Daily Archives: January 25, 2015

African Perspectives: Papers in the History, Politics and Economics of Africa Presented to Thomas Hodgkin

Scholars from all over the world contributed to the Festschrift volumes presented as a tribute to Thomas Hodgkin on his sixtieth birthday. This book contains a selection from those contributions, reflecting the wide scope of Hodgkin’s own interests, work and influence in the field of African and Tiers Monde studies.

All the contributions represent original and previously unpublished work in the fields of African history, Islamic studies and the sociology of religion, and also of contemporary political and economic studies. They are particularly concerned to examine questions of a general and theoretical importance, often by means of detailed case studies. Among the countries thus discussed are Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal, Guiné Bissao, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Gambia – and, as part of the African diaspora, Jamaica. Fittingly, these essays share one of the main features which have distinguished Thomas Hodgkin’s own work – they take a critically evaluative view of some of the established interpretations and conventional wisdoms surrounding their subjects. This book will provide an introduction in depth to the whole field of African studies as well as being essential material for specialists in many disciplines.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity

In his Q&A with Bill McKibben featured in the paperback edition of Storms of My Grandchildren, Dr. James Hansen, the world’s leading climatologist, shows that exactly contrary to the impression the public has received, the science of climate change has become even clearer and sharper since the hardcover was released. In Storms of My Grandchildren, Hansen speaks out for the first time with the full truth about global warming: The planet is hurtling even more rapidly than previously acknowledged to a climatic point of no return. In explaining the science of climate change, Hansen paints a devastating but all-too-realistic picture of what will happen in our children’s and grandchildren’s lifetimes if we follow the course we’re on. But he is also an optimist, showing that there is still time to take the urgent, strong action that is needed- just barely.

Praise for James Hansen and Storms of MyGrandchildren:

“James Hansen gives us the opportunity to watch a scientist who is sick of silence and compromise …offer up the fruits of four-plus decades of inquiry and ingenuity just in case he might change the course of history.”-Los Angeles Times

“Dr. James Hansen is Paul Revere to the foreboding tyranny of climate chaos-a modern-day hero who has braved criticism and censure and put his career and fortune at stake to issue the call to arms against the apocalyptic forces of ignorance and greed.”-Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

“When the history of the climate crisis is written, Hansen will be seen as the scientist with the most powerful and consistent voice calling for intelligent action to preserve our planet’s environment.”-Al Gore, Time magazine

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

“Merchants of Doubt should finally put to rest the question of whether the science of climate change is settled. It is, and we ignore this message at our peril.”-Elizabeth Kolbert

“Brilliantly reported andwritten with brutal clarity.”-Huffington Post

Merchants of Doubt was one of the most talked-about climate change books of recent years, for reasons easy to understand: It tells the controversialstory of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. The same individuals who claim the scienceof global warming is “not settled” have also denied the truth about studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. “Doubt is our product,” wrote one tobacco executive. These “experts” supplied it.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

BBC News – The largest vessel the world has ever seen

16 December 2014 Last updated at 18:00

Climbing onto the largest vessel the world has ever seen brings you into a realm where everything is on a bewilderingly vast scale and ambition knows no bounds.

Prelude is a staggering 488m long and the best way to grasp what this means is by comparison with something more familiar.

Four football pitches placed end-to-end would not quite match this vessel’s length – and if you could lay the 301m of the Eiffel Tower alongside it, or the 443m of the Empire State Building, they wouldn’t do so either.

In terms of sheer volume, Prelude is mind-boggling too: if you took six of the world’s largest aircraft carriers, and measured the total amount of water they displaced, that would just about be the same as with this one gigantic vessel.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

BBC News – Should we try to halt extinction?

21 January 2015 Last updated at 16:07

Related Stories

In an age when mankind can send robots to look for life on Mars, why can’t science stop so many forms of life from being wiped out here on Earth?

The question comes amid the loss of species on such a relentless scale that conservationists call it the Sixth Mass Extinction – the fifth being the asteroid that killed the large dinosaurs. This one is driven by human activity.

One immediate focus is on the pitiful story of one of Africa’s greatest animals – in fact, its second largest mammal – the northern white rhino.

Decades of poaching have whittled down the numbers of this massive and fearsome-looking creature to a paltry band of survivors – and, because none of the usual conservation techniques have worked, the animals now total just five.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Nuclear clean-up costs ‘to soar’

Page last updated at 21:12 GMT, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 22:12 UK
By David Shukman
BBC News environment correspondent

The cost of cleaning up the UK’s ageing nuclear facilities, including some described as “dangerous”, looks set to rise above £73bn, the BBC has learned.

A senior official at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said the bill would rise by billions of pounds.

Nineteen sites across the country, some dating from the 1950s, are due to be dismantled in the coming decades.

A spokesman for the Department for Business said it was ready for an adjustment in the clean-up costs.

In January, the National Audit Office said that the cost of decommissioning ageing power sites had risen from £12bn to £73bn.

Radioactive decay

At the largest site, Sellafield, on the Cumbrian coast, I saw for myself one of the “ponds” in which an unknown mass of radioactive material was dumped in the 1950s.

Anglesey Wylfa
Ayrshire Hunterston A
Caithness Dounreay
Cheshire Capenhurst (fuel facility)
Cumbria Calder Hall, Sellafield, Windscale, LLW Repository
Dorset Winfrith
Dumfries Chapelcross
Essex Bradwell
Gloucestershire Berkeley, Oldbury
Gwynedd Trawsfynydd
Kent Dungeness A
Lancs Springfields
Oxon Harwell, Culham JET
Somerset Hinkley Point A
Suffolk Sizewell A

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice