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Ban Ki-moon: 'World living in an era of unprecedented level of crises'

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon with actor Leonardo DiCaprio during his designation ceremony as the UN Messenger of Peace. Photograph: EPA

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon with actor Leonardo DiCaprio during his designation ceremony as the UN Messenger of Peace. Photograph: EPA

Julian Borger - New York The Guardian
21 Sep 2014 16.55 BST

More than 140 heads of state and government fly in to New York this week for the United Nations general assembly amid apprehension that international order is unraveling at an accelerating pace, while the world's leaders seem ever less willing or able to deal with the proliferating threats.

The UN's humanitarian agencies are in danger of being completely overwhelmed by the multiple crises. Ebola is spreading rapidly across West Africa, swamping rickety national health systems and a thus-far underfunded UN effort to stop its advance. The spread of Islamic State (Isis) extremists in the Middle East, feeding on the destruction of the Syrian civil war and exposing the weakness of the Iraqi state, has similarly outpaced patchy international efforts at containment.

Get Smarter on Agriculture and Climate

David Cleary Director of Agriculture Nature ConservancyBy David Cleary - Sep 22, 2014 -

In a somber scene-setter for the upcoming climate summit in New York, the UN’s meteorological office, The World Meteorological Organization, released a report showing that world carbon emissions in 2013 reached a record high, and atmospheric carbon is increasing at the fastest rate seen in over thirty years. Some hard questions are facing the international order, which has spent much of that period in an interminable round of meetings meant to combat climate change. Against this backdrop, the pertinent question the UN report raises is: why bother? If we appear to be losing the battle, what difference does yet another meeting and round of press conferences make, other than to traffic conditions in lower Manhattan?

Global Rise Reported in 2013 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Fracking Waste Disposal Fuels Opposition in U.S. and Abroad

In England, the government approved the injection of a million and a half gallons of potentially radioactive water under the North Moors National Park. Photo credit: SpinwatchAnastasia Pantsios | August 14, 2014 11:50 am

Spinwatch’s Andy Rowell reports:

The commercial success of the Ebberston Moor field depends on Third Energy being allowed to re-inject the potentially radioactive water that is produced with the gas back into what is known as the Sherwood Sandstone formation, which overlies the limestone where the gas will be extracted from. The sandstone lies 1400 metres below the ground. Notes of a meeting between Third Energy and the regulator involved, the Environment Agency, disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), reveals that “the success of the Ebberston Moor Field is dependent on the disposal of [produced] water to the Sherman Sandstone.”

Ebola Also Devastates Wild Ape Population

Mrithi, a 20-year-old male western lowland gorilla.

Steve Baragona - August 13, 2014 9:03 AM

One day in 1996, boys from a village in northern Gabon brought home a chimpanzee they found dead in the forest. The villagers butchered it for food.

That act set off an Ebola outbreak that killed 21 people, according to the World Health Organization.

Years later, on a reporting trip in Gabon, author David Quammen met two men from the village who were there during the outbreak.

At the time Ebola was ravaging their village and their families, they noticed something strange. In the forest nearby, 13 gorillas lay dead.

Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health

submitted by Cheryl Stroud - Institute of Medicine. Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2014.


Rose Marie Martinez and Erin Rusch, Rapporteurs; Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice (BPH); Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Emily Penn - Pangaea Exploration - Apple - Apps We Can't Live Without

Emily Penn - Pangaea Exploration - featured in the latest Apple commercial - (in the link below - starting at 1:11)

About Us - Pangaea Exploration


We believe that the depth, complexity and sheer inertia of the threats to our oceans is significant. Practical solutions and the resources to implement them do still exist. The central challenge is our collective will to act, to care. We also believe that our ultimate success depends on a future generation of inspired conservationists.

We have a two part mission

1. To actively strengthen the health of marine life through Exploration, Conservation and Education work.

Big Facts: Climate Impacts on People - by Simon Bager - March 26, 2014

Millions of people around the world already struggle to achieve food security and climate change is set to make those challenges even harder. It is perhaps humanity’s most pressing challenge, as we seek to nourish more than nine billion people by 2050.



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