Copenhagen Update

i-a38820751c136ebdbb57a877dddcad5d-cope2buzz.jpgTensions are mounting in Copenhagen over the so-called “Danish text,” a draft agreement that would allow developed countries such as the United States and China to emit nearly twice as much carbon per capita as “third world” or developing countries. Meanwhile, scrappy island nation Tuvalu stood up for a stricter resolution, only to be scolded by the economies-that-be. Eric Michael Johnson on The Primate Diaries writes that the Danish text would “effectively stifle the growth of poor nations while allowing wealthy nations to continue their disproportionate levels of carbon pollution.” In a separate post, Johnson criticizes those who “dismiss out of hand any concerns that the developing nations might have. The next fifty years could very well be extraordinarily harsh ones for the Global South.” On Casaubon’s Book, Sharon Astyk wonders why regulation of this agreement would fall to the World Bank, “an institution that [poor nations] have profound and deeply relevant reasons to distrust?” If you need to cool off, head over to A Few Things Ill Considered, where Coby points us to “a fabulous boil down approach to the climate debate.”

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Mixed Signals on Mammography

i-28888d98b874099d6961e8e6ee1f4de3-mammbuzz.jpgLast month the US government released new guidelines for breast cancer screening mammography, a revision which Orac writes has “shaken my specialty to the core.” For most women, the guidelines now recommend beginning biennial screenings at age fifty, instead of annual screenings at age forty. Around the same time, a study came out which “suggested that low dose radiation from mammography may put young women with breast cancer-predisposing BRCA mutations at a higher risk for breast cancer.” Get some perspective on Respectful Insolence before breaking out the snake oil. Then visit Andrew Gelman on Applied Statistics, who reports that the Senate approved a health-care provision requiring insurance companies to offer free mammograms to women. Bemoaning the mixed signals, Gelman writes “none of this makes sense to me.” And on On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess, Dr. Isis wonders if the new guidelines are racially insensitive, considering statistics that show black women are “at a higher risk for developing cancer before 40” and face a lower 5-year survival rate.

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