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Recovering from Disasters: Social Networks Matter More Than Bottled Water and Batteries

submitted by Joyce Fedeczko

           

Survivors leave Tohoku a day after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Warren Antiola/Flickr

theconversation.com - by Daniel P. Aldrich

Standard advice about preparing for disasters focuses on building shelters and stockpiling things like food, water and batteries. But resilience - the ability to recover from shocks, including natural disasters - comes from our connections to others, and not from physical infrastructure or disaster kits.

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Turning the Tide Against Cholera

Map of the Sundarbans, part of the Ganges River Delta, where Cholera first emerged. Source: World Wildlife Fund

Image: Map of the Sundarbans, part of the Ganges River Delta, where Cholera first emerged. Source: World Wildlife Fund

nytimes.com - February 6th 2017 - Donald G. McNeil Jr.

Two hundred years ago, the first cholera pandemic emerged from these tiger-infested mangrove swamps.

It began in 1817, after the British East India Company sent thousands of workers deep into the remote Sundarbans, part of the Ganges River Delta, to log the jungles and plant rice. These brackish waters are the cradle of Vibrio cholerae, a bacterium that clings to human intestines and emits a toxin so virulent that the body will pour all of its fluids into the gut to flush it out.

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Trump Will Withdraw From Global Climate Pact, Transition Official Says

Demonstrators protest Donald Trump's climate change stance outside the office of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) in New York, January 9. REUTERS.

Image: Demonstrators protest Donald Trump's climate change stance outside the office of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) in New York, January 9. REUTERS.

newsweek.com - January 30th 2017 - Reuters

The United States will switch course on climate change and pull out of a global pact to cut emissions, said Myron Ebell, who headed U.S. President Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team until his inauguration.

Ebell is the director of global warming and international environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a U.S. conservative think tank, and helped to guide the EPA's transition after Trump was elected in November until he was sworn in on Jan. 20.

Trump, a climate skeptic, campaigned on a pledge to boost the U.S. oil and gas drilling and coal mining industries by reducing regulation. 

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Flamanville reactor blast: No nuclear risk, say officials

The two reactors at Flamanville will eventually be joined by a third.

Image: The two reactors at Flamanville will eventually be joined by a third.

bbc.com - February 9th 2017

An explosion and fire have occurred at the Flamanville nuclear plant on France's northern coast but there was no nuclear risk, officials say.

"It is a significant technical event but it is not a nuclear accident," senior local official Olivier Marmion told AFP news agency.

Five people reported feeling unwell but none was seriously injured.

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U.N. Needs $2.1 Billion to Avert Famine in Yemen

           

Girls stand at the entrance to their tent at a camp for internally displaced people in the northwestern city of Saada, Yemen January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Naif Rahma

reuters.com - by Stephanie Nebehay - February 8, 2017

The United Nations said on Wednesday that 12 million people in Yemen faced the threat of famine brought on by two years of civil war and the situation was rapidly deteriorating.

It appealed for $2.1 billion to provide food and other life-saving aid, saying that Yemen's economy and institutions are collapsing and its infrastructure has been devastated.

"If there is no immediate action, and despite the ongoing humanitarian efforts, famine is now a real possibility for 2017. Malnutrition is rife and rising at an alarming rate," U.N. emergency relief coordinator Stephen O'Brien told a news briefing.

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‘A Conservative Climate Solution’: Republican Group Calls for Carbon Tax

James A. Baker, seen here at former first lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral in March 2016, is a member of the Climate Leadership Council. Despite its impeccable Republican credentials, the group faces long odds with its carbon-tax idea. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

nytimes.com by John Schwartz - February 7, 2017

A group of Republican elder statesmen is calling for a tax on carbon emissions to fight climate change.

The group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Henry M. Paulson Jr., a former secretary of the Treasury, says that taxing carbon pollution produced by burning fossil fuels is “a conservative climate solution” based on free-market principles.

Mr. Baker is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, the senior adviser to the president, and Gary D. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, as well as Ivanka Trump.

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Yellow Fever Deaths Climb to 60 in Brazil Outbreak

           

Aedes Aegypti mosquito. SHUTTERSTOCK KOMUNIKA ONLINE

CLICK HERE - CDC - Yellow Fever in Brazil

en.tempo.co - February 5, 2017

TEMPO.CO, Rio de Janeiro - The Brazilian government announced Friday that the number of confirmed deaths caused by a yellow fever outbreak has reached 60, while 87 more suspicious deaths are being investigated.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said that 53 of the deaths had come in the state of Minas Gerais, where the outbreak started before spreading to other states. Four people have died in Espirito Santo and three more in the state of Sao Paulo.

Since the start of the outbreak, 150 deaths were potentially attributed of yellow fever, 60 of which have been confirmed, 87 are still under investigation and three have been eliminated.

In total, 921 people have been suspected of being infected, 804 of which happened in Minas Gerais. 702 are being investigated, 161 have been confirmed and 58 have been ruled out.

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Why Venezuela's Currency Crisis Is A Case Study For Bitcoin

           

People stand in line to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) outside a bank in Caracas, Venezuela, on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. (Wil Riera/Bloomberg)

forbes.com - by Kevin Rands - February 3, 2017

As the value of hard currency changes drastically—and often—developing or recession-hit countries are finding Bitcoin as an innovative solution.

Just look at Venezuela, the country with the highest inflation rate in the world. The socialist nation has experienced a swift fall in oil prices, throwing the entire economy into turmoil. Experts say that Venezuelan inflation could go as high as 1,600%, leaving many people without basic necessities. . . .

. . . With the Venezuelan bolivar essentially worthless and supplies rapidly running out, Bitcoin is rising as an answer.

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Climate Change - Tipping Points

Under the Trump administration, the EPA may be shifting away from its focus on preventing climate change and toward a posture where it deals much more with helping the country adapt to its impacts.  President Trump needs a better understanding of the Climate Change Tipping Points, and the effects of its aftermath.  The necessary actions needed to prevent the catastrophic effects after Climate Change Tipping Points have been reached requires both climate mitigation, which refers to actions that prevent further global warming, as well as adaptation.  The general scientific consensus is as follows . . . “Without immediate meaningful action, our governments will be stressed and most if not all will likely fail within this century. All indications are that working together increases survivability. But we must avoid passing deeply towards, or beyond the tipping points in order to mitigate the impacts” . . .

References:

OSS Foundation - Tipping Points ( Climate Change )
http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/tipping-points

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We Are Grossly Unprepared for Major Outbreaks

submitted by Alicia Juarrero

           

CLICK HERE - The BMJ - Post-Ebola reforms: ample analysis, inadequate action

CLICK HERE - Post-Ebola reforms: ample analysis, inadequate action (8 page .PDF report)

globalbiodefense.com - January 26, 2017

The world remains “grossly underprepared” for outbreaks of infectious disease, which are likely to become more frequent in the coming decades, warn a team of international experts in The BMJ.

They reviewed reports on the recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and say better preparedness and a faster, more coordinated response could have prevented most of the 11,000 deaths directly attributed to Ebola and also the broader economic, social, and health crises that ensued.

. . . a research team, led by Suerie Moon at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, synthesized seven major post-Ebola reports and laid out the key problems and recommendations they highlighted.

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