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Pope Benedict XVI: "human dignity must be preserved", criticizing body scanners which Rabbis say violate Jewish women's rights

Top: Pope Benedict XVI: ‘human dignity must be preserved’. ‘Every action, it is above all essential to protect and value the human person in their integrity’. Bottom: hands-up to be scanned - ‘virtual strip search’ - at airport

"Every action, it is above all essential to protect and value the human person in their integrity". "For you this reality represents an ever more task of complex organization and it is a labour that if often discreet and barely known, not always noted but which does not escape the eyes of God, who sees all of Man's works even those that are hidden."

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Pope Benedict XVI criticises airport body scanners. Pope Benedict XVI has spoken out against the use of body scanners at airports insisting that "human dignity must be preserved".

The Pope made his comments during an audience with airport workers held at the Vatican. Although the Pontiff did not mention the words body scanner it was clear what he meant as he told the 1,200 strong crowd: "Every action, it is above all essential to protect and value the human person in their integrity.

"Respecting these principles can seem particularly complex and difficult in the present context.

"The economic crisis has had problematic effects on the civil aviation sector, the international terrorist threat which, precisely, has in its line of fire airports and aircraft to realise its destructive schemes.  read more »

US bailout tab: $3 trillion. Why not rescue Arizona's heritage of Nature? Prevent entire state parks to close due to budget cut

south face of Picacho Peak, Arizona, United States

Roper Lake SP, Safford AZ

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Arizona decides to close most state parks
Facing a multibillion-dollar shortfall, the state will shut 13 parks by June. Several had already been closed. Wrestling with a multibillion-dollar budget deficit, Arizona decided Friday to close nearly all of its state parks, including the famed Tombstone Courthouse and Yuma Territorial Prison. The State Parks Board unanimously voted to close 13 parks by June 3. Eight others had already been closed, and the decision would leave nine open -- but only if the board can raise $3 million this year. The action represents the largest closure of state parks in the nation, although several other states are considering similar moves.

Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, Arizona

21 of 30 state parks will be closed: The Arizona State Parks Board voted unanimously Friday to begin shuttering state parks, a move that will leave the parks system with fewer than one third of its properties open by June 3  read more »

2010 International Year of Biodiversity. Ongoing extinction at 1000 times natural rate: most species to disappear in <100 years

2010 International Year of Biodiversity. In the logo, symbolizing biodiversity, include fish, waves, a flamingo, an adult and child, and a tree.
Top: baby harp seal. Bottom: green sea turtles
Green sea turtles, whose ancestors evolved on land and took to the sea to live about 150 million years ago, are one of the few species so ancient that they watched the dinosaurs evolve and become extinct.
Top: deforestation; Bottom: Ecuadorian Poison Frog, Epipedobates bilinguis, transporting its tadpoles.

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World's biodiversity crisis needs action, says UN. With species extinction running at about 1,000 times the "natural" or "background" rate, some biologists contend that we are in the middle of the Earth's sixth great extinction - the previous five stemming from natural events such as asteroid impacts.

The United Nations has launched the International Year of Biodiversity, warning that the ongoing loss of species around the world is affecting human well being. Eight years ago, governments pledged to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, but the pledge will not be met.  read more »

Filmmaker to swim across Pacific & Garbage Patch, floating mass of plastic junk size of North America, 10-meters deep

Left: Tons of garbage that swept down the Los Angeles River after a storm is corralled by a boom in Long Beach, Ca. Most plastic trash makes its way to the ocean and can be found washed up on beaches around the world. Right: Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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The floating mass of plastic junk - almost the size of the Northern Territory - in the Pacific is an environmental catastrophe: "...the nature of the problem is so immense and the fact it doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of any particular country means as a cause it's kind of like the runt of the litter, something that no particular country wants to take responsibility for." According to the United Nations Environment Program, it causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 mammals including whales, dolphins, turtles and seals.
The north pacific garbage patch on a continuous ocean map. Like other areas of concentrated marine debris in the world's oceans, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch formed gradually as a result of marine pollution gathered by oceanic currents.  read more »

Danish proverb "fresh air impoverishes doctors" - luxury to inhale air as fresh as before; 7 major pollutants in air pollution

Motor vehicle emissions are one leading cause of air pollution. China, United States, Russia, Mexico, and Japan are bigger pollution emitters. Principal stationary pollution sources include chemical plants, coal-fired power plants, oil refineries petrochemical plants, nuclear waste disposal activity, incinerators, large animal farms, PVC factories, metals production factories, plastics factories, & other heavy industry.

air pollution: the presence in the atmosphere of large quantities of particles or gases produced by human activity; these are harmful to both animal and plant life

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Breath is essential to life. It is the first thing we do when we are born and the last thing we do when we leave. In between that time, we take about half a billion breaths.

Air Pollution  read more »

Nepal: world highest Cabinet meeting at Everest - Himalayan glaciers retreating fast, will they disappear?

Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal raises his hand in support of a document highlighting the negative impacts of global warming on Nepal's Himalayas during a special cabinet meeting in Kalapathar, a flat area at an altitude of 17,192 feet (5,250 meters) next to Everest base camp, in Nepal, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009

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Faster than predicted: Himalayan glacier decapitated, endangers water resources

Energy companies remove the tops of entire mountains. Now it turns out humanity’s use of that coal is removing the tops of entire glaciers. Climate models have repeatedly underestimated the speed and scale of major climate change impacts. That is why climate scientists - and indeed everyone but the blinkered deniers - are increasingly desperate that the we cut emissions sharply and quickly.

Mount Everest: The rise in global temperatures could result in the Himalayan glaciers disappearing within 30 years. UN experts say glaciers in the Himalayas could all be gone by 2035.  read more »

Dubai has 59-billion debt; endless sun, but no solar panels. What kind of modernity?

the city-state Dubai

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*update*
October 2, 2019 DUBAI (Reuters) - Dubai continues to service its debt and is ready to take on more if needed, an economic official said on Wednesday, adding that current debt was $124 billion.
June 02, 2016 Dubai plans world's largest solar project

"This came as a big shock" – that Dubai is in debt by 59 billion and might not be able to pay its bills sent a wave of uncertainty rippling through markets just as investors thought the worst of the global financial instability was over. Once, Dubai was "like the new beacon for all the world's money" [HOME, the 2009 documentary]... "Dubai has endless sun, but no solar panels. It is the totem of total modernity that never fails to amaze the world. Nothing seems further removed from nature than Dubai, although nothing depends on nature more than Dubai. Dubai is a sort of culmination of the western model - we haven't understood that we're depleting what nature provides."

the four towers, ranging from 54 to 97 floors, are clustered to form a choreographed sculpture

2009 Docu- mentary Film: HOME  read more »

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