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Rising Humanitarian Needs Call for a New Way of Working

           

portland-communications.com - by Stephen O'Brien - March 14, 2017

Today, a record 135 million people across 35 countries need humanitarian aid to survive. The scale of humanitarian suffering continues to grow exponentially as complex, inter-connected conflicts last for years without resolution, and protracted natural disasters, compounded by climate change, throw vulnerable people into a state of perpetual crisis.

This year a complex combination of human-made and environmental factors has put a staggering 20 million people in four countries alone – Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen – at risk of famine.  To provide sustainable solutions to saving lives and building resilience in these countries and globally, the international community needs to shift its approach by putting vulnerability reduction at the centre of our collaboration.

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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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Africans Worst Responders in Ebola Crisis

ASSOCIATED PRESS                         Oct. 31, 2014
By MICHELLE FAUL
JOHANNESBURG-With few exceptions, African governments and institutions are offering only marginal support as the continent faces its most deadly threat in years, once again depending on the international community to save them.

Ebola "caught us by surprise," the chairwoman of the 53-nation African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said this week at a meeting with the U.N. secretary-general and the World Bank president in Ethiopia.

"With the wisdom of hindsight, our responses at all levels - continental, global and national - were slow, and often knee-jerk reactions that did not always help," she said.

She is a medical doctor from South Africa, where mining magnate Patrice Motsepe Tuesday announced he has donated $1 million to the fight against Ebola in Guinea, where the outbreak started.

Read complete story
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/africans-worst-responders-ebola-crisis-26596929

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Nigeria Food Security Alert August 8, 2014

fews.net - August 8, 2014

Summary

A food security crisis persists in northeast Nigeria as the ongoing Boko Haram conflict continues to displace populations and disrupt markets, livelihoods and nutrition services. An estimated three quarters of people living in areas worst affected by conflict have fled their homes due to violence since 2013. In Borno, Yobe and northern Adamawa States, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity will persist through December, despite the main harvest beginning in October. Approximately one million people in areas worst affected by conflict will continue to face food consumption gaps. Access to households affected and/or displaced by conflict needs to improve in order to ensure that food and nonfood assistance reaches food insecure households.

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Oldest Baby Boom in North America Sheds Light on Native American Population Crash

Sites like Pueblo Bonito in northern New Mexico reached their maximum size in the early A.D. 1100s, just before a major drought began to decrease birth rates throughout the Southwest. Credit: Nate Crabtree

Scientists chart an ancient baby boom—in southwestern Native Americans from 500 to 1300 AD

phys.org - June 30, 2014

Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long "growth blip" among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D.

It was a time when the early features of civilization—including farming and food storage—had matured to where birth rates likely "exceeded the highest in the world today," the researchers write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A crash followed . . .

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CLICK HERE - PNAS - RESEARCH - Long and spatially variable Neolithic Demographic Transition in the North American Southwest

 

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Climate Change Could Put One-Fifth Of World’s Population In Severe Water Shortage

      

CREDIT: shutterstock

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Multimodel assessment of water scarcity under climate change

CLICK HERE - SUPPORTING INFORMATION - Multimodel assessment of water scarcity under climate change

thinkprogress.org - by Ari Phillips - January 3, 2014

A new study by a diverse group of researchers from twelve countries found that of the human impacts stemming from climate change, the threat it poses to global water supplies may be the most severe.

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Egypt Anti-Protest Law Limits Public Gatherings

      

Several hundred supporters of Egypt's deposed president massed outside the cabinet building Wednesday in Cairo, but were not allowed to approach. Khalil Hamra/Associated Press

news.ca.msn.com - by The Associated Press - November 25, 2013

Egypt's interim president on Sunday banned public gatherings of more than 10 people without prior government approval, imposing hefty fines and prison terms for violators in a bid to stifle the near-constant protests roiling the country.

The new law is more restrictive than regulations used under the rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, overthrown in Egypt's 2011 uprising that marked the start of unrest in the country. Rights groups and activists immediately denounced it, saying it aims to stifle opposition, allow repressive police practices and keep security officials largely unaccountable for possible abuses.

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Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken From Nature - Book Review by Bill Gates

thegatesnotes.com

BOOK REVIEW

How Much of This Do We Use Up Every Year?

Written by: BILL GATES

. . . I mean everything that can be consumed on
Earth: plants, animals, all of it. And by "we" of
course I mean people.

It's such a big question that many people wouldn't even know where to start.

But if you care about understanding the impact that humans are having on the Earth, and what that means for our future, it's a crucial question. Vaclav Smil sets out to answer it in his book Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken From Nature.

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Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Coming Global Explosion

tomdispatch.com - by Michael Klare - April 21, 2013

In his pathbreaking 2001 book Resource Wars, Michael Klare wrote: “Natural resources are the building blocks of civilization and an essential requirement of daily existence.  The inhabitants of planet Earth have been blessed with a vast supply of most basic materials.  But we are placing increased pressure on those supplies, and in some cases we face, in our lifetimes, or those of our children, the prospect of severe resource depletion.”

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