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Health, Science & Environment

Khalil Bendib | Sugary Foods Industry / OtherWords.org

People Are Allergic to the Facts

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  • New research finds we trust experts who agree with our own opinions, suggesting that subjective feelings override scientific information.
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  • Insanity Is Deja Vu All Over Again
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  • Building a Nation of Know-Nothings
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Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune.com / AlterNet

A clear consensus of opinion emerges within the scientific community on an important issue, such as climate change. But the public, and its elected leaders, remains unconvinced and unreceptive to well-founded warnings.

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With this phenomenon growing frustratingly familiar, researchers can be forgiven if they begin to feel like Rodney Dangerfields in lab coats. From their perspective, they don’t get no respect.

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Newly published research suggests that’s not entirely true: Americans do believe and trust researchers. But we focus our attention on those experts whose ideas conform with our preconceived notions. The others tend to get discounted or ignored.

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Related:

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Insanity Is Deja Vu All Over Again, David Sirota, In These Times

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  • With the present so radically departing from our past, history has become a damning package of inconvenient truths.
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  • Building a Nation of Know-Nothings
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Building a Nation of Know-Nothings, Timothy Egan, New York Times | NY
It’s not just that 46 percent of Republicans believe the lie that Obama is a Muslim, or that 27 percent in the party doubt that the president of the United States is a citizen. But fully half of them believe falsely that the big bailout of banks and insurance companies under TARP was enacted by Obama, and not by President Bush.

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America Moves On From Spill, Gulf Coast Feels Abandoned


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"Awareness has dropped. People don't really care about the people who were affected. They don't care about the fish life," said Edmonds, founder of Taking Back the Gulf.

Jay Reeves, Huffington Post

In this Oct. 8, 2010 photo, Chef Chris Sherrill, owner of Staycations Beach Weddings, stands outside the storefront he planned to open before the oil spill slowed business this summer, in Gulf Shores, Ala. (AP Photo/Michelle Rolls-Thomas)

About 800 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, Dave Edmonds is struggling to remind people about the BP oil spill.

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There aren't many magazine covers with photos of oil-drenched birds now that BP has capped its massive gusher at the bottom of the sea. People aren't looking online for information about the historic spill like they were a few weeks ago.

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So Edmonds, who lives on the Delaware coast, has started a nonprofit organization to keep the disaster on people's minds with a website and social networking campaign.

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White House squelched release of BP oil spill estimates


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  • The staff paper does not assign any motive to the administration’s moves but says the underestimating of flow rates “undermined public confidence in the federal government’s response” by creating the impression the government was either incompetent or untrustworthy. The paper said that the loss of trust “fuels public fears.”
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  • BP and Administration: Lies, Deceit, and Coverup in the Gulf
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  • Experts question BP's take on Gulf oil spill
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Renee Schoof and Margaret Talev, McClatchy Newspapers

Workers clean oil residue form the rocks that form a jetty protecting a Gulfport, Mississippi, boat ramp

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Government scientists wanted to tell Americans early on how bad the BP oil spill could be, but the White House denied their request to make the worst-case scenarios public, a report by staff for the national panel investigating the spill said Wednesday (Oct 7).

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The allegation by unnamed government officials, contained in a staff working paper released Wednesday by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, is certain to fuel controversy over why the government lowballed flow rates throughout much of the spill, even as independent scientists offered vastly higher — and ultimately more accurate — estimates.

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Related:

Complete McClatchy oil spill coverage

Experts question BP's take on Gulf oil spill, Dina Cappiello, Associated Press/MSNBC

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  • BP's lead investigator acknowledged that the company's probe had limitations.
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  • Regret, apology not part of BP's oil spill report
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BP and Administration: Lies, Deceit, and Coverup in the Gulf, Stephen Lendman, The World Can't Wait

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  • This goes way beyond BP and its decades of criminal negligence. It's a regulatory problem for lack of it; a government one for no oversight, public or environmental concern; and a long-term systemic one giving business free reign to plunder and pollute without limit, then when caught call it an accident, paper it over, and repeat again because complicit government officials allow it.
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  • The Spill, The Scandal and the President
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  • BP Oil Spill Is Not a Disaster. It's a Crime.
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  • Gulf Oil Emergency Summit: Extraordinary Crisis Demands Extraordinary Response
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25 Surprisingly Salty Processed Foods

 

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  • Go Easy on the Salt
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  • These days when parents enable their kids' munchies, does it turn them into junk-food junkies?
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Health.com

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The average person in the U.S. consumes 3,500 milligrams of sodium a day. That’s equivalent to almost 9 grams of salt, or nearly 2 teaspoonfuls—way more than the 2,300 milligrams per day suggested by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

But the majority of excess salt, or 77%, isn’t spooned into your food—it comes from processed foods.

The FDA recently announced a plan to gradually scale back on salt in processed foods, which may be the end of the line for super salty products.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for excess sodium and adjust your intake accordingly. Check out these 25 hidden salt traps you can find lurking in the grocery store.

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Related:

Hamburgers are the new heroin,  Ashley Braun, Grist
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Marsha Aronson
These days when parents enable their kids' munchies, does it turn them into junk-food junkies?

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