“Your Southern Garden”

first_imgPropagating plants from seed, identifying invasive vines and growing pretty peonies in the South will all be covered on “Your Southern Garden” with Walter Reeves May 8 at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Georgia Public Broadcasting.University of Florida horticulturist Tom Wichman will reveal the secret to successfully propagating plants from seed. Then, host Walter Reeves will show a simple tip for picking up tiny seed. When two similar invasive vines show up in Reeves’ landscape, he goes on a mission to identify creeping cucumber and golden passionvine. And, if you think peonies can only be grown up North, Reeves has some tips for Southern success. Finally, Nancy McDonald, a greenhouse owner who specializes in houseplants, shows how to choose houseplants that will thrive in different conditions.“Your Southern Garden,” produced by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UF IFAS Extension, is a one-of-a-kind program specifically for the Southeast. The program is made possible by underwriter support from Scotts Miracle-Gro and sponsorship from McCorkle Nurseries.last_img read more

Study: Production costs key in closure of Appalachian coal mines

first_imgStudy: Production costs key in closure of Appalachian coal mines FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):A new working paper focused on Appalachia coal mines concludes that mounting production costs were responsible for far more closures than [falling] natural gas prices in the time period they studied.“We used a model to analyze these different scenarios, and what comes out of it is, rather than these different demand-side factors, which have been recently attributed as the biggest heartache for Appalachia mining firms, we actually found that it was their own production costs that were likely the biggest drivers of the industry’s decline in that region,” said Brett Jordan, a postdoctoral researcher at the University Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research and the lead author of the paper.The paper modeled mine closure decisions as a function of expected profitability and concluded that between 2002 and 2012 — a period that largely precedes a boom in Marcellus shale development that flooded Appalachia and surrounding regions with abundant and cheap natural gas —about two-thirds of observed coal mine closures were caused by declining profits. Some of the factors leading to reduced profits include lower worker productivity, higher health and safety costs, and higher bonding costs. Natural gas prices and reduced electricity consumption independently explain about one-third of the mine closures in the observed period, the report concludes.The new working paper from Jordan and his co-authors found that between 2002 and 2012, the real per-ton extraction costs in Appalachia had nearly doubled, with companies attributing factors such as the price of machine capital, steel, replacement parts, labor and diesel fuel in their public filings. Companies mining in the region have also increasingly pointed to tightening environmental and labor regulations as the depletion of coal reserves continues to push these companies into thinner and lower-quality seams of coal in the region.“The conclusion that declining mine productivity explains more closures than declining coal demand is perhaps surprising, given the focus of the literature and public debate on demand rather than supply-side factors,” the paper said. “However, this conclusion is consistent with the magnitudes of the shocks. During the sample period, declining productivity reduced annual operating profits three times as much as did lower natural gas prices or electricity consumption.”Had there not been such a drastic change in productivity, coal prices may have been sufficiently low for coal-fired plants to be competitive with natural gas plants, the report’s authors wrote.More ($): Study points to supply-side costs as biggest driver of Appalachia’s coal woeslast_img read more

Press Freedom Day: Journalists want more freedom

first_imgWorld Press Freedom Day, is an annual observance established by the United Nations in 1993 to support and celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom.The U.N. said World Press Freedom Day is also an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom – a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even killed.It has been a ghastly year for the media, as we look back on World Press Freedom Day.Headlines are filled with gruesome attacks, notably the beheadings of James Foley, Stephen Sotloff and Kenji Goto, and the murderous assault on Charlie Hebdo.The deaths of Foley and Sotloff, both kidnapped by Islamic State (also known as ISIS) while working as freelance reporters in Syria, prompted reporters and advocates to create voluntary guidelines for media outlets to work more safely with freelancers in conflict areas.Back in Africa, Media experts have faulted increasing attack on journalists, summoning of editors and retrogressive laws in Kenya as the World marks World Press Freedom Day.MoSound, an East Africa events company, is set to debut our new awards program that will honor the best quality, most innovative content, and rising platforms that are changing the face of Africa.As the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day, Amnesty International says media freedom has increasingly come under attack in many countries across Africa.The rights based organisation has made a strong call to governments to ensure journalists can do their work without fear or intimidation.Amnesty International says journalism is not a crime and state security agencies, particularly in South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe must stop targeting journalists for exposing corruption. More journalists have lost their lives on the path to bringing you newslast_img read more