Science Guardian

Truth, beauty and paradigm power in science and society

I am Nicolaus Copernicus, and I approve of this blog

News, views and reviews measured against professional literature in peer reviewed journals (adjusted for design flaws and bias), well researched books, authoritative encyclopedias (not the bowdlerized Wiki entries on controversial topics) and the investigative reporting and skeptical studies of courageous original thinkers among academics, philosophers, researchers, scholars, authors, filmmakers and journalists.

Supporting the right of exceptional minds to free speech, publication, media coverage and funding against the crowd prejudice, leadership resistance, monetary influences and internal professional politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, HIV(not)AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, information technology, religions and cults, health, medicine, diet and nutrition.

***************************************************

HONOR ROLL OF SCIENTIFIC TRUTHSEEKERS

Halton C. Arp wki/obit/txt/vds/txt/txt/bk/bk, Henry Bauer txt/blg/ blg/bks/bk/txt/bk/vd, John Beard bk, Harvey Bialy bk/bk/txt/txt/rdo/vd, John Bockris bio/txt/ltr/bk, Donald W. Braben, Peter Breggin ste/fb/col/bks, Darin Brown txt/txt/txt/txt/txt/vd, Giordano Bruno bk/bio/bio, Frank R. Buianouckas, Stanislav Burzynski mov, Erwin Chargaff bio/bk/bio/prs, James Chin bk/vd, Nicolaus Copernicus bk, Mark Craddock, Francis Crick vd, Paul Crutzen, Marie Curie, Rebecca Culshaw txt/bk, Roger Cunningham, Charles Darwin txts/bk, Erasmus Darwin txt//bk/txt/hse/bks, Peter Duesberg ste/ste/bk/txt/vd/vd, Freeman Dyson, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman bio, John Fewster, Rosalind Franklin, Bernard Forscher tx, Galileo Galilei, Walter Gilbert vd, Goethe bio/bk/bio, Nicolas Gonzalez tlk/rec/stetxt/txt, Patricia Goodson txt/bk/bk, Alec Gordon, James Hansen, Etienne de Harven bk/txt/vd, Alfred Hassig intw/txt, Robert G. Houston txt, Steven Jonas vd, Edward Jenner txt, Benjamin Jesty, Adrian Kent vd, Thomas Kuhn, Fred Kummerow, Stefan Lanka txt/txt/vd, Serge Lang, John Lauritsen vd, Paul Lauterbur vd, Mark Leggett, Richard Lindzen, James Lovelock, Andrew Maniotis, Lynn Margulis, Barbara McClintock, Christi Meyer vd, George Miklos, Marco Mamone Capria, Peter Medawar, Luc Montagnier txt/txt/vd, Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling prs/vd/vd, Eric Penrose, Roger Penrose vd, Max Planck, Rainer Plaga, David Rasnick bio/vd/bk, Robert Root-Bernstein vd, Sherwood Rowland, Otto Rossler, Harry Rubin, Marco Ruggiero txt/txt/intw/vd, Bertrand Russell Carl Sagan vd, Erwin Schrodinger, Fred Singer, Barbara Starfield txt, Gordon Stewart txt/txt, Richard Strohman, Thomas Szasz, Nicola Tesla bio/bio, Charles Thomas intw/vd, Frank Tipler, James Watson vd/vd, Alfred Wegener vd, Edward O. Wilson vd.

ACADEMICS, DOCTORS, AUTHORS, FILMMAKERS, REPORTERS AND COMMENTATORS WHO HAVE NOBLY AIDED REVIEW OF THE STATUS QUO

Jad Adams bk, Marci Angell bk/txt/txt/txt, Clark Baker ste/txt/rdo/vd, James Blodgett, Tony Brown vd, Hiram Caton txt/txt/txt/bk/ste, Jonathan Collin ste , Marcus Cohen, David Crowe vd, Margaret Cuomo, Stephen Davis BK/BK,/rdo, Michael Ellner vd, Elizabeth Ely txt/txt/ste, Epicurus, Dean Esmay, Celia Farber bio/txt/txt/txt/vd, Jonathan Fishbein txt/txt/wk, T.C.Fry, Michael Fumento, Max Gerson txt, Charles Geshekter vd, Michael Geiger, Roberto Giraldo, David Healy txt, Bob Herbert, Mike Hersee ste/rdo, Neville Hodgkinson txt /vd, James P. Hogan, Richard Horton bio/vd/vd, Christopher Hitchens, Eric Johnson, Claus Jensen vd, Phillip Johnson, Coleman Jones vds, William Donald Kelley, Ernst T. Krebs Sr txt, Ernst T. Krebs Jr. txt,/bio/txt/txt/ltr, Paul Krugman, Brett Leung MOV/ste/txt/txt/tx+vd/txt, Katie Leishman, Anthony Liversidge blg/intv/intv/txt/txts/txt/intv/txt/vd/vd, Bruce Livesey txt, James W. Loewen, Frank Lusardi, Nathaniel Lehrman vd, Christine Maggiore bk/ste/rec/rdo/vd, Rouben Mamoulian txt/txt/txt/txt/txt/doc/flm/flm, Noreen Martin vd, Robert Maver txt/itw, Eric Merola MOV, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Michael Moore bio/MOV/MOV/MOV, Gordon Moran, Ralph Nader bk, Ralph Moss txt/blg/ste/bks, Gary Null /txt/rdo/vd, Dan Olmsted wki, Toby Ord vd, Charles Ortleb bk/txt/bk/intw/flm, Neenyah Ostrom bk, Dennis Overbye, Mehmet Dr Oz vd, Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos ste/vd, Maria Papagiannidou bk, Thomas Piketty bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk, Robert Pollin txt/vd/bk, Jon Rappoport bio/bk/bk/ste/bk/bk/vd, Janine Roberts bk/bk, Luis Sancho vd, Liam Scheff ste/txt/bk/bk/rdio/vd, John Scythes, Casper Schmidt txt/txt, Joan Shenton vd/vd, Joseph Sonnabend vd, John Stauber, David Steele, Joseph Stiglitz bk/txt, Will Storr rdo Wolfgang Streeck, James P. Tankersley ste, Gary Taubes vd, Mwizenge S. Tembo, John Tierney vd, Michael Tracey, Valendar Turner rec, Jesse Ventura bk, Michael Verney-Elliott bio/vds/vd, Voltaire, Walter Wagner, Andrew Weil vd, David Weinberger bio/bk/blg/blg/BK/bk/pds, Robert Willner bk/txt/txt/vd, Howard Zinn.

*****************************************************
I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing that ever interfered with my learning was my education. I am Freeman Dyson, and I approve of this blog, but would warn the author that life as a heretic is a hard one, since the ignorant and the half informed, let alone those who should know better, will automatically trash their betters who try to enlighten them with independent thinking, as I have found to my sorrow in commenting on "global warming" and its cures.
Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

The progress of science is strewn, like an ancient desert trail, with the bleached skeletons of discarded theories which once seemed to possess eternal life. - Arthur Koestler

One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison. – Bertrand Russell

Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. - Samuel Johnson

A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open. – Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. – John Stuart Mill

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. – Mark Twain

Although science has led to the generally high living standards that most of the industrialized world enjoys today, the astounding discoveries underpinning them were made by a tiny number of courageous, out-of-step, visionary, determined, and passionate scientists working to their own agenda and radically challenging the status quo. – Donald W. Braben

An old error is always more popular than a new truth. — German Proverb

I am Richard Feynman and I approve of this blog

When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself. – Mark Twain

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his income depends on his not understanding it. – Upton Sinclair

A clash of doctrines is not a disaster, but an opportunity. - Alfred North Whitehead

Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. – Samuel Johnson

Man’s mind cannot grasp the causes of events in their completeness, but the desire to find those causes is implanted in man’s soul. And without considering the multiplicity and complexity of the conditions any one of which taken separately may seem to be the cause, he snatches at the first approximation to a cause that seems to him intelligible and says: “This is the cause!” – Leo Tolstoy

The evolution of the world tends to show the absolute importance of the category of the individual apart from the crowd. - Soren Kierkegaard

Who does not know the truth is simply a fool, yet who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a criminal. – Bertold Brecht

How easily the learned give up the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of ideas in their imagination. – Adam Smith

Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned. – Mark Twain

The mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with similar energy. If we watch ourselves honestly, we shall often find that we have begun to argue against a new idea even before it has been completely stated. – Arthur Koestler

Whenever the human race assembles to a number exceeding four, it cannot stand free speech. – Mark Twain

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. - Adam Smith

There isn’t anything so grotesque or so incredible that the average human being can’t believe it. – Mark Twain

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. – John Stuart Mill

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. – Voltaire

People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.- Blaise Pascal.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures. – Voltaire

The applause of a single human being is of great consequence. – Samuel Johnson

(Click for more Unusual Quotations on Science and Human Nature)

Important: This site is best viewed in LARGE FONT, and in Firefox for image title visibility (place cursor on pics to reveal comments) and layout display. Click the title of any post to get only that post and its Comments for printing. All posts guaranteed fact checked according to reference level cited, typically the original journal studies. Full guide to site purpose, layout and how to print posts out is in the lower blue section at the bottom of the home page.
---Admin AL/E/ILMK---

Obama gains power to change world

January 19th, 2009

Service, accountability, responsibility in a new era of just goals

Rare mix of ideals, ideas, and freedom from partisan ideology

Bush loots till, shutters operation after pawning furniture

Obama speaks in front of his own idol
As George Bush smiles atop his tattered 22% approval base, and waves off his last round of deregulation as a parting gift to his successor, our new grown up President has arrived in Washington to deal with the mess – the smoking ruins of the US and world economy, the collapsing global environment and the dysfunctional military operations abroad – that is his inheritance. But is Obama up to the job?

We believe he is more than up to it. We still believe that Obama is possibly the only man in the world that can and will save us from ruin.

Obama’s cool warmth

Not only is he notoriously cool, calm, collected and determined in the face of possibly the greatest challenges ever to face a new President, but as we never tire of celebrating, this man has the independent intellect to develop his own ideas and the vocabulary to express them, drawing on the best information, proposals and ideas from the contacts and advisors he has harvested over the years from seemingly every strata of society in widely disparate regions of the world, including even his political opponents, such as John McCain.

Of course, worrywort progressives who are infatuated with Ralph Nader and other truthtellers, who Alas have little or no idea how to win the power needed to implement their idealistic vision of human behavior, have already given up on Obama for choosing a largely centrist, Clinton graduate and often hawkish Cabinet, with the sole exception of the Labor secretary.

What they don’t seem to appreciate is that now that Obama has received proper briefings as to what is really going in at the top echelons of US and world government and politics, he has swiftly adjusted to the new data. Naturally laptop critics on the Web and in armchairs around the world, lacking these insider briefings, will not understand why Obama has changed, as they see it, from the man they imagined from his campaign pledges.

But as the New York Times has made clear, in a front page article yesterday by David E. Sanger, Obama’s change in image is merely the result of tacking before the winds of reality that are invisible to outsiders. Or only partly visible. Many of the changes that have taken place over the 710 days since Obama announced his brilliantly successful run for the Presidency are obvious enough, since at that time the ticking time bomb of subprime mortgages and the global credit freeze it harbingered had not exploded on the front pages:

2 Years After Campaign Began, a Different World

The Dow was at 12,580, on the way to 14,000 that summer. General Motors was making money selling cars even while reporting some concerns about “nonprime mortgages” held by its financing division. And the greatest worries about China and India were that their economies were growing so fast they could overheat.

Obama reassesses

In support of our argument that Obama is adapting to cold reality in the privileged context of proper briefings, we have these lines in the same article:

But the shifting reality has done more than force a change in focus. It also led Mr. Obama to re-examine his assumptions about a range of issues, hone his thinking and reach out to new advisers, some of them drawn from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, some of his aides said.

When it comes to national security in particular, some of his aides see a subtle but distinct shift over the last several years, opening him to the influence of advisers who sound significantly more hawkish than he did two years ago.

So while the world has changed, Mr. Obama has changed with it. But how much?

Aides to Mr. Obama since his arrival in the Senate say his views have not changed as much as some liberal supporters and commentators contend. From the day in 2002 when he stated opposition to the Iraq war, he has said he is not against all wars. And on some issues, including that of striking at terrorism targets in Pakistan, he has sometimes been to the right of both Democratic and Republican rivals.

Yet while he might have been less ideological all along than his initial campaign positioning suggested, his emphasis since the election has been on pragmatism. It is particularly striking that he has signaled, without saying so, that his breaks with the Bush administration will not be as complete as many liberals are hoping. In response to Vice President Dick Cheney’s admonition not to turn his campaign rhetoric into policy until he has taken office and learned “precisely what it is we did and how we did it,” Mr. Obama told ABC News last week that it was “pretty good advice.”

Not that Obama with his varied background is a sucker, as Sanger notes:

Two years ago, Mr. Obama’s views on Iraq dominated the headlines as he began his campaign by emphasizing his differences with Mrs. Clinton.

That day in Springfield, Mr. Obama animated his supporters with talk about how Iraq was the wrong war. “It’s time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else’s civil war,” he said.

Then, it would have been hard to imagine that in less than two years he would ask President Bush’s defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, to stay on, along with the White House “war czar” for Iraq and Afghanistan. Or that he would choose a secretary of state who portrayed herself as more hawkish than himself and a national security adviser who is a former Marine commandant.

In March, as it was becoming increasingly evident that he would prevail over Mrs. Clinton for the Democratic nomination, Mr. Obama began talking about Iran as the nation that “poses the greatest challenge to American interests in the Middle East in a generation,” and he vowed a few months later never to let the country obtain a nuclear weapon.

His openness to a broad range of viewpoints on national security has become more pronounced with each daily presidential briefing and with deeper dives into National Intelligence Estimates, which his staff says he reads with some skepticism. That is not only because of what the intelligence agencies got wrong in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

“He approaches the intelligence reports the same way he approaches a lot of the things he reads, whether it’s a story in The New York Times or a report from the ground,” said Denis McDonough, a longtime foreign policy aide who is often charged with finding answers to questions Mr. Obama raises. He contends that those who think Mr. Obama has drifted toward more hawkish views were not listening to what he said during the campaign about Iran or Pakistan or Hamas.

In other words, Obama is a literate man who has learned to take what is written by anybody within a system with a pinch of salt. Added to this is the fact that he has to take over whatever President Bush has implemented secretly, such as the covert effort to undermine Iran’s nuclear program.

As far as we are concerned, a thoughtful family man with a way with words is a President we can trust.

From Books, New President Found Voice

Mr. Obama’s first book, “Dreams From My Father” (which surely stands as the most evocative, lyrical and candid autobiography written by a future president), suggests that throughout his life he has turned to books as a way of acquiring insights and information from others — as a means of breaking out of the bubble of self-hood and, more recently, the bubble of power and fame. He recalls that he read James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and W. E. B. Du Bois when he was an adolescent in an effort to come to terms with his racial identity and that later, during an ascetic phase in college, he immersed himself in the works of thinkers like Nietzsche and St. Augustine in a spiritual-intellectual search to figure out what he truly believed.

In the same front page article in the Times today, Michiko Kakutani reports dead pan that President Bush “raced through” 95 books in 2006.

Nice comparison, Michiko.

The practical idealist

<b>President Bush greets Liberty, the lucky turkey he pardoned </b>Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Gaza – Obama will have his hands full on the foreign policy front as soon as he ascends the Oval Office throne. None of this is our business, of course, except that we wanted to point out how it all signifies Obama’s essential pragmatism, and a not unscientific tendency to act on information and evidence rather than pure and often petty ideology.

Anyhow, that is why we think it is appropriate here at this point to list the basic parameters of the problem which concerns us most of all, the economic fizzle. How much air has been let out of the balloon so far? How much money has the government/will the government devote to reinflating the barrage balloon of hopes and expectations and will it succeed and when in lifting it off the ground?

But before that, we wanted to celebrate once again the literacy, the open mindedness, the empathy, the wide and deep roots and the informed scientific practicality of our new Pres, whose chief overriding virtue is his evident desire to bring the country together and serve the whole community of the country and the world, and not narrow interests.

Tomorrow, we fully expect 27 minutes of an address to equal Lincoln’s in word and spirit.

Dying of thirst on a drowning planet

January 7th, 2009

The vital importance of water in life and death

How drinking revitalizes old people

Albatrosses and lions are dying, but cleaning the air may sink the planet faster

The death of Christine Maggiore not from HIV but at least partly from dehydration and associated causes draws attention to the part played by water in human survival. On an individual level, dehydration can weaken and kill rapidly, much faster that starvation. Humans – 68 per cent water – may not survive a loss of even 10% of bodily fluid. Even a 2% deficit causes fatigue, dizziness and fainting, depending on the temperature.

Research by ‘American College of Sports Medicine’ shows that more than 300 people die of heat related illnesses every year. The study also confirmed that children are more susceptible to dehydration and heat illness than adults and once the children are dehydrated its almost impossible for them to regain their health

Dehydration exacts a deadly toll on Mexican immigrants crossing the US border on foot in the desert:

Today, because of increased enforcement elsewhere along the U.S.-Mexico border, it’s the busiest corridor for illegal immigration. It’s also the deadliest.

The Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office in Tucson last year received 205 bodies of unidentified migrants. The number is at an all-time high, 10 times the annual rate back in the 1990s.

“Something has funneled people into the Sonoran Desert,” says Dr. Bruce Anderson, the office’s forensic anthropologist, who oversees the autopsies.

“They used to cross in Texas or California or New Mexico, in safer places. The Sonoran Desert is not a safe place to cross any time of year. In the summertime, it’s lethal.”

One of the concerns raised by the Israeli pounding of Gaza going on as we write is the nightmarish prospect of as many as 500,000 people running out of water completely. If they do, they will have no more than roughly four days to live.

This is what happens in the desert to those who would pick our fruit and tend our gardens:

In the dry desert heat, a hiker can lose half a cup to a pint of fluids every hour. To avoid dehydration, you would need to pack five or six gallons of water — at least 50 pounds — for a three-day trip. The most anyone can practically carry is four gallons, immigrant advocates in Tucson say.

As dehydration becomes severe, the body goes into hypovolemic shock in which multiple organs fail, shutting down in stages like someone turning off the lights in a house.

The blood thickens. Water stored between tissues in the arms and legs is robbed for use in the vital organs. The eyes lose water and go blurry.”

Then the gastrointestinal system shuts down, making it difficult to eat or drink.

“You can’t hold down water, and you just start puking anything you drink,” says Gerry Carrasco, a paramedic with the Border Patrol’s Border Search Trauma and Rescue team — BORSTAR for short — in southern Arizona.

The heart may begin to lose its rhythm as the body loses electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.

As the fluids become depleted, sweating stops and the body loses its ability to cool itself. Heatstroke sets in when the body temperature reaches 104 or 105 degrees. At 108 degrees, severe damage begins.

“At that point, the victim is unconscious, and it’s basically cooking brain cells,” Carrasco says.

For a diabetic, the cascade of failure is accelerated. The stress of dehydration can hasten a diabetic episode, in which blood sugar can soar to dangerous levels. The body begins urinating and sweating to get rid of the sugar.

As the body shuts down, the mind may also begin to go.

“People go into seizures and start hallucinating,” Carrasco says. “I’ve found guys hugging saguaros. I’ve found people completely naked. I’ve had females try to fight me.”

All this is risked for the golden opportunity to work for minimum wage (if paid at all by contractors) in the Greatest Country in the World amid local hostility to “illegals” who “don’t pay taxes” and “can’t speak English”.

Elixir of vitality

Many people would be healthier if they drank more fluids, it seems clear. This especially applies to oldsters, who tend to lose their sense of thirst as they grow older. Death is often preceded by refusal to drink.

The BBC News drew attention to the vital role of water in human health in June with its story about an effort to get seniors in a “care home” in Bury St. Edmonds, England to take more of the magic elixir which had dramatic efforts on their health and well being:

How care home keeps elderly healthy,
Monday, 23 June 2008 02:07 UK
BBC News
By Jane Hughes
Health correspondent

A year ago, 88-year-old Jean Lavender used to find walking any distance a struggle.

Now she is keen to get outside for a walk most days.

And she puts the transformation down to the most simple of medicines – water.

She is one of a group of residents at a care home in Suffolk who have been encouraged to increase their intake of water.

And they have all reported dramatic results.

Jean says she feels 20 years younger.

“I feel more alert – more cheerful too. I’m not a miserable person, but it’s added a sort of zest.”

Staff at The Martins care home in Bury St Edmunds started a “water club” for their residents last summer.

Residents were encouraged to drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day, water coolers were installed, and they were each given a jug for their room.

The views of some residents after drinking more water

They report significant improvements in health as a result – many fewer falls, fewer GP call-outs, a cut in the use of laxatives and in urinary infections, better quality of sleep, and lower rates of agitation among residents with dementia.

Dehydration

Doctors have long highlighted the risks of dehydration for elderly people. It can cause dizziness and potentially serious falls, constipation, and confusion.

The whole home buzzes now; there isn’t that period after lunch when everyone goes off to sleep.

While most people’s systems can adjust to insufficient water, frail old people are far less equipped to cope.

So when Wendy Tomlinson, a former nurse, took over the management of the charity-run home, she suspected that drinking more water might help the residents feel better.

Even she has been surprised by how much difference it’s made, though.

“It’s been fantastic,” she said. “The whole home buzzes now; there isn’t that period after lunch when everyone goes off to sleep.”

For Baroness Greengross, a cross-bench peer, it reinforces a conviction she has had for some time now – that many old people simply are not drinking enough, and it is harming their health.

She wants to see tougher regulations in care homes across the UK, so that staff have to make sure residents drink enough.

“We hear a great deal about malnutrition among old people,” she says.

“But we forget about the need for them to have enough water. It shouldn’t be very difficult to change the habits of care staff.”

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/7466457.stm

Published: 2008/06/23 01:07:08 GMT

The world as toilet

Meanwhile, water is a problem on several planetary levels, due to pollution. The global shortage of water threatens to become catastrophic, and the seas are plagued with permanent plastic pollution which in the center of the Atlantic now is more plentiful than plankton.

Something is amiss in our global world water supply: Striped bass are succumbing to flesh-eating bacteria in Chesapeake Bay; seabird chicks are starving in Hawai‘i; coral reefs are weakening under a growing assault of invisible contaminants and an increasing variety of aquatic animals are showing signs of developmental disorders. Experts and citizens are racing to find clues to the causes—and the solutions. Find out how we all can make a difference.

That’s the teaser for our latest PBS viewing, the dramatically presented Dirty Secrets, a National Geographic special, according to which the seas off Africa are so short of fish that the natives of Ghana have eaten most of the wild life as “bushmeat” and lions and elephants have been replaced with baboons so aggressive they raid the chickens of villagers at night.

Then there is the rise in the sea level which global warming threatens. According to scientists such as Jim Hansen in tonight’s Nova episode of planetary doomsaying on Channel 13, Dimming Sun, our polluting the atmosphere (which now kills a million Indians a year) has actually slowed global warming up till now by sheltering the earth with extra, polluted cloud cover. If we succeed in cleaning up the atmosphere, the rise in sea level may be far greater than we ever imagined – nine feet or even higher, or “several meters per century” (Hansen).


Bad Behavior has blocked 1333 access attempts in the last 7 days.