Daily Archives: August 13, 2014

Bottled Water Comes From the Most Drought-Ridden Places in the Country | Mother Jones

Popular brands like Aquafina and Dasani source from catastrophically dry parts of the West.

—By Julia Lurie

| Mon Aug. 11, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

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Bottled-water drinkers, we have a problem: There’s a good chance that your water comes from California, a state experiencing the third-driest year on record.

The details of where and how bottling companies get their water are often quite murky, but generally speaking, bottled water falls into two categories. The first is “spring water,” or groundwater that’s collected, according to the EPA, “at the point where water flows naturally to the earth’s surface or from a borehole that taps into the underground source.” About 55 percent of bottled water in the United States is spring water, including Crystal Geyser and Arrowhead.

The other 45 percent comes from the municipal water supply, meaning that companies, including Aquafina and Dasani, simply treat tap water—the same stuff that comes out of your faucet at home—and bottle it up. (Weird, right?)

But regardless of whether companies bottle from springs or the tap, lots of them are using water in exactly the areas that need it most right now.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
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Winners and Losers in a Leaderless World — Ian Bremmer

ChathamHouse10

Published on May 11, 2012

Ian Bremmer of Eurasia Group takes a sprint round the world asking ‘if not the US, who?’ stopping off in the China, Russia, the EU and more.
At Chatham House on 10 May 2012

Transcript, video and more details at http://www.chathamhouse.org/events/vi…

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Global Ethics Forum: Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2014 with Ian Bremmer

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

Published on Mar 5, 2014

So what should we look out for in 2014? “The economic risks are receding. The geopolitical risks are becoming more important,” says political risk guru Ian Bremmer. Don’t miss this entertaining but fact-filled talk for insights on global affairs, from U.S. foreign policy, to the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and emerging markets.

For full transcript and audio and video clips from this event, please go to http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/studio…

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Global Ethics Forum: Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2013 with Ian Bremmer

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

Published on Mar 7, 2013

What are the top political risks for 2013? Are we understating the risks for emerging markets? And what is the future of China? Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer shares the answers from his annual report.

For complete, audio and transcript, and video clips from this event, please go to http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/studio….

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2011


WGBHForum

Published on Aug 13, 2014

In this lively discussion, economist Daniel Altman, political scientist expert Ian Bremmer, and economic and political analyst Zachary Karabell present what each sees as the top risks for this year—and well beyond.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Do These Bubbles Signal the Start of Rapid Climate Change?

Do These Bubbles Signal the Start of Rapid Climate Change?

by John Light

First it was mysterious craters appearing in Siberia — possibly the result of the Earth belching methane as permafrost thaws and collapses.

Then scientists observed methane gas bubbling to the surface from the sea floor in the Arctic Ocean, where for eons it lay trapped in a flammable slush. The researchers who discovered the plumes — a joint team of Americans, Swedes and Russians on an expedition called the SWERUS-C3 — suspect the methane is escaping due to an influx of warmer water from the Atlantic Ocean, which, in turn, could be tied to climate change.
The release of methane on a large scale has long worried scientists. The greenhouse gas is 20 times more damaging to the Earth over a 100-year period than CO2, and is even more potent in the short term. Should the deposits trapped within the Arctic escape into the air, it could kick off a highly destructive climate feedback loop: The methane would cause rapid warming, which would melt more of the Arctic, which would release more methane, which would cause more warming.

….(read more).
related:

  • By the Way, Your Home Is on Fire: Climate Change and the Dangers of Stasis

  • Climate Change: ‘Abrupt,’ ‘Unpredictable,’ ‘Irreversible’ and ‘Highly Damaging’

  • The National Climate Assessment Says We’re in Trouble. This Chart Shows Why.

  • The Relentless Attack on Climate Scientist Ben Santer

  • How Obama’s New CO2 Rules May Break Our Climate Stalemate With China

  • The 95 Percent Doctrine: Climate Change as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

There’s Another Mammoth Global Trade Agreement You’ve Never Heard Of

August 12, 2014
by Cole Stangler

This post first appeared at In These Times.

(Graphic: In These Times)

Most progressives are, by now, familiar with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the proposed trade deal that would link the United States with Pacific Rim powerhouses like Australia and Japan. Wonkier corners of the left are equally conversant in the intrigue of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a pact that would couple the United States and the European Union. Like-minded critics would do well by memorizing yet another trade acronym: TISA, or the Trade in Services Agreement. Judging by the stakes and the ultra-secrecy of the negotiations, it could easily be the worst of the bunch.

Here’s what we know: Fifty countries, including the United States, the EU nations, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey, have been in TISA talks since 2012. The resulting agreement will set the terms for almost 70 percent of global trade in “services”: everything from banking and construction to telecom and tourism.

The public got its first glimpse of the treaty on June 19, when WikiLeaks published a draft of the agreement’s chapter on financial services. It wasn’t pretty. The text included proposals to extend new “market access” guarantees to all participating states and fresh limits on the ability of nations to “discriminate” against foreign financial firms. The section hasn’t been finalized, but the leak confirmed what TISA skeptics feared: The United States and EU are leading the charge to block countries from imposing domestic regulations on the multi-trillion-dollar services industries.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice