Daily Archives: February 5, 2013

Who Was the First Human Ancestor?


SciAmerican

Published on Feb 5, 2013

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From the time of Charles Darwin science has painted a picture of our earliest ancestor in the image of a chimpanzee. Scientific American editor Katherine Harmon explains how new fossil evidence is redrawing the lines of human evolution.

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Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

WTC 7 – Side by Side Comparison to Controlled Demolition

E120,

After Big Storms: Rebuild Or No?

http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/02/05/rebuilding
February 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM

After Big Storms: Rebuild Or No?

New York’s governor wants Superstorm Sandy victims to move off the coast. We’ll look at when and where to rebuild.

Carpenters install new siding on a storm-damaged beachfront house in the Far Rockaways, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 in the Queens borough of New York. (AP)

Last week, Congress finally approved $51 billion in aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy. This week, New York governor Andrew Cuomo says in his state he wants to use a chunk of that big money to pay people not to rebuild on the shore.

To turn neighborhoods into wetlands, salt marshes, room for dunes. To abandon communities in the path of rising seas.

In many ways, Washington subsidizes coastal life. Now climate change is making coastal life more vulnerable. Is it time to pull the plug?

This hour, On Point: to rebuild or not to rebuild when Mother Nature comes ashore.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Matthew Schuerman, transit and economic development reporter for WNYC Radio. (@mlschuer)

Jessica Grannis, staff attorney and professor at the Georgetown Climate Center and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Robert Young, director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines and professor of coastal geology at Western Carolina University.

Rep. Bill Pascrell,Democratic Congressman from New Jersey.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Is it time for Asia to abandon the dream of an effective multilateral climate treaty and adopt new approach? | India Environment Portal

Indian-Envr-Portal

http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/blogs/it-time-asia-abandon-dream-effective-multilateral-climate-treaty-and-adopt-new-approach
01 Feb 2013
Is it time for Asia to abandon the dream of an effective multilateral climate treaty and adopt new approach?
By: Mukul Sanwal

For growing economies the stress has to be on patterns of natural resource use and not on the status of natural resources; that is, dealing with the causes rather than the symptoms of the problem of climate change. The time has come for rapidly growing Asia to distinguish between the global, regional and national aspects of climate policy, recognize the linkages and shape the deliberations for the new climate regime by taking substantive measures at home.

The climate treaty was negotiated in 1992 and twenty years later looking back at the approaches that have been adopted by the US, China and India raises questions on whether an effective multilateral treaty is at all feasible, and suggests the need for rapidly growing countries in Asia to review their climate policy. Anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases reflect changing patterns of energy use and the issue now is primarily about standards of living, and central to the domestic agenda of all countries.

China and India, because of their large number of poor, are going to be the major users of energy, and emitters, in the future. China has replaced the United States as the global economic powerhouse, plans to double its per-capita GDP in the next ten years, and it is likely its per-capita emissions will also double, reaching levels equal to those in the European Union. China will continue to account for roughly 30 per cent of global emissions until 2030. The issue is also critical for India, with 650 million less than 25 years of age of whom 400 million are below 15 years, it will continue to grow beyond 2060 whereas all the other major powers will stabilize around 2030, because of aging populations. The national interest now requires the Asian giants to take measures to deal with climate change in line with their energy transition. ….(more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

A Civil Action


2663KinkyCyborg

Uploaded on Feb 5, 2009

Trailer for the movie A Civil Action

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Welcometo MediaChannel!


MediaChannelOrg

Published on Jan 29, 2013

Editor-in-Chief, Danny Schechter aka “The News Dissector” welcoming everyone back to MediaChannel!

www.mediachannel.org

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Media

BBC News – Sea urchin nickel ‘trick’ could be key to capturing carbon

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21320666
4 February 2013 Last updated at 21:57 Et

By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, BBC News

A close up of the skeleton of a sea urchin which could help capture and store carbon

Researchers say that the natural ability of sea urchins to absorb CO2 could be a model for an effective carbon capture and storage system.

Newcastle University scientists discovered by chance that urchins use the metal nickel to turn carbon dioxide into shell.

They say the technique can be harnessed to turn emissions from power plants into the harmless calcium carbonate.

The research is in the journal, Catalysis Science and Technology.

“The beauty of a nickel catalyst is that it carries on working regardless of the pH….It is also very cheap, a thousand times cheaper than carbon anhydrase”

Gaurav Bhaduri Newcastle University
Many sea creatures convert carbon dioxide in the waters into calcium carbonate which is essentially chalk. Species such as clams, oysters and corals use it to make their shells and other bony parts. (more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

What Theda Skocpol gets right about the cap-and-trade fight | Grist

http://grist.org/climate-energy/what-theda-skocpol-gets-right-about-the-cap-and-trade-fight/

By David Roberts

Shutterstock

The great cap-and-trade battles of 2009-10 were, for me, the culmination of an obsession that began in earnest around 2006, when Democrats re-took the House. You may recall the heady days of the 2007 Democratic primaries, when all three of the serious candidates for president — Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards — had competing cap-and-trade plans, as did the eventual GOP nominee, John McCain. Back then it seemed extremely important to hash out the fine policy details. It was virtually all I thought about, for years on end.

In the end it all crashed and burned. There have been many partial (in both senses of the word) accounts of how that happened, and why, but it’s been the subject of remarkably little serious, scholarly attention. So I’m glad the Rockefeller Family Fund commissioned Harvard political scientist Theda Skocpol to do a deep dive into the story [PDF] and extract what lessons she could.             ….(more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

The road forward from cap-and-trade | Grist

http://grist.org/politics/the-road-forward-from-cap-and-trade/

By David Roberts

Shutterstock

This is the second part of a three-part response to Theda Skocpol’s report on the failure to pass a climate bill. Here’s part one and part three.

As I wrote yesterday, political scientist Theda Skocpol’s magisterial new assessment of the cap-and-trade fight [PDF] gets the diagnosis basically right: The radicalization of the Republican Party doomed the inside-game, partner-with-business strategy. Everything else followed from that.

When Skocpol pivots from diagnosis to prescription, however, things go a little hinky.

Much of her piece involves a comparison of the cap-and-trade bill with the healthcare reform bill (“Obamacare”), which moved forward at roughly the same time. One failed and one succeeded. Why?

Skocpol ascribes a great deal of significance to Health Care for America Now, a networked organization linking up grassroots groups in all 50 states. HCAN kept the inside D.C. negotiators working on health care connected to the grassroots. It advocated for the “left edge of the possible” — as Skocpol put it in an interview with Brad Plumer today, it “allowed people to push for the health care bill without feeling like they were selling out” — but above all, it kept pressure on legislators to move forward in the face of setbacks and fear.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Harvard professor has it right: U.S. climate push requires intense grassroots support around ‘cap-and-dividend’ bill | Grist

http://grist.org/climate-energy/harvard-professor-has-it-right-u-s-climate-push-requires-intense-grassroots-support-around-cap-and-dividend-bill/

By Mike Tidwell

In the past three weeks there’s been much debate in U.S. environmental circles over a provocative new paper [PDF] from Harvard University political scientist Theda Skocpol. In it, Skocpol gives the most compelling analysis yet of why the 2009 cap-and-trade bill to fight global warming went down in flames. In sum, Skocpol argues that intense and radical opposition from Tea Party Republicans proved much stronger than the environmentalists’ insider-game, partner-with-business, harness-polls-instead-of-the-grassroots approach.

My added value in commenting here is that I experienced the run-up to — and aftermath of — the failed Waxman-Markey bill from the field. I’ve been a grassroots climate organizer for 10 years, having founded the organization I still direct: the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. CCAN straddles much of the political landscape of America, organizing in the conservative “South” (Virginia) and the liberal “Northeast” (Maryland), while staying very involved in national climate initiatives in Washington, D.C., the geographic center of our region.

I saw from the church-basement view the rise of Tea Party opposition to Waxman-Markey and the insufficient grassroots organizing response from the major green groups. What efforts were made (Sierra Club stands out as well as the short-lived but respectable field effort of the group 1Sky) fell mostly on deaf ears since average people couldn’t comprehend the complexity of the cap-and-trade bill and could see no immediate and direct benefit in their lives.

Climate Progress blogger Joe Romm has joined many environmental heads in assigning cap-and-trade’s failure in large part to Obama’s lack of leadership for the bill. Plus the economy had tanked. These two factors are important, I agree, but they don’t get to the real heart of the problem.

Skocpol, on the other hand, from my field-based perspective, nails both the key problems and the solutions we need for moving forward. She is absolutely correct to call for a completely different legislative approach for the next big push on climate in Washington. She is correct in arguing that round two should be based on the policy of “cap-and-dividend” instead of cap-and-trade. David Roberts at Grist and others have applauded Skocpol’s criticism of the cap-and-trade campaign. But they are skeptical of her view that the best alternative is a policy that caps carbon emissions through permit auctions and then rebates the money directly to all U.S. citizens with a monthly check — cap-and-dividend….(more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120