more signs of the apocalypse
Random weekend headlines:
1. This is the hottest year on record – 8 of the 10 hottest years have been since 2000. Until 2009 there had only ever been 5 years when there was more than 15 Atlantic storms large enough to get their own name. Each of the last three has topped that mark. 2005 had 29. Hurricane Sandy is the largest storm ever to come ashore in the United States (in recorded history)
2. The Harper government announced that it was cutting the fisheries budget by 33%, and will be reducing scientists, biologists, and frontline workers by 40%.
3. The government refuses to put cod on the list of endangered species – even though the cod population collapsed from over-fishing and has not returned to even 10% of population. Rather, they announced that they will allow for 140,000 seals to be culled (i.e. clubbed or shot) from the St. Lawrence and Maritime Provinces because they eat too many fish.
4. The percentage of American income that went into the pockets of the richest 1% of Americans in 1979 was 9%. Last year it was 23%.
4.a A study has found that we are working 50% more now per week than we were two decades ago.
4.b. Personal debt is now at an all-time high – and growing each quarter. It now stands at more than 150% of income.
4.c. The government announced that it is going to make it harder for people to borrow money.
4.d The Greek government needs $38.6 billion to cover its current deficit.
5. A Chinese Supreme Court will decide soon if it will allow a Chinese company to be sued for stealing software secrets from an American company. The wind-turbine company got caught buying secrets from an IT specialist in the States, but the American company wants to sue in China. China has never allowed this before. Whatever way the court decides, will could change trading agreements for years to come.
6. Kelly Clarkson, a past winner of American Idol, will be this year’s Grand Marshall for Mardi Gras.