10 in 2 - Week of November 6th - a little too clean for optimum health

  • this is our 10 in 2 report for the week of November 6th

  • 10 news stories from the week that are especially depressing this week, as somehow most of the stories that caught our eye this week are pollution related. Sigh.

 

 

...so here we go:

 

  1. The FCC granted Alphabet's Project Loon, which delivers internet via balloons, an experimental license last month to help get Puerto Ricans online after Hurricane Maria decimated the island. Today they announced that they have so far successfully delivered basic internet to over 100,000 Puerto Ricans. (engadget)

  2. A Washington State University researcher has discovered that vast amounts of carbon can be stored by soil minerals more than a foot below the surface. The finding could help offset the rising greenhouse-gas emissions helping warm the Earth’s climate. (wsu.edu)

  3. Commuters in northern Germany will be able to travel on the world's first hydrogen-powered trains in four years' time. Hydrogen engines emit only water vapor and are considered one of the cleanest forms of transportation. The trains will replace diesel vehicles on non-electrified tracks. (Popular Mechanics)

  4. Toxic smog covers New Delhi. Pollution measures 608, and the safe level is considered 50. The Indian capital declared a pollution emergency and banned the entry of trucks and construction activity as a toxic smog hung over the city for a third day today and air quality worsened by the hour. (express.co.uk)

  5. Living in polluted areas increases the risk of brittle bones and devastating fractures in the elderly. Researchers studied the records of more than nine million people and found that even slight rises in airborne particles from vehicle emissions was linked to lower bone density. (Telegraph)

  6. Media mogul Michael Bloomberg has promised $50m to the international effort to scrap coal power, following a similar domestic campaign that has seen 50% of American coal plants close since over the last 5 years. (Euractiv)

  7. A cloud of radioactive pollution over Europe in recent weeks indicates that an accident has happened in a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan in the last week of September, according to French nuclear safety institute IRSN. So far, there has been no impact on human health or the environment in Europe. (Reuters)

  8. Last week we talked about the staggering amounts of electricity that bitcoin is using, but a new company called Chia Network is launching a cryptocurrency based on proofs of time and storage rather than bitcoin’s electricity-burning proofs of work. Essentially, Chia will harness cheap and abundant unused storage space on hard drives to verify its blockchain. (TechCrunch)

  9. Despite overall reductions in ambient air pollution in Massachusetts, exposure continues to fall unequally along racial/ethnic, income, and education lines, according to a new study led by a School of Public Health researcher. Within the state’s cities, the researchers found exposure inequality actually increased slightly between racial/ethnic groups during the study period. (bu.edu)

  10. Robert Phalen, an air pollution researcher at the Irvine campus of the University of California and incoming EPA adviser, said in 2012 that children need to breathe irritants so that their bodies learn how to ward them off. “Modern air,” he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “is a little too clean for optimum health.” (Newsweek)

 

 

 



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