The John James Newsletter. <102>

The John James Newsletter 102

30 January 2016

The Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the US. Power is enough. Only the weak rely on it 

Boutros Boutros-Ghali

Terrorism is the war of the poor. War is the terrorism of the rich

Leon Uris

The Zika virus foreshadows our climate future

I’ve spent much of my life chronicling the ongoing tragedies stemming from global warming: the floods and droughts and storms, the failed harvests and forced migrations. But no single item on the list seems any more horrible than the emerging news from South America about the newly prominent Zika disease.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/25/zika-virus-brazil-dystopian-climate-future?CMP=fb_us 

Zika and the New Climate Dystopia

Human Hothouse as Disease Multiplier: authorities in Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, El Salvador and Venezuela were urging women to avoid getting pregnant… It is unthinkable: the absolute core of a dystopian future. Microcephaly among infants is terrifying. Its impact strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a human being.

http://robertscribbler.com/2016/01/28/zika-and-the-new-climate-dystopia-human-hothouse-as-disease-multiplier

More holes than fingers? Beijing struggles to plug capital flight

The risk for policymakers is that so much money will exit China it will undo their efforts to reinvigorate flagging productive investment. In graphs and numbers, Li’s slideshow ran through some of the reasons why many are sceptical that the wobbly economy is turning around soon: an aging society, slowing growth, and the slide of the yuan against the dollar.

http://www.reuters.com/article/china-markets-outflows-idUSKCN0V306K 

Trudeau launches Canada into a radically new approach to Indigenous affairs 

During the 2015 election campaign, Trudeau made major Indigenous policy commitments. More than C$3 billion in new funding was promised for Indigenous education, infrastructure and post-secondary support for Indigenous students.

https://theconversation.com/trudeau-launches-canada-into-a-radically-new-approach-to-indigenous-affairs-53159 

Plastics Will Soon Outweigh Fish in World’s Oceans

Plastics production will account for 20% of oil consumption and 15% of the global annual carbon budget by 2050.

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/01/19/report-warns-plastics-will-soon-outweigh-fish-worlds-oceans 

Which European countries have produced the most ISIS fighters?

About a fifth of all foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria now come from Western Europe. Belgium, for example has more citizens fighting in Iraq and Syria per capita than any other European country

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/isis-terror-recruiting-europe-belgium-france-denmark-sweden-germany

Australia’s Dark Secrets and Dishonest Politics

Is Australia a version of apartheid South Africa? Ask a black South African who has looked behind the facades. No country since apartheid South Africa has been more condemned by the UN for its racism than Australia.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44052.htm  

The Storm That Will Unfreeze the North Pole

Warm Arctic storms set to unfreeze the North Pole — That’s 55F above normal for January

http://robertscribbler.com/2016/01/24/warm-arctic-storms-aim-to-unfreeze-the-north-pole-again-thats-55-degrees-f-above-normal-for-january

Australian coalmines are one of riskiest investments in the world 

Australian, Chinese and US coal-fired power stations are the most vulnerable to environmental dangers

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/28/australian-coalmines-are-one-of-riskiest-investments-in-the-world-report 

Australia drops 10 spots in Greg Hunt’s most trusted climate rankings

Environment minister has described Yale’s environmental performance index as ‘the most credible in the world’ but Australia performs badly in latest ratings leaving only Saudi Arabia with a worse ranking among wealthy nations.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/28/australia-drops-10-spots-in-greg-hunts-most-trusted-climate-rankings 

15 economic milestones which have led to the current eurozone crisis

the seeds of the current eurozone woes were first sown as far back as three decades ago.

https://theconversation.com/15-economic-milestones-which-have-led-to-the-current-eurozone-crisis-53503 

India ranks 76 in Corruption Perception Index

See map: many “clean” countries – Denmark Finland, Sweden, Norway and Netherlands have “dodgy records elsewhere”.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/india-ranks-76-in-corruption-perception-index/article8158407.ece 

The men in the middle

Two young, charismatic leaders in Israel and Turkey are taking on right-wing governments and trying to transform their countries’ politics. Can they change the Middle East without firing a shot?

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/29/the-men-in-the-middle/

The Silence of Ageism in the Progressive Movements

In much of the progressive social sector there has been what can only be called a de-commissioning of older activists. To be clear, by “older”—and I don’t want to scare you—I mean people over the age of 45. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/The-Silence-of-Ageism-in-the-Progressive-Movements-20160104-0006.html

Another earthquake hits Oklahoma as concern rises over wastewater injection 

Oklahoma has become one of the most earthquake-prone areas in the world, with the number of quakes magnitude 3.0 or greater skyrocketing from a few dozen in 2012 to more than 800 in 2015. Many of the earthquakes are occurring in swarms in areas where injection wells pump salty wastewater

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/01/oklahoma-earthquakes-oil-gas-industry-wastewater-injection 

A single gas well leak is California’s biggest contributor to climate change

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/05/aliso-canyon-leak-california-climate-change 

Enormity of Billowing Methane Plume in California ‘Cannot Be Overstated’

The leak is spewing 50,000 kilograms of gas per hour—the equivalent to a volcanic eruption.

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/12/30/enormity-billowing-methane-plume-california-cannot-be-overstated 

Mapping Methane Leaks with Google Street View Cars 

Google partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund on a project to use Google’s fleet of Street View cars to map methane levels in three US cities to record methane leaking from city pipes

http://www.gislounge.com/mapping-methane-leaks-google-street-view-cars

Killed ISIS Commander’s Cell Phone Shows Direct Ties to Turkish Intelligence

This is the second NATO country implicated in assisting the IS. The first was Canada.

https://needfultruth.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/killed-isis-commanders-cell-phone-shows-direct-ties-to-turkish-intelligence

Obama is an exceptionally weak, and even clueless, President. 

The man has no vision, no understanding of international relations, his culture is minimal while his arrogance appears infinite – he is all about form over substance.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article43819.htm 

Australian regulators struggle with shift to an energy democracy

Ever since the theories of Thomas Edison lost out to those of fellow energy pioneer Nikolai Tesla a century ago, the electricity industry has been dominated by centralised power.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/australian-regulators-struggle-with-shift-to-an-energy-democracy-56764 

Palestinian Uprising Is About More Than Knives

Palestinians form a human chain around Jerusalem’s Old City on 26 December, calling on Israel to return the bodies of Palestinians slain by its forces

http://www.countercurrents.org/hassan290116.htm 

and

http://www.countercurrents.org/chaudhary290116.htm 

China Wades Into The Iran-Saudi Swamp

Warrior prince Mohammed bin Sultan is thinking of selling Aramco. Why not offer it to Beijing? But be prepared to be paid in yuan. And all the oil goes to China. Talk about a New Silk Road offer one can’t refuse.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44005.htm 

Why the million-dollar view is bad for our body and our soul

What we therefore ought to realise is that the million-dollar view is the bait of a modern trap – its fatal destiny, most tellingly settled by T.S. Eliot, is simply to be “distracted from distraction by distraction”.

https://theconversation.com/why-the-million-dollar-view-is-bad-for-our-body-and-our-soul-52983 

Examining the Syria War Chessboard

The war in Syria is an unparalleled crisis. It has gone far beyond an internal political struggle and is marked by a complex array of forces that the U.S. Empire hopes to command: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kurdistan, Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and more.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44032.htm 

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