Since the 1970s, scientists estimate that 1.5 million acres of mountainside in Appalachia have been removed for coal mining. “That is an area 18 percent larger than the state of Delaware,” Andrew Pericak, an environmental monitoring expert at Duke University, said in a statement. Pericak and colleagues at Duke worked with researchers at the nonprofit organizations SkyTruth and Appalachian Voices to create the new mapping tool. They published their findings this month in the journal PLOS One.
The scientists found that coal in the region is getting more difficult to extract. In the 1980s and 1990s, coal companies had to blast 100 square feet of land to get one ton of coal. By 2010, this had jumped to 160 square feet per ton, and by 2015, more than 300 square feet.
To create the mapping tool, which is free for anyone to use, the scientists analyzed 10,240 United States government satellite images taken in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia dating back to 1985. They then measured over time the “greenness” of each pixel, representing 100- by 100–square-foot plots. Taking changes in seasonal vegetation into account, any pixel that was devoid of greenness and wasn’t part of a city, road, or body of water was labeled as an area where mining was likely happening.
But the reports collected by ProPublica so far show that in the past five years, police have responded to at least 125 calls reporting sex offenses at shelters that primarily serve immigrant children. That number doesn’t include another 200 such calls from more than a dozen shelters that also care for at-risk youth residing in the U.S. Call records for those facilities don’t distinguish which reports related to unaccompanied immigrants and which to other youth housed on the property.
Psychologists who’ve worked with immigrant youth said the records likely undercount the problems because many kids might not report abuse for fear of affecting their immigration cases.
From Business Insider (which called it iPhone of e-cigarettes) to CrunchBase, everyone seems to marvel over their growth rates, their post-Unicorn valuations, and jaw-dropping success at raising capital. And very rarely have I seen anyone stand up and point out that it is no different than traditional tobacco peddlers like Marlboro and Camel. They are peddling nicotine-based addiction. By focusing on charming founders, their backgrounds, large amount of funds raised and crazy valuations, no one is asking the right question: why are we supporting this company that is essentially Camel 2.0?
Addiction is a profitable and high-growth business. Ask the cartels selling other addictive products. “And is it an ethical business?,” asks Crunchbase. “We can’t answer the latter question here as we’re not equipped for it.” Yes, you are! Any halfway decent person can see that tobacco and nicotine industries are driven by greed and have preyed on human frailty.