Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bio-Architecture

Architect Mayank Barjatya & Michael Rice, launch India's first indo-irish vastu-bio architecture company, "De Architectura"

"De Architectura propounds an architectural style that incorporates the best of the ancient Indian treatise of vastu, as well as the trendy new mantra of bio architecture..."

Pune, Maharashtra, IND, 2008-01-31 16:29:00 (IndiaPRwire.com)--De Architectura, India’s first vastu-Bio architecture company announces the launch in the dynamic field of vastu and bio architecture from today. De Architectura is a company that integrates the best of the ancient and the trendy worlds incorporating the architectural principles of the Indian science of vastu shastra, and the elements of the trendy new mantra going round the world – bio architecture.
“In a fast-changing world, architectural concepts cannot afford to remain static any longer,” says Ar. Mayank Barjatya, the force behind the concept. De Architectura offers a design approach arising from natural principles, taking us back to the tradition and science of vastu to give us built forms, which are in harmony with human energies.

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Meditation: The path to peace

Rishi Prakash, 31 January 2008, Thursday

Contemporary world and technologies have given us all the comforts, but stress still prevails. Why is there so much chaos and no peace of mind? Sift the reason and you can seek the peace within yourself. It is within us. We only need to realise it.

MEDITATION IS an answer to many ailments that most people suffer today. People are stressed out and bored with their routine jobs. Many people are looking for a change to break the monotony in their lives. Meditation can help you realise that peace brings change that you are looking for. You can call it a liquid phenomenon that can bring change at any point of time. To quote American actor and martial arts expert, Bruce Lee, “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes a bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Floods claim more lives, wreak havoc in Bolivia

LA PAZ, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Flooding and torrential rains have killed 40 people in Bolivia since November, wrecking highways, crops and thousands of homes in the impoverished country, officials said on Wednesday. Nearly 400,000 people living in the Andean city of La Paz have been forced to ration their drinking water after mudslides damaged water pipes last week, and the mayor said the shortages could last until March.

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China in lockdown as weather worsens

BEIJING, China (CNN) -- China's worst winter in more than half a century showed no signs of abating Wednesday as forecasters told citizens to brace for three more days of snow and sleet. "The heavy snow and sleet has paralyzed transport and coal shipments, and led to travelers cramming railways stations and airports and power supply reductions in almost half of the 31 provinces and regions on the Chinese mainland," China's Xinhua news agency reported.
Meanwhile, China's Civil Affairs Ministry said the cost of the storms to the Chinese economy had reached $4.5 billion.

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Dutch Architects Plan for a Floating Future

by Joe Palca

Architects in Holland are showing the rest of the world a way of turning adversity into opportunity. The inevitable rise in sea level that comes with climate change is going to make it increasingly difficult to control flooding in low-lying Holland. But instead of cursing their fate, architects are designing a new Holland that will float on water, and the Dutch government seems willing to try out the scheme. Holland has made other countries begin to question, too. Who says you have to live on dry land?

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Butterfly Mythology of Native Americans

by Ron Cherry E.R.E.C., (bibliography)P.O. Box 8003 Belle Glade, FL 33430 USA.

Because of the beauty, power of flight, and complete metamorphosis found in butterflies and moths, these insects frequently are found in Native American myths. In an early article, Grinnell (5) called attention to the belief held by the Blackfeet that dreams are brought to us in sleep by a butterfly. Their sign for a butterfly was a design roughly in the shape of a maltese cross with one arm horizontal and the other verticle. This sign was painted on a lodge to indicate that the style and method of painting the lodge were taught to the lodge owner in a dream. It was also the custom for a Blackfoot woman to embroider the sign of a butterfly on a small peice of buckskin and tie this in her baby's hair when she wishes it to go to sleep. At the same time, she sings to the child a lulaby in which the butterfly is asked to come flying about and put the child to sleep. Grinnell did not learn why or how the butterfly bring sleep and dreams. However, he did note that the Blackfeet stated that the butterfly is soft and pretty and moves gently and that if you look at it for a long time you will go to sleep.

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Polar Bears, Butterflies Get Lawyers

Add two new lawsuits to the long list filed against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the name of endangered species. Three conservation groups -- the Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace -- on Wednesday informed FWS on their intent to sue to protect polar bears, after the Service announced it would miss its legally mandated deadline to publish its recommendations about protecting the species under the Endangered Species Act. Meanwhile, the CBD and Forest Guardians have filed another suit, this one looking for a preliminary finding on if the Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterfly should be listed as either "threatened" or "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act. Once again, the Service missed a legally required deadline for its decision.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Earth faces its sixth extinction

MICHAEL NOVACEK
Published: January 27th, 2008 01:00 AM

"More than a decade ago, many scientists claimed that humans were demonstrating a capacity to force a major global catastrophe that would lead to a traumatic shift in climate, an intolerable level of destruction of natural habitats and an extinction event that could eliminate 30 to 50 percent of all living species by the middle of the 21st century. Now those predictions are coming true."

The news of environmental traumas assails us from every side – unseasonal storms, floods, fires, drought, melting ice caps, lost species of river dolphins and giant turtles, rising sea levels potentially displacing inhabitants of Arctic and Pacific islands and hundreds of thousands of people dying every year from air pollution. Last week brought more – new reports that Greenland’s glaciers appear to be melting away at an alarming rate.

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Scarred Earth to enter the 'Anthopocene Epoch'

"Scientists identify four major phenomena which mark a difference with the past: transformation of patterns of sediment erosion and deposition worldwide; major changes to the carbon cycle and global temperature; wholesale changes to the world's plants and animals; ocean acidification (through the build up of fossil fuels in the atmosphere)."

Humans have so altered life on Earth that scientists are proposing to change the name of the geological epoch we are living through from the Holocene to the Anthropocene.

The name, Anthropocene, was coined in an off-the-cuff remark, by the Nobel prize-winning chemist, Paul Crutzen, in 2002. He suggested that the environmental effect of increased human population and economic development meant the Earth was entering a new era.

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Small earthquakes shift views

By Sandi Doughton
Seattle Times science reporter

For decades, the "doomsday" fault off the coast of Washington and Oregon has appeared to be locked tight, building up stress that scientists say will one day be unleashed in a monster earthquake and tsunami.
Now researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) have discovered that portions of the fault have actually been slipping, leading to a series of small earthquakes over the past several years — including one Thursday.
The finding doesn't mean a major quake is more — or less — likely to strike anytime soon. It does provide a new window through which to study the fault and understand what it might do next.

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Mozambican army sent to pluck 1,700 reluctant families from floods

Maputo/Johannesburg - Mozambique was Monday trying to reach 1,700 families in flood-hit areas that have ignored calls to evacuate despite the new threat of heavy rains caused by the passing of a tropical cyclone. While tropical cyclone Fame was not expected to directly hit the coast but instead appeared headed for Madagascar across the Mozambique Channel, it was expected to dump more rains on central coastal areas, Mozambique's meteorological institute said.

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Asteroid due for close-shave with earth tonight

Science & Technology News
Tue, 29 Jan 2008 06:13a.m.

Astronomers in the Northern Hemisphere are hoping for clear skies to catch the largest asteroid to pass close to earth in twenty years. The lump of space-debris is called 2007 TU24 and is actually 334 thousand miles away (about one and a half times the distance of earth to the moon), but that is close astronomically speaking. Astronomers say we won't see another asteroid of this size so close until 2027.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Active fault found under Adriatic Sea

TUCSON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A U.S.-led international team of geologists has discovered an active fault is creating new Dalmatian Islands off the Croatian coast in the Adriatic Sea. The fault, which is also creating more of the Dinaride Mountains of Croatia, previously was believed to have stopped growing 20 million to 30 million years ago. The fault is being created as the leading edge of the Eurasian plate scrapes and slides its way over a former piece of the African plate called the South Adria microplate, lead researcher Assistant Professor Richard Bennett of the University of Arizona-Tucson said. [Interestingly, this correlates to the I AM America Freedom Star Map, as a new bay is prophesied to form northwest of the Adriatic Sea.]

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Voices From The Past: Prithvi and Pralaya

25 Jan 2008, SM BHASKER

"Vedic man looked on the natural environment as a world of spiritual reality. The earth and its creatures including trees and forests, rivers and oceans, rocks and mountains, and the world beyond the stars and the skies, all appeared to him as powerful and resonating with spirit."

The universal cataclysm, Maha-pralaya, is vividly described in the Vishnu Purana: "After a drought lasting many years, seven blazing suns will appear in the firmament; they will drink up all the waters. Then the wind-driven fire will sweep over the earth, consuming all things; penetrating to the nether world it will destroy what is there in a moment; it will burn up the universe..." The Bhagavata Purana says the "age of destruction is so horrible that there is no rainfall for one hundred years. People have no food to eat and are compelled to eat one another. Overpowered by what is wrought by time, men gradually lead themselves to utter destruction". Questions about nature involve questions about values. How exactly does one transform sustainable growth into a new global, holistic ethic? Whatever the outcome of current debates, it is clear that the past reverberates in the whole ecological and environmental discourse. In order to salvage the basis for ecological responsibility and to redeem our faith in humanity's own worth, we may once more be prepared to listen to and open our minds to voices from the past.

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Climate change 'security' warning

Climate change over the coming decades will create new security threats both in Britain and overseas, a report has warned.
As higher temperatures cause sea levels to rise and weather patterns to change, the world faces the prospect of wars over resources such as water and food, according to the document.
There will also be pressure from hundreds of millions of "environmental refugees" fleeing their devastated homelands, said the paper from the Oxford Research Group. And in Britain, police and security services may have to cope with demands for tougher border controls, potentially violent protests against polluting companies and intercommunal tensions.

Read Entire Article

Download free PDF report from the Oxford Group, An Uncertain Future: Law Enforcement, National Security and Climate Change

The Age of Consequences

The Age of Consequences: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Global Climate Change

from the Center for Strategic and International Studies

Synopsis: In August 2007, a Russian adventurer descended 4,300 meters under the thinning ice of the North Pole to plant a titanium flag, claiming some 1.2 million square kilometers of the Arctic for mother Russia. Not to be outdone, the Prime Minister of Canada stated his intention to boost his nation’s military presence in the Arctic, with the stakes raised by the recent discovery that the icy Northwest Passage has become navigable for the first time in recorded history. Across the globe, the spreading desertification in the Darfur region has been compounding the tensions between nomadic herders and agrarian farmers, providing the environmental backdrop for genocide. In Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, the risk of coastal flooding is growing and could leave some 30 million people searching for higher ground in a nation already plagued by political violence and a growing trend toward Islamist extremism. Neighboring India is already building a wall along its border with Bangladesh. More hopefully, the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a clear recognition that global warming poses not only environmental hazards but profound risks to planetary peace and stability as well.

Download free PDF Report, go to: http://www.csis.org/component/option,com_csis_pubs/task,view/id,4154/type,1/

Monday, January 21, 2008

Queensland floods declared disaster

Brian Williams, Liliana Molina and Marg Wenham
January 22, 2008 12:00am

MORE than 1000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes as the likely damage bill from Queensland's floods rises to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Flood waters have surged through the state, cutting roads, swamping coal mines and cutting off towns.
Emerald in central Queensland was bracing last night for major flooding, with the Nogoa River rising fast.
Premier Anna Bligh warned the situation in Emerald and Charleville, to the south, had become critical.
As a state of disaster was declared around Emerald, Ms Bligh said 1000 beds, plus toilets and cooking facilities, were being trucked in to the town's evacuation centre.

Read entire article, go to: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23087944-661,00.html

Climate change "great threat to humanity"

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says climate change is fundamentally altering the global humanitarian agenda.
In response, the Geneva-based agency is launching an appeal worth SFr 326 million ($292 million) for 2008 and 2009. Approximately 75 per cent of the budget will be dedicated to disaster preparedness and health care initiatives that are community-based.

Read entire article, go to: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/feature/Climate_change_great_threat_to_humanity.html?siteSect=104&sid=8647085&cKey=1200912802000&ty=nd

Friday, January 18, 2008

50 people who could save the planet

The Guardian Unlimited's list of 50 notable people whom they believe can save our planet from Climate Change and the effects of Global Warming. This article is long, but well worth taking the time to read. Some of the key figures mentioned are:
Amory Loving - Physicist: Nearly twenty years ago Lovins invented the idea of the "hyper-car." Last November, Toyota unveiled it - the Prius. He says, "Change is coming out of fear and the car makers are gazing into the abyss. It is widely understood that incremental change is a high-risk strategy. Those who take the opportunity to change will do very well. We can save half the oil we use and the rest we can save with advanced biofuels." Lovins is currently consulting for the Pentagon.
Patriarch Bartholomew - Leader of the Orthodox Church: Spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians who has stated that attacks on the environment as sins, and pollution of the world's waters as, "a new Apocalypse."
Zhengron Shi - Scientist: A farmer's son, who was put up for adoption is now the owner of Suntech Power, China, one of the world's ten largest manufacturers of solar panels. Shanghai plans to subsidize 100,000 solar panels for China, as it is preparing to build the world biggest solar generating facility in the Gobi desert.
Rajendra Singh - Water Conservationist: Known as the "Rain man of Rajastan (India)," Ragendra Singh's common sense approach to water-harvesting is now being applied throughout India and Africa, and is expected to become the essential way to save water everywhere from England to Arizona. "See the earth like a bank," Singh says. "If you make regular deposits of water, you'll always have some to withdraw. If you are just taking, you will have nothing in your account."
Dieter Salomon - Mayor of Freiburg (Southern Germany): "Freiburg in southern Germany is the most ecologically-aware town in Europe and possibly the rich world. The city of 250,000 people dubs itself a "solar region" and gathers nearly as much power from the sun as is collected in all of Britain."
Bija Devi - Farm Manager: A farmer since the age of seven, Devi has been storing and collecting seeds from all over the country (India). Convincing local farmers of the advantages to sowing older, indigenous seeds rather than the newer, high-yielding "hybirds," lowered the use of pesticides, fertilizers and water usage. "Indiscriminate use of chemicals has harmed the soil to an enormous extent," Devi says, "but we can still restore fertility and conserve water if we act now." Devi's work is backed by Dr Debal Deb, an ecologist who has established the only gene bank of indigenous rice in India. Together they have helped to stock 34 community seed banks that are seen as an insurance against changing conditions, climate and new pests.
Peter Head - Civil Engineer: Master planner of the world's first Eco-City, planned for construction in China at the mouth of the Yangtze.
Read this article, go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jan/05/activists.ethicalliving

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yangtze river dries up to lowest on record

Beijing - An exceptionally dry winter has left the water level in stretches of China's longest river, the Yangtze, at the lowest on record, state media said on Thursday. The water level dropped to 13,98 metres at Hankou, in the central city of Wuhan, the lowest since records began in 1866, the official China Daily said. A severe drought has affected many middle an upper reaches of the 6 300 kilometre river, stranding at least 40 ships this winter, the newspaper said.

Read entire article, go to: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=143&art_id=nw20080117120920588C337953

Antarctic lake may hold life clue

An Edinburgh scientist's study of a 15 million-year-old lake buried under the ice of Antarctica could yield clues on climate change and the origins of life.
Edinburgh University researcher Neil Ross is part of a four-man team camped on an Antarctic ice sheet. The group, which also includes members of the British Antarctic Survey, are to explore an ancient subglacial lake about the size of Loch Katrine. Lake Ellsworth, in West Antarctica, is buried under 3.2kms of ice. The scientists believe the 10km-long lake could give scientists vital insights into climate change, future rises in sea-levels and the origins of life on earth. It is one of more than 150 lakes locked beneath Antarctica's vast ice sheets that have been discovered using radar and satellite technologies.

Read entire article, go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7191687.stm

Floods Worsen in Southern Africa

By ANGUS SHAW and EMMANUEL CAMILLO
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Officials in economically ravaged Zimbabwe issued new warnings Wednesday of floods, as fears grew that flooding in neighboring Mozambique would be more extensive than in 2001 when 800 people died.
Mozambican authorities said at least 60,000 people had been evacuated and 22,000 houses were under water. But they were optimistic they could keep loss of life to a minimum — seven flood-related deaths have been reported so far — thanks to their disaster prevention strategy.

Read entire article, go to: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hYKd25dTMraOaz8oaKZYw75TzPOQD8U75TH82

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

I have seen several versions of the story of Elzéard Bouffier on the web. If you haven't read this yet, do. It is inordinately uplifting.

Translation from french by Peter Doyle

In order for the character of a human being to reveal truly exceptional qualities, we must have the good fortune to observe its action over a long period of years. If this action is devoid of all selfishness, if the idea that directs it is one of unqualified generosity, if it is absolutely certain that it has not sought recompense anywhere, and if moreover it has left visible marks on the world, then we are unquestionably dealing with an unforgettable character.

About forty years ago I went on a long hike, through hills absolutely unknown to tourists, in that very old region where the Alps penetrate into Provence...

Read entire article, go to: http://home.infomaniak.ch/arboretum/Man_Tree.htm

6.0 magnitude earthquake jolts Tibet

(Xinhua)Updated: 2008-01-16 22:03
An earthquake measuring 6.0 degrees on the Richter Scale hit a county in southwest Tibet Autonomous Region at 19:54 Beijing Time Wednesday, according to the China Seismological Monitoring Network.
The epicenter was located at 32.5 degrees north latitude and 85.2 degrees east longitude, about 100 km east of the county seat of Gerze in Ngari Prefecture in the west of Tibet.
No casualties were so far reported. The quake-hit area is a sparsely-populated plateau region with an elevation of more than 4,000 meters.
An earthquake measuring 6.9 degrees hit the same region on January 9. It was the strongest quake that hit the region in the past decade, according to the Tibet Autonomous Regional Seismological Bureau. The quake did not cause loss of life or property.

Greenland ice melting fast too: report

Leigh Dayton, Science writer January 16, 2008
JUST days after the revelation that Antarctica is melting faster than predicted comes news that the Greenland ice sheet is also shrinking fast.
In fact, last northern summer Greenland's ice sheet melted more than at anytime in the last 50 years, international glaciologists and climatologists report today in the Journal of Climate.
The rapidly melting ice and increasing summer temperatures are a direct result of climate change, suggested the team, led by Edward Hanna of Britain's Sheffield University.
"Our work shows that global warming is beginning to take its toll on the Greenland ice sheet which, as a relict feature of the last Ice Age, has already been living on borrowed time and seems now to be in inexorable decline," Dr Hanna said.
Read entire article, go to: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23062366-11949,00.html

Antarctic ice sheet shrinking rapidly

New scientific study links melting to upwelling of warm waters along continent's coast
MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT
ENVIRONMENT REPORTER
January 14, 2008
One of the biggest worries about global warming has been its potential to affect the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet, a vast storehouse of frozen water that would inundate the world's coastal regions if it were to melt because of a warming climate.
The southern continent contains enough ice to raise ocean levels by about 60 metres, a deluge that would put every major coastal city in the world deep under water and uproot hundreds of millions of people.
The huge implications posed by the health of the ice sheet have prompted major scientific interest into whether it is growing, shrinking, or stable, with no clear consensus among researchers about its overall trend.
But a new study released yesterday, based on some of the most extensive measurements to date of the continent's ice mass, presents a worrisome development: Antarctica's ice sheet is shrinking, at a rate that increased dramatically from 1996 to 2006.
Read entire article, go to: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080114.ANTARCTIC14/TPStory/Environment

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The skills we need for sustainable communities

The skills needed for sustainable communities is the topic of a 2007 study prepared by York Consulting on behalf of the Academy for Sustainable Communities. The study focuses on a forecast of labor shortages projected up to the year 2012 for England's regions. Labor shortages are predicted in these primary areas, which may stunt the growth of Sustainable Communities:
  • Regeneration Specialists (Perma-culture, Forest and Land Regeneration)
  • Sustainable Development Specialists (Environmental, Economic, Social-Political)
  • Transportation Planners (Siting Transportation Infrastructure - Highways, Streets, Sidewalks, Bike Lanes, Public Transport Lines)

The report is free, go to: http://www.ascskills.org.uk/pages/research/mind-the-skills-gap

Monday, January 14, 2008

Gnostics insights suggest combating Global Warming requires consciousnesses to countervail Manipulative Extraterrestrials

From the Canadian National Newspaper

"Global Warming that is associated with disruptive climate change, is occurring on planet Earth, because a lower-dimensional consciousness has so directed its thought against humanity."

Humanity continues to lose the battle against Global Warming, because humanity has been mislead about the apparent root cause of this catastrophic environmental problem. Understanding the apparent root cause of the Global Warming problem, would empower humanity to focus its efforts on redressing that root cause. Currently, humanity is being mislead not only by Big Business interests, that have been commonly linked to government, but also by Big Environmental groups. Big Business and Big Environmental groups, are metaphorically two heads on the same body. The apparent conflict that these groups generate in the mass-media, is apparent political theatre, designed to confuse and mislead humanity with outright disinformation or "half-truths", which are portrayed as the "whole truth".

One of the best examples of this context is a former leader of the Greens in Canada, whose support clients included various Big Business interests associated with Petroleum and with other environmentally destructive interests. Have you ever been in the offices of these large supposedly pro-Environment conservation organizations, and noticed that the vibe of the place and the self-absorbed attitudes of management, is somewhat similar to the kinds of attitudes that one might find in various large corporations? If you did, you are beginning to appreciate the shared consciousness of these organizations.
Read entire article, go to:
http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2008/01/14/02131.html

RE: Trio of quakes off B.C.

This is interesting information regarding the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Follows is a link to CREW [Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup], and their 2005 publication, "A Magnitude 9.0 Scenario." This report summarizes what could happen to northwestern California, western Oregon and Washington if no preparations are made for a large quake. The report in pdf version is a free download.

http://www.crew.org/products.html

Trio of quakes off B.C. coast remarkable, but not alarming says scientist

SIDNEY, B.C. - In earthquake-prone British Columbia, which experiences about 1,500 quakes a year, a preoccupation with The Big One is never far from the surface.
It breaks through almost every time a quake does more than rattle the kitchen glassware. So it wasn't surprising when the airwaves buzzed with Big One talk after three sizable temblors rocked the ocean floor off the West Coast.
A magnitude 6.5 quake was recorded just after 3 a.m. local time last Saturday under the Pacific Ocean south of the Queen Charlotte Islands.
A second, similar-sized quake occurred about 45 minutes later in roughly the same location.
Wednesday morning, a third quake, measured at magnitude 6.1, was traced to the same spot.
Enough to send ripples through quake-sensitive British Columbians who wondered whether this cluster of large shakers might not be a precursor for The Big One.
Read entire article, go to: http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5iSiXFM0-OMapl2fQYMLtr6e6ygpA

The storied Mediterranean faces climate change

In the first of a four-part series, the Monitor examines the impact of man-made pressures on the region.
By Nicole Itano Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

ATHENS
From ancient Egypt to Rome, the fertile Mediterranean has sustained great empires for millenniums. But modern development is rapidly turning the cradle of Western civilization into a dry and inhospitable place, its coasts covered in hotels and many of its unique species driven to extinction.
In the past 30 years, coastal populations have grown some 50 percent. Coastal cities have doubled. Tourism has exploded: By 2025, 312 million tourists will visit each year. Water usage is twice that of 1950. More than 100 species are endangered.
Now, climate change is exacerbating the situation.
The region's climate may already be changing faster than projected. In June, a recording station in Athens measured the highest temperature ever recorded there, nearly 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overall, temperatures for the summer months were about 5 degrees warmer than average. Months passed without rain. Then deadly fires swept across the country, killing at least 67 people and scorching some 650,000 acres of land.
The abnormal weather in 2007 is not proof that climate change is here, scientists say, but it is a strong indicator. And it's a taste of what's likely to come if the world continues to spew greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Read entire article, go to: http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0114/p01s03-woeu.html

Global warming may change the food we eat

Canadians are a well-fed bunch. We do not generally have to worry about our food supply. For most of us, it’s just a matter of heading to the nearest grocery store. But global warming and the need to move toward more sustainable ways of food production could gradually change what we eat and how we get it.
Most people have heard about the problems associated with global warming and what it will do to our climate. We are more likely to get longer periods of drought, for example, and heat waves could become more frequent or more intense. That could pose serious problems for our farmers, especially on the Prairies.
But if global warming also lengthens the growing season, it would have a beneficial impact on farming in Canada — at least in some areas. Although more carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere from burning oil and gas is the primary culprit behind global warming, carbon dioxide itself can actually enhance plant growth. Commercial growers often take advantage of this enhanced growth by adding carbon dioxide to the air inside their greenhouses.
Read entire article, go to: http://www.westender.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=49&cat=23&id=1135825&more=0

Snow in Baghdad, but global warming rages on

It's not often that it snows in Baghdad. In fact, no one can remember the last time it happened.
But just because it has now snowed in Baghdad for the first time in anyone's memory doesn't mean that global warming isn't raging on unabated, killjoy climate experts are rushing to tell us. Don't let this one little cold weather anomaly get you too excited because it doesn't mean a thing and mankind is still rushing headlong toward planetary catastrophe.
Nonetheless, that didn't stop locals from taking delight in the beautiful and unheard of sight and declaring it an omen of peace.
"It is the first time we've seen snow in Baghdad," said 60-year-old Hassan Zahar. "A few minutes ago, I was covered with snowflakes. In my hair, on my shoulders. I invite all the people to enjoy peace, because the snow means peace," he said.
Read entire article, go to: http://mensnewsdaily.com/2008/01/11/snow-in-baghdad-but-global-warming-rages-on/

Greg Strange provides conservative commentary with plenty of acerbic wit on the people, politics, events and absurdities of our time. See more at his website: http://www.greg-strange.com/.