PROTEST IS THE NEW TERROR: HOW US LAW ENFORCEMENT IS WORKING TO CRIMINALIZE DISSENT...

Jun 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Derek Royden, Occupy.com | News Analysis It’s well established that the FBI surveilled civil rights and other activists from Martin Luther King Jr. to leaders of the National Lawyers Guild as part of its wide ranging COINTELPRO (counter intelligence program) during the 1960s and early 70s. The use of planted news stories, faked communications to create dissension within activist groups, informants to make dubious cases and even assassinations was revealed by a group of activists called the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI, who broke into a bureau office in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1971 and found ample evidence of the agency’s misdeeds. This is generally seen as an era of terrible government overreach in the name of fighting “communism.” The problem is that the use of similar tactics has been discovered...

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WORLD’S FORESTS ARE FRAGMENTING INTO TINY PATCHES, RISKING MASS EXTINCTIONS...

Jun 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By David Edwards, The Conversation | News Analysis   Much of the Earth was once cloaked in vast forests, from the subarctic snowforests to the Amazon and Congo basins. As humankind colonised the far corners of our planet, we cleared large areas to harvest wood, make way for farmland, and build towns and cities. The loss of forest has wrought dramatic consequences for biodiversity and is the primary driver of the global extinction crisis. I work in Borneo where huge expanses of tropical forest are cleared to make way for palm oil plantations. The biological cost is the replacement of some 150 forest bird species with a few tens of farmland species. But forest is also frequently retained inside or at the edges of oil palm plantations, and this is a pattern...

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What’s next for California’s contentious MANDATORY VACCINE LAW...

Jun 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] By JULIA HOROWITZ Associated Press Videos California Passes Mandatory Vaccine Bill    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a hotly contested California bill to impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in the wake of an outbreak of measles at Disneyland late last year. The following is a look at what the new law means for the nation’s most populous state: ___ WHAT PROMPTED THE BILL After a measles outbreak at Disneyland in December sickened over 100 people in the U.S. and Mexico, Democratic Sens. Richard Pan of Sacramento and Ben Allen of Santa Monica introduced the bill, designed to raise immunization rates in under-vaccinated pockets of the state. The state’s overall vaccination rate appears sufficient to maintain what immunologists call herd immunity, or...

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NEW LAWSUIT SAYS CLEAN WATER RULE THREATENS “THE VERY STRUCTURE OF THE CONSTITUTION”...

Jun 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Natasha Geiling CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: CLIMATE PROGRESS Sixteen states filed lawsuits Monday aimed at blocking the Obama administration’s Waters of the United States rule, which seeks to clarify the bodies of water that the EPA can regulate under the Clean Water Act. Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi filed a joint lawsuit in a Houston federal court, asserting that the EPA’s final rule is “an unconstitutional and impermissible expansion of federal power over the states and their citizens and property owners.” While the EPA has the authority to regulate water quality, the suit says Congress has not granted the EPA the power to regulate water and land use. The lawsuit claims that “the very structure of the Constitution, and therefore liberty itself, is threatened when administrative agencies attempt to assert independent sovereignty and lawmaking...

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TWO OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST COUNTRIES ARE JOINING FORCES TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE...

Jun 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Ari Phillips CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP/Jacquelyn Martin   On Tuesday, Brazil and the United States announced a joint effort to address climate change and boost renewable energy during a visit by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to the White House. Specifically, both countries pledged to increase renewable energy targets to 20 percent by 2030. The target excludes hydropower, an especially contentious power source in Brazil, where large and valuable ecosystems can be flooded out to make way for reservoirs. Brazil also committed to restore and reforest 12 million hectares — an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania — and to eliminate illegal deforestation. “The environmental agenda is absolutely key and essential for our two countries,” Rousseff said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. She also vowed to fight for an “ambitious” climate agreement...

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GREECE DOESN’T HAVE TO END UP A “FAILED STATE”...

Jun 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Paul Krugman — NYTIMES Op-Ed (Image: SCHRANK; England/CartoonArts International/The New York Times Syndicate)   Larry Summers, the former secretary of the Treasury, wrote a scary column in The Financial Times warning that Greece may be on the verge of becoming a “failed state.” It’s a useful corrective to the extraordinary complacency I’ve been hearing from too many European officials. But I do think it’s worth pointing out that this need not happen, even if there is no deal. What Mr. Summers seems to portray is a scenario in which Greek banks collapse and take down the economy with them. But what if Greece abandons the euro and issues its own currency to keep cash flowing? For sure there would be a sharp devaluation, which would lead to a spike in inflation....

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS REMAIN HOPEFUL AFTER SUPREME COURT EMISSIONS RULING...

Jun 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Kate Sheppard HUFFINGTON POST WASHINGTON — While the Supreme Court’s Monday ruling on mercury standards was a setback for the Obama administration’s drive to regulate emissions from power plants, it’s not necessarily a death blow for the rules. Environmental advocates say they have two reasons to be hopeful: The lower court could still allow the rules for mercury and air toxics to go forward while the Environmental Protection Agency readjusts them in response to the Supreme Court’s decision, and the decision doesn’t necessarily have negative implications for the rest of the administration’s sweeping power plant standards. “We could have gotten hosed, and we didn’t,” said John Walke, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “This decision was just about as narrow as it could be.” The Supreme Court’s decision found that...

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WASHINGTON STATE TOWN BURNS AS “MIND BLOWING” WILDFIRES SEND HUNDREDS FLEEING...

Jun 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   HUFFINGTON POST WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — From just across the Wenatchee River, Dominick Bonny watched a whole neighborhood in his central Washington town burn as a wildfire destroyed two dozen homes and forced hundreds to flee. “With the wind blowing away from us, it was like we were watching a natural disaster within arm’s reach,” he said. The wildfires hit parts of central and eastern Washington over the weekend as the state is struggling with a severe drought. Mountain snowpack is at extremely low levels, and about one-fifth of the state’s rivers and streams are at record low levels. Eastern Washington has been experiencing temperatures into the 100s, and last week Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation that allows state resources to quickly be brought in to respond to wildfires....

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DATING SITE FOR TINY HOUSE LOVERS...

Jun 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander  LIFE EDITED Behavior One of the bigger questions about downsizing and living with less concerns how it affects one’s romantic life. Many otherwise compatible people might find themselves at odds when one party wants to shack up in 200 sq ft or less. Well, if you’re in the market for romance and you love tiny living, there is a dating site that might help you find your soulmate. Tiny House Dating is the site where tiny house lovers can find love with other tiny house lovers.   The site features a database of men and women looking for likeminded romantic partners. There are the normal filters such as gender, age, sexual preference, city and state. The main difference between Tiny House Dating and more conventional dating sites is the survey question...

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GOP BUDGET CUTS LIMIT CHOICES FOR PEOPLE NEEDING FOOD AID...

Jun 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Joshua Ferrer  CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE Beth Hughes of Tippecanoe County, Ind., is raising three kids with a fourth on the way. She works part time, and her husband is attending graduate school at Purdue while working as a research assistant. Their total annual income clocks in at $19,200 and they depend on funding from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to adequately feed their young. “The WIC program has helped us be able to stay on budget and not go into debt,” Hughes said. Hughes is one of tens of millions of people across America who depend on federally funded programs like WIC to help provide basic necessities for their children. WIC provides both food assistance and access to dietitians and health professionals who consult participants. It...

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REPUBLICANS RIGGED THE HOUSE THROUGH GERRYMANDERING. DEMOCRATS CAN FIGHT BACK AT THE BALLOT BOX...

Jun 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Stephen WolfFollow for Daily Kos Elections States where Democrats could gain from redistricting reform ballot initiatives, with current congressional district counts Republicans have successfully used redistricting to all but ensure they’ll keep control of the House of Representatives short of a 2006-style wave for Democrats. The numbers are stark: Fifty-five percent of the nation’s congressional districts were drawn to favor Republicans while only 10 percent were drawn to favor Democrats, with the balance drawn independently. As a result, a majority of seats voted for Mitt Romney even though Barack Obama won in 2012—by four points. It should thus come as no surprise that Republicans were able to easily keep the House despite losing the popular vote that year, and there is the very real possibility this could happen again in 2016 even...

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STRESS ON WATER RESOURCES THREATENS LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS...

Jun 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford, Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     Depletion of aquifers adds to pressures on farmers in drought-stricken areas such as California. (General Physics Laboratory via Flickr) This Creative Commons-licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—The planet’s great subterranean stores of water are running out—and nobody can be sure how much remains to supply billions of people in the future. Satellite instruments used to measure the flow from 37 underground aquifers between 2003 and 2013 have revealed that at least one-third of them were seriously stressed—with little or almost no natural replenishment. The research was conducted by scientists from California and the US space agency NASA, who report in the journal Water Resources Research that they used data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites to...

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Ryan Gosling: What Costco Doesn’t Want You to Know About Its Eggs...

Jun 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] The actor calls it “appalling” that Costco markets eggs “with deceptive labeling on cartons featuring graphics of birds living out in a green pasture.” By Cole Mellino / EcoWatch  VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: DFree/Shutterstock Costco has been under intense criticism this week because it has yet to pledge to sell GMO-free salmon should the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approve it. Additionally, the Humane Society of the United States recently uncovered the fact that a Costco egg supplier uses abhorrent factory farming conditions to raise its egg-laying hens despite the fact that Costco made a public commitment eight years ago to eliminate cage confinement of chickens from its supply chain. The undercover investigation revealed “a Costco egg supplier cramming chickens into tiny cages, forcing birds to live in cages with the decayed, mummified corpses...

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It’s the Humans, *Stupid*

Jun 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Remembering the late Fred Branfman’s lifetime of revolutionary political activism. By Frank Joyce / AlterNet “It’s inconceivable to most people that the existing order of things is itself the source of most of society’s problems.” — John Michael Greer Does personal mental health have anything to do with creating healthy social change?  The late Fred Branfman thought so and I do too. AlterNet readers might be familiar with Fred because much of the writing he did late in his life was published here.  In part it was because of those articles that my wife Mary Anne Barnett and I made a pilgrimage to Budapest, Hungary to attend a memorial conversation to honor his life.  I say conversation because that’s what it was,  as opposed to a traditional memorial “service.” The last several years of...

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Robert Reich: Why We Must Fight Economic Apartheid in America...

Jun 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Economy Despite social advances, racial segregation exists on a much larger geographic scale than ever before. By Robert Reich / Robert Reich’s Blog Photo Credit: Victor Juhasz Almost lost by the wave of responses to the Supreme Court’s decisions last week upholding the Affordable Care Act and allowing gays and lesbians to marry was the significance of the Court’s third decision – on housing discrimination. In a 5-4 ruling, the Court found that the Fair Housing Act of 1968 requires plaintiffs to show only that the effect of a policy is discriminatory, not that defendants intended to discriminate. The decision is important in the fight against economic apartheid in America – racial segregation on a much larger geographic scale than ever before. The decision is likely to affect everything from bank lending practices whose effect...

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SUPREME COURT REJECTS EPA’S REGULATION OF POWER PLANTS’ EMISSIONS OF MERCURY AND OTHER TOXINS...

Jun 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Meteor Blades   DAILY KOS The U.S. Supreme Court plunked a setback into the lap of the Environmental Protection Agency Monday by trashing the agency’s regulation of emissions of mercury and other air toxins (MATS) from electricity-generating plants. The court overturned a lower-court decision in the case of Michigan v. EPA stating that the agency had acted reasonably when it chose not to considering costs first in its effort to control those emissions. The justices split 5-4, with the four liberals on the side of the EPA and the four conservatives and Justice Anthony Kennedy on the side of industry and the states that had sued.The ruling—Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency and two other consolidated cases—is a major disappointment for environmentalists and drag on the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce toxic emissions. While...

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ADDICTION IS NOT A DISEASE: A NEUROSCIENTIST ARGUES THAT IT’S TIME TO CHANGE OUR MINDS ON THE ROOTS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE...

Jun 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] A psychologist and former addict insists that the illness model for addiction is wrong, and dangerously so Laura Miller SALON.COM (Credit: Alex Malikov via Shutterstock) The mystery of addiction — what it is, what causes it and how to end it — threads through most of our lives. Experts estimate that one in 10 Americans is dependent on alcohol and other drugs, and if we concede that behaviors like gambling, overeating and playing video games can be addictive in similar ways, it’s likely that everyone has a relative or friend who’s hooked on some form of fun to a destructive degree. But what exactly is wrong with them? For several decades now, it’s been a commonplace to say that addicts have a disease. However, the very same scientists who once seemed to back...

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CAN ECONOMICS BE ECOLOGICAL? – RANDY HAYES...

Jun 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Casey Coates Danson  My dear friend, Terrence McNally, moderates this program.  Please listen. FOUNDATION EARTH  RANDY HAYES BROADCAST Rethinking society from the ground up! 660 Pennsylvania Avenue S.E. Suite 302; Washington, DC 20003 USA Phone 202‐547‐9359 ‐‐ Fax 202‐547‐9429 ‐‐ FDNEARTH.org Investments & the Nine Planetary Boundaries Basic Conditions for Life The planet supports all life via the earth’s natural systems. These systems are self‐organizing and self‐repairing within limits. When these limits are exceeded, the natural biophysical system starts to disintegrate making existence harder for the entire web of life and certainly us humans. In 2009, a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists identified a set of planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come alongside these natural systems. Scientists are clear on one reality: crossing...

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ROUNDUP’S LESSER KNOWN COUSIN IS COMING TO A FARM NEAR YOU!...

Jun 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   It’s the next wave in a revolution of GMO crops—and it’s happening right under our noses. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Jason Best is a regular contributor to TakePart who has worked for Gourmet and the Natural Resources Defense Council.   One of the world’s leading groups of cancer experts has just classified the industrial herbicide 2,4-D as a possible human carcinogen, and that’s got one of the world’s biggest ag-tech companies in an uproar. But why should we care about some corporate kerfuffle? Because the U.S. is about to be deluged with 2,4-D—an herbicide similar to Roundup but lacking the comfort of a consumer-facing, trademarked name. Advertisement This week, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, released the results of its evaluation of three agricultural...

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THIRSTY YET? 8 CITIES THAT ARE IMPROBABLY RUNNING OUT OF WATER...

Jun 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] A woman in India walks atop a water main on her way to collect water. (Photo: Meena Kadri/Flickr) takepart features The amount of rainfall a place gets isn’t the only factor in how much water is available to it. These major urban areas show how dire the coming global freshwater shortage could get.TABy TAKE PART BY Marc Herman Marc Herman is the author of Searching for El Dorado and The Shores of Tripoli; a regular contributor to The Atlantic; and acofounderofDeca Stories. He lives in Barcelona.   Earlier this year, an obscure United Nations document, the World Water Development Report, unexpectedly made headlines around the world. The report made the startling claim that the world would face a 40 percent shortfall in freshwater in as soon as 15 years. Crops would fail. Businesses...

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VISITING A HERO SURGEON

Jun 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] NYTimes.com » Nicholas Kristof   By NICHOLAS KRISTOF That’s me in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, interviewing villagers as they fetch water. It’s a scary place to report from, because the Sudanese government periodically drops bombs on anything that moves. But if it’s scary for a visit, imagine working here day in, day out, amputating limbs and treating burns of those injured in the bombs – and doing all this as the government is dropping bombs on you. That’s what Dr. Tom Catena, an American surgeon is doing, and he’s the subject of my Sunday column. One of the pleasures of having a column is the privilege of shining a spotlight on some heroes of our time, and “Dr. Tom” is one of those heroes. I also wanted to highlight Dr. Tom because...

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ALMOST $200 MILLION DONATED TO REPRESENTATIVES TO PASS TPA...

Jun 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] By Paola Casale (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages) OP ED NEWS Money in Politics (image by Economy In Crisis)   License   DMCA   Many think our government is for sale. However, by taking a look at the facts below provided by the Open Secrets, it is easy to understand where they are coming from. Looking back at Friday the 12th, the House voted on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the controversial bill that gives power to the executive branch to negotiate treaties. TPA limit’s Congress’ ability to better a trade deal by subjecting members of Congress to 90 days of reviewing the trade agreement, prohibiting any amendments on the implementing legislation, and giving them an up or down vote. TPA passed with a mere 219-211 vote with only 218 needed to pass. The real shocker comes from the amount...

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LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS: MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD...

Jun 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by The Dirt Contributor We work in a small, but timely profession. Our potential to impact the neighborhoods, communities, and cities where we work is huge. Though landscape architecture professionals make up just a small fraction of the design field, ours is the work that is the first to be seen. Ours is the work that brings function and beauty to parks, plazas, campuses, institutions, and transportation corridors. Ours is a profession that blends the power of design with ecological principals and environmental justice. And because we are few and far between, we have to advocate for what we know. The responsibility is on us to make our voices heard, not for our own betterment, but for the sake of our communities. Public awareness is growing around a range of big issues, from...

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FROM CORPORATE CAMPUS TO DOWNTOWN...

Jun 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT by Liz Camuti In the past several years, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike have said goodbye to suburban office parks and moved their headquarters back to city centers. Attempting to cater to a new generation of Millennial urbanites, this trend represents a “marked shift in the preferences of American companies,” who are now choosing to invest in more walkable locations, according to Core Values: Why American Companies are Moving Downtown, a new study by Smart Growth America. The study, which was accompanied by kickoff panel discussion at the Newseum in Washington D.C., examines the motives and preferences of companies that have moved to more walkable downtown locations between 2010-2015. The launch event supplemented the study, hosting business and planning experts from cities across the country who discussed both sides...

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A BOLD PLAN FOR SAVING POLLINATORS...

Jun 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT   by Jared Green “We need solutions to the bee crisis,” said Laurie Davies Adams, head of the Pollinator Partnership, at a packed briefing on Capitol Hill, which was organized by her organization and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The honey bee crisis Adams is deeply worried about is caused by the spread of colony collapse disorder, which has decimated hives across the U.S. Scientists say a combination of stressors is killing off honey bees, including the loss of the habitat they need for foraging, the widespread use of agricultural pesticides and fungicides, and disease. Other critical pollinators, like native bees, monarch butterflies, and bats, face similar challenges. While the destruction of these species is a cause of concern in itself, it’s also causing real fears among many of country’s...

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7 FAR-REACHING FINDINGS IN DUTCH CLIMATE LEGAL VICTOR...

Jun 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Kelly Rigg   HUFFINGTON POST In April I wrote about a landmark Dutch lawsuit on climate action that, if successful, would put the world’s governments on notice. Today the Hague District Court ruled in favor of the Urgenda Foundation and its nearly 900 co-plaintiffs, ordering the government to reduce its greenhouse gases by at least 25 percent (compared with 1990 levels) by the end of 2020. The court’s findings are extraordinary and could set precedent in cases around the world. The full verdict can be read in English here, but in my view, these are some of the court’s most powerful findings: On mitigation versus adaptation: The court emphasises that the [State’s duty of care] first and foremost should concern mitigation measures, as adaptation measures will only allow the State to protect its citizens...

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WHAT DOSE OF NATURE DO WE NEED TO FEEL BETTER?...

Jun 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]  JARED GREEN – HUFFINGTON POST Central Park, New York City / Drive the District There has been a boom in studies demonstrating the health benefits of spending time in nature, or even just looking at nature. But a group of ambitious landscape architects and psychologists are actually trying to determine how to prescribe a “nature pill.” The big remaining questions are: What dose of nature exposure is needed to achieve maximum mental and physical health benefits (how long and how frequently)? And what form of nature works best? In a talk at the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) conference in Los Angeles, MaryCarol Hunter, a landscape architect and ecologist at the University of Michigan, described her efforts to create the guidelines for landscape designs that can lead to the greatest impact. Hunter and...

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CAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS BE CONSISTENT WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION?...

Jun 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Bob Brecha HUFFINGTON POSTPhysicist with a deep interest in sustainability, energy and climate issues Protecting society against the worst impacts of climate change necessarily means making difficult decisions for the future. One of the potential areas of conflict will be between the “owners” of the global environmental and atmospheric commons (that is, all of us), and owners of natural resources whose use can negatively impact the commons. The concern is that free trade agreements could elevate the rights of possession of fossil fuel resources above that of mitigating climate change. One of the truly novel sections of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) was the discussion of a carbon budget in the volume on the Physical Science Basis of Climate Change. The carbon budget concept was first proposed...

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HUGE CLIMATE CHANGE JUDGEMENT COULD INSPIRE A GLOBAL CIVIL MOVEMENT...

Jun 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Emma Howard  THE GUARDIAN Dutch ruling could trigger similar cases worldwide with citizens taking their governments to courts to make them act on climate promises Urgenda ‘s legal team celebrating after court ruling in The Hague Urgenda’s legal team celebrate on Wednesday after court ruling in the Hague that ordered the Dutch government to cut emissions by 25% within five years. Photograph: Chantal Bekker/Urgenda   “You have been negotiating all my life”, cried out 21-year-old Anjali Appadurai from the lectern of a UN climate change conference four years ago. The activist, speaking on behalf of her nation’s youth, could have speaking for anyone who has taken a mild interest in more than two decades of international negotiations on climate change and stood aghast as world leaders have failed to protect the most basic...

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JIHADIST ATTACKS TAKE PLACE ON THREE CONTINENTS...

Jun 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]     Tunisian police officers are stationed in the lobby of a hotel where a terrorist attack took place in the coastal town of Sousse on Friday. (Leila Khemissi / AP) Dozens were killed Friday by terrorist attacks involving three continents. The bloodshed in France, Tunisia and Kuwait comes amid growing fears of jihadist influence. The New York Times describes the events: In France, attackers stormed an American-owned industrial chemical plant near Lyon, tried unsuccessfully to blow up the factory, and left behind a decapitated corpse. In Tunisia, at least one gunman disguised as a vacationer opened fire at a beach resort, killing at least 37 people before security forces shot him to death, officials said. And the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in one of the largest Shiite mosques...

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