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Uptick in Creutzfeld-Jakob Cases Raises Questions

Is chronic wasting disease in deer making the jump to humans?

medpagetoday.com - by MedPage Today Staff - July 10, 2017

Cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the fatal prion disease that's closely related to "mad cow" disease, have risen in Wisconsin and nationally in recent years, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In Wisconsin, there were six cases in 2002, but in two of the last four years, 13 cases have been reported -- which could be attributed to better surveillance, local officials said. Yet the increase tracks with data on chronic wasting disease among deer in the state, raising concerns about whether the illness is jumping from animals to humans.

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CLICK HERE - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Can chronic wasting disease jump from deer to humans? Concerns keep rising

 

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Just 100 Companies Responsible for 71% of Global Emissions, Study Says

A relatively small number of fossil fuel producers and their investors could hold the key to tackling climate change

           

An oil rig exploring for oil and gas. A new report says more than 50% of global industrial emissions since 1988 can be traced to just 25 companies. Photograph: Dazman/Getty Images/iStockphoto

CLICK HERE - The Carbon Majors Database - CDP Carbon Majors Report 2017 (16 page .PDF report)

the guardian.com - by Tess Riley - July 10, 2017

Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to a new report.

The Carbon Majors Report (pdf) “pinpoints how a relatively small set of fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions,” says Pedro Faria, technical director at environmental non-profit CDP, which published the report in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute.

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When Will Electric Cars Go Mainstream? It May Be Sooner Than You Think

           

A Volkswagen e-Golf electric car being charged in Dresden, Germany, in March. Volkswagen and Tesla each have plans to produce more than 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2025. Credit Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

CLICK HERE - Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) - Electric Vehicle Outlook 2017

nytimes.com - by Brad Plumer - July 8, 2017

As the world’s automakers place larger bets on electric vehicle technology, many industry analysts are debating a key question: How quickly can plug-in cars become mainstream?

The conventional view holds that electric cars will remain a niche product for many years, plagued by high sticker prices and heavily dependent on government subsidies.

But a growing number of analysts now argue that this pessimism is becoming outdated. A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research group, suggests that the price of plug-in cars is falling much faster than expected, spurred by cheaper batteries and aggressive policies promoting zero-emission vehicles in China and Europe.

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Thousands Flee Wildfires Burning in the US and Canada

           

Thousands flee wildfires burning in the US and Canada - The Associated Press

abcnews.go.com - by The Associated Press - July 9, 2017

Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western U.S. and Canada, destroying a smattering of homes, forcing thousands to flee and temporarily trapping children and counselors at a California campground.

Here's a look at the wildfires blackening the West.

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France Set to Ban Sale of Petrol and Diesel Vehicles by 2040

           

Hybrid and electric cars, like this Renault, make up about 5% of the French car market - Reuters

bbc.com - July 6, 2017

France is set to ban the sale of any car that uses petrol or diesel fuel by 2040, in what the ecology minister called a "revolution".

Nicolas Hulot announced the planned ban on fossil fuel vehicles as part of a renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal.

He said France planned to become carbon neutral by 2050.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040

ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - France to Ban Sales of Gas, Diesel Vehicles by 2040

 

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Volvo to Drop Traditional Engines

           

GETTY IMAGES

Carmaker Volvo has said all new models will have an electric motor from 2019.

bbc.com - July 5, 2017

The Chinese-owned firm, best known for its emphasis on driver safety, has become the first traditional carmaker to signal the end of the internal combustion engine.

It plans to launch five fully electric models between 2019 and 2021 and a range of hybrid models . . .

 . . . "The announcement is significant, and quite impressive, but only in a small way. The hybrids they are promising to make might be mild hybrids, anything as basic as a stop-start system."

A stop-start system is one where electricity from batteries restart a car's petrol engine, after it has shut down when the car has come to rest at a junction, or in stationary traffic.

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CLICK HERE - Volvo, Betting on Electric, Moves to Phase Out Conventional Engines

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Deadly Heat Waves Could Threaten 3 in 4 People By 2100

       

A man trying to keep cool sat in the fountain at Washington Square Park last August in New York. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Even with aggressive reductions in carbon emissions, extreme heat is going to get worse, a new study has found.

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Nature - Global risk of deadly heat

huffingtonpost.com - by Chris D'Angelo - June 22, 2017

If humans fail to drastically cut carbon emissions, 3 in 4 people on the planet could be exposed to deadly heat waves by the end of the century, a new study has found. 

And even if countries take action to reverse climate change with aggressive emissions reductions, up to 48 percent of the global population will be plagued by at least 20 days of lethal heat per year by 2100. 

Camilo Mora, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of geography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, told HuffPost that our “assault on the planet has been so massive” that we’ve left ourselves without a good option.

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Rising Seas to Force Billions from Home

           

weather.com - by Pam Wright - June 28, 2017

CLICK HERE - VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Impediments to inland resettlement under conditions of accelerated sea level rise

An estimated 2 billion people will be displaced from their homes by 2100 due to climate-driven rising seas, a new study says.

Roughly one-fifth of the world's population may become climate change refugees, according to Cornell University. The majority of those will be people who live on coastlines around the world, including about 2 million in Florida alone.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Cornell University - Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100

 

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United States - Russia - Cyber Weapons

In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline.

This week it is being reported that former President Barack Obama authorized the planting of cyber weapons in Russian infrastructure in the final weeks of his presidency in response to Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The project, not completed before the end of Obama’s term, reportedly left the weapons in President Trump’s control after he took office.

In 1982 the Soviets were at least a decade behind the West in computers and microelectronics. Since then, the Russians are thought to have caught up with western technology, and might now have the same capabilities as the United States.

If a cyber war of this nature were to break out in the future . . . who would be on the front lines?

Documentation for these occurrences will be posted within the links below, including a summary on the 1982 incident from the C.I.A. . . .

CLICK HERE - Reagan Approved Plan to Sabotage Soviets

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BNEF - New Energy Outlook 2017

           

bnef.com

Focused on the electricity system, NEO combines the expertise of over 80 market and technology specialists in 12 countries to provide a unique view of how the market will evolve . . . 

 . . . “Renewable energy sources are set to represent almost three quarters of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power generating technology until 2040, thanks to rapidly falling costs for solar and wind power, and a growing role for batteries, including electric vehicle batteries, in balancing supply and demand.”

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