Category Archives: planetkillers

Plot behind Caceres murder in Honduras, says legal panel | News | DW | 31.10.2017

Records had shown multiple communications between suspected gunmen and an unnamed DESA official, according to GAIPE findings reported by Associated Press.An international outcry ensued after the murder of Caceres who with her movement Copinh led indigenous Lenca peoples in opposing the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam project.Construction was subsequently suspended when investors, including a Dutch bank and a Finnish fund, froze funding.

Source: Plot behind Caceres murder in Honduras, says legal panel | News | DW | 31.10.2017

Scott Pruitt’s EPA Just Shut the Door on Independent Scientists | Earthjustice

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt decreed that scientists who receive EPA funding for their research may no longer sit on key scientific advisory boards. This policy will freeze out many academic experts who rely on public grants to conduct independent studies. Pruitt also dismissed independent scientists from several important scientific bodies and replaced them with industry insiders.

Source: Scott Pruitt’s EPA Just Shut the Door on Independent Scientists | Earthjustice

How saving West African forests might have prevented the Ebola epidemic | Vital Signs | The Guardian – “Bingo! What I have been saying for past 5 years.”

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa may have surprised most of the medical establishment – this is the first such outbreak in the region – but the risk had been steadily rising for at least a decade. The risk had grown so high, in fact, that this outbreak was almost inevitable and very possibly predictable.All that was needed was to see the danger was a bat’s eye view of the region. Once blanketed with forests, West Africa has been skinned alive over the last decade. Guinea’s rainforests have been reduced by 80%, while Liberia has sold logging rights to over half its forests. Within the next few years Sierra Leone is on track to be completely deforested.This matters because those forests were habitat for fruit bats, Ebola’s reservoir host. With their homes cut down around them, the bats are concentrating into the remnants of their once-abundant habitat. At the same time, mining has become big business in the region, employing thousands of workers who regularly travel into bat territory to get to the mines.

Source: How saving West African forests might have prevented the Ebola epidemic | Vital Signs | The Guardian

E.P.A. Cancels Talk on Climate Change by Agency Scientists – The New York Times

Scientists involved in the program said that much of the discussion at the event centers on climate change. Many said they were surprised by the E.P.A.’s last-minute cancellation, particularly since the agency helps to fund the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, which is hosting the conference. The scientists who have been barred from speaking contributed substantial material to a 400-page report to be issued on Monday.The move highlights widespread concern that the E.P.A. will silence government scientists from speaking publicly or conducting work on climate change. Scott Pruitt, the agency administrator, has said that he does not believe human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are primarily responsible for the warming of the planet.

Dicamba drift? This is on you, Monsanto. | Pesticide Action Network

For decades, Monsanto has enjoyed unrivaled dominance in the pesticide and biotech seed marketplace. However, in recent years, the company’s monopoly control of agricultural seeds and pesticides — built largely on the marketing of its genetically engineered Roundup Ready seeds designed to maintain sale of its flagship herbicide Roundup — has begun to crack. Farmers have been struggling with the emergence and spread of RoundUp-resistant “superweeds” now infesting over 90 million acres of farmland. RoundUp has been found in nearly all stream and air samples tested in the Midwest. And the World Health Organization has concluded that glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — is a probable carcinogen.Rather than clean up its act, Monsanto has redoubled its efforts to follow the same recipe for disaster, racing against rivals like Dow AgroScience to introduce new lines of transgenic seeds engineered to resist even more chemical herbicides.

Source: Dicamba drift? This is on you, Monsanto. | Pesticide Action Network

The Look On Nikki Haley’s Face Was Priceless When She Realized Trump Suggested Invading Venezuela

Trump is winging it as president. Send the military to Venezuela? Sure, why not?His own administration has no idea what’s going on. The look on Nikki Haley’s face said it all. Trump is ruling by whim, and his whims are endangering the American people by making policy commitments that not even the military knows anything about.

Source: The Look On Nikki Haley’s Face Was Priceless When She Realized Trump Suggested Invading Venezuela

With genetic morph, a weird type of anthrax has emerged—and it’s on a rampage | Ars Technica – (nature developed a new potential pandemic source to deal with “over-population” of animals in areas affected by deforestation and growth of human development.)

Classic anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis, which tends to strike ungulates (hoofed mammals) in seasonal outbreaks in arid locales, such as the African savannahs. The bacteria can cause infection in skin, lungs, or intestines. In humans, B. anthracis causes ghastly skin lesions and severe respiratory and intestinal infections—which have mortality rates as high as 85 to 60 percent, respectively.The alternative anthrax bacteria appear to cause an identical anthrax disease in animal models. But, those bacteria aren’t B. anthracis; they’re cousins, B. cereus, commonly found in soil and food. Usually, these are relatively harmless, with some strains known to cause a minor fraction of food poisoning cases. But the ones causing alternative anthrax are different. They just so happen to have gotten their grips on B. anthracis’ virulence plasmids—circular, shareable bits of DNA that contain the genetic code for their disease-causing gene products.

Source: With genetic morph, a weird type of anthrax has emerged—and it’s on a rampage | Ars Technica

Gulf of Mexico dead zone is largest on record | Ars Technica

This year’s “dead zone,” where oxygen levels are so low they threaten fish and other small aquatic life, is about 50 percent larger than normal. The average size of the dead zone over the last 31 years has been 14,037 square kilometers, according to Nancy Rabalais, a researcher at Louisiana State University who has long studied the issue. The dead zone was likely even larger than what the scientists found, but there was insufficient time on board the ship to measure its entire extent.

Source: Gulf of Mexico dead zone is largest on record | Ars Technica