Monday, 22 July, 2019

Opinion

Jay Famiglietti: Our dismal water future, mapped

Satellite data and images are provocative, even disturbing. They confront us with a global view that can be at once breathtaking, like a piece of art, and yet, in this era of rapidly changing climate, they paint a picture of the demise of the environment. How and if we will respond to what we see is uncertain. That uncertainty lies at the root of our perilous future.

Last month, my colleagues and I published a report, the centerpiece of which is a global map, derived from satellite data, that shows how the distribution of Earth’s fresh water has rapidly changed since 2002. We analyzed measurements from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites to determine trends in total water storage — groundwater, soil moisture, surface waters, snow and ice — over nearly a decade and half.

It’s no surprise that drill reflects young black men’s reality

  • Jun 25, 2018
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In a legal first, the police have obtained a court order effectively banning drill music being made without their permission. This is a nonsensical act of censorship that once again seeks to weaponise, criminalise and ultimately sensationalise black expression. This action is not about community or the prevention of violence, it is an attempt to demonstrate control played purely for the tabloid headlines. It is futile in the face of a systematic hypocrisy no one wants to discuss.
The naked truth is that in the western political subconscious, the non-white people of the world are dispensable. We must be stopped searched and contained. We must be civilised by force for our own safety or parted from our resources indefinitely. We must be identified as “savages” and destroyed if it is convenient to do so. Urban youth violence is reported in the popular right wing press with the hazy detail and zeal of a heady war report.

Help SMEs get practical about solving the productivity puzzle

  • Jun 25, 2018
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As we gear up for Brexit, the UK’s flagging productivity performance is continually in the fore of media headlines and economic analysis.
Following a further fall in productivity in the first quarter of 2018, policy experts and economists were quick to update their models and offer opinion over blame. However, this economic self-deprecation doesn’t actually make any difference. So what could?
It isn’t that British SMEs don’t have the drive and ambition. Nor is it that other countries, such as Germany, the G7’s most productive, are naturally better at enterprise. Britain has an impressive history and vibrant culture when it comes to entrepreneurialism. And yet the productivity puzzle persists.

Gavin Green: why aren’t electric cars designed more boldly?

  • Jun 25, 2018
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Letters page contributor Gary Sutton writes, ‘Why are electric car designers persisting with the decades-old three-box paradigm?’ (CAR magazine, March 2018). And he’s right to ask.
Most electric cars are cautious petrol-car clones, which fail to utilise the numerous packaging and styling advantages of their electric powertrains. And this caution is, sadly, not new.

China is relaxing foreign ownership caps, and London must grasp the opportunity

  • Jun 25, 2018
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I write today’s article in a tall building overlooking the so-called “Paris of the East”, better known as the city of Shanghai.

From here, you can see the old and new – the remnants of Shanghai’s old financial centre along the Bund, and the mind-boggling array of skyscrapers which have flown up on the other side of the river.

It’s hard to believe, but Pudong, and the Lujiazui financial centre that it is home to, was just farmland in the 1990s.

The Supreme Court Takes On the Police Use of Cellphone Records

  • Jun 25, 2018
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The Supreme Court has handed down what may be the most important privacy case of the digital era, ruling on Friday that the government cannot force cellphone service providers to hand over their users’ locations over significant periods of time without first getting a warrant. The decision, United States v. Carpenter, is the latest in a steady drip of rulings by the Supreme Court over the past two decades that are gradually defining the Fourth Amendment right to privacy in a world of ever-evolving technology.

Actually, I’m Not Fine

  • Jun 25, 2018
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My stepfather’s voice came loud and clear over the whir of the wood splitter he was working 50 feet away.
“What in the hell is all that wailing?”
Only a moment before, I’d run into a rock with my bike and been tossed to the ground. I let out a shriek as I landed on the sharp gravel of the driveway. Splayed out on the stones now, I could hear the irritation in his voice. It was a Saturday; he had wood to stack for the long Northern New York winter ahead.
He flipped the switch on the wood splitter and it went quiet. I glanced up and saw him still standing by the wood pile with one fist on his hip, head tilted, impatiently awaiting my response. Warm blood flowed from the gash on my left knee. “I fell off my bike,” I yelled back, trying to catch my breath between sobs.
“Jesus. You’d think someone died, screaming like that,” he said, shaking his head. He flipped the splitter back on. “Get up. You’re fine.”

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