Friday Finds: When Grizzlies Eat Us…They May Be Hungry

Strange bedfellows, cheesy marketing schemes, hot dog humans

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Enviros and drillers become fracking bedfellows in regulator debate
New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation is so ill-prepared to regulate gas drilling in the state that both the gas industry and environmental organizations agree that the department should be re-staffed, according to an investigation by the DC Bureau. That, in addition to a number of other environmental challenges that gas drilling presents, should make for quite a fracking mess for New York’s next governor, Andrew Cuomo, when he arrives in the office on Jan. 1.

Department of Agriculture takes the cheese
Fast food chains like Domino’s Pizza and Taco Bell are piling cheese onto their products to boost consumer sales, all at the urging of the USDA, according to a recent New York Times piece. The agency’s marketing creation, Dairy Management, charged with "vigorously promoting" dairy products, has been working with businesses to increase American cheese consumption by creating cheese-strosities like the Domino’s Wisconsin, a pizza that comes with six cheeses on top and two stuffed in the crust. Apparently the agency didn’t get its own memo, which found that when it comes causing obesity and heart disease, the cheese stands alone.

Climate scientists take to the streets
Hundreds of climate scientists are taking off their lab coats and unchaining themselves from their dimly lit labs to talk publically about climate science, according to a story in the LA Times. The science-truth-mobile is being cobbled together in response to rising climate change skepticism amongst new GOPers in Congress, many of whom have promised to use their newfound power in Congress to turn the screws on EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations. No word yet on whether the scientists will use the DeLorean to spread their climatic message, the nerds’ preferred car of choice.

Eating popcorn may be harming your health
Microwave popcorn and junk food items wrapped in paper may be a major source of PFCA’s, industrial chemicals that have been linked to cancer in animals, according to a story in The Independent. Since PFCA’s are already found in the air and in household dust, two things that can’t really be avoided unless you’re Mr. Clean, you might consider switching to homemade popcorn on your next movie night.

Starving grizzlies turn to humans for food
Though grizzly bears typically stick to dining on berries and nuts for their main course, changes in climate and a lack of available food are causing bears around the Yellowstone region to turn to a new source of dietary delight, humans, according to a story in the LA Times. Described by one expert as a "hot dog on two legs" because we "eat too much and exercise too little," people are fast becoming the target of hungry bears, and in turn, bears are becoming the target of humans.Unless you’re Man vs. Wild star Bear Grylls, I put my money on the bears.

Jessica is a former award-winning journalist. She enjoys wild places and dispensing justice, so she considers her job here to be a pretty amazing fit.