Uncategorized

What we lose when we lose the world’s frogs

‘Last month, a frog died in an Atlanta botanical garden. With it went an entire species never to hop along the Earth again. Biologists at Zoo Atlanta who’d looked after the frog for the past 12 years called him “Toughie.” He was a charismatic, glossy-eyed specimen and the very last Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog in the world.

…Frog like the Rabbs’ and other amphibians are dying off at an alarming rate. It’s estimated that 200 species of frogs have gone extinct since the 1970s, and many fear it’s a harbinger of greater biodiversity loss that will come for birds, fish, and mammals too. Ecologists fear that the planet is in the midst of a mass extinction — the sixth in the long history of life on Earth. And it’s looking like amphibians are the most at-risk class of vertebrates.This is particularly disturbing because amphibians — which include frogs, salamanders, and caecilians (they look like worms crossed with snakes) — have been around for hundreds of millions of years…’

Source: Vox

Uncategorized

Why the hell is the US helping Saudi Arabia bomb Yemen?

‘The United States has, for more than a year now, been quietly participating in a Saudi-led war against the Houthis, providing valuable logistical support for Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes. So this missile exchange isn’t something out of the blue. It’s an escalation of current US policy, moving from indirect to direct participation in the Saudi offensive. The problem, though, is that the Saudi campaign is utterly vicious…’

Source:  Vox

Uncategorized

October Has Been a Great Month for Climate Action

‘After a summer marked by record temperatures around the globe, the world wrapped up beach season with a particularly distressing bit of climate news last month: atmospheric carbon levels have reached 400 ppm, a dreaded climate milestone from which there’s no going back.

Fortunately, this bummer of a development was almost immediately followed by announcements detailing the launch or finalization of a host of landmark climate deals around the globe over the last two weeks. Many of these agreements have been in negotiation for years and are notable for their fundamentally international scope, a necessary facet of effective climate legislation.The question, of course, is whether these historic deals are too little too late, but in the absence of a crystal ball, here’s a rundown of the importance (and limitations) of these agreements and what to expect in the future.

Fortunately, this bummer of a development was almost immediately followed by announcements detailing the launch or finalization of a host of landmark climate deals around the globe over the last two weeks. Many of these agreements have been in negotiation for years and are notable for their fundamentally international scope, a necessary facet of effective climate legislation.The question, of course, is whether these historic deals are too little too late, but in the absence of a crystal ball, here’s a rundown of the importance (and limitations) of these agreements and what to expect in the future.

The question, of course, is whether these historic deals are too little too late, but in the absence of a crystal ball, here’s a rundown of the importance (and limitations) of these agreements and what to expect in the future…’

Source: Motherboard

Uncategorized

The Addiction Treatment and Rehab Industries Need to Clean Up Their Act

‘No one argues that the American addiction treatment system is anywhere near optimal — even its cheerleaders recognize that there’s miles to go before all people with addiction have access to respectful, ethical, effective, and evidence-based care. Worse, the past year has seen myriad media exposes and financial, sexual, and maltreatment scandals.

Of course, done right, addiction treatment can transform lives, with a hugely positive impact on society. It is often the difference between life and death, or between a productive recovery and a life of despair. Yet all too often that opportunity is being blown.So what is the best way forward? And what are the biggest steps the industry itself can take to improve?

So what is the best way forward? And what are the biggest steps the industry itself can take to improve? …’

Source: Pacific Standard

Uncategorized

Trump supporters are already promising to intimidate nonwhite voters on Election Day

‘In the weeks leading up to the presidential election, Donald Trump has urged his followers to spend time on Election Day intimidating nonwhite voters. He tells them that after they vote on November 8, it’s their duty to go en masse to “some other place” and make sure that no one’s engaging in voter fraud. “Go sit there with your friends and make sure it’s on the up-and-up,” he’s said.

Trump doesn’t explicitly say the “other place” needs to be somewhere nonwhite people are voting. Sometimes he says “specific areas”; on one occasion, during an appearance in Pennsylvania, he called out Philadelphia.But at least some of his supporters are picking up on the subtext. And some are openly admitting to reporters — like Matt Viser and Tracy Jan of the Boston Globe — that they’re going to engage in some “racial profiling” at the polls, and make supposedly foreign-looking voters “a little bit nervous.”

But at least some of his supporters are picking up on the subtext. And some are openly admitting to reporters — like Matt Viser and Tracy Jan of the Boston Globe — that they’re going to engage in some “racial profiling” at the polls, and make supposedly foreign-looking voters “a little bit nervous.” …’

Source: Vox

Uncategorized

Why this political scientist thinks Congress will be even more broken in 2017

‘Liberals are feeling better than they have in months about the congressional elections. Donald Trump’s recent implosion risks bringing down the rest of his party with him, opening up the possibility that Democrats can win back not only the Senate but also the House of Representatives this November.

But while the news may look good for congressional Democrats right now, there’s also reason to believe they’ll be dealing with an even more ferocious opposition party in 2017.

And that’s because the House Republicans set to lose this fall are among the most moderate members of their caucus. In turn, that will only increase the relative influence of the 15 or so “Freedom Caucus” hard-liners making up the Republicans’ most conservative faction, according to Georgetown political scientist Michele Swers…’

Source: Vox