It’s taken months (and years) of organizing to get to this historic day, but the movement to save Net Neutrality just scored its biggest victory yet:
Just moments ago, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 to reclassify broadband as a utility — and ban slow lanes on the Internet!
We haven’t seen all of the details yet, but one thing is for sure: These will be the strongest rules ever enacted to protect Net Neutrality.
Today’s vote would never have happened without the relentless actions of Democracy for America members like you and Net Neutrality-driven advocates like Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Free Press, CREDO Mobile, Color of Change, PCCC, MoveOn and a seemingly infinite army of diverse organizations that would take the length of this email to mention.
Reclassifying broadband wasn’t even on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s radar as recently as 9 months ago. As the Huffington Post just reported, “a few months ago, such rules were considered a pipe dream of net neutrality advocates.” But together with our allies across the country, we got to work building the case that reclassifying broadband was the only way to truly protect the free and open Internet in the short term and for the future.
It looks unlikely that our opponents will be able to overturn reclassification in the short term. But this is NOT over — not by a long shot. Republicans in Congress, fueled by their Big Telecom buddies, are going to try to find ways to reverse this win. Their first step: Drag the FCC members into an oversight hearing to grill them on their “overreach” in an attempt to turn the public against Net Neutrality.
Nutrient-rich dust from the desert is blown across the Atlantic to help the rain forest’s soil.
By: Ali Berman – Thu, Feb 26, 2015
On the surface, the Sahara Desert and Amazon rain forest don’t seem to have much in common. One is dry and mostly filled with sand. The other is lush, green and one of the best examples of biodiversity on the planet. And yet, according to new research, the Sahara plays a critical role in the health of the Amazon by delivering millions of tons of nutrient-rich dust across the Atlantic, replenishing the rain forest’s soil with phosphorus and other fertilizers.Researchers revealed in a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that about 22,000 tons of phosphorus get blown across the Atlantic Ocean. And it’s a good thing, considering that number mirrors the estimated amount of phosphorus the Amazon loses each year due to rain and flooding.This finding about the Sahara’s role in the health of the Amazon’s soil is just one data point in research pondering the bigger picture. Scientists are trying to better understand how dust affects the local and global climate.“We know that dust is very important in many ways. It is an essential component of the Earth system. Dust will affect climate and, at the same time, climate change will affect dust,” said lead author, Hongbin Yu.Between 2007 and 2013, the scientists used NASA’s Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) satellite to study the movement of dust on its journey from the Saharan to across the Atlantic Ocean and into South America and then beyond to the Caribbean Sea. This is believed to be the largest transport of dust on Earth.Using samples from Chad’s Bodélé Depression, a lake bed filled with dead and phosphorus-rich microorganisms, and from areas in Barbados and Miami, scientists were able to calculate how much phosphorus ends up in the Amazon basin.While 22,000 tons of phosphorus sounds like a lot, it’s actually just 0.08 percent of the 27.7 million tons of dust that end up in the Amazon each year.The scientists acknowledge that seven years is too short a time to draw conclusions about long-term trends in the transportation of dust, but the findings are a great start to learning more about how dust and other windborne particles move across the ocean and interact with faraway climates.NASA scientist Chip Trepte, who was not involved in the study but who works with CALIPSO, said, “We need a record of measurements to understand whether or not there is a fairly robust, fairly consistent pattern to this aerosol transport.”Right now, the numbers gathered vary widely from year to year, the largest change found between 2007 and 2011 where there was an 86 percent difference between the lowest and highest amount of transported dust recorded.The researchers believe that the variations can be attributed to the amount of rainfall that takes place in the semi-arid land that borders the Sahara. Years when rainfall was higher were followed by lower years of dust transport. In the press release, they speculated that rain could lead to more vegetation causing less soil to be exposed to wind erosion. Another theory is that the amount of rainfall could impact the wind circulation patterns that cause dust to get brought across the ocean.Whatever the reason behind the changes from year to year, Yu concludes, “This is a small world, and we’re all connected together.”Related on MNN:
via birds of a feather.
This Saturday, the breathtaking ice caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin will open for the first time this season. The ice caves are an always changing phenomenon — the formations change from chamber to chamber and from day to day. The result is a fairyland of needlelike icicles. Visiting the ice caves requires at least a 2 mile hike across Lake Superior, and present conditions might make it a challenging trek. For up-to-date info on the ice caves, visit ww.nps.gov/apis or call the Ice Line at (715) 779-3397 – extension 3. National Park Service photo.
swpTvUkPublished on 26 Feb 2015
Debate on 25th February: Syriza and Socialist Strategy
Hosted by International Socialism
Wednesday 25 February 2015
with Stathis Kouvelakis, member of Syriza’s central committee and
Alex Callinicos, editor, International Socialism
The victory of Syriza in the Greek elections has raised important debates about how to achieve fundamental social change. Can the new government overthrow austerity and, more fundamentally, is this confirmation of the method of “seizing power by elections, but combining that with social mobilisation” as Stathis Kouvelakis has written?
Alex Callinicos has said that “revolutionary socialists should celebrate the new government’s victory and support the progressive measures it takes. But the entire Greek radical left will be judged by how successfully they promote working people’s self-organisation, confidence, and combativity. That is where the power to end austerity lies.”
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