Occupation in London enters fifth day

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street and other “Occupy” protests, activists set up camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Saturday, and they plan to remain indefinitely. The protest thus far has been described as “largely peaceful” by a police spokesman.

On Saturday, an estimated thousand or more people attempted to protest in Paternoster Square, the site of the London Stock Exchange, but were blocked by police enforcing a High Court judgment. Julian Assange from Wikileaks also joined the protest to address the activists. A flag flies over the occupation showing the ‘Anonymous’ logo of a headless man in a black suit.

At around 9:30am Wednesday, many campers were still asleep, but around 30–50 people were listening in solidarity to trade union representatives from the National Shop Stewards Network, while 20 to 30 officers from the City of London police watched on. On the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the speakers spoke about a variety of struggles including strikes by electricians that started in August against Balfour Beatty, one of Britain’s largest construction firms. Solidarity was expressed with the travellers at Dale Farm, and speakers described how the media and others were trying to “divide” workers, students and elderly people. One of the speakers said that while today they are occupying the square in London, “tomorrow we will be occupying universities and colleges” and spoke of the suspension of Vik Chechi, the Unison branch secretary who has been suspended by Queen Mary University. By 9:45am, the trade union talks had finished and the sound system was reactivated and reggae music started playing.

After the talks peter out, activity begins to resume on the site: people sorting out tents and serving food, under signs and banners playfully mixing politics (“The London Stock Exchange: Britain’s Biggest Casino”) with Internet memes (a Reddit cartoon man depicted saying “Y U NO JOIN US?”).

English actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Famed English actor, singer and author Sir Christopher Lee died last Sunday morning in London aged 93, after being admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for heart failure and respiratory problems. News of his death only became public on Thursday, as his wife of 54 years, Birgit Krøncke Lee, wished first to inform friends and family.

A spokesman for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea confirmed the issuing of his death certificate.

Lee first rose to prominence in the 1950s starring in Hammer Horror films as the classic movie monsters Dracula and Frankenstein and was more recently seen as Saruman the White in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films as well as portraying the villainous Count Dooku in the Star Wars films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

In 2010 Lee released a heavy metal album titled Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross followed by another metal album in 2013, Charlemagne: The Omens of Death and several collections of Heavy Metal cover songs including A Heavy Metal Christmas, A Heavy Metal Christmas Too and Metal Knight.

In 2008 Lee was knighted for services to drama and charity, and in 2001 received a Bafta Fellowship.

Lee is survived by his wife Birgit and daughter Christina.

George H. W. Bush to attend Sydney CEO conference

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 Correction — August 29, 2005 See Bush attendance at Australia CEO conference a hoax

Thursday, August 25, 2005

It was revealed today that George H. W. Bush will be attending the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney next week. Mr. Bush is a wealthy businessman and member of Skull and Bones. He has also been President of the United States and the head of the CIA, and is the father of the current US President George W. Bush.

The conference will be held at the Sydney Opera House. The Forbes website says that at the event “senior figures from the world’s leading companies and institutions will discuss the best ways to nurture and capitalize on innovation and reveal the latest global trends.” Other attendees will be former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, former NSW Premier Bob Carr and, controversially, Steve Forbes, president and chief executive officer of Forbes Inc, and one of the signers of the Statement of Principles of Project for the New American Century.

Mr Knobloch of the 30A network described the attendees as “a few hundred neo-conservative corporate chiefs”. An article written by James Goodman and hosted on the 30A network website alleges a connection between Mr Forbes, the Bush family, and the policies of the administration of George W. Bush.

“Ironically enough, Forbes now leads the charge in the US business world against the ‘Axis of Evil’ (which of course includes Iran). Backing the US ‘War on Terror’ to the hilt, Forbes is one of Bush’s key business sponsors. In January 2004 it proudly announced ‘Bush is Best’,” the article said.

The 30A network is organising a protest in Sydney to coincide with the conference. It is not yet known if the ASIO risk assessment for the event will change as a result of Mr Bush attending.

Locally designed, low emissions car launched in Qatar

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Qatari non-profit organization Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD) launched a low emissions car at the 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 18) in Doha. The car was designed and developed in Qatar.

Revealed during a press conference at the Qatar National Convention Centre, the car in addition to an internal combustion engine, includes an automotive thermoelectric generator designed to capture waste heat to produce hydrogen. GORD expects the heat waste collecting system to be compatible with any gasoline or compressed natural gas car.

GORD chairman Dr Al-Horr summarised the key concepts of the invention in a statement saying, “Our car produces electricity at no cost by capturing thermal waste energy, reducing costs and eliminating the need for an external source of electricity. Also, bulky compressed-hydrogen cylinders are a thing of the past, as our concept accomplishes the production of hydrogen by using water through fuel cells integrated within the car.”

Most of the energy in Qatari vehicle comes from the the car’s gasoline tank, supplemented by a thin film photo-voltaic panel on the roof. Normally in a combustion engine, chemical energy stored in a fuel, such as gasoline, is converted into heat energy through combustion. This heat energy is then converted into mechanical energy, manifested as an increase in pressure in the combustion chamber due to the kinetic energy of the combustion gases. The kinetic energy of these combustion gases are then converted into work; because of the inefficiencies in converting chemical energy into useful work, internal combustion engines have a theoretical maximum effiecincy of 37% (with what is achievable in day to day applications being about half of this). Of the chemical energy in the consumed fuel used by an internal combustion engine 40% is dissipated as waste heat. However, the Qatari vehicle uses a thermoelectric generator to convert this waste heat into electricity. Such generators are used in space vehicles, and produce electricity when thermoelectric materials are subjected to a temperature gradient, the greater the gradient the greater the amount of electrcity produced. In the GORD vehicle the electricity produced is used to electrolyse potable water to produce hydrogen which can be introduced into the vehicle’s existing fuel system.

The researchers showed that the heat waste collection engine caused a decrease in the car’s emissions, including a decrease of carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide emissions by more than 50%, the fuel efficiency increasing by 20%. On its website, GORD said that the heat waste collector engine is universal, “Any car can be adapted to accommodate the system as it doesn’t alter any electro-mechanical systems”.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Ray Scott, Algoma-Manitoulin

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ray Scott is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Algoma-Manitoulin riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Man cuts off his own penis in UK restaurant

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

An unnamed Polish man, 35, is being treated at a hospital in London, England after he cut off his penis with a knife at Zizzi’s pizza restaurant on Strand Street in the city of Westminster.

“We were called at 9.00 p.m. on Sunday to a restaurant on the Strand to reports of a man in possession of a knife. Officers attended to discover a man believed to be 30-40 years old suffering from an injury. He was taken to a south London hospital in a stable condition. No one else was injured and his injuries are believed to be self inflicted,” said a Scotland Yard spokesperson.

Police had to use CS tear gas on the victim in order to subdue him to get him to the hospital to receive medical attention.

Witnesses say that the man came into the restaurant, picked a knife up off the floor of the kitchen and then got onto a table and cut off his penis.

“At around 9 p.m. on Sunday, a man walked into the Zizzi restaurant on The Strand, down the stairs to the basement restaurant area and tried to enter a kitchen. Members of staff stopped him, at which he ran into a second kitchen area. The man then picked up a kitchen knife and slashed himself across the wrist and groin areas before running back into the restaurant, where he continued to stab himself,” said a spokesperson for the restaurant.

Surgeons are attempting to reattach his organ in what doctors call the first time this kind of surgery has been performed in the UK. It is not yet known if the operation was successful.

“If it doesn’t take, then you would have to re-amputate it. Attaching the penis is a very long, complex and painstaking operation,” said Francis Chinegwundoh, a urologist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital which is located in London. Chinegwundoh also said that that the victim will not feel his penis and it will not be possible for him to maintain an erection unless he uses a special machine, even if the operation were a success.

Wikimedia Foundation announces departure of general counsel Mike Godwin

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization which administers online collaborative websites including Wikipedia and Wikinews, announced yesterday that its general counsel Mike Godwin will leave his position this Friday. The author of Cyber Rights: Defending Free speech in the Digital Age, Godwin is a former fellow at the Yale Center for Internet Studies and staff counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation who has served as chief lawyer for the Wikimedia Foundation since July 2007.

Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation Sue Gardner announced the news in a public email. She wrote, “Hi folks, I want to let you know that as of this Friday, October 22, 2010, Mike Godwin will be leaving his role as General Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation. Mike’s transition out of the role will be a fairly lengthy one: he will continue to be available to the Wikimedia Foundation to provide information and advice for several months to come.”

The Wikimedia Foundation believes Mike has always acted in what he believes to be the Wikimedia Foundation’s best interests.

Gardner stated in a “Q and A” below the text of her email that Godwin was leaving the organization due to “a confidential personnel issue”, and explained that the foundation would not elaborate upon this due to privacy concerns. Gardner noted, “The Wikimedia Foundation believes Mike has always acted in what he believes to be the Wikimedia Foundation’s best interests.”

Godwin has focused his legal career in the areas of free speech and Internet law. In an article regarding his 1999 selection as a fellow at the Yale Center for Internet Studies, The Hartford Courant characterized Godwin as “a noted cyberspace lawyer and civil libertarian”.

He is noted for writing “Godwin’s Law”, an Internet maxim which states, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

Godwin became the first attorney to join the Electronic Frontier Foundation after its formation in 1990. In a 2007 interview with The New York Times, Godwin commented on the issue of defamation online, “The fear of defamation on the Internet is very strong. We’re going to be riding that social panic for a little bit.” He described his role at the Wikimedia Foundation, “Part of my job is to prevent restrictive rules from being put in place that prevent people from participating in massively democratic participatory media. And then let the new norms settle.” He acknowledged he empathized with others that had been criticized on the Internet, “Look, I have been smeared online. I know how bad it feels. It hurts. If democracy were comfortable, everybody would have it.”

In pictures: Japan earthquake and tsunami

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Friday, March 18, 2011

A week ago today, at 2:46 pm JST, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of the T?hoku region in Japan. The earthquake created an extremely destructive tsunami that spawned 10 metre (33 ft) high waves just moments later. The tsunami travelled 10 km (6 mi) inland causing massive destruction in the country’s northeast, including crippling a nuclear plant.

The earthquake and resulting tsunami have left 5,692 dead and over 9,506 missing, with nearly 450,000 homeless. The death toll is expected to rise.

In this special photoessay, Wikinews looks at the earthquake and tsunami, the destruction that resulted and efforts to bring aid to the Japanese people.

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A Japanese home is seen adrift in the Pacific Ocean. Image: U.S. Navy.

The antenna on top of Tokyo Tower was slightly bent by the earthquake. Image: Morio.

Items were knocked off shelves at a store in Narashino, Chiba after the earthquake. Image: mikuaxe.
Soil liquefaction on a road in Koto, Tokyo. Image: Morio.
An explosion occurs at the Cosmo Oil refinery in Ichihara, Chiba. Image: Cranky5.
View of a fire in Odaiba following the earthquake. Image: Hikosaemon.
Crowds of workers evacuated from Tokyo skyscrapers walk home after the earthquake in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Image: Hikosaemon.
A long line of cars stretches down Itsukaichi Street in Tokyo on March 11. Due to disruption of train service because of the earthquake and tsunami, people are trying to find alternate means of getting home. Image: Kellykaneshiro.
Stranded passengers congregate at the Kei? line concourse of Shinjuku Station in Tokyo as public transportation in northern Japan is interrupted following the earthquake and tsunami. Image: ?????.
Stranded passengers evacuate from a Tokyo train. Image: ?????.
Calculated wave height of the tsunami, from a NOAA computer model. Image: NOAA.
This false-color satellite picture from NASA’s MODIS satellite shows the area of Sendai on March 13 (top) and February 26 (bottom) shows how far inland the area near Sendai was flooded by tsunami. A bright orange-red spot near the city of Sendai is the thermal signature from a fire. Image: NASA.
An aerial view of the port of Sendai on March 12. Image: U.S. Navy.
A solemn desk chair lies in a layer of mud and petroleum that now covers much of the U.S. FISC Yokosuka Defense Fuel Support Point Hachinohe facility following the tsunami. Image: DVIDSHUB.
The city of Ofunato, Japan, was severely damaged by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Image: U.S. Navy.
A trail of debris is seen floating in Pacific Ocean. The debris was inspected by a helicopter-based search and rescue team from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Image: U.S. Navy.
An up-close aerial view of debris floating in the Pacific. The debris was inspected by a helicopter-based search and rescue team from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Image: U.S. Navy.
A Japanese barge is seen adrift in the Pacific Ocean. Image: U.S. Navy.
An upended house is among the debris in Ofunato, Japan. Image: U.S. Navy.
Members of the Fairfax County, Virginia Urban Fire and Rescue Team head into downtown Ofunato to search for survivors following the earthquake and tsunami. Teams from the United States, United Kingdom and China are on scene to assist in searching for missing residents. Image: DVIDSHUB.
A mother and daughter look at a family photo amid the wreckage of their home. Image: U.S. Navy.
A damaged water pipe shoots into the air after the tsunami.Image: U.S. Navy.
A tug boat among the debris in Ofunato.Image: U.S. Navy.
A Mickey Mouse doll lies among debris in Ofunato.Image: U.S. Navy.
Vehicles and debris line a canal in the downtown area of Ofunato.Image: U.S. Navy.
A large sail boat rests against a building in Ofunato. Image: U.S. Navy.
An aerial view of tsunami damage in an area north of Sendai, Japan, taken from a U.S. Navy helicopter. Image: U.S. Navy.
Empty instant noodle shelves in a supermarket in Tokyo due to stock being bought out on March 16, 2011, 5 days after the earthquake. Image: Kellykaneshiro.
Residents wait in a line outside a convenience store to purchase groceries and supplies on March 13, two days after the earthquake and tsunami. Image: Hitomi.
A blackout in Narashino, Chiba on March 15. Image: mikuaxe.
U.S. Navy sailors transfer humanitarian supplies from an aircraft carrier to a helicopter. Image: U.S. Navy.
Japanese citizens receive supplies from the crew of a U.S. Navy helicopter. Image: U.S. Navy.
A closed petrol station in Tokyo on March 16. Image: LERK.
Entrance of the Japanese Embassy in Berlin after the earthquake and tsunami and subsequent accidents at the Fukushima Daichi power plant on March 15. Image: Jochen Jansen.
Russian people take flowers to the embassy of Japan in Moscow after the 2011 earthquake. Image: Elmor.

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

PBS show asserts greenhouse gases, atmospheric pollutants dimming future

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Saturday, April 22, 2006

This week, the Public Broadcasting Service aired a NOVA program titled “Dimming the Earth”, which presented research by leading scientists on the complex systems of our global climate and human activity’s effect on it. One of the largest interactions (or “inputs”) humans have with the atmosphere is the ever-increasing use of fossil fuels. Consumption has risen 2% per year for this decade.

Fossil fuels burnt in factories and automobiles send their waste into our atmosphere in two forms. The first is CO2 and other greenhouse gases, which have received substantial attention in the last few years because of the way they trap heat in the atmosphere. The second is the tiny particles of sulfur dioxide, soot and ash, which scientists call aerosols (basically smog). Research into understanding the negative health effects of air pollution has resulted in the development of catalytic converters for cars as well as devices to remove particulate solids from industrial waste before it reaches the air.

More recently, atmospheric scientists have come upon the phenomenon of the reduction of direct sunlight reaching Earth’s surface— observing a nearly a 5% decline between 1960 and 1990, with evidence of a recovery since then. This has been dubbed the “global dimming” effect, and is probably due to the way these aerosols act upon clouds. It is important to realise that this does not represent a net loss of this much sunshine to the climate system – if so, large temperature declines would have been observed. Instead, the sunshine is absorbed elsewhere in the system, with a much smaller net loss.

Clouds form when moisture gathers around airborne particles, such as pollen or dust. Clouds formed by the aerosol particles emitted by fossil fuel consumption are made of many more tiny droplets than “natural” clouds. These smog-created clouds have two notable effects: they shield sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface and, due to water’s reflective nature, the millions of tiny droplets suspended in them reflect light back into space, allowing even less light to reach Earth.

Many scientists now believe that global dimming caused by these pollutants has mitigated the temperature rises brought about by global warming. Over the last thirty years, Earth’s temperature has increased by about 0.5 oC.

In the absence of global dimming, however, the Earth might be 0.3 oC warmer than it currently is, suggesting that a “tug-of-war” exists between greenhouse gases and particulates released by burning fossil fuels. Efforts to mitigate the human health dangers of smog have allowed more heat into our atmosphere and brought about a sharper increase in global warming.

Dr. James E. Hansen, professor at Columbia University and the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies [1], believes that if we continue on our current pattern, this warming could be as much as five degrees in the next thirty years and ten to fourteen degrees over the course of the century. Such a temperature rise would devastate life on Earth, likely bringing on a cascade of self-reinforcing warming effects. Earth’s forests drying and burning, a steady thawing of the Greenland and arctic ice sheets, and, most dangerous of all, a release of the methane hydrates that are now frozen at the bottom of the oceans, could remake the planet into something inhospitable to human life. Dr. Hansen warns that, according to his research, man has just 10 years to reduce greenhouse gases before global warming and other responses to human activity by Earth’s climate reach a “tipping point”, becoming unstoppable.