Friday, September 2, 2016

Elephants Are Disappearing At Accelerated Rate

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'Our Living Dinosaurs'


There are far fewer African elephants than we thought, study shows



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Linyanti Swamp, Botswana (CNN)Scanning Botswana's remote Linyanti swamp from the low flying chopper, elephant ecologist Mike Chase can't hide the anxiety and dread as he sees what he has seen too many times before. 
"I don't think anybody in the world has seen the number of dead elephants that I've seen over the last two years," he says. 
From above, we spot an elephant lying on its side in the cracked river mud. From a distance it could be mistaken for a resting animal. 
But the acrid stench of death hits us before we even land. 
Up close, it is a horror. 
Chase, the founder of Elephants Without Borders (EWB), is the lead scientist of the Great Elephant Census, (GEC) an ambitious project to count all of Africa's savannah elephants -- from the air.
Before the GEC, total elephant numbers were largely guesswork. But over the past two years, 90 scientists and 286 crew have taken to the air above 18 African countries, flying the equivalent of the distance to the moon -- and a quarter of the way back -- in almost 10,000 hours.  
Prior to European Colonization, scientists believe that Africa may have held as many as 20 million elephants; by 1979 only 1.3 million remained -- and the census reveals that things have gotten far worse. 

Estimated trends in Africa elephant populations in the Great Elephant Census (GEC) study areas, by country for sites with historical data available. Results are based on 1,000 Monte Carlo replicates for each country. Dark shaded area indicates ±1 SD; light shaded area indicates 95 percent confidence interval. Tick marks on x-axis indicate dates of data points used in model; dates may be perturbed slightly to prevent overlap. 'W. Africa' refers to the WAP ecosystem in Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger. Graphic: Chase, et al., 2016 / PeerJ


According to the GEC, released Thursday in the open-access journal PeerJ, Africa's savannah elephant population has been devastated, with just 352,271 animals in the countries surveyed -- far lower than previous estimates. 


The International Community’s Failure in Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s intervention has deepened and prolonged the crisis by bolstering support for the Houthi forces. It has also diminished their reputation with key allies, such as the US, and has damaged the credibility of the nation. The tragic failures could not come at a worse time as falling oil prices and new austerity measures are presenting domestic challenges.


Death toll in Duterte's war on drugs

1,900 drug-related killings have been recorded, drawing sharp criticism from human rights groups who denounced the Philippine leader for "steamrolling the rule of law". At least 750 of the incidents were linked to police operations. Of the three million suspected drug dependents in the country, 600,000 have turned themselves in to authorities. 


Climate change will sink China’s manufacturing heartland 

Sea-level rise in China’s three most vulnerable regions: “large areas and a great number of cities…will be beneath the sea despite all the present tide-and-flood control facilities”. And that will include China's manufacturing heartland, which is responsible for 40% of the nation's exports. 
Climate Change and the US Infrastructure

Every corner of the country’s energy infrastructure – oil, dams, nuclear – will be stressed in coming years by more intense storms, rising seas, higher temperatures and more frequent droughts. 




Climate change will create new ecosystems, so let’s help plants move

Australia’s ecosystems are already showing the signs of climate change, from the recent death of mangrove forests in northern Australia, to the decline in birds in eastern Australia, to the inability of mountain ash forests to recover from frequent fires. The frequency and size of these changes will only continue to increase.




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Gallup Is Right: The Unemployment Rate Is A Big Lie


On Friday Feb. 6th the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent. This sounds great on the surface, but Gallops CEO said it best; the unemployment rate is a big lie.
According to Gallop CEO Jim Clifton, if one hasn’t been working for four weeks or actively looking for work, they aren’t counted as unemployed. Also, if you work one hour a week, or get paid at least $20.00 a week, you aren’t counted as unemployed. This explains why 30 million Americans are out of work or severely unemployed.
What also helps explain the low unemployment rate is that nearly 22 million Americans are under employed. This means is, that if you are working part time because you’re unable to find full time work, you’re still counted as employed. Or if you have a PHD or Masters, but work as a cashier, you are considered employed.
The BLS also counts part time and temporary work as jobs created. Currently, 44% of Americans work 30 hours or more a week. Most people in Human Resources (HR) consider a full time job 40 hours or more. If a company hires 2 temporary workers, and lays off a full time worker, the BLS counts that as one job created.
As an example of this, in the June 2014 jobs report, 523,000 full time jobs were lost, but 799,000 part time jobs were created. This netted a gain of over 300,000 jobs.
In fact since the “recovery” began, most of the jobs created were part time. In 2013, 75% of the total jobs created were part time jobs. This is why two-thirds of Americans are now living pay check to paycheck.
These doctored up numbers aren’t the only reason the unemployment rate has declined. Look at this labor participation rate chart from the BLS.
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