Daily Archives: February 13, 2013

Eco-Economy Indicators – Global Temperature – Warmest Decade on Record Brings Record Temperatures and Weather Extremes

http://www.earth-policy.org/indicators/C51/temperature_2013
February 13, 2013
Warmest Decade on Record Brings Record Temperatures and Weather Extremes
Janet Larsen

In recent years weather events have whiplashed between the extremes of heat and cold, flooding and drought. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases—largely from the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas—have loaded up in the atmosphere, heating the planet and pushing humanity onto a climatic seesaw of weather irregularities. High-temperature records in many places are already being broken with startling frequency, and hotter temperatures are in store. Without a dramatic reduction in fossil fuel use, we will veer even further away from the “normal” temperatures and weather patterns that civilization is adapted to.

The world has warmed by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) since the Industrial Revolution, with most of the rise in temperature coming since the 1970s. Such rapid warming is unprecedented over at least 20,000 years. The average global temperature in 2012 was 58.2 degrees Fahrenheit (14.56 degrees Celsius). This sets it among the 10 warmest years on record—all of which, according to NASA data dating back to 1880, have occurred in the last 14 years. (See data.)

The two headline-dominating weather events of 2012 both occurred in the United States: the intense summertime drought and heat that baked the country’s midsection and Superstorm Sandy, which clobbered the East Coast in late October. Overall, 2012 was the hottest year in U.S. history, topping the twentieth-century average by more than 3 degrees Fahrenheit. ….(more).

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The 2013 State of the Union Address (Enhanced Version)


whitehouse

Published on Feb 12, 2013

President Obama delivers the 2013 State of the Union address to Congress and the nation.

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

Food, drink industries undermine health policy, study finds | Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/12/health-chronic-disease-idUSL5N0BB63Y20130212

Related News

Analysis & Opinion

Related Topics

Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:01pm EST

* Study criticises involvement in health policy

* Says industry-sponsored research biased

* Recommends more external regulation

By Kate Kelland

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Multinational food, drink and alcohol companies are using strategies similar to those employed by the tobacco industry to undermine public health policies, health experts said on Tuesday.

In an international analysis of involvement by so-called “unhealthy commodity” companies in health policy-making, researchers from Australia, Britain, Brazil and elsewhere said self-regulation was failing and it was time the industry was regulated more stringently from outside.

The researchers said that through the aggressive marketing of ultra-processed food and drink, multinational companies were now major drivers of the world’s growing epidemic of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Writing in The Lancet medical journal, the researchers cited industry documents they said revealed how companies seek to shape health legislation and avoid regulation.

This is done by “building financial and institutional relations” with health professionals, non-governmental organisations and health agencies, distorting research findings, and lobbying politicians to oppose health reforms, they said….. (more)

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Public Health

NY Fracking Scandal: Seven Groups Demand Conflict of Interest Investigation of Cuomo Administration

http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/02/11/ny-fracking-scandal-groups-call-district-attorney-general-investigation

Mon, 2013-02-11 10:49Steve Horn

New York could soon become the newest state in the union to allow hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the controversial technique used to enable shale oil and gas extraction. The green light from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo could transpire in as little as “a couple of weeks,” according to journalist and author Tom Wilber.

That timeline, of course, assumes things don’t take any crazy twists or turns.

Enter a press conference today in Albany, where seven groups, including Public Citizen, Food and Water Watch, Frack Action, United for Action, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, and Capital District Against Fracking, called for an Albany County District Attorney General investigation of the Cuomo Administration.

They are asking “whether Lawrence Schwartz, Secretary to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, has a conflict of interest between his stock investments and his involvement in the state’s decision on whether to allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing for shale gas.”

Schwartz – dubbed “the ringleader” of Governor Cuomo’s administration – potentially has what these groups describe as a legal conflict-of-interest. A months-long DeSmogBlog investigation reveals that Cuomo’s chief-of-staff actually has a direct financial interest in fracking going forward in New York state, potentially falling under the sphere of insider trading. (more).

Desmogblog (http://s.tt/1zEeF)

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350.org

http://www.youtube.com/user/350org/videos?view=1&flow=grid

http://www.youtube.com/user/350org/videos?flow=grid&view=0

http://www.youtube.com/user/350org

350.org is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are led from the bottom up by thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries.

Civil debate is welcome. We ask you be respectful of individuals in the videos and other commenters. Comments failing to do so will be removed.

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

Noam Chomsky – Forgotten History


fakegjfkler

Published on May 12, 2012

Noam Chomsky’s talk “Forgotten History”

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SOTU: Do Policy Proposals Live up to Rhetoric on Wages and Climate Change?

!
TheRealNews

Published on Feb 13, 2013

Gerald Epstein: Language on wages and climate change could help shift the debate but policy proposals tied to interests of finance and private sector

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Support Civil Disobedience at the White House – February 13th, 2013 | 350.org

Ash-Wednesday-WH

http://350.org/en/support-civil-disobedience-white-house-february-13th-2013-0

These are some of the people risking arrest in front of the White House today, to stop Keystone XL and demand action on climate change. See a full list of participants by clicking here.

Please share their messages.

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BBC Science – Why can’t we beat viruses?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/21143412
24 January 2013 Last updated at 17:20

Every winter, cold and flu sweep across the country, bringing aches, runny noses and fever to millions. The flu virus can kill vulnerable people and a full-blown pandemic can cause a national health crisis.

Continue reading the main story

Viruses – the top killers

  • Ebola haemorrhagic fever 90% of people infected likely to die in outbreaks [WHO]
  • Rabies 100% of people infected will die [NHS]
  • Small pox 30% of people infected will die in outbreaks [WHO]
  • Yellow fever 20% of people severely infected will die [WHO]
  • Spanish influenza 2.5% of infected died in the 1918 outbreak [CDC]

Scientists have been studying viruses for years. Some, like measles and smallpox, can be defeated with vaccines and drugs.

But some viruses return every year to wreak havoc. So why are they so hard to beat?

How a virus works

Viruses are about a hundred times smaller than human cells. They come in many different shapes and are present wherever there are cells to infect. In fact, viruses are the most common biological unit on Earth, outnumbering all other types put together.

The different parts of a typical virus

When a virus enters our body it tries to attack a cell. (more).

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BBC News – Cryosat spots Arctic sea-ice loss in autumn

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21437680
13 February 2013 Last updated at 05:01 ET=
By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News

The Arctic has experienced rapid change in recent years
Continue reading the main story

Related Stories

The dramatic recent decline in Arctic sea-ice cover is illustrated in new data from Europe’s Cryosat mission.

The spacecraft, which uses radar to estimate the thickness of marine floes, has observed a deep reduction in the volume of ice during autumn months.

For the years 2010-2012, this is down a third compared with data for 2003-2008.

For winter months, the fall in volume is not so great – down 9% over the same period.

A lot of thicker ice appears to have been lost from a region to the north of Greenland, the Canadian archipelago, and to a lesser extent the northeast of Svalbard.

  • The Arctic region contains a vast ice-covered ocean roughly centred on the Earth’s geographic North Pole
  • The Sun doesn’t rise at all on the shortest day of the year within the Arctic Circle
  • Humans have inhabited the Arctic region for thousands of years and the current population is four million
  • Geologists estimate the Arctic may hold up to 25% of the world’s remaining oil and natural gas

We have become accustomed to the big retreats in sea-ice area that occur in summer. Last year saw the smallest extent yet measured in the satellite era. …(more).

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