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In which John Green teaches you about the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, doing business as the VOC, also known as the Dutch East India Company. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Dutch managed to dominate world trade, and they did all through the pioneering use of corporations and finance. Well, they did also use some traditional methods like violently enforced monopolies, unfair trade agreements, and plain old warfare. You’ll learn how the Dutch invented stuff like joint stock corporations, maritime insurance, and futures trading. Basically, how the Dutch East India Company crashed the US economy in 2008. I’m kidding. Or am I?
Citation 1: William J. Bernstein, A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World. Grove Press. 2008. p. 218
Citation 2: Stephen R. Bown. Merchant Kings: When Companies Ruled the World, 1600-1900. New York. St. Martin’s Press. 2009. p. 28
Citation 3: Bernstein p. 223
Citation 4: Bernstein p. 228
Citation 5: Bown p. 53
Chris Williams is a long-time environmental activist and author of Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis. He is chair of the science department at Packer Collegiate Institute and adjunct professor at Pace University, in the Department of Chemistry and Physical Science. His writings have appeared in numerous publications, including TruthOut, Z Magazine, Green Left Weekly, Alternet, CommonDreams, ClimateAndCapitalism, ClimateStoryTellers, The Indypendent, Dissident Voice, International Socialist Review, Socialist Worker, and ZNet. He reported from Fukushima in 2011 and was a Lannan writer-in-residence in Marfa, Texas over the summer of 2012, where he began work on his second book. He was awarded the Lannan 2013-4 Cultural Freedom Fellowship to continue this work. He has just returned from four months in Vietnam, Morocco and Bolivia, examining the impact of economic development and climate change in relation to energy, food and water issues.
Daphne Wysham is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the director of the climate and energy program at the Center for Sustainable Economy (CSE).
SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: This is the Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore.President Obama unveiled his Clean Power Plan this week, mandating the EPA to implement the plan to ensure that U.S. power plants reduce their emissions by 32 percent below the 2005 levels by
A new report has found that large quantities of nuclear waste from power plants are being dumped into a remote desert town located in Texas, potentially impacting water flowing into one of the biggest aquifers in America. Anya Parampil speaks with investigative reporter Paul DeRienzo about his story and the research he’s come across.
As Tokyo and the whole of Japan tried to rebuild after the mass devastation caused by the allied air raids of World War II, Godzilla (Gojira) emerged as a symbol of a nation seeking a new identity. Tabetha Wallace, co-host of RT’s Watching the Hawks, travels to Shinjuku to take a closer look.
Tabetha Wallace, Co-host of ‘Watching the Hawks’, outlines the historical and cultural impact of Godzilla (Gojira) in Japanese history on-site in Shinjuku Japan
The picturesque city of Olympia, Washington is located on Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. So the low-lying downtown area often floods during high tides and heavy rains.
HAUB: “Our tides have a really wide fluctuation, fifteen feet over a six hour time period is not uncommon. It’s not a threat now, but with sea rise, it becomes a significant threat.”
That’s Andy Haub, Olympia’s Water Resources Director. He knows that preparing for climate change requires a sophisticated and detailed plan. So Olympia is using computer mapping, weather monitoring and other technology to assess the situation.
Results so far suggest that wall or barrier systems will be needed to shield the city from the rising sea. Olympia will also need to rethink its current drainage system, which could overflow and allow seawater to run into the city during high tides and storms.
Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere along with a posited commencement of glaciation. This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understanding of ice age cycles. In contrast to the global cooling conjecture, the current scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth has not durably cooled, but undergone global warming throughout the twentieth century.
Concerns about nuclear winter arose in the early 1980s from several reports. Similar speculations have appeared over effects due to catastrophes such as asteroid impacts and massive volcanic eruptions. A prediction that massive oil well fires in Kuwait would cause significant effects on climate was quite incorrect.
The idea of a global cooling as the result of global warming was already proposed in the 1990s. In 2003, the Office of Net Assessment at the United States Department of Defense was commissioned to produce a study on the likely and potential effects of a modern climate change, especially of a shutdown of thermohaline circulation. The study, conducted under ONA head Andrew Marshall, modelled its prospective climate change on the 8.2 kiloyear event, precisely because it was the middle alternative between the Younger Dryas and the Little Ice Age. The study caused controversy in the media when it was made public in 2004. However, scientists acknowledge that “abrupt climate change initiated by Greenland ice sheet melting is not a realistic scenario for the 21st century”.
Currently, the concern that cooler temperatures would continue, and perhaps at a faster rate, has been observed to be incorrect by the IPCC. More has to be learned about climate, but the growing records have shown that the cooling concerns of 1975 have not been borne out.
As for the prospects of the end of the current interglacial (again, valid only in the absence of human perturbations): it isn’t true that interglacials have previously only lasted about 10,000 years; and Milankovitch-type calculations indicate that the present interglacial would probably continue for tens of thousands of years naturally. Other estimates (Loutre and Berger, based on orbital calculations) put the unperturbed length of the present interglacial at 50,000 years. Berger (EGU 2005 presentation) believes that the present CO2 perturbation will last long enough to suppress the next glacial cycle entirely.
As the NAS report indicates, scientific knowledge regarding climate change was more uncertain than it is today. At the time that Rasool and Schneider wrote their 1971 paper, climatologists had not yet recognized the significance of greenhouse gases other than water vapor and carbon dioxide, such as methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. Early in that decade, carbon dioxide was the only widely studied human-influenced greenhouse gas. The attention drawn to atmospheric gases in the 1970s stimulated many discoveries in future decades. As the temperature pattern changed, global cooling was of waning interest by 1979.
Boston, MA ─ A widely used class of industrial chemicals linked with cancer and interference with immune function—perfluorinated alkylate substances, or PFASs—appears to build up in infants by 20%–30% for each month they’re breastfed, according to a new study co-authored by experts from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It is the first study to show the extent to which PFASs are transferred to babies through breast milk, and to quantify their levels over time.
“We knew that small amounts of PFAS can occur in breast milk, but our serial blood analyses now show a buildup in the infants, the longer they are breastfed,” said Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard Chan School.
The study appeared online August 20, 2015 in Environmental Science & Technology. Other study authors were from Danish universities and the Faroese Hospital System.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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