A new study from the University of Florida checked the blood alcohol levels of college students leaving bars after a night on the town and found that those who’d mixed energy drinks with alcohol were three times more likely to be highly intoxicated than those who drank alcohol only – and four times more likely to drive afterwards — despite having an average blood alcohol level (0.109) well above the legal limit (0.08).
Rather than countering the effects of alcohol, caffeine merely reduces the feeling of drowsiness, leading students to drink more while perceiving themselves to be less intoxicated than they are.
Bill Quigley at truthout.org reports on the plight of three earthquake victims:
Before, I was a mechanic in a garage. Where I worked was destroyed. There is no work since the quake. We heard other camps got bags of rice. In our camp, nothing. I ask friends for food. Sometimes someone will give us something to eat.
I cannot tell you exactly what is going to happen next. I am not the Lord. I think it is going to get worse for us in the camps. We need tents and food. We need water and school and jobs. We need help to find a place to stay. The rain is coming soon. Water is going to come and our babies will lose their lives.
Jeremy Hance @ Mongabay.com
A new study in the Environmental Research Letter finds that the Peruvian Amazon is being overrun by the oil and gas industries. According to the study 41 percent of the Peruvian Amazon is currently covered by 52 active oil and gas concessions, nearly six times as much land as was covered in 2003.
The authors say that what’s even more worrisome is that many of today’s concessions infringe on state protected areas and indigenous lands.
Jeremy Hance @ Mongabay.com reports on a new study…
The standard explanation is that big seeds beat out small seeds everywhere that the big seeds arrive—but that just isn’t always the case… Big seeds don’t necessarily do any better than small seeds when conditions are good. Where big seeds really have the advantage is in stressful conditions like shade or drought—small seeds often can’t make it at all at stressful sites. In contrast, small-seeded species have an advantage at favorable sites, just because they’ve got more seeds in the game.
The Washington Independent continues its coverage of the human and environmental costs of coal mining in Appalachia:
Jeff Biggers, a civil rights activist and cultural historian, watched helplessly a dozen years ago as the hollers of Eagle Creek, Illinois — a corner of the Shawnee National Forest and his family’s home for roughly 200 years — were blasted away, the forested hills bulldozed under by companies intent on harvesting the lucrative coal seams beneath — a scene from Avatar playing out in real time.
The tragic episode launched Biggers on a decade-long examination of the history of the coal industry’s impact on local communities — not only the environmental imprint, but the effects on culture, health and family history as well. The result is “Reckoning at Eagle Creek — The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland,” released last week, in which Biggers describes the industry’s utter disregard for everything standing between it and the coal it wants out of the ground…
A converted Toyota Scion xB, appearing at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science represents the first demonstration of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, enabling the owner to sell stored energy back to the grid while the car is parked.
RealClimate takes a long look at which IPCC errors are real, which are not, and what it all means for the IPCC and climate science in general. In conclusion:
Overall then, the IPCC assessment reports reflect the state of scientific knowledge very well. There have been a few isolated errors, and these have been acknowledged and corrected. What is seriously amiss is something else: the public perception of the IPCC, and of climate science in general, has been massively distorted by the recent media storm. All of these various “gates” – Climategate, Amazongate, Seagate, Africagate, etc., do not represent scandals of the IPCC or of climate science.
Rather, they are the embarrassing battle-cries of a media scandal, in which a few journalists have misled the public with grossly overblown or entirely fabricated pseudogates, and many others have naively and willingly followed along without seeing through the scam. It is not up to us as climate scientists to clear up this mess – it is up to the media world itself to put this right again, e.g. by publishing proper analysis pieces like the one of Tim Holmes and by issuing formal corrections of their mistaken reporting. We will follow with great interest whether the media world has the professional and moral integrity to correct its own errors.