Daily Archives: April 3, 2015

Christian Schwägerl on The Anthropocene

The RSA

Published on Apr 3, 2015

We live at a moment of deep change, between one geological epoch and another, between the Holocene and the present – an era we are beginning to call the Anthropocene.

It is only recently that we have come to understand that our actions have already altered the planet, that we now shape nature, and that we have the power to create a positive geological record. Alongside current ecological crises are countless examples of new thinking, such as smart cities, cultivated life forms and landscapes with human-induced biodiversity.

Popular movements are fighting for their local ecologies, globally-connected pressure groups are forcing political change, and there is a growing recognition that diverse communities have an equal right to a say in this planet’s future.

Award-winning science and environment writer Christian Schwägerl visits the RSA to trace our co-evolution on this planet and the growth of ideas about the Anthropocene concept.

Listen to the full audio podcast: https://www.thersa.org/discover/audio…

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Bill Gates: The next outbreak? We’re not ready


TED

Published on Apr 3, 2015

In 2014, the world avoided a horrific global outbreak of Ebola, thanks to thousands of selfless health workers — plus, frankly, thanks to some very good luck. In hindsight, we know what we should have done better. So, now’s the time, Bill Gates suggests, to put all our good ideas into practice, from scenario planning to vaccine research to health worker training. As he says, “There’s no need to panic … but we need to get going.”

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate

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Take Note: Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary

1:00 pm Fri April 3, 2015 By Patty Satalia

Cathy Willis Spraetz, President & CEO of Chimp Haven.

Chimpanzees at Chimp Haven in Keithville, LA

Cathy Willis Spraetz is President & CEO of Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Keithville, Louisiana. We talked with her about our long history of exploitation of chimpanzees, about major changes in the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research, and about why these great apes, who have given so much to humans, deserve to retire in comfort and freedom.

HEAR MORE OF THIS INTERVIEW:

Cathy Willis Spraetz, president and CEO of Chimp Haven, talks about women in the field, walking a fine line, and the need for more funding.

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Fracking and Groundwater Contamination? It’s Complicated

John Fair of the Woodlands, Connoquenessing Township, in front of a well he says went bad after drilling began three years ago. Photo: Reid Frazier

July 11, 2014

Every Monday, Lee Dreyer wheels out big cardboard boxes from an old Sunday school classroom into the parking lot of his church. Dreyer is pastor of the White Oak Springs Presbyterian church, in Renfrew, Pa. It’s located on a country road about an hour north of Pittsburgh.

People pull up in cars and trucks, and load the boxes in the back.

What’s in the boxes? Jugs of spring water. You’ve heard of a food drive? Dreyer runs a water drive—the Water for Woodlands.

He’s been doing it for two years. The church buys the water using donations and gives it to 36 families from the nearby neighborhood called the Woodlands. Many in the neighborhood blame problems with their water on drilling rigs nearby.

Dreyer has seen the water first hand.

“It was about the color of used motor oil. It’s just this brown, rusty–looking water. And it smells,” he says. “I don’t think there’s too many people around who would want to drink it or cook with it.”

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See whole series:  Exposures

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Nuclear


Should MIT Divest? A Debate on Fossil Fuel Investment | Divest-Invest

Should MIT Divest? A Debate on Fossil Fuel Investment

Thursday April 9th, 2015 | 4:30pm – 6:00pm

Kresge Auditorium, MIT Campus
Reception with food to follow the event, all are welcome.
Download Event to Calendar or Join the Event on Facebook

Join this event of the MIT Climate Change Conversation to learn about different facets of divestment from fossil fuel companies and explore whether MIT should divest its endowment as part of its response to climate change. Six prominent voices in the dialogue on climate change and energy will be staged as two teams that present PRO-divestment and AGAINST-divestment arguments in a classic debate format. The discussion will provide a nuanced view of the relevant issues being widely contested on university campuses, and in particular at MIT. This is an unprecedented opportunity for the MIT community to hear a diversity of expert perspectives, to have questions answered, and to deepen our understanding of the opportunities, drawbacks, and alternatives to fossil fuel divestment and of how universities can address global warming.

Moderator: Tony Cortese, Intentional Endowments Network

Debating for fossil fuel divestment:
Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History of Science at Harvard University
Don Gould, Trustee Pitzer College & CIO Gould Asset Management
John Sterman, Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management

Debating against fossil fuel divestment:
Brad Hager, Professor, Director of the MIT Earth Resources Laboratory
Frank Wolak, Professor of Economics, Stanford University
Timothy Smith, Director of ESG Engagement, Walden Asset Management

This is an event for the MIT community. To participate: Email your questions for panelists prior to the event to climatechange, and bring a mobile device to participate virtually during the debate. The event will also be screened live to a webcast at this link (posted closer to the date of the event). No prior registration for online webcast is required.

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California Governor Orders Mandatory Water Cuts

VOA News

Published on Apr 3, 2015

Environmentalists warn the world is facing serious water shortages and the United States is no exception. While parts of the country may get too much snow and rain, that is not the case in the southwest. California has been dealing with the effects of drought for more than two years. The state governor has ordered a mandatory reduction of water usage to prevent waste. The state is also looking into new technologies that will make California more drought resistant. Zlatica Hoke reports.

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College Senior Gives New Meaning to ‘off-campus’


Associated Press

Published on Apr 3, 2015

Juniata College student Dylan Miller decided to live like Thoreau, not just read about him, for his senior research project on simple living. So he built himself a 17-by-17 shelter in the woods from fallen timber, leaves and a tarp. (April 3)

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