Tag Archives: disaster

Puerto Ricans might be drinking Superfund-polluted water, the EPA says.

In a memo leaked last week, Department of Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert recommended White House staff pivot to a “theme of stabilizing” with regard to messaging around the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico.

President Trump, however, appears to have missed that particular update. On Thursday morning, he threatened to pull federal relief workers from the devastated island just three weeks after Maria made landfall.

Meanwhile, most of Puerto Rico is still without power, hospitals are running out of medical supplies, and clean water remains scarce.

Trump isn’t the only prominent Republican refusing to recognize the severity of the crisis. In an interview with CNN on Thursday morning, Representative Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, accused host Chris Cuomo of fabricating reports of the severity of the disaster.

“Mr. Cuomo, you’re simply just making this stuff up,” Perry said. “If half the country didn’t have food or water, those people would be dying, and they’re not.”

45 Puerto Rican deaths have been officially confirmed so far, and reports from the ground indicate the unofficial number of deaths due to the storm is higher.

Original link – 

Puerto Ricans might be drinking Superfund-polluted water, the EPA says.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Puerto Ricans might be drinking Superfund-polluted water, the EPA says.

Devastated Dominica aims to climate-proof the country.

President Trump visited the U.S. territory on Tuesday, two weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Half of Puerto Ricans lack clean water and 95 percent are without power.

So, how did the president approach the unfolding humanitarian crisis? Let’s hear it:

Trump said that Hurricane Maria wasn’t a “real catastrophe” like Hurricane Katrina at a briefing with local officials. He compared the certified death count of the disasters as evidence: “You can be very proud, only 16 instead of thousands in Katrina.” To point out a few problems: The official death toll in Puerto Rico is underreported, it will likely continue to climb, and maybe we shouldn’t frame death tolls as something to be proud of.

“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget out of whack,” Trump said at the briefing — apparently joking about the disaster aid pending in Congress.

“Have a good time,” Trump told a family after they showed him their storm-damaged home.

The president went mostly off-script from the White House’s Puerto Rico media coverage plan, but he did take the opportunity to tout the success of the relief effort. “Everybody watching can really be very proud of what’s been taking place in Puerto Rico,” he said.

We can only hope he’s not talking about his own performance.

See the original post: 

Devastated Dominica aims to climate-proof the country.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Devastated Dominica aims to climate-proof the country.

Chart of the Day: Georgia’s 6th Congressional District

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Jon Ossoff’s near win in the special election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district has spurred a lot of conversation about how this represents a huge electoral shift that may be a harbinger of disaster for Republicans in the 2018 midterms. Maybe. That’s a long time away, and a lot of things can happen between now and then. In the meantime, though, this chart from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gives a pretty good idea about what really happened:

This is a district that’s been steadily shifting Democratic for years, in both presidential and congressional races. In 2000 it favored George Bush over Al Gore by nearly 40 points. In 2012 that gap was down to about 20 points. The 2016 election accelerated that trend, with Donald Trump squeaking by with only the barest possible victory. There was unquestionably both a long-term Democratic tailwind in the district and a Trump effect specific to 2016.

During that same period, congressman Tom Price went from a 40-point victory in 2006 (his first as an incumbent) to a 20-point victory in 2016. Remove the incumbency effect and it’s not surprising that Jon Ossoff cut that lead to a couple of points earlier this week. There’s a long-term Democratic tailwind and an incumbency effect specific to 2017.

If Ossoff wins the runoff—or loses a close race—it’s unclear exactly what this means. Is it a huge turnaround in electoral fortunes? Or a modest turnaround fueled mostly by the lack of an incumbent and only a little by the Trump effect? I suspect the latter, though I’m not quite sure what evidence we can bring to bear to sort this out. Come back in eight weeks and we’ll take another crack at it.

See original: 

Chart of the Day: Georgia’s 6th Congressional District

Posted in FF, GE, LG, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Chart of the Day: Georgia’s 6th Congressional District

Yet Another Feinstein-Burr Bill Has Been Leaked

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr apparently have very unreliable staffs. Yet another discussion draft of a national security bill they’re jointly sponsoring has been leaked to the press. They really need to tighten up their operation.

Source:  

Yet Another Feinstein-Burr Bill Has Been Leaked

Posted in FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Yet Another Feinstein-Burr Bill Has Been Leaked

Chart of the Day: The Rich Live a Lot Longer Than the Poor

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

This really is the chart of the day. It seems like it’s been making the rounds on about half the blogs I read:

It comes from the Health Inequality Project, and it will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog. Still, these findings are even more dramatic than usual. The difference in life expectancy between the poorest and richest is a full 15 years for men and 10 years for women. But this chart, based on HIP’s data, is important too:

In the largest coastal cities, life expectancy is four or five years longer than it is in smaller, Midwestern cities. If you take a look at the map in HIP’s report, there’s a broad swath running diagonally from Texas up through the rust belt that has the lowest life expectancies in the nation. Why? Perhaps because of this:

Much of the variation in life expectancy across areas is explained by differences in health behaviors, such as smoking and exercise. Differences in life expectancy among the poor are not strongly associated with differences in access to health care or levels of income inequality. Instead, the poor live longest in affluent cities with highly educated populations and high levels of local government expenditures, such as New York and San Francisco.

If you’re looking for policy conclusions, I can toss out two off the top of my head. First, effective public health campaigns matter. Reducing smoking and encouraging better eating and exercise can make a big difference. Second, increasing the retirement age is the worst possible way to fix Social Security’s funding problems. It’s already 67 for everyone under the age of 55. This means that among the rich, a two year increase reduces their retirement life by about two years out of 20—roughly 10 percent. But among the poor, it takes two years out of ten—roughly 20 percent. There’s no need to balance the Social Security trust fund on the backs of the poor. We have plenty of better alternatives.

See original:  

Chart of the Day: The Rich Live a Lot Longer Than the Poor

Posted in Everyone, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Chart of the Day: The Rich Live a Lot Longer Than the Poor

It’s Been Quiet Lately. Maybe a Little Too Quiet…

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Didn’t there used to be some guy named Donald Trump running for president? Whatever happened to him? It seems like days since I’ve heard a desperate cry for attention from the campaign trail.

See the original post – 

It’s Been Quiet Lately. Maybe a Little Too Quiet…

Posted in alternative energy, FF, GE, LG, ONA, solar, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on It’s Been Quiet Lately. Maybe a Little Too Quiet…

Russia Decides It’s Time to Declare Victory and Get Out of Syria

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Vladimir Putin announced today that he would begin withdrawing most of his forces from Syria. The move came as a complete surprise—sort of:

But U.S. officials also said that there had been evidence over the last several months that appeared to suggest that Moscow didn’t have plans for a long-term stay at the bases it used in Syria.

For instance, the Russian military didn’t appear to be rotating its equipment—tanks, aircraft and artillery—among bases throughout the country in a way that would be consistent with a military’s plans for a sustained presence. Equipment wasn’t being withdrawn for maintenance, for example, and Russian forces weren’t being rotated in and out, according to U.S. officials.

It’s unlikely that Putin ever really intended to stay for a long time in the first place. His goal wasn’t to help Assad win his civil war, but merely to prevent him from losing—just as there’s a reasonable case to be made that this is basically our goal too on the other side of the fight. It’s realpolitik at its nastiest and most cynical. And while the recently convened peace talks in Geneva provided Putin with a convenient pretext to get out, there was more to the timing than just that:

Russia is also facing deepening economic problems caused by the collapse in global oil prices, and the announcement may reflect Mr. Putin’s desire to declare victory and extricate his country from a costly military venture….There have been growing signs of differences between Russia and the Syrian government over the Geneva talks, which Moscow has pressed hard for, along with Washington. And for Mr. Assad, the prospect of Russia’s leaving him to fend for himself is sure to focus his mind on following its lead — advice that Russian officials have publicly offered him in recent days.

In the end, Putin managed to prop up Assad for a little while longer and reassert control over Russia’s only military base outside of its own territory. He also earned a place at the negotiating table and, perhaps, kept Iran’s influence over Syria at bay. In terms of pure military achievement, however, it was a modest affair. The maps below, from ISW, show what’s happened over the past six months. Syrian forces have made progress toward retaking Aleppo, which is significant but hardly tide turning. And that’s about it. What’s more, with Russian air support gone and Kurdish forces also advancing on Aleppo, it’s unclear if Assad can hold this ground in the long term. Stay tuned.

Continued – 

Russia Decides It’s Time to Declare Victory and Get Out of Syria

Posted in alo, FF, GE, LG, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Russia Decides It’s Time to Declare Victory and Get Out of Syria

Here’s the Secret of Being a Highly-Paid CEO: Have a Friend Set Your Salary

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

What’s the secret to being a highly-paid CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Sales growth? Earnings growth? Impressive return to shareholders? Visionary leadership?

According to a new study from Institutional Shareholder Services the real key is simpler: set your own pay. Or better yet, have a friend set it. According to ISS, in companies that have an insider as chairman of the board, CEOs earned a little over $15 million during the past three years. But in companies with an independent outsider as chairman, CEOs made only $11 million.

Did anything else matter? Revenue did: bigger companies pay their CEOs more. But that was it. Shareholder return was insignificant, as were several other variables. Bottom line: if you want a big payday, run a big company and make sure an insider is setting your pay.

View original post here:  

Here’s the Secret of Being a Highly-Paid CEO: Have a Friend Set Your Salary

Posted in FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Here’s the Secret of Being a Highly-Paid CEO: Have a Friend Set Your Salary

Flint Is Still a Disaster, But Obama Just Proposed a Giant Cut to Water Funding

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

President Obama has called Flint, Michigan’s water crisis “inexplicable and inexcusable.” But his administration’s proposed 2017 budget, released today, cuts the Environmental Protection Agency’s water infrastructure funding by roughly a quarter billion dollars.

The EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) provides loans to improve state and local water quality and is the primary source of federal funding for water infrastructure improvements. The 2017 budget proposes a $158 million increase to the Drinking Water SRF, which would help municipalities replace pipelines, fix water main breaks, and generally improve aging water infrastructure—the type of changes that could help places that, like Flint, have an aging water infrastructure. But the budget also proposes a $370 million cut to the Clean Water SRF, which goes toward projects making water sources cleaner overall, from reducing urban runoff pollution and improving wastewater treatment to researching how unregulated chemicals in our water supply affect human health.

In light of the disaster in Flint, the proposed cuts have provoked criticism from both sides of the aisle: Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said he was “grossly disappointed” by the proposal, while Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) accused Obama of prioritizing climate change over water. Overall, federal water infrastructure spending has been relatively stagnant for years:

Mae Wu, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, equates the proposed budget with “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” “Cutting funds that help keep pollution out of our water (CW SRF) and moving the money to remove pollution once it’s already in our drinking water (DW SRF) is no solution at all,” she wrote in an NRDC blog post. “At best it is a short-term band-aid approach to addressing the chronic levels of underinvestment in our water infrastructure by local, state, and federal government.”

The bigger problem, says Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, is that the nation’s water challenges overall continue to be woefully underfunded. “We’re talking about a hundred million here, a hundred million there,” says Gleick, who notes that the single F-35 fighter costs roughly $100 million. “Overall, our budget priorities are still distorted.”

View original article: 

Flint Is Still a Disaster, But Obama Just Proposed a Giant Cut to Water Funding

Posted in Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Flint Is Still a Disaster, But Obama Just Proposed a Giant Cut to Water Funding

California is figuring out the whole drought thing for the rest of us

Looking on the Blight Side of Things

California is figuring out the whole drought thing for the rest of us

By on 22 Jun 2015 2:48 pmcommentsShare

California drought,yadda yadda yadda. You’ve probably heard it all by now — water rights debates, evil almonds, lawn hate — but that overexposure could be a boon for the rest of the world, where drought is forecast to be a serious and growing problem as the climate warms. Here’s the gist, from Wired:

[B]eyond the lack of rain and decades of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad water policies, California has some of the best resources for setting things right. Resources like its $2.2 trillion GDP, its water-hawk governor, or the brains at Cal Tech’s Resnick Institute in Pasadena. (The institute, it should be noted, was funded with money from megafarmer Stewart Resnick, who has been the center of other water controversies.) . The institute, which focuses on scientific and technological fixes for energy, water, and other sustainability issues, is crafting a three-part plan to alleviate the drought. The goal, says director Neil Fromer, isn’t to solve the drought. “But if we can develop a system that is much more resilient to these kinds of weather systems, that can be valuable to people all over the world.”

Broadly, the Resnick group will explore three areas:
1. Technology to catch and recover water that is currently lost.
2. Sensors to gather better intelligence on how much water is available.
3. Models to put this intelligence to use for water management.

Basically, 1) a lot of the rain that falls on California runs straight off into the sea. The infrastructure and tech for capturing this rain and routing it into the watersupply should be fairly straightforward — but so far doesn’t really exist.

“Los Angeles, for instance, gets a decent amount of rainfall and most of that goes into the ocean,” Fromer says. Building stormwater capture and treatment facilities isn’t hard, but there’s no way to plug them into the system.

2) Our water system is incredibly old, while sensor technology has gotten good and cheap enough to help plug leaks and track usage — neither of which the state does at the moment.

Last summer a pipe burst under L.A.’s Sunset Boulevard and spilled at least 20 million gallons of water … to the best of anyone’s knowledge. City officials have no clue how long the pipe had been leaking before it burst. Municipal sensors could track flow in real time, along with water quality

And for No. 3), cities could get proactive with all that sensor data:

With the right data, engineers can write algorithms that predict use and plug up waste. For example, a model could track L.A.’s water usage by the minute, and by measuring those rates against averages could detect spikes indicating underground leaks. And because the sensors would be distributed, engineers could quickly pinpoint the leak’s location.

If that all sounds somewhat basic to you, it’s because our water infrastructure — not unlike the electrical grid — is pretty outdated to begin with. But we’re all about silver linings here at Grist. If the disaster that is California’s ongoing drought can show the rest of us a little light, let’s do ourselves a favor and pay attention now … including what NOT to do.

Source:
DEAR WORLD: HERE ARE SOME DROUGHT FIXES. LOVE, CALIFORNIA

, Wired.

Share

Please

enable JavaScript

to view the comments.

Get Grist in your inbox

Read more:  

California is figuring out the whole drought thing for the rest of us

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, green energy, LG, ONA, Radius, solar, solar power, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on California is figuring out the whole drought thing for the rest of us