A 12-year plan to move hundreds of millions of rural residents into cities is intended to spur economic growth, but could have unintended consequences, skeptics warn.
Dramatic video by NYTimes on Chinese government’s heavy handed plan to move 250,000,000 people to cities. That’s pretty close to the size of the entire population of the United States.
Floods in Europe. From In Focus - The Atlantic:
The historic flooding throughout central Europe continues, as the Elbe River has broken through several dikes in northern Germany, and the crest of the swollen Danube River has reached southern Hungary, and threatens Serbia.
Parts of Austria and the Czech Republic are now in recovery mode, as thousands of residents return home to recover what they can. Gathered here are images from the past several days of those affected by these continuing floods.
First photo: A Super Puma [helicopter] of the German Federal Police Bundespolizei carries sandbags to fix a broken dam built to contain the swollen Elbe River during floods near the village of Fischbeck, on June 10, 2013. (Reuters/Tobias Schwarz)
Second photo: Budapest. The flooded River Danube, with a city view of the parliament building in downtown Budapest, on June 10, 2013. The Danube peaked at 891 cm, 31 cm higher than the record levels of 2006. (Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images) Via
Images of the Black Forest fire near Colorado Springs show how devastating a wildfire can be. Why are more homes being built in these kinds of areas?
What a great exploration of how our communities are built. Click through and press “listen” if you can. The answers are surprising, especially if you’re new to urban planning, disaster management, and land use development.
perfect-weather asked: Thanks for the posts about the Black Forest Fire, but can you clarify what makes it the "worst" or "largest"? Obviously it's been hugely destructive, but past Colorado fires have burned tens of thousands more acres and killed more people, so I was just curious. Thanks!
Good question. Two points. First, disasters are typically measured by economic impact, not lives or environmental damage.
So, the Black Forest Fire(good wiki entry) is the “worst in state history” due to the number of homes destroyed, which is now close to 500.
Agreed. There were many other fires in Colorado that were geographically larger, destroyed more volumes of trees and habitat, killed more animals, and killed more people.
Natural disasters that kill a lot of people are categorized as “deadliest” (here’s a list). Damage to ecosystems are categorized as “environmental disasters” (this later category is, if memory serves, unofficial and possibly arbitrary since disasters are measured by relative [shorter term] economic impact).
Second point is there are known, but little discussed, problems in the field of journalism. Among them: Using proper definitions; filtering bias; incorporating appropriate perspective; and time.
Time is especially problematic in disaster reporting because the information flow is fast paced and constantly shifting. Thus, as you pointed out, early reports include incorrect terms that (usually) disappear as the story develops.
In the case of Black Forest Fire, early reports may have (I did not check) stated it was one of the “largest” fires rather than just “worst.” Recent reports have clarified it as the “worst.”
Does that help?
In his 1992 book “Earth in the Balance,” Gore compared talk of adapting to climate change to laziness that would distract from necessary efforts.
But in his 2013 book “The Future,” Gore writes bluntly: “I was wrong.” He talks about how coping with rising seas and temperatures is just as important as trying to prevent global warming by cutting emissions.
Like Gore, governmental officials across the globe aren’t saying everyone should just give up on efforts to reduce pollution. They’re saying that as they work on curbing carbon, they also have to deal with a reality that’s already here.“Climate talks shift from CO2 to adaptation” - NYTimes.
On the one hand, Obamacare just got a boost. On the other, the U.S. tax base is about to implode (bad news for growth-economists). There are so many implications from this, like the suburbs will empty even further and the need for nursing homes will increase exponentially. There won’t be much new land development, which I suppose is good news for environmentalists.
Living to age 90 is a worthy goal Americans are increasingly meeting. The number of people age 90 and older almost tripled from 720,000 people in 1980 to 1.9 million in 2010, according to a new Census Bureau report. And the 90-plus population is expected to more than quadruple between 2010 and 2050. Here’s a look at what life is like in the United States after age 90.
More women. Between 2006 and 2008, about three-quarters (74 percent) of the 90-and-older population were women. In 2006, life expectancy at age 65 was 19.7 years for women and 17 years for men. Women also experienced more rapid improvements in life expectancy than men between 1929 and 2006. Over the past eight decades, older women have added almost seven years to their life expectancy, or a 54 percent extension, compared with 5.3 years for men, a 45 percent extension. Among the age 90-and-older population, there are just 35 men for every 100 women. After age 95, there is approximately one man for every four women.
Married men and single women. Most women who make it to age 90 (84 percent) are widows. Only 6.3 percent of women in this age group are married. On the other hand, 43 percent of 90-something men are married and about half are widowers. “Women tend to marry older men. Traditionally, there is a four- to five-year age difference,” says Wan He, a Census Bureau demographer and co-author of the report. “When they get to age 90-plus, older men are very difficult to find.”
Living alone. Just over a third (37 percent) of people in their 90s live alone. About the same number of people (37 percent) live in a household with family members or unrelated individuals.
The United Nations forecast Thursday that the world’s population will increase from 7.2 billion today to 8.1 billion in 2025.
World population by longitude and latitude (via World Population By Latitude, Longitude | Geekosystem)
Population is about to hit 8.1 billion.
Hundreds of heat related deaths since May.
Recent extreme temperatures that are commonly followed by floods can largely be attributed to climatic warming.
In 2010, the May temperature in Mohenjo-daro, a semi-ruined city in Sindh province, reached 53.5C (128F), the fourth highest temperature ever recorded in the world and the highest ever in Asia.
Click through for the Denver Post’s coverage of the Black Forest Fire, the worst in the state’s history. The cause of the fire is unknown, but the severity is traced to persistent drought, massive tree deaths by bark beetles, dry soils, and budget cuts.
Globe and Mail claims it’s the largest spill in North America. It’s also the third major leak in Alberta, including one burst pipeline that spilled nearly one million gallons of oil in May 2012.
Also of interest, the company didn’t report the spill until a citizen reported it to a local TV station.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) met with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough last week to coordinate climate strategy, the Rhode Island Democrat told reporters Tuesday.
Whitehouse said he and Waxman requested the sit down with McDonough. The pair of lawmakers lead a bicameral effort aimed at pushing executive action on climate change.
“We’re continuing to keep an open dialogue. I think it’s very important for the executive branch and the legislative branch to be working together on this and not have one set of White House strategies and one set of Democratic Senate and House strategies,” Whitehouse said after an energy and environment event he hosted in the Capitol.
McDonough took over as White House chief of staff in January.
It’s the second such meeting between Whitehouse, Waxman — the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee — and administration officials regarding climate change. The first came in March.
McDonough is viewed as an advocate of addressing climate change, potentially giving Waxman and Whitehouse an open line of communication to relay their policy concerns to the Obama administration.
The liberal lawmakers have pressed President Obama to take more aggressive action on climate, noting partisan gridlock will likely close off the legislative route.