Sunday, November 30, 2014

Wow! Milky Way, Auroras & Thunderstorms Stun In New Time-Lapse Video

Collective Evolution | Nov 29, 2014 | Arjun Walia

This amazing video footage comes from Randy Halverson at It was shot from April to November of 2013 in South Dakota, USA. For more remarkable  footage you can visit the Facebook page here as well.

Our world and universe are filled with such beauty, and this time lapse captures a minuscule portion of that. When we stare in awe at beautiful images such as these, it generates changes in our biology. When we are feeling positive emotions like gratitude and appreciation, our heart sends out a completely different message because the heart produces the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body. You can read more about that here.

It can be a good idea to spend some time looking at a sunset, getting out in nature or spending some time staring at the stars on a clear night. This is something that’s been lost in our everyday existence, we’ve forgotten the beauty of nature and instead chose to destroy it. But we are in the process of change, the world is raising it’s voice and the movement continues to grow and gain strength.

I hope this video reminds you how beautiful it is to exist, and I hope it makes you appreciate your life and how lucky you are to be able to experience the human experience.

Why is it that when most of us grow into adults, we do not gaze upon phenomena like this with awe and wonder as we once did when we were children?

This footage is truly breathtaking, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

It’s scientifically-proven that meditation has powerful benefits.

Zen12 will transform the way you look at meditation. It uses special audio MP3s that help induce a deep state of meditation.

The program uses special ‘brainwave’ sounds to meditate for you. That means you don’t have to actively try to quieten your mind, stop fidgeting, or focus only on the meditation. And you don’t have to reschedule your day. Each session lasts just 12 minutes.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Drone's Eye View Offers Eerie Glimpse of Nuclear Desolation in Chernobyl's Shadow

'A camera mounted on a drone has revealed the eerie
post-apocalyptic landscape of a town abandoned after
the nuclear power station at Chernobyl exploded nearly
three decades ago,' writes the Guardian's Chris Johnston.
(Image: Screenshot / Danny Cooke footage)
Common Dreams | Nov 29, 2014 | Jon Queally

Filmmaker Danny Cooke filmed city of Pripyat, once home to 50,000 people before nuclear disaster in 1986

A short documentary offering an aerial view of a city that once thrived in the shadow of the former Soviet Union's most notorious nuclear power plant offers a devastating critique of atomic power without uttering a single word.

Employing a remote-controlled drone over and amid the abandoned Ukrainian city of Pripyat, filmmaker Danny Cooke explores the contours of rusted-out amusement park rides and empty buildings left to crumble in the wake of the meltdown at the Chernobyl plant on April 26, 1986. Cooke shot the footage recently while on assignment for CBS News.


Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl
from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

As the Guardian reports on Cooke's project:
The Devon-based film-maker also sent the drone into a crumbling indoor swimming pool and over factories and apartment buildings where the only sign of life is the weeds growing on the roof.

“Chernobyl is one of the most interesting and dangerous places I’ve been,” Cooke said. “There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.”

It is not until the drone is sent rising above the treetops that viewers can see the vast dome being built to place over the damaged reactor.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Roofs ripped, planes flipped: Worst storm in 10yrs hits Brisbane

RT | Nov 28, 2014

Australia's third largest city, Brisbane, was lashed by its worst storm in 10 years on Thursday night, with wind, rain and hail lifting roofs, cutting power lines, flooding streets and injuring a dozen people, officials said.

More info: 

Worst Supercell thunderstorm in decades hits Brisbane, Australia and injures 39 people

Ice Age Fever

DrSircus | Nov 21, 2014 | Dr. Mark Sircus

The news of this winter has not even begun because we are still five weeks away from that equinox. Yet you would never know it watching what is going on in upstate New York and the rest of the United States that recently saw record-breaking cold in all fifty states.

Like all kids, growing up I heard of such things as ice ages and that we were overdo for one. You know once in every 10,000 years kind of trip, and I thought well ok, that is the pattern, but must take a long time to come on so I will never have to worry about it in my lifetime!

But not so, says Professor William Patterson of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, and his colleagues. Using the most precise record of the climate from paleo history ever generated they tell almost the same story we saw in the movie The Day After Tomorrow, when the world went stone cold from one week to another. Buffalo looks like act one on our screens.

Patterson, a world expert, also thought it would take time to come on but lo and behold, the scientific evidence suggests otherwise. Robert Felix, author of Not by Fire but by Ice, thought that ice ages begin in less than 20 years. His site is the best place to keep up with the cooling news, which is heating up, according to religious disciples of manmade global warming that never was.

I have been writing for 7 years about global cooling, (confronting the most ridiculous fantasies of the global warming crowd), I had no idea whatsoever how fast things would come on and why. There are just some people who would rather freeze to death than admit that there is no global warming. I still get letters from them no matter how much evidence is laid before their eyes.

I think no one really expected such a violent change to the cold so soon. It certainly took farmers by surprise. Professor Patterson published his research saying, “JUST months – that’s how long it took for Europe to be engulfed by an ice age,”

These findings emerged from one of the most painstaking studies of climate changes ever attempted and reinforce the theory that the earth’s climate can switch between warm and cold incredibly quickly.

Of course, we know that the head of the Space Research section of the Russian Academy of Science, Professor Khabibullo Abdussamatov, in 2006 issued a press release, warning that the world should prepare for imminent global cooling. He predicted that the next ice age would start in 2012 – 2015, and would likely peak around 2055. He was looking to the most obvious reason global cooling is happening—the sun.

Abdussamatov was seeing far and sensitively enough into the climate’s future to see it coming on in just a few years. Upstate New York is just the first inning a taste of things to come. It is not a first taste of how desperate things can get though with heavy snowstorms. However, it is setting records that none could foresee.

We are seeing the first act of the new ice age and how hard it will be to live in or through one.

The county reports 30 major roof collapses as the region recovers from the historic storm that dumped more than 7 feet (2.13 m) of snow on the area in only three days. Buffalo normally gets around 8 feet of snow during an entire winter season. Emergency workers are also monitoring hundreds of structures at risk for collapse. The thirty major roof collapses were largely farm buildings and those with flat roofs.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is weighing in on this saying, “This is an historic event. When all is said and done, this snowstorm will break all sorts of records. It will get worse before it gets better.” Snow-bound residents of western New York awoke to as much as another foot of accumulation on Thursday with possibly another 30 inches expected.

One has to begin to wonder how much an unprepared population stored up on food in their homes. I heard of no last minute panic buying at the supermarket with this storm. Few are getting in and out of their homes and food is not being delivered. Eight dead so far.

Of course, in the news they are more worried about Sunday’s football game. Meanwhile global cooling is being felt in other places. The shipping season on the upper Mississippi River ended yesterday as ice surrounding locks and dams near Minnesota’s Twin Cities forced the earliest winter closure on records that date back to 1969, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. This halts shipments of corn, soybeans, wheat, fertilizer, salt and other goods from the most northern reaches of the nation’s busiest waterway.

People seem worried about the football game that might not be played in this stadium any time soon. I am more worried about people running out of food or losing their light and heat and their roofs collapsing on top of them. Global warming believers will be relieved to know warm temperatures and rain are on the way but that will be dangerous because of flooding and even more weight on people’s roofs.
Back in 2009 I published:

Dr. Willie Soon, astrophysicist and geoscientist at the Solar and Stellar Physics Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Saying the climate system is completely dominated by how much carbon dioxide we have in the system is crazy – completely wrong. Carbon dioxide is not the major driver for the earth/climate system. Temperatures are going down, but CO2 levels are still going up. It’s close to being insane to try to keep insisting these changes in carbon dioxide are going to create all of the disasters that politicians and doomsayers are trying to tell us. Climate is totally, completely dependent on what the sun is doing to the system. The sun is the major driver of the earth climate system.”

It is Cold Out There

Meanwhile way to the south: 141 year old cold weather record falls in Jacksonville. Thursday morning not only broke an "ancient" record from 1873, but we also dropped to the second coldest temperature ever recorded in the month of November in Jacksonville. According to the National Weather Service, for the second morning in a row, Jacksonville set a new cold weather record. Thursday morning’s temperature dropped to a bone chilling 24 degrees F breaking the old record of 30 degrees set in 1873. An astounding 226 million people in all 50 states, which includes the tropical paradise of Hawaii, were below freezing at the same time putting an exclamation point on an already paralyzing winter season — that has not even officially started yet.

About 50% of the United States had snow on the ground Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. There were also forecasts for heavy snow for counties in Michigan and Vermont.

John Casey a former White House space program advisor and consultant to NASA, has been writing about global cooling for as many years as I have and has said, “global warming” is a sham. And perhaps the most expensive — and lethal — sham in American history. A sham that our government spends $22 billion a year financing. Think about that: our government spends $22 billion a year financing “global warming” initiatives.” Obama certainly likes things the way they are and will go down with the global warming ship. Yesterday Casey published a press release:
  1. The Earth is about to begin a steep drop in global temperatures off its present global temperature plateau. This plateau has been caused by the absence of growth in global temperatures for 18 years, the start of global cooling in the atmosphere and the oceans, and the end of a short period of moderate solar heating from an unusually active secondary peak in solar cycle #24.
  2. Average global atmospheric and oceanic temperatures will drop significantly beginning between 2015 and 2016 and will continue with only temporary reversals until they stabilize during a long cold temperature base lasting most of the 2030’s and 2040’s. The bottom of the next global cold climate caused by a “solar hibernation” (a pronounced reduction in warming energy coming from the Sun) is expected to be reached by the year 2031.
  3. The predicted temperature decline will continue for the next fifteen years and will likely be the steepest ever recorded in human history, discounting past short-duration volcanic events.
  4. Global average temperatures during the 2030’s will reach a level of at least 1.5° C lower than the peak temperature year of the past 100 years established in 1998. The temperatures during the 2030’s will correspond roughly to that observed from 1793 to 1830, shortly after the founding of the United States of America. This average lower global temperature of 1.5° C on average, translates to declines in temperatures that will be devastating for crop growing regions in the mid latitudes of the planet.
Special Note: For the cows and sheep and everyone who swallow whatever the corporate controlled press says: Global Temperatures Are the Hottest on Record for a Fifth Month This Year. That’s despite the U.S. experiencing a bit of a deep freeze. To read how pathetic Time Magazine is, read today’s article. All fifty states below freezing in November and that is a “bit” of a freeze!

With each passing day, the global warming paradigm creeps closer to its deathbed.

Fracking Blamed for Series of Earthquakes in Texas City

ALLGOV | Nov 28, 2014 | Steve Straehley

A seismograph recorded the 3.3-magnitude
quake that shook the Dallas-Fort Worth
Metroplex on Nov. 22--.Credit:
University of Texas Institute of Geophysics
Those who live in states other than California often spout the refrain, “Yeah, but at least we don’t have earthquakes!” Residents of Irving, Texas, won’t be able to use that phrase anymore since at least five quakes, which might have been caused by fracking, hit the area in less than a week.

The first, and so far the biggest, was a 3.3 magnitude temblor last Saturday. There was a 2.5 on Sunday, followed by a 2.2 and a 2.3 on Monday and a 2.7 on Tuesday.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling technique wherein fluid, often toxic, is injected into wells to facilitate the removal of oil and gas. The epicenter of Saturday’s quake was very close to a fracking wastewater disposal well.

“We are guinea pigs in the middle of this fracking experiment. Texas homes are built to withstand wind, not earthquakes,” Sharon Wilson, an organizer for the advocacy group Earthworks, told Reuters. “Who will pay for the damage to private property?”

At this point, the increase in the number of earthquakes has become so obvious that the Texas Oil & Gas Association agrees that some research into the nexus of fracking and quakes is called for. “The oil and natural gas industry agrees that recent seismic activity warrants robust investigation to determine the precise location, impact and cause or causes of seismic events,” Todd Staples, the association’s president, said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) connected a 5.7-magnitude quake in Oklahoma to that state’s robust fracking industry. “The observation that a human-induced earthquake can trigger a cascade of earthquakes, including a larger one, has important implications for reducing the seismic risk from wastewater injection,” USGS seismologist and coauthor of the study Elizabeth Cochran said at the time.

Residents of Denton, Texas, 35 miles from Irving, voted earlier this month to ban fracking within the city limits because of concerns about earthquakes, according to Common Dreams. However, industry groups sued to stop the ban and a state official said she won’t enforce it. So much for small government solutions.

To Learn More:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Fukushima fallout on vegetation in South Florida exceeded gov’t notification limit by over 1,000% — Nearly triple the highest level reported anywhere on West Coast

ENE News | Nov 27, 2014

Florida Power & Light Company, St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant Units 1 & 2 (St. Lucie, FL) — 2011 Annual Radiological Environmental Operating Report, submitted to U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

BROADLEAF VEGETATION: Brazilian Pepper from location H59 — 10-20 miles S/SSE of reactors on south end of Hutchinson Island, [30 miles north of Palm Beach]

  • Iodine-131 on 22-Mar: 1,220 pCi/kg (wet weight)
  • Iodine-131 on 29-Mar: 605 pCi/kg
  • Iodine-131 on 06-Apr: 242 pCi/kg
  • Iodine-131 on 13-Apr: 136 pCi/kg
  • Iodine-131 on 20-Apr: 79 pCi/kg
  • Iodine-131 on 26-Apr: 45 pCi/kg
  • Iodine-131 on 03-May: 21 pCi/kg
  • Iodine-131 is “attributed to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants event. Elevated levels of radioiodine were measured through-out the U.S.”
NRC Reporting Level for Vegetation = 100 pCi/kg (wet weight)

NRC Reporting Level: “The concentration value in an environmental sample, if exceeded, which must be reported to the NRC.”

The highest I-131 level reported in vegetation from the West Coast is 462 pCi/kg in Central California.  The March 22 South Florida sample is nearly triple that amount.
See also: Emergency radiation testing used at Democrat and Republican conventions after Fukushima; Also for Obama Inauguration -- Seafood, meat, vegetables, milk, water checked for nuclear waste, while top officials agree to publicly downplay crisis -- 80% of milk samples by Orlando, FL had 'significant' Cs-137

Lightning in the Wind

Thunderbolts Project | Nov 25, 2014 | Stephen Smith

Lightning from a supercell captured in
Paducah, Texas. Image credit: Kelly DeLay
Ionized particles from the Sun contribute to electric discharges on Earth

Electric Universe theories propose that plasma discharge behavior is a better model for solar activity than most consensus opinions would like to accept. Experiments using a positively charged sphere show that a plasma torus forms above its equator. Charged plasma bridges the torus, coupling the sphere’s middle and lower latitudes, consistent with the principle of “anode tufting,” a plasma discharge effect expected from a positively charged electric Sun.

Sunspot filaments, seen clearly in sunspot penumbrae, indicate that they are rapidly rotating charge vortices. Electric discharges in plasma form rope-like, hollow tendrils, so looking down into a sunspot will reveal its rotating discharge columns in profile. Since they are funnels of plasma, their centers are darker, where convection cells would appear darker at their edges.

Since the Sun is the most powerful electrical entity in the Solar System, it stands to reason that its influence will extend outward as far as its heliospheric boundary. That influence, as previous Pictures of the Day argue, instigates many electrical phenomena on Earth.

A recent press release ignores the primary electrical aspect of the Sun, preferring to focus on magnetic reconnection as the major factor in the Sun’s impact on lightning generation. It is a step forward for heliophysicists and planetary scientists to acknowledge the Sun-Earth connection, but it is disappointing to see them rely on such a poorly supported theory like magnetic reconnection.

Briefly, according to the announcement, solar magnetic field lines “stretch between two points…twist and entangle”, forming magnetic flux ropes that snap, releasing enormous energy that blasts away from the Sun as a solar flare or a coronal mass ejection. The field lines then relax until the next energy build-up.

Electric discharges in plasma create tube-like magnetic sheaths along their axes. If enough electric charge flows, it will cause the sheath to glow, sometimes creating a number of other sheaths within it. The sheaths are called “double layers.” Powerful electric fields appear between regions in the double layers, which accelerate charged particles. Sometimes, the stored electrical energy will be catastrophically released in a “Langmuir burst.” Those bursts are what conventional astrophysicists incorrectly call “magnetic reconnection”.

It is a confirmed fact that the movement of electric charges in plasma forms electromagnetic fields that constrict the current. As previous Picture of the Day articles point out, the constricted channel is known as a “Bennett pinch,” or “z-pinch.” The pinched electric filaments remain coherent over long distances, forming helical structures that can transmit power through space. It is that phenomenon that scientists refer to as flux ropes. They are also known as Birkeland currents.

Electric fields freely accelerate charged particles, which move outward in opposite directions, activating an electric current that follows the Sun’s magnetic field. That field is carried into Earth’s electrical environment along gigantic Birkeland current filaments. It was reported elsewhere that in September 2002 a major premise of Electric Universe theory was confirmed: weather systems on Earth are electrically connected to a field of charged particles called the ionosphere. Dual bands of plasma shining in ultraviolet light were found by the IMAGE satellite. The plasma streams are circling the Earth in opposite directions along the equator, carrying positive and negative electric charges.

Along with that observation, the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) satellites found what were called “space tornadoes” (Birkeland currents), electrified plasma vortices rotating faster than 1,600,000 kilometers per hour, about 64,000 kilometers from Earth. The THEMIS satellites, together with Earth-based stations, verified that those charged plasma formations are connected to the ionosphere. This means that the Sun is directly coupled to lightning generators on Earth—otherwise called thunderstorms.

As previously written, the capacitor effect is probably what contributes to lightning discharges. Capacitors are usually made of two conductors separated by an insulating medium, or dielectric insulator. An electric charge on one conductor attracts an opposite charge to the other conductor, resulting in an electric field between them that acts as an electrical energy reserve. Thunderstorms are most likely behaving like capacitors: the clouds are one plate, the ground another, and the atmosphere is the dielectric insulator.

Since the clouds are connected to the ionosphere, electric charges carried into the ionosphere by the solar wind cause increases in the electrical energy in the clouds, which also increases the stored charge in the ground. That accumulated charge overcomes the atmosphere’s ability to keep the two separate, so they reach out to each other in the form of “leader strokes.” When the two lightning leaders meet, a circuit between the clouds and the ground (or between one cloud and another) is completed: lightning flashes.

Stephen Smith

Click here for a Spanish translation

Scientists Discover An Invisible Shield Surrounding Earth, Baffled At How It Formed

Inquisitr | Nov 26, 2014

Scientists have discovered something truly remarkable in the Earth’s atmosphere. An invisible shield is located approximately 7,200 miles above Earth that scientists are likening to “force fields on Star Trek.”

According to Front Line Desk, the shield was discovered in the Van Allen radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped rings above Earth that are filled with high-energy electrons and protons. Held in place by Earth’s magnetic field, the Van Allen radiation belts swell and shrink in response to incoming energy disturbances from the sun. The Van Allen radiation belts were first discovered back in 1958. However, scientists only discovered two belts, an inner and outer belt extending up to 25,000 miles above Earth’s surface.

However, last year, Professor Daniel Baker from the University of Colorado Boulder and his team used the twin Van Allen Probes launched in 2012 to discover a third, transient ‘storage ring.’ According to their research, the third belt is located between the previously known inner and outer Van Allen radiation belts. This belt is different in that it seems to come and go as space weather changes.

The purpose of the ring was quite clear to the researchers — the ring is used to block killer electrons from entering deeper into the Earth’s atmosphere. These electrons can be extremely devastating at their near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites and damage space systems.

Beta Wired notes that Baker likened the invisible shield to Star Trek force fields. The Earth’s magnetic field holds the belts in place, but the scientist says that the electrons in these belts — which travel at nearly the speed of light — are being blocked by some invisible force that reminded him of the kind of shields used in television series like Star Trek to stop alien energy weapons from vaporizing starships. However, in the case of Earth, the invisible shield is being used to stop killer electrons from entering the atmosphere.

Prior to the invisible shield discovery, scientists assumed that electrons making it into the upper atmosphere of the planet would be dispersed by air molecules, but it looks like these particles don’t even get that far thanks to Earth’s invisible electron shield.

Now that the scientists know the invisible shield exists, they are trying to determine how it was formed and exactly how it works.
“It’s almost like these electrons are running into a glass wall in space. It’s an extremely puzzling phenomenon.”
[Image Credit: NASA]

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Monster Wells: Hundreds Of Fracking Wells Using 10-25 Million Gallons of Water Each

DeSmog Blog | Nov 23, 2014 | Mike Gaworecki

While the oil and gas industry likes to claim that fracking is not an especially water intensive process, a new report has found that there are more than 250 wells across the country that each require anywhere from 10 to 25 million gallons of water.

The American Petroleum Institute suggests that the typical fracked well uses “the equivalent of the volume of three to six Olympic sized swimming pools,” which works out to 2-4 million gallons of water.

But using data reported by the industry itself and available on the website, Environmental Working Group has determined that there are at least 261 wells in eight states that used an average of 12.7 million gallons of water, adding up to a total of 3.3 billion gallons, between 2010 and 2013.

Read more..

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Finding Nemo monster is real: Rare black seadevil caught on video

RT | Nov 24, 2014

Still from YouTube video/MBARI
A nightmare-inducing sea creature made famous in ‘Finding Nemo’ was caught on video in the depths of the ocean for the first time. Scientists believe global warming is affecting its environment, bringing the rare anglerfish species to shallower waters.

As shown in Pixar’s famous fish film, anglers get their name from the built-in fishing rod attached to their foreheads. The black seadevil (scientific name Melanocetus) lives in the pitch-black depths of Monterey Canyon off California’s coast, and uses its luminescent orb to attract prey.

“In the darkness of deep water, they flash the light to attract prey and draw them near the angler's mouth. When a fish or a squid swims up, it is quickly inhaled by the angler's huge mouth and trapped by its long, sharp teeth,” senior scientist Bruce Robison said in a video of the seadevil released by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

MBARI scientists spotted the secretive species 2,000 feet (600m) below Monterey Bay’s surface, but it also lives in the “freezing, crushing water four times deeper,” the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The footage captured at this depth by MBARI’s remotely operated vehicle, ROV Doc Ricketts, is believed to be the first video ever made of this species alive and at such a depth, the institute said in the video description. Fewer than half a dozen encounters with any type of deep-sea anglerfish have ever been recorded by deep-diving research vehicles, MBARI noted in a statement.

The ROV located the fish during a “midwater transect” last Monday, institute spokeswoman Kim Fulton-Bennett told CNN. "This means we 'fly' the robot through the water at a series of different depths (10 minutes at each depth), and count all the different types of animals we see."

The female seadevil is recognizable from ‘Finding Nemo,’ where it snuck up on fish Dory and Marlin as they search for Nemo. As scary as the anglerfish might be, it is only 9 cm (3.5 in) long. The male is even smaller, “like a tiny little baby,” a video called ‘True Facts about the Angler Fish’ says.

“He attaches himself to the female by biting her, and then digesting part of his face so he fuses with her flesh,” the description continues. “He then atrophies, losing his digestive organs, brain, heart and eyes, and winds up nothing more than a pair of gonads, which release sperm when needed.”

Finding a female ‒ no matter how ugly she may appear‒ is imperative for the male.

"If they don't find a female, they drown," Ted Pietsch, professor at the University of Washington and expert on the deep-sea anglerfish, told the Mercury News. "They're not even properly equipped to eat."

Females also collect males throughout their lifetimes. Robison told KSBW that he has seen up to 11 males attached to a single female.

Not much else is known about the elusive seadevil, however. "A video would tell us a lot about how it moves, swims, orients to gravity," Pietsch noted.

Robison and his international team of researchers didn’t just capture video of the angler; it captured the black seadevil to study. Unfortunately, they do not know how long it will survive.

The team is studying the possible impacts of rising water temperatures on deep-sea animals. Robison told KSBW the fish discovery was thanks to the mid-water rest barometer, the only one of its kind.

"What we're trying to do experimentally with instruments that we take down into the ocean is to learn what the range of capabilities of these animals are," he said. "Now that the temperature is rising, many species may not have the ability to adjust to the rising temperatures."

The temperature increase, he told the Mercury News, is "probably because of global warming. If the temperature continues to rise and the amount of oxygen continues to decrease, things are going to change."

The problem the black seadevil and other deep-sea creatures face from global warming is that oxygen ‒ which is already scarce at those depths ‒ will decrease even more.

"Animals that live in the oxygen minim zones are adapted to low oxygen, but they might be close to their limit," Brad Seibel, an assistant professor of marine biology at the University of Rhode Island, told the Mercury News. That could lead to stunted development, and possibly force the animals to head to shallower waters.

And animals near the surface would have to swim to colder waters. These mass migrations would alter ecosystems as food and predators might not shift in the same way, Seibel said.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Looking for safe cookware? Try cast iron

© Courtesy Natural News
Natural News | Nov 22, 2014 | Jonathan Benson

With so many different types of cookware on the market today, making the best and safest choices for our families can be a challenge. But tried-and-true cast iron is still among the most durable and non-toxic types of cookware available -- and if you know how to use it properly, it can be just as easy to use and clean as the much more convenient but chemical-laden varieties branded as "non-stick."

Cast iron is about as classic as it gets when it comes to durable cookware. And if properly cared for, it can last a lifetime and be passed down from generation to generation. But a common complaint is that food tends to stick to pure cast iron since it hasn't been layered with Teflon or other non-stick surfaces, which often contain perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, that release noxious fumes into the air and leach toxic substances into food.

Stainless steel cookware is one safer option, but if scratched it, too, can leach nickel and other undesired substances into food. For pots and pans, stainless steel is still an excellent choice, as is copper, but when it comes to frying pans and griddles, cast iron is probably your best bet, and here's why.

Cast iron gets better over time 

On his blog, permaculture aficionado Paul Wheaton explains how to select quality cast iron cookware, how to properly care for it, and how to make it not only last but thrive. Unlike most other types of cookware, cast iron actually gets better over time when it is regularly scraped and seasoned. Individuals with anemia or iron deficiencies can also benefit from the iron found in cast iron.

According to Wheaton, the best types of cast iron are older pieces found at garage sales and online trading sites like Craigslist and eBay. Many older cast iron pieces were machine surfaced to be smooth, as opposed to the rough surfaces found on newer cast iron cookware. Older skillets have also typically been seasoned over many years of use, meaning they have already been "broken in."

"Many of the experienced cast iron folk [recommend] buying a heavily used skillet," he wrote. But if a new skillet is your only option, he recommends using a stainless steel spatula with a flat edge to "take the 'peaks' off as the 'valleys' fill with 'seasoning.'"

More on this is available here:

Bacon grease, palm oil excellent for seasoning cast iron cookware 

Properly "seasoning" a cast iron skillet involves allowing natural cooking oils to permeate the cooking surface without washing them off after each use. This process is unique to cast iron, and it allows a smooth polymerized fat surface to form, making the cooking surface slick and easier to clean.

In Wheaton's experience, saturated fats like bacon grease and "organic shortening" (palm oil) that remain solid at room temperature tend to work best at creating the ideal cast iron cooking surface (though we don't recommend pal oil for anything). Hydrogenated oils are toxic and should thus be avoided, and mono- and polyunsaturated fats tend to leave the cooking surface sticky.

Seasoning cast iron with saturated fats also helps protect the surface against rust, which can form when pans aren't properly dried after use. Wheaton recommends heating cast iron pans on the stovetop to remove excess water, as towel drying typically won't get it dry enough. If rust, pitting, or caked-on gunk is already present, Wheaton advises using the self-cleaning option on your oven to literally bake off the crud.

You can learn more about that here:


Laser from a plane discovers Roman goldmines in Spain

© J. Fernández Lozano, et al.
Ancient goldmines in the Eria river valley, with
channels and reservoirs for exploitation. The model
generated with LiDAR data (left) allows these
structures to be located on aerial photos (right).
SOTT | Nov 19, 2014

Hidden under the vegetation and crops of the Eria Valley, in León (Spain), there is a gold mining network created by the Romans two thousand years ago, as well as complex hydraulic works, such as river diversions, to divert water to the mines of the precious metal. Researchers from the University of Salamanca made the discovery from the air with an airborne laser tele-detection system.

 Las Médulas in León is considered to be the largest opencast goldmine of the Roman Empire, but the search for this metal extended many kilometres further south-east to the Erica river valley. Thanks to a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) laser system attached to an aircraft, the ancient mining works of the area and the complex hydraulics system used by the Romans in the 1st century BC to extract gold (including channels, reservoirs and a double river diversion) have been discovered.

"The volume of earth exploited is much greater than previously thought and the works performed are impressive, having achieved actual river captures, which makes this valley extremely important in the context of Roman mining in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula," as Javier Fernández Lozano, geologist at the University of Salamanca and co-author of this study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, tells SINC.

The specialists consider that the systems for the transport and storage of water were copied from those already existing in North Africa, where the Egyptians had been employing them for centuries. Some details of the methodology used appear in texts such as those of the Pliny the Elder, the Roman procurator in charge of overseeing mining in Hispania.

"We have established that the labour that went into extracting the resource until its exhaustion was so intensive that after removing the gold from surface sediments, operations continued until reaching the rocks with the auriferous quartz veins underneath," explains Fernández Lozano.

The researcher stresses that the real discoverer was the LiDAR technology: "Unlike traditional aerial photography, this airborne laser detection system allows the visualisation of archaeological remains under vegetation cover or intensely ploughed areas".

From aircraft or drones

LiDAR comprises a laser sensor which scans the ground from an aircraft or drone with geographical references provided by GPS ground stations. The data obtained is represented by point clouds, which are processed with a piece of software to construct a cartographic model where the forms are identified, such as old reservoirs or channels.

This technology was developed by NASA in the sixties to analyse the retreating sea ice in the Arctic and composition of the oceans. Since then their use has been extended to topography, cadastral mapping, geology and archaeology. According to the authors, the study of Roman mining in the Eria valley is the first piece of 'geo-archaeology' performed with LiDAR in Spain.

"Our intention is to continue working with this technique to learn more about mineral mining in the Roman Empire and clear up any mysteries such as why Rome abandoned such a precious resource as gold from one day to the next," concludes the researcher.


Javier Fernández-Lozano, Gabriel Gutiérrez-Alonso, Miguel Fernández-Morán. "Using airborne LiDAR sensing technology and aerial orthoimages to unravel roman water supply systems and gold works in NW Spain (Eria valley, León)". Journal of Archaeological Science, 12 November 2014 (online).

Source: La Ciencia es Noticia

Weather Warning: Historic Global Temperature Drop Predicted

© unknown
Space and Science | Nov 20, 2014

Press Release 4-2014

The Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) announces today an important set of climate change predictions dealing with the coming cold climate epoch that will dominate global temperatures for the next thirty years.

According to analysis of the most reliable solar activity trends and climate models based on the Relational Cycle Theory (RC Theory), the SSRC concludes the following:

1.      The Earth is about to begin a steep drop in global temperatures off its present global temperature plateau. This plateau has been caused by the absence of growth in global temperatures for 18 years, the start of global cooling in the atmosphere and the oceans, and the end of a short period of moderate solar heating from an unusually active secondary peak in solar cycle #24.

2.      Average global atmospheric and oceanic temperatures will drop significantly beginning between 2015 and 2016 and will continue with only temporary reversals until they stabilize during a long cold temperature base lasting most of the 2030's and 2040's. The bottom of the next global cold climate caused by a "solar hibernation" (a pronounced reduction in warming energy coming from the Sun) is expected to be reached by the year 2031.

3.      The predicted temperature decline will continue for the next fifteen years and will likely be the steepest ever recorded in human history, discounting past short-duration volcanic events.

4.      Global average temperatures during the 2030's will reach a level of at least 1.5° C lower than the peak temperature year of the past 100 years established in 1998. The temperatures during the 2030's will correspond roughly to that observed from 1793 to 1830, shortly after the founding of the United States of America. This average lower global temperature of 1.5° C on average, translates to declines in temperatures that will be devastating for crop growing regions in the mid latitudes of the planet.

(Download the complete Press Release with comments from other experts on the link below)

Click Here to Download a PDF File of this Press Release

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Report: 81% of GM Crops Approved Without Adequate Safety Studies

© Natural Society
Natural Society | Nov 21, 2014 |Christina Sarich

thanks to biotech-government ties

What’s a recipe for environmental mayhem and the destruction of human health? The approval of genetically modified organisms by governments worldwide without any scientific safety studies. A new study published by the risk-assessment journal Environment International states that of the GM crops approved for planting and marketing globally, 81% were not studied for possible health and environmental safety risks.

Nevertheless, the biotech industry keeps touting GMO ‘benefits’ like a narcissistic madman on steroids. This chest beating continues – despite a complete lack of published, peer-reviewed research supporting the safety of genetically modified organisms.

The researchers of the risk-assessment study looked at GM crops engineered either for tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) or engineered to produce pesticides in their tissues due to the expression of cry1Ab or cry3Bb1 genes. Of all the bioengineering tricks up Monsanto and Syngenta’s sleeves, these are the most commonly used in commercial GM crops.

A whopping 47 GM crop varieties meet these conditions and have been given approval by agencies like the USDA, the FDA, and other regulatory bodies around the world.

When the researchers did a search for peer-reviewed studies on these crops prior to their approval so that they could tell if the agencies were relying on published vs. secret, industry-led studies, their findings were indeed telling.

The approval of these crops was based entirely on industry-biased data.

Only 18 peer-reviewed studies could be found which assessed the safety of any of the 47 GM crops that have been given a rubber stamp, and only 9 of the 47 crop varieties were studied. This means that the remaining 38 GMO varieties were approved with zero credible scientific evidence of their safety.

This is an incontrovertible piece of evidence that Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, Bayer, Cargill, the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, and others have completely swayed government opinion about GMO safety based on manufactured to appease ‘experts.’ Experts who are supposed to assess the possible toxicity of any food or beverage we consume. This means that GMOs got the green light without safety assessments by independent scientists. No government-appointed shills should be making decisions about our food supply with such little risk assessment conducted.

The new study does suffer from one major limitation, however, since it looked only for published studies involving feeding rats the GM crop in question and then monitoring them for health effects. There are obviously other ways to conduct safety tests, but these were not conducted either.

Furthermore, these companies did indeed test their own crops and hid the results from regulators, even when they knew their toxic GMO products could cause serious health risks. The biotech industry has called these tests a ‘commercial secret’ even when they knowingly promote GMOs while they causes harm.

The pesticides and herbicides marketed to go hand-in-hand with GM crop sales are subject to the same ‘scrutiny’ as GMO crops themselves. A 2014 study in the journal BioScience found that the pesticide-approval process has been very similar.
Risk assessment is compromised when relatively few studies are used to determine impacts, particularly if most of the data used in an assessment are produced by a pesticide’s manufacturer, which constitutes a conflict of interest. Although manufacturers who directly profit from chemical sales should continue to bear the costs of testing, this can be accomplished without [conflicts of interest] by an independent party with no potential for financial gain from the outcome and with no direct ties to the manufacturer.”

Disturbing! The Gulf Stream now stalling in two broken areas

SOTT | Nov 20, 2014 | Gary Walton

Are we witnessing the Gulf Stream closing down? Is the cold November in the US just a precursor of what is to come?

A massive snowstorm has wreaked havoc in the north-eastern US and left seven people dead in upstate New York. After sweeping across the Great Lakes, the storm dumped 5ft (1.5m) of snow in the Buffalo area, with more forecast. The storm caused seven deaths there - one in a car crash, one trapped in a car and five from heart attacks.

Freezing temperatures were recorded across all 50 US states, including Florida and Hawaii, and there were more deaths elsewhere in the country.

New data from The Earth Wind Map and The NOAA Data Satellite both agree and are now showing the Gulf Stream is colder than average in not one area but two!

The huge section in the North Atlantic is still showing colder than average on both website's (see links above) but more alarming they are also both showing the Gulf itself is now colder than average and this was not the case last month.

Read more..

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Next Climate Phase

Suspicious0bservers | Nov 20, 2014

Climate Change:
Casey Article:

DuPont Insecticide Plant where 4 Workers Died hadn’t been Inspected in 7 Years

Robert and Gilbert Tisnado
(photo: Tisnado family)
ALLGOV | Nov 19, 2014 | Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman

Four workers at a DuPont chemical plant in Texas died last weekend following a chemical leak. The industrial facility in La Porte hadn’t undergone federal safety inspections since 2007.

The discharge of a poisonous gas, methyl mercaptan (pdf)—which is used in the production of the company’s popular insecticide, Lannate—killed the four employees and hospitalized a fifth. Two of those killed were brothers, Robert and Gilbert Tisnado. Gilbert’s widow, Michelle, has filed a million-dollar wrongful death suit against DuPont and the facility’s plant manager, Randall Clements.

DuPont released a statement saying that the workers had responded to a reported leak in a valve. It was later determined that the faulty valve had released about 100 pounds of the deadly gas into the air throughout the plant.

Inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration hadn’t checked the plant in seven years. At that time two serious violations for safe management of highly hazardous chemicals were issued. But the total in fines amounted to only $3,400.

DuPont was hit with tougher penalties by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the agency found violations of hazardous waste management and air emissions standards. EPA fined the company $117,375, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The 600-acre plant, which manufactures pesticides and plastics, also has been cited by Texas regulators for repeatedly breaking state laws involving safety inspections, preventing pollution leaks and other concerns.
A team from the Chemical Safety Board was dispatched to the site to investigate the deaths in the recent incident. The agency previously investigated accidents at other DuPont plants, including two that were fatal.

'Unbelievable, Terrible': Forest Service OKs Fracking in Largest National Forest on East Coast

Fracking the George Washington National Forest will threaten
the water supply for over 5 million people living in and
around Washington D.C. (Photo: United States Forest Service)
Common Dreams | Nov 18, 2014 | Lauren McCauley

The President can protect the climate and public health, or he can continue to promote fracking. He cannot do both.'

Threatening the water supply for millions of Americans, the U.S. Forest Service has opened the doors for oil and gas companies to drill by fracking the largest national forest on the East Coast, the George Washington National Forest, according to an updated federal management plan released Tuesday.

Backtracking on an earlier plan to restrict fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, which has been linked to dangerous levels of air and groundwater pollution, the Obama administration reportedly caved to industry pressure to permit such drilling of the Marcellus Shale within park perimeters.

"In the face of dire warnings from the world’s foremost climate scientists about the need to phase out fossil fuels by 2100 and an authoritative body of science demonstrating the health impacts faced by communities living near oil and gas development, this administration continues to promote an 'all of the above' energy policy rather than a swift transition to renewable energy," Bruce Baizel, energy program director for environmental nonprofit Earthworks, said in a press statement following the release of the new management plan.

"The President can protect the climate and public health, or he can continue to promote fracking," Baizel continued. "He cannot do both."

The Associated Press reports:
The U.S. Forest Service originally planned to ban fracking in the 1.1 million-acre George Washington National Forest, but energy companies cried foul after a draft of the plan was released in 2011. It would have been the first outright ban on the practice in a national forest.

"We think we've ended up in a much better place, which is we are allowing oil and gas drilling," Robert Bonnie, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's undersecretary for natural resources and environment, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
The George Washington National Forest spans the Appalachian mountain ridge in Virginia into West Virginia and boasts hardwood and pine forests as well as thousands of miles of streams and hundreds of species of birds and mammals.

Documentarian Josh Fox, whose film Gasland was one of the first to draw attention to the toxic drilling practice, said the rule change was "unbelievable, terrible news."

Scientific studies show that fracking, which releases shale gas and oil by injecting a slurry of water and unknown chemicals into the earth, causes significant groundwater contamination as well as dangerous levels of methane emissions, a highly potent greenhouse gas. The practice has also been linked to earthquakes, indicating that fracking has significant effect on the geology of the planet, according to researchers.

Environmental groups warn that drilling in the forest could pollute the rivers and streams that feed into the Potomac River, which provides drinking water for five million people and is Washington D.C.'s only source of water. Further, according to the USFS, the Forest is the largest federal landholding in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and is the direct source of drinking water for about 262,000 people in local communities in and around Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

According to the USFS, the new plan establishes a framework for potential development on roughly 180,000 acres of the Forest where federal leases or privately owned mineral rights exist but are currently not active.

"The decision does not prohibit any specific technology for developing oil and gas resources, including hydraulic fracturing," the USFS press statement reads. However, according to the park service, any proposal to develop the existing leases will undergo further environmental analysis with opportunities for public comment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Record breaking cold weather blankets U.S. - 85% surface area at or below freezing

SOTT | Nov 19, 2014 | Dr. Ryan Maue

Tuesday morning, America 'as a whole' awoke to the coldest it has been in November since 1976 -- 38 years ago. The Lower-48 or CONUS spatially average temperature plummeted overnight to only 19.4°F typical of mid-winter not November 18th! Data

An astounding 226-million Americans will experience at or below freezing temperatures (32°F) on Tuesday as well -- if you venture outdoors.

More than 85% of the surface area of the Lower-48 reached or fell below freezing Tuesday morning. All 50-states saw at or below freezing temperatures on Tuesday.

Record lows from Idaho to Nebraska and Iowa south to Texas and east through the Great Lakes, the eastern 2/3 of the US will shatter decades-long and in some cases, century-long records. Temperatures east of the Rockies will be 20-40°F below climate normals.

Compared to normal, temperatures over the past several days have dropped off a cliff -- to 10°C below climate normal -- more anomalous than even during the polarvortex of early January. Anomaly Chart. November is shaping up to be a colder-than-normal month by a lot.

Read more..

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

More Than 300 A Year: New Analysis Shows Devastating Impact of Pipeline Spills

A close-up of a leaking pipeline, stuffed with a
tree to stem the oil flow. (Photo: newmy51/cc/flickr)
Common Dreams | Nov 17, 2014 | Deirdre Fulton

'There’s no way to get around the fact that oil and gas pipelines are dangerous and have exacted a devastating toll on people and wildlife,' attorney says

Released one day before the U.S. Senate votes on the Keystone XL pipeline, a new analysis of federal records shows that in just the past year and four months, there have been 372 oil and gas pipeline leaks, spills, and other incidents, leading to 20 deaths, 117 injuries, and more than $256 million in damages.

The Center for Biological Diversity analysis is based on decades of records from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which maintains a database of all U.S. pipeline incidents that are classified as "significant"—those resulting in death or injury, damages more than $50,000, more than 5 barrels of highly volatile substances or 50 barrels of other liquid released, or where the liquid exploded or burned.

In total there have been more than 8,700 significant incidents with U.S. pipelines involving death, injury, and economic and environmental damage since 1986, the Center reports—more than 300 per year.

"There’s no way to get around the fact that oil and gas pipelines are dangerous and have exacted a devastating toll on people and wildlife. It’s appalling to see Congress seriously considering giving the green light to Keystone XL," said Bill Snape, senior counsel with the Center for Biological Diversity. "The Obama administration’s own analysis says Keystone XL will spill oil, so it’s really troubling to see politicians wanting to add to this dangerous legacy of failed pipelines."

The time-lapse video below includes every "significant pipeline" incident in the continental United States—along with their human and financial costs—from 1986 to Oct. 1, 2014. On average one significant pipeline incident occurs in the country every 30 hours, according to the data.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Climate Perception, Projection and Propaganda

Watts Up With That | Nov 17, 2014 | Dr. Tim Ball

A major reason why Al Gore’s deceptive use of the melting Arctic ice was so effective is because most people have little idea what the real world is like. They have no image of the Arctic Oceans, shape or size, partly because they effectively live in a two-dimensional world. That is not a problem for them or society until someone exploits it. Gore was part of a global political agenda that exploited it. It was an agenda that expanded H L Mencken’s comment about politics to a global scale.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
Now, it was less likely people would know it was imaginary.

People have no accurate image of the Arctic Ocean because of how they are born, nature, and educated, nurture. They are primarily a combination of nature/nurture that prioritizes what is necessary for individual survival. In addition, their inabilities are a result of several things, but primarily, a limited ability to grasp and imagine three dimensions. Their daily visual stimuli tell them it is a flat earth. As humans moved to expand their horizons, they were confronted with the challenge of producing two-dimensional maps that attempt to portray a three-dimensional world. I learned about all these limitations when teaching and running labs for students using weather maps, topographic maps, aerial photographs and satellite imagery. It is why two-dimensional weather maps are adequate, but a forecaster needs to be able to visualize the third dimension depicted by isobars.

One of the most difficult ideas to explain to students about weather and climate is the Coriolis Effect. First, there is the challenge of it causing a change, so it appears logical to assume there is a force involved. As a result, people speak incorrectly of a Coriolis Force. Second, is the challenge of understanding a three-dimensional world, when our perceptions are essentially two-dimensional. Nowhere is this more evident than in map projections and people’s perceptions and understanding of the world.

Human adaptation of the third dimension is very much an intellectual, philosophical, and perceptual issue. The “Greek Miracle”, from approximately 700 to 400 BC, is embodied in the Parthenon. It wasn’t just the mathematical proportions, but also accommodation to a world seen by the curvature of the eye. The base of the Parthenon is not level, but raised in the center. If built level then, if viewed from either end, it would appear to dip in the middle.

Read more..

NASA map downplays sharp rise in meteor fireball impacts over last 20 years

SOTT | Nov 17, 2014 | Gary Boyle & Niall Bradley

NASA's Near Earth Object (NEO) Program published a diagram a few days ago, showing 556 mapped comet/asteroid fragment impacts on Earth over the last 20 years (see above). NASA says it's based on data gathered from 1994-2013 on small asteroids impacting Earth's atmosphere to create 'fireballs, adding that "the sizes of yellow dots (daytime impacts) and blue dots (nighttime impacts) are proportional to the optical radiated energy of impacts measured in billions of Joules (GJ) of energy, and show the location of impacts from objects about 1 meter (3 feet) to almost 20 meters (60 feet) in size."

Note the random distribution of impacts around the globe. But note also what the map and accompanying NASA report do not indicate: the year-on-year distribution of those impact events over that 20-year period. This omission enables them to give the following misleading subheading to their report:
It happens all the time: small asteroids impact Earth's atmosphere
By not providing a year-on-year breakdown of the impacts, and by including their rather banal headline, NASA leaves us to assume that these events were more or less evenly distributed over those 20 years - on average, 27 fireball events of note in 2013 (556 total events/20 years). But we have serious doubts about this.

We know from the American Meteor Society that there were nearly 3,500 observed events in 2013 alone - and just in the US.

Read more..

Chlorpyrifos - cause of birth defects, mental impairment - sprayed on farms across the US

Lorsban is sprayed on a soccer pitch to
control grubs, 1987. Photo: srv007 via Flickr.
The Ecologist | Nov 15, 2014 | Janette D. Sherman

Dow's teratogenic pesticide chlorpyrifos is a human and environmental disaster, writes Janette D. Sherman. It causes serious, irreversible damage to the human foetus even at low concentrations that may be harmless to the mother, resulting in severely and permanently disabled and mentally damaged children. But it's still sprayed in vast quantities on America's farms. 

The recent number of articles in the popular press concerning loss of intellect among children exposed to chlorpyrifos is important in the case of this pesticide.

Although in-home use of chlorpyrifos was restricted in the US in 2000, it is widely used in agriculture, and is a serious risk to health and intellect for people working and living in proximity to fields. Detectable levels of chlorpyrifos detected in New York City children, raises the question of exposure via food.

Across the US we learn that students are doing poorly in school, often blaming the teachers and their unions.

Are teachers no longer competent to teach or have children been 'dumbed-down' by exposure to this neurotoxin?

The State of California is considering restriction on use, but is prepared for strong opposition from the pesticide and big agricultural industries.

FLK - 'Funny looking kid' syndrome

Back in the 'Dark Ages' - a mere 50 years ago - when I was a medical student and intern at Wayne State University, I rotated through Children's Hospital in Detroit. It was staffed by some of the most thoughtful and kind physician / professors I have ever met.

I attended a clinic named 'FLK' otherwise known as Funny Looking Kid clinic. There we saw children who had abnormal looking faces, abnormal body parts, and, often impaired intelligence.

Many of the children required complicated medical care, but I don't recall much discussion as to why they had these abnormalities that had dramatically cut short their futures and altered the lives of their families.

Realizing you have given birth to a child with birth defects is devastating - not only for the child, but for the family, and for society in general. If the child survives infancy, it means being 'different' and having to cope with disability, and with having to learn alternative ways to function.

For many families, it means 24/7 care of a child who can never live independently. For society the costs can be enormous - surgery (often multiple), medications, social services, special education, special equipment, then alternative living arrangements, if and when family cannot care for their child, now grown to a non-functional adult.

Chlorpyrifos - a potent neurotoxin

Although the neurotoxicity of pesticides has been known for decades, recently, several national magazines, have named the pesticide, chlorpyrifos, as an agent causing loss of intelligence, as well as birth defects and structural brain damage.

Dr. James Hamblin's article in March 2014 issue of The Atlantic, titled 'The Toxins that Threaten Our Brains' listed 12 commonly used chemicals, including chlorpyrifos, which is marketed as Dursban and Lorsban.

The exposures described in the Atlantic articles were urban, so we do not know exactly how widespread is this epidemic is, especially if we do not include agricultural areas such as in California, Hawaii and the mid-West..

That same month, The Nation published Susan Freinkel's articles 'Warning Signs: How Pesticides Harm the Young Brain' and '6 Ways to Avoid Eating Pesticide Residue'; and Lee Fang's 'The Pesticide Industry vs. Consumers: Not a Fair Fight'. All report adverse effects from exposure to Dursban and Lorsban.

Dr. Hamblin's article generously cites Drs. Philip Landrigan of Mt. Sinai in New York City and Philippe Grandjean of Harvard that a "'silent pandemic' of toxins has been damaging the brains of unborn children."

Dr. Landrigan chaired a 1998 meeting of the Collegium Ramazzini International Scientific Conference, held in Carpi, Italy. In attendance was Dr. Grandjean, whose research found "Methylmercury as a hazard to brain development." Dr. Richard Jackson, from the US CDC was also in attendance, as well as US governmental and university members.

At that Collegium Ramazzini International Scientific Conference, on October 25, 1998, I presented definitive data in my paper: 'Chlorpyrifos (Dursban) exposure and birth defects: report of 15 incidents, evaluation of 8 cases, theory of action, and medical and social aspects.'

This presentation followed my earlier publications beginning in 1994 wherein I reported damage to the unborn from the same pesticide.

The Ramazzini organization sent my paper to the European Journal of Oncology for publication. Since my paper reported birth defects, not cancer, the paper has received little notice, but the attendees, including the EPA, have known of the findings for 16 years.

Hawaii - awash with pesticides

Currently a new battle is occurring in Hawaii over the use of pesticides, especially by Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer, BASF Plant Science, and Syngenta on the island of Kauai where giant seed companies develop Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other specialized seeds.

The pesticides used there include alachlor, atrazine, chlorpyrifos, methomyl, metalochlor, permethrin and paraquat.

Author Paul Koberstein from Cascadia Times estimates that annually, more than 2,000 pounds of chlorpyrifos are used per acre per year on Kauai, compared to less than 0.025 averages for the US Mainland.

In addition to Hawaii, areas in California include workers and families from the Imperial Valley and other intensive agricultural areas where pesticide use is extensive. Using the Koberstein data, annual use of chlorpyrifos in California is approximately 1500 pounds/ acre.

Neurological damage: before and after birth

Birth defects arise as a result of two mechanisms - damage to a gene, prior to fertilization, or damage to the growing cells of the fetus after life in the womb has begun.

Differing from genetic damage, such as occurs in Down syndrome or Trisomy-21, the latter damage results from exposure of the developing fetus to agents called teratogens.

For many years Mongolism was the name applied to children with growth delays, similar facial and hand features and intellectual deficits.

Chlorpyrifos is a unique pesticide. It is a combination of an organophosphate and a trichlorinatedpyridinol (TCP). TCP is not only the feedstock used in the manufacture of chlorpyrifos, but also a contaminant in the product, and a metabolic breakdown product that is known to cause central nervous system abnormalities (hydrocephaly and dilated brain ventricles), and other abnormalities (cleft palate, skull and vertebral abnormalities) in fetuses - as reported by Dow Chemical Co.

What exposure to Dursban can do

In March 1995, I was asked to fly to Arkansas to see a child whose mother had been exposed to the pesticide Dursban (chlorpyrifos) early in the pregnancy of her daughter.

Mrs S had been working in a bank when in mid-March, 1991, she noticed a man spraying the baseboards behind the station where she worked as a teller. She said she asked the man if was okay to be in the area since she was pregnant, and she said the man told her it was "perfectly safe".

She said the spraying had occurred around 4 PM, and that she worked at the bank until 6:30 PM, and when she went home that evening she had nausea and a "bit of headache". She said she returned to work the next day, felt nausea, but worked most of the day.

An electrical fire at the drive-in window followed the pesticide event, and a technician used of a fogger that sprayed a "citrus-like" chemical that was intended to deodorize the smoke odor. Mrs S said she worked at the bank until about April of that year, and then worked at a credit union until her daughter was born in September.

When Mrs S was about five months pregnant she had an ultrasound, which showed that her baby had enlarged ventricles in her brain. Further examination revealed absence of the septum pellucidum, a central portion of her brain. Mrs. S. had additional follow up at a university center as well as with her own physician that showed normal amniocentesis and normal chromosomes.

Both Mr & Mrs S said that caring for the daughter A. has been a severe financial and emotional drain, sometimes requiring them to be up 72 hours to try to soothe A's crying. A. had surgery to repair her cleft lip when she was six months old, and repair of her cleft palate and left eyelid when she was a year old.

Both cleft lip and palate can now be repaired (in areas with skilled surgeon, and insurance or other funds) but until they are, the child has difficulty feeding and risks poor nutrition, upper respiratory and lung problems as a result of aspiration of food.

Additional diagnostic procedures indicated that A has a cleft left eye (failure of her eye to fuse during development), and she cannot blink her eye or move the left side of her face.

A was unable to sit up on her own by the time she was a year old, had to have food pureed until she was two, then her parents realized that when A neared her 4th birthday, she could not hear, when they began a program of sign language with the aid of a speech therapist.

A's brother B was born two years later, and is well, sleeping thought the night when he was two weeks of age.

I was given a tour of the bank where Mrs S worked by its' Senior Vice-President, and to minimize stress to A, I examined her in the office and presence of her pediatrician. I also accompanied her parents to their home where I could observe A at her home.

A was a small-boned child who walked with a wide-based, unsteady gait and who made audible sounds, but no language content. Her head was enlarged with hydrocephaly and a small bruise due to a recent, commonly occurring fall. Her abnormalities included the following, and were characteristic of findings in other children: low-set, tapering ears, wide-spaced nipples, and frequent infections.

This litany is not to horrify readers, but to bring to attention to the burdens imposed upon this child, her parents, and society as a whole. I evaluated seven more children, two families each having two children with similar, but more severe medical conditions.

Eight cases of severe retardation - and a single common cause

With the exception of child #1, the seven children were profoundly retarded, were diapered, could not speak, and required feeding.

I first met C & D in 1996, along with their parents and handsome, healthy older brother, at their attractive home on the West Coast. Both D (a girl) and C (a boy) were lying flat, diapered, mouths open, fists clenched, staring into space, and being fed by bottle. Even today, looking at the photographs reminds me what an enormous burden was dealt to that family.

Ultimately I evaluated eight children, and identified seven more, reported by Dow Chemical Co., the manufacturer, to EPA on November 2, 1994, with reporting delays of as long as seven years from when the corporation first learned of them.

I obtained the reports via a Freedom of Information request (FOI) from EPA. The reports were labeled with the revealing name: "DERBI" - or - "Dow Elanco Research Business Index."

When I saw seven more children, all of who looked like siblings, (much as Trisomy-21 or Down Syndrome children do) it became clear to me, that the cause was linked to Dursban, the pre-natal exposure common to each.

Among the Dursban-exposed children, all 8 had both brain and palate abnormalities, seven had widespread nipples and growth retardation, six had low vision or blindness and six had genital abnormalities, five had brain atrophy and external ear abnormalities, four children had absence of the corpus collosum that is the critical connection between the two hemispheres of the brain.

Chromosomal studies were normal in all 8 families. All families reported stress and enormous financial burden to care for their children.

In addition to the children with birth defects, I also evaluated a number of families and a group of adults who had been exposed at their work site. Of the workers, all 12 complained of headache, and three of dizziness.

Eight had findings of central nervous system damage, and six had peripheral nervous system damage. The patients reported upper respiratory and chest symptoms, as well as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and four had incontinence. The families also reported abnormalities and deaths in their household pets.

Dow knew in 1987, but waited five years to tell EPA

In February 1996, my deposition in the first case was taken by three groups of attorneys representing the defendants, two principally defending Dow Elanco. I was questioned for three 8-hour days. Ultimately a list of 565 exhibits was accumulated that included over 10,000 pages of materials that I supplied and relied upon for my opinion.

These materials included Dow documents and correspondence, EPA documents, legal depositions, basic embryology, biochemistry and toxicology of chlorpyrifos, medical records of other exposed children, patents, books, articles, etc, etc.

Chlorpyrifos was designed to be neurotoxic in action. It is an interesting pesticide, in that it has not only an organophosphate portion, but also it has three chlorine atoms attached to a pyridinol ring. This ring is trichloropyridinol (TCP), a significant hazard, because it is fat-soluble, and persistent, up to 18 years as claimed by Dow Chemical Co.

TCP also forms the body of trichlophenoxyacetic acid, part of Agent Orange, also linked to birth defects and cancer. In a war that ended in 1975, Agent Orange continues as a risk to the Vietnamese, and to military troops that were stationed there.

According to multiple Dow documents, TCP is the feedstock for production of chlopryrifos, a contaminant in the product, and a metabolic breakdown product. TCP has been demonstrated to cause central nervous system anomalies (hydrocephaly and dilated brain ventricles) as well as cleft palate, skull and vertebral abnormalities in the fetus at doses nontoxic to the mother, similar to the defects seen in affected children.

That TCP caused birth defects was known by Dow in 1987, but not reported to EPA until five years later in 1992.

TCP is used to manufacture chlorpyrifos, and as such, comes under regulation of Section 8(e) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), rather than the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Control Act (FIFRA.) Though there was regulatory difference, TSCA states very clearly:

"Any person who manufactures, processes or distributed in commerce a chemical substance or mixture, or who obtains information which reasonable supports the conclusion that such substance or mixture presents a substantial risk of injure to heath or the environment, shall immediately inform the Administrator of such information."

From 1976 to 1982, I was a member of a 16 person Advisory Committee to the EPA for TSCA, Chairman of the Risk-Benefit Assessment Group from 1977 to 1979, and a member of the Carcinogen Policy Sub-group from 1977 to 1981.

It was clear that risks and benefits do no accrue to the same party. In the case of chlorpyrifos, the risks are to the unaware public, and the benefits to the corporation.

EPA whitewashing

Although the EPA stopped home use of Dursban in 2000, Lorsban is widely used in agriculture, on ornamentals, and places where women, the unborn and children are exposed. For many, this exposure is without their knowledge or consent. How is this allowed to happen?

Is it successful advertising, recommendations from country and state agricultural agents, an inept or politically adept EPA? Such as when on September 11, 2001, the then administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency and former governor of New Jersey Christie Whitman said on September 13, 2001,

"EPA is greatly relieved to have learned that there appears to be no significant levels of asbestos dust in the air in New York City."

Barely a week later, on 18th September, she was quoted in an EPA press release as saying: "Given the scope of the tragedy from last week, I am glad to reassure the people of New York and Washington, DC that their air is safe to breathe and their water is safe to drink."

In 2008, the US EPA named Dow as an Energy Star Partner of the Year for excellence in energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Dow's fleet of skilled lawyers have managed to save Dow from liability, when they achieved a reversal of a $925 million judgment for the contamination of the area around Rocky Flats, the Colorado facility that produced plutonium triggers for hydrogen bombs. And, a lawsuit filed by Vietnamese, damaged by Agent Orange against Dow and Monsanto was dismissed.

Dow is a multinational corporation and the third largest chemical manufacturer in the world, with earnings more than $57 billion in 2013. In addition to the manufacture of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and genetically modified seeds, Dow also manufactures multiple plastics, polystyrene, polyurethane, synthetic rubber, biphenyl-A as well as many other chemicals.

What are the chances that the use of Lorsban will be curtailed in the agricultural areas of Hawaii, California and elsewhere? Given what we know of the financial strength of the Dow Corporation, the weakness of the EPA, and our paid-for Congress, it does not look promising.

The burden of brain damage

If the top corporate officials were required to care for one of these severely brain-damaged children for a week, would it change their minds about the ethics of manufacturing chlorpyrifos for corporate profit?

There is not a teacher who can teach brain-damaged children to read and do math, which raises the larger question being proposed: are children's lack of learning due to poor teachers, or to subtle brain damage?

If children are being damaged to various degrees, profoundly in the situation of the 15 children sited in my research, to 'mild' learning and/or behavioral problems, ranging from decreased IQ, Aspergers, hyperactivity, autism, etc., how much is attributable to exposure to pesticides such as Dursban / Lorsban?

If we blame poor teaching, and teachers' unions, but don't stop the use of brain-damaging pesticides, where does that leave our US society as a source of creativity and intellect in this world?

Author's note: All of my chlorpyrifos / Dursban documents have been accepted and will be archived at the National Library of Medicine, along with my other scientific, medical and legal research.

Janette D. Sherman, M. D. is the author of 'Life's Delicate Balance: Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer and Chemical Exposure and Disease', and is a specialist in internal medicine and toxicology. She edited the book 'Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature', written by A. V. Yablokov, V. B., Nesterenko and A. V. Nesterenko, published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009. Her primary interest is the prevention of illness through public education. She can be reached at and

This article is an edited version of one originally published on CounterPunch.