September 20, 2021
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first_imgLearn more about climate law options Many say the Green New Deal is unattainable and “anyone who signs on without nailing down specifics will be slammed” (Jennifer Rubin Washington Post). The Green New Deal is a climate emergency response plan that provides a plan to move away from our addiction to fossil fuels by 2030.However, the Green New Deal will change every aspect of the way we currently live in a joyful way if we let it.Unfortunately, the Green New Deal cannot be legislated because it mandates such a broad spectrum of goals that will need to be applied across the country in different ways by 2030.The time associated with legislating an economically sensitive, geographically diverse and market responsive climate emergency plan would be putting us on a path to oblivion.Currently, there are several versions of the Green New Deal at the state level and one at the federal level.Climate change threatens life as we know it on this planet and we need to be certain we get the strongest climate change legislation possible. Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionOpen minds are cure for white supremacyWhite supremacy seems to be a large epidemic in this country, one no doctor can cure.Only people can cure it, by having an open mind and heart for all people.Rachael WilkinsonSaratoga Springs Nisky needs action on its fund balance Writer wrong about background checksMartha Harausz’s March 17 letter shows that she is well educated and good at creative writing. However, it would be better if she used her talents to preserve the U.S. Constitution instead of creating fiction to try and tear it down. Her assertion that you can buy a firearm without a background check at a gun show, off the internet is patently false.Perhaps she should attempt to buy a firearm this way herself to test it. Eugene SpicerSchenectady  Now is the time to familiarize yourself with the various options and leverage your support. As 15-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg says, she is not looking for hope from adults; she looking for action like the house is on fire. Gary J. Lessard Schenectady In watching the recent Niskayuna Town Board meeting, Supervisor Yasmine Syed’s presentation on establishing a fund balance policy surprised me.While I was glad to see the supervisor take an interest in improving her understanding of the position’s responsibilities, I was frustrated that the presentation didn’t seem to propose a recommendation for moving forward on something that has been discussed for several months. It simply reviewed basic fiscal policy points available from the comptroller. From the coverage I’ve seen, despite her experience as a budget analyst, the Town Board members were the first to suggest this prudent fiscal move after the supervisor attempted to spend reserve funds in her proposed budget.While we may be in good times today, we won’t always be, and we should prepare ourselves for that likelihood.The Town Board’s leadership on this issue is just one more example of the value of professional government experience that has guided Niskayuna in recent years and led me to move to this town. I hope with this policy and in future years, the Town Board will continue their track record of keeping taxes low while continuing to provide quality resident services and adequate recognition for the town’s workforce.Ben SpearNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Cuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

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first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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first_imgTopics : Abidin, another young farmer from Megapanda village in Sikka regency, appreciated the government’s KUR program. He echoed Gestianus, saying the funds should go to the hard-working farmers instead of new farmers who only wanted money.“I will certainly use it to develop my agriculture business,” Abidin said. “I’m currently only working on a rice field. With the microcredit, I will try to develop other plantations as well.”According to Statistics Indonesia’s (BPS) 2018 Inter-Census Agricultural Survey, there are 27.6 million farmers in Indonesia. Around 17.7 million are 45 years old and above, while only 9.77 million are below 45 years of age.However, the number of young farmers aged 25 and below has increased to 273,839 farmers from only 184,734 in 2013. (eyc) Young farmers in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), most of whom have developed their land from square-one, are hoping to have access to the government’s first subsidized microcredit program (KUR).The Agriculture Ministry has allocated Rp 1 trillion (US$69.7 million) in KUR to support agriculture and livestock development in the province. NTT agriculture agency head Yohanes Oktavianus said this was the first microcredit program for the province since its initiation in 2007.“The allocation for each regency depends on their respective planning. They are welcome to take as much as needed because there are no limits,” Yohanes told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. “Farmer communities can learn about entrepreneurship and become independent by utilizing these funds.” center_img NTT farmer Gestianus Sino, who was the Indonesian Young Agripreneur Ambassador in 2018, said the provincial agriculture agency should closely monitor the fund’s disbursement. The 36-year-old farmer is known for developing integrated agricultural land for organic produce with tens of millions of rupiah in monthly income.“I suggest these funds be given to farmers who are committed to developing their land,” he said.Read also: Radical overhaul of agricultural data-gathering methods in Asia-Pacific needed: ExpertsGestianus went on to say that farmers have formed farming groups as part of the funding programs. They later used the money to procure tractors, drills and other farming equipment. However, they did not continue farming after spending the money.last_img read more

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first_imgCould its tropical climate prevent Indonesia from descending into a major COVID-19 outbreak as seen in South Korea, Iran and Italy? It’s possible, scientists say, but cautioned that governments should not rely on weather to fight the virus.At least two newly published studies have suggested that the viral transmission rate of the 2019 novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, may be linked to temperature and seasonal fluctuations across different regions. Like SARS and MERS? One such study — which has not been peer-reviewed yet — finds that higher temperatures may render the virus less potent and ultimately inactive, which may explain why countries with consistently warmer climates, such as Indonesia, have reported fewer COVID-19 cases than temperate regions where temperatures vary between 5 to 11 degrees Celsius and 47 to 79 percent humidity.Indonesia has reported 34 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday, far below the numbers reported by neighboring Malaysia (149) and Singapore (178). While the official figure given by Indonesia seems implausible, the numbers reported by Malaysia and Singapore are also far below those of South Korea (7,869), Iran (9,000) and Italy (12,462).  An isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV or novel coronavirus, is seen in a transmission electron microscopic image obtained from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. March 10, 2020. (Reuters/CDC/Hannah A Bullock and Azaibi Tamin) Topics : Conducted by a team of scientists from the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland in the United States in conjunction with the Global Virus Network, the study suggests that, based on the number of reported cases across the globe, COVID-19 may become less potent and, therefore, result in fewer casualties in the tropics.The study points out several attributes and patterns of COVID-19 that are similar to other coronaviruses, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which have proven to be sensitive to higher temperatures, to back up its argument that the virus may be at its most active and potent in lower temperatures, particularly during the winter.Furthermore, the study predicts that hardest-hit countries situated within the more temperate corridor of the planet’s climate – which, at the time of writing, includes outbreak epicenter China, Iran and Italy – are likely to report fewer COVID-19 cases in the months leading up to summer.“Although it would be even more difficult to make a long-term prediction at this stage, it is tempting to expect COVID-19 to diminish considerably in affected areas [within the temperate regions] in the coming months,” the report said.Iranian firefighters disinfect streets in southern Tehran to halt the wild spread of coronavirus on March 11, 2020. – The novel coronavirus outbreak in Iran is one of the deadliest outside of China and has so far killed 291 people and infected more than 8,000. (AFP/Atta Kenare)Another study, conducted by a team from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, finds that COVID-19 may be at its most active at a particular temperature.The analysis, which is based on the team’s study on every novel coronavirus cases confirmed around the world between Jan. 20 and Feb. 4, including in over 400 Chinese cities and regions, indicates that the number of reported cases have been congruent with average temperatures up until they peaked at 8.72 degrees.The number of reported cases subsequently declined at the same time temperatures continued to rise, the study claimed. Bayu Krisnamurti, former head of the now-defunct national committee for avian flu in Indonesia, shared the optimistic outlook on the correlation between the transmission rate of the novel coronavirus and temperature fluctuations.The viruses that cause influenza are known to be sensitive to temperatures, he said.“It is customary for people in countries with four seasons to take flu shots in the fall,” Bayu said, explaining that past flu pandemics have shown a pattern of peaking before stagnating and finally slowing down.Bayu said he did not know whether the novel coronavirus, which caused an influenza-like illness, would behave the same way as the flu, but added that “we could assume it would have the same behavior”.People stand in a long queue to buy face masks at a post office, after a shortage of masks amid the rise in confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19, in Daegu, South Korea, March 4, 2020. (REUTERS/REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)Despite the optimistic findings, however, the study still calls for immediate adoption of “the strictest control measures” to prevent future outbreaks in countries and regions with lower temperatures.Contradicting resultsThe caution is not unwarranted.A separate study conducted by a group of researchers, including epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, yielded contradicting results, claiming that “sustained transmission and rapid growth of cases are possible over a range of humidity conditions ranging from cold and dry provinces in China”.It went on to note that changes in weather alone would not necessarily lead to immediate declines in the number of confirmed cases without “the implementation of extensive public health interventions”.Panji Hadisoemarto, an infectious disease control expert from Padjajaran University, also conveyed his skepticism regarding studies that claimed the novel coronavirus’ transmission might be linked to temperature fluctuations, arguing that heat might only “slow down transmission, but very likely not enough to stop it”.Pigeons gather on Piazza del Duomo by Milan’s cathedral on March 10, 2020 in Milan. – Italy imposed unprecedented national restrictions on its 60 million people on March 10, 2020 to control the deadly coronavirus, as China signalled major progress in its own battle against the global epidemic. (AFP/Miguel MEDINA)“There has yet to be any proof that [the virus] could be transmitted through the air. It can be transmitted directly through close physical contact, via droplets, such as when an infected individual coughs in front of an otherwise healthy person,” he said.That said, he explained that indirect transmission — when an individual contracts the virus after coming into contact with an object that contains traces of infectious droplets — could be affected by shifts in temperature, as this type of transmission relied on the virus’ survival outside of its host.“Therefore, the impact of temperature depends on the contribution of indirect transmission to the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, we have yet to know for sure, but I’m confident that direct transmission plays a bigger role in the outbreak, especially in densely populated areas,” Panji said.Tourists sit at a table at a largely empty Chinatown district as tourism takes a decline due to the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore February 21, 2020. Picture taken February 21, 2020. (REUTERS/Edgar Su)Mohammad Sajadi, the lead author of the University of Maryland’s paper, defended his research, saying that while he did not know the situation in Indonesia or whether its government was hiding its statistics, the country might yet see a massive outbreak. “Based on my personal knowledge of COVID-19 in other countries with known high case numbers, when there is significant community spread, it is not subtle, and the hospitals get overrun, and it’s near-impossible to hide,” he said in an email.last_img read more

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