Posts filed under ‘Technology’
We humans think we’re so cool but maybe we’ve got a thing or two coming (love this):
On Oct 8th, I was flying my quadcopter at Magazine Beach Park in Cambridge, when a hawk decided he wasn’t too happy with my invasion of his airspace…
As far as I could tell, the hawk came out unscathed, and having defeated his prey, was happy to retreat. (As soon as he flew at me, I throttled down the props to try to minimize any harm to the bird.) The quadcopter came out unscathed as well.
Food That Will Kill Us: Obama’s USDA, in the Hands of the Corporatocracy, is Making Our Food Inedible and Our Planet Unlivable
Ah yes, Obama’s USDA:
Despite the objections of hundreds of thousands of Americans and more than 50 members of Congress, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted final approval to a new generation of genetically engineered (GE) crops on Wednesday [September 17, 2014].
According to the agency’s own findings, the move could result in up to a sevenfold increase in the use of an older, more toxic herbicide known as 2,4-D, a compound used in Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The new GE crops, also known as GMOs, approved include Dow’s Enlist Duo corn and soy. These crops were developing to survived sprayings of both glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, and 2,4-D.
As an aside, to those who say Obama’s a great guy but his hands are tied because of the Republican-controlled House and the Republican do-nothings in the Senate, what say you about this? This is his USDA.
“The USDA’s approval of these crops is proof that today’s destructive, industrial agriculture model, based on a system of GMO mono-crops, is a failure,” says Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica. “Farmers have been sold the lie that they can increase yields and prevent crop failure from weeds by buying Monsanto’s and Dow’s GMO seeds and dousing them in toxic poisons, also manufactured and sold by Monsanto and Dow. But just as scientists predicted, these ‘miracle’ crops are evolving to resist the poisons thrown on them, causing the USDA and the EPA to approve increasingly toxic poisons to fight increasingly resistant weeds. Where does the escalation end?”
Let’s ponder the long run for a sec here: Who’s smarter? Who’s doing the best job planning for the future?
I vote for China.
This is what the U.S. gets allowing itself to become a corporatocracy run by lobbyist$ who drain it via endless war.
Ah yes, on to the next great ripoff. Here we have a Delaware oil company, a direct contributor to climate change, asking taxpayers to protect it against rising sea levels caused by ah, climate change:
Big oil companies invest big chunks of their profits (which are bigger than many countries’) into climate change denial. As I wrote a while ago, 9 out of 10 top climate change deniers are linked with Exxon Mobil, the biggest private oil company. Still, there are some brilliant scientists working for oil companies, and they understand what is happening and preparing for it – after all, you wouldn’t make plans to explore oil in the Arctic areas if the ice wasn’t melting.
They’re also very open in accepting climate change when it suits them. Recently, an oil refinery from Delaware [PBF Energy] is asking taxpayers to pay for protecting it from rising sea levels. The refinery is just on the water front, and vulnerable to sea level rise, storms and even coastal erosion. Naturally, they invested lots of money in the facility, and don’t want to see it destroyed.
The federal Coastal Zone Management Act provides grants to states for projects such as building out natural barriers, like dunes, to protect against storm surges. The oil refinery believes it too can ask for money, after making its “fair share” of contributions to global warming.
“The extent of the shoreline erosion has reached a point where facility infrastructure is at risk,” says the permit application from the company.
Well sure, we wouldn’t want any damage to be done to the refinery by global warming, especially as refineries are one of the main causes of global warming. We should protect it, so that it can cause even more global warming, so that we can protect it more.
The gall. Oh the gall.
This is an ad by the Indian company MTS Telecom that is meant to be funny and to speak to a time in the future but I’d say this kind of thing is essentially happening right now. Have you seen the fake smart phone toys for babies?
Greenpeace put this video up this morning which I initially thought was sort of a sarcastic parody of what might happen if bees disappeared. Then I realized it was for real. Instead of figuring out why real bee colonies are collapsing and preventing it, we’re developing robobees which I think is a sickening, bassackward way to run a planet.
From Seattle’s King5.com:
The state of Washington is preparing to take the most aggressive action in four years against the U.S. Department of Energy for the federal government’s failure to adhere to waste laws and legally binding cleanup schedules at the Hanford [“nuclear reservation“] Site – a sign of state officials’ growing frustration with lack of progress in the decades-long nuclear waste cleanup.
On Friday, the state Department of Ecology ordered a new, faster timetable for pumping out a massive double-shell waste tank — designated AY-102 — that is slowly leaking highly radioactive waste. Next week, the state will communicate to the Department of Energy and the Department of Justice that the government is in violation of the 2010 consent decree governing the Hanford cleanup…
The order issued Friday deals specifically with AY-102, a massive waste tank that has been at the center of a year-long KING 5 investigation, Hanford’s Dirty Secrets. KING 5 exposed the government’s contractor in charge of the tanks, Washington River Protection Solutions, ignored scientific evidence for nearly a year that the tank was leaking.
The thing I find the most outrageous:
According to a plan released on March 7, the federal government said it would not begin pumping the leaking double-shell tank until 2016 at the earliest. State and federal waste laws require leaking tanks to be emptied within 24 hours or whatever is practical.
I guess we’re supposed to believe that, after ten or so years of this Hanford disaster going nowhere, 2016 is as fast as is “practical” to pump out that leaking tank.