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Video - Humanity From Space

      

pbs.org - July 22, 2015

From the global perspective of space, this 2-hour special reveals the breathtaking extent of our influence, revealing how we’ve transformed our planet and produced an interconnected world of extraordinary complexity.

A journey through 12,000 years, Humanity from Space shows how seemingly small flashes of innovation have changed the course of civilization; innovations that touch all of us today in ways unimaginable to our ancestors. And we’ll gaze into the future at the new challenges we’ll face in order to survive as our global population soars because of our success. In every case we’ll look at our progression in a unique and surprising way, revealing unforgettable facts and "who knew?" connections.

To visualize these stories cutting-edge technology is used to turn raw data into authentic moving images, building on expertise from a previous (and highly-praised) project; "Earth From Space." Using this technique, we can map humanity’s behavior in stunning, never seen before detail, revealing how our civilization grew, how it works today and what the future might hold.

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Global Health Security: The Next Five Years

onlinedigeditions.com - Andrew C. Weber - Christine Parthemore

The next five years will see crucial changes in the global health security landscape, profoundly shaped by two key events in 2014:

The Ebola response in West Africa, and the successful first year of the Global Health Security Agenda, an initiative of dozens of countries and non-governmental organizations to make tangible commitments for preventing, rapidly detecting, and effectively responding to infectious disease threats.(1) 

Both events brought to light signs of measurable progress, and profound gaps that must be prioritized in the years ahead. Pressing needs include expanding emergency operations center capacity, better leveraging technological innovation, and closing the gap between the health and security communities.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Evaluation of the Benefits and Risks of Introducing Ebola Community Care Centers, Sierra Leone

     

CDC                                                                                                         Dec. 23, 2014    

Abstract of study on usefulness of Ebola community care centers to supplement larger  Ebola treatment centers.

 In some parts of western Africa, Ebola treatment centers (ETCs) have reached capacity. Unless capacity is rapidly scaled up, the chance to avoid a generalized Ebola epidemic will soon diminish. The World Health Organization and partners are considering additional Ebola patient care options, including community care centers (CCCs), small, lightly staffed units that could be used to isolate patients outside the home and get them into care sooner than otherwise possible.

Using a transmission model, we evaluated the benefits and risks of introducing CCCs into Sierra Leone’s Western Area, where most ETCs are at capacity. We found that use of CCCs could lead to a decline in cases, even if virus transmission occurs between CCC patients and the community. However, to prevent CCC amplification of the epidemic, the risk of Ebola virus–negative persons being exposed to virus within CCCs would have to be offset by a reduction in community transmission resulting from CCC use.

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2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index Report released

NHSPI                                                                                                       Dec. 9, 2014

WASHINGTON-- The National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI) for 2014 provides updated information about how well individual states and the nation are preparing for public health and other emergencies.  It was released today at a meeting at Capitol Hill by a group of government and non-government public health specialists. They included Dr. Daniel Sosin, Deputy Director of the CDC's  Office of PubLic Health Preparedness and Respopnse, and Dr. Thomas V. Inglesby, Director of the UPMC Center for Health Security.

More than 35 organizations were partners in preparing the index, which updated the initial 2013 report.

The NHSPI describes it's mission as "providing relevant actionable informtaion to help guide efforts to achieve a higher level of healh security preparedness."  The intended uses include "strengthening preparedness, informng decision makers, guiding quality improvement and advancing the science behind community resilience."

See Executive Summary and the national results.

http://www.nhspi.org/content/executive-summary

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Dr. David Nabarro (UN Special Envoy on Ebola) on Ebola - General Assembly, Informal Meeting, 69th Session (13 November 2014)

webtv.un.org

13 Nov 2014 - Statement by Dr. David Nabarro, UN Special Envoy on Ebola at the General Assembly Informal meeting of the plenary briefing on the Ebola virus outbreak.

(CLICK HERE - VIDEO - Statement by Dr. David Nabarro, UN Special Envoy on Ebola)

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Structural Adaptivity, Rebalancing by Watersheds - Part II

Here is the second part of my Rebalancing by Watersheds Exercise.  I presented the background work recently in my Part I post.  Part II contains a Concept Plan Map and a discussion of the more particular information and data that led me to the Plan. 

 

Both Parts I and Part II are only a condensed version of the full text I prepared.  Within the portions I left out for this version is a considerable amount of technical information that some readers may want to see.  I will provide more of it upon request. 

 

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Structural Adaptivity, Rebalancing by Watersheds - Part I

 

One of the applications of structural adaptivity that I have presented is re-balancing our nation by major watersheds.  The benefits would be two-fold:  (1) growing our nation into urban regions where each would have resilient economic and adaptivity capacities; and (2) tying the regions to ample sources of fresh water by linking them to regional U.S. watersheds.

 

Because it would be such a large departure from recent trends and because I could discover no literature showing its possibility or desirability, I sought to perform an exercise to demonstrate its possibility.  In doing this, I am setting aside my own considerable shortcomings.  I am assuming that criticism of my arrogance in attempting such an exercise is less important than taking a step in a much-needed new direction.

 

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Some Examples of Structural Adaptivity - Part III

 

Here are 4 more examples of structural adaptivity for resilience.  As with the other examples presented previously, they only are intended to illustrate the concept of structural adaptivity for resilience.  They are intended to focus on the structure or structural elements of cities and/or regions.  Moreover, they are intended to demonstrate how such structural elements can be located, organized, or otherwise developed to have capacity to adapt to the continuing needs of the citizens - as the unknown and rapidly changing future unfolds.

 

Polycentric Urban Development.  Urban development need no longer be monocentric (having only one center).  In fact, such a pattern is not adaptive to meet the future.

 

Central business districts have traditionally been the home of government, financial institutions, offices, civic plazas and the like, as well as many commercial retail and services.  They have also often contained many churches, health care facilities, educational institutions, libraries, museums, convention centers, theatres, etc.

 

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Risk and Risk Underwriting

In writing about the importance of promoting private enterprise, as well as in many other sections of my work, I suggested an almost near certainty that the risk management industry eventually will facilitate resilience and structural adaptivity in our built environment.  In my larger draft, I included a short section about this, which I am posting below (somewhat revised).  I believe it is beneficial to share this section now in order to explain my optimism for resilience. (I also wrote short sections on Time, Rapid Change, Optimism, A Futurist Perspective, and The Human Factor but do not necessarily intend to post them here.)

 

The future will be all about risk and trying to find protection from the rapidly increasing threats to our world as we advance in population size, social/cultural/economic complexity, and cutting-edge science and technology.  Risk underwriting will play a big role in how well or how poorly we adapt to accelerating change. 

 

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Structural Adaptivity Thinking

Here, I would like to explain more extensively my thinking about structural adaptivity as a critical aspect of resilience.  (In researching this subject, I was surprised by the lack of information/ideas conveniently available about the characteristics of adaptivity or adaptability. The following are my own preliminary conceptions.  I hope others will improve upon them.)

 

The world is changing so fast that our government, think tanks, universities and research institutions, business leaders, builders and developers, and “planners” have no hope of being able to keep up with it.  Many thinkers describe our world as actually undergoing rapidly accelerating change.  To be able to plan for the change, or even to be able to react to such transformation while it is happening, we need to do more than just keep up with it.  We need to jump out in front of it.

 

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