Daily Archives: January 2, 2015

BBC News – Abandoned migrant ship Ezadeen reaches Italy

“Those people there on the boat gambled their lives with the smugglers,” reports James Reynolds at the docks as the boat arrived
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A ship abandoned by its crew off Italy with 360 migrants on board has arrived at the Italian port of Corigliano Calabro, the coastguard says.

Earlier, rescuers boarded the Ezadeen after a passenger raised the alarm as it drifted in the Mediterranean.

The ship, sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone, lost power in rough seas off the south-east coast of Italy.

A total of 796 migrants were rescued from another ship found abandoned without any crew earlier in the week.

Italy’s coastguard tweeted to say the Ezadeen had arrived into port shortly before 23:00 local time (22:00 GMT).

The coastguard commander in Corigliano Calabro, Francesco Perrotti, told the BBC all the migrants on board were from Syria.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

BBC News – The year 2014 in archaeology

28 December 2014 Last updated at 20:01 ETBy Dr Louise Iles University of York

It’s been a fascinating year for ground-breaking archaeology around the globe, with cholera-stricken “vampires”, armour made of bone, and the invention of trousers. Here’s just a selection of what has made an impact this year.

It’s been a fantastic year for understanding one of the UK’s most enigmatic monuments
Continue reading the main story Challenging climates

While world leaders were formulating an international response to modern climate change, archaeologists were discussing a serious shift in climate that happened 2,500 years ago.

Population collapse at the end of the European Bronze Age is thought to have been caused by rapid climate change. However, new research shows that the decline in population began over a century before climate change set in. Researchers now think that it was the increasing demand for iron towards the start of the Iron Age that was to blame, which undermined local economies and disrupted trade.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

BBC News – Staffordshire Hoard: ‘Anglo-Saxons made gold appear more golden’

17 October 2014 Last updated at 11:22 ET

The hoard was discovered in a field near Hammerwich in 2009
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Anglo-Saxon goldsmiths knew how to treat gold to make it appear more golden, fresh research has revealed.

Analysis of the Staffordshire Hoard showed goldsmiths knew how to remove alloyed metals such as copper and silver from the surface of objects.

The finding exposes the flaws in archaeological methods used to calculate an object’s gold content by analysing its surface, experts said.

It comes as a new display of the items opened in Birmingham.

About 300 items from the 4,000-piece collection have gone on show.

“Relatively little is known about Anglo-Saxon goldsmithing, but achieving this surface treatment would have been a skilled task, one we now know they were familiar with,” a museum spokesman said.

About 200 objects were scanned using X-ray technology to determine their elemental composition during the British Museum study.

Gold was highly valued in Anglo Saxon society and may also have been believed to have magical or sacred qualities.

It is not known how the inferior metals were removed.

About 300 items from the 4,000-piece collection – the UK’s largest find of Anglo-Saxon objects – have gone on show at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

The museum received £700,000 in lottery funding last year to create the display.

It explains the history behind the items and how they were used before they were buried 1,400 years ago.

Birmingham Museums director Ellen McAdam said: “The Staffordshire Hoard is one of Birmingham’s most popular collections and this new gallery will give visitors an even greater access to this unique find.”

The new exhibition explains the history behind some of the items discovered in a field near Hammerwich

The original hoard was discovered in a field near Hammerwich in 2009 by Terry Herbert before further items were excavated by archaeologists in 2012.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

BBC News – Ebola outbreak will end in 2015 – UN’s Anthony Banbury

2 January 2015 Last updated at 10:21 ET

Anthony Banbury: “Ebola hurts people when they show acts of kindness”
Ebola outbreak

The deadly Ebola outbreak will be ended in 2015, the outgoing head of the UN team fighting the disease has said.

Anthony Banbury said the number of Ebola cases would be brought down to zero by the close of this year, but admitted that the end was “not close”.

“We are engaged in an epic battle,” he said.

The virus has killed nearly 8,000 people, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, where the disease started in December 2013.

Mr Banbury admitted his three month mission had failed to hit its target of 100% safe burials and treatment of 70% of infected people.

But he praised international efforts and insisted “the global response to the Ebola crisis has been extremely successful”.

“Going forward it’s going to be extremely hard for us to bring it down to zero [cases], but that is what we will do,” he told reporters, adding: “I believe we will end Ebola in 2015.”

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

BBC News – Abandoned migrant ship Ezadeen reaches Italy

2 January 2015 Last updated at 17:19 ET

“Those people there on the boat gambled their lives with the smugglers,” reports James Reynolds at the docks as the boat arrived
Related Stories

A ship abandoned by its crew off Italy with 450 migrants on board has arrived at the Italian port of Corigliano Calabro, the coastguard says.

Earlier, rescuers boarded the Ezadeen after a passenger raised the alarm as it drifted in the Mediterranean.

The ship, sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone, lost power in rough seas overnight off the south-east of Italy.

A total of 796 migrants were rescued from another ship found abandoned without any crew earlier in the week.

Italy’s coastguard tweeted to say the Ezadeen arrived into port shortly before 23:00 local time (22:00 GMT).

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Citing Next Generations, Lawsuits Demand Courts Recognize ‘Mind-Blowing’ Climate Impacts

Published on Friday, January 02, 2015 by Common Dreams
‘There are laws of nature that we have to comply with,’ says legal scholar on final episode of Moyers & Company. ‘And those laws are supreme.’

by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

“Climate is not just an environmental issue,” professor Mary Christina Wood told Bill Moyers. “This is a civilizational issue.” (Photo: Mark Stevens/flickr/cc)

By caving to industry pressures, environmental regulatory agencies are failing to uphold their obligation to future generations, declared Mary Christina Wood, the author pushing a new legal framework to fight global warming, on the final episode of Moyers & Company.

Wood, a University of Oregon law professor who wrote Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age (2013; Cambridge University Press), advocates an idea called “atmospheric trust litigation,” which takes the fate of the Earth into the courts, arguing that the planet’s atmosphere—its air, water, land, plants, and animals—are the responsibility of government, held in its trust to insure the survival of all generations to come.

“If this nation relies on a stable climate system, and the very habitability of this nation and all of the liberties of young people and their survival interests are at stake the courts need to force the agencies and the legislatures to simply do their job.”
—Mary Christina Wood, University of Oregon Law School

“The heart of the approach is the public trust doctrine,” she told her host, longtime journalist and political commentator Bill Moyers. “And it says that government is a trustee of the resources that support our public welfare and survival. And so a trust means that one entity or person manages a certain wealth, an endowment, so to speak, for the benefit of others. And in the case of the public trust, the beneficiaries are the present and future generations of citizens.”

The theory underpins lawsuits filed by Our Children’s Trust, which ask for the courts to order state and local governments and agencies to act more aggressively to bring down carbon emissions.

“[I]f this nation relies on a stable climate system, and the very habitability of this nation and all of the liberties of young people and their survival interests are at stake the courts need to force the agencies and the legislatures to simply do their job,” Wood explained.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Bill Moyers’ Departure from TV Leaves a Huge Hole

Published onThursday, January 01, 2015 by Common Dreams  byPeter Dreier

Veteran journalist Bill Moyers. (Photo: Demos/flickr)

This week PBS stations around the country will broadcast the final segment of Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers’ provocative, groundbreaking interview show. Moyers, who came to PBS in 1971, is retiring the show, but not retiring from the world of public affairs. He will continue to write, speak out, and produce his remarkable website, filled each day with insightful articles by Bill and others about dangers to our democracy and battles for social justice. But the end of Moyers’ regular presence on television will leave a huge hole in America’s broadcast landscape. No other program has journalistic breadth and depth, as well as the progressive viewpoint, that Moyers’ show has provided views for over four decades. Will PBS