Hyper-capitalism has systematically weakened regulations to help capital at the cost of consumers. The verdict on the Elizabeth Holmes case simply illustrates the growing post-’90s disregard for consumers.
The verdict on Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes, who was tried for fraud in a U.S. court, was guilty. Theranos was a company set up by Holmes and her former partner Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani and had promised to revolutionize blood testing. Their advanced biotech equipment—they claimed—would provide results for a whole battery of tests with just a few drops of blood. In its heyday, Theranos was worth more than $9 billion, and Elizabeth Holmes was looked at as “the next Steve Jobs.” She was also the face that launched $724 million in stock sales to private equity firms and venture capitalists. Holmes figured in Time’s 2015 list of the 100 most influential people of the year and was feted by Wall Street as the “world’s youngest self-made female billionaire.” Continue reading
Lack of fresh water is now a global crisis. Water shortages mean food shortages, with hunger creating death tolls substantially exceeding those of the current Covid-19 crisis. According to the United Nations, some 800 million people are without clean water, and 40% of the world’s population is impacted by drought. By one measure, almost 100 percent of the Western United States is currently in drought, setting an all-time 122-year record. Meanwhile, local “water wars” rage, with states, cities and whole countries battling each other for scarce water resources. Continue reading
Wastewater exposes plants and wildlife to hundreds of chemical compounds. Researchers are learning about potential side effects and solutions.
Fish hooked on meth? It’s a catchy headline that made the rounds a few weeks ago, but it represents a serious and growing problem. Our rivers and streams have become a soup of hundreds of drugs—mostly pharmaceuticals—that come from the treated water released from wastewater facilities. Continue reading
Successive American administrations and the State Department have often shut their eyes to international terrorism and even covered it up. Continue reading
Lewontin fought a lifelong battle against racism, imperialism and capitalist oppression.
On July 4, Richard Lewontin, the dialectical biologist, Marxist and activist, died at the age of 92, just three days after the death of his wife of more than 70 years, Mary Jane. He was one of the founders of modern biology who brought together three different disciplines—statistics, molecular biology and evolutionary biology—that mark the discipline today. In doing so, he not only battled crude racism masquerading as science, but also helped shed light on what science really is. In this sense, he belongs to the rare group of scientists who are equally at home in the laboratory and while talking about science and ideology at a philosophical level. Lewontin is a popular exponent of what science is, and more pertinently, what it is not. Continue reading
‘We now have enough observations of current drought and tree-ring records of past drought to say that we're on the same trajectory as the worst prehistoric droughts.’
The western United States is likely being gripped by an “emerging” megadrought partly fueled by the climate crisis, says a study published Friday. Continue reading
As I knew would happen, my review of the very serious and heavily documented book, “Unprecedented Crime” resulted in condemnations from the fossil fuel industry’s trolls and from libertarians who think that global warming is a scheme for government to seize more power over private industry. Personally, I wish the fossil fuel trolls and libertarians were correct, but there is scant, if any, evidence on their side. I must say that I am discouraged that the oligarchs’ disinformation campaigns are again taking precedence over fact. Continue reading
The prospect of drastic climate change is back in the news. But, for all too many people it is just that, a news item. It is like other eye-grabbing stories: a bit scary, but also happening somewhere else and at some other time. Of course, if you happen to be at that other place or approximate to that time (the latest examples would be the Florida Panhandle in mid-October and Mexico’s southwestern coast in late October), things get more immediate, more real. But otherwise it is theory. Examine your own sense of urgency as you read on. Continue reading
The tobacco companies’ response to the US Surgeon General’s report in 1964 linking smoking to lung cancer was countered by the tobacco companies setting up propaganda organizations to create a controversy by generating doubt over the link. This strategy staved off the inevitable for more than two decades. Continue reading
In a new study showing that the timing of species' natural events is failing to synchronize, ‘everything is consistent with the fact it's getting warmer’
The warming of the Earth over the past several decades is throwing Mother Nature’s food chain out of whack and leaving many species struggling to survive, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Continue reading
Residents of New England and the Mid-Atlantic states will experience increased rainfall and floods if data analysis by a Penn State meteorologist and long-term projections by a fisheries biologist, with a specialty in surface water pollution, are accurate. Continue reading
In 2010, Michelle Holmes and Wendy Chen, physicians and faculty members at Harvard Medical School, published an observational study in The Journal of Clinical Oncology that showed that women with breast cancer who took aspirin at least once every week were 50% less likely to die of breast cancer. Continue reading
The last I heard about global warming was that—surprise! surprise!—when the sun melts the permafrost the lately labeled greenhouse gas methane is released. This is real science. I read this at physorg.com where I also read about quantum mechanics, outer space and medical news. The global warming humanocentrics—those who believe that global warming is solely due to humanity—would find this appalling, except that they do not read physorg.com. In fact, I don’t think they read any real science. Which creates quite a conundrum. Continue reading
SAN FRANCISCO—The Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant contains six reactors and is located along the northeast coast of Japan. Three of the six reactors disastrously melted down right through the concrete floor and entered the ground on Mar 11, 2011. The spewing of radioactive particles into the Earth’s atmosphere continues unabated. Continue reading