40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World


1. Where Google Street View is Available - Map by Google

submitted by Albert Gomez

twistedsifter.com - August 13, 2013

If you’re a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and infographics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this collection aims to do just that.

Hopefully some of these maps will surprise you and you’ll learn something new.


Mobilizing for Impact Across Africa: 10 Game-Changing Examples of Advocacy and Innovation


Expanding Access to Solar Technology By Supporting Women Working in Clean Energy - Photo Credit: Solar Sister

submitted by Albert Gomez

clintonglobalinitiative.org - August 9, 2013

It’s pretty evident: the world is getting smaller. Thanks to new tools and efforts across the globe, it’s also getting better.

For the evidence, look to Africa. From Casablanca to Cape Town, local, regional, and global leaders from every sphere of society are implementing innovative technologies and engaging in grassroots efforts to address some of the greatest challenges of our time. Many of them are members of the CGI community—individuals and organizations that are turning their ideas into action by increasing economic opportunities for women, promoting eco-friendly farming in Kenya, fostering youth entrepreneurship in Morocco, and more.

View the slideshow for 10 examples of mobilizers from within the CGI community that are working to advance positive change in Africa and increase shared prosperity in this ever-shrinking world.

David Cameron: UK Must Accept the Potential of Fracking


Anti-fracking protesters in Balcombe, West Sussex, last month. Photograph: Lewis Whyld/PA

Prime minister says the UK needs to share in the energy benefits and need not worry about environmental concerns

theguardian.com - August 12, 2013

David Cameron has insisted the UK should accept fracking, claiming the controversial method of extracting gas will attract "real public support" when the benefits are explained.

The prime minister said the process would not damage the countryside and cause only "very minor change to the landscape".

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Cameron said: "I want all parts of our nation to share in the benefits: north or south, Conservative or Labour.


Death Toll in Egypt Hits 525 as Government Declares State of Emergency After Bloody Clashes


A police vehicle, which fell 50 feet to the ground, is pushed off a bridge by protesters Wednesday.

The Obama administration issued a statement that it 'strongly condemns' the crackdown. Egyptian expats in New York fretted over the tragedy unfolding in their homeland — and cursed the Muslim Brotherhood.

nydailynews.com - by Nicholas Wells and Corky Siemaszko - August 15, 2013

Egypt’s military-backed leader declared a state of emergency Wednesday after at least 525 people were killed in bloody clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The worst of the chaos was in Cairo, where fierce street battles raged and Muslim Brotherhood members, determined to restore Morsi to power, at one point occupied the Finance Ministry and took hostages.

In one of the most savage incidents, Morsi backers pushed an armored police van off a bridge, sending it plunging 50 feet and scattering the cops like rag dolls when it hit the ground.


NOAA - State of the Climate in 2012

noaa.gov - August 2013

CLICK HERE - Highlights

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS)
CLICK HERE - State of the Climate in 2012

CLICK HERE - State of the Climate in 2012
(258 page .PDF report)

2012 was one of the 10 warmest years on record globally

The end of weak La Niña, unprecedented Arctic warmth influenced 2012 climate conditions

August 6, 2013

Japan Nuclear Body Says Radioactive Water at Fukushima an Emergency


This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force, told Reuters.

Countermeasures planned by Tokyo Electric Power Co are only a temporary solution, he said.

Tepco's "sense of crisis is weak," Kinjo said. "This is why you can't just leave it up to Tepco alone" to grapple with the ongoing disaster.

"Right now, we have an emergency," he said.


H7N9 Bird Flu in China Likely Spread Between People, Researchers Find


submitted by Luis Kun

bmj.com - nbcnews.com - reuters - by Kate Kelland
August 6, 2013

CLICK HERE - BMJ - Research - Probable person to person transmission of novel avian influenza A (H7N9) virus in Eastern China, 2013: epidemiological investigation

LONDON - The first scientific analysis of probable human-to-human transmission of a deadly new strain of bird flu that emerged in China this year gives the strongest evidence yet that the H7N9 virus can pass between people, scientists said on Wednesday.

Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) analyzing a family cluster of cases of H7N9 infection in eastern China found it was very likely the virus "transmitted directly from the index patient (a 60-year-old man) to his daughter."

Experts commenting on the research said while it did not necessarily mean H7N9 is any closer to becoming the next flu pandemic, "it does provide a timely reminder of the need to remain extremely vigilant."


Chapter 7. Grain Yields Starting to Plateau - Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity


Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

Chapter 7. Grain Yields Starting to Plateau

by Lester R. Brown

From the beginning of agriculture until the mid-twentieth century, growth in the world grain harvest came almost entirely from expanding the cultivated area. Rises in land productivity were too slow to be visible within a single generation. It is only within the last 60 years or so that rising yields have replaced area expansion as the principal source of growth in world grain production.

Chapter 7. Grain Yields Starting to Plateau

Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

( ALSO SEE - http://resiliencesystem.org/chapter-4-food-or-fuel-full-planet-empty-plates-new-geopolitics-food-scarcity )

Today's Climate Change Proves Much Faster Than Changes in Past 65 Million Years

NASA finds thickest parts of arctic ice cap melting faster. Image: Flickr/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

submitted by Neal Lipner

Climate change is occurring 10 to 100 times faster than in the past and ecosystems will find it hard to adjust

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH REPORT - Abstract - Changes in Ecologically Critical Terrestrial Climate Conditions

scientificamerican.com - by Anne C. Mulkern and ClimateWire - August 2, 2013

The climate is changing at a pace that's far faster than anything seen in 65 million years, a report out of Stanford University says.

The amount of global temperature increase and the short time over which it's occurred create a change in velocity that outstrips previous periods of warming or cooling, the scientists said in research published in today's Science.

If global temperatures rise 1.5 degrees Celsius over the next century, the rate will be about 10 times faster than what's been seen before, said Christopher Field, one of the scientists on the study. Keeping the temperature increase that small will require aggressive mitigation, he said.

Rising Sea Levels Could Submerge Substantial Parts of 1,700 U.S. Cities


This may soon be what a day in the park looks like. Reuters/Jitendra Prakash

theatlanticcities.com - by Roberto A. Ferdman - July 30, 2013

Sea levels, as we know, are incredibly sensitive to rises in global temperatures. A study released earlier this month revealed that the increase of a mere degree celsius could lead global sea levels to rise by as much as two meters. But according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the implications are especially grim for the US. At the current rate of carbon emissions, over 1,700 cities, including New York, Boston and Miami, will be “locked in” by greenhouse gas emissions by this century’s end.


David Cameron: The Big Society

Rt Hon David Cameron, Tuesday, November 10 2009

Speech (excerpt):

. . . I want to extend and deepen the argument I made in my party conference speech this year, that the size, scope and role of government in Britain has reached a point where it is now inhibiting, not advancing the progressive aims of reducing poverty, fighting inequality, and increasing general well-being. Indeed there is a worrying paradox that because of its effect on personal and social responsibility, the recent growth of the state has promoted not social solidarity, but selfishness and individualism.

But I also want to argue that just because big government has helped atomise our society, it doesn't follow that smaller government would automatically bring us together again. . .


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



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.


Thai Oil Spill Having Extreme Impact on Tourism - Minister


Thai soldiers wearing biohazard suits take part as cleaning operations continue at Ao Prao Beach on Koh Samet, Rayong July 31, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

reuters.com - by Amy Sawitta Lefevre - July 30, 2013

(Reuters) - An oil spill that has blackened beaches at a Thai holiday island was having an extreme impact on tourism and could spread to the coast of the mainland and affect the fishing industry, officials and an environmental group said on Tuesday.

Tourists were pouring off the island of Koh Samet, 230 km (142 miles) southeast of Bangkok, while soldiers and volunteers in white bio-hazard suits struggled to clear black oily sludge off the white sand.

"We're working to move visitors to other locations if they want to move," Tourism Minister Somsak Phurisisak told reporters.

"I'm very concerned, I didn't think this spill would impact tourism in such an extreme way."


Environmental Reporting Guidelines: Including Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Guidance

submitted by Albert Gomez

gov.uk - June 12, 2013

This document is designed to help companies in complying with the greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting regulation, a requirement from the Climate Change Act 2008; and all organisations with voluntary reporting on a range of environmental matters, including voluntary GHG reporting and through the use of key performance indicators (KPIs).

World Solar Power Topped 100,000 Megawatts in 2012


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