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The Human Habitat


{Nature_and_Environment.99.1}: ... {wren1111} Sat, 16 Aug 2008 12:32:37 CDT (HTML)

Deconstructing the Human Habitat "</b>

I would have preferred the title be REconstructing the Human Habitat. Nevertheless,there are some very good ideas and commentary in this piece from The Humanist magazine.


{Nature_and_Environment.99.2}: Tonu Aun {tonu} Sat, 16 Aug 2008 13:27:03 CDT (1 line)

Kunstler has always talked sense. Thanx for the cite Wren.


{Nature_and_Environment.99.3}: Modelling An Ecology {bshmr} Sun, 19 Apr 2009 10:40:36 CDT (41 lines)

Article wanders through significant aspects of an ecological research

Animal Survival In Inherited Habitats ScienceDaily (Apr. 19, 2009) —
Researchers are exploring how inheriting favorable or unfavorable
habitat affects the overall rise and fall of animal populations. For
some animal species, inheriting habitat may play as much of a role in
survival as inheriting intelligence, fertility, camouflage or other
genetically transferred characteristics.


For example, one aspect of the study involved Schauber and the team
examining population spikes of gypsy moths, which as an invasive
species can cause widespread defoliation in American northeastern
forests when unchecked. Mice, it turns out, play a key role in
preventing such occurrences by decimating the moth population at its
pupae stage, which occurs near the ground and makes them easy pickings
for the hungry rodents.


Living in a hot spot, however, can also lead to other consequences,
such as animals more readily passing on diseases. That looks like the
case between mice, ticks and the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
The team in this case suspects the hot spot effect could concentrate
the disease more readily in ticks, which pick up the bacteria from
mice and together pass it on to subsequent generations. They will test
this theory in the coming years with the mouse removal experiment.


“It’s not that this is a completely novel idea. Researchers have been
thinking about the effect of inheriting a good spot on animals in the
ecology literature for a long time,” he said. “In our work, though,
we’ve been actually able to apply mathematics and quantify how this
works. Because it’s analogous to natural selection, we can use the
same formulas geneticists use to understand how this spatial
inheritability influences how populations grow and shrink.”


{Nature_and_Environment.99.4}: Tonu Aun {tonu} Sun, 19 Apr 2009 13:47:09 CDT (HTML)

Thanx Richard. Yup, that 'fickle finger' has always had importance.

Now, a wildlife researcher at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is helping open the door on a new, poorly understood aspect of heredity that owes more to simple fate and geography than genomes.

... we fly-in fish often each summer to lakes where we are the only ones with peanuts for any nearby Chipmunks. Chipmunks galore around the lakes but the ones, through fate closest to our generosity, must have a survival advantage:-)


{Nature_and_Environment.99.5}: {bshmr} Sun, 19 Apr 2009 14:22:19 CDT (2 lines)

{4}{Tonu}, I appreciated that what was a single species study is now
realized as a five plus.


{Nature_and_Environment.99.6}: Tonu Aun {tonu} Sun, 19 Apr 2009 17:19:24 CDT (2 lines)

I'm far too flippant at times -- possibly my defense mechanism --  I
did appreciate the cite and the implications.


{Nature_and_Environment.99.7}: {bshmr} Sun, 19 Apr 2009 21:00:57 CDT (3 lines)

{6}{tonu}, folks our age get paranoid more easily than when younger,
plus less drink nails us. <G> Your original comments were germane and
well received; I meant only to expand on my own take.


{Nature_and_Environment.99.8}: {bshmr} Fri, 04 Dec 2009 12:31:45 CST (26 lines)

New Study Finds a Cocktail of Contaminants in Newborns by Lloyd
Alter, Toronto  on 12. 4.09; FOOD & HEALTH [quote]There have been lots
of studies by agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control that
have looked at what is in our blood, but the Environmental Working
Group has just completed an interesting (and disturbing) new one. They
looked at minority populations, which often are exposed to higher
levels of environmental pollution, and they got their samples from
umbilical cords, so that it represents what is in the blood at birth-
this stuff all came from mom. And it is quite a cocktail, including
lead, perchlorates from rocket fuel, mercury, stain repellents and
teflon. It is also the first time that Bisphenol A has been detected
in newborns.

We won't even start about the issue of endocrine disruptors like
Bisphenol A on babies, or the American Chemistry Council's position
that the "mere presence of a chemical" does not prove harm; the
science on lead and mercury is accepted by all, and the lead levels in
some of the babies are higher that those shown to cause "cognitive
function in newborns." The EWG notes:



FYI, report uses geometric mean:


{Nature_and_Environment.99.9}: James Files {riverrat} Sat, 05 Dec 2009 07:48:13 CST (30 lines)


There is no way to minimize the concern that this report should bring
to the fore, but it is also important to remember that the levels of
these chemicals being found in blood were impossible to resolve.

Finding higher levels of lead and mercury would indeed be extremely
disturbing but finding more chemicals does not mean that there are
more chemicals present but could just mean that the techniques have
become more sensitive, or even that this is the first time they have
been looked for.  (Sorta like Hubble finding a "new" galaxy).

How scary is it that people are advised to not eat fish (one of the
healthiest of animal foods in terms of nutrition) more than once a
week because of the contained metals?  Pretty disturbing.  Is it good
news that fish today have less of those metals, on the whole, than
they did in the '60s when I was growing up?

In truth, the amount of pollution, per capita, has gone down
drastically during our lifetime.  The bad news is that there are a lot
more people and the strain, and cumulative damage, we are placing on
our planet is still increasing.

The fact that the study you link to doesn't have me running around and
pulling out my hair has a lot more to do with the fact that this is
largely just more evidence of a fact I am well aware of (we are
poisoning ourselves, our children and our planet) and not startling news.

I am not attempting to minimize this study, just put it in its proper


{Nature_and_Environment.99.10}: {bshmr} Sat, 05 Dec 2009 13:25:47 CST (3 lines)

{riverrat}, since I don't trust you as a resource, please cite other
sources to substantiate your assertions. OTT, thank you for noticing
the post (in this forum).


{Nature_and_Environment.99.11}: James Files {riverrat} Sat, 05 Dec 2009 18:11:14 CST (31 lines)

I am not sure what it is that you are questioning.  I can tell you
that if you challenge something I say, I will try just as hard as you
to make sure that it is right, or wrong, and tell you the truth about
it.  You and I are backing the same horse.  The only difference we
might have is how we set our priorities and that would be a
discussion, not an argument, from my standpoint.  If you want to
tighten environmental standards and reduce industrial emissions you
will get nothing but support from this quarter.

If you need, I can provide a good bit of information as to the
increases in detection limits.  Generally speaking (I may be off a few
years on some of this), in the forties, substances like bisphenol were
almost impossible to analyze for unless present in concentrations of
more excess of 1%.  With the advent of gas chromatography in the 50's
the detection limits went down to about a tenth of a percent.  By the
late seventies capillary GC was becoming common pushing the detection
of some substances down to ppms.

Metal detection lagged, a bit, and still is harder to detect than
volatile organics.

My statement "pollution, per capita" is not something that I have any
data on, but I do know of rivers dying in the 50's and 60's, not to
mention things like the Cuyahoga? near Cleveland actually catching fire.

Feel free to read "Silent Spring" or follow the recovery of the Brown
Pelican, Bald Eagle or the California Condor to see that we are doing
better in general.  That doesn't mean that we need to back off on the
effort.  Especially since the effect of global warming may end up
having more of an impact on those childrens lives than any of the crap
found in their cord blood.


{Nature_and_Environment.99.12}: annie {oceanannie} Sun, 06 Dec 2009 11:08:38 CST (3 lines)

Do feel that I don't see positive reports as often as  negative ones.
 I suppose because there are more negative reports might be one
reason.  I find your posts very interesting, James.


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