Saturday, July 2, 2011

When Scientists Take to the Streets It’s Time to Listen Up

Climate Scientists in Australia are taking to the streets to combat the persistent non-science claims of climate deniers. Many Australian scientists have received death threats for work that documents the evidence that global warming is severely disrupting weather patterns throughout the world.’s-time-to-listen-up/

NPR Violates FCC Rules, Promotes Interests of its Sponsorship Donor Monsanto

I have noticed in several NPR pieces that I've read that the public radio organization seems to be a proponent of industrial agriculture and GMOs, and that they frequently air industry claims that industrial ag is the only way to 'feed the world.' Now it appears that this bias may have been institutionalized due to Monsanto's programming support for the show, Marketplace.

Harvard Punishes 3 Psychiatrists Over Undisclosed Industry Pay

Three psychiatrists from Harvard have been accused of accepted $4.2 million from drug companies from 2000 to 2007, and failing to report these payments as required by the university medical school, Mass General Hospital and the NIH. Harvard has taken disciplinary action that includes barring any such payments for a year, stricter reporting guidelines and conflict-of-interest training (ha!) for the doctors. The most disturbing aspect of this case is that Dr. Biederman is a leading child psychiatrist whose teachings have led to an explosion in prescriptions to young children for treatment of ADHD, that has benefitted the very companies who paid him for services that he did not report.

Nebraska Nuclear Plant Threatened by Flooding is Safe, According to Union of Concerned Scientists

There has only been modest coverage recently of ongoing flooding in the midwest, but this it is shaping up to be the worst flooding that has ever occurred in the US. Two nuclear power plants in Missouri are threatened by flood waters and Fort Calhoun, in particular, is at risk as it is completely surrounded by the flood waters. The NRC, state officials and now the Union of Concerned Scientists all claim that the situation is under control and that there is no threat of a meltdown at this point. Fortunately, the flood is not expected to reach the height where it could shut down cooling generators in the plant, another six feet or so, but the current crisis is another sobering example of how vulnerable we all are to catastrophic nuclear events that could result in massive and damaging radiation contamination.

Nuclear Plants Vital Equipment Dry, Officials Say

Mindful of the misinformation released by TEPCO and government officials in Japan, points out that we run the same risks in the US as several nuclear plants are in peril due to flooding. While the berm that broke and allowed the flood waters to surround the actual plant was a redundant voluntary system, it is still cause for concern. It's also interesting to note that none of the other stories I read about this event mentioned the 10-mile evacuation zone that's been put in place.
Fukushima in the US? Flood Berms Break around Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant, Ten Mile Evacuation Zone Declared