Tag Archives: water

Climate and Conflict

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Climate and Conflict)

A.  Report: Warming could cause greatest human migration ever
6/10/2009, ABCNews.go.com, By Arthur Max, Associated Press Writer
Pasted from: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7808902
“BONN, Germany — Global warming is uprooting people from their homes and, left unchecked, could lead to the greatest human migration in history, said a report released Wednesday.
Estimates vary on how many people are on the move because of climate change, but the report cites predictions from the International Organization for Migration that 200 million people will be displaced by environmental pressures by 2050. Some estimates go as high as 700 million, said the report, released at U.N negotiations for a new climate treaty.
Researchers questioned more than 2,000 migrants in 23 countries about why they moved, said Koko Warner of the U.N. University, which conducted the study with CARE International.
The results were “a clear signal” that environmental stress already is causing population shifts, she said, and it could be “a mega-trend of the future.”
The potential for masses of humanity fleeing disaster zones or gradually being driven out by increasingly harsh conditions is likely to be part of a global warming agreement under negotiation among 192 countries.
A draft text calls on nations to prepare plans to adapt to climate change by accounting for possible migrations. At U.S. insistence, however, the term “climate refugees” will be stricken from the draft text because refugees have rights under international law, and climate migrants do not fill the description of “persecuted” people, said Warner.
The report, “In Search of Shelter: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement,” studies people in some of the world’s great river deltas who could be subject to glacial melt, desert dwellers who are vulnerable to increasing drought, and islanders whose entire nations could be submerged by rising sea levels.
It did not try to assess conflicts caused by climate change. The war in Sudan’s desert Darfur region has partly been blamed on contested water supplies and grazing lands, and concern over future water wars has mounted in other areas of the world.
The report said 40 island states could disappear, in whole or in part, if seas rise by six feet. The Maldives, a chain of 1,200 atolls in the Indian Ocean has a plan to abandon some islands and build defenses on others, and has raised the possibility of moving the entire population of 300,000 to another country.
Melting glaciers in the Himalayas threaten repeated flooding in the Ganges, Mekong, Yangtze and Yellow river basins, which support 1.4 billion people, or nearly one-fourth of humanity, in India, southeast Asia and China. After the floods will come drought when seasonal glacier runoff no longer feeds the rivers, it said.
In Mexico and Central America drought and hurricanes have led to migrations since the 1980s and they will get worse, it said.
Homes are not always abandoned forever, the researchers said. “Disasters contribute to short-term migration,” especially in countries that failed to take precautions or lack adequate responses, said Charles Ehrhart of CARE. Most migration will be internal, from the country to the city, it said.”
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B.  Scenario planning for climate change
March 2011, Climate Cassandra.blogspot.com, by David Flint
Pasted from: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/03/scenario-planning-for-climate-change.html
“The science of climate change is good enough to show that global temperatures will rise unless we cut back drastically on greenhouse gas emissions. What no science can do is show whether we will do so – or what policies nations will adopt if we do – or if we don’t. Nor can we predict the human – health, nutritional, political and economic – consequences of rising temperatures. Yet these are what people care about.
We badly need ways of thinking about the implications of climate change. Most of what’s written gets hung up on the uncertainties of the science. If we don’t know, and we don’t, whether temperatures will increase by two or four or six degrees how can we prepare?

The answer is scenario planning.
In scenario planning, a method pioneered by Shell, we focus on the uncertainties, not on forecasts, and use these to define a set of possible scenarios. If we get this right the actual events will follow one scenario or, more likely, fall between several scenarios. But in any case we’ll have considered what we can and should do before we have to do it.
Climate change is a long-term problem so let’s look at the long-term – 2030 and beyond On that timescale little is certain but there are two big uncertainties.
1.  The first uncertainty is the temperature increase. The global temperature is currently 0.6 degrees higher than that in the pre-industrial period. By 2030 we ought to know whether we’ve managed to keep the increase below two degrees. That’s hardly risk-free but it should be manageable. If we haven’t then we’ll already be aware of the positive feedback effects that will drive the temperature to a four or even six degree increase. (Some models suggest that rises over ten degrees are possible but let’s not go overboard; four degrees is bad enough.) (The environmental consequences of various possible temperatures have been discussed by Mark Lynas in Six degrees. Prof. James Lovelock has discussed the positive feedback effects in The Revenge of Gaia.)
2. T he second uncertainty is the degree of international collaboration on dealing with climate change. The Montreal treaty on CFCs showed that international collaboration is possible. The post-Kyoto experience shows that it’s very hard to get when it requires significant economic sacrifice. However, even politicians and civil servants can learn from experience and worsening climate will provide many powerful lessons. The real uncertainty is whether governments will commit to enough change soon enough to avoid triggering the positive feedbacks.

Now we combine the two to get our four scenarios as shown in the figure above. I ignore the possibility that we can keep the temperature increase below two degrees without international collaboration because it’s impossible (unless the scientific consensus is badly wrong).
There are two scenarios for a world without catastrophic climate change. In the Lifeboat scenario this is achieved by international collaboration. In the Emergency Braking scenario collaboration fails and its achieved by unilateral action, mainly geo-engineering, by a major power.
There are also two scenarios that do involve catastrophic climate change. In the Police World scenario the nations collaborate to manage the consequences whilst in the New Dark Age scenario they don’t.
Plausibility
I’m aware that two, perhaps three, of my scenarios may sound more like science fiction than sober reflection. However, these scenarios run forward from 2030 and much of today’s world would have seemed like science fiction to our parents. It’s almost impossible to overstate the impacts of four degrees of warming. It’s inconceivable, at least to me, that our civilization will be unchanged by these impacts and it’s time we took this seriously.

Scenario 1: The Lifeboat Scenario
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2010/12/scenario-1-lifeboat-scenario.html
In this scenario the nations collaborate soon enough to restrain greenhouse gas concentrations and the temperature increase is kept below two degrees. As a result we avoid catastrophic climate change. I call this the Lifeboat scenario since it requires that every major state recognizes that we are all in the same boat and that its resources are barely adequate.

The technology base
In his book, Heat, George Monbiot has described the technology changes needed in the UK to reduce its emissions sufficiently. He believes that the UK and developed European nations can retain their standard of living (except for flying) by making an extensive set of changes to our industrial base. Most of this is plausible but almost every part is challenging. His conclusion that we can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% by 2050 requires that we meet every one of these challenges. Given the lack of political will and lamentable failures of Kyoto this would be absurd even if we started immediately. And, that, of course, requires a binding international agreement.
It’s now clear that the failure at Copenhagen was not a temporary or anomalous result but a true reflection of the understandings and priorities of the major powers – especially China and the USA. It follows that the required international agreement will not be established in the near future. The most optimistic view with any plausibility is that the nations may have agreed on the need for effective action by 2015 – though 2020 is more likely. This has major implications for the actions needed to keep us below two degrees.
In brief we’ll have to use geo-engineering methods either to remove CO2 from the atmosphere or to reduce the amount of sunlight falling on the planet. Since all geo-engineering methods have disadvantages we’ll probably have to do both – and to use multiple methods for each.
We will need to do more either by cutting our standard of living or by reducing our numbers.

Global organization
The key assumption for this scenario is that the nations collaborate but this collaboration will not be easy. As with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) there will be disputes and we will need a World Climate Authority (WCA), analogous to the World Trade Organization, to deal with them. The WCA will have, at minimum, to issue emissions permits and to check that actual emissions do not exceed these permissions. It will have to impose sanctions against defaulters. These sanctions will have to be backed by at least the threat of military force, though it’s unclear whether this will require a world police force.
It will also have to regulate the geo-engineering systems. Since these are likely to damage some countries and regions even as they improve world climate this regulation will need to include payments, probably very large payments, of compensation. Such payments are needed not only in the name of justice but also as a highly visible sign of the unsustainability of the combination of excessive GHG emissions and geo-engineering.

Cultural change
This scenario requires changes in production with fewer new products, more repair and recycling and longer product lifetimes. It’s likely that the developed countries will see falls in their standards of living; at least according to such usual measures as GDP per head.
A cultural change will be needed to ensure long-term support for the often uncomfortable policies needed to meet our environmental targets, and I’ll call this Green Puritanism. Green Puritans will disapprove of excessive consumption and travel and these attitudes will reinforce and be reinforced by laws against waste. They will emphasize human solidarity and regard competition as a dangerous force – like fire in the proverb, a good servant but a bad master. They will be skeptical of innovations that do not reduce energy use and our environmental impact.
Green Puritans will disapprove of much fashion, since annual changes drive waste, and of its handmaiden, celebrity culture, since that celebrates excess. Indeed they will disapprove of a great deal of advertising and commerce.
Green Puritans will insist that the public and charitable sectors have inherent value and are not to be seen as inferior copies of the private sector. Indeed, they will demand that these sectors behave differently and will the transformation of public companies into mutual societies and co-operatives.
Green Puritans should not be hostile to pleasure (as conventional puritans have usually been). They will applaud the local and home-based pleasures of food, drink, conversation, sport, sex and family life. They will disapprove of energy-intensive pleasures such as motor-racing and holidays in remote places.

The economy
The Green Puritan change will affect business profoundly. In the developed economies growth will cease to be an acceptable objective and may in some cases actually be penalized. Business leaders will have to find other measures of value, such as sustainability and human well-being, and discover how to link them to their internal performance assessment systems.
Much of the Lifeboat economy will be less volatile than we’ve become used to with fewer fashion shifts and less random change. Exceptions will include:
o  Energy generation – where the greenhouse gas emissions targets will prove highly demanding.
o  Energy use – where new opportunities will be sought in all sectors
o  The use of ICT to replace travel through telepresence, simulations and games.

Life in the lifeboat
Lifeboat will be different from our world, but could be a good world to live in. Let’s look at the advantages for people in the developed countries – who would be most affected:
o  It’s sustainable. People living in this scenario would not be dooming their grandchildren to catastrophe; and would know it.
o  It’s more relaxed. Without the economic pressure for growth and the psychological pressures of advertising life would be less frantic and people less stressed. People in developed countries would gain health benefits.
o  It’s healthier with stronger communities. As Wilkinson and Picket have shown inequality undermines health, communities and social order. It increases many bad things including ill-health, drug abuse, obesity and crime.
These advantages will take time to become apparent. The first ten years of the Lifeboat scenario will therefore be especially difficult.
It’s tempting to claim that there would be benefits for the less developed countries too. Sustainability would certainly be a benefit for them – most immediately those, like Kenya, Bangladesh and low-lying island states, in the front-line of climate change. Later, states dependent on seasonal snow-melt for irrigation would see benefits. These include India, Pakistan and China.

In general the emerging middle classes of India, China, etc., would share the other benefits too. Continuing economic growth – with its benefits for the poor – is certainly compatible with this scenario but the degree to it occurs will depend political decisions.
In the long run, of course, the Lifeboat scenario is best because it avoids catastrophic climate change whilst allowing for some justice in the allocation of scarce resources.

Scenario 2: Emergency braking
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2010/06/scenario-4-emergency-braking.html
In this scenario the nations do not collaborate effectively but the temperature increase is kept below two degrees nonetheless. Here’s how this might happen.
Copenhagen showed that the USA and China were unwilling to make the changes necessary to achieve the lifeboat scenario whilst China wasn’t even willing for other countries to make the necessary commitments. In this situation most major GHG emitters will give climate change a low priority and the pace of climate change will accelerate in line with the IPCC’s business-as-usual scenario.
By about 2020 the political leaderships of China, India and USA will have recognized that the threat of climate change is serious and urgent, but they will remain locked into existing attitudes and policies.
There will then be a serious climate crisis. It might be a storm, flood, drought or fire. Its immediate consequences may be very severe – thousands of deaths and billions of dollars lost in property damage. However its largest impact may come from symbolic damage, eg. the collapse of the Statue of Liberty in a major storm-surge.
This will lead one major nation, let’s call it Maverick, to a realistic re-examination of the climate change threat. It will conclude that it is already too late for the orderly conservation-based approach described in the Lifeboat scenario. As a result, Maverick will take unilateral action in the form of one or more major geo-engineering programs. Maverick will also introduce strong domestic emission-reduction policies and launch a major campaign for international collaboration. These programs will restrain the temperature growth within ten years, but will probably have a variety of adverse effects on other nations.
At least some of these nations will oppose these geo-engineering programs but Maverick will use its diplomatic, cultural, financial and commercial muscle to neutralize this opposition. It’s not clear whether war can be completely avoided in this scenario, but I’m assuming that any military action against Maverick will not stop its geo-engineering efforts. Maverick will also use its leverage to prevent other powers from benefiting disproportionately from its expenditure on geo-engineering.
The initial hostility to Maverick’s unilateralism will, eventually, be followed by acceptance of its inevitability and even desirability. This scenario is unstable and could degenerate into either of the high temperature scenarios. However, Maverick’s unilateralism may buy enough time for the creation of a consensus between the main powers. This consensus could allow this scenario to evolve into Lifeboat. It will not be sustainable if it doesn’t.

Scenario 3: Police World
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/02/scenario-3-police-world.html
In this scenario the nations collaborate against climate change but not in time to prevent catastrophe.
By 2030 China will be suffering from water shortages and the USA from increasingly severe hurricane damage. Every government will have recognized the direction and pace of change. Corporate lobbyists who currently deny the reality of anthropogenic change will have shifted to demanding government help in adapting to that change (whilst denying any meaningful responsibility). It will also be clear that even geo-engineering schemes cannot reverse the trend.
Climate change will already have reduced the area under cultivation and the availability of water for irrigation causing starvation in areas, such as those south of the Sahara, where governments are already weak. The reduction in global food production will make it impossible to provide enough food aid leading to major population movements and wars.
Governments will recognize that the Earth cannot support its current population and that existing human institutions cannot survive the huge population movements that these changes will provoke. (In Collapse Jared Diamond has described a variety of precedents for social collapse due to overuse of natural resources.)
Once the inevitability of this collapse becomes clear governments will shift their focus from mitigation to survival. The worst governments will seek their own survival – the best that of as many of their population as they think feasible. Most countries will adopt a ‘war footing’. Specific policy responses will vary according to geography and political feasibility but will typically include:
o  Bans on immigration – enforced by tighter borders and internal controls
o  Central direction of food production – including use of genetically-modified crops and lower animal welfare standards.
o  Forced relocation of people from threatened areas – sometimes to farmlands where human labor will replace diesel engines.

To deal with the inevitable resistance to these measures most governments will suspend many civil rights. Some will suspend elections ‘for the duration of the emergency’ – a suspension that will become permanent.
Even so, most governments will realize that these measures can provide only temporary relief. With large parts of many countries becoming permanently uninhabitable and new farmlands becoming available in the under-populated north the only long-term solution will be a wholesale northward relocation of people and industrial facilities coupled with a reduction in total numbers.
The inevitable strategy will be to identify the territories remote from the equator where the prospects are best and then limit and direct migration into these refuges. The rest of the Earth will be progressively abandoned together with a large part of its population. International institutions will be redirected or created in order to manage the transfer and, more critically, the abandonment and starvation of many millions of people.
This process will play out over many decades and its reality will be generally denied at first.
• By 2050: The temperature rise will have exceeded two degrees and major positive feedback effects will be visible. Major floods and severe hurricanes will be much more common making and major habitat changes have already occurred, eg. in the Sahara and Amazon basin, leading to a marked reduction in the Earth’s carrying capacity. An increase of at least four degrees will now be certain.
• Beyond 2050: The refuges will take on a life of their own. Life in these refuges will be hard but life outside them will become literally impossible; most of those outside them will die. These deaths will be spread over many decades and will mainly be from starvation, though natural disasters and warfare will contribute.
Resistance to the new world order will be severe, but the multinational authorities will take large-scale military action to maintain the borders of the refuges. This scenario assumes that the multinational authorities succeed in maintaining law and order and an industrial base but this will be at the price of human rights and ordinary human compassion. The need for vigorous military action against those outside the refuges and direction of labor within them will lead to severe rationing of almost everything and a police state covering all the refuges; in effect a Police World.
If the authorities are unable to maintain law and order and an industrial base we will get scenario 4 <>.

Scenario 4: The New dark Age
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/03/scenario-4-new-dark-age.html
In the final scenario attempts at international collaboration have failed to prevent temperature rises and have broken down. As temperatures rise nations and subnational groups will fight for survival destroying civilization and creating a new dark age.

2030: Change will have become irrevocable and some previously fertile land will have gone out of use. Food shortages will be normal and famines common. During famines there will generally not be enough spare food available from outside the stricken area to feed the hungry making starvation common.
Institutions and individuals will generally have recognized that long-term survival with any degree of security and comfort will be possible only in places remote from the equator. Only in these places will the impending climate catastrophe leave land for agriculture.
Since the majority of countries are not remote from the equator their governments will attempt to negotiate access to places that are. Countries that do include high latitude regions will recognize their value and will generally be unwilling to provide access; preferring to keep them for their own inhabitants. They will increase military expenditure and strengthen their defenses.
As temperatures rise food shortages will increase and people will migrate away from the equator and the lowlands. Conflicts will arise as the migrating populations press upon national boundaries or encroach on lands previously used by other ethnic groups within the same countries. Darfur may be seen as an early example of such a conflict. These conflicts will arise even where the disputed land provides no long-term security. If faced with the choice between violence and starvation those not actually starving will choose violence.
Some large nations, the USA and Argentina for instance, will include some refuge areas though not enough for their whole populations. Civil wars will result in these nations. In some cases these wars will be encouraged by neighboring nations who hope to grab some of the more attractive land.
These conflicts will often be exacerbated by religious and ethnic differences and recollections of past grievances, actual or supposed. These differences and grievances will be emphasized and exaggerated, and sometimes invented, by unscrupulous opportunistic politicians. (These processes could be seen operating in Rwanda and Yugoslavia.)
Detailed predictions of these conflicts is impossible, but with stakes so high – both national survival and the physical survival of whole populations – there is no reason to expect much restraint. Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons will be used.

2060: Repeated wars will inflict major damage on the very resources, both agricultural and industrial, that they are trying to control. Continued warfare will also destroy much of humanity’s capacity to innovate, except in military matters, and to do or even understand science and the arts.
As climate pressures increase (over a period of many decades) military power will become the dominant reality in human affairs. Political authority will give way to it. Jared Diamond’s, Collapse gives examples of this breakdown.
A new global Dark Age will follow in which most of the survivors will live in militarized refuge areas in high latitudes. Food will be scarce and almost all resources will be devoted to survival – water supply, food production and defense. Commitment to survival goals will be enforced by the authorities and underwritten by new religious ideologies. Dissent will not be tolerated and punishments will be both severe and quick.
Survival outside these refuges will be limited to hunter-gatherer bands and small agricultural villages. As between them, suspicion and violence will be the norm.

After the Dark Age
The new Dark Age will doubtless last several centuries, during which the human population will fall to a fraction of its current level. The best that can be said of this scenario is that it need not last indefinitely. Neither the Greek nor the later European Dark Ages lasted for ever. Each ended and was followed by a notable period of cultural flowering – the Athenian Golden Age and The European Renaissance.
Though we have not previously experienced either a global Dark Age or such abrupt climate change there is reason to hope that our descendants will ultimately be able to rebuild civilization.
From: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/03/scenario-planning-for-climate-change.html
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C.  Climate Change and Global Conflicts
March-April 2008, WFS.org, by Cynthia G. Wagner
Pasted from: http://www.wfs.org/node/370
‘Cold’ wars have existed throughout history; now we may see ‘heat’ wars.
Traumatic climate cooling may have launched wars in the past, like the Little Ice Age of the mid-sixteenth through mid-nineteenth centuries. Cold-induced stresses on agriculture led to wars, famines, and population declines, an international team of researchers believes. Now, they warn that future climate change that turns up the heat could also increase conflicts.
Sudden changes in temperature don’t directly cause conflict, but they do disrupt water and food supplies. Shortages of such critical resources can lead people to rise against their governments or invade neighboring countries, according to research led by University of Hong Kong geographer David Zhang and published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To study the relationship between climate and conflict, the researchers collected data on temperature change and wars from A.D. 1400 to 1900. They discovered that cycles of turbulence followed historic low temperatures, with tranquility restored during more-temperate times. Sources for the study included a database of 4,500 wars, assembled by co-author Peter Brecke of Georgia Tech, and climate records reconstructed by paleontologists from historical documents.
The researchers found that there were nearly twice as many wars per year worldwide during cold centuries as there were during the milder eighteenth century. More than 80% of countries around the world experienced more wars in a cold climate, according to Zhang.
The researchers reason that the link between climate shock and conflict is the supply of food: Decreases in agricultural production trigger increases in food prices, and when grain prices reach a certain level, wars erupt.
Population growth and decline are also affected by these climate change driven conflicts, the researchers believe. After peak periods of war in Europe and Asia, such as during the frigid seventeenth century, populations declined. In China, population dropped by 43% between 1620 and 1650, then rose dramatically between 1650 and 1800, when the next cooling period began, bringing another global demographic shock.
“Climate change may have played a more important role on human civilization than has so far been suggested,” says Zhang. The depletion of resources on which livelihoods are based is the most critical effect of such change and is “the root cause of human miseries—e.g., wars, famines, and epidemics.”
Abrupt global warming is upon us now, they warn, and may pose just as dire threats to resource supply and demand as did global cooling in centuries past.
“The speed of global warming is totally beyond our imagination,” says Zhang. “Such abnormal climate will certainly break the balance of human ecosystem. At the moment, scientists cannot accurately predict the chain of ecological effects induced by climate change. If global warming continues, we are afraid that the associated shortages of livelihood resources such as freshwater, arable land, and food may trigger more armed conflicts (e.g., Darfur in Africa) or even general crises in the world.”
As Brecke of Georgia Tech points out, global warming may have some beneficial effects in the short term, but “with more droughts and a rapidly growing population, it is going to get harder and harder to provide food for everyone and thus we should not be surprised to see more instances of starvation and probably more cases of hungry people clashing over scarce food and water.”
Human beings are unlikely to sit still with such dire prospects before them, notes Zhang. Responses to resource shortages extend beyond fighting over dwindling crumbs of bread and drops of water, but include economic change, trade, technological and social innovation, and peaceful resource distribution. In eighteenth century China, for instance, the frequency of war decreased “because the Qing emperors had united all troublesome tribal states in the western and northern marginal areas,” the authors write. “We hope that positive social mechanisms that are conducive to human adaptability will play an ever more effective role in meeting the challenges of the future.”–Cynthia G. Wagner
Sources: “Global Climate Change, War, and Population Decline in Recent Human History” by David D. Zhang et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (November 20, 2007).
Pasted from: http://www.wfs.org/node/370

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 D. Global Warring: Climate Change Could Be The Root Of Armed Conflicts
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070709111427.htm
Warfare frequency in eastern China, and the southern part in particular, significantly correlated with temperature oscillations.  Almost all peaks of warfare and dynastic changes coincided with cold phases.
Temperature fluctuations directly impact agriculture and horticulture and, in societies with limited technology such as pre-industrial China, cooling temperatures hugely impact the availability of crops and herds.  In times of such ecological stress, warfare could be the ultimate means of redistributing resources, according to Zhang and his team.
The authors conclude that “it was the oscillations of agricultural production brought by long-term climate change that drove China’s historical war-peace cycles.”  They recommend that researchers consider climate change part of the equation when they consider the reasons behind wars in our history.

E.  Will Global Warming Cause World War IV?
BUSINESS & POLITICS (NEWS), by Eric Leech, New York, NY
Excerpts pasted from: http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/will-global-warming-cause-world-war-iv.html
Global warming is the cause of a number of damaging effects to the earth and its inhabitants, such as climate change, glacier retreat, rising sea levels, and now we may have a new threat on the horizon… world war! According to the 2007 CNA Corporation report, there is clear indication that as the tensions of global warming continue to heat up, so may the possibilities of war… a Hot War!
There are two obvious factors which will be the cause of the increasing threat of a World War IV (some military historians believe that WWIII has already occurred):

1.  Crowding and Territorial Tensions – The number one cause of such tensions will be the migration of different cultures to other territories in search of new resources to replace the increasingly depleting ones. Not only will many cultures find their resources disappearing, but the rising sea level will cover over parts of much of the land, minimizing usable farm area, fresh water, and cattle herds. In some cases, entire islands may become submerged.
Instead of allowing their sovereignty to disappear along with their dry ground, many of these endangered cultures will choose to battle with nearby countries in order to set-up their governments and house their citizens upon alternative soil. Inevitably larger powers will become a part of such squabbles and before you know it, we’ve got a world war on our hands.

2.  Competition of Newly Habitable Lands – The opposite scenario of crowding may also occur as the open space around the Arctic regions becomes available due to the increased air temperatures. As these uninhabitable areas become habitable for the first time in history, competition from the various coastal countries and islands who have lost their native homeland will become fierce.
In addition to the smaller powers, larger world powers who previously ignored such land will eventually see the profit potential of such areas and involve themselves in the competition. The large nations will be less interested in the usable space and more keen on the possibility of exploiting the relatively untapped oil resources of these areas for strategic economic positioning.

See also, Survival Manual/1. Disaster/War, EMP
Survival Manual/1. Disaster/War, Radiological
Survival Manual/1. Disaster/ Volcanic Winter and
Survival Manual /1. Disaster/ Climate- Global Warming

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El Nino – La Nina and Megadrought

(Survival manual/ 1. Disaster/El Nino – La Nina and Megadrought)

The El Nino – La Nina Southern Oscillations (ENSO) alternate quasi-periodically across the tropical Pacific Ocean on average every five years, but over a period which varies from three to seven years. ENSO causes extreme weather such as floods, droughts and other weather disturbances in many regions of the world.

Periodicity
Between 1950 and 1997, El Ninos were present 31%, La Ninas 23% of the time, and about 46% of the period was in a neutral state. El Nino and La Nina occur on average every 3 to 5 years. Based on the historical record, the interval between events has varied from 2 to 7 years. Since 1975, La Ninas have been only half as frequent as El Ninos, therefore, a La Nina episode may, but does not always
follow an El Nino. La Nina conditions typically last approximately 9-12 months, but some episodes may persist for as long as two years.

 1.  EL Nino
El Niño’s Are Growing Stronger, NASA/NOAA Study Finds
ScienceDaily (Aug. 27, 2010) — A relatively new type of El Niño, which has its warmest waters in the central-equatorial Pacific Ocean, rather than in the eastern-equatorial Pacific, is becoming more common and progressively stronger, according to a new study by NASA and NOAA.

El Niño, Spanish for “the little boy,” is the oceanic component of a climate pattern called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, which appears in the tropical Pacific Ocean on average every three to five years. The most dominant year-to-year fluctuating pattern in Earth’s climate system, El Niños have a powerful impact on the ocean and atmosphere, as well as important socioeconomic consequences.
They can influence global weather patterns and the occurrence and frequency of hurricanes, droughts and floods; and can even raise or lower global temperatures by as much as 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

During a “classic” El Niño episode, the normally strong easterly trade winds in the tropical eastern Pacific weaken. That weakening suppresses the normal upward movement of cold subsurface waters and allows warm surface water from the central Pacific to shift toward the Americas. In these situations, unusually warm surface water occupies much of the tropical Pacific, with the maximum ocean warming remaining in the eastern-equatorial Pacific.

Since the early 1990s, however, scientists have noted a new type of El Niño that has been occurring with greater frequency. Known variously as “central-Pacific El Niño,” “warm-pool El Niño,” “dateline El Niño” or “El Niño Modoki” (Japanese for “similar but different”), the maximum ocean warming from such El Niño’s is found in the central-equatorial, rather than eastern, Pacific. Such central Pacific El Niño events were observed in 1991-92, 1994-95, 2002-03, 2004-05 and 2009-10. A recent study found many climate models predict such events will become much more frequent under projected global warming scenarios.

Graphic above pasted from <http://www.eoearth.org/article/El_Ni%C3%B1o,_La_Ni%C3% B1a_and_the_southern_oscillation>

Our understanding of the processes responsible for the development of El Niño is still incomplete. Scientists are able to predict the future development of an event by noting the occurrence of particular weather precursors. Researchers also now have a pretty complete understanding of the global weather effects caused by the formation of an El Niño (see Figure 5).

2.   La Nina
La Niña is essentially the opposite of an El Niño. During a La Niña, trade winds in the western equatorial Pacific are stronger than normal, and the cold water that normally exists along the coast of South America extends to the central equatorial Pacific. La Niñas change global weather patterns and are associated with less moisture in the air, resulting in less rain along the coasts of North and South America. They also tend to increase the formation of tropical storms in the Atlantic.

“For the American Southwest, La Niñas usually bring a dry winter, not good news for a region that has experienced normal rain and snowpack only once in the past five winters,” said Patzert.

 La Niña causes mostly the opposite effects of El Niño. La Niña causes above average precipitation across the North Midwest, the Northern Rockies, Northern California, and in the Pacific Northwest’s southern and eastern regions. Meanwhile there is below average precipitation in the southwestern and outheastern states.

La Niñas occurred in 1904, 1908, 1910, 1916, 1924, 1928, 1938, 1950, 1955, 1964, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1988, 1995, 1998-99, 2008, 2010-11.

Recent occurrences
The strength of the La Niña made the 2008 hurricane season one of the most active since 1944; there were 16 named storms of at least 39 mph (63 kph), eight of which became 74 mph or greater hurricanes. The Gulf of Mexico holds about 27 percent of the U.S.’s oil and 15 percent of its natural gas, the U.S. Department of Energy reports. This makes La Niña and hurricanes serious business.

According to NOAA, El Niño conditions have been in place in the equatorial Pacific Ocean since June 2009, peaking in January-February. Positive SST anomalies are expected to last at least through the North American Spring as this El Niño slowly weakens.

3.  Megadrought Ancient megadroughts preview warmer climate -study
By Deborah  Zabarenko, 2/24/2011, WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters Life!) –
“Ancient mega droughts that lasted thousands of years in what is now the American Southwest could offer a preview of a climate changed by modern greenhouse gas emissions, researchers reported on Wednesday.

The scientists found these persistent dry periods were different from even the most severe decades-long modern droughts, including the 1930s “Dust Bowl.” And they determined that these millennial droughts occurred at times when Earth’s mean annual temperature was similar to or slightly higher than what it is now. These findings tally with projections by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others, according to study author Peter Fawcett of the University of New
Mexico. The results were published in the current edition of Nature.

“The IPCC model suggests that when you warm the climate, you’ll see extended droughts in this part of the world and this is what the paleo record seems to be telling us,” Fawcett said in a telephone interview. “When you’ve got past temperatures that were at or above today’s conditions, conditions got drier.”

The U.S. Southwest has seen steep population growth over the last century, with population increasing by 1,500 percent from 1900 to 1990, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The total U.S. population grew 225 percent over the same period.

The settlement of this area depended, as all human settlements do, on access to water. There would clearly be less water available in a megadrought.

Earth’s orbit and greenhouse emissions
Megadroughts in the past were caused by subtle changes in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, which were also responsible for periodic ice ages. If these orbital changes were the only influence on the
planet’s climate, Earth should be heading into a cool period, Fawcett said in a telephone interview.

However, recent temperature statistics indicate that is not the case. The decade that ended last year was the hottest since modern record-keeping began in 1880. The previous decade, 1991-2000, was next-warmest and 1981-1990 was third-warmest.

Emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide help trap heat near Earth’s surface and could be influencing the natural orbital cycle that would dictate a cooling period.

To figure out just how long these megadroughts lasted, and what happened during them, scientists took samples from a dried lake bed in northern New Mexico called the Valles Caldera. They analyzed these sediments for biochemical signs of drought, ranging from which trees and shrubs grew and how much calcium was in the cracked mud in the dried lake bottom.

Looking at records going back more than a half-million years, they also developed a technique to determine temperature in the ancient past by looking at signs left by soil bacteria, Fawcett said.

The fats in the walls of these bacteria change their structure in response to temperature changes, he said, and act like a “tape recorder” for antique temperatures. (Editing by Eric Walsh)
Pasted from <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41739225/ns/business->

4.  Mega-drought threat to US Southwest
Quirin Schiermeier
The Dust Bowl — the seven-year drought that devastated large swathes of US prairie land in the 1930s — was the worst prolonged environmental disaster recorded for the country. But a study of the American Southwest’s more distant climatic past reveals that the catastrophic drought was a mere dry spell compared to the ‘mega-droughts’ that were recurring long before humans began to settle the continent.

The findings, reported in a paper in Nature this week, add to concerns that the already arid region might face quasi-permanent drought conditions as climate continues to warm.

The team, led by Peter Fawcett, a climate scientist at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, reconstructed the region’s climate history using geochemical indicators from an 82-metre-long lake sediment core from the Valles Caldera in northern New Mexico. Analysis of climate and vegetation proxies, such as pollen and carbon-isotope ratios, suggests that the Southwest experienced abrupt and surprisingly pronounced climate shifts during warm periods of the Pleistocee, including transitions to extended dry periods that lasted for hundreds or even thousands of years.

 5.  Reliving the past
If today’s climate repeated past patterns, the southwestern United States might move into a wetter and cooler phase. Such a transition happened at one point during the so-called Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11, an interglacial period around 400,000 years ago that shows some striking parallels with the Holocene, our current warm period. This seems to have roughly advanced to the point at which the climate in MIS 11 began to switch to a less arid one.

Earth’s orbit and axial tilt during the unusually long MIS 11 stage was similar to orbital conditions during the Holocene, which scientists think will last longer than most Pleistocene warm periods.

But for all the similarities, the climate during MIS 11 was unperturbed by human activity. This time around, rising greenhouse-gas concentrations driven by human activity will very likely override any natural cooling trend. Scientists fear that the Southwestern climate may in fact switch to an extended dry mode such as the ones that occurred during particularly warm Pleistocene periods.

“We won’t know for sure if it happens again until we get there,” says Fawcett. “But we are certainly increasing the possibility of crossing a critical threshold to severe and lasting drought conditions.”

Sudden shifts in carbon isotopes and lowered total organic carbon in the sediment record suggest that grasses and shrubs that depend mostly on summer rain died out during extended Pleistocene droughts. This is surprising, says Fawcett, because summer monsoon rainfall was thought to become more intense in a warmer climate. That summer rain was in fact strongly reduced, or had almost stopped, suggests that regional climate patterns must have shifted radically when Pleistocene temperatures crossed a threshold.

“The scary thing is that we seem to be very close to this point again,” he says.

 6.  A dry future
The Southwest has experienced significant reductions in rainfall during the last decade, causing freshwater reservoirs and groundwater to fall to unusually low levels. Colorado River flows recorded at Lees Ferry, Arizona, from 2000 to 2009 are the lowest on record.

Climate models suggest that the region will in future become even drier as atmospheric circulation patterns change and subtropical dry zones expand towards the poles2.
“The drying we expect for the twenty-first century is entirely the result of increased greenhouse forcing,” says Richard Seager, a climate researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. “Any natural variations in orbital forcing and incoming sunlight will hardly have a noticeable role in the near future.”

A 10–15% reduction in rainfall is enough to cause severe drought in the region, he says. Meanwhile, debate continues among scientists whether a transition to quasi-permanent dry conditions is imminent or already underway, and to what extent global warming has increased the risk of drought.

“A signal of anthropogenic drying is emerging, but it is still small,” says Seager. “I’d expect that by mid-century the human signal will exceed the amplitude of natural climate variability. Then we can safely say that the Southwest has entered a new climate stage.”
[Chart: Drought in American west]

“The climate system clearly has the capacity to get ‘stuck’ in drought-inducing modes over North America that can last several decades to a century or more,” Seager and colleagues wrote in an article published in 2009.

The researchers also point out that the megadroughts occurred without any intervention from human beings. So they could well happen again. It’s also very possible that human-caused warming could bring a return to megadroughts by inducing the same climatic conditions that appear to have been associated with them in the past.

Given projected increases in demand for water on the river, and a 20 percent reduction in its annual flow by 2057 due to climate change, there would be a nearly 10-fold increase in the chances that lakes Mead and Powell would become depleted.
Pasted from <http://www.cejournal.net/?p=4924&gt;

7.  Higher Water Shortage Risks in One Third of US Counties Due to Climate Change: NRDC Report
21 July 2010, Tree Hugger.com, by Matthew McDermott,  http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/07/higher-water-shortage-risks-one-third-u-s-counties-climate-change.php#ch02

A new report from the National Resources Defense Council paints a really dry and thirsty picture in a world warmed by climate change: More than 1100 counties in the United States face higher risks of water shortages by 2050, with more than 400 of these placed at extremely high risk.

14 States At Extreme Risk
Tetra Tech, which did the report for NRDC, used publicly available water use data and climate change models to examine water withdrawals versus renewable water supply. The result was that 14 states face extreme to high risk to water sustainability, or are likely to experience limitations in the water
supply. This is a 14-fold increase from previous estimates.

Parts of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas all are in this latter category–with the Great Plains and Southwest states singled out as places where “water sustainability is at extreme risk.”

Arid Western States’ Water Use Already Unsustainable
Stats on water use as a percentage of available precipitation clearly illustrate the problem: In the eastern US generally less than 5% of precipitation is withdrawn; in the majority of the western US water withdrawals are under 30% of precipitation. But in the arid areas of the states mentioned in the report (particularly in California, Texas and the desert Southwest), withdrawals top 100% of available precipitation.

In the Ogallala Aquifer, stretching from Nebraska to Texas and supplying about 30% of all the water used for farmland irrigation in the country, unsustainable water withdrawals have led to the aquifer dropping by more than 100 feet in many places. In fact The Nature Conservancy, whose scientists contributed research for the report, points out that some studies show the aquifer drying up in as little as 25 years.

As previous studies have indicated, the effect of these water shortages and patently unsustainable water use trend on agricultural production is pronounced. NRDC cites 2007 data to show that the value of crops raised in the 1100 counties at risk exceeded $105 billion.

Strong Climate Action by Congress Can Help
Dan Lashof, director of NRDC’s Climate Center:This analysis shows climate change will take a serious toll on water supplies throughout the country in the coming decades, with over one out of three U.S. counties facing greater risks of water shortages. Water shortages can strangle economic development and agricultural production and affected communities.

As a result, cities and states will bear real and significant costs if Congress fails to take the steps necessary to slow down and reverse the warming trend. Water management and climate change adaptation plans will be essential to lessen the impacts, but they cannot be expected to counter the effects of a warming climate. The only way to truly manage the risks exposed by this report is for Congress to pass meaningful legislation that cuts global warming pollution and allows the U.S. to exercise global leadership on the issue.

[The jury has delivered its verdict: Look for increasing drought during the next few decades. The drought is not a temporary climatic anomaly, but a global change in climatic conditions that will persist  for several centuries. -Mr Larry]

8.  Understanding Your Risk and Impacts: Economic Impacts
2006-2011, The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
http://www.drought.unl.edu/risk/economic.htm
http://www.drought.unl.edu/index.htm
Costs and losses to agricultural producers:

  • Costs and losses to agricultural producers Annual and perennial crop losses [wheat and other grains]
  • Damage to crop quality [reduced yield]
  • Income loss for farmers due to reduced crop yields
  • Reduced productivity of cropland (wind erosion, long-term loss of organic matter, etc.) {late in oil decline making fertilizer very expensive]
  • Insect infestation [late in the oil decline]
  • Plant disease
  • Wildlife damage to crops
  • Increased irrigation costs [during a spreading and  increasingly severe  megadrought]
  • Cost of new or supplemental water resource development (wells, dams, pipelines)
  • Costs and losses to livestock producers
  • Reduced productivity of rangeland
  • Reduced milk production
  • Forced reduction of foundation stock
  • Closure/limitation of public lands to grazing
  • High cost/unavailability of water for livestock
  • Cost of new or supplemental water resource development (wells, dams, pipelines)
  • High cost/unavailability of feed for livestock
  • Increased feed transportation costs
  • High livestock mortality rates
  • Disruption of reproduction cycles (delayed breeding, more miscarriages)
  • Decreased stock weights
  • Increased predation
  • Range fires
  • Loss from timber production
  • Wildland fires
  • Tree disease
  • Insect infestation
  • Impaired productivity of forest land
  • Direct loss of trees, especially young ones
  • Loss from fishery production
  • Damage to fish habitat
  • Loss of fish and other aquatic organisms due to decreased flows
  • General economic effects
  • Decreased land prices
  • Loss to industries directly dependent on agricultural production (e.g., machinery and fertilizer manufacturers, food processors, dairies, etc.)
  • Unemployment from drought-related declines in production
  • Strain on financial institutions (foreclosures, more credit risk, capital shortfalls)
  • Revenue losses to federal, state, and local governments (from reduced tax base)
  • Reduction of economic development
  • Fewer agricultural producers (due to bankruptcies, new occupations)
  • Rural population loss
  • Loss to recreation and tourism industry
  • Loss to manufacturers and sellers of recreational equipment
  • Losses related to curtailed activities: hunting and fishing, bird watching, boating, etc.
  • Energy-related effects
  • Increased energy demand and reduced supply because of drought-related power curtailments
  • Costs to energy industry and consumers associated with substituting more expensive fuels (oil) for hydroelectric power
  • Water Suppliers
  • Revenue shortfalls and/or windfall profits
  • Cost of water transport or transfer
  • Cost of new or supplemental
    water resource development
  • Transportation Industry
  • Loss from impaired navigability of streams, rivers, and canals
  • Declinein food production/disrupted food supply
  • Increase in food prices
  • Increased importation of food (higher costs)

[The lists above speak of reduced agricultural production, rapidly accelerating input costs due to the decline in world petroleum production, stress on agricultural producers-fewer farmers, less land, less product—and much higher U.S. food prices, as a percentage of net income, hence much less discretionary income, less ability to develop a finacial cushion, and a lower quality of life. Add to this the hunger/ socially driven measures some foreign countries may be willing to undertake in these circumstances and we will likely see regional wars; one theater of broad damage might be on American soil. The lists also  speaks quietly about a global and US overpopulation on a diminishing resource base. As every ecologist knows, when  a population has exceeded its resources, its numbers must adjust to a level that is sustainable. Mr Larry]

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Filed under Survival Manual, __1. Disaster

Yes, there’s “climate change”, its cooling

A. Sunspots 2015: Year of the decline
4 Jan 2015, Posted by azleader
Pasted from: https://informthepundits.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/sunspots-2015-year-of-the-decline/

Cooling1 sun Giant solar flare on October 27, 2014. Credit/NASA SDO spacecraft

Solar maximum has passed. What climate effects will come next?
Austin, January 4, 2015 – Solar maximum activity peaked in April 2014 at an exceptionally low 81.9 spots/day. Waning solar activity in 2015 will begin the long, inexorably journey towards solar minimum over the next half decade or so.

If solar physicists are correct, solar activity could be very low for several decades to come. How that will affect climate change is anyone’s guess, but low sunspot activity has already been identified by the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the main causes for the 15+ year “hiatus” from atmospheric global warming.

cooling2 progressionSolar max arrived in April 2014. Credit/Steve Davidson-SILSO data, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels

The Royal Observatory of Belgium released December’s official monthly international sunspot numbers on January 1, 2015. Sunspots increased again in December, but the 13-month smoothed sunspot number that defines solar maximum declined for the 2nd month in a row. Given that solar maximum is a 13-month running average, no one knows maximum has been reached until at least seven months after the fact.

What does the downturn in solar activity mean for earth’s long-term climate change? One legitimate comparison of the current situation on the sun is to a cold period on earth called the Dalton Minimum. It happened 200 years ago.

cooling3 daltonCurrent solar activity is similar to the Dalton Minimum. Credit/Steve Davidson using SILSO data

There were three declining solar cycles leading into the Dalton Minimum, just like now. The third exceptionally weak cycle had a rare higher secondary peak than its first when the Dalton was reached, just like now.

That cycle was followed by a decline to zero spots. The period of zero spots lasted nearly two years before another weak cycle occurred. The match to current activity isn’t exact, but it’s eerily similar. There is modern supporting evidence that the sun will have an exceptionally weak cycle next time, just like the Dalton.

cooling umbralSunspots are becoming harder to see and weaker. Credit/Dr. Leif Svalgaard Research Page

Umbral intensity is a measure of how black the center of the average sunspot is compared to its surroundings. An intensity of 1 means the sunspot is invisible. Sunspots have been fading away since the late 1990s. In the last 3-4 years, though, the fading has leveled off.

Umbral magnetic field is a measure of the strength of the average sunspot, measured in Gauss. The lower the number, the weaker the sunspot. Strong magnetic fields are what cause giant solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that dramatically affect earth. Sunspots cannot form with a field strength below 1,500 Gauss. In the last 3-4 years the decline in magnetic field strength has leveled off, too.

When this data was first published in 2011 it caused quite a stir among solar physicists. Some predicted sunspots would totally disappear after the current cycle ended. It doesn’t look like that will be the case after all. It looks like the next cycle, Cycle 25, will be another weak one, just like during the Dalton Minimum.

Reliable global temperature data does not extend further back than about 1850, fifty years after the Dalton. However, anecdotal evidence suggests there were very cold winter temperatures in the northern hemisphere during that time period.

The current sunspot cycle most closely matches Cycle 12, which peaked in 1883. That one is within reliable global temperature records.

cooling monthly smoothedThe current solar cycle is best matched to Cycle 12. Credit/Steve Davidson using SILSO data

Both Cycle 12 and the current cycle have a rare secondary peak higher than the first. That has got to mean something.

According to IPCC data, the period of the 1880s to the early 1900s was characterized by a general decline in earth’s global atmospheric temperature.

 cooling trend1880-1910 cooling trend corresponds to low sunspot activity. Source/IPCC AR5 Report

Cycle 12 and the two cycles following it were exceptionally weak cycles leading into the early 1900s. It corresponded to declining global temperatures. Coincidence? Not likely.

Conclusions
Solar sunspot maximum was reached in April of 2014. That did not become known until recently because solar max is computed as a 13-month running average. You can’t know it has been reached until at least seven months after the fact. There have been two months of decline since then, so it is reasonably certain the maximum was finally reached. As it is, it was over two years later than originally predicted.

If the current cycle follows past solar behavior then 2015 will see a steep decline in solar activity as it progresses toward solar minimum in the next five years or so.
The current cycle (Cycle 24) has strong similarities to both the Dalton Minimum and Cycle 12 that peaked in 1883. Both time periods are associated with cold earth temperatures. Cycle 12 is more meaningful because it is supported by current United Nations IPCC data.
That being the case, it’s time to start thinking about breaking out the cold weather gear.
.

B. New Ice Age to Begin in 2014
23 Feb 2012, IceAgeNow.info, By Robert
Pasted from: http://iceagenow.info/2012/02/ice-age-2014/

“Forecasters predict that a new ice age will begin soon,” says this article on russia-ic.com.

“Habibullo Abdusamatov, a scientist from the Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences considers that the sharp drop in temperature will start on the Earth in 2014. “According to the scientist, our planet began to “get cold” in the 1990s. The new ice age will last at least two centuries, with its peak in 2055. “It is interesting, that the same date was chosen by the supporters of the theory of global warming. “The expected decrease in temperature may … become the fifth over the past nine centuries, reports Hydrometeorological Center of Russia. Experts call this phenomenon the “little ice age”, it was observed in the XII, XV, XVII, XIX centuries. This cyclicity makes the theory of upcoming cold weather in XXI century look like truth.” http://russia-ic.com/news/show/13717#.T0Q3Ms7rk9C Thanks to Thomas McHart, Stephanie Relfe for this link

Habibullo Abdussamatov is not just “a scientist.” Dr Habibullo Abdussamatov, astrophysicist, is head of the Russian segment of the International Space Station, and head of Space Research of the Sun Sector at the Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences. I
’m inclined to take his forecasts seriously.
I’ve met Dr Abdussamatov, and posted other articles about him here: http://iceagenow.info/2010/05/new-little-ice-age-to-begin-in-2014/
And here: http://iceagenow.info/2011/11/russian-scientists-predict-100-years-cooling/

.

C. New Little Ice Age ‘to Begin in 2014′
20 May 2010,IceAgeNow.info, by Bob
Pasted from: http://iceagenow.info/2010/05/new-little-ice-age-to-begin-in-2014/

cooling Habibullo AbdussamatovRussian scientist to alarmists: ‘Sun heats Earth!’ 20 May 10 – CHICAGO – Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in St. Petersburg, Russia, predicts that a new “Little Ice Age” could begin in just four years.
I sat just ten feet away from Abdussamatov as he made this startling assertion at the Heartland Institute’s 4th International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago just two days ago.
Jerome R. Corsi from World Net Daily covered the proceedings exceedingly well, and I am quoting or paraphrasing him extensively here.
In a two-part video recorded at the conference by WND (link below), Abdussamatov explains that average annual sun activity has experienced an accelerated decrease since the 1990s.

Habibullo Abdussamatov Head of the Russian-Ukrainian project “Astrometria” on the Russian segment of the International Space Station, Abdussamatov’s theory is that “long-term variations in the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth are the main and principal reasons driving and defining the whole mechanism of climatic changes from the global warmings to the Little Ice Ages to the big glacial periods.”

In his speech, Abdussamatov took on advocates of the theory of man-caused warming who want to curtail our use of hydrocarbon fuels. He contended, instead, that a reasonable way to combat coming cooling trends would be “to maintain economic growth in order to adapt to the upcoming new Little Ice Age in the middle of the 21st century.”

Sun’s activity determines temperatures
Abdussamatov argues that total sun irradiance, or TSI, is the primary factor responsible for causing climate variations on Earth, not carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide is “not guilty,” says Abdussamatov. “As for what lies ahead in the coming decades, it is not catastrophic warming, but a global, and very prolonged temperature drop.”

Abdussamatov pointed to the English astronomer Walter Maunder, who noticed that sunspots had been generally absent from 1645 to 1715. That period coincided with the middle and coldest part of the Little Ice Age (see article D, below), which began around 1650 and extended through 1850.

“There is now an unavoidable advance toward a global decrease, a deep temperature drop comparable to the Maunder minimum,” he wrote. “Already there are signs of the future deep temperature drop.”

“The observed global warming of the climate of the Earth is not caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gasses, but by extraordinarily high solar intensity that extended over virtually the entire past century.” “Future decrease in global temperature will occur even if anthropogenic ejection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere rises to record levels.

“The implementation of the Kyoto Protocol aimed to rescue the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off at least 150 years.”

I have the utmost respect for the courageous scientists who presented at this convention.

.

D. The Little Ice Age in Europe
Scott A. Mandia, Professor – Physical Sciences, S.C.C.C., Selden, NY
Excerpts pasted from: http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/lia/little_ice_age.html

Western Europe experienced a general cooling of the climate between the years 1150 and 1460 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850 that brought dire consequences to its peoples. The colder weather impacted agriculture, health, economics, social strife, emigration, and even art and literature. Increased glaciation and storms also had a devastating effect on those that lived near glaciers and the sea.

Impact on Agriculture
Lamb (1966) points out that the growing season changed by 15 to 20 percent between the warmest and coldest times of the millennium. That is enough to affect almost any type of food production, especially crops highly adapted to use the full-season warm climatic periods. During the coldest times of the LIA, England’s growing season was shortened by one to two months compared to present day values. The availability of varieties of seed today that can withstand extreme cold or warmth, wetness or dryness, was not available in the past. Therefore, climate changes had a much greater impact on agricultural output in the past.

Fig. 16 and 17 show the price of wheat and rye, respectively, in various European countries during the LIA.

cooling wheat pricesFigure 16: Prices of wheat expressed in Dutch guilders per 100 kg. in various countries vs. time. (Source: Lamb, 1995)

Western Europe experienced a general cooling of the climate between the years 1150 and 1460 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850 that brought dire consequences to its peoples. The colder weather impacted agriculture, health, economics, social strife, emigration, and even art and literature. Increased glaciation and storms also had a devastating affect on those that lived near glaciers and the sea.

Impact on Health
The cooler climate during the LIA had a huge impact on the health of Europeans. As mentioned earlier, dearth and famine killed millions and poor nutrition decreased the stature of the Vikings in Greenland and Iceland.

Cool, wet summers led to outbreaks of an illness called St. Anthony’s Fire. Whole villages would suffer convulsions, hallucinations, gangrenous rotting of the extremities, and even death. Grain, if stored in cool, damp conditions, may develop a fungus known as ergot blight and also may ferment just enough to produce a drug similar to LSD. (In fact, some historians claim that the Salem, Massachusetts witch hysteria was the result of ergot blight.)

Malnutrition led to a weakened immunity to a variety of illnesses. In England, malnutrition aggravated an influenza epidemic of 1557-8 in which whole families died. In fact, during most of the 1550’s deaths outnumbered births (Lamb, 1995.) The Black Death (Bubonic Plague) was hastened by malnutrition all over Europe.

One might not expect a typically tropical disease such as malaria to be found during the LIA, but Reiter (2000) has shown that it was an important cause of illness and death in several parts of England. The English word for malaria was ague, a term that remained in common usage until the nineteenth century. Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400) wrote in the Nun’s Priest Tale:

You are so very choleric of complexion. Beware the mounting sun and all dejection, Nor get yourself with sudden humours hot; For if you do, I dare well lay a groat That you shall have the tertian fever’s pain, Or some ague that may well be your bane.

In sixteenth century England, many marshlands were notorious for their ague-stricken populations. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) mentioned ague in eight of his plays. Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) died of ague in September 1658, which was one of the coldest years of the LIA.

Five indigenous species of mosquito are capable of transmitting malaria in England where they prefer the brackish water along river estuaries. The anaerobic bacterial flora of saline mud produces a strong sulfur odor that was widely believed to be the cause of agues in salt marsh areas (i.e. Shakespeare’s “unwholesome fens.”) The term malaria comes from the Italian term “mala aria” meaning “bad air.”

Impact on Economics
In addition to increasing grain prices and lower wine production, there were many examples of economic impact by the dramatic cooling of the climate. Due to famine, storms, and growth of glaciers ,many farmsteads were destroyed, which resulted in less tax revenues collected due to decreased value of the properties (Lamb, 1995.)

Cod fishing greatly decreased, especially for the Scottish fisherman, as the cod moved farther south. The cod fishery at the Faeroe Islands began to fail around 1615 and failed altogether for thirty years between 1675 and 1704 (Lamb, 1995.) In the Hohe Tauern mountains of the Austrian Alps, advancing glaciers closed the gold mines of the Archbishop of Salzburg who was one of the wealthiest dukes in the empire. The succession of two or three bad summers where the miners could not rely on work in the mines caused them to find employment elsewhere, which resulted in an abrupt end to the mining operations (Bryson, 1977.)

Not all of the economic impact was bad. The fertile fishing grounds of the present day Newfoundland Banks were thought to have been found by fisherman in the late 1400’s who were looking for the fish stocks that had deserted their former grounds as the result of the movement of colder waters from the north (Lamb, 1995.)

English fisherman benefited by the southern movement of herring normally found in the waters off Norway. This increase in deep-sea fishing helped to build the maritime population and strength of the country (Lamb, 1995.) The failure of crops in Norway between 1680 and 1720 was a prime reason for the great growth of merchant shipping there. Coastal farmers whose crops failed turned to selling their timber and to constructing ships in order to transport these timbers themselves (Lamb, 1995.)

Social Unrest
Conditions during the LIA led to many cases of social unrest. The winter of 1709 killed many people in France. Conditions were so bad, a priest in Angers, in west-central France, wrote: “The cold began on January 6, 1709, and lasted in all its rigor until the twenty-fourth. The crops that had been sewn were all completely destroyed…. Most of the hens had died of cold, as had the beasts in the stables. When any poultry did survive the cold, their combs were seen to freeze and fall off. Many birds, ducks, partidges, woodcock, and blackbirds died and were found on the roads and on the thick ice and frequent snow. Oaks, ashes, and other valley trees split with cold. Two thirds of the vines died…. No grape harvest was gathered at all in Anjou…. I myself did not get enough wine from my vineyard to fill a nutshell.” (Ladurie, 1971) In March the poor rioted in several cities to keep the merchants from selling what little wheat they had left.

The winter of 1739-40 was also a bad one. After that there was no spring and only a damp, cool summer which spoiled the wheat harvest. The poor rebelled and the governor of Liège told the rich to “fire into the middle of them. That’s the only way to disperse this riffraff, who want nothing but bread and loot.” (Ladurie, 1971)

Lamb (1995) reports the occurrence of cattle raids on the Lowlanders by Highlanders who were stressed by the deteriorating climate. In 1436, King James I of Scotland was murdered while hunting on the edge of the Highland region near Perth. The clan warfare grew so bad that it was decided that no place north of Edinburgh Castle was safe for the king so Edinburgh became the capital of the country.

In England, the effect of starvation and the poor condition of the country encouraged men to enlist during the War of the Roses (1455-1485.) As tillable land was converted to other uses such as sheep rearing, the landlords who organized the conversions became the focus of many hostilities.

One group in particular suffered from the poor conditions – people thought to be witches (Behringer, 1999.) Weather-making was thought to be among the traditional abilities of witches and during the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries many saw a great witch conspiracy. Extensive witch hunts took place during the most severe years of the LIA, as people looked for scapegoats to blame for their suffering.

One of history’s most notorious quotes might have been due in part to a rare extremely warm period during the LIA. In northern France in 1788, after an unusually bad winter, May, June, and July were excessively hot, which caused the grain to shrivel. On July 13, just at harvest time, a severe hailstorm (which typically occurs when there is very cold air aloft) destroyed what little crops were left. From that bad harvest of 1788 came the bread riots of 1789 which led to Marie Antoinette’s alleged remark “Let them eat cake,” and the storming of the Bastille.

Art and Literature
Writers and artists were also influenced by the great change in climate. In 1816, “the year without a summer,” many Europeans spent their summers around the fire. Mary Shelley was inspired to write Frankenstein, and Polidori, The Vampire. Both authors, together with Byron and Percy Shelley, were in Switzerland, near Lake Geneva where Byron said “We will each write a ghost story.” Percy Shelley also referred to a glacier in his poem “Mont Blanc” when he wrote “…and wall impregnable of beaming ice. The race of man flies far in dread; his work and dwelling vanish…”

Neuberger (1970) studied more than 12,000 paintings in 41 art museums in the United States and eight European countries to test his hypothesis that paintings would accurately reveal the climate record. These paintings covered the period from 1400 to 1967. He categorized the blueness of the sky into a three-step scale consisting of pale blue, medium blue, and deep blue. Cloudiness was estimated according to the U.S. airways code: clear (less than 10 percent coverage), scattered (10 to 50 percent), broken (60 to 90 percent), and overcast (more than 90 percent cloud coverage.) In addition, the types of clouds were observed according to four families: high, middle, low, and convective (vertically-developed) clouds. Neuberger separated his data into three epochs. According to the data in Fig. 19 below, during the second epoch when the LIA was at its peak, cloudiness and darkness prevailed.

cooling sky paintingsFigure 19: Epochal changes in various painting features. (Source: Neuberger, 1970)

Neuberger suggests that the similarities between the second and third epochs have more to do with a stylistic change in the third epoch to impressionism which produced hazy atmospheres and also to an increase in industrial pollution.

Frequency of Storms
Fig. 20 shows the number of reported severe sea floods per century in the North Sea region.

cooling severe sea floodsFigure 20: Number of reported sea floods per century in the North Sea region. (Source: Lamb, 1995)

During the LIA, there was a high frequency of storms. As the cooler air began to move southward, the polar jet stream strengthened and followed, which directed a higher number of storms into the region. At least four sea floods of the Dutch and German coasts in the thirteenth century were reported to have caused the loss of around 100,000 lives. Sea level was likely increased by the long-term ice melt during the MWP which compounded the flooding. Storms that caused greater than 100,000 deaths were also reported in 1421, 1446, and 1570. Additionally, large hailstorms that wiped out farmland and killed great numbers of livestock occurred over much of Europe due to the very cold air aloft during the warmer months. Due to severe erosion of coastline and high winds, great sand storms developed which destroyed farmlands and reshaped coastal land regions.

(News & Editorial/ Yes there’s “climate change”, it cooling)

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On being prepared

On being prepared

A. How to Survive Societal Collapse in Suburbia
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/magazine/how-to-survive-societal-collapse-in-suburbia.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&amp;

Suburban1

Photograph by Dwight Eschliman for The New York Times

The Douglas Family Stockpile
1.  Staples in 6-gallon buckets include: rice, beans, nuts, sugar, salt, matches, wheat, flour
2.  Freeze-dried meals
3.  Assorted canned foods: cheese, butter and meat
4.  Water-bath canner
5.  Vacuum sealer
6.  Pressure canner
7. Pot
8. Canned meat: red is pork, green is turkey
9. Broth: beef and chicken
10.  Salt: 25-pound bags
11.  Aluminum foil
12.  Portable first-aid kits, lighters, U.V. light sticks, fast-acting glue
13.  Candles
14.  Sunflower seeds
15.  Cough drops
16.  Canned turkey
17.  Stackable containers of canned food
18.  72-hour backpacks
19.  Charcoal chimney
20.  Potatoes
21. Grill
22.  Solar oven
23.  Beef jerky
24.  Vinegar, white and cider
25.  Olive oil in cans
26.  Wall-mounted first-aid kit
27.   Canned staples: rice, dried carrots, dried onions
28. Powdered milk and eggs
29. Laundry detergent
30. The Douglas family
31. Heirloom seed bank
32. Bleach
33. Pasta
34. Dehydrated mashed potatoes
35. More assorted staples
36. Miscellaneous canned goods
37. Stackable containers of canned food
38. Powdered hot chocolate
39. GeneratorNot pictured: juice, apple and grape; fortified water; hand sanitizer; laundry bucket; jars of bouillon; canned apple-pie filling; filtered-water bottles.
40. Propane burner
41. Water filter
42. Hand warmers
43. Surgical masks
44. Empty Mason jars for canning
45. Jars of roasted peppers
46. Rifle, shotgun and pistol
47. Buckets of honey
48. Cans of sardines
49. Foldout tent
50. 5-gallon gas cans
51. Solar panels
52. Plastic hose

suburban2

B. Survival In A Big City After Disaster
12 November 2014, Modern Survival Blog, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/systemic-risk/survival-in-a-big-city-after-disaster/

The issue of survival in a big city following a major disaster is a serious one. In 1800, only 3 % of the world’s population lived in cities. Today, about half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and in developed countries up to 70 % or more live in larger cities. New York and Los Angeles are among the top 10 most populous cities in the world. There are 30 MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) within the United States which have 2 million people or more.

What could possibly go wrong?

Hopefully nothing… however don’t count on it. A microcosm of what could go wrong already happened years ago in New Orleans. Remember Katrina? What about Hurricane Sandy not that long ago in the heavily populated Mid Atlantic region of the Northeast? Does anyone remember the LA riots? What about Ferguson MO?

There are all sorts of natural or man-made events which could spell disaster for the big cities.

What about this one… There are approximately 50 percent of Americans who get some sort of government benefits and there are 82 million households on Medicaid. The amount of people on SNAP (food stamps) has nearly doubled since 2006. And this is only from 2011 Census data. There’s little doubt the numbers are even worse today. How many of these people live in the cities or metropolitan areas? I would suggest that the majority do.

What happens if government assistance is reduced via a financial collapse, or perhaps by a devalued dollar through price inflation – which buys less product? What happens if EBT cards stop working or are ‘worth’ much less than before? I will tell you what happens… The dependent class will revolt.

Without going further down that rabbit hole (I digress), let’s think about survival in the big cities. Let’s face it. There are lots of you who live in the cities or heavily populated MSAs.

When considering one’s preparedness and/or how to survive in the city after a disaster – the thought processes, the plans, and the resulting actions will depend (very much) on the circumstances that one is preparing for. In other words, how bad of a disaster scenario and how long might it go on. These are judgment calls which are made during the event and are preconceived “what if” scenarios based on your own risk tolerance.

The first thing that many people will think to do (following a disaster while living in the city) is to simply ‘bug out’, get-out-of-dodge, leave the city to greener pastures. The problem is, many people really do not have another realistic place to go than where they are now. Unless you truly have a willing friend who lives away from the city, then you will need to think about Plan B. Besides, who’s to say that you could even get out of the city during certain disasters? For an obvious short-term localized disaster you could certainly try to get out and stay in a hotel somewhere out of the region. Traffic will certainly be snarled.

Plan B is to face the very real possibility that you will be stuck right there where you are now. In the city. This is a very bad situation for some disaster circumstances, however for other scenarios it is survivable. Much depends on initial severity as well as the expected length of time in which you will be adversely affected.

If any of the city infrastructure is severely damaged, you will probably be facing a relatively long time to recovery and some very serious problems. If the water and/or sewage is affected, then you are in big trouble. This could be the result of physical damage (e.g. a major earthquake, attack, etc..) or it could be the result of regional (or wider) power outage. If it’s the later, then you will need to understand the cause of the power outage so that you can reasonably determine the expected length of time until it’s re-established (very important to discover and know). A battery powered portable radio is an essential item to get news and information about the disaster.

A major electrical grid power outage could be caused by storm damage. Ice storms are particularly notorious for this, as well ask hurricanes which wreak wide spread damage. Often these types of weather related outages will be resolved within days or weeks because the power company brings in multitudes of crews from other regions to help with the repairs.

On the other hand if the power outage has been caused by a worse enemy, such as a ‘Carrington Event’ solar flare & CME, or by an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack, then this could be a life-ending event for many millions. How will you know? Some or all things ‘electronic’ may not be operational (fried). An entirely different approach must be taken to survive this. But that’s another subject.

Having said that, I believe that the biggest (general) factors to survival in the city is:
– the condition of the electrical grid
– the condition of the infrastructure
– the condition of the distribution networks which bring food & supplies
– the condition of the chaos and your security

For starters, while considering how to prepare for disaster while living in the city, figure out how you will survive based on the four previously mentioned factors. Since most (typical?) disasters are relatively short lived (hours, days, maybe a week or two), then the foremost important thing to do is determine what you will need (in your city apartment or home) to survive without these things. In other words, you’re on your own (completely) for a day or two, maybe a week, or maybe even two.

We’re talking about some of the basics such as water, food, sanitation, keeping warm (during the winter) or keeping cool (summer), and your personal security. Although depending on exactly where you live, your personal security should not (generally) be an issue at first, given a short term disaster. Just keep in mind that when it begins to go on past day-3, then there will be increasingly desperate unprepared people – at which time security will become an increasing issue.

Water
Water can easily be procured and stored. Figure at least 1 gallon of water per day per person. More is (always) better in this regard. You can stock up on cases of water bottles and/or fill up some water storage containers. Get yourself a quality drinking water filter. Most people forget the water when thinking about preparedness. If you’re reading this, there’s no excuse now…

Food
Store some foods which do not require cooking (important). Remember, you can safely eat grocery store canned foods without cooking (even though you’re used to heating them up first). Don’t forget the manual can opener. There is literally no excuse for anyone not to have enough food storage to survive several weeks.

Sanitation
Imagine the scenario without running water. Consider keeping a quantity of ‘wet wipes’ or some such disposable cleaning wipes for hands or other duties. Know that you can flush a toilet without running water. If the power is out for long, this could become a big problem in the city if their generators are not working (or run out of fuel). Pumps are required to water to your faucets and to move sewage – which might ‘back up’ into buildings. Don’t laugh but a 5 gallon bucket (or your existing empty toilet) lined with a heavy duty trash bag (use kitty litter to pour over afterwards) is better than nothing. You could then tie and dispose of used bags somewhere outdoors (although it will be another difficult issue in the city).

Heating & Air Conditioning (Shelter)
A big issue for survival in the city following a disaster is the potential lack of HVAC (heating and air conditioning). Air (or lack thereof). Most apartment buildings (and large buildings in general) are designed to produce a climate controlled environment (which requires electricity). Many buildings do not even have windows which can be opened. Even if they do, it won’t be enough during the summer to prevent a virtual ‘cooker’ in such a building. And if during the winter, you will need to find a way to stay warm without the HVAC system (safely). Mostly, this means wearing warm winter clothes, jackets, hats, gloves, thermals, and having a cold weather sleeping bag. You can survive this way without heat – so long as you have adequate clothes and protection (shelter).

Personal Security
Your personal security will potentially be at risk in the city if the disaster looms long. Face it – most people are not prepared whatsoever for disaster. These people will be ‘screwed’ in a moderate or long term event. Coupled with the dangers of desperate people doing desperate things will be the city gangs of thugs who will take advantage of the chaos. Avoid confrontation by being prepared ahead of time and staying home while you secure your own perimeter and go about the task of survival. For anywhere it is legal, I suggest owning a firearm. Learn how to use it at the range (most people who’ve never shot a firearm before are surprised at how much fun it is when they finally do ). The longer the disaster scenario plays out in the city, the more dangerous it will become for you. Know this and prepare for it accordingly.

Apart from water, food, shelter, security, there are countless other considerations and supplies which will help during a time of disaster. Browse this site (http://modernsurvivalblog.com) and others for lists and ideas. Some of the ideas are obvious ‘no-brainers’ such as a flashlight and extra batteries, while other ideas may really help you in other less obvious ways…

In conclusion, let me say this… during a complete collapse of society and/or SHTF, the cities will not survive. Today’s ‘Just In Time’ distribution will collapse and leave the cities as wastelands of descending chaos. When the trucks stop, it’s over. IF you sense that the disaster is leading towards complete collapse, then I would do everything in my power to get out of there.

By the way, the top 30 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in the United States are as follows:
1. New York
2. Los Angeles
3. Chicago
4. Dallas-Fort Worth
5. Houston
6. Philadelphia
7. Washington
8. Miami
9. Atlanta
10. Boston
11. San Francisco
12. Riverside
13. Phoenix
14. Detroit
15. Seattle
16. Minneapolis-St.Paul
17. San Diego
18. Tampa-St.Petersburg
19. St. Louis 20. Baltimore
21. Denver
22. Pittsburgh
23. Charlotte
24. Portland OR
25. San Antonio
26. Orlando
27. Sacramento
28. Cincinnati
29. Cleveland
30. Kansas City

(Prepper articles/ Readiness in suburbs and city)

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Introducing the Solar Oven

(Survival Manual/ Food & Water/ The solar oven)

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[My Global Sun Oven: Set up in the yard, currently cooking a whole chicken, bakes excellent home-made bread, boils corn, makes stews…Mr. Larry]

A.  Benefits of solar cooking
Pasted from: http://www.sunoven.com/sun-cooking-usa/why-use-it/benefits-of-solar-cooking
•  Cook for free:  Bakes, Boils or Steams Any Kind of Food with the Power of the Sun – No Fuel Needed!
•   No learning curve: Create your favorite recipes as you feast upon natural sun baked treats!
•  Just like your home oven: Reaches Temperatures of 360° to 400° F!
•  Totally Safe – No Danger of Fire – Never Burn Dinner Again!
•  Versatile – Easy-to-use, Portable as a Small Suitcase!
•  Satisfaction GuaranteeIf you are not completely satisfied with your SUN OVEN® you may return it within 30 days of the date you receive it and you will receive a refund. [Offer from the Sun Oven website]

Cooking in a SUN OVEN® is easy, fun, natural, and nutritious, while helping the environment. SUN OVENS® are ideal for everyday use in your back yard, at picnics, while camping, or in the event of a power failure. They can help keep your house cool in the summer by keeping the heat from cooking outside.

Even though it is called an oven, food can be baked, boiled, and steamed at cooking temperatures of 360° F to 400° F. There is no movement of air in a SUN OVEN®, allowing food to stay moist and tender and flavorful. Sun-baked roasts are tastier and more succulent, and sun-baked bread has unparalleled taste and texture. The aroma of food sunning itself in a SUN OVEN® is sure to please your senses.

Temperatures in a SUN OVEN® rise slowly and evenly, allowing complex carbohydrates time to break down into simple sugars, emanating subtle natural flavors. The even temperature of the SUN OVEN® prevents burning, so you do not need to stir your food while it is cooking.

There are two ways to cook in a SUN OVEN®. If you refocus the oven to follow the sun every 25 to 30 minutes, cooking times and methods will be very similar to cooking with a conventional stove or oven. Or a SUN OVEN® can be used for slow cooking, much like a crock-pot. You can prepare your dinner, put it in the SUN OVEN®, point the oven where the sun will be approximately halfway through the time you will be gone. Leave, and come home to a tasty, slow-cooked dinner. If you run late, there is no need to worry; the SUN OVEN® will keep your food warm, moist, and fresh for hours.

My unit was purchased from Amazon.com
Global Sun Oven – Solar Cooker by SUN OVENS International, Inc.
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
Price: $259.00 (no tax)

VIDEO LINKS: (Page with 10 brief videos showing the use of a Sun Oven:
http://www.sunoven.com/sun-cooking-usa/how-to-use#whatis

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YOUTUBE (Jack Spirko of “The Survival Podcast” cooking a roast on the Global Sun Oven)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSHL39DMD9k&feature=related

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Explanation of the Global Solar Sun Oven’s Function: 
•  The Global Sun Oven® will quickly reach temperatures of 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit!!!
•  When the Global Sun Oven is focused in the sun, the interior of the oven is heated by the sun’s energy.
•  Panels of polished metal flare out above the oven and direct the suns rays into the oven chamber where the heat is trapped, much like the heat captured when windows of a car are closed.
•  The black surfaces on the inside of the oven capture and transform the sun’s energy into a radiant energy wave length that cannot escape the oven chamber.
•  Direct and reflected sunlight enters the oven chamber through the glass door. It then turns to heat energy when it is absorbed by the black inner-shell and the levelator device.
•  The light energy absorbed by both the dark surface, and thick steel walls of the The Global Sun Oven Roasting Pot, [or other dark pots], and the oven’s dark interior is converted into longer wavelengths of radiant heat energy. Most of this longer-wavelength radiant energy cannot pass back out through the glass, ensuring more efficient cooking.
•  Food will not stick or burn… because the      solar heat is radiated throughout the cooking oven and does not come from a single direct source; no hot spots created by harsh burners or heating elements.
•  Food does not even have to be stirred – PLUS the Sun Oven is an excellent tool for boiling water. Cooking times are about fifteen minutes longer than with conventional ovens.
•  The oven will generally reach its maximum temperature as it is being preheated. The temperature drops slightly when food is placed in the chamber.
•  Note: The Sun Oven works even in subzero air temperatures, as long as the sun is out, the oven will capture the sun’s energy and cook as if it were a tropical day. The oven will heat up quicker on clear, low humidity days.
•  The Global Sun Oven is equipped with a built-in levelator device, an inner shelf that pivots to always keep food level and avoid spills while the oven is being refocused. The levelator is easily removed to make cleaning easier – or expand the baking area!
•  The four mirror finished anodized aluminum reflecting panels fold in and are easily secured with a heavy-duty strap. Convenient suitcase style handle allows for hassle-free handling – rugger construction,compact size, and low weight make transport or storage a breeze!

 Product Benefits:
• Perfect for crock pot style cooking while busy or at work
• Superior cooking; virtually every food tastes much better!!!
• Captures the nutritional benefits of all natural cooking
• Bake breads, casserole, etc – without heating up kitchen!
• Facilitates enhanced cooking worldwide – from ice fishermen in Minnesota baking their catch on a frozen lake, to desert dwellers in Kuwait baking lamb – from women in rain forests of Africa who can’t find wood to cook with – to deer hunters in North America who love moist venison – Sun Oven cooks!

 Product Features:
• Cooks with the power of the Sun – no fuel needed!
• Uses source of power that never fails – the energy of sun
• Cooks any foods – no special recipes are required
• Reaches temperatures of 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
• Levelator inner shelf pivots to always keep food level
• Levelator easily removed to expand the baking area
Built in leveling leg on back allows for easy sun tracking
• Rugged construction – built for years of trouble-free use
Strong plastic case – both durable and easy to clean
Outer shell made of a highly durable ABS plastic
• Reflexo specular finish reflectors plus tempered glass door
Reflectors made with mirror finished anodized aluminum –  will not oxidize, rust, or corrode
• Black inner shell is formed from aluminum coated with non-toxic, high temperature powder coating
• Coating is baked on and does not emit any toxic fumes – like other industrial paints or coatings
• Oven interior is double-walled and lined with thick batt of non-toxic fiberglass insulation
• Gasket that seals the oven chamber is made from patented material specifically designed to withstand UV radiation
• Gasket forms an air-tight seal to hold heat in while preventing out-gassing from building up in the oven’s chamber
• Stained wooden bezel made of milled kiln dried hardwood
• Reflecting panels fold in and are easily secured with strap
• Carry it anywhere – as portable as a small suitcase!
• Convenient suitcase-like handle – weighs only 21 pounds!!!

OPTIONAL: Black Graniteware, oval-shaped roasting pot; 3 Quart, This black ceramic-coated, all steel roaster is perfect for use in The Global Sun Oven®. The 3 quart size is ideal for most meals using solar cooking, and fits precisely inside The Global Sun Oven with maximum use of interior oven space. Roasting Pot dimensions: 9 3/4 x 5 3/4.
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B.  Emergency Food Preparedness by using a Solar Oven
http://www.solarcooker-at-cantinawest.com/emergency_food_preparedness.html

When natural disasters or unforeseen events occur, you know that being physically prepared for an emergency with backups and reserves of food, water, power and shelter is usually the difference between security and peace of mind, or uncertainty and possible tragedy.
We realize of course that conditions within any locale at any given time may not be favorable for using a solar cooker.
Stormy, cloudy and violent weather will most surely make it difficult, even impossible to use a solar oven. But, as everyone knows, these conditions will not always be present; in fact they are usually very short in duration.
The resultant effects of events such as; power outages, tornadoes, storms and such usually leave many hundreds and thousands without the basic necessities that are so common and vital to our customary standard of living; these usually include power, clean water, shelter, food and medical care.
A solar-powered oven can address several of these emergency needs in varying ways and with great results.
•  Clean Water, a most vital resource, can become contaminated through a variety of disruptions or compromises to the culinary water system in a city or town of any size and sickness can result because of it. Boiling water to remove the impurities is the best and most common way for individuals faced with such conditions, but not always are there means available to do this. Without electricity or other fuel sources it would be impossible to obtain the heat levels necessary to boil water. But with a solar cooker you can easily purify enough water to meet the drinking needs of the average family. In fact is, it is not even necessary to bring the water to a complete boil since you can sterilize the water by merely pasteurizing it, thus increasing the amounts of water that can be purified in a day.
•  A solar oven can also be used to sterilize other items as well, such as medical instruments and cooking utensils. In some third world countries where there are epidemics of grain infestation, solar cookers have been used for sterilization of various grain staples.
•  A solar Parabolic Cooker can be used to pressure cook as well as do pressure canning and even run a solar water distiller with the right parts and equipment customized to a parabolic cooker.
•  Solar ovens can be used for such needs as warming or drying clothing articles, drying fruit and vegetables (at ventilated lower temps) melting wax for candles, beekeeping wax melting. And a solar parabolic cooker can be used for warming the body and hands in cold weather as well as warming/heating pipes for air and water heating.
•  The foremost reason for including a solar cooker amongst your emergency supplies is of course; to be able to cook your food when there are no other means available of doing so.

*VIDEO LINK (16 videos: a variety of solar ovens and their uses):
http://www.solarcooker-at-cantinawest.com/solar_cookers_videos.html

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Modern Living: Part V of V (Infrastructure deterioration)

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic: Part I
1.  What happened to the American dream?
2.  Entertainment galore
Part II
3.  Cigarette smoking

4.  Illegal drug use

Part III
5.  Antibiotics and super bugs
6.  Antibiotics in meat
7.  GMO in crops
Part IV

8.  Household Pollutants and Chemical spills

Part V

9.  Infrastructure deterioration

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9.  Infrastructure deterioration

System 2009
‘Grades’
5 yr. funding requirements(Billions $ projected shortfall) System 2009
‘Grades’
5 yr. funding requirements(Billions $ projected shortfall)
A.  Aviation D $40.7 Public Parks & recreation C- $48.1
Bridges C $549.5 D.  Rail C- $11.7
Dams D $7.5 E.   Roads D- $549.5
B.  Drinking water D- $108.6 Schools D $35.0
Energy D+ $29.5 Solid waste C+ $43.4
Hazardous waste D $43.4 Transit D $190.1
Inland waters D- $20.5 F.  Wastewater D- $108.6
C.  Levees D- $48.8

Red topics in table above = Topics discussed below

 A.  Aviation

  <http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/aviation>
Air travel in the U.S. rebounded from its post-September 11, 2001, downturn and reached new highs in both domestic and international travel. Enplanements on U.S. carriers for both domestic and international flights totaled 669.2 million in 2000. By 2006, that number had risen to 744.7 million; in 2007 alone, the number increased an additional 25 million to 769.6 million. A sharp increase in the cost of aviation fuel, followed by the recent economic downturn, however, has slowed the demand for air travel. The number of domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines in October 2008 was 7.1% lower than in October 2007. From January to October of 2008 there were 630.1 million enplanements, a decrease of 2.6% from the same 10-month period in 2007. It is estimated that air travel will increase in 2009 though, the latest forecast (March 2008) projecting an annual increase of 2.9% in domestic U.S. commercial enplanements and 4.8% in international enplanements—a system increase total of 3%.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a goal of ensuring that no less than 93% of the runways at National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) airports are maintained in good or fair condition. That goal was exceeded in 2007: 79% were rated good, 18% were rated fair, and only 3% were rated poor. However, there were 370 runway incursions in 2007—up from 330 in 2006. Due to the FAA’s 2008 change in definition for a runway incursion, this number is likely to increase further. A runway incursion is defined as an incident involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle, person, or object on the ground that creates a collision hazard for an aircraft taking off, intending to take off, landing, or intending to land.

Top 10 U.S Passenger Airports 2006-2007
Rank Location Airport
1 Anchorage, AK Ted Stevens Anchorage International
2 Memphis, TN Memphis International
3 Louisville, KY Louisville International
4 Miami, FL Miami International
5 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles International
6 Indianapolis, IN Indianapolis International
7 New York, NY John F. Kennedy International
8 Chicago, IL Chicago O’Hare International
9 Newark, NJ Newark Liberty International
10 Oakland, CA Metropolitan Oakland International
U.S. DOT, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2008

Every year the industry incurs avoidable air traffic control delays that, while beyond the immediate control of air traffic control personnel, waste hundreds of millions of dollars. In 2007, airlines reported an on-time arrival record of 73.3%, the second worst in history; the worst record—72.6%—was recorded in 2000. The air traffic control system remains outdated and inefficient, and modernization efforts continue to meet with delay. The FAA is seeking to implement its NextGen system; however, drawn-out congressional reauthorization of the FAA funding mechanism is causing delay and confusion among airport sponsors across the nation.

Top 10 U.S. Cargo Airports 2006-2007
Rank Location Airport
1 Atlanta, GA Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International
2 Chicago, IL Chicago O’Hare International
3 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles International
4 Fort Worth, TX Dallas/Fort Worth International
5 Denver, CO Denver International
6 New York, NY John F. Kennedy International
7 Las Vegas, NV McCarran International
8 Phoenix, AZ Phoenix Sky Harbor International
9 Houston, TX George Bush Intercontinental/Houston
10 Newark, NJ Newark Liberty International
U.S. DOT,  Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2008

The old airline business model is being replaced by a newer low-fare, low-cost model. Between 2000 and 2006, U.S. airlines’ domestic operations reported combined operating and net losses of $27.9 and $36.2 billion, respectively. However, in 2007—for the first time since 2000—the airline industry posted a $5.8-billion net profit. And, cargo carriers continue to report strong results with net profits of $1.4 billion.

Generally, there are four sources of funding used to finance airport infrastructure and development: airport cash flow; revenue and general obligation bonds; federal/state/local grants, including the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants; and passenger facility charges (PFCs). Access to these funding sources varies widely among airports. Since fiscal year 2001, AIP grants have exceeded $3 billion annually, and for the past five years, PFC collections have exceeded $2 billion annually. Together, AIP grants and PFC collections account for 40% of annual U.S. airport capital spending. Since 1990, annual funding for airport capital needs has been in the range of $5.5 to $7.3 billion.1 Since congressional authorization for the AIP expired in September of 2007, the program has operated under a series of continuing resolutions, making long-term planning difficult.

An additional challenge to airport capacity-building is the fragmented nature of airport ownership. Local governments and the private sector represent the majority of owners and investors in air transportation infrastructure, and they tend to focus primarily on their own needs, and only secondarily on national, system wide concerns. According to the NPIAS, there are 3,356 existing publicly owned, public-use airports in the United States, with an additional 55 proposed. There are also 522 commercial service airports, and of these, 383 have more than 10,000 annual enplanements and are classified as primary airports.

Resilience
Aviation’s rapid movement of goods and services, as well as its support of tourism, is critical to the economic vitality of the nation, and air travel is often chosen over other modes of transportation on the basis of convenience, time, and cost. Thus, the consequence of failure is severe. Additionally, shifts in demand corresponding to threats, delays, and fuel pricing contribute to the volatility of the industry. In a highly complex system like aviation, resilience is not simply a matter of technical or facility upgrades. Future investments must consider dynamic system changes, security, capacity, life-cycle facility maintenance, technology innovations, and redundancy.

Conclusion
Just as the industry was recovering from the events of September 11, 2001, it was dealt another blow from the impact of surging oil prices, volatile credit markets, and a lagging economy. In the face of recent FAA estimates that predict an annual 3% growth in air travel, the continuing delays in reauthorization of federal programs and updating of the outdated air traffic control system threaten the system’s ability to meet the needs of the American people and economy. To remain successful, the nation’s aviation systems need robust and flexible federal leadership, a strong commitment to airport infrastructure, and the rapid deployment of NextGen.

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B.     Drinking water

Report Card for America’s Infrastructure
http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/drinking-water
The nation’s drinking-water systems face staggering public investment needs over the next 20 years. Although America spends billions on infrastructure each year, drinking water systems face an annual shortfall of at least $11 billion in funding needed to replace aging facilities that are near the end of their useful life and to comply with existing and future federal water regulations. The shortfall does not account for any growth in the demand for drinking water over the next 20 years.[Tip: Fix that leak!
A faucet dripping just once per second will waste as much as 2,700 gallons of water per year. Fix any leaking faucets.]

[Image at left: Samples of contaminated tap water from Maywood, Calif.]

Of the nearly 53,000 community water systems, approximately 83% serve 3,300 or fewer people. These systems provide water to just 9% of the total U.S. population served by all community systems. In contrast, 8% of community water systems serve more than 10,000 people and provide water to 81% of the population served. Eighty-five percent (16,348) of nontransient, noncommunity water systems and 97% (83,351) of transient noncommunity water systems serve 500 or fewer people. These smaller systems face huge financial, technological, and managerial challenges in meeting a growing number of federal drinking-water regulations.

In 2002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued The Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Gap Analysis, which identified potential funding gaps between projected needs and spending from 2000 through 2019. This analysis estimated a potential 20-year funding gap for drinking water capital expenditures as well as operations and maintenance, ranging from $45 billion to $263 billion, depending on spending levels. Capital needs alone were pegged at $161 billion.

Water Usage: 1950 and 2000
1950 2000 % change
Population (Millions) 93.4 242 159%
Usage (Billions of Gallons per Day) 14 43 207%
Per Capita Usage (Gal. / Person /   Day) 149 179 20%
SOURCE US EPA Clean Water and Drinking Water   Infrastructure Gap
Analysis Report, September 2002

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded in 2003 that “current funding from all levels of government and current revenues generated from ratepayers will not be sufficient to meet the nation’s future demand for water infrastructure.” The CBO estimated the nation’s needs for drinking water investments at between $10 billion and $20 billion over the next 20 years.

Resilience
Drinking water systems provide a critical public health function and are essential to life, economic development, and growth. Disruptions in service can hinder disaster response and recovery efforts, expose the public to water-borne contaminants, and cause damage to roadways, structures, and other infrastructure, endangering lives and resulting in billions of dollars in losses.

The nation’s drinking-water systems are not highly resilient; present capabilities to prevent failure and properly maintain or reconstitute services are inadequate. Additionally, the lack of investment and the interdependence on the energy sector contribute to the lack of overall system resilience. These shortcomings are currently being addressed through the construction of dedicated emergency power generation at key drinking water utility facilities, increased connections with adjacent utilities for emergency supply, and the development of security and criticality criteria. Investment prioritization must take into consideration system vulnerabilities, interdependencies, improved efficiencies in water usage via market incentives, system robustness, redundancy, failure consequences, and ease and cost of recovery.

Conclusion
The nation’s drinking-water systems face staggering public investment needs over the next 20 years. Although America spends billions on infrastructure each year, drinking water systems face an annual shortfall of at least $11 billion in funding needed to replace aging facilities that are near the end of their useful life and to comply with existing and future federal water regulations. The shortfall does not account for any growth in the demand for drinking water over the next 20 years.

Design Life of Drinking Water Systems
Components Years of design life
Reservoirs and Dams 50–80
Treatment Plants—Concrete Structures 60–70
Treatment Plants—Mechanical and Electrical 15–25
Trunk Mains 65–95
Pumping Stations—Concrete Structures 60–70
Pumping Stations—Mechanical and Electrical 25
Distribution 60–95
SOURCE US EPA Clean Water and Drinking Water   Infrastructure Gap
Analysis Report, September 2002

Of the nearly 53,000 community water systems, approximately 83% serve 3,300 or fewer people. These smaller systems face huge financial, technological, and managerial challenges in meeting a growing number of federal drinking-water regulations.

In 2002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued The Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Gap Analysis, which identified potential funding gaps between projected needs and spending from 2000 through 2019. This analysis estimated a potential 20-year funding gap for drinking water capital expenditures as well as operations and maintenance, ranging from $45 billion to $263 billion, depending on spending levels. Capital needs alone were pegged at $161 billion.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded in 2003 that “current funding from all levels of government and current revenues generated from ratepayers will not be sufficient to meet the nation’s future demand for water infrastructure.” The CBO estimated the nation’s needs for drinking water investments at between $10 billion and $20 billion over the next 20 years.

In 1996, Congress enacted the drinking-water state revolving loan fund (SRF) program. The program authorizes the EPA to award annual capitalization grants to states. States then use their grants (plus a 20% state match) to provide loans and other assistance to public water systems. Communities repay loans into the fund, thus replenishing the fund and making resources available for projects in other communities. Eligible projects include installation and replacement of treatment facilities, distribution systems, and some storage facilities. Projects to replace aging infrastructure are eligible if they are needed to maintain compliance or to further public health protection goals.
.
•  That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy
16 December 2009, New York Times, by Charles Duhigg
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/us/17water.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1305695093-MB1uD14BF9hUOpPKG+6vzg
“The 35-year-old federal law regulating tap water is so out of date that the water Americans drink can pose what scientists say are serious health risks — and still be legal.

What’s in Your Water
Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the United States, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Government and independent scientists have scrutinized thousands of those chemicals in recent decades, and identified hundreds associated with a risk of cancer and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water, according to an analysis of government records by The New York Times.

But not one chemical has been added to the list of those regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act since 2000. Other recent studies have found that even some chemicals regulated by that law pose risks at much smaller concentrations than previously known. However, many of the act’s standards for those chemicals have not been updated since the 1980s, and some remain essentially unchanged since the law was passed in 1974.

All told, more than 62 million Americans have been exposed since 2004 to drinking water that did not meet at least one commonly used government health guideline intended to help protect people from cancer or serious disease, according to an analysis by The Times of more than 19 million drinking-water test results from the District of Columbia and the 45 states that made data available.
In some cases, people have been exposed for years to water that did not meet those guidelines.
But because such guidelines were never incorporated into the Safe Drinking Water Act, the vast majority of that water never violated the law…”

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C.  Levees

 http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/levees
The state of the nation’s levees has a significant impact on public safety. Levees are man-made barriers (embankment, floodwall, structure) along a water course constructed for the primary purpose of providing hurricane, storm and flood protection. Levees are often part of complex systems that include not only levees and floodwalls, but also pumps, interior drainage systems, closures, penetrations, and transitions. Many levees are integral to economic development in the protected community.

Federal levee systems currently provide a six-to-one return on flood damages prevented compared to initial building cost. Despite this, baseline information has not been systematically gathered through inspections and post-flood performance observations and measurements to identify the most critical levee safety issues, quantify the true costs of levee safety, prioritize future funding, and provide data for risk-based assessments in an efficient or cost-effective manner.
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[Image at right: Rising waters cresting levee along Mississippi River.]

There is no definitive record of how many levees there are in the U.S., nor is there an assessment of the current condition and performance of those levees. Recent surveys by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials and the Association of State Floodplain Managers found that only 10 states keep any listing of levees within their borders and only 23 states have an agency with some responsibility for levee safety. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that levees are found in approximately 22% of the nation’s 3,147 counties. Forty-three percent of the U.S. population lives in counties with levees. Many of those levees were designed decades ago to protect agricultural and rural areas, not the homes and businesses that are now located behind them.

In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, Congress passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007. The Act required the establishment and maintenance of an inventory of all federal levees, as well as those non-federal levees for which information is voluntarily provided by state and local government agencies. The inventory is intended to be a comprehensive, geospatial database that is shared between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the states.

While the USACE has begun the inventory of all federal levees, to date few states or local agencies have provided any formal information, leaving the inventory far from complete. In addition, there is still much to be determined about the condition and performance of the nation’s levees, both federal and nonfederal. As of February 2009, initial results from USACE’s inventory show that while more than half of all federally inspected levees do not have any deficiencies, 177, or about 9%, are expected to fail in a flood event. The inventory data collection process is ongoing and these preliminary findings are expected to change as the process continues.

WRDA 2007 also created a committee to develop for the first time recommendations for a national levee safety program. The National Committee on Levee Safety completed its work in January 2009 and the panel recommended that improvements in levee safety be addressed through comprehensive and consistent national leadership, new and sustained state levee safety programs, and an alignment of existing federal programs.

Damages from Flooding in Levee-Related Areas
Location/year Damages in Dollars
Midwest 1993 $272,872,070
North Dakota/Minnesota 1997 $152,039,604
Hurricane Katrina 2005 $16,467,524,782
Midwest 2008 $583,596,400
National Committee on   Levee Safety

Often, the risk of living behind levees is not well-known, and the likelihood of flooding is misunderstood. For this reason, little focus is placed on measures that the public can take to mitigate their risks. Though the 1% annual chance flood event (“100-year flood”) is believed by many to be an infrequent event, in reality there is at least a 26% chance that it will occur during the life of a 30-year mortgage. The likely impacts of climate change are expected to increase the intensity and frequency of coastal storms and thereby increase the chance of flooding.

During the past 50 years there has been tremendous development on lands protected by levees. Coupled with the fact that many levees have not been well maintained, this burgeoning growth has put people and infrastructure at risk—the perceived safety provided by levees has inadvertently increased flood risks by attracting development to the floodplain. Continued population growth and economic development behind levees is considered by many to be the dominant factor in the national flood risk equation, outpacing the effects of increased chance of flood occurrence and the degradation of levee condition. Unfortunately, lands protected by levees have not always been developed in a manner that recognizes the benefits of the rivers and manages the risk of flooding.

FEMA’s Flood Map Modernization Program, which remaps floodplains using modern technologies, is resulting in a reexamination of levees throughout the United States to determine if they can still be accredited. Before accrediting a levee, FEMA is requiring many communities to certify that their levees meet the 1% criteria.

Flood insurance is one of the most effective ways to limit financial damages in the case of flooding and speed recovery of flood damaged communities. Currently, many people who live behind levees do not believe that they need flood insurance, believing that they are protected by a levee structure. Requiring the purchase of mandatory flood insurance is intended to increase the understanding that living behind even well-engineered levees has some risk. This may encourage communities to build levees to exceed the 1% annual-chance protection standard that has mistakenly become a target minimum.

Resilience
Levees serve to protect the public and critical infrastructure and to prevent flooding. With increasing development behind existing levees, the risk to public health and safety from failure has increased. To address the current lack of resilience in the nation’s levee system, DHS has included levees within the critical infrastructure protection program in an attempt to identify those levees that present the greatest risk to the nation. DHS has also funded research to increase the robustness of levees—for example, armoring the slopes to resist erosion should floodwaters exceed the design elevation—and technologies are currently under study to rapidly repair any breaches that may occur in a levee. To ensure system integrity, future investments must also focus on life-cycle maintenance, research, development of emergency action plans for levee-protected areas, and security.

Conclusion
Much is still unknown about the condition of the nation’s tens of thousands of miles of levees. The residual risk to life and property behind such structures cannot be ignored. Due to their impact on life and safety issues, and the significant consequences of failure, as well as the financial burden of falling property values behind levees that are not safe and are being decertified, the nation must not delay addressing levee issues.

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D.  Rail

Freight Rail
<http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/rail&gt;
The U.S. freight rail system is comprised of three classes of railroad companies based on annual operating revenues:
8 Class I freight railroad systems;
30 Class II regional or short-line railroads; and
320 Class III or local line-haul carriers.

Approximately 42% of all intercity freight in the United States travels via rail, including 70 percent of domestically manufactured automobiles and 70 percent of coal delivered to power plants.  As of 2006, Class I railroads owned and operated 140,249 miles of track. However, most traffic travels on approximately one-third of the total network, which totals 52,340 miles.

After years of shedding excess capacity, railroads have been increasing infrastructure investment and spending in recent years. In 2006, overall spending on rail infrastructure was $8 billion, a 21% increase from 2005. More specifically, spending on construction of new roadway and structures increased from $1.5 billion in 2005 to $1.9 billion in 2007. Increased spending on maintenance of railroad networks and systems has become necessary as investments are made in more costly signaling technology, heavier rail, and the improved substructure necessary to accommodate heavier trains.

Demand for freight transportation is projected to nearly double by 2035—from 19.3 billion tons in 2007 to 37.2 billion tons in 2035. If current market shares are maintained, railroads will be expected to handle an 88% increase in tonnage by 2035.However, as many look to rail as a more efficient and environmentally friendly freight shipper, rail’s market share could increase and lead to additional increases in freight rail tonnage.

An estimated $148 billion in improvements will be needed to accommodate the projected rail freight demand in 2035.Class I freight railroads’ share of this cost is estimated at $135 billion.Through productivity and efficiency gains, railroads hope to reduce the required investment from $148 billion to $121 billion over the period 2007 through 2035.

Passenger Rail
Amtrak, the nation’s only intercity passenger rail provider, carried 28.7 million riders in fiscal year 2008, an 11.1% increase from fiscal year 2007. Further, the 2007 ridership represented a 20% increase from the previous five years.  Corridor services linking major cities less than 500 miles apart, such as Milwaukee-Chicago, Sacramento-San Francisco-San Jose and the Northeast Corridor, are experiencing the fastest growth. 5

Increased ridership has led to increased revenue, and Amtrak received $1.355 billion in federal investment in fiscal year 2008. However, an additional $410 million in immediate capital needs have been identified, including acquiring new cars to add capacity. In addition, upgrades to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and improve overall conditions of the 481 stations in its network are estimated at $1.5 billion.

While electrical power in the Northeast Corridor cushioned some of the blow of increased fuel prices in 2008, it also represents a major infrastructure challenge for Amtrak. Upgrading the electrical system in the Northeast Corridor, parts of which were installed in the 1930s, is among the immediate needs identified. Failure of these critical systems could bring the entire line to a halt, which would impact not only Amtrak, but also the eight commuter railroads that share the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak anticipates reaching and exceeding capacity in the near future on some routes. For example, approximately half of trains traveling on one northeast regional line were 85% full and 62% were at least 75% full during one week in July 2008. Even though the current economic downturn has dampened growth, trains will soon reach capacity as the economy rebounds and the growth patterns of recent years are reestablished, and the fleet of cars and locomotives continues to age.

In the long term, the Passenger Rail Working Group (PRWG), which was formed as part of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, determined that an annual investment of $7.4 billion through 2016, totaling $66.3 billion, is needed to address the total capital cost of a proposed intercity rail network. It is further estimated that an additional $158.6 billion is needed between 2016 and 2030 and an additional $132.3 billion between 2031 and 2050 to achieve the ideal intercity network proposed by the PRWG.  These costs do not include the mandated safety upgrades for freight rail lines that carry both passenger as well as freight traffic and for those routes that carry toxic chemicals as required by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

While the investments set forth by the PRWG are significant, the benefits would be significant as well. The PRWG estimated a net fuel savings of nearly $4 billion per year by diverting passengers to rail if the proposed vision was adopted. In addition, the investments would reduce the need for even greater capacity investments in other modes.

Intercity passenger rail faces particular concerns not faced by other modes of transportation, such as the lack of a dedicated revenue source. Amtrak owns and/or operates 656 miles of track that are maintained and upgraded using funds from its general operating budget, impacting its ability to fund other projects. The annual congressional appropriations process has provided minimal funding in recent years, leading to a major backlog of deferred track maintenance on the track that Amtrak owns and operates, more than half of which is shared with commuter and freight railroads. For the remainder of its 21,095-mile network, Amtrak relies on freight rail lines that make maintenance and upgrade decisions on the basis of their own business models and shareholders’ interests while preserving Amtrak’s statutory rights for access. Freight and passenger rail interests are becoming more aligned as both require increases in rail network capacity, but successful alignment of interests will require both a public and private investment.

Resilience
Because of its efficiency and reduced energy consumption, rail is an important component of the nation’s transportation network, supporting the economy through both commerce and tourism. But due to a lack of adequate investment, limited redundancy, intermodal constraints, and energy system interdependencies, the rail system is not resilient. Current rail security strategies are risk-based as determined by corridor assessments, corporate security reviews, intelligence analyses, and objectively measured risk metrics. To improve resilience, future investments must address life-cycle maintenance, rapid recovery, multihazard threats and vulnerabilities, and technological innovations.

Conclusion
Rail is increasingly seen as a way to alleviate growing freight and passenger congestion experienced by other modes of transportation. In addition, rail is a fuel efficient alternative for moving freight long distances.
Anticipated growth over the coming decades, as well as demographic shifts, will tax a rail system that is already reaching capacity in some critical bottlenecks. A substantial investment in rail infrastructure will maximize efficiencies and ultimately reap broad benefits for passengers, shippers, and the general public.
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E.  Roads

 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure
http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/roads
Our nation’s economy and our quality of life require a highway and roadway system that provides a safe, reliable, efficient, and comfortable driving environment. Although highway fatalities and traffic-related injuries declined in 2007, the drop is most likely attributable to people driving less. Still, in 2007, 41,059 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes and 2,491,000 were injured.  Motor vehicle crashes cost the U.S. $230 billion per year–$819 for each resident in medical costs, lost productivity, travel delays, workplace costs, insurance costs, and legal costs. These findings are clearly unacceptable.

Next to safety, congestion has become the most critical challenge facing our highway system. Congestion continues to worsen to the point at which Americans spend 4.2 billion hours a year stuck in traffic at a cost of $78.2 billion a year in wasted time and fuel costs–$710 per motorist. The average daily percentage of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) under congested conditions rose from 25.9% in 1995 to 31.6% in 2004, congestion in large urban areas exceeding 40%. And as a result of increased congestion, total fuel wasted climbed from 1.7 billion gallons in 1995 to 2.9 billion gallons in 2005.

        Poor road conditions lead to excessive wear and tear on motor vehicles and can also lead to increased numbers of crashes and delays. According to the Federal Highway Administration, while the percentage of VMT occurring on roads classified as having “good” ride quality has steadily improved, the percentage of “acceptable” ride quality steadily declined from 86.6% in 1995 to 84.9% in 2004, with the lowest acceptable ride quality found among urbanized roads at 72.4%. 2 These figures represent a failure to achieve significant increases in good and acceptable ride quality, particularly in heavily trafficked urbanized areas.

Compounding the problem are steadily increasing demands on the system. From 1980-2005, while automobile VMT increased 94% and truck VMT increased 105%, highway lane-miles grew by only 3.5%. From 1994-2004, ton miles of freight moved by truck grew 33%.  The increase in freight traffic is of particular concern because of the increased dependency of commerce upon the efficiency of the roadways and the added wear and tear caused by trucks. Without adequate investment and attention, the negative trends will continue, as will the adverse consequences. It is clear that significant improvements and system maintenance will require significant investments.

The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission studied the impact of varying investment levels (medium and high) and produced the following ranges of average annual capital investment needs (in 2006 dollars):

  • $130 billion-$240 billion for the 15 year period 2005-2020;
  • $133 billion-$250 billion for the 30 year period 2005-2035;
  • $146 billion-$276 billion for the 50 year period 2005-2055.

The lower end of the ranges reflect the estimated costs of maintaining key conditions and performance measures at current levels, (the status quo), while the higher end ranges would allow for an aggressive expansion of the highway system, which would provide improved conditions and performance in light of increasing travel demand.  Even at the lower range of estimates, an enormous gap exists between the current level of capital investment and the investment needed to improve the nation’s highways and roads.

Resilience
The Interstate Highway System was constructed as part of the nation’s strategic homeland defense, illustrating the important role of transportation in mitigation, defense and recovery.

Top 10 Most Congested Cities in the U.S.
Rank City Hours of Delay per traveler
1 Los Angeles/Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 72
2 San Francisco-Oakland, CA 60
3 Washington, DC-VA-MD 60
4 Atlanta, GA 60
5 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 58
6 Houston, TX 56
7 Detroit, MI 54
8 Miami, FL 50
9 Phoenix, AZ 48
10 Chicago, IL-IN 46
Urban   Mobility Report: Texas Transportation Institute, 2007

The ability of our transportation system to withstand threats from hazards of all types, both natural and human-caused, and to restore service promptly following such events, is known as resilience. Resilience includes a variety of such interconnected aspects as structural robustness, system redundancy, security posture, emergency response capabilities, recovery measures, business continuity alternatives, long-term mitigation strategies, cross-sector interdependencies, regional impacts, and supply chain disruptions.

Building disaster-resistant roads and highways reduces hazard mitigation costs, limits exposure, and maintains operational continuity. A multihazard approach utilizing next-generation codes, standards, and practices is necessary to minimize the extent of a disaster.

Conclusion
The challenges imposed by our highway infrastructure require a large increase in capital investment on the part of all levels of government and other sources as well. The failure to adequately invest in the nation’s highways and roads will lead to increased congestion and delays for motorists and the further deterioration of pavement conditions and will pose increased safety concerns. An overstressed infrastructure will also slow freight delivery, create unpredictability in supply chains, diminish the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, and increase the cost of consumer goods. There must also be a significant change in the way we manage the system, which should include the use of emerging technologies and innovative operational strategies.

While acknowledging the need to move to a new, sustainable funding system in the long term, the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission has recommended an increase of 5-8 cents per gallon per year over the next 5 years to address the current projected shortfall.  Clearly, we cannot continue to rely upon gasoline and diesel taxes to generate the HTF revenues, especially when national policy demands a reduction in both our reliance upon foreign sources of energy and our nation’s carbon footprint. While in the short term an increase in the gas tax is clearly necessary, our national policy must move toward a system that more directly aligns fees that a user is charged with the benefits that the user derives.
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F.  Wastewater

Crumbling U.S. Sewage System Undermines Public Health
20 Feb 2004, Environmemental news Service, By J.R. Pegg
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2004/2004-02-20-10.html
WASHINGTON, DC, February 20, 2004 (ENS) – The United States has a million mile network of sewage collection pipes designed to carry some 50 trillion gallons of raw sewage daily to some 20,000 treatment plants. But parts of this complex and aging infrastructure are crumbling, environmentalists warn, posing a health risk to communities across the nation.

There is no shortage of communities that have already suffered adverse effects from the failure to regulate or upgrade sewage collection and treatment. Their situation is documented in a report issued Thursday by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).
•  “Swimming in Sewage” details how sewage pollution costs Americans billions of dollars every year in medical treatment, lost productivity and property damage.
•  “We have a looming public health crisis on our hands that will take billions of dollars to fix,” said Nancy Stoner, director of NRDC’s Clean Water Project.

In fact, it may cost even more.

A statement on the report by the Association of Metropolitan Sewage Agencies says the Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accounting Office and the EPA all agree there is a national funding gap estimated to be as high as $1 trillion for water infrastructure. Some 87 percent of the more than 12,000 beach closures and advisories in 2002 were the result of high bacteria levels in the water.
[Photo at right: Water treatment facility.]
The report features seven case studies from around the country that illustrate how exposure to sewage pollution has killed or seriously injured people and harmed local economies. The case studies are from California, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Washington, DC.
•  The report cites figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that found in 2001 there were 40,000 sanitary sewer overflows and 400,000 backups of raw sewage into basements.
•  The EPA estimates that 1.8 million to 3.5 million individuals get sick each year from swimming in waters contaminated by sanitary sewage overflows.
•  Many older municipalities, many in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions, have sewage collection systems designed to carry both sewage and stormwater runoff.
•  These systems are often overwhelmed with a mixture of untreated sewage and stormwater, and the EPA estimates that some 1.3 trillion gallons of raw sewage are dumped each year by these combined sewer overflows.

A large part of the problem is one of aging infrastructure, some pipes still in use are almost 200 years old, although the average age of collection system components is about 33 years.

Federal officials predict that without substantial investment in the nation’s sewage infrastructure, by 2025 U.S. waters will again suffer from sewage related pollutant loadings as high as they were in the record year 1968.

Wastewater treatment is expensive and plant operators say federal funds are needed for vital upgrades to occur. But the greater problem is not one of engineering, Stoner says, it is the lack of political will to address and fund solutions. Under the Bush administration, the political will to deal with sewage infrastructure problems is weaker than before he took office, according to the report.
[Image at left: New Mexico Environment Department, Emptying into the Rio Grande.]

The President’s 2005 budget request, for example, cuts some $500 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which provides grant money to state and tribal governments for development and upgrades of sewage treatment plants. This is the biggest cut in the Bush budget for any environmental program and Stoners says it will result in more beach closings, more contaminated shellfish beds, more polluted drinking water supplies, and more waterborne disease, which now sickens nearly eight million Americans every year.

“Waterborne disease outbreaks are on the rise across the country,” added Michele Merkel of the Environmental Integrity Project. “Most often, Americans get diarrhea, skin rashes or respiratory infections, but waterborne illness can threaten the lives of seniors, young children, cancer patients, and others with impaired immune systems. Now is the time to boost funding to protect Americans, not cut it.”

The administration has also shelved a Clinton era plan to require new controls aimed at preventing raw sewage discharges and has issued a new proposal to ease existing sewage treatment regulations.

The Bush proposal focuses on the practice of blending, which occurs when large volumes of wastewater, caused by heavy rainfall or snowmelt, exceed the capacity of secondary treatment units at a sewage treatment facility.

At most sewage treatment plants, incoming wastewater is treated by the primary units, which separate and remove solids. Then it is sent to secondary treatment units where the remaining solids are broken down by biological treatments, and most of the pathogenic organisms and other pollutants are removed.

The wastewater is then disinfected before it is discharged into waterways. But during heavy storms the capacity of the secondary treatment units is exceeded at many plants and the excess is diverted around these units, then later recombined or blended with the wastewater that has been treated by the secondary units. These blended flows are disinfected and discharged – the practice is allowed under the Clean Water Act only when there is no feasible alternative.

Under new Bush proposal, blending would be permitted regardless of feasible alternatives.  Upgrading sewage treatment plants to handle peak flows would cost billions of dollars, say industry officials, who call blending a “longstanding, sensible practice.”

In addition, EPA officials and industry representatives note that the blended waste must still meet discharge standards, but environmentalists say those standards do not cover viruses or parasites and believe the plan violates the Clean Water Act.

“Swimming in Sewage” cites a recent study that finds the risk of contracting the diarrheal illness giardiasis from untreated parasites in blended wastewater is a thousand times higher than from fully treated wastewater.

End of > (Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/Modern living/Part V of V: Infrastructure Deterioration)

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Modern Living: Part IV of V (Pollutants & Spills)

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic: Part I
1. What happened to the American dream?
2. Entertainment galore
Part II
3. Cigarette smoking

4. Illegal drug use

Part III
5. Antibiotics and super bugs
6. Antibiotics in meat
7. GMO in crops

Part IV
8. Household Pollutants and Chemical spills

Part V
9. Infrastructure deterioration
.

8. Household Pollutants & Chemical Spills

A. Household Pollutants
<
Household”>http://www.pollutionissues.com/Ho-Li/Household-Pollutants.html&gt;
Household pollutants are contaminants that are released during the use of various products in daily life. Studies indicate that indoor air quality is far worse than that outdoors because homes, for energy efficiency, are made somewhat airtight. Moreover, household pollutants are trapped in houses causing further deterioration of indoor air quality.

Hazardous household products fall into six broad categories: household cleaners, paints and solvents, lawn and garden care, automotive products, pool chemicals, and health and beauty aids. Many commonly used household products in these categories release toxic chemicals. As an alternative, manufacturers are introducing products, often referred to as green products, whose manufacture, use, and disposal do not become a burden on the environment.

Chemicals in Household Products and Their Effects
Many household products like detergents, furniture polish, disinfectants, deodorizers, paints, stain removers, and even cosmetics release chemicals that may be harmful to human health as well as cause environmental concerns (see the table below, “Household Products and Their Potential Health Effects”).

Insecticides, pesticides, weed killers, and fertilizers that are used for maintaining one’s lawn and garden are another source of household pollution. Their entry into the house could occur through air movement or adsorption by shoes and toys, which are then brought inside the house.

A common class of pollutants emitted from household products is volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Sources for these pollutants include paint strippers and other solvents, wood preservatives, air fresheners, automotive products, and dry cleaned clothing. Formaldehyde is a major organic pollutant emitted from pressed wood products and furniture made from them, foam insulation, other textiles, and glues. Exposure to very high concentrations of formaldehyde may lead to death.

Other household products that contain harmful chemicals are antifreeze, car cleaners and waxes, chemicals used in photo development, mice and rat poison, rug cleaners, nail polish, insect sprays, and wet cell batteries. Such household chemicals may pose serious health risks if not handled, stored, and disposed of properly.

Indoor Air Pollutants from Other Household Activities
From time to time, homeowners complete a variety of remodeling projects to improve the aesthetic look of their house. These include new flooring, basement remodeling, hanging new cabinets, removing asbestos sheets, scraping off old paint (which might contain lead), and the removal or application of wallpaper. Such activities could be a significant source of indoor air pollutants during and after the project. Asbestos, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, toluene, chloroform, trichloroethane and other organic solvents, and lead dust are the main pollutants released during remodeling. Homes built before 1970s may pose additional environmental problems because of the use of lead- and asbestos-containing materials. The use of both materials was common in building construction prior to the 1970s (e.g., lead-based paint used to paint homes).

Table: Household Products and Their Potential Health Effects

Household products & their potential health effects Harmful Ingredients Potential Health Hazards
Air fresheners & deodorizers Formaldehyde Toxic in nature; carcinogen; irritates eyes, nose,throat and skin; nervous, digestive, respiratory system damage
Bleach Sodium hypochlorite Corrosive; irritates and burns skin and eyes; nervous, respiratory, digestive system damage
Disinfectants Sodium hypochlorite Corrosive; irritates and burns skin and eyes; nervous, respiratory, digestive system damage
Phenols Ignitable; very toxic in nature; respiratory and circulatory system damage
Ammonia Toxic in nature; vapor irritates skin, eyes and respiratory tract
Drain cleaner Sodium/potassium hydroxide (lye) Corrosive; burns skin and eyes; toxic in nature; nervous, digestive and urinary system damage
Flea powder Carbaryl Very toxic in nature; irritates skin; causes nervous, respiratory and circulatory system damage
Dichlorophene Toxic in nature; irritates skin; causes nervous and digestive system damage
Chlordane and other chlorinated hydrocarbons Toxic in nature; irritates eyes and skin; cause respiratory, digestive and urinary system damage
Floor cleaner/wax Diethylene glycol Toxic in nature; causes nervous, digestive and urinary system damage
Petroleum solvents Highly ignitable; carcinogenic; irritate skin, eyes, throat, nose and lungs
Ammonia Toxic in nature; vapor irritates skin, eyes and respiratory tract
Furniture polish Petroleum distillates or mineral spirits Highly ignitable; toxic in nature; carcinogen; irritate skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs
Oven cleaner Sodium/potassium hydroxide (lye) Corrosive; burns skin, eyes; toxic in nature; causes nervous and digestive system damage
Paint thinner Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons Toxic in nature; cause digestive and urinary system damage
Esters Toxic in nature; irritate eyes, nose and throat
Alcohols Ignitable; cause nervous system damage; irritate eyes, nose and throat
Chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons Ignitable; toxic in nature; digestive system damage
Ketones Ignitable; toxic in nature; respiratory system damage
Paints Aromatic hydrocarbon thinners Ignitable; toxic in nature; carcinogenic; irritates skin, eyes, nose and throat; respiratory system damage
Mineral spirits Highly ignitable; toxic in nature; irritates skin, eyes, nose and throat; respiratory system damage
Pool sanitizers Calcium hypochlorite Corrosive; irritates skin, eyes, and throat; if ingested cause severe burns to the digestive tract
Ethylene (algaecides) Irritation of eyes, mucous membrane and skin; effects reproductive system; probable human carcinogen of medium carcinogenic hazard
Toilet bowl cleaner Sodium acid sulfate or oxalate or hypochloric acid Corrosive; toxic in nature; burns skin; causes digestive and respiratory system damage
Chlorinated phenols Ignitable; very toxic in nature; cause respiratory and circulatory system damage
Window cleaners Diethylene glycol Toxic in nature; cause nervous, urinary and digestive system damage
Ammonia Toxic in nature; vapor irritates skin, eyes and respiratory tract

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Avoiding Exposure and the Use of Green Products

There are several steps one can take to reduce exposure to household chemicals. The table below provides a list of alternative products. One can bring unused and potentially harmful household products to a nearby chemical collection center; many communities have such a center. Chemicals received at these centers are recycled, disposed of, or offered for reuse. One may also purchase just the amount needed or share what is left over with friends. In addition, one should always avoid mixing different household chemicals.

Most of the chemicals released during remodeling projects are toxic in nature, and some of them are even carcinogenic. Proper care, such as employing wet methods for suppressing dust, use of high-efficiency filters to collect fine particulates, and sealing the remodeling area, must be taken while remodeling to prevent the emission of harmful chemicals into the surrounding air. Reducing material use will result in fewer emissions and also less waste from remodeling operations. Another good practice is to use low environmental-impact materials, and materials produced from waste or recycled materials, or materials salvaged from other uses. It is important to avoid materials made from toxic or hazardous constituents (e.g., benzene or arsenic).

Indoor air quality should improve with increasing consumer preference for green products or low-emission products and building materials. Green products for household use include products that are used on a daily basis, such as laundry detergents, cleaning fluids, window cleaners, cosmetics, aerosol sprays, fertilizers, and pesticides. Generally, these products do not contain chemicals that cause environmental pollution problems, or have lesser quantities of them than their counterparts. Some chemicals have been totally eliminated from use in household products due to strict regulations. Examples include the ban of phosphate-based detergents and aerosols containing chlorofluorocarbons.

Alternatives to common household products Alternative(s)
SOURCE: Based on information available from various sources including the Web site of Air and Waste Management Association
Air refresher Open windows to ventilate. To scent air, use herbal bouquets, pure vanilla on a cotton ball, or simmer cinnamon and cloves.
All-purpose cleaner Mix ⅔ cup baking soda, ¼ cup ammonia and ¼ cup vinegar in a gallon of hot water. Doubling all the ingredients except the water can make stronger solution.
Brass polish Use paste made from equal parts vinegar, salt and flour. Be sure to rinse completely afterward to prevent corrosion.
Carpet/rug cleaner Sprinkle cornstarch/baking soda on carpets and vacuum.
Dishwashing liquid Wash dishes with hand using a liquid soap or a mild detergent.
Drain opener Add 1 tablespoon baking soda into drain and then slowly pour ⅓ cup white vinegar to loosen clogs. Use a plunger to get rid of the loosened clog. Prevent clogs by pouring boiling water down drains once a week, using drain strainers, and not pouring grease down drains.
Fabric softener Use ¼ to ½ cup of baking soda during rinse cycle.
Fertilizer Use compost and organic fertilizers.
Floor cleaner Mix 1 cup vinegar in 2 gallons of water. For unfinished wood floors, add 1 cup linseed oil. To remove wax buildup, scrub in club soda, let soak and wipe clean.
Floor polish Polish floors with club soda.
Furniture polish Mix 1 teaspoon lemon oil and 1 pint mineral oil. Also, use damp rag.
Insecticides Wipe houseplant leaves with soapy water.
Laundry bleach Use borax on all clothes or ½ cup white vinegar in rinse water to brighten dark clothing. Nonchlorinated bleach also works well.
Methylene chloride paint stripper Use nontoxic products.
Mothballs Place cedar chips or blocks in closets and drawers.
Oil-based paint, thinner Use water-based products.
Oven cleaner Wash the oven with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Soften burned-on spills by placing a small pan of ammonia in the oven overnight. Sprinkle salt onto fresh grease spills and then wipe clean.
Pesticide Use physical and biological controls.
Silver cleaner Add 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt and a 2″ x 2″ piece of aluminum foil to a small pan of warm water. Soak silverware overnight.
Toilet cleaner Use baking soda, a mild detergent, and a toilet brush.
Window cleaner Mix ¼ cup ammonia with 1 quart water.

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B. Chemical spills
__1. Sick fish in Gulf are alarming scientists
Unusual number a ‘huge red flag’ to scientists, fishermen
< http://newworldorderreport.com/News/tabid/266/ID/7830/Sick-fish-in-Gulf-are-alarming-scientists-Unusual-number-a-huge-red-flag-to-scientists-fishermen.aspx>

Scientists are alarmed by the discovery of unusual numbers of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and inland waterways with skin lesions, fin rot, spots, liver blood clots and other health problems.

“It’s a huge red flag,” said Richard Snyder, director of the University of West Florida Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation. “It seems abnormal, and anything we see out of the ordinary we’ll try to investigate.” Are the illnesses related to the BP oil spill, the cold winter or something else? That’s the big question Snyder’s colleague, UWF biologist William Patterson III, and other scientists along the Gulf Coast are trying to answer. If the illnesses are related to the oil spill, it could be a warning sign of worse things to come.

In the years following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, the herring fishery collapsed and has not recovered, according to an Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee report. The herring showed similar signs of illness — including skin lesions — that are showing up in Gulf fish. Worried that same scenario could play out along the Gulf Coast, Patterson is conducting research on the chronic effects of the BP oil spill on Gulf fish. And he sees troubling signs consistent with oil exposure: fish with lesions, external parasites, odd pigmentation patterns, and diseased livers and ovaries. These may be signs of compromised immune systems in fish that are expending their energy dealing with toxins, Patterson said.

“I’ve had tens of thousands of fish in my hands and not seen these symptoms in so many fish before,” said Patterson, who has been studying fish, including red snapper, for 15 years. “All those symptoms have been seen naturally before, but it’s a matter of them all coming at once that we’re concerned about.”

He’s conducting the research with some of the $600,000 in BP money distributed to UWF from $10 million the oil company gave to the Florida Institute of Oceanography in Tampa to study the impact of the spill.

Higher scrutiny
As part of his studies, Patterson is collecting samples at targeted sites in the Gulf and from commercial fishermen. Samples from his targeted sites have shown fewer problems than those from fishermen. While Patterson is alarmed, he’s quick to point that the Gulf’s ecosystem never before has been scrutinized as closely as it is now, or by so many scientists. “Are we looking more closely, or are these unusual?” he said.

Sick fish have been reported from offshore and inshore waters from Northwest Florida to Louisiana, he said. Scientists are trying to figure out how prevalent these abnormalities are and their cause.

In that pursuit:

  • Patterson and Florida A&M University scientists are conducting toxicology tests to find out if the fish were exposed to hydrocarbons or oil. Results are not final.
  • Scientists at Louisiana State University’s veterinarian school are in the Gulf looking into what microbes might be causing the diseases.
  • Pensacola marine biologist Heather Reed is studying red snapper for a private client using broader testing methods than mandated by the federal government, which she says are not adequate.

“I’ve been testing different organs in game fish that have been brought to me, and I’m seeing petroleum hydrocarbons in the organs,” said Reed, the environmental adviser for the City of Gulf Breeze. “I was shocked when I saw it.” She is trying to secure grants to continue that research and is talking to federal and state officials about her findings, she said. All the studies are aimed at one goal: “To find out what is really going on and get things back to normal,” Reed said.

Solving the mystery
But both Reed and Patterson say it’s hard to determine just how many fish are being found sick because many commercial fishermen are reluctant to report their findings to state and federal officials out of fear fishing grounds will be closed and their livelihoods will be put at risk.

But at the same time, to protect the future of the Gulf, Patterson said, the fishermen quietly are asking scientists to look into what is happening.

Clay Palmgren, 38, of Gulf Breeze-based Bubble Chaser Dive Services, is an avid spear fisherman who has about 40 pounds of Gulf fish in his freezer. He has not seen sick fish so far, but he said many of his angler friends, both recreational and commercial, are talking about catching fish that appear abnormal. “I’m 100 percent glad scientists are looking at this,” he said. “I’m concerned with the health of fish, and I think it will take a couple of years for the (toxins) to work up the food chain. I think that’s a shame.”

Patterson’s studies and those of other scientists delving into this mystery of the sick fish are not trying to determine whether the seafood is safe for public consumption. “There is fish health and human health, and we’re concerned about the sublethal effects of the oil spill on communities of fish,” he said.
Findings so far demonstrate that studies need to continue far into the future, he said.

The $500 million BP has provided for long-range research on the Gulf oil spill will ensure “people will be examining the impacts for the next decade,” Patterson said.
The cause of the fish illnesses may be hard to nail down, Snyder said.
“Cause and effect is a huge problem for environmental work,” Snyder said. “You see anomalies in fish. Is it oil-related? How do we prove it? We can make the connection with economic stuff. But after the oil is gone, how do you definitely say the fish are sick because of the oil spill? “We may never know, and that’s the frustrating thing.”
.

__2. Top Military Brass Working With BP to Promote Gulf Seafood
8 Dec 2010, The Intel Hub
<http://theintelhub.com/2010/12/08/top-military-brass-working-with-bp-to-promote-gulf-seafood/>
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is pushing all members of America’s armed service to buy and eat as much seafood as possible.
This is as sinister as it gets! BP has destroyed the gulf and is now working with the U.S. military to get it in the homes of American troops (already poisoned by continued exposure to depleted uranium) throughout the country! Multiple scientists have declared gulf seafood toxic and for good reason. Over 2 million gallons of toxic dispersant has been sprayed in and around the gulf. The facts are so heavily documented that there is no logical way that any literate human being not pushing an agenda could believe otherwise.

This is common sense
To top it off, Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, is pushing for this toxic cocktail to be served in in school lunch programs nationwide! The children of this nation are already heavily medicated/poisoned and the last thing they need is Corexit seafood.

“He expressed what we wanted to hear; he is in favor of the federal government buying seafood from the Gulf,” said Smith, who said he would like to see Gulf seafood as the choice throughout the public domain, “whether it’s the military or prison systems or school systems.”

This is the America that we currently find our self in. An international company has been allowed to control their own massive oil spill, obliterate the gulf with Corexit, ban the first amendment on the beaches they littered with Wackenhut thugs, and use 30 billion dollars to promote their seafood to the American people.

The Times Picayune
BP is giving the Louisiana marketing board $30 million to spend over the next three years to promote Gulf seafood, and Smith said a request for proposals from agencies that would craft the marketing campaign will be going out shortly. The Louisiana board also will be getting a share of the $15 million the Commerce Department has given to the Gulf State Marine Fisheries Commission to divide among the Louisiana board and its sister groups in the other Gulf states, including Texas.

Imagine the horror of being one of the families that had their lives destroyed by the oil spill and seeing a carefully crafted commercial promoting BP and gulf seafood. Where is the FCC when we need them?

I recently attended a forum at Seattle University that was put on by both Project Gulf Impact and students at the university who were so touched by the spill and its impact that they asked PGI to come to their school and put on an educational forum. What transpired was three hours of groundbreaking information including multiple fisherman who have had their businesses destroyed and families sickened by the disaster.

The American people are soon to be subject to a huge BP marketing ploy and we must do everything in our power to get the word out on the dangers of the gulf waters and seafood. Call me crazy, but a ‘smell test’ is just not adequate enough for a fish that has been subject to months of Corexit exposure.

We have documented the events of this disaster from the beginning and it has become undeniably clear that the waters, people, and seafood of the gulf were poisoned beyond belief.

End of Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Modern Living/Death by 1000 cuts/Part IV of V: Household Pollutants and Chemical Spills

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Filed under Survival Manual, __2. Social Issues

Modern Living: Part III of V (Antibiotics & GMOs)

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic:
Part I
1.  What happened to the American dream?
2.  Entertainment galore
Part II
3.  Cigarette smoking

4.  Illegal drug use

Part III
5.  Antibiotics and super bugs
6.  Antibiotics in meat
7.  GMO in crops 

Part IV
8.  Household Pollutants and Chemical spill
Part V
9.  Infrastructure deterioration

5.  Antibiotics and ‘superbugs’

A. China threatens world health by unleashing waves of superbugs
By Peter Foster in Beijing 6:25PM GMT 05 Feb 2010
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/7168303/China-threatens-world-health-by-unleashing-waves-of-superbugs.html>
China’s reckless use of antibiotics in the health system and agricultural production is unleashing an explosion of drug resistant superbugs that endanger global health, according to leading scientists.

Data from Chinese hospitals shows a very frightening picture of high-level antibiotic resistance

Chinese doctors routinely hand out multiple doses of antibiotics for simple maladies like the sore throats and the country’s farmers excessive dependence on the drugs has tainted the food chain.

Studies in China show a “frightening” increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus bacteria, also known as MRSA . There are warnings that new strains of antibiotic-resistant bugs will spread quickly through international air travel and international food sourcing.

“We have a lot of data from Chinese hospitals and it shows a very frightening picture of high-level antibiotic resistance,” said Dr Andreas Heddini of the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control.

“Doctors are daily finding there is nothing they can do, even third and fourth-line antibiotics are not working. “There is a real risk that globally we will return to a pre-antibiotic era of medicine, where we face a situation where a number of medical treatment options would no longer be there. What happens in China matters for the rest of the world.”

Particular alarm has been raised by resistance rates of MRSA in Chinese hospitals, which has more than doubled from 30 per cent to 70 per cent, according to Professor Xiao Yonghong of the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology at Beijing University. Last year researchers found a new strain of MRSA in Chinese pigs imported into Hong Kong and called for urgent new studies into its potential to infect humans after an infection of the new strain was confirmed in Guangzhou, where many of the pigs were farmed. A Beijing-based health expert with access to unpublished surveys showed that the situation in China was actually worse earlier studies had indicated.

“The Chinese Ministry of Health has all the data,” the expert warned, “but they seem unable or unwilling to believe it. The situation has global implications and is highly disturbing.” The Chinese Ministry of Health failed to respond to requests for an interview or information by phone, email and fax over a three-day period.

New prescription guidelines to restrict antibiotic use being issued by the Chinese Ministry of Health in 2004. “The guidelines are not being followed effectively,” added Professor Xiao, “over just the last five years, for example, our studies show the rate antibiotic-resistant E. coli has quadrupled from 10 per cent to 40 per cent.”

Public health experts say the rampant over-use of antibiotics in China is primarily caused by China’s under-funded healthcare system where hospitals derive up to half of their operating income from selling drugs. In some cities, such as Chongqing, almost half of all drugs sold are antibiotics.

“In Chinese hospitals our data shows that 60 per cent of in-patients are being prescribed antibiotics compared with the WHO guideline of 30 per cent,” added Professor Xiao who also heads China’s National Antibiotic Resistance Investigation Network.

China’s State Food and Drug Administration bans the sale of antibiotics without prescription but a survey by The Daily Telegraph found the drugs were still easily obtainable over-the-counter.

Three out of five chemists agreed to sell antibiotics after a cursory consultation with the ‘patient’ who complained of a sore throat. At one outlet a pharmacist handed over a course of the second-generation antibiotic, Cefuroxime Axetil, with minimal hesitation.

Asked if the sale could “get her into trouble” she said that the pharmacy would get a doctor to write the prescription later to cover their sales records. She added that even doctors from the nearby Capital Institute of Pediatrics came to buy antibiotics without prescription. “When the surveillance is strict, we won’t risk selling antibiotics,” Ms Zhang added. Asked to elaborate, she explained, “For example during the 2008 Olympic Games period, we didn’t sell them”.
.

B.     Antibiotic Resistance Called Growing Threat to Human Health
VOA.com (Voice of America), Washington, DC,  May 18, 2010, by Vidushi Sinha
http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Antibiotic-Resistance-Called-Growing-Threat-to-Human-Health–94101404.html
The World Health Organization calls antibiotic resistance one of the three greatest threats to human health. Experts fear antibiotic resistance puts humans in danger of becoming nearly defenseless against some bacterial infections.

Dangerous comeback
 The improper use of antibiotics has led to strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Experts say if efforts to combat the problem are not launched now, infections that were curable could make a dangerous comeback.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calls on American lawmakers to address the problem. “We speak of the pre-antibiotic and antibiotic eras, but if we don’t improve our response to the public health problem of antibiotic resistance, we may enter a post- antibiotic world in which we will have few or no clinical interventions for some infections,” he says. Specialists are concerned that the more an antibiotic is used, the less effective it becomes. The genetic mutation of bacteria, which makes them resistant to antibiotics, is a natural process. But drug overuse has accelerated the process.

Impact of drug overuse
“You end up with very resistant bacteria in the urinary tract. That’s only one example. Skin infections, lung infections, different bacteria causing these types of infections as they become more and more resistant, and then you get to more severe problem like tuberculosis in many parts of the world,” says Dr. Donald Poretz, an infectious disease specialist. “People are given little of this and little of that to treat tuberculosis and tuberculosis germs develop resistance.
“One of the most lethal infections born out of bacterial resistance is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA which kills 19,000 people in the United States every year. Since 2002, about 2 million MRSA infections have been acquired in US hospitals each year. Poretz says these infections can spread globally.
“You can have worldwide resistance, some resistant to some drugs, some resistant to other drugs in different parts of the world,” he says. “And with rapid travel you can communicate those resistant bacteria to anyone here, there, there or there.”

Cutting back
Drug companies have cut back on production of antibiotics, and that contributes to the problem, scientists say. Less than optimal dosing means the target bacteria survive and build resistance incrementally. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) says profits drive pharmaceutical companies to shy away from antibiotics. “So if they’re going to make a choice of making a product that some, a lot of, people are going to take every day for the rest of their lives, a lipid lowering agent, whatever you have, they’re going to lean towards that rather than to make a new product that a relatively small proportion of the population will use maybe 10 days to two weeks out of the year,” said Fauci.
Experts say the solution lies in educating patients and doctors to stop using antibiotics when they are not necessary.

.
6. Antibiotics in meat

A. Bacteria in grocery meat resistant to antibiotics
Reuters, NewYork,  Fri Apr 15, 2011, By Aman Ali
<http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/15/us-bacteria-meat-idUSTRE73E7FJ20110415>
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Researchers have found high levels of bacteria in meat commonly found on grocery store shelves, with more than half of the bacteria resistant to multiple types of antibiotics, according to a study released on Friday. While the meat commonly found in grocery stores is still safe to eat, consumers should take precautions especially in handling and cooking, the chief researcher for the study said.

The study by the Arizona-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGRI) examined 136 meat samples from 26 grocery stores in Illinois, Florida, California, Arizona and Washington D.C.

Dr. Lance Price, the head researcher on the study, said high levels of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteria were found in the meat. “Staph causes hundreds of thousands of infections in the United States every year,” Price said in an interview. “It causes a whole slew of infections ranging from skin infections to really bad respiratory infections like pneumonia.”

Staph infections also kill more people in the United States each year than HIV, he said.

A spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration said that the agency was aware of the TGRI findings, and similar studies of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in meats, and was working with the U.S. Agriculture Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the causes and effects.

“FDA has been monitoring the situation. The TGRI study points out that the public health relevance of the findings is unclear. FDA continues to work with CDC and USDA to better understand this issue,” the FDA spokeswoman said. Price said the most significant findings from the study aren’t the level of bacteria they found, but rather how the bacteria in the meat was becoming strongly resistant to antibiotics farmers use to treat the animals they slaughter.

The study found that in 96 percent of the meats with staph bacteria the bacteria were resistant to at least one type of antibiotic, and 52 percent were resistant to three or more types.
“The bacteria is always going to be there. But the reason why they’re resistant is directly related to antibiotic use in food animal production,” Price said. “Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to public health we face today.”

“This is one more reason to be very careful when you’re handling raw meat and poultry in the kitchen,” Price said. “You can cook away these bacteria. But the problem is when you bring in that raw product, you almost inevitably contaminate your kitchen with these bacteria.”

Washing hands and counters before and after handling meat and keeping other foods away from uncooked meat are ways to prevent disease from spreading, Price said. But consumer initiatives aren’t going to solve the bigger problem, he said.
“To put it all on the consumer is really directing blame at the wrong end of the food chain,” Price said.
Of all the types of meats where bacteria was resistant to three or more antibiotics in the study, turkey was the most resistant, followed by pork, beef and then chicken. Price said it’s not clear why turkey was the most resistant.

USDA officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

.
B.   Antibiotics used in meat pose a threat to public health, admits FDA
Friday, October 22, 2010, Natural News.com,  by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
<http://www.naturalnews.com/030132_antibiotics_meat.html#ixzz1MJsDSXbj>
On
June 28 of this year, the FDA issued a draft of new guidelines urging meat producers to refrain from using antibiotics to promote livestock growth, calling the practice an “urgent public health issue.”
“To preserve the effectiveness [of antibiotics], we simply must use them as judiciously as possible,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein.

The livestock industry regularly gives antibiotics to healthy animals to make them gain more weight faster, as well as to prevent infection. For more than 30 years, public health experts have warned that this practice is contributing to the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria, including strains that can infect humans.


“We are seeing the emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens,” Sharfstein said. “FDA believes overall weight of evidence supports the conclusion that using medically important antimicrobial drugs for production purposes is not appropriate.” In order to preserve the effectiveness of “medically important” antibiotics, including penicillin, tetracyclines and sulfonamides, the FDA issued new guidelines reiterating that antibiotics should be given to food animals only for health-protection purposes, and that veterinarians should oversee all such drug use, from selection to treatment.

“Using medically important antimicrobial drugs as judiciously as possible is key to minimizing resistance development and preserving the effectiveness of these drugs as therapies for humans and animals,” said Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.
The draft guidance will be open for public comment for 60 days before becoming official agency policy. Although the FDA technically has the authority to ban any veterinary use of antibiotics that it deems inappropriate, the agency is taking a more cautious path — voluntary guidelines — in the hopes of avoiding a battle with lawmakers and the food industry. Prior FDA attempts to regulate agricultural antibiotic use have all been blocked by Congress.

      The European Union banned growth-promoting uses of antibiotics in livestock in 2006. “We are not expecting people to change tomorrow,” Sharfstein said. “This is the first step in FDA establishing principles from which we could move to other steps, such as oversight. This does not tell people what to do, it establishes principles and tells people how to achieve those principles.”
Nevertheless, the threat of mandatory regulations is an obvious subtext to the FDA’s newest move.
“We have the regulatory mechanisms, and industry knows that,” Sharfstein said.
The FDA’s move reflects the growing concern among public health experts about the growing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
“The development of resistance to this important class of drugs, and the resulting loss of their effectiveness as antimicrobial therapies, poses a serious public health threat,” the FDA’s draft guidance statement reads.

      It is estimated that 100,000 people die in the United States every year just from drug-resistant infections acquired inside hospital settings. The overall number of deaths caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria is likely much higher. “The writing is on the wall,” said infectious disease specialist Brad Spellberg of the University of California-Los Angeles, author of Rising Plague. “We’re in an era where antibiotic resistance is out of control, and we’re running out of drugs and new drugs are not being developed,” he said. “We can’t continue along the path we’re on.”

      The National Pork Producers Council fired back at the FDA, saying the guidelines would be an unduly heavy burden without good cause. “There is no scientific study linking antibiotic food use in food animal production with antibiotic resistance,” the council said. “[That is] patently untrue,” responded Margaret Mellon of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “There is a mountain of studies linking the use of antibiotics in animals to the evolution of resistant pathogens that cause human disease.”

      Because many bacteria can transfer between human animals, and because many of the same drugs to treat humans are also used on livestock, health advocates have singled out agricultural antibiotic use as an area of major concern. According to the Union for Concerned Scientists, 70 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States in 2001 went to livestock for growth-promotion purposes, while another 14 percent went to animals for disease prevention or treatment.

      The industry trade group, the Animal Health Institute, has disputed this figure, claiming that only 13 percent of agricultural antibiotics are used for growth promotion, with much of the remainder used for illness prevention — a use that is not addressed by the new guidance. This has raised concerns that even if the FDA implemented an obligatory ban, the industry could sidestep it by reclassifying its antibiotic use without changing its practices.

      Poor diets and cramped living conditions produce abnormally high infection rates among factory-farmed animals. To maintain the increased profits associated with factory farming without bearing the associated health costs, many farmers simply dose their animals with antibiotics as a preventive tactic.
“[Even] under the FDA’s proposed guidelines, agribusiness could continue to routinely feed antibiotics to entire flocks or herds to prevent illnesses they may never encounter,” wrote Pew Health Group Managing Director Shelley Hearne in a letter to the New York Times. “This approach to prevention would never be allowed in human medicine, and it should not be allowed in animals.”

      Health and consumer groups expressed disappointment at the FDA’s statement and called for an outright ban on all agricultural antibiotic use except for the treatment of illness. “I was expecting an action plan. I was disappointed that all we have here are principles,” Mellon said. “They’re apparently expecting voluntary action. It’s my belief that the industry’s not going to act until it has to.”
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7.  GMO in Crops

A.  Why You Should Be Concerned About GMOs
February 20, 2011, Posted by Josh Corn
http://www.stopagingnow.com/liveinthenow/article/are-gmo-foods-bad-for-you-why-you-should-be-concerned

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been grabbing headlines in recent weeks, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suddenly reversing bans on one genetically engineered crop after another. The list of genetically modified food ingredients is growing at an alarming rate. And what’s even more disturbing is the fact the USDA seems to have sided with big business in allowing GMO foods to be sold without any labeling whatsoever.

Consumers have been left largely in the dark, unable to make informed choices about buying foods containing GMOs. By some estimates, over 75% of all processed foods sold in the U.S. contain a GMO ingredient. Corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, sugar, beef and dairy products are among the most likely to have been genetically modified.

Scientists, environmental activists, supporters of organic farming and consumers alike are joining forces to protest the USDA’s decisions. Organizations like the Organic Consumers Association, Alliance for Natural Health USA and Say No to GMOs! are just a few examples of those working to fight back against GMOs.

What’s behind all of the outrage and fervor? Here’s a brief overview of the case against GMOs. It’s important to educate yourself now, because the onslaught of approved GMO foods entering our food supply is likely to continue, as the government refuses to acknowledge that they could be harmful.

Why do GMOs exist?
If you listen to the government and the Big Agra companies it supports, GMO foods are perfectly safe, and their benefits include lower cost crops, more productive farms and even healthier foods. But the truth is, genetically engineered plants exist for a single reason — profits. Companies like Monsanto have been known to bully farmers into paying “technology fees” to use their GMO seeds.
In most cases, the reason that seeds are genetically modified is so the plants can withstand massive doses of herbicides and pesticides. And guess who sells these toxic chemicals? The same companies that make the GMO seeds.

Why should you be concerned about GMOs in our food supply?
Genetically engineered plants have had either genes from bacteria or viruses, or genes that make plants resistant to toxic chemicals like the herbicide Roundup — spliced into their DNA. These genes were never part of the human diet until the first GMO plant was created in 1996.

To date, there have been no long-term human safety studies conducted on GMOs. To assume that they are safe defies common sense, as we lack any scientific evidence to prove that they do not pose a threat to human health. In fact, more research points towards potentially harmful effects of consuming GMOs.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)’s official position on GMOs is that they “have not been properly tested and pose a serious health risk” and that a moratorium on GMO foods should be put in place until long-term studies demonstrate their safety. Many other environmental, public health and consumer protection organizations around the world are also calling for these steps to be taken.

According to the AAEM, “Animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including reproductive problems, compromised immunity, accelerated aging, blood sugar imbalances and harm to major organs.

Aside from the potential dangers of consuming GMO foods, GMOs pose a grave threat to the entire organic farming industry. (Scientists say that cross-contamination of GMO crops with non-GMO crops will be inevitable.) GMOs also contribute to greater pollution because many are designed to withstand greater application of pesticides and herbicides.

Have you ever seen one of those movies where a government-created toxin gets loose and spreads out of control? GMO seeds are real-world example of this scenario, and it’s happening right now! Experts all over the world are warning that as more and more GMOs are approved, they could become so intertwined with our food supply that we reach a point of no return.

Nobody knows for sure why the USDA is all of a sudden accelerating its acceptance of GMOs. What’s the rush? Are short-term decisions being made that are going to have serious long-term consequences? Unfortunately, the government has a long track record of doing just that. And history is replaying itself with GMOs. So the time to take action is now.
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B.  Eight Reasons Genetically Modified Organisms are Bad for You
Organic Authority,Written by Shilo Urban
http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/eight-reasons-gmos-are-bad-for-you.html
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are created when a gene from one species is transferred to another, creating something that would not be found in nature.

A large percentage of domestic crops (up to 85% of soybean yields) have DNA that was tweaked in a lab, yet it is nearly impossible to know which food items contain these genetically engineered ingredients. Thankfully new mobile phone apps are making it a bit easier for the consumer to know what she is eating, but this is not enough.

GMOs are bad for your body, bad for the community, bad for farmers and bad for the environment. This is why
1. The health consequences of eating genetically modified organisms are largely unknown. Genetically engineered foods have not been shown to be safe to eat and may have unpredictable consequences. When trans-fats were first introduced, corporations battled to get them onto your grocery shelves – and it is only decades later that this once novel food has been proven to be extremely unhealthful. Many scientists are worried that the genetically altered foods, once consumed, may pass on their mutant genes to bacterium in the digestive system, just like the canola plants on the roadsides of North Dakota. How these new strains of bacteria may affect our body systems’ balance is anybody’s guess.
2. Food items that contain GMOs are unlabeled in America. Why so sneaky? The European Union has banned GMOs, as have Australia, Japan, the UK and two dozen other countries that recognize that a lack of long term studies and testing may be hiding disastrous health defects.
3. Genetic engineering reduces genetic diversity. When genes are more diverse, they are more robust; this is why a pure bred dog tends to have greater health problems than the dear old mutt. Plants with reduced genetic diversity cannot handle drought, fungus invasions or insects nearly as well as natural plants, which could have dire consequences for farmers and communities dependent on GMO crops for survival.
4. Once the mutant genes are out of the bag, there is no going back. Genetically modified organisms contaminate existing seeds with their altered material, passing on modified traits to non-target species. This creates a new strain of plant that was never intended in the laboratory. In North Dakota, recent studies show that 80% of wild canola plants tested contained at least one transgene. In Japan, a modified bacteria created a new amino acid not found in nature; it was used in protein drinks and before it was recalled it cause severe mental and metabolic damage to hundreds as well as several deaths. Japan banned GMOs after this horrific experience. Monarch butterflies have also died after their favorite food, milkweed, was cross-pollinated from Bt corn which rendered it toxic to the endangered species.
5. GMOs are not the answer for global food security. Genetically engineered crops have shown no increase in yield and no decrease in pesticide use. In many cases other farm technology has proven much more successful, and even Monsanto agrees that its genetically engineered crops yield less than conventional farming.
6.
Genetically engineered foods have not been proven to be safe, but the few studies conducted don’t look so hot. The organs of rats who ate genetically modified potatoes showed signs of chronic wasting, and female rats fed a diet of herbicide-resistant soybeans gave birth to stunted and sterile pups.
7. Big biotech firms have very sketchy track records, but then again what would you expect from organizations who want to patent the world’s food supply? These massive biotech companies have a history of toxic contamination, deceiving the public and suing small farmers when their patented seeds blew across the fence. Biotech firms sell sterile seeds to African farmers- meaning the seeds are only good for one season, because the plants that grow up will not be able to reproduce. Farmers must buy new seeds every year instead of growing from the previous year’s yield. GMOs are not the farmers’ friend.
8. GMOs require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. These things are poisons, and should not be eaten or allowed to run off into our water supply. But they are, every day, by companies who care far more about the bottom line than they do about your health, your environment or your children’s future.

The bottom line is that genetically modified organisms have not been proven in any way to be safe, and most of the studies are actually leaning the other direction, which is why many of the world’s countries have banned these items whose DNA has been genetically engineered. In America, they aren’t even labeled, much less banned, so the majority of the populace has no idea that they are eating lab-created DNA on a daily basis.

End of  Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/Modern Living: Part III of V: Antibiotics and GMOs

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Modern Living: Part II of V (Cigarettes & Illegal drugs)

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic: Part I
1.  What happened to the American dream?
2.  Entertainment galore

Part II
3.  Cigarette smoking
4.  Illegal drug use

Part III
5.  Antibiotics and super bugs
6.  Antibiotics in meat
7.  GMO in crops
Part IV
8.  Household Pollutants and Chemical spills
Part V

9.  Infrastructure deterioration

3.  Cigarette smoking

A.   Cigarette Smoking
American Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/TobaccoCancer/CigaretteSmoking/cigarette-smoking-who-and-how-affects-health
The 1982 United States Surgeon General’s report stated that “Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer mortality [death] in the United States.” This statement is as true today as it was then.

Tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Because cigarette smoking and tobacco use are acquired behaviors — activities that people choose to do — smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society.

Here is a brief overview of cigarette smoking: who smokes, how smoking affects health, what makes it so hard to quit, and what some of the many rewards of quitting are. For more on these topics, download our free PDF ‘Guide to Quitting Smoking’ at:
<http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GuidetoQuittingSmoking/guide-to-quitting-smoking-toc>

Who smokes?
Adults
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 46 million US adults were current smokers in 2009 (the most recent year for which numbers are available). This is 20.6% of all adults (23.5% of men, 17.9% of women) — about 1 out of 5 people.

When broken down by race/ethnicity, the numbers were as follows:
•  Whites                                           22.1%
•  African Americans                      21.3%
•  Hispanics                                      14.5%
•  American Indians/Alaska Natives    23.2%
•  Asian Americans                         12.0%
•  People of multiple races             29.5%

There were more cigarette smokers in the younger age groups. In 2009, the CDC reported 24.% of those 25 to 44 years old were current smokers, compared with 9.5% of those aged 65 or older.

High school and middle school students
Nationwide, 20% of high school students were smoking cigarettes in 2009. The most recent survey of middle school students shows that about 5% were smoking cigarettes. In both high schools and middle schools, white and Hispanic students were more likely to smoke cigarettes than other races/ethnicities.

What kinds of illness and death are caused by smoking?
About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit. Each year about 443,000 people in the United States die from illnesses related to tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined.

Cancer caused by smoking
Cigarette smoking accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths. It is linked with an increased risk of the following cancers:
•  Lung
•  Larynx (voice box)
•  Oral cavity (mouth, tongue, and lips)
•  Pharynx (throat)
•  Esophagus (tube connecting the throat to the stomach)
•  Stomach
•  Pancreas
•  Cervix
•  Kidney
•  Bladder
•  Acute myeloid leukemia

Smoking is responsible for almost 9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, and is one of the hardest cancers to treat. Lung cancer is a disease that can often be prevented. Some religious groups that promote non-smoking as part of their religion, such as Mormons and Seventh-day Adventists, have much lower rates of lung cancer and other smoking-related cancers.

Other health problems caused by smoking
As serious as cancer is, it accounts for less than half of the deaths related to smoking each year. Smoking is a major cause of heart disease, aneurysms, bronchitis, emphysema, and stroke.

Using tobacco can damage a woman’s reproductive health and hurt babies. Tobacco use is linked with reduced fertility and a higher risk of miscarriage, early delivery (premature birth), and stillbirth. It is also a cause of low birth-weight in infants. It has been linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), too.

Smoking can make pneumonia and asthma worse. It has been linked to other health problems, too, including gum disease, cataracts, bone thinning, hip fractures, and peptic ulcers. Some studies have also linked smoking to macular degeneration, an eye disease that can cause blindness.

Smoking can cause or worsen poor blood flow in the arms and legs (peripheral vascular disease or PVD.) Surgery to improve the blood flow often doesn’t work in people who keep smoking. Because of this, many surgeons who work on blood vessels (vascular surgeons) won’t do certain surgeries on patients with PVD unless they stop smoking.

The smoke from cigarettes (called secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke) can also have harmful health effects on those exposed to it. Adults and children can have health problems from breathing secondhand smoke.

Effects of smoking on how long you live and your quality of life
Based on data collected from 1995 to 1999, the CDC estimated that adult male smokers lost an average of 13.2 years of life and female smokers lost 14.5 years of life because of smoking.

But not all of the health problems related to smoking result in deaths. Smoking affects a smoker’s health in many ways, harming nearly every organ of the body and causing diseases. According to the CDC, in 2000 about 8.6 million people had at least one chronic disease because they smoked or had smoked. Many of these people were suffering from more than one smoking-related problem. The diseases seen most often were chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. And some studies have found that male smokers may be more likely to be sexually impotent (have erectile dysfunction) than non-smokers. These problems can steal away a person’s quality of life long before death. Smoking-related illness can limit a person’s daily life by making it harder to breathe, get around, work, or play.

B.  The high cost of smoking
The costs add up: Cigarettes, dry cleaning, insurance — you can even lose your job. A 40-year-old who quits and puts the savings into a 401(k) could save almost $250,000 by age 70.
By Hilary Smith
<http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Insurance/InsureYourHealth/HighCostOfSmoking.aspx>

If the threat of cancer can’t persuade you to quit smoking, maybe the prospect of poverty will.
The financial consequences of lighting up stretch far beyond the cost of a pack of cigarettes. Smokers pay more for insurance. They lose money on the resale value of their cars and homes. They spend extra on dry cleaning and teeth cleaning. Long term, they earn less and receive less in pension and Social Security benefits.

Indeed, being a smoker can not only mean you don’t get hired — you can get fired, too. After announcing it would no longer employ smokers, Weyco, a medical-benefits administrator in Michigan, fired four employees who refused to submit to a breath test. It began testing the spouses of its employees, too, levying an $80-per-month surcharge on those who don’t test clean.

Overall, 5% of employers prefer to hire nonsmokers, according to the most recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, and 1% do not hire smokers. A few examples:
Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan stopped hiring smokers for full-time positions at both its Michigan campuses.
•  Alaska Airlines, based in Washington state, requires a nicotine test before hiring people.
•  The Tacoma-Pierce County (Wash.) Health Department has applicants sign an “affidavit of nontobacco use.”
•  Union Pacific won’t hire smokers.

That same poll found that 5% of companies charge smokers more for health-care premiums. The costs don’t stop with your paycheck. Figures from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids assert that smokers cost the economy $97.6 billion a year in lost productivity.

That’s based on the number of working years lost because of premature death. (The Bureau of National Affairs says 95% of companies banning smoking report no financial savings, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce finds no connection between smoking and absenteeism.)

An additional $96.7 billion is spent on public and private health care combined, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and each American household spends $630 a year in federal and state taxes due to smoking.

Personal financial impact
The cost of a pack of cigarettes averages around $6, including taxes, depending on where you live.A pack-a-day smoker burns through about $42 per week, or $2184 per year. That’s a fat house payment or a nice vacation with the family. A 40-year-old who quits smoking and puts the savings into a 401(k) earning 9% a year would have nearly $250,000 by age 70.

The one place many smokers feel free and comfortable to light up is in their car. Without consistent and thorough cleanings, however, a car that is smoked in will soon start to resemble an ashtray on wheels. The interior inevitably smells like smoke, and stray ashes and butts can burn holes in the upholstery and floor mats.

None of these things has much financial impact until you try to sell the car. Figure a minimum of $150 for a good cleaning with an extractor.
As a trade-in, dealers can easily knock off more than $1,000 on higher-end vehicles. Terry Cooper, a car dealer with seven new- and used-car stores, says he took a 1999 Porsche 911 Cabriolet in on trade for $37,000. That sounds OK, but the owner could have fetched $40,000 for it had he not “smoked out” the car’s interior.

The criteria that apply to cars apply to homes as well, only on a bigger scale. Smokers’ houses often require all new paint and/or wall treatments, as well as professional drapery and carpet cleaning. According to Contractors.com, priming and painting an average-size living room, dining room and two bedrooms would cost more than $2,000. The Carpet Buying Handbook puts the average cleaning cost per square foot at 28 cents, and the average home has 1,000 square feet of carpet. That’s $280. Add $55 to clean a typical sofa and $25 for a chair, says Diversified Carpet in San Diego. Walt Molony with the National Association of Realtors says that “certainly the smell of cigarettes can be a turnoff to potential buyers.”

Insurers weigh in, and they’re not happy
We pulled some online quotes on 20-year term life insurance (a $500,000 policy) for a healthy 44-year-old male through BudgetLife.com. The lowest quote for a nonsmoker was $1,140 in premiums per year; for someone smoking a pack a day, the lowest price more than doubled to $2,571 per year.

The difference in health insurance isn’t as dramatic. According to eHealthInsurance.com, the monthly premium for a policy from Regence Blue Shield with a $1,500 deductible for a 44-year-old male nonsmoker is $292. The same policy for a smoker is $338 per month, or $552 more a year.

A few state governments also charge their employees extra for health insurance if they smoke, and others are gradually joining the trend.

According to the ACLU, a majority of states do not have a state law preventing employers from discriminating against potential and current employees based on non work activities. Thirty-one states do have laws that protect smokers, including Colorado and North Dakota, which ban discrimination based on any form of legal, off-duty behavior.

When shopping for homeowners insurance, nonsmokers can generally expect to receive a minimum 10% discount. The insurer’s point of view: Smokers burn down houses. The most common homeowners insurance policies range from approximately $457 to $1372 per year, depending on the home’s location. With the discount, a nonsmoker would realize savings of at least $45, but most likely more.

Few people set out to cut their life short, but smokers greatly increase their chances of dying sooner than nonsmokers. In his book “The Price of Smoking”, Frank Sloan, the director of the Center for Health Policy, Law and Management at Duke University in Durham, N.C., details the financial impact of a shorter life span on retirement benefits. “Smokers, due to higher mortality rates, obtained lower lifetime benefits compared to never smokers, even after accounting for their smoking-related lower lifetime contributions,” the research says.

Sloan and his colleagues found that the effects of smoking on lifetime Social Security benefits were $1,519 for 24-year-old female smokers and $6,549 for 24-year-old male smokers. This is money paid into Social Security but never collected, because the beneficiary died prematurely of a smoking-related illness. “You could be paying into Social Security year after year, and if you die at 66 because you’re a smoker, it’s money down the drain,” says Sloan.

Keeping up appearances
Numerous studies find that smokers earn anywhere from 4% to 11% less than nonsmokers. It’s not just a loss of productivity to smoke breaks and poorer health that takes a financial toll, researchers theorize; smokers are perceived to be less attractive and successful as well. Bad breath, yellow teeth and smelly clothes are just a few of the personal side effects of smoking, and all cost money to correct.
An extra pack of mints or gum a week adds up to about $50 per year. Need your teeth whitened once a year? Brite Smile, which has offices across the country, sells its service for $400 to $600. Most professional-grade teeth whitening products retail for a minimum of $200.
Dry-cleaning bills are likely to be higher also. Clean that suit one extra time a month at a cost of $12, and there goes an additional $144 every year.
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4.  Illegal drugs

American College of Emergency Physicians, Illegal drug use
http://www.acep.org/content.aspx?id=26004
Main Points
•  Emergency physicians see first-hand the devastating consequences of illegal drug use.
•  More than half a million (638,484) drug-related emergencies were reported in 2001 – nearly a 75 percent increase over 1990 (371,208). Nearly 20,000 people in 2000 died of drug-related causes.
•  After a long climb, the first significant downturn in youth drug use in nearly a decade was reported among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, according to the 2002 Monitoring the Future study.
•  Illegal drugs exact an enormous toll on society, taking 52,000 lives annually and draining the economy of $160 billion a year. Everyone pays the toll in the form of higher healthcare costs, dangerous neighborhoods, and an overcrowded criminal justice system.
•  Parents are the first line of defense in preventing illegal drug use.
•  The American College of Emergency Physicians in 2003 partnered with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to conduct a national campaign to dispel the myth that marijuana is harmless.

 Q.  How prevalent is the problem?
About 20 million Americans over age 12 reported current use of drugs in 2005, and an estimated 22.2 million persons aged 12 or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (2005).
•  Illegal drugs exact an enormous toll on society, taking tens of thousands of lives annually and draining the economy of billions each year. Everyone pays the toll in the form of higher health care costs, dangerous neighborhoods, and an overcrowded criminal justice system.
•  Twenty-one percent of 8th graders, 38 percent of 10th graders and 50 percent of 12th graders to have ever tried any illicit drug in their lifetimes, according to the Monitoring the Future study in 2005. This means half of students today have tried an illicit drug by the time they finish high school.
•  About 112 million Americans reported using an illegal drug at least once in their lives in 2005, and more than 35 million had used an illegal drug in the past year.

Here are some other facts about commonly used illegal drugs:
•  Marijuana. In 2005 an estimated 3.4 million people used marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis. That statistic is about the same as it was in 2004. There were 215,656 emergency department mentions of marijuana/hashish in 2004, almost double the number from 2001.
•  Cocaine. From 2004 to 2005 the number of cocaine users nationally held steady at approximately 2.4 million. There were 872,000 first time cocaine users in 2005. The number of cocaine related emergency department visits has spiked in recent years, from 193,034 emergency department mentions of cocaine in 2001, to 383,350 in 2004.
•  Heroin. An estimated 108,000 new users were reported in 2005, down from 149,000 in 1999, although the number of heroin users has increased by nearly 50 percent since 1994. There were 162,137 emergency department mentions of heroin in 2004, up from 93,064 mentions of heroin/morphine in 2001.
•  Inhalants. There were 877,000 new inhalant users in 2005, down from 991,000 in 1999. Approximately three-quarters (72 percent) of the first-time users were under the age of 18.

Q.  What are the harmful effects of commonly used illegal drugs?
Illegal drugs exact staggering costs on American society, accounting for about 52,000 drug-related deaths and an estimated $160 billion in economic costs each year, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Drug dependence is a chronic, relapsing disorder that takes an enormous toll on individuals, families, businesses, and communities. Addicted individuals frequently engage in self-destructive and criminal behavior. Experts say illegal drugs constitute a threat to the national security of the United States.
•  Heroin. After an initial rush, users experience alternately wakeful and drowsy states, often feeling drowsy for several hours. Due to the depression of the central nervous system, mental functioning becomes clouded, and breathing may become slowed to the point of respiratory failure. Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, and liver disease. In addition, pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may also result. Heroin overdose may cause slow and shallow breathing, convulsions, coma, and possibly death. Heroin most often is injected, particularly low-purity heroin.
•  Cocaine. Cocaine inflicts tremendous damage to American society, enslaving 2.5 million hard-core addicts and sending 383,350 Americans to hospital emergency departments in 2004. People who use cocaine can experience increased heart rate, muscle spasms, and convulsions. They often don’t eat or sleep regularly. Cocaine can cause heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and respiratory failure. If snorted, it can permanently damage nasal tissue. It also can make people feel paranoid, angry, hostile, and anxious, even when they’re not high. Cocaine interferes with the way the brain processes chemicals that create feelings of pleasure, so users continue to need more of the drug to feel normal. People who become addicted start to lose interest in other areas of their life, such as school and friends. People who share needles can also contract hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, or other diseases. Cocaine may be snorted as a powder, converted to a liquid form for injection with a needle, or processed into a crystal form to be smoked.
•  Methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is highly addictive, and its effects include psychotic behavior and brain damage. Chronic methamphetamine use can cause violent behavior, anxiety, confusion and insomnia. Users also can exhibit psychotic behavior including auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, delusions and paranoia, possibly resulting in homicidal or suicidal thoughts. The drug can cause damage to the brain detectable months after use, similar to damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or epilepsy. Withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression and intense cravings for the drug.
•  Marijuana. Marijuana contains toxins and cancer-causing chemicals, which are stored in fat cells for as long as several months. Users experience the same health problems as tobacco smokers, such as bronchitis, emphysema and bronchial asthma. Some effects include increased heart rate, dryness of the mouth, reddening of the eyes, impaired motor skills and concentration, increased hunger and a desire for sweets. Extended use increases risk to the lungs and reproductive system, as well as suppression of the immune system. Occasionally, hallucinations, fantasies and paranoia are reported.
•  Inhalants. Inhalants affect the brain quickly and can cause irreversible physical and mental damage. Long-term use can result in: loss of sense of smell; nausea and nosebleeds; short-term memory loss or impaired reasoning; slurred speech; clumsy staggering gait; escalating stages of brain atrophy; and liver, lung and kidney problems. Inhalants can starve the body of oxygen, forcing the heart to beat irregularly and more rapidly. Chronic use can lead to muscle wasting and reduced muscle tone. Inhalants can be deadly, even with first-time use, causing death by suffocation, choking or vomiting, or heart attack. Inhalants include numerous household and commercial products (glue, paint thinner) that are abused by sniffing or “huffing” (inhaling through one’s mouth). Users experience a short-lasting euphoria and dizziness, followed by headaches and loss of consciousness.
•  Club Drugs. Club drugs, such as Ecstasy (MDMA, methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), Rohypnol (flunitrazepam), GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), and ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride) can damage neurons in the brain and impair senses, memory, judgment, and coordination. The physical effects of Ecstasy include muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating. Health risks include severe dehydration and death from heat stroke or heart failure. The drug suppresses the need to eat, drink or sleep and subsequently allows people to stay up all night. Heavy users can have significant impairments in visual and verbal memory. Users may experience increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory or heart disease. Ecstasy also induces a state characterized as “excessive talking.” Side effects including anorexia, psychomotor agitation, and profound feelings of empathy, result from the flooding of serotonin. Often used in conjunction with other drugs, a growing number of users are combining Ecstasy with heroin, a practice known as “rolling.”
•  Steroids. The repercussions of steroid use are enormous. Among teenagers, steroid use can lead to an untimely halting of growth due to premature skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty changes. Steroid users risk liver tumors, high blood pressure, severe acne, and trembling.

[Photo collage above: Before and after Meth users. It doesn’t take long…]

Q.  What are the symptoms and signs of drug use?
Possible signs include:
•  Attitude changes: more irritable, secretive, withdrawn, overly sensitive, inappropriately angry, defiant, euphoric.
•  Extreme mood swings (e.g., depression, and anger).
•  Less responsible: late coming home, late for school or class, and dishonesty.
•  Changing friends or changing lifestyles: new interests, unexplained cash.
•  Physical deterioration: difficulty in concentration; loss of coordination; loss of weight; slurred speech; red or glassy eyes; sniffly 0r runny nose; appearing spaced out.
•  Unexplained deterioration in school performance.
•  Behavior problems: high-risk behavior, such as stealing or sexual promiscuity.
•  Changes in relationships or eating habits.
•  Changes in hygiene.
•  Presence of drugs or paraphernalia (e.g., cigarette papers, pipes, clips, spoons).

Q.  What should you do if you suspect your child is using drugs?
If your child has developed a pattern of drug use or has engaged in heavy use, intervention is key. Contact a drug treatment program in your area or call your doctor, local hospital or county mental health society for a referral. Your school district should have a substance abuse coordinator or a counselor who can refer you to treatment programs, too.

Q.  Is OxyContin a significant problem in the United States?
Many prescription drugs, such as Percocet, Darvon, Valium, and Librium are abused in the United States. One of the newest legal drugs of abuse is OxyContin. A powerful narcotic derived from opium, like morphine or heroin, OxyContin is a time-released tablet, providing as many as 12 hours of relief from chronic or long-lasting pain. While most people who take OxyContin as prescribed do not become addicted, those who abuse pain medications or obtain it illegally may find themselves rapidly dependent on, if not addicted to, the drug. Purdue Pharma LP, OxyContin’s manufacturer, has taken steps to reduce the potential for abuse of the medication. Although far less abused than other prescription drugs, such as Vicodin, and not at epidemic proportions despite reports in the news, the potency of OxyContin sets it apart from other prescription drugs.

After investigating reports of serious side effects, the FDA strengthened the warnings and precautions in labeling OxyContin. Changes include a “black box warning,” the strongest type of warning for an FDA-approved drug. In the most recent “Monitoring the Future” drug survey 5.5 percent of 12th graders reporter using OxyContin, as did 3.2 percent of 10th graders.

End of  Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/Modern Living Part II of V: Cigarettes &amp; Illegal drugs

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Modern Living: Part I of V (The American Dream & Entertainment Galore)

 (Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic:
Part I
1.  What happened to the American dream?
2.  Entertainment galore

Part II
3.  Cigarette smoking
4.  Illegal drug use
Part III
5.  Antibiotics and super bugs
6.  Antibiotics in meat
 7.  GMO in crops
Part IV
8.  Household Pollutants and Chemical spill
Part V

9.  Infrastructure deterioration

1.  What happened to the American Dream?

What Ever Happened to “The American Dream”?
By Geela Parish, Contributing Editor of Geela’s World
<http://www.womensradio.com/articles/What-Ever-Happened-to-The-American-Dream/56.html&gt;

Do you ever wonder what happened to the average citizen’s ability to achieve The American Dream? Is there something about the pursuit of The American Dream that contributes to failing systems and institutions (from an Enron economy to failing education, the deterioration of the family unit, social ills such as senseless violence, suicide, substance abuse and perversion)?

A recent study reveals that the overwhelming majority of Americans are now experiencing more stress and less true fulfillment and optimism than ever before. They believe that the odds of them winning the lottery are probably much better than their odds of attaining The American Dream. And the current climate of global terrorism coupled with growing uncertainty and failing systems and institutions only makes their faith in attaining The American Dream for success, happiness and fulfillment seems less likely. The American Dream is becoming more and more like the Impossible Dream.

When one looks at the evolution of the concept of The American Dream, it’s hard not to notice the sharp contrast of “before and after” or “this was then, this is now.”

The concept of The American Dream was basically originated from suffering periods of lack, following the Great Depression and WW2 when people had appreciation for work because it was scarce. The main concern was security and basic survival. As such, the focus of The American Dream was on wholesome values such as a strong work ethic, integrity, family, community and moral values. It created joy of life, pride in work and family and a sense of community. In sharp contrast, The American Dream is no longer attainable by most people. How many people can afford a home considering the ridiculously high prices? And decent jobs with stable companies are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Sure, we have accumulated lots of stuff (toys), but they only bring us artificial joy, which is as fleeting as it is cruel.

It was hard work, integrity and wholesome moral values that provided the solid foundation for creating prosperity and economic boom in this country. It was prosperity with integrity and purpose that brought us a sense of real joy and pride coupled with a strong sense of community. However, success has its own trappings, and with success came the desire to “keep up with the Jones’s.” Need eventually turned into greed. The new generation wanted more, in fact they demanded a higher standard of living almost at all costs, even if it meant getting into serious debt. Life was no longer about family and community but instead was more about status (through money and power, with the obsession with fame and fortune for the wrong reasons). And thus began the pursuit of materialism with all the side effects associated with it.

And when need turns to greed, the results are inevitable. The same spirit that created capitalism and prosperity has also created corruption, compromised integrity and the erosion of wholesome values systems that eventually has led to failing systems and institutions.

In a materialistic driven society, where the love of power and money overcomes the power of love, anything becomes fair game. The system, including the media only perpetuated this concept of the newly evolved American Dream for self-serving reasons (to make more profits), while turning us from a nation of producers to a nation of insatiable consumers that made us forget our spiritual roots. Thus, human excellence has given way to human weakness while enslaving us to our own addictions and desires. In fact, we hear so much about the Enron type of corruptions and dirty politics fueled by special-interest money, that it has virtually become an accepted practice.

The prevailing mentality in American society today is that you can get something for nothing. There is a sense of entitlement and an expectation of wanting the good life without having to work hard for it. This is reinforced, glorified and perpetuated by the media with shows like “The Lifestyle of The Rich and Famous.” When all you see is glamour, but not the hard work and sacrifice that goes into achieving success, it only inspires more envy and the desire for a “get rich quick” scheme leading to the erosion of morality and integrity.

Consider the breakdown of the family system. When both parents spend long working hours (sometimes just to make ends meet), their children are left alone, being raised by their peers, gangs and TV. Family values and compromised integrity simply don’t run parallel. By failing to instill good values in their children, children have become corrupted by default, increasingly turning to violence, which in turn negatively affects not only our way of life, but our economy as well. Once again, the culprit is the pursuit of materialism.

Now consider the increased senseless violence at our schools and unchecked crime on our streets. Both can be traced to the pursuit of materialism, which drives people to corruption, compromised integrity and the erosion of wholesome values systems. Violence is a reflection of being away from family and community, an anti-social behavior and a lack of a sense of belonging. After all, how can children feel safe and truly cared for when they are left alone without any clear boundaries? Crime too, is a reflection of the growing frustration and anger resulting from the perception of lack of opportunity, and the equal sharing of prosperity. Call it like it is – it’s a class warfare between the haves and have-nots.

Here is a quick quiz for you:
•  Do you know your neighbors? How about just their names?
•  When was the last time you invited your neighbor to dinner?
•  Why do you build a fence around your home?
•  Have you noticed that the more possessions we have, the more we try to isolate ourselves with an attempt to protect our hard-won assets?

As tough as it is for our national pride to admit it, one can’t ignore the failing of our educational system as evidenced by failing test scores. This too is basically a reflection of the erosion of our moral values, work ethic and our failing institutions. Many politicians are driven by doing what is politically correct and getting elected rather than what’s in the best interest of the community. As the United States falls further behind the world in education, the negative impact on our economy will be felt too. Once we were the world’s leading producers of goods. But now our higher standard of living has escalated wages to the point where manufactures are taking jobs overseas (to places like China and India where cost of living is very low). As a result, we are importing more and more of the goods necessary to maintain our excessive lifestyle. As a result, the foreign trade deficit has ballooned to an all-time high. Our addiction to consumption has forced us to go into debt to the rest of the world. The huge budget deficit we hear so much about is really a deficit in integrity. Our only edge in the world economy has been in technology and innovation. But in the absence of good education, we will lose this competitive edge too. And if we wish to maintain our high standard of living, we must produce something of value in order to remain a valuable player in the global economy.

The break down is not limited to our systems and institutions alone. Our nerves and spirits are just as affected. With growing personal and national debt (with no way out short of a miracle or winning the lottery), out of control violence and crime, environmental and spiritual pollution, extreme stress, frustration, hopelessness, rejection over lack of opportunities, lack of accomplishments, or control of their own lives, send more and more Americans straight to a shrink’s office, take Prozac or worse, get hooked on drugs and other destructive substances as a way of coping. Many simply have reached their breaking point resulting in a diminished productivity at work, a diminished family harmony and enjoyment of life itself.

People are not as free as they would like to believe. The reality is that, knowingly or unknowingly, people are controlled, by virtue of being in debt and by being enslaved by the pursuit of materialism (a by-product of the pursuit of The American Dream as we know it). Perhaps it’s time to reflect on what really matters in life and ask ourselves the eternal question. “Are you working to live or living to work?”

Many feel this country has seen its finest hour unless we develop a new attitude. In the words of a fellow immigrant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, “no more business as usual.” It is a luxury we simply can’t afford. As an immigrant, who came from a different culture and a different values system and achieved The American Dream, not only do I appreciate the great opportunities and freedoms this great country has to offer, but I am able to see the sharp contrast and the cause and effect that contribute to the social and economic ills of our society. Indeed, social ills are an equal opportunity employer. But it is precisely because I care so deeply about this country, that I make my observations and offer innovative solutions in order to preserve the greatness of this country for future generations.

Finally, here is the burning question. How can one be happy and successful and still get a piece of The American Dream? How can we restore our failing systems and institutions and preserve a free and thriving society? What needs to happen is to restore a wholesome values system with integrity. We need to restore the true spirit of The American Dream which was based on perspiration, innovation, risk and reward. That’s when we can once again appreciate simple pleasures and discover that it is “He with the most joys lives,” and not “He with the most toys lives.” And perhaps only when the power of love overcomes the love of power can we finally get back on the yellow brick road to real prosperity, real peace and real fulfillment. Indeed, the best things in life are free, and all you have to do is recognize it.
.

2.  Entertainment galore

The Royal Wedding, American Idol, Dancing With The Stars And 7 Other Ways That The American People Are Being Distracted From Our Real Problems
<http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-royal-wedding-american-idol-dancing-with-the-stars-and-7-other-ways-that-the-american-people-are-being-distracted-from-our-real-problems>
Have you caught “royal wedding fever” yet?  The union of Prince William and Kate Middleton is already being called “the wedding of the century” and it will almost certainly be the most watched event in the entire world this year.  The mainstream media is spending endless hours covering every conceivable angle of this wedding.  With all of the hype surrounding this wedding, you would almost be tempted to think that America has now officially adopted British royalty as our own.  Worship and adoration of the royal family is at a fever pitch in the United States right now, which is kind of ironic considering the fact that we fought two wars against the tyranny of that monarchy.  If only George Washington and the boys could see us now.  Sadly, the American people love to be entertained and they are very easily distracted from the very real problems facing this nation.  In past years, celebrities such as OJ Simpson, Anna Nicole Smith, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears dominated the news.  Today Americans are distracted by the royal wedding, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.  In our entertainment-addicted society, the time for average Americans to set aside the distractions and focus on real issues never seems to come.

During the decline of ancient Rome, average citizens were kept occupied with “bread and circuses”.  Today, we are kept occupied with a dizzying array of entertainment options.  Millions of Americans have become so addicted to entertainment that they literally cannot stand to be alone in their homes without some form of entertainment going on in the background.

Amazingly, the average American now watches 34 hours of television a week.  That doesn’t even count all of the hours that we spend watching DVDs or going to the movies.
When most of us get into our vehicles we immediately turn on the radio or put on a CD.  Artists such as Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga are national heroes.

In the United States today, 88 percent of all children between the ages of 8 and 18 play video games.  Millions of them spend so many hours playing video games that they have developed very serious health and social problems.
On top of everything else, tens of millions of Americans are absolutely addicted to the Internet.  It has gotten so bad that “Internet addiction recovery programs” have started popping up all over the United States.

We love to be entertained.  We love to be distracted.  We love to have fun.

Unfortunately, what most of us don’t like is to focus on real issues.

The following are some of the ways that the American people are currently being distracted….

#1 The Royal Wedding – It is being projected that a whopping 2 billion people around the globe will watch the royal wedding.  Women all over the globe are breathlessly anticipating that first glimpse of Kate Middleton’s dress.  Isn’t she just lovely?  Don’t they make such a charming couple?  For many Americans, this will be the most important event of the year.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy continues to bleed jobs at an absolutely astounding pace.  Millions of good jobs are being sent overseas and unemployment in the United States is rampant.  In fact, the United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

As a result of these ongoing changes, the U.S. economy will very soon no longer be the biggest economy in the world.  Ten years ago, the U.S. economy was three times as large as the Chinese economy, but now China will pass the United States and will become the largest economy in the world in 2016 according to the IMF.

#2 American Idol – Who is going to win American Idol this year?  Will it be country singer Scotty McCreery?  Will it be rocker James Durbin?  Will the southern charm of Lauren Alaina take her over the top?  It has been a wonderful year for American Idol and the American people can’t seem to get enough of this new crop of stars.

Meanwhile, the average American family is really struggling to deal with soaring costs for food and gas.  In a recent survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting, 74 percent of Americans said that they planned to slow down their spending in coming months due to rising prices.

#3 Dancing With The Stars – Chris Jericho got eliminated from Dancing with the Stars on Tuesday night.  He certainly gave it his best shot.  Let’s have a moment of silence as we remember his journey on the show.

Meanwhile, the U.S. housing crisis just continues to get worse.  Home prices continue to fall with no end in sight.  There just are not many qualified buyers out there right now.  During the first three months of this year, less new homes were sold in the U.S. than in any three month period ever recorded.

#4 Justin Bieber – Did you know that you can get a Justin Bieber singing toothbrush now?  It’s true!  Now you can have Justin Bieber with you even while you are brushing your teeth.  Did you also know that Justin Bieber was just named one of the top 100 most influential people by Time Magazine?  Life is really sweet right now if you are Justin Bieber.

Meanwhile, as the U.S. economy declines some of our greatest cities are being transformed into hellholes.  In the city of Detroit today, there are over 33,000 abandoned houses, 70 schools are being permanently closed down, the mayor wants to bulldoze one-fourth of the city and you can literally buy a house for one dollar in the worst areas.

All over the nation social services are being cut back and teachers are being fired.  Just this week, authorities in Philadelphia announced that 3,820 school employees will likely be laid off.  That number includes 12 percent of all the public school teachers in Philadelphia.  Other areas of the country are making much deeper cuts.

#5 The NFL Draft – The NFL Draft is this weekend!  Will Cam Newton be the number one overall pick?  Will the Denver Broncos trade the second pick?  Will Mel Kiper lose his temper and start yelling at the camera again?  If you love the NFL, this is a great weekend for you.

Meanwhile, the U.S. health care industry has become a giant money making scam.  The chairman of Aetna, the third largest health insurance company in the United States, brought in a staggering $68.7 million during 2010. Ron Williams exercised stock options that were worth approximately $50.3 million and he raked in an additional $18.4 million in wages and other forms of compensation.  The funny thing is that he left the company and didn’t even work the whole year.

While corporate fat cats are raking in massive amounts of money, average Americans are having a very hard time dealing with healthcare costs.  One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.  Obamacare is not going to help this one bit.

#6 The Sony PlayStation Crisis – For millions of video game addicts, the biggest news in the world right now is that Sony’s PlayStation Network has been down for 11 straight days.  According to Reuters, it might cost credit card companies somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 million dollars to replace all of the credit cards that were compromised.  Many video game addicts have been traumatized as they have been forced to step away from their consoles long enough to rediscover the “real world”.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is involved in three wars in the Middle East with no end in sight.  It is becoming extremely expensive for us to continue to be the police of the world.  The United States already accounts for 46.5% of all military spending on the globe.  China is next with only 6.6%.

#7 Lady Gaga – Lady Gaga made headlines all over the world recently when she released a song entitled “Judas” just before the recent holidays.  In the song, the phrase “I love Judas” is repeated over and over and over.  Lady Gaga also says that Judas is the “demon she clings to” in the song.  But instead of this resulting in national outrage, Lady Gaga has more fans than ever and she is considered a national hero.

Meanwhile, the Japanese nuclear crisis continues to get worse and the Japanese economy is showing signs of seriously falling apart. Radiation levels at Fukushima have now risen to the highest levels yet recorded.  Some scientists are even concerned that significant areas of northern Japan could end up uninhabitable as a result of this crisis.  At the same time, Standard and Poor’s is warning that the cost of rebuilding Japan could hit 50 trillion yen.  They have also downgraded the outlook for Japanese government debt from “stable” to “negative”.

#8 Michael Scott Leaves The Office – Are you going to watch Steve Carell’s final episode of The Office tonight?  I sure will be.  The Office is one of the last great television comedies.  It is going to be the end of an era.  Television will never be the same again.

Meanwhile, the student loan debt bubble just continues to get worse by the day.  The cost of college tuition in the United States has gone up by over 900 percent since 1978.  The total amount of student loan debt in the United States is rapidly closing in on a trillion dollars, and millions upon millions of young Americans are being absolutely crushed by devastating debt loads.

#9 The New Harry Potter Movie – Are all of you Harry Potter fans getting excited?  A new trailer and some new photos from the upcoming film have been released.  Thanks to the Harry Potter franchise, we have millions of young boys and girls that love to pretend to be witches and wizards.  More young people than ever are fascinated by “magic” and interest in witchcraft in the United States has never been higher.

Meanwhile, U.S. government debt has soared well past 14 trillion dollars and the U.S. dollar is dying.  Standard & Poor’s has altered its outlook on U.S. government debt from “stable” to “negative” and is warning that the U.S. could soon lose its AAA rating.  Millions of our young people can tell you all about Harry Potter, but very few of those same young people are able to adequately describe what the Federal Reserve is or how money is created in this country.

#10 Facebook – Today, Facebook has over 500 million users.  It has become a worldwide phenomenon.  Tens of millions of Americans are totally addicted.  One study conducted by Oxygen Media and Lightspeed Research found that 39% of American adults are self-described “Facebook addicts” and that one-third of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 “check Facebook first thing in the morning, even before brushing their teeth or going to the bathroom.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. is becoming more of a “Big Brother police state” every single day.  At one public school in the Chicago area, children have been banned from bringing their lunches from home.  A former Miss America was recently reduced to tears after her private areas were repeatedly touched during one of the new “enhanced pat-downs” that the Obama administration has implemented at U.S. airports.  The sad truth is that we are no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave.

When will the American people overcome their addiction to entertainment and wake up to the horrible things that are going on all around us?

End of  Survival manual/2. Social issues/Death by 1000 cuts/Modern Living: Part I of V: The American Dream & Entertainment Galore

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