Tag Archives: pollution

Mood Controlled Water Makes Shrimp Reckless, Suicidal

Prozac Pollution Making Shrimp Reckless

There’s no happy ending for shrimp exposed to the mood-booster Prozac, according to a new study.

Remnants of antidepressant drugs flushed into waterways worldwide are altering shrimp behavior and making them easier prey, experts say.

(See “Cocaine, Spices, Hormones Found in Drinking Water.”)

To mimic conditions in the wild, scientists exposed the estuary-dwelling shrimp Echinogammarus marinus to the antidepressant fluoxetine at levels detected in average sewage-treatment waste. Fluoxetine is the key ingredient in the drugs Prozac and Sarafem.

Shrimp normally gravitate toward safe, dark corners. But when exposed to fluoxetine, the animals were five times more likely to swim toward a bright region of water, the team discovered.

“This behavior makes them much more likely to be eaten by a predator, such as a fish or bird,” said study co-author Alex Ford, a biologist at U.K.’s University of Portsmouth.

The fluoxetine likely makes shrimp’s nerves more sensitive to serotonin, a brain chemical known to alter moods and sleep patterns, according to the study, recently published in the journal Aquatic Toxicology. Full Story

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Shrimp on Prozac are killing themselves

A study shows that drug traces in our waste can affect marine life behavior, but can crustaceans have feelings?

I have friends who are always talking about happy pigs and happy chickens — left to roam freely, eating real food instead of weird commercial food pellets, given the occasional backrub. But pity the poor shrimp! No one is raising happy shrimp … on purpose anyway. But all the Prozac we’ve been taking may be doing the work for us, and marine biologists at the University of Portsmouth in the U.K. have found that enough of the drug passes through our bodies directly into the wastewater to seriously change the behavior of shrimp who swim in it: They’re killing themselves. But do shrimp even have emotions?

Shrimp are a shy and retiring lot, living in shadows and dark crevices to hide from predators (and nurse their psychic scars?). But when they’re swimming in concentrations of Prozac (or, more specifically, the chemical fluoxetine) as those found in the water around some urban areas, they become five times as likely to swim toward light, making them easy prey. And sadly, pollutants from urban runoff are in highest concentration in river estuaries and right near the coast … which is where shrimp tend to live. Aside from the tragic irony, if shrimp populations start to collapse, it could have a serious effect on the established balance of the food chain. And most wastewater treatment plants aren’t geared toward removing residual drugs from the water. (A few years ago, scientists found fish changing sexes because of contraceptives and other chemicals in runoff.) Full Story

Chevron/Texaco Poisoned The Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Crude: 60 Minutes

This program focuses on on the class action lawsuit against Chevron for deliberately contaminating the Ecuadorian Amazon and causing a wave of cancer and miscarriages in the region.

Part One:

Part Two:

Climate Tinkering to Pilfer Beneficial CO2 from the Air

OBAMA ADMIN PROMOTES CLIMATE CONTROL

Obama looks at climate engineering

The president’s new science adviser said Wednesday that global warming is so dire, the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to cool Earth’s air.

John Holdren told The Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month that the idea of geoengineering the climate is being discussed. One such extreme option includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays. Holdren said such an experimental measure would only be used as a last resort.

“It’s got to be looked at,” he said. “We don’t have the luxury of taking any approach off the table.”

Holdren outlined several “tipping points” involving global warming that could be fast approaching. Once such milestones are reached, such as complete loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic, it increases chances of “really intolerable consequences,” he said.

Twice in a half-hour interview, Holdren compared global warming to being “in a car with bad brakes driving toward a cliff in the fog.”

At first, Holdren characterized the potential need to technologically tinker with the climate as just his personal view. However, he went on to say he has raised it in administration discussions.

Holdren, a 65-year-old physicist, is far from alone in taking geoengineering more seriously. The National Academy of Science is making climate tinkering the subject of its first workshop in its new multidiscipline climate challenges program. The British parliament has also discussed the idea.

The American Meteorological Society is crafting a policy statement on geoengineering that says “it is prudent to consider geoengineering’s potential, to understand its limits and to avoid rash deployment.”

Last week, Princeton scientist Robert Socolow told the National Academy that geoengineering should be an available option in case climate worsens dramatically.

But Holdren noted that shooting particles into the air—making an artificial volcano as one Nobel laureate has suggested—could have grave side effects and would not completely solve all the problems from soaring greenhouse gas emissions. So such actions could not be taken lightly, he said.

Still, “we might get desperate enough to want to use it,” he added.

Another geoengineering option he mentioned was the use of so-called artificial trees to suck carbon dioxide—the chief human-caused greenhouse gas—out of the air and store it. At first that seemed prohibitively expensive, but a re-examination of the approach shows it might be less costly, he said.

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In this excerpt from Global Warming or Global Governance scientists discuss the important benefits of carbon dioxide:

Carbon Dioxide is Our Friend

See: The Money Making Global Warming Scam