What Could Be Hurricane Ian’s Economic Impact

What Could Be Hurricane Ian’s Economic Impact

Bicycles are wrapped around a tree after Hurricane Ian on September 29, 2022 in Bonita Springs, Florida. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

By AJ Fabino

Approximately 1 million properties in Florida’s west coast, including Naples and Punta Gorda, could sustain significant damage caused by Hurricane Ian, totaling $258 billion in replacement costs, according to a recent analysis.

Florida as a whole has a major economic impact on the United States. The Sunshine State has the fourth-highest nominal GDP in the nation, larger than all but 15 nations, and would rank after Mexico and before Indonesia if it were a sovereign state.

A storm damaged building after Hurricane Ian on September 29, 2022 in Bonita Springs, Florida. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Jim Long, finance professor at Friends University in Witchita, Kansas says the effects of Hurricane Ian will slow down the supply chain for Florida’s top exports, which include aircraft engines, engine parts, cell phones, and integrated circuits (processors/controllers) for at least nine weeks.

“[Supply chain disruptions] are almost like being in a traffic jam”, the professor said. “You sit for a certain amount of time — in this case, nine weeks — and cars start moving; you don’t start moving, it depends on how far back you are in the chain.”

Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm, made landfall in Louisiana in 2021 and set a new record for intensity and damage, trailing only Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Ida caused $75 billion in losses, and the money to reconstruct infrastructure and aid displaced families in repairing their homes came from federal relief programs and nonprofit organizations.

In addition to the state’s many closed fuel terminals, heavy winds and flooding prevent truck delivery in many locations.

Distributors of fuel in the state have issued a warning about the protracted wait periods for resupplying homes and businesses with diesel for generators. Ninety percent of the fuel in the state is delivered to four ports on barges, therefore a protracted disruption in maritime transportation could jeopardize the supply, according to an economic threat analysis.

In 2017, Hurricane Irma slammed Florida’s southwest coast, where Ian landed.

Phosphogypsum, a radioactive byproduct created during the production of phosphate fertilizer, leaked into Florida’s Lake Okeechobee as a result of the storm, and it then flowed back into the Gulf of Mexico.

In this aerial view, a neighborhood remains flooded near downtown after Hurricane Ian on September 29, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

Algae blooms are caused by phosphogypsum and its toxicity. When the blooms die, red tide results, which tragically kills marine life.

As red tide has moved in, a owner said: “I have no way of knowing if this is going to last two weeks or four more months.” 

She said. “This may shut us down permanently.”

According to the National Center for Coastal Ocean Science, the red tide event’s projected total economic impact (including direct, indirect, and induced consequences) was $318 million due to the disruption of the Airbnb market.

2,876 jobs were lost throughout the entire state. 

Produced in association with Benzinga.

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Air Pollution Worsens The Financial Damage Of Climate Change

Air Pollution Worsens The Financial Damage Of Climate Change

Financial damage: Air pollution harms the world economy because of its negative effect on human health, agriculture and infrastructure. (Golden Dayz via Shutterstock)

By Mark Waghorn

Air pollution increases the financial damage of climate change by up to two-thirds, according to new research from the USA. The study revealed that in some cases, smog raises the social cost of carbon by as much as 66 percent.

The measurement is used to help governments determine the benefits of a proposed policy. It includes the effects on human health, economies and agriculture. Study lead author Dr. Geeta Persad, of the University of Texas at Austin, said: “Carbon dioxide has the same impact on climate no matter who emits it but for these aerosol pollutants, they tend to stay concentrated near where they are emitted, so the effect they have on the climate system is very patchy and very dependent on where they are coming from.”

The findings are based on simulations of aerosols across Western Europe, the US, Brazil, China, East Africa, India, Indonesia and South Africa. They are emitted from vehicle exhausts, factories and power plants. 

The tiny solid particles and liquid droplets fuel smog. Co-lead author Professor Jennifer Burney, of the University of California, Davis, said: “This research highlights how the harmful effects of our emissions are generally underestimated. CO2 is making the planet warmer, but it also gets emitted with a bunch of other compounds that impact people and plants directly and cause climate changes in their own right.”

A forest in Australia being cut down and burnt (Matt Palmer/Unsplash)

Aerosols have been linked to a host of illnesses including asthma, bronchitis and even cancer. When inhaled, they can leak into the bloodstream. This affects the workforce and causes great financial damage. Dr. Persad said: “While we might think about aerosols, which cool the climate, as having the silver lining of counteracting CO2-driven warming, when we look at all these effects in combination, we find that no region experiences overall local benefits or generates overall global benefits by emitting aerosols.”

The team used a computer model in which each of the eight regions produced identical aerosol emissions. They analyzed how temperature, precipitation and surface air quality were affected across the globe. The data was also connected with known relationships with infant mortality, crop productivity and gross domestic product. The researchers then compared the total societal costs of aerosol-driven impacts against those of co-emitted CO2 in each area to map the combined effects.

A used aerosol can in a natural environment (Hello I’m Nik/Unsplash)

Previous work has either only estimated the air quality impacts of aerosols or didn’t consider their diverse global climate effects. Emissions from some regions produce climate and air quality effects that range from two to more than 10 times as strong as others. Social costs sometimes affect neighboring regions more than where the aerosols originate. For example, in Europe local emissions result in four times as many infant deaths outside as within. But they are always bad for both the emitter and the planet overall.

The findings, published in the journal Science Advances, create potentially new motivations for countries to cut emissions – and to care about others doing the same. Adding aerosol costs to CO2 costs could double China’s incentive to mitigate emissions, for instance. And it switches the impact of local emissions in Europe from a net local benefit to a cost. The study also shows emerging economies, like East African nations and India, might be motivated to collaborate on emission cuts since they are strongly impacted by each other.

A public protest against high carbon emissions in the environment from large industrial corporations (Mika Baumeister/Unsplash)

The framework can also be applied to maximize societal benefits from current mitigation strategies being considered by policymakers. This includes the ‘fair-share’ approach laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement in which all countries target the same per-capita CO2 emissions. The researchers found the approach, while beneficial for climate stability, does not improve the mortality and crop impacts from combined aerosol and CO2 emissions.

It focuses on mitigation in regions that already have fairly low aerosol impacts, like the US and Europe. Prof Burney added: “By expanding societal cost calculations to include geographically resolved societal impacts of co-emitted aerosols, we are showing the incentive for individual countries to mitigate and collaborate on mitigation is much higher than if we only think about greenhouse gases.”

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The Man Worked As A Boyfriend For Hire

The Man Worked As A Boyfriend For Hire

A young couple stroll on Blackpool's beach on May 14, 2009 in Blackpool, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

By Jake Meeus-Jones

Niuhi Von Nida, 33, set up his business after being asked by a pal if he would pretend to be her boyfriend when she was being harassed on a night out.

Soon the word spread, and he wouldd charge a flat rate of $30 for two hours – with overtime at $10 an hour – to be the perfect boyfriend.

There was no romance involved – and his duties would involve looking after drinks, making sure his clients weren’t hassled, or even walking them to their taxis.

A couple holds hands walking through on Valentine’s Day on February 14, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

He’d also simply pose as their boyfriend to ward off any unwanted attention.

Niuhi, originally from Hawaii but now living in Edwardsville, Illinois ran the unique business for 3 years between the ages of 23-26 while studying at college.

He even had business cards made advertising his unusual business.

Niuhi, who describes himself as queer, said he saw himself as more of a bodyguard due to the fact there was no romantic aspect involved.

“What they were paying for was safety, and the ability to have a fun night out without being harassed”, he said.

“Usually I would have to butch up my voice, and if anyone would approach them I’d interject. Sometimes guys would hit on them and I’d step in and say ‘hey babe, you okay?’ and she’d say ‘this is my boyfriend’ and the guy would walk away”.

He would meet up with clients beforehand and then go to a bar of their choice, as well as seeing them to a taxi afterwards.

Niuhi was single at the time, but now he has a partner.

“It was just through word of mouth [I got clients]”, he said.

He recalled one booking where a client he was with met someone on the night out who she wanted to go home with.

Niuhi’s aftercare remained top-notch, checking in with the woman the next day to make sure everything was okay.

Niuhi said altercations were rare, but he would always step in if needed.

Despite the quirky job helping to support his studies whilst at college, Niuhi admits he wishes his services had never been needed.

A couple wearing masks embraces during the vow renewal ceremony in Times Square on February 14, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

“It was a job that I never should have had, but people needed it”, he said, adding: “I think it’s still necessary, which is sad to me”.

“I think it’s disgusting that people think they have a right to tramp on people’s boundaries, just because they think they’re attractive”.

Now working as a court clerk, Niuhi has three key aspects for anyone planning to give the ‘rent-a-boyfriend’ job a go.

“Respect for clients, be professional and remember you’re there to protect them, not go on a real date,” he said.


Produced in association with SWNS Talker.

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More Than Half Of Americans Believe Content Creation Should Be Treated As A Real Job

More Than Half Of Americans Believe Content Creation Should Be Treated As A Real Job

Phone with Facebook log-in display and social media scrabble tiles are arranged next to it. In this day and age of digital advancement, social media platforms have led to the creation of different alternate professions. (Frimbee/Unsplash) 

By Gabriella Petty

Grab your ring light, selfie stick and headphones — four in 10 Americans think they have what it takes to be the next content creator superstar. A survey of 2,000 American adults revealed that 41% have thought about working in content creation, one of the country’s fastest-growing businesses.

A computer screen with a cover graphic for a content development podcast. Content marketing is a new trend, and this is an example of content marketing at work. (Malte Helmhold/Unsplash) 

Nearly a third (30%) said they’ve already gone viral. Motivated by money (39%), sharing their passions (37%) and being their own boss (35%), many believe content creation should be treated as a real job (58%). Just as many people (58%) said content creation jobs should be taken just as seriously as other fields of work — though 56% of respondents said they still consider content creation as a hobby.

In addition, approximately 50% of the respondents thought they could make a good income by creating content. Commissioned by YouTube Shorts and conducted by OnePoll, the study found 42% of Americans have thought about creating their own digital presence for a business. While many believe they have what it takes to go viral online, there’s still a lot of discrepancy in how the industry and creators are seen and defined.

Four in 10 Americans correctly believe “content creators” create any kind of content, usually digitally. Meanwhile, 29% believe they merely create ideas for content, and 10% believe they only make videos. Likewise, 34% believe “influencers” advertise on behalf of brands, 30% believe they are simply popular on social media, and 14% think they are trendsetters.

A phone shows different social media platforms that are extensively used by people, which include Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Clubhouse and Facebook. (Adem AY/Unsplash) 

Two in three believe there’s a distinct difference between what content creators and influencers do day-to-day, showing the differing associations the public has between these two terms.

“We see creators across genres, content types, and focus areas explore content creation as a profession because the opportunity to build a business on their passions feels within their grasp,” said Tiffany Matloob, Global Head of Creator Community Partnerships, YouTube Shorts.

“From having creative control to testing the waters for an entrepreneurial endeavour, content creation opens the floor to anyone who has a story or skill set they would like to share with the world.”

More than half of the respondents (57%) said short-form videos feel “more personal to them,” allowing them to interact with the creators they follow. Nearly as many (55%) said they’re more inclined to watch a creator’s long-form content if they’ve seen their shorter videos first.

Out of the 49% of Americans who follow a content creator on social media, 81% keep up with the advice they learn from them. Forty-seven percent also think they would get along with their favourite creators if they were to meet in public.

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Ripples In Crypto-Land As XRP Investors Take Bets On Interbank Payments Tech

Ripples In Crypto-Land As XRP Investors Take Bets On Interbank Payments Tech

Ripple's XRP may change the money transmission business (Credit: a href=https://unsplash.com/@wildbookDmitry Demidko/a)

By Daniel Mark Harrison

BANGKOK — One of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap may bounce back after a hiatus. XRP, the world’s seventh largest crypto by market cap, is hoping an out of court legal settlement will turn around  its recent lackluster performance. But opinions among crypto investors are still divided about where the digital currency is headed next.

Money transmission may get a new facelift (Credit: André François McKenzie)

Since December 2020, XRP has been weighed down in a protracted legal battle with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC maintains that Ripple’s currency is an unregistered security, a claim that the company flatly denies.

Ripple may reportedly be close to settling out of court with the SEC. Legal action by the SEC has brought many cryptocurrency issuers such as Kik, a messaging app, to what amounts to sudden death. A settlement would be good news for the thousands of XRP holders around the world, said analysts – and what’s more is likely to take place.

“From now until November … the cards will be on the table,” Paul Hogan, a crypto legal expert, said to The Daily Hodl., a trade publication. Hogan also said that a settlement between XRP and the SEC could be “imminent.”

“Something Cooking Behind The Doors”

Analytics Insight, a cryptocurrency analytics firm, predicts the coin could reach as high as $1.04 by 2025.

“XRP Price prediction is solid,” wrote the firm’s analysts in a recent report. Still, the analysts sounded caution on loading up too much on the digital asset.

“The fact is that the crypto community does not look too favorably on this crypto, so it is still advised to invest in some crypto that is more accepted by users,” they wrote.

The future of money transmission may look more like digital coins than telex (Credit: Quantitatives)

Other reports suggest that some XRP whales may be gearing up to sell after 500 million XRP, representing 1% of the nearly 50 billion digital coins in issue, was transferred recently by large holders between cryptocurrency wallet addresses.

Still, in Latin America, Ripple has been teaming up with local money transmission agents to enable swifter and cheaper international currency transfers. The company said in April that it has tamed up with Travelex Bank, a regional Latin American financial services firm, to offer currency exchange services between Mexico and Brazil.

Insiders in Latin American money transmissions agree that the deal with Travelex and other similar money transmission firms is significant.

“I like XRP, “wrote one Mexico City-based money transmitter, who uses the handle feri, on Bitzur Telegram, a popular cryptocurrency insider forum.

“[XRP is a] bridge currency. Non-prefunded accounts need it [for] crossborder payments in many settlement process[es]. Ripple’s sales [are] higher and higher every quarter even with the SEC issue.”

The Mexican money transmission professional and cryptocurrency investor added that there were “more than 400 banks and some central banks” that had been signed up to the digital currency platform for a prospective large-scale roll-out. “Something is cooking behind the doors,” he wrote.

The Ripple Blockchain, on which XRP is run, was founded by a reclusive blockchain pioneer called Jed McCaleb. McCaleb also founded Stellar, a copycat Blockchain in a techincal process known as “blockchain forking”, in 2014.

Before he wrote the code for Ripple and Stellar blockchains, McCaleb founded Mt. Gox, a Bitcoin exchange he shortly sold to Tokyo-based French entrepreneur Mark Karpelles in 2012.

Mt Gox went bankrupt two years later after 800,000 BTC, then worth $460 million went missing. Ultimately, creditors of the exchange ended up being reimbursed after the Bitcoin community donated an equivalent number of BTC to the victims of the exchange hack.

To add fuel to what is one of the largest scandals in Bitcoin history, 80,000 BTC was reportedly missing even before Karpelles took over the exchange. Karpelles was ultimately given a suspended sentence by the Japanese courts for his role in the exchange’s downfall. He said in May that investors may end up receiving up to $6 billion back as a result of renewed plans to create an NFT-based digital currency ratings agency for the sector. Investors in Mt. Gox would receive lifetime access to the service in the form of tokens, he said.

(Additional reporting provided by Joseph Hammond)

Edited by Joseph Hammond

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Rapper Tyga Sued For A Breach Of Contract 

Rapper Tyga Sued For A Breach Of Contract 

INDIO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 24: Tyga performs with Doja Cat on the Coachella stage during the 2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 24, 2022 in Indio, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Coachella)

By Bibhu Pattnaik

Rapper Tyga is said to have breached a $500,000 contract, as he has been sued by a non-fungible token (NFT). NFT refers to a digital asset that is associated with the ownership of real-world items like art, video clips, music, and more.

According to Yahoo Entertainment, Kreation Technologies has filed a lawsuit against the rapper as he went ghost on a $500,000 opportunity. Tyga was supposed to create a custom set of digital art offerings.

The 32 years old rapper reportedly enter an agreement with Kreation to develop three sets of NFTs. He apparently consented to utilise and include his “name, image, likeness, music, and artwork” in the aforementioned collection in addition to taking care of the design and distribution.

The performer had reportedly committed to facilitating the design, creation, production, marketing, sale, and distribution of NFTs. Hee is reported to have received a signing bonus of $100,000 for the project. Tyga was formerly associated with the project which was announced in June.

“‘Ten Thousand TYGA’, the PFP NFT collection is the superstar’s latest foray into the NFT space and his first into the world of contemporary CryptoArt with partners Kreation,” the report read.

According to the lawsuit, the deal would consist of three drops, one with 10,000 unique NFTs, one with 75 unique NFTs, and a single exclusive one to be sold to one buyer. Kreation has indicated that it was “critical to the project’s success” that Tyga “utilize his status and public following to endorse and gain exposure” to the drops.

An earlier announcement mentioned the NFT project was a “highly anticipated Pharaoh-inspired” collection and would feature iconic tombs of accident pharaohs with a “techno-futuristic” vibe.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 21: Tyga performs at Abyss By Abby – Arabian Nights Collection Launch Party at Casita Hollywood on January 21, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Abyss By Abby)

Kreation accused the rapper of not holding up his end of the bargain. He didn’t post about the project on his Instagram or Twitter, and subsequently canceled media interviews on Twitter’s Spaces and Reddit’s ‘Ask Me Anything forums.

“The Metaverse-ready collection, comprising 10,000 unique NFT artworks, is the creative vision of TYGA, whose long-standing fascination with the Pharaonic tombs of Ancient Egypt has found strong expression in other creative projects. Infused with hip-hop cool and a rich, techno-futuristic vibe, this NFT collection came to life through TYGA’s close collaboration with HOFA Gallery artists Bran Symondson and Léo Caillard”, Kreation said in a press release.

The company said that the deal falling apart caused issues with a new strategic partner they used as an NFT marketplace.

Produced in association with Benzinga.

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