West of Fredricksburg for 100 miles to the edge of the forest the desert has arrived. Fully half of the trees in that region are defoliated from drought (only a small amount is from oak wilt)
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La Politica | Texas Will Be The Hub For Latino Growth In Next Decade By Sara Ines Calderon (Dec. 27, 2011) – A new analysis from Real Clear Politics estimates that Texas will gain three new congressional seats after the 2020 Census. And attorney Michael Li noted in a blog post on the Burnt Orange Report:
The Census Bureau has not yet released demographic or geographic information on its 2011 population growth estimates – that’ll come next year. But if recent trends hold up, about 2/3 of that growth will be Hispanic.Forbes | More Proof That The American For-Profit Insurance Model is Doomed By Rick Ungar (Dec. 28, 2011) – Recently, I published a piece arguing that the medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements of Obamacare would spell the end of the private, for-profit health insurance payer system in the United States and clear the way for universal, single-payer coverage provided by the federal government.
The MLR requires that insurance companies selling to small groups and individuals spend 80 percent of premium dollars received on actual health care (not administrative costs or profits) and 85 percent for large group policies.
. . . a report issued this week by, of all places, the conservative Galen Institute, reveals that you can’t judge the long-term viability of an industry by its current share price. Indeed, the results of the Galen study highlight that the exodus of insurance companies from the health insurance business may be happening far more quickly than I imagined.
We have been building up to this point since about the turn of the century, and now ecosystems have tipped over the edge. Climate feedbacks have kicked in hard.
The Texas Forest Services tells us that a half billion trees have died. Many more will die in the next five to 10 years from disease and insect infestation allowed by the damage that has already been done. These are the trees that have died in the drought, not the fires.