Daily Archives: January 3, 2014

BBC News – US and Canada snowstorm causes travel chaos

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25592058
3 January 2014 Last updated at 14:17 ET

Some schools and offices were shut ahead of the storm, with people urged to stay at home

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A winter storm has blanketed parts of Canada and the north-eastern US with up to 2ft (61cm) of snow.

The storm has been blamed for 11 deaths and forced the cancellation of more than 4,000 flights since Wednesday.

With the wind chill, the temperature dropped as low as -29C (-20F) in Toronto and -38C in Quebec City, the lowest seen in two decades.

Authorities warned residents to remain indoors, both for their own safety and to keep roads clear for snow removal.

Coastal warnings

At the scene

Nada Tawfik BBC News, New York

You can hear the wind howling from indoors. It makes the already freezing temperatures that much harder to bear.

But New Yorkers and those from the US east coast are used to snow. So despite officials warning people to stay indoors, some have grabbed their gloves and sleds for a bit of winter fun.

Tourists in Times Square were even spotted having a snowball fight. But these conditions are harsh. The temperatures are cold enough to cause frostbite in 30 minutes or less.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was sworn into office on 1 January, said most of the city’s main roads had been cleared of snow thanks to an “extraordinary job” by the city’s sanitation workers.

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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

Fukushima, a Global Conspiracy of Denial

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/271-38/21308-fukushima-a-global-conspiracy-of-denial

Evacuees in protective suits remember the Fukushima disaster. (photo: Kim Kyung-hoon/Reuters)

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News
03 January 14

Does anyone in authority anywhere tell the truth about Fukushima?

f there is any government or non-government authority in the world that is addressing the disaster at Fukushima openly, directly, honestly, and effectively, it’s not apparent to the outside observer what entity that might be.

There is instead an apparent global conspiracy of authorities of all sorts to deny to the public reliably accurate, comprehensible, independently verifiable (where possible), and comprehensive information about not only the condition of the Fukushima power plant itself and its surrounding communities, but about the unceasing, uncontrolled release of radioactive debris into the air and water, creating a constantly increasing risk of growing harm to the global community.

While the risk may still be miniscule in most places, the range of risk rises to lethal in Fukushima itself. With the radioactive waste of four nuclear reactors (three of them in meltdown) under uncertain control for almost three years now, the risk of lethal exposure is very real for plant workers, and may decrease with distance from the plant, but may be calculable for anyone on the planet. No one seems to know. No one seems to have done the calculation. No one with access to the necessary information (assuming it exists) seems to want to do the calculation.

There is no moral excuse for this international collusion. The excuses are political or economic or social, but none of them excuses any authority for withholding or lying about information that has potentially universal and destructive impact on everyone alive today and everyone to be born for some unknown generations.

Japanese authorities may be the worst current offenders against the truth, as well as the health and safety of their people. Now the Japanese government has passed a harsh state secrets law that threatens to reduce or eliminate reliable information about Fukushima. The U.S. government officially applauded this heightened secrecy, while continuing its own tight control on nuclear information. Japanese authorities are already attacking their own people in defense of nuclear power: not only under-measuring and ignoring varieties of radioactive threat, but even withholding the iodine pills in 2011 that might have mitigated the growing epidemic of thyroid issues today. Failing to confront Fukushima honestly, the Japanese are laying the basis for what could amount to a radiological sneak attack on the rest of the world.

For further Fukushima updates bookmark: https://environmentaljusticetv.wordpress.com/?s=Fukushima

…(read 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

Climate Change Worse Than We Thought, Likely To Be ‘Catastrophic Rather Than Simply Dangerous’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/31/climate-change-worse_n_4523828.html

The Huffington Post | By Nick Visser Posted: 12/31/2013 10:48 am EST

Climate change may be far worse than scientists thought, causing global temperatures to rise by at least 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, or about 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Nature, takes a fresh look at clouds’ effect on the planet, according to a report by The Guardian. The research found that as the planet heats, fewer sunlight-reflecting clouds form, causing temperatures to rise further in an upward spiral.

That number is double what many governments agree is the threshold for dangerous warming. Aside from dramatic environmental shifts like melting sea ice, many of the ills of the modern world — starvation, poverty, war and disease

Climate Change Could Put One-Fifth Of World’s Population In Severe Water Shortage

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/03/3113981/climate-change-water-shortage/

By Ari Phillips on January 3, 2014 at 9:32 am

CREDIT: shutterstock

A new study by a diverse group of researchers from twelve countries found that of the human impacts stemming from climate change, the threat it poses to global water supplies may be the most severe.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and reported in the journal Nature, the researchers found that if global temperatures rise by an average of 2°C, up to a fifth of the global population will suffer from severe water shortages. Recent research has shown that a minimum average temperature of rise of 2°C by 2100 is becoming an accepted likelihood, even though just a few years ago it had been the stated benchmark that scientists hoped to remain beneath. A new study published in the journal Nature shows that temperatures will rise by at least 4°C by 2100 and potentially more than 8°C by 2200 if carbon dioxide emissions are not reduced.

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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
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

FreeSpeechTV – Video Feeds

http://www.youtube.com/user/freespeechtv?feature=watch

Free Speech TV is an independent, 24-hour television network and multi-platform digital news source with news, stories and perspectives you won’t find anywhere else. A non-profit, public interest network, FSTV is publicly supported by its viewers and by philanthropic foundations. FSTV inspires viewers to become civilly engaged to build a more just, equitable and sustainable society.

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
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Global and domestic socioeconomic disparities of climate change

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/12/global-domestic-socioeconomic-disparities-climate-change-20131216122233882931.html

Climate change disproportionately affects those from lower social classes.
Last updated: 03 Jan 2014 09:12
Saleena Subaiya

Saleena Subaiya is an epidemiologist who has conducted several post-disaster hurricane needs assessments within Queens, New York City. She is currently working as an emergency medicine resident in New York City.

Poorer communities have not been able to recover completely from the destruction that Hurricane Sandy brought [AP]

In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, debate about climate change has come to the forefront of our agenda. While the media pontificates if this was truly the wrath of global warming, there is a more important discussion to be held: the disparate effect that natural disasters have on poorer nations and the role of Western governments to mitigate this. However, what we fail to realise is that the climate crisis has an identical effect on poorer individuals. In the instance of tropical storms, the Philippines will be faced with years of rebuilding to restore normalcy. Similarly, within New York City there are people still attempting to return to their life before Hurricane Sandy.

As an epidemiologist I carried out several surveys following Sandy within a heavily hit region in Queens, NYC focusing on how socioeconomic status impacts recovery. Seventeen days after the storm, I arrived to the Rockaway Peninsula armed with a survey recommended by the Center for Disease Control and the goal of identifying vulnerable populations and their needs. My enthusiasm resonated with optimistic volunteers who had set up supplies and water distribution, former army vets rebuilding homes, and neighbours sharing meals on coal grills in the open air.

I met people from many different walks of life. However, it soon became clear that although Hurricane Sandy did not discriminate who it affected, there were certain groups that struggled more. As we canvassed, the now unrecognisable million-dollar beach homes gave way to poorer neighbourhoods and I discovered whole new sets of problems. People were struggling for food, and several reported going hungry for days.

….(read 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
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Kerry Quietly Makes Priority of Climate Pact – NYTimes.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/world/asia/kerry-shifts-state-department-focus-to-environment.html

Pool photo by Brendan Smialowski

Secretary of State John Kerry, center, arrived outside Tel Aviv on Thursday. His work on the Middle East has drawn more attention than his environmental efforts.

By CORAL DAVENPORT
Published: January 2, 201

WASHINGTON — As a young naval officer in Vietnam, John Kerry commanded a Swift boat up the dangerous rivers of the Mekong Delta. But when he returned there last month as secretary of state for the first time since 1969, he spoke not of past firefights but of climate change.

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“Decades ago, on these very waters, I was one of many who witnessed the difficult period in our shared history,” Mr. Kerry told students gathered on the banks of the Cai Nuoc River. He drew a connection from the Mekong Delta’s troubled past to its imperiled future. “This is one of the two or three most potentially impacted areas in the world with respect to the effects of climate change,” he said.

In his first year as secretary of state, Mr. Kerry joined with the Russians to push Syria to turn over its chemical weapons, persuaded the Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct peace talks, and played the closing role in the interim nuclear agreement with Iran. But while the public’s attention has been on his diplomacy in the Middle East, behind the scenes at the State Department Mr. Kerry has initiated a systematic, top-down push to create an agencywide focus on global warming.

….(read more).

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