An odd headline, but true. Hotter, more humid summers reduces work productivity by 10% researchers find. This effects military personnel and industrial production around the Earth’s warmer regions. The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Smithsonian sums up the research:
If you feel sluggish and have difficulty getting physical work done on very hot, humid days, it’s not your imagination. Our bodies are equipped with an adaptation to handle high temperatures—perspiration—but sweating becomes ineffective at cooling us down when the air around us is extremely humid.
Add in the fact that climate change is projected to increase the average humidity of Earth as well as its temperature, and you could have a recipe for a rather unexpected consequence of greenhouse gas emissions: a reduced overall ability to get work done.
According to a study published yesterday in Nature Climate Change, increased heat and humidity has already reduced our species’ work capacity by 10% in the warmest months, and that figure could rise to 20% by 2050 and 60% by the year 2200, given current projections.
The Princeton research team behind the study, led by John Dunne, came to the finding by combining the latest data on global temperature and humidity over the past few decades with American military and industrial guidelines for how much work a person can safely do under environmental heat stress. For their projections, they used two sets of climate regimes: a pessimistic scenario, in which greenhouse gas emissions rise unchecked through 2200, and an optimistic one, in which they begin to stabilize after 2060.
One of my favorite tumblrs, fertilizermarkets posted this video on EPA regulations and Louisiana poultry growers. The issue is water quality and chicken poop. Basically, the EPA regulates water quality, among other things.
To do this, the source of any water pollution is identified, and measures are taken to mitigate the impacts to the water. Sources vary, from mall parking lots to toilet water to coal plants to chicken growers. In the video, poultry farmers learn that chicken poop is a potential source of water pollution and that they’re responsible for where the poop goes.
One problem is that American farmers generallydon’t like to be 100% responsible for their waste (send me your hate mail here). And this irresponsibility manifests in a general disdain for the EPA and other “big government regulations.”
Lobbyists fuel this problem by creating confusion and uncertainty in the minds of farmers and politicians that represent them (which is, to my mind, an unethical exploitation and mental spoilage of otherwise good American people).
Anyway, the result is entrenched denial in its most brilliant form. And to me, it’s a fascinating artifact of American culture - to be both ‘personally responsible for self-actions’ yet eschew accountability when those responsibilities are not being met. Amazing to think about. This video follows standard journalistic tropes by showing “both sides” of the story. Good stuff.
Kristen Oaks shows us what #poultry growers can do to avoid a federal citation and fine due to new #EPA #regulations. This Week in Louisiana Agriculture.
In a statement widely taken as a metaphor, the chairman of the Republican National Committee on Thursday said his party is no more trying to hurt the nation’s females than it is larval butterflies and moths.
“If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars,” Reince Priebus told Bloomberg Television, in response to a question about the party’s supposed “war on women.” “It’s a fiction.”
But the war on caterpillars and other innocent insects, it turns out, is not a fiction at all.
Under the guise of aiding the agriculture industry, Republicans and their allies in Washington have been waging a long-running campaign to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from limiting bug-killing pesticides. Last year, GOP Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas authored a letter, signed by several others in his party, calling on Democrats to “address the continued regulatory overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency that is a growing concern of farmers, ranchers, foresters and agribusinesses throughout the nation” by bringing up their bill to ease pesticide regulations. This obvious attempt to run roughshod over the rights of many-legged herbivores everywhere was laughably justified as a matter of “public health as we enter mosquito season.” […]
Republicans may claim that they have no anti-caterpillar agenda — that they’re just trying to protect people and plants from being bitten, that they’re merely the victims of a liberal media that sympathizes with the radical bugs’-rights lobby. But the truth is clear, and it’s nothing new: Republicans just don’t care about caterpillars.
“A new study led by University of British Columbia researchers reveals how the effect of climate change can further impact the economic viability of current fisheries practices.
“Fisheries are already providing fewer fish and making less money than they could if we curbed overfishing,” says Rashid Sumaila, principal investigator of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at UBC and lead author of the study. “We could be earning interest, but instead we’re fishing away the capital. Climate change is likely to cause more losses unless we choose to act.”
Partly supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, National Geographic, the World Bank and U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the study is a broad view of the impact of climate change on fisheries and their profitability. It is published online November 20 in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Over the last century the ocean has become warmer and more acidic. Other human-led factors, such as pollution and overfishing, have also been hard on marine species. With ocean warming, many species will move further towards the poles and into deeper water.
While fisheries in a few regions, such as the far north, may benefit from climate change, many other regions, particularly those in the tropics, can expect losses in revenues.”
For decades, oil and gas industry executives as well as regulators have maintained that a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that is used for most natural gas wells has never contaminated underground drinking water.
The claim is based in part on a simple fact: fracking, in which water and toxic chemicals are injected at high pressure into the ground to break up rocks and release the gas trapped there, occurs thousands of feet below drinking-water aquifers. Because of that distance, the drilling chemicals pose no risk, industry officials have argued.
“There have been over a million wells hydraulically fractured in the history of the industry, and there is not one, not one, reported case of a freshwater aquifer having ever been contaminated from hydraulic fracturing. Not one,” Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of ExxonMobil, said last year at a Congressional hearing on drilling.
It is a refrain that not only drilling proponents, but also state and federal lawmakers, even past and present Environmental Protection Agency directors, have repeated often.
But there is in fact a documented case, and the E.P.A. report that discussed it suggests there may be more. Researchers, however, were unable to investigate many suspected cases because their details were sealed from the public when energy companies settled lawsuits with landowners.
Current and former E.P.A. officials say this practice continues to prevent them from fully assessing the risks of certain types of gas drilling.
…The documented E.P.A. case, which has gone largely unnoticed for decades, includes evidence that many industry representatives were aware of it and also fought the agency’s attempts to include other cases in the final study.
Dubbed the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the group plans to craft an industry-wide index, which measures the environmental and social impacts of clothing and footwear. With corporate heavyweights like Walmart, Nike, and Target—along with longtime environmental champions Patagonia and…