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'Spectacular' Drop in Renewable Energy Costs Leads to Record Global Boost

Falling solar and wind prices have led to new power deals across the world despite investment in renewables falling

           

Solar panels on sale at the Naran Tuul market in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Photograph: Seong Joon Cho/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - Global Status Report - REN21 - Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century

theguardian.com - by Damian Carrington - June 6, 2017

Renewable energy capacity around the world was boosted by a record amount in 2016 and delivered at a markedly lower cost, according to new global data – although the total financial investment in renewables actually fell.

The greater “bang-for-buck” resulted from plummeting prices for solar and wind power and led to new power deals in countries including Denmark, Egypt, India, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates all being priced well below fossil fuel or nuclear options . . .

 . . . The new renewable energy capacity installed worldwide in 2016 was 161GW, a 10% rise on 2015 and a new record, according to REN21, a network of public and private sector groups covering 155 nations and 96% of the world’s population.

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Facebook Disaster Maps - Using Data to Help Communities Recover and Rebuild

newsroom.fb.com - By Molly Jackman - June 7, 2017

Today, we are introducing disaster maps that use aggregated, de-identified Facebook data to help organizations address the critical gap in information they often face when responding to natural disasters. Many of these organizations worked with us to identify what data would be most helpful and how it could be put to action in the moments following a disaster.

This initiative is the product of close work with UNICEF, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the World Food Programme, and other organizations. 

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Surveillance for good? Facebook tracks disaster victims

CLICK HERE - Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook

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For the first time, a new strain of bird flu was transmitted human-to-human. This is highly unusual–and could be the first sign of new global pandemic.

           

Avian flu surveillance efforts. Credit: Province of British Columbia

CLICK HERE - A suspected person‑to‑person transmission of avian influenza A (H7N9)

undispatch.com - Alanna Shaikh, MPH  - May 26, 2017

 . . . a Chinese medical journal reported a human-to-human transmission of H7N9. H7N9, as mentioned, has a mortality rate of about 40%. Its impact on humans has been mitigated by the fact that it only spreads from birds. Family members can care for each other without fear.

Last week, though, China reported a case of H7N9 that appears to have spread person to person, not bird to person. The infected patient had no contact with birds or live bird markets, and he had no underlying medical condition. He was a healthy 62-year-old man, who helped a family member hospitalized with H7N9 to use the bathroom. Genetic analysis of the infecting virus indicates that he was infected with the same strain of virus that infected his family member.

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American Doctor in Sudan Awarded Aurora Humanitarian Prize

           

DR. TOM CATENA – 2017 AURORA PRIZE LAUREATE

CLICK HERE - AURORA PRIZE - For Awakening Humanity - DR. TOM CATENA – 2017 AURORA PRIZE LAUREATE

abcnews.go.com - by Associated Press - May 28, 2017

An American doctor who has spent years working in a fighting-ravaged region of Sudan has been awarded the $1.1-million Aurora Prize for exceptional humanitarianism.

Dr. Tom Catena was presented the prize Sunday in Armenia's capital, Yerevan. The prize was established in remembrance of the Armenian survivors of a mass killing by Ottoman Turks.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Doctor in Sudan who treats up to 750,000 people wins global humanity award

 

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LIVE Webcast - CSIS Event Today | Four Famines: Unprecedented Need, Underfunded Response

csis.org - Monday, June 5, 2017 - 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm - CSIS Headquarters

The world today is grappling with four looming famines which are testing the capacity of our strapped global humanitarian response infrastructure. In Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen, protracted conflict has left 30 million people, mostly children, in the throes of severe food insecurity, with 20 million potentially facing starvation.

José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the FAO, and David Beasley, the newly appointed Executive Director of WFP, traveled together last week to visit some of the hardest hit communities in famine-stricken South Sudan. Come hear their perspective on what the United Nations has called the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII.

CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND A LINK TO REGISTRATION

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How G.O.P. Leaders Came to View Climate Change as Fake Science

           

A coal-fired power station in Mount Storm, W.Va., in January. The coal industry played an instrumental role in efforts to unwind the Obama administration’s climate policies. Credit Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

nytimes.com - by Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton - June 3, 2017

The Republican Party’s fast journey from debating how to combat human-caused climate change to arguing that it does not exist is a story of big political money, Democratic hubris in the Obama years and a partisan chasm that grew over nine years like a crack in the Antarctic shelf, favoring extreme positions and uncompromising rhetoric over cooperation and conciliation . . .

<In 2008 Senator John McCain, who had just secured the Republican nomination for President, sounded the alarm on global warming.>

 . . . Since Mr. McCain ran for president on climate credentials that were stronger than his opponent Barack Obama’s, the scientific evidence linking greenhouse gases from fossil fuels to the dangerous warming of the planet has grown stronger.

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Map Shows How Paris Reversal Isolates U.S. From World

           

           

1Nicaragua refused to join the Paris Agreement because the country believes that the accord’s voluntary goals are insufficient.

2A brutal civil war and international sanctions made it difficult for Syria to attend the Paris negotiations and deliver an emissions-reduction goal.

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Global Health Governance - Reform of the World Health Organization

CLICK HERE - Global Health Governance - Reform of the World Health Organization - Spring 2017 - Special Issue (77 page .PDF report)

blogs.shu.edu - by Tine Hanrieder and Adam Kamradt-Scott
May 30, 2017

Introduction (Excerpt)

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Trump Will Withdraw U.S. From Paris Climate Agreement

           

nytimes.com - by Michael D. Shear - June 1, 2017

President Trump announced Thursday that he will withdraw the United States from participation in the Paris climate accord, weakening global efforts to combat climate change and siding with conservatives who argued that the landmark 2015 agreement was harming the economy.

But he will stick to the withdrawal process laid out in the Paris agreement, which President Barack Obama joined and most of the world has already ratified. That could take nearly four years to complete, meaning a final decision would be up to the American voters in the next presidential election.

Still, Mr. Trump’s decision is a remarkable rebuke to fellow heads-of-state, climate activists, corporate executives and members of the president’s own staff, all of whom failed this week to change Mr. Trump’s mind with an intense, last-minute lobbying blitz.

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‘Resilience Bonds’: A Secret Weapon Against Catastrophe

           

Resilience bonds could help places vulnerable to natural disasters, like Mexico, better prepare for catastrophe - not just help clean up after it. (Credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

The costs of natural disasters are becoming too much to bear – and it’s driving up premiums no matter where you live. The solution may be a transformative type of insurance never seen before.

bbc.com - by Amanda Ruggeri - May 16, 2017

 . . . People will have to shift their entire thinking about how disaster recovery is funded – and by whom, experts say. “There’s a perception that, following a disaster, the federal government’s role is to make you whole and rebuild homes and infrastructure and community at the federal taxpayer’s expense. And that is simply not true,” Medlock says. “There are limits to what the federal government can – and should – do.”

 . . . Enter a new idea that could transform not only the global economy, but how disasters affect us: a resilience bond. As well as guaranteeing help to communities after a catastrophe, it would help fund projects and strategies they need to become less vulnerable to begin with . . .

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