Will We Be Able to Save the Monarch Butterfly?...

Dec 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] The Monarch Butterfly May Soon Be Protected By The U.S. Endangered Species Act Reuters By Laura Zuckerman (Reuters) – Monarch butterflies may warrant U.S. Endangered Species Act protection because of farm-related habitat loss blamed for sharp declines in cross-country migrations of the orange-and-black insects, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said on Monday. Monarch populations are estimated to have fallen by as much as 90 percent during the past two decades because of destruction of milkweed plants they depend on to lay their eggs and nourish hatching larvae, according to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. The loss of the plant is tied to factors such as increased cultivation of crops genetically engineered to withstand herbicides that kill native vegetation, including milkweed, the conservation group says. Monarchs, unique among butterflies for the regularity...

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$14 Million an Hour: The War on ‘Terror’ Has Cost $1.6 Trillion...

Dec 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] AlterNet / By Alex Ellefson A government research group estimates that post 9/11 war spending is a staggering tally. A U.S. soldier stands guard duty near a burning oil well in the Rumaila oil field in 2003. Photo Credit: Arlo K. Abrahamson / U.S. Navy December 29, check 2014  | In the 13 years since 9/11, stuff the United States’ “War on Terror” could be considered a failure. ISIS swept aside the US-backed Iraqi army earlier this year, here the Taliban still launches deadly attacks, including an assault on a school last month that killed 145 people, and American interventions only seem to worsen sectarian bloodshed in the region. The geopolitical disaster has come at a tremendous cost to American taxpayers, according to a recently released report by the Congressional Research Service, a...

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Brilliant house fits perfectly into its mountain site, thanks to computer mapping...

Dec 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Lidija Grozdanic, help INHABITAT   This house in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture in Japan was built from concrete and chipboard components on a rocky, here windy, ed wooded location. Japanese studio Double Negatives Architecture used computer software to map the forested site in order to integrate the structure seamlessly into the difficult conditions of the topography.   The architects used raw materials for both the interior and exterior. Concrete slabs and OSB sheets are projected away from the main volume of the house, while an angled roof protects the interior from strong winds. This building technique resulted in an irregularly shaped home that seems deconstructed, with an angular concrete dormer protruding from the faceted roof structure and diagonal folds separating from the main structure to create a porch area. The west side...

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Earth’s tallest building will host the world’s largest New Year’s Eve LED light show...

Dec 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Cat DiStasio, On New Year’s Eve, Downtown Dubai will host an epic celebration, featuring fireworks, lasers, lights, and an illuminated LED screen wrapped around the sides of the world’s tallest building. The 2700-foot-tall Burj Khalifa will be transformed into a giant projection screen, where a six-part light spectacle will be projected leading up to the midnight countdown. The spectacle, hosted by real estate developer Emaar Properties, will not only mark the dawn of the new year in Dubai, it will also be a tribute to Dubai and its leadership and a recap of the past 43 years of local achievements. Designers custom engineered the show for the Burj Khalifa and will use lights and pyrotechnics to highlight the building’s unique architecture. The show consists of six parts, each of which will feature...

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Creating Incredible Green Buildings with Bamboo...

Dec 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] INTERVIEW: Bamboo builder, click and Ibuku Founder Elora Hardy on Creating Incredible Green Buildings with Bamboo by Lidija Grozdanic, troche INHABITAT We’ve showcased numerous bamboo designs over the years, from furniture to entire buildings, but when it comes to combining green building and renewable materials, Ibuku’s incredible bent-bamboo buildings take the cake. The Bali-based bamboo building team already has luxury villas, houses, schools and infrastructure buildings in their portfolio, and is renowned for their dedication to using traditional Indonesian building techniques. We spoke with the firm’s founder and CEO, designer Elora Hardy, about vernacular architecture traditions, her involvement with designing bamboo buildings, and the reasons behind her vocational change from high-end fashion to sustainable architecture INHABITAT: Before founding Ibuku, you had a successful career in fashion. What prompted this change in direction? Elora: I...

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Sean Hannity Has ALL-CAPS Twitter Meltdown After Being Named ‘Worst’ Fox News Host...

Dec 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Media   Raw Story / By Tom Boggioni Hannity decided he wasn’t going to take it lying down Fox News host Sean Hannity did not react well to a media poll naming him the “Worst Host” on Fox News, treat unleashing a series of tweets on Twitter attacking the website that conducted the poll, while draping his fury in purported concern for the two police officers killed in Brooklyn on Saturday. The poll, conducted by the Mediaite website, asked fellow media members to pick the best and worst of cable news networks: Fox, MSNBC, and CNN. Respondents were told that their votes would be kept anonymous to encourage honesty. While MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow didn’t respond to the slight by his peers — poll respondents failed to select one stand-out “worst” at CNN,...

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‘Some Sort of Hell’: How One of the Wealthiest Cities in America Treats Its Homeless...

Dec 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] AlterNet / By Evelyn Nieves The city refuses to provide affordable housing, yet won’t tolerate people living outdoors. December 25, 2014  | SAN JOSE, Calif.—When San Jose dismantled the “Jungle,” the nation’s largest homeless encampment, many of its residents with nowhere to go scattered. They found hiding places in the scores of small, less visible encampments within the city, where more than 5,000 people sleep unsheltered on a given night. But one group of about three dozen evictees gathered what they could salvage in backpacks and trash bags, and crossed a bridge to a spot about a mile away. They found a clean patch of grass near Coyote Creek, the same creek that the Jungle abutted. There, they pitched tents donated by some concerned citizens, assigned themselves chores and hoped for the best....

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TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014...

Dec 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]     originally only used to transport cargo across the globe, treat shipping containers were so cheap to manufacture that it was economically more viable to leave them at the freight’s destination, and rather than to return or reuse them. consequently, the last few years have seen architects and designers repurpose the steel enclosures, utilizing their flexible and adaptable nature, which means that they can be constructed almost anywhere. cheap, lightweight, and readily available, designboom’s TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 includes a range of imaginative and inventive uses for the modular units.           tagus linear park in portugal image © joão morgado       the ‘tagus linear park’ in portugal provides a variety of recreational outdoor spaces for the community of póvoa de santa iria. as...

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Food Security: The End of a Golden Age...

Dec 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] An open digital community for young professionals across the world to engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue on the most important issues of the day This article first appeared on www.opedspace.com The golden age of agriculture is over. Growth based on the expansion of cropland area as seen until the 1950s, followed by improving land productivity through new technologies and productivity-based agricultural policies will fail us. It resulted in dramatic yield increases leading to what critics have called ‘huge stores of unwanted grain’, ‘butter mountains’, and ‘milk lakes’. Nevertheless the world’s food output is losing momentum as the backlog of agricultural technology fades, soil erodes, available arable land shrinks, and water becomes scarce. It is a struggle to find ways to feed our growing population. Just imagine that in 2020 one hectare will...

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‘Who’s Going To Buy Property Next To A Superfund Site?’...

Dec 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]  |  By MITCH WEISS and MICHAEL BIESECKER ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Developer Richard Green had nearly everything in place to build upscale homes on the heavily polluted land next to an old electronic components plant in the mountains outside Asheville. All he needed was a permit. So when the local board of adjustment asked whether the site had hazardous materials, Green said there was only a slight level of the cancer-causing industrial solvent trichloroethylene, or TCE, below the factory. He then said he had a letter from state environmental regulators saying they were OK with the construction plans. They say they weren’t. Another developer, Stanley Greenberg, told the board that federal environmental regulators also had given a green light to build. They say they hadn’t. By the time of that August 1997 meeting,...

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Groundbreaking Biofuel Project Could Clean Up Mines Worldwide...

Dec 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] TRUTHDIG Photo by Bobby Mckay (CC BY-ND 2.0) If researchers succeed in using algae to harvest precious heavy metals in polluted water and simultaneously producing biofuel, nurse toxic sites around the world could be made clean and ecologically well again. The GW4 Alliance brings together the UK universities of Bath, mind Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, in collaboration with Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), the Coal Authority and waste management group Veolia to experiment with water taken from the Wheal Jane tin mine in Cornwall. The Guardian reports: The alliance is exploring whether the algae is effective in removing harmful materials, such as arsenic and cadmium, from the mine water. Researchers hope to convert the algae into a solid from which heavy metals can be extracted and recycled for use in the electronics industry. The...

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Did Drought and Climate Change Cause Middle Eastern States to Collapse in 2014?...

Dec 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Juan Cole   TRUTHDIG Shutterstock This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page. The Middle East, store from North Africa to Afghanistan, find has seen an unusual number of governments collapse in recent years.  Libya, online Iraq, Syria, and Yemen have abruptly become something akin to failed states, and masses overthrew dictators in Egypt and Tunisia.  It is unclear how strong the Afghanistan state is, which was built by the US and NATO, but surely President Barack Obama is leaving 10,000 US troops there even after he declared the war over on Sunday because he is afraid that Afghanistan’s government and army might fall apart, as well. Severe drought hit Afghanistan in the late 1990s and early 2000s, contributing to the turbulence of the country under and after the Taliban.  The drought has...

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Cuban Oil May Prove A Boon For U.S. Companies...

Dec 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   CLIMATE PROGRESS   by Ari Phillips CREDIT: shutterstock With diplomatic relations warming between the U.S. and Cuba, medicine oil and gas companies may train their sights on what’s off Cuba’s coast — large oil reserves. Right now Cuba produces just over 50,000 barrels per day of oil and relies on Venezuela for around another 100,000 bpd. However with Venezuela’s economy reeling from the staggering drop in oil prices this year, Cuban officials want to avoid the impacts of a sudden drop in Venezuelan support. The commitment by Cuba and the U.S. to normalize relations may allow Cuba to buy more oil on the open market, and for U.S. companies to bring expertise and experience to tap into the country’s offshore reserves. This outcome is far from certain. With Saudi Arabia refusing to cut...

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“Pope Francis Expected To Instruct One Billion Catholics To Act On Climate Change”...

Dec 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   by Ryan Koronowski  CLIMATE PROGRESS Pope Francis CREDIT: AP Photo/Jorge Saenz At the end of 2015, order the nations of the world will meet in Paris and attempt to hammer out a global deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions. And Pope Francis hopes that the world’s Catholics, sovaldi sale as well as other major religions, healing will be a big part of serious climate action. This includes a series of steps next year. Francis is expected to tell the planet’s 1.2 billion Catholics why acting on climate change is essential to the faith using an influential church document called an encyclical. This has been long–rumored, but will reportedly be released to the world’s 5,000 bishops and 400,000 priests following a papal visit to the hurricane-damaged city of Tacloban in the Philippines. In...

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Here’s The State-Based Climate Solution That Doesn’t Need Congress...

Dec 27, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock by Jeff Spross   CLIMATE PROGRESS By and large, sovaldi sale the 2014 midterms did not go well for climate hawks. Republicans’ new majority in the Senate will allow them to at least slow down various climate policies, and maybe even scuttle a few completely. The election also solidified the GOP’s grip on various state governments, making state-level green policy less likely, and threatening the rollback of existing laws. But there was one big exception. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Tom Wolf ousted Republican Governor Tom Corbett by a handy margin of 54.9 percent to 45.1 percent. Wolf’s victory ended the lockdown the GOP had held over the state’s executive branch and both houses of its legislature. But even more significantly, it served as an implicit endorsement by Pennsylvania voters of a prominent commitment...

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“‘God Loves Women Who Have Abortions’: The Religious Abortion Advocates That History Forgot”...

Dec 27, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Dylan Petrohilos and AP Images by Tara Culp-Ressler  CLIMATE PROGRESS The year was 1967, stuff and too many women were dying. The New York legislature had just failed to pass an incremental reform to the state’s strict anti-abortion law, order leaving the status quo in place. At that time, deaths resulting from illegal abortions accounted for 42 percent of New York City’s maternal mortality rate. While wealthy women could use their “connections” to have illegal yet safe abortions performed in hospitals, less privileged women didn’t have that option. According to a survey of low-income women who had abortions in the 1960s, eight in ten said that they had attempted a self-induced procedure, and only two percent said that a trained physician was involved in any way. Rev. Howard Moody, the minister of the...

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We Finally Have A Surgeon General Again. Here’s What He’ll Do Now....

Dec 27, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] . by Tara Culp-Ressler   CLIMATE PROGRESS Dr. Vivek Murthy CREDIT: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak On Monday evening, click the Senate finally confirmed President Obama’s nominee for U.S. Surgeon General, hospital filling a position that’s been left vacant for the past 17 months. “I applaud the Senate for confirming Vivek Murthy to be our country’s next Surgeon General, hospital ” Obama said in a statement. “As ‘America’s Doctor,’ Vivek will hit the ground running to make sure every American has the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe.” Dr. Vivek Murthy’s confirmation marks the end of a long fight with the gun lobby, which tried to block him from being approved because of his characterization of gun violence as a public health issue. Murthy has also faced ongoing opposition from some...

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Irreversible But Not Unstoppable: The Ghost Of Climate Change Yet To Come...

Dec 27, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Joe Romm   CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons Unlike Scrooge, here we don’t get a spirit to show us what the future holds if we don’t change our ways. That’s what we have science for. In recent years, doctor observations have confirmed the key projections climate scientists have been making for decades. But some of the most important impacts have been occurring much faster than scientists expected, recipe including sea level rise. As recently as a decade ago, scientists did not expect that the great ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica would melt enough this century to contribute much to total sea level rise. Now, observations suggest they will be a primary if not the primary driver of sea level rise. Recently, we’ve had many of the world’s leading scientists and scientific bodies...

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California Is About To Make Egg Production More Humane, By Giving Hens 70 Percent More Space...

Dec 27, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Ari Phillips CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: shutterstock Starting next year, order 15 million egg-laying hens in California and millions more providing out-of-state eggs to Californians will be required to have 70 percent more space — going from a minimum of 67 square inches each to nearly 116 square inches, pills about a 10.7-inch square of space per bird. California is the biggest consumer of eggs in the country, prescription and this new regulations is part of a broader national effort to shift industry focus away from production efficiency to include animal and environmental welfare. Chad Gregory, CEO of the United Egg Producers, told Bloomberg that the industry “can and will adapt” and that the push for bigger cages is part of a “larger consumer trend toward food that’s perceived as more humane and...

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The Biggest and Tallest Buildings...

Dec 27, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   image © iwan baan       the ongoing race to design and construct the world’s tallest structures continued apace this year, sovaldi with 2014 seeing a number of different tower typologies proposed and built across the globe. each of our selected projects offer a distinct and unique set of principles, shop seeking to establish themselves in the evermore compact and dense urban fabric we occupy on a daily basis. from the completed ‘freedom tower’ rising above manhattan, to projects still in their planning phase, we round up 10 of the biggest tower stories that caught our eye over the past 12 months.           one world trade center by SOM image © iwan baan       in 2014, the first offices opened for use in the landmark...

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Airbnb’s Portland Office Offers Diverse Working Environments....

Dec 27, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   image © jeremy bittermann       airbnb‘s portland office has moved into their new headquarters, the first of a number of ‘customer experience (CX)’ centers that will open around the world. housing upwards of 200 employees, the design was developed in close collaboration with many of the workers who will occupy the building. within the scheme, individual teams of 12-15 employees are given a ‘landing/standing’ space for impromptu meetings, but are free to move around the entire office to receive calls from customers. as with airbnb’s other offices, the portland branch will include exact reproductions of listings from around the world from which staffers can work. image © jeremy bittermann       instead of personal desks, a range of working environments have been developed. consequently, there are spaces for people...

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Right-Wingers on Twitter Blow Up After Neil DeGrasse Tyson Tells a Few Harmless Xmas Jokes...

Dec 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] AlterNet / By Cliff Weathers Tyson’s jokes didn’t denounce the holiday, but don’t tell that to the right-wing fanatics that trolled him. December 26, 2014  | Celebrity Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson took to Twitter over the holidays to send out a bunch of Christmas related jokes, but not everyone took well to the lighthearted jabs, some even thinking that they were an attack on the holiday and the Christian religion. And while Tyson’s posts got quite a few fans and retweets, they seemed to cause a bit of a Twitter outrage among Christians and Conservatives who just don’t think it’s right to tell jokes about Christmas. It all began innocently enough with this harmless quip that’s probably been told by thousands of...

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Why Hollywood’s Cowardice Is So Destructive...

Dec 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] The Huffington Post / By Andrew Lam Art should be loud and challenging — not muffled and silenced.   Free speech in America may be a constitutional right but self-censorship is an American congenital habit. From government officials to corporation executives, from filmmakers to the media, it happens at great frequency and intervals. Sony Pictures, threatened by North Korea, is currently in hot water for canceling “The Interview,” a comedy about an assassination plot against North Korea’s leader, Kim Jung Un, but it is not the first film company to pull a flic out of fear. “The Quiet American,” a movie produced by Miramax, starring Brendan Fraser and Michael Caine, directed by Phillip Noyce, ended up on the shelf for a year and a half after 9/11 because of the public mood at...

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How’s the Economy Where You Live? 3 Interactive Maps Show State-by-State Comparisons...

Dec 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Daily Kos / By David Jarman   VIA ALTERNET Is your area booming or busting, or just chugging along? Click to enlarge. The economy might be leaving a lot of people dissatisfied, but at least we’re living in a golden age of interactive maps about how the economy sucks. Three different maps released in the last few weeks approach the question from three different angles: wage stagnation, when wages peaked, and men who aren’t currently part of the labor force. The Wall Street Journal’s map addresses the question of wage stagnation (click through to see the interactive version of the map), looking county-by-county at whether inflation-adjusted wages are better than they were a decade ago, or not. Dark-colored counties have seen wages increase, while light-colored counties have gone backward. Nearly one-third of all counties, which hold 46 percent of the nation’s...

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