Tag Archives | Environment

Will Your Car Obey You or the Police?

Early Self-Driving Car

Philippe Gastonne via The Daily Bell:

A few lines in a seemingly routine RAND Corp. report on the future of technology and law enforcement last week raised a provocative question: Should police have the power to take control of a self-driving car?

Human drivers are required to pull over when a police officer gestures for them to do so. It’s reasonable to expect that self-driving cars would do the same. To look at it another way: Self-driving cars are programmed to stop at red lights and stop signs. Surely they should also be programmed to stop when a police officer flags them down. It is, after all, the law.

It’s clear, then, that police officers should have some power over the movements of self-driving cars. What’s less clear is where to draw the line. If a police officer can command a self-driving car to pull over for his own safety and that of others on the road, can he do the same if he suspects the passenger of a crime?

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The CIA and the Media: 50 Facts the World Needs to Know

CIA Logo

Prof. James F. Tracy via Global Research:

Since the end of World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis. CIA publicists and journalists alike will assert they have few, if any, relationships, yet the seldom acknowledged history of their intimate collaboration indicates a far different story–indeed, one that media historians are reluctant to examine.

When seriously practiced, the journalistic profession involves gathering information concerning individuals, locales, events, and issues. In theory such information informs people about their world, thereby strengthening “democracy.” This is exactly the reason why news organizations and individual journalists are tapped as assets by intelligence agencies and, as the experiences of German journalist Udo Ulfkotte (entry 47 below) suggest, this practice is at least as widespread today as it was at the height of the Cold War.

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Mutually Agreed Peace: Ending The Doctrine of Perpetual War

Peace-a-Chance-NukeEthan Indigo Smith via Waking Times:

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” ~ Pericles

Everything is ultimately political these days, but everything is firstly biological. Yet, ignoring our biology and our humanity, the military-industrial complex, with all its toxic modalities, still claims to operate in our best interests.

The fact is, modern politics has become the imposition of institutional formality where individuals and truth once were. Increasingly favoring institutional privilege over individual rights, politicians on all sides of the game act to reinforce and advance the standing of corporations at the expense of our physical world. They embark on resource wars for profit, destroy our environment for energy, construe zealotry as patriotism, and steer a culture of social competition – not cooperation – all the while hiding behind veils of secrecy and meaningless rhetoric.

It does not matter what caste you were born into, whether you are wealthy or poor, victor or victim of the system; as far as the big picture goes, we live in a world where commerce, politics and war are dominant and inseparable forces.

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Rithika Merchant: At The Dusk of Identity by Decadence Darling

11.-The-Moon-Devours-Her-Children

The Moon Devours Her Children, 2015 | 20 x 27.5 in | Gouache and Ink on Paper

Rithika Merchant: At The Dusk of Identity by Decadence Darling

Division requires a line whereby our minds process an object or concept not based on its entirety but upon independent qualities separated from the wholeness. Spirituality in its varied traditions throughout time is essentially to realize how you identify independently from the wholeness, while simultaneously crossing those intellectual lines of division to identify as part of the wholeness. It is a process of unifying duality while maintaining individuality. It is a process where one will find darkness in the light and light in the darkness. That glowing spectral satellite in the night sky reveals a host of mysteries beyond the shadows, it reveals the partitions within our psyche. It is that relationship with our individual mind and the wholeness of the universe that Luna Tabulatorum establishes a narrative to explore how natural phenomena has an effect on humanity and how division is both instituted and transcended.… Read the rest

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A Toxic Chemical Ruined The Lives Of These People — And It’s Probably In Your Blood

“Welcome to beautiful Parkersburg, West Virginia, home to one of the most brazen, deadly corporate gambits in U.S. history,” writes Mariah Blake in a #LongRead for Huffington Post:

“Hold on to something,” Jim Tennant warned as he fired up his tractor. We lurched down a rutted dirt road past the old clapboard farmhouse where he grew up. Jim still calls it “the home place,” although its windows are now boarded up and the outhouse is crumbling into the field.

Photo: Tim Kiser (CC)

Photo: Tim Kiser (CC)

 

At 72, Jim is so slight that he nearly disappears into his baggy plaid shirt. But he drives his tractor like a dirt bike. We sped past the caved-in hog pen and skidded down a riverbank. The tractor tipped precariously toward the water, slamming into a fallen tree, but Jim just laughed.

When we had gone as far as the tractor could take us, Jim climbed off and squeezed through a barbed-wire fence.

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NASA: World ‘Locked Into’ at Least 3 Feet of Sea Level Rise

Photo: NASA/Saskia Madlener

Photo: NASA/Saskia Madlener

This post originally appeared on Common Dreams. See more of Andrea Germanos’ posts here.

New research underway indicates that at least three feet of global sea level rise is near certain, NASA scientists warned Wednesday.

That’s the higher range of the 1 to 3 feet level of rise the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave in its 2013 assessment.

Sea levels have already risen 3 inches on average since 1992, with some areas experiencing as much as a 9-inch rise.

“Given what we know now about how the ocean expands as it warms and how ice sheets and glaciers are adding water to the seas, it’s pretty certain we are locked into at least 3 feet of sea level rise, and probably more,” said Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and lead of NASA’s interdisciplinary Sea Level Change Team. “But we don’t know whether it will happen within a century or somewhat longer.”

The Greenland ice sheet has contributed more greatly to sea level rise, losing an average of 303 gigatons of ice a year over the past decade, while the Antarctic ice sheet has lost an average of 118 gigatons a year.… Read the rest

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The Case Against Sustainability

Via Peak Oil News and Message Boards:

Do you recycle? Cool, me too. Do you turn off your lights when you leave the room? Good idea. Do you only buy produce that’s in season? Nice! Way to support your local farmer. Are you worried about the future of the planet? Politically active in some way around conservation of resources or green energy? Awesome, politics is really important.

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, you’re probably concerned about sustainability in some way.

But I’ve got some news. “Sustainability” is a dangerously flawed way to think about the world.

What does “sustainability” mean?  Something is sustainable if you can sustain it—if you can keep doing it forever.

The world as it currently exists is deeply unequal and violent; the political and economic structures that shape the way that most of us live our lives depend on exploitation.  

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6 Things You Didn’t Know About Bees in Greece

Credit: Jan Wellmann

Credit: Jan Wellmann

This article originally appeared on HoneyColony.

“Aristaeus wept, when he saw all his bees killed and honeycombs abandoned incomplete.” ~ Ovid

Bees In Greece

The air smells of smoke and lemons and the cicadas chirp loudly and steadily, like high-speed drills, as I come upon 16 bee hives clustered together in a dry field. What I’ve just discovered is mere steps away from “Demokritos,” the National Centre for Scientific Research in Athens, the largest multidisciplinary research institute in Greece.  Every so often, pagoda, pine, and olive trees sway gently in the breeze, but overall the climate in Attica, the historic region that encompasses the capital, is hot and arid.

The scent is actually coming from lemon balm leaves, which associate researcher and apiculturist, Dr. Sofia Gounari, has placed in her smoker to calm the bees. It’s an attractive aroma to the virgin sisters of toil because it’s similar to the secretions they give off when communicating with one another, she explains.… Read the rest

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The Verdict is in: Guess Who’s The Worst President in US History?

Mark Rain (CC BY 2.0)

Mark Rain (CC BY 2.0)

Jeff61b via HubPages:

Americans of all stripes love to debate which president was best or worst. This is a subject that is too important to rely on opinion polls, which are skewed by individual bias and political views. While It’s difficult to rate how good or bad any president may have been in comparison to another, a careful look at the facts shows one president failed in virtually every aspect of the job to a degree unrivaled by any other.

When you review the facts below and consider his impact on our economy, foreign policy, and domestic policy, by almost any standard, it’s difficult to find any president who did more harm and left the country in worse shape than George W. Bush.

At the same time that Bush was leaving office with a 28% job approval rating, 61% of historians rated George W. Bush’s presidency as the worst in history.

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