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Norway, Canada, the United States and the Tar Sands

It is crunch time on tar sands. (photo: Greenpeace)

Image: It is crunch time on tar sands. (photo: Greenpeace)

readersupportednews.org - May 11th, 2013 - Dr. James Hansen

Today 36 Norwegian organizations sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stoltenberg expressing opposition to development of Canadian tar sands by Statoil (the Norwegian state is majority shareholder of Statoil). Signatories include not only environmental organizations, but a broad public spectrum, including, appropriately, many youth organizations. It is encouraging that Norwegian youth press their government to stop supporting tar sands development, given the fact that Norway saves much of its oil earnings for future generations and given the fact that Norway is not likely among the nations that will suffer most from climate change.

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A Majority on Earth Will Soon Face Severe, Self-Inflicted Water Shortage: Scientists

submitted by Samuel Bendett

(SEE LINKS TO CONFERENCE AND DECLARATION BELOW)

homelandsecuritynewswire.com - May 28, 2013

A conference of 500 leading water scientists from around the world, held last week in Bonn, issued a stark warning that, without major reforms, “in the short span of one or two generations, the majority of the nine billion people on Earth will be living under the handicap of severe pressure on fresh water, an absolutely essential natural resource for which there is no substitute. This handicap will be self-inflicted and is, we believe, entirely avoidable.”

The scientists pointed to chronic underlying problems led by mismanagement, and offered a prescription to policy makers in a 1,000-word declaration issued at the end of a 4-day meeting in Bonn, Germany. The conference, Water in the Anthropocene, was organized by the Global Water System Project (GWSP).

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National Climate Assessment Series

      

submitted by Stella Tarnay

securityandsustainabilityforum.org - by Kristina Byrne - January 31, 2013

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OCHA - Japan: An Earthquake, a Tsunami – and a Handwritten Newspaper

      

A rescue worker uses a two-way radio transceiver during heavy snowfall at a factory area devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, northern Japan, 16 March 2011. Credit: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON

unocha.org - March 15, 2013

When one of the most technologically sophisticated countries in the world is hit by a triple emergency, should we count on web platforms and social media to deliver lifesaving information? Not necessarily, according to a new report by Internews into the communications aspects of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan.

. . . instead of their usual high-tech operation, local newspaper reporters went back a few decades in time and produced a handwritten newspaper.

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Internews Report - Connecting the Last Mile: The Role of Communications in the Great East Japan Earthquake
http://www.internews.org/research-publications/connecting-last-mile-role-communications-great-east-japan-earthquake

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Global Warming is Epic, Long-Term Study Says

                            (LINKS TO STUDY ABSTRACT AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ARE BELOW)

       

Scientists look at an ice core from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide coring site.  Credit: Thomas Bauska, OSU

CNN - by Ben Brumfield - March 8, 2013

Global warming has propelled Earth's climate from one of its coldest decades since the last ice age to one of its hottest -- in just one century.

A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years, said climatologist Shaun Marcott, who worked on a new study on global temperatures going back that far.

"If any period in time had a sustained temperature change similar to what we have today, we would have certainly seen that in our record," he said.

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Study Abstract - A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

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Resilience, Risk and Vulnerability at Sida - Final Report

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

This report reviews the interventions of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) that have strong implications for increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability to natural disasters, and it aims at improving the understanding of how Sida has worked with these issues so far and how the work can be further strengthened. The report combines findings from a mapping phase with more in-depth analysis of resilience initiatives related to climate change adaptation, agriculture and water hazards.

The purpose of the study presented in the report is to:

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Study Uncovers Massive Global Yawn Over Global Warming

      

A National Guard truck drives through high water on Newark Street in Hoboken, N.J. Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 in the wake of superstorm Sandy.  AP Photo / Craig Ruttle

nationalpost.com - by Kelly McParland - February 26, 2013

This has to be bad news for environmental activists everywhere: a massive international study, conducted in 33 countries over 17 years, shows that people just don’t care a lot about the environment.

. . . the lack of concern is itself reason for concern.

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CSIS - Global Health Policy in the Second Obama Term

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Global Health Policy Center
by Stephen Morrison
February 23, 2013

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to share with you a new report and video series from the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, Global Health Policy in the Second Obama Term.

This volume analyzes seven important dimensions of a complex, widening U.S. global health agenda: HIV/AIDS; malaria; polio eradication; women’s health; health security; health diplomacy; and multilateral partners. Each chapter strives to catalog and interpret the past four years’ developments in their respective focal area, charting the measurable health impacts for which the United States can claim at least partial credit, and highlighting persistent problems and challenges. The essays conclude with concrete recommendations on how the United States can achieve the best results in the next four years in promoting the improvement of health, especially among the world’s most vulnerable citizens. Coupled with each essay is an author video interview.

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The Limits to the Shale Oil Boom

The cleanest form of petrochemical energy is clearly past its peak and is causing significant damage to ecosystems all over the planet.  That is why risky and incredibly expensive resource extraction, such as Deep Water Horizon, is becoming the new reality of oil production.  The impacts of climate change are now escalating rapidly.  But the bigger problem lies in the extents to which the largest and most profitable businesses in the world in the petrochemical industry are willing to go to continue their profitability against all rationality in terms of the  mass extinction and the impact on health and human security. 

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Food Scarcity: The Timebomb Setting Nation Against Nation

submitted by Paul G.Kaplan

        

A drying corn field in southern Minnesota. Bad weather has resulted in a poor harvest this year. Photograph: David I. Gross/ Corbis

As the UN and Oxfam warn of the dangers ahead, expert analyst Lester Brown says time to solve the problem is running out

guardian.co.uk - by John Vidal - October 13, 2012

Brandon Hunnicutt has had a year to remember. The young Nebraskan from Hamilton County farms 2,600 acres of the High Plains with his father and brother. What looked certain in an almost perfect May to be a "phenomenal" harvest of maize and soy beans has turned into a near disaster.

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Book - Full Planet, Empty Plates
http://www.earthpolicy.org/mobile/books/fpep

Oxfam Report - 'Our Land, Our Lives': Time Out on the Global Land Rush
http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/our-land-our-lives-time-out-on-the-global-land-rush-246731

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