Daily Archives: July 19, 2014

Permafrost and the mysterious Sink Hole (Jamal, Siberia)


Published on Jul 19, 2014

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Evidence indicates that the Jamal sink hole (Siberia) has been caused by permafrost thaw (still investigated). New footage (July, 18 2014) shows the crater in more detail, and Dan Miller explains the interconnections of climate change and permafrost.

Siberia’s frozen soil — known as permafrost — contains millions of tons of methane gas. As the surface slowly warms, this gas begins to be released — and pools into highly volatile pockets. A mixture of water, salt and gas may have ignited an underground explosion. http://www.news.com.au/technology/env…

More on permafrost melting and the sink hole

Andrey Naumenko, OGTRK
Dan Miller, Fora TV

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S0 News July 19, 2014 | Electric Biology, Storms & Spaceweather


Published on Jul 19, 2014

Climate Change: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
Sun Series: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
Valuable Info: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
Comet Siding Spring: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…

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Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization: Richard Manning

Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization Paperback – January 13, 2005Against-the-grain
by Richard Manning (Author)

Richard Manning offers a dramatically revisionist view of recent human evolution, beginning with the vast increase in brain size that set us apart from our primate relatives and brought an accompanying increase in our need for nourishment. For 290,000 years, we managed to meet that need as hunter-gatherers, a state in which Manning believes we were at our most human: at our smartest, strongest, most sensually alive. But our reliance on food made a secure supply deeply attractive, and eventually we embarked upon the agricultural experiment that has been the history of our past 10,000 years.

The evolutionary road is littered with failed experiments, however, and Manning suggests that agriculture as we have practiced it runs against both our grain and nature’s. Drawing on the work of anthropologists, biologists, archaeologists, and philosophers, along with his own travels, he argues that not only our ecological ills-overpopulation, erosion, pollution-but our social and emotional malaise are rooted in the devil’s bargain we made in our not-so-distant past. And he offers personal, achievable ways we might re-contour the path we have taken to resurrect what is most sustainable and sustaining in our own nature and the planet’s.

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Chomsky: The System We Have Now Is Radically Anti-Democratic

The Real News Network / By Chris Hedges
A fascinating, wide-ranging interview on major issues facing the public.


Noam Chomsky
Photo Credit: The Real News Network  July 16, 2014 |

All three videos featuring Chris Hedges’ interview with Noam Chomsky are embedded at the bottom of this post.

CHRIS HEDGES, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Let’s begin with a classic paradigm which is throughout the Industrial Revolution, which has been cited by theorists from Marx to Kropotkin to Proudhon and to yourself, that you build a consciousness among workers within the manufacturing class, and eventually you lead to a kind of autonomous position where workers can control their own production.

We now live in a system, a globalized system, where most of the working class in industrial countries like the United States are service workers. We have reverted to a Dickensian system where those who actually produced live in conditions that begin to replicate almost slave labor–and, I think, as you have written, in places like southern China in fact are slave [labor]. What’s the new paradigm for resistance? You know, how do we learn from the old and confront the new?

NOAM CHOMSKY, LINGUIST AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think we can draw many very good lessons from the early period of the Industrial Revolution. It was, of course, earlier in England, but let’s take here in the United States. The Industrial Revolution took off right around here, eastern Massachusetts, mid 19th century. This was a period when independent farmers were being driven into the industrial system–men and women, incidentally, women from the farms, so-called factory girls–and they bitterly resented it. It was a period of a very free press, the most in the history of the country. There was a wide variety of journals, ethnic, labor, or others. And when you read them, they’re pretty fascinating.

…(read more).

Interview Part 1

Interview Part 2

Interview Part 3

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Exposed: How Creationists in Texas Are Putting Pressure on Schoolbook Publishers to Bring God into Biology | Alternet

AlterNet / By Dan Arel

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

July 10, 2014 |
A special interest creationist group is trying to undermine science education by challenging information presented in a school textbook.

It seems creationists in Texas have resorted to bullying and lying in an attempt to force evolution out of the classroom.

In November of 2013 the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) adopted new science standards for its textbooks that will bring evolution into the Texas public school classroom.

All eyes were on Texas as the SBOE voted on the new proposed changes to the science curriculum that would change textbooks around the US. Texas is the largest purchaser of public school textbooks and because publishers do not want to publish different textbooks around the US, they look towards Texas for what they will be including in the new books each year. As goes Texas, goes the nation.

This can be bad news if special interest groups such as the misleadingly named group, Educational Research Analysts (ERA), get their way. The ERA is a creationists lobbying group that stood firmly against the 2013 decision to introduce evolution into the Texas classrooms.

Neil Frey, acting on behalf of ERA has been aggressively lobbying since the decision to change much of the wording in the textbooks. Frey’s complaint, filed with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) alleges that Pearson Education’s high school biology textbook is wrong in explaining the close similarities between chimpanzee and human DNA. The textbook states that scientific evidence shows that chimpanzees are the closest living genetic relatives of humans.

Of course, chimps are in fact the closest living relative to humans, but creationists do not like that, so they file complaints. Pearson responded to these claims, disputing all of Frey’s complaints, stating that making these changes would be misleading to a student’s education.

…(read more).

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BBC News – Public butterfly count aims to check countryside health

18 July 2014 Last updated at 03:34 ET
By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC News

Conservationists want people to spend 15 minutes spotting common butterflies like the small tortoiseshell

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The charity Butterfly Conservation is calling on the public to help survey the state of Britain’s countryside by counting our most colourful insects.

For two weeks from 19 July, the charity is asking people to spend 15 minutes “in a sunny spot” and note how many of 21 common species they spot.

Butterfly Conservation said that the insects were the most visible indicator of whether the countryside was healthy.

The online survey is now in its fifth year.

“The idea that a generation of children is growing up without being able to identify a single tree, bird or butterfly is really sad” Richard Fox Butterfly Conservation

“Butterfly numbers go up and down with the weather, so it’s important to keep this survey running in the long term,” said Butterfly Conservation’s surveys manager Richard Fox.

“[But] we also want people to engage with the natural world. Everyone should know the names of a small tortoiseshell, a comma and a red admiral.

“It’s part of our natural heritage – like the sparrows and the oak trees – and the idea that a generation of children is growing up without being able to identify a single tree, bird or butterfly is really sad.”

The conservation charity will be looking at this year’s survey results to see if the boost in butterfly numbers that followed the fine summer weather of 2013 has continued.

…(read more).

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BBC News – Sulphur surplus: Up to our necks in a diabolical element

18 July 2014 Last updated at 19:19 ETBy Laurence Knight BBC World Service

In today’s Magazine

Sulphur has many uses, from making acid to stiffening rubber, but right now we have more than we need – a lot more. It’s worth hanging on to, though, because one day it may help feed the world.

“A sulphur mine in Sicily is about the nearest thing to a hell that is conceivable in my opinion.” So wrote the American author Booker T Washington in 1911, referring to what was at the time the world’s main source of this distinctive yellow mineral.

Washington, a former slave, was moved by the plight of the young children forced to work 10-hour shifts underground on the slopes of Mount Etna, carrying heavy loads in unbearable temperatures. But element 16 of the periodic table has a long cultural association with Satan and the underworld.

The most obvious reason for this is its connection with volcanoes and hot springs, where gases – hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide – emerge from the Earth’s fiery bowels, and react with one another to form sulphur and water.

But sulphur’s association with volcanoes is only one of its demonic properties, as Prof Andrea Sella of University College London demonstrates at a hairdressers’ salon in central London.

…(read more).

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BBC News – Italy migrants: Nineteen ‘suffocate’ aboard boat from Africa

19 July 2014 Last updated at 07:18 ET

Thousands of migrants have risked their lives to reach Italy this year
Migrant tragedy

Nineteen migrants have died, reportedly by suffocating, aboard a crowded boat travelling from North Africa to Italy.

The migrants are thought to have choked on fumes from an old engine while they were confined below deck, Italian news agency Ansa reports.

Rescuers found 18 people in a tangle of bodies. Another person is said to have died during the evacuation. The boat was carrying some 600 people.

Italy is struggling to cope with a rising flow of migrants to its shores.

Many of them make the dangerous crossing from Africa on crowded and unseaworthy vessels, says the BBC’s Rome correspondent, Alan Johnston.

The boat in the latest incident was heading for the Italian island of Lampedusa. It was intercepted after it sent out an SOS signal.

…(read more).

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Climate Change Will Be Costly for U.S. Economy, Says Report | WholeFoods Magazine

Though many fondly remember the 1983 Tom Cruise film, the phrase “Risky Business” recently took on darker connotations. It’s the name of a new report on the economic risks of climate change, organized by former U.S. Treasury secretary Henry Paulson, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, in which business leaders are challenged to view global warming as they would any other serious risk to their bottom line.

Economic research firm Rhodium Group partnered with Risk Management Solutions (RMS), which performs catastrophe modeling for insurance purposes, to compile the data. The resulting report estimates the economic impact of climate change in several ways. One major predicted consequences is damage to coastal infrastructure due to rising sea levels. According to the findings of the Risky Business Project, between $66 billion and $106 billion worth of existing U.S. coastal property are on track to be below sea level by 2050. By 2100, that range rises to between $238 billion and $507 billion.

In parts of the country where temperatures may rise the most, demand for electricity will surge due to an increased need for air conditioning. This, in turn, will strain existing infrastructure and increase costs for consumers. The report also notes that rising temperatures stand to decrease the productivity of outdoor laborers (such as construction and agricultural workers) by up to 3%, causing economic damage.

Dramatic harm to agricultural production, a potential risk often cited in discussions of climate change, may be felt regionally, the report emphasized. Unless crops and farmers can adapt, extreme heat in the Southeast, lower Great Plains, and Midwest may lead to 50–70% losses in average annual crop yields for species like corn, soy, cotton and wheat. Though this may be offset on a national scale by gains in crop yields for Northern farmers, the impacts on local economies may be negative and significant.

…(read more).

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New Map Reveals Worldwide Impacts of Climate Change

From: Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Mark Simmonds MP History: Published 16 July 2014 Part of: Supporting international action on climate change, Climate change and Foreign affairs

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office today launched a new map to show the impact of global climate change.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office today launched a new map to show the impact climate change could have on the whole planet by the end of the century if carbon emissions continue to increase.

The Human Dynamics of Climate Change map, developed by the Met Office Hadley Centre shows a range of potential impacts:

  • Temperatures on the warmest days of the year rising by 6°C or more across Europe, parts of Asia and part of North America
  • An increase in risk of flooding across 70% of Asia
  • The number of days of drought going up by more than 20% in parts of South America, Australia and Southern Africa
  • Maize yields falling by up to 12% in Central America
  • Sea temperatures rising by up to 4°C in some parts of the world
  • Millions of people flooded due to sea level rise, particularly in East, Southeast and South Asia

The map illustrates how climate change could affect the global economy as regions connected by trade are affected by changes in crop yield, droughts, flooding and high temperatures. It also shows how many already water-stressed regions of the world could face an increase in the frequency and duration of droughts, at the same time as an increase in demand for water for agriculture and for the consumption of a growing population.

Foreign Office Minister, Mark Simmonds said:

This map shows how the impacts of climate change on one part of the world will affect countries in other parts of the world, particularly through the global trade in food. This reinforces the point that climate change is a global problem: no country is immune, and we all need to work together to reduce the risks to our shared prosperity and security.

Dame Julia Slingo, the Met Office Chief Scientist, said:

We’ve used the latest science to assess how potential changes in our climate will impact people around the world. This map presents that information together for the first time. While we see both positive and negative impacts, the risks vastly outweigh any potential opportunities.

The launch event included a discussion on climate change led by Sir David King, the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change and Sir Mark Walport, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

Find the map here.

The British Government considers climate change to present a great risk to our future global prosperity and security. So as well as reducing emissions domestically, the UK is also working closely with a wide range of countries to achieve effective global action to limit climate change to 2°C. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office uses its worldwide network of Embassies and High Commissions to support this effort.

Further information

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