Welcome to Rocket Trike Diaries—a 10 week video tour of the 2011 "Ride for Renewables: No Tar Sands Oil On American Soil!" Join Renewable Rider Tom Weis as he pedals his rocket trike 2,150 miles through America’s heartland in support of landowners fighting TransCanada’s toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline scheme. Here are the video entries from Week Nine:
Video Entry #58: 92 Year Old Pilots Rocket Trike
Renewable Rider Tom Weis films 92 year old Furman Boles from Scroggins, Texas in the rocket trike. Furman describes being in the trike as "a whole new world," saying, "the future's right ahead." He jokingly agrees to take over and pedal the rest of the way to Port Arthur.
Video Entry #59: Texas Farmer "Misled" & "Betrayed" By TransCanada
Renewable Rider Tom Weis speaks with Susan Scott of Sulphur Springs, Texas about threats Keystone XL poses to the farm she loves. She talks about being bullied into cooperating by a TransCanada official who lied to her about eminent domain. Calling the project a "deadly situation," she warns of threats to local water supplies, saying, "If we don't have water, there's no us." Susan says the project is all about "greed" and "money." She says seeing neighbor David Daniel's yard sign opposing Keystone XL gave her hope to fight.
Video Entry #60: Texas Woman Says Officials "Bought and Paid For"
Renewable Rider Tom Weis speaks with Patti Radillo of Yantis, Texas about the dangers of Keystone XL and the failure of the state's elected officials to protect public health. Saying we all need clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and clean land to grow food on, she stresses the importance of protecting Texas' Lake Fork Reservoir and the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer from tar sands oil spills. Patti says she knows first-hand what pollution does to families and shares a story of being eight years old when a Union Carbide plant in her neighborhood exploded, leading to a lifetime of respiratory illnesses for her and her three sisters. She says tar sands spills elsewhere have already caused small businesses to go under, local economies to die, and pregnant women to bear children with birth defects. Charging Texas politicians with being "bought by the corporations," she concludes: "People are dying. People are suffering. And some one has to speak up and say no more."
Video Entry #61: College Student: "Horrible" Corporate Behavior "Freaks Me Out"
Renewable Rider Tom Weis speaks with Daniel Baugh, student at Stephen F. Austin State University, about his future. Daniel took time away from studying for finals to join a solidarity bike ride against Keystone XL through downtown Nacogdoches, Texas. He envisions a world where we live closer to the earth and where oil isn't needed. He decries huge companies wasting a lot of money doing "horrible things," saying it's "scary" and "really freaks me out." He says he doesn't want people he doesn't know messing things up "for a last ditch effort on something that we don't even need." Daniel is studying to be a blacksmith, so he can work with the land himself.
Video Entry #62: Keystone XL "Won't Go Through. We Won't Let It."
Renewable Rider Tom Weis hears Kendal Martel of Nacogdoches, Texas explain why she is so passionate about stopping Keystone XL. Describing Texas communities as "under attack" by TransCanada, she calls the Keystone XL fight "a huge test for America." Addressing local misperceptions about environmentalism, Kendal says environmentalists are simply dedicated to "protecting our air, our food and our water." She calls on President Obama to "be a leader, like he promised," but asserts the pipeline won't go through either way: "We won't let it."
Video Entry #63: Retired Military Vet: TransCanada Has "Lied to Everybody"
Renewable Rider Tom Weis speaks with Eddie Radillo at the Art & Espresso coffee shop in Winnsboro, Texas. Eddie talks about how dangerous tar sands oil violates U.S. climate law; enables the Chinese military; threatens Texas' Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer; destroys Canadian boreal forests; endangers indigenous tribal communities; and contaminated Michigan's Kalamazoo River. Calling Texans a "very moral" and "patriotic" people, he challenges true Texans to stand up and push back against TransCanada's illegal trespassing and lies. Eddie is the author of the Tar Sands Song: .
Video Entry #64: Rocket Trike Meets Saturn V Rocket at NASA's Johnson Space Center
Renewable Rider Tom Weis provides an up close walking tour of a massive Saturn V rocket at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Reflecting on the historic Apollo 11 Mission, he talks about national pride and the need for a new generational mission: a green energy "moon shot" for America. A wall display featuring famous astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and "Buzz" Aldrin prompts him to ask: "Who are going to be the American heroes of our generation?" Afterwards, he rolled the rocket trike into the building for a shot of the two "rockets" together, before getting an unforgettable tour of NASA's Mission Control.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
As protests are taking place across our nation in response to the killing of George Floyd, we want to acknowledge the importance of this protest and the Black Lives Matter movement. Over the years, we've aimed to be sensitive and prioritize stories that highlight the intersection between racial and environmental injustice. From our years of covering the environment, we know that too often marginalized communities around the world are disproportionately affected by environmental crises.
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By Peter Beech
Using waste food to farm insects as fish food and high-tech real-time water quality monitoring: innovations that could help change global aquaculture, were showcased at the World Economic Forum's Virtual Ocean Dialogues 2020.
Fly fishing. nextProtein
BiOceanOr's AquaREAL system. BiOceanOr
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The big three broadcast channels failed to cover the disproportionate impacts of extreme weather on low-income communities or communities of color during their primetime coverage of seven hurricanes and one tropical storm over three years, a Media Matters for America analysis revealed.
Researchers at the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced yesterday that it will start a trial on a new drug designed specifically for COVID-19, a milestone in the race to stop the infectious disease, according to STAT News.
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The sixth mass extinction is here, and it's speeding up.
Terrestrial vertebrates on the brink (i.e., with 1,000 or fewer individuals) include species such as (A) Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis; image credit: Rhett A. Butler [photographer]), (B) Clarion island wren (Troglodytes tanneri; image credit: Claudio Contreras Koob [photographer]), (C) Española Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis hoodensis; image credit: G.C.), and (D) Harlequin frog (Atelopus varius; the population size of the species is unknown but it is estimated at less than 1,000; image credit: G.C.).
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By Cathy Cassata
With more than 1.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and more than 100,000 deaths from the virus, physicians face unprecedented challenges in their efforts to keep Americans safe.
They also encounter what some call an "infodemic," an outbreak of misinformation that's making it more difficult to treat patients.
When Leaders and Doctors Spread Misinformation<p>When people in charge of towns, cities, states, and countries spread misinformation, the potential for belief in misinformation to result in policies can have harmful effects.</p><p><a href="https://www.northwell.edu/find-care/find-a-doctor?q=Bruce+E.+Hirsch%2C+MD&insurance=&location=&query_type=provider&physician_partners=false&default_view=list&gender=&language=&sort=relevancy" target="_blank">Dr. Bruce E. Hirsch</a>, attending physician and assistant professor in the infectious disease division of Northwell Health in Manhasset, New York, says an example of this is when President Trump informed the public he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure.</p><p>"To approach this enormous challenge, we need some intellectual honesty and clarity, and to disregard expertise and to make decisions and model decisions based on hunches is inviting us to handle challenges on the basis of rumor and uninformed opinion. The magnitude of that error is epic," Hirsch told Healthline.</p><p>Stukus agrees, noting that the harm of this proclamation is documented.</p><p>"Early on when the president touted the benefits of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, people started to hoard this medicine, and state boards had to shut it down because they were getting so many prescriptions for this unproven therapy that it was not available for those who truly needed it, such as those who have lupus and autoimmune conditions," Stukus said.</p><p>He adds that calls to poison control centers increased after the president suggested using disinfectant to prevent contracting the new coronavirus.</p>
Listen to Science, Even When it Changes<p>When recommendations change or evidence flip-flops, skepticism may arise. However, Stukus says change is the beauty of science.</p><p>"That shows us that we can evolve, and if the evidence shows that our prior thoughts were incorrect, we need to be able to change our recommendations and advice based upon the best quality of evidence at the time," he said.</p><p>Pierre agrees.</p><p>"Science is an iterative process, whereby we arrive at facts and truth through repeated and controlled observations. That means that it's inherently self-correcting as we revise conclusions based on ongoing research. Scientific facts aren't immutable dogma chiseled on a tablet. They change based on the best available evidence we have at a given point in time," he said.</p><p>Because research of COVID-19 has only been underway for 6 months, information is evolving rapidly, and new information may contradict old.</p><p>"There's still much we don't know about exactly how [COVID-19] spreads, what effects it has on the body, or how to best treat it. That means that the best available evidence is preliminary, but that doesn't mean that we should ignore it or turn to other sources of information or opinion as if they're just as valid," Pierre said.</p><p>He explains that conspiracy theories based on mistrust lead to vulnerability to misinformation.</p><p>If people mistrust science because it sometimes "changes its mind," Pierre said, "that shouldn't be used to embrace other opinions based on no evidence at all, which are typically selected based on confirmation bias: what we want to believe rather than what the objective evidence supports."</p>
Where to Find the Best Information<p>Stukus says to start with the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html" target="_blank">CDC</a> and <a href="https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus" target="_blank">NIH</a>. Then check with your local health officials, because COVID-19 guidelines may vary depending on where you live.</p><p>If you can't find information you need or have questions specifically related to you, call your primary care doctor.</p><p>"Your personal doctor should always be a resource for individual specific questions because they know best how to apply all the nuances retaining to your health, and how to incorporate all the other general [COVID-19] recommendations," Stukus said.</p><p><a href="https://www.eehealth.org/find-a-doctor/b/boyd-laura-b/" target="_blank">Dr. Laura Boyd</a>, primary care physician at Edward-Elmhurst Health Center in Elmhurst, Illinois, says her clinic receives a lot of calls about COVID-19.</p><p>"Most doctors' offices are receiving calls and answering questions, and doing phone or video visits to help clarify and/or order testing over the phone based on patients' symptoms. It is always best to call your doctor's office first instead of worrying about symptoms and waiting too long to seek treatment," she told Healthline.</p><p>If your primary care doctor has limited testing, she suggests looking on your state's public health website for available testing sites.</p><p>With a lot of unknowns related to this virus and disease, Boyd says many patients are feeling overwhelmed and anxious for a treatment.</p><p>"Unfortunately, there is no specific medication recommended for COVID for outpatient. There are a lot of ongoing studies with various drugs going on within the hospital setting. Patients should always contact their doctors about their specific symptoms as they can treat the symptoms that go along with COVID, but there is no cure," Boyd said.</p><p>While we wait for treatment and a vaccine, Hirsch, who treats patients hospitalized for COVID-19 complications on a daily basis, says everyone can do their part by washing hands, wearing a mask, and staying 6 feet apart.</p><p>"As an infectious disease doctor working in the hospital, I see the damage of the pandemic and the worst cases of what's happening. We are trying to get the best possible outcome and confronting this overwhelming biologic reality of this terrible epidemic the best we can," Hirsch said.</p><p>Everyone at home can help in the fight too, he adds.</p><p>"Follow information that is science- and evidence-based, and avoid that which is not," he said.</p>
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