Almost 7 years ago, while going through some personal issues, I made a terrible mistake and ended up being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of California. It was a dark period in my life, but I have moved on and learned my lesson. This spring, however, my intoxicated driving conviction […]
Read time: 9 mins
In 2015, Pioneer Natural Resources filed a report with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, in which the shale drilling and fracking company said that it was “drilling the most productive wells in the Eagle Ford Shale” in Texas.
That made the company a major player in what local trade papers were calling “arguably the largest single economic event in Texas history,” as drillers pumped more than a billion barrels of fossil fuels from the Eagle Ford.
Its Eagle Ford wells, Pioneer’s filing said, were massive finds, with each well able to deliver an average of roughly 1.3 million barrels of oil and other fossil fuels over their lifetimes.
Three years later, The Wall Street Journal checked the numbers, investigating how those massive wells are turning out for Pioneer.
Turns out, not so well. And Pioneer is not alone.
Once upon a time my friend Chad went to college. Now, Chad likes to tell people what made him decide to go to school and the reasons why he traded in a job at Best Buy for a few hard years of hitting the books. See, on a whim one weekend Chad packed his trunk […]
Read time: 5 mins
A version of the Green New Deal (GND) — an FDR-style plan to address climate change by shifting America to a just and renewably powered 21st century economy — is widely popular with American voters of both parties, according to a recent survey.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this proposal has stronger support among Democrats but still polls well with Republicans. The survey found that 81 percent of registered voters said they either “strongly support” or “somewhat support” a rapid transition to 100 percent renewable electricity and other green technology initiatives.
However, the poll, conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YCCC), also found that very few voters were aware of the Green New Deal: 82 percent said they “knew nothing” of the proposal. Notably, the poll’s language focused on renewable electricity and job creation, but made no mention of the full decarbonization and social overhaul of the American economy that also are central tenets of the full Green New Deal.
An Arctic tern on Machias Seal Island, which was once home to about 2,000 pairs of the birds. Today, there are only about 475 pairs. (Photo: Nick Hawkins/Canadian Geographic)
Birders weighted down with cameras and binoculars shuffle onto Day’s Catch from the wharf at Seal Cove on New Brunswick’s Grand Manan Island, ready to catch a glimpse of the Atlantic puffins, razorbills, murres, petrels and other seabirds that have been drawing ornithophiles to the region since John James Audubon visited the island in 1833.
Generally speaking, there probably isn’t much that public health professionals and the food industry agree upon when it comes to Canada’s imminent new Food Guide.
Briefly, public health would like to see the Guide discouraging the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, ultra-processed foods, processed meats, trans-fats, and see a swap recommended so that people are encouraged to replace their saturated fats with unsaturated fats. Public health would also like to see the Guide discourage frequent use of restaurants, encourage cooking, and promote the free-from-distractions consumption of those cooked meals, ideally with loved ones, on a regular basis. There’s more, but that’s the basic gist.
The food industry would like to see the Guide avoid the discouragement of any particular food, would like to see dairy maintaining its undeserved separate food category while simultaneously not admonishing against chocolate milk, saturated fat swaps, and would like soft, ambiguous language around processed foods and more.
But there is one area where public health and the food industry wholeheartedly agree – they both agree that the Guide matters a great deal and it wields real influence on the eating patterns of Canadians.
No, Canadians don’t shop with the Guide in hand, but industry relies on the Guide’s messages in their marketing and sales. For instance, if the Guide, as drafts suggest, has indeed eliminated the dairy category and rightly lumped dairy in with other sources of protein, the dairy industry may no longer be able to suggest to kids (even kindergartners), parents, educators and more that we need a particular number of servings of dairy per day. This in turn, along with the removal of chocolate milk as a dairy equivalent, will likely, over time, affect school milk programs, and will certainly impact the “dairy educators” that schools bring in to chat with students. It will also preclude the dairy industry’s ability to buy skewed surveys designed to provide a veneer of health to their products, to launch apps to ensure you’re having enough, and when articles are written about dairy in the media, no longer will there be a throw away line included about how many servings the Guide recommends daily.
And all of that will undoubtedly affect dairy sales.
Which of course is why the dairy industry has mounted a years long campaign to try to prevent changes to the Guide’s dairy recommendations. They’ve sent in letters to Health Canada and ministers, they’ve seeded the media with interviews and concerns, and they’ve even created an astroturf front group called “Keep Canadians Healthy” that pushed Facebook ads to the public encouraging them to be concern and upset about the plans to downgrade dairy, and provided the public with a call to action and a fill in the blank form to mail their MPs (scroll down through the link to see).
So the next time you hear someone cluelessly (or insidiously) suggesting that the Guide doesn’t matter (like the feckless Canadian Taxpayers Federation did on CBC’s The National two days ago for instance), remember that pretty much the only area where public health and the food industry fully agree in regards to the Guide is the fact that it matters a great deal to what Canadians buy, and consequently, to what Canadians eat.
Because you feel like you own the place. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Check out my Youtube channel —
The post #596 Driving on the highway late at night when the roads are totally empty appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Kamloops, BC – Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, will deliver remarks to supporters at an open Liberal fundraising event in Kamloops on January 9, 2019. The Liberal Party of Canada has committed to the strongest standards in federal politics for openness and transparency with political fundraising events, and is challenging other […]
Read time: 12 mins
By Stacy Clark
With the swearing in of new members last week, the Massachusetts legislature, not unlike the U.S. Congress, is receiving an infusion of brand-new state representatives who already are pushing an aggressive agenda focused on addressing climate change and transitioning to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050.
So far, 14, or over half of the 24 new recruits, have formed an informal but unified group known as GreenTeamMA. Their initiatives are straightforward. They’ve agreed to refuse campaign contributions from fossil fuel PACs, they support carbon pricing, and they’ll be working with constituents to drive higher demand for wind, solar, and hydropower in the Bay State, where today almost one-sixth of electricity comes from renewable sources.
Cruising cops cause traffic stops. Yes indeedy, the rest of us law-aspiring citizens immediately slow to a speed limit cruise when we spot cops silently swerving behind our bumpers. We’re the jittery school of fish with jumpy eyes and they’re the silent shark swimming over to our lane. With our hearts drum-thumping and our white-knuckled […]
The post #597 When a cop drives behind you for a while and then finally passes you appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 4 mins
By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams
The high court’s ruling means the company must hand over records to the Massachusetts attorney general for her ongoing investigation
In a win for climate campaigners and Massachusetts’ Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected ExxonMobil’s attempt to block Healey’s demand for documents related to her state’s ongoing investigation into allegations that one of the world’s largest oil and gas corporations deceived the public and investors for decades about how fossil fuels drive global warming.
Read time: 4 mins
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi received a standing ovation after calling for action on climate change during her first address to the 116th session of Congress Thursday, according to a video shared by Newsweek.
“We must also face the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis, a crisis manifested in natural disasters of epic proportions. The American people understand the urgency. The people are ahead of the Congress. The Congress must join them,” she said.
Des enseignantes s’occupent d’enfants malades de la grippe espagnole au collège La Salle de Thetford Mines, au Québec. (Photo : Centre d’archives de la région de Thetford – Fonds Galerie de nos ancêtres de l’or blanc, Donateur : Juliette Dallaire)
Cela commence de façon bénigne par un nez qui coule et une toux. Ensuite la fièvre s’installe, les muscles et les articulations se mettent à faire mal, les saignements de nez apparaissent, les dents tombent, puis les cheveux. Une odeur pestilentielle se dégage. Les vomissements et la diarrhée sont courants, tout comme les délires. L’insupportable angoisse conduit certains malades à s’enlever la vie, tandis que d’autres, terrifiés, sont la proie d’affreux cauchemars.
That’s not to say people can’t see their concerns about diet quality not deteriorate into a disorder – where their concerns have sometimes even dramatically negative effects upon their qualities of life and/or mental health.
But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
Here I’m talking about the knee jerk comfort people have in ascribing a disorder to someone else’s dietary concerns or choices, especially in the both traditional and social media.
Just because you might personally find someone else’s attention to their diet excessive, that doesn’t mean it is to them. Their caring about the choice and types of their foods, so long as it isn’t negatively affecting their physical health, mental health, or their quality of life, isn’t an eating disorder!
Nobody’s gonna tell you you stink. Honestly, the much-needed finger-pointing, nose-pinching tipoff is harder to spot than an albino Bigfoot. See, there are limits to the amount of quiet social tips we’re willing to toss out there. When your tag’s hanging out the back of your sweater, we’re on it. When there’s a slimy parsley […]
The post #598 Sniffing your armpits when no one’s looking and realizing you don’t stink appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Lauren Hough, in Huff Post, on the reflections of America as seen through the her lens as a lesbian cable guy.
Nylah Burton, in New York Magazine, explains the possible personal roots of Alice Walker’s racist anti-semitism.
Read time: 4 mins
This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.
Yesterday, a new Democratic House took up its gavel and ushered in a long-overdue agenda of government oversight. We might finally start to see answers to the many, many questions that have come up over the past two years about Trump’s regulatory rollbacks. One lobbyist told CNBC’s Tim DeChristopher that the Trump administration should expect to face “the Spanish Inquisition.”
All this change has got to be worrisome for Trump’s cabinet, even those like Zinke who have already left, given everything that reporters (who lack the power to issue subpoenas or compel testimony under oath) have uncovered about Pruitt.
Read time: 8 mins
Energy Transfer has begun shipping natural gas liquids through one of the most troubled pipeline projects in Pennsylvania, sparking calls for additional investigations as residents say safety concerns remain unresolved.
Natural gas liquids (NGLs) are fossil fuels found in large volumes in “wet” shale gas wells. They include the highly flammable fuels propane and butane, plus ethane, which is used extensively in the petrochemicals and plastics industy.
A year ago today, Pennsylvania temporarily suspended permits for Mariner East 2 pipeline construction, citing the builder’s “egregious and willful violations” of state laws.
Read time: 5 mins
President Trump didn’t exactly lie low over the holidays.
The battle over border-wall funding and the announced departures of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stole most of the headlines, but they were hardly the only events of the Trump administration’s Christmas.
We kept a close watch on news affecting the environment, health and wildlife, and there was plenty to keep us busy. From new developments on plans to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to attacks on air-pollution regulations, here’s a blow-by-blow account of what you may have missed:
Before the break, New Brunswick’s new Conservative government proudly honoured their promise to restore the elementary school sanctioned sale of chocolate milk.
Never mind that the Director General of Health Canada’s Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion (the folks in charge of the Food Guide), Dr. Hasan Hutchinson, has been on record since February 2014 that chocolate milk’s inclusion in the 2007 (and sadly still current) Food Guide was a mistake – a mistake which almost certainly will be remedied when (if) the Food Guide’s revisions are ever published.
Never mind that research on what happens when chocolate milk sales are stopped in schools found that stopping the sale of chocolate milk in schools did not affect the students’ total daily milk or dairy consumption, that on average all students were meeting their daily recommended amounts of dairy, that kids who swapped from chocolate milk to white milk drank pretty much the same amount of white as they did chocolate (unless you think 4/5ths of a tablespoon of milk is a lot), and that by removing the sale of chocolate milk from the school, in the first month alone nearly half of the initial chocolate milk drinkers switched to white and in so doing, saved themselves piles of calories and the nearly 2 full cups of monthly added sugar.
No, the New Brunswick Conservatives clearly know better, and in late December, Dominic Cardy, their Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, explained what it was about chocolate milk that made its sale in schools so important – calories. In an interview with the CBC, Cardy explained that selling chocolate milk in schools was important because, “Would you rather have kids have some calories in their stomach or none? You need the calories to start with”
So the sale of chocolate milk in schools is to ensure New Brunswick children consume enough calories? Given New Brunswick’s own health council reports the province’s rates of childhood obesity are among the highest in the country, I wouldn’t have thought that was a problem, and that’s putting aside the fact that white milk provides calories too.
And honestly, I wondered if perhaps he was misquoted, or his words were used out of context.
Apparently not. Oh, and also, there’s more.
On Twitter, Cardy doubled down on his kids need calories therefore elementary schools need to sell them chocolate milk stance, and then added in that my concerns were due to my privilege and that the sale of chocolate milk was also there to address hunger,
And when RD Karine Comeau quickly pointed out that if food insecure New Brunswick children were the concern, enabling and promoting the excess consumption of sugar in that vulnerable population, a population already at increased risk of chronic disease, probably isn’t in their best interest, and instead perhaps an emphasis should be placed on increasing their access to fresh fruits and vegetables, Cardy agreed but stated that the problem with the prior policy was, “yanking milk and juice with no replacement plan“
Yet milk and juice had not been “yanked”. You might have noticed that I’ve bolded the word “sale” throughout this piece – the reasoning is simple – the policy that Cardy and the New Brunswick Conservatives have reversed was the end of school chocolate milk sales. Meaning there was never a ban on chocolate milk (or juice) – they weren’t “yanked”, they simply weren’t sold. Nor were (or are) schools distributing chocolate milk freely to hungry, impoverished children. And when schools weren’t selling it, there was nothing stopping a parent from sending their kids with a thermos of chocolate milk (or a juice box) to school, or signing their kids up for the white stuff’s sale.
And finally, Cardy calls the concerns of various public health professionals, “self-righteous indignation”, and shifts the goalposts a fifth time (from hunger, to poverty, to food insecurity, to yanking) to fundraising. As if there are no other ways to raise funds for schools than by selling sugar.
And perhaps here it’s worth repeating, Cardy is New Brunswick’s Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. Drink that in for a moment.
(And reporters who will inevitably be covering the new Food Guide’s eventual release, if the Guide, as expected, calls for a limitation on sugar-sweetened milk, I’d suggest an interview with Mr. Cardy with a focus on his chocolate milk beliefs and New Brunswick’s school food policy might make for a delicious side story)
Read time: 6 mins
China, the world’s second-largest economy and ground zero in the global effort to combat climate change, is among the biggest drivers of this increase. Accounting for 27 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, China has been the world’s leading emitter for more than a decade. Although its emissions stayed flat between 2013 and 2016, they rose again in 2017 and increased by an estimated 5 percent in 2018.
While recent increases are certainly cause for concern, based on my research on China’s climate change policies, I see grounds for optimism in terms of what to expect with China’s carbon footprint.
Christopher Solomon, in Outside, on when your body says no.
Leora Smith, in ProPublica, on the virus of blood spatter analysis.
Jennifer N. Levin, in The Washington Post, on caregiver PTSD.
Read time: 5 mins
On December 27, a federal appeals court ordered a Louisiana’s sheriff’s department and its sheriff to release information about its officers’ trip to North Dakota during the heated protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in 2016. The extended, indigenous-led protests near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation drew a highly militarized response from public and private law enforcement. Out-of-state cops, including those from Louisiana’s St. Charles Parish, flooded North Dakota to support it via an interstate agreement.
The latest move reversed a decision by a district court, which denied a public records request made by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a human rights law firm, on behalf of environmental groups in Louisiana after parish law enforcement spoke out against Dakota Access pipeline opponents and endorsed the Bayou Bridge pipeline, a similar oil pipeline in Louisiana.
Burnaby, BC –The Liberal Party of Canada will hold its open Team Trudeau nomination meeting for the upcoming Burnaby South federal by-election, on December 29, 2018. Local Liberals will gather to nominate their candidate at the Firefighters Banquet and Conference Centre, with candidate speeches taking place at 1:00 PM. Voting will conclude at 3:00 PM. […]
Lab grown lungs transplanted in pigs may be the future for humans in need
Read time: 9 mins
2018 is set to rank as the fourth warmest year on record — and the fourth year in a row reflecting a full degree Celsius (1.8° Fahrenheit) temperature rise from the late 1800s, climate scientists say.
This was the year that introduced us to fire tornadoes, bomb cyclones, and, in Death Valley, a five day streak of 125°F temperatures, part of the hottest month ever documented at a U.S. weather station.
2018 also brought the world’s highest-ever low temperature, as nighttime temperatures fell to a sizzling 109°F in Quiryat, Oman, on June 28, smashing a 2011 record-high low.
A startling 95 percent of the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is now gone — and we’re losing Arctic ice at a rate of 14,000 tons per second, according to recent research, three times as fast as roughly three decades ago.
It was a year notable both for its overwhelming, climate-fueled impacts as well as its gut-wrenching predictions for what climate change still has in store for us if we fail to act. So much happened, frankly, that it’s been hard to keep it all straight.
Read time: 6 mins
The international climate change conference that concluded in Katowice, Poland on Dec. 15 had limited ambitions and expectations — especially compared to the 2015 meeting that produced the Paris climate agreement. It will be remembered mainly for its delegates agreeing on a common “rulebook” to implement existing country commitments for reducing emissions.
The deal is vital. It keeps the new global climate regime alive. It maintains a path to deliver financial and technical assistance to vulnerable countries and peoples. Actors with quite divergent interests, including the United States, the European Union, oil producing states, China, India, and small island nations all accepted a common approach to measuring progress.
But from my perspective as a social scientist focusing on conservation and international development, the technical orientation of the Katowice meeting failed to match the urgency of needed climate action. Negotiators made little progress toward deeper emissions cuts. Nor did the meeting do much to help the most vulnerable people, ecosystems, and nations.
Read time: 8 mins
In 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, one of the wealthiest cities in Africa, faced the prospect of running out of water. This city of four million people was counting down the days to “Day Zero,” when they would turn on the taps and find them dry.
Ultimately, Cape Town’s water conservation measures helped the city narrowly miss reaching Day Zero (for now).
However, the experience stands out as a warning of what’s to come for large, developed population centers as climate change puts increasing pressure on the world’s water in unprecedented and unexpected ways, from a mega-drought in the American West to drier soils preventing rivers and lakes from recharging when rain does arrive.
As has been my tradition, in December I repost old favourites from years gone by. This year am looking back to 2015.
I spotted these as I wandered around Whole Foods before heading to the movies.
The packaging screams out health. “Kale“, “Air Dried, Not Fried“, “GMO Free“, “MSG Free“, “Gluten Free“, “Vegetarian“
Turn the package over however and you might be surprised to learn a few things.
The bag’s 640 calories clock in at 16% more than a Big Mac’s 549 (and more gram for gram than Doritos), and they’re also packing the same amount of sodium gram for gram as Lay’s potato chips (regular flavour).
The nutrition data is also a bit curious.
Looking at 28g of raw kale you’ll notice that it contains 86% of your Vitamin A %DV and 56% of Vitamin C. And yet 28g of these dehydrated kale chips, which you might imagine would in fact represent more than 28g of raw given the dehydration, have 97% less vitamin A and 73% less vitamin C.
Putting aside the fact that if you’re actually looking for the nutritive benefits of kale, at least as compared with Kaley’s Kale Chips, actual kale’s the way to go, some might say that I’m being too harsh. They might say that the bag isn’t meant to be consumed in one sitting. But as you can see from the photo where I’m holding it, the bag’s no larger than your average checkout aisle chip bag, and at least with chips, you won’t for a moment convince yourself they’re a healthful choice.
If you want chips buy chips. Simple.
As has been my tradition, in December I repost old favourites from years gone by. This year am looking back to 2015.
Well truthfully I don’t know that for sure, but what other explanation is there for their trying to sell their product with this statement as their proof of its efficacy?
“Data based on consumer perception after a 60 day home-use trial of PhystoSport products by 25 Arbonne Independent Consultants, Arbonne employees, and friends.“
As to what that means? Well basically Arbonne, referred to by many as a multi-level marketing scheme, asked its own salespeople, employees and friends about the very products they were trying to sell, and then compiled their answers into really awesome sounding statistics with a tiny disclaimer that they’re hoping no one will read.
Scumbags might be too kind a descriptor.
Read time: 6 mins
A year after Washington state denied key permits for a coal-export terminal in the port city of Longview, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would proceed with its review — essentially ignoring the state’s decision.
This dispute pits federal authorities against local and state governments. It’s also part of a larger and long-running battle over fossil fuel shipments to foreign countries that stretches up the entire American West Coast.
Read time: 4 mins
Two Senate Democrats this week ordered several Trump administration cabinet members and agency officials to reveal how the oil industry and Koch network have worked behind closed doors to influence the proposed rollback of auto efficiency and emissions standards.
Senator Tom Carper of Delaware and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer sent a letter to the current heads of the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others in the administration to demand information about a “covert lobbying campaign with oil industry groups to support Trump Administration efforts to weaken fuel economy standards and increase demand for oil consumption.”
Constance Grady, in Vox, explains how Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker believes Jews are the world’s reptilian overlords and how perhaps it would have been wise for the New York Times to call her on that.
Shirley Wang, on WBUR, with the amazing and heart warming story of Charles Barkley’s unlikely friendship with Lin Wang.
Laurie Garrett, in the BMJ, on the obstacles faced by women in research and medicine (read it before it gets stuffed behind a paywall)
Read time: 7 mins
Louisiana is ground zero for the devastating impacts of climate change. Even though the state is already feeling the costly impacts to life and property due to extreme weather and an eroding coastline linked to a warming planet, its government continues to ignore the primary cause — human use of fossil fuels.
The impacts to the region, such as worsening floods, heat waves, and sea level rise, will only be intensified as the globe continues warming, warn federal scientists in the latest National Climate Assessment report.
But instead of heeding scientists’ warnings, Louisiana’s government continues to welcome the prospects of new billion-dollar petrochemical plants, liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, and an oil export hub, all without a mention of their climate change impacts.
Now You’re Talking looks at the evolution of human voice from caveman to artificial intelligence
Everyone talks about the weather, but a poet writes a book about it