There has been a lot of research coming out lately about pesticides. It seems like more and more people are becoming aware of the effects of these killing chemicals on us, not just the bugs they target. The information is fascinating. I thought I might put it all together as a general resource and provide some avenues for you to improve your life by reducing your exposure. After all, some of these new studies link pesticides to ADHD, others link them to Parkinsons Disease and yet others point to food and water contamination. It seems like it must be pretty wide spread considering that we grow a lot of food that bugs also eat. When we spray those plants with insecticide, we submit the chemical to the plants organism and this remains present in the plant after death, after cooking, after eating and swallowing. So you must have a lot of pesticides in you. That’s just the facts.

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I know you are hearing a lot about the water… the rivers, the oceans, the water in the tap.. and that it all seems complicated and overwhelming. Indeed, there are gyres of plastic in the ocean the size of a city and there are drugs in the tap water in New York City and the coral reefs are dieing off from pollution.. but there’s another one. One that hits really close to home and should be a major concern for you.

Recent studies prove that chemicals in the water supply (from the ocean up the waterways to your kitchen sink) are bending genders in wildlife. These chemicals are what is known as endocrine disruptors, similar to the BPA everyone has been talking about, and they change the sex in organisms. Aquatic organisms are switching from male to female and back again as a result of exposure to these chemicals. But the stuff isn’t isolated to distant waterways where nothing but creeping anemones sprawl on rocks and in caves; this stuff is right out there, where you might even be swimming. For sure, they are moving into the water that is used to make our tap water. No kidding.

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I am sure you have been hearing a lot about water conservation. Nearly every state in the union has been talking about conserving water and for various reasons, the foremost of which is the drought conditions in many places. Here in Florida our fire danger alert system is always on red. There just isn’t enough water on the ground to reduce the risk of fire and the water table is always too low. We are currently on restricted sprinkling schedules with some of us watering on even days and others on odd. This is all because there just isn’t enough potable water to go around.

California is another state suffering severe drought conditions with continuous wildfires and mudslides. I realize these are both coastal states, right on the waterfront, and it’s hard to imagine these areas as being dry. But, believe me, they are. Toss in the midwest and southern states, where desert conditions continue year after year and you get the picture. California is in a fight with it’s border neighbors over access to water sources that they share and here in Florida we have been fighting with Georgia over access to the Suwannee River and its water supply for several years now.

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I have another cool method of generating energy. There are researchers who are trying to harvest energy from various sources that are now working with a power generator that works in slow moving currents where traditional turbines have not worked effectively. This means that tidal streams and slow moving rivers in the US could generate something like 140 BILLION killowatt-hours per year or about 3.5% of our entire electricity demand. This is all according to the EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute).

In the past, most efforts to tap energy from slow moving current have used underwater windmills that use the force of the lift to turn their blades. This is because we have usually tapped air for energy and use it support boats and other water devices. But when you watch the way fish use water to propel themselves, you realize that they create vortices in the water that allow them to push off and propel themselves forward. This is why they are currently referring to this application as fish as fuel. But it has nothing to do with using actual fish as a source of fuel. Nobody is grinding up fish and putting it in an engine somewhere.

When researchers realized that these natural vortices could be used to drive generators, a new concept for creating energy emerged. A group of researchers have now created a machine called the VIVACE (Vortex Induced Vibrations for Aquatic Clean Energy) and yes I know it sounds sort of funky and even kinda geeky. But the cylinders in this new machine oscillate up and down in actual moving water. This is a first. It is especially exciting because the device works naturally in the marine environment and is non invasive.

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I found this fascinating item online at Wildlife Extra. According to this article, the earth’s oceans are on the brink of collapsing, due to overfishing. As long ago as 2001, Jeremy Jackson, senior scientist emeritus of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, published a landmark paper named, “Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems”.

In this paper, Mr. Jackson made the case that some environments which have long been considered unaffected and “pristine”, have, in fact, been radically altered by centuries of exploitation. Since this is again a very serious concern, due to the high volume of pollution and drastic species reduction due to overfishing, he has offered a current article on this matter. In this article, Mr. Jackson believes that the following steps, if taken by humans immediately, could reverse the speeding collapse of the ocean ecosystems.

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