Self Driving Cars

This week ABC News did a small piece headlined Rapid decline in honey bee population ‘unsustainable,’ experts say (7-10-19). No biggie. We’ve seen articles like this covering global warming, environment, bees, algae blooms, etc. for the past two decades. They are chock full of statistics, projections, interviews with pedigreed experts, dire predictions, and sometimes even politicians. Reading them is almost a kind of perverse rote learning, actually reinforcing learned helplessness in those they intend to inform. In short, they are the norm, as seasonal and uneventful as weather news, school lunch menus, or the local festival calendar. Buried deep in the ABC article was “The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it has suspended data collection for its Honey Bee Colonies survey due to budgetary reasons, just weeks after researchers reported that nearly 40% of managed honey bee colonies in the country were lost over the past winter. “The decision to suspend data collection was not made lightly but was necessary given available fiscal and program resources,” a July 1 statement from the USDA read. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service report is only one of three major bee surveys published each year, Mulica [Matthew Mulica, senior project manager at the Keystone Policy Center, a consulting company that works with the Honey Bee Health Coalition] said. The Bee Informed Partnership and the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service also file reports that are widely used in the industry, he added.” Same day, different news source headlined Intelligence aide, blocked from submitting written testimony on climate change, resigns from State Dept. (Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, 7-10-19). “Rod Schoonover — who worked in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research’s Office of the Geographer and Global Issues — spoke before the House Intelligence Committee on June 5 about the security risks the United States faces because of climate change. But White House officials would not let him submit the bureau’s written statement that climate impacts could be “possibly catastrophic,” after the State Department refused to cut references to federal scientific findings on climate change.” “One of the statements White House officials objected to was this observation: “Absent extensive mitigating factors or events, we see few plausible future scenarios where significant — possibly catastrophic — harm does not arise from the compounded effects of climate change.”” As mentioned repeatedly in previous blog posts, the CDC is forbidden by federal law from tracking gun related deaths and injuries. And we all know what happens with White House administrators, managers and spokespeople whose lexicon strays from “wonderful”, “remarkable”, or “amazing”. The privatization of American Government is becoming akin to a new car dealership –- they are always pitch perfect, or rather, what they pitch is always perfect. Their cars never catch fire or roll over in crashes. Indeed, they aren’t in the business of keeping tabs on car crashes. Bad news can be dismissed as fake news since it can’t be officially sourced. See, no one is keeping track. Are you?


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