View Email Online Send to Friends Subscribe to Newsletter21 December 2018
We have not come here to beg the world leaders to care for our future. They have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again. We have come here to let them know that change is coming whether they like it or not.
We listen, we clap, we feel cheered for somebody has said what we feel …. and then the next sound-bite takes over and nothing is done. The quantity of fossil fuels being burned has not been reduced by one iota in decades. We continue to squeal, we prance about, and nothing changes. Are we really prepared to face what is wrong with us, yes us – you and me!
Complacency, Xmas shopping, flights to see friends and dance at weddings, nothing changes. To keep our earth habitable we must …. …. use the holiday to work it out! its not that hard.
Over 40% of invertebrate pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, are facing extinction, and 16.5% of vertebrate pollinators, such as birds and bats from pesticide use and intensive farming, which reduces the diversity of insects’ nutrition.
Dalial Freitak in here
Modern urban-industrial man is given to the raping of anything and everything natural on which he can fasten his talons. He rapes the sea; he rapes the soil; the natural resources of the earth. He rapes the atmosphere. He rapes the future of his own civilisation. Instead of living off of nature’s surplus, which he ought to do, he lives off its substance. He would not need to do this were he less numerous, and were he content to live a more simple life. But he is prepared neither to reduce his numbers nor to lead a simpler and more healthful life. So he goes on destroying his own home, like a vast horde of locusts. And he must be expected, persisting blindly as he does in this depraved process, to put an end to his own existence within the next century. The years 2000 to 2050 should witness the end of the great Western civilisation. The Chinese, more prudent and less spoiled, no less given to over-population but prepared to be more ruthless in the control of its effects, may inherent the ruins.
George Kennan, diary entry, March 21, 1977
The extraordinary censorship of anti-racist Jewish opinion by Google is not directed at all Jews but only against the very best of Jews – the anti-racist Jewish humanitarians who believe that the post-WW2 Jewish Holocaust crie de coeur of “never again” means “never again to anyone”, including the sorely oppressed Palestinians . The clear advice for those seeking reputable information on the Web is “Bing it!”
As I grow older I realise how limited a part reason plays in the conduct of men. They believe what they want to—and although liable to shipwreck they generally get off with a hole in the bottom of their boat and just stick an old coat over it.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Humankind is a runaway project. With more than 7.3 billion, we are a Malthusian plague species. This is not a condemnation or indictment, nor some kind of ironic boast. It is an observable fact. The evidence is now overwhelming that we stand at a crossroads of history and of nature and our own nature. Unfolding catastrophic change is is undeniable. But before we can devise solutions of mitigation, we have to admit that we are problem.
The Big Picture – a serious attempt at an overview
Serious discontinuities tend to disrupt the timelines of all complex societies (another name for civilisations—that is, societies with cities, writing, money, and full-time division of labor). The ancient Roman, Egyptian, and Mayan civilisations all collapsed. Archaeologists, historians, and systems thinkers have spent decades seeking an explanation for this pattern of failure—a general unified theory of civilisational collapse, if you will.
Crimes Against the Earth
A critical parameter in Drake’s Equation, which seeks to estimate the number of planets that host civilisations in the Milky Way galaxy, is L – the longevity of technological civilisations. Estimates of L range between a minimum of 70 years and 10,000 years, but even for the more optimistic scenarios, only a tiny fraction of such planets would exist in the galaxy at the present time. It is another question whether an intelligent species exists in this, or any other galaxy, which has brought about a mass extinction of species on the scale initiated by Homo sapiens since the mid-18th century and in particular since 1945.
To hinder the rich from taking control of the news, and limiting and recasting our views to their benefit, we have to support alternative news sources, like this Newsletter. Do get the non-faux news out, enrolled your friends. It is depressing for a good reason – the situation IS depressing. Until we all do something to press home our needs and our views we will become increasingly slaves to the rich and have been denied the possibility of formulating change.
World’s Journalists Have Never Faced ‘As Much Violence and Abusive Treatment’ as This Year
Eighty journalists around the world were killed due to their reporting work from January to November 2018, while 348 were detained and 60 were held hostage, according to the the group’s annual “Worldwide Round-up” of dangers faced by journalists. “Violence against journalists has reached unprecedented levels this year, and the situation is now critical,”The new World Order is already here
A significant number of Americans believe that they’re still relatively safe behind the walls of Donald Trump’s Fortress America. Homeland Security protects them from international terrorists. Border patrol agents block caravans of refugees and asylum-seekers. By refusing to ratify membership in institutions like the International Criminal Court, Congress keeps the US safe from foreign influences. President Trump has only reinforced such feelings by pulling the US out of international pacts like the Paris climate accord and global bodies like the UN Human Rights Council. All such precautions, however, have done nothing to prevent the establishment of an actual New World Order on American soil. Yes, it’s happened, even if the conspiracy mongers haven’t cared to notice. There is indeed a new global order. It’s called climate change and, unlike the scenarios imagined by the anti-globalists, it’s wreaking its dystopian havoc right in the here and now.
Bizarre ‘Dark Fluid’ with Negative Mass Could Dominate the Universe
Our best theoretical model can only explain 5 percent of the universe. The remaining 95 percent is famously made up almost entirely of invisible, unknown material dubbed dark energy and dark matter. They can only be inferred from gravitational effects. Dark matter may be an invisible material, but it exerts a gravitational force on surrounding matter that we can measure. Dark energy is a repulsive force that makes the universe expand at an accelerating rate. The two have always been treated as separate phenomena. But now they may both be part of the same strange concept — a single, unified “dark fluid” of negative masses – a hypothetical form of matter that would have a type of negative gravity — repelling all other material around them if pushed, it would accelerate towards you rather than away from you.
Terror management theory
TMT posits that while humans share with all life-forms a biological predisposition toward self-preservation in the service of reproduction, we are unique in our capacity for symbolic thought, which fosters self-awareness and the ability to reflect on the past and ponder the future. This spawns the realization that death is inevitable and can occur at any time for reasons that cannot be anticipated or controlled.
The awareness of death engenders potentially debilitating terror that is “managed” by the development and maintenance of cultural worldviews: humanly constructed beliefs about reality shared by individuals that minimise existential dread by conferring meaning and value. All cultures provide a sense that life is meaningful by offering an account of the origin of the universe, prescriptions for appropriate behaviour, and assurance of immortality for those who behave in accordance with cultural dictates. Literal immortality is afforded by souls, heavens, afterlives, and reincarnations associated with all major religions. Symbolic immortality is obtained by being part of a great nation, amassing great fortunes, noteworthy accomplishments, and having children.
NOAA Arctic report card 2018
Record sea-ice minimums have occurred every year for the past 12 years. During two weeks in February—normally the most important weeks for sea-ice growth in the year—the Bering Sea actually lost an area of ice the size of Idaho
In the spring, the sea ice vanishes early, allowing algae blooms to envelop the open ocean. One warm-water species of algae produces toxins that trigger a disease called paralytic shellfish poisoning when absorbed by shellfish and then eaten by humans. Toxins in a single animal can kill a person in as little as two hours, according to the Alaska Division of Public Health. There is no antidote.
Caribou and reindeer herds have lost more than half their animals since the 1980s, said Howard Epstein, a professor at the University of Virginia. About 4.7 million caribou and reindeer roamed the tundra a few decades ago. Only 2.1 million do so today.
The Arctic Ocean has a higher concentration of micro-plastics than any other global basin in the world,Australia experiencing more heat, longer fire seasons and rising oceans
State of the climate report points to a long-term increase in the frequency of extreme heat events, fire weather and drought. There’s been around a five-fold increase in extreme heat and that is consistent whether you look at monthly temperatures, day time temperatures or night time temperatures.
Fire seasons have lengthened and become more severe
The number of extreme heat days continues to trend upward.
Drier conditions in south-east and south-west from April to October.
Rainfall across northern Australia has increased
Oceans around Australia have warmed by about 1C since 1910
Sea levels have risen by 200+ mm since records began and is accelerating.
30% increase in ocean acidity since the 1800s
I have found that neither fact-based reason nor the cognitive dissonance change many minds once they are firmly fixed; rationalization and denial are the twin pillars of human psychology and it is a common and unfortunate characteristic of our species to double-down on mistaken beliefs rather than admit error and address problems forthrightly. Will this be our epitaph?
Michael Duggan from here.
Possessed by a conscious fear of death, craving a god-like immortality and omniscience, Homo developed the absurd faculty to simultaneously create and destroy, culminating with the demise of the atmospheric conditions that allowed its flourishing in the first place.
Land-clearing figures show 314,000 hectares felled in Great Barrier Reef catchment. More than 700,000 hectares cleared over two years, 40% of it in the reef catchment area. “It’s an environmental disaster and it shows why laws to end deforestation are desperately needed,”
Massive ocean carbon sink spotted burping CO2
The Southern Ocean’s complex contribution to the global carbon cycle is coming to light, thanks to a fleet of robotic floats that are gathering detailed data for the first time. The waters around Antarctica slow global warming by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But, during the winter months, the deep waters that rise to the surface release massive quantities of centuries-old carbon. The latest findings reveal that winter emissions reduce the Southern Ocean’s net uptake of CO2 by more than 1.4 billion tonnes per year — roughly equal to Japan’s annual carbon emissions.Risks of ‘domino effect’ of tipping points greater than thought
The study collated existing research on ecosystem transitions that can irreversibly tip to another state, such as coral reefs bleaching and being overrun by algae, forests becoming savannahs and ice sheets melting into oceans. It then cross-referenced the 30 types of shift to examine the impacts they might have on one another and human society. Only 19% were entirely isolated. Another 36% shared a common cause, but were not likely to interact. The remaining 45% had the potential to create either a one-way domino effect or mutually reinforcing feedbacks. “It’s a little depressing knowing we are not on a trajectory to keep our ecosystem in a functional state, but these connections are also a reason for hope; good management in one place can prevent severe environmental degradation elsewhere. Every action counts.”
Domino-effect of climate events could move Earth into a ‘hothouse’ state
A domino-like cascade of melting ice, warming seas, shifting currents and dying forests could tilt the Earth into a “hothouse” state beyond which human efforts to reduce emissions will be increasingly futile, a group of leading climate scientists has warned. This grim prospect is sketched out in a journal paper that considers the combined consequences of 10 climate change processes, including the release of methane trapped in Siberian permafrost and the impact of melting ice in Greenland on the Antarctic.
Long-Hidden ‘Pyramid’ Found in Indonesia Was Likely an Ancient Temple
It spread over an area of around 15 hectares and had been built up over millennia, with layers representing different periods. At the very top were pillars of basalt rocks framing step terraces, with other arrangements of rock columns “forming walls, paths and spaces”. They estimated this layer to be about 3,000 to 3,500 years old. Underneath the surface, to a depth of about 3 m, was a second layer of similar rock columns, thought to be 7,500 to 8,300 years old. And a third layer, extending 15 m below the surface, is more than 9,000 years old; it could even date to 28,000 years ago, Surveys also detected multiple chambers underground.
Sydney and Melbourne vow to ditch coal power at COP24
The cities of Sydney and Melbourne committed themselves to phasing out coal on Thursday, joined an international coalition of states, regions, cities and businesses who have committed to ending coal power generation. Australia is the fourth largest coal producer in the world. Its federal government is known for its fierce support for the sector and signalled on Wednesday that it would use taxpayer money to underwrite new coal plants. Scotland, gas and electricity company Scottish Power, Senegal and Israel are also joining the alliance, which has been convened by Canada and the UK.A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States — so She Lost Her Job
She was prepared to sign her contract renewal until she noticed one new pledge that she “does not currently boycott Israel,” that she “will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract,” and that she shall refrain from any action “that is intended to penalise, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel, or with a person or entity doing business in Israeli or in an Israel-controlled territory.” … That language would bar Amawi not only from refraining from buying goods from companies located within Israel, but also from any Israeli companies operating in the occupied West Bank (“an Israeli-controlled territory”). The oath given to Amawi would also likely prohibit her even from advocating such a boycott given that such speech could be seen as “intended to penalise, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel.”
China is building a new Great Wall
The sand lands that cover about 18% of China have expanded rapidly. By 2006, they were devouring usable land at a rate of almost 1,000 square miles per year, up from 600 square miles per year in the 1950s. The Green Great Wall, was launched in 1978, and is slated to continue until 2050. It aims to plant some 88 million acres of protective forests, in a belt nearly 3,000 miles long and as wide as 900 miles in places. Prompted by China’s ever-worsening environmental conditions, the government has added a handful of other major afforestation projects in more recent years. It all adds up to what is easily the biggest tree-planting project in human history.
If this is believed in the Pentagon, then a preventative war to knock them out before they become a swarm may come very soon. The wrong people are in the White House, and our bigoted “leaders” are slaves to US interests and, more under cover, those of Israel.
US Powerless Against Hypersonic Missile Attack From China And Russia, New Report Warns
“China and Russia are pursuing hypersonic weapons because their speed, altitude and manoeuvrability may defeat most missile defence systems, and may improve long-range conventional and nuclear strike capabilities,”
Putin: Russia’s advanced weapons will make those accustomed to militarist rhetoric think
The Kinzhal air-launched precision hypersonic weapon has been successfully placed on combat duty and Peresvet combat lasers have entered duty. Putin stressed that “these weapons significantly increase the potential of the army and the fleet,” thus ensuring Russia’s security for decades to come.
US Demands Europe to Join Its War Against Russia
On December 16th, the Russian Senator, Konstantin Kosachev, who heads that body’s foreign-affairs committee, accused the US Government of coercing German corporations to abandon their investments in the key Russia-EU gas-pipeline project, which is now nearing completion. It’s a joint project of Russia and of corporations in some EU countries. He called this US pressure against European corporations an affront to the national sovereignty of both the German and the Russian Governments, and, more broadly, an affront against the sovereignty of the entire EU, which, he pointed out, is not like America’s NATO alliance with Europe is, an instrumentality of war, but is supposed to be, instead, an economic and political union — an instrumentality of peaceful international cooperation, not of any sort of international coercion.How Trump Made War on Angela Merkel and Europe
The German Chancellor and other European leaders have run out of patience with the President. Europe has had many fights with American Presidents over the years, but never in the seven decades since the end of the Second World War has it confronted one so openly hostile to its core institutions. Since Trump’s election, Europe’s leaders have feared that it would come to this, but they have disagreed about how to respond to him. Many hoped to wait Trump out. A few urged confrontation. Others, especially in nations more vulnerable to Russia, urged accommodation. (Poland offered to name a new military base Fort Trump.) Macron tried flattery, and then, when that failed, he reverted to public criticism of Trump-style nationalism. The challenge from Trump has been especially personal for Germans, whose close relationship with the United States has defined their nation’s postwar renaissance.
‘Organ traders, terrorists and looters’: Evidence against Syrian White Helmets presented at UN
The ‘White Helmets’ are not a rescue group but an extension of jihadist militants, and should be designated a terrorist organisation, Russia’s envoy to the UN argued at the presentation of evidence into the group’s wrongdoing. Praised in the West as humanitarian rescue volunteers, in reality the ‘White Helmets’ work with Islamist militants in Syria, harvest organs from the victims they pretend to be “rescuing,” stage false chemical weapons and other attacks for cameras, and loot the bodies and homes of Syrians killed and injured in the war, according to Maxim Grigoriev, director of the Russia-based Foundation for the Study of Democracy…It was in the Douma suburb of Damascus that the White Helmets staged the “chemical attack” that served as the pretext for French, UK and US missile strikes against the Syrian government in April this year.
El Nino events to become ‘stronger’ and more intense
A 15% increase in temperature variance in a key region of the Pacific translates into 50% more extreme El Ninos. The likelihood of intense El Nino events as measured by sea-surface temperatures will increase from about one every 15 years now to every 10 years. The results add to a string of recent studies pointing to accelerating impacts of climate change, such as the loss of almost all the thick, multi-year Arctic ice, and the discovery by NASA that glaciers in a large region of eastern Antarctica have “woken up” and are melting. The El Ninos – and their reverse, La Ninas – as “the dominant and most consequential climate variation on Earth”. Conditions are primed in the Pacific for an El Nino, with sea-surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific at about the threshold level that such events can begin. All it needs is for the atmosphere to “couple” with the ocean, creating a process that reinforces the up-welling of warm waters as normally easterly trade winds stall or reverse. According to projections, the Pacific Ocean, and most others, become more stratified, meaning more heat and therefore energy stays near the surface rather than gets mixed to lower depths.
Nigeria’s deadly land feuds
It was the biggest bloodbath yet in a cycle of retaliatory killings between farmers and herders competing for space across Nigeria’s hinterlands. At least 1,300 were killed in just the first six months of 2018. Nigeria’s population has grown exponentially and is projected to surpass the US by 2050, although Nigeria is 11 times smaller in area. Amid the boom, land has become increasingly scarce, and disputes over ownership are frequently turning bloody. New generations of farmers are planting on land traditionally used for grazing, and out of desperation, herders are grazing their cattle in fields still full of crops, destroying harvests. Many in the two groups now see each other as existential threats.
How Britain stole $45 trillion from India
Patnaik calculated that Britain drained a total of nearly $45 trillion from India during the period 1765 to 1938. It’s a staggering sum. For perspective, $45 trillion is 17 times more than the total annual gross domestic product of the United Kingdom today. It happened through the trade system. Prior to the colonial period, Britain bought goods like textiles and rice from Indian producers and paid for them in the normal way – mostly with silver – as they did with any other country. But something changed in 1765, shortly after the East India Company took control of the subcontinent and established a monopoly over Indian trade.
Here’s how it worked. The East India Company began collecting taxes in India, and then cleverly used a portion of those revenues (about a third) to fund the purchase of Indian goods for British use. In other words, instead of paying for Indian goods out of their own pocket, British traders acquired them for free, “buying” from peasants and weavers using money that had just been taken from them. It was a scam – theft on a grand scale.
I live in the southeast corner. We are very aware of the dryness that now reaches deep into the soil; of the heating water that extends the swimming season; the massive Brogo bushfire in mid-winter. We are not yet aware of the accelerating sea-level rise, but the first cyclonic storm barrelling down from Queensland could fix that.
Trends in sea surface temperatures in Australia from 1950 to 2017.
The rate of sea-level rise around Australia as measured by satellite observations from 1993 to 2015.
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