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How Social Media Is Changing Disaster Response

 

 

Image: Flickr/John

submitted by Robyn Wyrick

Congress is grappling with the benefits and risks of using Facebook, Twitter and other social media during emergencies

scientificamerican.com - by Dina Fine Maron - June 7, 2013

When Hurricane Katrina ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, Facebook was the new kid on the block. There was no Twitter for news updates, and the iPhone was not yet on the scene. By the time Hurricane Sandy slammed the eastern seaboard last year, social media had become an integral part of disaster response, filling the void in areas where cell phone service was lost while millions of Americans looked to resources including Twitter and Facebook to keep informed, locate loved ones, notify authorities and express support.

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Norway, Canada, the United States and the Tar Sands

It is crunch time on tar sands. (photo: Greenpeace)

Image: It is crunch time on tar sands. (photo: Greenpeace)

readersupportednews.org - May 11th, 2013 - Dr. James Hansen

Today 36 Norwegian organizations sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stoltenberg expressing opposition to development of Canadian tar sands by Statoil (the Norwegian state is majority shareholder of Statoil). Signatories include not only environmental organizations, but a broad public spectrum, including, appropriately, many youth organizations. It is encouraging that Norwegian youth press their government to stop supporting tar sands development, given the fact that Norway saves much of its oil earnings for future generations and given the fact that Norway is not likely among the nations that will suffer most from climate change.

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Climate Change: Human Disaster Looms, Claims New Research

      

A human shadow is seen on a dried out field after drought in Germany. Photograph: Patrick Pleul/EPA

guardian.co.uk - by Fiona Harvey - May 19, 2013

Some of the most extreme predictions of global warming are unlikely to materialise, new scientific research has suggested, but the world is still likely to be in for a temperature rise of double that regarded as safe.

The researchers said warming was most likely to reach about 4C above pre-industrial levels if the past decade's readings were taken into account.

That would still lead to catastrophe across large swaths of the Earth, causing droughts, storms, floods and heatwaves, and drastic effects on agricultural productivity leading to secondary effects such as mass migration.

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Study - Energy budget constraints on climate response
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v6/n6/full/ngeo1836.html

A Majority on Earth Will Soon Face Severe, Self-Inflicted Water Shortage: Scientists

submitted by Samuel Bendett

(SEE LINKS TO CONFERENCE AND DECLARATION BELOW)

homelandsecuritynewswire.com - May 28, 2013

A conference of 500 leading water scientists from around the world, held last week in Bonn, issued a stark warning that, without major reforms, “in the short span of one or two generations, the majority of the nine billion people on Earth will be living under the handicap of severe pressure on fresh water, an absolutely essential natural resource for which there is no substitute. This handicap will be self-inflicted and is, we believe, entirely avoidable.”

The scientists pointed to chronic underlying problems led by mismanagement, and offered a prescription to policy makers in a 1,000-word declaration issued at the end of a 4-day meeting in Bonn, Germany. The conference, Water in the Anthropocene, was organized by the Global Water System Project (GWSP).

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Video - Urban Resilience for a New Century

huffingtonpost.com - by Dr. Judith Rodin - May 14, 2013

It Can Happen Here: The Confiscation Scheme Planned for US and UK Depositors

Truthout.org -- by Ellen Brown -- March 29,2013

Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone “troika” officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these plans have been long in the making; that they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland (discussed earlier here); and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds.  

http://truth-out.org/news/item/15401-it-can-happen-here-the-confiscation...

Emerging Infections in Perspective: Novel Coronavirus and H7N9 Influenza

Professor David L. Heymann, CBE

chathamhouse.org - by David L. Heymann - April 15, 2013

Since the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory infection (SARS) ten years ago, efforts to detect unusual severe respiratory disease have intensified. At the same time, there have been major advances in the development of diagnostic tests. This is a result of a major increase in the research and development budget for tests to diagnose unknown disease, and this investment was driven by the perception that anthrax and other organisms such as the smallpox virus will continue to be a bioterrorism threat.

When disease detection efforts are intensified, surveillance systems often become better at picking up illness that would have otherwise gone undetected until enough people developed the disease that an outbreak occurs and is noticed. Throughout history, mysterious severe respiratory infections that have resulted in death have emerged, but with new diagnostic tests it is also now possible to determine the cause of such disease, often soon after it is detected.

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H7N9 Map


View H7N9 map in a larger map

Click on each balloon for more information on individual patients infected with the avian flu virus: blue, patients infected with the H7N9 virus under treatment; red, those infected with H7N9 who have died; and pink, those infect with the H1N1 avian flu virus.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1208847/hong-kong-standby-new-bird-flu-cases-revealed-shanghai

Is This a Pandemic Being Born?

      

foreignpolicy.com - by Laurie Garrett - April 1, 2013

China's mysterious pig, duck, and people deaths could be connected. And that should worry us.

Here's how it would happen. Children playing along an urban river bank would spot hundreds of grotesque, bloated pig carcasses bobbing downstream. Hundreds of miles away, angry citizens would protest the rising stench from piles of dead ducks and swans, their rotting bodies collecting by the thousands along river banks. And three unrelated individuals would stagger into three different hospitals, gasping for air. . .

. . . the facts delineated are all true, and have transpired over the last six weeks in China.

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