Current preoccupation is with terrorism, but in the long term climate change will outweigh terrorism as an issue for the international community. . . . Climate change is going to make some very fundamental changes to human existence on the planet. David Anderson, a former Canadian environment minister. Quoted in CNN.com, Official Global Warming Bigger Threat than Terrorism, February 6, 2004. reut index.html.
Another growing threat also holds out the possibility of massive damage and loss of life in this century religiously rooted terrorism. The scope of death and destruction sought by the perpetrators of this sort of terrorism is also something most people find difficult to envision. This chapter later discusses terrorism (a malevolent rather than a malignant problem such as climate change) because of a somewhat surprising confluence the aspects of our energy systems that help create the risk of climate change also create vulnerabilities that terrorists bent on massive destruction are likely to target. We need to be alert to the possibility that although our current circumstances are doubly dangerous, this confluence could give us an opportunity to design a set of changes in our energy systems that will help us deal with both problems.
Our society, our way of life, and our liberty face serious current challenges beyond the infrastructure fragility exacerbated by climate change. The most salient is attack by terrorist groups or an enemy state, or a combination thereof, aimed at massive damage and massive casualties. These are not unintentional malignant results of our habitual behavior but are rather malevolent and planned carefully by those who want to do far more than many terrorist groups in the past namely, to destroy our entire civilization and way of life. Oil presents a panoply of opportunities for highly destructive terrorism. Our transportation is fueled over 96 percent by petroleum products. Consequently oil has a transportation monopoly in much the same way that, until around the end of the nineteenth century, salt had a monopoly on the preservation of meat. Oil's monopoly creates a litany of vulnerabilities for our society. Since around two-thirds of the world's proven reserves of conventionally produced...
Change, described recently by the British Government's Chief Scientific Advisor as a threat to society greater than terrorism, may be the driving force behind most environmental change during the 21st century, but climate change does not act in isolation. Our ability to adapt to climate change is heavily dependent on solving other environmental problems, for example, bringing the human population increase under control. Other threats to society include the shortage of water and variations in rainfall already being felt in some areas of the world, the steady depletion of resources and continued existence of the consumptionist society, the accumulation of waste that we don't know what to do with, and the serious, irreparable damage to biodiversity.
If New Orleans is one harbinger of the future, Somalia is another. With a weak and barely functional central government that does not enjoy the trust and confidence of the public, the nation has descended into clan warfare. Mortality rates for combatants and noncombatants are high. Neighboring Ethiopia has intervened, with troops on the ground in Mogadishu and elsewhere, a small African Union peacekeeping force is present in the country, and the United States has conducted military missions in Somalia within the last year, including air strikes aimed at terrorist groups that the United States government has said are finding safe haven in the chaos.10 In a July 2007 report, the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia reported that the nation is literally awash in arms and factional groups are targeting not only all combatants in the country but also noncombatants, including aid groups.
Climate change could have deep implications for the very effectiveness and viability of existing governments. Political authorities unable to manage climate-induced challenges might well lose necessary public support. National leaders professing authoritarian ideologies could become more attractive if liberal democratic systems fail to marshal sufficient political will to manage the climate challenge. In some instances people might resort to violent means to remove existing governments, especially when opportunities to change leaders through elections are circumscribed. A succession of failed elected leaders might also trigger a rise in politics by other means as well. In a few places people might turn to nonstate actors, including religious movements or terrorist groups, for comfort or to effect more dramatic change. Moreover, under conditions of severe global climate change, environmental factors may push already failed states deeper into the abyss of ungovernability, while driving...
There is an abstract set of gas-guzzler drivers, but membership in a set is too arbitrary to create moral responsibility. I am also in a set of all terrorists plus me, but my membership in that abstract set does not make me responsible for the harms that terrorists cause.
In January 2004, the UK's chief scientist Sir David King identified climate change as 'the most severe problem we are facing today - more serious even than the threat of terrorism' (King, 2004, p. 176). He went on to berate the United States (US) government for doing too little, and questioned the role of the market 'The Bush Administration's current strategy relies largely on market-based incentives and voluntary actions. The market will certainly be valuable for choosing among mitigation
Biodegradation is considered the first option for the primary removal of organic compounds from landfill leachate. However, some organic compounds are resistant to biological attack. In addition, biological sludge resulting from biological processes may become a disposal problem, particularly because of its capacity to store adsorbed undegraded hydrophobic organic species and heavy metals. No biological leachate treatment processes have yet to take advantage of microbial transformations, nor has adsorption of heavy metals though suitable microorganisms been studied in the laboratory.44,48 Bioremediation processes are still relatively unsophisticated and the potential exists for combining various types of microbial process schemes for selective component removal.9
Conservation, maintaining ecological processes and genetic diversity, but accept the sustainable use of wildlife and ecosystems, although they do not favor commercial harvesting. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), formed in 1969 in reaction to the seal hunt, takes the position that it is immoral for humans to impose suffering on animals. Further on the spectrum, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was formed in 1980, on the philosophical foundation that animals are not ours to eat, wear or use for entertainment. They do, however, allow that humans may have pets. At the far end of the spectrum, the Animal Liberation Front feels justified in threatening and harming humans in retaliation for perceived animal harm, and has taken responsibility for letter bombs and terrorist attacks in Europe and North America, and actions such as releasing animals from a cancer research laboratory and causing millions of dollars in vandalism damages.
The story of the sowing of the ruins of Carthage with salt, apparently as a symbol of its total destruction and perhaps as a means of ensuring the soil's infertility, is well known to most students of Roman history. Indeed, in the legends of antiquity and in ancient texts and studies of antiquity, the tale of the city's being plowed and salted appears repeatedly. The famous scorched earth story of Carthage has it that salt was sown in the ground after the site was plowed. However, the extent of Roman ecological devastation of the site, and, in particular, the use of salt as a means of environmental terrorism, remains in question. See Ridley, To Be Taken with a Pinch of Salt The Destruction of Carthage, pp. 140-6, Visona, Passing the Salt On the Destruction of Carthage Again, pp. 41-2, Warmington, The Destruction of Carthage A Refractio, pp. 309-10.
The stomach of mammals is another common acidic habitat. Humans secrete 1.5-2 litres of gastric juices into their stomachs each day. The gastric juices are acidic (about pH 2) due to the presence of hydrochloric acid which is produced by the parietal cells that are found in glands on the stomach wall. Hydrochloric acid assists the initial stages of breaking down and digesting the food, but is also one of the first lines of defence against potentially harmful organisms. Any parasites which infect their host by being ingested along with food or drink must pass through the stomach before they can become established in their parasitic sites further down the intestine or elsewhere in the body. Many protozoan and animal parasites infect their host as a cyst or an egg. They are thus protected by a tough cyst wall or an eggshell and do not hatch or excyst until they have safely passed through the stomach. Their ability to survive chemical attack is remarkable and I have seen the eggs of some...
Suspended material may be classified in many ways, and one of the most commonly used methods is to split it into organic and inorganic, which have traditionally been measured as volatile and nonvolatile suspended solids, respectively. Unfortunately, this division is not the best for describing biochemical operations, in part because around 40 of the volatile suspended solids in domestic wastewater are nonbiodegradable, and therefore inert to biological attack.8 A more appropriate division would be inert, biodegradable, and biomass, because each influences biochemical operations in a different way. By definition, biodegradable suspended mat
Certain pharmaceutical waste may be quite resistant to biodegradation by conventional biological treatment. For example, various nitroanilines have been used in synthesized production of sulfanilamide and phenol mercury wastes and show resistance against biological attack. Both ortho and meta nitroaniline were not satisfactorily degraded even after a period of many months 25 . Other priority pollutants such as tri-chloro-methyl-proponal (TCMP) and toluene must be given attention in the treatment of pharmaceutical wastewater. With careful controls, p-nitroaniline can be biologically degraded, although the reaction requires many days for acclimatization 25,26 .
This process is known as the securitisation of insurance risks. Traditionally, insurers have insured themselves (a process known as reinsurance) against the sorts of risks that are low in frequency but high in costs when they do occur. Earthquakes, terrorism, flooding, hurricanes, are the sorts of events involved, many of which are weather- or climate-related. But with the rise in payouts for such events from around 1990 onwards, and increasingly confident claims that such a rise is connected to increases in extreme weather events (rather than, say, the simple fact that more rich people now live in risky places like Florida, which is certainly a factor), insurers started to worry that
Alternate technologies have recently become available to deal with certain types of waste materials. Ion-exchange and bio-recovery offer the attractive potential of recovering metals from waste water for re-use in the primary process, but these techniques are limited to low concentration, aqueous solutions of metal ions, and thus are more suited for polishing a wastewater stream before discharging it to city wastewater treatment facilities. In many cases, capital costs for these techniques are prohibitive relative to the value of the metal recovered. Encapsulation of hazardous wastes in concrete has also been proposed as an alternative to direct dumping. This procedure, which is sometimes accompanied by ionic bonding of metals to soluble, synthetic silicates, may be effected at moderate cost, but does not provide suitable long term protection against release of the heavy metals through mechanical degradation (e.g., by crushing, erosion, or earthquakes) or chemical attack of the...
A second and more realistic possibility is to reduce the need for government by redesigning energy systems, buildings, communities, manufacturing, farming, forestry, transportation, infrastructure, and waste handling in ways that mimic natural processes and radically increase local resilience. The result would be communities, societies, and eventually a global civilization running on sunshine and wind without pollution from the combustion of fossil fuels towns and cities designed to work with natural processes manufacturing systems that mimic natural processes and emit no pollution and localized food systems built around sustainable farming and powered by sunshine. The agreeable result would be to eliminate the need for a great deal of environmental regulation and government interference in markets while making society more resilient in the face of climate change, oil shortages, terrorism, and economic turmoil.
If modern, distributed generation is more efficient and less polluting, requires half of the capital investment, and reduces system vulnerability to weather and terrorism, why do most countries continue to build central generating plants The key factor seems to be a flaw in conventional thinking about the role of free markets. Most economists simply assume that market economies have optimized the production of goods and services, and that opportunities for additional efficiency do not exist.
American families need to be better prepared for and protected from mega-catastrophes. Hurricane Katrina underscored this point with the same force and clarity that the savage attacks of 11 September 2001 crystallized our national awareness and galvanized our national thinking about the immediate need to improve and enhance our preparation and defenses with regard to terrorism.
Ongoing scepticism about climate change science, uncertainty in regional climate change projections, and a lack of knowledge about how to promote adaptation. This is despite 87 of Australians being more concerned about climate change impacts than terrorism (Lowy Institute, 2006). Application of risk-based approaches to adaptation (e.g., upgrading urban storm-water infrastructure design Shaw et al., 2005) demonstrate how developments can be 'climate-proofed' (ADB, 2005). While a risk-based method for planned adaptation has been published for Australia (AGO, 2006), there are few examples of where it has been applied.
Trade unions attribute many issues concerning energy, climate change and human security to deepening globalization, a condition that calls for a collective global response. National efforts towards sustainable development can only succeed if, for instance, trade in harmful products is restricted or if Multilateral Environmental Agreements prevent overexploitation of natural resources for export. In his report, Stern pointed to examples of successful collective action in the areas of international trade, health, development aid, terrorism and environmental protection as cause for hope (Stern et al, 2006, p453).
What will happen when a U.S. soldier or marine is killed by an insurgent or terrorist in the midst of a relief operation Will the United States shun direct participation in countries where it fears that short-term humanitarian assistance could evolve into long-term stability operations, even if it is precisely these countries that are in the greatest danger of failing without such direct engagement
Environmental change may contribute to conflicts as diverse as war, terrorism, or diplomatic and trade disputes. Furthermore, it may have different causal roles in some cases, it may be a proximate and powerful cause in others, it may only be a minor and distant player in a tangled story that involves many political, economic, and physical factors. . . . Warmer temperatures could lead to contention over new ice-free sea-lanes in the Arctic or more accessible resources in the Antarctic.50
Since September 2001, Washington has also been concerned about terrorists moving into the American homeland through these soft, northern borders. Again, the January 2009 presidential document argued that 'the United States also has fundamental homeland security interests in preventing terrorist attacks and mitigating those criminal or hostile acts that could increase the United States' vulnerability to terrorism in the Arctic region'. It continued by saying that 'this requires the United States to assert a more active and influential national presence to protect its Arctic interests and to project sea power throughout the region'. Although these fears are probably baseless - it is likely to be many decades before climatic conditions make any such infiltration through the High North remotely possible - they do illustrate the strength of America's strategic concern about the area.
Post-disaster response begins with initial rescue and relief efforts, followed by recovery activities that can initiate mitigation procedures including development of series of pre-impact preparedness actions, in the literature often referred as emergency response cycle (Cutter, 2003). Cutter (2003) describes 'GI Science' applications citing examples of the use of GIS in the September 11 terrorist event and essential activities in the Coalition War in Iraq
It would be more advantageous if the armed forces of all of the eight Arctic countries could instead cooperate if not on military exercises then on issues that are a matter of common concern. They could, for example, work together and pool resources to guard stretches of sea more effectively from the threat of overfishing, piracy, smuggling and terrorism, or on particular environmental projects such as alleviating the impact of collisions or averting other disasters at sea. Some such steps had been taken by the early summer of 2009, but these were infrequent and limited in scope.14
Some commentators have argued that terrorists, smugglers and criminals could potentially make their way through these seas, wholly undetected, and then move into the Canadian mainland. Just as in the early 1930s, at the time of prohibition in America, the Canadian government tried to extend its national borders and powers in the archipelago to curb the problem of liquor smuggling, so too in the future might it regard the same waterways as highly vulnerable to infiltration. But climatic conditions in this area are likely to remain extreme for many decades and in the meantime there will be far easier ways for any such enemy force to infiltrate the Canadian or American mainland. Instead the Canadian government is probably
In today's world of accelerating globalization there are many challenges that nations simply cannot address working on their own fighting terrorism, pandemics such as bird flu, poverty in Africa, nuclear proliferation, financial and economic crisis, energy security and climate change. These are all areas
A number of events have also been dedicated to the subject,2 such as the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI) conference Climate Change - the Global Security Impact in January 2007, which also explored the potential of terrorist extremists using climate change to their own advantage. Similarly, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment stated that 'environmental policy in the 21st century is also economic policy, energy policy, security policy'. Echoing these sentiments, Sir David King, the UK government's chief scientific adviser, expressed concern that 'climate change is the most severe problem we are facing today, more serious even than the threat of terrorism'.
The fact that employment of nuclear energy has not been fully embraced points to unanswered questions and interrelated challenges in its implementation. For some, it is a question of feasibility. Can nuclear expansion occur quickly enough and on a scale commensurate with the need For others it is a question of economics. Comparative to other energy supply options, is it worth the investment Will future development have to rely on massive government subsidies Others cite the continuing quest for an acceptable approach to management of long-lived wastes and uncertainty about risks to human health and the environment. Whether nuclear power is dangerous remains a question for many. The fears and insecurities generated by Chernobyl and Three Mile Island have only intensified post-9 11. The threat of terrorism and the nuclear weapons ambitions of certain states have led to speculation that the international regime may not be robust enough to counter the inherent proliferation risks.
Aromatic polyamide membranes were first developed by DuPont in a hollow fiber configuration. Like the cellulosic membranes, these membranes also have an asymmetric structure with a thin (0.1-1.0 mm) dense skin and a porous substructure. Polyamide membranes have better resistance to hydrolysis and biological attack than do cellulosic membranes. They can be operated over a pH range of 4-11, but extended use at the extremes of this range can cause irreversible membrane degradation. They can withstand higher temperatures than cellulosic membranes. However, like cellulosic membranes, they are subject to compaction at high pressures and temperatures. They have better salt rejection characteristics than cellulosic membranes as well as better rejection of water-soluble organics. A major drawback of polyamide membranes is that they are subject to degradation by oxidants, such as free chlorine.
Third, the ever-growing disparity between rich and poor carries severe implications for social carrying capacity, including intensifying economic dislocation and social strife as the transfer of capital, labor, and refugees across steepening gradients of social and economic difference accelerates. Political challenges also loom large as the ranks of those with little to lose increase, nuclear capability proliferates in the developing world, and vulnerability to terrorism increases.
To date, over 70 of biodegradation studies and applications have focused on petroleum hydrocarbons. This situation is perhaps an artifact of the vast number of gas stations and petroleum refining and storage locations that have released substantial amounts of petroleum over decades of use, and the fact that compounds of this class are among the most readily degraded. The biodegradability and biodegradation pathways of petroleum hydrocarbons have been exhaustively reviewed 10-12 , More specific reviews based on compound class have also been performed for alkanes 13,14 , cycloalkanes 15 , and aromatics 16-19 , For unweathered petroleum, the primary catalysts for biological attack are oxygenases, which require the presence of free oxygen. Monooxygenase attack results in alcohols from alkanes by typically attacking at the terminal position. The resulting alcohol is oxidized further to an aldehyde and finally to a fatty acid by beta-oxidation. Methyl branching decreases the rate of...
It would be unfortunate to dwell at length on the unbalanced public perception of various environmental issues without recognizing perhaps the most fundamental obstacle in communicating the urgency of these problems. We humans, of course, are confronted with many problems, environmental or otherwise, and without some sense of priorities, we would be totally overwhelmed by them. Recent surveys (Curry et al., 2007) show that in the U.S., environmental issues, even with the added concern over global warming, still rank below terrorism, the Iraq war, health care, the economy, education, the quality of government leaders, Social Security, illegal immigrants, and family values. One may have scientific, political, and social views that lead them to disagree with the higher rankings of some of these topics, but it would be absurd to claim that terrorism and health care do not warrant our serious attention. Nonetheless, environmental issues should elicit greater concern, simply because they...
The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is probably the most controversial group that could be characterized as a green movement, as the Unabomber's lone actions probably do not qualify as a movement. ELF is a radical environmental group that approves of destructive tactics to achieve their aims. Listed as a terrorist organization by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the decentralized organization has claimed responsibility for a handful of actions, including arsons committed in new suburban housing developments in Long Island, and the destruction of new Hummers at a dealership in southern California, which gained widespread media attention. Those acts of ecotage are inspired by the Edward Abbey classic, the Monkey Wrench Gang, where a group of friends who gain inspiration from the wild, clandestinely sabotage equipment used to extract natural resources.
Glacial meltwater erosion beneath ice sheets and glaciers may result from either mechanical or chemical processes. The effectiveness of meltwater as an agent of erosion depends on (i) the susceptibility of the bedrock involved, in particular the presence of structural weaknesses or its susceptibility to chemical attack (ii) the discharge regime, in particular the water velocity and the level of turbulent flow and (iii) the quantity of sediment in transport. Here we outline the main processes of glacial meltwater erosion. The landforms created by the flow of meltwater are described in Chapter 6.
There are calculable and perceivable risks for any transportation option. We are not considering perceivable risks because this is beyond the scope of the document. Risks in special cases such as military conflicts and terrorist actions have now been investigated. At least two conferences on pipeline safety and security have taken place, and additional conferences and workshops are planned. However, it is unlikely that these will lead to peer-reviewed journal articles because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Perceptions of climate change risks are differing. A small but growing literature addresses the psychological dimensions of evaluating long-term risk most focuses on behaviour changes in relation to climate change mitigation policies. However, some studies have explored the behavioural foundations of adaptive responses, including the identification of thresholds, or points at which adaptive behaviour begins (e.g., Grothmann and Patt, 2005). Key findings from these studies point to different types of cognitive limits to adaptive responses to climate change. For example, Niemeyer et al. (2005) found that thresholds of rapid climate change may induce different individual responses influenced by trust in others (e.g., institutions, collective action, etc.), resulting in adaptive, non-adaptive, and maladaptive behaviours. Hansen et al. (2004) found evidence for a finite pool of worry among farmers in the Argentine Pampas. As concern about one type of risk increases, worry about other risks...
Mental concerns below other challenges such as terrorism, the economy, and family values. Novacek analyzes this state of affairs and argues that effective ways must be found to tailor biodiversity messages to each target audience. Enlightened environmental measures by corporations and democratic governments will be achieved only if the power of the people is marshaled in favor of conservation efforts.
Post-9 11, a related concern has been the security of existing nuclear facilities against terrorist elements. The potential of targeting a facility or materials in transit in order to cause a major radioactive release, mass casualties, significant economic impact or simply confusion has mobilized many plants to improve physical protection and security operations. A scenario in which terrorist organizations could acquire materials to create crude nuclear devices such as a dirty bomb is everyone's nightmare. So, while some nuclear power proponents suggest that nuclear proliferation and terrorism risks are readily managed, others allege weaknesses in the system and warn that there is no room for complacency.
The degree of instability this generates will depend on how successfully these immigrant populations are integrated into European society. This process has not always gone well, as exemplified in 2005 by the riots in the poor and predominantly immigrant suburbs of Paris. The suspicion with which many view Europe's Muslim and immigrant communities has been intensified by homegrown terrorist attacks and plots, and the risk of a serious nationalist, anti-immigrant backlash is steadily increasing.
Of a reality far more complex and wonder-filled than they knew or could have known. Anthropogenic climate destabilization is a symptom of something more akin to a cultural pathology. Dig deep enough and the problem of climate is not reducible to the standard categories of technology and economics. It is not merely a problem awaiting solution by one technological fix or another. It is, rather, embedded in a larger matrix, a symptom of something deeper. Were we to solve the problem of climate change, our manner of thinking and being in the world would bring down other curses and nightmares now waiting in the wings. Perhaps it would be a nuclear holocaust, or terrorism, or a super plague, or, as Sun Microsystems founder Bill Joy warns, an invasion of self-replicating devices like the products of nanotechnology, genetically engineered organisms, or machines grown smarter than us that will find us exceedingly inconvenient.1 There is no shortage of such plausible nightmares, and each is yet...
Many analysts now believe that the United States has reached a tipping point in terms of public awareness of climate change. Scientific consensus on both the rising global temperatures and anthropocentric roots of that shift, combined with concerns about energy insecurity and its ties to international terrorism, have pushed climate change discourse to the forefront, particularly in the context of what some now label the post-Hurricane Katrina effect, the growing recognition among Americans that they too are vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change.
Although global dimming has existed since as long as pollution has existed, it gained particular attention during the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, when all commercial airline traffic was grounded for three days. During this brief time frame, scientists discovered that the atmospheric temperature rose 1.7 F (1 C) during that short interval. As they studied the possibilities, they realized it was because there were no contrails in the atmosphere left by commercial airlines.
Plague is currently recognized as a reemerging disease increasing in frequency throughout the world (Duplantier et al., 2005 Schrag and Wiener, 1995 Stenseth et al., 2008 WHO, 2003, 2005) as well as being a potential agent of bioterrorism (Inglesby et al., 2000 Koirala, 2006). Throughout its geographic distribution, its main reservoir is composed of a variety of wild (and in some cases commensal) rodents and the bacterium is transmitted between individual hosts primarily by flea vectors (see The (Full) Plague Eco-Epidemiological System below). Understanding what determines the dynamics of plague necessitates an understanding of the dynamic rodent-flea-bacterium system in the wild.
The absence of a policy solution for the disposal of long-lived nuclear wastes, while not technically an impediment to the expansion of nuclear power, is still a concern for decision makers. New reactor construction has been barred in 13 U.S. states as a result, although several of these states are reconsidering their bans. Safety concerns stem from the potential for radioactive releases from the reactor core or spent fuel pool following an accident or terrorist attack. Nuclear reactors include extensive safeguards against such releases, and the probability of one happening appears to be very low. Nevertheless, the possibility cannot be ruled out, and such concerns are important factors in public acceptance of nuclear power. Proliferation of nuclear weapons is a related concern, but after 40 years of debate, there is no consensus as to whether U.S. nuclear power in any way contributes to potential weapons proliferation. A critical question is whether there are...
In April 2007 the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA) Corporation issued a landmark report that attracted major attention in the national security community because of its advisory board of former senior U.S. military officers.53 The authors recognized that much scientific uncertainty regarding climate change persists but urged moving beyond the argument of cause and effect, since observed climate change was already occurring and presenting challenges to national security planners. According to the report, The chaos that results can be an incubator of civil strife, genocide, and the growth of terrorism. The authors warn that these developments could contribute to state failure, interstate conflicts, or other security problems in many geographic regions that could require a response by an already overburdened U.S. military. Transformations in the environment resulting from climate change could also complicate regular U.S. military operations. Hurricanes and rising sea levels could threaten...
Instead of a producer deliberately cutting back on its output, it is today much more likely that war, terrorist actions, accidents and severe weather conditions will block supplies and send the barrel price soaring. The most vulnerable single area is the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, through which tankers move around one-fifth of the world's oil, although the Niger Delta, Iraq and Venezuela are also susceptible. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the United States experienced a supply disruption of around 8 per cent, causing a price spike that was mitigated only because President Bush released a certain number of barrels from emergency reserves.7
Lye peeling appears to be the most popular peeling method used today. The combined effect of chemical attack and thermal shock softens and loosens the skin, blemishes, and eyes so that they can be removed by brushes and water sprays. Lye peeling wastewater, however, is the most troublesome potato waste. Because of the lye, the wastewater pH is very high, usually between 11 and 12. Most of the solids are colloidal, and the organic content is generally higher than for the other methods. The temperature, usually from 50 to 55 C, results in a high dissolved starch content, and the wastewater has a tendency to foam.
Paradoxically, because of its high chemical stability, low toxicity, and low natural abundance, SF6 has been extensively used by atmospheric scientists as a tracer gas to understand the movements and mixing of air. The gas has, for instance, been injected into the exhaust plumes from power stations in an attempt to understand the origins of acid rain. In the United Kingdom, SF6 tracer experiments have demonstrated that power stations are capable of delivering acid rain pollution to Scandinavia. For similar reasons, SF is used to trace the movements of air within ventilation and air conditioning system tests. Recently, the gas was released on the London Underground in an attempt to understand the way toxic gases would spread throughout the system in the event of a terrorist attack.
Cooperative spirit, some of the disagreements over the status of the waters in the Canadian archipelago are likely to be amicably resolved. Because the Canadian coast guard has far greater powers over any ships that make their way through 'internal waters' than a 'strait', United States officials have sometimes admitted that American national security might even be enhanced if they recognize Ottawa's claim. 'We are looking at everything through the terrorism prism', as the then United States ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci, said in November 2004. 'Our top priority is to stop the terrorists. So perhaps when this is brought to the table again, we may have to take another look.' And as one leading authority on the region, Professor Michael Byers, has argued, the Canadian government would never deny a request from the United States to allow one of its ships or submarines through the Northwest Passage.40
One scenario that inspires particular dread is the very real prospect of a terrorist attack on what would be seen as a new and highly tempting target a tanker carrying liquefied gas. Terrorists generally don't target pipelines because the flow of oil or gas can be quickly cut off, but an explosion on board a liquefied gas tanker would have a disastrous impact. One report, published by an American consultancy, concluded that in a worst case scenario a successful attack on a tanker could result in as many as 8,000 deaths and 20,000 injuries.15 Most worryingly, these enormous ships could make relatively easy targets for a rocket-propelled grenade or for explosive devices that are detonated by terrorists using a small boat to pull alongside their target. It was just such an audacious attack that Al Qaeda bombers made with considerable success against the USS Cole in October 2000.
Many commentators (Tansey et al., 2006 SEG, 2006) criticised the conduct of the 2006 Energy Review as hasty and potentially damaging to public trust in government and its use of science in policymaking. In short, the review appears to have been an opportunistic attempt to legitimise renewed government support for investment in nuclear power. The procedures by which this decision was subsequently secured were ruled unlawful in February 2007 in an action brought by Greenpeace (see Chapter 5 for more detail). The discursive shift from 2003 to 2006 illustrated above was central to reframing investment in nuclear electricity as necessary for the UK. The storyline evoked was one of the UK as an imperilled island state whose way of life is threatened by the activities of foreign nations only a domestically controlled energy source such as nuclear could protect us. This storyline, advanced by the nuclear lobby extremely effectively in the intervening years, has resonance in the context of the...
To engage people in biodiversity and other environmental issues, one must provide the opportunity for enhanced understanding that empowers individuals to make choices and take action based on sound science and reliable recommendations. To this end, we must acknowledge some real challenges. Recent surveys show that, despite growing public concern, environmental issues still rank below many other problems, such as terrorism, health care, the economy, and (in the U.S.) family values. Moreover, much of the recent upswing in interest in the environment is due to the marked shift in attention to global warming away from other environmental problems such as destruction of ecosystems, water pollution, overpopulation, and biodiversity loss. Such a change in public focus often comes with a tendency to decouple various environmental problems and ignore their synergistic effects. Exacerbating this problem are arguments from the media and other sources that discourage public interest in...
A very large and diverse public demonstrates a connection with nature and a sense of concern about environmental problems (Biodiversity Project, 2002). However, these attitudes often are not accompanied by real understanding of biodiversity or a sense of how to take more effective measures in protecting and sustaining natural habitats and species. Moreover, the public places much greater priority on other problems, such as terrorism, health, and the economy, than on biodiversity loss. People also often do not recognize the implications of biodiversity loss in exacerbating many problems more familiar and more important to them. Nonetheless, the capacity of the public (and the media) to respond in a more massive and emphatic way to some environmental issues, such as global warming (Bowman, 2007), points the way for greater connections with the public on biodiversity issues. Given the recent transformation of public response, it is more important than ever to show that environmental...
A profound increase in the movement of climate refugees will cause greater tensions and perhaps violent conflicts between and within countries over uncontrolled immigration issues. Such massive migrations within a relatively short time are likely to be deeply problematic for the host countries for these climate refugees. In the Western Hemisphere, Americans may find themselves struggling to resettle tens of millions of their own citizens, driven by high water from the Gulf of Mexico, South Florida, and much of the East Coast reaching nearly to New England. Under severe scenarios, climate-induced migration could transform the ethnic character of major countries and world regions, especially the European Union. An influx of Muslims into Europe, for example, could lead to new tensions over foreign policy priorities toward Muslim countries or Islamist terrorism. Historical reactions to natural disasters, such as public rage at government's inability to deal with the abrupt and...
The Institute has compiled a list of commonly asked questions and answers regarding global warming and climate change. These have been posted on the institute website to further educate the public and direct policy. GMI works on a range of issues, including civic environmentalism, climate change, national defense, bioterrorism, and missile defense. GMI publishes papers and holds roundtables. Many of these roundtables have featured climate change skeptics such as Roger Bate, Willie Soon, Margo Thorning, and GMI's own Sallie Baliunas.
The concept of a complex process is key to understanding disease for people inhabiting changing environments, marginal environments, and extreme environments, such as Alaska. Environmental health focuses on the interrelation between human disease and the health of other species in an ecosystem. Contaminated water and air, endocrine disrupters, and even biological terrorism pose important stressors in which human systems have become agents of change that affect rural and natural landscapes, including the movement of organisms and materials. Environmental well-being refers to the ability of the environment to support all life, including human economic and social systems. The efficiency and sustainability of environmental services, the cycling of materials, and the maintenance of organismal balance are needed to reduce the incidence of disease.
Despite these signs of hope, climate change is a scientifically complex issue that is difficult to address effectively and, in the United States at least, politicians can safely ignore this issue without fear of punishment. It is in part another victim of the war on terrorism. While climate change may be far from the public mind, GHGs continue to build up in the atmosphere, and the risks of climate change continue to magnify. When it comes to responding to fundamental changes in the systems that control life on Earth, denial, distortion, and spin are not viable long-term strategies.73 Eventually, concern about climate change will emerge as an important public issue, and a movement toward creating a law of the atmosphere will gain momentum.
That the benefits of procrastination and the costs of disaster fall onto different generations without the possibility of some offsetting benefit by the accrual of more wealth. If economics is an unsatisfactory tool, the law is little better. Indeed, Posner believes that the legal profession may even be increasing the probability of catastrophe (p. 199). Improvement in this situation, in his view, will require that a nontrivial number of lawyers become scientifically literate, an interesting challenge (p. 203). Posner further proposes other remedies, such as the establishment of a science court, a center for catastrophic-risk assessment, the use of fiscal tools such as taxation and subsidies, increased regulation including the establishment of an international EPA, increased scrutiny of research projects in high-risk areas, and greater police powers to detect and control growing risks of terrorism.
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