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An aggregator for (oAnth's) daily interests in humanities, arts, science, geography, economics, politics - academia, education - activism, advocacy - itec, free software, open source, open access, open knowledge - languages in use: mostly EN, FR, DE
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Rescooped by oAnth - "offene Ablage: nothing to hide" from Égypt-actus
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Climate change and water mismanagement parch Egypt

Climate change and water mismanagement parch Egypt | oAnth's day by day interests - via its scoop.it contacts | Scoop.it

Climate change, a fast growing population, ill-designed infrastructure, high levels of pollution and lack of law enforcement have made Egypt a country thirsty for water — both in terms of quantity and quality.

The River Nile, which is considered poor by many experts and hydrologists, lies at lower altitude than the rest of the country. Massive electric pumps extract the water from the river’s bed and canals and direct it to industry, agriculture and for individual water use.

A significant portion of the water contained in Lake Nasser’s 5,000 square kilometer basin is lost to evaporation, while old networks of leaking pipes also deprive the country of satisfactory access to its most important resource: water.

In order to debate water scarcity in Egypt, its causes, and how climate change makes the issue more pressing than ever, as well as looking to solutions, a panel of experts were invited to participate in the 13th Cairo Climate Talk last week entitled “Growing Thirst: Sustainable Water Solutions for Egypt.”

Tarek Kotb, the First Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, and a member of the panel discussion, talked about the dwindling water share per capita with a sense of urgency. “Every year, the Egyptian population grows by 1.8 million, while the annual quota of Nile water allocated to Egypt, 55 billion cubic meters, has remained unchanged since the 1959 Nile Water Agreement,” he says.

While Egyptians in the 1960s could enjoy a water share per capita of 2800 cubic meters for all purposes, the current share has dropped to 660 cubic meters today—below the international standard defining water poverty of 1000 cubic meters.

Kotb estimates that Egypt is gradually going to leave the stage of water scarcity and enter a phase of drastic water stress in the next 40 years, if no sustainable water management is put in place.

“By 2050, there will be about 160 million Egyptians and only 370 cubic meters of water per capita,” he says. While Egypt has other options for its water needs, such as tapping into groundwater basins and desalinating sea-water, the bulk of water is still extracted from the Nile, leading to longstanding tensions with the other Nile basin countries. (Louise Sarant/Egypt independent)

 

More : http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/climate-change-and-water-mismanagement-parch-egypt


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Rescooped by oAnth - "offene Ablage: nothing to hide" from Philosophie en France
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Un philosophe américain récupéré par les créationnistes

Un philosophe américain récupéré par les créationnistes | oAnth's day by day interests - via its scoop.it contacts | Scoop.it

Thomas Nagel est un philosophe respecté aux États-Unis, il est même membre de la très prestigieuse American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Il est devenu célèbre en 1974 pour son livreWhat is it like to be a bat (ce que c'est que d'être une chauve-souris), livre dans lequel il expliquait que la conscience ne saurait se réduire à la chimie du cerveau. Son dernier ouvrage en date, Mind and Cosmos, divise ses collègues, mais trouve un écho certain chez les créationnistes.

 

 

// added by oAnth:

 

source URL: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2012/10/aristotle-call-your-office

 

[...]

 

Though Aristotle’s name comes up only a couple of times in the book, it is remarkable how Aristotelian (and even Scholastic) in spirit Nagel’s proposals are, not only in his general willingness to reconsider the immanent or “built in” teleology that was at the core of the Aristotelian-Scholastic conception of nature, but also in some of his more specific theses.

For example, Nagel argues that it is impossible to explain our rational capacities in terms of the consciousness we share with lower animals; that consciousness in turn cannot easily be explained in reductive terms of any sort, and certainly not via a specifically materialist form of reductionism; that even the origin of life from inorganic chemical processes has not been given a plausible naturalistic explanation; and that in each case we need to reconsider the possibility of a teleological account. In so arguing he has essentially recapitulated the traditional Aristotelian hierarchy of irreducibly rational, sensory, and vegetative forms of life (where “vegetative” has here a technical meaning, connoting those organic functions that operate below the distinctively animal kind).

Value, which Nagel insists is a real feature of the world rather than a projection of our subjective desires or sentiments, is, he says, a byproduct of teleology “even if teleology is separated from intention, and the result is not the goal of an agent who aims at it”—again, a standard Aristotelian thesis. (He rightly suggests that theists ought to be open to the idea of immanent teleology of the Aristotelian sort. He may not be aware that medieval theologians like Aquinas were committed to precisely that.)

Throughout the book Nagel emphasizes that for phenomena like life, consciousness, rationality, and value to arise in the later stages of the history of the universe, we have to suppose they were somehow “latent in the nature of things” from the beginning—thereby hinting at the Aristotelian notion of change as the actualization of built-in potentialities, and the Scholastic principle that whatever is in an effect must in some way be contained in its total cause.

More generally, Nagel’s emphasis on the implausibility of reducing certain higher-level features of a thing to features of its parts is reminiscent of the holistic Aristotelian conception of what a natural substance is; and his theme of the possibility of reviving the teleological notion of an “order that governs the natural world from within” echoes the Aristotelian-Scholastic notion of formal and final causes.

 

 

[...]


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