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U.S. Warns Businesses of Hacking Campaign Against Nuclear, Energy Firms

Department of Homeland Security emblem is pictured at the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) located just outside Washington in Arlington, Virginia September 24, 2010. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang/File Photo

reuters.com - by Jim Finkle - June 30, 2017

The U.S government warned industrial firms this week about a hacking campaign targeting the nuclear and energy sectors, the latest event to highlight the power industry's vulnerability to cyber attacks.

Since at least May, hackers used tainted "phishing" emails to "harvest credentials" so they could gain access to networks of their targets, according to a joint report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The report provided to the industrial firms was reviewed by Reuters on Friday. While disclosing attacks, and warning that in some cases hackers succeeded in compromising the networks of their targets, it did not identify any specific victims.

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Watch Scientist Explain How Climate Change Might Damage U.S. Economy

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Estimating economic damage from climate change in the United States

nola.com - by Mark Schleifstein - June 29, 2017

New research concludes that the poorest one third of U.S. counties -- including many Louisiana parishes -- could sustain economic damages representing as much as 20 percent of their annual income by the end of this century if nothing is done to minimize climate change. The findings are explained by the lead author of the study in a video released with its publication Thursday (June 29) in Science magazine.

"Unmitigated climate change will be very expensive for huge regions of the United States," said Solomon Hsiang, an associate professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Study: Climate change damages US economy, increases inequality

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United States - Russia - Cyber Weapons

In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline.

This week it is being reported that former President Barack Obama authorized the planting of cyber weapons in Russian infrastructure in the final weeks of his presidency in response to Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The project, not completed before the end of Obama’s term, reportedly left the weapons in President Trump’s control after he took office.

In 1982 the Soviets were at least a decade behind the West in computers and microelectronics. Since then, the Russians are thought to have caught up with western technology, and might now have the same capabilities as the United States.

If a cyber war of this nature were to break out in the future . . . who would be on the front lines?

Documentation for these occurrences will be posted within the links below, including a summary on the 1982 incident from the C.I.A. . . .

CLICK HERE - Reagan Approved Plan to Sabotage Soviets

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BNEF - New Energy Outlook 2017

           

bnef.com

Focused on the electricity system, NEO combines the expertise of over 80 market and technology specialists in 12 countries to provide a unique view of how the market will evolve . . . 

 . . . “Renewable energy sources are set to represent almost three quarters of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power generating technology until 2040, thanks to rapidly falling costs for solar and wind power, and a growing role for batteries, including electric vehicle batteries, in balancing supply and demand.”

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When Rising Seas Transform Risk Into Certainty

           

Flooding in North Miami, Florida. A 2013 World Bank study found that Miami is one of the 10 cities most at risk of damage from sea-level rise. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Amplification of flood frequencies with local sea level rise and emerging flood regimes

thebulletin.org - by Dan Drollette Jr. - June 9, 2017

According to a new study published on Wednesday by researchers from Princeton and Rutgers universities, rare floods will soon become the norm for cities like New York, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle, as well as entire states such as Florida and Hawaii. On average, this means a 40-fold increase in the occurence of flood, unless humanity soon cuts back on the amount of carbon we pump into the atmosphere.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Rare US floods to become the norm if emissions aren't cut, study warns

 

 

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Why Does America Have So Many Hungry Kids?

           

cnn.com - by Thom Patterson - June 15, 2017

 . . . The United States exports more food than any other country in the world. So why do families with children have trouble getting enough food in such a prosperous nation?

"The non-politcal answer . . . is greed and government . . . There's too many government health restrictions that force restaurants to throw away food" instead of donating it to the needy. "It's also greed: We're not helping our neighbors."

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The Arctic is Now Expected to be Ice-Free by 2040

           

The Arctic Council foresees increased shipping once the sea-ice has disappeared. Image: REUTERS/NASA

CLICK HERE - Final Report - Arctic Resilience Report

weforum.org - by Keith Breene - May 17, 2017

The last piece of summer sea-ice in the Arctic is expected to melt away in just 23 years, three decades earlier than previously expected.

Scientists now believe that the summer of 2040 will see the end of the frozen north pole after a rapid shrinking of the ice coverage in recent years, according to a report from the Arctic Council.

The scientific policy group of the eight countries with territory in the Arctic Circle says that over the past 30 years, the minimum coverage of summer ice has fallen by half while its volume has fallen by three-quarters. This change has profound implications, beyond those countries that have a direct stake in the region.

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CLICK HERE - About - Arctic Resilience Report

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Scientists Just Documented a Massive Recent Melt Event on the Surface of Antarctica

           

An iceberg lies in the Ross Sea with Mount Erebus in the background near McMurdo Station, Antarctica, in November 2016. (AFP/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Nature Communications - January 2016 extensive summer melt in West Antarctica favoured by strong El Niño

washingtonpost.com - by Chris Mooney - June 15, 2017

Scientists have documented a recent, massive melt event on the surface of highly vulnerable West Antarctica that, they fear, could be a harbinger of future events as the planet continues to warm.

In the Antarctic summer of 2016, the surface of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest floating ice platform on Earth, developed a sheet of meltwater that lasted for as long as 15 days in some places. The total area affected by melt was 300,000 square miles, or larger than the state of Texas, the scientists report.

That’s bad news because surface meltin g could work hand in hand with an already documented trend of ocean-driven melting to compromise West Antarctica, which contains over 10 feet of potential sea level rise.

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Climate Change Pushing Tropical Diseases Toward Arctic

Temperature changes around the globe are pushing human pathogens of all kinds into unexpected new areas, raising many new risks for people.

           

Bathers on the Baltic have recently been confronted with a new threat: dangerous disease that is normally only found in warm water.  PHOTOGRAPH BY PRIIT VESILIND, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

news.nationalgeographic.com - by Craig Welch - June 14, 2017

 . . . It's no secret that climate change can spread illnesses such as West Nile virus, Zika, and malaria, as rising temperatures push disease-carrying mosquitoes into new places, from the highlands of Ethiopia to the United States. But warm temperatures and shifting weather patterns work in subtle ways, too. Changes in precipitation, wind, or heat are shifting the threat posed by other human illnesses, from cholera to a rare freshwater brain-eating amoeba to rodent-driven infections like hantavirus. And the importance of all these changes are only growing more significant.

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'Spectacular' Drop in Renewable Energy Costs Leads to Record Global Boost

Falling solar and wind prices have led to new power deals across the world despite investment in renewables falling

           

Solar panels on sale at the Naran Tuul market in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Photograph: Seong Joon Cho/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - Global Status Report - REN21 - Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century

theguardian.com - by Damian Carrington - June 6, 2017

Renewable energy capacity around the world was boosted by a record amount in 2016 and delivered at a markedly lower cost, according to new global data – although the total financial investment in renewables actually fell.

The greater “bang-for-buck” resulted from plummeting prices for solar and wind power and led to new power deals in countries including Denmark, Egypt, India, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates all being priced well below fossil fuel or nuclear options . . .

 . . . The new renewable energy capacity installed worldwide in 2016 was 161GW, a 10% rise on 2015 and a new record, according to REN21, a network of public and private sector groups covering 155 nations and 96% of the world’s population.

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