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Coalition of US States Pledge to Accelerate Renewable Energy Efforts

          

Wind turbines near Rancho Mirage, California. The wind farm contains more than 4,000 separate windmills and provides enough electricity to power the entire Coachella Valley. Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Media

Bipartisan accord signed by governors of 17 states sets out commitments to expand energy efficiency and use more solar and wind generation for electricity

CLICK HERE - Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future

CLICK HERE - Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future (3 page .PDF file)

theguardian.com - by Oliver Milman - February 16, 2016

A bipartisan group of governors from 17 states has pledged to accelerate their efforts to create a green economy in the US by boosting renewables, building better electricity grids and cutting emissions from transport.

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Hawaii on High Alert of Dangerous Mosquitoes

america.aljazeera.com - February 16, 2016

Dr. Gavin MacGregor-Skinner, the director of disaster response at Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital, weighs in on Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases.

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/morning-news/2016/2/hawaii-on-high-alert-of-dangerous-mosquitoes.html

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How to Survive a Global Disaster: a Handy Guide

         

Ubisoft’s role-playing shooter The Division wouldn’t be as much fun if players followed Nafeez Ahmed’s advice and stayed rural.  Photograph: Ubisoft

Whether it’s a natural disaster, bioterrorist attack or pandemic, experts reckon society as we know it will collapse within 13 days of a catastrophic event. So what do you do next?

theguardian.com - by Keith Stuart - February 10, 2016

On 22 June, 2001, Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, organised a war game like no other. The two researchers, working with an array of bodies such as the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security, set out to simulate the effects of a biological attack on the US. The project was called Operation Dark Winter.

What they discovered was that the country was ill prepared to cope.

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Obama Asks for $1.8 Billion in Emergency Zika Funding

           

Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease and Anne Schuchat of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speak with reporters during a press briefing about the Zika virus at the White House in Washington February 8, 2016  REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE

CLICK HERE - The White House - FACT SHEET: Preparing for and Responding to the Zika Virus at Home and Abroad

CLICK HERE - CDC Emergency Operations Center moves to highest level of activation for Zika response

reuters.com - by Roberta Rampton and Ben Hirschler - February 8, 2016

President Barack Obama will ask the U.S. Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funds to fight Zika at home and abroad and pursue a vaccine, the White House said on Monday, but he added there is no reason to panic over the mosquito-borne virus.

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Bharat Biotech Says Working on Two Possible Zika Vaccines

           

A municipal health worker shows off a test tube with larvae of Zika virus vector, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, as part of the city's efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, February 2, 2016.  REUTERS/JOSUE DECAVELE

in.reuters.com - by ZEBA SIDDIQUI - February 3, 2016

Indian biotechnology company Bharat Biotech said on Wednesday it was working on two possible vaccines to fight the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil.

The virus is spreading rapidly in the Americas, and WHO officials on Tuesday expressed concern that it could hit Africa and Asia as well. No vaccine has been developed so far.

One of the possible vaccines is "recombinant", which means it is created by genetic engineering, while the other was "inactivated", and will enter pre-clinical trials in animals in two weeks, Bharat Biotech managing director Krishna Ella told Reuters.

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The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics

submitted by Albert Gomez

ellenmacarthurfoundation.org - January 19, 2016

Applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging flows could transform the plastics economy and drastically reduce negative externalities such as leakage into oceans, according to this new report.

The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics provides, for the first time, a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed.

The report was produced by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with analytical support from McKinsey & Company, as part of Project MainStream, a global, multi-industry initiative that aims to accelerate business-driven innovations to help scale the circular economy. It was financially supported by the MAVA Foundation.

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A Billion in Pandemic Prevention Is Worth a Trillion in Cure

          

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers /Bloomberg

The world is warned to prepare now for health crises such as the Ebola outbreak, or pay a lot more later.

CLICK HERE - LINK TO REPORT AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION - The Neglected Dimension of Global Security - A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises 

bloomberg.com - by John Tozzi - January 13, 2016

The world needs a . . . transformation to prevent outbreaks of infectious disease that threaten security and economic stability, according to a report sponsored by several major foundations. Pandemics—epidemics that spread across the globe—could cost humanity $6 trillion in the 21st century, or $60 billion a year, the authors estimate. They argued for investing $4.5 billion a year—or 65 cents for every resident of the planet—to prepare.

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The Neglected Dimension of Global Security - A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises

nam.edu - January 13, 2016

CLICK HERE - National Academy of Medicine - Global Health Risk Framework - The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises

CLICK HERE - REPORT - The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises (144 page .PDF report)

The Global Health Risk Framework (GHRF) initiative will build on lessons from the current Ebola outbreak and other major outbreaks to develop a comprehensive framework for improving our response to future global public health threats. The Commission will rigorously analyze options for improving governance, finance, health system resilience, and research and development for global health security. To foster trust internationally with various levels of government, civil society, academia, and industry, the Commission intends to keep the framework from being influenced by politics or the interests of any one country or organization.

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Evaluating Investments in Community Resilience: New Guide Explains How

submitted by Albert Gomez

nist.gov - January 4, 2016

Communities weighing choices for capital improvement projects intended to improve their resilience to severe weather, wildfires, earthquakes, or other types of hazards now have a new guide to help them sort through the costs and benefits of each when deciding which investment is best for their particular circumstances.

Prepared by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) economists, the Community Resilience Economic Decision Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems details steps for evaluating the “economic ramifications” of contemplated resilience investments as well as the option of maintaining the status quo.

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This is How We Got to Zero Ebola Cases in West Africa:

whitehouse.gov - by Amy Pope - December 30, 2015

Summary: The world has now gone over 40 consecutive days without a single reported Ebola case. Here's how we helped make that possible.

For the first time since this outbreak was detected in West Africa in early 2014, the world has now gone over 40 consecutive days without a single reported Ebola case.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Guinea has successfully halted Ebola transmission and now joins Sierra Leone and Liberia in recovering from this devastating disease. This represents a significant milestone for Guinea, West Africa, and the international community.

Today we reflect on what is possible when partners around the world come together to solve a common problem. Through the undaunted courage of local communities and heroes from around the world, West Africa was able to halt Ebola. The United States was proud to offer help along with partners around the world.

Today we remember Ebola’s victims, and embrace the communities, families, healthcare workers, and survivors.

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