Whether you agree with her politics or not – Margaret Thatcher, in her prime, would’ve ended the climate change debate. [CDCW]
Led by Kathleen Alexander, an associate professor of wildlife at Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, a team of researchers studying arid Botswanna have found a surprising link between the spread of diarrhea and dry weather:
“Many experts say contaminated water is a principal cause of the spread of diarrheal disease. The WHO says it “mostly results from contaminated food and water sources. Worldwide, around one billion people lack access to improved water and 2.5 billion have no access to basic sanitation.”
Yet the researchers’ findings indicated that water was only one of several factors to consider. “Our analysis suggests that forecast climate change increases in temperature and decreases in precipitation for the region are likely to increase dry season diarrheal disease incidence, while incidence in the wet season is likely to decline,” Alexander said.
Diarrheal case incidence peaks in both seasons in Botswana, with cases 20 percent more frequent on average in the dry than the wet season.”
“If the storm was just isolated to Rockaway, I would understand the fear. But this wasn’t isolated to Rockaway – this happened throughout all 5 boroughs [of New York] and I think that’s why people feel this isn’t going to happen again. This was the perfect storm.”
Lisa Jackson, Rockaway Properties
Yes, the damaged homes of Rockaway are selling at a discount but what do you do when the ‘Perfect Storm’ becomes an annual event? Deal or not, I can’t understand why home buyers would actively seek out homes that not only suffered significant damage but are still in harm’s way. Oh wait, I found an old Far Side comic that explains it:
“Let’s say you are walking down a trail in the wilderness with your wife and kids, and you come upon a grizzly sow, standing on a carcass. She charges, flat out. You’re in front of your family. What do you do? Just give up? Pretend it’s not happening? Let her maul you and everything your care about? Of course you don’t. You take action. That is how I see climate change. It’s real, it’s threatening everything we love. Not taking action is not an option.”
Todd Tanner, Conservation Hawks in Field & Stream
“Hunters, Anglers, and Climate Change” is the latest video from Peter Sinclair for the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media. Are hunters and anglers bellwethers? Most definitely. They see the year-to-year environmental changes to their favorite streams, forests, and wetlands firsthand. [CDCW]
Burton Knight, resident of Junius Heights in East Dallas, decided to proactively deal with Texas’ water shortage by xeriscaping it; he removed his lawn and replaced it with rocks and native low-water consuming plants and cacti. Unfortunately, his neighborhood’s Landmark Commission voted on March 4th that Mr. Knight had to bring back the grass because they didn’t like how his lawn looked and he has said that he’ll comply. According to city planner Carolyn Horner: There are historically appropriate and acceptable ways to save water, she said. “This isn’t it.”
Nuts! Imagine if every law and ordinance was guided solely on the idea that there are historically appropriate and acceptable ways to… deal with food safety? Healthcare? Witches? I think the land commission in Dallas needs to update their thinking and consider revisiting Mr. Knight’s lawn-free, low-water consuming yard. His case might be the jolt they need to help keep Dallas from completely drying up and turning back into Mr. Knight’s xeriscaped yard. [Dallas Morning News via Treehugger]
“The aim of the game is to take a polar bear family from the permanent ice floes to safety on the mainland. It’s a race against time, as the way leads across real, slowly melting ice floes, which children can make themselves with the accompanying mould, a bit of water and a freezer compartment. The chunks of ice are arranged on a blue polar sea sponge to form a small Arctic. The sponge is used as the game board and absorbs the melted ice at the same time. Now you can start saving polar bears.”
My take: after playing 100+ mind-numbing games of Candy Land, playing MELTDOWN would be a treat. Saving the polar bear family is a group goal in MELTDOWN so there are no winners or losers and MELTDOWN’s message about our environment is subtly delivered. What’s not to like?
Another nice feature of MELTDOWN: for parents who get stuck in the “lets play it again” loop – the melting ice is the clock and once it’s gone, you have to wait for it to re-freeze to play another game. Take that Candy Land. [MELTDOWN via Grist]