One out of three counties across the contiguous U.S., says a recent study commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council, should brace for water shortages by mid-century as a result of human induced climate change. Credit: ComstockDear EarthTalk: How is it that global warming could negatively impact water supplies in the U.S.?— Penny Wilcox, Austin, TXClimate change promises to have a very big impact on water supplies in the United States as well as around the world. A recent study commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a leading environmental group, and carried out by the consulting firm Tetra Tech found that one out of three counties across the contiguous U.S. should brace for water shortages by mid-century as a result of human induced climate change. The group found that 400 of these 1,100 or so counties will face “extremely high risks of water shortages.”According to Tetra Tech’s analysis, parts of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas will be hardest hit by warming-related water shortages. The agriculturally focused Great Plains and arid Southwest are at highest risk of increasing water demand outstripping fast dwindling supplies.While the mechanisms behind this predicted dwindling of water supplies is complex, key factors include: rising sea levels and encroaching ocean water absorbing lower elevation freshwater sources; rising surface temperatures causing faster evaporation of existing reservoirs; and increasing wildfires stripping terrestrial landscapes of their ability to retain water in soils.Researchers have already begun to notice dwindling water supplies across the American West in recent years, given less accumulation of snow in the region’s mountains as temperatures rise. According to a 2008 study out of the Scripps Institute for Oceanography and published in the journal Science, Western snowpack has been melting earlier than it did in the past thanks to global warming, leading to markedly longer dry periods through the late spring and summer months in states already suffering from extended droughts. Given that the length and strength of these changes over the last 50 years cannot be explained by natural variations, researchers believe human induced climate change is the culprit.The upshot of these changes is that Americans of every stripe need to curtail their water usage—from farmers irrigating their crops to homeowners watering their lawns to you and I taking shorter showers and turning off the tap while brushing our teeth. Even more important, water and resource policy managers need to conceive of new paradigms for the management of freshwater reserves to make the most of what we do have. And all of us need to work together to cut down on the emissions of greenhouse gases that have led to global warming in the first place.Analysts also worry that warming-related water shortages could erupt into conflict, especially in parts of the world where one country or group controls water resources needed by others across national borders, such as the Middle East where already five percent of the world’s population relies on just one percent of the world’s fresh water. Parts of Africa, India and Asia are also at risk for water-related conflicts. American policymakers hope that the situation won’t get that dire in the U.S., but only time will tell.CONTACTS: NRDC, www.nrdc.org; Tetra Tech, www.tetratech.com; Scripps Institute for Oceanography, www.sio.ucds.edu.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
Op-Ed: The Hamptons—A Place of Last Resort
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Traffic doesn’t move too quickly on a large number of Long Island roads. Anywhere you drive, north, south, east or west you are bound to run into massive gridlock. Close to the top of the worst traffic nightmares is getting in and out of the Hamptons, all year round.On any given day travelers in the Hamptons will be stuck in a long line of pickup trucks filled with construction workers. Add into that mix the growing number of year round residents and the day trippers anxious to see where the rich and famous are living. And if you happen to be driving out east during the apple and pumpkin picking season, allow lots of extra time to get to your destination.It would be unfair to point the finger at the East End’s current elected officials because the gridlock is directly connected to fifty plus years of poor planning and the lack of any fresh ideas being introduced into the current debate about how to manage the massive growth that the area has experienced.The statistics speak for themselves. Building permits are being issued at a record pace in East Hampton and Southampton towns. Between 2012 and 2013 permits in the two towns have increased by anywhere from 20 to 35 per cent. With new development comes an increased demand for services and a strain on the natural resources of the area.Every so often some local elected official calls for a building moratorium as a way of halting growth. But the South Fork is well past the time when a freeze on permits will be effective. No matter where one looks, house after house is in a stage of renovation or new construction, gobbling up precious farmland and odd shaped lots. Newly minted hedge fund and high-tech millionaires are snapping up five million dollar houses, many of which use up all available space and lack real privacy.Overwhelmed by the mass of new people, town and village officials are grasping at straws to find ways to confront the problems caused by the infusion of countless new people into a compact community, which has few passable roads and no potential for being expanded. The high rollers who use helicopters and chartered jets to travel to the Hamptons, may soon have to deal with community pressure to eventually close down East Hampton Airport. That means more cars.The East End had its chance to have wider roads back in the mid-1970s when then Governor Hugh Carey proposed road widening for large portions of Montauk Highway from Westhampton to Amagansett. Carey was attacked by citizen groups who worried that better roads would destroy the local quality of life. Funded by many people who live behind the high hedges of Southampton, the project was scrapped for good. Today, many of those same people have solved the density issue by summering in Newport and similar vacation spots.It may be too late for any serious traffic study but the state and county governments should take one last comprehensive look at possible road widening or parking bans in some communities. One of the most practical solutions to moving people is to convince the Long Island Rail Road that it’s time to make the Montauk branch into a two track rail line and schedule more trains in and out of the area.Bike sharing programs have become a success in many cities around the world and having a summer bike share program could reduce the number of drivers with short term destinations. An effort should be made to install more bicycle racks at beaches, cafes and popular tourist spots, with or without a bike sharing program.Numerous cars head out to the Hamptons on a summer weekend often carrying only one passenger. Regional travel organizations should promote car pooling as a way of cutting down on traffic. A car pooling hotline could bring together the vast number of people who trek out east for a short stay. Washington D.C. has a decades-long carpool program that boasts 10,000 users and as given some relief to the area.Cynics will dismiss this hard look at the travails of the East End as just another crazy bunch of ideas on how to reduce the Hampton gridlock. But the time has come for some new ideas to be injected into the debate that will at the very least provide some relief for hundreds of thousands of weary travelers.Jerry Kremer is Chairman of Empire Government Strategies and served 23 years as a member of the New York State Assembly, including 12 years as Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee.
Congrats to Backus, will continue to serve
I also want to thank him for a dignified race. He’s definitely a team player. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a candidate with such involvement in the community, as well as a one with such strong qualifications. Students, educators, and families in Niskayuna are fortunate to have this addition to an already exceptional board.This experience was a first for me. I may not have won this election, but I certainly didn’t lose. Coming into this race so late, I knew it would be challenging to get out and connect with people as much as I would have liked to. I now know that four weeks isn’t nearly enough time to prepare for much of anything.I’ve served my community for quite some time now, but never this close to home. I was an unknown person to the people of Niskayuna. I believe I changed that, and I plan on running again in the future. I’d certainly like more time to prepare. In the meantime, I will continue to volunteer my time, or get involved with some of the committees.Above all, I support the winning candidate, the board and the district.Noney GrierNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Regarding the Niskayuna School Board election, I want to congratulate Brian Backus on a well-deserved win. Having run in a previous race, Brian earned this seat and he knows what it’s like to be in mine.
Manchester – the new Barcelona?
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Pennsylvania Commission on Latino Affairs Statement on Orlando Shooting
June 15, 2016 Pennsylvania Commission on Latino Affairs Statement on Orlando Shooting SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Latino Affairs, Orlando, Statement Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Commission on Latino Affairs released the following statement on the shooting in Orlando:“At this time, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs would like to extend our sympathy and united support to the victims of the Orlando massacre and the Latino LGBT community. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of all faiths and sexual preferences as they are our close family members and friends. It is heartbreaking to know that these individuals were specifically targeted because they are gay Latinos, we cannot allow for that to be forgotten.“GACLA is committed to equal rights for all Latinos in the state of Pennsylvania as well as for the whole United States. During a time where discrimination is very present in our society against the Latino population, we will stand united and call on each one of us, as citizens, to spread the message of peace for all.“Again, our condolences go out to the families of those whose lives were senselessly taken away and pray for their strength as they must continue life without their loved ones.“If you would like to find out how you can help closer to home, please reach out Adriana Rivera, who also serves as a board member of the state’s largest queer Latino organization, GALAEI.”Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf
Plans unveiled for billion-dollar Jupiters resort expansion
The Star Entertainment Group’s plans for a new-look Jupiters resort on the Gold Coast have been revealed in a master plan that includes a new $500 million hotel and apartment tower.In February the hotel and casino operator announced it was planning to add another tower at the iconic site, including apartments and a 4.5-star hotel, in a development that would add to the $345 million already spent upgrading the resort’s existing rooms and building a 17-storey luxury suite hotel tower.The master plan, revealed this week, confirms Star’s intention to build a 200m hotel and apartment tower, and also signals the potential to develop the site further to create a resort with five hotel and/or apartment buildings, a huge recreational deck with water features, tropical gardens, pools and spa, and new entertainment facilities.Read the full story on Commercial NewsMore from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North12 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago
Norway approves two North Sea field developments
Norway’s ministry of energy has approved Aker BP’s development and operation plans for the Valhall Flank West and Skogul offshore fields. Aker BP submitted the plans on December 15, 2017.The large Valhall oil field is located in the southern part of the Norwegian section of the North Sea. It has already been the subject of several development projects.Valhall Flank Vest represents a further development of the field. The Valhall Flank West project aims to continue the development of the Tor formation in Valhall on the western flank of the field, with the startup of operation expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.Valhall Flank West will be developed using a new Normally Unmanned Installation (NUI), tied back to the Valhall field center for processing and export.The wellhead platform at Valhall Flank West will be fully electrified and will be designed to minimize the need for maintenance activities. The platform will be remotely operated from the Valhall field center.Recoverable reserves for Valhall Flank West are estimated to be around 60 million barrels of oil equivalent. AkerBP, an operator, has estimated total investments of around NOK 5.5 billion.Skogul tied to Alvheim FPSO“It is positive that there is a lot of activity on Valhall and that further investments will be made in the development of the field through the development of Valhall Flanke Vest. Valhall is a field that has been in operation for a long time and will continue to produce for decades to come. The field has contributed enormous values to Norwegian society, “said Terje Søviknes, Minister of Petroleum and EnergyAs for the Skogul field, it sits in the middle of the Norwegian part of the North Sea and is a smaller oil field with a marginal volume of associated gas. The development costs for the Skogul field are estimated at approximately NOK 1.5 billion.The Skogul field is located 30 kilometers north of Alvheim FPSO and will be developed as a subsea tieback to Alvheim via Vilje.Recoverable reserves are estimated to around 10 million barrels of oil equivalents. Production start is planned for first quarter 2020.The production well at Skogul will be subsea production well number 35 in the Alvheim area.“It’s important that companies get profitability from smaller discoveries. The Skogul field is just such a field and will contribute to value creation and government revenue. The development will largely be based on existing infrastructure. This type of development is an important part of the future on the Norwegian continental shelf, Søviknes said.
Fresh surrogacy concerns after Australian parents abandon baby
Stuff co.nz 14 April 2015Australian officials could do almost nothing to stop Australian parents from abandoning their baby son, born through surrogacy in India, after the couple decided they did not want to bring him to Australia.In documents that raise fresh concerns over overseas surrogacy arrangements, government cables and emails show that Department of Foreign Affairs staff told an Australian couple that they could leave their son “stateless” if they did not apply for Australian citizenship for him.The documents, released under Freedom of Information and first reported by the ABC, show Australian officials struggling to deal with the case of a couple from NSW who had twins – a boy and a girl – born to an Indian surrogate in 2012.The husband approached the Department of Immigration in December 2012, saying that he and his wife only wanted to take the baby girl back home, explaining to officials “they could not afford to support both children”.“He also stated that they already had a boy and wanted to take the girl to complete their family.”“Our ability to ensure the welfare of a non-Australian child in a foreign jurisdiction is limited,” an official cable sent in late 2012 says, while other messages call for “urgent” advice from government colleagues.http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/67729154/Fresh-surrogacy-concerns-after-Australian-parents-abandon-baby
Bob McCoskrie: Undermining Parental Authority Affects Classroom Behaviour
Guest opinion: Anti-smacking law a failure – Bob McCoskrie – National Director, Family First NZNZ Herald – Published in Bay of Plenty Times 14 June 2019 Dawn Picken “Lack of a beating not the reason for badly behaved children” and her choice of the word ‘beating’ misrepresents the real issue surrounding good parenting and how the state has undermined the role of parents, and now teachers.In our 2016 analysis “Defying Human Nature: An Analysis of New Zealand’s 2007 Anti-Smacking Law”, government statistics showed that there was not a single social indicator relating to the abuse of children that had shown significant or sustained improvement since the passing of the anti-smacking law in 2007. Instead, there had been a 136% increase in physical abuse, 43% increase in sexual abuse, 45% increase in neglect or maltreatment of children, and the child abuse death rate continued unabated.The smacking law has been so bereft of success that supporters have resorted to unsupported and arbitrary claims that good parents haven’t been affected and that no-one has been prosecuted by it. These claims have been proven patently false.But now, due to unrealistic and nonsensical classroom behaviour management guidelines and policies, some school classrooms are becoming unsafe environments which will be emotionally harmful to children in the class who just want to enjoy school in an atmosphere of safety.Ministry Guidelines argue that “physical restraint is a serious intervention” and that the “emotional and physical impact on the student being restrained” can be significant. They say that school staff should not use physical restraint in a number of situations including:to respond to behaviour that is disrupting the classroom but not putting anyone in danger of being hurtfor refusal to comply with an adult’s requestto stop a student who is trying to leave the classroom or school without permissionto stop a student who is damaging or removing property, unless there is a risk to safety.They also say that “if escalation occurs, move further away”.For any acts of physical restraint on a student, five forms must be completed – an incident report, information for the Ministry, staff reflection form, debriefing form with the Principal, and a debriefing with the parents.Official documents from the Ministry of Education in March showed that more than 1,000 reports of physical restraint have had to be lodged by schools since new rules were introduced for schools in August 2017. 75% of the incidences occurred in primary schools with children as young as five. 85% of the incidences involved boys. This also means that more than 5,000 forms or reports will have had to be completed by school staff.The Ministry suggests that the number of reported incidents is “a small percentage” but the real issue is whether teachers are ignoring or unable to deal with unruly and unacceptable behaviour in very young children because teachers are now no longer confident or unsure of their right to restrain students. This then places all students at risk. Teachers also say that they are scared to even break up schoolyard fights or are standing back while a student trashes the classroomIt seems ironic that as we are saying no to violence within families and our community, schools are expected to tolerate an unacceptable level of violence and unruly behaviour, and school staff are wasting hours of valuable time having to complete documentation on the physical restraint of disruptive and unruly students in primary schools.Teachers are right to be concerned about the potential harms and hassles of handling unruly and violent students and the possible effect on their professional status.Common sense has been expelled from schools, and no amount of ‘guidelines’ and ‘professional development courses’ can make up for teachers being able to respond quickly and instinctively in the most effective way in often very stressful and exceptional circumstances. Parents also want assurance that their children will be kept safe from violent or unruly students.Combined with the ‘chilling’ effect of the anti-smacking law, this is all having the adverse effect of parents and teachers becoming too afraid to administer any physical control or restraint of children. Children have received the message that adults can not touch them or even tell them what to do.This seriously undermines the authority of parents, teachers, and even the police themselves – hence the increasing violence and disrespect towards parents, teachers and police.Student behaviour and bullying will continue to deteriorate for as long as we tell them that their rights are more important than their responsibilities, proper parental authority is undermined by politicians and subject to the rights of their children, and that there will be no consequences of any significance when they ‘cross the line’.https://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=12240015Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.
Lambert keen to get Dunne fit
Paul Lambert insists having Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne back available at full fitness is his priority rather than the future of the Republic of Ireland international. When asked if there was chance of Dunne earning a new contract, Lambert said: “I think first and foremost we need to get the guy back fit. “That’s the big thing for me, to get Richard back fit as quickly as we can. “Richard Dunne will not need to prove himself. I know what he can do. “He doesn’t need to impress. He’s not 19 or 20 years old. The main thing for me is that he’s going to be fit again.” Press Association Dunne, who will become a free agent this summer, has undergone three groin operations since the end of last season and suffered another setback after returning to training two weeks ago. He has hardly played for 12 months after a shoulder injury caused him to miss the final third of last season before returning for the final two games. Lambert is unsure when the player will be available, saying: “I don’t know, he’s been having setbacks. We will have to see what the surgeon says. We are still no further forward but he doesn’t need another operation. He’s got to keep battling through it.”