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Food security in the twenty-first century

Ian Goldin: “There are currently about 7 billion people on Earth and by the middle of this century the number will most likely be between 9 and 10 billion. A greater proportion of these people will in real terms be wealthier than they are today and will demand a varied diet requiring greater resources in its production. Increasing demand for food will coincide with supply-side pressures: greater competition for water, land, and energy, and the accelerating effects of climate change. The need to produce food in ways that are more environmentally sustainable will become ever more pressing. And while global wealth will grow, not everyone will benefit, and the world will continue to be faced with the challenges of hunger and malnutrition, especially in the least developed countries. At the other end of the nutrition spectrum, we face a global epidemic of obesity. Over recent decades the security of food supply at the global level has been some way down the political agenda. The food system, chiefly private sector and increasingly globalized, supplied food to consumers in the developed world at historically low prices so that the fraction of income spent on food in Europe and America has never been less. Indeed, many of the major policy issues in the rich world have involved problems of over-production and the maintenance of rural communities in the face of competition from developing countries with low wage advantages. The last 20 years have seen rapid growth in many developing countries and in particular within their agricultural sectors, increasing food supply and raising many food producers out of poverty. Even in the poorest countries the fraction of people suffering poverty and hunger was declining, and in the mid 2000s there was optimism that the first Millennium Development Goal—that no more than 8 per cent of people should go hungry in 2015—would be met.”

Why understanding the legally disruptive nature of climate change matters

Liz Fisher, Eloise Scotford, and Emily Barritt:  “It is now commonly recognized by governments that climate change is an issue that must be addressed. The 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Paris in December 2015 is the most high profile example of this, butContinue Reading

International Atomic Energy Agency Lacks Transparency, Observers and Researchers Say

“The nuclear inspection agency that is central to the current Iran negotiations is flunking international transparency norms, according to a report posted today by Freedominfo.org and the National Security Archive’s Nuclear Vault. Key documents about International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proceedings, found in various national archives and private collections but closed at Agency headquarters inContinue Reading

FBI Flawed Forensic Hair Chemistry Testimony Spanned Two Decades

Spencer S. Hsu – Washington Post –  “The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’sContinue Reading

Antibacterial Drug Shortages From 2001 to 2013

Antibacterial Drug Shortages From 2001 to 2013: Implications for Clinical Practice. Clin Infect Dis. (2015) doi: 10.1093/cid/civ201 First published online: April 22, 2015 “Background. Previous studies have described drug shortages; however, there has been no comprehensive evaluation focusing on US antibacterial shortages. Methods. Drug shortage data from the University of Utah Drug Information Service database were analyzed,Continue Reading

Ten simple choices for a healthier planet

Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Help Protect the Earth “Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. Follow the three “R’s” to conserve natural resources and landfill space. Volunteer. Volunteer for cleanups in your community. You can get involved in protecting your watershed, too. Educate. When you further your ownContinue Reading

Exploring Compatibilities Between Linked Data Models of Library of Congress and OCLC

Godby, Carol Jean, and Ray Denenberg. 2015. Common Ground: Exploring Compatibilities Between the Linked Data Models of the Library of Congress and OCLC. Dublin, Ohio: Library of Congress and OCLC Research. ” The white paper summarizes the recent activity of the Bibliographic Framework Initiative at the Library of Congress which proposes a data model for futureContinue Reading

Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling

“On April 20, 2010, the Macondo well blew out, costing the lives of 11 men and beginning a catastrophe that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and spilled nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The spill disrupted an entire region’s economy, damaged fisheries and critical habitats, and brought vividlyContinue Reading

Records Reveal Extensive Monitoring of E-ZPass Tags Throughout NY

ACLU – “New documents obtained by the New York Civil Liberties Union reveal that wireless E-ZPass tollbooth transponders are being read routinely throughout New York City to systematically collect location data about drivers. At the NYCLU, we were surprised when we first heard this might be happening. In late 2013, NYCLU staff went on aContinue Reading

NYC libraries are engine of the city running out of fuel

“The city’s libraries — the fusty old buildings, and a few spiffier modern ones, planted in all five boroughs — had 37 million visitors in the last fiscal year, said Angela Montefinise, a spokeswoman for the New York Public Library, which runs branches and research centers in Manhattan and the Bronx and on Staten Island.Continue Reading

Big names or big ideas: Do peer-review panels select the best science proposals

“This paper examines the success of peer-review panels in predicting the future quality of proposed research. We construct new data to track publication, citation, and patenting outcomes associated with more than 130,000 research project (R01) grants funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health from 1980 to 2008. We find that better peer-review scores areContinue Reading

EIA report highlights top 100 U.S. oil and natural gas fields

“The top 100 oil fields in the United States accounted for 20.6 billion barrels of crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves, or 56% of the U.S. total in 2013. The top 100 natural gas fields accounted for 239.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas proved reserves, 68% of the U.S. total. Proved reserves areContinue Reading