What's Worse, the Environment or the Economy?
As the Obama administration confronts the duel threats of global finance and global warming, America's European allies are addressing the two issues with renewed vigor.
The new American president favors the trading of pollution credits between companies to reduce overall CO2 emissions. The EU has called for a transatlantic carbon trading market to allow American and European companies to buy and sell pollution credits. Critics argue this market-based approach is vulnerable to abuse and that cash-strapped companies will auction off their pollution credits to make short-term profits. Given such a market, Europe stands to profit handsomely from selling credits to the US.
The details of Obama's financial stimulus package have linked the financial crisis to the global warming issue. Al Gore told the American Congress that Obama's stimulus package is a step toward creating a sustainable global economy. So far, $100 billion dollars have been pledged to encourage clean-energy development in the private sector. This falls far short of the $515 billion dollars deemed necessary by the World Economic Forum currently underway in Davos, Switzerland.
These events precede the UN Conference on Climate Change scheduled for December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark which is possibly the last chance for world leaders to agree to reduce CO2 emissions before global warming reaches its predicted point-of-no-return.
Here, flat-world proponent Thomas Friedman questions the big cheeses, including Gore, at the World Economic Forum in Davos about what is needed to combat warming between now and the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen later this year.
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A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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