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Archive for November 30th, 2007

STUDY: CHANGING TEMPERATURES CAUSING FOOD SHORTAGES COULD LEAD TO WARS AND POPULATION DECLINES

Posted in Global Warming, News Brief on November 30th, 2007

THE RESEARCH DOES NOT REPRESENT DIRECT CAUSE-AND-EFFECT, BUT RATHER SUGGESTS A LINK BETWEEN CLIMATE AND CONFLICT

280px-water_droplet_blue_bg05.jpgBecause water supplies, growing seasons and land fertility can be affected by changes in climate, they might prompt food shortages that could in turn lead to conflicts, such as local uprisings, government destabilization and invasions from neighboring regions, the researchers speculate. These conflicts and the food shortages that cause them could both contribute to population declines, they add.

To see whether changes in climate affected the number of wars fought in the past, the researchers examined the time period between 1400 and 1900, when global average temperatures reached extreme lows around 1450, 1640 and 1820, with slightly warmer periods in between.

Using records reflected in tree rings and ice cores, the researchers compared temperature changes to a database of 4,500 wars worldwide that co-author Peter Brecke of Georgia Tech compiled with funding from the U.S. Institute of Peace.

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Source: Live Science

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PARENTS ALERT! SOURCING SAFE TOYS

Posted in Corporate Carelessness, Corporate Greed, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Toys on November 30th, 2007

THIS YEAR 23 MILLION TOYS HAVE BEEN RECALLED AND THE U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION HAS INDICATED THERE MAY BE OTHERS PULLED OFF THE MARKET BEFORE CHRISTMAS

7742288toy-recallsff.jpgA poll done last month by Harris Interactive showed that about 33 percent of Americans say they will be buying fewer toys this holiday season due to safety concerns, and 45 percent said they will avoid buying toys made in China. Many readers of this column have e-mailed me to say the same thing.

But buying toys made in America isn’t easy – about 80 percent of the toys sold in this country come from China – plus there is no guarantee a toy made in the U.S. is safe. It could be assembled here with imported parts that contain lead or have small parts that could choke a child.

Marianne Szymanski, publisher of Toy Tips and Parenting Hints magazine says parents don’t need to panic, because most toys on the market are safe. Chinese factories will make about 8 billion toys for sale in America this year and only 2 percent of them, she says, have been recalled.

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Source: MSNBC

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