Newswise — All plants and lichens listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act are sensitive to climate change but there are few plans in place to address this threat directly, according to a new study by Amy Casandra Wrobleski of Pennsylvania State University and colleagues, published July 26, 2023 in the open-access journal PLOS Climate.
Climate change is expected to have a major impact on species around the world, especially endangered species, which are already rare. A majority of the organisms listed under the Endangered Species Act are plants and lichen, and yet the risk that climate change poses to endangered plants has not been systematically evaluated in over a decade.
To address this gap, Wrobleski’s team adapted existing assessment tools used to examine the threat of climate change for wild animals and applied them to 771 listed plant species. Specifically, they evaluated how sensitive the listed plants and lichens were to climate change, if climate change was recognized as a threat for each species and if actions were underway to address the threat.
The researchers discovered that all listed plant and lichen species are at least slightly threatened by climate change. While a majority of the documentation for these species recognized climate change as a threat, there were few actions being taken to protect the listed species.
While acknowledging the threat that climate change poses to rare plants is an important first step, direct action must be taken to ensure the recovery of many of these species, the team concludes. As conditions continue to shift over the next century, clear and focused objectives will become even more vital for successful species recovery. They urge that their findings be used to aid in conservation planning for endangered plants and lichens, and to inform future recommendations for listing species and planning their recovery.
The authors add: “We evaluated the conservation plans for all endangered plant and lichen species listed in the Endangered Species Act and found that while climate change is recognized as a threat to the species, few conservation plans include actions to address climate change directly. Climate change will not only impact the lives of people, but also rare and endangered species and the ecosystems we interact with every day”.
METROLINK RELAUNCHES LOW-INCOME DISCOUNT PROGRAM AS “MOBILITY-4-ALL”
LOS ANGELES – Metrolink’s low-income discount program was relaunched today as the Mobility-4-All program. Metrolink passengers with a California Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card are still eligible for a 50 percent discount on all Metrolink tickets and passes. Riders can use their EBT card at any Metrolink station ticket machine to validate and unlock the discount.
“Since we began the program in September 2022, we have sold more than 80,000 tickets with the discounted fare,” Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle said. “Thanks to a generous Caltrans grant, we have made Metrolink an even more affordable option for people. Renaming the program to Mobility-4-All reaffirms our commitment to make public transportation more equitable, without reference to socioeconomic status.”
Funding for the discount is made possible by a grant from the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP), administered by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
A California EBT card is required to validate the discount, while an alternative form of payment is needed to complete the ticket transaction.
Hollywood Writers Strike Ends: Guild Approves Contract with Studios
Hollywood writers strike ends as guild approves contract with studios, bringing production back after months of halt. Scriptwriting resumes.
After nearly five months of uncertainty and halted production, the Hollywood writers strike has finally come to an end. The governing boards of the Writers Guild of America, representing both the eastern and western branches, along with their joint negotiating committee, have approved a contract agreement with studios. This decision marks a significant milestone for the industry, allowing the resumption of scriptwriting and the gradual return to normalcy.
Key Highlights of the Contract Agreement:
The contract, spanning three years, encompasses several vital victories that writers had fought for since the beginning of the strike. These wins include improved compensation, longer employment terms, increased staff sizes, and control over artificial intelligence. The agreement closely aligns with the initial demands of the writers, reflecting a compromise between both parties.
Compensation and Employment:
The writers’ union sought higher pay and future residual earnings from shows, and the compromise deal resulted in a raise ranging from 3.5% to 5%. Additionally, the contract introduces new residual payments based on the popularity of streaming shows, ensuring writers receive adequate compensation for their contributions to highly watched properties.
Staffing and Artificial Intelligence:
The contract addresses the issue of staffing, with a requirement that shows intended to run at least 13 episodes must have a minimum of six writers on staff. The number of writers will be adjusted based on the episode count. While the initial desire for guaranteed staffs of six on shows yet to be ordered was not achieved, a guaranteed minimum of three writers was agreed upon.
Furthermore, the agreement grants writers control over the regulation and use of artificial intelligence. AI-generated storylines will not be considered “literary material” or “source” material, protecting writers’ creative contributions and avoiding competition with computer-generated content.
The end of the Hollywood writers strike brings relief to the entertainment industry, allowing the resumption of production and the creation of new scripts. The approved contract represents a significant achievement for the Writers Guild of America, securing important gains in compensation, employment terms, staffing, and control over emerging technologies. As late-night talk shows prepare to return, the agreement paves the way for the gradual comeback of scripted shows as negotiations continue. The Hollywood writers strike, while disruptive, ultimately led to a more equitable and sustainable future for the talented individuals who shape the narratives we love on screen.
For more on the writers and actors strikes, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/hollywood-strikes/
Source: Associated Press
Punctuate Your Day with Humor: National Punctuation Day
“Embrace the power of punctuation on National Punctuation Day and let your words dance with clarity and humor. #NationalPunctuationDay”
Attention, grammar nerds and word enthusiasts! Today, we celebrate the unsung heroes of the written word: punctuation marks! It’s National Punctuation Day, a time to pause, take a breath, and appreciate those tiny symbols that bring order to our sentences.
Imagine a world without punctuation. It would be utter chaos! Sentences would blend together, leaving us scratching our heads and desperately searching for meaning. Take a look at this sentence: “Let’s eat grandma.” Now, add a simple comma, and voila! “Let’s eat, grandma.” Crisis averted!
Punctuation marks have the power to change everything. They can turn a statement into a question, add excitement or urgency, and even make us sound sarcastic. Just one exclamation point can transform a dull sentence into an enthusiastic proclamation! “I’m going to the store” becomes “I’m going to the store!”
Let’s not forget the semicolon, the mysterious and underappreciated member of the punctuation family. It’s like the James Bond of punctuation marks—sophisticated, elegant, and capable of connecting two independent clauses with effortless grace.
So, on this National Punctuation Day, let’s raise our pens and give thanks to these unsung heroes. They may be small, but they wield a mighty influence over our words. So, use them wisely, cherish them dearly, and remember: without punctuation, we’d all be lost in a sea of confusion. Happy National Punctuation Day!
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