Even in its twilight days, Trump regime is still sticking climate science deniers in sensitive posts

first_imgSaid Jane Lubchenco, a professor of marine biology at Oregon State University and head of NOAA under President Barack Obama: “He’s not just in left field—he’s not even near the ballpark.” And Michael Mann, climate scientist at State University, emailed to National Public Radio to say that Legates has, throughout his career “misrepresented the science of climate change, serving as an advocate for polluting interests as he dismisses and downplays the impacts of climate change.”- Advertisement – “I think [Legates] can make messes that the Biden people are going to have to clean up, especially with respect to personnel appointments and author nominations and assignments,” said a former scientist with the research program, who stressed that new leadership could reverse any changes implemented by Legates. The fifth such assessment is now in the works. The two volumes of the Fourth National Climate Assessment were released in 2017 and 2018. As I reported then, the assessment noted that climate change isn’t some far-in-the-future problem, but is already happening, inflicting “substantial damages” on communities, and it’s going to get worse. Denier-in-Chief Trump didn’t like the assessment, and claimed he didn’t believe it. The only surprise is that he didn’t move sooner to screw things up with the next assessment. The Post notes: The move [to appoint Legates] has rattled rank-and-file scientists at NOAA, the lead agency working on the climate assessment, according to people inside and outside the organization. For much of Trump’s tenure, there has been little political interference at NOAA, the notable exception being Trump’s hand-drawn alteration of an official hurricane forecast, an incident known as “Sharpiegate.”center_img Legates has signed the Oregon Petition, which caught a lot of well-deserved flak for trying to pretend it was something it was not—a peer-reviewed study. The petition states:“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”In testimony to Congress last year, Legates said, “Climate has always changed and weather is always variable, due to complex, powerful natural forces. No efforts to stabilize the climate can possibly be successful. […] The current emphasis on climate change abatement will do far more harm than good.”Legates is one of the many Trump appointments who ought to be out the door before the sun goes down Jan. 20. – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

APHA offers plan for boosting pandemic preparedness

first_imgFeb 23, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The nation’s largest public health group, the American Public Health Association (APHA), yesterday released recommendations aimed at strengthening existing federal strategies for pandemic preparedness and encouraging local officials and businesses to play key roles.At the top of its list are more resources for an overburdened public health workforce, which will play a key role in responding to a pandemic flu outbreak. Other recommendations in the APHA’s 16-page report range from expanding surge capacity in hospitals and public health labs to providing emergency medical coverage for people who are uninsured.Preparing for an influenza pandemic isn’t just the job of the public health sector, said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, the APHA executive director, in a press release yesterday. “The general public must be equipped with the proper resources to prepare themselves in the event of a flu pandemic,” he said. “The better we prepare now, the better our chances will be for protecting the health of Americans during an emergency.”Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit public health advocacy group, lauded the APHA’s report, particularly its call for Congress to enact measures, such as scholarship and loan incentives, to bolster the public health workforce. “This is an excellent report that covers some of the critical pandemic preparation issues and places them appropriately in larger context,” he told CIDRAP News.Though isolation of flu patients and quarantine of exposed people are likely to play a limited role in the early stages of a pandemic, policymakers need to shore up laws and policies on isolation and quarantine, including who has authority to issue quarantine orders, the APHA report says. “These decisions should be made on the basis of scientific risk and use the least restrictive alternative.”The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with state and local officials, should develop national standards for sheltering in place, and the public should be urged to prepare to shelter at home for at least 2 weeks, according to the report.HHS and the US Department of Education should take the lead in developing national criteria for school closings in a pandemic and should make school districts aware of them, the report says.The APHA questions a component of the HHS antiviral stockpiling plan that encourages states to purchase antiviral medication with a 25% federal subsidy. According to a USA Today report on the antiviral subsidy program, written after the Aug 1, 2006, signup deadline, at least 43 states indicated they wanted to participate, though some said their ability to buy the drugs was uncertain. “The level of protection Americans receive should not be determined by where they live and the current fiscal position of their states,” the report says.Funding for national stockpiles of medical and lab supplies is inadequate, the document says. Besides items such as ventilators, syringes, and gloves, the medical stockpile should include equipment and medications needed to treat people who have chronic illnesses such as HIV and diabetes.In addition, the Food and Drug Administration should consider relaxing its limit on the amount of medicine that can be dispensed per prescription so that people with serious health problems can store enough medication to get them through an isolation or quarantine order during a pandemic, the APHA contends.Echoing the concerns of other health advocacy groups, such as TFAH, the APHA calls on Congress and HHS to establish an emergency Medicaid designation to encourage uninsured people to seek treatment more quickly if they have influenza symptoms. Other measures the APHA says would help ensure patients’ access to medical care during a pandemic include improving medical surge capacity—not only for flu patients, but also for those with other medical conditions.The APHA report places a strong emphasis on pandemic-related business and occupational health concerns. It urges businesses to consider paid sick-leave policies that encourage employees to stay home when they or their family members are contagious during a pandemic.Also, the group recommends including several other business-related provisions in the national pandemic plan, such as:Setting guidelines about work-related influenza exposure for use in workers’ compensation casesProviding financial support for employers who face extremely high costs for worker protectionRequiring employers to develop pandemic preparedness plansMandating employee training in prevention and exposure controlRecommending that workers in high-risk occupations wear respirators rather than surgical masksLike other groups, such as the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the APHA critiques current federal emergency response plans for designating the Department of Homeland Security as the lead agency in a flu pandemic, leaving HHS responsible only for “very traditional public health and medical issues.””Responding to a pandemic flu is much different than responding to a terrorist attack or hurricane,” the report says. “Therefore, public health officials—the Department of Health and Human Services—should have the formal authority to take the lead in the federal response to pandemic flu.”See also:Feb 22 APHA press releaseAPHA report: “Prescription for Pandemic Flu”http://www.apha.org/advocacy/policy/APHA+Prescription+for+Pandemic+Flu.htmFeb 1 CIDRAP News story “HHS ties pandemic mitigation advice to severity”Jan 25 CIDRAP News story “IDSA urges requiring flu shots for healthcare workers”last_img read more

Petronas takes three anchor handlers from Perdana

first_imgMalaysia’s Perdana Petroleum has received a work order award from Petronas Carigali for the provision of one anchor handling tug and supply (AHTS) vessel and another two work orders for the provision of two AHTS vessels. The work orders were received by Perdana’s subsidiary, Perdana Nautika, and announced in Bursa Malaysia filings on Thursday, May 16, 2019.The contract for one AHTS vessel has already started for a duration of 184 days with extension option of 182 days. The contract started on March 23, 2019.The value of work order for this vessel is between RM 4 million ($957,500)  and RM 8.5 million ($2.03M) if the charter option is exercised.The contract for the other two AHTS vessels is expected to start in the second quarter of 2019 for a duration of six months with extension option of six months.The value of contracts for these two vessels is between RM15 million and RM31 million if the charter option is exercised.Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Offshore Energy Today, established in 2010, is read by over 10,000 industry professionals daily. We had nearly 9 million page views in 2018, with 2.4 million new users. This makes us one of the world’s most attractive online platforms in the space of offshore oil and gas and allows our partners to get maximum exposure for their online campaigns. If you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today contact our marketing manager Mirza Duran for advertising options.last_img read more

USC capitalizes on Cal miscues

first_imgFor a split second, California quarterback Zach Maynard almost made it close.Taking it away · Freshman linebacker Dion Bailey (above) celebrated the first of two interceptions against California. The Trojans forced five turnovers and held the Golden Bears to under 10 points — the first time they had held a team to single-digits since November 2009. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanWith the Golden Bears trailing USC 20-0 late in the second quarter, Maynard completed three straight passes, moving the ball down to the USC 10-yard line. On the next play, however, the junior signal caller’s pass was intercepted by freshman linebacker Dion Bailey, preserving the Trojans’ near three-touchdown lead heading into halftime.“We had to come out and show everybody we’re not as bad a defense as everybody says we are,” Bailey said.The Trojans’ defense forced five turnovers at California (3-3, 0-3), edging the host Golden Bears 30-9 in front of a crowd of 44,043 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Before Thursday night’s contest, USC (5-1, 3-1) had forced just four turnovers in five games.“If I was going to pick a way to win a game, I would rather win it this way because it instills confidence in our defense,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said.The defense had appeared out of sync in recent weeks.In the Trojans’ last two games, they allowed a combined 84 points. Against Cal, they surrendered just 329 total yards and one touchdown for a season-low nine points. It marked the first time since Nov. 28, 2009 — a 28-7  win over UCLA — that the Trojans held a team to less than 10 points in a game.Though the Golden Bears’ oft-heralded receiving duo of Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones combined for 19 receptions for 249 yards, but bother were unable to haul in a touchdown pass.“They’re a heck of a team coming in and we were nervous about their two receivers,” senior linebacker Chris Galippo said. “But we did a good job. If you turn the ball over that much, it’s really hard to win games.”Cal did make a late third-quarter run similar to other second-half defensive struggles for USC against Arizona State and Arizona, where the Trojans were outscored in the final two quarters. Opening the third quarter with a 23-yard field goal from freshman kicker Andre Heidari, which ballooned its lead to 23 points, USC watched Cal respond with a field goal of its own followed by a three-yard touchdown run from Maynard.Heidari connected on all three field attempts from 39 yards, 29 yards and 23 yards.Despite cutting the Trojans’ lead to just two possessions, Maynard would watch Bailey intercept another pass midway through the fourth quarter. The turnover would set up a two-yard touchdown run from junior tailback Curtis McNeal that put the game largely out of reach.“He’s playing really well,” Kiffin said of McNeal, who led the team in rushing on the night with 86 yards on 17 carries.Collectively, however, USC’s offense looked much less potent than it did Oct. 1 at home against Arizona. Barkley, who broke the school single-game record for passing yards with 468 against the Wildcats, threw for just 195 yards Thursday and was not picked off.“I played all right,” Barkley said of his performance. “Not good enough to win big games, but always something to improve upon.”The junior signal caller — though throwing two touchdown passes — completed just 54 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of any game of the season thus far.“Just the little things were off,” he said. “I either put too much air under it or not enough.”The Trojans, even while jumping out to an early lead, finished with just 313 yards of total offense and were outgained by Cal, which finished with 329 yards of total offense.Yet, it was the third fewest yards the defense has given up this season — it gave up 302 against Minnesota and 319 against Utah.“We’re not happy with how the game went, but we’re 5-1, so you have to remember that too,” Kiffin said.The Trojans, who travel to South Bend, Ind., this weekend to face Notre Dame, winner of four straight since opening the season 0-2, remain content — at least somewhat — with five wins halfway through the season.“It’s huge,” Barkley said. “You kind of feel bad because of our performance today, but when you look at the scores, you’ll see we won by three scores, the defense played awesome and that we are 5-1.”Coupled with Arizona State’s 41-27 loss at Oregon on Saturday night, the Trojans, at 3-1 in conference play, are tied for first in the Pac-12 South with the Sun Devils.last_img read more

How Chicken Came To Town

first_imgChicken, one of the domestic fowls, cherished by most people today, once lived in the bush. It was a part of the fowl species of animals.  Chicken and Bush Fowl were counterparts and did everything in common until one day when their friendship took a different twist! Bush fowl and chicken had gone to search for food the fateful rainy day and though it had not started raining by then, they hastened to be where they would have enough to eat before the rains. For, during this time of year, the rain would be ruthless, once it began to pour and it would not pity anyone though; not even Chicken and Bush Fowl.  And so, as Chicken and Bush Fowl began to feed on bugs, earthworms and remnants of fruits left behind by squirrels, birds and monkeys, the once gay and promising sky soon became bleak and cloudy and in a breath-taking uproar of thunder, and there was an abrupt down-pour of a mighty rain amidst violent thunderstorm which threatened their survival. They soon became terrified and worried as to how to get back home.  All they could do that was to remain calm in the face of the eminent danger until the harsh rainstorm abated after soaking them down to their bare tender skins, as their feathers would no longer save them. It rained like what seemed like an eternity and when it finally abated, they were left shivering! Shortly after the cessation of the mighty rain, Chicken and Bush Fowl, the two best friends, began their sojourn for home. While en-route home, Bush Fowl suddenly had a thought. He thought that Chicken could go to town for firewood so that they could catch a fire to warm themselves afraid that they might die. But would Chicken be brave enough to undertake such an adventure, knowing not what lay ahead of him? It was quite obvious that none of them had ever come in close contact with a human being before; not even Bush Fowl himself! To go to town for fire was their greatest predicament! But one of them had to go anyway, no matter what, or the severe cold could be much harmful since the sky was still bleak, without any trace of sunrays to warm their bodies.  Howbeit, Chicken studied his friend’s suggestion, for it was rather a do or die affair! Either one of them would go to town for the fire, or both of them stay and die from the cold. Then Chicken, having given this suggestion a second thought, declared: “Yes, my friend I will go to town for the fire and let come what may; for God knows our plight and He will not allow me to fall into the hands of evildoers though I do not know the characteristics of the human race.”  “Bravo my friend! “Bush Fowl cheered him. “Indeed, you are a very brave fellow! May God be with you as you undertake this tedious task.”  By that, Chicken started his journey for town; the place where humans and other domestic animals like goat, sheep, dog and cat lived. But the true intent of Chicken’s visit to town soon turned otherwise though, when he approached the entrance of the town, Chicken observed women and children beating and fanning rice, as goats, sheep and cats went about their normal businesses while ducks and ducklings fed on the rice dust, as men split wood to add to the glowing fire hearth in the kitchen.  “Oh, what a happy and busy place this town is like!” Chicken now was surprise, and wished to be part of these happy and busy people and animals! No sooner did Chicken enter the town, when he started to feed on the scattered rice found on the ground around the place where women and girls were busy beating rice. The sun was shinning brilliantly in this busy town and there was no need for Chicken to find fire to warm himself. And so, as Chicken was busy helping himself, no one actually seemed to care about his presence in the town until late in the evening as Chicken was caught sleeping in a corner near the fire hearth in the Chief’s kitchen! But the Chief did not bother to raise alarm, for all he thought was that a Bush Fowl had mistakenly come to town and had been caught in the midst of the darkness and could not find his way back into the bushes. The Chief therefore “let the sleeping dog lie.” Yet, Bush Fowl was still anxiously waiting for chicken, his dear friend to return from town, but to no avail!  Bush Fowl then began to wonder as to what had really happened to his friend: Whether he had missed the road and was now wandering into the bushes and finding it difficult to find his way back home, or whether he had been simply captured by the townspeople, who were noted for not sparing any bush animal for that matter. They would soon make a delicious soup with it once it became victim to their vicious trap! Bush Fowl worried the more and in spite of his plight, soon forgot about what happened to them that fateful morning and did not sleep the whole night. He kept contemplating on what might have happened to his friend. But Chicken was apparently not worried as to what condition his friend was in. All he knew, he had found a paradise on earth and why must he return to his friend in the bush, a place of hardship.   “Let him remain where he is,” Chicken said, “poor him, and suffer for the rest of his life, thinking that I will carry fire to him.” The next morning, Chicken flew happily from the corner where he had slept the night before and was enjoying himself since no one ever asked him as to where he came from; not even the Chief and his wife, or his children! For all the Chief felt, he was quite a very lucky fellow indeed for a fowl to leave the bush and come to be with him and his family, without anything probably instigating him to do so. It was a wonderful occurrence in the Chief’s life as villagers from far and nearby towns and villages soon came to see the Chief’s new found wonder!  And as time went by, Bush Fowl decided to go to town in search of his friend. On that day, Bush Fowl took off for town and when he approached the entrance of the town, he became frightened upon seeing the number of people, cattle and huts in the densely populated town; and instead of reaching the town, Bush Fowl decided to call Chicken in the town from where he stood atop an old tree stump. And as Bush Fowl did so, he began to call: “ Kor-kweh, kor-kweh!” But Chicken did not pay heed to his friend’s call.  And all in all, this is how Chicken came to town, and remained while his friend, Bush Fowl is usually found calling him atop a tree stump. “Kor-kweh, Kor-kweh!”  Lesson: There are many friends like chicken today, who often forsake you when better days come their way, despite how long you might have struggled together!The EndShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

The Terrible Crush of Refugees from South Sudan

first_imgShare14TweetShare6Email20 SharesBy Jrh008 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia CommonsMarch 29, 2017; Times LiveThe United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) declared that at least 60,000 South Sudanese entered Sudan since January, far exceeding earlier projections and creating the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis. Sudan currently hosts more than 365,000 South Sudanese refugees. More than 80 percent of the latest arrivals were women and children. Those who survive the journey arrive exhausted, malnourished, and ill.In other news reported last week by UNHCR, 172,000 South Sudanese refugees have fled to Uganda since January. Uganda is expected to host more than one million South Sudan refugees before June. The Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Kenya are also hosting South Sudanese refugees. The majority of South Sudanese refugees go to Uganda, averaging more than 2,800 people per day.Outside of Africa, coverage of this humanitarian crisis is scarce. It is, however, consistently news for NPQ, especially and most recently with this detailed report.Trump’s “America First” budget blueprint that slashes foreign aid and multilateral funding, including the proposed elimination of the U.S. African Development Foundation, reflects an apparent indifference, if not belligerence, toward the growing needs of South Sudan and its neighbors.In January, the New York Times noted that the four-page list of Africa-related questions the Trump transition team issued to the State Department signaled what little would remain in the new administration’s proposed budget for the world’s second-largest continent. Three of the six Muslim-majority countries named in Trump’s most recent temporary travel ban—Somalia, Sudan, and Libya—are in Africa. South Sudan is predominantly African Traditional Religion and Christian and escaped the list.Officially named the Republic of South Sudan, the world’s youngest country won its long-fought independence from Sudan in 2011. It is a UN member state. The country has since suffered ethnic violence and has been engaged in a civil war since 2013, uprooting more than three million people. South Sudan has the second-highest score on the Fragile States Index after Somalia. (Their roles were reversed in 2015 and 2014, with South Sudan as the most fragile state.) Last month, the UN World Food Program said that 4.9 million people (40 percent of South Sudan’s population) need food urgently.The World Food Program and UNHCR rely on voluntary contributions from governments, pooled funding mechanisms, intergovernmental institutions, and the private sector. Donor funding for refugee assistance is increasing, but it is not keeping pace with the need. The humanitarian response to the needs of South Sudanese refugees and their host countries is severely underfunded. The number of refugees in 10 countries across Africa nearly doubled from 2.6 million in 2011 to nearly 5 million in 2016.The heads of WFP and UNHCR describe the urgency of the need.“We can’t imagine how difficult life is for thousands of refugee families with no food, and often denied the possibility to work or provide for themselves in other ways. Refugees are extraordinarily resilient, but cuts in food assistance—sometimes as high as 50 percent—are having a devastating impact on the health and nutrition of thousands of families,” said UNHCR’s [High Commissioner Filippo] Grandi. “The right to food is a basic human right. We are working with WFP to ensure that no refugee goes to sleep hungry, but support has to come quickly.”“Millions of refugees depend on WFP food and our work to treat and prevent malnutrition to stay alive. But in Africa they are in danger of being overshadowed by large humanitarian crises elsewhere,” said [WFP executive director Etharin] Cousin. “Donors have been very generous facing unprecedented global needs. But no refugee deserves to be abandoned and left behind.”—James SchafferShare14TweetShare6Email20 Shareslast_img read more