California oil spill could devastate wildlife for years – National & International News – TUE 5Oct2021


CA oil spill will impact wildlife for years. How the Build Back Better plan can alleviate supply bottlenecks, price hikes. France: 330,000 children abused by Catholic clergy and staff.




California oil spill could devastate wildlife for years

Wildlife officials say that a growing California oil spill could negatively impact marine life and sea birds for years. Investigators are still unsure what caused the spill. Currently, the theory is that a ship’s anchor may have struck a pipeline on the ocean floor belonging to Amplify Energy Corp, which owns three offshore platforms.

The spill has already leaked 120,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean off southern California, and it has not been contained yet. The oil has begun washing up on shore, impacting shore birds and closing beaches.

Andrea Bonisoli Alquati, a professor of biological sciences at Cal Poly Pomona, says there could be disastrous long-term impacts on sea life and shore birds even if they aren’t saturated with oil. Alquati explains that oil contamination of the local food chain and environment, “might affect their physiology, their health and translate into a lower reproductive success and therefore lower chances of the population to persist”.

The spill has already contaminated beaches and marshlands, killing fish and birds. One of these marshlands is an important stopover for millions of migrating birds, due to arrive in weeks.

Alquati says that “Some populations might recover fast. Some other populations take years and years. Sometimes the focus, of course, of the press and the public has already shifted away, but the consequences are still happening”.

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How the Build Back Better plan can alleviate supply bottlenecks, price hikes

As Democrats in Congress wrangle over the bipartisan infrastructure and Build Back Better plan, the entire country is struggling with supply bottlenecks. These bottlenecks in everything from food processing to shipping to manufacturing are driving the inflation we feel with virtually every purchase. And experts say there is no end to it in sight, yet.

Weston LaBar, head of strategy at freight company Cargomatic, says that shipping and logistics, key supply fields, are being hit hardest. On the west coast, cargo ships have been logjammed for weeks, impacting international shipping. Meanwhile, skilled worker shortages have hit cross-country shipping. During the pandemic, many truckers with special skills, such as transporting hazardous materials, took early retirement or left to pursue other careers. 

Logistics specialists say the problem is only going to get worse during the holiday season. And LaBar grimly predicts that things won’t be much better in 2022.

How the Build Back Better plan can help.

LaBar’s assessment is that the situation won’t improve “until you see either consumer spending habits change or a massive investment in both our infrastructure and our workforce”.

While the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan includes millions in spending to improve ports and roads, the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan focuses on “human” infrastructure. One of it many provisions would make the first two years of community college tuition-free. That would open up opportunities for people who need training to enter fields like logistics, shipping and specialized trucking.

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France: 330,000 children abused by Catholic clergy and staff

Yesterday, Jean-Marc Sauvé, who led an independent inquiry into the French Catholic Church, said that the Church had harbored at least 3000 sexual predators since the 1950s. Today, Sauvé’s full report revealed that French Catholic Church clergy or lay staff abused over 330,000 children over 70 years. Furthermore, Sauvé said that, “Until the early 2000s the Catholic church showed a profound and even cruel indifference towards the victims”.

The victims were predominately pre-adolescent boys from a wide range of social backgrounds. Many of the known predators victimized huge numbers of children, with some attacking more than 150 children. The vast majority of these predators never faced any form of legal consequences. Instead, the report found that the church shielded predators in a “systemic way” and imposed a “veil of silence”. Only a handful of predators ever even faced internal disciplinary action.

Sauvé called the numbers of victims “damning” and urged the church to pay reparations. The number of victims is indeed overwhelming and the stories from individuals are gut-wrenching and not for the faint of heart.

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