The Federal Reserve has been watching the collapse of inflation expectations, which follow oil prices. Since October 1, the expected inflation rate (change in the US Consumer Price Index) during the next five years has fallen from around 2.1% to 1.5%, as the so-called breakeven inflation rate implied by Treasury bond yields fell in lockstep with oil prices.
More than 26% of mortgage borrowers who used Federal Housing Administration-insured loans got assistance from a relative to make the down payment in the 12 months through September, up from about 22% in 2011, according to data released late last year as part of the agency’s annual report.
Last year alone just the national debt’s interest costs of $263 billion consumed 6.6 percent of all government spending and 1.4 percent of the nation’s gross national product. That huge sum is actually below the historical average of recent decades.
To the detectives involved, the shooting in January 2018 was just the latest in a long line of crimes solved by asking a victim to search through mug shots, an investigative technique used in New York City for more than 150 years. Detectives enter a description of the perpetrator into a database, which then spits out dozens or even hundreds of matching photos. The witness scrolls through, in hopes of recognizing the culprit.
Early on, under “Jurisdiction,” the document makes clear its grandiose philosophical vision: “The select committee shall have authority to develop a detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan for the transition of the United States economy to become greenhouse gas emissions neutral and to significantly draw down greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and oceans and to promote economic and environmental justice and equality.”
Now, researchers have extended that theory, finding that such tropical mountain-building collisions coincide with nearly all of the half-dozen or so significant glacial periods in the past 500 million years. “These types of environments, through time, are what sets the global climate,” said Francis Macdonald, a geologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, when he presented the work this month at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington, D.C. If Earth’s climate has a master switch, he suggests, the rise of mountains like Indonesia’s could be it.
The world has warmed more than one degree Celsius since the Industrial Revolution. The Paris climate agreement — the nonbinding, unenforceable and already unheeded treaty signed on Earth Day in 2016 — hoped to restrict warming to two degrees. The odds of succeeding, according to a recent study based on current emissions trends, are one in 20. If by some miracle we are able to limit warming to two degrees, we will only have to negotiate the extinction of the world’s tropical reefs, sea-level rise of several meters and the abandonment of the Persian Gulf. The climate scientist James Hansen has called two-degree warming “a prescription for long-term disaster.”
It is commonly believed that ballooning works because the silk catches on the wind, dragging the spider with it. But that doesn’t entirely make sense, especially since spiders only balloon during light winds. Spiders don’t shoot silk from their abdomens, and it seems unlikely that such gentle breezes could be strong enough to yank the threads out—let alone to carry the largest species aloft, or to generate the high accelerations of arachnid takeoff. Darwin himself found the rapidity of the spiders’ flight to be “quite unaccountable” and its cause to be “inexplicable.”
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