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+ - Obama Presses Leaders to Speed Ebola Response->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "President Obama on Tuesday challenged world powers to accelerate the global response to the Ebola outbreak that is ravaging West Africa, warning that unless health care workers, medical equipment and treatment centers were swiftly deployed, the disease could take hundreds of thousands of lives.

“This epidemic is going to get worse before it gets better,” Mr. Obama said here at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he met with doctors who had just returned from West Africa. The world, he said, “has the responsibility to act, to step up and to do more. The United States intends to do more.”

Even as the president announced a major American deployment to Liberia and Senegal of medicine, equipment and 3,000 military personnel, global health officials said that time was running out and that they had weeks, not months, to act. They said that although the American contribution was on a scale large enough to make a difference, a coordinated assault in Africa from other Western powers was essential to bringing the virus under control."

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+ - The Canadians Are Coming->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Hundreds of Canadians will join tens of thousands of people in the streets of New York City next weekend for one of the largest climate change mobilizations in history.

Renewable energy advocates of all ages will be gathering as a part of the Tar Sands Free bloc at the march, which will coincide with the UN climate summit in New York.

"While this will be one of the largest climate marches in history, it also isn't just about size. It's about showing that people are standing alongside those impacted most by climate change and extreme extraction," said Eriel Deranger, communications coordinator for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, who will be marching in New York. "People are impacted from the extraction of carbon polluting industries such as the Tar Sands and fracking, as well as the way to the extreme impacts of climate change."

Travelling from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston and Halifax, among other cities, the Canadian marchers will join communities impacted by climate disasters like Hurricane Sandy, and Indigenous peoples resisting tar sands and other extreme extraction both in Canada and abroad."

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+ - Decades After Nuclear Test, U.S. Studies Cancer Fallout->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Nearly 70 years after the U.S. conducted the world's first atomic-bomb test here in the New Mexico desert, federal researchers are slated to visit the state this month to begin studying whether some residents developed cancer due to the blast.

As part of the long anticipated project, set to start Sept. 25, investigators with the National Cancer Institute will interview people who lived in the state around the time of the 1945 Trinity test and assess the effects of consuming food, milk and water that may have been contaminated by the explosion.

For years, residents of the rural, heavily Hispanic villages near the test site have claimed that a mysterious wave of cancer has swept through this dusty stretch of south-central New Mexico, decimating families and prompting calls for the government to determine whether radiation exposure played a role."

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+ - Leading philanthropic foundations can create climate "tipping point"->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "In the largest and most international declaration ever published by environmentalists, 160 winners of environmental prizes from 46 countries, have today called on the world’s foundations to use their financial power to fight global warming.

In an appeal published in the International New York Times they call on foundations and philanthropists to dig into their endowments to create a tipping point in climate action – “to trigger a survival reflex in society.”

The world’s philanthropic foundations own endowments worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

They invest those endowments to generate returns from which they can pay out grants or make loans. They use these to fund a multitude of causes, but as things stand only a minority tackle climate change, either as part of their mission or as their major focus.

Yet climate change is the issue that is arguably the single biggest threat to civilization."

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Comment: Fresh water freezes faster than salt (Score 5, Informative) 596

by mdsolar (#47909839) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels
"Here we show that accelerated basal melting of Antarctic ice shelves is likely to have contributed significantly to sea-ice expansion. Specifically, we present observations indicating that melt water from Antarctica’s ice shelves accumulates in a cool and fresh surface layer that shields the surface ocean from the warmer deeper waters that are melting the ice shelves. Simulating these processes in a coupled climate model we find that cool and fresh surface water from ice-shelf melt indeed leads to expanding sea ice in austral autumn and winter." http://www.nature.com/ngeo/jou...

+ - Over 100 Swarthmore Students To Attend Climate March in NYC Next Weekend->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "It has been reported already in the NYT that students at Pace University (which is in NY) will be marching to urge the UN to get moving on climate change, but students from neighboring states are planning to be there in numbers as well.

"Over 100 Swarthmore students will travel to New York City to attend the People’s Climate March this Sunday, September 21. Swarthmore Mountain Justice has partnered with Earthlust to organize bus transportation for Tri-Co students and other community members who wish to attend the march, which is expected to draw 250,000 people.

Stephen O’Hanlon ‘17, of Swarthmore Mountain Justice, described Swatties’ attendance at the Climate March as a way to “show the power that [the divestment movement] has build through divestment campaignsaround the country.”

Hazlett Henderson ‘17, also a member of Mountain Justice, hopes that the march will renew enthusiasm for climate justice on campus. After the march, she said, “a lot of people are going to be very excited by divestment, because this is such a big gathering of people. It’s going to show how much support and how much energy there is surrounding this issue.”"

Hopefully the UN will listen since these are the people who will suffer if that does not happen."

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Comment: Re:Steam to extract oil that shouldn't be... (Score 1) 81

by mdsolar (#47907177) Attached to: Solar Powered Technology Enhances Oil Recovery
This kind of thing gives access to much more fossil carbon than is considered in most carbon inventories because there is no need for the process to produce energy from the fossil carbon. It can just be an energy transfer from renewable energy that won't run out, to buried carbon that that is too low quality to be a fuel on its own. If we consider using renewably generated hydrogen to mobilize the remaining carbon in spent source rock, there is more than enough carbon to make the earth's surface uninhabitable for mammals nearly everywhere. http://www.newscientist.com/bl...

Comment: EROEI (Score 1) 81

by mdsolar (#47906023) Attached to: Solar Powered Technology Enhances Oil Recovery
This allows the Peak Oil argument that oil won't be extracted if the ratio of energy return on energy invested drops too low (usually below about 3) to be discounted. Values well below one can now be exploited. Additionally, source rock may be injected with renewably sourced hydrogen to get at carbon that normally would be completely immobile. Kharecha and Hansen attempted to look at the effects of Peak Oil on climate. http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs... It appears they may have been seriously too optimistic. Exploiting source rock to mobilize all the carbon using renewable energy could lead to three or four doublings of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In essence, renewable energy provides the means to make most of the continents uninhabitable.

+ - Solar Power-Based Enhanced Oil Recovery Technology->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Royal Dutch Shell has teamed with a sovereign investment fund from Oman to invest $53 million in a company that manufactures solar power equipment designed for increasing oil production. Glasspoint Solar Inc. installs aluminium mirrors near oil fields that concentrate solar radiation on insulated tubes containing water.

The steam generated from heating the water is injected into oil fields to recover heavy crude oil. This concept of enhanced oil recovery involves high pressure injection of hot fluids to recover heavy crude oil. The use of renewable energy like solar power makes great economic sense, as the fuel cost associated with this enhanced oil recovery technology is practically zero.

Shell hopes to employ this technology in its oil fields in Oman. The company hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with enhanced oil recovery operations. A large-scale successful implementation of this technology could be a game changer for major consumers like India and the US. Both have substantial oil reserves, but are unable to tap them due to high costs involved in heavy oil recovery."

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Comment: Worship (Score 2) 887

by mdsolar (#47899159) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk
One of the arguments for the existence of God is that we are inclined to worship. It is argued that we would not have this god-directed faculty if there were no object upon which to exercise this faculty. Apparently this article urges that hero worship be substituted. Charisma over reason....

+ - A social movement on climate change?->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The ozone layer was saved http://news.slashdot.org/story... without a huge amount of fuss. Scientists explained the problem to governments. Governments went to Montreal and came back with a treaty. The progress gets checked periodically and the problem gets fixed. There were certainly people writing letters to their representatives and there was a broad public health initiative to use sunblock but it is hard to say that change came through a social movement the way, for example, apartheid was defeated. But, on climate change, basically a scientific issue like ozone, an effort to spark a social movement has been long running. Al Gore's film and education campaign were an early effort. The StepItUp and 350.org efforts are more recent. And, Stanford recently decided to divest from coal companies, http://news.slashdot.org/story... reminiscent of the anti-apartheid movement. Now, a mass march is planned for September 21 in NYC to get the UN to do more on climate change with a film called "Disruption" released on line in concert with this effort. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... Perhaps new combinations of social media, social movement and science will make a difference."
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