Poor people's energy outlook (PPEO) 2013 | Energy "I have 12 years of work and that at this point in my life I have to continue working in conditions of a few centuries ago. The quality of life is low when teachers work in schools without power. The situation of unease and discomfort is constant – only the joy of children encourages me." Ms Reque, a teacher at the Challa Chico School in rural Bolivia. From lighting in streets and in the home, to power for water pumping, cooking, and basic processing and communications, access to energy enables people to live better lives. Generating international attention and action on energy for community services is vital in order to address the fact that an estimated one billion people are served by health facilities and more than 50% of children in the developing world go to primary schools without any access to electricity. The concept of Total Energy Access is central to the PPEO 2013. Find out more about the Energy Access Ecosystems Index
Is Having an Abortion Likely to Damage a Woman's Mental Health? The most downloaded article from the October 2011 is a review of the negative mental health effects of abortion by American Priscilla Coleman. The article has prompted an extraordinary number of e-letters, almost all of them highly critical. Anti-choice websites, apparently alerted in advance of the article's publication, created an immediate buzz about it across the US. Professor Coleman unwittingly provides a clue to a standard we can apply in evaluating her review and conclusions. Thank you, Professor Coleman. A close read of the article immediately suggests a strong bias including a preference for her own extremely weak studies to the exclusion of others, nonsensical comparisons, and misinterpretation of basis statistics. Although there is a vast literature concerning mental health effects of abortion, Coleman selects only 22 studies, 11 of them her own. What is the issue with Coleman's choice of comparisons/control groups?
VEA - Is Today's Lifestyle Hampering Children's Brain Development? Is Today’s Lifestyle Hampering Children’s Brain Development? By Tom Shenk Unfortunately, I believe the answer to the question posed in the headline to this article is “Yes.” My study of recent brain research tells me that students today have more brain development issues than did children of past generations. • In 1980, only 1 in 10,000 children was diagnosed with autism. • ADHD diagnoses have grown 2000 percent since 1990. These are just a few examples. “That’s pretty depressing,” you may be thinking, “Is there anything we can do to change all that?” For step one, travel back with me in human history to the period before we learned to farm—when we hunted and gathered our food. For step two, brainstorm some ideas for this question: “According to brain research, what activities, experiences and environmental factors best stimulate healthy brain development?” Does any of that look familiar? How is that possible? That’s pretty compelling. Second, we now have a road map for prevention.
the growth of monopoly power » Search Results Cross-posted at Reports from the Economic Front. Market advocates have had their way for years now and one of the consequences has been the growing dominance of industry after industry by a select few powerful corporations. In short, unchecked competition can and does produce its opposite: monopoly. As John Bellamy Foster, Robert W. This [development] is anything but an academic concern. The chart below highlights the rise, especially since the 1980s, in both the number and percentage of U.S. manufacturing industries in which four firms account for more than 50% of sales. Number and Percentage of U.S. As the table below shows, the concentration of market power is not confined to manufacturing. Percentage of Sales for Four Largest Firms in Selected U.S. As impressive as these concentration trends may be, they actually understate the market power exercised by leading U.S. firms because many of these firms are conglomerates and active in more than one industry. Revenue of Top 200 U.S.
Guest Workers As Bellwether Guest Workers As Bellwether Ana Rosa Diaz and Silvia Alfaro Walle at a Wal-Mart protest. Photo courtesy of the NGA By the time Martha Uvalle’s boss threatened to have her children assaulted, she’d already lowered her expectations. Uvalle, a forty-year-old from Tamalipas, Mexico, has come to Louisiana as a guest worker every year since 2006. For years, the hours at CJ’s were long, and the work was hard. The worst day at CJ’s, Uvalle remembered, was “the day of the threat.” “I came here to make a better quality of life for myself and my kids, not to get threatened—and especially not to get my children threatened,” said Uvalle. Last summer, the Worker Rights Consortium, an international labor monitoring group, investigated and affirmed the workers’ allegations of forced labor. “I came here to make a better quality of life for myself and my kids, not to get threatened—and especially not to get my children threatened,” said Uvalle. “This is everyone’s fear,” said Diaz.
A transition in petroleum's future? | Climate & Clean Energy As U.S. President Barack Obama moves closer to a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, the dire warnings about the future of Canada's petroleum resources are reaching a fever pitch. But alongside the familiar arguments about buying oil from friends instead of enemies (for the U.S.) and sustaining a cornerstone of the national economy (for Canada), there's a new line of attack that almost sounds perverse. Sign up for our newsletter When Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi spoke up for Keystone [download podcast] on CBC's The House a couple of weeks ago, one of his more memorable arguments was that Canada has only a small window of opportunity to fully develop the Alberta oil sands before a decarbonizing energy system forces us to leave a great economic opportunity forever untapped. At first, I thought Nenshi was offering up a soft toss for green-energy advocates to hit out of the ballpark. In the Trottier Project's modelling and analysis so far, oil and gas production doesn't disappear.
Locking Up Millions of Americans Isn't Just About Punishing the Underclass, It's About Raking in the Dough Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Miloje July 30, 2013 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Debbie Bourne, 45, was at her apartment in the Liberty Village housing projects in Plainfield, N.J., on the afternoon of April 30 when police banged on the door and pushed their way inside. The murder of a teenage boy by an armed vigilante, George Zimmerman, is only one crime set within a legal and penal system that has criminalized poverty. Prisoners often work inside jails and prisons for nothing or at most earn a dollar an hour. In poor communities where there are few jobs, little or no vocational training, a dearth of educational opportunities and a lack of support structures there are, by design, high rates of recidivism—the engine of the prison-industrial complex.
No Thanks for Thanksgiving November 21, 2012 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting. In fact, indigenous people have offered such a model; since 1970 they have marked the fourth Thursday of November as a Day of Mourning in a spiritual/political ceremony on Coles Hill overlooking Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, one of the early sites of the European invasion of the Americas. Not only is the thought of such a change in this white-supremacist holiday impossible to imagine, but the very mention of the idea sends most Americans into apoplectic fits -- which speaks volumes about our historical hypocrisy and its relation to the contemporary politics of empire in the United States. Some aspects of the conventional story are true enough.
United States of ALEC BILL MOYERS: This week on Moyers and Company: The scheme to remake America, one state house at a time. LISA GRAVES: Politicians and corporate representatives, corporate lobbyists were actually voting behind closed doors on these changes to the law before they were introduced in state houses across the country. BILL MOYERS: The United States of ALEC. KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: We need to have a drum roll of media attention that says. ANNOUNCER : Funding is provided by: Carnegie Corporation of New York, celebrating 100 years of philanthrapy, and committed to doing real and permanent good in the world. The Kohlberg Foundation. Independent Production Fund, with support from The Partridge Foundation, a John and Polly Guth Charitable Fund. The Clements Foundation. Park Foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. The Herb Alpert Foundation, supporting organizations whose mission is to promote compassion and creativity in our society. The John D. Anne Gumowitz. Barbara G.
The Power of Math and the “Wizardry” of Nate Silver Tonight, Barack Obama continued the 44th US presidency, a second-term president; the first African-American to ever do so. In one of the most contested elections in American history, a curiously rational voice stood above the punditry. Nate Silver of the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog (which was drawing 20% of the New York Times’ total traffic during election night) tracked national polls, state polls, and numerous other mathematical markers throughout the election. With the aid of mathematical modeling based on demographics, averages, and voting records, Silver put the chances for election firmly in Obama’s corner (at one time reaching 92%). Silver’s predictions were chided by conservatives all the way to the White House. Spencer Ackerman writes about the “nerdiest election” in Wired: Nate Silver of The New York Times completely reshaped its coverage. The pundits sensed their rapidly diminishing relevance. Via XKCD Further Reading: Like this: Like Loading...
China admits ‘cancer villages’ existence China has acknowledged the existence of so-called "cancer villages" as Chinese people have been concerned about the impact of pollution on their health for years. The environment ministry released its latest report on Friday entitled "Guard against and control risks presented by chemicals to the environment during the 12th Five-Year period (2011-2015)". "The toxic chemicals have caused many environmental emergencies linked to water and air pollution," the report said. According to the report, such chemicals could pose a long-term risk to human health, making a direct link to the so-called "cancer villages". "There are even some serious cases of health and social problems like the emergence of cancer villages in individual regions," it said. Cancer rates have increased in some villages near factories and polluted waterways, according to campaigners.
Raped and tortured in the Congo – left to starve in Britain | Talking Politics By Andrew Keefe Marie was arrested and imprisoned for attending a peaceful anti-government demonstration organised by students at her university in the Democratic Republic of Congo. During her three months in detention she was raped, beaten and burned with cigarettes almost every day. She arrived in the UK bearing both physical and psychological scars. Like most of the 100 torture survivors currently in treatment at Freedom from Torture, she displayed severe symptoms of trauma including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety which greatly affected her daily functioning. The sound of rattling keys and chains, doors slamming and heavy footsteps all induced flashbacks and terror for Marie. But when she came in for her weekly therapy sessions, Marie was often unable to talk through these deeply disturbing psychological phenomena, because she was preoccupied with far more mundane matters arising from the simple fact that she was living in dismal poverty.
Salvaging Resilience Regular readers of this blog will know by this point that my efforts to make sense of the shape of the emerging deindustrial future involve the occasional odd detour, and one of those is central to this week’s post. Mind you, those same regular readers may be wondering if the detour in question has to do with Ben Bernanke’s secret name as a Sith Lord, a point which occupied some space in comments on a recent Archdruid Report. (The best proposal so far, in case you’re wondering, was Darth Flation – think (in)Vader, (in)Sidious, etc.) Still, that tempting topic will have to be left for another week. The rise of this term to its present popularity in green circles has a history worth noting. The word “sustainability,” it bears remembering, has a perfectly clear meaning. The problem with “resilience,” though, is that it also has a perfectly clear meaning. Okay, now that you’ve stopped spluttering, let me explain. We can define efficiency informally as doing the most with the least.