Monday, December 01, 2008

Literary Warrant [38]

Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal den Haag

Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal den Haag from Candida Höfer, Libraries (London: Thames & Hudson, 2005)

"The spirit of rhetoric trumps the spirit of modern philosophy—not quite canceling its dark vision but placing it in a context of ongoingness exemplified by the sense that invention is always available if one can stop fretting over matters of identity."—Charles Altieri, The Art of Twentieth-Century American Poetry: Modernism and After 208 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006)
(on John Ashbery's Pyrography)

  • American Bar Association (ABA), Legal Services Corporation, National Legal Aid and Defender Association & Pro Bono Net, National Disaster Legal Aid

    "A new Web site launched by four national legal organizations will help victims of disasters find valuable information and assistance to speed recovery from hurricanes, fires, floods or other disasters."—Press release (November 17, 2008)

  • Ingrid Barnsley, United Nations University, Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing countries (REDD): A Guide for Indigenous Peoples (Pocket Guide) (2008)

    "In the context of the increasing global focus on climate change, attention is being paid to the role of the forestry sector in contributing to and fighting climate change. In particular, this includes a recent focus on opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries known as 'REDD'. Such activities can present both risks to and opportunities for the interests and rights of Indigenous peoples. For this reason, it is vital that Indigenous communities have accurate information to help them make, and participate in, REDD-related decisions that may affect them."—About this Guide.
Read the rest of this post . . .
  • Deloitte & Touche LLP, How Green is the Deal? The Growing Role of Sustainability in M&A (2008)

    "The 'greening' of products and business operations has become a central theme in virtually every industry. In today’s environment, companies that have strong corporate responsibility and sustainability (CR&S) programs in place are likely to be rewarded for their efforts. As CR&S wields growing influence on the strategy and operations of a company, so too will it become an increasingly important aspect of mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

    "In this paper, we provide an outline of six key areas of focus for executives, and discuss how greater consideration of sustainability related issues, when evaluating potential M&A transactions, can help to improve deal success."

  • DLR, Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Department of Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment, Stuttgart, Germany, energy [r]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook

    "The energy [r]evolution is an independently produced report that provides a practical blueprint for how to half global CO2 emissions, while allowing for an increase in energy consumption by 2050. By dividing the world into 10 regions, with a global summary, it explains how existing energy technologies can be applied in more efficient ways. It demonstrates how a ‘business as usual’ scenario, based on IEA’s World Energy Outlook projections, is not an option for environmental, economic and security of supply reasons."

  • Jeffrey Greenblatt,, Clean Energy 2030: Google's Proposal for Reducing U.S. Dependence on Fossil Fuels (November 20, 2008)

    "The energy team at Google has been analyzing how we could greatly reduce fossil fuel use by 2030. Our proposal—"Clean Energy 2030"—provides a potential path to weaning the U.S. off of coal and oil for electricity generation by 2030 (with some remaining use of natural gas as well as nuclear), and cutting oil use for cars by 44%."—Summary.

  • David W. Guth & Gordon A. Alloway, University of Kansas, Untapped Potential: Evaluating State Emergency Management Agency Web Sites 2008 (Findings of the University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute-funded study "Crisis Communications: Evaluating Effectiveness of State Emergency Management Web Sites") (Project Number: FED45344)

    "The analysis of the data suggests that state emergency planners need greater recognition of the value of the Internet and other social media. This is especially true when communicating with the public and journalists during crises. While the public information officers who responded to the online survey indicated that the public was the primary focus of their agency’s Web sites, the content analysis of those sites suggested that their focus was actually directed toward internal publics, such as first responders and local emergency management officials. The study went on to suggest that greater strategic planning of agency Web sites is needed. Considering these findings, it should not come as a surprise that public information officers said they felt that journalists and legislators have a greater understanding of their agency’s mission than the public. And while survey respondents said the Internet is of some value as a medium of emergency communications, most felt it was not as valuable as traditional media, such as radio and television. This attitude conflicts with the experience of recent natural disasters, such as the California wildfires and the Virginia Tech shootings."—Executive Summary.

  • International Energy Agency (IEA), World Energy Outlook 2008 (WEO)

    "In the WEO-2008 Reference Scenario, which assumes no new government policies, world primary energy demand grows by 1.6% per year on average between 2006 and 2030—an increase of 45%. This is slower than projected last year, mainly due to the impact of the economic slowdown, prospects for higher energy prices and some new policy initiatives. Demand for oil rises from 85 million barrels per day now to 106 mb/d in 2030—10 mb/d less than projected last year. Demand for coal rises more than any other fuel in absolute terms, accounting for over a third of the increase in energy use. Modern renewables grow most rapidly, overtaking gas to become the second-largest source of electricity soon after 2010. China and India account for over half of incremental energy demand to 2030 while the Middle East emerges as a major new demand centre. The share of the world’s energy consumed in cities grows from two-thirds to almost three-quarters in 2030. Almost all of the increase in fossil-energy production occurs in non-OECD countries. These trends call for energy-supply investment of $26.3 trillion to 2030, or over $1 trillion/year. Yet the credit squeeze could delay spending, potentially setting up a supply-crunch that could choke economic recovery."—Press release (November 12, 2008)

  • Nicholas S. Kelley & Michael T. Osterholm, University of Minnesota, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Pandemic Influenza, Electricity, and the Coal Supply Chain: Addressing Crucial Preparedness Gaps in the United States (November 2008)

    "A coal shortage during an influenza pandemic portends grim outcomes. With this report, we attempt to conceptualize what happens when a pandemic disrupts the supply chain for coal, the fuel nearly half of the United States relies upon for electricity—the cornerstone of public health and organizational continuity. We believe the nation must reduce the risk that a pandemic poses to the generation of electricity and prevent the collateral damage the nation faces without electricity. We offer four recommendations based on our analysis of the coal supply chain and government guidance and plans."—Abstract. Registration required.

  • David M. Morens, Gregory K. Folkers & Anthony S. Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Emerging infections: a perpetual challenge, The Lancet, v.8 (November 2008)

    "Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, and their determinants, have recently attracted substantial scientific and popular attention. HIV/AIDS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, H5N1 avian influenza, and many other emerging diseases have either proved fatal or caused international alarm. Common and interactive co-determinants of disease emergence, including population growth, travel, and environmental disruption, have been increasingly documented and studied. Are emerging infections a new phenomenon related to modern life, or do more basic determinants, transcending time, place, and human progress, govern disease generation? By examining a number of historically notable epidemics, we suggest that emerging diseases, similar in their novelty, impact, and elicitation of control responses, have occurred throughout recorded history. Fundamental determinants, typically acting in concert, seem to underlie their emergence, and infections such as these are likely to continue to remain challenges to human survival."— Abstract.

  • National Academy of Public Administration, Saving Our History: A Review of National Park Cultural Resource Programs (Octboer 2008)

    "Historically, NPS [National Park Service] has allocated funding and staff primarily based on assessments of parks’ needs. Since the mid-1990s, NPS has developed various systems and tools to set strategic goals, measure performance, and factor performance and efficiency into budget allocations and management decisions at all levels. Although NPS managers now have many useful measures and tools to inform decision-making, the Panel finds room for improvement in NPS stewardship of park cultural resources."—Executive Summary.

  • National Parks Conservation Association, Mandates, Economic Impacts, and Local Concerns: Who Should Manage Mount St. Helens? (November 20, 2008)

    "Congress established Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument to, 'protect geologic, ecologic, and cultural resources,' while simultaneously recognizing the irreplaceable opportunity for scientists and tourists alike to observe the natural recovery of a devastated environment. These purposes require both protection of the Mount St. Helens landscape, as well as development of access to the educational and recreational opportunities the mountain has to offer. We conclude in this Report that these dual goals would be best achieved if Congress placed Mount St. Helens under the management of the National Park Service ('NPS'). The NPS has the appropriate mandate, the appropriate funding mechanisms, and the appropriate management experience to properly balance the competing interests of use and preservation to meet the goals that Congress established and the promise that Mount St. Helens holds for future generations."—Introduction.

  • National Wildlife Federation, More Variable and Uncertain Water Supply: Global Warming’s Wake-Up Call for the Southeastern U.S. (2008)

    "The Southeast should plan for increasing variability in water supply. By making better use of existing water infrastructure and improving water-use efficiency, the water system can be made more reliable and resilient. Riskbased, integrated watermanagement will help meet the multiple demands from communities, agriculture, and industry, while still addressing flood control, reducing energy usage, and protecting clean water, fish, and wildlife."

  • Julie Rehmeyer, Science News, Florence Nightingale: The Passionate Statistician (November 28, 2008)

    "Nightingale created many novel graphics to present statistics that would persuade Queen Victoria of the need to improve sanitary conditions in military hospitals. The area of each region shows the number of soldiers who died of wounds, disease, or other causes, during each month of the Crimean War."

  • Scott Russell, Nanotechnology: What Is It and Why Do Law Librarians Need to Know About It? (November 30, 2008)

    "Future studies linking nanotechnology to any adverse issue could lead to litigation for a firm client. It is here where a basic knowledge of what nanotechnology is, or at least a knowledge of where to go to get information on it, could prove helpful for law librarians. Concerns about exposure could lead to various tort claims, as well as cases involving consumer fraud. From an employment law perspective, workplace exposure or disability claims could be filed. Intellectual property disputes have already been filed regarding licensing issues on certain nanotechnologies both in the U.S. and U.K. It is too soon to say if this emerging technology will lead to any mass litigation, but it is clear that use and exposure to nano materials will grow in the coming years."

  • Corinne J. Schuster-Wallace et al., United Nations University, International Network on Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), Safe Water as the Key to Global Health (2008)

    "Access to safe and affordable water is considered a basic human right. Policies at various levels and their implementation, however, do not reflect this principle. Improved access to clean water can reduce diarrhoea and waterborne diseases by at least 25%; improved sanitation is accompanied by more than a 30% reduction in child mortality. This urgent global challenge is pragmatically achievable, politically feasible and ethically important."—Summary for Decision-Makers.

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Atmospheric Brown Clouds: Regional Assessment Report with Focus on Asia (2008)

    "The build-up of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the resulting global warming pose major environmental threats to Asia’s water and food security. Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, halocarbons and ozone in the lower atmosphere (below about 15 km) are the major gases that are contributing to the increase in the greenhouse effect.

    "In a similar fashion, increasing amount of soot, sulphates and other aerosol components in atmospheric brown clouds (ABCs) are causing major threats to the water and food security of Asia and have resulted in surface dimming, atmospheric solar heating and soot deposition in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan-Tibetan (HKHT) glaciers and snow packs. These have given rise to major areas of concern, some of the most critical being observed decreases in the Indian summer monsoon rainfall, a north-south shift in rainfall patterns in eastern China, the accelerated retreat of the HKHT glaciers and decrease in snow packs, and the increase in surface ozone. All these have led to negative effects on water resources and crop yields. The emergence of the ABC problem is expected to further aggravate the recent dramatic escalation of food prices and the consequent challenge for survival among the world’s most vulnerable populations. Lastly, the human fatalities from indoor and outdoor exposures to ABC-relevant pollutants have also become a source of grave concern."—Summary for Policy Makers.

  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data for the Period 1990­-2006 (November 17, 2008)

    "Greenhouse gas emissions of 40 industrialized countries rose by 2.3 per cent between 2000 and 2006, while still about 5 per cent below the 1990 level, according to United Nations figures released today, two weeks before a major review conference on the issue.

    "For the smaller group of industrialized countries that ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol setting reduction targets, emissions in 2006 were about 17 per cent below the Protocol’s 1990 base line, but they still grew after 2000. The pre-2000 decrease stemmed from the economic decline of transition countries in Eastern and Central Europe in the 1990s."—Press release.

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: Facts and Figures 2007 (EPA530-R-08-010) (November 2008)

    "This report describes the national municipal solid waste (MSW) stream based on data collected for 1960 through 2007. The historical perspective is useful for establishing trends in types of MSW generated and in the ways it is managed. In this Executive Summary, we briefly describe the methodology used to characterize MSW in the United States and provide the latest facts and figures on MSW generation, recycling, and disposal."—Executive Summary.

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (November 2008)

    "This Vision for the National Action Plan for Energy Effi ciency establishes a goal of achieving all cost effective energy efficiency by 2025; presents ten implementation goals for states, utilities, and other stakeholders to consider to achieve this goal; describes what 2025 might look like if the goal is achieved; and provides a means for measuring progress. It is a framework for implementing the fi ve policy recommendations of the Action Plan, announced in July 2006, which can be modifi ed and improved over time."—Executive Summary.

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Proposed Guidelines to Control Pollution from Construction Sites (November 19, 2008)

    "EPA is seeking comments on its proposed guidelines to control the discharge of pollutants from construction sites. The proposal would require all construction sites to implement erosion and sediment control best management practices to reduce pollutants in stormwater discharges."—Press release.

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Superfund National Accomplishments Summary Fiscal Year 2008

    "EPA continues to make significant progress in cleaning up America’s most contaminated hazardous waste sites and making them ready for productive use. EPA’s annual summary of the Superfund program’s accomplishments shows that construction was completed at 30 sites in 2008, for a cumulative total of 1,060 sites or approximately 67 percent of the sites on the National Priorities List. Superfund is the federal government program that cleans up the most serious hazardous waste sites across the country."—Press release (November 17, 2008)

  • United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 2008 Report on Ethanol Market Concentration (November 17, 2008)

    "As of September 2008, 160 firms produced ethanol in the United States – a one-year increase of 57 firms. The largest ethanol producer’s share of capacity has continued to fall each year as new firms have entered the market and existing firms have added capacity. Currently, the largest producer accounts for approximately 11 percent of domestic ethanol capacity, down from 16 percent in 2007, 21 percent in 2006, 26 percent in 2005, and 41 percent in 2000."—Press release.

  • United States House of Representatives, Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming, 110th Congress Staff Report (October 21, 2008)

    "This Final Staff Report details the findings and recommendations of the Select Committee staff. Part I of the report addresses the challenges posed by the climate crisis and America’s growing energy needs. Part II provides recommendations on a series of 'win-win' solutions that will bolster America’s energy security while achieving the reductions in global warming pollution needed to save the planet. Part III presents the findings and recommendations resulting from the Select Committee’s oversight activities. Part IV discusses international issues, and reviews the findings of the Select Committee Congressional delegations to Greenland and the EU, Brazil, and India."—Executive Summary.

  • Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor, City of Los Angeles, Energy Management Initiative (November 20, 2008)

    "During the last several months, the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Public Safety has worked very closely with the Emergency Management Department (EMD), Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and other City agencies to develop a comprehensive initiative to enhance our preparedness and planning efforts. This initiative, set forth in more detail below, involves several components to enhance the City’s planning and preparedness efforts, train city employees in disaster response, better prepare the community in disaster preparedness, and modernize the City’s antiquated emergency management structure."—Introduction.

  • David C. Wyld, Robert Maurin Professor of Management and Director of the Strategic e-Commerce/e-Government Initiative, Southeastern Louisiana University, Government in 3D: How Public Leaders Can Draw on Virtual Worlds (IBM Center for the Business of Government E-Government/Technology Series) (2008)

    "In time, we will see that tangible, real-world results will come from the collaboration, learning, and interactions that come about in virtual-world environments. We will also see public sector executives increasingly willing to shift financial, technology, and human resources to virtual-world projects as these success stories come about, and as we see cost savings and positive environmental impacts from lessening the 'economy of presence.'"—Executive Summary.


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