Daily Archives: September 9, 2014

Ferguson kids puts out “Dear White People” PSA


BlackTree TV

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Published on Sep 9, 2014

A month to the day after unarmed black teenager Mike Brown was gunned down by a white police officer, children from the very neighborhood that was ground zero for America’s largest racial tension flare-up in decades marked the day with the release of a mockingly funny and slickly produced Internet video. The sometimes brutally blunt clip directly targets whites who believe racism in America is over. In the video, children from 13 to as young as 6 years old list off shocking statistics about the racism their generation faces and humorously lampoon common statements from white people who claim racism is a thing of the past. In the clip Ferguson kids use biting humor to take down the myth of the “race card” and sarcastically skewer certain white people’s claims that “some of my best friends are black” and that they “don’t see color.” The kids appear in the video sporting black T-shirts with bold white text declaring “Racism Is Not Over. But I’m Over Racism.” The video is part of advocacy T-shirt companyFCKH8.com’s charity T-shirt fundraising effort. The group’s website is making tees available starting at $13, with $5 from each tee sold benefiting five anti-racism organizations and projects.

The video can bee seen at: http://FCKH8.com/

Quotes from “Hey White People”:

“We just want an equal shot in life, not to be shot to death.”

“Just because Beyoncé is on your playlist and you voted for Obama, doesn’t mean that our generation has seen the end of racist drama.”

“Employers don’t even have to see the color of our skin for the discrimination to begin. Resumes with ‘black sounding’ names like Tanisha and Tyron are 50% less likely to get called in for a job interview than the exact same resumes with white sounding names.”

Kid Mocking White Person: “Some of my best friends are black.” Kid Sarcastically Holding Cookie: “You get a cookie!”

Video producer Marcus Kon comments, “We wanted to give a voice to kids from Ferguson who have to grow up facing racism that most white people do not want to acknowledge still exists. It’s a wake up call for America from racism’s new ground zero.” He added, “All of the children featured in the video were auditioned and cast right there on the sidewalk next to where Mike Brown was gunned down. This could have been any one of them. Working with the kids and their parents, some of whom saw the shooting with their own eyes, was emotional and powerful and it all comes across in the video.”

Video director Luke Montgomery offered, “Some white people may be uncomfortable with the blunt tone of how these articulate and adorable Ferguson kids point out the racism they still face at the hands of white people. As a white guy myself, I’m OK with that.” He added, “If they think hearing about racism is difficult, they should try being black and living in America. Us white people need to erase it, and the first step is to own up and face it.”

Sales of the “Racism Is Not Over. But I’m Over Racism” T-shirts and hoodies featured in the video will benefit five different anti-racism organizations and projects. From each sale, a $5 donation will be split between the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, NAACP, The Brown Memorial Fund, Race Forward, and Crossroads Anti-racism Organizing & Training.

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Champions of Change: Individual and Community Preparedness


The White House

Published on Sep 9, 2014

On September 9, 2014, the White House honored Champions of Change who are working to help individuals and communities prepare for natural disasters and to build a safer and more resilient nation.

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Record Greenhouse Gas Levels Impact Atmosphere and Oceans

Press Release No. 1002

For use of the information media
Not an official record

Record Greenhouse Gas Levels Impact Atmosphere and Oceans

Carbon Dioxide Concentration Surges

Geneva, 9 September 2014 (WMO) – The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide. This is according to the World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which injected even greater urgency into the need for concerted international action against accelerating and potentially devastating climate change.

The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that between 1990 and 2013 there was a 34% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide.

In 2013, concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 142% of the pre-industrial era (1750), and of methane and nitrous oxide 253% and 121% respectively.

The observations from WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) network showed that CO2 levels increased more between 2012 and 2013 than during any other year since 1984. Preliminary data indicated that this was possibly related to reduced CO2 uptake by the earth’s biosphere in addition to the steadily increasing CO2 emissions.

The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports on atmospheric concentrations – and not emissions – of greenhouse gases. Emissions represent what goes into the atmosphere. Concentrations represent what remains in the atmosphere after the complex system of interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans. About a quarter of the total emissions are taken up by the oceans and another quarter by the biosphere, reducing in this way the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

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What Would Happen if a Super Volcanic Eruption Happens Again ?


The Destruction Zone

Published on Jan 12, 2014

The largest volcanic eruption of the past two million years occurred on the Indonesian island of Sumatra some 75,000 years ago. The impact from the supervolcano Lake Toba decimated the local habitat, but gas, ash and debris from Toba made their way around the planet and formed a shield in the atmosphere that deflected the sun’s warming rays. Temperatures plummeted and the planet was thrown into a volcanic winter and may have even pushed the planet into an ice age. 3-D computer animation will recreate the storm and unveil how this one volcano could have brought humanity to the edge of extinction.

A supervolcano is any volcano capable of producing a volcanic eruption with an ejecta volume greater than 1,000 km3 (240 cu mi). This is thousands of times larger than normal volcanic eruptions. Supervolcanoes can occur either when magma in the mantle rises into the crust from a hotspot but is unable to break through the crust, thus pressure builds in a large and growing magma pool until the crust is unable to contain the pressure (This is the case for the Yellowstone Caldera), but they can also form at convergent plate boundaries (for example, Toba).

Although there are only a handful of Quaternary supervolcanoes, supervolcanic eruptions typically cover huge areas with lava and volcanic ash and cause a long-lasting change to weather (such as the triggering of a small ice age) sufficient to threaten species with extinction.

Terminology

The origin of the term “supervolcano” is linked to an early 20th-century scientific debate about the geological history and features of the Three Sisters volcanic region of Oregon, U.S.A. In 1925, Edwin T. Hodge suggested that a very large volcano, which he named Mount Multnomah, had existed in that region. He believed that several peaks in the Three Sisters area are the remnants left after Mount Multnomah had been largely destroyed by violent volcanic explosions, similar to Mount Mazama. In 1948, the possible existence of Mount Multnomah was ignored by volcanologist Howel Williams in his book The Ancient Volcanoes of Oregon. The book was reviewed in 1949 by another volcano scientist, F. M. Byers Jr. In the review, Byers refers to Mount Multnomah as a supervolcano. Although Hodge’s suggestion that Mount Multnomah is a supervolcano was rejected long ago, the term “supervolcano” was popularised by the BBC popular science television program Horizon in 2000 to refer to eruptions that produce extremely large amounts of ejecta.

Volcanologists and geologists do not refer to “supervolcanoes” in their scientific work, since this is a blanket term that can be applied to a number of different geological conditions. Since 2000, however, the term has been used by professionals when presenting to the public. The term megacaldera is sometimes used for caldera supervolcanoes, such as the Blake River Megacaldera Complex in the Abitibi greenstone belt of Ontario and Quebec, Canada. Eruptions that rate VEI 8 are termed “super eruptions”.

Though there is no well-defined minimum explosive size for a “supervolcano”, there are at least two types of volcanic eruption that have been identified as supervolcanoes: large igneous provinces and massive eruptions.

Large igneous provinces

Large igneous provinces (LIP) such as Iceland, the Siberian Traps, Deccan Traps, and the Ontong Java Plateau are extensive regions of basalts on a continental scale resulting from flood basalt eruptions. When created, these regions often occupy several thousand square kilometres and have volumes on the order of millions of cubic kilometers. In most cases, the lavas are normally laid down over several million years. They release large amounts of gases. The Réunion hotspot produced the Deccan Traps about 66 million years ago, coincident with the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. The scientific consensus is that a meteor impact was the cause of the extinction event, but the volcanic activity may have caused environmental stresses on extant species up to the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary.[citation needed] Additionally, the largest flood basalt event (the Siberian Traps) occurred around 250 million years ago and was coincident with the largest mass extinction in history, the Permian–Triassic extinction event, although it is also unknown whether it was completely responsible for the extinction event.

Such outpourings are not explosive though fire fountains may occur. Many volcanologists consider that Iceland may be a LIP that is currently being formed. The last major outpouring occurred in 1783–84 from the Laki fissure which is approximately 40 km (25 mi) long. An estimated 14 km3 (3.4 cu mi) of basaltic lava was poured out during the eruption.

The Ontong Java Plateau now has an area of about 2,000,000 km2 (770,000 sq mi), and the province was at least 50% larger before the Manihiki and Hikurangi Plateaus broke away.

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BBC News – Animated guide: Volcanoes

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BBC News – Growing threat to American birds, says report

9 September 2014 Last updated at 09:59 ET
By Jane O’Brien BBC News, Washington

In less than 50 years, some states such as New Mexico, Utah and Arizona, have lost almost half their bird populations.

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Martha the passenger pigeon, who died 100 years ago, is being remembered this month as a prescient symbol of what can happen when man meets nature. A comprehensive new report finds that many more American bird species could meet the same fate.

Passenger pigeons were once the most common bird in North America – if not the world- but rapid land development in the 19th Century forced them from their natural forest habitat. Huge flocks descended on farms, destroying crops and livelihoods, and their doom was sealed. Considered a major pest (and a valuable source of meat and feathers), they were relentlessly hunted down.

On 1 September 1914, round about noon, Martha, the last of her species, died in the Cincinnati Zoo. Ectopistes migratorius, once numbering in the billions, joined the ranks of the dodo and the great auk.

One hundred years later, it is tempting think that we know better. But as a new report today makes clear, birds across the US are in deep trouble.

…(read more).

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BBC News – Warning over vulnerability of soil carbon to warming

3 September 2014 Last updated at 17:32 ET
By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, BBC News

Colder soils are more vulnerable to releasing extra carbon in a warmer world
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The huge stores of carbon locked in the world’s soils are more vulnerable to rising temperatures than previously thought.

Researchers found that microbes in the soil were more likely to enhance the release of CO2 in a warming world.

Soils from colder regions and those with greater amounts of carbon were seen to emit more as temperatures went up.

The research has been published in the journal Nature.

The world’s soils hold about twice the amount of carbon as the atmosphere.

Every year the activities of microbes in the soil on organic matter release around 60bn tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air.

…(read more).

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