Daily Archives: December 27, 2015

Bribes and brown envelopes: Nigeria’s ‘journalists’ – The Listening Post (Feature)

E120, e-30, media,

IN DEFENSE OF FOOD | The Pitfalls of Nutritionism

E120, e130, food-matters,

Half a Million in US Homeless, Despite Economic Growth

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Climate Change and Extreme Weather: Prof. Jennifer Francis (2013)


Published on Feb 17, 2013

Superb educational video summarizing climate change evidence through 2012. Click on blue time codes to advance to these topics:

Note: The original 112-minute conference video of Jennifer Francis’s presentation is the official product of StormCenter Communications Inc. It is posted on their StormCenterInc youtube channel at http://youtu.be/xugAC7XGosM

Prof. Francis’ talk was filmed at the 24th annual Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit, held in Breckinridge (Colorado) January 2013. You can view all videos from that conference and download the ppt presentations at http://www.stormcenter.com/wxcsummit/

ADVANCE TO TOPICS by clicking on the blue time codes below:

00:35 – Scientists and the public now link extreme weather events to CO2 rise.

07:19 – Overwhelming evidence that climate change is human-caused.

14:23 – “We have changed Mother Nature’s deck of cards.”

15:32 – Effects of increased CO2 levels on the Arctic: “Arctic Amplification.”

23:49 – Understanding the jetstream. Note: A superb webpage (text) intro to the jet stream and how a warmer Arctic disrupts it is “A Rough Guide to the Jet Stream” at http://www.skepticalscience.com/jetst…

24:44 – A warmer Arctic causes the jetstream to weaken and meander.

29:21 – The jetstream now “blocks” over Greenland in summer.

30:03 – Greenland ice melt is increasing.

30:55 – Examples of extreme weather events correlated with a weak, meandering jetstream.

34:53 – Superstorm Sandy’s connection to a warming, melting Arctic.

37:18 – Summary and conclusions: “The public is listening now.”

Note: This video is a composite of six excerpts drawn from the original, “Weather and Climate Summit – Day 3, Dr. Jennifer Francis” (published on Youtube 25 January 2013). Freelance youtuber Connie Barlow (aka “ghostsofevolution”) produced this richly educational and illustrated video as a public service that is unaffiliated with the host organization (StormCenter Communications, Inc). Feel free to use or download this version for increasing public awareness of the fact and scale of ongoing climate change. Please credit “StormCenter Communications, Inc” as the original source of the full-length video, and reference their conference website: http://www.stormcenter.com/wxcsummit/

Two still photos were added into this new video version that did not also appear in the original video:

0:55 – image of 2012 Colorado wildfire, credit: ABCNews.com
1:03 – image of 2012 Phoenix dust storm credit: Associated Press

SUPPLEMENTAL VIDEO: Educators note that you can find an even more instructional video by Prof. Francis of the same material (and with even more charts, and of high resolution). She presented this 42-minute program as a webinar-skype on 30 Oct 2012 for an Arctic climate seminar at the University of Alaska (Fairbanks). Here is the webinar archive link:
Then scroll down by date to her title, “Wacky Weather and Disappearing Arctic Sea Ice: Are They Connected?” I recommend, however, that students first watch the “Climate Change and Extreme Weather” video that I posted, as only this video lets the viewer actually see Dr. Francis presenting. The “Wacky Weather” video is entirely a slide show, with a few embedded videos. You never get to see Jennifer Francis, and you have to concentrate a lot more to follow along. But it is superb resource for in-classroom or home-study for college-level students.

NEW RESEARCH by J. Francis (and colleagues) on effects of winter sea ice loss in Arctic: Published 12 March 2013: “Cold winter extremes in northern continents linked to Arctic sea ice loss”: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8…

SUPERB PRIMER ON THE JETSTREAM: http://skepticalscience.com/jetstream…

George Morrison

Published on Feb 26, 2013

A short review of how the jetstream and Rossby waves work, and some emerging indications that the dynamics may be changing in a warming world.

This 5 minute excerpt from a longer presentation by Dr. Francis, original available above.

For further info, see this blogpost for a good primer, followed by a discussion of the Francis and Varvus paper from last year:
Stuart Staniford “Slowing Rossby Waves Leading to Extreme Weather?”

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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Head to Head- Is Modi’s India flirting with fascism?

Al Jazeera English

Published on Dec 25, 2015

In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan challenges Ram Madhav, National General Secretary of India’s ruling BJP and former spokesman of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation and ideological wing of the BJP.- Subscribe to our channel: http://bit.ly/AJSubscribe- Follow us on Twitter:

Global Climate Change
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The Murdoch empire strikes back – The Listening Post (Full)

Al Jazeera English

Published on Dec 26, 2015

Concerns are growing that the UK’s Conservative government is trying to reshape and influence Britain’s media landscape as it continues to befriend media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s empire.

Shortly after David Cameron’s outright election victory in May, his government announced a review of finances at the BBC, an organisation some Conservatives had denounced for harboring a liberal agenda, slashing one fifth of the publicly-owned broadcaster’s annual budget.

Just weeks prior to making that announcement, Rupert Murdoch – a long-time critic of the BBC and owner of News Corp, which includes pro-Tory newspapers The Sun and The Times as well as SKY TV – met with senior members of the government twice.

Murdoch’s UK newspapers have a long history of lending support to the Conservatives, and in recent months have joined ranks in deriding Labour’s popular leader Jeremy Corbyn.

And in the past week, Trevor Kavanagh, a former political editor at The Sun, who had dismissed the phone hacking scandal while at the paper, has been appointed to the board of a new press regulator – the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).

Despite talk from a few years ago of the need for greater press regulation, the appointment of a Murdoch loyalist to IPSO has had critics talking of foxes in the hen house.

Talking us through the story are: Natalie Fenton, a director for the campaign group Hacked Off; Tim Fenton, a blogger at Zelo Street; Matt Tee, the CEO of IPSO; and Charlie Beckett, a professor at the London School of Economics.

Other stories on our radar this week: It’s never been easy for journalists to get access to the US prison at Guantanamo Bay and the Pentagon has just changed the rules to make it even harder; Al-Tayaar, a Sudanese newspaper was shut down after running an editorial critical of the government’s policies; and the mystery surrounding just who owns the biggest-selling newspaper in Las Vegas has finally been solved.

Bribes and brown envelopes: Nigeria’s corrupt journalists.

Nigerian journalists are among some of the worst paid reporters in Africa, seldom given money to cover travel or other expenses, let alone paid their salaries on time.

This has affected the way stories are reported with some of the country’s most pressing events either underreported or ignored altogether.

Amid this climate where investigative journalism is severely stifled, corrupt and illicit practices have begun to flourish.

Reporters are often seen waiting for cash handouts from politicians and government officials at press conferences before rarely questioning them or fact-checking.

The Listening Post’s Nic Muirhead travelled to Lagos, Nigeria’s media capital, to report on ‘brown envelope journalism.’

Finally, this is the time of the year when news organisations summarise the stories that dominated headlines in 2015.

Google does it too, but the search engine also provides users with a bit more data – such as how many times a certain story was searched, which countries were most interested in it and what were the most frequently asked questions.

The information provides a good insight into how news consumers felt about that story and the issues that were important to them.

We leave you with some of the most searched news stories of 2015 and a few of the questions they brought to mind.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Agriculture Was Left Out Of The Paris Deal, But That Won’t Stop Countries From Taking It On | ThinkProgress

by Natasha Geiling Dec 16, 2015 8:00 am

Despite claiming nearly half of the world’s land and accounting for one-third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, food and agriculture had always played a secondary role in international climate negotiations, pushed aside in favor of discussions about energy and transportation.

But this year — as delegates from nearly 200 countries met in Paris to push for a global agreement on climate change — agriculture finally got a moment in the spotlight.

Some of that attention is a result of the way that the talks were structured, requiring individual countries to submit independent climate pledges in advance of the conference — something that no other conference has done. Those individual plans — known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs — tend to mention agriculture, especially in relationship to mitigation: more than 80 percent include strategies for mitigating the impact of agriculture on climate change, while 60 percent include strategies for adapting agriculture to climate change.

“Countries see agriculture as part of the solution, and that, I think, is changing things,” Frank Rijsberman, CEO of CGIAR, an agricultural research and development firm, told ThinkProgress. “Because the door was closed for so long, we feel that it being even a little bit open is a good step.”

(read more).

Global Climate Change
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Australian bushfire destroys more than 100 homes

Al Jazeera English

Published on Dec 26, 2015

Firefighters battle massive blaze as it tracks along the picturesque coastline of the southern Australian state of Victoria. Gerald Tan reports.

Global Climate Change
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South American floods drive 150,000 from their homes

Al Jazeera English

Published on Dec 26, 2015

Heavy flooding in South America has left more than 150,000 people homeless. While Paraguay has been hit particularly hard, parts of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are also suffering. Gabriel Elizondo reports.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

U.S. Facing Upside-down Holiday Weather Pattern

Associated Press

Published on Dec 23, 2015

A weather pattern partly linked with El Nino has turned winter upside-down across the US during a week of heavy holiday travel, bringing spring-like warmth to the Northeast and heavy amounts of snow across the West. (Dec. 23)

Global Climate Change
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