Science Policy For All

Because science policy affects everyone.

Science Policy Around the Web – September 6, 2014

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By: Tara Burke, Ph.D.

photo credit: Kris Krug via photopin cc

Environment

Time to focus on committed, not current, carbon emissions, study argues – A new study published in Environmental Research Letters argues that instead of focusing on annual carbon emissions, scientists and policy makers should track committed emissions. Committed emissions track how much energy infrastructure we’ve already built and adds up the emissions those infrastructures are projected to produce during their forecasted lifetime. The authors of the study argue that this is a superior method of highlighting the climate challenge Earth faces. The traditional measurement of annual emissions has masked the problematic growth of committed emissions. Adoption of committed emissions will hopefully enable policymakers to recognize the implications of today’s policies on future policies and may help developing countries adopt energy infrastructure of lower carbon intensity.  (Eli Kintisch)

 

Infectious Disease

Ebola now threatens national security in west AfricaThe spread of Ebola has become so entrenched in west Africa that it now poses a real risk to the stability and security in the region. The Ebola virus continues to spread and its outbreak is stressing the infrastructure of many west African countries that must still provide basic health, security and commercial practices despite the outbreak. Fear has also become a huge hindrance to stopping the outbreak. Citizens are fearful of hospitals and risk not being treated for other maladies and health workers are afraid to go to their jobs. CDC director, Tom Frieden, is urging the world to respond quickly. He states that “the window of opportunity really is closing”. The CDC recommends scaling up medical supplies and recruiting more health care management experts to the region. The World Health Organization has asked for $490 million to help with the response.   (Dina Fine Maron)

 

Biosafety

White House orders biosafety review at federal labs – In the wake of three recent U.S. biosafety and biosecurity incidents, the White House is asking federally funded labs studying infectious agents to inventory samples and review safety and security procedures. These steps are not mandatory for extramural labs with federal funding. The memo asks these labs to perform a ‘Safety Stand-Down’ where leaders will review practices and protocols. During this time, laboratories will also develop plans to consistently monitor their inventory. Additionally, labs are also asked to do an ‘immediate sweep’ for select infectious agents and toxins that may potentially cause harm and make sure these samples are either properly registered or destroyed. While some are supportive of this move by the White House to regulate biosafety, some are criticizing it as too weak arguing that most select agent work occurs at academic or nonfederal labs where these procedures are not required. (Jocelyn Kaiser)

 

 

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Written by sciencepolicyforall

September 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Linkposts

Tagged with , , ,

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