Tag Archives: field

Raw Data: Field Worker Wages Since the Great Recession

Mother Jones

Apropos of nothing in particular, I got curious this morning about illegal immigration and field workers. About half of all field workers are undocumented, so if there’s been a surge of illegal immigration lately, as some have speculated, you’d expect to see the wages of field workers decline. But how would you measure that?

I’m not sure what the best approach is, but I decided to compare the wages of field workers to the wages of all nonsupervisory workers. Here’s what I got:

Relative wages for field workers were flat all through the aughts, as illegal immigration was climbing, and declined a bit during the Great Recession. However, since 2012 they’ve risen three percentage points. In 2016, field workers earned nearly 57 percent of the average nonsupervisory wage.

Based on this, I’m willing to bet that that illegal immigration hasn’t surged over the past couple of years. Just the opposite, maybe, which would be consistent with the rise in field worker wages since 2012.

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Raw Data: Field Worker Wages Since the Great Recession

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One city is making a good start at tackling its homelessness problems — thanks to a lawsuit.

What could go wrong?

The Stones field, 200 miles south of New Orleans and 1.8 miles beneath the water surface, is far deeper than the field tapped by the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded in 2010, killing 11 workers and spilling about 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The new project, the Guardian reports, could be a boon to Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, whose annual bonus is linked to completing major new projects. But some Shell shareholders will be less than pleased. At the company’s annual meeting last year, many shareholders pushed to end CEO bonuses for actions that harm the climate and to require investments in renewables.

Last year, van Beurden admitted that we cannot burn all the fossil fuel reserves on the planet and expect global temperature rise to stay below 2 degrees Celsius. Above 2C, climate scientists warn that the consequences will be severe and, in some cases, irreversible. So far, we’re halfway there.

But Shell is just continuing on with business as usual: The company forecasts that its deep-water production capacity will grow dramatically by the early 2020s.

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One city is making a good start at tackling its homelessness problems — thanks to a lawsuit.

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Shell has started pumping from the world’s deepest underwater oil field.

What could go wrong?

The Stones field, 200 miles south of New Orleans and 1.8 miles beneath the water surface, is far deeper than the field tapped by the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded in 2010, killing 11 workers and spilling about 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The new project, the Guardian reports, could be a boon to Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, whose annual bonus is linked to completing major new projects. But some Shell shareholders will be less than pleased. At the company’s annual meeting last year, many shareholders pushed to end CEO bonuses for actions that harm the climate and to require investments in renewables.

Last year, van Beurden admitted that we cannot burn all the fossil fuel reserves on the planet and expect global temperature rise to stay below 2 degrees Celsius. Above 2C, climate scientists warn that the consequences will be severe and, in some cases, irreversible. So far, we’re halfway there.

But Shell is just continuing on with business as usual: The company forecasts that its deep-water production capacity will grow dramatically by the early 2020s.

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Shell has started pumping from the world’s deepest underwater oil field.

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Deepwater Horizon is being made into a movie, and it looks disastrously good.

What could go wrong?

The Stones field, 200 miles south of New Orleans and 1.8 miles beneath the water surface, is far deeper than the field tapped by the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded in 2010, killing 11 workers and spilling about 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The new project, the Guardian reports, could be a boon to Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, whose annual bonus is linked to completing major new projects. But some Shell shareholders will be less than pleased. At the company’s annual meeting last year, many shareholders pushed to end CEO bonuses for actions that harm the climate and to require investments in renewables.

Last year, van Beurden admitted that we cannot burn all the fossil fuel reserves on the planet and expect global temperature rise to stay below 2 degrees Celsius. Above 2C, climate scientists warn that the consequences will be severe and, in some cases, irreversible. So far, we’re halfway there.

But Shell is just continuing on with business as usual: The company forecasts that its deep-water production capacity will grow dramatically by the early 2020s.

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Deepwater Horizon is being made into a movie, and it looks disastrously good.

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Donald Trump Is Doing Pretty Well Considering That He Isn’t Advertising At All

Mother Jones

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about the fact that Donald Trump has so far spent $0 on TV advertising. Here is Jeet Heer:

Hillary Clinton has entered the field with $13 million in Olympics ad spending, but her competitor is nowhere to be seen. Astonishingly, Donald Trump’s campaign is spending zero dollars on Olympics advertising. And it’s not just in Olympics ads that Clinton is winning by default. To date, the Trump campaign has been unwilling to spend one thin penny on television advertising.

….In recent weeks, he’s upped his fundraising game, bringing in more than $91 million. So Trump has the money, he’s just not choosing to spend it. This is further evidence that Trump’s not running a real campaign, but something closer to a scampaign.

Maybe. But does it occur to anyone that this might be a danger sign for Hillary? She’s about 6-7 points ahead of Trump at the moment, which sounds great until you think about the fact that she’s spent $90 million on ads to Trump’s zero. Perhaps the Trump campaign is gambling that ads this far ahead of Election Day don’t have much effect, so he might as well wait until September and then unleash a gigantic blitz. They might even be right. In any case, once he does start advertising, surely that will cut Hillary’s lead.

How much will it cut her lead? That’s a good question, isn’t it?

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Donald Trump Is Doing Pretty Well Considering That He Isn’t Advertising At All

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How to Harvest and Cook Fiddlehead Ferns

Fiddlehead ferns are a telltale sign that spring is coming to a close. Always appearing around the month of May, these delicious yet fleeting vegetables are the apples of many a forager’s eye. Even if youre not a forager yourself, you might want to buy these delicious, asparagus-like ferns from the store if you spot them. Theyre delicious, with a bright, lively taste and a versatile texture. Heres what you need to know about these tricky little delicacies.

What are Fiddlehead Ferns?

Most of the fiddleheads we associate with eating are ostrich ferns. This is important to note, because there are other varieties that may look similar, but are actually known to be toxic. They are the fronds of a young fern that has just begun to sprout. We pick them in the spring before theyve had the chance to mature and unfurl into what we usually recognize as a fern. As a result, they look, well, kind of like a curled-up green bean.

Where and When Do They Grow?

Fiddlehead ferns grow best on the Eastern side of the country, usually running from New England all the way up through Eastern Canada. They tend to sprout up in wet, marshy areas, so theyre kind of off the beaten path (this is one of the reasons theyre so expensive to buy in stores). They grow in clumps of two to three all the way up to the hundreds, and only hang around for a couple of weeks in mid-Spring.

Forage or Buy?

If you live in an area where fiddlehead ferns grow and youre an experienced forager, these little guys would be fun items to look for. However, its important to be careful about this. Similar plant species may look very similar to the fiddlehead, but are in fact toxic. Fearless eating recommends the book A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants if youre interested in foraging for fiddleheads. You could also go out on the hunt with a credible guide who could show you the ropes.

If you decide to pick these up at the grocery store, time is of the essence! Blink and you might miss them. Be prepared that theyre also expensive roughly $14-19 per pound.

How to Cook Fiddlehead Ferns

The Kitchn advises that you shouldnt eat these ferns raw. Theyve been known to cause illness when eaten raw in large quantities. However, that shouldnt be a problem, because cooking these guys is easy! You can cook them any way youd cook asparagus: sauteed, steamed, boiled, etc.

My personal favorite idea is to blanch and then saute them. Bring your water to a roaring boil, add your fiddleheads, and allow the water to return to a boil. Then let the boil continue for about four minutes before placing the fiddleheads in a bowl of ice water. After theyve cooled a bit, sautee them with some butter, coconut oil or olive oil. Delish!

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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How to Harvest and Cook Fiddlehead Ferns

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9 Things You’ll Miss Without Wetlands

You probably don’t give wetlands a second thought, but you should. They’re one of the most valuable parts of our ecosystemand they’re disappearing almost faster than we can keep track.

Twenty-two states have lost at least 50 percent of their original wetlands, with the most being lost in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina. A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that between 2004 and 2009, coastal wetlands declined by 80,160 acres per year.

“It’s as if we have a best friend who is seriously ill with a treatable disease, and we refuse to help him, though we watch closely, each day, as he shakes with fever, begs for water, becomes unable to walk or stand,” lamented Field and Stream.

The U.S. EPA calls wetlands the “kidneys” of the landscape. That’s because they’re so effective at removing pollution and sediment from the water that flows through them, improving water quality, attracting wildlife and creating a beautiful place to relax and enjoy nature.

But those attributes seem to be no match for the logging, draining, filling and development going on to convert wetlands to plantations, suburbs, shopping malls and factories.

During American Wetlands Month, which is celebrated in May, I wanted to highlight nine valuable benefitswe will all lose if we continue to let wetlands be destroyed.

1) Seafood – “Wetlands are essential to fish and shellfish…and the health of the nation’s multi-billion dollar commercial and recreational fishing industries,” said March Schaefer, NOAA Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Management. What’s at stake: crab, shrimp and lobster, making up nearly 80 percent of our fish and shellfish overall reports NOAA.

2) Ducks, Geese and Many Other Birds– Though wetlands comprise less than 10 percent of the nation’s land area, they support 75 percent of our migratory birds. If you enjoy watching geese migrate in spring and fall, along with other birds, you need to support wetlands.

3) Water Purification – Wetlands can absorb pollutants from surface water. They help trap sediment, too. As long as they’re not overwhelmed, wetlands act as a buffer between rivers and streams and the larger bodies of water they empty into.

4) Flood Protection – Wetlands protect coastlines after a storm by holding excess runoff after a storm, then releasing it slowly. Wetlands cannot prevent flooding, but they can lower the size of a flood surge, and by slowing its velocity. Think of a wetland as a giant sponge. It can hold much more water than other soil types, and for a longer period of time.

5)Groundwater Recharge – Underground aquifers that help provide our drinking water and nourish plants are refilled when water seeps into them through wetlands. During that process, the wetlands help filter the water, as well.

6) Frogs and Yes, Alligators – Many species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians rely on wetlands to breed, forage and nest. Wetland animals often cannot survive anywhere else. The high rate of wetlands loss has contributed to listing many animals species as threatened or endangered.

7) Photography and Art – Many beautiful photographs have been taken of wetlands and the animals and plants they support. Wetlands have inspired artists all over the world.

8) Canoeing and Kayaking – Because wetlands are usually so placid, they’re an ideal place to kayak, canoe and get uniquely close to nature. It takes very little skill to paddle a kayak in a wetland, making the sport available to everyone.

9) Places to Hunt and Birdwatch – Ironically, wetlands are ideal for birdwatching and hunting alike, though not at the same time. In fact, hunters are some of the most avid proponents of protecting wetlands because they have seen firsthand how destroying these ecosystems can threaten wildlife.

During the month of May, get out and explore wetlands near you. If you don’t know where any are, contact your state department of natural resources, or check the U.S. Fish & Wildlife website here.

Related:
Michigan Has Lost 40 Percent of Wetlands
Habitat Loss Threatens More than 90 Percent of Migratory Birds

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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9 Things You’ll Miss Without Wetlands

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The NFL Just Released Its Concussion Count, And It’s Not Pretty

Mother Jones

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With a little more than a week and a half before the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers face off in Super Bowl 50, the National Football League has released its latest injury data, and it isn’t pretty. Its players have suffered 271 reported concussions this season, a steep uptick from 2014-15, when there were 206, and the highest number in the last four years. The NFL also reports that there were 182 concussions during the most recent regular season; there were 115 in 2014.

Jeff Miller, the league’s senior vice president of health and safety policy, gave a number of possible explanations for the rise in concussion reports, such as increased screening for possible head injuries, an “unprecedented” level of players reporting signs of injury, and a rise in participation from spotters and independent neurologists on the sidelines. It’s also worth noting that, the number of helmet-to-helmet incidents on the field rose 58 percent between 2014 and 2015 after a two-year drop.

The league’s figures for the 2015 season differ slightly from PBS Frontline‘s Concussion Watch project, which bases its data on the NFL’s weekly injury reports. Frontline found that there were 199 concussions sustained this year, compared to the NFL’s 182. (Frontline‘s data does not include the preseason.) Cornerbacks suffered the most this year, with 41 reported concussions, while wide receivers and linebackers bore the next highest number of injuries, according to Frontline.

This latest injury report comes just as doctors discovered posthumously that Tyler Sash, a 27-year-old former safety for the New York Giants who died of an accidental drug overdose in September, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a debilitating brain disease. Cases so severe are rarely seen in a person his age. The New York Times reported on Tuesday Sash sustained at least five concussions throughout his playing career.

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The NFL Just Released Its Concussion Count, And It’s Not Pretty

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We Talked to Hope Solo About Why the US Women’s Soccer Team Skipped a Game in Protest

Mother Jones

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On Saturday, Hope Solo and the US women’s national soccer team were getting ready for practice at Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium, where they were scheduled to play Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday in the seventh game of their World Cup Victory Tour. As the goalkeeper surveyed the artificial-turf field, she noticed the hardened white paint on the football yardage markings near her goal and the rocky surface that made practicing her footwork all the more difficult. Solo even reached down and pulled up the turf:

Megan Rapinoe, the team’s star midfielder, was on the players’ minds—just a day earlier, she’d torn the ACL in her right knee while training at the grassy practice field without contact. On top of that, there was the months-long fight with FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association over the use of artificial turf at women’s soccer venues.

And so the team decided not to play Sunday, laying out its decision in an open letter on the Players’ Tribune. On Tuesday, US Soccer president Sunil Gulati apologized, noting that the federation had “screwed up” and had failed to make sure field conditions were adequate for the Trinidad and Tobago match. In Gulati’s apology, Solo says that she saw the federation pushing for change. Gulati said that all US games leading up to the Olympics would be played on grass.

In the run-up to tonight’s game against Trinidad and Tobago at San Antonio’s Alamodome—on another artificial-turf pitch—we spoke to Solo about the team’s decision to not play and the larger issue of inequality between men’s and women’s sports.

Mother Jones: How do the field conditions at the Alamodome compare to that of Aloha Stadium?

Hope Solo: Laughs. They are night and day. I mean, it’s playable. That’s a huge difference in itself. But it’s still turf, and one day I just hope we could move away from turf. Maybe not completely, but maybe 80 percent of the time, I think I might be okay with that. I can speak for myself and the players: Nobody likes to play on turf.

MJ: Why do players prefer natural grass to turf?

HS: We’ve been fighting this battle for quite some time. Soccer, to be honest, is not meant to be played on turf. The ball rolls differently. There are dead spots on every turf field that you play on. It’s a lot harder on the joints, on the body, on the shoulders, on the knees. It’s a just a different playing game. With that said, you don’t see the men ever playing on turf. You don’t see any World Cups being played on turf—even when the major club teams come to America to play on a turf stadium, they lay sod.

MJ: I saw some stats that showed that 100 percent of men’s national games in the United States were played on grass since 2014, whereas 70 percent of your team’s games were played on grass. What do you make of that disparity?

HS: It’s not just the field conditions. There are major disparities between men’s and women’s sports across the board, but the playing conditions are a major one for us. The field that we stepped out on in Hawaii, that wasn’t just turf versus grass. That had to do with player safety. We knew we couldn’t risk ourselves with the Olympic Games being around the corner. We have careers to protect, and we knew that in Hawaii, we absolutely had to take a stand. We lost Megan Rapinoe to a subpar practice field, although it was grass. It was pretty magnified what was at stake for us, and it was time to be vocal about it.

MJ: Who on the team was the person who said “enough was enough”?

HS: Megan Rapinoe hurt herself a day before. There was this weird feeling at practice of “What the hell is going on?” We knew the drainage grates was way to close too the line. Our fields were bumpy. We weren’t sure if Rapinoe stepped on the grate or in the hole beside it, but it was a noncontact injury. It was really scary. The players were upset. The coaches were upset. The staff was upset. And right then, I started taking pictures of the practice field. You know, there were rumblings amongst the players.

We go to the stadium field. We start looking a little bit more at the field and bending over and picking up the little rocks. We see the huge bumps in the line, and the field turf actually pulls up. The media’s behind the goal, and they start seeing us looking at the field. And then we see our coach yelling at somebody, and our general manager starts thinking, “This isn’t okay.” We still practiced, because the fans were right there. I remember saying, “I’m not going to practice in that goal.” The far end was worse than the near end, so we moved everything to one end. But I told my goalkeeper coach, “I will not go into that goal.” I think I just had visions of another knee injury. We shortened the practice, and then right when we got on the bus, it was kind of like, “Hey guys, what are we doing?” We all discussed it right there on the bus, and right there we were just like, “We can’t do this.”

MJ: And like you said before, it’s not just the field conditions that are troublesome.

HS: It’s a number of different things. You look at the marketing money put into the men’s team vs. the women’s team. You really have to kind of tip your hat to the women’s team for selling out stadiums, because oftentimes you do that with less marketing dollars. We did a side by side analysis of the men’s contract and the women’s contract, and it’s very unbalanced, just the way that US Soccer’s money is invested from year to year. It’s just completely unbalanced. The argument is, well, women should not get paid as much as men, because they don’t bring in as much revenue. We hear it all the time. Our argument back is that we have the best ratings between the men’s team and the women’s team, and had we gotten more marketing dollars, we would have more ticket revenue. When we push for equality, we don’t want the exact same thing. We just want it more balanced.

When you look at the salaries for the men versus the women, when you look at the bonuses, and particularly for the men’s World Cup versus the women’s World Cup, we got a $1.8 million dollar bonus for winning the World Cup, and we had to disburse it among the 23 players. And then we piece out some bonuses for our support staff who don’t get paid a whole bunch. The men, for losing, got $8 million to share among the players, and they also received millions of dollars for every point that they received in the World Cup. We got paid nothing per point in group play. We got paid nothing for making it into the knockout round. We basically didn’t get a bonus until we won the entire thing, which is incredibly difficult thing to do, and that bonus was quite a bit less than what the men got.

MJ: What has the federation done to address that since the World Cup ended?

HS: We were able to take the side-by-side analysis, and we were able to say to US Soccer, “These are the facts. It is unbalanced. What are we going to do about it? Because you guys are a progressive federation, and you value the women’s team. Well, show us that you value us. Don’t just tell us. Show us.” We are able to have more meaningful conversations.

It’s a great starting point that they are willing to have these conversations. Before, we’ve tried to have these conversations, and the door had been shut. But I think right now, it has to do with the players being unified, but I also think it’s the times that we live in. We have some of these incredible female role models who are standing up and feeling unapologetic about it. And I think it’s empowered us to do the same.

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We Talked to Hope Solo About Why the US Women’s Soccer Team Skipped a Game in Protest

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America’s "Most Exciting" Playwright Takes On the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Mother Jones

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Illustration: Miles Donovan, Source Photo: Kevin Berne/Berkeley Rep

What if everything you knew about school discipline was wrong?

You know her on-screen as Gloria Akalitus in Nurse Jackie, or as Nancy McNally in The West Wing, but these days, Anna Deavere Smith is onstage, solo. As part of an ongoing project she calls On the Road: A Search for American Character, Smith has written and performed at least 18 one-woman plays exploring social issues around the country. Topics have included women tangling with the judicial system, the Los Angeles riots of 1992, and the uproar in Crown Heights following a 1991 car accident involving a Hasidic driver and two seven-year-old Caribbean American kids. Smith has been called “the most exciting individual in American theater right now.” A MacArthur “genius” fellow and a National Humanities Medal holder, she was recently selected to deliver the Jefferson Lecture, the federal government’s highest honor for achievement in the humanities.

For her latest play, Notes From the Field, Smith interviewed some 170 people—from California to her hometown, Baltimore—to inhabit characters based on individuals caught up in the school-to-prison pipeline. She’s taken the performance from coast to coast and will grace Baltimore’s Center Stage on December 4 and 5. In the play’s second act, which Smith calls an “interruption,” she invites audience members to brainstorm potential solutions to the issues the characters raised. Smith sees theater as a unique way into social problems: “We’re in the presence of one another. It’s not like we can start texting or doing our taxes,” she says. A live performance “manages to get undivided attention. In all the varieties of media, that doesn’t happen so often.”

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America’s "Most Exciting" Playwright Takes On the School-to-Prison Pipeline

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