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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

If you visit the NASA site or do a search for “solar flares” then you will see the beauty of this phenomena. They are amazing to witness. NASA has The Solar Dynamics Observatory which keeps its lens on the sun and they have video of these emissions. Perhaps your perception of the sun is just this warming yellow ball in the sky, but a closer examination shows how powerful and ever-changing the sun is!

You may have heard of solar flares in the past few years. I’ve always found them fascinating, but do you know how they can affect you? Do you even know what they are?

Without getting too in-depth with research and cosmic talk, solar flares are bursts of radiation from the sun. According to NASA, the harmful radiation from the sun will not penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere to harm us BUT it can affect the level of atmosphere where GPS and communications satellites hover.

NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has a Space Weather Prediction Center, which can be found at spaceweather.gov, which includes space weather forecasts and alerts.

There are levels of intensity for solar flares: A-class (low), B, C, M, and X being the most powerful. As I understand it – they increase at ten times the power. So, to quote NASA: “an X is ten times an M and 100 times a C. Within each letter class there is a finer scale from 1 to 9.”

Solar flares are usually associated with solar magnetic storms, better known as CMEs (or Coronal Mass Ejections). Let’s review that: coronal means ‘of the crown or front face’ – mass is ‘of one body with no definite shape’ and ejection — do I really need to give you a definition? Put it together and you’ve essentially got the sun spitting at space.

SOLAR MAXIMUM. Sounds scary right?
Well… They are geomagnetic storms with a side of radiation that increases in strength. Before you freak out and think the end is near, I’m telling you right now you’ve probably lived through a few already. They are cyclical and happen about every 11 years, and then wane in strength to what is called a Solar Minimum, and generally marked by the increase or decrease of sun spots.

How does it affect you then?
As mentioned earlier, our satellites orbit in the Upper Atmosphere. Magnetic waves and radiation will affect them, and possibly put our astronauts in further danger. But here on the ground, if our internet or satellite connections go out, if our cell phones stop working, and our networking, banking, and communications go black, then the majority of us are totally screwed.

Did you know that NASA and NOAA give electric companies and airline pilots space weather warnings? Consider that the next time you fly (sorry, frequent flyers).

And just so you are assured that you have survived, I’m glad to tell you that in May of 2013, there were three X-class solar flares within a 24-hour period: and X1.7, X 2.8, and an X 3.2.

You seem to be doing fine though – right?

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Pardon my language but…  What the fuck, Rep. Mike Pomeo of Kansas?  And SHAME on the House of Representatives!  Dear public:  Did you know that the House voted 64% yes to remove labels on state & federal levels for GMOs?

HR1599 passes by 64% in the House

Here is a short summary of the bill:

The bill would prevent FDA from requiring the labeling of bioengineered foods only on the grounds that the foods are bioengineered, FDA could require that alterations of nutritional properties, allergens, or other characteristics of food be listed on food labeling. Regulations would also prohibit the labeling of food as not bioengineered if it had been planted with bioengineered seeds. Dairy products from animals fed bioengineered foods and foods developed using bioengineered processing aids or enzymes could still be labelled as non-bioengineered. The bill would also prevent states from issuing their own food labeling requirements for bioengineered foods.

Apparently legislation is far better for us than a “patchwork” of GMO labeling laws. Oh, and in case you are completely BLIND to the dying bees and how GMOs affect our environment and a documented increase of cancer and other maladies, Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas states, “GMOs are safe and have a number of important benefits for people and our planet.”

Sounds to me like you’ve whored yourself out and got both hands down Big Agri-Pharma’s pants.  Crude?  Perhaps.  But I’m spitting mad!  How dare you fly in the face of scientific evidence to say GMOs are safe AND then patronize the American public.  But you go a step beyond reasonable.  You have effectively stomped MY RIGHT to know what’s in my food.  Why bother with strict nutritional labeling if you intend to poison us anyway?

Do any of you wonder WHY there is such an increase in cancer, neurological disorders, and gastrointestinal diseases?

Monsanto is not the only ogre under the bridge

Don’t be fooled.  GMOs are BIG BUSINESS.  And Monsanto has been the face of this issue – but they aren’t the only ones.  Bayer CropScience and Syngenta are two more companies who share responsibility in slowly poisoning us.

So I did a little research and found a report published by the University of Minnesota back in 2003.  I’m going to briefly touch on a few of their major points:

Allergies:

Genetically Modified food may cause food allergies because it introduces a foreign substance in your body which may prompt an increase in immune response.  In other words, your body detects something unnatural and is trying to combat it.

Toxicity:

By altering plant & animal genes we are introducing toxins into our body.  According the the report, “the new gene could interfere with a metabolic pathway causing a stressed plant to produce more toxins in response.”

One example includes genetically modified potatoes created to be disease-resistant for higher crop yields but they have been found to create higher levels of glycoalkaloids.  What’s that?  Believe it or not, they are natural toxins found in plants and tubers and act as pesticides and fungicides to deter animals, insects and fungus which might attack them.  So if it’s natural, why is it so bad in GM products?  Glycoalkaloid poisoning causes gastrointestinal (digestive), circulatory (blood), neurological (brain & nervous system) and dermatological (skin) problems.

Decreased Nutrition

If you have someone who is hungry enough, they’re going to eat anything that isn’t going to kill them…right away.  This is the case of GM food.  There is a decrease in nutritional value because phytates bind to necessary dietary minerals and calcium which hinders the absorption of those nutrients into our system.  Now, according to Dr. Weill “Phytates in your everyday meals should not be an issue for you as long as you’re eating a balanced diet.”  But that’s the point.  If GMOs are present in the majority of our food, then we aren’t eating a balanced meal.  We are simply filling our bellies with junk so we don’t feel hungry.

Antibiotic Resistance

Is it really a mystery why bacterial strains are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics?  This is what is happening.  As the genetically modified food sits in your system, there increases a chance where your body develops a resistance to antibodies needed to fight off poisons.

“If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please” – Epictetus

We all have those moments of weakness where we give in to a craving.  I love my ice cream and cookies as much as the next person, but I don’t indulge all the time, and certainly not for every meal.

My point here is this:  Perhaps GMOs are not terrible in moderation BUT if it’s in all our food – and yes, I mean all of it, then it is not consumption in moderation, it becomes full immersion.  And if H.R. 1599, which passed the House of Representatives by a 64% margin, then passes through the Senate, we will not be able to monitor or watch what we eat.  We will be unwittingly poisoning ourselves and our environment.

But that must be okay because you’ve just given Big Agri-Pharm a “happy ending.”

Citations:

Lawley, R. (2013) GLYCOALKALOIDS.  http://www.foodsafetywatch.org/factsheets/glycoalkaloids/

Summaries for the Safe and Accurate Food Label Act of 2015.  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1599/summary

University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences.  Genetically Modified Organisms: Harmful Effects of the Agent.  http://enhs.umn.edu/current/5103/gm/harmful.html

Weill, A. (2013).  Are Phytates Bad or Good?  http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400758/Are-Phytates-Bad-or-Good.html

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