The government’s drastic cut to overseas aid risks damaging the world’s ability to fight the

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[ ‘Disastrous’ consequences of cuts to global science collaboration, warn experts ]

Quite a lot has been going on:

UK’s drastic cut to overseas aid risks future pandemics, say Sage experts

The government’s drastic cut to overseas aid risks damaging the world’s ability to fight the next global health disaster and keep Britain safe, some of its own scientific advisers on Covid are warning.

In a significant escalation of the backlash against the cut, which will see major research projects cancelled this year, current and former members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) are among thousands of academics to confront the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, over cuts affecting projects that target the main threats to human health.

Some of Britain’s leading universities told the Observer that projects attempting to reduce the risk of animal viruses passing to humans, and work examining antimicrobial resistance (AMR), both possible sources of the next global health emergency, were affected by a ‘120m fall in research funding from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) agency. The fall was triggered by the government’s controversial decision to cut overseas aid from 0.7% of GDP to 0.5%. An open letter signed by well over 3,000 UK academics and global health experts warns that the cut will hit ‘some of the world’s most complex and challenging global health problems’.

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L.A. is primed for disaster, but COVID

Here in Los Angeles, we are intimately familiar with collective trauma ‘ earthquakes and mudslides, heat waves and wildfires.

But the size and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic has tested even this resilient metropolis. We have not all suffered equally since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic a year ago Thursday, but we have all suffered.

And if we’ve been spared the worst ‘ if we have kept our jobs and our loved ones are healthy ‘ there’s still a price. To be lucky in L.A. is to be isolated and lonely.

It’s the pain of missing senior year of high school and sporting events, shrinking children’s birthday parties into Zoom windows, delaying going off to college and postponing weddings and other celebrations.

Publisher: Los Angeles Times
Date: 2021-03-11T13:00:23.432
Author: Author link
Twitter: @latimes
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Energy industry getting smarter with AI

Field inspection at Shell’s Nyhamna facility in Norway, which produces ‘digital twins’ of energy plant equipment.

Baker Hughes senior software engineer Rahul Jain works on an AI project focused on reducing equipment downtime. Photo courtesy of Baker Hughes

The energy industry faces no shortage of challenges as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

From falling petroleum demand to increasing pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the rapid growth of renewables, energy companies of all sorts are contending with new demands and shifting business conditions. And they are turning to a new tool to help them adjust to the brave new world: artificial intelligence.

Publisher: Houston Chronicle
Date: 2021-03-19 11:00:00
Author: By Jim Magill Correspondent
Twitter: @houstonchron
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The Biden Administration Weighs the Social Cost of Carbon

President Biden appointed a working group that will eventually establish the new figures the government will use. The group’some members of which have yet to be confirmed’includes science, economic, and climate advisers along with the heads of major federal agencies, reflecting the high priority placed on the task. Now that the group has announced its initial assessment, its members continue their work toward a final one. They have one year to hash out the science while considering environmental justice and intergenerational equity issues.

Here’s how the costs and benefits work out on paper: Suppose the Department of Energy proposed new regulations for air conditioners at a projected cost of $40 million, and economists estimated that the regulation would cut carbon emissions by 1 million tons at a rate of $51 per ton. That would mean about $51 million of benefits, $11 million greater than the cost, implying that it would result in savings in the long run because of its role in preventing costly climate damages in the future. On the other hand, a lower social cost of carbon, such as that put in place during the Trump era, would result in less estimated savings, suggesting that the costs of the proposed regulation would outweigh the benefits.

Publisher: Wired
Author: Ramin Skibba
Twitter: @wired
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Today’s Premium Stories

Millipede and her 3-month-old baby right whale swam into Cape Cod Bay earlier this month. Her calf was born off the coast of Florida in December, and when spotted off Massachusetts her offspring ‘appeared to be quite healthy and independent,’ said Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) researcher Brigid McKenna.

The mom and calf are part of a baby boom. The endangered North Atlantic right whale population is having its best calving season since 2012. So far, 18 newborn whales have been spotted. Only a total of 22 were born over the previous four years.

Publisher: The Christian Science Monitor
Date: 2021-03-18T00:00:00-04:00
Author: The Christian Science Monitor
Twitter: @csmonitor
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Greetings Earthlings: There is no spoon or AI. The data presented above may one day be zapped to another dimension. Just thought you should be aware. Hey, buddy, why are all the planets not aligning?