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The Economics of Rapidly Emerging Cities

As the human populations of our small planet exceeds 7 billion on its way potentially to 9 million or 10 billion by the mid-21st Century, migrations of millions are becoming common place -- some out of desperation, others out of seeking opportunity and a better life.  According to a large percentage of climatologists and other scientists that are studying global change, the social ecologies of many large cities will become non-viable for their human populations and many other species due to climate change, the drying up of water supplies, the lose of food sources, natural disasters, wars, and other factors.  In other cases, new cities of opportunity or attractive culture will draws those seeking a better life and way of being.  

Tens of millions, and perhaps hundreds of millions will be forced to leave their homes in search of more viable communities.  Millions more will create new communities with intentionality, exploring new economic, social, and political models that improve health, human security, resilience and sustainability for the new citizens.  In some cases, simple shared principles will shape new, fast growing economies, and, in other cases, rules and conditions will be imposed on inhabitants of new communities and cities.

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When Capitalism Converges With Resilience

It is hard to argue against that fact that the U.S. and even "Communist" China, for that matter, have great influence in global markets and on health and human security -- for their own people as well as human populations world-wide. The power of capital within global, regional, national, and local markets has been transforming the world since the growth of the industrial revolution, which has only accelerated since the broad introduction of global communication and computing in the 20th century. That said, there has been growing criticism of the destructive nature of market fundamentalism and laissez faire economics in the face of a growing awareness of ecosystem carrying capacities, and the problems inherent in growth economies in decline.  So what happens when capitalists become aware of the destructive nature of growth economies, where populations are exceeding the carrying capacities of ecosystems and mass consumption economies begin to collapse?

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US Northeast Megacity (in the path of Hurricane Irene)

Megacity region US Northeast

US Northeast Megacity population map displayed by census block data.

New York Times interactive Map of Hurricane Irene's path (Click on image)

NOTE: as of Saturday afternoon, state and utility reports from North Carolina and Virgina report 1 million power customers were without electricity.

The Human Security Index: Pushing the Perceptiveness Envelope on Security Situations?

submitted by David Hastings

The Human Security Index: Pushing the Perceptiveness Envelope on Security Situations?

How do we look at security?  With respect to American vs. other country interests, stability, terrorism?  Gathering intelligence on adversaries? Do we use GDP per capita, the Freedom in the World Index, Failed States Index, Happy Planet Index, Human Development Index, Global Competitiveness Index, Country Comparisons in the CIA World Factbook and other data/indicators to help with background?

But aren't those admirable approaches just subsets of our potential capabilities?  Would they have helped us to forecast and respond wisely to events of, say, 1848?  The Russian or Iranian Revolutions?  Did they help us respond wisely to Katrina or Deepwater Horizon?  Are they helping us with our many-year-evolving US Dollar, competitiveness, sustainability and social vulnerabilities?  To many, the answer is no.

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Al Gore's Critique Sparks Debate Over Obama's Record on Climate Change

 

The following video looks at the key perspectives regarding the issue of whether the Obama Administration has engaged policies that effectively address the threat of climate change.

 

http://news.google.com/?ar=1308834370

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Simulation Fukushima Reactor 4-like Meltdown in a U.S. Nuclear Power Plant

It has been proposed that there should be a serious game simulation of a Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant reactor 4-like accident in a U.S. power plant to test the U.S. public's preparedness and ability to utilize social media and government risk communication messaging to reduce health and human security concerns around U.S. nuclear plants.  Many U.S. power plants, often close to major U.S. population centers like New York City and Omaha, Nebraska, share Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power vulnerability of storing spent fuel rods on site.  The U.S. has not prepared the American public in projected plume areas for sheltering in place and evacuations that would dramatically reduce their risk in a Fukushima-like accident.  

This week's loss of power during flooding at the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant, near Omaha, Nebraska demonstrates that this problem is not theoretical.  Although power was only cut to the plant for 90 minutes, if the power shortage had continued for over 28 hours or so, a catastrophic meltdown could have threatened Omaha, Nebraska with high-levels of radiation.

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Video - Al Gore's Critique Sparks Debate Over Obama's Record on Global Warming

Rolling Stone - June 22, 2011

by Al Gore

Climate of Denial

Can science and the truth withstand the merchants of poison?

(Link to 7 page article, below)

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/climate-of-denial-20110622?page=1

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The Nation: Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency Claims a Near Catastrophic Meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant in Nebraska

 This unusual story from Pakistan's "The Nation" claims that there has been a cover up of a near catastrophic meltdown for the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant near Omaha, Nebraska.  Evidence from the nuclear power plant and U.S. regulators indicate that the Pakistani story and Russian claims are significantly over-reaching.  The flooding that caused a Fukushima reactor 4-like spent fuel rod cooling pond interruption of power led to a 90 minute interruption of power, but the temperature of the cooling pond and the water coverage of the spent fuel rods did not approach circumstances that would cause a meltdown, according to U.S. officials. 

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DECISION MAKING AT BORDER CROSSINGS

IHSS RESEARCH:  VIRTUAL WORLD ENVIRONMENT DEVELOPED TO EVALUATE DECISION MAKING AT BORDER CROSSINGS

 

 

The Institute for Homeland Security Solutions is pleased to announce the publication of its latest research report:

 

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The next step after Japan? (Virtual reality, training and crisis management)

This may be of some interest to you.

Please forward it to anyone you think might benefit from seeing it.

Best Regards,

Bob Ross

Robert G. Ross
Chief, Risk Sciences Branch

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