Researchers analyze 'the environmentalist's paradox'
Published: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 23:37
Inside Science reports on worries about big earthquakes in the US, and Caribbean.
With the world focusing upon the destruction in Haiti in terms of human impact, geologist are looking at the impact of the earth movement to populations living along other fault lines in the Caribbean. And too, what other parts of the world are pending risk from a major earthquake.
Mobile phones are playing a significant role in the relief efforts in Haiti. From on the ground communications information sharing to fund raising, mobile is proving its' muscle in Haiti.
Many Haiti twitter lists have been set up, including those by reliable news organizations:
CNN Haiti Boots On The Ground Twitter list
NPR Haiti Earthquake Twitter List
New York Times Haiti Earthquake Twitter list
ROM THE UK
The project is called 10:10. The goal is to unite every sector of British society behind one simple idea: that by working together they can achieve a 10% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions in 2010.
To support the launch of the 10:10 Climate campaign in the UK, the Guardian newspaper http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/series/10-10-climate-change-special
asked authors to write new work in response to the climate crisis.
The cost of climate change extend far beyond the welfare of polar bears. Food supplies, drinking water, and basic survival could become issues for all species in response to extreme weather events, flooding, drought and fires.
Doctors use the term “golden hour” to refer to the time in which critically ill and injured patients must receive medical care, otherwise, death appears certain. The question is, are we now at the golden hour of species health, particularly human species health, due to the impacts of climate change?
Under the category of SOLUTIONS, a study suggest the way to prevent deforestation of valuable jungle is to give forests back to local people to save them.
The Study is titled:
"Trade-offs and synergies between carbon storage and livelihood benefits from forest commons"
by Ashwini Chhatrea, and Arun Agrawalb
Tracking the fate of 80 forests worldwide over 15 years, concluded
The following was posted on Flu Trackers by one of the well respected senior moderators there, an individual known in the online public health community as "Snowy Owl". Snowy was involved with the Resilience System June 2009 National Library of Medicine event, and I appreciate his insights and seasoned focus on influenza pandemics.
Researchers describe the scientific and public-health challenges they face in battling the H1N1 virus.
Healthy people who catch swine flu but show only mild symptoms should not be given Tamiflu, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
There have been fears that mass use of Tamiflu will encourage the virus to become resistant to the antiviral.
The advice contradicts British policy on the issue, which has seen hundreds of thousands of doses of the antiviral given to people with the virus.
Today's advice, published on the WHO website, said most patients were experiencing typical flu symptoms and would get better within a week.
Inside Scotland’s swine flu bunker
Deep underground in the centre of Edinburgh, emergency planners are hard at work preparing Scotland’s response to the H1N1 virus. At its heart is the ‘resilience room’, where crucial decisions are taken each day.
WE'RE INSIDE "THE BUNKER", the Scottish government's equivalent to Cobra (Cabinet Office Briefing Room A), Westminster's nerve centre for dealing with national emergencies, disasters and terrorism. It's here, in the Bunker, that the nation's battle against H1N1 is being fought.
The spanish language newspaper "La Nacion" has several articles detailing the current situation in Argentina. The situation may be a precursor of what the Northern Hemisphere may face in the Fall.
Argentina has declared a health emergency. This is the first natonal health emergency since 2002.
The paper reports less activity in major cities in Argentina has slowed. Less people in the streets, on the subways, at the malls, in restaurants, and many shops closed.
Helen Branswell of the Canadian Press, has an excellent article previewing the current challenges Manitoba, Canada hospitals are facing with numerous patients on ventilators, struggling to overcome swine flu infections.
In a typical flu season, the Winnipeg hospitals where Dr. Anand Kumar works might see one, maybe two life-threatening cases of viral pneumonia caused by influenza.
Mobile Flu Clinics enabled with prescreening flu assessment... but do not forget the buzzing pagers!
Take a look at Kaiser Permanente's newest doctor's office on wheels, being shipped from California to Hawaii's Big Island.
Now consider this possibility if/when the swine flu infection numbers and deaths accelerate, and the media reporting begins to cause a surge of worried well into ER rooms:
- Swine flu mobile clinics.
- GIS mapping to set up the temporary clinic locations to coincide with specific geographic infection areas pinpointing communities and neighborhoods.
Scotland may be leading the world in opening up clinics specifically dedicated to cope with the swine flu epidemic. To date, nine clinics have been set up in the west of Scotland, the area which has been worst hit. Four of the dedicated swine flu centers are in Glasgow, with others in Paisley, East Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire, Greenock and Clydebank.
The goal is that anyone suspected of having the virus will now be sent to one of the clinics to be tested, instead of into the multi-tasked healthcare system.
In the weekly update and question and answer session (5 PM every Tuesday from Geneva, Switzerland) WHO spokes person Dr. Keijii Fukuda reports confirmed infection in 64 countries. They are seeing travel related spread, as well as community spread of the virus with-in some countries. Mexico, United States and Canada are showing a mixed pattern of waxing and waning spread of the swine flu virus so that the flu will appear to be ending in a community, than re-surge.
News reports on swine flu / H1N1 are showing no slow down in the virus. Bloomberg.com reports flu cases in Australia are doubling about every two days, with 401 confirmed cases as of June 01. This has risen from 20 on May 25. Most cases are in the colder southeastern state of Victoria with 306 cases, up from 173 two days earlier.
Many experts on how to contain the spread of flu have questioned the efficacy of school closures. The following article in the New York Times from May 21, 2009 reminds us that students whose schools were closed will not always stay
Flu Closings Failing to Keep Schoolchildren at Home
By JULIE BOSMAN
The CDC, MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) is showing numbers on the Swine Flu to May 06, 2009. The details include: Mexico with nearly 12,000 suspected cases, and 1000 confirmed; the United States with 600 confirmed and 800 probable cases. Testing reveals that more than 99% of the probable cases pop positive for the A (H1N1) virus.
A crash effort to analyze the genes of the swine flu virus has revealed that it first emerged in humans last year — most likely last fall.
Author: Richard Knox
Publication Date: May 7, 2009
Source: NPR Morning Edition
"The consistent range we're getting out is the second half of last year — between June and December," says Oliver Pybus of Oxford University. "The best estimate is the middle of that range, kind of September."
Neighbors are reaching out to talk about crime and economy, helping others through job losses and organizing potlucks.
Author: By Annie Gowen, The Washington Post
Date: 05 May 2009
Published: Seattle Times
WASHINGTON — When Kris Kumaroo founded a new neighborhood association in October, he was driven by a desire to combat recession-era problems such as vacant homes and petty crime.
By TARA PARKER-POPE
Published: May 4, 2009
NY Times: Well Blog
Confused about swine flu? It’s no wonder, with all the seemingly mixed messages coming out of health agencies and news organizations.
Last week, the World Health Organization raised the alert level for the virus, whose formal name is H1N1, indicating that a “pandemic is imminent.” Now, health officials report that although the virus is widespread, most cases seem to be mild. People are being told not to panic, but schools in some communities remain closed.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
The East Meets West Foundation recently introduced a model programme to help communities in the central region of Vietnam adapt to climate change.
According to the foundation’s survey, climate change is affecting lives in all 25 communes in Quang Nam province where vulnerable farmers in the coastal, mountainous and lowland areas rely heavily on agriculture and fishing industry.
Most of those interviewed said they often lacked timely information on upcoming disasters and did not have access to Government policies regarding natural disasters preparedness and CC adaptation.
"The only thing that can be said with certainty about influenza viruses is that they are entirely unpredictable. No one can say, right now, how the pandemic will evolve."
On the supply of antiviral medication:
"Global manufacturing capacity, though greatly increased, is still not sufficient to produce enough antiviral medication and pandemic vaccines to protect the entire world population in time."
What we know from history:
Margret Chan, head of the World Health Organization warned in a interview with the Financial Times that swine flu may re-emerge stronger than ever even if the current outbreak appears to be declining.
From an article published 3 May, Chan told Britain’s Financial Times that an apparent decline in mortality rates did not mean the pandemic was coming to an end and a second wave may strike ‘with a vengeance.’ If it’s going to happen it would be the biggest of all outbreaks the world has faced in the 21st century,’ the paper quoted her as saying.
A disease spread sim has shown that flu interventions must be done quickly, to be effective. Researchers writing in the journal BMC Public Health have shown that staying at home, closing schools and isolating infected people within the home should reduce infection, but only if they are used in combination, activated without delay and maintained for a relatively long period. Professor George Milne and his colleagues from the University of Western Australia (UWA) simulated the effect of social distancing on the spread of a flu virus within a small town.
Filligent, the Hong Kong-based biotech company, claims they are mobilizing stocks of a anti-infective face mask called BioMask which traps and kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses on contact, and is a powerful weapon to contain the spread of the swine flu. The Filligent website claims:
Google Flu Trends, has been updating itself with data and news stories about the swine flu pandemic. One might question the veracity of the tracking given the potential interest in pandemic possibilities. In describing how Flu Trends tracks outbreaks: "We've found that there is a close relationship between how many people search for flu-related topics and how many people actually have flu symptoms," reads an explanation on the site.
What will a post-crash, truly 21st-century world look like? For people thinking about global systems (economic, environmental, and social) one idea stands out: resilience.
Author(s): Jamais Cascio
Article location: fastcompany.com
Date: April 3, 2009
Type: Online Blog Article