Category Archives: environment

Democratic Leadership Resist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal

On Sunday, newly-sworn in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was interviewed on 60 Minutes about something that should be, at this point, easy enough to agree on: the planet is heading toward climate disaster unless world leaders take radical, purposeful, and sustained steps to mitigate the crisis. But Anderson Cooper’s questions about Ocasio-Cortez’s vision on climate—a program called the Green New Deal that advocates hope can serve as a road map to developing the kinds of policies required to meet the problem in force—did not engage with the substance of the program and instead focused on whether or not a 70 percent tax rate on the super wealthy was politically “radical.”

Source: Democratic Leadership Resist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal

‘For 30 years I’ve been obsessed by why children get leukaemia. Now we have an answer’ | Science | The Guardian

there is less breast feeding of infants and a tendency for them to have fewer social contacts with other children. Both trends reduce babies’ contact with germs. This has benefits – but also comes with side effects. Because young children are not being exposed to bugs and infections as they once were, their immune systems are not being properly primed. “When such a baby is eventually exposed to common infections, his or her unprimed immune system reacts in a grossly abnormal way,” says Greaves. “It over-reacts and triggers chronic inflammation.” As this inflammation progresses, chemicals called cytokines are released into the blood and these can trigger a second mutation that results in leukaemia in children carrying the first mutation. “The disease needs two hits to get going,” Greaves explains. “The second comes from the chronic inflammation set off by an unprimed immune system.” In other words, a susceptible child suffers chronic inflammation that is linked to modern super-clean homes and this inflammation changes his or her susceptibility to leukaemia so that it is transformed into the full-blown condition.

Source: ‘For 30 years I’ve been obsessed by why children get leukaemia. Now we have an answer’ | Science | The Guardian

‘It’s God’s plan’: the man who dreams of bringing intensive chicken farming to Africa | Environment | The Guardian – Export bird flu to Africa – No Godliness – just greed and $.

A US mega-farm, a Christian backer and Africa’s oldest industrial chicken producer are bringing the world’s super birds to revolutionise the region’s food market and feed its poor

Source: ‘It’s God’s plan’: the man who dreams of bringing intensive chicken farming to Africa | Environment | The Guardian

Italy’s Mt Etna shakes Sicily after eruptions trigger magnitude-4.8 earthquake – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

An earthquake hits the southern Italian island of Sicily, triggered by eruptions from nearby Mount Etna, injuring at least 10 people and damaging churches and houses on the volcano’s slopes.

Source: Italy’s Mt Etna shakes Sicily after eruptions trigger magnitude-4.8 earthquake – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Trek Into Congo Forest Reveals an Ebola Crisis Fueled by Violence – The New York Times

Congolese health officials and their international partners expect the fight against Ebola to drag on well into next year. The biggest worry is that, unchecked, the epidemic could reach Goma, the regional capital. “If it hits Goma, we’re done for,” said Dr. Jean-Christophe Shako, the director of a local Ebola response team whose tasks require negotiating with the militia so that health workers can enter their territories and have their safety guaranteed. The city sits on a busy border with Rwanda and has an international airport that could disperse the disease globally.

Inoreader – EID Journal: Higher Viral Load of Emerging Norovirus GII.P16-GII.2

Globally, particularly in developing countries, Norovirus infections may claim 50,000 children’s lives each year (cite).  One of the keys to prevention is good hand hygiene, unfortunately, unlike with many other bacteria and viruses, alcohol gel doesn’t do a particularly good job of killing the virus (see CMAJ: Hand Sanitizers May Be `Suboptimal’ For Preventing Norovirus).

Source: Inoreader – EID Journal: Higher Viral Load of Emerging Norovirus GII.P16-GII.2

Multistate Infestation with the Exotic Disease–Vector Tick Haemaphysalis longicornis — United States, August 2017–September 2018 | MMWR The next Lyme Disease could be worse

During 2017–2018, Haemaphysalis longicornis has been detected in Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia on various species of domestic animals and wildlife, and from two humans.

Source: Multistate Infestation with the Exotic Disease–Vector Tick Haemaphysalis longicornis — United States, August 2017–September 2018 | MMWR