Every U.S. County Has an Affordable Housing Crisis
46 minutes ago
I've lived here...fifty-seven years... And in that time, I've seen this town die. Bill Raney's association keeps talking about the prosperity of coal. Hell, I can't find it nowhere. I've looked everywhere for that prosperity. I can't find it. I can't find it nowhere. The more coal we mine, the poorer we get. Why? Can they explain that to me? I want my government and the coal industry to explain that to me. I just can't seem to get it. Maybe the coal dust is affecting my brain. I'm seeing, in this little town, buildings falling apart, boarded up. I've seen it all my life. The more coal we mine, the more mechanized they get, and the poorer we get. It's just about the same in every Appalachian town.
You take McDowell County, it was once one of the richest counties in the United States. It's now one of the poorest. I just can't find that prosperity. The coal industry says, “Aw, it's your government, they're stealing that coal severance from ye.” I say, well, let's go to the legislature and tell them we want the taxes to go back to the coal communities it come from. But they say, “Oh, no, you'll never get that, all the counties deserve that coal severance tax.” But are all of them breathing the coal dust, drinking the water we're drinking? They're all in on it together. In Appalachia, I think 98 percent of the politicians are corrupt. They owe their soul to coal.
Considering geography, exporting oil from Canada to a non-American market doesn’t sound easy; Canada’s tar sands are close to the U.S. border, but not much else. So we asked John Baird — Canada’s new foreign minister — which nations would buy oil that America decided not to take. His answer was quick and unequivocal: the Chinese. New pipeline infrastructure will transport oil between the tar sands and Canada’s west coast, from which tankers can ship it across the Pacific Ocean. And, even now, Chinese firms are buying stakes in Canadian tar sands.So as the story goes, should we succeed in getting Obama to shut down Keystone XL, Canada would simply fire up other pipelines, notably the Northern Gateway. That pipeline would carry the oil from Alberta to Canada’s west coast and off into the sunset, prompting sorrowful oil-hungry Americans to shed tears at their loss (as if KXL would guarantee Americans sole access to the stuff anyway). Is our protest a pointless exercise then? I don’t think so:
For the oil patch, the possibility that the XL project will falter is so outside expectations that many haven’t even considered it. Indeed, companies have already signed up for the majority of its capacity. “None of us are really planning for that,” Devon Canada president Chris Seasons said.But thirdly, and this is the most important point: we must stop the Keystone XL because the potential environmental damage is not isolated to the US. Our resolve expresses solidarity with those fighting similar battles in other places. Even if Canada decides to push ahead with the Northern Gateway, our protest should serve to embolden our global neighbors, to show them we stand with them. One of the most important things the environmental movement can do is show that our national affinities are less important than our shared planetary future. This is not about China vs. the US and who gets to have the oil in the end. It’s about sparking a movement that recognizes common humanity across borders. We have no other choice.
|The Alberta tar sands|
Between the lower income groups (<$50k) and the higher income groups (>$100k) there were only 3 items with a 10-point spread. Controlled for education, there really isn’t much difference at all. There are a few things to point out here though. Generational messages referring to ancestors and children both resonate more strongly with lower income groups. Lower income groups are also more likely to have personally noticed local changes in climate, and to be worried about them for the future.
The current drought conditions have been caused by successive seasons with very low rainfall. Over the past year, the eastern Horn of Africa has experienced two consecutive failed rainy seasons. According to surveys of local communities, this is part of a long-term shift. Borana communities in Ethiopia report that whereas droughts were recorded every six to eight years in the past, they now occur every one to two years... The conclusion? Attributing the current drought directly to climate change is impossible, but in the words of Sir John Beddington, the UK government's chief scientific adviser, in a talk at Oxfam last week, "worldwide, events like this have a higher probability of occurring as a result of climate change".That last quote from Sir Beddington seems to be a common one from climate scientists. Tornadoes and heat waves could be whipping up outside, but they'll still say "I don't know about this stuff, but expect more of the same in the future!". I guess that's as far as science can go...
Remember that while the drought is caused by lack of rainfall, famine is man-made. As the Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen famously observed, famines do not occur in functioning democracies.
"His color palette is so flirtatious you might actually question their authenticity, but Fair confirms that 'what one sees in the photos is what was there [on land.]'"
|"Herbicide manufacturing waste swirling with limegreen highlights"|
You might think that converting theatres is a modern phenomenon but the conversion of buildings to theatres can be traced back to medieval times – even as the idea of the theatre as a distinct building type developed, the Teatro Olimpico at Vicenza (1580) was created within the shell of a medieval fortress.And this seems a bit creepy, but Germany is turning an unfinished nuclear plant into an amusement park:
After being built for 8 billion deutsche marks (€4.1 billion; $5.9 billion), the complex known locally as "der Brüter" ("the breeder") was destined never to go online. In the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, it stood idle for years because nobody wanted to have anything to do with the enormous mountain of concrete.