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In a drying Amazon, change looms

first_imgIf predictions of increasing Amazonian drought come true, the vast rain forest will be replaced by trees adapted to seasonal dryness in some places, while in others the land will be taken over by a mix of trees and grasses that will make up a savannah.That was the message from South American botanist Guillermo Goldstein, a professor at the University of Buenos Aires and the Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor in Latin American Studies at Harvard. Goldstein, who has spent his career studying the plants and ecosystems of South and Central America, delivered the Robert F. Kennedy Lecture at the Center for Government and International Studies on March 22. The talk, called “From the Amazon to Patagonia: An Ecological Journey through Latin American Ecosystems Facing Human Intervention and Climate Change,” was sponsored by the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.Goldstein’s remarks touched on a wide range of South American ecosystems, including the Amazon rain forest; the endangered Atlantic tropical forest; the cerrado, or savannah; high-elevation tropical ecosystems; montane cloud forests; coastal mangroves; grasslands; and the Patagonian desert.Many of those ecosystems are under some kind of threat, from climate change, invasive species, or development and land use change brought on by humans. Global computer models of climate change see increasing drought in the Amazon. If those models are true, Goldstein said, changes will largely be dependent on the level of nutrients in the underlying soil. Trees adapted to seasonal droughts will grow on rich soils, while nutrient-poor soils will convert into savannah.Another threat to the rain forest is slash-and-burn agriculture. Though the forest can reclaim abandoned plots, it can take decades to restore the soil nutrients used by agriculture.Even more endangered are the Atlantic tropical forests, which lie along the continent’s coast. Those forests have been heavily fragmented and cleared, Goldstein said, now covering just 5 percent of the land they did 100 years ago. Restoration of these forests is inhibited by the growth of bamboo grass, which keeps trees from re-establishing themselves on areas that have been logged and abandoned.Savannahs are marked by a mix of grasses and trees, though the proportion of each varies from place to place. Fire is a factor in maintaining the ecosystem. In some places, farmers are replacing savannah with soybean farms and cattle ranches. One potential problem is that as trees are cut down, the ability of roots to pull water and nutrients from deep in the earth is lost, meaning soil may have to be fertilized artificially.Mangrove ecosystems, which grow along the coast, are threatened by coastal development and logging.Goldstein said the region’s political transition to democracy in recent decades has led to economic growth. While that has been beneficial to society, it has increased pressure on the ecosystems. He said that more knowledge is needed to inform management decisions. Some ecosystems, for example, won’t readily grow back if disturbed for agriculture. Others, like the forests inhibited by bamboo grass, need help through actions, in this case, clearing the grass.“I hope our Latin American countries can continue improving their economies, closing the gap between rich and poor, developing more egalitarian societies with equal access to education, health services … while at the same time preserving natural resources and the environment for future generations,” Goldstein said.last_img read more

Cuomo Administration To Fight Court Ruling That OK’s 50% Wedding Capacity

first_imgPexels Stock Image.ALBANY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration plans to fight a court ruling that said limits on the size of parties for weddings or receptions violated the U.S. Constitution.A couple sued to have their wedding in Akron with more than the 50 people allowed under the Governor’s Executive Order.They say the rules of reduced capacity for a restaurant should have applied to their big day.“The governor laid out his argument very clearly on the difference between attending a wedding versus going to a restaurant and we’re going to continue to pursue that in court,” said New York State Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday. “Our objective is to protect New Yorkers from the spread of infection.” A federal judge in Syracuse issued a preliminary injunction against the state and county.The ruling allows wedding reception halls to operate at the same level of service as restaurants, which is 50 percent capacity for indoor dining.The State’s initial order only allowed up to 50 people attend the wedding. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Chargers Senior Night Cross Country Results

first_imgNorth Decatur hosted Senior Night at North Branch Golf Course vs Oldenburg Academy and Morristown.Four runners were recognized:  Logan Kramer – 4 year varsity letter winner; Bobbie Bialk – 2 year varsity letter winner; Emily Dougherty – 3 year varsity letter winner; Mackenzee Mauer – 2 year varsity letter winner.Girls Results:  OA 20; ND 35; Morristown Inc.Race Winner:  Mindy Eckstein (OA) – 21:43.ND:  2. Brianna Snider 23:43; 6. Bobbie Bialk 26:16; 9. Bailey Tomson 28:33; 12. Mackenzee Mauer 31:04; 13. Ember Burford 31:43; 14. Cheyenne Wolter 31:48; 15. Emily Dougherty 39:01.Boys Results:  OA 28; ND 40; Morristown 52.Race Winner:  Ian Dickey (OA) 19:01.ND:  3. Craig Adams 19:52; 4. Daniel Dollinger 20:00; 6. Logan Kramer 20:41; 12. Tristan Ingmire 22:23; 15. Andrew Holloway 23:55; 18. Cameron Medsker 28:17.Next: South Dearborn Sectional this Saturday.Courtesy of Chargers Coach Scott Johnson.last_img read more

QPR boss Hughes ‘in line for £1m bonus’

first_imgThe Daily Mail report that manager Mark Hughes will get a £1m bonus if he keeps QPR in the Premier League.Hughes’ assistants Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki are also said to be in line for big rewards if Rangers stay up.Former Manchester United forward Teddy Sheringham has told the Daily Mirror he believes QPR could do his old team a favour.United will secure the title if they win their final match of the season and Manchester City don’t beat Rangers.Sheringham said: “The season has had many twists and turns to it, so who knows?”“QPR need to get a result to be safe and Bolton could go to Stoke and win and overtake QPR. So they have to have the mindset to go to Manchester and know that they need to get a draw.“We will keep our fingers crossed that there might be one more little twist in the tail.”Meanwhile, Chelsea are looking to beat Liverpool and Tottenham to the signing of Partizan Belgrade’s 18-year-old attacking midfielder Lazar Markovic, according to the Daily Mail.Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant, currently coaching Partizan, is understood to have recommended Markovic, who earned his first cap for Serbia in February.Partizan are said to want around £16m and would also like to have him back on loan.The Sun report that David Luiz is set to return to action against Blackburn this weekend.The Chelsea defender, who has been out with a hamstring problem, is aiming to prove his fitness in time for the Champions Leage final. Will QPR get a point at Man City? Click here to voteClick here for Thursday’s QPR quizFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Secular Cosmology Is Useless and Pointless

first_imgFirst of all, the atheistic multiverse is absurd. Spike Psarris shows this clearly in his video. The multiverse is not just a leap of faith. It is not merely a matter of lack of knowledge. It is positively anti-knowledge! It cannot possibly be true. For one thing, it denies any plausible form of causality. For another, it leads to logical absurdities. As such, it must be rejected by anyone who respects reason at all.Second, the case for design is a positive argument, not a negative argument (e.g., god-of-the-gaps). In every case where we observe a complex, specified, functioning, informational system coming into existence, we know that intelligence had a role in its causation. This is an argument from what we know, not from what we don’t know. Add to that the fine-tuning arguments and probability arguments. Together, these empirically-based and mathematical arguments shout design through a megaphone to anyone not blinded by their hatred of any thought of God.Third, we have an Eyewitness who tells us what happened! Given the absurd alternatives, what is preventing you from trusting what He says? “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:18). (Visited 752 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Secular cosmologists admit they will never know how things began, and that the search is pointless. How is this ‘science’ even worth considering?Nothing banged, and became everything. How’s that for science? Sad as it seems, this is the belief of modern scientists who reject “In the beginning, God.” Ross Pomeroy of Real Clear Science, in an article echoed on, quoted some of the world’s leading cosmologists about what came before the big bang in his article, “We’ll Never Know For Sure How Everything Began.” Before reading the following quote, one must realize that the secular cosmologists express confidence in the big bang model far exceeding its empirical support, as shown by Spike Psarris in his video, “What You’re Not Being Told About Astronomy,” Vol. III, “Our Created Universe.” After Pomeroy lets Sean Carroll of Caltech opine that the big bang theory is “100 percent true,” then comes its downfall:But that percentage of surety dwindles to nothing when discussing the singularity that supposedly started it all. Where did it come from? What came before it? What caused it to “bang” in such a big way? As Carroll admitted, this singularity and its accompanying “bang” are essentially stand-ins for what we don’t – and currently can’t – actually know.“It’s the time at which we don’t understand what the Universe was doing,” he said on Science Friday.And we might not ever understand it, at least with current methods of observation.If you look at the transcript of his interview on Science Friday, and search for the word “know,” you find that he knows almost nothing about anything that matters. So why are people listening to him, as if he is some great prophet for the 21st century?Pomeroy also quotes Alan Guth, father of Inflation Theory (the Guth Goof). The only thing Guth knows is that the universe had a beginning. But he too admits that he doesn’t know anything about the cause of the big bang or inflation. He speculates out of thin space:“It certainly looks like the universe that we observe around us… definitely had a beginning,” MIT cosmologist Alan Guth, the originator of the theory of cosmic inflation, said in an interview for the PBS show Closer to Truth [dated 2015]. “That doesn’t mean that that beginning was necessarily the ultimate beginning of all of reality. There may have been some prehistory to what we’re here calling the beginning.”Pomeroy goes on to call theories for the cause of the universe “fanciful ideas,” but cosmologists are at a scientific “dead end” where they can only speculate. He briefly entertains some of the fanciful ideas, but then says,All of these ideas sound cool, but none are reasonably testable, rendering them useless at the present time.Classically, science is supposed to be useful, not useless. And cosmology’s fanciful ideas are not just useless now, he says. They might be useless forever. That makes them pointless, too. Using a tontological formulation of present knowledge, he continues:We [tontology] will likely never know for sure how everything began, or even if there was a beginning. Perhaps the timeless quest to uncover our ultimate origins is pointless, a selfish side effect of our innate human need for a coherent narrative of existence. Indeed, the very concept of a beginning may be flawed, based on our comparatively paltry experience in this mystical reality. The Universe, and indeed all of Reality, is by no means required to conform to our concept of a “beginning”.And of course, no matter how far down the rabbit hole we travel, there could always be a question of “what came before?” The search for a beginning will likely never end.Do you have a point?Stephen Weinberg was criticized for his statement in his book The First Three Minutes (1977, rev. 1993), “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.” So what was his point in saying that? Can pointlessness give rise to a point? He tried to wiggle out of that in an interview for PBS. We don’t see any cosmologists saying anything now, though, to counter Pomeroy’s contention that secular cosmology is useless and pointless. How could such a view give rise to “our innate human need for a coherent narrative of existence”? What on earth does “coherent” mean, without presupposing laws of logic that are timeless and universal?All of these ideas sound cool, but none are reasonably testable, rendering them useless at the present time.It’s Worse Than They Are SayingIn a new video at Prager University, Brian Keating, an astrophysicist at the University of California, San Diego, asks “What’s a Greater Leap of Faith: God or the Multiverse?” The humorously-animated five-minute film lays the choices side by side. Keating shows how modern cosmologists, having rejected God for “no evidence,” have embraced a fantasy worldview for which there is absolutely no evidence, never will be any evidence, and is actually anti-evidence. “So let me ask you,” he ends, “who’s taking the bigger leap?”So far, this presentation of theistic cosmology vs secular/atheistic cosmology is weak. While we appreciate Pomeroy’s honesty about secular limits to knowledge, and Keating’s argument that theism is stronger than the alternative, much more certainty can be attained – so much more, in fact, that it is time to call the secular scientists’ bluff and not let them get away with pretending to be prophets of knowledge. Particles do not become people!last_img read more

Could driverless cars save lives during a hurricane?

first_imgA recent CityLab report suggests that driverless car technology for evacuations might be a good solution for minimizing loss of life and the amount of destruction that occurs during hurricane season.Referencing the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, the article points out that the level of destruction was much larger in the very poor neighborhoods.  It also discusses how the residents living in the more poverty stricken areas of New Orleans did not have access to transportation before Hurricane Katrina attacked the area.John Renne, director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University, states that evacuation plans are nonexistent for 35 of the nation’s biggest cities; this is a problem.See Also: Will autonomous vehicles cruise the factories of tomorrow?According to the report, Matthew’s floodwaters rendered roads useless, and lethal in some instances, which caused traffic to back up for miles on highways. It questioned whether or not people may have been saved if they had reliable transportation and did not have to drive themselves.The U.S. Department of Transportation is currently in the process of researching how car-to-car communications, an important part of the possible self-driving future, might assist evacuation procedures. Cars could potentially speak to one another, along with traffic lights and cameras.These vehicles could then monitor road conditions, and offer alternate routes as needed during times of crisis.How smart can autonomous vehicles be?The founding director of the Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency at Louisiana State University, Brian Wolshon, says that even partly self-driving vehicles can help traffic flow, if enough of them are on the road.“Here in Louisiana, we’re affected by a lot more than just named storms,” Kali Rapp Roy, executive director of Evacuteer, explains. “If we had self-driving city buses, that would be huge.”Perhaps one day soon, this idea will be a reality and will help rescue many people from dangerous situations. Related Posts Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…center_img Amanda Razani For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Tags:#autonomous vehicles#CityLab#driverless cars#featured#hurricanes#top last_img read more

45 Sena MLAs keen to form government with BJP, says BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Kakade

first_imgAmid the tension between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena over power-sharing, the BJP’s Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Sanjay Kakade has claimed that nearly 45 of the 56 newly-elected Shiv Sena Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in Maharashtra were keen on joining hands with the BJP in a bid to expedite the process of government formation.“Just like within the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), there is a group which holds leaders like Chhagan Bhujbal, Jayant Patil or Ajit Pawar in high regard, there are sections within the Sena who have high regard for many of their leaders, who I will not name… These leaders are in touch with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and are extremely keen on forming a government with the BJP as quickly as possible,” said Mr. Kakade, a Pune-based realtor. He also said the MLAs, anxious to form the new government soon, had allegedly urged the chief minister to settle (power-sharing) issues with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray soon and form the government. “At least 45 of the 56 newly-elected Sena MLAs are directly and clearly stating that they want to go along with the BJP. They do not wish to go anywhere else,” Mr. Kakade said.Ratnagiri MLA incensedMr. Kakade’s statement has incensed the senior Sena leader and MLA from Ratnagiri, Uday Samant, who alleged that the BJP MP was deliberately attempting to ‘defame’ his party’s legislators with such remarks. Mr. Samant said Mr. Kakade’s remarks on the Sena MLAs were “unfortunate”, and brought out Mr. Kakade’s political ineptness. “The allegiance of the Shiv Sena’s MLAs is aligned with [late Sena founder] Bal Thackeray’s thinking and Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership. So, instead of alleging that Sena MLAs are in touch with the Chief Minister, he ought to stick to one party and prove his allegiance there,” Mr. Samant said. “He is doing it for his own political ends in the hope that he will gain something in the event Mr. Fadnavis becomes chief minister again.”A known party-hopper and wheeler-dealer, Mr. Kakade was earlier with Sharad Pawar’s NCP before being elected as an Independent to the Upper House and switching allegiances with the BJP. He is believed to have played a vital role in engineering the saffron party’s victory in the Pune civic polls in February 2017.In March this year, prior to the Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Kakade had announced that he would soon be entering the Congress after being denied a ticket for the Pune Lok Sabha seat. However, the BJP MP’s announcement was not taken too kindly by Congress loyalists in Pune, most of whom were opposed to Mr. Kakade’s induction in the party. Mr. Kakade chose to remain in the BJP after learning that there was no guarantee that he would be get a Congress ticket to contest from Pune Lok Sabha constituency.His disenchantment with the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha election stemmed from the allegedly ‘shoddy’ treatment meted out to him by the then Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat and the erstwhile BJP State president Raosaheb Danve.In December 2017, Mr. Kakade had created a flutter after he predicted a dismal showing by the BJP in the Gujarat elections.last_img read more

Pep pleased with Jesus despite goal drought

first_imgManchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed he is delighted with Gabriel Jesus despite the striker’s ongoing goal scoring drought.The Spanish manager remains unconcerned by Jesus’ struggles in front of goal, insisting the striker’s all-round contribution to the Premier League champions is crucial.The Brazil international’s winner at Southampton in the final minute of last season ensured City finished with 100 points with the 21-year-old’s campaign scoring 13 goals from 29 league matches.However, the early months of this current campaign has been full of toil for Jesus, who has just one Premier League goal, which came in the 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield Town back in August, from nine appearances.Seven of those nine appearances have been as a substitute, however, and Guardiola was deeply impressed by the striker’s performance during Thursday’s 2-0 League Cup win over Fulham.norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…“Of course he needs a goal, the strikers they live for that, but the performance was excellent,” said Guardiola, according to the club’s official website.“A lot of movement without the ball and people don’t realise the help [that gives] to the other guys.“He’s a guy who gave us a lot, but he’s still a young player, he can improve, he can be calmer inside the box, but he has the desire and that’s why he’s extended his contract here for many years.“We’re going to try to help him. I’m so satisfied with the way he’s playing this season, but of course, strikers need a goal to be completely ‘okay, I am there’. But we are in November and many things are going to happen in the future.”last_img read more