PTSD plummets for veterans who try horseback riding

A new study found that PTSD scores dropped 87 percent after just six weeks of therapeutic horsemanship sessions.

Spoiler: The moral of the story is never underestimate the power of horses.

By some estimates, more than 23 million military veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) each year, described by Rebecca Johnson as “an anxiety disorder that occurs after exposure to life-threatening events or injuries and is marked by flashbacks, avoidance, and changes in beliefs and feelings.”

While counseling and behavior therapies are often prescribed to help treat the symptoms of PTSD, complementary therapies like therapeutic horseback riding (THR) have also been put into play. Johnson, a professor in the University Of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine and the Millsap Professor of Gerontological Nursing in the Sinclair School of Nursing, was interested in exploring how useful THR could be in treating PTSD. And thus, the study “Effects of therapeutic horseback riding on post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans” was born.

Working with a nearby Veterans Administration (VA) hospital, 29 military veterans suffering from PTSD were introduced to a THR program once a week for six weeks. In these sessions, they learned basic horsemanship skills and completed tasks on horseback. The hour-long classes consisted of grooming and interacting with the horse before riding, applying the riding tack to the horse, then riding with a horse leader. They also had side walkers until they were capable and comfortable enough to ride alone.

The horses that worked in the study were chosen by a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH)-certified riding instructor for their fitness and experience of being ridden by adults. The study notes, “As part of the ethics approvals, the VA Research and Development Animal Component of Research Protocol (ACORP) involved a visit by a VA-affiliated veterinarian to the riding centers to verify the welfare and husbandry conditions for the horses.”

PTSD symptoms were measured after three weeks and again after six weeks, using the PTSD Checklist-Military Version assessment, as well as other tests, to assess improvements made in the treatment of the anxiety disorders.

“Results showed that participants in the program experienced a significant decrease in PTSD scores, almost 67 percent, after just three weeks of THR,” Johnson says. “After six weeks, participants experienced an 87 percent drop in PTSD scores.”

And maybe even more remarkable is that some of the participants had been suffering PTSD from the Vietnam War. “Interestingly, the veterans who self-identified for the study all were from the Vietnam War era meaning that some of these military veterans had been experiencing PTSD symptoms for 40 or 50 years,” added Johnson.

Most of us who have known and loved horses understands how powerful they can be. And of course the same goes for therapy animals of every stripe. Tucked away in the study was the following paragraph, showing how help can come in surprising ways.

One gentleman who was a Vietnam war veteran said that he did not want to participate, but his wife encouraged him to come. However, after his first session (which occurred the week before the University went on spring break and the THR was also on recess), he thought that it was too bad to have to wait 2 weeks to do this again. This veteran not only completed the study, he expressed interest in continuing to volunteer at the riding center after completion of the study.

We tend to think that animals need us; but what if it’s the other way around? In the case of military veterans and the tragic reality of PTSD, healing may very well come in the guise of four legs and a whinny.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/animals/ptsd-scores-plummet-veterans-who-try-therapeutic-horseback-riding.html

Poll: US world approval rating plummets to a 10-year-low, lower than China’s

Trump drinks funny

    

America’s global approval rating has plunged to its lowest point in a decade, according to a new Gallup poll, with Germany and China ahead on the world stage.

A thousand adults, aged 15 years or older across more than 130 countries, were questioned between March and November 2017. They were asked whether they approved or disapproved of the current US administration. The survey results were published Thursday.

President Donald Trump has shaken up US foreign policy during his first year in office – decertifying the nuclear deal with Iran, recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and threatening North Korea with a nuclear strike.

Trump’s decisions, along with his flamboyant personality and abrasive statements have stirred a strong global backlash which seems to be reflected in the poll’s findings.

The approval rating of the US dropped to 30 percent in 2017, sinking way below Barack Obama’s score of 48 percent two years ago, and even dropping behind the previous low of 34 percent during George W. Bush’s final year in office. America under Trump even fell behind China’s approval rating, which stood at 31 percent.

Despite strong criticism over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s handling of the European migrant crisis, Germany chalked up the highest approval rating with 41 percent. Russia’s score improved slightly from 26 to 27 percent.

The US did score big in another area, though, with America’s disapproval rating reaching new heights of 43 percent, falling far behind Germany (25 percent), China (30 percent) and Russia (36 percent). The US suffered the biggest losses in its own backyard, as approval ratings across the Americas dropped to 24 percent and 58 percent registering a poor opinion of the USA.

Trump’s planned wall across the frontier with Mexico as well as his crude comments about immigrants alienated many south of the border, while approval ratings in Canada, a long-term US ally, fell from 60 percent to a mere 20 percent, the Gallup survey found.

Positive views of the US grew noticeably in only a handful of countries, including Israel, Belarus, Liberia and Macedonia. Trump’s policies on the Middle East have been more pro-Israeli than that of the previous, more cautious US leadership.

Russians, at 8 percent, were “still the least likely in Europe – and the world – to approve of [the current] US leadership,” according to the Gallup survey. It represents an improvement compared to the Obama presidency, when in 2016, only 2 percent saw the US in a favourable light.

Despite unproven allegations of collusion with Russia during his presidential campaign, Trump’s policies towards Moscow have changed little from that of his predecessor, as he has presided over the signing of new sanctions package on Russia and the continued NATO military buildup in Eastern Europe.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/374592-Poll-US-world-approval-rating-plummets-to-a-10-year-low-lower-than-China-s

The global ecosystem is rapidly collapsing… insect biomass plummets 75% in one generation… scientists warn of “decimation”… humanity may not survive much longer

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Apocalypse-Collapse-Burning

For years, I’ve warned that humanity is a suicide cult which has engineered its own destruction by relentlessly poisoning the natural world with chemical pesticides, heavy metals and GMOs. Now, the collapse of living systems across the planet is accelerating like never before, with ocean fisheries collapsing by the day, topsoil vanishing by the inch, and wildlife populations being decimated by the accelerating destruction of habitat.

Humanity, it seems, has broken the planet, and the mass die-offs are now impossible to ignore. Adding even more weight to the horrifying realization that humanity is committing mass ecological suicide, a new study published in the science journal PLoS One has documented a 75 percent decline in insect biomass over rural Germany in just the last 27 years.

The study, authored by Caspar A. Hallmann and others, is entitled, “More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas.”

The abstract of the study, which should be screaming alarm bells over the devastating collapse of the food chain in Europe, reports rather mildly:

Our analysis estimates a seasonal decline of 76%, and mid-summer decline of 82% in flying insect biomass over the 27 years of study. We show that this decline is apparent regardless of habitat type, while changes in weather, land use, and habitat characteristics cannot explain this overall decline. This yet unrecognized loss of insect biomass must be taken into account in evaluating declines in abundance of species depending on insects as a food source, and ecosystem functioning in the European landscape.

Even more concerning is the fact that this insect decline was observed in “protected areas” that are supposed to preserve and protect wildlife. As the study authors explain in their conclusion:

The widespread insect biomass decline is alarming, ever more so as all traps were placed in protected areas that are meant to preserve ecosystem functions and biodiversity… our results illustrate an ongoing and rapid decline in total amount of airborne insects active in space and time.

The food web is now collapsing… insects are just the beginning

The stunning news of this insect biomass collapse is, of course, just the beginning of a series of events that will ultimately spell doom for humanity unless causative factors are quickly reversed. Insects are the pillars of the food web, providing protein and nutrients to bats, birds and reptiles, among other animals. When the insect population collapses, nutrient depletion cascades up the food chain, causing devastating declines in populations of larger animals upon which ecological diversity depends.

As the study authors explain:

[The insect biomass collapse] must have cascading effects across trophic levels and numerous other ecosystem effects. There is an urgent need to uncover the causes of this decline, its geographical extent, and to understand the ramifications of the decline for ecosystems and ecosystem services.

Even more worrisome, insects are the pollinators that keep 80% of wild plants aliveby facilitating pollination. When insect populations collapse, pollination of wild food sources — as well as many domesticated food sources such as almonds — also face imminent collapse. Without insects, in other words, human populations will also collapse within just a few years as the ripple effect of insect die-offs works its way up the food chain.

The rapid timetable of this collapse is nothing short of alarming, if not catastrophic. As the chart shows, below — sourced from the PLoS One journal article — the biomass decline from 1989 to 2016 is catastrophic. The second chart, below, shows how insect biomass loss is even more pronounced during summer months:

 

Warming temperatures actually increased insect biomass, so this isn’t a “climate change” problem

The study carefully documented variations in temperature, wind speed, humidity and other environmental factors in an effort to determine root causes of biomass variance. Interestingly, the study was able to determine that warming temperatures did not reduce insect biomass. In fact, the warmer the temperature, the more insect biomass was measured.

In other words, “global warming” actually increases insect biomass, so this is one phenomenon that can’t be blamed on the climate change hoax. From the study results:

Over the course of the study period, some temporal changes occurred in the means of the weather variables (S2 Fig), most notably an increase by 0.5°C in mean temperature and a decline 0.2 m/sec in mean wind speed. Yet, these changes either do not have an effect on insect biomass (e.g. wind speed) either are expected to positively affected insect biomass (e.g. increased temperature).

The conclusion of the paper specifically rules out “climate change” as an explanatory factor, saying, “…[O]ur analysis renders two of the prime suspects, i.e. landscape and climate change as unlikely explanatory factors for this major decline in aerial insect biomass in the investigated protected areas.”

In fact, the paper points out that warming temperatures are actually saving the insects to some degree by compensating for some other factor that’s killing them off:

Our final model, based on including all significant variables from previous models, revealed a higher trend coefficient as compared to our basic model (log(λ) = −0.081, sd = 0.006, Table 4), suggesting that temporal developments in the considered explanatory variables counteracted biomass decline to some degree, leading to an even more negative coefficient for the annual trend.

Insect biomass “decimated” in mere decades… this won’t end well

The study authors were unable to pinpoint a specific cause for the collapse of insect biomass, but that’s likely because they did not measure pesticide exposure, GMO pollution or other chemical contaminants that severely impact insect populations.

Even without that knowledge, the study authors concluded the rapid decline in insect biomass was catastrophic:

Our results demonstrate that recently reported declines in several taxa such as butterflies [7252758], wild bees [814] and moths [1518], are in parallel with a severe loss of total aerial insect biomass, suggesting that it is not only the vulnerable species, but the flying insect community as a whole, that has been decimated over the last few decades…

The authors also affirm they are aware that pesticide exposure could be one of the plausible explanations for the collapse, stating:

Agricultural intensification (e.g. pesticide usage, year-round tillage, increased use of fertilizers and frequency of agronomic measures) that we could not incorporate in our analyses, may form a plausible cause. The reserves in which the traps were placed are of limited size in this typical fragmented West-European landscape, and almost all locations (94%) are enclosed by agricultural fields.

Intensive agricultural practices, in other words, are a primary suspect in this devastation of insect populations. And that points directly to pesticides and herbicides — chemical poisons that are developed specifically to kill living things.

Unless something changes, humanity won’t even survive long enough to cause sustained global warming

All this brings me to (at least) one obvious point: While the left-wing media and science talking heads are losing their minds over so-called “climate change” — an entirely made-up problem — even their own predictions only show tiny increases in ocean levels over the next hundred years.

Yet the collapse of insect populations is happening now, with devastating consequences already initiated that may spell doom for a global human population of over 7 billion people, all of whom demand food on a regular basis. Without insects, the food supply collapses. Without food, human populations collapse. And without humans, there is no sustained global warming problem to worry about anyway.

In other words, climate change alarmists are focusing on the wrong crisis. If we don’t figure out what’s decimating the insects — and it’s very likely agricultural chemical contamination of our world — then nobody will be around to burn fossil fuels and run the coal plants anyway. Global warming, in other words, is not a problem if everybody dies from starvation because the global food web collapses.

Climate change cultists are ignoring the real problems that threaten all of human civilization

Yet isn’t it fascinating how the entire climate change cult that demands totalitarian control over our lives in order to “save the planet” absolutely refuses to acknowledge any consequences whatsoever from agricultural pesticides and GMO genetic pollution? While the natural world is collapsing around them, all they wish for is more power, profit and control over nations and economies.

These science imbeciles are ignoring the real causes of catastrophic collapse, all while patting themselves on the back and proclaiming they are the science saviors of our world: Al Gore, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and other climate change cultists who typify the idiocy-celebrity status of those who hide behind fake science to portray themselves as Christ-like saviors for a world that’s crumbling for reasons they absolutely refuse to acknowledge.

That’s why I’ve dubbed humanity a “suicide cult.” No one in a position of power cares about anything other than their own fame, fortune and perceived brilliance. No one in a position of authority has any empathy or compassion for preserving the natural world and its essential ecosystems. Every sector of politics has been exploited, distorted and reformed into idiotic propaganda parades featuring a steady stream of academic morons who reject scientific reason in favor of political obedience and left-wing conformity.

Consequently, “science” is dead. And soon, unless something drastically changes, humanity will be too.

Stay informed about real science at Scientific.news.

 

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The global ecosystem is rapidly collapsing… insect biomass plummets 75% in one generation… scientists warn of "decimation"… humanity may not survive much longer

Image: The global ecosystem is rapidly collapsing… insect biomass plummets 75% in one generation… scientists warn of “decimation”… humanity may not survive much longer

(Natural News)
For years, I’ve warned that humanity is a suicide cult which has engineered its own destruction by relentlessly poisoning the natural world with chemical pesticides, heavy metals and GMOs. Now, the collapse of living systems across the planet is accelerating like never before, with ocean fisheries collapsing by the day, topsoil vanishing by the inch, and wildlife populations being decimated by the accelerating destruction of habitat.

Humanity, it seems, has broken the planet, and the mass die-offs are now impossible to ignore. Adding even more weight to the horrifying realization that humanity is committing mass ecological suicide, a new study published in the science journal PLoS One has documented a 75 percent decline in insect biomass over rural Germany in just the last 27 years.

The study, authored by Caspar A. Hallmann and others, is entitled, “More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas.”

The abstract of the study, which should be screaming alarm bells over the devastating collapse of the food chain in Europe, reports rather mildly:

Our analysis estimates a seasonal decline of 76%, and mid-summer decline of 82% in flying insect biomass over the 27 years of study. We show that this decline is apparent regardless of habitat type, while changes in weather, land use, and habitat characteristics cannot explain this overall decline. This yet unrecognized loss of insect biomass must be taken into account in evaluating declines in abundance of species depending on insects as a food source, and ecosystem functioning in the European landscape.

Even more concerning is the fact that this insect decline was observed in “protected areas” that are supposed to preserve and protect wildlife. As the study authors explain in their conclusion:

The widespread insect biomass decline is alarming, ever more so as all traps were placed in protected areas that are meant to preserve ecosystem functions and biodiversity… our results illustrate an ongoing and rapid decline in total amount of airborne insects active in space and time.

The food web is now collapsing… insects are just the beginning

The stunning news of this insect biomass collapse is, of course, just the beginning of a series of events that will ultimately spell doom for humanity unless causative factors are quickly reversed. Insects are the pillars of the food web, providing protein and nutrients to bats, birds and reptiles, among other animals. When the insect population collapses, nutrient depletion cascades up the food chain, causing devastating declines in populations of larger animals upon which ecological diversity depends.

As the study authors explain:

[The insect biomass collapse] must have cascading effects across trophic levels and numerous other ecosystem effects. There is an urgent need to uncover the causes of this decline, its geographical extent, and to understand the ramifications of the decline for ecosystems and ecosystem services.

Even more worrisome, insects are the pollinators that keep 80% of wild plants alive by facilitating pollination. When insect populations collapse, pollination of wild food sources — as well as many domesticated food sources such as almonds — also face imminent collapse. Without insects, in other words, human populations will also collapse within just a few years as the ripple effect of insect die-offs works its way up the food chain.

The rapid timetable of this collapse is nothing short of alarming, if not catastrophic. As the chart shows, below — sourced from the PLoS One journal article — the biomass decline from 1989 to 2016 is catastrophic. The second chart, below, shows how insect biomass loss is even more pronounced during summer months:

 

Warming temperatures actually increased insect biomass, so this isn’t a “climate change” problem

The study carefully documented variations in temperature, wind speed, humidity and other environmental factors in an effort to determine root causes of biomass variance. Interestingly, the study was able to determine that warming temperatures did not reduce insect biomass. In fact, the warmer the temperature, the more insect biomass was measured.

In other words, “global warming” actually increases insect biomass, so this is one phenomenon that can’t be blamed on the climate change hoax. From the study results:

Over the course of the study period, some temporal changes occurred in the means of the weather variables (S2 Fig), most notably an increase by 0.5°C in mean temperature and a decline 0.2 m/sec in mean wind speed. Yet, these changes either do not have an effect on insect biomass (e.g. wind speed) either are expected to positively affected insect biomass (e.g. increased temperature).

The conclusion of the paper specifically rules out “climate change” as an explanatory factor, saying, “…[O]ur analysis renders two of the prime suspects, i.e. landscape and climate change as unlikely explanatory factors for this major decline in aerial insect biomass in the investigated protected areas.”

In fact, the paper points out that warming temperatures are actually saving the insects to some degree by compensating for some other factor that’s killing them off:

Our final model, based on including all significant variables from previous models, revealed a higher trend coefficient as compared to our basic model (log(λ) = −0.081, sd = 0.006, Table 4), suggesting that temporal developments in the considered explanatory variables counteracted biomass decline to some degree, leading to an even more negative coefficient for the annual trend.

Insect biomass “decimated” in mere decades… this won’t end well

The study authors were unable to pinpoint a specific cause for the collapse of insect biomass, but that’s likely because they did not measure pesticide exposure, GMO pollution or other chemical contaminants that severely impact insect populations.

Even without that knowledge, the study authors concluded the rapid decline in insect biomass was catastrophic:

Our results demonstrate that recently reported declines in several taxa such as butterflies [7252758], wild bees [814] and moths [1518], are in parallel with a severe loss of total aerial insect biomass, suggesting that it is not only the vulnerable species, but the flying insect community as a whole, that has been decimated over the last few decades…

The authors also affirm they are aware that pesticide exposure could be one of the plausible explanations for the collapse, stating:

Agricultural intensification (e.g. pesticide usage, year-round tillage, increased use of fertilizers and frequency of agronomic measures) that we could not incorporate in our analyses, may form a plausible cause. The reserves in which the traps were placed are of limited size in this typical fragmented West-European landscape, and almost all locations (94%) are enclosed by agricultural fields.

Intensive agricultural practices, in other words, are a primary suspect in this devastation of insect populations. And that points directly to pesticides and herbicides — chemical poisons that are developed specifically to kill living things.

Unless something changes, humanity won’t even survive long enough to cause sustained global warming

All this brings me to (at least) one obvious point: While the left-wing media and science talking heads are losing their minds over so-called “climate change” — an entirely made-up problem — even their own predictions only show tiny increases in ocean levels over the next hundred years.

Yet the collapse of insect populations is happening now, with devastating consequences already initiated that may spell doom for a global human population of over 7 billion people, all of whom demand food on a regular basis. Without insects, the food supply collapses. Without food, human populations collapse. And without humans, there is no sustained global warming problem to worry about anyway.

In other words, climate change alarmists are focusing on the wrong crisis. If we don’t figure out what’s decimating the insects — and it’s very likely agricultural chemical contamination of our world — then nobody will be around to burn fossil fuels and run the coal plants anyway. Global warming, in other words, is not a problem if everybody dies from starvation because the global food web collapses.

Climate change cultists are ignoring the real problems that threaten all of human civilization

Yet isn’t it fascinating how the entire climate change cult that demands totalitarian control over our lives in order to “save the planet” absolutely refuses to acknowledge any consequences whatsoever from agricultural pesticides and GMO genetic pollution? While the natural world is collapsing around them, all they wish for is more power, profit and control over nations and economies.

These science imbeciles are ignoring the real causes of catastrophic collapse, all while patting themselves on the back and proclaiming they are the science saviors of our world: Al Gore, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and other climate change cultists who typify the idiocy-celebrity status of those who hide behind fake science to portray themselves as Christ-like saviors for a world that’s crumbling for reasons they absolutely refuse to acknowledge.

That’s why I’ve dubbed humanity a “suicide cult.” No one in a position of power cares about anything other than their own fame, fortune and perceived brilliance. No one in a position of authority has any empathy or compassion for preserving the natural world and its essential ecosystems. Every sector of politics has been exploited, distorted and reformed into idiotic propaganda parades featuring a steady stream of academic morons who reject scientific reason in favor of political obedience and left-wing conformity.

Consequently, “science” is dead. And soon, unless something drastically changes, humanity will be too.

Stay informed about real science at Scientific.news.

 

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Source Article from http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-10-19-the-global-ecosystem-is-collapsing-insect-biomass-decline-decimation-pollinators-scientists.html

Pound worth less than euro in British airports as it plummets to 8-yr lows

Travelers exchanging cash at Southampton Airport’s Moneycorp branch on Thursday were getting only 87 euro cents for every pound. This is the worst rate since the financial crisis. At the desk, travelers get just €439 from £500.

Moneycorp sold euros at a better rate in Southend and Stansted airports but also estimated the European currency higher than Sterling. Other currency bureaus like Travelex did the same.

The companies say that maintaining desks at airports is expensive, and if clients order cash 24 hours ahead, the rates would be better.

“The reason for our higher airport rates is the significant cost associated with operating there – from ground rent and additional security to the cost of staffing the bureaus for customers on early and late flights,” Pauline Maguire, retail director at Moneycorp told the Sun.

Britain’s currency has weakened dramatically since the Brexit vote in June last year. It has added uncertainty over the future of business, and trading arrangements in the country.

However, the pound is up eight percent against the US dollar this year, which makes it difficult for economists and analysts to estimate the fluctuations in Sterling.

“So which indicator is right? Eventually, economic fundamentals assert themselves, and they suggest that the pound’s journey south against the euro is probably closer to the end than the beginning,” wrote Dean Turner, an economist at UBS WM in a note last week.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/business/400758-euro-pound-exchange-rate/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

CHA-CHING!!! Likud surges to record high in new poll as Israeli left plummets

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Source Article from https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/cha-ching-likud-surges-to-record-high-in-new-poll-as-israeli-left-plummets/