Is Climate Change Already Causing Violent Conflict?

For years, the Pentagon has been saying that climate change is perhaps the biggest threat to American security of all. Back in 2004, a report commissioned by Pentagon defense adviser Andrew Marshall, the man behind the restructuring of the US military under Donald Rumsfeld, predicted that "abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies." The report went on to declare that the threat to global stability posed by climate change was indeed greater than that of terrorism.

Whales Mingle Across the Arctic

The loss of Arctic sea ice is predicted to open up the Northwest Passage (the vast northern sea lanes above Canada presently choked off by ice), shortening shipping routes and facilitating the exchange of marine organisms between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Skeletons, DNA samples and harpoon heads have all suggested that bowhead populations living on each side of the continent did meet and mingle in the past. Previous satellite tracking has demonstrated that bowhead whales from West Greenland and Alaska enter the ice-infested channels of the Canadian High Arctic during summer. In August 2010, two bowhead whales from West Greenland and Alaska entered the Northwest Passage from opposite directions and spent approximately 10 days in the same area, documenting overlap between the two populations.

Andrews Air Force Base

Most people think of polluted sites as being something industry does. Not so. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has signed an agreement with the Department of Defense to remediate Joint Base Andrews (formerly Andrews Air Force Base) located in Clinton, Md. Although cleanup activities have been on-going at the facility, the federal facility agreement ensures that cleanup actions proceed with EPA oversight within an enforceable framework, in a manner that protects the community and the environment. The agreement will also give the EPA and the Air Force the framework for investigating new and evolving contamination at the base as it is discovered.

A View of Earth: PBS Offers Operators Manual

What if there was a mobile app to help us understand our planet? A guide to tell us how to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and increase our use of renewable energy? PBS has answered this need with Earth: The Operators’ Manual—a visually stimulating and informative one-hour program on how science can help us respond to climate change and move toward clean, green energy solutions.

Climate Warming: Who Thinks What

Yale University has created a new poll based report, Politics & Global Warming, which describes how Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and members of the Tea Party respond to the issue of global warming. The results come from a nationally representative survey of 1,010 American adults, aged 18 and older, conducted April 23 through May 12, 2011. The samples were weighted to correspond with US Census Bureau parameters for the United States. The study shows majorities of Democrats (78%), Independents (71%) and Republicans (53%) believe that global warming is happening. By contrast, only 34 percent of Tea Party members believe global warming is happening, while 53 percent say it is not happening. While 62 percent of Democrats say that global warming is caused mostly by human activities, most Tea Party members say it is either naturally caused (50%) or isn’t happening at all (21%).

Smart Energy Country Profile – South Africa

South Africa is changing rapidly, and the ANC government of Jacob Zuma has big plans. This blog will examine the changing picture in terms of its energy supply and its plans to become a primary supplier to the growing global fuel cell industry. The South African economy is closely tied to the energy sector, with demand of 127.8 million metric tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) primary energy consumption (2007), which is growing at 4.4 percent a year.

Tallest Building in New York Now LEED Certified

The tallest building in New York currently standing is the Empire State Building. It is a beautiful symbol of the greatness of New York, rising 1,250 feet (381 meters) with an antenna spire rising to 1,454 feet (443.2 meters) above bustling midtown Manhattan. It was named one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers, amidst the ranks of the Panama Canal, the Channel Tunnel, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Now it can add another notch in its belt, as it has just been awarded LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council.

Belgian Company Leads the Way In Landfill Mining

Landfill mining is a rapidly growing area of waste management that is proving to be extremely profitable. About 50 miles east of Brussels, at Houthalen-Hecteren lies the Remo Milieubeheer landfill which dates back to the 1960s. It consists of industrial waste, household garbage and other things that landfills normally have – basically 16.5 million tons of trash.

It’s All in the Head: Songbirds With Bigger Brains Have Benefited from the End of Communism

ScienceDaily (Sep. 15, 2011) — According to a new study published in Biological Conservation the abundance of songbirds with relatively large brains in Eastern Germany and the Czech Republic has increased since 1989 / 1990. Researchers from German Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) and Czech Charles University in collaboration with "Dachverband Deutscher Avifaunisten" (Federation of German Avifaunists) had compared population trends of bird species in different European regions. The increase in large-brained songbirds is attributed to the better cognitive abilities of the species enabling them better adaption to the socio-economic changes affecting habitats after the end of communism.

More Americans believe world is warming

More Americans than last year believe the world is warming and the change is likely influenced by the Republican presidential debates, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said on Thursday. The percentage of Americans who believe the Earth has been warming rose to 83 percent from 75 percent last year in the poll conducted Sept 8-12. Republican presidential candidates, aside from Jon Huntsman, have mostly blasted the idea that emissions from burning fossil fuels and other human actions are warming the planet. The current front-runner, Texas Governor Rick Perry, has accused scientists of manipulating climate data while Michele Bachmann has said climate change is a hoax. As Americans watch Republicans debate the issue, they are forced to mull over what they think about global warming, said Jon Krosnick, a political science professor at Stanford University.