Category Archives: planetkillers

Welcome Back to LA, Disease-Spreading Mosquitoes!: LAist

“The invasive Aedes species, which is what we are seeing a lot of, can transmit Zika, yellow fever, chikungunya and dengue,”

Source: Welcome Back to LA, Disease-Spreading Mosquitoes!: LAist

If a visitor comes to LA with active zika, yellow fever, chikungunya or dengue and is bitten by a local LA Aedes, that mosquito can become ground zero for the spread of those diseases in LA! With modern air travel and global warming, it is inevitable that those diseases get a foothold in LA unless LA has a very active and aggressive vector control system.

Avian Flu Diary: Nature: Bat Influenza Receptors In Other Mammals (Including Humans) Bats flourish and overpopulate when humans overproduce fruits that bats feed on! Game on! and who knows when we strike out!

#13,894 Exactly 7 years ago today ( Feb 27, 2012 ) we looked at an announcement from scientists from the U.S. CDC and the Universid…

Source: Avian Flu Diary: Nature: Bat Influenza Receptors In Other Mammals (Including Humans)

What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food | Kendra Klein and Anna Lappé | Opinion | The Guardian

Of the 14 chemicals tested, every single member of every family had detectable levels. After switching to an organic diet, these levels dropped dramatically. Levels across all pesticides dropped by more than half on average. Detectable levels for the pesticide malathion, a probable human carcinogen according to the World Health Organization, decreased a dramatic 95% . Malathion was just one of the pesticides found in this study that are part of a group called organophosphates, which have long concerned public health experts because of their impact on children’s developing brains. Created as nerve agents in World War II, organophosphates have been linked to increased rates of autism, learning disabilities, and reduced IQ in children. The organophosphate chlorpyrifos, found in all of the family members, is so worrisome to public health that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) planned to ban it in 2017 – a proposal dropped by the Trump administration. In the wake of inaction from the administration, Hawaii passed the first state level chlorpyrifos ban in 2018; and Representative Nydia Velázquez introduced a federal bill to ban it.

Source: What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food | Kendra Klein and Anna Lappé | Opinion | The Guardian

Measles: WHO warns cases have jumped 50% | Society | The Guardian

In 2018 measles caused approximately 136,000 deaths around the world, according to the WHO’s preliminary figures. The highly contagious disease can cause severe diarrhoea, pneumonia and vision loss. It can be fatal in some cases and remains “an important cause of death among young children” according to the WHO. The disease can be easily prevented with two doses of a “safe and efficient” vaccine that has been in use since the 1960s, the UN agency says. Facebook under pressure to halt rise of anti-vaccination groups Read more Up until 2016 the number of measles cases had been steadily declining but since 2017 the number had soared, according to Katrina Kretsinger, who heads WHO’s expanded immunisation programme. “There are a number of outbreaks … which are driving some of these increases,” she told reporters, pointing to significant outbreaks in Ukraine, Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad and Sierra Leone. In Madagascar alone “from October 2018 through 12 February 2019 a total of 66,278 cases and 922 deaths have been reported”, the WHO said.

Source: Measles: WHO warns cases have jumped 50% | Society | The Guardian

Wife of White House communications chief goes on anti-vaccine tirade | US news | The Guardian

Darla Shine, a former TV producer, is married to Bill Shine, the former executive at Fox News who was appointed last year as Donald Trump’s deputy chief of staff for communications. Faced with criticism over her comments, Shine accused “the Left” of attempting to smear her. She also suggested, without evidence, that measles can cure cancer, pointing to a 2014 case that was far more complex and did not draw any kind of definitive conclusions. Advertisement This is not the first time Darla’s Shine’s public statements have sparked controversy. She once declared that sunscreen was “a hoax” and on numerous occasions pushed debunked theories about the danger of vaccines. Other unearthed tweets found Darla Shine making profane remarks about race, questioning why white people were considered racist for using “the n’word” given its use by black people and defending the Confederate flag. She has repeatedly struck a dismissive tone when discussing allegations of sexual assault, be it in the military or at Fox News.

Source: Wife of White House communications chief goes on anti-vaccine tirade | US news | The Guardian

Top Leader at Interior Dept. Pushes a Policy Favoring His Former Client – The New York Times

As a lobbyist and lawyer, David Bernhardt fought for years on behalf of a group of California farmers to weaken Endangered Species Act protections for a finger-size fish, the delta smelt, to gain access to irrigation water. As a top official since 2017 at the Interior Department, Mr. Bernhardt has been finishing the job: He is working to strip away the rules the farmers had hired him to oppose.

Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’ | Environment | The Guardian

“The main cause of the decline is agricultural intensification,” Sánchez-Bayo said. “That means the elimination of all trees and shrubs that normally surround the fields, so there are plain, bare fields that are treated with synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.” He said the demise of insects appears to have started at the dawn of the 20th century, accelerated during the 1950s and 1960s and reached “alarming proportions” over the last two decades. Advertisement He thinks new classes of insecticides introduced in the last 20 years, including neonicotinoids and fipronil, have been particularly damaging as they are used routinely and persist in the environment: “They sterilise the soil, killing all the grubs.” This has effects even in nature reserves nearby; the 75% insect losses recorded in Germany were in protected areas.

Source: Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’ | Environment | The Guardian

From books to bullets: inside Amazon’s push to ‘defend’ America | US news | The Guardian – it’s the cloud

In the not too distant future, US soldiers may rely on Amazon-run systems to trade intelligence, relay orders and call for help. Drone footage might be scoured for wanted men and women by Amazon software. Defense department quartermasters would use Amazon technology to move ammunition and supplies.

Source: From books to bullets: inside Amazon’s push to ‘defend’ America | US news | The Guardian