Can Humans Help Trees Outrun Climate Change? – By Moises Velasquez-Manoff – The New York Times

By Moises Velasquez-Manoff Illustrations by Andrew Khosravani
April 25, 2019
“SCITUATE, R. I. — Foresters began noticing the patches of dying pines and denuded oaks, and grew concerned. Warmer winters and drier summers had sent invasive insects and diseases marching northward, killing the trees.

If the dieback continued, some woodlands could become shrub land.

Most trees can migrate only as fast as their seeds disperse — and if current warming trends hold, the climate this century will change 10 times faster than many tree species can move, according to one estimate. Rhode Island is already seeing more heat and drought, shifting precipitation and the intensification of plagues such as the red pine scale, a nearly invisible insect carried by wind that can kill a tree in just a few years.

The dark synergy of extreme weather and emboldened pests could imperil vast stretches of woodland.

So foresters in Rhode Island and elsewhere have launched ambitious experiments to test how people can help forests adapt, something that might take decades to occur naturally. One controversial idea, known as assisted migration, involves deliberately moving trees northward. But trees can live centuries, and environments are changing so fast in some places that species planted today may be ill-suited to conditions in 50 years, let alone 100. No one knows the best way to make forests more resilient to climatic upheaval.

These great uncertainties can prompt “analysis paralysis,” said Maria Janowiak, deputy director of the Forest Service’s Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, or N.I.A.C.S. But, she added, “We can’t keep waiting until we know everything.” “

Biden on the Issues: Where He Stands and How He’s Changed – The New York Times

Climate change
Mr. Biden’s advocacy for government action on climate change goes back more than 30 years: He introduced the Senate’s first climate change bill in 1986. He has been outspoken about the urgency of action, including at a rally last year in Florida where he described climate change as “the greatest threat to our security,” citing briefings by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

[We annotated Mr. Biden’s campaign announcement.]

Like every other Democratic candidate, he wants to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement, which President Trump intends to withdraw from. As a senator, he supported tax credits for renewable energy and had an 83 percent lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters; as vice president, he supported a series of emission reduction regulations that Mr. Obama established but Mr. Trump is reversing. Beyond that, his full climate platform, including whether he would pursue a carbon tax or additional regulations beyond Mr. Obama’s, isn’t clear yet.

Abortion
Mr. Biden supports abortion rights and the Roe v. Wade decision, though he has gone back and forth on abortion in the past and has publicly struggled to reconcile his political positions with his Catholic faith. As recently as 2008, he said he believed life began at conception, though he emphasized that this was a personal view and that he did not think it was appropriate to impose it on others through abortion restrictions.

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[Read more about Mr. Biden’s views on abortion.]

But on some related policies, he has a more conservative record than other candidates in the race. As a senator, he voted multiple times against federal funding for abortions, including under government-run health plans. He also supported the Reagan administration’s so-called Mexico City policy, which blocks foreign aid to organizations that provide abortion counseling or referrals, and crafted his own amendment in 1981 to ban foreign aid for abortion-related biomedical research. Earlier this year, his aides would not say whether he still supported those policies.”

David Lindsay: Unfortunately, if you are serious about climate change, you have to be a hawk on population control, and you can’t support the Mexico City policy which blocks foreign aid to organizations that provide abortion counseling or referrals. If Biden hasn’t moved away from this position, I will probably not be able to support him after all.

In a Crowded Field Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke Stake Out Similar Turf – The New York Times

By Jonathan Martin
April 24, 2019, 25
“NASHUA, N.H. — The question was the same: Why should you be the Democratic nominee for president?

The answers helped illustrate why Beto O’Rourke is stalling and Pete Buttigieg is surging in the first months of the campaign.

“So, for whatever reason, the president has trained the focus of this country on the border, on immigrants, on asylum seekers, on our connection with the rest of the world,” Mr. O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, told a reporter last week after meeting with New Hampshire voters at a coffee shop near the Maine state line. “That’s where I live, that’s where I’m raising my kids, that’s the community I represented, those are the stories that I can tell that are profoundly positive and part of the larger conversation in this country, the larger story of America.”

A few hours later, speaking to employees at a yogurt company closer to the Massachusetts border, Mr. Buttigieg made his case.

“Americans tend to look for the opposite of what we just had,” he said, citing the Democratic strategist David Axelrod’s maxim that voters seek a “remedy, not replica” of the incumbent president. “Sometimes we feel tempted to try to just put up the mirror image of what’s there. I think what we need is something that’s completely different. If nothing else, I’m completely different than this president.” ”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comments
Biden and Buttigieg. You heard it from Lindsay. Together they will take the electoral college, which is the the most important thing of many that matter. Why so careful, and so conservative. Please go review the polling data presented last year by David Leonhardt. If I remember one data point correctly, 67% of expected to vote voters are white. Until the electoral college is corrected, the red often agricultural and post industrial mid-western states have the preponderance of the the electoral college.
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David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth Century Vietnam” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com. He performs a folk concert of songs and stories about Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction.

Meet the Other Resistance: The Republican One – The New York Times

Meet the Other Resistance: The Republican One
President Trump is overwhelmingly popular with his base, but a handful of dissident Republicans think they know how to defeat him in a primary contest. Are they wrong?

By Mark Leibovich
April 24, 2019

105
William F. Weld is not likely to become our 46th president. But he was here in New Hampshire, no other Republicans were and that was something.

“I think it’s important to at least call out the current incumbent of the White House on his simply amazing behavior, and for the pettiness, his vindictiveness and the unreconstituted meanness he displays,” Weld was telling the crowd who had turned out to see him on a rainy Sunday afternoon in March at a house party in the town of Dover. Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the state Republican Party, was hosting the gathering in his honor.

Weld, a two-term Republican governor of Massachusetts more than two decades ago, is 73, tall and slim with a mop of orange hair and a face the hue of Pepto-Bismol. A Harvard and Oxford graduate, Weld worked in the Reagan Justice Department but quit over a series of ethics scandals involving his boss, Attorney General Ed Meese. He ran briefly for governor of New York after leaving Massachusetts, endorsed Obama in 2008 and raised a bunch of money for Romney in 2012. He has written thrillers, dabbled in historical fiction and was last heard from in 2016 as the vice-presidential running mate to the Libertarian nominee, Gary Johnson. He sets off some dilettante alarms.

But he was the only Republican candidate who had announced his exploratory plans — he would officially declare his candidacy in April — to run against Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican primary. This made him the lone official vehicle for the aspirations of a persistent group of Never Trump Republicans. For the better part of two years, they had waited for a premium primary challenger to come along from a fantasy field of Nikki Haleys, Ben Sasses and Mitt Romneys — all of whom eventually opted out of running. Even Weld seemed disappointed by this. “I have been astounded that no one else has stepped forward,” he told the assembled guests.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval
Interesting article, but also very disappointing. I thought I was going to learn a lot about William Weld, and the last 3/4 of the article was about much less relevant stuff and gossip. Weld has a history, too bad we didn’t learn about it. And abhorent to me, is that Mark Leibovich called Weld a dillitant, because he has authored books. I have nothing but expletives deleted for that low brow shot.
David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth Century Vietnam” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com. He performs a folk concert of songs and stories about Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction.

 

From Wikipedia:

Governor of Massachusetts[edit]

Weld with President George H. W. Bush in 1990

Governor Weld presenting a grant to the City of Lowell in 1994

Governor Weld announcing the revival of “The Shoe” at Cummings Center with Cummings Properties president James McKeown and founder Bill Cummings.

In 1990, Weld announced his candidacy for Governor of Massachusetts, to replace the out-going Michael Dukakis.[12] Although Republicans made up under 14% of the Massachusetts electorate and a Republican had not won the gubernatorial election since 1970, Weld’s liberal stances on social issues made him a viable candidate for office in the heavily Democratic state.[13] At the state Republican convention, party officials backed Steven Pierce over Weld, and initial polling had Pierce ahead by 25 percentage points.[14] Weld gained enough support to force a primary, and in an upset election, Weld won the Republican nomination over Pierce by a 60–40 margin.[15]

In the general election, he faced John Silber, the president of Boston University. Polls showed Weld anywhere from a statistical tie to trailing by as many as ten points.[16] Voter dissatisfaction with the state’s Democratic majority gave Weld support for his promises to reduce the state deficit, lower the unemployment rate, and cut taxes.[17] On November 6, 1990, he was elected as the 68th Governor of Massachusetts by a 50–47 margin, to become the first Republican governor of Massachusetts since Francis W. Sargent left office in 1975. Governor Weld is generally considered to have been a moderate or liberal Republican Governor.[18][19][20][21] He is fiscally conservative and socially liberal.[22][23]

The business community reacted strongly to Weld’s leadership. In a 1994 survey of chief executives conducted by the Massachusetts High Technology Council, 83% of those polled rated the state’s business climate as good or excellent—up from only 33% at the beginning of his term. Proponents might claim that Weld’s leadership changed the minds of 50% of the CEOs surveyed while others would note the national economic trends or other factors might play a part. Weld also reaped the benefits of the 1990s’ prosperity, as the state’s unemployment rate fell by more than 3 percentage points during his first term, from 9.6% in 1991 to 6.4% in 1994. As a result, Weld received grades of A in 1992,[24][25]B in 1994,[26][27] and B in 1996[28][29] from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, in their biennial Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors. In 1993 he supported adoption of a gun control bill in Massachusetts that included limits on gun purchases under age 21, as well as prohibiting certain types of weapons, which was not ultimately passed.[30] He has since renounced this proposal.[31] Weld is pro-choice and helped to introduce legislation to make it easier for women to access abortion procedures.[32] As Governor, he supported gay and lesbian rights. In 1992, he signed an executive order to recognize domestic partnership rights for same-sex couples.[33] In 1993, he signed into law legislation protecting the rights of gay and lesbian students.[34] He also said he would recognize same-sex marriages that might be performed out of state following a court decision in Hawaii.[35][36] During his term, he launched a successful effort to privatize many state’s human services, laying off thousands of state employees.[37][38] He also worked to expand Medicaidaccess by requesting more federal funding and, then, allowing more residents to qualify for the plan to both solve budget problems and increase access to health care in the state.[39] After cutting state spending year-over-year for his first two years, the Republican Party lost its ability to sustain a veto in the legislature due to losses in the Massachusetts State Senate, forcing Weld to make greater concessions to Democratic legislators.[40]

In 1994, Weld won reelection with 71% of the vote in the most one-sided gubernatorial contest in Massachusetts electoral history.[citation needed] Weld carried all but five towns in the whole state, even carrying Boston.[citation needed] Following his landslide victory, Weld briefly considered running for the presidency in 1996.[citation needed]

In Push for 2020 Election Security- Top Official Was Warned: Don’t Tell Trump – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — In the months before Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign, she tried to focus the White House on one of her highest priorities as homeland security secretary: preparing for new and different Russian forms of interference in the 2020 election.

President Trump’s chief of staff told her not to bring it up in front of the president.

Ms. Nielsen left the Department of Homeland Security early this month after a tumultuous 16-month tenure and tensions with the White House. Officials said she had become increasingly concerned about Russia’s continued activity in the United States during and after the 2018 midterm elections — ranging from its search for new techniques to divide Americans using social media, to experiments by hackers, to rerouting internet traffic and infiltrating power grids.

But in a meeting this year, Mick Mulvaney, the White House chief of staff, made it clear that Mr. Trump still equated any public discussion of malign Russian election activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory. According to one senior administration official, Mr. Mulvaney said it “wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below his level.”

Even though the Department of Homeland Security has primary responsibility for civilian cyberdefense, Ms. Nielsen eventually gave up on her effort to organize a White House meeting of cabinet secretaries to coordinate a strategy to protect next year’s elections.

 – The New York Times

In Ecuador, cameras across the country send footage to monitoring centers to be examined by police and domestic intelligence. The surveillance system’s origin: China.

By Paul MozurJonah M. Kessel and Melissa Chan


QUITO, Ecuador — The squat gray building in Ecuador’s capital commands a sweeping view of the city’s sparkling sprawl, from the high-rises at the base of the Andean valley to the pastel neighborhoods that spill up its mountainsides.

The police who work inside are looking elsewhere. They spend their days poring over computer screens, watching footage that comes in from 4,300 cameras across the country.

The high-powered cameras send what they see to 16 monitoring centers in Ecuador that employ more than 3,000 people. Armed with joysticks, the police control the cameras and scan the streets for drug deals, muggings and murders. If they spy something, they zoom in.

This voyeur’s paradise is made with technology from what is fast becoming the global capital of surveillance: China.”

Source: Made in China, Exported to the World: The Surveillance State – The New York Times

Opinion | There’s a Bigger Prize Than Impeachment – By Joe Lockhart – The New York Times

By Joe Lockhart
Mr. Lockhart served as White House press secretary from 1998 to 2000 for President Bill Clinton.
“I fully understand the historical imperative of holding the president accountable for his behavior. I also share the sentiment of so many Americans who want to punish him for what he’s done to the country. But I believe there is something bigger at stake.

Allowing Mr. Trump to lead the Republican Party, filled with sycophants and weak-willed leaders, into the next election is the greater prize. Democrats have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realign American politics along progressive lines, very much like Ronald Reagan did for Republicans in the 1980s.”

DL: In other words, the Blue Wave implementing the Green New Deal, will be a much bigger success after the election of 2020, if we let the damaged GOP dangle under the leadership of the pathetic con-artist at their head.

Opinion | The Great Republican Abdication – By Paul Krugman – The New York Times

Paul Krugman

By Paul Krugman

Opinion Columnist

Mitch McConnell hanging on President Trump’s every word.CreditBrendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
“So all the “fake news” was true. A hostile foreign power intervened in the presidential election, hoping to install Donald Trump in the White House. The Trump campaign was aware of this intervention and welcomed it. And once in power, Trump tried to block any inquiry into what happened.

Never mind attempts to spin this story as somehow not meeting some definitions of collusion or obstruction of justice. The fact is that the occupant of the White House betrayed his country. And the question everyone is asking is, what will Democrats do about it?

But notice that the question is only about Democrats. Everyone (correctly) takes it as a given that Republicans will do nothing. Why?

Because the modern G.O.P. is perfectly willing to sell out America if that’s what it takes to get tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans may not think of it in those terms, but that’s what their behavior amounts to.”

Opinion | Make America Graze Again – By Margaret Renkl – The New York Times

Margaret Renkl

By Margaret Renkl

Contributing Opinion Writer

Ewe lambs grazing.CreditWilliam DeShazer for The New York Times

“NASHVILLE — Just past the intersection of Highway 70 and Old Hickory Boulevard, in the Bellevue section of Nashville, stands a tiny patch of native wilderness. Four acres of pristine woodland tucked behind a condominium complex, the Belle Forest Cave Arboretum is a stone’s throw from restaurants, shops and big-box stores. I’ve passed it probably a hundred times over the years with no idea it was there.

Last week, on a drizzly spring afternoon, I found it. The pocket park provides the perfect habitat for a huge range of plant and animal life: In addition to the usual songbirds, mammals, turtles, and wildflowers that can make a home of even the tiniest wooded opportunity, Belle Forest boasts salamanders and tri-colored bats and at least 39 species of trees.

It is also home to a wide range of invasive plants: bush honeysuckle and Chinese privet and a host of others that pose a serious threat to native plants and the wildlife that depends on them. But clearing this densely woven environment of unwanted vegetation, especially without harming native plants, is a challenge: herbicides would poison the creeks, and heavy machinery would dislodge the trees and compact the soil — if machinery could make it up the steep terrain at all.”

Opinion | The Mueller Exposé – By Ross Douthat – The New York Times

By Ross Douthat
Opinion Columnist

April 20, 2019, 774

“Roughly four thousand, two hundred and twenty-seven Trump-era news cycles ago, there was a rather famous book called “Fire and Fury.” The author, Michael Wolff, used an interesting tactic to gain access to the Trump White House: He allowed his subjects, the president included, to believe that he was going to write a positive account of the Trump administration, and then used that access to produce an account of an administration in constant chaos, and a president who was understood by everyone around him to be unfit for the job.

One way to approach the Mueller report, if your sense of civic duty requires you to approach it, is to see it as a more rigorous, capacious version of “Fire and Fury.” Mueller’s exposé was backed by subpoena power rather than just sweet talk, but ultimately it delivers the same general portrait: Donald Trump as an amoral incompetent surrounded by grifters, misfits and his own overpromoted children, who is saved from self-destruction by advisers who sometimes decline to follow orders, and saved from high crimes in part by incompetence and weakness.”