It’s been hypothesized that pesticides are the source of the global collapse of bee populations, but there had been no controlled experiments demonstrating correlation. A French government group performed just such an experiment and found that, indeed, colonies exposed to low levels of imidacloprid (a common, Bayer-developed insecticide) failed to thrive. They were 100–200% more likely to die while away from their nests, possibly because imidacloprid damages their ability to navigate back. →
Remember last year’s SCOTUS ruling that the EPA had to figure out if CO2 was a danger to human health? Well, the EPA complied with that, as they were obliged to, and in December they issued a report to the White House ruling that, yes, greenhouse gases are pollutants, and as such they’ve got to be regulated. But the White House never received that report and, as a result, they say that they don’t have to comply with it. Why didn’t the White House receive the report? Because they refuse to open the e-mail. You just can’t make this stuff up. The White House says that if they don’t open the e-mail, it doesn’t count. The EPA has hacked out big chunks of that report—the parts that recommended, y’know, doing stuff—in order to get the White House to agree to open the e-mail.
A decade ago this would have been the stuff of farce. And a decade from now this will all just be a bad memory. But right now, thanks to the boiling-frog effect, somehow it’s just not shocking that we have a president that is employing the logic of a toddler.
If we pretend that there are no greenhouse gases, will they still harm us?
That “new car smell” is, in fact, the smell of cancer. The adhesives and plastics all emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dozens in all, including benzene, a carcinogen. A new study shows that the same is true of new shower curtains. They’re made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and offgas dozens of VOCs and even phthalates into your bathroom. Kmart, Target, and Sears have all said they’re going to phase out PVC-based shower curtains. Concerned about PVC, I switched to a fabric curtain liner a couple of years ago, and it’s a fine substitute. And I don’t even miss that new shower curtain smell.