Daily Archives: February 25, 2014

Drones at Work Worldwide, But US Still Lacks Laws

VOAvideo

Published on Feb 24, 2014

Commercial drones — the unmanned planes doing regular tasks — are in growing use around the world. Some assignments for these unmanned aircraft might surprise you, others will amaze you. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti reports on the countries leading the way and why the United States is so far behind.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Pentagon Will Cut Services and Benefits To Soldiers While Protecting Profits of Defense Industry


TheRealNews

Published on Feb 24, 2014

William Hartung: Those who fight the wars will face cuts, but not high-ranking military personnel or the companies that build weapons

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

NASA | MMS Engineering Challenges


NASA Goddard

Published on Feb 25, 2014

It’s hard enough to build one spacecraft, but the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) is building four. Together, the spacecraft will unlock the mysteries of magnetic reconnection, when magnetic fields explosively connect and disconnect, transferring energy. MMS will measure reconnection between the sun’s and Earth’s magnetic fields. We want to learn more about magnetic reconnection because it can affect systems like GPS, radio communication, and electrical power grids.

Follow the team’s progress at www.nasa.gov/MMS

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Greenwald: Spy Agencies Manipulate Information, Attack Reputations of Targets Online


democracynow

Published on Feb 25, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org – A new report based on leaks by Edward Snowden reveals new details of how Western spy agencies manipulate information online. Writing at TheIntercept.org, Glenn Greenwald describes the tactics of a secret unit inside Britain’s top spy agency called JTRIG, or Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group. JTRIG’s self-identified goals are to discredit targets by posting fake material — including, for example, fake blog posts purporting to be by a target’s victim

Coalgate: The Gateway Pacific terminal scandal | Climate Connections

http://climate-connections.org/2014/02/25/coalgate-the-gateway-pacific-terminal-scandal/

By Jay Taber, February 23, 2014. Source: Intercontinental Cry

Demonstrators outside the Gateway Pacific terminal public hearing on Oct 27, 2012. Photo: The Northern Light

In April 2013, when Philip Brendale advised attendees at the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA)-sponsored conference to seek funding from coal companies for an attack on Lummi Nation and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, he spoke from experience. As one of a handful of professional hate campaign entrepreneurs, who came from as far away as Wisconsin and California to teach anti-Indian organizers how to take on tribal governments, Brendale’s remarks at the Anti-Indian Conference were taken to heart. Urging Tea Party activists and other attendees to get organized, he offered his non-profit to serve as a conduit for coal company monies, which in turn could be used to, “take these tribes down.”

Sharing the stage with Brendale at the Bellingham Lakeway Inn on April 6 was Elaine Willman from Hobart, Wisconsin. Elaine is a board member of CERA, the national umbrella organization devoted to terminating tribal sovereignty in the United States. Presenting along side her were Lana Marcussen, CERA legal counsel from California, and Tom Williams, CERA board member from Lynden, Washington. Tom Williams, a member of the anti-immigrant Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, was the local conference organizer.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

BBC News – National Farmers’ Union condemns flooding plans

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26335155
25 February 2014 Last updated at 08:23 ET

The Environment Agency says it cannot protect all people and all properties from flooding
Related Stories

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has condemned “ludicrous” plans to flood farms on high ground to prevent homes and businesses in towns from being hit.

Engineers have proposed creating ponds and bogs on high ground to prevent rainfall rushing down hills and causing flooding.

However, NFU president Peter Kendall said farmland was “far too valuable”.

He said: “We have to put lives and human safety first but we have to put a higher priority on agricultural land.”

A £10m farming recovery fund, announced earlier this month by the prime minister, will open on Friday.

Farming Minister George Eustice told the NFU Conference in Birmingham the money would help flood-hit farmers in key areas, such as restoring grassland, restoring access to fields and improving field drainage.

All farmers affected by the floods would be able to apply for emergency funding of up to £5,000 under the scheme, covering up to 100% of their business costs, he said.

Experts say farmers in higher areas have contributed to recent flooding by straightening streams and draining bogs that used to capture rainfall.

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) says rainfall should in future be captured in upland areas by felling trees into streams to make them overflow.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

BBC News – Crystal is ‘oldest scrap of Earth crust’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26324968
24 February 2014 Last updated at 07:36 ET

Zircons are tough pieces of old rock incorporated into newer material
Related Stories

A tiny 4.4-billion-year-old crystal has been confirmed as the oldest fragment of Earth’s crust.

The zircon was found in sandstone in the Jack Hills region of Western Australia.

Scientists dated the crystal by studying its uranium and lead atoms. The former decays into the latter very slowly over time and can be used like a clock.

The finding has been reported in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Its implication is that Earth had formed a solid crust much sooner after its formation 4.6 billion years ago than was previously thought, and very quickly following the great collision with a Mars-sized body that is thought to have produced the Moon just a few tens of millions of years after that. Before this time, Earth would have been a seething ball of molten magma.

But knowledge that its surface hardened so early raises the tantalising prospect that our world became ready to host life very early in its history.

“This confirms our view of how the Earth cooled and became habitable,” said lead author Prof John Valley, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US.

“We have no evidence that life existed then. We have no evidence that it didn’t. But there is no reason why life could not have existed on Earth 4.3 billion years ago,” he told the Reuters news agency.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics