August 31

Concerned researchers project global solid waste to peak at 11 million tons

first_imgCredit: (c) Nature Publishing Group, Nature 502, 615–617 (31 October 2013) doi:10.1038/502615a Explore further (Phys.org) —Daniel Hoornweg associate professor at the University of Ontario, Perinaz Bhada-Tata a Dubai based solid-waste consultant, and Chris Kennedy a professor at the University of Toronto, have together published a COMMENT piece in the journal Nature suggesting that the total amount of solid waste we humans generate will peak in 2100 at approximately 11 million tons per day—close to three times the amount produced today. More information: Waste production must peak this century, Nature 502, 615–617 (31 October 2013) DOI: 10.1038/502615a Citation: Concerned researchers project global solid waste to peak at 11 million tons per day in 2100 (2013, October 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-global-solid-peak-million-tons.html Landfill nation: What makes consumers less likely to recycle?center_img Journal information: Nature This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Reports of global warming have dominated the headlines in the past few years, leaving little room for other environmental concerns, one of which is the mounting problem of solid waste, aka trash or rubbish—it’s the stuff we toss after opening packages or consume most any food. It’s plastic water bottles and food scraps, old cell phones or junk mail. Some of it is recycled of course, but a lot of it still ends up in landfills. In their comment piece the researchers write that scientists have found that people that live in more affluent countries toss more stuff in the trash than do people in poor places. They also found that there is a peak amount for trash tossed in affluent places—at some point, people begin spending some of their money on experiences, rather than just stuff. That’s enough information, they say, to project how much total trash will be tossed at various points in the future, and when a global peak will be reached. It’s all based on population growth, the number of people living in developing countries and the amount of time economists and others project will pass before everyone is living in a developed country.What’s perhaps most interesting in the report is the authors’ contention that it’s not the trash itself that is the real concern (recycling, burial, etc. should be able to handle all that trash) but what it represents in terms of other impacts on the planet. As people gain wealth, they pollute more in general—if all the poor people today become affluent to the point of reaching peak trash production, it means they will all be responsible for producing as much CO2 for example, as those that are affluent today, or for the amount of nitrogen that flows to the sea to produce the food they eat.The authors also contend that their projected numbers are not set in stone, if we so desire we can change the way we live and in so doing reduce the amount of trash we produce. They note that people in Japan for example produce much less trash per person than most anywhere else—they have little choice, governments there regulate how people dispose of trash because there is so little room for landfills. © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

August 31

Analyzing the parameters that made societies likely to adopt agriculture

first_img More information: Transition to farming more likely for small, conservative groups with property rights, but increased productivity is not essential. PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print November 2, 2015, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1511870112AbstractTheories for the origins of agriculture are still debated, with a range of different explanations offered. Computational models can be used to test these theories and explore new hypotheses; Bowles and Choi [Bowles S, Choi J-K (2013) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110(22):8830–8835] have developed one such model. Their model shows the coevolution of farming and farming-friendly property rights, and by including climate variability, replicates the timings for the emergence of these events seen in the archaeological record. Because the processes modeled occurred a long time ago, it can be difficult to justify exact parameter values; hence, we propose a fitting to idealized outcomes (FIO) method to explore the model’s parameter space in more detail. We have replicated the model of Bowles and Choi, and used the FIO method to identify complexities and interactions of the model previously unidentified. Our results indicate that the key parameters for the emergence of farming are group structuring, group size, conservatism, and farming-friendly property rights (lending further support to Bowles and Choi’s original proposal). We also find that although advantageous, it is not essential that farming productivity be greater than foraging productivity for farming to emerge. In addition, we highlight how model behaviors can be missed when gauging parameter sensitivity via a fix-all-but-one variation approach. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further Citation: Analyzing the parameters that made societies likely to adopt agriculture (2015, November 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-11-parameters-societies-agriculture.html Human transition from foraging to farming was a gradual co-evolution, not a rapid innovationcenter_img The lack of a historical record from these early agricultural societies has led researchers to develop social and economic models in order to deduce the conditions that enabled the growth and spread of agricultural practice. Researchers S. Bowles and J-K Choi published a method in 2013 hypothesizing that the rise of agriculture was impossible without the development of farming-friendly property rights, and vice-versa. The model demonstrated the coevolution of farming and property rights, while replicating the timing of these developments in the archaeological record with data from the North Greenland Ice Core Project. Their model also suggested that a rare, possibly coincidental set of environmental and social conditions had to occur in order for agriculture to become established.Now, a group of researchers in the United Kingdom has replicated and deepened the results of the Bowles-Choi model with a computer simulation in which they tested parameter variations by running the model 106 times and then separated these simulations into 1,000 sets of 1,000 simulations. They have published their results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors conclude that the elements necessary for the establishment of agriculture are a population structured into groups, small (but not too small) group sizes, a very low amount of behavioral experimentation, and the presence of farming-friendly property rights.Agents in the Bowles-Choi model can have a technological strategy: farmers or foragers. They also have a behavioral strategy: They can be a sharer, a bourgeois, or a civic. Behavioral experimentation is defined in the study as the willingness to transition between these behavioral modes, where a group with a low level of experimentation is regarded as more conservative. In the current study, the researchers established that a low, but nonzero level of behavioral experimentation was needed as a condition for an agricultural society.”By increasing behavioral experimentation, we see an increase in the number of farmers. However, this increase converges to around 50 percent of farmers, because when behavioral experimentation is large, agents are changing regularly between both strategies and there is little structuring in the group. It is only when the number of groups is large (i.e. the groups are small) that we start to see more simulations that have a majority of farmers.”The other parameters from the Bowles-Choi model that had identifiable effects in the current study were hunter-gatherer product, the contestability of farmed products, farming investment, and farming product. The researchers found that a number of parameters accounted in the Bowles-Choi model were insensitive in the new simulations, including the migration rate, the contestability of foraged products, the resource transfer amount, and the probability of a between-group conflict. Additionally, with their new approach, the researchers addressed the problems of the “fix-all-but-one” parameter approach used by Bowles and Choi; they suggest future studies of historical processes could rely more on similar parameter analysis. © 2015 Phys.org (Phys.org)—The development of agriculture, arising during the Neolithic revolution, was an incredibly influential transition in the history of human beings. It’s believed that anatomically modern humans existed in hunter-gatherer societies for around 190,000 years before the transition to agricultural practices, which are generally understood to have occurred independently in several regions around the world, and radiated out to the rest of the world from these hubs between 11,500 years ago and 3,500 years ago. Range (light green), interquartile range (middle green), and median (dark green) of the percentage of metapopulations (1,000 simulations) with a majority of bourgeois farmers at each time point when running our interpretation of the model 1,000 times. Bowles and Choi’s result is shown in black. Credit: (c) 2015 PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print November 2, 2015, doi:10.1073/pnas.1511870112last_img read more

August 31

Gearing up for a Russian flavour in the Capital

A three-day event on the culture of Russia will begin from today. An initiative of the Government of India, this event is organised by the Department of Art, Culture, and Languages, with Sahitya Kala Parishad, Moscow Government and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (DSIIDC), the Days Of Moscow in Delhi, will bring a series of cultural activities like Russian Classical Music Concert, Fashion Show, Photo Exhibition, Ghazel : Gala Concert showcasing the tradition, and culture of the Russian capital. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The photo exhibition will have the photographs and video works of 14  participating artistes which will be displayed at Lalit Kala Academy. At the exhibition, there will be a workshop on photography by Russian photographer Vladislav Efimov.While the Russian Classical Music Concert organised by the Moscow government, bringing together numerous performers from all over Russia and India will perform at the concert in the Russian Cultural Centre. The Russian government will also bring folk artistes from the different regions of Russia, qualified and professional ballet dancers and professional performers from Russia for The Ghazel: gala concert. This concert will be held at the Central Park, near Rajiv Chowk metro station. There will also be  a fashion show parade by the Russian designers at the Emporio in Vasant Kunj.  This show will be organised by DSIIDC encompassing the lifestyle wears from the Russian capital. So get ready to absorb Russian culture right here in Delhi. read more

August 31

Manipur decides to form draft panel for new Bill

first_imgAn all-party meet chaired by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has decided to constitute a drafting committee to prepare a Bill for the protection of the indigenous people of Manipur, where a 12-hour bandh was called by Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) on Thursday.The decision comes a day after the state Assembly unanimously withdrew the Manipur Regulation of Visitors, Tenants and Migrant Workers (MRVTMW) Bill, 2015.CPI(M) Manipur unit secretary Sarat Salam said the meeting, headed by the Chief Minister, decided to form the drafting committee and aims to come up with the new Bill within a month. Salam said it was decided to appeal to JCILPS to extend cooperation to the initiative by all political parties and state government by suspending the ongoing agitation. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIThe CPI(M) has demanded that the drafting committee should consult all other stakeholders in drafting the Bill.Another CPI(M) state leader Ksh Santa who attended the all-party meet said his party suggested to form a third group to mediate between the government and agitators to solve the ongoing deadlock and check police excesses during ILP movement.Naga People’s Front (NPF), Manipur People’s Party (MPP) and BJP were absent in the meeting. Recognised state parties – Manipur State Congress Party, Trinamool Congress, besides ruling Congress and the Left attended the meeting.Acting convenor of JCILPS Kh Ratan had earlier said that they had turned down the state government’s invitation to have a talk since JCILPS did not have confidence in the present regime.last_img read more

August 31

Iran unveils new missile to seek peace through strength

first_imgThe defence ministry’s unveiling of the solid-fuel missile, named Fateh 313, came little more than a month after Iran and world powers reached a deal that requires Tehran to abide by new limits on its nuclear programme in return for Western governments easing economic sanctions. According to that deal, any transfer to Iran of ballistic missile technology during the next eight years will be subject to the approval of the United Nations Security Council, and the United States has promised to veto any such requests. An arms embargo on conventional weapons also stays, preventing their import and export for five years.  Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortBut Iran has said it will not follow parts of the nuclear deal that restricts its military capabilities, a stance reaffirmed by President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday. “We will buy, sell and develop any weapons we need and we will not ask for permission or abide by any resolution for that,” he said in a speech at the unveiling ceremony broadcast live on state television. “We can negotiate with other countries only when we are powerful. If a country does not have power and independence, it cannot seek real peace,” he said.  Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanThe defence ministry said the Fateh 313, unveiled on Iran’s Defence Industry Day, had already been successfully tested and that mass production would start soon. Iran has one of the largest missile programmes in the Middle East. It wants to export arms to its allies in the region and import anti-missile systems to prevent any possible attack by its arch-foe Israel. “In our aerospace industry we have various ballistic missiles with different ranges under production,” Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said on Friday.  “We will continue this path with maximum power in line with our defensive needs and proportionate to threats ahead of us.”  Fars news agency, which is close to the country’s Revolutionary Guards, released a music video on Saturday praising Iran’s missile capabilities. It contained pictures of what the agency called a new and unknown missile of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). A senior IRGC commander said on Friday Iran would hold a large ballistic missile manoeuvre in the near future.last_img read more

August 31

Use depressionfighting skills to get a job

first_imgThese skills included identifying negative thoughts and countering them with more positive responses and planning enjoyable activities to improve the mood.This study is the first to show that cognitive behavioural (CB) skills not only predict changes in depression symptoms, but also in real life functioning, said co-author of the study Daniel Strunk, associate professor of psychology at The Ohio State University in the US.“Searching for a job is difficult in any circumstance, but it may be even more difficult for people who are depressed,” Strunk said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“But we found that there are specific skills that can help not only manage the symptoms of depression but also make it more likely that a person will receive a job offer,” Strunk noted.The study involved 75 unemployed people, aged 20 to 67, who participated in two online surveys taken three months apart.About a third of the sample reported symptoms that would put them in the ‘moderately to seriously’ depressed category, although they were not formally diagnosed. The remaining two-thirds had scores that ranged from mild depression to no symptoms. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe results showed that participants who reported more use of cognitive behavioural skills were more likely to show an improvement in depressive symptoms in the three months between the surveys– and were more likely to report they had received a job offer.The findings appeared in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.“The people who got jobs in our study were more likely to be putting into practice the skills that we try to teach people in cognitive therapy,” Strunk explained.last_img read more