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Sustain Our Earth
News that effects the sustainability of life on Earth
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Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind

Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Earth is a chemical battery where, over evolutionary time with a trickle-charge of photosynthesis using solar energy, billions of tons of living biomass were stored in forests and other ecosystems and in vast reserves of fossil fuels. In just the last few hundred years, humans extracted exploitable energy from these living and fossilized biomass fuels to build the modern industrial-technological-informational economy, to grow our population to more than 7 billion, and to transform the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity of the earth. This rapid discharge of the earth’s store of organic energy fuels the human domination of the biosphere, including conversion of natural habitats to agricultural fields and the resulting loss of native species, emission of carbon dioxide and the resulting climate and sea level change, and use of supplemental nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar energy sources. The laws of thermodynamics governing the trickle-charge and rapid discharge of the earth’s battery are universal and absolute; the earth is only temporarily poised a quantifiable distance from the thermodynamic equilibrium of outer space. Although this distance from equilibrium is comprised of all energy types, most critical for humans is the store of living biomass. With the rapid depletion of this chemical energy, the earth is shifting back toward the inhospitable equilibrium of outer space with fundamental ramifications for the biosphere and humanity. Because there is no substitute or replacement energy for living biomass, the remaining distance from equilibrium that will be required to support human life is unknown.

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Cuba's organic honey exports create buzz as bees die off elsewhere

Cuba's organic honey exports create buzz as bees die off elsewhere | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Because it is pesticide free, Cuba's organic bee industry could act as protection from the problems hitting other honey exporters
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A Must Read: Jane Mayer's 'Dark Money' Uncovers Hidden History of Billionaire Kochs - BillMoyers.com

A Must Read: Jane Mayer's 'Dark Money' Uncovers Hidden History of Billionaire Kochs - BillMoyers.com | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
I brought home with me to read this weekend Jane Mayer's new book Dark Money: The Hidden History of Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. Mayer is the New Yorker staffwriter whose reporting can leave the reader breathless and whose calm, patiently-paced "voice" in every one of her books causes one to recognize that attention must be paid. I had not even opened the book, however, when an email popped up from an old friend -- a long-time public servant and experienced cultural and arts administrator who had beat me to the punch. Continue reading
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The Kochs Are Ghostwriting America’s Story - BillMoyers.com

The Kochs Are Ghostwriting America’s Story - BillMoyers.com | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Gather round for the word of the day: metanarrative. Definitions vary but let’s say it’s one big narrative that connects the meaning of events to a belief thought to be an essential truth, the storytelling equivalent of the unified field theory in physics. Now use it to define what’s being done to America today — our Big Story. Journalist and activist Naomi Klein did just that a couple of weeks ago when she and I talked at Finger Lakes Community College in upstate New York about the Koch brothers’ resistance to the reality of climate change. Continue reading
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Game Change: Tesla And GM Announce Affordable, Long-Range Electric Cars

Game Change: Tesla And GM Announce Affordable, Long-Range Electric Cars | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Driven by rapidly plummeting battery costs, two of the world's leading electric vehicle (EV) makers say they will soon deliver 200+ mile range EVs at a game-changing price of $30,000 or less.
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The Fundamental Design Flaw of the Eurozone

The Fundamental Design Flaw of the Eurozone | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
From the very start, the European Monetary Union (EMU) was set up to fail.
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Pregnant woman diagnosed with Zika in Australia

Pregnant woman diagnosed with Zika in Australia | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A pregnant woman has been diagnosed with the Zika virus in Australia, officials said Wednesday, adding that the disease was acquired overseas.
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Computer as driver? 'Yes' from feds boosts self-driving cars (Update)

Computer as driver? 'Yes' from feds boosts self-driving cars (Update) | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Computers that control cars of the future can be considered drivers just like humans, the federal government's highway safety agency has decided.
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Two-thirds of American households lack adequate plans and supplies for a disaster

Two-thirds of American households lack adequate plans and supplies for a disaster | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A new survey of American households finds two-thirds lack adequate plans and supplies for a disaster, and half of them are not confident in the ability of government to meet the needs of children in a disaster. Many are also ...
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Lessons about damming in Australia

Lessons about damming in Australia | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The push for development in northern Australia is gathering momentum, with the government recently releasing a draft of its Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to help finance large projects.
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Radiation causes blindness in wild animals in Chernobyl

Radiation causes blindness in wild animals in Chernobyl | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
This year marks 30 years since the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Vast amounts of radioactive particles spread over large areas in Europe. These particles, mostly Cesium-137, cause a low but long-term exposure to ionizing radiation ...
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Radical carbon dioxide removal projects could be a risky business

Radical carbon dioxide removal projects could be a risky business | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Radical new ways of removing CO2 from the atmosphere could prove to be a risky business—according to an environmental scientist at the University of East Anglia.
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Oil firms kept state’s gas supply tight to hike price, group says

Oil firms kept state’s gas supply tight to hike price, group says | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A consumer group on Monday accused America’s two largest oil companies — Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. — of deliberately starving California’s gasoline market of supplies last year in a bid to push up prices. An explosion last February crippled a large Exxon refinery in Los Angeles County, prompting a sudden jump in prices. [...] Exxon largely refrained from importing shipments of gasoline to make up for the Torrance refinery’s lost production, even as prices rose. “ExxonMobil rejects these allegations and is committed to the highest standards of business conduct, has operated responsibly and in strict compliance with all laws,” said spokesman Todd Spitler. California even set up a panel of experts, the Petroleum Market Advisory Committee, to root out causes for the elevated prices. (The national average is 48 cents, according to the American Petroleum Institute.) Two California programs to fight climate change — the low carbon fuel standard and the state’s cap-and-trade system — tack on an additional 15 cents. California refineries have always produced a variety of products, some of which are exported in the ordinary course of business and are subject to long-term contractual obligations. Changing refinery operations to respond to unexpected conditions to produce fewer exports takes lead time and must be accomplished within the confines of pre-existing contractual commitments. The report’s central argument, that Exxon kept supplies short to push up the price, drew skepticism Monday from Severin Borenstein, a UC Berkeley energy economist who chairs the Market Advisory Committee. Because Exxon was buying replacement supplies from other California refineries, rather than importing gasoline from some of its own refineries elsewhere, high prices would have hurt the company, Borenstein said. “Can you tell us why you think Exxon would choose to buy in a very expensive spot (wholesale) market rather than supplying itself?” he asked Court during the committee meeting. Exxon would still profit, Court said, if the price the company paid other refineries was substantially below the price Exxon charged gas station owners for the fuel they sell to consumers. Oil companies cannot tell independently owned gas stations what to charge drivers, but they can set the wholesale prices that station owners must pay.
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Why we won't be able to feed the world without GM

Why we won't be able to feed the world without GM | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The concerns about genetically modified foods are well known. But when we look at population and climate projections, what happens if we don't use them to increase our food supply?
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Massive Tree Farms May Be a Really Bad Climate Idea

Massive Tree Farms May Be a Really Bad Climate Idea | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
World-wide tree plantations, soil modification or bioenergy crops could add to the planetary harm of global warming, scientist warns.
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Naomi Klein: Climate Change "Not Just About Things Getting Hotter... It’s About Things Getting Meaner" - BillMoyers.com

Naomi Klein: Climate Change "Not Just About Things Getting Hotter... It’s About Things Getting Meaner" - BillMoyers.com | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A week and a half ago, just as a blizzard was barreling up the East Coast, I traveled to my hometown, Canandaigua, NY, and before a standing-room-only audience of more than 400 at Finger Lakes Community College, had a conversation … Continue reading
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Washington’s Libido for the Ugly - BillMoyers.com

Washington’s Libido for the Ugly - BillMoyers.com | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
In 1927, H.L. Mencken rode by train through the Pennsylvania coal country. The houses he saw along the way were so hideous, at least in his eyes, that he was moved to pen his famous essay, “The Libido for the Ugly.” Mencken was writing about towns inhabited by coal miners and railroad brakemen, but what would he say if he were to visit present-day Washington, DC and take a stroll in its surrounding suburbs? Continue reading
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Dubai’s World of Islands is Sinking Into the Sea

Dubai’s World of Islands is Sinking Into the Sea | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The World is an archipelago of manmade islands in Dubai modeled after the seven continents - and it's sinking into the sea.
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Birth defect tied to zika virus can leave children with lifetime of health woes

Birth defect tied to zika virus can leave children with lifetime of health woes | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
(HealthDay)—The thousands of babies born in Brazil with abnormally small heads and brains—believed to be caused by infection in the womb with the Zika virus—typically face a lifetime of health challenges, doctors say.
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Fish, other mosquitoes now warriors in Zika battle

Fish, other mosquitoes now warriors in Zika battle | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
With larva-chomping fish and genetically modified insects, Latin Americans are deploying legions of little helpers to destroy mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus in the world's latest mass health scare.
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Study predicts world economy unlikely to stop relying on fossil fuels

Study predicts world economy unlikely to stop relying on fossil fuels | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
On the heels of last year's historic climate agreement in Paris, a new study concludes that fossil fuel consumption is likely to grow without clear and decisive global action to put an adequate price on carbon dioxide emissions ...
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Climate change deteriorates water quality in the Himalayas affecting 40 percent of world's population

Climate change deteriorates water quality in the Himalayas affecting 40 percent of world's population | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A new study by Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) on the climate change and geochemical process of waters and lake sediments on the Tibetan Plateau show that global warming affects geochemical processes such as glacier ...
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Our thirst for new gadgets has created a vast empire of electronic waste

Our thirst for new gadgets has created a vast empire of electronic waste | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Technological improvements mean that the phones, tablets, computers and other electric devices we find so essential are cheaper and more powerful than ever. But this means we upgrade them sooner and they quickly become unwanted ...
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Study challenges widely accepted theory of Yellowstone formation

Study challenges widely accepted theory of Yellowstone formation | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Understanding the complex geological processes that form supervolcanoes could ultimately help geologists determine what triggers their eruptions. A new study using an advanced computer model casts doubt on previously held ...
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Debating a ban on autonomous weapons

Debating a ban on autonomous weapons | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

In July 2015, physicist Stephen Hawking, who serves on the Bulletin's Board of Sponsors, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and many researchers in artificial intelligence signed an open letter to the United Nations, [...]...

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Scientists are genetically modifying rice so it can withstand the ravages of climate change

Scientists are genetically modifying rice so it can withstand the ravages of climate change | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Scientists are working on a strain of hyperefficient rice that reduces the effects of climate change and could help solve world hunger.
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