Climates change. The hype over “global warming” and “climate change” is simply political, not scientific.
Pope Francis is incorrect about catastrophic global warming and climate change. I am not the only one to draw this conclusion. Consider this post by Wm. Briggs.
There are some very serious environmental problems in many countries of the world. Continuing to fight the “windmill” of “climate change” diverts attention and energy away from addressing real environmental problems in a meaningful way.
If a strict liability standard is applied properly this is a frivolous lawsuit and should be thrown out. I do have a lot sympathy for this farmer’s situation. But climates change naturally with or without RWE.
The carbon dioxide the farmer emits every time he exhales has a direct impact on the atmosphere above his farm since he lives right there. What proportion of the climate stress he is experiencing is due to his own existence and choices?
“A Peruvian farmer has filed a landmark lawsuit against German energy giant RWE, saying that the company’s fossil fuel emissions endanger his family, livelihood and hometown, a German NGO said Tuesday.” click here
This statement is not based on science and has nothing to do with science education. It appears to be a prejudiced statement where words like “deniers” are the hammer. The important question is not whether there is “equal time” but whether science is being presented rather than conjecture. Honest scientific debate is legitimate and healthy. But statements such as that below are counterproductive.
“We found that climate change is presented as a controversial debate stemming from differing opinions,” said Román, an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the SMU Simmons School. “Climate skeptics and climate deniers are given equal time and treated with equal weight as scientists and scientific facts — even though scientists who refute global warming total a miniscule number.”
Kippler M, Skröder H, Rahman SM, Tofail F, Vahter M. Elevated childhood exposure to arsenic despite reduced drinking water concentrations – A longitudinal cohort study in rural Bangladesh. Environment International. 2015 Nov 12;86:119-125. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.10.017.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the massive efforts to lower water arsenic concentrations in Bangladesh.
METHODS: In our large mother-child cohort in rural Matlab, we measured the arsenic concentrations (and other elements) in drinking water and evaluated the actual exposure (urinary arsenic), from early gestation to 10 years of age (n=1017).
RESULTS: Median drinking water arsenic decreased from 23 (2002-2003) to <2μg/L (2013), and the fraction of wells exceeding the national standard (50μg/L) decreased from 58 to 27%. Still, some children had higher water arsenic at 10years than earlier. Installation of deeper wells (>50m) explained much of the lower water arsenic concentrations, but increased the manganese concentrations. The highest manganese concentrations (~900μg/L) appeared in 50-100m wells. Low arsenic and manganese concentrations (17% of the children) occurred mainly in >100m wells. The decrease in urinary arsenic concentrations over time was less apparent, from 82 to 58μg/L, indicating remaining sources of exposure, probably through food (mean 133μg/kg in rice).
CONCLUSION: Despite decreased water arsenic concentrations in rural Bangladesh, the children still have elevated exposure, largely from food. Considering the known risks of severe health effects in children, additional mitigation strategies are needed.
Haig SJ, Quince C, Davies RL, Dorea CC, Collins G. The Relationship between Microbial Community Evenness and Function in Slow Sand Filters. MBio. 2015 Oct 13;6(5). pii: e00729-15. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00729-15.
Two full-scale slow sand filters (SSFs) were sampled periodically from April until November 2011 to study the spatial and temporal structures of the bacterial communities found in the filters. To monitor global changes in the microbial communities, DNA from sand samples taken at different depths and locations within the SSFs and at different filters ages was used for Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Additionally, 15 water quality parameters were monitored to assess filter performance, with functionally relevant microbial members being identified by using multivariate statistics. The bacterial diversity in the SSFs was found to be much larger than previously documented, with community composition being shaped by the characteristics of the SSFs (filter age and depth) and sampling characteristics (month, side, and distance from the influent and effluent pipes). We found that several key genera (Acidovorax, Halomonas, Sphingobium, and Sphingomonas) were associated with filter performance. In addition, at the whole-community level, a strong positive correlation was found between species evenness and filter performance. This study is the first to comprehensively characterize the microbial community of SSFs and link specific microbes to water quality parameters. In doing so, we reveal key patterns in microbial community structure that relate to overall community function.
IMPORTANCE: The supply of sustainable, energy-efficient, and safe drinking water to an increasing world population is a huge challenge faced by the water industry. SSFs have been used for hundreds of years to provide a safe and reliable source of potable drinking water, with minimal energy requirements. However, a lack of knowledge pertaining to the treatment mechanisms, particularly the biological processes, underpinning SSF operation has meant that SSFs are still operated as “black boxes.” Understanding these dynamics alongside performance-induced effects associated with operational differences will promote optimized SSF design, maintenance, and operation, creating more efficient and environmentally sustainable filters. Through a spatial-temporal survey of full-scale SSFs at various points of operation, we present the most detailed characterization to date of the functional microbial communities found in SSFs, linking various taxa and community metrics to optimal water quality production.