For weeks, Chavez has not been heard from, following a series of cancer treatments in Cuba. Earlier reports from Havana said he was fighting a respiratory infection that had developed after his fourth cancer surgery.
Chavez’ respiratory problem – referred to officially as “respiratory deficiency” – reportedly was due to a severe lung infection. Chavez was first diagnosed with cancer in June 2011. Castro sent an open letter to Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro that was published in the Cuban Communist Party’s Central Committee newspaper, Granma, reminiscing about when he first met Chavez in 1994. The key words in the 350-word article were Castro’s observation that “however painful (Chavez’s) absence, all of you will be capable of continuing his work.” Chavez may have died two weeks ago, when further public information about him stopped, according to Venezuelan opposition and intelligence sources. However, the sources concede they have no confirmation. Chavez, who had won re-election, was due to be sworn in for another presidential term in mid-January. His absence created a mini-constitutional crisis Opposition leaders have argued that since Chavez wasn’t sworn in for his new term, the Venezuelan Supreme Court should determine who is president. The Spanish daily ABC had cited unnamed sources who say Chavez had been put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Dr. Michael Pishvaian of the Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., said respiratory infections could require antibiotics and supplemental oxygen. “It could be a very ominous sign,” Pishvaian said, indicating that Chavez may have been on life support. Other sources indicate that once put on life support following the type of cancer surgery Chavez had, along with respiratory complications, the chance of survival is slim. Recent comments by members of Chavez’s family said he was stable, although Maduro insisted the Venezuelan president had “enormous strength.” However, a doctor who is in contact with Chavez’s medical team said several weeks ago the Venezuelan president wasn’t responding to antibiotics, had a constant fever and hadn’t eaten solid food for weeks. The doctor, Jose Rafael Marquina of Florida, said Chavez then was on life support and that the medical team was “only prolonging unnecessary suffering.” Marquina is an opponent of Chavez. Chavez hasn’t been seen in public since his last surgery in Havana Dec. 11. Until now, the government has been silent on the latest rumors of Chavez’s death, even though he had designated Maduro to succeed him. Cuban officials also may be withholding information because of concern they would lose the significant influence they’ve acquired in Venezuela through Castro’s close relationship with Chavez. Since there is no record that Chavez was sworn in for his new presidential term, the Venezuelan constitution requires the government to call for new elections. Opposition leaders are demanding that the government provide more information about the condition of Chavez and want new elections. U.S. officials say they are watching developments closely but would have no comment on reports the 58-year-old Venezuelan president had died.
Are humans the only civilization that face climate change? A look at aliens and climate change, the ‘carbon bubble’ that could collapse the global economy, India’s plastics ban, and the surprisingly environmentally-friendly behaviours of climate change skeptics. Its What’s Up in Climate Change.
Can aliens survive climate change?
Is sustainability ever a possibility for civilizations that use natural resources? Some scientists question if our current climate change predicament is unique to human beings or simply inevitable for any type of life form that intensively harvests natural resources using technology, such as farming practices, to develop civilizations.
Scientists wonder if life forms other than humans can harvest energy without causing climate change that destroy the civilization.
Previous astrobiological studies have indicated the possibility that other planets in the universe can support energy-harvesting species, such as Kepler-62f and Kepler-62e, however there is currently no available data indicating the existence of such exo-civilizations, or more commonly ‘aliens’.
To further understand the human-induced climate change on Earth, a recent study from the University of Rochester investigated if aliens are capable of living sustainably without compromising the health of their environment, or if population growth and the use of natural resources will result in catastrophic climate change that would wipe out the entire civilization.
The evolution of a civilization’s population growth and use of natural resources was modelled with feedback relationships and demonstrated four potential outcomes:
1) Sustainability – a stable balance between population growth and environmental health – population gradually rises and the use of natural resources minimally fluctuates and reaches a consistent level that can support a large population. 2) Oscillation – population and natural resource use fluctuates to highs and lows while maintaining a stable relationship. 3) Die-off – population grows so dramatically that it exceeds the environment’s capacity to provide natural resources and space, and there is significant fluctuation in population and natural resources. The population peaks and then declines as the environment reaches a new stable state. 4) Collapse – population skyrockets and there is no stable relationship between population growth and natural resource use. Population rapidly declines as natural resource use peaks, and collapse occurs even after attempts to reduce population growth and usage of natural resources.
While there is a possibility for alien civilizations to live sustainability, this study forces us to ask ourselves – what will the outcome for humans be?
The ‘carbon bubble’ could collapse the global economy
The good news is that one day low-carbon technologies will power the world, the bad news is that it will crash the global economy in the process, according to a new study.
Global economic growth has created such a high demand in fossil fuels that companies’ assets in fossil fuels are overvalued and have created a ‘carbon bubble’ – a sudden drop in fossil fuel demand could leave companies with trillions of dollars in stranded assets and unable to make profit from these investments, which could collapse the global economy and trigger a financial crisis similar to the Great Recession of 2008.
Researchers predict that the world will slowly transition to low-carbon energies, a transition that puts the fossil fuel industry at risk. Credit: Gerry Machen
The bubble is expected to burst by 2035 according researchers from the University of Cambridge who predict the world will transition to low-carbon economies as renewable energies become cheaper and more efficient. The study shows that this transition will occur even if there are no additional international climate change policies or additional efforts to follow the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
There are clear winners and losers in this transition – oil producing countries like Russia, Canada (the new owner of an oil pipeline that will cost at least $4.5 billion CND), and the United States could lose their entire oil and gas industries, countries with limited exposure to fossil fuel exposure will benefit, including Germany, and the European Union. The study explains that resisting a renewable energy transition and continuing to invest in a fossil fuel economy will cause even more economic loss as the value of fossil fuels will drop so low production will not be affordable as assets become stranded.
A renewable energy transition would result in a global wealth loss of $1-4 trillion USD and the consequences of an economic collapse can be managed by nations divesting from fossil fuels as an ‘insurance policy’ against the decisions of the rest of the world.
India will ban all single-use plastics by 2022
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced that India will ban all plastic in the country by 2022 and the state of Tamil Nadu will ban plastic by 2019 – with exclusions for plastic packages for essential items like medicines and oil. The environmental impact of banning single-use plastic is expected to be huge – by 2050 India is projected to have the largest population of 1.6 billion people who won’t be using disposable plastics.
Plastic pollution on a beach in Mumbai, India. Credit: Ravi Khemka
The national plastic ban announcement came on June 5 as India was hosting the United Nations World Environment Day with ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ as this year’s main theme. India has struggled with a number of environmental issues – air pollution is extreme that breathing in New Delhi is like smoking 50 cigarettes a day and extensive garbage pollution in cities.
Do climate skeptics act the most environmentally-friendly?
Individuals that believe in climate change might not be the ones that act the most sustainably, according to a new year-long study that measured Americans climate change beliefs and their engagement in pro-environmental behaviours, such as recycling.
Pro-environmental actions, such as recycling, can be a result of societal norms, individual values, and government programs. Credit: Mr.TinDC
These researchers wanted to know how belief in climate change affects pro-environmental behaviours and found that climate change skeptics were more likely to report their participation in pro-environmental behaviours, and those with high belief in climate change were more concerned with federal climate change policies.
Previous research provides different insights as to why some people do not engage in pro-environmental behaviours – some outright deny that climate change is occurring whereas others that do believe in climate change are reluctant to take action because of perceptions that it is not an urgent threat.
The researchers were unable to conclude why the skeptics reported more pro-environmental behaviours as they did not report greater identify fit with environmentalism or endorse individual action to reduce climate change. Possible explanations for the surprising outcome is that pro-environmental behaviours could be conducted to address issues like waste instead of the broad topic of climate change or pro-environmental behaviours might be considered a ‘moral issue’ instead of a climate change issue.
Was This A “Cloaked” Triangle Craft Over Kansas City, Missouri?
On Aug 8, 2018 the witness was driving south (east) on I-35 just outside of Kansas City, Missouri at 6 pm. It was a cloudy day so he was checking out the formations when he noticed a darker triangular shape, just, hanging out.
So he pulled out his phone and recorded what he could. The triangle stayed there from what he observed to be at least 3 minutes. That time span being from when he noticed it until he eventually got off the highway and headed north to then be obscured by the tree lines.
The witness states: What do I think it is? Well ether some sort of physical vessel that is “cloaked” and is interacting with the atmosphere to still show form. Or something that was big triangle shape that had passed through the clouds leaving a “trail” Or “foot print”.
Is Russia Hiding An Underwater Extraterrestrial Civilization?
According to a very controversial theory during the era of the Soviet Union, there was a peculiar submarine activity in Russia that involved a hidden underwater extraterrestrial civilization.
Apparently, the Russian officials decided to keep these issues as a top-secret. However, two researchers, Paul Stonehill and Phillip Mantle have determined to put two and two together and finally resolve the mystery.
As a subject of their inquiry, these two researchers took the secrecy that revolves around an underwater extraterrestrial civilization that was allegedly confirmed by a large number of witnesses.
Stonehill and Mantle connected the peculiar events to some passenger aircraft produced by underwater UFO movements.
Then again, eyewitnesses have reported seeing unusual creatures and objects in the sea.
Among the most fascinating accounts is the one of Major General V. Demyanenko, a Russian navy commander. According to him, he and his divers detected a type of humanoid aliens who were famous as the ‘swimmers’.
Supposedly, these three-meters-high beings appeared from an underwater tunnel in the Russian territory of Siberia. They also had silver uniforms and round helmets.
Despite the attempts of capturing one of the creatures, the divers failed because all of the creatures protected themselves with a very strong power.
The two researchers also investigated the story of the head of the intelligence department of Russia on a fleet of the Pacific. Namely, Admiral Domislovsky reported seeing a 900 meters long object in the ocean.
Stonehill and Mantle further investigated many reports by other ex-military commanders. All of them involved an alleged underwater extraterrestrial civilization within the infamous Bermuda Triangle.
Mantle stated this is not the first time he has heard stories about a supernatural activity surrounding the Atlantic Ocean.
However, the theory which explains the weird occurrences around the Bermuda Triangle is often dismissed by the official domain. Why? We still don’t know.