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Daily Kos Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:03:39 GMT  

Open thread for night owls: Global warming and loss of labor productivity
Joe Romm at Climate Progress writes Labor Day 2050: Global Warming And The Coming Collapse Of Labor Productivity:

Global warming is projected to have a serious negative impact on labor productivity this century. Here is a look at what we know.

In 2013, a NOAA study projected that “heat-stress related labor capacity losses will double globally by 2050 with a warming climate.” If we stay near our current greenhouse gas emissions pathway, then we face a potential 50 percent drop in labor capacity in peak months by century’s end.

Many recent studies project a collapse in labor productivity from business-as-usual carbon emissions and warming, with a cost to society that may well exceed that of all other costs of climate change combined. And, as one expert reviewing recent studies put it, “national output in several [non-agricultural] industries seemed to decline with temperature in a nonlinear way, declining more rapidly at very high daily temperatures.” […]

If carbon pollution remains unrestricted, we are risking catastrophic drops in labor productivity.

Andrew Gelman, director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University, summed up the research this way in a 2012 post: “2% per degree Celsius … the magic number for how worker productivity responds to warm/hot temperatures.” The negative impact appears to start at about 26°C (79°F).

This loss of productivity is by no means the most life-threatening of climate impacts when compared to, say, Dust-Bowlification and its impact on food security. But it is one of the most important unmodeled climate impacts that makes the likely cost of climate change far higher than standard economic models suggest.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008The Police State in Minneapolis:

McCain's bizarre Palin pick did more than just turn the national media feeding frenzy away from Obama's remarkable and strong speech, and the great feeling of and commitment to unity the Democrats left Denver with, but also knocked out of the national media--if ever it would reach there, anyway--the excessive actions the Minneapolis police--along with and perhaps at the direction of the federal government--are taking to prevent protests at the RNC.

Glenn Greenwald, I-Witness Video, Feministing, and FireDogLake  have been reporting from Minneapolis about the excessive and unprovoked actions of the FBI and the Minneapolis police. Here's Glenn, today:

As the police attacks on protesters in Minnesota continue -- see this video of the police swarming a bus transporting members of Earth Justice [see update below], seizing the bus and leaving the group members stranded on the side of the highway -- it appears increasingly clear that it is the Federal Government that is directing this intimidation campaign. Minnesota Public Radio reported yesterday that "the searches were led by the Ramsey County Sheriff's office. Deputies coordinated searches with the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
Today's Star Tribune added that the raids were specifically "aided by informants planted in protest groups."

Tweet of the Day
Would the libertarian movement disband completely if the NSA devoted itself to releasing nude celebrity pics?
@LOLGOP


On today's Kagro in the Morning show, it's the 9/3/13 episode. Greg Dworkin rounded up local news Newtown, national news from Congress (h/t to Doctor Who), and international news on Syria. Richard Cohen has somehow become the Twitter talk of the morning, for... well, it was too annoying to really talk about. Facepalm-worthy GunFAIL from Lodi, CA. Armando joined in for the Syria discussion. NYC City Council candidate and longtime netroots friend Debra Cooper, updated us on the state of the race, with some surprising background on another Dem candidate's previous support for Rudy Giuliani—in his brief bid for the Senate against Hillary Clinton, no less!


The Week's High Impact Posts. Top Comments

Pensito Review Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:03:40 GMT  

Celebrating Labor Day? Guess You’re a Socialist, Pro-Union, Anti Job Creator Commie
If today means more to you than packing away your white shorts and shoes, you’re probably a pro-union type who supports raising the minimum wage. But if you’re like most Americans, it’s just another amorphous, somehow patriotic Monday holiday on which to cook out, drink beer, and if you’re like my neighbors last night, inexplicitly […]

strikeIf today means more to you than packing away your white shorts and shoes, you’re probably a pro-union type who supports raising the minimum wage. But if you’re like most Americans, it’s just another amorphous, somehow patriotic Monday holiday on which to cook out, drink beer, and if you’re like my neighbors last night, inexplicitly shoot off fireworks.

I’m not sure how Labor Day got hijacked into being another red, white, and blue affair. Yet the Labor Day sale signs in store windows feature stars and stripes along with promises of savings.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s website tells it straight. The holiday is in recognition of the power of worker collectives, and what they accomplish when they band together and refuse to be abused by, wait for it…job creators.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country…

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community…

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy.

Or to put it another way, “Workers unite!” And everybody else, quit with the faux patriotic imagery already.


Mike Luckovich Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:03:40 GMT  

01/08 Luckovich cartoon: Chilled out

010814-toon-luckovich-ed


ThinkProgress Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:03:40 GMT  

Lena Dunham: Hacker Responsible For Stealing Naked Celebrity Photos Is A ‘Sex Offender’

But the law is struggling to keep up with technological advances that pose new kinds of problems.

The post Lena Dunham: Hacker Responsible For Stealing Naked Celebrity Photos Is A ‘Sex Offender’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

hacking_graphic

This weekend’s revelation that dozens of celebrities and famous personalities were victims of a targeted hacking aimed at exposing private, sexually suggestive photos has reopened the conversation about online security and privacy.

Lena Dunham, the award-winning creator and star of HBO comedy Girls, took to Twitter to condemn the release of the photos and make a point about the nature of the photos that have been released:

Dunham’s tweet points to a different problem we face in the age where everything we share is done online: many of the laws governing online behavior haven’t been written yet. When Scarlett Johansson was similarly subjected to a malicious hacking that unearthed private photos of the actress, the hacker, 35-year-old Christopher Chaney, was sentenced to 10 years in prison under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a law that was written in 1986, three years before the World Wide Web was first created.

The CFAA has come under a lot of criticism by open internet activists as well. That’s the same law that the federal government used to convict Aaron Swartz on 13 criminal counts for downloading academic papers from MIT’s online databases. Advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation has been pushing for a more comprehensive set of laws, but legislators have failed to pass any meaningful reform.

Meanwhile, the problem is only getting worse.

Apple announced on Monday that it had fixed a security flaw in their iCloud service that could have been exploited to gain access to the photos. But technology companies are struggling to stay ahead of the hackers who are constantly testing networks for vulnerabilities and taking advantage of weaknesses. For instance, a study by Akamai Technologies found that in the last quarter of 2013, the number of DDoS attacks — where hackers cripple websites by bombarding them with illegitimate web traffic — rose by 75 percent from the previous year.

Large-scale hacks like the one that exposed millions of Target customers’ financial information last year often receive the most news coverage, but an estimated two thirds of all hackers are motivated simply by “ideology/fun.” With more of our personal information offered up online — in dating profiles, Facebook status updates, web-based messaging like iMessages and WhatsApp — the frequency of these kinds of hacks could only increase.

The post Lena Dunham: Hacker Responsible For Stealing Naked Celebrity Photos Is A ‘Sex Offender’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Conservatives Protest Labor Day By Staging A Work-In

"I can't think of a problem in society that can't be traced in some way back to the abuses of organized labor, and it would be hypocritical of us to take a day off on its behalf."

The post Conservatives Protest Labor Day By Staging A Work-In appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Unemployment Benefits

CREDIT: AP

A conservative think tank is protesting the federal Labor Day holiday by staging a work-in on Monday in a gambit to celebrate “the freedom to keep your job when you choose not to join a union.”

“We’re calling it Right-to-Work Day,” Tom McCabe, CEO of Washington state’s Freedom Foundation, announced in a post on the organization’s website. The name refers to an effort by conservative lawmakers across the country to advance so-called “right-to-work” legislation that would allow union members to opt out of paying union dues while still benefiting from union contracts.

“At the Freedom Foundation, we celebrate freedom of choice and transparency – ideals the labor movement has vowed to oppose. Consequently, we’ve chosen to spend our holiday honoring the right-to-work movement instead,” the post says. McCabe goes on to argue that all problems in society can be “traced in some way back to the abuses of organized labor.”

But according to research from the Economic Policy Institute, right-to-work laws — which have the impact of weakening unions and lowering union membership — have almost no impact on job growth and actually reduce wages for union and non-union workers by up to $1,500 a year. Workers are also less likely to receive “healthcare or pensions through their jobs” and are hurt on the job with greater frequency. “For instance, the occupational-fatality rate in the construction industry—one of the most hazardous in terms of workplace deaths—is 34 percent higher in right-to-work states than in states without such laws,” David Madland, Director of the American Worker Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, notes.

Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894, after U.S. marshals killed two men in the ill-fated Pullman Strike, a railroad workers’ boycott against high rent and low pay. Government violence against the labor movement became a major political issue and “in the immediate wake of the strike, legislation was rushed unanimously through both houses of Congress, and the bill arrived on President [Grover] Cleveland’s desk just six days after his troops had broken the Pullman strike.” In the succeeding years, labor unions built political momentum to pass the Fair Labor Standards Act, which helped create a federal framework for a shorter workweek, helped end child labor, and worked to negotiate for health coverage plans from employers.

Though unionization rates have been in decline for years, a recent analysis of Census data by the Center for American Progress, found that middle class Americans bring home a larger share of aggregate earnings in states that have high rates of union membership than in those where fewer workers are organized.

The post Conservatives Protest Labor Day By Staging A Work-In appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Labor Day 2050: Global Warming And The Coming Collapse Of Labor Productivity

Global warming is projected to have a serious negative impact on labor productivity this century. Here is a look at what we know.

The post Labor Day 2050: Global Warming And The Coming Collapse Of Labor Productivity appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Los Angeles City Street Services Field Engineering Aide Winston Chu drinks cold water as his crew paves streets in a heat wave.

Los Angeles City Street Services Field Engineering Aide Winston Chu drinks water as his crew paves streets in a heat wave.

CREDIT: AP Photo/ Damian Dovarganes

Global warming is projected to have a serious negative impact on labor productivity this century. Here is a look at what we know.

In 2013, a NOAA study projected that “heat-stress related labor capacity losses will double globally by 2050 with a warming climate.” If we stay near our current greenhouse gas emissions pathway, then we face a potential 50 percent drop in labor capacity in peak months by century’s end.

Many recent studies project a collapse in labor productivity from business-as-usual carbon emissions and warming, with a cost to society that may well exceed that of all other costs of climate change combined. And, as one expert reviewing recent studies put it, “national output in several [non-agricultural] industries seemed to decline with temperature in a nonlinear way, declining more rapidly at very high daily temperatures.”

Here is the key chart from a 2010 Ziven-Neidell paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Temperature and the Allocation of Time: Implications for Climate Change.” It plots “the number of minutes in a day that individuals (who work in outdoor or temperature-exposed sectors in the USA) spent working as a function of maximum temperature (in Fahrenheit) that day.”

Neidell

Productivity starts to nose-dive at 90°F and falls off the cliff at 100°F.

As for the cumulative impact, here’s a key figure from the 2013 NOAA study, “Reductions in labour capacity from heat stress under climate warming.”

ndividual labor capacity (%) during annual minimum (upper lines) and maximum (lower lines) heat stress months. RCP8.5 (red lines) is our current emissions path.

ndividual labor capacity (%) during annual minimum (upper lines) and maximum (lower lines) heat stress months. RCP8.5 (red lines) is our current emissions path.

CREDIT: NOAA

If carbon pollution remains unrestricted, we are risking catastrophic drops in labor productivity.

Andrew Gelman, director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University, summed up the research this way in a 2012 post: “2% per degree Celsius … the magic number for how worker productivity responds to warm/hot temperatures.” The negative impact appears to start at about 26°C (79°F).

This loss of productivity is by no means the most life-threatening of climate impacts when compared to, say, Dust-Bowlification and its impact on food security. But it is one of the most important unmodeled climate impacts that makes the likely cost of climate change far higher than standard economic models suggest.

If we stay anywhere near our current path of carbon pollution emissions, then as we move towards the middle of the century, a larger and larger fraction of our summertimes will be intolerable outside.

In a 2011 post, “Mother Nature is Just Getting Warmed Up,” I discussed this trend and newly-released research forecasting permanently hotter summers:

The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures within the next 20 to 60 years if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, according to a new climate study by Stanford University scientists…

“According to our projections, large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that, by the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years,” said the study’s lead author, Noah Diffenbaugh.

It’s worth another look at projected days above 100°F on our current emissions path, via the National Climate Assessment (NCA):

Days above 100°F

Days above 100°F in higher emissions (business as usual) scenario.

Yes, absent a sharp and deep reduction in national and global emissions, much of Kansas (!) by century’s end could well be above 100°F for nearly the whole summer. Labor Day will mean a return to those pleasant mid-to-upper 90s.

By century’s end, much of the Southern U.S. will see temperatures above 90°F for five months of the year or more, which is just a stunning change from just the recent past (again via NCA):

It truly will be an endless summer over much of the South (see also NASA’s Hansen: “If We Stay on With Business as Usual, the Southern U.S. Will Become Almost Uninhabitable”).

So what does this mean for productivity? Prof. Solomon M. Hsiang wrote last year:

In my 2010 PNAS paper, I found that labor-intensive sectors of national economies decreased output by roughly 2.4% per degree C and argued that this looked suspiously like it came from reductions in worker output. Using a totally different method and dataset, Matt Neidell and Josh Graff Zivin found that labor supply in micro data fell by 1.8% per degree C. Both responses kicked in at around 26C.

Here is the key chart from Hsiang’s own work, which shows “national output in several [non-agricultural] industries … declining more rapidly at very high daily temperatures.”

sidebyside2

Hsiang also directs us to a New York Times article in which a Japanese professor found that, indoors, “every degree rise in temperature above 25 Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) resulted in a 2 percent drop in productivity.”

Thus, very different types of research using different data sets yield similar results. This research is essentially about adaptation — one key way that healthy people respond to high temperatures is simply to work less. NOAA notes an important caveat about its research, which tends to make the results conservative: “In focusing on the capacity of healthy, acclimated individuals, this study also severely underestimates heat stress implications for less-optimally acclimated individuals such as the young, old, and sick.”

Hsiang points out the bottom line:

It’s worth noting that reductions in worker output have never been included in economic models of future warming (see here and here) despite the fact that experiments fifty years ago showed that temperature has a strong impact on worker output (see here and here). In my dissertation I did some back-of-the-envelope estimates using the above numbers and found that productivity impacts alone might reduce per capita output by ~9% in 2080-2099 (in the absence of strong adaptation). This cost exceeds the combined cost of all other projected economic losses combined.

So the next time you see a projection of the economic cost from climate change — and a resulting social cost of carbon — you might want to double the numbers to get a more accurate picture of what we are risking by our callous inaction.

The post Labor Day 2050: Global Warming And The Coming Collapse Of Labor Productivity appeared first on ThinkProgress.


PoliticusUSA Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:03:40 GMT  

Obama Comes Into Scott Walker’s Backyard and Drills Republicans For Opposing Everything
President Obama went into Scott Walker's backyard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and called out Republicans for their failed top-down economic policies, and ripped congressional Republicans for saying no to everything.

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Study Blows The Lid Off The GOP’s Big Lie By Revealing Citizens United Helps Republicans Win
According to a new study, Citizens United is helping Republicans win state legislative elections by increasing their likelihood of victory.

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Labor Day and How You Thank the Kochs’ and Big Oil for Ripping You Off
Labor Day, the Kochs and how you thank oil companies for ripping you off.

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Paul Krugman Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:30:01 GMT  

Inflation, Septaphobia, and the Shock Doctrine
False consciousness among the 1 percent?
And Fairly Won
Georgia 1864 on my mind.
Scylla, Charybdis, and the Euro
The shoals of debt versus the vortex of deflation.

Media Matters for America - Latest Items Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:30:01 GMT  

The Foreign Leaders Conservative Media Wish Were In Charge Here

International incidents are a prime opportunity to daydream about foreign leaders who'd make better presidents than Barack Obama, at least inside the conservative media bubble. David Cameron has now joined Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu on the right's list of foreigners they'd rather have in the Oval Office than the man the nation elected.

On August 28, President Obama delivered remarks on the U.S. military's approach to the rising terror threat from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) and recent developments in Ukraine. Right-wing media figures responded with disdain, accusing the president of failing to view the Islamic State as a threat and even suggesting it's understandable to think Obama sympathizes with terrorists. Yet when Cameron delivered similar remarks on the Islamic State's threat to the United Kingdom the next day, the right's response was much different -- Fox News contributor Erick Erickson tweeted:

Cameron joins a select group of foreign leaders whom the right-wing media have determined to be better suited for the U.S. presidency than the man chosen by American voters.


Right Wing Watch Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:30:01 GMT  

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/29/14

http://blog.buzzflash.com/rss.xml Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:30:02 GMT  


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liberal adj.
  • Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
  • Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
  • Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
  • Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.




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