Feeding Deer Does Much Harm, Little Good | The Outside Story

“Watching deer forage for whatever bits of food they can find through the cold months of winter, I can understand why some people feel an urge to feed them. Only supplemental feeding isn’t helpful at all to deer. Instead, it’s detrimental to their digestive health, and it pulls them away from safer, more nutritious food sources.

“Supplemental feeding has little or no benefit to the overall health of deer,” said Nick Fortin, Deer Project Leader for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. “Interestingly, northern deer will lose weight in winter no matter what or how much they are fed, even in captivity.”

Like virtually all animals living in climates where winter is cold and snowy, deer use a variety of adaptations to adjust and survive. In the northern part of the Northeast, they often gather in deer yards, where softwood cover offers shelter from wind and cold as well as decreased snow depth. As deer move to and through their winter shelter, they pack down paths, allowing for easier travel to food and quicker escapes from predators.

In winter, deer reduce their energy expenditures by hunkering down during extended cold stretches; this way they can focus their activity during times when temperatures are warmer. Similar to animals that hibernate, deer store fat – it can constitute up to 20 percent of their body weight, said Fortin – and they can use that fat as a sort of energy savings account.

A deer’s digestive system also goes through changes to cope with less abundant – and different – food sources. Deer are ruminants, which means they have a four-chambered stomach, like cows and sheep. Each chamber contains microorganisms to help with digestion. These microbes become tuned in to a winter diet of twigs and buds, nuts, any fruits and berries that persist, and whatever grasses they can find. A sudden change in diet – say to supplemental corn or rich hay – can wreak havoc on this system.”

Source: Feeding Deer Does Much Harm, Little Good | The Outside Story

Feeding deer can be dangerous to their health

“According to this study, conducted by the DIF&W, supplemental feeding of deer has increased over the last two decades. It states that in many areas, supplemental feeding contributes to winter mortality of deer, and “there is good biological justification to ban feeding of deer.”

The DIF&W’s website features a section on feeding deer that begins with the admonition, “The best option is to not feed deer at all.” If you do, however, the department provides some useful tips.

• Locate deer feeding sites in or near deer wintering areas and at least a half-mile from plowed roads to minimize road-kill losses.

• Distribute feed in many locations every day to reduce competition among deer. Remember that concentrating deer in small areas can create a feeding ground for predators.

• Proper feed is natural browse items such as dogwood, birch or witch hobble. Oats or acorns can be given as diet supplements. In winter, the microorganisms within the deer stomach are different from the microorganisms the rest of the year. This change allows deer to ingest a diet of woody browse and turn the high-fiber diet into protein.

• Do not feed hay, corn, kitchen scraps, potatoes, lettuce trimmings or any animal proteins from animals rendered into feed. Deer may actually starve when fed supplemental foods during winter if they have a full belly of indigestible foods. Many deer have starved to death with stomachs packed full of hay.”

Source: Feeding deer can be dangerous to their health

PAID POST by Volkswagen in NYT— Volkswagen ID.4: The Journey to An All-Electric Automotive Future

“Ready for an electric vehicle future?
The Volkswagen ID.4 may be the electric vehicle that carries you into it.

(MSRP $40k, range 250 miles)

The world is on the precipice of a revolution, but it’s not necessarily the one most people would think of. In his recent book, “The Global Rise of the Modern Plug-In Electric Vehicle,” John D. Graham, a professor at Indiana University, wrote that the current moment in electric vehicle (EV) adoption is at least as radical as the invention of the gasoline-powered engine. Consider how huge that is: as major a difference as going from a horse and buggy to a sedan.

The EV’s moment stems from a perfect mix of government support, consumer interest, regulation and price. In March of this year, the United States reached the benchmark of 100,000 public EV charging stations, and the Biden administration committed $15 billion to fund a network of an additional 500,000. There is more variety coming to the EV market than ever, including cars with zero direct emissions like Volkswagen’s all-electric ID.4, which is the first truly versatile electric crossover SUV. Taken together, our society is moving beyond simply talking about electric vehicles changing the world, and actually starting to make the switch.”

”  . . . There are, of course, simpler reasons to get behind the wheel of an electric SUV: All-wheel drive is available on the ID.4 later in 2021; and the $39,9954 MSRP of the ID.4 Pro doesn’t even account for the potential federal tax credit of up to $7,5005. It also includes three years of unlimited public DC fast charging at no additional cost6 at Electrify America stations, the largest fast-charging network in the country. ”  (range 250 miles, plus or minus about 10)

Farhad Manjoo | Summer Travel Post-Covid Has Arrived. Earth Can’t Handle It. – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“To cruise or not to cruise? To safari or stay put? To fly — perchance to hang glide or kite surf into some un-Instagrammed country. So goes the great moral dilemma now lurking in the travel and tourism industry, perhaps the beating heart of global consumerist extravagance. Now that our year-plus fast is close to over, shall we commence gorging once more?

In 2019, according to an industry trade group, the world spent about $9 trillion — nearly a tenth of global G.D.P. — on tourism. It was the 10th consecutive year of growth in travel, and expansion looked endless.”

Dan Kaufman | Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Paved the Way for Donald Trump’s America – The New York Times

Mr. Kaufman is a writer and musician who grew up in Wisconsin and writes frequently about labor, politics and the environment in his home state.

“Ten years ago, after overcoming a monthslong protest movement and legal battle, a law called Act 10 took effect in Wisconsin. The nondescript name cloaked the most significant attack on labor rights since President Ronald Reagan broke the air traffic controllers union in 1981.

Ostensibly meant to address a shortfall in the state’s budget, Act 10 steeply cut the state’s contribution to workers’ pensions and health care premiums, but its defining feature was to effectively eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees. Most important, it sparked a nationwide attack on labor that fueled the rise of right-wing populism and helped elect Donald Trump.”

Banks Slowly Offer Alternatives to Overdraft Fees, a Bane of Struggling Spenders – The New York Times

“In less than a week, Keri Fitzpatrick, a self-described lunch lady, was dinged for $175 she definitely didn’t have.

A succession of automated payments over two days — for her phone, two credit cards and car insurance — pushed her TD Bank account into the red, socking her with $140 in overdraft fees. Then another unexplained fee surfaced on Friday, even though her paycheck had landed and she couldn’t find any other pending charges.

Ms. Fitzpatrick, 29, said she should’ve been paying closer attention — she assumed she had more money in her account. But she still couldn’t believe how quickly the charges piled up.

“It’s not like one fee comes out for one day. It is $35 for each of those,” said Ms. Fitzpatrick, of Peterborough, N.H., who oversees a middle school cafeteria. “It is just outrageous.” “

” . . . Overdraft fees have been a boon to banks. Revenue was $31.3 billion in 2020, according to Moebs Services, an economic research firm, down 10 percent from $34.6 billion in 2019. (Banks account for 78 percent of overdraft and insufficient fund fees, followed by credit unions at 20 percent and savings banks and fintechs at less than 2 percent.)

Overdraft fees peaked at $37.1 billion in 2009 and then began to decline after new regulations in 2010 required banks to receive consumers’ consent to opt in to overdraft services covering debit transactions and A.T.M. withdrawals.”

DL: This is a fee that should be banned entirely or severely restricted by the Federal Government, asap.For some banks, it is most of their profits.

The Amazon That Customers Don’t See – The New York Times

“LAST SEPTEMBER, Ann Castillo saw an email from Amazon that made no sense. Her husband had worked for the company for five years, most recently at the supersize warehouse on Staten Island that served as the retailer’s critical pipeline to New York City. Now it wanted him back on the night shift.

“We notified your manager and H.R. about your return to work on Oct. 1, 2020,” the message said.

Ms. Castillo was incredulous. While working mandatory overtime in the spring, her 42-year-old husband, Alberto, had been among the first wave of employees at the site to test positive for the coronavirus. Ravaged by fevers and infections, he suffered extensive brain damage. On tests of responsiveness, Ms. Castillo said, “his score was almost nothing.” “

David Lindsay: An excellent aritcle. I hope you read it all, and join me in my boycott of Amazon and Jeff Bezos, What a space flying monster.

How AT&T Got Here, and What’s Next. – The New York Times

“AT&T is painting a rosy picture for the future of its media business, which it will spin off and merge with Discovery. That new streaming giant is a formidable stand-alone competitor to Netflix and Disney. The move leaves AT&T to focus on its telecom business, which looks less bright after being overshadowed by its expensive — and ultimately futile — deal-making binge in media and entertainment under its previous chief, Randall Stephenson.

The DealBook newsletter explains how AT&T got here, in three key deals:  . . . . . “

Lithium Mining Projects May Not Be Green Friendly – The New York Times

Ivan Penn and 

“Atop a long-dormant volcano in northern Nevada, workers are preparing to start blasting and digging out a giant pit that will serve as the first new large-scale lithium mine in the United States in more than a decade — a new domestic supply of an essential ingredient in electric car batteries and renewable energy.

The mine, constructed on leased federal lands, could help address the near total reliance by the United States on foreign sources of lithium.

But the project, known as Lithium Americas, has drawn protests from members of a Native American tribe, ranchers and environmental groups because it is expected to use billions of gallons of precious ground water, potentially contaminating some of it for 300 years, while leaving behind a giant mound of waste.

“Blowing up a mountain isn’t green, no matter how much marketing spin people put on it,” said Max Wilbert, who has been living in a tent on the proposed mine site while two lawsuits seeking to block the project wend their way through federal courts.  . . . “

Climate Change Could Cut World Economy by $23 Trillion in 2050, Insurance Giant Warns – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — Rising temperatures are likely to reduce global wealth significantly by 2050, as crop yields fall, disease spreads and rising seas consume coastal cities, a major insurance company warned Thursday, highlighting the consequences if the world fails to quickly slow the use of fossil fuels.

The effects of climate change can be expected to shave 11 percent to 14 percent off global economic output by 2050 compared with growth levels without climate change, according to a report from Swiss Re, one of the world’s largest providers of insurance to other insurance companies. That amounts to as much as $23 trillion in reduced annual global economic output worldwide as a result of climate change.

Some Asian nations could have one-third less wealth than would otherwise be the case, the company said. “Our analysis shows the potential costs that economies could face should governments fail to act more decisively on climate,” said Patrick Saner, who is in charge of global macroeconomic forecasts for Swiss Re.

The projections come as world leaders gather Thursday and Friday for a virtual climate summit in Washington hosted by President Biden, who has urged countries to do more to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Biden is expected to pledge to cut the United States’ emissions by about half by 2030.   . . . “