Friday Roundup: Nukes, Buffett and Migration

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Where are our nuclear generating plants? Are they near places that have a high probability of being affected by earthquakes?

The Center for Public Integrity produced the map above. It shows the nukes (little black triangles; blue triangles are proposed plants) and the areas where there are greater risks of seismic activity. 

White areas have very low chance of strong shaking. Moderate possibility of shaking exists in areas colored blue, green and yellow. The orange, pink and red areas have the highest possibilities of heavy shaking from earthquakes.

Here’s a review of a new book about the “largest migration in history,” that being from rural to urban across the world. It’s called Arrival City and it was written by the European bureau chief for the Toronto newspaper The Globe and Mail, Doug Saunders. 

Saunders sees this great migration from the countryside to the “arrival city” as a good thing. According to the review:

“These places are slowly mopping up the world’s remaining rural peasants, in a way that benefits both the cities and villages left behind. The new urban dwellers lift the economies of cities and help their villages by wiring money home. ‘Each year, rural Bangladesh receives almost $11 billion in remittances from migrants and their descendants living abroad,’ Mr. Saunders writes, ‘a sum equivalent to all of Bangladesh’s export earnings.’

Arrival cities “are not causing population growth; in fact, they are ending it,” he notes. “When villagers migrate to the city, their family size drops.”

• Supporters of National Public Radio continue to use rural stations as the reason why federal funding should be continued. The House voted yesterday to end all federal support. 

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, said that “what (the bill) does is harm small, rural stations” that depend on federal funds.

We haven’t seen any figures on this. We do know that the Austin station ended its support of a transmitter in the West Texas city of San Angelo long before this controversy arose.

Here is a story in the L.A. Times that has some anecdotal evidence.  But does anyone in Yonder-land know if rural public radio stations get a higher percentage of their funding from federal sources?

• Michelle Obama was back at it, planting the White House garden with beets, broccoli, swiss chard, arugula (of course) and other spring vegetables. Still no corn — the First Lady pointedly left corn out of the garden last year. 

We read that she has signed a contract to write a book about healthy eating. 

• Here’s something cities and rural communities both lack: enough grocery stores.

A Tulane University study found that 60 percent of low-income residents in New Orleans lived more than three miles from a supermarket, but that only 58% had a car. The city has helped set up a low-interest loan fund for people who will set up groceries in underserved areas — a program that works just as well in rural areas. 

• DTN’s Urban Lehner notes that investor Warren Buffett intends to push money into his company’s railroad investments:

Also of interest to agriculture in the latest Buffett-gram are his comments on Berkshire Hathaway’s 2010 acquisition of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad. Many farmers and agribusiness people worry about the nation’s deteriorating transportation infrastructure. Buffett says BNSF will “invest massively” and has the resources to do so. “However slow the economy, or chaotic the markets, our checks will clear.”

• Upstate, rural school districts would be hurt the most by education cuts proposed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

 

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