Saturday, February 27, 2010

Earthquake in Chile

from World Vison Canada

A massive 8.8 earthquake has rocked central Chile during the morning hours of February 27th. The full extent of damage is unknown, but over 70 people have lost their lives and a Tsunami alert has been called for the entire Pacific rim. You can help those in crisis by providing emergency supplies.

"What's going on in the world?" asks a woman in Haiti, where news of the Chile earthquake spread quickly

Maps of the Chile Earthquake from the New York Times - Initial reports of damage from the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck central Chile early Saturday

World Vision has worked in Chile for 30 years and have more than 100 staff in the country, many living and working in areas close to the quake epicenter. However, given the magnitude of this disaster, World Vision is preparing to deploy additional staff to support the relief response.

In times of crisis such as a earthquakes and floods, children and their families urgently need relief items to survive. Your gift will help World Vision Canada provide emergency food and supplies such as blankets, clothing, shelter, and medicine to families wherever the need is greatest. Your help enables World Vision to deliver these supplies quickly in times of need. Your gift is a practical way to let a stricken family know they are not alone.

Click here to become a Crisis Child Partner. Your monthly gift will help World Vision respond quickly and rush emergency supplies to children devastated by disaster.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Charity begins with climate change

from Climate Change
Written by Richard North, EUReferendum | 25 February 2010

The plight of the Mongolian population, which is struggling through one of the worst winters in living memory, has at last been officially recognised. According to The Guardian - the only newspaper so far to record the event – the UN has launched a $4m appeal to clear up livestock killed by the big freeze in the country.

Rather than give money directly, creating a dependency culture, nomads are to be paid to collect and bury the carcases of animals killed by the cold, with a view to preventing disease and soil contamination.

The appeal comes after officials in Mongolia have declared more than half of the impoverished country a disaster area. So far, at least 2.5 million livestock have perished after weeks of persistent snow and temperatures below minus 50°C... read more story at

"We are all apt to believe what the world believes about us." - George Eliot

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Religion Among the Millennials

Last week the Pew Center released a report titled "Religion Among the Millennials." It's part of an ongoing analysis of the generation of young adults between 18 and 29 years old.

Here are a couple of interesting paragrahs from the report:

"Fewer young adults belong to any particular faith than older people do today. They also are less likely to be affiliated than their parents' and grandparents' generations were when they were young. Fully one-in-four members of the Millennial generation -- so called because they were born after 1980 and began to come of age around the year 2000 -- are unaffiliated with any particular faith. Indeed, Millennials are significantly more unaffiliated than Generation Xers were at a comparable point in their life cycle (20 percent in the late 1990s) and twice as unaffiliated as Baby Boomers were as young adults (13 percent in the late 1970s)."

"Young adults' beliefs about life after death and the existence of heaven, hell and miracles closely resemble the beliefs of older people today. Though young adults pray less often than their elders do today, the number of young adults who say they pray every day rivals the portion of young people who said the same in prior decades. And though belief in God is lower among young adults than among older adults, Millennials say they believe in God with absolute certainty at rates similar to those seen among Gen Xers a decade ago."

As Plato reflected more than 2,400 years ago:

"What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?" the Religion Among the Millennials report here

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Save Winter. Stop the Oil Sands.

by the Sierra Club

This guest post is written by Bruce Nilles, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign.

Every day it seems as if we see another energy company trying to convince us of new ways to keep us tied to oil and coal. Yet these fuels always turn out to be dirtier and more expensive, especially when their environmental costs are considered.

Liquid coal is one of these same old fossil fuels the industry touts as the next best thing for American energy, but the latest culprit in this pattern of dirty fuels purported to be the U.S. energy savior is "oil sands," a thick, black dirt derived from the soil under the great forests of Canada.

Use of these polluting oil sands is particularly ironic right now, as we approach what may be a near snowless Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Many have found it strange to read the reports of snow being shipped into Vancouver from hundreds of miles away; sadly, due to the effects of global warming, future winter Olympic Games may never be the same. We're unveiling a new website today that helps bring this message home:

Yes, the East Coast was just blasted with record snowfall in the past week, but long-term trends show less snow pack at higher altitudes, and what is there is melting earlier - making it not only a harder time for the winter sports industry, but also having catastrophic consequences for the western wildfire seasons as droughts increase.

Right now, unfortunately, Canada is pursuing an energy policy that could have a huge impact on winter sports by accelerating global warming - and the U.S. is following suit.... read more story at

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Christians Tackling Climate Change and Peak Oil: Churches in Transition

by Sami Grover, Carrboro, NC, USA

The Churches in Transition initiative is a project of the interdenominational Christian Ecology Link, and is seeking to provide support and encouragement to Christians of all backgrounds and traditions who "hear the call to cut carbon emissions and prepare for increasing scarcity of oil."

The project was officially launched at the Christian Ecology Link's national conference in Scarborough, Yorkshire last weekend where 50 participants from across the Christian spectrum came together to explore the implications of climate change and peak oil. The group is encouraging individuals and churches to initiate 'ecocell' study courses in sustainable living.

It's good to see faith groups getting officially involved in this important community led initiative. Talk of "hearing the call to cut carbon" and "ecocells" may sound an awful lot like religion to atheist greenies like me, but that's the whole point. This is, after all, a religious group... read the full story on

Friday, February 19, 2010

For Lent, Some of the Faithful Are Fasting From Carbon

GOOD Blog > Mother Nature Network on February 18, 2010

Repentance, reflection and self-sacrifice are observed in the days of Christian Lent. These 40 days symbolize the time that Jesus spent in the desert and “resisted Satan's temptations,” as described in the Bible. And while some people give up chocolate, wine, French fries or gossip web sites, the Hartford Courant reports that others are using Lent to give back to the environment.

The Rev. Jane White-Hassler is a priest at Grace Episcopal Church in Newington, Conn. For her, a green Lent could mean "thinking about the environment and doing things to save it for yourself and those who come after us.” White-Hassler’s church has been undergoing eco-friendly renovations and is even considering solar panels.

But the Rev. White-Hassler is not the first religious ... read more story at

Documentary Investigates Plight of Millions of 'Climate Refugees' - Video

by Brian Merchant, Brooklyn, New York

The changing climate is causing upheaval and unrest on a large scale--rising sea levels, more severe storms and flooding, and worse droughts are already rendering populated parts of the world uninhabitable. In some places, this is occurring just around, oh, right now. In order to raise awareness of their plight documentarian Michael Nash has created the film Climate Refugees. It's an apolitical (interviews from both John Kerry and Newt Gingrich are included) look not at the intricacies of the science or government policy, but at what's physically happening right now due to climate change

"The human face of climate change really is an untold story and the very reason I felt the need to investigate. When I started this journey three years ago, there was very little data on climatic migration. There seemed to be a vast amount of spin on both sides of the climate change issue. I wanted to move beyond the politics and dig into the truth of whether our climate was really changing and if it was, how was it affecting humans? What I found was mass climatic migration. Victims forced to relocate, unable to live on the land, either from short-term or long-term climatic changes. Our changing climate seems to be all about water: too much in some areas and too little in others."

... Read the full story on TreeHugger

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Will Roses Smell Sweeter in a Warming World?

by Jennifer Hattam, Istanbul, Turkey

"That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," Shakespeare famously wrote. And the flowers sweethearts buy for future Valentine's Day gifts may smell even more fragrant, some new research suggests. But that's not necessarily a good thing.

According to the heads of a recent research review, "the world may already be becoming more fragrant, as plants have already begun emitting more smelly chemicals" known as biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), the BBC's Earth News service reports. Higher temperatures not only cause plants to produce more BVOCs, they also often lengthen their growing seasons, prolonging the period over which they generate the fragrant compounds.

.........more story at

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New ASA Test Now Available to Canadians

ASA Effect tells patients if ASA therapy is working to prevent heart attack and stroke

TORONTO, February 9, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - A convenient test is now available in Canada that determines if the ASA a patient is taking to prevent heart attack and stroke is working. ASA Effect(TM) is offered through LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services and its network of collection and testing centres.

"We're pleased to introduce a new test that gives patients good information about the effectiveness of a drug they are taking," said Jos Wintermans, LifeLabs president and CEO. "ASA Effect offers physicians a simple tool to help them identify patients who do not respond to their ASA therapy."

ASA, also known as 'acetylsalicylic acid', works by making blood platelets less sticky, which can prevent blood clots from forming. If blood clots cannot form within the arteries blood flows more freely and the risk of heart attack and stroke is reduced.

It is estimated that over 4 million people in Canada take ASA every day to help prevent heart attacks and stroke. However, clinical studies have shown that as many as one in four patients do not benefit from the anti-clotting effects of ASA and that individuals who are ASA-resistant are three times more likely to die from a heart attack or stroke.

The ASA Effect test measures thromboxane, a chemical produced in the body that may cause blood to clot under certain conditions. Thromboxane levels are lower in individuals who respond well to their ASA therapy. A high level of thromboxane indicates that a patient may not be benefitting from their ASA therapy; these individuals should consult their physician regarding a potential change in dosage or to determine the need for alternative therapy.

Unlike other platelet tests, which require freshly drawn blood that must be evaluated within four hours, the ASA Effect test only requires a urine sample that can be collected at the doctor's office or LifeLabs patient service centres. For a complete list of LifeLabs locations, visit

The ASA Effect test was approved by Health Canada in May 2007. While it is not yet covered under provincial health insurance plans it may be covered under a patient's private insurance plan. The test is offered in Canada for $125 CDN. For more information on this test, visit

About LifeLabs:

LifeLabs provides laboratory testing services, which help physicians and other healthcare professionals diagnose, treat, monitor and prevent disease in patients. LifeLabs employs more then 3000 professionally trained staff, who deliver more than 50 million laboratory tests annually to over 10 million patients and nearly 20,000 physician customers. LifeLabs has operated in Canada for nearly 50 years. Today it is owned by Borealis Infrastructure, a global leader in infrastructure investing, with assets in energy, transportation and infrastructure buildings, including long-term care facilities and hospitals, pipelines and telecommunications. For information, visit

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Media cools on global warming

from Climate Change Fraud
Written by Christopher Pearson, The Australian | February 05 2010

Climate-change sceptics are being vindicated by scientific scandals that are no longer being ignored

LAST weekend looks likely to have been a tipping point in the media debate on climate change in the English-speaking world.

The two daily papers in Britain which have campaigned most single-mindedly on the urgent need for action on man-made global warming have begun to change their tune.

The Independent's environment editor, Michael McCarthy, filed a piece under the head "Professor in leaked email scandal tried to hide fact that numbers he used were wrong". Previously The Independent has been underwhelmed by revelations arising out of Climategate, the hacking of computer files from the University of East Anglia's climate research more story at Climate Change Fraud