triggered warning alerts in the region of the far north Arctic Circle port cities of Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk, after a failed weapons test involving a “small-scale nuclear reactor” that killed Russian scientists – which was believed connected to Russia’s hypersonics program. 

We can’t help but recall that incident now with new reports of radiation sensors based in Scandinavia again picking up abnormal radioactivity levels in the air. Perhaps there’s some further failed weapons tests happening somewhere in the region?: 

“Radiation sensors in Stockholm have detected higher-than-usual but still harmless levels of isotopes produced by nuclear fission, probably from somewhere on or near the Baltic Sea, a body running a worldwide network of the sensors said on Friday,” Reuters reports.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) confirmed the higher than normal activity.

Its ultra-sensitive networked sensors set up across Europe and the world are capable of picking up nuclear weapons testing when it occurs anywhere around the globe.

As Reuters reports further, the Stockholm monitoring station “detected 3 isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated with Nuclear fission at higher than usual levels,” according to CTBTO chief Lassina Zerbo, who made the announcement on Friday. 

The additional particles were picked up by the sensors last Monday and Tuesday, and confirmed by the nuclear monitoring organization. Zerbo pointed out, however, that it wasn’t at levels harmful for human health.

Russian nuclear plant in Saint Petersburg, AFP via Getty. 

“These are certainly nuclear fission products, most likely from a civil source,” the CTBTO said in a statement. “We are able to indicate the likely region of the source, but it’s outside the CTBTO’s mandate to identify the exact origin.” 

The organization further speculated that the source could have come from anywhere spanning from western Russia to Baltic countries to parts of Scandinavia

COVID-19 and the economy: Where do we go from here?

COVID-19 and the economy: Where do we go from here?

The COVID-19 story keeps developing. At first, everyone listened to epidemiologists telling us that a great deal of social distancing, and even the closing down of economies, would be helpful. After trying these things, we ended up with a huge number of people out of work and protests everywhere. We discovered the models that were provided were not very predictive. We are also finding that a V-shaped recovery is not possible.

Now, we need to figure out what actions to take next. How vigorously should we be fighting COVID-19? The story is more complex than most people understand. These are some of the issues I see:

[1] The share of COVID-19 cases that can be expected to end in death seems to be much lower than most people expect.

Most people assume that the ratios of deaths to cases by age group, computed using reported cases, such as those included in the Johns Hopkins Database, give a good indication of the chance of death a person faces if a person catches COVID-19. In fact, the cases reported to this database are far from representative of all cases; they tend to be the more severe cases. Cases with no symptoms, or only very slight symptoms, tend to be missed. The result is that ratios calculated directly from this database make people think their risk of death is far higher than it really is.

The US Center for Disease Control has published Planning Scenarios, based on information available on April 29, 2020.* Using this information, the CDC’s best estimate of the number of future deaths per 1000 cases with symptoms is as follows:

Ages 0 – 49    0.5 deaths per 1000 cases with symptoms

Ages 50-64    2.0 deaths per 1000 cases with symptoms

Ages 65+       13.0 deaths per 1000 cases with symptoms

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

3,500 Mile-Long “Godzilla Dust Cloud” Will Hit US Southeast Within Hours

3,500 Mile-Long “Godzilla Dust Cloud” Will Hit US Southeast Within Hours

A giant dust cloud which has traveled 5,000 miles from North Africa is touching down on the US Southeast this weekend, and will cause a brown haze and raising respiratory health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Reuters.

The North African dust storm is an annual occurrence – however this year it’s the most dense it’s been in more than 50 years according to meteorologists, which some have dubbed the “Godzilla dust cloud.”

This weekend it will descend on Florida, moving west into Texas and into North Carolina through Arkansas, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

“It’s a really dry layer of air that contains these very fine dust particulates. It occurs every summer,” according to NWS meteorologist Patrick Blood. “Some of these plumes contain more particles, and right now we expecting a very large plume of dust in the Gulf Coast.”

This year, the dust is the most dense it has been in a half a century, several meteorologists told Reuters earlier this week as it crossed over the Caribbean.

The Saharan dust plume will hang over the region until the middle of next week, deteriorating the air quality in Texas, Florida and other states where the number of COVID-19 cases has recently spiked. –Reuters

“There’s emerging evidence of potential interactions between air pollution and the risk of COVID, so at this stage we are concerned,” said Boston University School of Public Health professor of environmental health, Gregory Wellenius.

Skies in affected states are expected to be hazy with reduced visibility, along with a blanketing of dust. According to meteorologists, the dry air mass that carries the dust can suppress the formation of hurricanes and tropical storms, and can produce enhanced sunrises and sunsets.

Integrated Pest Management – Part 1

Integrated Pest Management
 Image by Melani Marfeld from Pixabay

Integrated Pest Management – Part 1

What is it and how can we do it as part of a balanced system?

In these times of global uncertainty and transition, where the globalised food system has become halted or reduced1, there is a wonderful opportunity to begin practicing food sovereignty on a personal basis2. This seems to be being put into practice in many places as growing one’s own food becomes more popular around the world3.

Being able to harvest and consume something which you have cultivated in the soil can be a very satisfying experience, from a practical point of view, as well as looking at it from the perspective of spiritual and mental well-being4. We can be seen as directly participating in the cycles of nature when we care for plants, especially if we choose to do so without the use of chemicals. Yet what if the beautiful vegetables we have so lovingly brought up are threatened by other creatures who also find them delicious to eat?

Permaculture practitioners have an answer to this: to intentionally include elements (whether plants or animals) in your garden which provides predators for those animals who would otherwise make your crop their prey. This technique, known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM)6, can be exercised in a number of ways, and there appear to be some important factors to remember when applying it with your crops, in order for it to be successful. This article will explore how IPM works, and how we can use it as part of a holistic design, while part 2 will give some practical examples to help with your own pest management on any scale; whether you are planting a few herbs on your balcony or have a large piece of land.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

D614G: A New, More Serious Covid-19 Mutation To Worry AboutW

D614G: A New, More Serious Covid-19 Mutation To Worry About

We’re not done with the honey badger virus by a long shot.

Continuing its Keystone Cops manner of dealing with covid-19, the US appears to be caught flat-footed by the resurgence of infections happening across many southern and western states right now.

Yes, people are tired of being cooped indoors and wearing masks. Summer is here and they want to get outside, spend time with loved ones, and get back some normalcy of life.

But the Honey Badger virus ‘don’t care’. Covid-19 sees our loosening restrictions as a welcome invitation and is burrowing in with enthusiasm.

Making matters worse for us human hosts, a new strain of the virus — the D614G mutation — has been identified. It appears to be more contagious and serious than most previous strains.

So, for those who do not want to catch covid-19, now is not the time to start letting down your guard. We are not through the woods by a long shot yet:

How to Get Off Fossil Fuels Quickly—and Fairly

How to Get Off Fossil Fuels Quickly—and Fairly

Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) discuss panel orientation and spacing for a project on simultaneously growing crops under PV Arrays while producing electricity from the panels in South Dearfield, Massachusetts. The project is part of the DOE InSPIRE project seeking to improve the environmental compatibility and mutual benefits of solar development with agriculture and native landscapes.PHOTO FROM SCIENCE IN HD/UNSPLASH Climate experts share a range of ideas and strategies for envisioning a better future.


When it comes to a just transition, it’s going to take a radical reimaging not only of our economy but also of our culture and the shape of our social structures. YES! co-hosted a conversation with experts from the nonprofit The Land Institute to discuss policy proposals and new ways to rebuild our sense of self and community from the bottom up.

The discussion was prompted by a new book, The Green New Deal and Beyond, by Stan Cox, the Land Institute’s lead scientist for perennial crops. He was joined by his colleagues, Director of Ecosphere Studies Aubrey Streit Krug, and President Emeritus Wes Jackson. The event was moderated by YES! contributing editor Robert Jensen.

Together they share a range of ideas and strategies for envisioning a better future.

The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

ROBERT JENSEN: I would propose that the most important word in the title of your book, Stan, is “beyond.” We know the Green New Deal is not a fully fleshed out political program yet, but why do we need to go beyond it?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Waste Due to the Coronavirus Is Hurting Our Oceans

How Waste Due to the Coronavirus Is Hurting Our Oceans

In an attempt to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, millions of people are donning plastic masks, gloves and other types of personal protective equipment. From restaurant staff to medical personnel, workers and the general public are using and discarding thousands of single-use plastic PPE every day. Often, these items end up in parks and parking lots and on front lawns and sidewalks. They’re also making their way into our oceans.

Whether the wind blows them into waterways or beachgoers carelessly toss them in the sand, masks, gloves, empty hand sanitizer bottles and other plastics are beginning to appear on the water’s surface, beaches and along the ocean floor. Conservationists have even found hundreds of masks on the uninhabited Soko Islands off the coast of Hong Kong. This new addition to the waste already littering our seas spells even more trouble for marine life and the health of ocean ecosystems.

Waste Management Dilemmas

On top of public carelessness, the vulnerable state of many waste-management systems is also adding to the dilemma. In the informal economy, waste pickers collect millions of tonnes of plastic waste each year. However, since many don’t have job security or health benefits, they’re beginning to succumb to the virus or refraining from work altogether. Subsequently, more plastic PPE is remaining in garbage dumps, increasing the likelihood of them blowing away and ending up in waterways or oceans.

Cynical Opportunism

Of course, the plastic industry isn’t helping the matter, either. Instead of encouraging people to protect themselves with washable masks and other reusable PPE, the industry has insisted that these are unsanitary. Although this statement has no medical evidence to support it, you might have listened to them out of fear for your own safety, opting to buy disposable PPE over making your own.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Global Warming and Cooling After CO2 Shutoff at +1.5°C

Global Warming and Cooling After CO2 Shutoff at +1.5°C

I have done further analytical modeling of global warming, using the same general method described earlier.

The question addressed now is: what is the trend of temperature change after an abrupt shutoff of all CO2 emissions just as the net temperature rise (relative to year 1910) reaches +1.5°C, given the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere?

For this problem, it is assumed that when the temperature rise (relative to 1910) reaches ~+1.5°C, that:

– all greenhouse gas emissions cease;

– pollution grit (which scatters light) falls out of the atmosphere “instantly” (a few weeks);

– CO2 (greenhouse gas) concentration decays exponentially after emissions shutoff;

– for CO2 lifetimes [e^-1] in years: 20, 50, 100, 238.436, 500, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000;

– temperature sensitivities of cloud cover, ice cover and albedo are as in the previous model;

– all other fixed physical parameters are as in the previous model,

(https://manuelgarciajr.com/2020/06/13/living-with-global-warming/).

In general, for the 8 cases calculated, the temperature increases at a diminishing rate after the emissions shutoff, reaches a peak, then trends downward.

The longer the lifetime of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the later and higher is the temperature peak, and the longer it takes to cool back down to the baseline temperature of 1910, which is 1.5°C below the starting temperature for this problem.

The 4 figures below show the calculated results.A close up of text on a white background Description automatically generated

Figure 1: °C change vs. years after shutoff, for lifetimes: 20, 50, 100, 238.436 years.A close up of a map Description automatically generated

Figure 2: °C change vs. years after shutoff, for lifetimes: 20, 50, 100, 238.436, 500, 1,000 years.A close up of text on a white background Description automatically generated

Figure 3: °C change vs. years after shutoff, for lifetimes: 238.436, 500, 1,000, 10,000 years.A picture containing table Description automatically generated

Figure 4: °C change vs. years after shutoff, for lifetimes: 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 years.

It is evident from the figures that if the lifetime of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is greater than 500 years, that a temperature overshoot above +2.0°C (relative to 1910) will occur before cooling begins.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Nature’s antivirals: Top 5 antiviral agents that help boost immune health

Nature’s antivirals: Top 5 antiviral agents that help boost immune health

Image: Nature’s antivirals: Top 5 antiviral agents that help boost immune health

(Natural News) Scientists are scrambling to fast-track a cure for COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease that’s still currently spreading throughout the globe.

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been conducting clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 drug since April, but to no effect.

Based on recent reports, the international clinical trial team tasked to develop an effective treatment for COVID-19 has stopped conducting tests on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a drug used to treat malaria. This development came about after scientists found that HCQ failed to reduce the mortality rate in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Natural antiviral agents

The infectious disease may still be at large, but according to recent reports from the online statistics portal Statistamore than 4.5 million people of the 8.58 million confirmed global cases had recovered from the disease as of June 19.

This astounding figure indicates that it’s possible to recover from the disease despite the lack of a specialized drug or vaccine. For the most part, recovery can be attributed to a strong immune response to infection and disease.

Studies suggest that immune health is largely influenced by diet. For instance, eating foods rich in essential nutrients and potent plant compounds can help enhance immune health. But some do a better job of boosting immune functions and fighting off pathogens than others.

Here are some of the most potent all-natural immune boosters that can help protect against infection and disease:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is hailed for its immune-boosting properties. Considered a potent antioxidant, this micronutrient has been found to strengthen cells and tissues against pathogens and to stimulate the production of disease-fighting antibodies and immune cells.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Capitalism is destroying ‘safe operating space’ for humanity, warn scientists

Capitalism is destroying ‘safe operating space’ for humanity, warn scientists

Source: Steemit

The COVID19 pandemic has exposed a strange anomaly in the global economy. If it doesn’t keep growing endlessly, it just breaks. Grow, or die.

But there’s a deeper problem. New scientific research confirms that capitalism’s structural obsession with endless growth is destroying the very conditions for human survival on planet Earth.

landmark study in the journal Nature Communications, “Scientists’ warning on affluence” — by scientists in Australia, Switzerland and the UK — concludes that the most fundamental driver of environmental destruction is the overconsumption of the super-rich.

This factor lies over and above other factors like fossil fuel consumption, industrial agriculture and deforestation: because it is overconsumption by the super-rich which is the chief driver of these other factors breaching key planetary boundaries.

The paper notes that the richest 10 percent of people are responsible for up to 43 percent of destructive global environmental impacts.

In contrast, the poorest 10 percent in the world are responsible just around 5 percent of these environmental impacts:

“These findings mean that environmental impact is to a large extent caused and driven by the world’s rich citizens.”

The new paper is authored by Thomas Wiedmann of UNSW Sydney’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Manfred Lenzen of the University of Sydney’s School of Physics, Lorenz T. Keysser of ETH Zürich’s Department of Environmental Systems Science, and Julia K. Steinberger of Leeds University’s School of Earth and Environment.

It confirms that global structural inequalities in the distribution of wealth are intimately related to an escalating environmental crisis threatening the very existence of human societies.

Synthesising knowledge from across the scientific community, the paper identifies capitalism as the main cause behind “alarming trends of environmental degradation” which now pose “existential threats to natural systems, economies and societies.” The paper concludes:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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