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Climate Change Could Force Over 140 Million to Migrate Within Countries by 2050: World Bank Report
March 28, 2018
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WASHINGTON, March 19, 2018 – The worsening impacts of climate change in three densely populated regions of the world could see over 140 million people move within their countries’ borders by 2050, creating a looming human crisis and threatening the development process, a new World Bank Group report finds

But with concerted action – including global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and robust development planning at the country level – this worst-case scenario of over 140m could be dramatically reduced, by as much as 80 percent, or more than 100 million people.

The report, Groundswell – Preparing for Internal Climate Migration, is the first and most comprehensive study of its kind to focus on the nexus between slow-onset climate change impacts, internal migration patterns and, development in three developing regions of the world: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.

It finds that unless urgent climate and development action is taken globally and nationally, these three regions together could be dealing with tens of millions of internal climate migrants by 2050. These are people forced to move from increasingly non-viable areas of their countries due to growing problems like water scarcity, crop failure, sea-level rise and storm surges.

These “climate migrants” would be additional to the millions of people already moving within their countries for economic, social, political or other reasons, the report warns.

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva said the new research provides a wake-up call to countries and development institutions.

“We have a small window now, before the effects of climate change deepen, to prepare the ground for this new reality,” Georgieva said. “Steps cities take to cope with the upward trend of arrivals from rural areas and to improve opportunities for education, training and jobs will pay long-term dividends. It’s also important to help people make good decisions about whether to stay where they are or move to new locations where they are less vulnerable.”

The research team, led by World Bank Lead Environmental Specialist Kanta Kumari Rigaud and including researchers and modelers from CIESIN Columbia University, CUNY Institute of Demographic Research, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research – applied a multi-dimensional modeling approach to estimate the potential scale of internal climate migration across the three regions.

They looked at three potential climate change and development scenarios, comparing the most “pessimistic” (high greenhouse gas emissions and unequal development paths), to “climate friendly” and “more inclusive development” scenarios in which climate and national development action increases in line with the challenge. Across each scenario, they applied demographic, socioeconomic and climate impact data at a 14-square kilometer grid-cell level to model likely shifts in population within countries.

This approach identified major “hotspots” of climate in- and out-migration – areas from which people are expected to move and urban, peri-urban and rural areas to which people will try to move to build new lives and livelihoods.

Without the right planning and support, people migrating from rural areas into cities could be facing new and even more dangerous risks,” said the report’s team lead Kanta Kumari Rigaud. “We could see increased tensions and conflict as a result of pressure on scarce resources. But that doesn’t have to be the future. While internal climate migration is becoming a reality, it won’t be a crisis if we plan for it now.”

The report recommends key actions nationally and globally, including:

  • Cutting global greenhouse gas emissions to reduce climate pressure on people and livelihoods, and to reduce the overall scale of climate migration
  • Transforming development planning to factor in the entire cycle of climate migration (before, during and after migration)
  • Investing in data and analysis to improve understanding of internal climate migration trends and trajectories at the country level.
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take a world of adventure time
March 28, 2018
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Day 1:
Arrive  and transfer to Simon’s Town. Afternoon free. Overnight Simon’s Town (BB).

Days 2 & 3:
Mornings spent  / viewing, weather permitting. Afternoons free. Overnight Simon’s Town (BB).

Day 4:
Transfer to Cape Town airport. Fly Cape Town to  Transfer t for overnight (BB).

Days 5 & 6:
One morning spent baited – no cages; one morning spent doing a 2-tank reef / wreck / ‘raggie’ dive, depending on season, weather permitting. Afternoons free. Overnight Umkomaas (BB).

Day 7:
Morning baited shark dive – no cages. Weather permitting. Afternoon transfer for overnight (BB).

Days 8 & 9:
Two x 2-tank reef dives on the world famous shark-diving destination of Weather permitting. Afternoon free. Overnight Shelly Beach (BB).

Day 10:
Transfer from Shelly Beach to Hluhluwe. Afternoon safari. Overnight Hluhluwe (FBG).

Days 11 & 12: 
2 nights Hluhluwe (FBG).

Day 13:
Morning game drive and breakfast, transfer to Durban airport.

Included:
Transfers; accommodation; meals as indicated; dives; hire of tanks, weights and air fills; MPA dive permits; reserve entry fees and conservation levies; twice-daily game drives; all meals when on safari.

Excluded:
Additional dives and night dives; equipment hire other than tanks, weights and air; lunches and dinners when diving; all airfares; bar; items of a personal nature; gratuities

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FG under pressure to ban plastic bags
March 28, 2018
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Nigeria is coming under intense pressure from experts to ban the use of plastic bags in favour of paper bags that are more environmentally friendly. This is coming months after Kenya passed a law that makes producing, selling or even using plastic bags punishable by up to four years in prison or fines of $40,000 in a move to reduce plastic pollution.

Over the years, Nigeria has had timelines to ban plastic bags. A former Minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafiya, had during the 2013 World Environment Day, said all was set for the phasing out of polythene bags in the country.

But five years since the pronouncement, polythene bags still serve as major carrier bags in super stores,  and markets for packaging of most food products.

Also, speaking at the 10th Global Environment Facility (GEF) National Steering Committee Meeting, in Abuja last year, the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, said Nigeria’s dream is to eradicate the use of polythene bags to recyclable paper bags that can be transformed to generate wealth from its wastes soonest.

The government, through the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), enacted laws to address environmental challenges in the country. One of such laws is the National Environmental (Sanitation and Waste Control) Regulations, 2009.  The regulation prohibits persons, owners, operators, or passengers from throwing or dropping any litter (which includes polythene bags) on the roads, highways, public space, drainage system or other undesignated places.

However, due to failure to implement the law, many Nigerians still litter the streets with dirt, especially polythene bags that constitute hazard to the environment.

‘Plastics must be banned’

Meanwhile, stakeholders across the globe are calling on superstores to stop the use of plastic bags for packaging.

An environment activist and waste management expert, Emmanuel Unaegbu, told Daily Trust that the problem with Nigeria is the lack of political will to act. He said even if a ban is put in place, poor enforcement will make it look like a non-ban.

He said microplastics (small plastic pieces less than five millimetres long) have been known to release toxic pollutants which affect reproduction in many animals. “So there is the likelihood that as humans consume the fishes poisoned by microplastics, we can also be affected.”

Unaegbu said the first thing to do to discourage the use of plastic bags is to make a law where shoppers pay for every plastic they request for, as a means to dissuade the use of plastic bags.

“A fee of N100 can be charged for every plastic bag. Both superstores and small traders should be made to charge this fee. This way, shoppers will come with their non-plastic reusable shopping bags. Furthermore, super stores can be made to use paper bags as alternative,” he said.

Experts say, as a result of their light weight, plastic bags can easily be blown out of trash receptacles or dumpsites where they litter streets and block drainage systems leading to flooding.

The CEO of Connected Development (CODE), Hamzat Lawal, said Nigeria needs a forum where key stakeholders would agree to forge a common front.

Lawal said to get superstores, market women and individuals to stop using plastic bags, there is need to sensitize them and give them key information that it is actually affecting the environment at large.

According to him, manufacturers can take into diversifying what they produce and take into recycling the materials.

The National President of Environmental Management Association of Nigeria (EMAN), Dr Emmanuel Ating, said plastics stay in the ground for over 50 years and it is bad for fishes when they consume it, in addition to polluting the environment.

He said government needs to be proactive to ensure that there is alternative development. “Failure to do so will amount to arresting everyone in Nigeria if a law such as that of Kenya is enforced here,” he added.

“In South Korea there are some bags they have which are disposable. If we have these then we can now ban plastics bags,” he noted.

According to him, “Government has a role by providing them with incentives where they can get the raw material and also get tax haven; high tax for non-biodegradable materials like the polythene bags and reduced tax for the recyclables and also provide access to raw materials for them, so it will facilitate that evolvement.”

Customers not cooperating

Meanwhile, a sales manager at Shoprite, one of the leading superstores, said they are trying their best to discourage the use of plastic bags but that the customers preferred them.

He said they also produce paper bags which are there for people to pick and use but that they hardly go for it, opting more for the plastic variety.

He, however, said he didn’t know of any arrangement on complete ban of plastic bags or paying any form of tax on issues of sanitation, adding that only top managers can comment that.

A provision store owner in Abuja, Madam Mary said using polythene bags is a long tradition and part of the business.

“You cannot sell goods for people and not package them unless in a situation where the bags cannot contain what the customer bought, then you can opt for carton,” she said.

“Most customers will return your goods if you failed to put them in plastic bags for them, even for goods as little as N100,” she added.

Ban should be done in phases – Senator 

A member of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno), said plastic bags should be banned in phases.

The lawmaker said the country should start by investing heavily in recycling of the plastic bags as done in developed countries.

“Rather than total ban, we should do it in phases and look at the option of recycling as done in developed countries. So much money has been invested in the production of the plastic bags. We have many cottage industries scattered in across the country producing plastic bags. Time should be given to them, we can’t just stop them at a go. They contribute to the country’s economy,” he said.

He said households should be encouraged to separate plastic bags in their dustbins, “so that it can be treated separately and the remaining waste could serve as fertilizer in farms.”

NESREA ‘looking at recycling’

Speaking to Daily Trust, NESREA’s Director of Inspection and Enforcement, Mrs Mirinda Amachree, said, “We are not supporting ban. We are looking at recycling, same as the ministry. If it will be banned, it will be phased out gradually because it will affect the low income people and they use a lot plastic for different things, pure water and so many others.”

Amachree said “If we have a good collection system in place and we are recycling, it will not pollute the environment but used and reused.”

She explained that the sanitation and waste control regulation has a provision for this Extended Producer Responsibility programme, where producers are responsible for the after sales product, like packaging and anything used in packaging. They are responsible for taking it back for recycling or whatever needs to be done with it, following its guideline.

“The programme is in process, it hasn’t taken off fully. We have started with electronic and food and beverages sector, hopefully it will be flagged off by the end of the year. But we are working towards setting up collection centres which will collect and send to recycling plants,” she said.

The director noted that they have recycling plants for electronics and different kinds of plastics. The producers are expected to register and be given subsidy. Since it is the responsibility of the producers they are supposed to pay for collection and recycling.

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how to know if something is a scam
March 27, 2018
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The Internet has brought countless benefits into our lives. It offers instantaneous access to news and information, a forum for keeping in touch with loved ones and untold opportunities for earning an income or building a business.

[See: A Guide to Launching Your Side Business.]

However, along with those benefits comes a dark side. Scammers. There are people who take advantage of the relative anonymity and wide availability of the Internet to trick people into giving up their hard-earned money, whether intentionally or otherwise. They try to get you to pay them for nothing. They try to harvest your personal information. They try to install nefarious software on your computer.

Don’t let it happen.

While software is available to help ward off viruses and common online scams, the best tool for prevention is you. Being aware of how online scams work and, more importantly, knowing the tell-tale signs of a scam can keep you out of sticky situations.

Here are six specific ways to spot a potential online scam. If an offer you’re reading about sets off any of these warning bells, you’re better off just avoiding it.

1. An upfront payment is required before you can get any real information. If a site won’t give you a clear overview of what exactly it’s trying to sell you with some real examples of what you’ll be getting in exchange for your payment, don’t hand over a dime. Any reputable product can be sold on its own merits, not on the claims of what that product is without showing you what’s behind the smoke and mirrors.

This is something that many websites do, offering to show you the secrets of making money at home or building a business or “banking on yourself” or countless other scams or half-baked ideas. The catch is that they don’t actually give you any real indication of how it works or whether it will work at all. Instead, it’s all about trust – they’re essentially the confidence men of old, hoping you’ll trust their claims, except that now they don’t even have to look you in the eye while scamming you.

[See: 12 Ways to Be a More Mindful Spender.]

2. You’re promised a quick route to wealth or to exceptional income. If it were easy to make a huge income using this system, then they’d be using this system to make a huge income instead of selling promises to you via email or some shady-looking website.

In the real world, it takes a great deal of smarts and/or hard work to accumulate significant wealth or a significant income, and even if you have an epic work ethic or intelligence, it’s still going to take years and years to build that wealth. It’s never going to be overnight. It’s never going to appear in a month or two. Those things are myths, designed to sell you on unrealistic dreams and to extract money from your pocket.

3. You can’t figure out how the person making the offer benefits. If it’s not obvious how the other person involved in this offer makes money, then you need to stay far away from it. Most honest transactions are completely clear in how the other person is going to make money from the arrangement. Perhaps the individual is the seller and you’re the buyer. When situations come up where that arrangement isn’t clear, be extremely wary.

Why? Often, those individuals are making money off of you in ways you can’t see, and that means it’s a way he or she doesn’t want you to see. Perhaps he’s getting you to install bad software on your computer, or maybe she’s grooming you for some form of identity theft. Whatever it is, avoid it. Only enter into arrangements where it’s clear what both sides get out of the deal.

4. You are being pressured. If a product is worthwhile, it doesn’t need pressure tactics to entice you. If someone is pressuring you, such as by stating the offer only lasts for a little while or that you’re somehow foolish for not taking advantage of this, they’re selling you a bad bill of goods.

Don’t waste your money or time on products that can’t be presented to you solely on their own merits. If someone has to introduce pressure tactics that make you feel rushed or make you feel bad about yourself, walk away. They’re telling you that their product doesn’t have enough merit on its own.

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How We’re Mobilising Nigerian Youths Through Gardening – Ayodele, ProtectOzone
March 27, 2018
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ipasi Olalekan Ayodele is promoting urban gardening and food security initiative in Nigeria. Starting from Ikorodu area of Lagos State, his organisation, ProtectOzone shows people things they can do to protect the planet earth atmosphere.

On Channels Television Programme [email protected], Ayodele narrates how he is working on providing nutritious food for urban dwellers and at the same time live a healthy life.

Due to the increasing population in the urban area, Ayodele said steps need to be taken for urban dwellers to enjoy nutritious food by citing farms near their homes, an initiative that ProtectOzone is driving.

“Africa is still facing poverty and hunger. By the year 2050, the population of people residing in the cities will increase from 55% to 66%, so we will be having about 10 billion people in the world and majority of them will be in the city. So, it is very important for us to feed them.

“To get them feed well, we need to strategically place urban farms within the city so that people can farm near their houses,” he said.

Ayodele speaking on sustainable agriculture said this is essential and it can only be achieved through urban youth participation.

His brainchild is protecting the ozone layer through the use of waste materials and innovations like the 50% irrigation water kit.

Explaining how he mobilising youths to join this initiative, he said young Nigerians are very passionate about this adding that it is a platform for the youths to explore various opportunities.

“The youths are so passionate, one of the greatest resources we have in Africa is our manpower, not only to grow food in the urban center but also to open them up to opportunities.

Some of the young people on ProtectOzone team enjoy international exposure and get to attend Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), among others empowering them in leadership training and business activities.

ProtectOzone garden located in Ikorodu area of Lagos state

Ogun Partners Private Firm To Manage Public Waste Disposal

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Edo Govt Steps Up Enforcement Of Sanitary Laws
File photo

Ogun State Government says it has partnered Solous MRF 1 Limited (a subsidiary of West Africa Engr.) in the management of public waste across the state, as part of measures to promote a cleaner, safe and healthier environment for all.

According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Bolaji Oyeleye, the service provider which specializes in waste management, recycling and conversion of waste to renewable energy, is expected to manage all levels of municipal solid waste cycle, including waste collection, processing and disposal in the State.

Oyeleye noted that the partnership would enhance effectiveness, efficiency and optimal performance in solid waste management in the state, with the goal of creating an outstanding waste management sector.

Speaking further, he stated that the government had on February 12, 2018 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the service provider, which was followed by a joint technical meeting on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

The statement added that the ministry would provide all necessary technical support to ensure that the service provider achieves its mandates as stated in the MOU.

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Why Lagos Govt Will Shut Down Olusosun Dump – Ambode
March 27, 2018
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Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has justified the decision of the state government to shut down the Olusosun dump site in Ojota area of the state.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Habib Aruna on Saturday, the governor explained that the location of the facility was no longer healthy both for trading activities and residents living in the neighbourhood.

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Why Lagos Govt Will Shut Down Olusosun Dump – Ambode

Addressing scavengers and other workers at the site following the outbreak of fire on Wednesday, he said aside from the negative health implication of the site to the people, the structure of the facility was also risky and susceptible to all forms of hazards like the fire outbreak.

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Why Lagos Govt Will Shut Down Olusosun Dump – Ambode
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode gestures during a visit to the Olusosun dump in Ojota area of Lagos State on March 16, 2018.

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has justified the decision of the state government to shut down the Olusosun dump site in Ojota area of the state.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Habib Aruna on Saturday, the governor explained that the location of the facility was no longer healthy both for trading activities and residents living in the neighbourhood.

Addressing scavengers and other workers at the site following the outbreak of fire on Wednesday, he said aside from the negative health implication of the site to the people, the structure of the facility was also risky and susceptible to all forms of hazards like the fire outbreak.

Governor Ambode, who visited the site on Friday for the second time since the fire outbreak, stressed that though it was gratifying that there was no casualty, the closure of the site became necessary owing to the need to forestall future occurrence and protect the health of residents.

“You see what happened is not as if anybody put fire there,” he said. “It is the refuse that are dumped there as well as the gas coming from underground and the hot sun which was around 36 to 38 degrees that caused the fire. We thank God nothing bad happened to those living there and around the neighbourhood.”

“What we have decided now is that there will not be dumping of refuse here any longer. But the most important aspect of it is that I cannot open my eyes and allow diseases to befall you here. At the end of the day, it is government that will still care for you. So, we have to sit down and agree,” he added.

The governor noted further that in as much as the government was unwilling to make people in the area lose their means of livelihood, it was important for all the stakeholders to agree on what to be done going forward.

He said: “I have not come to disturb you, what should be removed will be removed; we are not dumping waste here again. What will benefit all the people here is my concern, but we have to take it one after the other and we want all your leaders to cooperate with us.

“If not for the fact that we have fire stations, vehicles and fire officers, the fire would have spread more than this and if the fire had spread to the petrol station; that would have been a major disaster and we don’t want that to happen.”

Also speaking, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, explained that the governor’s visits and the government’s decision to shut down the site were to protect the people and the environment to ensure their health and safety.

While directing waste collection operators to make use of the landfill site at Ewu Elepe in Ikorodu and that of Epe, Bamigbetan unveiled plans to transform Olusosun dumpsite into parks and gardens, among others, starting with perimeter fencing.

According to him, “This action is in line with the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) of this administration and conforms to international best practices.”

Waste Waters: Plastic Rubbish Chokes Bali’s Sea

Millions of tourists are drawn to Bali’s palm-fringed scenery and rich marine life, but there is a danger lurking beneath its famously crystal-clear waters: a wasteland of plastic rubbish.

An underwater video shot by British diver Rich Horner this week showing a sea overflowing with plastic and other garbage at Manta Point, a well-known diving site near Bali’s main island, has highlighted trouble in paradise.

The holiday island has become an embarrassing poster child for Indonesia’s trash crisis.

The problem has grown so bad that officials in Bali last year declared a “garbage emergency” across a six-kilometre stretch of coast that included popular beaches Jimbaran, Kuta and Seminyak.

“The ocean currents brought us in a lovely gift of a slick of jellyfish, plankton, leaves, branches, fronds, sticks, etc…. Oh, and some plastic,” the diver wrote on his Facebook account.

His video, which has been viewed more than a million times, shows a diver swimming through a torrent of rubbish — including bottles, cups and straws — at Manta Point about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Bali’s main island.

“Plastic bags, more plastic bags, plastic, plastic, so much plastic!” Horner said.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, is the world’s second-biggest contributor to marine debris after China, and a colossal 1.29 million metric tons is estimated to be produced annually by the Southeast Asian nation.

The waves of plastic flooding into rivers and oceans have been causing problems for years, clogging waterways in cities, increasing the risk of floods, and injuring or killing marine animals who ingest or become trapped by plastic packaging.

“Microplastics can contaminate fish which, if eaten by humans, could cause health problems, including cancer,” I Gede Hendrawan, an environmental oceanography researcher at Bali’s Udayana University, previously told AFP.

Bali’s rubbish problem is at its worst during the annual monsoon season, when strong winds push marine flotsam on to the beach and swollen rivers wash rubbish from riverbanks to the coast.

“It tends to accumulate (at Manta Point) and the very large amount of rainfall probably has increased the level of garbage because it’s all swept from the mainland out to sea by the rains,” said Iwan Dewantama, a researcher at NGO Conservation International.

As part of its commitment under the UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign, Jakarta has pledged to reduce marine plastic waste by 70 percent by 2025, through recycling, curbing the use of plastic bags, cleanup campaigns and raising public awareness.

Still, the scale of the problem facing Indonesia is huge, due to its population of more than 260 million and poor waste processing infrastructure.

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don’t play with nature be friendly with it

why ?When you hear the word nature, what do you think it is? Do you think it is important? I believe that nature is everything that was put on this earth whether it is the food we eat, the water we drink, or the wood we use to build our houses. Others may think nature is just the oceans and the forests, but no matter what you think nature is we all must take care of it because it was given to us. The early settlers didn’t really think of nature as the source of life because the nature that they lived with was so vast and so untouched they never imagined that what they did to it would hurt it in any way. The Indians on the other hand, thought that everything in nature was of equal importance. From the Indians themselves, to the buffalo and the deer, to the grass they walk on, to the fish in the sea, all must live as one in order for the world to be peaceful.
When the early settlers arrived at Cape Cod in 1620, they viewed nature in this new world as a very barbaric and desolate place. It was said that, from the story Of Plymouth Plantation, ‘…being thus passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation, they had now no friends to welcome them nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather beaten bodies; no houses or much less towns to repair to, to seek succor (n pp. 83).’ The early settlers weren’t at all prepared for what was ahead of them. They were forced right away to ‘cultivate a similar closeness to the land (y pp 2-3).’ For if they hadn’t, the small fraction of them that did survive the early years, would not have if the Indians did not help them. In other words, the settlers were used to a world in which everything was civil and righteous. As they left for the new world in 1620 they didn’t expect that beginning a new life would be so difficult.
Early settlers acted as though nature belonged to them and that they could claim it as their own

we are all playing with the nature it will be very harmful not only for the nature but also for ourselves so please come forward and determine not to do against the nature.

embalancing of the weather is due to this reason because we are just only using nature and not trying to do any thing for the safety of the nature.

we should understand that nature is in actual mean our life not a use and through thing.

The establishment of dozens of “healing forests” is part of South Korea’s surprising prescription to improve its citizens’ health. Journalist Florence Williams takes a walk in the woods to learn more about this intriguing approach to public health.

Every species plays a crucial role in our natural world. But when humans tinker with the equation, a chain reaction can cause entire ecosystems to break down. In this hour, TED speakers explain how everything is connected in nature, with some bold ideas about how we can restore the delicate balance and bring disappearing ecosystems back

Our planet is a wonder, a perfectly improbable incubator for life. It’s also in danger because of our indifference. Reflections on both those truths.

Green, leafy, often delicious: Plants are all around us and make the ecosystem work. Hear from gardeners, vegetarians, designers and conservationists on the wonderful world of plants and vegetables.

Earth, appreciated

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Ecology in Focus: Our Crops Deserve Better
January 31, 2018
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When plants photosynthesize, they convert carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil into a carbohydrate, namely glucose. Carbohydrates are organic food for plants and all other living things. Animals, including humans, either eat plants directly or eat animals that have eaten plants. When provided with a source of nitrogen and sulphur, plants have the metabolic capability to modify and change carbohydrates into all the other types of organic molecules they require. This makes it possible for vegetarians to not only acquire carbohydrates but also amino acids from plants. The usual slimness of vegetarians testifies that most plants are not an abundant source of fat, and this fact can only make the vegetarian diet even more appealing.

 

Plant cell metabolism utilizes most of the same vitamins and minerals that humans require. Minerals are found in the soil in low concentrations, but plants are able to take them up and concentrate them. As the root system of a plant grows, it branches and branches again so that the roots are exposed to a tremendous amount of soil. Water enters the roots by diffusion, but active transport is needed to acquire some minerals and to concentrate minerals within the organs of a plant. A plant uses a great deal of ATP for active transport.

 

Once plants have taken up minerals, they are often incorporated into other molecules, including amino acids, phospholipids, and nucleotides.

 

Ground-level ozone in smog destroys leaves and roots. Acid rain, which causes minerals to be leached from the soil, can even cause the death of plants. Global warming may cause the extinction of many plant species. Global warming is due to the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the combustion of gasoline, coal, and oil. Carbon dioxide acts like the glass of a greenhouse-it allows the sun’s rays to pass through but traps the heat and doesn’t allow it to escape.

 

Soil erosion occurs when the wind blows and the rain washes away the top soil because farmers have ploughed the land in straight rows and/or left it without adequate cover. Soil erosion can be halted by the implementation of proven techniques, e.g. contour farming, drip irrigation, no-till farming, that might also halt desertification, the further degradation of the land to desert conditions.

 

Considering how dependent we are on plants, we must remember that plants as well as animals, including humans, are affected when the quality of the environment is reduced.

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Donald trump seen as a child by a defiant author
January 6, 2018
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The author of a controversial book on Donald Trump says that all his White House aides see him as a “child” who needs “immediate gratification”.

Michael Wolff said his book was based on about 200 interviews, and rejected Mr Trump’s claims that it was “phony”.

But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has dismissed suggestions made by Wolff that the president’s mental health is failing.

The book has now gone on sale early despite Mr Trump’s attempts to stop it.

Mr Trump’s lawyers had tried to block publication of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, alleging it contained many falsehoods and saying they were considering pursuing libel charges.

The president has said it is “full of lies” and was being pushed by the media and others to hurt him. He added: “They should try winning an election. Sad!”

On Friday, he refused to answer questions about the book as he departed for Camp David from the White House. Mr Trump will spend two days meeting top Republicans at the retreat to discuss his legislative priorities for the year ahead.

Wolff said that White House staff described the president as childlike because “he has the need for immediate gratification. It’s all about him… This man does not read, does not listen. He’s like a pinball just shooting off the sides.”

Despite the storm over the book, the Trump administration has been pressing ahead with its agenda. On Thursday it:

What did Wolff say about his research?

The president said he had not given Wolff access to the White House nor spoken to him for the book.

But Wolff responded: “What was I doing there if he didn’t want me to be there? I absolutely spoke to the president… It was not off the record.”

He said he had spent three hours with Mr Trump in total, both during the election campaign and after the inauguration.

Hitting back in a television interview at the White House attacks, he said the president had no credibility and that “100% of the people around him” question his fitness for office.

Wolff said it was “extraordinary” that the president of the US would try to stop publication of his book, a move that “the CEO of a mid-sized company” would not attempt.

What is in the book?

The book cites former top aide Steve Bannon as describing a meeting at Trump Tower in New York between a Russian lawyer and Trump election campaign officials, including Mr Trump’s son Donald Jr, as “treasonous”.

Both Mr Trump Jr and his father deny that any collusion with Russians to win the election took place. However Mr Bannon is quoted in the book as saying: “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”

The meeting is being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his inquiry into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russians.

The book makes many other claims, including that:

  • The Trump team was shocked and horrified by his election win
  • His wife, Melania, was in tears of sadness on election night
  • Mr Trump was angry that A-list stars had snubbed his inauguration
  • The new president “found the White House to be vexing and even a little scary”
  • His daughter, Ivanka, had a plan with her husband, Jared Kushner, that she would be “the first woman president”
  • Ivanka Trump mocked her dad’s “comb-over” hairstyle and “often described the mechanics behind it to friends”

However, the accuracy of some excerpts has been criticised and questioned in the US media.

Trump harsher on Bannon than he is on his ‘worst enemies’

Media captionTrump harsher on Bannon than he is on his “worst enemies”

Still, even if only half of what the book contains is true, it paints a damning portrait of a paranoid president and a chaotic White House, BBC North America editor Jon Sopel says.

Presentational grey line

Will it actually hurt Trump?

Analysis: BBC North America reporter Anthony Zurcher

Donald Trump’s supporters have seen many a media storm over the past few years, and somehow their man always emerges (relatively) unscathed. The book may be generating considerable heat among the chattering class, but there’s little to indicate that its lasting impact will be much more than confirming long-held suspicions of Trump critics and re-enforcing the bunker mentality in the White House.

Outside Washington, in places where people don’t devoutly follow every permutation of the presidential Twitter feed, the Trump administration is compiling a boast-worthy economic record.

Despite some doom-and-gloom predictions following the 2016 election, the stock market has soared. Unemployment remains low. Major corporations are making high-profile moves to at least temporarily boost their workers’ paycheques. And the president can start pointing to his party’s tax bill as a tangible reason why the economy is humming along.

If the current trajectory continues, Mr Trump and his fellow Republicans will be positioned to make the case to voters in the months and years ahead that despite all the drama – the often self-inflicted fire and fury – their agenda is to help Americans where it counts the most, in their pockets.

That’s the kind of message that can win.

Presentational grey line

What will happen to Steve Bannon?

Mr Trump said Mr Bannon – who was sacked in August – had “lost his mind” after losing his White House position.

Reports suggest that more conservative factions in the Republican party have backed Mr Trump amid the fallout from the book.

Billionaire conservative donor Rebekah Mercer, who had backed Mr Bannon financially and invested in the right-wing Breitbart news website that he heads, cut ties with the former strategist, saying: “I support President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected.”

Mr Trump tweeted in response: “The Mercer Family recently dumped the leaker known as Sloppy Steve Bannon. Smart!”

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Amazing facts you’ll like to know: part 3(final)
January 5, 2018
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41. “Silver Bells” was called “Tinkle Bells” until co-composer Jay Livingston’s wife told him “tinkle” had another meaning.

42. Michael Jackson’s 1988 autobiography Moonwalk was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

43. How did Curious George get to America? He was captured in Africa by The Man With the Yellow Hat — with his yellow hat.

44. In the early stage version of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s faithful companion Toto was replaced by a cow named Imogene.

45. Tobias Fünke’s “nevernude” condition on Arrested Development is real. It’s called “gymnophobia” — the fear of nude bodies.

46. Hawaiian Punch was originally developed as a tropical flavored ice cream topping.

47. Andy’s evil neighbor Sid from Toy Story returns briefly as the garbage man in Toy Story 3.

48. Jacuzzi is a brand name. You can also buy Jacuzzi toilets and mattresses.

49. During a 2004 episode of Sesame Street, Cookie Monster said that before he started eating cookies, his name was Sid.

50. Roger Ebert and Oprah Winfrey went on a couple dates in the mid-1980s. It was Roger who convinced her to syndicate her talk show.

51. Fredric Baur invented the Pringles can. When he passed away in 2008, his ashes were buried in one.

52. When he appeared on Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Bill Clinton correctly answered three questions about My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

53. The archerfish knocks its insect prey out of over-hanging branches with a stream of spit.

54. There really was a Captain Morgan. He was a Welsh pirate who later became the lieutenant governor of Jamaica.

55. In 1961, Martha Stewart was selected as one of Glamour magazine;s “Ten Best-Dressed College Girls.”

56. At the 1905 wedding of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, President Teddy Roosevelt gave away the bride.

57. Sorry, parents. According to NASA’s FAQ page, “There are no plans at this time to send children into space.”

58. God and Jesus are the only characters on The Simpsons with a full set of fingers and toes.

59. The sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666.

60. Only one McDonald’s in the world has turquoise arches. Government officials in Sedona, Arizona, thought the yellow would look bad with the natural red rock of the city.

61. Brenda Lee was only 13 when she recorded “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

62. Dolly Parton once entered a Dolly Parton look-a-like contest—and lost.

63. During the Coolidge presidency, the First Family had a pet raccoon named Rebecca who liked to play in the White House bathtub.

64. After OutKast sang “Shake it like a Polaroid picture,” Polaroid released this statement: “Shaking or waving can actually damage the image.”

65. In Peanuts in 1968, Snoopy trained to become a champion arm-wrestler. In the end, he was disqualified for not having thumbs.

66. In France, the Ashton Kutcher/Natalie Portman movie No Strings Attached was called Sex Friends.

67. The famous “Heisman pose” is based on Ed Smith, a former NYU running back who modeled for the trophy’s sculptor in 1934.

68. For $45, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing will sell you a 5-lb bag with $10,000 worth of shredded U.S. currency.

69. Before going with Blue Devils, Duke considered the nicknames Blue Eagles, Royal Blazes, Blue Warriors and Polar Bears.

70. At an NOAA conference in 1972, Roxcy Bolton proposed naming hurricanes after Senators instead of women. She also preferred “him-i-canes.”

71. For one day in 1998, Topeka, Kansas, renamed itself “ToPikachu” to mark Pokemon’s U.S. debut.

72. Before settling on the Seven Dwarfs we know today, Disney also considered Chesty, Tubby, Burpy, Deafy, Hickey, Wheezy, and Awful.

73. The Dictionary of American Slang defines “happy cabbage” as money to be spent “on entertainment or other self-satisfying things.”

74. Herbert Hoover was Stanford’s football team manager. At the first Stanford-Cal game in 1892, he forgot to bring the ball.

75. The unkempt Shaggy of Scooby-Doo fame has a rather proper real name—Norville Rogers.

76. If you open your eyes in a pitch-black room, the color you’ll see is called ‘eigengrau.’

77. In 1965, a Senate subcommittee predicted that by 2000, Americans would only be working 20 hours a week with seven weeks vacation.

78. There are roughly 70 ingredients in the McRib.

79. A baby can cost new parents 750 hours of sleep in the first year.

80. Winston Churchill’s mother was born in Brooklyn.

81. Brazil couldn’t afford to send its athletes to the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. So they loaded their ship with coffee and sold it along the way.

82. Before Stephen Hillenburg created SpongeBob SquarePants, he taught marine biology.

83. New Mexico State’s first graduating class in 1893 had only one student—and he was shot and killed before graduation.

84. George Washington insisted his continental army be permitted a quart of beer as part of their daily rations.

85. When Canada’s Northwest Territories considered renaming itself in the 1990s, one name that gained support was “Bob.”

86. President Nixon was speaking at Disney World when he famously declared, “I am not a crook.”

87. In a study by the Smell & Taste Research Foundation, the scent women found most arousing was Good & Plenty candy mixed with cucumber.

88. In 1958, Larry King smashed into John F. Kennedy’s car. JFK said he’d forget the whole thing if King promised to vote for him when he ran for president.

89. Before she wrote The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins was a writer for Clarissa Explains it All.

90. The male giraffe determines a female’s fertility by tasting her urine. If it passes the test, the courtship continues.

91. Hell-o? Hell no! In 1997, Kleberg County in Texas designated “Heaven-o” as its official new phone greeting.

92. Jim Cummings is the voice of Winnie the Pooh. He calls sick kids in hospitals and chats with them in character.

93. In 1994, two men broke into the National Gallery in Oslo and stole a version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream. They left a postcard that read: “Thanks for the poor security.”

94. In 1979, Japan offered new British PM Margaret Thatcher 20 “karate ladies” for protection at an economic summit. She declined.

95. The Pittsburgh Penguins made Mister Rogers an honorary captain in 1991.

96. In a 1917 letter to Winston Churchill, Admiral John Fisher used the phrase “O.M.G.”

97. Truman Show Delusion is a mental condition marked by a patient’s belief that he or she is the star of an imaginary reality show.

98. During the first Super Bowl in 1967, NBC was still in commercial when the second half kicked off. Officials asked the Packers to kick off again.

99. Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift apart.

100. Until 1954, stop signs were yellow.

101. Mardi Gras float riders are required by law to wear masks.

102. Garbage trucks in Taipei play Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” to let people know it’s time to bring the trash out.

103. Asperger syndrome is named for Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger, who described it in 1944. He called his patients “Little Professors.”

104. The term “lawn mullet” refers to a neatly manicured front yard with an unmowed mess in the back.

105. Mark Twain invented a board game called Mark Twain’s Memory Builder: A Game for Acquiring and Retaining All Sorts of Facts and Dates.

106. In 1991, Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, married Russi Taylor—the voice of Minnie.

107. Furbies were banned from the National Security Agency’s Maryland headquarters in 1999. It was feared the toys might repeat national security secrets.

108. In the 1880s, a baboon worked as a signalman for nine years on a South African railroad. He was paid in brandy and never made a mistake.

109. Carly Simon’s dad is the Simon of Simon and Schuster. He co-founded the company.

110. When the mummy of Ramses II was sent to France in the mid-1970s, it was issued a passport. Ramses’ occupation? “King (deceased).”

111. The giant inflatable rat that shows up at union protests has a name—Scabby.

112. When the computer mouse was invented, it was called the “X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System.”

113. As part of David Hasselhoff’s divorce settlement, he kept possession of the nickname “Hoff” and the catchphrase “Don’t Hassle the Hoff.”

114. “Jay” used to be slang for “foolish person.” So when a pedestrian ignored street signs, he was referred to as a “jaywalker.”

115. Duncan Hines was a real person. He was a popular restaurant critic who also wrote a book of hotel recommendations.

116. The only number whose letters are in alphabetical order is 40 (f-o-r-t-y).

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