Polar Bears Adapt
Jul 17, 2014
Artic sea ice has been retreating for years, which is good news if you’re a seal. That’s because the melting ice makes it harder for polar bears to catch their favorite dinner, which happens to be seal.
Polar bear numbers are estimated at about 25,000 globally, placing them on the endangered list and drawing greater attention. Scientists have theorized that warmer temperatures leave polar bears stuck on land with no access to seals for longer periods each summer, meaning there’s some very hungry polar bears come fall. Except, polar bears apparently don’t give up so easy. They’re finding substitute menu items such as caribou calves and eggs from raiding geese nests. In short, polar bears are adapting to longer ice-free seasons.
Anti-Vaxx Skeptics Rebuffed
Many news sources have reported about the dramatic uptick in measles cases in the U.S., a disease that was eradicated in North America a decade ago. Much of the blame for the measles outbreak rests squarely with vaccine skeptics, people who deny the safety of the potentially life-saving vaccine.
Alas, anti-science stupidity is not confined to North America. A Queensland, Australia, mother-to-be was shocked when she was handed a brochure promoting the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network (AVN) while at the Gold Coast University Hospital. In fact, the AVN was the only source of information on vaccines available in an information package given to expecting mothers. Queensland Health has since responded saying the form has been pulled and the matter is being investigated.
They Won’t "Got Milk?"
The owner of a Kauai island resort in Hawaii is suing to stop the development of a proposed dairy farm on a nearby property.
The lawsuit filed in Circuit Court last week says progress on the dairy operation should cease until developers prove it won't negatively affect the surrounding environment. Hawaii Dairy wants to open a facility nearby on 582 acres that will milk 1,800 cows. Spokeswoman Amy Hennessey says the suit is "deeply disappointing," and calls it a malicious attack on local food by commercial resort interests."
Drones Invade Heyworth, Illinois
Drones could add $82 billion to the U.S. economy by 2025, with the lion’s share of that going to agriculture. That was just one of the messages delivered at Farm Journal’s Drone Fly-In event this week in Heyworth, Ill.