Chennai, India is running out of water (quick post)

News: Chennai, India, a city of nearly 5 million people, has become the latest major city to run out of water. Climate change (drought and increasing heat) along with massive, rapid population growth and weak planning and infrastructure inefficiencies have put Chennai into the same category as Sao Paulo, Brazil and Cape Town, South Africa. Think it can only happen in other places? The western…

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Americans are more aware of climate change than ever (quick post)

“Two major new polls are in, and they both found that Americans are more attuned to the threats of climate change than ever before. My colleague John Schwartz wrote about one of the big surveys, which was conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. It found that about 73 percent of Americans believe global warming…

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Consumer DNA testing–no oversight, no peer review, only estimates (quick post)

In a recent test, identical twins received different ancestry profiles from each of five well-known consumer DNA testing companies; the results should have been identical. The difference comes through the calculations done by the companies–the reference panels and algorithms used; data that is kept secret by the companies. Remember that the results of this kind of testing are no more than estimates; they are not…

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Plants can recognize kin (quick post)

As with humans and other animals, the evidence is mounting that plants can also recognize genetic “kin” (other plants that are similar) and will adapt to help them in ways like constraining the spread of roots, changing the number of flowers produced, and shifting leaves to minimize shading of nearby plants. There is also evidence that rice and sunflowers planted with kin results in higher…

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Plastic waste (quick post)

What has happened with plastic waste? It’s still a huge problem; but, while China and other countries have heavily restricted imports, countries like Malaysia and Turkey are now recycling-and incinerating-more. See the numbers from the UK — https://bbc.in/2Sy41fk (Roger Harrabin & Tom Edgington, BBC, January 1, 2019). See also — Now that China will no longer take it, the U.S. and other countries will have…

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