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Hurricane Maria Has Made Puerto Rico the Land of Opportunity for Solar Power

           

Leaning on the lines.(Raquel Pérez Puig for Quartz)

qz.com - by Ana Campoy - November 11, 2017

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Seven weeks after hurricane Maria, the traffic lights are still down in San Juan. The narrow, cobbled streets of the city’s historic center, one of the island’s top tourist attractions, turn pitch black as soon as the sun sets. With appliances useless during the blackout, many of the city’s residents can’t cook, store food, or take a real shower.

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Is It Possible to Predict the Next Pandemic?

submitted by Carrie La Jeunesse

           

A livestock market in India - Omar Sobhani / Reuters

Large initiatives are underway to pinpoint the next big viral threats—but some virologists believe the task is too hard.

theatlantic.com - by Ed Yong - October 25, 2017

It’s been two years since an epidemic of Zika began in Brazil, three since the largest Ebola outbreak in history erupted in West Africa, eight since a pandemic of H1N1 flu swept the world, and almost a hundred since a different H1N1 flu pandemic killed 50 million people worldwide. Those viruses were all known, but no one knew when or where they’d trigger epidemics. Other diseases, like SARS, MERS, and HIV, emerged out of the blue.

Sick of being perpetually caught off guard, some scientists want to fully catalogue all viral threats, and predict which are likely to cause tomorrow’s outbreaks.

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How a Seed Bank, Almost Lost in Syria’s War, Could Help Feed a Warming Planet

Ali Shehadeh, a plant conservationist from Syria who fled the war in his country, at work in Terbol, Lebanon. Credit Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times

Image: Ali Shehadeh, a plant conservationist from Syria who fled the war in his country, at work in Terbol, Lebanon. Credit Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times

nytimes.com - Somini Sengupta - October 13th 2017

Ali Shehadeh, a seed hunter, opened the folders with the greatest of care. Inside each was a carefully dried and pressed seed pod: a sweet clover from Egypt, a wild wheat found only in northern Syria, an ancient variety of bread wheat. He had thousands of these folders stacked neatly in a windowless office, a precious herbarium, containing seeds foraged from across the hot, arid and increasingly inhospitable region known as the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of farming.

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Direct Relief - Medical Aid Shipment to Sierra Leone

Direct Relief - August 18, 2017

Direct Relief is sending 10,000 lbs of medical aid to Sierra Leone in response to the recent floods and mudslides.  Items including antibiotics, wound care and rehydration supplies left Direct Relief's warehouse today. Water purification supplies and oral rehydration salts will also be sent to help communities that have lost access to clean water.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW - VIDEO AND ORIGINAL POST

https://www.facebook.com/DirectRelief/videos/10155613349934346/

 

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To Solve Climate Change, Solve Income Inequality

A new report says that the wider the gap between rich and poor, the more the environment suffers.

           

CREDIT: Pixabay

CLICK HERE - REPORT - Roosevelt Institute - Boiling Points: The Inextricable Links Between Inequality and Climate Change

thinkprogress.org - by Marlene Cimons - May 24, 2017

We often talk about how climate change exacerbates social and economic inequality, but rarely do we consider the opposite: that inequality itself can be a driver of climate change.

“What’s missing from the conversation is what our inequality crisis is doing to our planet,” said Susan Holmberg, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and author of a new report that shows how unequal societies inflict more environmental damage than more economically even societies. “One key topic that is still overlooked is how environmental degradation and climate change are themselves the toxic byproducts of our inequality problem,” Holmberg said.

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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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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

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

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Free Resources for Disaster Resilience

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No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses, and recent events have proven that even prepared communities can be overwhelmed in a state of emergency. Our reports provide guidelines and targeted resources for all stakeholders in a disaster response, including state and local governments, emergency medical services and health care centers. Read these online for free.
CLICK HERE - Related Books

Internet of Things Security

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‘Resilience Bonds’: A Secret Weapon Against Catastrophe

           

Resilience bonds could help places vulnerable to natural disasters, like Mexico, better prepare for catastrophe - not just help clean up after it. (Credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

The costs of natural disasters are becoming too much to bear – and it’s driving up premiums no matter where you live. The solution may be a transformative type of insurance never seen before.

bbc.com - by Amanda Ruggeri - May 16, 2017

 . . . People will have to shift their entire thinking about how disaster recovery is funded – and by whom, experts say. “There’s a perception that, following a disaster, the federal government’s role is to make you whole and rebuild homes and infrastructure and community at the federal taxpayer’s expense. And that is simply not true,” Medlock says. “There are limits to what the federal government can – and should – do.”

 . . . Enter a new idea that could transform not only the global economy, but how disasters affect us: a resilience bond. As well as guaranteeing help to communities after a catastrophe, it would help fund projects and strategies they need to become less vulnerable to begin with . . .

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Thousands Of Bacteria-Infected Mosquitoes Released To Fight Zika & Other Viruses

           

miami.cbslocal.com - April 18, 2017

On Tuesday, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District released 20,000 male mosquitoes infected by the Kentucky-based company MosquitoMate with naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria.

The offspring produced when the lab-bred mosquitoes mate with wild female mosquitoes won’t survive to adulthood. Male mosquitoes don’t bite, and Wolbachia is not harmful to humans.

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