Extra 23 million people could face coastal flooding within 30 years, even with emission cuts, study says

Stephan:  I feel like we, as a species are standing on the tracks of an oncoming train and refusing to look at it. I just don't understand why this is not starkly clear to all of us. But it obviously isn't because we are not doing even a significant fraction of what needs to be done. The primary research published in Nature, upon which this general audience article is based, is to be found at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-67736-6.
A view of damaged houses along Terrigal beach in Australia after a recent storm. Even with relatively ambitious emission cuts, millions more people around the world will experience coastal flooding within the next 30 years, a study has found. Credit: James Gourley/AAP

The combined impacts of human-caused sea level rise, storm surges and high tides could expose an extra 23 million people to coastal flooding within the next 30 years, even with relatively ambitious cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, a new global study has found.

In a worst-case scenario where emissions continue to rise and no efforts are made to adapt to the rising sea levels, coastal assets worth US$14.2tn – about 20% of global GDP – could be at risk by the end of the century.

Rising sea levels caused by global heating that expands the oceans and melts land-based ice could mean that one-in-100-year floods occurring now would become one-in-10-year floods by the end of the century. As much as 4% of the world’s population could be affected by flooding.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, identified […]

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Senate adjourns without extending expiring unemployment benefits

Stephan:  Knowing what they knew would happen, the Republican senate adjourned anyway, and tens of millions will suffer for their callous indifference. How any working class American can vote for a Republican, any Republican, is beyond my comprehension. But they will
Masked Moscow Mitch going home leaving more than 30 million Americans likely to see their incomes drop 50%–75% when the unemployment benefits expire on Friday.
Credit: Getty

The Senate has adjourned until 3pm on Monday, as Congress failed to reach an agreement on extending extra unemployment benefits that are set to expire on Friday.

Why it matters: Tens of millions of Americans are out of work and have been receiving $600 per week on top of their regular unemployment payments. That money has been used both to pay expenses and to prop up the broader economy via consumer spending.

The state of play: Congress and the Trump administration are still painfully deadlocked over the next stimulus bill, with at least 20 Senate Republicans pledging to vote “no” on another massive relief package no matter what.

  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) attempted Thursday afternoon to unanimously pass a short-term extension of the benefits at a reduced level of $200 per week, which was summarily rejected by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
  • Schumer then attempted to pass the $3 trillion relief bill that House Democrats approved in May. That, […]
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Welcome home, now pay up: Thousands await big bills for virus repatriation flights

Stephan:  Three martini lunches? No problem. Billions more for the defense budget? Gotcha covered. Working class Americans stuck aboard, trying to get home? You gotta pay your own way, and at our rates. Scum is, as scum does.
Travelers wait to register for a flight home at La Aurora international airport in Guatemala City in March 2020. Stranded travelers from the U.S. have traveled home on repatriation flights amid the coronavirus crisis.
Credit: Moises Castillo/AP

Americans stranded abroad as the coronavirus spread took a lifeline offered by the State Department: We’ll fly you home, but you have to pay us back.

Some Americans had to use passports as collateral for loans — but months later, they’re still waiting for a bill, so their passports are invalid. Others signed promissory notes agreeing to pay an eventual bill they’re still waiting for, and dreading a price tag that for a family of four could weigh in at $10,000.

State has flown home about 100,000 U.S. citizens home from nearly 150 countries since the pandemic began, at a cost of $196 million to the agency, which it must collect from passengers. Of that sum, about $8 million comes from direct loans secured with a passport.

Desperate to get home to California from Peru, Ash Maki took out a […]

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Most Americans Are Buying Into President Trump’s False Arguments About Crime

Stephan:  Fostering fear, rather than wellbeing, is Trump's trump card, and Americans are a fearful lot. Those that get their news from Fox, Breitbart, Infowars, and that lot or, even worse from social media, are in a manipulated fear fugue, and Trump sees that as his path to re-election. Here are some facts and their fear.

Most Americans incorrectly believe crime is on the rise nationally, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, although few are seriously concerned about crime in their own communities. As they did in 2016, Americans’ false perceptions of crime rates stand to potentially benefit President Donald Trump, who has stoked fears about crime in cities and promised to protect mostly white suburbs from demographic groups he claims will bring in crime. At the same time, however, concerns about crime have ticked down since the last election, and most voters’ attention remains on other issues.

Over the past month, the Trump campaign has flooded the airwaves with ads mentioning crime ― between July 1 and July 26, 85% of the president’s ads dealt in some way with the topic of public safety, while none focused on the current coronavirus pandemic.

Forty-four percent of Americans say they believe crime is a very serious problem nationally, down from 53% who shared this belief in an August 2016 survey, when then-candidate Trump was also campaigning […]

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Here’s how the Trump administration is actively trying to sabotage the Postal Service

Stephan:  Here is yet more detail on a trend, the sabotage of a public postal system, being actively pursued by Trump, his orcs, and the Congressional Republicans. It is, of course, yet another attempt to rig the election to keep the minority White supremacy Republican cult in power. I use the term orc, by the way instead of, for instance, describing William Barr as a toad (although he certainly has a toad-like appearance) because I do not think it would be fair to toads. They are important amphibians in the earth's matrix of life performing a critical task in the ecosystem.
U.S. Postal worker during the pandemic

America’s new postmaster general, the Republican Trump megadonor Louis DeJoy, is deliberately slowing down mail deliveries according to leaders of Postal Service unions.

A postal worker union leader, Jonathan Smith, told DCReport that DeJoy “without a doubt is purposely trying to undermine the system.”

“He wants to disable the Postal Service because Trump has his agenda to stop vote-by-mail by any means necessary. And since they have not been as successful as they would like to be in the courts — Trump figures he’ll get his hand-picked crony to achieve that objective from within,” said Smith, who heads the American Postal Workers Union’s Metro New York City Chapter.

The interference with speedy mail delivery comes as Trump demonizes voting by mail, even though he and many of his White House team cast their own ballots that way. Slowing the mails would delay counting votes in November. That would help Trump claim the election was rife with fraud and try to hang onto power if voters chose Joe Biden as our president.

Delaying the mail could also be a way […]

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