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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

General Mills expands E.coli flour recall

There's another nationwide food scare of which everyone needs to be aware, this time involving baking flour and cake mixes.

As a result of determinations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, General Mills has recalled some of its flour and cake mix products because they may be infected with E. coli bacteria. Several instances of food borne illnesses have been traced to the consumption of uncooked batter and dough made with raw flour.

The problem was first identified a few months ago, followed by additional notices, most recently on July 25, 2016.

Approximately 50 people have become ill as a result of the contamination, 13 of them hospitalized, one of those with a form of kidney failure.

 Case Count Map: People infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O121 & O26, by state of residence, as of July 25, 2016

General Mills said that the problem has not been linked to products that were properly cooked. The danger exists only if uncooked dough or raw flour is consumed.

The company recommends that you check the published lists of affected products (see links below) to see if you have any of them. if so, you should write down the product name, UPC code (bar code), & Better if Used By Date, throw the product away, then contact General Mills for a replacement coupon.

For more information, click on the following links:

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Climate change film competition accepting entries from the public now

Are you interested in climate change? Do you want to do something about it? Do you have an idea that you think can shake up the world? Are you creative, good with a video camera, maybe have some editing skills?

Well, there's a new event that may be just right for you. It's called the Film4Climate Global Video Competition 2016.

If you are between the ages of 14 and 35 and can put together either a Public Service Announcement (PSA) or a short film dealing with your ideas for climate change solutions, then here is your chance to help change the world.

Participants will be competing for up to $8,000 in prize money and other special awards.The films will be judged by a stellar panel of filmmakers and political leaders, with the jury led by none other than acclaimed director Bernardo Bertolucci.

The winners will be announced at COP 22 in Morocco.

Click on the following link and video for more information on how you can enter this unique competition. Entries should be submitted to film4climate.net by September 15, 2016.

Film4Climate Competition Teaser from Connect4Climate on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Please note that links to Examiner.com articles no longer work

A lot of the posts that have been made on this site included links to articles at Examiner.com. Please note that AXS, the owner of Examiner, decided that Examiner would cease operations as of July 10, 2016. AXS also decided not to archive any of the old articles.

As a result, if you happen to scroll through this site and click on some of the old Examiner links, you will now get directed to totally unrelated webpages at AXS.com, which is an entertainment website.

Sorry about that - it's out of our control.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Will our fossil fuel addiction still overshadow renewable energy?

I think by now, most people have accepted that global warming or climate change or whatever you want to call it is real and caused by the actions of humans. Numerous reviews of peer-reviewed scientific research have shown that about 97 percent or more of the people who are the most knowledgeable on the subject agree with that.

The real arguments now are what do about it, when and/or whether they will get done, and what will happen if the right actions aren't done.

A key part of those arguments involves the reduction of fossil fuel usage and the increased usage of renewable energy sources. However, a recent report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy will add considerable fire to that discussion.

According to the EIA, renewables are getting cheaper and more widely used across the world than ever before. However, and this is a significant point, the use of coal, oil, and natural gas, along with a growing world-wide population, is also still growing. As a result, the EIA says that world-wide fossil fuel demand will continue to increase for the next three decades.


Photo: California Air Resources Board, Fair Use

A recent news article on Alternet.org (see link below) about the EIA report describes the reason for this as being an addiction to fossil fuels. According to the article, although the growth of wind and solar power will outpace other forms of energy, that pace will not be sufficient to overcome increased energy demand. Renewables provided about 12 percent of all energy in 2012. However, in 2040, fossil fuels will still be providing about 78 percent of the world's energy. Furthermore, oil, coal, and natural gas will each have larger shares of the world energy market than all renewables combined.

Here's a link to the article, which is full of some sobering statistics and what will happen as a result of this addiction to fossil fuels:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Volkswagen/Audi/Porsche recall plans for emission cheating scandal rejected by CARB


In another setback for Volkswagen/Audi and Porsche related to their emissions cheating scandal, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced yesterday that it had rejected proposed recall plans submitted by the companies as incomplete and deficient in several areas.

The plans were made to address the repair of certain Auxiliary Emission Control Devices (AECDs) and defeat devices in 3.0 liter, diesel passenger cars made for model years 2009 – 2016. Approximately 16,000 Volkswagens, Audis and Porsches sold in California are affected by this decision.


Photo: Audi advertising image, Fair Use

The decision was unexpected by many following the case because CARB had recently approved plans submitted by the companies for 2.0 liter diesel vehicles.


You can read CARB’s press release, which includes links to the actual rejection letters and other information concerning the violations at this link: VW/Audi/Porsche 3.0 Liter Diesel Plan Rejection


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Clouds aren't where they used to be because of man-made climate change

A recent article in The Washington Post reported that new scientific research dealing with clouds has confirmed what many climate change models had already predicted.


photo: F. J, Maccioli

Apparently, the “location” of clouds has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. The reason appears to be due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations and a recovery from radiative cooling caused by volcanic eruptions.

Published in the journal, Nature, the research found that mid-latitude storm tracks have retreated poleward, subtropical dry zones have expanded, and the height of the highest cloud tops has increased at all latitudes.

The research shows that the observed cloud changes agree with those predicted by climate change models, thus further supporting the case for anthropogenic (man-made) climate change.


The study was prepared by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, the University of California at Riverside, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Colorado State University.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Climate change and the Amazon rainforest - a history



“At first I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rain forest. Now I realize I am fighting for humanity.” – Chico Mendes, an environmentalist and union leader who was murdered by those opposed to his activities.



Photo: Council on Foreign Relations, Fair Use

Next to the burning of fossils fuels, the largest source of global greenhouse emissions is deforestation. Halting this practice and reversing it could reduce global GHG emissions by about 33 percent, according to scientists with expertise in this area.

Over the last several years, many people have discussed the negative impacts on climate change caused by deforestation. For those of you familiar with the subject, or, those of you who doubt or have little interest in it, the Council on Foreign Relations has put together an excellent representation of what has happened over the years to the Amazon Rainforest – the largest in the world -  and its impact on climate change, the economy, politics, indigenous peoples, and the environment.

It’s very well done – a must-see worthy of further discussion. Click on the following link to see the entire presentation:




Friday, July 8, 2016

Environmental Justice Advisory Committee to hold climate change advisory workshops

A series of public workshops to obtain input on addressing air pollution and how to help California meet its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goals will be held this month across California.

A key goal of the workshops is to engage California residents from low income and minority communities that have historically had the most exposure to air pollution.

Organized by the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (EJAC) and assisted by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), the input will be used for the state’s Climate Change Action Plan, also called the Scoping Plan, that will be the blueprint for reducing California’s GHG emissions 40 percent by 2030.


Photo: California Air Resources Board, Fair Use

The first meeting will be held on Monday, July 11, in San Bernardino.  The other July meetings include:

San Diego (Thursday, July 14); Oakland (Tuesday, July 19); Wilmington (Monday, July 25); South Los Angeles (Tuesday, July 26); Fresno, Modesto, and Bakersfield (Thursday, July 28); and Sacramento (Friday, July 29).

Additional meetings will also be held this fall.

For more information on times and location, please click on this link: