10-year stories… Aug 13.

typewriter-realnews-lineWhat stories have we recently posted that might matter 10 years from now?


ENVIRONMENT

National Academy of Sciences paper:
We may be headed for “hothouse earth”
EcoWatch
“We note that the Earth has never in its history had a quasi-stable state that is around 2C warmer than the preindustrial and suggest that there is substantial risk that the system, itself, will ‘want’ to continue warmingbecause of all of these other processes—even if we stop emissions,” said study author Katherine Richardson from the University of Copenhagen.
>>> Caribbean states beg US to take climate change seriously
The Guardian

143-mph “fire tornado” a preview of an ominous future
LA Times
— Whatever it’s called, it’s exceptionally rare to see a well-documented fire-fueled vortex leap out of a wildfire and enter a populated area with such size, power and duration.
— “Depending on the final number, this might actually be the strongest ‘tornado’ in California history, even if it wasn’t formally a tornado,” UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said by email. There have been a couple of marginal EF-3 twisters in California’s past, “but this fire whirl was almost certainly longer-lived, larger in spatial scope and perhaps even stronger from a wind speed perspective.”

Monsanto calls Roundup “safe” but …
jury did not agree to tune of $289 million
AFP

EPA, the sleeping watchdog
Courthouse News Service
So here we go. Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide known have detrimental health impacts to children. No problem, says the EPA. Court says, We’re ordering you assholes to ban it.
— Chlorpyrifos is a nerve agent pesticide, first used by the Nazis during World War II and later repurposed for agricultural use by Dow Chemical in 1965. It kills insects by suppressing the enzymes crucial for cell reproduction.

Tiny companies winning in race for “edited” food crops.
Reuters
— In a suburban Minneapolis laboratory, a tiny company that has never turned a profit is poised to beat the world’s biggest agriculture firms to market with the next potential breakthrough in genetic engineering – a crop with “edited” DNA.
— Calyxt Inc, an eight-year-old firm co-founded by a genetics professor, altered the genes of a soybean plant to produce healthier oil using the cutting-edge editing technique rather than conventional genetic modification.
— Seventy-eight farmers planted those soybeans this spring across 17,000 acres in South Dakota and Minnesota, a crop expected to be the first gene-edited crop to sell commercially, beating out Fortune 500 companies.
>>> Move over, plows. Here come the drones
Voice of America
>>> The arid West moves east, with big consequences for farmers
NPR

Corporate-friendly EPA opens the door to … breathe in now … asbestos Archpaper.com
— One of the most dangerous construction-related carcinogens is now legally allowed back into U.S. manufacturing under a new rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On June 1, the EPA authorized a “SNUR” (Significant New Use Rule) which allows new products containing asbestos to be created on a case-by-case basis.


THE AMERICAN WORKER

For most US workers, wages have barely budged in decades
Pew Research
… today’s real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago. And what wage gains there have been have mostly flowed to the highest-paid tier of workers.
realwagespew

Federal government is biggest cheapskate employer in US
The Guardian
— The federal government employs more workers making less than $15 an hour than any other employer in the US, a new report has revealed.
— The study, compiled by pro-union group Good Jobs Nation, analyzed federal data and showed that the government spends more than $1.6tn on federal contractors employing more than 12.5 million people with 4.5 million of those workers making below $15 an hour.
— Many of these workers are employed by contractors as janitors, cafeteria workers, call center workers, administrative assistants and healthcare aides, and union campaigners say they are being kept on poverty wages.
>>> Highest core inflation in decades flattens wage growth
Bloomberg
federal worker

Mere expectation of checking work email after hours harms health of workers and families
Eureka Alert
email family— “The competing demands of work and nonwork lives present a dilemma for employees, which triggers feelings of anxiety and endangers work and personal lives.”
— Other studies have shown that the stress of increased job demands leads to strain and conflict in family relationships when the employee is unable to fulfill nonwork roles at home — “such as when someone brings work home to finish up.

Union-busting law goes down hard in Missouri
NPR
— Voters in Missouri have overwhelmingly rejected a right-to-work law passed by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature that would have banned compulsory union fees — a resounding victory for organized labor that spent millions of dollars to defeat the measure.


ECONOMY

As tax bill changes settle in, federal deficit spikes 20%
NY Post

Bankruptcy Booms Among Older Americans…
NY Times (Paywall) 
— For a rapidly growing share of older Americans, traditional ideas about life in retirement are being upended by a dismal reality: bankruptcy.
— The signs of potential trouble — vanishing pensions, soaring medical expenses, inadequate savings — have been building for years. Now, new research sheds light on the scope of the problem: The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, the study found, and the same group accounts for a far greater share of all filers.


SOCIAL CHANGE

Yes, police kill black men in disproportion
No, it’s not white cops doing it.
Eureka Alert
–Rutgers analysis of every use of deadly force by police officers across the United States indicates that the killing of black suspects is a police problem, not a white police problem, and the killing of unarmed suspects of any race is extremely rare.
” There might be some bad apples in the police department, but white officers are no more likely to use lethal force against minorities than nonwhite officers,” says Charles Menifield, lead author of the study. “Still, the killings are no less racist but will require a very different set of remedies if we are to change the culture and stop this from happening.”

Millions of Americans giving up on churches
Pew ResearchPF.08..01.18_religious.services-00-00-

NY City puts limit on permits for Uber, Lyft cars
NY Daily News
… a yearlong pause on new for-hires while the Taxi & Limousine Commission studies the impact of the vehicles on the city’s streets, whether their total number should ultimately be capped, and whether to regulate how often the cars are allowed to drive without passengers — a practice that helps reduce wait times compared to dispatching from a base, but which increases congestion.

NFL payouts for Parkinson’s and ALS hint at link between football and neurodegenerative diseases
LA Times
… the number of players with a Parkinson’s or ALS diagnosis who have applied for and received payments under the NFL’s concussion settlement is significantly larger than projected, raising the possibility that professional football players may be at greater risk of developing the neurodegenerative diseases than previously believed.

Michigan set to send first Muslim woman to Congress
The Hill
— Former Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib won the Democratic nomination for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, paving the way for her to become the first Muslim woman elected into Congress.

Entering the age of assassin drones?
Motherboard
—  “We will see more attacks, as the technology has a very low barrier to entry. “Indeed, it is harder to get the bomb than it is to get the drone.”

China is Waging a Maritime Insurgency in the South China Sea.

It's Time for the United States to Counter It
The National Interest — The rule of international law will stand or fall on the confidence of civilian mariners to operate where and how they please within the boundaries of their international legal rights.ship-china

Former Education Secretary: U.S. schools “not top 10 in anything”
CBS News

Let’s keep the shitty status quo in US health care
Politicus USA
With billions of dollars at stake, powerful healthcare companies have formed a new group to fight single payer healthcare.  The entrenched and highly-profitable healthcare “establishment” is clearly worried that the movement toward single payer would cut into their obscene and unconscionable profit margins that force millions of Americans into financial ruin and bankruptcy.