Tag Archives: latin

Nearly all tornadoes are survivable, so why are people still dying?

Subscribe to The Beacon

On Sunday, Alabama suffered one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in its history. At last count, 23 people are dead, with at least seven more missing. The worst tornado began just a few miles from Tuskegee and tore through the entire length of Lee County, smashing mostly rural homes and businesses, before crossing into Georgia. In total, 39 tornadoes were reported across a four-state region.

This isn’t just a weather disaster; it’s a failure of society. Lee County’s per capita income is $22,794, 19 percent live below the poverty line, and 17 percent of houses are mobile homes, nearly three times the national average. Unsafe shelter makes residents much more vulnerable to tornadoes.

Meteorological science has reached a place where nearly all tornadoes are survivable — for those with the means to take shelter underground. Average warning time has skyrocketed from 3 minutes to 14 minutes over the past 40 years — plenty of time to get the warning on your mobile phone (if you have one) and head to your basement (if you have one).

New radar and satellite technology that’s already in place and being developed promises forecasters an even longer heads-up for the strongest and deadliest ones in years to come — potentially doubling lead time to 30 minutes in the near future. Some meteorologists are even working to develop tornado warning systems specifically for mobile home residents. But that extra notice is wasted if you’re unable to do anything about it.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning 23 minutes in advance of the storm that hit Lee County on Sunday, and upgraded it to a tornado emergency 10 minutes before it struck. Yet Sunday’s tornadoes killed more people than every tornado in 2017 and 2018 combined.

The South, the poorest region in the country, is increasingly at risk of tornadoes. Climate change is shifting where tornadoes happen, away from the Plains states toward places like Alabama that are much more densely populated. Evidence also shows that although the overall number of tornadoes isn’t changing much, they’re more likely to come all at once — like on Sunday, precipitating chaotic days in which multiple tornadoes targeted the same towns in the span of just a few hours.

But it’s poverty, not changes in the tornadoes themselves, that often decides whether people survive them.

A recent study showed that Alabama has a 350 percent higher chance of having a mobile home hit by a tornado than Kansas. Yes, there are more houses in Alabama, but the state is also one of the poorest places in the entire developed world.

Lee County is at the outer edge of Alabama’s portion of the “Black Belt” region, the heart of Southern poverty. After more than a century of government neglect and exploitation, its poverty levels and poor infrastructure are more similar to impoverished places in Latin America and the Caribbean than the rest of the United States.

In 2017, a United Nations official conducting a two-week investigation on human rights abuses in the United States was shocked at what he saw in rural Alabama’s Black Belt, including yards filled with open sewage and tropical diseases more common in developing countries.

“The idea of human rights is that people have basic dignity and that it’s the role of the government—yes, the government!—to ensure that no one falls below the decent level,” the U.N.’s Philip Alston said in an interview with Newsweek. “Civilized society doesn’t say for people to go and make it on your own and if you can’t, bad luck.”

Alabama’s section of the Black Belt is where you can clearly see the worst transgressions of slavery and institutionalized racism right now. Lee County’s outsized vulnerability to tornadoes is tied to that history. Adapting to climate change will require tackling poverty and racial injustice — including better health care, housing, schools, and child care — especially for those places like Lee County. And it’s still killing folks during extreme weather — no matter how well we’re able to predict it.

Read the article:

Nearly all tornadoes are survivable, so why are people still dying?

Posted in Accent, alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Smith's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nearly all tornadoes are survivable, so why are people still dying?

Someone just paid $25,000 to name a worm-like amphibian after Donald Trump

Invest in nonprofit journalism today.Donate now and every gift will be matched through 12/31.

Donald Trump’s name is attached to a lot of things — Trump Towers, Trump University, The Trump Foundation (oops nevermind) — and now, Dermophis donaldtrumpi — a four-inch-long, worm-like amphibian from Panama.

Dermophis donaldtrumpi isn’t the first species to get a presidential naming treatment. President Obama has an watery namesake as well — he earned his by expanding a marine protected area around the Northwestern Hawaiian islands. And President Trump had a species of yellowish-”haired” moth named after him (Neopalpa donaldtrumpi) in 2017. But this newest addition to the Trump family name does not derive not from its physical similarity to the president. Rather, the species’ tendency to bury its head (and body) in the sand drew parallels to Trump’s persistent denial of climate change.

The naming rights for the species were auctioned off to raise money for Rainforest Trust. Dermophis donaldtrumpi is a caecilian, a word derived from the Latin for “blind.” The winning bidder, Aidan Bell, is the head of a sustainable building materials company called EnviroBuild, and wound up spending $25,000 to make the environmental and political jab. .

In a post on EnviroBuild’s blog, Bell wrote: “The dermophis genus grows an extra layer of skin which their young use their teeth to peel off and eat, a behavior known as dermatrophy. As a method of ensuring their children survive in life, Donald Trump prefers granting them high roles in the Oval Office.”

Ooh scientific burn.

But Dermophis donaldtrumpi may not be with us for much longer. he caecilian has a thin skin (sound like anyone we know?) , and like other amphibians, is especially vulnerable to the impacts of global warming. Will President Trump think and act any differently, knowing that his namesake is on the line?

Hey, a herpetologist can dream, right?

Dig this article?Support nonprofit journalism

. Help us raise $50,000 by December 31! A little bit goes a long way.

Donate today and your gift will be matched



Someone just paid $25,000 to name a worm-like amphibian after Donald Trump

Posted in alo, Eureka, FF, GE, LAI, LG, Mop, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Someone just paid $25,000 to name a worm-like amphibian after Donald Trump

Surge in marine refuges brings world close to protected areas goal

Subscribe to The Beacon

This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

A record surge in the creation of marine protected areas has taken the international community close to its goal of creating nature refuges on 17 percent of the world’s land and 10 percent of seas by 2020, according to a new U.N. report.

Protected regions now cover more than five times the territory of the U.S., but the authors said this good news was often undermined by poor enforcement. Some reserves are little more than “paper parks” with little value to nature conservation. At least one has been turned into an industrial zone.

More than 27 million square kilometers of seas (10.4 million square miles, and 7 percent of the total) and 20 million square km of land (7.7 million square miles, or 15 percent of the total) now have protected status, according to the Protected Planet report, which was released on Sunday at the U.N. biodiversity conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Almost all of the growth has been in marine regions, most notably with the creation last year of the world’s biggest protected area: the 2 million square kilometer (almost 800,000 square miles) Ross Sea reserve, one-fifth of which is in the Antarctic. The no-fishing zone will be managed by New Zealand and the U.S.

“We have seen an enormous expansion in the past two years. There is now more marine protected area than terrestrial, which nobody would have predicted,” said Kathy McKinnon of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. “I think we’ll continue to see a substantial increase, I’d guess, to at least 10 percent in the near future.”

The U.N. convention on biological diversity says it has received national commitments for an additional 4.5 million square kilometers of land and 16 million square km of oceans to be given protected status in the next two years. This would put it on course to achieve one of the key aims of the 2010 Aichi biodiversity targets.

“This is the target with the most progress. In an ocean of bad news about biodiversity loss and eco-destruction, it is important to highlight that progress, though we still have a lot more to do to ensure not just the quantitive target but the effectiveness of the management,” said Cristiana Pașca Palmer, the head of U.N. Biodiversity.

The creation of protected areas has not been enough to halt a collapse of species and ecosystems that threatens civilization. Since 1970 humanity has wiped out 60 percent of mammal, bird, fish, and reptile populations, with a dangerous knock-on impact on food production, fisheries, and climate stability.

Protected areas are important refuges from this wave of extinctions but many are underfunded and poorly policed. Only one in five have provided management assessments to the U.N., which has raised questions about the viability of the rest.

Naomi Kingston, of U.N. environment world conservation monitoring center, said: “There is a race to deliver on Aichi target 11. It is fantastic that countries are coming with more ambition, but not if it is just a number without substance.

“Some areas that have been reported to us as protected areas have been completely built over. We need datasets to define which areas are paper parks and which are real.”

Developing nations have better reporting standards because many are obliged to provide regular assessments in order to qualify for funds from the Global Environment Fund. By contrast, many wealthier nations devote few resources to monitoring.

Discussions will focus on a new, more flexible category for community land that is used by locals for both agricultural production and wildlife conservation. In Africa, Asia, and Latin America, this is a model that has often helped improve biodiversity because residents – often from indigenous communities – live closely with nature and have an interest in protecting it.

For example in Namibia, the area designated as protected was doubled through the recognition of community conservancies as part of the national protected areas estate. Kingston said the biodiversity of the region also improved.

“It’s a real success story that shows how a government working with the community can deliver on conservation, governance and equity,” she said. “We need to move the narrative away from designating areas and then putting a fence around them, and to instead work more with communities who have been protecting wildlife for generations.”

There are still considerable problems, including communication weaknesses, dubious classification and national competition for ever scarcer resources. China does not share maps of its protected areas and will not allow the other data it submits to be used publicly. The U.K. has publicly committed to a goal of classifying 30 percent of oceans as protected, but some of the marine conservation zones in its own waters provide very limited protection for biodiversity. Britain has also approved fracking in a national park, contrary to IUCN guidelines that extractive activities are incompatible.

China, Russia, and Norway also caused disappointment and anger this year by blocking plans to create a huge new reserve in the Antarctic that would have been a sanctuary for whales and other species.

To keep up with shifts in designations, the U.N. and its partners have launched a live report that tracks changes in protected areas and land use. In future, they hope to overlap this map with satellite images and data on land use to measure how well conserved the areas are.

Regardless of their effectiveness, conservation experts say halting the decline of the natural world needs not just protection but a rethink of what it means to coexist with other species.

Follow this link – 

Surge in marine refuges brings world close to protected areas goal

Posted in alo, Anchor, Brita, FF, G & F, GE, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Surge in marine refuges brings world close to protected areas goal

For environmental activists, 2015 was the deadliest year yet

Four protesters were killed last year in protests over the huge Las Bambas mine in Apurimac, Peru. Photo courtesy of Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros en el Perú.

For environmental activists, 2015 was the deadliest year yet

By on Jun 20, 2016 9:41 amShare

As we continue to mine the Earth for its resources, global corporate interests are fighting to get to the dwindling supply. And as the stakes rise, so has the death toll of our planet’s defenders.

Last year was the most dangerous year yet for environmental activists, the watchdog group Global Witness reported on Monday. An average of three environmentalists per week were murdered for resisting resource extraction and pollution by major agribusiness, mining, and logging interests — with 185 activists total murdered around the globe. (The murder rate was 59 percent lower in 2014.)

Of the 185 dead, many were assassinated; others were tortured, or publicly executed.

A number of Latin American countries were the most deadly for environmental defenders.

Global Witness uncovered that governments have increasingly criminalized activists for organizing or protesting, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Madagascar. “Across the world, collusion between state and corporate interests shield many of those responsible for the killings,” Global Witness reports.

The winner of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize is among the countless indigenous activists recently murdered. After having led her community to resist hydroelectric dams in Honduras, Berta Cáceres was assassinated in her home in March of this year. Her success made her a target: Once she forced the largest dam company in the world to abandon a major project on the Gualcarque River.

The report is all the more sobering given that the vast majority of incidents go unreported.

Find this article interesting?

Donate now to support our work.

Get Grist in your inbox

Original article: 

For environmental activists, 2015 was the deadliest year yet

Posted in alo, Anchor, Everyone, FF, GE, LAI, ONA, PUR, solar, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on For environmental activists, 2015 was the deadliest year yet

Why Is It Called Ovaltine?

Mother Jones

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

Documents obtained by Mother Jones suggest that the reason Ovaltine is called Ovaltine instead of Roundtine despite the fact that “the mug is round; the jar is round” has to do with the Latin word for eggs.

Ovaltine was developed in Berne, Switzerland, where it is known by its original name, Ovomaltine (from ovum, Latin for “egg,” and malt, which were originally its main ingredients).

My friend, put your rifle down, and come down from that wall. You’ve served your country well, but the war is over. You’re coming home.

Visit site – 

Why Is It Called Ovaltine?

Posted in Anchor, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Is It Called Ovaltine?

The Price Is Right for Bernie Sanders in Nevada

Mother Jones

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

The Price Is Right is one of the most overtly capitalist shows on TV, a prolonged infomercial that rewards contestants for their knowledge of the prices of various name-brand consumer goods. But Marco Antonio Regil, the former longtime host of the show’s Mexican counterpart Atínale Al Precio, is doing all he can to support Bernie Sanders, a socialist who rails against capitalist greed at every opportunity.

On Wednesday, Regil stopped by a small Sanders phone-banking operation to reach Spanish-speaking voters in Las Vegas. The phone bank was as much a photo-op for the media as it was a full-scale get-out-the-vote drive. Volunteers barely outnumbered reporters—hailing from the New York Times, NPR, CNN, and others—who piled into the house of Jackie Ramos, an enthusiastic Sanders supporter. While volunteers worked through their call sheets, state communications director Emilia Pablo teased them before Regil’s arrival. “I know the ladies are waiting for him,” she said of the handsome TV star, who has also hosted Spanish-language versions of Family Feud and Dancing With the Stars and the Miss Mexico pageant .

When Regil arrived, he huddled for photos with the fangirl volunteers, and then offered a brief speech detailing why Sanders was his candidate of choice. He described his childhood in Tijuana, when he revered the middle class in the United States that he saw lacking in Latin America. “The class divides in Latin America were one of the saddest thing I grew up experiencing,” he said. But that’s slipping away, he said, hence the need for Sanders. “I know what happens when income inequality and the classes start dividing, and the gap becomes so big: Poor people start struggling, they cannot survive, and they start getting violent. They start mugging other people.”

But he was quick to caution that the socialism that Sanders offers isn’t the same as the Latin America version put forward by politicians like Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro. “He calls it Democratic socialism,” he said. “I don’t like using that word, I prefer using conscious capitalism.”

“And I want Elizabeth Warren to be vice president,” he shouted to the reporters who followed him out.

On Saturday, Nevadans will pick their candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the state’s caucuses. In the surprisingly tight race, the Latino vote will be critical. Latinos make up 27.8 percent of the state’s population, despite the Hillary Clinton campaign’s attempts to downplay expectations for the state by describing it as dominated by white voters, who have tended to support Sanders.

Continue Reading »

Continue reading: 

The Price Is Right for Bernie Sanders in Nevada

Posted in Anchor, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Price Is Right for Bernie Sanders in Nevada

It’s Not the Economy, Stupid. The Spanish Language Is the Ur-Motive of Anti-Immigration Sentiment.

Mother Jones

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

Ed Kilgore on the conservative hostility toward illegal immigration:

This very weekend I was reading an advance copy of an upcoming book that includes the results of some intensive focus group work with what might be called the “angry wing” of the GOP base. The author notes that one thing that simply enrages grass-roots conservatives is the use of non-English languages by immigrants.

Yep. You can read all about it from one of Kilgore’s predecessors, who wrote about it during our last big try at immigration reform in 2006. It’s based on an excellent piece by Chris Hayes, written before he sold out to the bright lights and big paychecks of cable television.

I agree that language is probably the key original driver of anti-immigrant sentiment, though it’s long since inspired further animus based around crime, gangs, social services, and other culture-related issues. The odd thing is that this is one of the few areas where I think the anti-immigrationists have a bit of a point. It’s not a very big point, since (a) Spanish occupies no official role in the United States, and (b) Latin American immigrants all end up speaking English by the second and third generations anyway. Hell, the third-generation Latino who speaks lousy Spanish is practically a cliche.

That said, I’ve long believed that having multiple official languages makes it very hard to sustain a united polity. The Swiss manage, but the whole reason they’re famous for it is because it’s so unusual. Even the Belgians and Canadians have trouble with it, and they’re pretty tolerant people.

Would a congressional declaration that English is the official language of the United States do anything to calm anti-immigrant fervor? At this point, probably not. But if it were written narrowly and carefully, I’d probably support it. I figure that if God considered a single common language such a boon that it threatened his dominion, it must be pretty powerful stuff.

This article – 

It’s Not the Economy, Stupid. The Spanish Language Is the Ur-Motive of Anti-Immigration Sentiment.

Posted in FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on It’s Not the Economy, Stupid. The Spanish Language Is the Ur-Motive of Anti-Immigration Sentiment.

And Now For Some Dour Predictions For the New Year

Mother Jones

Tyler Cowen offers some economic guesses for the coming year. In a nutshell, he thinks Russia is doomed; American wage growth will remain stagnant; a resource crash will throw Canada and Australia into downturns; Abenomics will fail once and for all; Greece will cause chaos by voting itself out of the eurozone; China will decline; Latin America will decline; and Italy and France (and maybe Germany) will stagnate. On the bright side, India might do OK.

And that’s not all. We might have a stock market crash in the US. And maybe a nuclear bomb will go off somewhere. And we’ll have another outbreak of avian flu.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by the Doleful Society of Dystopic Downers. If you haven’t yet given up all hope, there’s more at the link. Including at least one cheerful prediction!

Excerpt from:  

And Now For Some Dour Predictions For the New Year

Posted in FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on And Now For Some Dour Predictions For the New Year

Meet the Family Behind Latin America’s Version of Planned Parenthood

Mother Jones

People in the United States have been going to Planned Parenthood for nearly a century, ever since Margaret Sanger opened her first birth control clinic in Brooklyn in 1916. But it wasn’t until 1977, after the US had already celebrated Roe v. Wade, that Colombian women had any equivalent organization to turn to. That was the year Dr. Jorge Villarreal started Oriéntame, a women’s reproductive health clinic now credited with inspiring more than 600 outposts across Latin America “and for reshaping abortion politics across the continent,” writes Joshua Lang in a story about the Villarreal family, out today in California Sunday.

Jorge Villarreal Mejía graduated from medical school in 1952 and soon took the reigns of the obstetrics department at Colombia’s national university. During that time, botched abortions caused nearly 40 percent of the country’s maternal deaths. “Women in slum areas were putting the sonda (catheter) inside of them without any sonography,” his daughter Cristina Villarreal told Lang. “They used ganchas de ropa (coat hangers), anything.” When these women showed up at general hospitals, they were shamed and quickly given basic medical attention at most.

So in 1977, Jorge opened a stand-alone health clinic in Bogotá called Oriéntame. Abortions were illegal, so Oriéntame had to focus on helping women who were already suffering from bad abortion attempts, or “incomplete abortions.” Colombians had to wait another thirty years before their mostly Catholic country legalized abortion, under pressure from a coalition that included Cristina Villarreal. (Abortion is now legal in Colombia when a mother’s physical or emotional health is in danger.) In the meantime, Oriéntame continued its mission to heal and empower women, using a sliding-scale payment model in order to reach poorer clients. In 1994, Cristina assumed leadership of the organization, which had grown to include a second nonprofit to help doctors around Latin America open their own Oriéntame clinics.

Lang’s story, an eye-opening and educational read, details the Villarreals’ persistence in the face of police and priests, health administration raids, legal battles, money troubles, and social stigma. Not unlike the volatile abortion politics in the US, across Latin America, writes Lang, “for every political action, there seems to be an equal but opposite reaction,” making Oriéntame’s success “all the more unlikely.” Today, the organization continues to struggle for funding. But fortunately for the estimated 4.5 million women seeking abortions every year across Latin America, and countless others looking for reproductive guidance, Oriéntame’s network has already laced together a much-needed safety net that will be difficult to undo.

View this article:

Meet the Family Behind Latin America’s Version of Planned Parenthood

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LG, ONA, Pines, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Meet the Family Behind Latin America’s Version of Planned Parenthood

Will This New Magazine Be California’s Answer to the “New Yorker”?

Mother Jones

Back when editor Doug McGray was envisioning what he wanted his future magazine to look like, he thought about landing at the San Francisco airport. “If I fly to New York for work, when I come home and get off the plane, California looks different,” he says. “The quality of light is different.”

The first issue of California Sunday Magazine lands this Sunday, October 5; it’s a new publication that’s (gulp) in print and (gasp) not based in New York. McGray sees his brainchild as “palpably Californian,” written for a national audience but “inspired by the visual and entrepreneurial culture of the West.”

McGray has spent years working for several publications that define themselves by geography, or at least reference it in their titles: the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and This American Life. Since 2008, he’s been focused on a project so location-specific that if you’re not in the right room on the right night, there’s no way to see it: Pop-Up Magazine, an unrecorded live event whose “issues” consist of performances by authors, illustrators, filmmakers, and graphic designers. (My colleague Michael Mechanic wrote about Pop-Up in a December 2012 issue of Mother Jones).

After Pop-Up Magazine sold out San Francisco’s 2,700-seat symphony hall one night in 2012, McGray started thinking he could do more with the community the project had created. He loved the way it brought people together around stories. A magazine seemed like a logical next step.

He teamed up with Digg publisher Chas Edwards, and early this year the pair announced that they were starting Cal Sunday. Creative director Leo Jung, formerly of Wired and the New York Times Magazine, and photography director Jacqueline Bates, who was the senior photo editor of W Magazine, were early hires.

Why launch a new print publication on the opposite coast from the country’s magazine publishing hub? Being at the heart of so many American subcultures, from tech to entertainment, makes California inherently interesting, McGray says. “One of the reasons the media industry is overconcentrated on the East Coast is that it’s been overconcentrated on the East Coast,” he says. But now, he adds, “I don’t think you need to convince people on the East Coast that things happening in California are important.” California Sunday‘s reporters will range outside the Golden State, too, covering the West, Asia, and Latin America.

McGray expects that the “Sunday” part of Cal Sunday‘s title will also shape the magazine’s identity. Print issues will be delivered with Sunday editions of the LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Sacramento Bee. Cal Sunday will also be available online, through apps for Android and iPhone, and by Kindle. By launching on multiple platforms at once, he hopes to avoid the “rough transition to digital” that some print publications have struggled with. Prospective readers curious about what’s in the first issue will have to get their hands on a copy—McGray isn’t telling. But he shared three adjectives he hopes it will evoke: “Smart, surprising, and beautiful.”

Taken from – 

Will This New Magazine Be California’s Answer to the “New Yorker”?

Posted in Anchor, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Will This New Magazine Be California’s Answer to the “New Yorker”?