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General

These Climate Science Deniers are Spreading Misinformation about the Australian Bushfires

Posted January 9, 2020 by Anonymous
Alex Jones InfoWars

Read time: 7 mins

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has doubled down on his refusal to strengthen his administration’s approach to climate policy as his country burns. While Morrison acknowledges that climate change is one factor driving the fires, he is unwilling to consider reversing his government’s poor record on climate action to help prevent similar disasters happening again.

In recent days, Morrison’s position has been bolstered by a group of fringe climate science deniers pushing conspiracy theories and misinformation about the relationship between the fires and climate change.

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General

Louisiana Landowners Appeal Bayou Bridge Pipeline’s Right to Seize Their Land After Trespassing

Posted January 9, 2020 by Anonymous
Atchafalaya Basin clearing for Bayou Bridge pipeline construction in 2018

Read time: 3 mins

A Louisiana appeals court heard oral arguments Wednesday, January 8 in a case brought by Louisiana landowners against the Bayou Bridge Pipeline Company that illegally trespassed and began pipeline construction without landowners’ consent.

Attorneys for the landowners are asking the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court decision granting the pipeline company’s eminent domain right to seize the land. That granting of expropriation was made despite a finding that the company had unlawfully entered and damaged the land.

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General

Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media

Posted January 8, 2020 by Anonymous

Read time: 3 mins

As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ravaged a drought-ridden Australia, bots and trolls have begun pushing climate science denial across the internet in the form of conspiracy theories about the fires. Thanks to climate change, exceptionally hot, dry drought conditions have worsened and lengthened Australia’s typical fire season.

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General

LNG, Plastics and Other Gas Industry Plans Would Add Climate Pollution Equal to 50 New Coal Plants

Posted January 8, 2020 by Sharon Kelly
Shell's plastics plant in Beaver County, PA under construction

Read time: 9 mins

This week, plans to build one of the world’s largest plastics and petrochemical plants in St. James Parish, Lousiana — the heart of the state’s notorious Cancer Alley — inched forward as Lousiana approved air quality permits that could allow the plant to release 13.6 million tons per year of greenhouse gases — equal to three coal-fired power plants — and a host of other pollutants.

The St. James plant would be the single most polluting facility of 157 planned new or expanding refineries, liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects, and petrochemical plants that have sought or obtained air pollution permits in the U.S., according to a report published today by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).

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General

The Plastics Giant and the Making of an Environmental Justice Warrior

Posted January 7, 2020 by Julie Dermansky
Sharon Lavigne holds a sign that says 'Stop Formosa'

Read time: 23 mins

This report was produced as part of ivoh’s Restorative Narrative Fellowship.

On the evening of January 6, Louisiana state regulators issued 15 key permits to the Taiwanese petrochemical corporation Formosa for its $9.4 billion plastics manufacturing complex proposed for the historically black area of St. James Parish. Word spread today about the approvals, which pave the way for the project’s construction, opposed by local and national environmental advocates.

Sharon Lavigne, a demure, 67-year-old recently retired special-ed teacher born and raised in St. James Parish, cried when she heard the news. Her community along the Mississippi River is already saddled with petrochemical plants and oil storage tanks, which release known carcinogens into the air that she fears are making her and her family sick.

I spoke to Lavigne, who has tirelessly fought the project since the fall of 2018, just after news broke of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s (LDEQ) decisions for Formosa.

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General

Michael Mann: Australia, Your Country Is Burning – Dangerous Climate Change Is Here With You Now

Posted January 7, 2020 by guest
Helicopter over wildfire flames in Australia

Read time: 4 mins

Covering Climate Now logoThis article originally appeared in The Guardian and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalistic collaboration to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

By Michael Mann

After years studying the climate, my work has brought me to Sydney where I’m studying the linkages between climate change and extreme weather events.

Prior to beginning my sabbatical stay in Sydney, I took the opportunity this holiday season to vacation in Australia with my family. We went to see the Great Barrier Reef — one of the great wonders of this planet — while we still can. Subject to the twin assaults of warming-caused bleaching and ocean acidification, it will be gone in a matter of decades in the absence of a dramatic reduction in global carbon emissions.

We also travelled to the Blue Mountains, another of Australia’s natural wonders, known for its lush temperate rainforests, majestic cliffs and rock formations and panoramic vistas that challenge any the world has to offer. It too is now threatened by climate change.

I witnessed this firsthand.

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General

Forecast for 2020: More Oil Trains, Fires, Spills, and the Rise of LNG by Rail

Posted January 7, 2020 by Anonymous
Canadian oil train accident scene

Read time: 10 mins

As 2019 drew to a close and the new year ramps up, a number of signs point to the growing risks of transporting oil and gas by rail, with little government oversight to speak of: from increasing oil train traffic into the U.S. to fiery oil train derailments and new approvals for moving liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail.

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General

What would war with Iran be like?

Posted January 6, 2020 by Anonymous

We were talking yesterday about the possibility of a US-Iran war and how we are experiencing misty, water-coloured memories of the awful build-up to the invasion of Iraq way back in 2003, when related scare-mongering about Iran was also going on.One of…

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General

How Much Do You Like Your Diet? Given Adherence Likely Dependent On Enjoyment, Our Recent Paper Set Out To Quantify That

Posted January 6, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Back in 2012, I wondered aloud about creating a scoring system for dietary enjoyment. I blogged about it a few times here and there, and happily, a wonderful team of researchers in New Zealand took notice. Now, thanks to the hard work of Michelle Jospé, along with Jillian Haszsard, and Rachel Taylor, the first step towards its formal use has been taken.

Our paper, A tool for assessing the satisfaction of a diet: Development and preliminary validation of the Diet Satisfaction Score, was published late last year and it details our Diet Satisfaction Score’s preliminary reliability and validity.

With the help of the 1,604 people (spanning 24 different countries!) who answered our survey questions, as well as 6 diverse experts (thanks to Melanie Dubyk, Kevin Hall, Scott Kahan, Silke Morrison, Marion Nestle, Sherry Pagoto, Arya Sharma and Ethan Weiss), we arrived on the following questions geared to address various aspects of dietary adherence and satisfaction

The simplest way to think of the Diet Satisfaction Score’s use is the higher the overall score (each question is answered on a 5 point Likert scale and the final DSS score is calculated by way of taking the mean of all available items yielding a total score between 1 and 5), the greater an individual’s satisfaction/enjoyment of that diet is. The hypothesis then would be higher scores correlating with better adherence and consequently better/sustained weight loss.

And that’s what our preliminary findings suggest whereby each 1-point higher Diet Satisfaction Score correlated with a 1.7 week longer diet duration. It was also found that compared with those who had abandoned their diets, those maintaining them reported larger losses.

The value of a simple and quick score like this to individuals would be as a means to assess how much (or how little) they were enjoying their diets taking into account more than just whether they like the foods they’re eating, but also the impact their chosen diet might be having on related aspects of life (socializing, time, cost, etc.). Those evaluating their new diets and finding their scores low, might explore means to tweak their diets, or to try new ones.

The DSS score’s value to clinicians would be as a quick means to screen their patients’ efforts and perhaps to use the tool to help trouble shoot, or to triage referrals to professional resources such as registered dietitians.

The value of the DSS score to researchers would be using this tool with shorter term studies as a means to predict whether or not their studied diets are likely to be sustainable (as who really cares how much weight a person might lose on a particular short term diet if few people would actually sustain it).

Of course now what’s required is the repeated use of the Diet Satisfaction score in a long-term prospective trial. The good news is that because the tool, like me, is diet agnostic, it can be administered with any and all dietary strategies. Should you be interested in using the Diet Satisfaction Score in your trial Dr. Jospe is the person to contact and her contact information is just this one click away.

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General

It’s Twelfth Night!

Posted January 6, 2020 by Anonymous

Today is Twelfth Night AKA Epiphany Eve.Here is one classic version:   And another much earlier classic too: The director, Wendy Toye, was one of the few female film directors in the 1950s (or in any decade, for that matter).

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General

Breaking: Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry Rejoins Board of Dakota Access Owner, Energy Transfer

Posted January 3, 2020 by Sharon Kelly
Rick Perry

Read time: 2 mins

Former Trump administration Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who resigned from his cabinet-level post last effective last month, has joined the board of directors of the general partner of Energy Transfer LP, according to a filing made today with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Energy Transfer.

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General

Comment: Thanks to the Climate Crisis, We’re Now in the Roaring Twenties

Posted January 2, 2020 by guest
Yanderra Bushfire in Australia December 2019

Read time: 8 mins

By Martin Bush. Reposted with permission from ClimateZone.org

The next decade will be noisy as hell. As more intense wildfires blaze across every continent except Antarctica, the sound of the planet burning will only get louder.

Climate scientists are looking back over the last decade, collating the data, and reviewing the numbers. Every single one of the most important metrics are signaling a worsening situation. It’s common knowledge that emissions of the carbon gases continue to increase and that this is driving up global temperatures, but the intensifying impact of heat waves and wildfires is starting to overwhelm governments’ capacity to keep these disasters under control.

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General

Its the Year of the Optometrist!

Posted January 1, 2020 by Anonymous
People around the world are celebrating 2020 – which my husband calls The Year of the Optometrist.
Singapore, with 500 performing drones
New Year’s Eve - Singapore
Australia
Philippines
India
Kenya
London
Photos from the New York Times.
And from Twitter:
Image
Couldn’t resist this tweet:

“I’m going to learn the flute and write my novel this year”

dude if we aren’t bartering dried beans and ammo with the last person who remembers how to make antibiotics in a year let’s call it a win

— Mass for Shut-ins (is a podcast) (@edburmila) December 31, 2019


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General

Canadian scene

Posted December 31, 2019 by Anonymous
A few Canadian tweets to finish out the year:

Only in Canada eh https://t.co/AQwmru6GOs

— Raging🇨🇦Granny/ Resistor & Team Trudeau (@RagingLibNana) December 30, 2019

Exactly five years ago today, I moved from Nigeria to Canada and my life changed forever. That’s it. That’s the tweet.

— ufuoma (@theufuoma) December 31, 2019

Happy Birthday to The Guess Who singer songwriter, keyboardist and guitarist Burton Cummings, born on this day in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1947. 🎉🎂🎶🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/neqOAs6nWf

— Purple Beacon (@BeaconPurple) December 31, 2019

Crime is getting out of hand! https://t.co/Po7f2QjNYU

— Meanwhile in Canada (@MeanwhileinCana) December 31, 2019



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Children

Teachers, Stop Teaching Kids To Reward Anything and Everything With Junk Food And Candy!

Posted December 31, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

As has been my tradition, in December I repost old favourites from years gone by. This year am looking back to 2016.

The past 50 years of so have seen scads of unhealthy societal changes to how we use food, and near the top of that heap lies our now normalized use of junk food to reward, pacify, and entertain our children at every turn.

Take the jelly bean prayer up above. That was sent home with RD Nadine Devine‘s Junior Kindergartener in honour of Easter.

WWJD? Not that.

Or this needs-to-be-seen-to-be-believed note that was sent home with another friend’s 5 year old.

I imagine that the teachers responsible for those two examples don’t see either as unwise as why question normal behaviours? If everyone does them, they must be ok.

Yet I’d wager that if those same two Kindergarten teachers reflected on the lesson their use of classroom junk food is teaching their incredibly impressionable, young, students, they would recognize that teaching incredibly young children that it is normal to reward even the smallest of victories or celebrations with junk food is not in their students’ best interests.

Teachers, if you’re reading this, so far as rewarding kids go, it’s not difficult to do so without candy. Extra-recess, dressing your teacher up in funny clothing, being in charge of school announcements, a classroom dance party, have a class outside, hand out “no-homework” passes, stickers, bookmarks, etc…

I know that teachers care deeply about their students, which is why I genuinely believe that putting an end to junk-food classroom rewards is something that society, and teachers, can fix.

[And for some suggestions as to how you might begin to approach this with one your children’s teachers, coaches, whatever, here’s something I wrote a few years ago about shutting down your children’s sugar pushers]

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General

From the BP Spill to a Disappearing Island: A Decade of Covering Climate and the Environment in Louisiana

Posted December 30, 2019 by Julie Dermansky
Cemetery next to the Marathon Refinery, in Reserve, Louisiana, in the heart of Cancer Alley

Read time: 7 mins

What happens in Louisiana doesn’t stay in Louisiana. The state’s role in the oil and gas industry impacts both global markets and global climate change. It’s also on the front line of climate change impacts due to sea level rise and is vulnerable to storm systems intensified by global warming. Here is a selection of photos from a decade of my coverage of environmental issues in Louisiana.

The decade started with the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The impacts from the BP oil spill are still taking a toll on the environment, and a number of people exposed to the oil and the dispersant used to break up the oil continue to fight the company for compensation due to their health claims.

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Children

It’s More Important To Teach Your Kids to Cook Than to Play Soccer

Posted December 30, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff
Photo courtesy of yoshiyasu nishikawa 

As has been my tradition, in December I repost old favourites from years gone by. This year am looking back to 2016.

Yes, I know there will be people whose challenges and circumstances are real and severe enough that they genuinely can’t ensure their kids learn how to cook before leaving home. This post isn’t for them. This post is for everyone else.

For the first time in history the average American family is spending more money in restaurants than they are in grocery stores.

Kids are leaving home now knowing more about how to play soccer or hockey than they do about how to cook meals from fresh whole ingredients.

That’s so incredibly unfortunate, not only for those kids, but for their future families.

Cooking is a life skill and it’s a parents job to teach those before they leave home. If you aren’t comfortable with cooking yourself, take the opportunity to learn with your kids. Your kids learning how to cook will serve not only to help them in providing themselves and their futures with healthful meals, but will also save them money during their lean years and will likely reduce their risk of developing a myriad of diet-related, chronic, non-communicable diseases.

Whether by way of the ridiculous amount of online recipes and resources, or enrolling in a cooking course or supper club, cooking, like any skill, is obtained by way of practice. It doesn’t matter if you’re not good at cooking now. Take the time, and there’s no doubt you’ll get there.

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General

Comedy Can Help Us Tackle The Climate Crisis – Here’s How

Posted December 29, 2019 by guest

Read time: 5 mins

By Birte Loschenkohl, University of Essex

Society’s defining issues are rarely presented as raw facts and stats, and climate change is no exception. From the performance of funerals for lost species and glaciers to the claim that the best we can do is adapt to impending catastrophe, climate change is often narrated like a classic Greek tragedy. Errors in human judgement set off a chain of events that once in motion inevitably bring extreme suffering, and a powerful sense of helplessness to change what we know is coming.
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General

A Year Of Resistance: How Youth Protests Shaped The Discussion On Climate Change

Posted December 28, 2019 by guest

Read time: 5 mins

By Joe Curnow, University of Manitoba and Anjali Helferty, University of Toronto

Greta Thunberg made history again this month when she was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. The 16-year-old has become the face of youth climate action, going from a lone child sitting outside the Swedish parliament building in mid-2018 to a symbol for climate strikers — young and old — around the world.

Thunberg was far from the first young person to speak up in an effort to hold the powerful accountable for their inaction on climate change, yet the recognition of her efforts come at a time when world leaders will have to decide whether — or with how much effort — they will tackle climate change. Their actions or inactions will determine how much more vocal youth will become in 2020.

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General

A Look Back at Some of DeSmog’s Major Investigations of 2019

Posted December 27, 2019 by Anonymous

Read time: 8 mins

As 2019 comes to a close, DeSmog is reflecting on another year that featured high-impact investigations and accountability reporting by our team of journalists about the reckless fossil fuel industry. From new revelations regarding dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure, to new documents shedding light on early efforts to undermine climate science and exert industry influence over climate and energy policy, the past year was filled with exceptional investigative work by DeSmog. The following recaps some of the highlights of our public interest reporting over the past year.

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General

The Food Industry Spends A Cancer Moonshot On Advertising Every 3 Weeks

Posted December 27, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

As has been my tradition, in December I repost old favourites from years gone by. This year am looking back to 2016.

Some perspective.

Did you hear about the “Cancer Moonshot 2020“?

In their words,

The Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program is one of the most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiatives launched to date, seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients.

And so what’s the cost of this ambitious program over the course of the next 5 years?

$1 billion.

Sound impressive?

Maybe less so when you consider that according to AdAge, in 2014 alone, the top 25 US food industry brands spent just shy of 15x that amount advertising their products.

That’s a moonshot worth every 3 weeks!

Spread that out over the billion dollar moonshot’s 5 year duration and suddenly you realize that through 2020 the food industry will spend 75 times more money trying to get you to buy Coca-Cola, KFC, Cheerios, Dunkin, etc., than the government will be spending on their “MoonShot” to cure cancer.

If we want to see population level improvements to diet, no doubt that part of the requirement will be food industry advertising reform. Banning advertising that targets kids altogether, reforming front-of-package claims, cracking down on deceit, and more, because with a cancer moonshot of food industry advertising every three weeks, consumers don’t stand a chance if we don’t.

[And of course the other issue worth noting is how incredibly irresponsible it is to promote a 5-year, billion dollar investment as a cancer moonshot.]

Full Story »

 
Children

School “Hot Lunches” Are Beyond Awful. How Did We Let Them Happen?

Posted December 25, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

As has been my tradition, in December I repost old favourites from years gone by. This year am looking back to 2016.

A friend on Twitter sent the photo up above to me. It’s this week’s hot lunch offering for his kid’s school’s kindergartners through Grade 6ers.

Hot dogs, donuts, and juice.

Really?

And then of course there’s pizza days, sub days, and various other awful food days that not only serve kids literal fast food, but in so doing also teach kids that it’s a totally normal/alright to have fast food each and every week.

Parents would jump in front of buses for their children, and yet packing them a healthy lunch everyday isn’t doable? Clearly it’s not a money thing as $5 for a hot dog, a donut and a juice box certainly doesn’t make this hot lunch a value proposition.

How did we get here as a society?

More importantly, how do we leave?

Full Story »

 
General

Christmas

Posted December 24, 2019 by Anonymous

My favorite passages from A Christmas Carol are the descriptions of Christmas in Victorian London:Meanwhile the fog and darkness thickened so, that people ran about with flaring links, proffering their services to go before horses in carriages, and con…

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General

Why You Should Probably Just Ignore All Breakfast Studies

Posted December 24, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff
By Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

As has been my tradition, in December I repost old favourites from years gone by. This year am looking back to 2016.

Ugh, breakfast stories.

Such a frustrating topic in nutrition as for both health reporters and diet gurus it would seem that there is no middle ground, breakfast is positioned either as essential or pointless.

Well I’ll tell you what’s pointless – “breakfast” studies.

I’m putting breakfast in quotations because virtually all the is it good for you or not breakfast studies seem to study breakfast as a whole.

Seems to me that regardless of your chosen end point (be it weight, appetite, hunger, adiposity, heart disease, insulin, school performance, whatever) what a person eats for breakfast will matter a great deal, and just studying whether or not a person ate breakfast, will lump together bowls of Froot Loops with almond topped steel cut oats, and Pop Tarts with summer vegetable omelettes.

My experience, born out of a dozen years of working with thousands of patients on weight management, has been that for most, a protein rich breakfast benefits all-day satiety, whereas a bowl of ultra-processed, sugar-fortified carbs, doesn’t. And please note, I said most, not all.

Ultimately breakfast matters for some and not for others, and if you’re curious whether or not it’s important for you, what you choose to eat for breakfast is going to play a big role in your answer.

And for the love of everything holy, please, please, stop reporting on “breakfast” studies, whether you or they are pro or con, as if they’re able to make conclusions about the utility of breakfast as a whole.

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General

2019 in Photos: Impacts from Environmental Rollbacks and the Growing Climate Activism

Posted December 23, 2019 by Julie Dermansky
Christmas tree on tombstone in cemetery near coal power plant

Read time: 7 mins

Here is a selection of photos I shot for DeSmog in 2019, another year when arguably not enough collective action was taken to protect the planet from global warming. 

Throughout 2019 the Trump administration continued to roll back environmental standards. Meanwhile, advocacy groups and activists ramped up the battle for clean air and water and a livable climate. 

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General

No Diet Works For Everyone, And Every Diet Works For Someone

Posted December 23, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

As has been my tradition, in December I repost old favourites from years gone by. This year am looking back to 2016

Two weeks ago Kevin Hall and I had our diet commentary published in The Lancet. Not surprisingly, we upset some folks – primarily low-carbers. Some accused us of being low-fat cheerleaders. Others that we fostered an “animus” towards low-carb diets.

While I can’t speak for Kevin, I can honestly state that I’m totally fine with low-carb diets. For some people they’re a life changer and our office is happy to work with patients on them. I’ve also got nothing against low fat, Paleo, intermittent fasting, vegan, gluten-free, or any other diet that has a name.

What matters most to me, and what was also the crux of our commentary, is whether or not a person likes their chosen diet enough to sustain it. Food is not simply fuel. Food is comfort, food is celebration, and food serves as the foundation of a huge part of our social lives. Regardless of whether or not one diet vs. another diet affords a person an additional few pounds of loss (or even whether or not it confers specific health benefits) pales in importance to whether or not a person likes that diet’s style of eating enough to live with it for good

As noted in our piece, every diet out there has its long term success stories, and so moving forward, if you see anyone out there suggesting their diet is the best (or that your diet is the worst) rest assured they have an agenda. Their agenda might simply reflect an n=1 mentality of, “it worked for me therefore it’s what you should do“, it might reflect basic post-purchase rationalization, or it might reflect genuine science and studies that infer greater short term losses or potential health benefits. But if they can’t wrap their heads around adherence (which on an individual basis is an expression of whether or not you like what you’re eating and don’t miss what you’re not) as any diet’s long term’s most critical component, their ideology is showing.

Temporary efforts will only yield temporary outcomes no matter how exciting the outcomes might be in the short run.

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General

Happy Festivus!

Posted December 23, 2019 by Anonymous
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General

The Fracking Industry’s Methane Problem Is a Climate Problem

Posted December 22, 2019 by Anonymous
methane gas warning sign

Read time: 9 mins

While carbon dioxide — deservedly — gets a bad rap when it comes to climate change, about 40 percent of global warming actually can be attributed to the powerful greenhouse gas methane, according to the 2013 IPCC report. This makes addressing methane emissions critical to stopping additional warming, especially in the near future. Methane is shorter-lived in the atmosphere but 85 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20 year period. 

Atmospheric levels of methane stopped increasing around the year 2000 and at the time were expected to decrease in the future. However, they began increasing again in the last 10 years, spurring researchers to explore why. Robert Howarth, a biogeochemist at Cornell University, recently presented his latest research linking the increase in methane to fossil fuel production, with fracking for natural gas, which is mostly methane, likely a major source. 

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General

Automakers Accelerating Climate Change, Failing to Put the Brakes on Emissions

Posted December 21, 2019 by Anonymous

Read time: 5 mins

Automakers are failing to drive a rapid shift towards low-carbon transport, according to a new analysisindicating that the industry is not aligned with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees C.

That study, released earlier this month by CDP and the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), looked at 25 leading auto manufacturers and graded each company on its overall alignment with the transition to a low-carbon economy. No company managed to score an “A” grade, and most of the manufacturers continue to produce fleets made almost entirely of gasoline-powered vehicles. 

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General

As Fracking Companies Face Bankruptcy, US Regulators Enable Firms to Duck Cleanup Costs

Posted December 20, 2019 by Anonymous
Equipment for reclamation of an old oil and gas well in the eastern U.S.

Read time: 9 mins

In over their heads with debt, U.S. shale oil and gas firms are now moving from a boom in fracking to a boom in bankruptcies. This trend of failing finances has the potential for the U.S. public, both at the state and federal levels, to be left on the hook for paying to properly shut down and clean up even more drilling sites.

Expect these companies to try reducing their debt through the process of bankruptcy and, like the coal industry, attempting to get out of environmental and employee-related financial obligations. 

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General

A note on conservative human relations

Posted December 19, 2019 by Anonymous

Some time ago, I lost my life partner to cancer. Two prominent right-wing bloggers, with whom I had crossed swords many a time, expressed what I believed were sincere commiserations, a genuine reaching across the aisle. It was much…

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General

Why Every Holiday Season Should be All-You-Can-Eat!

Posted December 19, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

Ok, yes, the headline is very clickbait-y as there’s a crucial qualifying word missing.

Thoughtfully

This holiday season should be all-you-can-thoughtfully-eat, where thoughtfully means asking just two questions before each and every indulgence.

1. Is it worth it?
2. How much do I need to be happily satisfied?

As I’ve said many times before, food isn’t just fuel. As a species we use food for comfort and for celebration and no doubt for most of us, the answers to those two prior questions will be different in December than in January.

And here’s a promise. If you don’t ask those questions every indulgence will be worth it and you’ll have far more of each than you need to be happily satisfied.

(this post was first published back in 2014)

        
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General

This Be The Verse

Posted December 19, 2019 by Anonymous

I find myself reading a number of the advice columnists these days. And as I read about all the problems people have with their families, I often think of this great poem:

This Be The Verseby Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

Someday I will share this with my own adult children, if I ever have the courage.

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General

Great tweets of the day, animal edition

Posted December 17, 2019 by Anonymous

Here are some good animal tweets:

— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) December 15, 2019

— Right Wing, Shoots Left 🍷🐓🏒🥅🌈 (@HILITINGHOCKEY) December 14, 2019

I can’t stop watching this. You really need the sound on. A perfect elixir to get Trump out of your head before bed!

pic.twitter.com/9dcuJqSKXv

— Mystery Solvent (@MysterySolvent) December 10, 2019

Any hope of getting my prowl on today is #BuriedUnderTheSnow. #CatsOfTwitter pic.twitter.com/nwk2mcxru5

— 🐾Beware of Dogma🐾 (@ellelljaytoo) November 16, 2019

ok its time again for this pup who was asked to ‘sit’ but was not asked to ‘stay’ and is just doing fine this pup is doing just fine if u ask me

(via https://t.co/oS1Qwthmkq) pic.twitter.com/9AsEKZxbqz

— darth™ (@darth) July 30, 2018

And one political one, of course:

an adult with the mental capacity of a child, wearing ill-fitting clothes and repeatedly making terrible choices, is put in a situation where global disaster occurs if he screws up

im talking about the movie Elf but makes u think kinda, right

— ho ho holesome content (@SortaBad) December 14, 2019


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General

Can someone tell me what is going on in Alberta?

Posted December 10, 2019 by Anonymous

I don’t really follow Alberta news, but the constant “cut, cut, cut” and “whine, whine, whine” I am hearing from there recently is getting chaotic.

Does the Alberta UCP government have any idea what it is doing?

They are supposedly going to reduce surgical wait times by paying for more private surgical facilities, but at the same time they are cutting back on primary care doctors and eliminating nursing positions.  
They cut taxes for corporations, at the same time as they are nickle-and-diming drug coverage for dependents of seniors – people who don’t have a lot of other health insurance choices – and forcing school boards to use maintenance funds to maintain teaching staff levels — a trade-off that isn’t going to work more than once.
Premier Kenney seems to be furious at PMJT because supposedly Alberta is paying more in equalization than he thinks is fair – except no provincial taxpayers “pay” for equalization, its a federal transfer program and anyway Canada is using the 2009 Harper formula which was apparently fine with Kenney until now.  Of course, Alberta is now losing jobs – 18,000 in November alone, the highest monthly job loss in Alberta history.
Why, if this keeps up, maybe they’ll be entitled to equalization payments too!  (Side note: I will never forget how upset and appalled the Toronto-centric media were when Ontario actually qualified for equalization because of the 2009 downturn – complaints heard again when Ontario stopped being entitled to the payments in 2018.)
Kenney doesn’t seem to have the capacity or the will to put together the kind of government stimulus and employment programs that have been used in the past to counter economic downturns and job losses — which don’t even yet include the companies that are not moving there because of the Wexit stupidity.

Jason Kenney is happy to stoke the flames of Wexit because he thinks it will help him win political points. But there are real economic consequences to Kenney promoting and indulging Alberta separatism – like a thousand jobs in downtown Calgary. #ableg pic.twitter.com/Ewu5WNAECp

— Progress Alberta (@ProgressAlberta) December 9, 2019

But never mind — instead, lets everybody just trash WestJet – whose head office IS located in Calgary (at least, for now) — for insufficient loyalty to Dear Leader:

our premier just subtweeted the CEO of @WestJet over his comments on #wexitalberta in case you needed any more proof @Alberta_UCP has the same level of maturity and leadership skills as band of schoolyard bullies #cdnpoli #ableg #abpoli https://t.co/l0GM24Mos1

— Bridget Casey (@BridgieCasey) December 10, 2019

If Alberta now needs more provincial revenue to support its government obligations, then first they need to implement a provincial sales tax, like every other province has done already, before they start demanding more money from the rest of Canada.

Public advised of aggressive panhandler from Alberta who will probably just spend money on corporate tax cuts #ableg #cdnpoli https://t.co/NLZ9YbyQz8

— The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton) December 10, 2019

Whatever is going on in Alberta, I sure hope its not catching.

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General

Daughter Dearest

Posted December 9, 2019 by Anonymous

Hmmm — I’ve been saying for years that SOMEBODY in Trump’s inner circle is a Russian asset.  I am convinced that someone very close to him has been feeding him all the pro-Putin and pro-Russian stuff he has been parroting since 2016, convincing him that the Russian world-view is correct, leading him to say things like how unfair it is that Russia is out of the G7, etc.

Occasionally, Trump has actually done something anti-Russian, like announce new sanctions in retaliation for assassinations – maybe when the asset is out of town and isn’t whispering in his ear.  But then later Trump will almost always reverse himself and change his mind, indicating that the asset continues their subversion.

I have not been able to believe that Trump himself is the asset — he isn’t smart enough and his lies are often too self-delusional to be the kind of conscious falsehoods that a Russian asset would need to promote.

So now maybe we are finding out who the Russian asset might be: maybe its Ivanka.

Reaching out to someone like Steele and trying to develop/maintain a relationship w him is the kind of thing one might do if you were a Russian asset. https://t.co/IrKOQ60KwM

— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) December 9, 2019


NEW via @thamburger @PostRoz: Ivanka Trump was personal friends with former British spy Christopher Steele, according to person familiar with the situation https://t.co/h21YbomZO3

— Matea Gold (@mateagold) December 9, 2019


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