Effect Measure

Archives for January, 2008

I’ll keep an eye out for you

When you open a package delivered to your hotel room in the middle of the night and look inside to find the inside looking back at you it’s probably time to go back to bed. After putting the contents in the fridge, of course: A hotel guest in the Tasmanian city of Hobart was shocked…

A small air pollution risk. Nano sized.

The particles are smaller but the risks appear to be bigger. We’re talking air pollution, here, folks. Not so long ago EPA regulations were on the basis of pretty large partiles, ten microns in size. Then a considerable body of work indicated that much smaller particulate matter, size around 2.5 microns were a much better…

You’d think finding that there were some bird flu infections that went undetected would be bad news but it is actually good news. Not tremendous good news but better than no news, and that’s unusual in the bird flu world. For some time the absence of mild or inapparent infections has been worrying. It means…

The TV ad that DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!

Unlike Orac at Respectful Insolence, I’m not particularly obsessed with what he calls “woo”: medical quackery and fraud. He has every reason to go bullshit over it, since it is potentially very dangerous stuff. But I have a limited supply of outrage and quackery just doesn’t set me off. Usually. So I am surprised at…

Predictable as clockwork, no sooner does the Director General of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), M. Bernard Vallat tell us that things are looking up for bird flu then we have a massive outbreak threatening to devastate the poultry industry of India. So the poultry problem is neither stable nor under control, whatever…

This week sees the tenth anniversary of an important event in the American environmental movement, although few people know it (even some who were there had forgotten the date). In late January, 1998, a group of 32 environmental scientists, activists and scholars sat down together at the Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin to hash…

Was bird flu better in 2007 versus 2006?

In 2006 there were 115 confirmed cases (WHO case count) of H5N1 in humans with 79 deaths. In 2007 the figures are 86 cases and 59 deaths. Some have taken this as evidence H5N1 is less of a problem (latest data here). That’s not how I read it, however. Seasonal flu numbers bounce around from…

EPA takes the Fifth

Recently we posted on the EPA highly unusual (as in unprecedented) decision to reject Californian’s new greenhouse gas regulations. Why did they do it? Good question and one the California Congressional delegation wanted an answer to. To whom did EPA talk about the regulations? Who advised them to reject it? Sorry. Mum’s the word. Actually…

A report late last night by Helen Branswell alerted me to a tabulation from a new tracking system WHO is putting into place to answer demands from a number of member states in the developing world that there be more transparency in how isolates of avian influenza (bird flu) submitted to WHO are used and…

We now know that Pakistan sold nuclear secrets to Libya and North Korea and who knows who else. The assumption was that the nuclear secrets were Pakistan’s. AQ Khan, head of the Pakistani nuclear program gets the blame (or the credit; he is considered a national hero in Pakistan). Nuclear secrets sold to the highest…