Want to avoid climate-related disasters? Try moving

first_img Laying some groundwork for environmental protection Protecting P-town For those who lived through the storms, their names — Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, Michael — are enough to trigger memories of homes, businesses, and loved ones lost in rising floodwaters. Other disasters elicited similar reactions, from the Midwest floods to the California wildfires, and droughts in the Great Plains.The eventual response to catastrophes tended to be a defiant vow to rebuild, turn loss into lesson by making protective seawalls higher and stronger to hold back floods, or raising homes onto stilts to stay clear of the encroaching waves.To this, A.R. Siders says, “Enough.” The time has come to consider a different path: retreat. Abandon areas prone to repeated disaster in favor of those that are safer and do so in a deliberate, thoughtful way.Known as “managed retreat,” Siders, an Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment who recently joined the faculty of the University of Delaware, said the strategy has the potential to save not only lives, but possibly billions of dollars in direct and indirect costs to cities and towns. The idea is described in an Aug. 23 paper published in Science with co-authors Miyuki Hino and Katharine Mach.“Traditionally speaking, there are three ways people respond to floods or hurricanes,” Siders said. “There is protection — basically building a sea wall. There’s accommodation, which often means homes that are elevated, or there’s retreat.“We see retreat listed as an option as early as 2001 by the [Intergovernmenal Panel on Climate Change], but retreat has been seen as largely theoretical — somewhere, sometime people might have to move. But what we’re seeing more and more is that it might be here and that it might be now. It’s no longer a theoretical last resort. It’s something we should talk about now as a realistic option.”The purpose of the paper, Siders said, is to call attention to the need for a greater focus on the strategy as a way to avoid the fallout seen from earlier disasters.,“The point we’re trying to make is: Retreat will happen; people will move. Not managing retreat doesn’t stop people from moving,” Siders said. “After Hurricane Katrina, people had their homes destroyed, and they moved with no help and no support. They just left.”For the neighborhoods they leave behind, the results can be corrosive.“You have thousands of empty homes, and the city has to figure out who owns them,” she said. “They have to sell or demolish them, and maintain the lots. So it eats away at the community, because it’s dotted with vacant homes, and it eats away at the city’s resources.“But if you do manage it and try to do this in a strategic way, then you have a better chance of avoiding those harms,” she continued.The notion of managed retreat, however, is about more than what happens to the homes people leave behind when they flee.“It touches on so many aspects of a city,” Siders said. “You have to think about things like where people are going — where they’re choosing to go and where you want to provide incentives for them to go.“What are the effects on the community they’re moving to? Do they have enough services? Do they have enough hospitals and schools to take in the people they’re receiving? For the people who stay behind, do they suddenly have no sense of community because of all these vacant lots, or do they have something like a new public park or feature to maintain a sense of community?”Those questions only deepen, Siders said, when retreat crosses national and cultural borders. Robot builds erosion barriers from interlocking metal sheets, while robot swarms could protect threatened areas Related GSD students imagine approaches to climate change that save the town’s quintessential New England character “That coordination can happen when people leave New Orleans and go to Houston,” she said. “But what happens when you’re crossing national borders? How do you handle that? So far much of the focus has been on making people safer … but there’s not a lot of focus on if they’re better off holistically, on the emotional or cultural or social aspects. And those are important issues.”For some communities, retreat could mean leaving behind centuries of cultural and religious connection to a particular land, something people are often unwilling to do.“There are examples where people have overcome these problems in creative ways,” Siders said. “There is a community in Indonesia where people moved away from a volcano, but they were allowed to return to visit, and they were given rights to provide tourism in the area, so now they have an economic benefit they didn’t before.“So the problems are not insurmountable,” she continued. “They’re challenging, but they’re not insurmountable, and they can be much more easily overcome if people start thinking about retreat as a real option, and how it ties in to these other issues.”Though it remains an uphill battle to convince communities to consider ideas like managed retreat, Siders said, the tide is slowly turning.“It’s still a very difficult topic to talk about, but in the last few years we’ve seen such drastic wildfires and floods just in the U.S. … there’s a major push for people to start thinking of retreat as an option,” she said. “Just in the time since Sandy there’s been a shift in our thinking. I was in New York during the storm and wrote a paper about the legal strategies that could be used to help communities undertake managed retreat, and no one wanted to talk about it. But fast-forward to this spring, and Columbia University had a conference on managed retreat with 150 presentations. I think people are starting to see the effects of climate change and realize that extreme changes require extreme adaptation.”This research was supported with funding from the Harvard University Center for the Environment, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and the Sykes Family Fellowship in Stanford University’s Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources.last_img read more

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With bird sacrifices and chants, Cuba’s Santeria seek protection from coronavirus

first_imgTopics : Rituals via social media Some Santeria devotees are also coordinating, largely via social media, small simultaneous rituals performed in self-isolation at home.These are also being done in other Latin American countries like Venezuela where the religion has gained a following.The rollout of mobile internet in Cuba, where most homes do not have online connections, is enabling spiritual communion in times of self isolation.On March 22, for example, Santeria devotees heard they should light two candles at a precise hour and pray to the Orishas for their protection.”May Obatala [one of the main Orishas] protect us from the pandemic,” wrote Magdalena Barrera Valdes on a Facebook group for Santeria practitioners worldwide with 44,000 followers, posting a photo of her candles, on which 76 people commented “ashe” meaning “may it manifest” in Yoruba.Later that day, some Santeria priests, known as babalawos, were said to be imploring Iku, the spirit of death, to not take any more victims. Devotees warned one another to cover their heads to protect themselves as Iku swept across earth during and after the ceremony.”Religion is mainly about faith,” said Rodriguez, “and we want to give people hope.” The risk of spreading the virus has ruled out the large ceremonies of drumming and dancing that characterize Santeria, a religion that fuses Yoruba beliefs and traditions, brought to Cuba by African slaves, with elements of Catholicism.But devotees – of which there are millions in the Caribbean island nation – are turning to their pantheons of Yoruba deities called Orishas for strength in intimate family ceremonies or individual rituals at home.”Every day when I get up, I stand on the porch, look up to the sky and ask God to … send the epidemic away,” said Montoya, who in normal times runs a weekend school teaching Cubans to get in touch with their divine gifts like the ability to hear or see spirits.”Then I light a candle and pray to my Orishas for the whole world,” she said, her thick, twisted Afro locks wound up into a white scarf, as mandated for such Santeria ceremonies.center_img The family of Emilia Montoya, 79, sacrificed four white doves and two roosters, chanted in the African language Yoruba and pounded a wooden staff rhythmically on the floor in a ceremony to protect Montoya from coronavirus.The small gathering in her Havana home appealed to their ancestors and honored Inle, the deity of health in Santeria, a ritual-filled Afro-Cuban religion. Montoya does not have the virus though Cuba has so far reported 170 confirmed cases.”We are calling these blessings upon her to keep her healthy,” said her nephew Henry Rodriguez, 40, leading the ceremony. “But this ceremony isn’t just for us; it’s also for global health.”last_img read more

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Hughton keen to keep Hoolahan

first_img Now Hughton has confirmed he wants to keep the seven-cap midfielder and is instead focused on bringing in reinforcements rather than seeing players leave. When asked if Hoolahan could be sold this month, Hughton said: “At the moment our concentration is on can we add to the squad, can we improve the squad, not on letting players go out. “We’ve had a few injuries, especially in midfield, and then Michael Turner will be out for a while as well. “We are trying as hard as we can (to sign players) the same as everybody else, but January is a notoriously bad time to bring in players. “But they also have to be right for the club.” Norwich slumped to a 3-0 FA Cup third-round replay defeat at Fulham on Tuesday, leaking goals from Darren Bent, Ashkan Dejagah and Steve Sidwell. Hughton shrugged off the building pressure in light of the Canaries’ eighth consecutive match without a win. Shouldering responsibility on himself, the former Newcastle boss said this run is not the most testing of his Norwich tenure. Wes Hoolahan will not leave Norwich this month, according to manager Chris Hughton. The 31-year-old Republic of Ireland midfielder was the subject of a bid from Aston Villa, driven by former Canaries boss Paul Lambert. Norwich’s board rejected the offer outright and have since refused to countenance the idea of Hoolahan leaving Carrow Road in the January transfer window. Norwich have already signed Jonas Gutierrez on loan from Newcastle this month, the Argentina winger linking back up with former manager Hughton. The Norwich chief now expects to have Alexander Tettey and Anthony Pilkington fit for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash at home to Hull. “They have now trained this week and are very close to being back in the squad,” said Hughton. “They will be good additions back in, and on top of that we’ll keep working hard to see if we can make any more signings. “Jonas will be a good addition for us – he knows the league very, very well, he’s played nigh on 200 games in this division. “So he’ll be a bonus for us, and we’re working as hard as we can to address other possible additions.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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Update on the latest sports

first_img May 28, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNASCAR-CHARLOTTEElliott gets first Cup win of seasonCONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Chase Elliott was able to celebrate a victory that capped a very busy stretch for NASCAR. Boston marathon canceledUNDATED (AP) — Organizers have canceled the Boston Marathon for the first time in its 124-year history due to social distancing requirements of the coronavirus outbreak.The race had endured through two World Wars, a volcanic eruption and a previous pandemic. The race draws a field of 30,000 and already had been postponed from April 20 to Sept. 14. It will be replaced by a virtual event in which participants who verify that they ran 26.2 miles on their own will receive their finisher’s medal.The Boston Marathon began in 1897 and has been the longest-running annual marathon in the world.In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic: Update on the latest sports — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is hopeful that coaches will be able to return to their team facilities by next week. Goodell also said during today’s owners conference call that the virtual offseason is being extended for two more weeks. NFL executive vice president of communications, public affairs and policy Jeff Miller said the league’s first consideration is of course the health and safety of the public and the players and the employees and the people who will be participating.— Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says racing will be allowed to resume in the state without spectators. The governor says NASCAR will race at Martinsville Speedway on June 10, and that other forms of auto racing and horse racing also are cleared to resume. NASCAR was originally scheduled to make its first of two stops at Martinsville in early May, but the event was postponed because of the outbreak.— The John Deere Classic is canceling what would have been its 50th straight anniversary as a PGA Tour event. Tournament director Clair Peterson says there were too many hurdles to overcome from the pandemic. The John Deere would have been the fifth PGA Tour event on the revised schedule. The tour had said the first month would be played without fans, leaving it possible for the Deere to have them.— Sports agent Scott Boras is recommending that his clients refuse Major League Baseball’s attempt to cut salaries during negotiations with the players’ association. He is claiming that team financial issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic have their origin in management debt financing. Boras wrote in an email obtained by The Associated Press that players should not alter terms of the March 26 agreement between MLB and the union that called for players to reduce their salaries to a prorated rate based on a shortened season. MLB on Tuesday proposed a series of tiered reductions that would cause top stars to receive the biggest cuts.— At least 10 major league franchises have informed minor leaguers they will continue to provide allowances after the May 31 expiration of Major League Baseball’s policy guaranteeing those players $400 per week. The San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners are promising payments through August. The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles have pledged to do so through at least June. The White Sox are even providing those stipends to 25 minor league players recently released. The junior had put his name in the transfer portal after removing it from consideration from the NBA draft. McClung led the Hoyas with 15.7 points a game last season, while also averaging 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists.NBA-WILLIAMSON-SUITWilliamson attorneys looking to block suitMIAMI (AP) — Attorneys for NBA rookie Zion Williamson are seeking to block his former marketing agent’s effort to have the ex-Duke star answer questions about whether he received improper benefits before playing for the Blue Devils.In a Florida court filing last week, Williamson’s attorneys say those questions are “nothing more than a fishing expedition aimed at tarnishing Williamson’s reputation.” They added the accusations are designed to “maximize potential embarrassment and media coverage in an attempt to improperly gain settlement leverage.” Also approved was the competition committee’s recommendation to expand defenseless player protection to a kickoff or punt returner who is in possession of the ball but has not had time to avoid or ward off contact of an opponent.Another approved recommendation stops teams from manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running. That’s an issue that came up several times in 2019, including during the postseason.Using video replay for pass interference calls was dropped after a one-year experiment that led to more uncertainty than clarity.A proposal to have a booth judge serve as an eighth official on each crew was tabled.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS TRANSGENDER ATHLETES-HIGH SCHOOLConnecticut transgender policy found to violate Title NineHARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has found a Connecticut policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports is illegal. The office says the policy violates Title IX, the federal civil rights law guarantees equal education opportunities for women, including in athletics.The ruling comes in response to a complaint filed last year by several female track athletes, who argued that two transgender runners who were identified as male at birth had an unfair physical advantage. The dispute also is the subject of a federal lawsuit.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 — Live horse racing is slated to resume in Maryland this weekend with a three-day session at Laurel Park, which will remain closed to the general public. The Maryland Jockey Club says it has received approval from the Maryland Racing Commission to launch its Summer 2020 meet with live racing on Saturday, but fans are forbidden from entering the track until clearance is received from the state. All races on Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be streamed live on the Laurel Park website.— Texas will soon allow outdoor pro sports events to have spectators, but their numbers will be strictly limited. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has revised a decision to let pro sports leagues host events without fans starting in June as part of the states’ move to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. Abbott’s new order allows outdoor stadiums to host fans up to 25 percent of their normal capacity. Leagues will have to apply to state health officials to be allowed to have fans. Indoor events will still be without spectators.— Major League Soccer gave its teams the go-ahead to begin small voluntary group training sessions outdoors, the next step in the league’s effort to return to action. The group sessions must comply with local public health and government restrictions. Teams must submit club-specific plans to the league for the sessions. A maximum of six players may be assigned to a single group. All other health and safety measures required when MLS teams began individual training must still be maintained. A league-wide moratorium on full team training remains in effect through next Monday.— The English Premier League plans to restart on June 17 after a 100-day shutdown with new staggered kickoffs to maximize broadcast slots as fans are prevented from attending games. The clubs agreed Thursday that the competition should resume with a Wednesday night doubleheader featuring Manchester City playing Arsenal and Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United. After those makeup games are played, the 30th round will start on Friday, June 19 provided authorities approve safety plans.— Three players from English soccer clubs Blackburn and Fulham have tested positive for the coronavirus. Blackburn says captain Elliott Bennett was found to be infected with COVID-19 after testing negative last Friday. Bennett says he doesn’t “feel unwell” and doesn’t have any symptoms. Fulham says two players tested positive but did not name themcenter_img In other NFL news:— The Carolina Panthers have agreed to terms with free agent cornerback Eli Apple after losing free agent James Bradberry to the Giants. Apple has started 48 games during four NFL seasons but has never lived up to the billing of being the 10th overall selection in the 2016 draft out of Ohio State. He recorded 58 tackles and one forced fumble while starting 15 games for the Saints last season.COLLEGE FOOTBALL-GEORGIA-DANIELSGeorgia gets USC transfer DanielsATLANTA (AP) — Georgia has picked up another high-profile transfer to compete for its starting quarterback job, landing former Southern California starter JT Daniels. Associated Press — Italy’s top soccer league will resume on June 20. Italy’s sports minister gave Serie A the green light to resume after a meeting with Italian soccer authorities on Thursday. A medical protocol for matches was approved by a technical scientific committee earlier.— The Hungarian soccer federation says matches in the country can once again be held with spectators in the stadiums. The announcement comes on the back of a government decree allowing the option. Organizers are obliged to keep three seats empty between each occupied seat and no fan may sit directly behind or in front of another.— Elite sports made a comeback in Australia for the first time since March 22 as the Parramatta Eels beat the Brisbane Broncos 34-6 in the National Rugby League Thursday. No fans were allowed into the 52,500-seat stadium in Brisbane because of strict social distancing rules but the game was broadcast across Australia.— The European Tour is planning to resume its season close to home. The tour says it has targeted the British Masters in England on July 22 as the restart. That would be followed by five new tournaments in England and Wales that will be called the “U.K. Swing.” The new events will have a prize fund of 1 million euros. European Tour chief Keith Pelley says the plans depend on the U.K. lifting quarantine restrictions, but he’s confident that will happen.— The Dutch Grand Prix has become the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the pandemic. Organizers of the first Dutch GP since 1985 chose not to host it without spectators. F1 wants to start the season in July with no spectators at races. NFL-NEWSHyde signs with Seahawks, Apple goes to PanthersUNDATED (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks have added another option at running back by signing veteran Carlos Hyde to a one-year.Hyde is coming off the best season of his career after rushing for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns with Houston. It was his first 1,000-yard NFL campaign.Hyde’s addition is a significant move after leading rusher Chris Carson suffered a significant hip injury late last season. Coach Pete Carroll has indicated Carson should be healthy for the season. NFL owners table onside kick alternative proposalUNDATED (AP) — NFL owners approved several rules on Thursday without accepting an alternative to the onside kick.Owners have tabled a proposal that would have offered a fourth-and-15 play as an alternative to the onside kick. Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay said there were more clubs receptive to the onside kick alternative than in the past and it will be further explored and likely brought up again.Owners approved testing expanded use of video replay in the preseason to aid in officiating, and they also increased the number of players who may be designated for return from the injured list during a season from two to three.The owners voted to make permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful extra points. Elliott reeled in Kevin Harvick with 27 laps remaining and closed out the win at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Elliott was charging hard on Harvick with about 35 laps remaining when he asked if he had enough fuel to make it to the finish. He stayed on the track and came away with his first Cup win of the season.Elliott shook off a pair of tough losses to finish about 2.2 seconds ahead of runner-up Denny Hamlin. Ryan Blaney was third, followed by Ricky Stenhouse and Kurt Busch.The rain-delayed event closed a frantic 12-day stretch that featured four Cup races, two each in North and South Carolina.Elliott’s victory was the first for a Chevrolet driver in NASCAR’s return to Cup racing since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sport.NFL-RULE CHANGES Daniels started for the Trojans in 2018 but lost his job to Kedon Slovis last season after going down with a knee injury. Daniels will battle for playing time with graduate transfer Jamie Newman, who left Wake Forest to play his final college season with a program that has been a consistent national contender under coach Kirby Smart.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TEXAS TECH-McCLUNGMcClung transferring to Texas TechLUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Former Georgetown guard Mac McClung will play at Texas Tech after Davide Moretti’s departure from the Red Raiders to play professionally at home in Italy.Coach Chris Beard said McClung had officially signed with the Red Raiders.last_img read more

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