The John James Newsletter. <107>

The John James Newsletter 107

5 March 2016

An American-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein – and the replacement of the radical Baathist dictatorship with a new government more closely aligned with the US – would put America more wholly in charge of the region than any power since the Ottomans, or maybe even the Romans.

David Frum, speachwriter for George W Bush

Al Gore: The case for optimism on climate change

A wonderfully optimistic talk with some graphs that I reproduce below. BUT he left without telling how we can use the good news to roll back the C02 and Methane that is already in the system and which will play out over the next few decades. Sure, “We are winning!” but how do we turn a tactical success into a strategic long-term victory for the sake of our children? How do we sequest what we have put out there, and then there is the pesky question of  the environmental cost of doing so?

http://www.ted.com/talks/al_gore_the_case_for_optimism_on_climate_change 

FACT We produce 110 million tons pollution every 24 hours

This heat is equivalent to dropping 400,000 Hiroshima bombs each day

FACT As heat is stored in the oceans average world humidity has risen 4%

Hence the storms, cyclones and unusual weather

FACT Climate change in Syria intensified the drought that turned 60% of the farmland into desert

and killed 80% of the livestock

and generated 1.5 million refugees

China Redoubles Its War On Coal

The Chinese have shut inefficient coal power plants, closed countless mines, slashed imports, and adopted a slew of policies to scale back coal use by some of their biggest industrial coal consumers — cement, steel, iron, and power.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/29/3753342/china-war-coal

Coal use falls further as China plans massive layoffs

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/coal-use-falls-further-as-china-plans-massive-layoffs-47325 

Land-clearing surge in Queensland to wipe out Direct Action gains

In just three years the rate of clearing will create enough additional carbon dioxide emissions to cancel out emissions savings the government says it will make by paying farmers $670m to stop cutting down trees

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/29/exclusive-land-clearing-surge-in-qld-set-to-wipe-out-direct-action-gains-report 

Bees And Other Pollinators Are Facing Extinction

Almost 90 percent of wild flowering plants depend on pollination by animals, and 75 percent of food crops around the world depend on pollination. “Without pollinators, many of us would no longer be able to enjoy coffee, chocolate and apples, among many other foods that are part of our daily lives

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/26/3754235/pollinators-ipbes-report

The truth about battery ready solar systems

In my opinion if you are going to claim a specific solar system as battery ready then you must be more specific and explain the basis on which you are making the claim. In this post I’ll go through 3 different interpretations of ‘battery ready’.

http://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/the-truth-about-battery-ready-solar-systems

The most fundamental problem modern Turkey is facing is the Kurdish question. 

When the modern Turkish state was created on the ashes of the Ottoman empire following defeat in WWI, it was seeking a new identity on which it could successfully establish itself.Turkey, just like some of its European counterparts, was however faced with the imperial heritage of diverse ethnic groups living on its newly established territory.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44303.htm 

State-of-the-art Technology Gives Syrian Army the Edge

Syrian officers have been shown how the new T-90 anti-missile system causes rockets to veer off course only yards from the tanks when fired directly at them. Even more important for the Syrians are the new Russian night-vision motion sensors, and the electronic surveillance-reconnaissance equipment which enabled the army to smash through the Nusra defences in the mountainous far north-west of Syria, breaking the rebel supply lines from Turkey to Aleppo

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44326.htm 

King of Chaos

if Hillary Clinton was Queen of Chaos, Obama is surely King. If Iraq, Libya and Syria have been reduced to a chaotic state, Obama has a heavy responsibility for these developments.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/02/king-of-chaos

Don’t Cry for Me, America

Donald Trump has already transformed the tone and temper of American political life. If he becomes the Republican nominee, he will demolish its structural underpinnings as well. Should he prevail in November, his election will alter its very fabric in ways likely to prove irreversible.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176109

Hilary Clinton named the most corrupt politician of 2015

Much has been disclosed from her Stare Department emails.

http://www.usapoliticstoday.com/watchdog-names-clinton-most-corrupt-politician-of-2015

Bird-brained and brilliant: Australia’s avians are smarter than you think 

Many Australian birds are brilliant mimics. Mimicry was once dismissed as “mindless”. In fact, it’s the first stage of learning. Human babies and infants do it all the time, gradually linking the mimicked sounds with words and meaning. Eventually they are able to apply specific sounds in a correct context. That is not mindless.

https://theconversation.com/bird-brained-and-brilliant-australias-avians-are-smarter-than-you-think-51475 

Leonardo DiCaprio Uses Oscars Speech To Call For Climate Action

“Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world, a world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history — our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real, it is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/29/3754667/leo-oscars-speech-climate-change

Mosul dam engineers warn it could fail at any time, killing 1m people 

The dam’s former chief engineer who spent most of his professional career shoring it up in the face of fundamental flaws in its construction, said that the structure would only survive with round-the-clock work with teams filling in holes in the porous bedrock under the structure, a process known as grouting. But that level of maintenance evaporated after the Isis occupation. “We used to have 300 people working 24 hours in three shifts but very few of these workers have come back. There are perhaps 30 people there now,”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/02/mosul-dam-engineers-warn-it-could-fail-at-any-time-killing-1m-people 

US warns of Mosul dam collapse in northern Iraq

Maintenance work was disrupted after the dam was briefly seized by militants from so-called Islamic State in 2014. If the dam burst, floodwaters could kill 1.47 million Iraqis living along the River Tigris

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35690616 

Incredibly Creepy Billboards to Track Behavior of Passers-By

Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, which owns tens of thousands of billboards nationwide, is on Monday announcing plans to use people’s cell phones to allow its billboards to track the behavior of everyone who walks or drives past the ads.

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/02/29/incredibly-creepy-billboards-track-behavior-passers

Another massive sign of how badly Saudi Arabia is suffering from the oil price crash

The reserve assets held by the Saudi government now stands at $602 billion, nearly $150 billion down from their recent peak in late 2014, just before oil prices started plummeting.

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/saudi-arabian-fx-reserves-decline-to-lowest-levels-in-nearly-three-years-2016-2 

Public ideas leadership on climate? The truth rarely sees the light of day

Propositions that are entirely scientifically valid are rare to non-existent in public discourse in Australia. The idea that more than 1.5C of warming is already locked into the system would be a shock to most participants in public debate http://www.climatecodered.org/2016/03/public-ideas-leadership-on-climate.html

Euro depression is ‘deliberate’ EU choice, says former Bank of England chief 

“In the euro area, the countries in the periphery have nothing at all to offset austerity. They are simply being asked to cut total spending without any form of demand to compensate. I never imagined that we would ever again in an industrialised country have a depression deeper than the US experienced in the 1930s and that’s what’s happened in Greece.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/03/01/europes-depression-is-deliberate-eu-choice-says-former-bank-of-e

Oregon becomes first state to pass law to completely eliminate coal-fired power 

To eliminate the use of coal-fired power by 2035 and to double the amount of renewable energy in the state by 2040.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/03/oregon-coal-climate-law-kate-brown 

Chronic stress effects help cancer spread

Chronic stress refers to prolonged, repeated exposure to stressful situations, such as caring for a sick relative for a long period of time.

https://theconversation.com/chronic-stress-effects-help-cancer-spread-researchers-find-55619 

Saudi War for Yemen Oil Pipeline is Empowering al-Qaeda

Secret cable and Dutch government official confirm that Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen is partly motivated by an ambitious US-backed pipeline fantasy Yemen has as yet untapped potential to provide an alternative set of oil and gas trans-shipment routes for the export of Saudi oil, bypassing Iran and the Strait of Hormuz.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/essays/saudi-war-yemen-oil-pipeline-empowering-al-qaeda-1386143996 

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