Daily Archives: December 26, 2017

The truth about your food: meat is poison


Chris Hedges 2017 (Update 12/15/2017) – NEW On The Fall Of America

What’s so special about climate change in the 21st century

Starving in South Sudan | Reporter’s Notebook

The fierce race for fusion power

Solutions to Climate Change and Sustainability with Dr. Richard Oppenlander


Solutions to Climate Change and Sustainability with Dr. Richard Oppenlander

Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than Expected, and It’s More Extreme | InsideClimate News

New research suggests human-caused emissions will lead to bigger impacts on heat and extreme weather, and sooner than the IPCC warned just three years ago.

By Bob Berwyn, InsideClimate News

Dec 26, 2017

Scientists warned in 2017 that not enough has been done to protect millions of people from an expected increase in dangerous heat waves. Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

In the past year, the scientific consensus shifted toward a grimmer and less uncertain picture of the risks posed by climate change.

When the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its 5th Climate Assessment in 2014, it formally declared that observed warming was “extremely likely” to be mostly caused by human activity.

This year, a major scientific update from the United States Global Change Research Program put it more bluntly: “There is no convincing alternative explanation.”

Other scientific authorities have issued similar assessments:

  • The Royal Society published a compendium of how the science has advanced, warning that it seems likelier that we’ve been underestimating the risks of warming than overestimating them.
  • The American Meteorological Society issued its annual study of extreme weather events and said that many of those it studied this year would not have been possible without the influence of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said recent melting of the Arctic was not moderating and was more intense than at any time in recorded history.

While 2017 may not have hit a global temperature record, it is running in second or third place, and on the heels of records set in 2015 and 2016. Talk of some kind of “hiatus” seems as old as disco music.

…(read more).

BBC World Service – Outlook, Risking My Life to Save Precious Books

When Islamist militants took control of the Malian city of Timbuktu in 2012, Dr Abdel Kader Haidara feared for his life, and for his collection of rare and precious books. He tells us how he managed to save over 300,000 ancient manuscripts – a record of Mali’s history – by putting them in metal boxes and smuggling them out of Timbuktu. Father Columba Stewart, a Benedictine monk from the Hill Museum and Manuscript library in the United States tells us how he was able to help Abdel.

Mariachi and heavy metal aren’t an obvious musical match… but both of these musical genres have inspired a band called Metalachi. The group plays arrangements of heavy metal songs in a Mexican mariachi style, and say they’re the first to do it. Using their stage names, they’ve been telling Outlook how Metalachi came about.

Aaron Fowler has been called one of the most important artists of his generation. His pieces are huge in scale and he mixes painting with sculpture, often showing the lives of his friends and family, sometimes in rather unexpected situations. His artworks have been exhibited in Los Angeles, and right now in London’s Saatchi Gallery.

There’s a long tradition in Bangladesh of fishing with otters. It’s been passed down from father to son for centuries, but it’s in decline. This is not good news for the otter population in Bangladesh – because otter fishing plays an important role in their conservation. Outlook’s Candida Beveridge has been to meet one of the fishermen who still works that way.

Image: Dr Abdel Kader Haidara from the Mamma Haidara Memorial Library in Timbuktu, Mali
Credit: Dr Abdel Kader Haidara

Activism is a hot topic at the world’s biggest Earth and planetary science conference – The Washington Post

The exhibit hall at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. (Sarah Kaplan/The Washington Post)
by Sarah Kaplan December 15
NEW ORLEANS — “I’m going to start with some protest 101,” Lee Rowland told the few dozen scientists who filled the windowless meeting room. “You know, basic rules for making sure if you go out and protest, you don’t get arrested.”

Audience members shifted in their seats. They included experts in Martian landscape evolution and glacier melting rates. For many, this information was new.

They’d come to New Orleans for the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union — the Comic-Con of the Earth, space and climate sciences. Every year, some 25,000 researchers converge for a five-day bonanza of scientific presentations and free coffee.

But this is 2017. The president has proposed a budget that include massive cuts to science agencies. The head of the Environmental Protection Agency has advocated for a “red team/blue team” debate on climate change science. In April, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in a “March for Science,” chanting slogans like “science cures alternative facts.”

…(read more).