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FEATURE

Who are the Yazidi?





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ISIS has attacked the Yazidi people - a sect of the Kurds - in Iraq. The jihadists have driven the survivors to the slopes of Mt. Sinjar, where the Yazidi are running out of food, water and hope, while the ISIS militants advance to wipe them out in what would be a genocide. The White House has just authorized air drops and airstrikes to save them and the U.S. and France have committed to helping the Kurds.

Who are the Yazidi? Why is ISIS after them, why have Sunni and Shi'a attacked them in the past, and why are they at risk of genocide now?

Yazidi on Mt. Sinjar, Iraqi/Syrian Border - 1920's

Historically, the Yazidis are a religious minority of the Kurds. They are said to have existed since 2000 BCE. Estimates of the number of Yazidis vary between 100,000 and 800,000, the latter being the claim of their website. According to the same site, Yazidi refugees in Germany number 30,000.

Researchers believe that the Yazidi religion has elements from Zoroastrianism, Manicheism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Yazidis call themselves Dasin, not Yazidi. The term 'Yazidism' comes from the Persian word 'īzed', 'angel'. The name Yazidism is connected to the 6th caliph, Yazid (680-83), who, from Shi'a point of view, is one of world history's most hated men, and is highly disliked by most Sunnis, as well. There is little evidence to show what role, if any, Yazid m played in the founding or development of Yazidism.

The Yazidis don't call themselves Yazidis and they're not attached to the 6th Caliph. That hasn't stopped the Sunni and Shi'a from hating them for the name they don't call themselves, as well as for the rumors that they worship the devil.

What are their true beliefs?

FEATURE

National Climate Assessment Report: Climate Change is Here





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In May 2014, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released the Third National Climate Assessment, the authoritative and comprehensive report on climate change and its impacts in the United States.

Evidence for changes in Earth’s climate can be found from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. Researchers from around the world have compiled this evidence using satellites, weather balloons, thermometers at surface stations, and many other types of observing systems that monitor the Earth’s weather and climate. The sum total of this evidence tells an unambiguous story: the planet is warming.



More at www.globalchange.gov

It's Earth Day!





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For Earth Day: Bella Gaia:



From Earthday.org: Our planet is at a turning point. The massive global migration underway now from countryside to cities will demand huge investments in energy, water, materials, waste, food distribution, and transportation over the next 25 years. If the correct investments are made now, this unique opportunity will be the catalyst for dramatic changes in the built environment and the fight against carbon emissions and climate change. 

Assessing "Dangerous Climate Change": Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature





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This paper, by an international team of scientists, points out the clear and present danger that today's children may be handed a deteriorating climate with consequences out of their control. 

Dr. James Hansen
by James Hansen, Pushker Kharecha, Makiko Sato, Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Frank Ackerman, David J. Beerling, Paul J. Hearty, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Shi-Ling Hsu, Camille Parmesan, Johan Rockstrom, Eelco J. Rohling, Jeffrey Sachs, Pete Smith, Konrad Steffen, Lise Van Susteren, Karina von Schuckmann, James C. Zachos

We conclude that the widely accepted target of limiting human-made global climate warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the preindustrial level is too high and would subject young people, future generations and nature to irreparable harm. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel use must be reduced rapidly to avoid irreversible consequences such as sea level rise large enough to inundate most coastal cities and extermination of many of today's species. Unabated global warming would also worsen climate extremes. In association with summer high pressure systems, warming causes stronger summer heat waves, more intense droughts, and wildfires that burn hotter. Yet because warming causes the atmosphere to hold more water vapor, which is the fuel that drives thunderstorms, tornadoes and tropical storms, it also leads to the possibility of stronger storms as well as heavier rainfall and floods. Observational data reveal that some climate extremes are already increasing in response to warming of several tenths of a degree in recent decades; these extremes would likely be much enhanced with warming of 2°C or more.

We use evidence from Earth's climate history and measurements of Earth's present energy imbalance as our principal tools for inferring climate sensitivity and the safe level of global warming. The inferred warming limit leads to a limit on cumulative fossil fuel emissions.

It is assessed that humanity must aim to keep global temperature close to the range occurring in the past 10,000 years, the Holocene epoch, a time of relatively stable climate and stable sea level during which civilization developed.

Read more here →

FEATURE

Bella Gaia





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A unforgettable video by director and composer, Kenji Williams, compiling views from NASA and other sources of the Bella Gaia, the beautiful Earth.


The video was supported by NASA, the Baum Foundation, the Foundation for Global Community, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and is a production of Remedy Arts, LLC.

Please share this wonderful and unique view of the Earth and its environment.

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