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Clean Water Act Challenge: Southern Environmental Law Center Wants To Claim The Obama Administration Was Ruining Nature

Apr 29 2020 - 13:04
Is your swimming pool a "navigable water of the United States"?

It certainly could have been in a proposed revision of the Clean Water Act of 1972. Luckily, that never came to pass. 

The origin of the attempted new, broad navigable waters definition was a brilliant win-win strategy by the Obama administration. They came up with it to look like they were handing a gift to environmental lawyers - there was no body of water they wouldn't be able to shake down farmers and landowners over - while punting the final ruling to his successor, where they knew it would be revoked.

If it did survive a new EPA leader, and then failed in court, Democrats got to say they tried, and if it succeeded...well, that was never going to happen.

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COVID-19 Mortality: Men Impacted Most

Apr 29 2020 - 12:04
When it comes to COVID-19 deaths, the elderly and those with certain pre-existing conditions are at greater risk, just like they are in any disease that can cause respiratory distress.

Yet demographers are beginning to break down those numbers to highlight disparities in outcomes. A new paper finds that even though men and women are equally likely to contract the virus, men are significantly more likely to suffer severe effects and die. 

What might explain it? Co-morbidities are certainly a factor, though deaths in people of color are higher than in Caucasian-Americans and co-morbidities are dismissed in those because it sounds too much like laying blame.



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Remdesivir: Randomized Trial By Chinese Government Claims No Clinical Benefits - But Confounders Are Huge

Apr 29 2020 - 11:04
A new paper claims that treatment with the antiviral drug remdesivir does not speed recovery from COVID-19 versus placebo in hospitalized patients who are critically ill.

But this needs to be interpreted with caution. The Lancet rushed to publish these results but they are from just 237 adults from ten hospitals in Wuhan, China, and China has fooled the world before. The study was funded by Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Emergency Project of COVID-19, it was not independent.

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Asymptomatic Worries: Sample Pooling Used In Blood Banking Will Boost Coronavirus Testing Capacity

Apr 29 2020 - 11:04

Early on in this year's coronavirus pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, experts began to explore whether the pool testing approach used in blood banking could be adapted to increase testing capacity in coronavirus diagnostics and protect those with a high mortality risk from the coronavirus. This would protect those at greater risk from asymptomatic individuals, including the medical and care staff that look after them.

Viral infections are challenging because people can be contagious before developing symptoms. Studies have said individuals can spread the coronavirus two days before the onset of clinical symptoms and viral load is at its highest almost a day before any symptoms become apparent. 

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EPA Cites Lack Of Scientific Evidence To Refuse NRDC Trial Lawyer Efforts To Add Even More Soot Regulations

Apr 28 2020 - 18:04
The United States Environmental Protection Agency is under fire by activists and allies in the journalism community again. This time for not continuing to increase regulations on businesses without evidence it will do anything to help the environment.

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Did You Get Fat From The Air You Breathe Or The Pizza You Inhale?

Apr 27 2020 - 13:04
You may have heard of the Freshman 15; the weight gain some college students experience their first year, when they have unlimited dining at the university cafeteria. Coronavirus may leave behind a new pandemic when people emerge from their homes and discover their work clothes are tighter.

The developed world was already undergoing an obesity crisis thanks to affordable food. Agricultural science, which used to struggle with environmental doomsday narratives that farmers were too incompetent, now have to defend against New York Times and Guardian editorials claiming farming is too successful. Because for the first time in the history of the world, the poorest people can afford to get fat.

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If Nature And Biodiversity Were Enough, Amazonians Wouldn't Routinely Starve

Apr 27 2020 - 11:04
If we want to get a snapshot about what the ancient ways really meant for food, we need look no further than the Amazon, where despite living in the most biodiverse place on Earth, people go hungry.

The reason is simple; they don't harness nature, they exist at the whim of it. 

Ribeirinhos live alongside rivers in Brazil's Amazonian floodplain forests but struggle to catch enough fish to eat and can go hungry. The reason is nature. The Purus River undergoes one of the largest annual variations in water levels on the planet. When it floods, large areas of forest become submerged. River fish populations disperse making them much harder to catch. They can't feed themselves even with a sparse rural population

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