Additional Signs of Collapse

America’s Most Common Drug Ingredient Could Be Making You Less Empathetic — Every week, a quarter of Americans take a painkiller that could be dampening our collective feelings of empathy. In a paper published online this week, scientists claim that acetaminophen, Tylenol’s main ingredient, makes people more likely to think that other people’s pain isn’t a big deal.  Researchers from the National Institutes of Health and Ohio State University published their findings in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience after studying the effects of the drug on between 80 and about 120 college students across three different experiments.  One group of students drank a liquid with 1,000 mg of acetaminophen, while another took a placebo. An hour later, everyone read short stories about situations such as feeling emotional pain from the death of a parent, or physical pain from a knife that had cut through to the bone. The students who drank the acetaminophen assigned lower ratings for perceived pain and distress than the students who didn’t. In the second experiment, participants socialized with other people and then, while alone, watched a game supposedly involving three of the people they had just met. The game showed two people excluding the third from an activity, and asked students to rate how hurt the excluded member was. Again, students who took the painkiller assigned lower pain ratings. Given how common acetaminophen is (it’s present in more than 600 products) it’s worth looking into what the researchers have called its “broader social side effects” and whether other painkillers could have similar results.

Zika Virus May Spread To Europe In Coming Months, WHO Warns: The Zika virus, an infectious disease linked to severe birth defects in babies, may spread into Europe as the weather gets warmer, although the risk is low, health officials said on Wednesday. In its first assessment of the threat Zika poses to the region, the World Health Organization’s European office said the overall risk was small to moderate. It is highest in areas where Aedes mosquitoes thrive, in particular on the island of Madeira and the north-eastern coast of the Black Sea. “There is a risk of spread of Zika virus disease in the European Region and … this risk varies from country to country, said Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO’s regional director for Europe. “We call particularly on countries at higher risk to strengthen their national capacities and prioritize the activities that will prevent a large Zika outbreak.” The WHO’s European region covers 53 countries and a population of nearly 900 million. It stretches from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Mediterranean Sea in the south and from the Atlantic in the west to the Pacific in the east. A large and spreading outbreak of Zika that began in Brazil has caused global alarm. The virus has been linked to thousands of cases of a birth defect known as microcephaly in babies of women who become infected with Zika while pregnant. The WHO has said there is strong scientific consensus that Zika can also cause Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome that causes temporary paralysis in adults. The WHO’s Geneva headquarters in February declared the Zika outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), warning it was spreading “explosively” in the Americas.[...] Read More

Read more

Paradise Destroyed

I used to follow some sailing blogs, which eventually led me to some blogs about island life. This is a sad story about how one beautiful island is being ruined.

But like I’ve said so many times before, nobody cares. The cruise ships, tourist industry and even the locals are all busy at work – all a part of the ongoing destruction.

If you want to know what the future is going to be like, just put this picture in your mind: a big, gigantic garbage heap, piled as high as the heavens. Underneath it all, glued to an endless array of screens will be some very pale, fat humans surrounded by even more garbage. Nothing else will be alive other then cockroaches and rats, even the very air will be toxic to breathe, so the air-filtration systems and air conditioners will be working overtime.[...] Read More

Read more

India under intense heat wave: Temperatures soaring to abnormal levels well ahead of the summer season: Maharashtra records record 46.5C (114F)

This is a dangerous development, months ahead of the normal summer heat: India under intense heat wave: Temperatures soaring to abnormal levels well ahead of the summer season: Maharashtra records record 46.5C (114F).

I doubt if a bunch of dead people will gain the attention of the idiotic world leaders who have chosen to play “Trumpy See, Trumpy Do”, but a heat wave of this magnitude this early is revealing that things are changing rapidly.[...] Read More

Read more

Flirting With Disaster

Oh boy.

The Heartland Institute plans on contacting EVERY science teacher in the country. To do what, might you ask? To encouraging these teachers to consider and teach explanations for global warming that reject humans’ role in a changing climate.

This boils my blood, because the Heartland Institute has a long, long history of despicable practices and deceit. Their lies about the scientific consensus has long been taken to task, and yet they’re still regurgitation this crap and insisting this is taught to every child in the country. They’re siezing the political opportunity generated by the Trumpanzees and Trumpatollah and the miserable failure of the whore media which sold out America long ago.[...] Read More

Read more

Mad Scientist

It was Joe Romm himself (not a scientist) and many climate scientist that kept spewing the 2°C nonsense for years and years.  Their own blinders now (finally) being removed, NOW they claim that this is dangerous – and yet they STILL pretend that we can limit warming under 2°C!

I have always found Romm refusing to admit to the horrible truth. He gets plenty of press coverage and has plenty of opportunity to tell us like it really is – and yet he still weakly pretends that we are still going to be ok.[...] Read More

Read more

Sea-level rise may displace 13 million people in the US by 2100

This is a story that will “hit home” – but will Trump just try to build another wall?

Sea-level rise may displace 13 million people in the US by 2100.

Sea-level rise could force three times as many people in the US from their homes by the end of this century as previously thought, according to an analysis of population trends.

Mathew Hauer, a demographer at the University of Georgia in Athens, says that until recently most studies that predicted the risks associated with sea-level rise used current population numbers combined with projections of future sea levels.[...] Read More

Read more

World faces four famines as Trump administration plans to slash foreign aid budget

World faces four famines as Trump administration plans to slash foreign aid budget

‘Biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II’ about to engulf 20 million people, UN says, as governments only donate 10 per cent of funds needed for essential aid’.

YAWN. Go back to sleep. The people dying of acute malnutrition aren’t Americans, so what does it matter? Or that this is the largest humanitarian crisis in history?[...] Read More

Read more

Puppeteers and Pulling Strings

The Trump agenda is not about putting America first. It’s about putting the privileged (monied) first. The Washington Post has a decent perspective on this, but it doesn’t go quite far enough.

Really, though, Trump’s policy reflects a deeper truth. Climate change denial is not incidental to a nationalist, populist agenda. It’s central to it. And that’s not a coincidence.[...] Read More

Read more

Methane and Meat

In a warming world, cows are going to produce less meat and milk and more methane. That is the results found in a study from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Frankfurt.

“… plants growing in warmer conditions are tougher and have lower nutritional value to grazing livestock, potentially inhibiting milk and meat yields and raising the amount of methane released by the animals. Higher amounts of methane are produced when plants are tougher to digest – an effect of a warmer environment. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, around 25 times better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. More than 95% of the methane produced by cows comes from their breath through eructation (belching) as they “chew the cud”.  Making Cows More Environmentally Friendly[...] Read More

Read more

Spread the word :)