Sunday, March 30, 2008

Keeping the Earth Asteroid Free Takes Science, Soft Touch

by Lee Gomes

Ex-astronaut Rusty Schweickart wants to save the world from an incoming asteroid -- the multimegaton variety blamed for killing the dinosaurs -- and he thinks that the only sure-fire way to keep them away is by using, of all things, diplomacy.
Mr. Schweickart was on the Apollo 9 mission that circled the earth testing the lunar lander, and had a successful post-NASA career in business. Now 72, he is spending his retirement trying to alert the world to the problem of Near Earth Objects, or NEOs.
Most of the time, he conducts the campaign sitting at a laptop computer in the study of his home in the Sonoma County wine country of Northern California. The Web connects him to a global network of other ex-astronauts, astronomers, government scientists, space buffs and more. Many of them are members of the B612 Foundation, which Mr. Schweickart helped to found to research the problem.

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Go to NASA's Near-Earth Object Program website

Another Earthquake Strikes Border Area

IMPERIAL VALLEY, Calif. -- Another moderate earthquake struck the Imperial Valley southeast of Mexicali Saturday, rattling the eastern edge of San Diego County.
The magnitude 4.2 quake hit at 3:01 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time and was epicentered in the seismically-active area that has seen hundreds of quakes this winter and spring.
Automated earthquake detection gear in the United States put the epicenter 26 miles southeast of Mexicali, at a place about 40 miles southeast of El Centro, and 120 miles east of San Diego. This quake's epicenter was about 4 miles deep.

Strong earthquake in Aceh, Indonesia, no tsunami

A 6.2 magnitude tectonic quake which jolted Indonesia's Aceh province Sunday morning had no potential to trigger tsunami, an official said.
"The quake was not followed by tsunami," Amran, an official of the Meteorological and Geophysic Station in Jakarta, said Sunday.
The quake occurred at 00:30 Jakarta time (1730 GMT Saturday) with epicenter at 113 km northwest Sinabang town of Aceh province and at 30 km under sea bed. But there was no report of damage or casualties.
In 2004, over 170,000 people were dead in Aceh province in northern tip of Sumatra Island after a tsunami triggered by a powerful quake devastated coastal areas of the province and others countries in southeast Asia.
Indonesia is laid at a vulnerable zone so called "the Pacific Ring of Fire" where two continental plates, stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia, meet that cause frequent volcanic movements.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Climate change is biggest risk to future business

Green issues and global warming score higher on list of corporate concerns than terrorism or an economic downturn, according to survey...

Climate change will be considered as a major threat to businesses over the next decade according to a survey commissioned in time for the Business Continuity Expo 2008.
The Emerging Risks survey, sponsored by insurance broker and risk adviser Marsh, revealed that 87 per cent of businesses regard climate change as the biggest threat in terms of risk assessment, with many unaware as to how to prepare.
Over 150 major UK and European companies were questioned and the results revealed that climate change as threat to business continuity scored ahead of terrorism, pandemic flu, flooding, the credit crunch, government red-tape, outsourcing and offshoring.
Martin Caddick, Leader of Marsh’s Business Continuity Management team, said: “Climate change and energy risk consistently rank among the biggest challenges facing global businesses in 2008.”

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Floods Prompt Levee Inspection

By David Kenney

This week the Mississippi River levee system is being closely inspected as the flood waters continue to creep towards its base.
Frank Worley, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers says, "As the water rises if the levee wasn't there it would flood a very wide area, the levee system helps to reduce the risk of flood damage in populated areas."
Flooding puts extra pressure on the levee. Boils can pop up meaning its being undercut by floodwaters. Any signs of landslides or cracks on the top side of the levee would mean the same thing.

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Climate Saving Through Your PC

The fight against global warming starts with you! Did you know that the average PC wastes nearly half the energy it consumes? That wasted electricity contributes to global warming and higher electric bills.
By turning on the power management features you already have on your PC or laptop and choosing energy-efficient computers, you'll be kinder to both the environment and your wallet - to the tune of $20 per year. Together, we can reduce the impact of computers on the environment by 54 million tons of CO2 per year - that's the equivalent of taking 11 million cars off the road!

Go to Climate Savers Website

Friday, March 28, 2008

Developers Need to Be Involved in Green Movement, Speaker Says

The idea that green projects are more costly is wrong, Californian asserts.

By MICHAEL W. FREEMAN

Until now, the debate over global warming has tended to be scientific and, to an increasing extent, a political one, as congressional leaders debate whether government action is needed to combat what some think is a major environmental threat.
According to Steven Kellenberg, global warming may soon become something else entirely: a business matter, most critically for housing developers."I don't really care if you believe in climate change or not, or if you blame man for rising temperatures," Kellenberg said."There are people I know and highly respect who think it is all a socialist plot."
Whether it's a genuine environmental crisis or political hot air, Kellenberg predicted that as the political and scientific debate continues, the development community will begin to quietly respond in its own way."There's enough people who think it's happening that it will impact the way we do business, so we have to be prepared for that," he said.

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Volcanoes of Kamchatka Awake

Seismologists detected over 60 separate shocks near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY. March 27. VOSTOK MEDIA – Koryaksky and Avachinsky volcanoes, located 25 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, become more active. Specialists of the Geophysical Service detected the highest activity on March 25. The Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences told Vostok Media, over 60 separate seismic shocks were registered by the devices in the volcanic area. Visual observation is complicated in view of weather conditions. The veil of clouds hides tops of the volcanoes. The last eruption of a volcano from the group of the Kamchatka “home” volcanoes – Avachinsky – occurred in 1991. As all three volcanoes are seen within a distance of 100 km, the eruption could be seen by dwellers of Petropavlovsk and closely located towns.

The slow way to go

by Alastair Sawday

"It began in Italy in 1986, when the founding members of the "Slow Food" organisation resolved to fight the invasion of fast food into their country. "Slow" means local, grown with respect and integrity, and with thought to the consequences. McDonald's is a natural enemy."

When horses pulled carriages and charabancs, when bicycles were considered dangerous beasts, when flags were waved from rooftops to pass on news, there were always people who were nevertheless considered "fast". Young men galloped insanely quickly on their horses, gambled their money away and drank too much. Cities have always encouraged fast living, whatever the century.

However, our western societies have slowly and almost imperceptibly learned to live at a pace that would have alarmed even those insanely galloping young men. We need, it seems, to be "elsewhere"; anywhere but "here". Holidays have to be far away, the further the better. Food has to come from distant countries; friends are cultivated beyond our immediate reach; we work hard in order to have time not to work. So it goes on. But there is hope. The Slow movement is also, as it were, gathering speed, and it will affect the way we holiday and possibly everything else too. It is more serious than it sounds.

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Ark. Floods Expected to Linger for Weeks

CLARENDON, Ark. (AP) — Arkansans sandbagged their front doors and pumped out their flooded basements Wednesday as a historic crest on the White River moved downstream, and a flooding expert said the state will have to deal with high water for weeks.
Residents and county officials along the river's path in east-central Arkansas worried that the river flows would hit an already swollen Mississippi River on the state's eastern border and flow back into their cotton and wheat fields.

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Strong earthquake shakes Crete; no reports of injuries

ATHENS - A strong earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale shook the Libyan Sea and the southern Greek island of Crete early Friday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, the Athens Observatory said.
The quake had an epicenter 400 kilometers (249 miles) south of Athens, near the island of Gaidouronisi, and struck at 2:17 a.m. (0017 GMT).
"Earthquakes of similar size have been recorded in this area in the past but not recently," observatory seismologist Yiannis Papis told AFP.
"Though this was a strong quake, it is positive that it occurred undersea and not near the coast," he said.
The quake was mainly felt on eastern Crete in the areas of Iraklio and Lasithi, Papis added.
Greece sustains more seismic activity than any other European country, accounting for half of the continent's recorded earthquakes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Giant Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapses

National Geographic News

New satellite images reveal what scientists call the "runaway" collapse of an enormous ice shelf in Antarctica as the result of global warming.
The chunk of coastal ice was some 160 square miles (415 square kilometers) in area—about seven times the size of Manhattan.
The shelf's rapid collapse began on February 28 (see image sequence at top right), sending a giant swath of broken ice into the sea (detail at bottom).
"[It's] an event we don't get to see very often," Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, said in a press statement.

Photos and Entire Article

Minor Quake Rattles Parts of Yellowstone

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — A minor earthquake has rattled a remote section of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Officials say the magnitude 4.1 quake struck the northeastern section of the park at about 5:59 a.m.
The earthquake was centered about 15 miles north of Yellowstone's east entrance.
A geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was strong enough to wake people up but probably not strong enough to cause much, if any, damage. Residents of western Wyoming and southern Montana reported feeling the earthquake.
Yellowstone is a hotspot of geological activity and very small earthquakes occur in the park regularly.

Rivers Continue Rising Dangerously in Arkansas, Missouri

Forecasters predicted floods for various parts of Arkansas’s prairie, as the state’s largest deluge in 25 years continues.
The great storms last week and the break in the Black River’s dam are maintaining a dangerous water level.
White River has risen about 7 feet in only four days and the National Weather Service predicted it would reach 33.5 feet by Tuesday.
According to the Associated Press, Prairie County Sheriff Gary Burnett, who lives in the area near Little Rock, is surprised of the river’s fast flooding. He declared he had never seen it flood so quickly.

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Southern Africa: Nearly a Million Southerners Hit By Floods, Cyclones

Almost a million people across Southern Africa have suffered as a result of floods, cyclones and heavy rains so far during the annual wet season, United Nations relief officials reported.
And although the worst of the weather is over for another year, problems could persist until the end of April, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest update. Further heavy rains are still expected, including in central Mozambique, where the rivers are already swollen after two days of intense rainfall last week.

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Strong earthquake strikes northern Chile

SANTIAGO—A strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook sparsely populated northern Chile on Monday, causing no injuries or major damage but some power outages in the region, the University of Chile's Seismological Service reported.
The temblor struck at 17:39 pm (2039 GMT) at a point near Pica, in Iquique city, some 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) north of Santiago.

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Hawaii Volcano Spews Lava, 1st Time in 25 Years

Small splatters of molten lava have been ejected from Hawaii's Halemaumau Crater for the first time since 1982.
The volcano sits in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island
Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say some of the particles—the largest of which measure four inches (ten centimeters) across—have landed on the rim of the crater.
Scientists say the gas from the new vent at Halemaumau is thick with ash, making the plume from the 100-foot-wide (30-meter-wide) vent appear brown.

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Moderate earthquake shakes eastern Japan

TOKYO -- A moderate earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 shook eastern Japan on Monday, the meteorological agency said.
There were no immediate reports of damage.
The earthquake was 40 kilometers (25 miles) deep with an epicenter in the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima prefecture, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Tokyo.
The tremor was lightly felt in the capital, rattling buildings in the heart of the metropolis.
Japan experiences 20 percent of the world's major earthquakes.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Ceremony of 8,000 Sacred Drums

According to a Sacred Prophecy revealed at the Otomi Ceremonial Center by the Otomi Elder Sages as a Vision of our Venerable Ancestors, the day when the sounds of 8,000 Sacred Drums join together will be the beginning of the healing of Mother Earth, of all the species and the human family in order to be able to live together on the road to Sacred Peace.

It is time to unify ourselves and rediscover all the seeds of the Four Directions in order to reactivate cosmic energy, heal historical wounds and heal Mother Earth by respecting life, liberty and the dignity of our Peoples. The first great ceremony was held March 21, 2004 in Temoaya, Mexico and there will be drum circles joined around the world on the Spring Equinox continuing every year until 2012.

Go to: Indigenous University Website

Midwest Still Threatened by Floods

New York Times
By JOHN HOLUSHA and ANAHAD O'CONNOR

Heavy rains moved out of the sodden Midwest on Thursday after days of downpours that led the National Weather Service to post flood warnings from Texas to Pennsylvania. Although the rain has largely stopped falling, authorities warned that rivers in some areas could crest over flood stage as water continued to run off the saturated land.

The storms, which dropped more than a foot of rain in some areas, was said to be responsible for 13 deaths and hundreds of evacuations. Roads, including two Interstate highways in Ohio, were closed to traffic by the rising waters.

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Strong earthquake, aftershocks hit near Tibetan border

The Earth Times
Washington - A magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook the area near the border between China's Xinjiang province and the Tibet Autonomous Region early Friday and was followed by three aftershocks, the US Geological Survey in Washington said. Initial Chinese news reports included no reports of casualties or damage in the sparsely populated area.
The quake at 6:33 am (2233 GMT Thursday) was located about 230 kilometres south-east of the Xinjiang city of Hotan at a depth of 23 kilometres, the US earthquake-monitoring agency said.
A magnitude-5.3 aftershock followed 17 minutes later, a magnitude-5.5 aftershock 22 minutes after that and a magnitude-5.2 a little more than an hour later, it said.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Garbage Warrior

What do beer cans, car tires and water bottles have in common? Not much unless you're renegade architect Michael Reynolds, in which case they are tools of choice for producing thermal mass and energy-independent housing. For 30 years New Mexico-based Reynolds and his green disciples have devoted their time to advancing the art of "Earthship Biotecture" by building self-sufficient, off-the-grid communities where design and function converge in eco-harmony. However, these experimental structures that defy state standards create conflict between Reynolds and the authorities, who are backed by big business. Frustrated by antiquated legislation, Reynolds lobbies for the right to create a sustainable living test site. While politicians hum and ha, Mother Nature strikes, leaving communities devastated by tsunamis and hurricanes. Reynolds and his crew seize the opportunity to lend their pioneering skills to those who need it most. Shot over three years and in four countries, Garbage Warrior is a timely portrait of a determined visionary, a hero of the 21st century.

Go to Garbage Warrior Website

Midwest Floods

A huge storm poured as much as 10 inches of rain in parts of the Midwest since Monday, with resultant flooding killing four people and leaving three others missing.The four deaths were related to flooding in Missouri, while a search was underway for a teen washed down a drainage pipe in Texas. Two other people were missing in Arkansas after their vehicles were swept away by flash flooding.Meanwhile, the National Weather Service issued flood warnings throughout the central U.S.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Climate change: 'Indigenous people can help'

Geneva - Honduras' Quezungal farmers have an age-old trick to protect their crops from hurricanes - planting them under trees whose roots would anchor the soil, thereby holding the crops steady.

Not just these farmers, but many indigenous people around the world are sitting on a treasure trove of traditional knowledge that could be mined as the world seeks adaptation strategies to deal with climate change, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said on Monday.

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Consciousness is an aspect of life--Interview with Fritjof Capra

"Human beings have maximised certain variables - population, consumption, among others, and we have an economic system that says economies should grow indefinitely. Because of this, the entire planet is under stress and humanity on earth is like a foreign organism." -Fritjof Capra

Fritjof Capra is best known as the author of The Tao of Physics. Over the last 20 years, his work has evolved to include ecology and activism. He is the founding director of the Centre for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California.

How did you come upon the metaphor of the dance of Shiva for quantum particles, used so vividly in The Tao of Physics?

I had a profound experience sitting at a beach in California, where the boundaries faded away and I belonged to this larger whole, a cosmos which was dynamic, alive, and in motion in a patterned order of a dance. I was a particle physicist and knew what was going on around me in terms of patterns and molecules, and i had also read of the dance of Shiva. I put the two together. But it didn’t really come intellectually. It was an experience.

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Go to Center for Ecoliteracy

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Shallow, 5.9 quake strikes off Oregon coast

By The Associated Press
PORTLAND — A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck about 100 miles off the Oregon coast this morning but no serious damage or injuries were reported.
The quake occurred at 7:44 a.m. 112 miles west of Port Orford, according to Angel Gutierrez, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo.
The quake was relatively shallow, about 6 miles down, and no tsunami alert was issued as a result, Gutierrez said.
Minor earthquakes are common in that region of the Pacific Ocean along the Cascadia subduction zone.

Moderate intensity earthquake strikes Japan

TOKYO: An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 struck a remote island southeast of Tokyo, the Meteorological Agency said on Saturday. There were no immediate reports of damage. The quake struck at 7:32 am on Saturday (2232 GMT Friday) near the remote island of Chichijima, about 970 kilometres (600 miles) southeast of Tokyo. The quake was very shallow, the agency said. The agency initially said the quake may trigger a very small, non-destructive tsunami, but no change in sea level had been observed three hours after the quake, agency official Ichiro Yoshioka said. There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries. About 2,000 people live on the island. Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries because it sits atop four tectonic plates.

Atlanta Braces for Another Severe Storm

By DORIE TURNER

ATLANTA (AP) — Crews hadn't even had time to assess the damage from a possible tornado that ripped through downtown, smashing skyscraper windows, sucking furniture out of hotel rooms, crumbling part of an apartment building and rattling a packed sports arena, before they braced for another storm on Saturday.
An even larger system than the one that hit Friday night was forecast to move through northern Georgia starting at daybreak, bringing heavy rains and high winds to the area, said Vaughn Smith, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Peachtree City. Crews were expected to be in downtown Atlanta then to determine whether Friday's damage was caused by a tornado, he said.
[Photo, Left: Water pours down the steps at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta Friday, March 14, 2008. Weather officials say a storm packing winds up to 60 miles per hour has struck downtown Atlanta, damaging high-rises, hotels and two packed sports arenas. (AP Photo/Phil Coale) ]

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Antarctica's unique space rocks

By Paul Rincon

A pair of meteorites discovered in Antarctica are in a class all of their own, a major space conference has been told.
Studies of the extra-terrestrial rocks have revealed qualities that set them apart from any meteorites previously known to science.
Researchers are pondering where in our Solar System the meteorites could have originated.
An origin on Planet Venus has been discussed, but now looks unlikely.

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Earthquake rattles southern Greece; no damage or injuries

ATHENS, Greece: An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 struck southern Greece on Friday, but did not cause any damage or injuries, the Athens Geodynamic Institute said.
The quake occurred at 9:10 a.m. beneath the seabed, with an epicenter about 170 miles south-southwest of Athens, the institute said.
The U.S. Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 4.9. Preliminary magnitudes often differ in the hours or even days after an earthquake.
A month ago, two strong quakes with magnitudes of 6.5 and 6.4 struck the same area and were felt as far away as Italy and Egypt. They did not cause any significant damage and nobody was hurt.
The Athens Geological Institute said Friday's earthquake was considered to be an aftershock.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Stop Global Climate Change By Building An 'Ark'

by Clinton Callahan

This writing is not about saving the Earth. The Earth will go on with or without human beings. This writing is about saving you. It invites you to shift your lifestyle so you might live a little longer, and so your descendents might live at all.
How can six and a half billion people reorient themselves all at once to quickly take the needed steps to head off a potential disaster? They can do it by clearly understanding that there is no alternative, and by following the examples of those who go first -- perhaps you.
By now it is certain that a total reorientation of lifestyles will happen on earth whether it is deliberately chosen or not. This is because rapidly spreading Western-style consumerism is not a sustainable pattern in the long term. There are already too many people using too many resources and making too much toxic waste.
Indeed, our population has increased far beyond the carrying capacity of this planet. Therefore, the choice that awaits each of us has to do with the decision to adopt a new lifestyle proactively, or reactively. If we wait and react as separate governments, races and creeds, we will bring upon ourselves the worst kind of horror imaginable. This writing suggests that we do have an alternative.

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Go to: www.arkbuilder.org

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Strong earthquake rocks area near Vanuatu

Bloomberg News Service

March 12 (Bloomberg) — The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu was shaken today by a magnitude-6.5 earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The temblor, initially reported as magnitude 7, struck at 10:23 p.m. local time, or 1:23 a.m. this morning Hawaii time, about 169 kilometers (105 miles) northwest of Vanuatu's capital, Port-Vila, the USGS said in a preliminary report posted on its Web site. The quake was at a depth of 33 kilometers.
No warnings of a potential tsunami were immediately issued.

Mozambique: UN Agencies Begin Relief Efforts Following Deadly Cyclone

UN News Service

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) are spearheading the world body's relief efforts in northern and central Mozambique, where Cyclone Jokwe struck the coast at the weekend with winds of up to 200 kilometres per hour.
At least seven people are reported killed and thousands left homeless after their houses were partially or totally destroyed, while many towns and villages have no electricity because of damage to power line infrastructure.

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Storms continue to pound Britain

Rosalind Ryan, Helen Pidd, Steven Morris and agencies

Severe storms with gusts of up to 70mph are forecast to hit Britain today as homes and businesses across the UK continue clearing up damage after yesterday's dramatic weather.
The Met Office has issued a severe gale warning for much of Britain which will remain in place until this afternoon, but the storms are expected to strike further north than yesterday.
The Environment Agency has issued one severe flood warning for the south coast around Chichester harbour, while seven flood warnings and 68 less urgent flood watches are also in place for England and Wales.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wild weather lashes Britain

Charles Miranda

BUILDINGS were damaged, trees brought down and main streets turned into rivers as gale force winds carrying rain, lightning and even snow crossed Britain yesterday.
Most of the country woke to chaotic scenes, with trains and ferries cancelled and arterial roads blocked by falling trees.
Up to 200 flights had to be cancelled or diverted from airports around London alone, as hurricane-force wind up to 150km/h rushed up the English Channel.
More than 10,000 homes were left without power when lines were brought down and schools in Kent and East Sussex closed as the weather bureau issued severe weather warnings for most of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, with the latter having blizzard-like snow storms.

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Mediterranean ‘due a tsunami’ research suggests

Studying an ancient earthquake has enabled Oxford University researchers to quantify the likelihood of a tsunami in the Eastern Mediterranean.
They estimate that a ring of faults around the south of Greece and the Aegean Sea generates tsunami earthquakes approximately once every 800 years and, because the last such earthquake took place in 1303, the probability of a tsunami affecting the region is much higher than had been thought.
The Oxford researchers – working with colleagues from the Universities of Cambridge, Nice and Imperial College London – identified the cause of an earthquake that generated a tsunami that destroyed Alexandria on 21 July AD 365. Reporting in Nature Geoscience, the group describe how they tracked down the origin of this ancient quake to a fault beneath western Crete. Very precise radiocarbon dates of uplifted shorelines show that western Crete was lifted by about ten metres within a few decades of AD 365, and the shape of the uplifted shorelines is diagnostic of distortion of the land surface by an earthquake.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Qigong: A Vision of Transformation

by Master Mingtong Gu and Jaelle Draigomir

Many people would argue that war is inevitable. However, humankind has largely engaged in war because we are hiding our true nature from ourselves, the nature of Oneness. Many ancient spiritual masters have expounded upon the Oneness of all things and recent scientific findings in the field of quantum physics have informed us that we are, indeed, one collective energy field. The ancient masters also taught that peace and harmony must first be cultivated by going inward. One way to do this is through the practice of Qigong (Chi gong). Originating in China over 5,000 years ago, Qigong is a system to cultivate energy in order to transform and integrate environment, body, mind and spirit. It is a healing art that is part of the newly revitalized science of universal energy (Chi), the unifying element of Oneness.

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Magnitude 5.5 earthquake hits Chile

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit a copper-rich area of Chile on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The epicenter of the quake was 94 miles southeast of Copiapo at a depth of 53.6 miles, the center said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
Copiapo, about 500 miles north of Santiago, is the capital of a province of the same name. The area's economy depends on copper and silver mining, as well as agriculture.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Central Asia: Severe Flooding Expected After Harsh Winter

By Bruce Pannier
After a winter many are calling the worst in nearly four decades, Central Asians are dreaming of spring. But the warm weather's arrival this year will bring problems of its own, meteorologists say.
The below freezing temperatures have kept snow in the eastern mountains from melting and the area's reservoirs, which are now low, may soon be overflowing causing floods hundreds of kilometers away.
"Snow levels in regions below 2,500 meters are nearly 20 percent more than normal," Anvar Khomidov, the deputy head of Tajikistan's meteorological agency, told RFE/RL's Tajik Service.
"Usually temperatures rise quickly in these regions and the snow that we have will start to melt and the water level will rise in the rivers. If the temperature would rise quickly in April that certainly would lead to flooding."

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A Global Need for Grain That Farms Can’t Fill

By DAVID STREITFELD, New York Times

LAWTON, N.D. — Whatever Dennis Miller decides to plant this year on his 2,760-acre farm, the world needs. Wheat prices have doubled in the last six months. Corn is on a tear. Barley, sunflower seeds, canola and soybeans are all up sharply.
“For once, there’s great reason to be optimistic,” Mr. Miller said.
But the prices that have renewed Mr. Miller’s faith in farming are causing pain far and wide. A tailor in Lagos, Nigeria, named Abel Ojuku said recently that he had been forced to cut back on the bread he and his family love.
“If you wanted to buy three loaves, now you buy one,” Mr. Ojuku said.
Everywhere, the cost of food is rising sharply. Whether the world is in for a long period of continued increases has become one of the most urgent issues in economics.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Wild Bees May Help Honeybees

By SANDY MILLER HAYS
You've probably already heard that something strange is going on in the world of honeybees. In fact, if honeybees could suddenly talk, perhaps the first words out of their mouth might be "Houston, we have a problem."Thanks to a very mysterious syndrome known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), beginning in the fall of October 2006, some beekeepers began reporting the losses — no, make that the disappearance — of as much as 90 percent of their bees.
Left: An alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata) on an alfalfa flower. This bee is widely used for pollination by alfalfa seed growers. ARS scientists
in Logan, Utah, are always on the lookout for wild bees that can be recruited to help the honey bee with the huge job of pollinating the nation’s crops. (Photo by Peggy Greb)


Friday, March 07, 2008

UN: Climate danger for Middle East, North Africa

Wagdy Sawahel
Source: SciDev.Net

Climate change is likely to cause agricultural losses in the Middle East and North Africa, threatening the food security of many countries, the UN has warned.
A report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), released at a conference in Cairo, Egypt, this week (1–5 March), reviews studies and models of predicted climate-change impacts over the period 1980–99 and for 2080–99 — including reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
According to the report, more than 80 per cent of models show that water availability in the regions will decrease by up to 40 millimetres per year. With rainfall decreasing, growing seasons will be shorter for farmers.

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Energy Medicine and It's Uses

by Mike Hussey

The human body is an electromagnetic unit. Electricity makes the heart beat and muscles expand and contract, and fires impulses across tiny fibers in the nervous system to make possible our every thought, mood, and physical reaction. Energy medicine, or vibrational medicine, is a form of therapy in which the patient's own electromagnetic, or energy, field is used to promote wellness or healing. Energy medicine consists of a variety of therapeutic modalities, each of which has its own healing frequency, or energetic waveband.Throughout history, the peoples of many nations have used various forms of vibrational energy for healing. Most traditional cultures identify some form of a basic life force flowing from a universal creator. In China it's called chi; in ancient Greece, pneuma; in India, prana; in Japan, qi. To the native peoples of the North American continent, this force is known as the flow of spirit. To all these peoples, the life force is the basis of physical, psychological, and spiritual health. These subtle, unseen energies are in corporated in the therapeutic vibrational methods of the different modalities, as healers work to enhance or rebalance this life force, strengthening it where it's weak, and modulating it where it's excessive.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

‘Slow Earthquake' Vibrating Region

By Christopher Dunagan

A very slow earthquake, which could continue for weeks, is under way in Western Washington.
To measure the quake, which probably started Sunday, University of Washington seismologists are rushing to install 100 seismographs in a region near southern Hood Canal and in the Olympic Mountains.
"We're all very excited because it's something we don't understand very well," said John Vidale, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. "We're bringing out new instruments and have a whole community of seismologists interested in this event."
The slow earthquake, called an episodic tremor-and-slip event, could release as much energy as a magnitude 7 earthquake, Vidale said. But nobody can feel it, because the energy is released over weeks rather than all at once.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Shoalwater Bay Indians involve their entire community in developing plans for the threats they face

"Tokeland is about midway along a major geological faultline known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone... Historical records, geological history and native legends indicate that at least 13 great earthquakes have occurred along this zone in the past 6,000 years, with an average interval of about 500 years between them."

by Ed Mund

The tiny community of Tokeland sits off State Route 105 on a remote peninsula on the west coast of Washington State, exposed to the full fury of the wind, rain and waves coming off the Pacific Ocean. On days of heavy rain, it's sometimes hard to tell where the low-lying land ends and the sea begins. It is just such a combination of geography and environment that makes this area at risk for natural disasters.
This interplay of land and sea has not been lost on the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, which has lived along these shores for millennia. This small tribe of about 300 members has an emergency-preparedness plan in place that undergoes continual updating and revision, making this tiny piece of the Washington coastline perhaps the safest location on the Pacific Coast in the event of a disaster.

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Two earthquakes registered off Oregon coast

from the Seattle Times

PORTLAND, Ore. — Two back-to-back earthquakes struck about 200 miles off the Oregon coastal town of Bandon. The National Earthquake Information Center said there was no damage and no threat of a tsunami.
Don Blakeman of the center in Golden, Colo., said preliminary measurements put the magnitudes at about 5.1 and 4.9 and said the quakes hit at 6:44 a.m. and 6:49 a.m. Monday.

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Ecuadoran floods to last until April

GENEVA, March 4, 2008 (AFP) - Flooding that has devastated half of Ecuador will likely continue until April, the United Nations disaster relief office said Tuesday, citing the country's national weather institute.
"Roughly 13,500 people are currently housed in temporary shelters while another 100,000 victims need immediate aid in terms of food, shelter and access to potable water," said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the Geneva-based Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Thirteen of Ecuador's 22 provinces are currently under water from flooding that has caused 19 deaths to date and affected up to 300,000 people, OCHA said.
The UN agency has earmarked 50,000 dollars (33,000 euros) in emergency aid and rescue operations in the South American country.
The European Union has also offered 1.5 million euros in assistance while Spain has furnished two potable water purification units.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Strong earthquake jolts Indonesia's West Sumatra

Jakarta (dpa) - An undersea earthquake registering 6.3 on the Richter scale struck the western coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra Monday morning, but there were no immediate reports of injury or damage, the Indonesian seismologist agency said.
The quake struck at 9:37 am (0237 GMT) and was centred in the Indian Ocean, 157 kilometres south-west of Painan in West Sumatra province, Indonesia's National Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said.
It occurred 34 kilometres beneath the seabed, but the statement did not say if the quake formed a tsunami threat.

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Strong earthquake hits eastern Philippines

MANILA, March 3 (Xinhua) -- A 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit a maritime area 184 km northeast of Catarman, northern Samar in eastern Philippines Monday evening at 22:11 local time (1411 GMT),said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivcs).
The depth of focus of the quake was shallow with 56 kilometers and was tectonic in origin. The tremor was also felt in Iriga Cityand Legaspi City in eastern Philippines, said Phivcs.
No damage or casualty was reported and no aftershocks were expected, said Phivcs.
The U.S. Geological Survey earlier said a 7 magnitude earthquake shook Catanduanes island in eastern Philippines at 22:11 local time (1411 GMT) Monday. It changed the magnitude to 6.9 minutes later.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer's online service quoted the U.S. Geological Survey as saying a 5.8 magnitude quake also hit the northern island of Batannes in northernmost Philippines 21:49 local time (1349 GMT) Monday without causing damage or casualty. Phivcs confirmed it to be a 5.7 magnitude quake.

Oprah and her New Earth

By Claire Hoffman

I love Oprah--she's beautiful and powerful, frank and human. She laughs and cries and cares about beauty and politics and me. She helps pick out books and movies and presidential candidates. But sometimes the power and reach of Oprah...well, it frightens me.
Tonight will mark a new zenith in Oprah-dom. The great one begins a series of "webinars," live online courses to discuss the spiritual teachings of her newest Oprah Book Club author, Eckhart Tolle. Tolle's book "A New Earth," was first published in 2005 but now Oprah has embraced Tolle's spiritual philosophy on creating a "shift in consciousness" and so, I imagine, will her audience of millions (my pre-registration page warns that this may be the biggest online event EVER).

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Storm surge floods historic German fish market

The historic fish market in the German city of Hamburg was completely flooded on Sunday by a storm surge on the River Elbe after powerful storms hit Germany on Saturday.
Many cars stalled in the flooded streets and had to be towed away by rescue trucks.
The floodgates were closed by firemen to avoid more water getting into the city.
Germany was particularly badly hit by the powerful storms that hit central Europe on Saturday, killing ten people, two of them in Germany.

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Chile Shaken by Magnitude 5.6 Earthquake Near City of Iquique

By Heather Walsh

Chile, the world's biggest copper producer, was shaken by an earthquake yesterday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The quake had a magnitude of 5.6 and hit 35 kilometers (20 miles) east of the city of Iquique in the region of Tarapaca at 4:51 p.m. local time, the USGS said on its Web site.
The temblor caused power outages in parts of the city, according to the Web site of the state-run Chilean Emergency Office. No injuries were reported, the office said.