Radiation from Fukushima, Japan, Makes its Way to North America

03.06.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

Back in March of 2011, a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan experienced a catastrophic meltdown.  The meltdown caused an endless amount of radiation to be released which caused the plant to build up an immense amount of heat.  In order to cool the meltdown, they had to continuously flood it with water to avoid further catastrophe.  But what happens to that water?  It needs to go somewhere! Well the only place that they can put it is back into the ocean.  But this is truly detrimental to our water supply.  That exposure to high radioactivity has caused the water itself to become radioactive.  The map above shows the radiation levels of the water only ONE YEAR after the incident.

Experts predicted that the radioactivity from Japan would reach our waters by early 2014.  And here we are!  And the evidence truly suggests that they were right!  Water samples from the coast of San Diego, California, showed that radiation in that water was 1400% higher than normal.  Fish caught off the western coast of America were shown to have 124 times the radioactive level that is considered safe for human consumption.  This kind of radioactive pollution can be extremely detrimental to human health.

The United States government has given little attention to the situation.  A propaganda video made by the Discovery Channel even tries to inform people that there is nothing to worry about and that it isn’t affecting us, even though the evidence suggests otherwise.  Click here to see the video by the Discovery Channel!  The government and media refuse to address the issues, but if you ask me it’s time to be concerned and take action.

Meat and cheese may be as bad for you as smoking

03.04.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

According to a study done by the University of California, a high protein during middle ages may be just as bad for you as smoking. It says that having this type of diet that includes lots of protein from animal sources such as meat, cheese, and milk, makes you twice as more likely to die and four times more likely to die of cancer, but high protein intake after 65 is good for you. Before this study there has never been a link between high protein diets and mortality risk. In the two-decade study of middle aged people, it was found that those with a high protein diet verses those with a low protein diet are more susceptible to early death. The controversial topic has been how much protein we should really be eating. What is good for you at one age may not be good for you at another.
‘”Protein controls the growth hormone IGF-I, which helps our bodies grow but has been linked to cancer susceptibility. Levels of IGF-I drop off dramatically after age 65, leading to potential frailty and muscle loss. The study shows that while high protein intake during middle age is very harmful, it is protective for older adults: those over 65 who ate a moderate- or high-protein diet were less susceptible to disease…The research shows that a low-protein diet in middle age is useful for preventing cancer and overall mortality, through a process that involves regulating IGF-I and possibly insulin levels,” said co-author Eileen Crimmins, the AARP Chair in Gerontology at USC. “However, we also propose that at older ages, it may be important to avoid a low-protein diet to allow the maintenance of healthy weight and protection from frailty.”‘

When looking at plant based proteins, researchers found that they did not have the same mortality effects as those from animal-based. Cancer and death rates were also not found to be linked to the control of carbohydrates or fat consumption. This shows that animal proteins must be the culprit. Researchers say that Americans consume twice as much protein as they should be, people need to cut down on their animal proteins in the right way, as it is easy to go from over nourished to malnourished very easily.

-Hatoynatan

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304125639.htm

Drought in California

03.02.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

According to an article in the La Times, in Long Beach, California, there is a shortage of water. California is usually a place where this is common, and droughts are a problem. Because of this, city officials are restricting the area’s water usage and putting caps on how much water can be used. California has always been a place that has struggled with drought, due to its high temperatures. The article stated how officials were realizing how much waste there actually is and hope that these bans will cut it by 10%. Here inMassachusetts we are very lucky not to have these types of bans. That being said, we should take a lesson from other areas of the country and try to reduce our usage of water, as well as remember to be grateful it has never been a problem we have confronted. I think it is especially important to conserve water on campus. A lot of people take our fresh water for granted, by taking long showers or not shutting off faucets properly. It is our responsibility as students to use our resources to ensure that our state will not have to face the problem of a drought, as well as pass on this way of life to other people outside campus.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-long-beach-water-restrictions-20140227,0,661144.story#axzz2upHbZ1X

Written by Ashley Faghan

Deforestation

02.26.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/14/world/expedition-sumatra-episode-5-blog/index.html?c=/SPECIALS/environment/index.html&page=1

This article brings the deforestation in Indonesia to attention and points out that from 1985 to 2008 the forest coverage has gone from 50% to 25%. All the animals that lived their have either died or forced to find a new home. One thing that I found extremely interesting is that many of the indigenous people that lived their have had to move their homes because of deforestation. This is an effect of deforestation I never thought of. Usually deforestation creates space for people to live, but in this case it has caused people to lose their homes. I think more attention needs to be brought to deforestation and maintaining the environment.

Don’t like the weather?

02.25.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

Blame climate change!

 

In return on average assets study at Rutgers, they measured and calculated the changes in the jet stream which resulted in a longer and more erratic path caused by global warming. The jet stream is a powerful, high altitude river of air that transports weather systems around the planet. Satellite Image

This causes weather, pleasant or foul to linger for longer periods of time. The jet stream is fueled by the differences in temperature between the Arctic and middle latitudes. Because the temperatures in the Arctic have been rising rapidly due to global warming, the difference are becoming significantly less than usual, and causes the jet stream to slow.

The results from this are that the weather is remaining the same for a prolonged period of time. For us who are residents of North East USA, this was the many winter storms and extended cold weather we had to endure. Unfortunately, Rutgers researches said that if the earth’s temperatures keep rising “we can expect more of the same [jet stream disruptions] and we can expect it to happen more frequently.”

Source: http://www.earthweek.com/2014/ew140221/ew140221a.html

Post written by Celine Hickey

Stay green even though the world around you is covered in white.

 

Bottled Water

12.09.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

—The bottled water in the U.S. is an —11 billion-dollar industry. Bottled water companies are able to make profit on something that is available to almost everyone. How did it get this way? Bottled water was not popular until the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. The main strategy that these companies used to get people to buy their water was marketing to the public and telling them that their water was more —convenient, cleaner, safer, and more —“up-scale”.  They even pictured pristine lakes, forests, and generally beautiful scenery on their bottles to set the illusion that their water came from only the cleanest sources. The reality, though, is that bottled water is —unregulated by FDA, meaning bottled water companies do not have to inform public or the government where water comes from or how it is treated, and they are not required to test samples with certified laboratories or  notify FDA of contamination problems.  Scientists had to do research to figure out what was really going on inside the bottle.  In a 2008 research study done by the Environmental Working Group, 10 major brands were tested, chemists ran several tests and detected 38 chemical pollutants–8 contaminants per brand, on average, including heavy metals, radioactive isotopes, caffeine and pharmaceuticals from waste water pollution, nitrate and ammonia fertilizer, & various industrial compounds (i.e. solvents and fertilizers).  In addition, an estimated 25-44% of bottled water is simply tap water sold at higher prices, and the —“filtered water” label on the bottle might just mean standard water treatment.  On top of this, the production of water bottles uses 17 million barrels of oil a year, and the U.S. drank 9 billion gallons of bottled water in 2008, at an average of 30 gallons per person–which contributes to tons of unnecessary plastic waste.

—Decrease your carbon footprint, and choose tap over bottled–it is just one more way you can be environmentally AND economically responsible.

Megan Rebeschi

Sources:
—http://www.businessinsider.com/facts-bottled-water-industry-2011-10?op=1
—http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92222327
—Jay Withgott.“ Essential Environment: The Science Behind the Stories”. 2012.

Hurricanes

12.06.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Hurricanes are giant, spiraling tropical storms that draw heat from warm, moist ocean air and release it through condensation of water vapor in thunderstorms. Hurricanes are usually found within the hurricane season usually spanning from May 15th to November 30th. To track and predict a hurricane, meteorologists use satellite and radar technology.

—Since hurricanes need evaporated moisture to power them, and the oceans are rising in temperature, more moisture is pumped into the hurricane, making them a lot stronger and catastrophic.

In recent events, Typhoon Haiyan that devastated the Philippines about a month ago was considered a category-five super typhoon with waves as high as 16ft and had winds of 195mph. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing at least 5,759 people in that country alone. Haiyan is also the strongest storm recorded at landfall, and unofficially the fourth strongest typhoon ever recorded in terms of wind speed.

by: Celine Hickey

The social impacts of mercury exposure

12.04.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Mercury exposure is a growing issue because of the harmful affects it can have on our health. For one if there is a sufficient amount of mercury exposure the individual may experience some kind of birth defects and nervous system damage.  How do we become poisoned by mercury? The main cause of mercury exposure is of course the burning of fossil fuels and the exposure to the different fumes from factories and industrial buildings. After the mercury has entered the ecosystem is is then transported into the air and becomes air born. After that the moisture builds up in the air and then the rain carries the mercury into the water systems where a large food source is located, fish. In turn we eat the fish that contains this mercury and are exposed to mercury. As stated earlier the main problem of mercury exposure is birth defects and nervous system damage which are very serious  conditions that are not easily reversed.

 

 

By,

Dieter Kuhlka

Air Pollution: A Growing Blanket of Smog

12.03.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Air pollution has been a prevalent problem dating back to the Romans. Scientists have discovered gases trapped in ice cores that are believed to be from this time period. The increasing pollution from power plants, trucks, cars and even forest fires to name a few pollutants is depleting our fresh air and causing many problems. First off, the ozone layer is being depleted, trapping in heat and causing the earth to warm. This has indirect effects such as the ocean temperatures rising and increased sea levels due to the melting of polar ice caps. Air pollution has also caused many health related issues. A rise in children with Asthma can be linked to air pollution. Respiratory issues continue to rise the more pollutants we put into the air. The pollution also contributes to acid rain which kills crops, hurts ecosystems and pollutes water resources. Many people either do not see the effects of air pollution or do not understand that the problems they face are caused by air pollution.

Fortunately after many events and work by grassroots, the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970. It created regulations for air pollutants and also formed the Environmental Protection Agency which oversees the regulations. The clean air act has set standards for industries and states to meet in order to cut back on the amount of greenhouse gases we are putting into our atmosphere. However this act is not enough. People must take action and change their own behavior. There are several ways of doing so. One is to conserve energy. The less energy we use, the less power plants must work to meet our demand, decreasing pollution. We can also carpool and use sustainable energy resources. Wind and solar power do not create a harmful bi product that pollutes our atmosphere. With continued work, we can create a cleaner and safer environment for ourselves as well as future generations. Below are some links on more information of air pollution and how you can help.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Air-Pollution-Has-Been-a-Problem-Since-the-Days-of-Ancient-Rome-187936271.html

http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/peg/reduce.html

 

By: Andrew Morahan

Climate Change in the Arctic

12.03.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Climate change in the Arctic is very real and is becoming a huge problem for not just the animals living there, but for people all over the Earth.  The rising temperatures are causing glaciers, sea ice and permafrost to melt causing there to be a significant rise in sea levels.  Animals such as Polar Bears, Walrus, and Penguins are slowly losing their habitat because of the melting ice.  There is also the danger of more floods occurring around the world because of the rising sea temperatures.  Also Arctic Marine Fish Stocks are slowly starting to deplete because of the rapid change in temperatures.  A lot of people around the world use these fish as a primary source of food, so they could be in trouble in the future as well.

Thankfully there are some solutions to the problems I listed above.  The main reason how people can help is to start using more sources of renewable energy.  The main sources that they can use are solar power, wind power, and hydro power.  If people start to use these sources then perhaps the climate and temperatures around the world will start to return to normal levels.  Therefore everyone will benefit and be happy.

http://webpages.scu.edu/ftp/mburrill/images/polar-bear-stranded.jpg