U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the Internet

Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Image: Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

washingtonpost.com - March 14th, 2014 - Craig Timberg

U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.

Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash last year to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.

Ecological Footprint of Consumption Compared to Biocapacity

This map compares each country's total consumption Footprint with the biocapacity available within its own borders.

Many countries rely, in net terms, on the biocapacity of other nations to meet domestic demands for goods and services. For example: Japan imports Ecuadorian wood to make paper; Europe imports meat fed on Brazilian soy; the United States imports Peruvian cotton; and China obtains lumber from Tanzania.

  • World Total Biocapacity: 1.78 gha per capita
  • World Ecological Footprint of Consumption: 2.7 gha per capita (i.e. we are using more resources than the Earth can provide.)

Currently less than 20 percent of the world's population living in countries that can keep up with their own demands.

What is a global hectare (gha)?

A global hectare is a common unit that encompasses the average productivity of all the biologically productive land and sea area in the world in a given year. Biologically productive areas include cropland, forest and fishing grounds, and do not include deserts, glaciers and the open ocean.

Data source: Global Footprint Network's 2010 Edition.

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Nasa-Funded Study: Industrial Civilisation Headed for Irreversible Collapse?

      

This Nasa Earth Observatory image shows a storm system circling around an area of extreme low pressure in 2010, which many scientists attribute to climate change. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Natural and social scientists develop new model of how 'perfect storm' of crises could unravel global system

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theguardian.com - by Nafeez Ahmed - March 14, 2014

A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."

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Can Europe’s New Designs Help the UK’s Housing Crisis?

      

As the UK faces a housing crisis, The Culture Show travels across Europe to find the latest architectural movements which could provide a solution.

bbc.com - July 19, 2013

The combination of population increases, a shaky economy and changes in working and living habits has led to a housing shortage in the UK. The Culture Show visits three locations in Europe to see how innovative new projects could offer solutions to Britain’s housing problem.

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Wind Energy Protects Water Security, Says Report

ewea.org
triplepundit.com - by Jan Lee - March 13, 2014

Just in time for World Water Day: The European Wind Energy Association has released a report examining the role that water plays in energy production. And the numbers are staggering.

According to the report, 44 percent of water usage in the European Union goes to energy production.

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CLICK HERE - EWEA Report - Saving Water with Wind Energy

Turkey PM Erdogan Threatens to Ban Facebook and YouTube

      

Mr Erdogan has increased his majority at each parliamentary election

bbc.com - March 7, 2014

Turkey's PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his government could ban Facebook and YouTube, arguing that opponents are using social media to attack him.

But President Abdullah Gul later called such a ban "out of the question".

Allegations of corruption against Mr Erdogan have been repeated on the social media sites.

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Global Warming - Natural Cycle, or Human-Influenced?

ossfoundation.us

Is global warming a natural cycle? Or is global warming affected by human influence? What does the science say? Both are true. In the natural cycle, the world can warm, and cool, without any human interference. For the past million years this has occurred over and over again at approximately 100,000 year intervals. About 80-90,000 years of ice age with about 10-20,000 years of warm period, give or take some thousands of years.

The difference is that in the natural cycle CO2 lags behind the warming because it is mainly due to the Milankovitch cycles. Now CO2 is leading the warming. Current warming is clearly not a natural cycle.

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Wind of change sweeps through energy policy in the Caribbean

A fruit juice cafe in Road Town, Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. Many Caribbean islands are turning to sustainable energy. Photographs: Jenny Bates

Image: A fruit juice cafe in Road Town, Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. Many Caribbean islands are turning to sustainable energy. Photographs: Jenny Bates

theguardian.com - John Vidal - February 10th, 2014

Aruba in the southern Caribbean has 107,000 people, a lot of wind and sun and, until very recently, one very big problem. Despite the trade winds and sunshine, it was spending more than 16% of its economy on importing 6,500 barrels of diesel fuel a day to generate electricity. People were furious at the tripling of energy prices in 10 years and the resulting spiralling costs of imported water and food.

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Global Riot Epidemic Due to Demise of Cheap Fossil Fuels

      

A protester in Ukraine swings a metal chain during clashes - a taste of things to come? Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

submitted by Mikayla McDonald

From South America to South Asia, a new age of unrest is in full swing as industrial civilisation transitions to post-carbon reality

theguardian.com - by Nafeez Ahmed - February 28, 2014

If anyone had hoped that the Arab Spring and Occupy protests a few years back were one-off episodes that would soon give way to more stability, they have another thing coming. The hope was that ongoing economic recovery would return to pre-crash levels of growth, alleviating the grievances fueling the fires of civil unrest, stoked by years of recession. . .

. . . The recent cases illustrate not just an explicit link between civil unrest and an increasingly volatile global food system, but also the root of this problem in the increasing unsustainability of our chronic civilisational addiction to fossil fuels. . .

. . . Of course, the elephant in the room is climate change.

Doctors Without Borders Expelled from Myanmar

      

Myanmar protesters hold placards and shout slogans during a rally against the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) aid agency in Sittwe, Rakhine state, on February 22, 2014 (AFP/File)

ap.org - by Margie Mason - February 28, 2014

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was "deeply shocked" by Myanmar's decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

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CLICK HERE - MSF - Myanmar: MSF concerned about the fate of thousands of patients after being ordered to cease activities

There Never Was a Pause in Global Warming or Climate Change

Climate scientist Professor Matt England explains his study on the influence of Pacific trade winds on global temperatures

All signs point to an acceleration of human-caused climate change. So why all this talk of a pause?

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Recent intensification of wind-driven circulation in the Pacific and the ongoing warming hiatus

theguardian.com - by Graham Readfearn - February 11, 2014

The idea that global warming has "paused" or is currently chillaxing in a comfy chair with the words "hiatus" written on it has been getting a good run in the media of late.

Much of this is down to a new study analysing why one single measure of climate change – the temperatures on the surface averaged out across the entire globe – might not have been rising quite so quickly as some thought they might.

Arctic Seafloor Methane Releases Double Previous Estimates

      

Methane burns as it escapes through a hole in the ice in a lagoon above the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. 
Credit: Natalia Shakhova
 
 

sciencedaily.com - University of Alaska Fairbanks - November 25, 2013

The seafloor off the coast of Northern Siberia is releasing more than twice the amount of methane as previously estimated, according to new research results published in the Nov. 24 edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf is venting at least 17 teragrams of the methane into the atmosphere each year. . .

New Maps Reveal Locations of Species at Risk as Climate Changes

      

Speed and direction of climate shifts over the past 50 years in Australia.  Credit: Image - CSIRO Australia
 
sciencedaily.com - CSIRO Austrailia - February 10, 2014

In research published today in the journal Nature, CSIRO and an international team of scientists revealed global maps showing how fast and in which direction local climates are shifting. This new study points to a simpler way of looking at climatic changes and their likely effects on biodiversity.

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CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Nature - Geographical limits to species-range shifts are suggested by climate velocity

China Turns Up Smog Alert

      

A man walks along the moat of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, Feb 21, 2014. A large area of north China including Beijing and Tianjin are experiencing another round of heavy smog and air pollution that is expected to last for a week. [Photo/Xinhua]

chinadaily.com.cn - February 25, 2014

BEIJING - China's top observatory has raised the severity of its smog alert for northern and central China, with heavy smog expected to continue for another two days.

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) late Monday turned up the smog alert from yellow to orange, the second-highest level in severity, and at 8 am Tuesday continued the alert for another 24 hours, according to a statement.

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Deadly MERS Virus Circulates Among Arabian Camels

      

Jockeys take their camels home after racing in Egypt's El Arish desert. The annual race draws competitors from around the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, where camels carry the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus.  Nasser Nouri/Xinhua /Landov

CLICK HERE - mBio STUDY
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection in Dromedary Camels in Saudi Arabia

npr.org - by Richard Knox - February 25, 2014

Scientists have gotten close to pinning down the origin of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a dangerous respiratory disease that emerged in Saudi Arabia 17 months ago.

It turns out the MERS virus has been circulating in Arabian camels for more than two decades, scientists report in a study published Tuesday.

So far MERS has sickened more than 180 people, killing at least 77 of them — an alarming 43 percent.

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