New Research Shows the Negative Impact of Poverty on Children’s Brains

HumanBrain1By Elaine Magliaro

Jordan Weissmann has an interesting article over at Slate about recent research which shows that poor children have smaller brains than rich children. Weissmann noted that social scientists have found that “by the time children enter kindergarten, there is already a large academic achievement gap between students from wealthy and poor families.” He added, “We still don’t know exactly why that’s the case.” Some have sensed that the educational gap may have something to do “with the fact that affluent mothers and fathers have more intensive parenting sytles—they’re more likely to read to their kids…and have enough money to make sure their toddlers grow up well-nourished, generally cared for, and intellectually stimulated. At the same time, poor children often grow up in chaotic, food-insecure, stressful homes that aren’t conducive to a developing mind.”

Weissman said the new study, which was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, has added “an interesting biological twist to this issue.” The researchers used “MRI scans of more than 1,000 subjects between the ages of 3 and 20.” They found that children from poor families tended “to have somewhat smaller brains, on some dimensions” than children who grew up in affluent families.

Weissmann:

Specifically, low-income participants had less surface area on their cerebral cortexes—the gray matter responsible for skills such as language, problem solving, and other higher-order functions we generally just think of as human intelligence. Poorer indviduals in the study also fared worse on a battery of cognitive tests, and a statistical analysis suggested the disparities were related to brain dimensions.

CerebralCortex1 - Copy

In a Nature article titled Poverty shrinks brain from birth, (March 2015), Sara Reardon wrote the following:

The stress of growing up poor can hurt a child’s brain development starting before birth, research suggests — and even very small differences in income can have major effects on the brain.

Researchers have long suspected that children’s behaviour and cognitive abilities are linked to their socioeconomic status, particularly for those who are very poor. The reasons have never been clear, although stressful home environments, poor nutrition, exposure to industrial chemicals such as lead and lack of access to good education are often cited as possible factors.

In the largest study of its kind, published on 30 March in Nature Neuroscience1, a team led by neuroscientists Kimberly Noble from Columbia University in New York City and Elizabeth Sowell from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, California, looked into the biological underpinnings of these effects. They imaged the brains of 1,099 children, adolescents and young adults in several US cities. Because people with lower incomes in the United States are more likely to be from minority ethnic groups, the team mapped each child’s genetic ancestry and then adjusted the calculations so that the effects of poverty would not be skewed by the small differences in brain structure between ethnic groups.

The brains of children from the lowest income bracket — less than US$25,000 — had up to 6% less surface area than did those of children from families making more than US$150,000, the researchers found. In children from the poorest families, income disparities of a few thousand dollars were associated with major differences in brain structure, particularly in areas associated with language and decision-making skills. Children’s scores on tests measuring cognitive skills, such as reading and memory ability, also declined with parental income.

Reardon said that the study findings were in line with unpublished research “that scanned the brains of 44 African American girls, each approximately a month old, from various socioeconomic groups in Philadelphia.” She added that even “at this early age, the researchers found, infants in the lower socioeconomic brackets had smaller brains than their wealthier counterparts.”

Abstract of the Research Study published by Nature Neuroscience:

Socioeconomic disparities are associated with differences in cognitive development. The extent to which this translates to disparities in brain structure is unclear. We investigated relationships between socioeconomic factors and brain morphometry, independently of genetic ancestry, among a cohort of 1,099 typically developing individuals between 3 and 20 years of age. Income was logarithmically associated with brain surface area. Among children from lower income families, small differences in income were associated with relatively large differences in surface area, whereas, among children from higher income families, similar income increments were associated with smaller differences in surface area. These relationships were most prominent in regions supporting language, reading, executive functions and spatial skills; surface area mediated socioeconomic differences in certain neurocognitive abilities. These data imply that income relates most strongly to brain structure among the most disadvantaged children.

**********

This research should give people like Arne Duncan and the school reformers who believe that a focus on high-stakes testing in schools is somehow going to make our children smarter pause for thought. We need to address the problem that millions of children grow up in poor families in this country! Maybe we should look for new and better better ways to help the the children in the United States who live in poverty.

 

SOURCES

Poor Children May Have Smaller Brains Than Rich Children. Does That Tell Us Anything? (Slate)

Poverty shrinks brains from birth: Studies show that children from low-income families have smaller brains and lower cognitive abilities. (Nature)

This entry was posted in Education, Science, Society and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to New Research Shows the Negative Impact of Poverty on Children’s Brains

  1. rafflaw says:

    Very sad, but not surprising. Great article Elaine.

  2. Rather interesting article

  3. bron98 says:

    Ben Carson grew up dirt poor and so have many successful, brilliant people.

    If a child’s parents provide a loving, nurturing, stable environment, the amount of household income is immaterial.

  4. Elaine M. says:

    Ben Carson So Glad His Welfare Mom Wasn’t Dependent On Government
    http://wonkette.com/550031/ben-carson-so-glad-his-welfare-mom-wasnt-dependent-on-government

    Excerpt:
    Doctor Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon who thinks Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery, went on “The View” Tuesday and explained how we can Save America: “We have to help re-educate people about what America is,” a turn of phrase surely that no wingnut would ever freak out about. Perhaps camps could even be provided for the purpose. And what you need to do to help people realize their dream is to free them from the government’s neo-Marxist welfare teat. And what greater waste of human potential is there than the enslavement of getting help with food and healthcare? Luckily Dr. Carson can explain for us why welfare and food stamps that helped him as a child were the good kind of welfare and food stamps, as opposed to the moocher 47 percent freeloader kind you get today.

    When you rob someone of their incentive to go out there and improve themselves, you are not doing them any favors. When you take somebody and pat them on the head and say, ‘There, there, you poor little thing. … Let me give you housing subsidies, let me give you free health care because you can’t do that.’ What would be much more empowering is to use our intellect and our resources to give those people a way up and out.

    It’s so true — once you get on government assistance, your will to earn your own keep is sapped forever… Or look at Dr. Ben Carson, who despite being born into poverty, was miraculously untainted by the government assistance that his mother received, as Reading is For Snobs points out: “for some strange reason, the evil welfare system didn’t seem to destroy the incentive for his own mother to go out and make things better for her and her family”:

    No doubt, Mother Carson deserves tremendous credit, but — in the words of a political sound bite from the last presidential election — she didn’t do it alone. Carson, in his book, tells how his grades improved tremendously when a government program provided him with free eyeglasses because he could barely see. Not only that, in “Gifted Hands” we read this nugget: “By the time I reached ninth grade, mother had made such strides that she received nothing but food stamps. She couldn’t have provided for us and kept up the house without that subsidy.”

  5. Elaine M. says:

    “If a child’s parents provide a loving, nurturing, stable environment, the amount of household income is immaterial.”

    Even if the parents are so poor they can’t afford to provide proper nutrition for their children…or afford the rent for safe and healthy living quarters?

    You so easily dismiss these research findings. Do you even entertain the thought that they may be right?

  6. bron98 says:

    Elaine:

    Do you entertain the thought they might be wrong? Do you entertain the thought that there is some amount of personal responsibility involved?

    Plenty of immigrants came to this country with nothing and their children and grandchildren are doing just fine.

    I would say show me the studies of the poor who have intact families and then we can compare. These children are growing up in chaos, usually in single parent households.

    If you want to do something for these children get their fathers back in the house. Then we can talk about giving them more money.

  7. Elaine M. says:

    Bron,

    Is it the fault of the children if their parents aren’t responsible or nurturing or are too poor to provide sufficiently for their physical needs? Shall we visit the sins/problems of the parents upon their innocent children? It appears that that is what you are saying.

  8. Fathers may or may not have something to do with it. Any good research is going to be controlled for the obvious variables Bron mentions. May I suggest going to the original article.

    Because parental brain anatomy was correlated with that of the children, it suggests generational problems exist. Poverty begets poverty. Lack of education (and educational opportunity) begets low educational achievement and aspirations in children.

    It makes for dense reading, but the facts uncovered by the researchers are blunt in the extreme. Here is a link to the original study, made available in open source by Nature:
    http://www.nature.com/articles/nn.3983.epdf?referrer_access_token=0oBcyhgKSSNPk0Y1T-K_dtRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0PKOUzpGihL13qTYfaLM50c2QN44KzpEt7kZpCWJXS9vtyPhV4-S-MCbZGuUtbFf9qB3CI0WcON3SnSlNmytwz7j2AdVOqxgWSyalozpf2PqrgrebBwZyVbWW93-9G5wwXL3Fmnv5b23QFt1hDmP8NS7Ny1–4MNbhbHarcl8s8Bw%3D%3D&tracking_referrer=www.nature.com

  9. Elaine M. says:

    Chuck,

    I already provided a link to the abstract of the research study in the body of my post:
    http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/nn.3983.pdf

  10. Elaine,
    I stuck that in there in hopes that Bron would actually, you know, read it.
    It is a lot easier to find bumper sticker type solutions to highly complex problems than to actually research them. Especially if fixing the problem may cost money.

  11. Elaine M. says:

    Chuck,

    One thing that most of the school reformers have refused address is the negative effects of poverty on children’s ability to learn and to achieve in school. Of course, the are the folks who are really more interested in helping to privatize public education, abolish tenure, and weaken teacher unions.

  12. Bob Kauten says:

    Bron,
    How can the gummint get the fathers back in the house? I thought you were for personal freedom, and lack of regulation. These guys are irresponsible jackasses, who feel they owe nothing to society. They just aren’t billionaires, like the other irresponsible jackasses who feel they owe nothing to society.
    They’re just captains of industry, in training. You know, sociopaths, like Ayn Rand’s super-race.
    Good luck to ’em.

  13. Bob Kauten says:

    “Plenty of immigrants came to this country with nothing and their children and grandchildren are doing just fine.”
    Yes, the Mafia did really well, for example.

  14. po says:

    Perhaps growing up in poverty and the negative effect it has on brain development explains Ben Carson! Anyone ever checked that he is indeed a brain surgeon? Based on the inanity of his comments and ideas, he is in need of some form of brain surgery.

    The best thing a parent can give a child is a loving, stable home life. Poverty negates both. Worse yet, beside not having enough food to it, the poor have the worse diet possible. The advent of the fast food era has sold to the middle class families the idea that eating out is something to aspire to. Beside cheap fare and convenience, fast food offered a ticket into the American dream. Now the middle class is coming to its sense and knows the value of a home cooked meal using quality, natural ingredients, while the poor have abandoned home cooking completely having also embraced cheap fare and convenience. Fast food has a strong negative effect on health, which affects the child forever.
    I have read before of chemicals released in the body due to stress, fear and anxiety. Those chemicals affect both health and cognitive development, and are present in the child whose live is affected by lack and over stimulation, whether dietary or environmental, all of which, again, are present in poor areas in abundance.
    Additionally, the main difference between the middle class and the poor class is the luxury of spending time with one’s children, talking to them, teaching them, the constant positive interaction that is said to be one of the best tools for boosting the cognitive development of a child. generally, the children of the poor are neither dreamt nor planned, they just happen, further straining the pocket of the parent.
    Poverty is fear, it is stress, it is lack of things, it is lack of time, whether quantity or quality, it is lack of exposure to the outer world…all of which affect cognitive development….

  15. bron98 says:

    I’ll take Thomas Sowell’s view on this. by the time Johnson initiated his [not so] Great Society program the poor in this country comprised about 15% of the population. After 50 years and trillions of dollars, there are more poor people.

    Throwing money at the problem is not going to change the problem. The problem is not the amount of money spent. Change the behavior of the poor.

    Poor people aren’t the only ones who have low expectations and absent fathers. I just met a person this weekend who has lived a wasted life because he had money and weird parents.
    He has done absolutely nothing in his life. He just exists.

  16. Bob Kauten says:

    bron,

    Thanks for the reference to Thomas Sowell. I needed to read the spewings of yet another ignorant ass. Of course you would adopt his viewpoint, having none of your own.
    Were you born ignorant,
    or
    did you have ignorance thrust upon you,
    or
    did you achieve ignorance through great personal sacrifice?

    I suspect all three.

    “The current problems facing blacks in America owe more to the Great Society than to slavery.”
    -Ignorant ass Thomas Sowell
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/392842/legacy-liberalism-thomas-sowell

    “The problem is not the amount of money spent. Change the behavior of the poor.”
    -bron

    Equally stupid statements? Hard to choose between them.

    “Always blame the victim, troglodyte.”
    -I said that

  17. Mike Spindell says:

    “Poverty is fear, it is stress, it is lack of things, it is lack of time, whether quantity or quality, it is lack of exposure to the outer world…all of which affect cognitive development….”

    Po,
    Elegantly put and true. When it comes to Blacks and Native Americans a good deal of that poverty came from a disparity of citizenship status due to slavery, Jim Crow and outright genocide.

    “The best thing a parent can give a child is a loving, stable home life. Poverty negates both. Worse yet, beside not having enough food to it, the poor have the worse diet possible.”

    All of these elements factor into brain development.

  18. Mike Spindell says:

    “I’ll take Thomas Sowell’s view on this. by the time Johnson initiated his [not so] Great Society program the poor in this country comprised about 15% of the population. After 50 years and trillions of dollars, there are more poor people.”

    Bron,
    This merely shows how someone with a great education and accomplishments can be truly ignorant at the same time, due to an ideology that filters out facts. To blame LBJ’s “Great Society” for causing more poverty is to ignore history in service to your politics. Something that you seem to have little difficulty in doing yourself.

  19. bron98 says:

    Bobby K:

    Did I blame the victim? No, I said change their behavior. You liberals changed their behavior by giving them free shit or by not applying conditions conducive to behavior modification. So now we have generations of ignorant poor people who cannot do shit for themselves.

    Thomas Sowell is a lot less an ignorant ass than your buddy Karl Marx, usually human beings give up that fantasy of the free crib and breast feedings by 2 or 3. By 16 they realize that the world doesn’t owe them a living and they get on with their lives. Liberalism tends to maintain the free crib and breast feeding into adulthood [Marx himself suckled at Engle’s breast for the majority of his life].

    Want to ruin a child and turn him/her into a worthless adult? Give them money with no strings attached and take away any responsibility for negative behavior. Works almost every time unless they wake up and run like hell from their destroyer.

    It is funny how Marx appeals to the sons and daughters of the wealthy and to the non-working poor. Well not really, I just explained it in the paragraph above.

    Harvard grads and Pruitt-Igoe, a match made in hell. And the Ivy league just keeps giving us more and more of this insanity.

  20. Po,
    Well put. Stress is a major factor, and growing up in poverty adds to stress. The late Dr. Hans Selye of McGill University was an endocrinologist and neuroscientist. He was the researcher who first applied the term “stress” to living organisms more than eighty years ago. He borrowed the term from physics.

    He studied the effects of stress on organ systems. The stressors were harmless in and of themselves. For example a loud noise or blast of compressed air at feeding time. He placed a female in estrus in a cage with males, but the male had to cross a wire mesh that gave a mild electric shock in order to get to the female.

    Upon autopsy, the experimental animals were found to have damaged and shrunken organs.

    The equally matched control groups showed no such damage.

    Dr. Selye coined the term General Adaptation Syndrome, or GAS. Continual environmental stressors leads to a three stage physical response:
    1. Alarm
    2. Resistance
    3. Exhaustion

    “Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older.”
    – Hans Selye, MD, PhD

  21. Mike Spindell says:

    “No, I said change their behavior. You liberals changed their behavior by giving them free shit or by not applying conditions conducive to behavior modification. So now we have generations of ignorant poor people who cannot do shit for themselves.”

    Bron,
    You ignore slavery, you ignore broken treaties that forced Native Americans onto Reservations and you ignore Jim Crow laws. “Ignore-rance” is bliss to those of your mindset.

  22. bron98 says:

    so now we are comparing the poor to animals in a cage? what next, call for their extermination?

  23. Mike Spindell says:

    The kind of program guys like Sowell would hate, preferring instead to cut taxes further: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/20/anti-poverty-programs_n_7087622.html

  24. bron98 says:

    “But the main focus is improving relationships within the family, particularly between the parents and children, through a combination of advice and therapy. ”

    Yeah Mike, change their behavior. Which is what I said above.

  25. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    You wrote: “Did I blame the victim? No, I said change their behavior.”

    You are missing the point. The VICTIMS ARE THE CHILDREN who grow up in poverty. What behavior of theirs do you think should be changed?

  26. bron98 says:

    http://dailysignal.com/2015/04/19/these-blue-states-have-tried-the-elizabeth-warren-model-their-residents-are-fleeing/

    States are supposed to be laboratories of democracy, right? These laboratories are providing us with concrete evidence that Robin Hood policies don’t help make the poor richer, they make most people poorer. In other words, the blue states have tried the Elizabeth Warren “progressive” agenda and people are voting with their feet by fleeing in droves. The kinds of income redistribution policies that Warren and others endorse can only work by building a Berlin Wall so no one can leave—though I hope I’m not giving them any ideas.

  27. bron98 says:

    Elaine:

    No, you are missing the point. The parents are every bit as much a victim of progressive policies as their children.

  28. Bob Kauten says:

    bron,
    “Did I blame the victim? No, I said change their behavior.”
    So the victim’s behavior is to blame.
    Now you’ve reiterated blaming the victim.
    If you could think logically, you’d see that you’re contradicting yourself.
    Of course, in your case, the poor aren’t the victim, you are.
    Because so much of your hard-earned money, which you manufactured without any contact or assistance from society, goes to taxes. Taxes that you just can’t survive.
    Poor victim.
    The only thing that the poor need to be changed, is that they need to be born into luxury, like all the folks you admire. That’ll change their behavior.
    They’ll stop asking for handouts at welfare offices, and buy legislators to give them handouts.
    Karl Marx? Some dead dude from the nineteenth century?
    You’re the only person who’s obsessed with him. No one else cares.
    You’re still stuck fighting imaginary battles from the early 1950s.
    Still shouting “communist!” at anyone that’s not as selfish as you are.
    Nobody cares about communists, any more. Save you.

  29. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    This article was about the negative impact of poverty on young children’s brains. The children are the victims in this sad story. What do you recommend the children do so that their brains develop properly?

  30. Bron sez, “so now we are comparing the poor to animals in a cage? what next, call for their extermination?”
    *****************************
    You are straining at gnats. Straw man and deflection fallacies.

    It is easier for you to ignore eight decades of research into the physiological effects of chronic unremitting stress than it is to take an honest look at the truth. As for animals. In case you haven’t checked recently, homo sapiens is an animal too. Mammal, to be specific.

  31. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    This is the last paragraph of my post:

    “This research should give people like Arne Duncan and the school reformers who believe that a focus on high-stakes testing in schools is somehow going to make our children smarter pause for thought. We need to address the problem that millions of children grow up in poor families in this country! Maybe we should look for new and better better ways to help the the children in the United States who live in poverty.”

    *****

    I object to MY tax dollars going to pay for the school reforms that have been instituted in the last 15-20 years: billions for high stakes testing of our children, iPads/computers so children can take tests online, charter schools, school vouchers for private schools. Those reforms will not help the children who grow up in poverty. It a waste of our wealth.

  32. Mike Spindell says:

    “In other words, the blue states have tried the Elizabeth Warren “progressive” agenda and people are voting with their feet by fleeing in droves.”

    Bron,
    The man you quoted in your link Stephen Moore is an employee of the Koch Bros. via the Heritage Foundation and before of Rupert Murdoch via the Wall Street Journal. He is a long time analinguist of the very rich and that is how he makes his living. Besides that, the article is a really dumb mixture of lies, political posturing and conflation.

  33. pete says:

    (to link with what Mike said)

    The article has no foot notes or end notes to back up the claims made.

  34. Elaine M. says:

    Bron,

    What IS the Elizabeth Warren progressive agenda that blue states have tried? She has served in the US Senate for just a little over two years.

  35. bron98 says:

    Bob:

    I don’t blame someone who may not know better. Change their behavior is not the same as blaming them. I am not putting a value judgment on their behavior, clearly it is hurting them so it is negative behavior for them.

    In the world of responsibility your actions or inactions have consequences, something that welfare has removed from the equation. Welfare has created a whole class of people who are crippled, who cannot function on any but the barest minimum level of existence. And you think that it is alright for a human being to exist on a plane slightly above a caged animal?

    The poor should fear your kind.

  36. bron98 says:

    Dr. Stanley:

    I am sure I can find a study to show the opposite although I do know that high levels of stress can cause problems. People who work for big companies have a good deal of stress. The private sector is stressful too. Animals in the wild are under stress from predators.

    All animals experience high levels of stress, it cant be that bad for us or we would all be dead. Human animals should be able to learn how to control their stress. I am talking about day to day, not battlefield or crime victim stress.

  37. bron98 says:

    Bob:

    “Still shouting “communist!” at anyone that’s not as selfish as you are.
    Nobody cares about communists, any more. Save you.”

    Sure they do, you guys just repackage the same shitty ideas and call them something else.

    Wake up, your operating principles suck.

    I am selfish, I want to take care of my family and friends. Don’t progressives say think globally and act locally?

  38. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    Form the Mayo Clinic:

    Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987?reDate=20042015

    Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit.

    Common effects of stress

    Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

  39. Elaine M. says:

    From the American Psychological Association:

    How Stress Affects Your Health
    http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress.aspx

    Excerpt:
    Chronic stress

    When stress starts interfering with your ability to live a normal life for an extended period, it becomes even more dangerous. The longer the stress lasts, the worse it is for both your mind and body. You might feel fatigued, unable to concentrate or irritable for no good reason, for example. But chronic stress causes wear and tear on your body, too.

    Stress can make existing problems worse.2 In one study, for example, about half the participants saw improvements in chronic headaches after learning how to stop the stress-producing habit of “catastrophizing,” or constantly thinking negative thoughts about their pain.3 Chronic stress may also cause disease, either because of changes in your body or the overeating, smoking and other bad habits people use to cope with stress. Job strain — high demands coupled with low decision-making latitude — is associated with increased risk of coronary disease, for example.4 Other forms of chronic stress, such as depression and low levels of social support, have also been implicated in increased cardiovascular risk. And once you’re sick, stress can also make it harder to recover. One analysis of past studies, for instance, suggests that cardiac patients with so-called “Type D” personalities — characterized by chronic distress — face higher risks of bad outcomes.5

  40. Bron,
    The horse is gone on the subject of stress causing organ shrinkage, endocrine system damage, and on and on. For every study you might find to the contrary, I can come up with a few hundred from every civilized country in the world.

    Stress because of work can indeed make on ill or even kill. The Japanese have a word for it: 過労死(Karōshi) which means “death from overwork.”

    However, we know that grinding poverty causes stress. Poor people tend to die younger; their bodies and minds aged beyond their chronological years. If we know there is a statistically supportable correlation between poverty, lack of education and brain shrinkage, then it is imperative we do something about it.

    Reality check: China has a population of 327.2 million people under 24 years of age.

    India has over 500 million people in the under 24 age group.

    Know what that means? Those two countries have more young people potentially eligible for membership in Mensa than we have kids.

    If this country is to even stay in the same game with those emerging countries, we damn well better get our act together better than we are doing now. The middle class is shrinking, while the poverty class is growing.

    Programs designed to stimulate instead of stunt kids curiosity. “No child left behind” is/was definitely not it. Neither is Pearson and their enablers trying to come up with new ways to drain money out of school funding into their own coffers.

    Adequate food for them. Oftentimes, the meals served at school are all a kid has to eat that day. School food should be as good and as nutritious as what is served in a good restaurant. You guys don’t really want to get me started on the relationship between diet and healthy brains. Good does not have to mean expensive. It does mean better training for food service staff, and more care in food preparation.

  41. Bron,
    All I had to see was the link you posted was from ALEC, the wholly owned and operated political arm of Koch Industries. If I am looking for science, I look to professional journals on the topic. I don’t look to professional propagandists for truth or facts.

  42. Bob Kauten says:

    bron,
    Keep flailing, if it makes you feel better.
    You lost this one.
    You made the mistake of engaging with people who actually think.
    You’re way out of your class.
    Quoting ALEC is the stupidest thing you could possibly do.
    But of course, you’re unaware of that, aren’t you?
    Sell your bullshit to RIL. They’ll believe absolutely anything.
    Time for you to move to another topic of which you can be ignorant.
    You’ve proved it here, your job is done.

  43. bron98 says:

    I put the smiley face on my reply to pete because I am well aware of your disdain for ALEC.

    However their metrics can be verified.

    ” In terms of migration gains, increasingly prominent are North and South Carolina and Tennessee, and even Washington. The biggest losing states are again as they have been for some time: New York, Illinois, New Jersey, California (to other states in the west), Pennsylvania, and Michigan.”

    http://www.newgeography.com/content/004847-recent-population-change-us-states-2012-2014

    Which is what Laffer and the others are saying.

    So to summarize, less free states are losing population to more free states. I hope that is not too simple for your complex minds to comprehend.

  44. Bron,
    Laffer? Really? He is the guy who made the “Con” in “economics” mean something. Reagan’s favorite pseudoscientist. I have no idea what a “less free” and “more free” state means in the real world. Population shifts happen for all kinds of reasons. I moved from an urban to rural area for a couple of reasons. I got tired of the traffic, crowded streets, rushing all the time, and pollution. Rural areas live at a slower pace and being outdoors is more fun.

    For example, I can go about five minutes in any direction and come to a trout stream. Twenty minutes and I am in a National Forest, teeming with wildlife, not wild life.

  45. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    You provided a link to an article critical of Elizabeth Warren’s progressive agenda. What do you think of Sam Brownback’s “regressive” agenda in Kansas? How’s that working out for the Sunflower state?

  46. Elaine M. says:

    Neurocognitive impacts for children of poverty and neglect
    Children who grow up in low income households and who have experienced neglect are at risk for difficulties with cognitive and academic achievement
    By Ashlee Loughan, MEd and Robert Perna, PhD
    July 2012
    http://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/newsletter/2012/07/neurocognitive-impacts.aspx

    Excerpt:
    Most human brain growth occurs during our first 6 years of life. Extending through early childhood, there are many factors which continue to be relevant to brain development. High levels of nutrition, appropriate stimulation, and attention and emotional support all help contribute to healthy brain growth, maximize its productivity and essentially prepares the mind for future learning capability. However, many aspects of a child’s environment can adversely affect maximum brain functioning. Two significant and negative environmental factors are poverty and neglect. Research substantiates the negative effects poverty can have on a child’s brain including development, learning and academic performance. Numerous studies have documented that low-income children, as young as age two, perform worse across cognitive measures (Duncan & Brooks-Gunn 1997; Feinstein 2003). Smith and colleagues (1997), using data from two national datasets, demonstrated that family poverty was significantly correlated with lower scores across cognitive and academic readiness in preschool-aged children (ages three to four). This held true even after controlling for the effect of mother’s education, family structure, ethnicity, birth weight and gender. As children enter and progress through school, the kids living in poor families continue to perform worse on indices of school achievement. Specifically, poor children were twice as likely to have repeated a grade, to have been expelled or suspended from school, or to have dropped out of high school. Poor children were also 1.4 times as likely to be identified as having a learning disability in elementary or high school than their non-poor counterparts.

  47. Bob Kauten says:

    Migration from CA has nothing to do with freedom. It has to do with overpopulation and sky-high real estate (“free market” forces). Middle-class and poor are being “free marketed” out of the state by greedy landlords and real-estate agents.
    An excess of greed freedom.
    Know why the real-estate is so high?
    Because everyone wants to live here.
    But we’re running out of water, again due to lack of regulation (freedom) of water use.
    Rich bitches in southern CA, and agriculture, both squander water. Most of CA is desert in its natural state. No snow in the mountains (due to the global warming hoax, no doubt) means no water. But long droughts are very frequent, in CA. It’s a desert, as I said. Too early to blame it on global warming.
    Laffer’s name describes the most prudent reaction to anything he says.

    The actual reasons for events are far too complex for your simple “mind” to comprehend, bron.

  48. bron98 says:

    Actually Bob, you are wrong about Cali. They have restrictive land use regulations in many cities.

    The democrats in Sacramento along with the environmentalists have been restricting reservoir construction and diverting water away from agriculture.

    This sort of stuff is simple, you need to build reservoirs, reduce land use restrictions and other things which will actually create a free market.

    I guess there must be a lot of morons in CA since you have the entire pacific ocean on your doorstep. Just as dumb as fucking turkeys, they could drown in a rainstorm by looking up and not closing their mouths.

  49. Bob Kauten says:

    Wow, bron,
    I live here. You don’t. You don’t know what’s happening within a 3-foot radius, much less what’s happening in CA.
    Everything’s simple to you, isn’t it? Why do you suppose that is?
    Oh, wait…if you were capable of supposing anything, you wouldn’t spew ignorance all over this blog.
    Come on out here and drink from the pacific ocean.
    Then wait a few hours, and explain to me who the moron is.
    I guess you’d be an expert on fucking turkeys. Why do you think it’s dumb for you to do that?
    Maybe you should stop?
    Ask your friend Laffer to explain it all to you.

  50. bron98 says:

    Bob:

    just remove the salts.

  51. “just remove the salts”
    **************************************
    Holy crap! “JUST”?!?!?

    Desalination of sea water costs at least $2,000 per acre/foot. That is four times the cost of already proven conservation methods. It is not particularly healthy for the environment and risks fish kills. To keep desalination operations from killing fish, a major food source, that costs extra.

    A major source of water comes from snow-melt runoff. As the global climate slowly warms, mountainside snow is thinner and in many places nonexistent.

    Can we come dump the leftover salt in your back yard?

  52. bron98 says:

    sure, I am on city water.

  53. bron98 says:

    http://www.weather.com/climate-weather/drought/news/california-sierra-snowpack-record-low-april-2015

    San Diego is building a 1 billion dollar desalination plant.

    I guess Bob didn’t know that either. What do you know, Bob? It doesn’t seem like much.

  54. Bob Kauten says:

    Nope, I didn’t know that San Diego is building a 1 billion dollar desalination plant. It’s projected to provide 7% of San Diego’s water needs. Is that what’s called “a drop in the bucket”?
    Anyone living in CA would read that, and say, “And?”
    “The high costs have made it difficult to find a buyer for Poseidon’s water in Orange County.”
    And everything Chuck said, and more:
    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/water-658616-desalination-county.html

    The power needed for this energy-gobbler will greatly increase greenhouse gases, which, guess what, make us all warmer. And less snow in the mountains.
    But, of course, global warming is just a hoax.
    No bron, I don’t know shit. You certainly do.

    Got any more trivial factoids to revile us with?

  55. Bob,
    I knew about the desalinization plant. Their data was where I got that $2,000 per acre/foot cost for water. It is also where I got the concern about fish kills. Having had a home aquarium in the past, I am keenly aware of how sensitive fish are to even minor changes in PH, saline levels, and temperature. They make the canary in the coal mine look crude by comparison. However, canaries are not a major part of the food supply.

    Another casualty of global warming and increasing drought is the Salton Sea. Story below in this news article:

  56. Bob Kauten says:

    Chuck,
    I thought you probably knew about that particular plant, because your dollar-figure was identical.
    I’m baffled by how they’d dispose of all that salt. I’m sure the human concentration off San Diego is already making life difficult for sea creatures. The builders can’t just say, “We’ll develop some sort of technology to deal with all the salt,” like they did for nuclear reactors. It’s quite possible that there isn’t any good way to deal with all the salt. Don’t produce it, in the first place.
    Not only are canaries not a significant link in the food chain. Their survival, or demise, will not help the water problem.
    As some folks in the article said, desalination is just a distraction to avoid thinking about how we’re going to deal with less water.
    If San Diego wants to reduce its population to 7% of what it is now, desalination will very temporarily provide water. Then, the bills will come rolling in, and 7% of San Diego’s present population will have to pay. As is, I wonder where the billion-plus (construction costs always increase dramatically) dollars are coming from, in tax-averse southern CA.
    I guess a practical solution would be to allow dehydration to reduce San Diego’s population. We do it to all the other species, why not?
    “What’s all this I hear about Preservation of the Feces?”
    -Emily Litella

  57. Bob Kauten says:

    C’mon, Chuck,
    That Salton Sea video did NOT cheer me up!

  58. Bob,
    The thing that made me wonder about what they would actually do with the salt and other debris from that desalination plant was my own experience. If you recall my story of the Overmountain Men, I included a photo of my gggg-grandfather’s tombstone. Robert S. Brashears old home place is in Roane County, TN.

    What is the significance of Roane County?

    Roane County, Tennessee is where, shortly after midnight December 22, 2008, a dyke owned by TVAs power generating plant ruptured, allowing 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash to escape.This story from USA Today (with embedded video) tells the story five years out. Billions of dollars later, the cleanup is still not complete. Truth be told, the cleanup will never be complete, because what they are doing is a cosmetic cleanup. Those rivers, lakes and properties will never be truly clean again.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/22/coal-ash-spill/4143995/

  59. bron98 says:

    2,000/acre foot amounts to 0.006 dollars per gallon. An acre foot of water is 328,851.5 gallons.

    so for every hundred gallons of water it costs $0.62. That is 62 cents. That works out to about $18/person per month based on US government stats for water usage.

  60. bron98 says:

    The modern sea was accidentally created by the engineers of the California Development Company in 1905. In an effort to increase water flow into the area for farming, irrigation canals were dug from the Colorado River into the valley.

    Another casualty of global warming and increasing drought is the Salton Sea. Story below in this news article:

    The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in California’s Imperial and Coachella valleys.

    The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside counties in Southern California. Its surface is 234.0 ft (71.3 m)[1] below sea level. The deepest point of the sea is 5 ft (1.5 m) higher than the lowest point of Death Valley. The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo rivers, as well as agricultural runoff, drainage systems, and creeks.

    The modern sea was accidentally created by the engineers of the California Development Company in 1905. In an effort to increase water flow into the area for farming, irrigation canals were dug from the Colorado River into the valley. Due to fears of silt buildup, a cut was made in the bank of the Colorado River to further increase the water flow. The resulting outflow overwhelmed the engineered canal, and the river flowed into the Salton Basin for two years, filling the historic dry lake bed and creating the modern sea, before repairs were completed.[2] While it varies in dimensions and area with fluctuations in agricultural runoff and rainfall, the Salton Sea averages 15 miles (24 km) by 35 miles (56 km). With an estimated surface area of 343 square miles (890 km2) or 350 square miles (910 km2), the Salton Sea is the largest lake in California.[3][4] The average annual inflow is less than 1,200,000 acre feet (1,500,000 dam3), which is enough to maintain a maximum depth of 44 feet (13 m) and a total volume of about 6,000,000 acre feet (7,400,000 dam3). However, due to changes in water apportionments agreed upon for the Colorado River under the Quantification Settlement Agreement of 2003, the overall water level of the Sea is expected to decrease significantly between 2013 and 2021.[5]

  61. po says:

    Chuck
    Great point about desalination. I too live in California, and in my area too there has been much talk about building a plant. they have been pushing along without having the environmental and economic answers we need.
    I wrote to the paper offering a solution that would go a long way towards helping solve our urban water woes, and it consists mainly of a residential greywater grid, either individually based or communal.
    The city/counties would require every new or remodeled home/building to include water cisterns to collect rainwater (its crazy how much water rolls off one roof during a thunderstorm), along with allowing/encouraging the reuse of filtered sink and shower water for uses beside consumption and hygiene related.
    Every time I flush the toilet with clean, potable water, some part of me dies right there.
    Ultimately though, as long as big agriculture and industry use 90% of the water, every solution is merely a drop in that bucket.

Comments are closed.