Tue

23

Apr

2013

Noam Chomsky: How Close the World Is to Nuclear War

Author, historian and political commentator Noam Chomsky. (photo: Ben Rusk/flickr)Author, historian and political commentator Noam Chomsky. (photo: Ben Rusk/flickr)

From Reader Supported News (RSN)

An Excerpt

By Noam Chomsky, Laray Polk, Seven Stories Press

19 April 13

 

 

A powerful excerpt from the new book, "Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe."

 

aray Polk: What immediate tensions do you perceive that could lead to nuclear war? How close are we?

 

Noam Chomsky: Actually, nuclear war has come unpleasantly close many times since 1945. There are literally dozens of occasions in which there was a significant threat of nuclear war. There was one time in 1962 when it was very close, and furthermore, it's not just the United States. India and Pakistan have come close to nuclear war several times, and the issues remain. Both India and Pakistan are expanding their nuclear arsenals with US support. There are serious possibilities involved with Iran - not Iranian nuclear weapons, but just attacking Iran - and other things can just go wrong. It's a very tense system, always has been. There are plenty of times when automated systems in the United States - and in Russia,it's probably worse - have warned of a nuclear attack which would set off an automatic response except that human intervention happened to take place in time, and sometimes in a matter of minutes. That's playing with fire. That's a low-probability event, but with low-probability events over a long period, the probability is not low.


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Fri

19

Apr

2013

Beach Water Testing at Risk!

 

Surfrider Foundation info@surfrider.org

The EPA is proposing to eliminate their Beach Grants Program that funds water testing to protect swimmer safety at beaches across the country. 

 

Don't let the federal government drown the beach program.   You have the right to know if a day at the beach is going to make you sick!

 

0 Comments

Fri

12

Apr

2013

Big-picture thinking needed to protect nature

David Suzuki Foundation

March 21, 2013

 

Photo: Big-picture thinking needed to protect natureToday, more than 65 per cent of the Peace region has felt the impact of industrial development, leaving little intact habitat for sensitive, endangered species such as caribou to feed, breed or roam. (Credit: Gerry via Flickr)

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Sat

06

Apr

2013

Air Pollution Linked to 1.2 Million Premature Deaths in China

The New York TImes

Shanghai in January. Researchers said the toll from China’s pollution meant the loss of 25 million healthy years in 2010.

 

BEIJING — Outdoor air pollution contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010, nearly 40 percent of the global total, according to a new summary of data from a scientific study on leading causes of death worldwide.

 

Figured another way, the researchers said, China’s toll from pollution was the loss of 25 million healthy years of life from the population.

 

For more on this story

1 Comments

Mon

25

Mar

2013

Pollution in China


New York Times

 

As Pollution Worsens in China, Solutions Succumb to Infighting

 

Sim Chi Yin for The New York Times

Smog veiled the China Central Television Building in Beijing last week. Air pollution hit record levels in north China last month.

By EDWARD WONG
Published: March 21, 2013 17

 

BEIJING — China’s state leadership transition has taken place this month against an ominous backdrop. More than 16,000 dead pigshave been found floating in rivers that provide drinking water to Shanghai. A haze akin to volcanic fumes cloaked the capital, causing convulsive coughing and obscuring the portrait of Mao Zedong on the gate to the Forbidden City.So severe are China’s environmental woes, especially the noxious air, that top government officials have been forced to openly acknowledge them. Fu Ying, the spokeswoman for the National People’s Congress, said she checked for smog every morning after opening her curtains and kept at home face masks for her daughter and herself. Li Keqiang, the new prime minister, said the air pollution had made him “quite upset” and vowed to “show even greater resolve and make more vigorous efforts” to clean it up.

 

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Sun

24

Mar

2013

Current Thinking

From The New York Times  

By HEATHER ROGERS 

Published: June 3, 2007

 

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced his vision of development in New York City over the next 25 years, he highlighted a plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 percent. To anyone who has studied the history of power consumption in the United States, his proposal sounded a curious echo. New York, after all, was home to one of the country’s first central power stations, built by Thomas Edison in 1882. No individual deserves more credit, or blame, for America’s voracious electricity consumption than Edison, who conceived not only that generating station but also the notoriously inefficient incandescent bulb and a slew of volt-thirsty devices.

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Mon

18

Mar

2013

Uruguay’s “poor” president is a unique leader

David Suzuki Foundation

 

 

Photo Credit: Nicolás Eduardo Feredjian

From: David Suzuki <subscribers@davidsuzuki.org>
Date: Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 8:51 AM
Subject: Science Matters: Uruguay’s “poor” president is a unique leader

 

When bright young idealists share their environmental concerns with me, I encourage them to get involved in politics. That’s where decisions have to be made about the severe ecological problems we face. 


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Sat

16

Jun

2012

Disagreements in Rio+20 Negotiations

15 JUN 2012: SHARP DIVISIONS EMERGE 
AS RIO+20 NEGOTIATORS SEEK CONSENSUS

From Environment360 - Yale


With the United Nations Rio+20 summit on sustainable development set to open next Wednesday, negotiators from developing nationswalked out of a key working group over disagreements with wealthier nations about funding environmentally responsible development and the transfer of green technology. As negotiators attempted to forge an agreement, the G77 bloc of developing nations, led by China, proposed that wealthy countries finance a global fund for sustainable development with an initial annual budget of $30 billion. But European Union nations said they were unable to afford that because most EU states faced an economic crisis. Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, rejected that argument, saying, “We cannot be held hostage to the retraction resulting from financial crises in rich countries.” As 130 world leaders (with the notable absence of the leaders of the U.S., Britain, and Germany) prepared to arrive, a top Brazilian diplomatlamented the summit’s disparate blocs, saying the traditional north-south divide was only one of many divisions.

 

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Tue

05

Jun

2012

America's Rank Hypocrisy

From Reader Supported News

By Noam Chomsky, AlterNet

05 June 12

 

In his penetrating study "Ideal Illusions: How the U.S. Government Co-Opted Human Rights," international affairs scholar James Peck observes, "In the history of human rights, the worst atrocities are always committed by somebody else, never us" - whoever "us" is.

 

Almost any moment in history yields innumerable illustrations. Let's keep to the past few weeks.

 


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Sat

26

May

2012

Oceans started warming 135 years ago, study suggests

ENVIRONMENT ON MSNBC

By Joseph Castro, LiveScience Staff Writer
updated 4/2/2012 12:13:35 PM ET

 

The world's oceans have been warming for more than 100 years, twice as long as previously believ ed, new research suggests.

 

The findings could help scientists better understand the Earth's record of sea-level rise, which is partly due to the expansion of water that happens as it heats up, researchers added.

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Fri

20

Apr

2012

'Huge' water resource exists under Africa

 

 

 

From BBC NEWS


By Matt McGrath 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scientists say the notoriously dry continent of Africa is sitting on a


vast reservoir of groundwater.

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Thu

12

Apr

2012

Brazil stresses need for world consensus at Rio+20 meet

Quoted from Hosted News 

By Yana Marull (AFP) 

BRASILIA, Brazil —

 

The upcoming Rio conference on sustainable development must yield a commitment to manage the world economy in a way that respects the environment and fights poverty, a Brazilian official says.

 

"I believe that Rio+20 will deliver the instruments to make sustainable development a paradigm for the economy, not just for the environment," Andre Correa do Lago, the host country's pointman for the June 20-22 summit, said in an interview with AFP.

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Mon

09

Apr

2012

China’s Reforestation Programs: Big Success or Just an Illusion?

ENVIRONMENT 360

China has undertaken ambitious reforestation initiatives that have increased its forest cover dramatically in the last decade. But scientists are now raising questions about just how effective these grand projects will turn out to be.

by JON R. LUOMA

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Thu

22

Mar

2012

World Water Day spotlights growing need, dwindling sources

UN WIRE

On World Water Day, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization warned that 70% more water would be needed to produce enough food for the planet's growing population by 2050, while the world body's World Water Development Report projected that the need could be even greater if crop yields and production aren't drastically improved. Two-thirds of all people could be living under water-stressed conditions in about a decade, according to the FAO. FOR MORE PRESS AlertNet (3/21) 

2 Comments

Tue

20

Mar

2012

Entire nation of Kiribati to be relocated over rising sea level threat

The low-lying Pacific nation of Kiribati is negotiating to buy land in Fiji so it can relocate islanders under threat from rising sea levels.
The low-lying Pacific nation of Kiribati is negotiating to buy land in Fiji so it can relocate islanders under threat from rising sea levels.

8:59AM GMT 07 Mar 2012

 

In what could be the world's first climate-induced migration of modern times, Anote Tong, the Kiribati president, said he was in talks with Fiji's military government to buy up to 5,000 acres of freehold land on which his countrymen could be housed.

 

 

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Tue

20

Mar

2012

As climate changes, Louisiana seeks to lift a highway

Tim Osborn/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association -  Rising sea levels near Leeville, La., during the past 100 years have left this 1905 cemetery entirely underwater.
Tim Osborn/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association - Rising sea levels near Leeville, La., during the past 100 years have left this 1905 cemetery entirely underwater.

By Published: March 18


GOLDEN MEADOW, La.— Here on the side of Louisiana’s Highway 1, next to Raymond’s Bait Shop, a spindly pole with Global Positioning System equipment and a cellphone stuck on top charts the water’s gradual encroachment on dry land.

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Mon

12

Mar

2012

Much of world to experience "water stress"

From UN Wire:  March 12, 2012:  News covering the UN and the world


Much of world to experience "water stress"

"In many countries water availability for agriculture is already limited and uncertain, and is set to worsen," concludes the latest UN World Water Development Report, which finds that farmers will need one-fifth more water by 2050 to meet increasing demands for food by a population estimated to reach 9.3 billion. Today, more than 80% of used water goes uncollected and untreated, an issue slated to be discussed at this week's World Water Forum. Bloomberg(3/12), The Independent (London) (3/12)

 

2 Comments

Tue

24

Jan

2012

The future of food

Seaweed harvesting in Bali. From seaweed to slime, algae is the future of food, says Professor Mark Edwards Photograph: Ed Wray/AP
Seaweed harvesting in Bali. From seaweed to slime, algae is the future of food, says Professor Mark Edwards Photograph: Ed Wray/AP


The Observer

(Saturday 21 January 2012)

By 2050 there will be another 2.5 billion people on the planet. How to feed them? Science's answer: a diet of algae, insects and meat grown in a lab

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Tue

17

Jan

2012

Experts Predict Global Population Will Plateau

 

The Great Contraction

Experts Predict Global Population Will Plateau

By SPIEGEL Staff  11/03/2011


The 7-billionth human being was born last week as the UN issued dire warnings of an exploding global population. But birth rates are actually in free fall worldwide. Experts predict that the world's population will start shrinking in 2060 and that -- with a bit of imaginative policymaking -- the birth and death rates could actually balance out.

 

In 6 Parts

 

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Tue

17

Jan

2012

UN Food and Agricultural Chief

Somalian refugees at a camp in Kenya: "We need sustainable agriculture tailored to regional conditions."
Somalian refugees at a camp in Kenya: "We need sustainable agriculture tailored to regional conditions."

 

 

UNFAO chief: Battle to end hunger is winnable

Spiegel Online 01/16/2012 

 

Gains in the battle against malnutrition have been made in many countries, but a concerted effort to slash the number of people around the world facing food shortages is still needed, Jose Graziano da Silva, the new head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says in this interview. Da Silva is supporting tighter regulations on speculation, which has been broadly tagged as a major contributing factor to rising food prices.

 

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Sun

15

Jan

2012

Investors set sights on climate change at UN conference

Investors set sights on climate change at UN conference

More than 400 representatives of large institutional investors met Thursday at the United Nations to reconsider climate change from a business perspective on the heels of 5% growth in green energy investment, to $260 billion, in 2011. "The carbon-burning economy is tomorrow's Rust Belt. Your job, it seems to me, is to invest in the Microsofts and Googles of the green economy," Roland Rich, head of the UN Democracy Fund, told investors, who control a collective $26 trillion worldwide. The conference was convened by the UN, the United Nations Foundation and the Ceres coalition.

 

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Fri

18

Mar

2011

Timeline: How Japan's nuclear crisis unfolded

Japan's quake and tsunami sparked a major emergency at one of the country's nuclear power stations, amid meltdown fears
Japan's quake and tsunami sparked a major emergency at one of the country's nuclear power stations, amid meltdown fears

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tsunami resulting from magnitude 9.0 earthquake damages nuclear power plant in north-east Japan
  • The plants has suffered three explosions and two fires since the crisis began Friday March 11
  • IAEA says two workers are missing at the site and at least 20 have fallen ill due to possible radiation contamination

A timeline through March 17, 2011:  Click Here to see the article

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Fri

25

Feb

2011

Fourth baby dolphin found dead on Horn Island

By KAREN NELSON - klnelson@sunherald.com

HORN ISLAND -- The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies has confirmed that a fourth baby dolphin has washed ashore on Horn Island,

To read more click here


 

3 Comments

Sun

20

Feb

2011

Time to panic about water - expert

News 24

2011-02-19 14:10

 

Johannesburg - South African metropolitans are heading for a major water crisis in 2020, a former director general of the department of water affairs has warned.

 

Mike Muller, who now serves as an adjunct professor at the University of the Witwatersrand and sits on the national planning commission, said at a Water and Energy Forum in Sandton this week that it was time for metropolitans to start "panicking" about their water supplies.


 

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Sat

29

Jan

2011

Drought in China. Millions face water shortage

Sun Minghua, a rural resident of Bozhou in East China's Anhui province, checks out withering wheat seedlings on his farm on Thursday. [Photo/China Daily]
Sun Minghua, a rural resident of Bozhou in East China's Anhui province, checks out withering wheat seedlings on his farm on Thursday. [Photo/China Daily]

Millions face water shortage in China

(China Daily)
Updated: 2011-01-29 07:45

JINAN - More than 2.2 million people and 2.7 million livestock are facing a water shortage as the worst drought in decades continues to linger in many parts of China.

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Tue

02

Nov

2010

BP dispersants 'causing sickness'

Denise Rednour of Long Beach, Mississippi, has been sick with chemical poisoning since July [Erika Blumenfeld]
Denise Rednour of Long Beach, Mississippi, has been sick with chemical poisoning since July [Erika Blumenfeld]

Recently, an Al Jazeera online correspondent launched an investigation into the BP oil spill and the illnesses linked to the dispersants used along the Gulf Coast. While this isn't necessarily new news, the fact that this story is being reported by Al Jazeera instead of the NY Times, Washington Post or WSJ speaks volumes. 

 

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Wed

06

Oct

2010

They Killed the Gulf Of Mexico by Bruce Tetley

0 Comments

Tue

21

Sep

2010

BP Oil Spill

From the Los Angeles Times.

On Sunday (September 19,2010), the BP well that fed the largest offshore oil spill
in America's history was officially pronounced "dead," with no chance of further leaks. While we are happy to report that a single drop will never again leak from this well, we find it appropriate to break down the Gulf oil spill by the numbers.

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Tue

17

Aug

2010

Russia to Get Relief from Deadly Heat, Smog

http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/35585/russia-to-see-relief-from-dead.asp

The deadly spell of heat and smog will finally come to an end this week across western Russia.

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Thu

12

Aug

2010

E-Mail to Roger and Martha from Greenpeace

Latest news and action alert from Greenpeace
Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser

 

Martha and Roger,

 

White House energy adviser Carol Browner has recently been making the talk show rounds and telling the public about a new government assessment that shows that 75% of the oil from BP’s drilling disaster has either been captured, burned off, evaporated or broken down in the Gulf. As she puts it, “Mother Nature did her part….”

You’re not alone if you think that sounds too good to be true.

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Fri

06

Aug

2010

Smog and Fire in Russia

BBC NEWS

Moscow under smog health warning as wildfires burn

6 August 2010 Last updated at 15:10 ET

Original Article

 

Russian health officials are warning people in Moscow to stay inside and avoid physical exertion as smog from the worst wildfires in modern Russian history smothers the city.

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Fri

06

Aug

2010

Drought in Russia.

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Fri

16

Jul

2010

Animal Autopsies in Gulf Yield a Mystery

Something on the BP Oil Spill, if you are following it at all.

I found this news article interesting - but it is a little long.  Maybe you would just want to skim it and see what you think.

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle lay belly-up on the metal autopsy table, as pallid as split-pea soup but for the bright orange X spray-painted on its shell, proof that it had been counted as part of the Gulf of Mexico’s continuing “unusual mortality event.”

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Sun

11

Jul

2010

China and Polution Control

July 4, 2010

China Fears Consumer Impact on Global Warming

 GUANGZHOU, China — Premier Wen Jiabao has promised to use an “iron hand” this summer to make his nation more energy efficient. The central government has ordered cities to close inefficient factories by September, like the vast Guangzhou Steel mill here, where most of the 6,000 workers will be laid off or pushed into early retirement.

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