Officials declare world’s first famine in six years

February 21, 2017 by  
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Officials have declared the first official famine in six years – in South Sudan. And it is entirely manmade. The United Nations and South Sudanese government said 100,000 people are already suffering, and one million more are expected to face starvation soon. Food and Agriculture Organization representative Serge Tissot said, “Our worst fears have been realized.” The United Nations said war and economic troubles are to blame for the famine, which has been officially declared in some areas of the Unity state but also threatens other parts of South Sudan. High food prices also make it harder for hungry people to obtain sufficient sustenance. Head of the World Food Programme (WFP) in South Sudan, Joyce Luma, said the famine is man-made – three years of strife has affected farmers and impacted crop production. Tissot said, “Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive.” Related: Severe drought and El Niño have put 32 million southern Africans in peril According to the WFP and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 4.9 million people desperately need food in South Sudan – that’s over 40 percent of the entire population. But that number could rise to 5.5 million people, or 47 percent of the population, by the summer, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). IPC’s report said acute malnutrition is a public health emergency in the country, as 14 out of 23 counties show Global Acute Malnutrition around or greater than 15 percent. UNICEF representative Jeremy Hopkins said they estimate over one million children are acutely malnourished in South Sudan. The report called for assistance, saying humanitarian help in 2016 was able to bolster and even improve food security in some areas. “It is of paramount importance that assistance not only continues in 2017, but scales up in the face of mounting food insecurity across the country,” the report states. But Luma warned there’s only so much assistance can do without peace in South Sudan. Via the BBC and the United Nations Images via European Commission DG ECHO on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Officials declare world’s first famine in six years

Climate change may have caused the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire

February 9, 2016 by  
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No matter how humans may struggle to separate ourselves from the natural world, we are inevitably subject to its rule. The Byzantine Empire, also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, is a case study in how a changing climate can crush imperial ambitions. Recent research conducted at the  Swiss Federal Research Institute used the study of tree rings to determine regional climate changes that fundamentally altered the balance of power 1,500 years ago. Read the rest of Climate change may have caused the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire

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Climate change may have caused the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire

This tiny off-grid home in New Zealand is 100% self-sustaining

February 9, 2016 by  
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This tiny off-grid home in New Zealand is 100% self-sustaining

NASA-Funded Study Predicts Impending Collapse of Industrial Civilization

March 17, 2014 by  
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For years, scientists and social activists have warned that income inequality, resource depletion, and unchecked population growth could lead to the collapse of civilization. However policy makers have so far regarded these assertions as little more than the predictions of delusional cardboard sign-carrying oracles on street corners. A new study funded by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center confirms these terrifying prophesies, stating that industrialized society as we know it could completely collapse within the next few decades. Read the rest of NASA-Funded Study Predicts Impending Collapse of Industrial Civilization Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: commoners , economic inequality , elites , famine , gupta , han , handy model , industrialized civilization , masses , mauryan empire , nasa , nasa goddard space flight center , natural science , population collapse , population growth , resource depletion , roman empire , social science , social stratification        

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NASA-Funded Study Predicts Impending Collapse of Industrial Civilization

Paris Gets Tough on Pollution as Friday’s Air Quality Rated Worse than Beijing

March 17, 2014 by  
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Paris photo from Shutterstock A cloud of smog has enveloped Paris – and on Friday air pollution levels were actually worse than notoriously smoggy Beijing . The French capital is taking emergency measures to reduce air pollution – over the weekend the city made public transportation, bike sharing and electric car sharing free, and starting Monday private cars and motorcycles with even registration numbers will be banned. 700 police officers are stationed at checkpoints issuing $31 (€22) fines for violators. Electric vehicles, hybrids and cars carrying at least three people are exempt. Read the rest of Paris Gets Tough on Pollution as Friday’s Air Quality Rated Worse than Beijing Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air pollution , Air QUality Index , banning cars , Beijing , belgium , diesel engines , Diesel Fuel , fine particulates , france , free public transportation , germany , Paris , smog , smog belt        

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Paris Gets Tough on Pollution as Friday’s Air Quality Rated Worse than Beijing

Child Refugees Find Sanctuary in London’s Unique Cocoon-Like Sculptural Pavilion

August 11, 2013 by  
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For children who have been forced from their homes due to violent conflict or dire environmental conditions, the idea of a safe place for play and relaxation can seem a distant memory. Architecture might seem an odd tool to help these children rebuild their lives and sense of security, but for emerging London-based designer Natasha Reid the fit was obvious. As part of the An Embassy for Refugees  project, Reid worked directly with children from a refugee charity to develop a cocoon-like space called the “Transient Sanctuary.” Representing both refuge and openness, sanctuary and the freedom to explore what’s next, the sculptural pavilion brings together art, architecture, performance and participation with human rights advocacy.  Click through the gallery for an intimate look at this design that explores concepts of refuge. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , Child Refugees Sanctuary Structural Pavilion , cocoon , Drought , famine , London , pavilion , refugees , sanctuary , UK , war        

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Child Refugees Find Sanctuary in London’s Unique Cocoon-Like Sculptural Pavilion

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