Daily Archives: October 23, 2014

The Institute for Responsible Technology – Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/GeneticRoulette

The Institute for Responsible Technology

The Institute for Responsible Technology is a world leader in educating policy makers and the public about genetically modified (GM) foods and crops. We investigate and report their risks and impact on health, environment, the economy, and agriculture, as well as the problems associated with current research, regulation, corporate practices, and reporting.

Founded in 2003 by international bestselling author and GMO expert Jeffrey Smith, IRT has worked in more than 30 countries on 6 continents, and is credited with improving government policies and influencing consumer buying habits.

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Antarctica: A Year On Ice Theatrical Trailer

Anthony Powell

Published on Jun 21, 2014

US Theatrical Release November 28th 2014. See the Music Box Films website for theater information. http://www.musicboxfilms.com/antarcti…

The multi-award winning film that lets you experience what it is like to live in Antarctica for a full year, including winters isolated from the rest of the world, while enduring months of darkness in the harshest place on Earth.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Fusion reactor concept could be cheaper than coal

Date: October 8, 2014
Source: University of Washington
Summary: Engineers have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output.

Fusion energy almost sounds too good to be true — zero greenhouse gas emissions, no long-lived radioactive waste, a nearly unlimited fuel supply.

Perhaps the biggest roadblock to adopting fusion energy is that the economics haven’t penciled out. Fusion power designs aren’t cheap enough to outperform systems that use fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.

University of Washington engineers hope to change that. They have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output.

The team published its reactor design and cost-analysis findings last spring and will present results Oct. 17 at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Fusion Energy Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“Right now, this design has the greatest potential of producing economical fusion power of any current concept,” said Thomas Jarboe, a UW professor of aeronautics and astronautics and an adjunct professor in physics.

The UW’s reactor, called the dynomak, started as a class project taught by Jarboe two years ago. After the class ended, Jarboe and doctoral student Derek Sutherland — who previously worked on a reactor design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — continued to develop and refine the concept.

The design builds on existing technology and creates a magnetic field within a closed space to hold plasma in place long enough for fusion to occur, allowing the hot plasma to react and burn. The reactor itself would be largely self-sustaining, meaning it would continuously heat the plasma to maintain thermonuclear conditions. Heat generated from the reactor would heat up a coolant that is used to spin a turbine and generate electricity, similar to how a typical power reactor works.

“This is a much more elegant solution because the medium in which you generate fusion is the medium in which you’re also driving all the current required to confine it,” Sutherland said.

There are several ways to create a magnetic field, which is crucial to keeping a fusion reactor going. The UW’s design is known as a spheromak, meaning it generates the majority of magnetic fields by driving electrical currents into the plasma itself. This reduces the amount of required materials and actually allows researchers to shrink the overall size of the reactor.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Naomi Klein says climate activists need to get comfortable attacking capitalism


Grist

Published on Oct 9, 2014

Naomi Klein — “the most visible and influential figure on the American left,” as The New Yorker puts it — dropped by the Grist office to chat with David Roberts about her new book. They kicked things off by discussing its provocative title: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

Producer: Daniel Penner
Music: “I Wish” by Peter Fox Simon (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Pet…)

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

What we get wrong about the Gates Foundation


Grist

Published on Oct 23, 2014

Some food activists are extremely worried about all the money the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gives to help farmers. It’s one thing to protest extractive companies cutting corners to make a profit, and quite another to protest an organization that aims to improve the world. I wanted to know what was going on. I looked closely at the concerns about the Gates Foundation a few months back, in this story (http://grist.org/food/teaching-a-humo…).

But we know that not everyone likes to read thousands of words on the internet — so we’ve boiled it down to some of the key points in this video. Hope you like it!

Script: Nathanael Johnson
Production: Daniel Penner
Illustration: Amelia Bates
Music: “I can’t help myself” by Boris & Olivier
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Bor… – CC by 2.5

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

New York Frontier: Leaders discuss opportunities and challenges of investing in Africa


CCTV Africa

Published on Oct 23, 2014

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

ISIS vs. Ebola: A Blank Check to Bomb ISIS While Funding to Fight Ebola Is Slashed

Sunday, 12 October 2014 00:00 By Michael Meurer, Truthout | Op-Ed

A burial team wearing protective gear places the body of Diana Flomo, who died giving birth prematurely, in a graveyard adjacent to the Bong County Ebola Treatment Unit near Gbarnga, Liberia, October 5, 2014. (Photo: Daniel Berehulak / The New York Times)

Is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) a greater threat to US security than the current historic outbreak of the Ebola virus? If spending totals were an accurate indication of threat assessment, the answer would be “yes.” The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) estimates the US spent nearly $1 billion bombing ISIS targets in Iraq from August 8 to September 24, and this was merely the warm up act before President Obama ordered expanded bombing in Syria.

With the War on Terror now back in full swing, and the Pentagon and White House saying the new military campaign against ISIS “…could take years,” money is raining on US weapons manufacturers. Since August 1, the stock prices of America’s top four aerospace companies have jumped an average of nearly 7 percent, and the good times have barely begun. The air campaign in Syria is being waged with newly minted F-22 Raptor stealth jets that cost $67 billion to develop and $412 million each to purchase.

These jets are dropping satellite-guided bombs and Tomahawk missiles that cost $1.6 million each to blow up suspected ISIS vehicles, storage buildings and, according to one report from Aleppo Province, a cinder block residential home on a dirt street. At a “moderate” level, the CSBA estimates annual costs to bomb ISIS could be as high as $3.8 billion, while higher intensity bombing could reach $6.8 billion per year. The deployment of as few as 5,000 ground troops, which many military analysts think is inevitable, could run the cost up to $22 billion annually, per CSBA estimates.

By comparison, the entire budget allocated by President Obama to

fight the 2014 Ebola outbreak is $1 billion. Much of the total is being spent to deploy 3,200 US military personnel to build Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) in Liberia in an effort to contain the spread of the disease, meaning these troops will be exposed to the virus in the process. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), the government agencies that are leading US medical efforts to prevent the spread of Ebola, are being hampered by the effects of over $1 billion in cumulative budget cuts since 2010.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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Health