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We need an apartheid-style boycott to save the planet

We need an apartheid-style boycott to save the planet
'The negative impacts of Keystone XL will affect the whole world, our shared world, the only world we have.' Photograph: Sue Ogrocki/AP Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse. No more can it be dismissed as science fiction; we are already feeling the effects. This is why, no matter where you live, it is appalling that the US is debating whether to approve a massive pipeline transporting 830,000 barrels of the world's dirtiest oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. If the negative impacts of the pipeline would affect only Canada and the US, we could say good luck to them. This week in Berlin, scientists and public representatives have been weighing up radical options for curbing emissions contained in the third report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Who can stop it? The taste of "success" in our world gone mad is measured in dollars and francs and rupees and yen. Related:  SustainabilityBig Oil / Carbon - Universities / Governement

Herald food writer bugs out for dinner Between the three of us, a small plate is piled high with the grasshopper bodies. They have been roasted, salted and flavoured with some spicy chipotle, but they are also clearly identifiable as insects with an exoskeleton and, in the case of many, including the first one I grab, little eyes. This is the food source we need to be looking at growing, according to a group of McGill graduate students who won a $1 million prize for offering a solution to help with growing issues around food security. “Insects are the food of the future,” says Jesse Pearlstein, chief financial officer for the collection of students, known as Aspire Food Group. Crickets, river ants, beetles, palm weevils, locusts and numerous other insects are eaten by 2.5 billion people around the world. But, although insects are highly nutritious and sought after as a food that is traditional, celebratory and a delicacy, they are also seasonal and harvested by hand, which makes them an expensive and unreliable food source.

investigative journalist Michael Ruppert has reportedly committed suicide The 63-year-old former narcotics investigator with the LAPD shot himself after his radio show, according to an announcement by author Carolyn Baker who was a guest on his final broadcast on Sunday. Mr Ruppert was famous for his litany of conspiracy theories which encompassed the CIA to drugs, international politics, the oil industry, Wall Street and 9/11.

Time for climate scientists to go on strike Late last night Yokohama time, the world’s scientists did once more what they’ve done so many times in the past: issued a thumping big report demonstrating that climate change poses the greatest danger our civilization has ever faced. These regular analyses have been conducted since 1995 under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – by now the papers, indexes, footnotes and drafts would fill the Superdome. They’ve said it with graphs, they’ve said it with tables. They’ve offered color-coded guides to future decades. As one of the lead authors, Princeton scientist Michael Oppenheimer, summed it up at the paper’s release: “We’re all sitting ducks.” They’ve done their job. But if science has worked, political science has failed. So at this point it’s absurd to keep asking the scientific community to churn out more reports. Or, better yet, the scientists could join the rest of us in the growing climate movement - they could come out in the streets.

Food Vision 2014: Innovation, communication, change, sustainability Stephen Daniells and Shane Starling from FoodNavigator and NutraIngredients What is the future of food? Simple communication of complex advances will be crucial, as well as picking up the pace amid a global population boom to feed the world nutritiously and sustainably, according to FoodNavigator and NutraIngredients senior editors. We spoke to the two senior editors of FoodNavigator and NutraIngredients at this year’s Food Vision event in Cannes about some of the key takeaways from this exclusive event that drew in some of the most innovative and knowledgeable visionaries in the field. Bridging gaps Stephen Daniells, senior editor of FoodNavigator-USA and NutraIngredients-USA, said it was important industry looked to bridge the gap between academia and communicate better with consumers. “If you talk about food creativity, consumers kind of respond to that. Simplification of the supply chain and on-pack communication for consumers would be needed, he said. Going local?

Keith Alexander Unplugged Greenwald writes: "The almost-complete continuity between George W. Bush and Barack Obama on such matters has been explained by far too many senior officials in both parties." By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept 08 May 14 he just-retired long-time NSA chief, Gen. AFR: What were the key differences for you as director of NSA serving under presidents Bush and Obama? The almost-complete continuity between George W. The fact that Obama, in 2008, specifically vowed to his followers angered over his campaign-season NSA reversal that he possessed “the firm intention — once I’m sworn in as president — to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future” only makes that point a bit more vivid. AFR: Can you now quantify the number of documents [Snowden] stole? There’s an equally vital point made by Alexander’s admission.

Hit the Fossil Fuel Industry Where it Hurts: Science There was another one of those International Panel on Climate Change reports published last weekend. Having already outlined the physical science basis back in September (i.e. it is happening, yes, really, we triple-checked, sorry), and then a report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability at the end of last month (i.e. it’s going to get really shit), we had a third on mitigation (i.e. there’s stuff we can do to stop it being really, really, really shit). WWF’s Leo Hickman summarised the reports neatly with the simple nugget: "Climate change is real. We are to blame. It will get worse if we fail to act. The solutions are available and affordable. Even before this most recent intervention, after the adaption report, activist Bill McKibben, suggested that the time had come for scientists to strike: At this point it’s absurd to keep asking the scientific community to churn out more reports. I like this idea. The fossil fuel industry is often described as anti-science.

One of the most important sustainability-related articles you have never read This may be a big call, but I think one of the most important sustainability-related articles which few people have read is ‘Verification, Validation, and Confirmation of Numerical Models in the Earth Sciences’ by Naomi Oreskes et al (published in Science back in 1994).** Sure it sounds dry, but it usefully considers the increasing use of numerical simulation models in the earth sciences, which is one the most important scientific trends of recent decades. E.g. models developed to evaluate or forecast physical processes such as: predicting the behavior of the climate system in response to increased rising CO2 concentrations; or resource estimation models used to predict petroleum reserves. The paper addresses key issues and principles related to their predictive value, model validity and model verity. Given the increase in the use of these models, and related predictions, we need to understand their validity and value. Validation issues: However, the real kicker is that: Key implications

The longest fast Imphal is a city of about half a million people marred by neglect, militarization and insurgencies. Auto-rickshaws, the preferred mode of transportation, whip dust storms on half-built roads; a substantial number of commuters wear masks to work. Paona Bazaar, the city center and the largest market, is a cluster of single- or double-storied brick-and-cement buildings in varying states of decrepitude. The urban decrepitude of Imphal gives way to visions of semi-pastoral communities a few miles out of the city. On November 2, 2000, Kamal Singh's younger brother, Chandramani, a 17-year-old student whose family worked the fields and ran a small fish farm, walked half a mile down a narrow street from his house to catch a bus to Imphal. Soldiers from the Assam Rifles, an Indian paramilitary force, barged into the village, questioning and beating up villagers as they sought the whereabouts of the insurgents behind the bomb.

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