Currently Browsing: Research

Old snapshots document fish populations, curb “shifting baselines syndrome”

Most vacation snapshots spend their days languishing in photo albums, shoeboxes, or hard drives, not really doing anything useful. But thanks to a new field of research called historical marine ecology, some old holiday photos might actually help us understand fisheries. Loren McClenachan, one such...

Dispatch from APHA: Searching for the silver lining

Day two of the American Public Health Association meeting found me carting my breakfast (a poorly-executed bagel) to a hyper-air conditioned room to learn about bacteria on meat. Not the most ambient setting for food consumption, but I didn't mind: The panel promised to cover CAFOs and would be led off by...

Beware: Pirates patrol these waters

By Ben Bowman For the fish-loving Ethicurean, pensive while paddling a small craft through the treacherous Straits of Seafood Uncertainty, the signal ‘Safe Passage Ahead’ beamed from a passing research ship is more than enough to make the heart lift and quicken. This was the effect on the fish-focused...

Everything looks better when your head’s in the sand: The USDA stops tracking pesticide use

When I was four, I ate my mother's houseplant. (I claimed to have thought it was salad.) As any responsible mother would, she freaked out and called poison control. The friendly folks at the 800 number — who must get these kinds of calls all the time, poor guys — immediately asked her the two most important...

The trouble with Teflon

Farm Bill tension had me sequestered in the kitchen these past few evenings. With most things house-related, I find frustration to be an excellent source of motivation; I'm happy to report that thanks to the Farm Bill, the floors have been scrubbed, the cast-iron pan seasoned, and the last batch of citrus...

The CAFO one-two punch

I am sitting in a swanky conference center on the outskirts of Phoenix, a city that may be one of our country's least sustainable, where the water is as scarce as the SUVs and air conditioners are numerous. But for all the shortcomings of developers who thought it would be a great idea to build a sprawling...

Bucking the CAFO tax: A plea for conscientious objection

Here's a number to knock you out of that mid-day stupor: every year, taxpayers shell out between $7.1 billion and $8.2 billion to subsidize or clean up after our nation's 9,900 confined animal feeding operations. That's the finding of "CAFOs Uncovered," a new report released earlier today by the Union of...

Saving the songbirds (and ourselves)

Today's New York Times featured an op-ed by Bridget Stutchbury, a biology professor at the University of Toronto and author of Silence of the Songbirds. Her book follows in the footsteps of Silent Spring and documents the rapid disappearance of migratory songbirds -- by her account, a 50% decline in the...

Digest – Research: Recent Congressional Research Service reports

This is the debut of a sporadic digest of somewhat more weighty documents than typical digest items. The "Research" digest will include scientific papers, policy reports, and similar academic items. Today's edition is a collection of Congressional Research Service reports. If you have never heard...

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