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Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance Members Testify on Opportunities to Tackle…

first_img Four witnesses representing the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance’s (FACA) founding organizations and co-chairs – American Farm Bureau Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and National Farmers Union – testified Thursday in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry on the agriculture, food and forestry sectors’ role in delivering climate solutions.Farmers, ranchers and forest owners are both on the frontlines of climate impacts and offer innovative, natural solutions through increased carbon sequestration in trees and soils and reduced GHG emissions.In accordance with FACA’s guiding principles, the four representatives stressed to lawmakers that federal climate policy must be built upon voluntary, incentive-based programs and market-driven opportunities, promote resilience and adaptation in rural communities, and be grounded in scientific evidence. In addition, solutions proposed by Congress and the Biden administration must be strongly bipartisan and accommodate the diverse needs of producers and landowners, regardless of size, geographic region or commodity.“Throughout my lifetime of farming, I constantly have sought out ways to reduce my environmental impact — it is good for the environment, it is good for my farm and it is the right thing to do. I believe the timing is right for all industries, including agriculture, to come together and find solutions that will sustain our way of life for generations to come,” said John Reifsteck, an Illinois grain farmer and the chairman of GROWMARK Inc. testifying on behalf of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC).National Farmers Union (NFU) member Clay Pope said, “FACA sets a new, higher floor for federal policy discussions around agriculture and climate change, and gives clear, farmer-backed direction to policymakers.” The sixth-generation farmer and rancher from Loyal, Oklahoma, added that “Congress must heed these recommendations and quickly act upon them. America’s family farmers and ranchers are already feeling the effects of climate change on their land — there is no time to waste.”“Policy which addresses proactive measures to influence climate conditions cannot be one-size-fits-all,” said Stefanie Smallhouse, president of the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation and member of the American Farm Bureau board of directors. “Just as I have highlighted the unique needs of Arizona’s farmers and ranchers in the West, all regions of the U.S. can explain ways in which any given climate policy may or may not work for the landscape, industry and ecology present in that region.”“The potential for farmers, ranchers and forestland owners to contribute to the climate change solution is well-documented. My family has seen it in our operation and see opportunities for it to happen on a far larger scale,” said Cori Wittman Stitt, a member of Environmental Defense Fund’s farmer advisory group and a partner in a diversified crop, cattle and timber operation in northern Idaho. “Farmers need Congress to act quickly to advance voluntary policies that maximize measurable net carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas reductions, while increasing the resilience of the land.”FACA members developed more than 40 joint recommendations to guide the development of federal climate policy. Download the recommendations and see a full list of member organizations at agclimatealliance.com. Previous articleHAT Market Analysis for 3/11/21 with Mike Silver, Kokomo GrainNext articleVolatility in the Markets Not Going Away American Farm Bureau Federation Home Indiana Agriculture News Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance Members Testify on Opportunities to Tackle Climate… SHARE Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance Members Testify on Opportunities to Tackle Climate Change in Senate Hearing By American Farm Bureau Federation – Mar 11, 2021 SHARE Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Evaluation of turbulent surface flux parameterizations for the stable surface layer over Halley, Antarctica

first_imgCalculated surface fluxes from seven surface layer parameterizations are verified against 45 months of observations from Halley, Antarctica, with a temporal resolution of 1 h. The surface layer parameterizations aretaken from widely used numerical models including the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)Community Climate models CCM2 and CCM3, the U.K. Met. Office Unified Climate Model, and the fifthgenerationPennsylvania State University–NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5). The observations include measurements of the mean wind speed and temperature inversion strength and direct measurements of the turbulent fluxes of heat and momentum.A comparison of the calculated and observed fluxes is conducted for conditions in which the surface layeris stably stratified. Based on these comparisons it is found that the simulated friction velocity values are adequate (although slightly larger than the observed turbulent fluxes) under all but the highest bulk Richardson number conditions (greatest static stability). In contrast the magnitude of the calculated sensible heat flux is frequently less than that of the observed sensible heat flux. The use of a larger scalar roughness length for heat compared to that for momentum is found to remove this bias in the calculated sensible heat fluxes. The correlation between the observed and calculated fluxes of heat and momentum is acceptable for the lower bulk Richardson number regimes, but is near zero for the high bulk Richardson number regime. The correlation between the calculated and observed fluxes is in general better for the momentum flux than for the sensible heat flux. The bias in the calculated sensible heat flux could have significant implications for numerical simulations in which the flow is driven by surface processes, and may pose problems for climate-scale simulations. The impact that errors of the observed magnitude have on simulated katabatic winds is explored with a series of twodimensional numerical simulations using MM5. Inferences about the relevance of these findings for climate simulations are also addressedlast_img read more

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IOM assesses reuse of masks in flu pandemic

first_img The IOM release says it is not known whether flu viruses “disperse as aerosolized particles released in the breath of infected people, spread on larger droplets projected through coughing and sneezing, or are contracted through physical contact with contaminated people and surfaces.” Apr 28, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – There is no practical way to clean disposable medical masks and N95 respirators to allow them to safely be reused if supplies run short in an influenza pandemic, a panel of experts at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has concluded. Further, the panel couldn’t identify any simple changes in the devices that would permit reuse, or any changes that would eliminate the need to test the fit of respirators to ensure that they work, the IOM said. However, that doesn’t mean a mask or respirator can’t be used more than once by the same person, provided it’s still in reasonable condition, the committee said. At the same time, the panel cautioned that little is known about the effectiveness of the devices or about how flu viruses spread. Table of contents for IOM report “Reusability of Facemasks During an Influenza Pandemic: Facing the Flu”http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11637 As for masks, manufacturers told the committee that several models can be used repeatedly by the same person until they become damaged, moist, dirty, or hard to breathe through, the report says. It says this is acceptable for infected patients in particular, since reuse is unlikely to increase their risk of contamination. Medical masks fit loosely over the nose and mouth and are mainly meant for use by healthcare workers and patients to prevent them from spreading pathogens by sneezing and coughing, the IOM noted in a news release about the report. Apr 27 IOM news release The IOM says that little is known about the effectiveness of masks and respirators or even about how flu viruses spread. A person who wants to reuse an N95 respirator should wear a medical mask or a clear plastic face shield over it to protect it from surface contamination, the committee said. The user should store the respirator carefully between uses and should wash his or her hands before and after handling it and the device used to shield it. The committee stressed that neither type of device has been tested for its ability to protect people from flu viruses. But that doesn’t necessarily rule out reuse of a respirator or mask by the same person, the report says. N95 respirators, in contrast, are used in both medical and industrial settings to protect wearers from inhaling harmful microscopic particles, the IOM said. They are designed to fit snugly around the mouth and nose. When properly fitted, they should filter out 95% of aerosol particles. The IOM said the committee found disposable masks and respirators “do not lend themselves to reuse because they work by trapping harmful particles inside the mesh of fibers of which they are made. This hazardous buildup cannot be cleaned out or disinfected without damaging the fibers or other components of the device such as the straps or nose clip.” On the assumption that supplies may run short in a flu pandemic, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked the IOM in January to assess the possibility of reuse of disposable masks and N95 respirators. The committee calls for HHS to sponsor research on how well masks, respirators, and other filtering materials protect against flu viruses. In addition, methods should be developed to decontaminate masks and respirators without damaging them, the IOM says. See also: “Even the best respirator or surgical mask will do little to protect a person who uses it incorrectly, and we know relatively little about how effective these devices will be against flu even when they are used correctly,” said Donald S. Burke, professor of international health and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and co-chair of the IOM committee. The report also notes that there are respirators with replaceable filter cartridges, and these can be reused by one or more wearers. Though they cost more than disposable respirators, they are worth considering as an alternative, in the panel’s judgment.last_img read more

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Troop deployment plan stokes fear of return to hard tactics, Dwifungsi

first_imgSuch a move could also potentially undermine the military’s main duty to safeguard against national security threats or threats to territorial integrity, said Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid.“We do not need military personnel to remind the public to wash their hands properly or to practice strict social distancing – we have health officers or the Public Order Agency [Satpol PP] to do that,” Usman said in a statement to The Jakarta Post.“Involving military personnel to enforce health protocols will in fact undermine their primary role to maintain security; we need to remember that this is a health emergency, not a civilian one.”Read also: Civil emergency measures will not be implemented to fight COVID-19: MahfudJokowi floated the idea of declaring a civil emergency in March but backed off following pushback from critics. Many of them argued that imposing a civil emergency could undermine human rights and that was not suited to the current circumstances. Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No. 23/1959 on civil emergency stipulates that the President has the authority to declare a state of civil emergency, which would allow for the wider mobilization of security assets, among other things.Usman also expressed concerns over the implied return of Dwifungsi, a New Order-era policy under which the former Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) were allowed to take on civilian roles in government.Read also: Mixed response to new rules on TNI engagementThe Jokowi administration has seen the return of more TNI officers and retired military generals to public office, facilitated in Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 37/2019 on functional positions for TNI personnel.The President’s flirtations with the nation’s security apparatuses have alarmed rights activists and victims of past trauma, many of whom fear a return to draconian New Order practices. Critics have also pushed back against the security approach that Jokowi seems to prefer when dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.The military deployment plan follows another plan to legally involve troops in the fight against terrorism, long considered to be the domain of the police as stipulated in the 2018 Terrorism Law.Read also: Plan to expand military role in fight against terrorism raises red flag, againJokowi has also called for the active involvement of the TNI and Polri in the fight against forest fires, and had even gone on record to say that he would replace the top brass at the local and provincial levels if they could not quell the fires.Defense analysts have questioned the TNI’s latest deployment plan, arguing that while the military could be involved in non-combat assignments, the executive order still lacked clear boundaries. Military operations other than war (MOOTW) are usually temporary in nature, experts insist.According to Paragraph 3, Article 7 of the 2004 TNI Law, the President holds the authority to use the military’s forces in war operations and MOOTW with approval from lawmakers.“This [deployment order], meanwhile, is a decision that is conveyed verbally. Who can guarantee the limitations of the operation?” said Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) researcher Diandra Megaputri Mengko.Diandra urged the government to follow existing regulations before deploying military forces as part of “new normal” protocol.Presidential spokesman Fadjroel Rachman did not immediately respond to the Post’s inquiry about the policy.Last Tuesday, the President instructed the military and the police to guard public places in DKI Jakarta, West Java, West Sumatra and Gorontalo and 25 cities to get them to obey health protocols.Read also: Jokowi deploys TNI, police to enforce ‘new normal’TNI commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said personnel from the joint TNI-Polri operations would guard 1,800 spots around the country, including in malls, traditional markets and tourist attractions, among other places.TNI spokesman Maj. Gen. Sisriadi said the military had 150,000 troops and the police had 190,000 officers on stand-by, although he insisted that only 20,000 military personnel had been deployed to select areas to enforce the rules.Topics : The government’s decision to prepare hundreds of thousands of Indonesian Military (TNI) officers for deployment to help enforce pandemic health protocols has drawn criticism among defense analysts and human rights experts for its nod to past military practices.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced last week that the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police would work together to guard crowded places in preparation for the so-called “new normal” of living alongside COVID-19.As many as 340,000 troops have been on stand-by to deploy across more than two dozen cities to oversee enforcement of measures aimed at curbing transmission of the disease, as the country gears up for the eventual easing of restrictions on movement and travel. Read also: COVID-19: Health minister issues ‘new normal’ guidelines for workplacesBut the move risks inviting people to rise up against a possible “hard” security approach to compliance, said security expert Anton Aliabbas, as the economy fumbles and incomes dissipate as a result of the viral outbreak and the ensuing restrictions.“The problem is whether ‘disciplining’ the public requires the TNI [to step in]. If people refuse to obey, will [troops] become coercive?” asked Anton, who is a researcher from security reforms and human rights watchdog Imparsial.Taking a hard approach without discretion, he said, could “trigger greater resistance amidst the surge of unemployment and peoples’ frustration”.last_img read more

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Cricket News At 20 Years 105 Days, Mithali Raj Creates This New ODI Record As A Women Cricketer

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Mithali Raj is without a doubt one of the greatest women cricketers in the world. Her list of achievements is staggering. She is the leading run-getter in women’s cricket when it comes to ODIs and she is in a prestigious list when it comes to the number of centuries being hit in limited overs. Due to the exploits of Mithali, India women’s cricket is on the world map. During the first ODI between India and South Africa at the Reliance stadium in Vadodara, Mithali achieved a special milestone in her career. Mithali’s match against South Africa was played in her 20th year of ODI cricket. At 20 years and 105 days, Mithali Raj now has the longest career by a women cricketer in history. She is the only player in history to have played more than 200 ODIs, with Charlotte Edwards of England a distant second with 191 matches. Mithali had made her debut in June 1999 against Ireland at Milton Keynes.When one talks about Mithali’s longetivity in the ODI format, she is fourth in the all-time lost when it comes to both men’s and women’s cricket. Sachin Tendulkar of India holds the record for the longest span in ODIs with 22 years and 91 days, having made his debut in December 1989 to March 2012. Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka is second with 21 years and 184 days, having made his debut in December 1989 and he played till June 2011. Before Jayasuriya and Tendulkar, Pakistan’s Javed Miandad had the longest span with 20 years and 272 days, having played from June 1975 to March 1996.Also Read | Mithali Raj hits out at critics, says many players have worse strike-rate than herWhen one talks about Test matches, Wilfred Rhodes of England had the longest career with 30 years. Rhodes’ career spanned both millenniums, having made his debut in 1899 and playing till 1930, with a span of 30 years and 315 days. Also Read | International Women’s Day: ‘In Indian cricket, son is treated differently from daughter’Mithali retired from Twenty20 Internationals last month but she is still playing Tests and ODIs. The right-hander has been part of two World Cup finals in 2005 and 2017 but India lost both games in South Africa and England to Australia and the hosts. During the 2018 World T20, Mithali was involved in an ugly spat with the-then coach Ramesh Powar and Harmanpreet Kaur after she was left out of the semi-final between India and England in the World T20 held in West Indies. last_img read more

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World Cup expectations a ‘sufferance’ for Argentina, Messi

first_img“It was difficult to work in those conditions because there was only one available option: to be world champions.“Putting that kind of obligation ahead of the match itself made everything much more complicated.”Although Sampaoli pledged to hang on to his job following their elimination, he soon resigned from his post.The Argentinian federation have appointed Lionel Scaloni, their former under-20 coach, as Argentina coach.Sampaoli, 58, offered him some advice: “We need to find a balance so that this obligation to win doesn’t generate even more anxiety.“Every match (at the World Cup) was a sufferance.”Messi’s future with the national side has been in doubt since Argentina’s elimination.According to reports, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner asked not to be considered for selection for a series of friendlies in September and October.Share on: WhatsApp Madrid, Spain | AFP | Former Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said the ‘Albiceleste’ were saddled with excessive expectations at the World Cup, stifling the performances of his players, including Lionel Messi.Argentina were tipped as possible winners of the tournament in Russia but were eliminated at the knockout phase following a tense 4-3 defeat to eventual champions France.Even before they squeezed into the second round, Argentina flattered to deceive, drawing 1-1 with Iceland, losing 3-0 to Croatia and squeezing past a plucky Nigeria 2-1 in the group stages.Sampaoli said expectations that Argentina would win the tournament emanating from the country’s football federation stifled the creativity and success of Messi and his fellow players.“The best player in the world (Messi) was devoted” to the Argentina cause, Sampaoli said in comments to Spanish sports daily Marca.“At his club (Barcelona) he has great stability. But when he comes to the national team a collective hysteria takes over and it’s like we’re expected to win.“This is not possible. If we don’t win, it’s him (Messi) who cops all the criticism. So you can’t play, and you can’t enjoy it.”He added: “The weight of expectation on this team was too heavy. We all felt pushed by the obligation to win, which meant it was difficult for us to express our talents.last_img read more

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Steelers defense turns up pressure by turning back the clock

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers linebacker L.J. Fort (54) recovers a fumble by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Yet the veteran Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback understands he didn’t exactly shut down Atlanta’s Julio Jones during a dominant 41-17 win on Sunday all by himself.The Steelers sometimes had two — and on occasion three — bodies around Jones. And a resurgent pass rush forced Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to spend a significant portion of the afternoon under heavy duress.“They weren’t running,” Haden said. “The D-line controlled things. They controlled the front and then they got the sacks. That’s helping me out too big time. I just love when the D-line is able to get that type of pressure.”So do the rest of the Steelers (2-2-1), who for the first time this season looked like the group that led the NFL and set a franchise record with 57 sacks in 2017. T.J. Watt took down Ryan three times.Defensive tackle Cam Heyward picked up a sack and split another with linebacker Jon Bostic. Even reserve linebacker L.J. Fort got in on things, collecting the third sack of his six-year career and later falling on Ryan’s fumble in the end zone to put the finishing touches on Pittsburgh’s most complete performance of the year.Though Heyward downplayed the idea his team was desperate, he admitted there was a sense of urgency after the Steelers spent the first month of the season getting pushed around.The Steelers walked onto the steamy Heinz Field turf ranked 30th in total defense. Facing the high-powered Falcons, Pittsburgh responded by restoring a bit of normalcy by getting back to basics. They blitzed from all over. They disguised their coverages and then turned to Haden to put the clamps on Jones.The idea to have Haden shadow Jones came from coach Mike Tomlin, who broached the subject of having Haden follow Jones all over the field during the week. Haden welcomed the assignment, galvanized by the opportunity to take on one of the best in the business.“He can do everything,” Haden said. “He’s big. Physical. Strong. He can catch. Vertical. Everything.”At least until the first three quarters on Sunday, when Jones did nothing. Four times Ryan looked Jones’ way over the first 45 minutes.Each time the play ended the same way: with the pass falling incomplete.By the time Jones finally did break through early in the fourth quarter, the Steelers were already up 17 and the game was effectively over.“They had a good game plan for me today,” Jones said.One Pittsburgh might want to repeat going forward. The Steelers travel to AFC North-leading Cincinnati (4-1) next week.Much like the Falcons, the Bengals and star wideout A.J. Green present their own unique challenge.The Steelers have dominated the rivalry in recent years, winning 9 of 10, including an ugly victory in Cincinnati last December that included several vicious shots on both sides and the possible end of Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier’s career because of a spinal injury.Pittsburgh’s defense hasn’t been the same since, though the way the Steelers put it together against Atlanta offered a glimpse that perhaps things are starting to turn around.The communication issues in the secondary that plagued them in September largely vanished, at least for four quarters.And while Watt’s three sacks boosted his season total to six — tying him with older brother J.J. of the Houston Texans and Bengals defensive lineman Geno Atkins for the most in the NFL — Watt was quick to praise Fort and Tyler Matakevich, who stepped in admirably with Vince Williams sidelined by a hamstring injury.“I think we have so much confidence in them that we don’t have any wavering opinion whether they are in the game or not,” Watt said.“So, I think they just do a great job, go about their business as if they are the starter each and every week, and it shows.”Yet success has been fleeting. Pittsburgh thought it had figured some things out two weeks ago in Tampa Bay when it produced four turnovers in the second quarter to cool off the Buccaneers.Then Baltimore came to Heinz Field and controlled the second half on its way to a decisive victory.Whether Pittsburgh’s play against Atlanta is a one-off or a sign of things to come is uncertain.“Hopefully this performance can catapult us in the right direction, and start climbing the leaderboard of defenses and continue to win,” Fort said.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL PITTSBURGH (AP) — Joe Haden understands how it looks. Spend an afternoon keeping the NFL’s leading wide receiver in check and you’re bound to get all the credit.last_img read more

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Census: Shore Towns Show Declines In Population

first_imgAccording to the 2010 U.S. Census, Monmouth has experienced some changes in population over the past 10 years, but some county and local officials are skeptical about the accuracy of the numbers.The data show that roughly 15,000 more people now call Monmouth County home than did so back in 2000, with the current population standing at 630,380.Most of the population growth occurred in the western party of the county, with Upper Freehold experiencing the largest increase.The population of Upper Freehold increased by 61.9 percent, bringing its total population to 6,902.Other communities with reported increases include Marlboro, Manalapan, Millstone, Tinton Falls, Howell and Holmdel.Red Bank showed a modest increase of 3.06 percent bringing that population to 12,206, while Fair Haven experienced a 3.10 percent hike, raising its population to 6,121,Approximately 50 percent of municipalities within the county showed marked decreases in population.The largest declines occurred in tiny seaside locations as Allenhurst and Loch Arbor Village, which saw drops of 30.92 percent and 30.71 percent, respectively, bringing their total populations down to 496 and 194.In general, shore communities appeared to be experiencing the most declines, with the population down Middletown, Keansburg, Atlantic Highlands and Highlands. In the two river area, Sea Bright had a significant drop with a loss of 406 residents, a decline of 22.33 percent, bringing the population of that coastal community down to 1,412.But some on the county and local levels are questioning the federal findings.“We’re actually not sure these counts are completely accurate,” said Russell Like, principal planner/section supervisor of research and special studies for the county’s Division of Planning.Like noted that the numbers seem to show there was an increase in the housing vacancy rate throughout the county. “And that does include the coastal communities,” he said. But he speculates that could mean, “A higher percentage of people who are using those as second homes.”“That is no means a certainty,” Like acknowledged, “just one possibility.”The Census is really intended as a “snapshot” of the population for April 1 of the year that it’s taken, Like explained. “The Census, while it attempted to be a 100 percent count is a model of the real world,” Like said. “And models are never 100 percent accurate.”Like has spoken to some local officials about the findings and, “honestly, they’re a little puzzled.”“So, I think there are some questions about these numbers,” he noted.Middletown, the county’s largest municipality, at about 40 square miles, saw a downward trend of approximately 0.29 percent, which translates into a loss of 195 residents.But like the county as a whole, Middletown has seen a reduction in household size and an increase in the housing vacancy rate. But the reasons why aren’t clear, said Jason Greenspan, Middletown’s planner. “Without detailed Census data at the track level, it’s really just speculation,” he said.(Greenspan did note, that Middletown has experienced population decreases since the 1990 data.)Some of statistical surprises may be explained by human error on the part of Census workers, noted Greenspan, who said township officials had received phone calls from residents of relatively new developments who complained they hadn’t gotten their forms, leaving him to wonder if the workers had overlooked some portions of the community.In Sea Bright there was a similar situation, said Mayor Maria Fernandes, who said there were complaints about the federal Census worker, who was available for only a brief period.“I found the numbers awfully strange,” Fernandes concluded.Like has been telling municipalities within the county that they could challenge the federal findings if they think there are inconsistencies, and file appeals with the Census Bureau. Towns have until 2013 to file.Middletown, is considering it, Greenspan said, though no decision has been made. And for now, “We in Middletown are speculating what that decline is due to,” he said. By John Burtonlast_img read more

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Art Evolution Is Backwards

first_imgEarly art has again been shown to be the work of advanced intellect and culture (see Apr. 22 headline and embedded links).  Carved animal figurines found in Germany1 estimated to be 30,000 to 33,000 years old, display a level of craftsmanship not expected among primitive humans.  In the Dec. 18 issue of Nature2, Anthony Sinclair laments that this does not fit the Victorian notions of progressive evolution:The study of early art has been plagued by our desire to see this essentially human skill in a progressive evolutionary context: simple artistic expressions should lead to later, more sophisticated creations.  We imagine that the first artists worked with a small range of materials and techniques, and produced a limited range of representations of the world around them.  As new materials and new techniques were developed, we should see this pattern of evolution in the archaeological record.  Yet for many outlets of artistic expression � cave paintings, textiles, ceramics and musical instruments � the evidence increasingly refuses to fit.  Instead of a gradual evolution of skills, the first modern humans in Europe were in fact astonishingly precocious artists. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)He describes how the cave paintings in Europe, before they were dated by radiometric means, were arranged into an evolutionary sequence from simple to complex.  Then came the surprise that the superb multicolored animal paintings in Chauvet cave in France were dated to be the oldest (see 10/04/01 headline).  Sinclair points out other examples of textiles, figurines and musical instruments that refuse to fall into evolutionary line.  For instance, among some musical pipes found in France,Microscopic examination suggests that they may have been reed-voiced instruments, like a modern oboe, and that the finger holes have been chamfered to increase the pneumatic efficiency of the finger seal: simple whistles they are not.  Such evidence of complexity is used to argue that these cannot be the first musical pipes, even though they are the oldest in the archaeological record.So there seems to be a bias among researchers to force their discoveries into evolutionary presuppositions.  Sinclair tries to salvage evolution by saying maybe we haven’t found the primitive precursors yet, but unambiguous finds prior to the dates of these exquisite artifacts “can be counted on the fingers of one hand,” he says.  “The argument in favour of fast-developing artistic skills in modern humans is strong, and certainly one that I find convincing.”  His statements reveal the chagrin of finding out observations do not match predictions, and he cautions researchers that they must face up to the facts:The Victorian idea of progressive evolution has been a very persuasive metaphor for explaining change in the archaeological record, particularly over a time of biological change in the human species.  Yet the archaeological evidence is now forcing us to come up with new timescales for cultural change and innovation.  This is a challenge that makes the smallest finds of archaeology as important as the largest.1Nicholas J. Conard, “Palaeolithic ivory sculptures from southwestern Germany and the origins of figurative art,” Nature 426, 830 – 832 (18 December 2003); doi:10.1038/nature02186.2Anthony Sinclair, “Archaeology: Art of the Ancients,” Nature 426, 774 – 775 (18 December 2003); doi:10.1038/426774a.While Sinclair’s candor is laudable, it does not go far enough.  The evolutionary metaphor is beyond salvage.  The observations falsify evolution and instead support the creation paradigm, that man was endowed with intelligence and artistic skill from the beginning.  In the Biblical timeline, for instance, metallurgy, farming, ranching and musical instrument making were already advanced by the seventh generation from Adam (see Gen. 4:16-22).  After the flood and Babel, it is certainly plausible that technology took a huge setback, and as post-flood ice ages ensued, generations of humans dispersed into whatever habitats they could find, including caves.  For a Q&A list on creation anthropology, see Answers in Genesis.    The fact that some human artifacts are found in caves does not mean the artists were primitive.  Some people like living in or visiting caves (even today).  Besides, it could be a selection effect, either that cave environments preserve artifacts better, or that archaeologists are more wont to explore caves than surface terrain.  The dating methods Sinclair trusts are flawed anyway, being built on evolutionary presuppositions, so his whole predicament is a prison in his own mind.  Our enlightened post-Victorian era must now wake up to the realization that progressive evolution was just a persuasive metaphor, and as scientists should know, metaphors bewitch you (see July 4 headline).(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Conserving Water for Future Generations

first_imgWise Wayz Water Care (WWWC) programme is based on the South Coast of Durban- in the communities of Folweni and Ezimbokodweni. It is there where the desire grew from two community groups at grassroot level – to restore and manage the communities’ dwindling natural resources and build a sustainable project for future generations to come. The programme stemmed from humble efforts by the local citizens to empower themselves in order to mitigate the social, economic and environmental challenges that confronted them.As South Africa is a water stressed country and has been experiencing droughts and low water levels, this stimulated the community to protect the aquatic ecosystems, such as the wetlands,rivers and streams of Ezimbokodweni and Folweni.It was community members like Desmond Malgas, who is now a project coordinator, who went knocking for assistance and support from corporates and organisations, to endorse their project and indeed, the AECI Community Education and Development Trust jumped onboard. This is how the WWWC programme was born.Since its inception in 2016, the programme has been able to bring hope to the lives of the downtrodden communities of Folweni and Ezimbokodweni and has allowed them to think beyond their circumstances. Mr Malgas, alludes to how the project has personally helped him to develop and improve himself in terms of learning about governance, and the skills that he has acquired through the training he has received. He further extols that it has also allowed him “to grow, find full expression through uplifting his community and changing his mindset to see a better future”.Its three-tier model encompasses the different levels of donor, implementer and beneficiary. This project, funded by the AECI Community Education and Development Trust and implemented by i4WATER – has been able to build synergy between corporates and the community, by introducing interventions that develop sustainable livelihoods through impactful and practical measures. Some of the interventions include water conservation, food security, solid waste management, alien plant management, aquatic assessment and monitoring as well as Sinqonqozela Ulwazi (which aims to educate the community and create awareness around waste management).The Wise Wayz Water Care team with members of the AECI Community Education and Development Trust and Brand SA representatives at the interactive site visit.The programme has had a huge impact on the members who have also become beneficiaries of the project in several ways. It has been able to give the youth and elderly members a stepping stone to realising their future prospects through providing skills and knowledge on a basic, intermediate and advanced level. It has also trained and supported the commercial agriculture start-up of the project’s food security intervention by supporting community gardens. The food garden component has yielded a supply of vegetables for consumption by the community. The project recently won its first contract to get profits from their Invasive Alien Plant clearing start-up.Although they have faced several challenges, it is their vision to upscale the piloted model and continue successful sustainable change throughout the country. This keeps an implementer such as Ntswaki Ditlhale of i4WATER committed to the values and vision of the project.For more information on the Wise Wayz Water Care programme, click on the link below:You can also contact them on the following platforms:E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]: @wwwczaFacebook: Wise Wayz Water CareWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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