Flickering: Foretelling Crisis in an Ecosystem

Originally posted on Nourish Boston:

In a recent study, published in Nature, a group of scientists have pioneered a method to predict when an ecosystem is likely to collapse. By utilizing samples collected from a particular ecosystem and applying their mathematical model to recognize fluctuations in the health of an ecosystem, the tipping point and eventual collapse (or recovery) of an ecosystem can be predicted. 

The study posits that ecosystems will ‘wobble’ or ‘flicker’ back and forth between alternative states of recovery and crisis in response to relatively large external impacts before a critical transition, or tipping point.

Scientists applied their theory to a real world scenario—the environmental collapse of Lake Erhai in Yunnan Province, China. They collected sediment samples of the lake and graphed and analyzed the levels of fossilized algae over a 125-year period as a measure of the lake’s health. 

From this data, they extrapolated that the algae communities remained stable…

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Canada Coaching Countries to Waste Water

Canada, a decade ago, used to do more good than bad in the wider world. Now we’re an international wrecking crew, teaching countries how to waste their water supplies on international disasters like shale oil.

This sort of unproductive activity is also changing our climate. It’s also slowing investment in renewable energy technologies that don’t pollute and consume water or air.

Canadian Police and Suicide Hotlines Violating Privacy

It’s mind boggling that Canadian police would think it’s justified in sharing mental health information with Homeland Insecurity in order to help the USA discriminate against people with mental illness.

What in the heck made them think it’s okay? Are they crazy?

People need to trust that they can reach out to a Suicide Hotline without fear of future reprisals. Canadian police have seriously damaged this expectation, and therefore are likely to have harmed people who’d have otherwise sought help. It would be hard to learn definitively if this abuse of authority has killed people, because the people we’d learn that from will have silenced themselves permanently.

No word yet from the Regina and Saskatoon police forces if they violate privacy in this manner.

ConCalls: Testify, Born Again Christian #RoboCon

Andrew Prescott’s immunity deal is a strange development. The loyal party worker and born-again Christian had for two years categorically denied any knowledge of or involvement in the robocall affair. But why do innocent people need immunity deals? One of the people Prescott professed his innocence to was Michael Sona.

Testify!

“I looked Andrew dead in the eyes outside church. He was in his car in the parking lot. I asked him if he knew anything. He said, ‘I don’t know anything.’ That’s why I defended him when I went on the CBC. I took him at his word.”

Testify!

Sources say that just before the Calgary floods cancelled the CPC convention, Prescott had made the same claim to a friend — that he was innocent of any involvement in the robocalls. At the time of that conversation, Prescott was angry because the party would not give him credentials as a blogger as they had at previous conventions.

Testify! Try not to lie.