Environment

“There is no secret ingredient. It’s just you.” -Po, Kung-Fu Panda Each week at Starts With A Bang brings a fresh set of topics from around the Universe — near and far, large and small, concrete and abstract — for us to think about. This week has been a splendid example, with new articles on such diverse…

Or so energylivenews says (thanks to J). Their text is: Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney appears to agree most fossil fuels can’t be used if the world is to avoid climate change. At a World Bank event on Friday, he is quoted as saying: “The vast majority of reserves are unburnable.” This…

A recent study of air quality around unconventional oil and gas extraction sites — more commonly referred to as fracking — found high levels of benzene, hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde, all of which pose risks to human health. But what makes this study particularly interesting is that the air samples were collected by the very people who live near the extraction sites, and the collection times were specifically triggered by the onset of health symptoms.

Tol throws toys out of pram

It looks like Tol has joined the <cough> illustrious <cough> ranks of those who publish their review comments: the commentary could be made substantially more balanced and contemplative – for example, as proof of “truth” the author cites himself and a series of mostly social media sources, with little reference to the academic literature and…

Wayne Farms slammed by OSHA for gaming system on poultry worker injuries

After more than a decade, OSHA used its “general duty clause” to issue citations to a poultry processing firm for ergonomic hazards.

This was technically difficult owing to internet conditions but interviewer Vijay Kishore Vaidyanathan did a great job with what he had. In particular he did a great job editing out the constant explosions in the background!

Despite significant unanswered questions about human and environmental health impacts – and no exposure monitoring requirements – the EPA has approved a new herbicide called Enlist Duo for use on genetically engineered corn and soybeans in six Midwestern states. Environmental groups and farmers are suing to block approval, saying EPA failed to adequately assess health risks.

Says the FT (Oct 27, 2014 : The Bank of England has written to insurance companies to assess the risk climate change poses to their solvency and earnings. FT environment correspondent Pilita Clark and City editor Jonathan Guthrie discuss the move and regulators’ concern about global warming). Alas its a video, but worth listening to.…

“The trees are man’s best friends; but man has treated them as his worst enemies. The history of our race may be said to be the history of warfare upon the tree world. But while man has seemed to be the victor, his victories have brought upon him inevitable disasters.” -Nathaniel Egleston When things you’ve…

Ebola in the US Update

Of the seven Americans who have contracted Ebola, five overseas and two in Texas, all seven have survived. Comments from President Obama, focusing on how we have to be guided by the science: “Here’s the bottom line. Patients can beat this disease. And we can beat this disease. But we have to stay vigilant. We…