John James Newsletter No. <53>

The John James Newsletter 53
3 April 2015

Freedom in capitalist society is the same as it was in ancient Greece: Freedom for the slave owners.
Vladimir Ilich Lenin

Almost all other issues are superficial by comparison to soil loss. So why don’t we talk about it?
To keep up with global food demand, the UN estimates, 6 million hectares of new farmland will be needed every year. Instead, 12 million hectares a year are lost through soil degradation. We wreck it, then move on, trashing rainforests and other precious habitats as we go. Soil is an almost magical substance, a living system that transforms the materials it encounters, making them available to plants, so a handful contains more micro-organisms than all the people who have ever lived on Earth. Yet we treat it like dirt. The techniques that were supposed to feed the world threaten us with starvation.

Ploughing On Regardless


Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues
Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-60-years-of-farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues/
Only 100 harvests left in UK farm soils, scientists warn

Only 100 harvests left in UK farm soils, scientists warn


Six Million Hectares of Additional Farmland Needed Annually To Meet Global Food Demand
http://liquid-investments.com/six-million-hectares-of-additional-farmland-needed-2/

UN green climate fund can be spent on coal-fired power generation
The green climate fund (GCF) refused an explicit ban on fossil fuel projects at the contentious meeting in Songdo, South Korea, last week. “It’s like a torture convention that doesn’t forbid torture,”
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/29/un-green-climate-fund-can-be-spent-on-coal-fired-power-generation?CMP=ema_565

Focus on Methane
If only a few percent of the massive reserves of methane in the subsea Arctic hydrates are released temperature could jump 10C and produce a “Permian” style major extinction event. The northern hemisphere is now covered by a thickening methane veil that is spreading southwards at about 1 km a day and already envelopes the US. Global warming has heated the Gulf Stream flowing into the Arctic, causing destabilisation of the subsea methane hydrates. A giant hole in the equatorial ozone layer in the west Pacific acts like an elevator transferring methane from lower altitudes to the stratosphere. Methane is raising the temperature of the lower atmosphere many times faster than CO2, one cause of the extreme summer temperatures in Australia.
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/focus-on-methane.html
and
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/like-a-giant-elevator-to-the-stratosphere.html
Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/23/global-warming-is-now-slowing-down-the-circulation-of-the-oceans-with-potentially-dire-consequences/?tid=pm_business_pop

NASA: A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2
Well worth watching! An high-resolution NASA computer model gives a stunning look at how CO2 travels around the globe.

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World Christianity Today: By the Numbers
In the last quarter of the twentieth century Catholicism was displaced by Islam as the world’s largest religious community. Over the past century Africa, home to less than 9 million Christians in 1900, has 542 million today, and perhaps 1.2 billion by 2050, when there will be as many African Christians as Latin American and European Christians combined.
http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/02/world-christianity-by-the-numbers

Syria uprising was planned long ago
The motive was to overthrow a regime that Israel regards as hostile.  The former Israeli prime minister told me ‘We’ll try to get on with our neighbouring states, but those who don’t get along, we will take them down’.

Obama Now Sides with EU To End Ukraine’s War
Merkel and Hollande wanted the war to end, but Obama did not; he wanted a third, round. So Merkel and Hollande flew to Moscow to successfully negotiate with Putin, without Obama. He then decided not to send weapons, so as not to antagonize leaders whose cooperation he was seeking on the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. This would grant international corporations effective control over the environmental, labor, and safety regulations of participating countries.
http://www.countercurrents.org/zuesse260315.htm

While love is all around us!

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Fateful Steps That Led to the Crisis in Ukraine (Part One)
The crisis that struck Ukraine last year– the overthrow of the elected president, the Russian annexation of Crimea, the rebellion in the Russian speaking eastern provinces– was the result of problems that had been festering along the former frontiers of the USSR since the end of the cold war and the collapse of eastern European socialism.
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Fateful-Steps-That-Led-to-by-Thomas-Riggins-Crisis_Frontline_NATO_Putin-150323-832.html

With all the sabre-rattling we have been left in the dark on the growing capabilities of the major protagopnist
The Next-Generation Weapons That Russia Will Use In World War III
The Russian military is in the midst of a sweeping modernization program, and it is developing some incredibly impressive offensive and defensive weapons designed for a future war with the US. Meanwhile, the US is focused on small regional wars.   There has been little modernisation, and many nuclear missile silos are using technology that is outdated. For example eight inch floppy disks are still being used in many of our missile silos.

The Next-Generation Weapons That Russia Will Use Against The United States In World War III

Nigeria army captures last stronghold of Boko Haram:
Nigerian army troops on Friday liberated Gwoza, a town that the Boko Haram militant group had used as the headquarters of its self-styled “Islamic caliphate” in northeastern Nigeria.
http://www.aa.com.tr/en/rss/484693–nigeria-army-captures-last-stronghold-of-boko-haram

Russia unveils plans for high speed railway and superhighway to connect Europe and America:
Plans for a new high-speed transport corridor that could potentially link London and New York by rail and superhighway.
http://tinyurl.com/nd4s9x9

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What Lies Behind the Recent Surge of Amazon Deforestation
The pace of cutting and forest clearing in the Amazon is on the rise again from an improving global economy, rising commodity prices, and recent Brazilian laws that encourage the development of the Amazon.
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/03/27/what-lies-behind-recent-surge-amazon-deforestation

Abbott’s climate policy give the big polluters a free kick
Direct Action will have no requirement for major energy polluters to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The benchmark has been set at the highest level of pollution over the last five years. Some mines will be allowed to go beyond that if they can argue that “historical high point does not fully reflect expected business-as-usual emissions.”
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/abbotts-climate-policy-farce-deepens-as-big-polluters-get-free-kick-37149

The Geopolitics Behind the War in Yemen
A careful report on what may yet become a major conflict involving most countries in the ME. The war is not from a Houthi coup, but because (with Saudi and US support) the President had tried to backtrack on the power sharing agreements he had made.
Doe this not remind you of Bao Dai and the start of the war in Vietnam?
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41396.htm
For photos of the extraordinary architecture of Sana’a now under threat
http://www.smh.com.au/world/the-ancient-treasure-of-sanaa-in-yemen-one-of-the-worlds-most-beautiful-cities-is-being-bombed-20150401-1mbnpk.html
Is the Stage Set for the Big War?
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41388.htm
Israeli Fighter Jets Join Saudi Arabia in War on Yemen:
“This is not the first time that the Zionists are conducting a joint operation with Arabs”
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940107000322
5 Facts You Need To Know About Yemen And Its Conflicts
One of the poorest and most violent countries in the Middle East, Yemen is of strategic importance for regional players and some of the world’s most dangerous terror groups.
http://rt.com/news/244325-facts-about-yemen-crisis/
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Abbott’s divide and conquer rule crucifies renewables industry
The government brought the renewable energy industry to a standstill by doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry. The renewable energy industry in Australia has three major weaknesses: lack of financial muscle; disparate interests; and  craving for policy certainty.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/abbotts-divide-and-conquer-rule-crucifies-renewables-industry-41873

Photos of the artificial islands that China has built quickly in the South China Sea:
China made careful preparations without alerting opposing claimants or the US and started construction suddenly and carried it out rapidly. The key issue is the exploitation of resources. With those islands as bases, China can exploit the fishing, energy etc while the navy can prevent other countries from exploiting the resources.
https://tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com/tag/cuarteron-reef/

Facebook tracks all visitors
When a user visits a third-party site that carries one of Facebook’s social plug-ins, it detects and sends the tracking cookies back to Facebook – even if the user does not interact with the Like button, Facebook Login or other extensions.
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/31/facebook-tracks-all-visitors-breaching-eu-law-report?CMP=ema_565

Russia Has Constructed Massive Underground Shelters In Anticipation Of Nuclear War
Complex in the Ural mountains has been estimated to be 400 square miles in size. The Russians have never stopped making preparations for nuclear war.

Russia Has Constructed Massive Underground Shelters In Anticipation Of Nuclear War

The United States is losing its edge.
US is surrendering the research and development advantage that has fueled its economy for six decades. China now performs more R&D than the US, and South Korea and Germany have greater annual growth in R&D. China has tripled its number of researchers, and produces more students with science and engineering degrees. It is rapidly racking up patents.
http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_27736399/mercury-news-editorial-u-s-needs-increase-r?source=infinite

The Blood Cries Out
In one of Africa’s most densely populated countries, brothers are killing brothers over the right to farm a few acres. There is not enough land to go around in Burundi — and it could push the country into civil war.
The Blood Cries Out: Murder and Malthus in Africa’s Great Lakes

Lest we forget
thttp://csas.ei.columbia.edu/
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