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    Daily Digest 8/4 – Ebola’s Acceleration Mapped, Can Ants Cool The World?

    by DailyDigest

    Monday, August 4, 2014, 2:45 PM


Land Grabbing – A New Political Strategy for Arab Countries (HughK)

Arab countries, which appear to have started losing confidence in normal food supply chains, are now relying on acquisitions of farmland around the world. Globally, land deals by foreign countries were estimated at about 80 million ha in 2011, according to figures provided by the World Bank.

Gold Prices Reveal Truth About U.S. Economy (Tyler K.)

Just moments after that really smart Wall Street guy said how great the U.S. economy is these days, the radio host parenthetically announced that gold was trading in the range of $1,295 per ounce. That says way more about the economy than GDP growth and manipulated job-growth numbers.

Ever since the U.S. currency went off the gold standard in the earlier ‘70s, leading the commodity to fluctuate in opposition to however well the dollar was doing, the price of gold has served as a suitable measurement of the U.S. economy’s pulse.

Mapping the acceleration of Ebola in West Africa in five charts (jdargis)

That brings the body count to 729 people, with more than 1,300 infected. To put that in historical context, those killed and infected by Ebola in 2014 alone account for one-third of the total deaths and infections in the 20-some outbreaks since 1976. And it’s only August; the head of the US’s Centers for Disease Control says the outbreak will rage for another three to six months.

As more male bass switch sex, a strange fish story expands (jdargis)

It is a problem that extends well beyond the Chesapeake Bay region, which includes the District, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Intersex bass were found by the USGS in the Columbia, Colorado and Mississippi river basins in 2009. Scientists have yet to identify a single chemical responsible for causing male fish to become part female.

Toledo Mayor Lifts Water Ban in Northwest Ohio (jdargis)

Oliver Arnold, of Toledo, loaded up on bottled water Sunday so that he could give baths to his six children, including 4-month-old twins. “We’re going through a lot. I know by tomorrow, we’re going to be looking for water again,” he said.

Some hospitals canceled elective surgeries and were sending surgical equipment that needed sterilized to facilities outside the water emergency, said Bryan Biggie, disaster coordinator for ProMedica hospitals in Toledo.

Is Europe's Bread Basket Up for Grabs? (HughK)

Even before Poroshenko assumed office on Jun. 7, international financial institutions (IFIs) were rushing emergency missions into the country, with IMF European Department Director Reza Moghadam declaring on a Mar. 7 visit, “I am positively impressed with authorities’ determination, sense of responsibility and commitment to an agenda of economic reform.”

More Oil Companies Abandoning Arctic Plans, Letting Leases Expire (James S.)

But that proved to be a fateful year for Shell’s Arctic campaign (the events are nicely summed up by Climate Progress here). In July 2012, Shell temporarily lost control of its Noble Discoverer rig, which almost ran aground. Shell’s oil spill response ship also failed inspections, which delayed drilling.

And Now, The Farm Pollution Gets You (pinecarr)

The molecule is large enough that reverse-osmotic filtering should get rid of it without incident, and chlorination may be sufficient as well (by oxidizing it), but then you have to get rid of the chlorine after treatment. As a result there are solutions that work for individual use, but in a large-scale water supply environment it's far more difficult. Common filtration, I note, does not remove all of these toxins — it will block the bacteria that contain them but if you kill the bacteria then the toxin will be released and ironically becomes much harder to get out of the water.

Some day we might actually start demanding that the large-scale dumping of huge amounts of fertilizer on lands stop, and start assessing the cost of getting this crap out of the water back against the big factory farm interests.

Investing In Nutrient-Dense Food: Vitamin D (Eric G.)

Unfortunately there aren’t many foods that contain meaningful amounts of Vitamin D, and all of them are from either animals or fungi, the latter of which are more closely related to animals than they are to plants. The graph below shows the cost associated with providing a daily allowance of 600 International Units (IU) of vitamin D from several foods, with nutrition data from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database and price data gathered at my local farmers’ market or grocery cooperative for pasture based livestock and wild-caught fish.

Thousands Stranded After California Storms; 1 Dead (jdargis)

Authorities made reverse 911 calls to urge residents to stay put while crews clear the roads with bulldozers. The muck was so thick it submerged a van in Forest Falls, while on Mount Baldy water swept a hot tub into the road. It wasn't immediately clear early Sunday how much progress had been made clearing roadways.

Can Ants Save the World from Climate Change? (jdargis)

While he’s only speculating at this point, Dorn said he thinks the sheer biological mass of ants working in concert could have removed significant quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere since the insects expanded their numbers starting 65 million years ago. Eight ant species are known to secrete calcium carbonate in some form. Ant expert E.O. Wilson, a professor at Harvard University, once estimated the total biomass of ants on Earth is equal to that of humans.

As Oysters Die, Climate Policy Goes on the Stump (jdargis)

Mr. Inslee discussed the strategy over lunch at the governor’s mansion in May with Mr. Steyer, a retired California hedge-fund manager who has pledged to spend $100 million on climate issues in elections across the country this year. Mr. Inslee makes no apologies for Mr. Steyer’s efforts on his behalf.

“Having a change in the State Senate would be a quantum shift in our ability to move forward,” Mr. Inslee said. His plans, embraced by his liberal base in Seattle, include setting some of the toughest limits on carbon emissions in the country, joining with other states to cap carbon emissions all along the Pacific Coast and blocking the construction of Washington ports that would ship American coal to China.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/1/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

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