Here’s the links from todays show.
How a Shocking Aluminum Discovery Was Censored;
Research Scientist Injured During Merck’s Gardasil Trial;
Chris Exley Talks the Future of Aluminum Science, from #Keele13.
An armed, off-duty fireman may have prevented yet another tragedy…
Man with concealed carry permit stops potential massacre at Walmart after a 20-year-old man with a rifle, 100+ rounds of ammo, and body armor shows up The concealed carry holder held him at gunpoint till cops showed up and arrested him
And scientists, it should be stressed. See below.
Monsanto operated a “fusion center” to monitor and discredit journalists and activists, and targeted a reporter who wrote a critical book on the company, documents reveal. The agrochemical corporation also investigated the singer Neil Young and wrote an internal memo on his social media activity and music.
The records reviewed by the Guardian show Monsanto adopted a multi-pronged strategy to target Carey Gillam, a Reuters journalist who investigated the company’s weedkiller and its links to cancer. Monsanto, now owned by the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, also monitored a not-for-profit food research organization through its “intelligence fusion center”, a term that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies use for operations focused on surveillance and terrorism.
- Monsanto planned a series of “actions” to attack a book authored by Gillam prior to its release, including writing “talking points” for “third parties” to criticize the book and directing “industry and farmer customers” on how to post negative reviews.
- Monsanto paid Google to promote search results for “Monsanto Glyphosate Carey Gillam” that criticized her work. Monsanto PR staff also internally discussed placing sustained pressure on Reuters, saying they “continue to push back on [Gillam’s] editors very strongly every chance we get”, and that they were hoping “she gets reassigned”.
- Monsanto “fusion center” officials wrote a lengthy report about singer Neil Young’s anti-Monsanto advocacy, monitoring his impact on social media, and at one point considering “legal action”. The fusion center also monitored US Right to Know (USRTK), a not-for-profit, producing weekly reports on the organization’s online activity.
- Monsanto officials were repeatedly worried about the release of documents on their financial relationships with scientists that could support the allegations they were “covering up unflattering research”….
Washington’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty is just the latest move against Russia that will serve to intensify an arms race on the European continent that is already underway. It may also force Russia to take things to the next level.
Aside from the unprecedented stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction on an epic scale, a whirlwind of regional developments are now underway that foreshadow extremely unsettling consequences. First and foremost is this month’s formal announcement by the Trump administration that it would be pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), signed into force by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan back in 1987.
With the INF consigned to the dustbin of history, the US and Russia are free to design and produce ballistic and cruise missiles within a 500-5,500 kilometer range (310-3,420 miles). Would any NATO country be so foolish as to host these American-made weapons on their territory, thereby opening itself up to a devastating first-strike attack in some worst-case scenario? Poland is one possible candidate. After all, Polish President Andrzej Duda last year offered the United States $2 billion in financing for the construction of a permanent American base on Poland’s eastern border. While the two NATO countries are still considering the idea, it is clear that the eradication of the INF Treaty promises to ratchet up tensions between Russia and its neighbors.
Washington’s pullout from the INF did not occur in a vacuum, of course. It followed in the tank tracks of George W. Bush’s disastrous decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty, one of many opportunistic moves committed by the United States in the aftermath of 9/11. With the ABM out of the way, the United States was able to establish a missile defense shield in Romania, just miles from the Russian border. Washington’s overtures to Moscow that it would welcome Russian participation in the project were eventually revealed as a deceitful stalling tactic. Russian President Vladimir Putin was not fooled, however, and wasted no time researching and developing of a lethal array of new weapon systems, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile with unlimited range.
— RT (@RT_com) March 1, 2018
At this point in the updated ‘Great Game’ there is a temptation to say that the US and Russia have entered yet another ‘MAD’ moment, that is, ‘mutually assured destruction’ should one side or the other attempt fate with a first-strike attack. Check mate, as it were. After all, Russia has got its “unstoppable” nuclear-powered cruise missile and other fearsome hardware, while the US has its missile defense shield, as well as numerous NATO set pieces, bolted down in Europe. Everything is wonderful in the neighborhood, right? Well, not exactly.
Comparing the present standoff between the US and Russia to the Cold War realities is erroneous and dangerous for a number of reasons. First, the opportunity for some sort of mishap resulting in all-out war has never been greater. The reason is not simply due to the dizzying amount of firepower involved, but rather due to the proximity of the firepower to the Russian border. During the Cold War standoff, Moscow, the nerve center of the Soviet empire, was well guarded by the buffer of Warsaw Pact republics. Today, that buffer has practically vanished, and NATO is not only encamped deep inside of Eastern Europe, but – in the case of the Baltic States of Estonia and Latvia – smack up against the Russian border. Although the entire concept of time, distance and space has been made somewhat redundant by the exceptional speed of modern missiles and aircraft, this has not reduced the possibility of NATO and Russia accidentally stumbling into a very bad situation….
A new study shows how “insect apocalypse” is unfolding across America’s farmland since neonicotinoid pesticides were introduced several decades ago.
Researchers found that farmland across the country is 48 times more toxic to insect life than 25 years ago, and neonicotinoid pesticides account for a large majority of the increase in toxicity.
“It is alarming that US agriculture has become so much more toxic to insect life in the past two decades,” said Kendra Klein, Ph.D., study co-author and senior staff scientist at Friends of the Earth.
“We need to phase out neonicotinoid pesticides to protect bees and other insects that are critical to biodiversity and the farms that feed us.”
Published in the journal PLOS ONE on Tuesday, the new study is a complete assessment of pesticide usage on farmland in the US, is the first study in the world to quantify how dangerous fields have become for insects by providing YoY changes in toxicity levels of the soil.
The increased toxic load measured in the study could explain why insect populations are collapsing in the US.
Klein said neonicotinoids are more toxic for insects than traditional pesticides and are widely used by farmers. These dangerous chemicals can remain in the soil for months to years after one application.
“Congress must pass the Saving America’s Pollinators Act to ban neonicotinoids,” said Klein.
“In addition, we need to rapidly shift our food system away from dependence on harmful pesticides and toward organic farming methods that work with nature rather than against it.”
The study suggests neonicotinoids are a major factor in the recent decline of insects, along with climate change and habitat destruction, leading scientist to warn of an “insect apocalypse.”
Insects, such as honey bees, are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops. It’s estimated that at least one-third of food consumed by humans relies on pollination mainly by bees, but also by other insects, birds, and bats.
Neonicotinoid usage has been linked to honey-bee colony collapse disorder and loss of birds due to a decline in insect populations.
Klein said neonicotinoid became popular with farmers during the mid-2000s, has contributed to the dramatic increase of toxic farmland.
The study found imidacloprid and clothianidin, produced by Bayer, and thiamethoxam, a product of Syngenta-ChemChina were the three neonicotinoids that contributed to the increasing toxic load in farmlands….
This video exposes that “British” sense of humor that makes Brits (like me mum) so dear to our hearts.