Archive for March, 2008

Johns Hopkins’ Pig Controversy

March 30, 2008

Johns Hopkins University has come under criticism for performing operations on live pigs for instructive purposes, according to The Sun. JHU is one of only 10 medical schools left in America that uses live animals to teach medical students. Hopkins Surgery Director Dr. Julie Freischlag told The Sun why the school uses animals:

“Simulators have no feedback as to texture and touch … That’s where it’s so important to use animals, to feel all the right tensions and strengths.”


The organization that has drawn news coverage for protesting is called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Members of the PCRM held signs and have been undertaking a letter writing campaign to end the use of live animals at Hopkins. Several other medical schools have given up the use of live animal use for surgery but they deny it has anything to do with the organization. (more…)


Kyoto II

March 30, 2008

Reuters reports that talks are underway in Bangkok to set up preliminary work on a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol. It is hoped that the new protocol will be put together by the end of next year, so that there is more time before the current treaty expires. The article claims that the United States will likely be receptive to the new protocol and sign on, something that it had conspicuously avoided for the first Kyoto Protocol.


The article notes that all of the prospective presidential candidates take climate change more seriously than the current President had when he decided not to ratify the treaty. In his Foreign Affairs essay Renewing American Leadership, Barack Obama spoke favorably of a “cap and trade” system, while Hillary Clinton’s essay Security and Opportunity for the Twenty-First Century called for a similar system and also called for American participation in a “binding global climate agreement.” John McCain also wrote that he supports a “market-based approach [that] will set reasonable caps on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.” Judging by the unity of the candidates’ rhetoric, it seems that America has left behind some of the climate-change skepticism that set it apart from other rich nations during the Bush Administration.