The paper was written in response to the long-standing concern that the odors associated with menstruation could lure in hungry bears, putting women at a higher risk than men of being mauled. The concern proved to be little more than an urban legend, at least when it comes to grizzly and black bears.
According to researcher Kerry A. Gunther, who wrote the paper: "There is no evidence that grizzly and black bears are overly attracted to menstrual odors more than any other odor."
And last month, Richard Muller, a University of California-Berkeley physics professor, MacArthur Fellow, and former climate change skeptic—whose research was funded by the Koch brothers—concluded that "global warming was real and that prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I'm now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause."
The pace of global warming is accelerating and the scale of the impact is devastating. The time for action is limited—we are approaching a tipping point beyond which the opportunity to reverse the damage of CO2 emissions will disappear.
Sahel landscape in a good year: Center for International Forestry Research via Flickr
If you had to pick ground zero for climate change, you might pick the Sahel, the grasslands between the Sahara in the north and African tropical rainforests in the south. The region is immensely fertile—when it isn't being slammed by recurrent droughts and floods. Many human lives are suspended in a fragile balance with the volatile climate of this region.
At that time most believed the cause of drought was human overuse of the land—grazing, deforestation, poor farming practices—on a local scale. Nowadays the data suggest recurring Sahelian droughts are driven by a more complex constellation of factors, some related to global climate change, including:
Warming sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean (see this paper in Science)
Increase in greenhouse gases combined with increase in atmospheric aerosols (see GFDL)
Sadly 2012 has produced another drought in the Sahel, only two years after the 2010 drought. Water shortages, failed crops, insect plagues, high food prices, human displacement, conflict, and chronic poverty now threaten the lives of 18 million people in the region, including at least a million children, says UNICEF.
The global warming casualty list already includes 150,000 additional people killed every year, mostly from disease and malnutrition. That number is projected to grow. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, heat waves could kill 150,000 Americans alone by 2099 (scary map of that here.)
BP may not be top-notch at preventing huge, toxic oil spills, but the companyis certainly PR-savvy.
In this spring's run-up to the Olympic games, London 2012 organizers announced that BP would be a main sponsor of the event—specifically, a "Sustainability Partner" helping to create the "greenest Games ever." The enviro community balked at the move, launching campaigns, circulating videos, and pranking high-profile orgs to underscore the irony. But to little avail, it seems: Despite the controversy, a survey published this week shows that the oil and gas giant's Olympic ads seem to be rekindling the public's BP love.
Of all the main Olympic sponsors, BP went into the games dead last in brand perception ratings—in fact, it was the only company with a rating in the negative numbers, according to the survey from YouGov BrandIndex. Now, with ads on billboards and television (see below), BP has catapulted from a -5.9 perception rating to a 2.6, a massive jump rivaled only by Visa. And that's among the US population specifically, since all of YouGov's survey respondents were US adults:YouGov G BrandIndex
Part of BP's massive Olympic ad effort is "BP Team USA," a group of nine US Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls serving as the brand's athlete ambassadors. Two of the team's members—track and fielder Sanya Richards-Ross and swimmer Rebecca Soni—have already brought in three gold medals and a silver, likely further boosting the hunky-dory US attitudes towards BP at the games.
Also notable: A couple of those BP Team USA ads are grouped on its YouTube channel under thetitle "Overcoming Setbacks." An admirable athletic sentiment, sure, but an ironic one when employed by a company that's using these ads—and the athletes in them—to fix its own "setbacks."
Sasaki, along with 7,000 Iitate residents, left the home she shared with her husband, son and grandson, and said a quiet farewell to her brewery, restaurant and the fields where she once grew organic rice and vegetables.
"When I think about my old house, I get a headache and can't sleep," she said. "I took out millions of yen in loans to build my old brewery and restaurant, and I was on the verge of paying them off when the accident happened.
"Then I had to borrow more money to open this place. Tokyo Electric Power [the operator of the plant] has paid me some compensation, but it's a drop in the ocean."
Almost a year and half later, Iitate's residents, now scattered around the region in temporary shelters and private accommodation, still don't know when they will be able to make a permanent return, although many are now permitted to visit during daylight hours.
Investigators are waiting to see if it is safe to enter a smouldering Chevron oil refinery after it was ravaged by fire, sending plumes across the San Francisco bay area and Californian gasoline prices surging.
Experts warned it could take months to repair the refinery in Richmond, a 2,900-acre facility which refines about 150,000 gallons of gasoline daily, 15% of the state's daily needs.
Monday evening's blaze began in a tower and spread to at least three units used to cool water, prompting hundreds of people to seek treatment for respiratory problems and panic buying at the pumps, raising prices 11% in the bay area.
However, initial predictions that prices could exceed $4 per gallon were scaled back because spare capacity in other west coast refineries could fill much, if not all, of the gap.
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