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This new app takes a swipe at China’s worst polluters

WHAT NIGERIA NEEDS

Grist

When Chinese environmental advocate Ma Jun realized that no one was going to take responsibility for the crippling smog that plagues his country, he decided to take matters into his own hands. His idea: encourage citizens to start pointing their fingers at the problem. Literally.

Manufacturers have been reaping the rewards of China’s new industrial economy, while ducking the consequences of fouling up its air. So Ma and colleagues built a live-updating map that shows exactly where individual polluters are emitting the noxious stuff that threatens Chinese citizens’ health, to the tune of 670,000 premature deaths, and contributes to global climate change.

Using government-installed air monitoring systems, the app reports real-time emissions from sources all over the country, marking the culprits with guilty orange circles. Although China has strict anti-pollution laws — some violations are even punishable by death — the laws are typically poorly enforced. With few electoral routes to justice available, public opinion is often the best tool for…

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Breaking: Healthcare Worker in Scotland Diagnosed with Ebola

TheSurvivalPlaceBlog

ebola

By Lily Dane – The Daily Sheeple

A day after flying home to Glasgow from Sierra Leone, a healthcare worker has been diagnosed with Ebola, the Scottish government reported today.

From Reuters:

The patient is being treated in isolation at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital, having flown back to Scotland’s largest city late on Sunday on a British Airways flight via Casablanca in Morocco and London’s Heathrow.

“All possible contacts with the patient are now being investigated and anyone deemed to be at risk will be contacted and closely monitored,” the Scottish government said in a statement.

“However, having been diagnosed in the very early stages of the illness, the risk to others is considered extremely low.”

The patient, who is said to be female, will be transferred to a high-level isolation unit in London’s Royal Free hospital.

While reporting on the dangerous virus in the US has quelled, the threat…

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5 steps towards making 2015 your best year ever


Personal rapid transit: The future of public transportation, maybe

Grist

Since writing about Seattle’s infrastructure fustercluck, I’ve been thinking a lot about transportation. It’s really a b*tch of a problem.

The internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle had its disadvantages from the very beginning, not only relative to public transportation but relative to other types of car. (There’s a fantastic chapter in Alexis Madrigal’s Powering the Dream about this history.) But its advantages — power, personalization, and modularity — mattered more. It could go farther than other cars; you could drive it wherever you wanted to go, whenever; and it was small enough to be within the reach of average citizens, who had little control over larger transportation projects.

The ICE car has arguably passed the point when its drawbacks — particulate pollution, traffic, sprawl, climate change — exceed its advantages, at least from a social-welfare perspective. But it is still firmly rooted in human life, almost everywhere, despite much-hyped…

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