Paulson, Bloomberg sponsor study of U.S. climate impacts

sandy wreckage

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are sponsoring a study of how climate change will affect the United States and what that disruption will cost.

The true price of deadly storms, prolonged drought and other extreme weather that most scientists believe is climate change brought about by human actions is unknown. That knowledge could aid business and government leaders trying to respond to the changes, the men said in a video statement announcing the study.

“I believe the … study will be a catalyst for action,” Paulson said, referring to the examination of climate impacts around the country. Paulson and Bloomberg are lending their names and financial support to the roughly $1.2 million analysis due to be released in June that will tally costs from around the country…

The impacts of a warming planet will vary over geography and worsen over generations so it is important that officials try to anticipate those risks now, Paulson said.

“As a former banker and Treasury Secretary, I’ve learned that you can’t always see the extent of a looming crisis before it hits with full force,” said Paulson, who helped lead the United States during the onset of the global financial shock in 2008.

Superstorm Sandy that blasted the East Coast last year and wildfires that have recently devastated the West are among the phenomenon that might have a climate change component and policymakers need to understand the costs of future risks as they brace for the worst impacts…

Before the voices predominant in today’s American conservatism became more concerned with ideology than science, obedience before inquiry, it wasn’t uncommon for stolid sources of business policy and information to delve into scientific fact, reports with conclusions rooted in peer-reviewed fact. Not anymore.

Though I may not especially agree with Mayor Bloomberg’s politics or Hank Paulson’s economics, I give them credit for acting like public servants instead of nutballs at the service of do-nothings like the Koch Bros. One of whom sponsored a study by a climate skeptic to examine the sum of climate change research – and had to face paying for a study that said the climate change analysis was correct.

Not that his politics changed or his efforts to impede change in environmental policy. Like the rest of his peers, today’s conservatives figure they can grab enough money to maintain a safe fortress somewhere while the rest of us face a dying planet.

Sweden ranked Top of the World for treatment of elderly


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Sweden is the best place in the world to be old and Afghanistan the worst, according to a UN-backed global study.

The Global AgeWatch Index examined the quality of life of the elderly in 91 countries…It warns that many countries do not have adequate support in place for their ageing populations.

By 2050, older people will outnumber children under 15 for the first time, with most of the elderly in developing countries, it said.

The Global AgeWatch Index was complied by the UN Population Fund and advocacy group HelpAge International, and released to mark the UN’s Day of Older Persons…Researchers used 13 different indicators – including income and employment, health provision, education, and environment – in what they said was the first study of kind to be conducted on a global scale.

The study’s authors say countries across the world face an ongoing challenge from the rapidly ageing global population…

While Sweden came top, and Afghanistan was placed last, the top 20 was dominated by countries from Western Europe and North America, along with Japan, Australia and Chile.

Wealth was not the only factor considered, and countries such as Sri Lanka, Bolivia and Mauritius were ranked above several richer nations.

The shake-out in studies like this most always are confounded by a nation’s expression – or lack thereof – of the value of it’s working population. Not only during productive years; but, as they withdraw from the workforces into retirement. Too many nations that look at the working class as just another cog in the wheel of profit are perfectly willing to cast aside wornout workers just like fully-depreciated machinery.

Download the complete report here.

Daily News headline says it all

Republicans/Tea Party/Turds lost a democratic vote and Affordable Care Act was passed. Republicans/Tea Party/Turds lost effort before SCOTUS – Affordable Care Act validated. Republicans/Tea Party/Turds lost seats in the House, lost seats in the Senate, lost their chance to win the the presidency in a democratic vote in 2012 even though it was rigged for the Right Wing – now they think there’s some reason to negotiate with them over the Affordable Care Act – which rolls out Healthcare Exchanges nationwide, today.

Their ideology floats on the cesspool of history. Their beliefs are crap!

Millions of Reichsmarks found in time capsule hidden in organ

More than half a billion German Reichsmarks were discovered in a time capsule from 1930 hidden inside an organ in Norway.

According to a note found in the time capsule, it was placed in the organ by August Sieber, an organ builder from Bavaria, on January 8, 1930, The Local.no reported Friday.

It was then recently found in the organ at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway, while the organ was being restored.

“The letter and the money weren’t even discovered in 1962, when people from Steinmeyer were in Trondheim to move the organ from the north transept to the west transept, Per Fridtjov Bonsaksen, who is overseeing the restoration, told Adressavisen.

Twelve banknotes were included in the capsule, including one for five hundred million Reichsmarks.

The note was “a bitter and emotional greeting,” Bonsaksen said, warning future generations of hyperinflation.

The report did not say what the money would be worth today.

Nice illustration of the differing cultural/historic reasons for diametrically opposed approaches to working a nation out of the bowels of recession. After World War 1 the Weimar Republic in Germany experienced inflation so severe it wasn’t uncommon for someone to need a wheelbarrow to carry sufficient money to go grocery shopping.

Now, the factors are sufficiently different from anything experienced then, context as well as causes, to give many of us in the New World pause and consider Angela Markel and her peers a little nutso. Still, this find certainly shows what her grandparents, perhaps her parents went through. And never forgot.

Psychiatric patients who quit smoking are less likely to be rehospitalized

Patients who participated in a smoking-cessation program during hospitalization for mental illness were able to quit smoking and were less likely to be hospitalized again for their psychiatric conditions, according to a new study led by a Stanford University School of Medicine scientist.

The findings counter a longstanding assumption, held by many mental-health experts, that smoking serves as a useful tool in treating some psychiatric patients.

Smoking among such patients has been embedded in the culture for decades, with cigarettes used as part of a reward system. Indeed, clinicians sometimes smoke alongside patients as a way of creating a rapport with them, said Judith Prochaska, PhD, MPH…lead author of the study.

She said the study, done in collaboration with researchers at UC-San Francisco, is the first to examine the impact of a stop-smoking intervention in hospitalized adult psychiatric patients…

Because psychiatric patients aren’t encouraged to stop smoking, the group is among the country’s most prolific smokers and among those most likely to die of smoking-related ailments, Prochaska said. Nearly half of the cigarettes sold in the United States are to people with psychiatric or addictive disorders, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average life expectancy for people with severe mental illness is 25 years less than that of the general population, and their leading cause of death is chronic illness, mostly tobacco-related…

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