The John James Newsletter 182
17 June 2017
Trump is an idiot, but don’t underestimate how good he is at it
Behind every great fortune lies a great crime
Honore de Balzac
War fought without oversight is war without end
Former Secretary of Defense Dan Feehan
Scientists stunned by Antarctic rainfall and a melt area bigger than Texas
In the Antarctic summer of 2016, the surface of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest floating ice platform on Earth, developed a sheet of meltwater that lasted for as long as 15 days in some places. The total area affected by melt was 300,000 square miles, or larger than the state of Texas, the scientists report. That’s bad news because surface melting could work hand in hand with an already documented trend of ocean-driven melting to compromise West Antarctica, which contains over 10 feet of potential sea level rise.
Climate emergency as fish abandon tropical waters
As climate change pushes marine species towards cooler waters, and the fishing industry expands around the globe, the tropics are emptying out. Warmer waters were pushing marine species away from the equator at a rate of about 50km per decade as they followed the ideal temperatures for feeding and spawning.
A New “Solar Paint” Lets You Transform Your Entire House Into a Source of Clean Energy
It can then split the water into hydrogen and oxygen, collecting the hydrogen for use in fuel cells or to power a vehicle. “[T]he simple addition of the new material can convert a brick wall into energy harvesting and fuel production real estate,”t he paint would be effective in a variety of climates, from damp environments to hot and dry ones near large bodies of water: “Any place that has water vapor in the air, even remote areas far from water, can produce fuel.”
Households’ share of national economic pie nears 50-year low
The share of the economic pie that households currently enjoy isn’t just small by Australia’s own standards, it’s also small by international standards, As a share of GDP, the compensation of Australian employees lies towards the bottom of the international ladder.
Now Just Five Men Own Almost as Much Wealth as Half the World’s Population
Last year it was 8 men, then down to 6, and now almost 5. While Americans fixate on Trump, the super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of now, the world’s richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people.
Why The Markets Are Overdue For A Gigantic Bust
The 2008 bubble blown by Greenspan was bad, the next one by Bernanke was horrible, but this one by Yellen may well prove fatal. At least to entire financial markets, large institutions, and a few sovereigns. It’s essential to note that more than two-thirds of the net worth tracked in the chart is now comprised of ‘financial assets.’ That is, paper claims on real things. [chart modified by JJ]. As the central banks have printed with abandon over the past decade, they’ve created the most extreme gap between real things (GDP) and the claims on those same things (Net Worth) in all of history. Following the Great Recession, the ‘plan’ of the central banks, such as it was, seems to have been to jam up people’s paper wealth, under the theory that people who feel wealthier are more likely to spend more and hopefully borrow more.
Falling Interest Rates Have Postponed “Peak Oil”
The new crisis can be expected to be “Peak Economy” instead of Peak Oil. Peak Economy is
likely to have a far different shape than Peak Oil–a much sharper downturn. It is likely to affect many aspects of the economy at once. The financial system will be especially affected. We will have gluts of all energy products, because no energy product will be affordable to consumers at a price that is profitable to producers. Grid electricity is likely to fail at essentially the same time as other parts of the system. Interest rates are very important in determining when we hit “Peak Economy.” http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/06/12/falling-interest-rates-have-postponed-peak-oil/
Gulf Crisis: A Battle for the Future of the Muslim World
t is a strategy that risks nurturing the kind of anti-Shiite sectarianism that serves the kingdom’s purpose in its power struggle with Iran as well as creating an environment that potentially fosters radicalism. Libya, a landscape of rival militias and governments, is an example of the Saudi strategy at work.
US “Jihadi Express”: Indonesia, Afghanistan, Syria, Philippines
The complex web produced by Western imperialism that has literally destroyed entire countries, while locking other ones ‘behind bars’, in virtual neo-colonialist slavery. All this done in the name of ‘freedom’ and democracy, naturally, and often using various religions as tools, even as weapons.
New Moroccan fossils suggest humans lived and evolved across Africa 100,000 years earlier than we thought
This evidence pushes back the origins of our species to 300,000 years ago, and supports the idea that important changes in our biology and behaviour had already taken place across most of Africa by that time. Compared with the more robust face and elongated skull of Neanderthals or older hominins, the faces of Jebel Irhoud specimens are slender, relatively short, and sit under a rounder braincase (the part of the skull in which the brain sits).
‘First of our kind’ found in Morocco
The idea that modern people evolved in a single “cradle of humanity” in East Africa some 200,000 years ago is no longer tenable, new research suggests.
California teams up with Germany to tackle climate change amid US withdrawal
In 2015, California along with the German state of Baden-Württemberg formed an intergovernmental panel ‘Under2Coalition’ to gather states and regions willing to curb their emissions. The initiative now spans 175 jurisdictions from 35 countries, intent to limit global warming below 2C by reducing emissions. “The current withdrawal from the Paris Accord by the Washington administration is being overcome and countermanded by people throughout the whole world”.
What connects Brexit, the DUP, dark money and a Saudi prince?
The story of a massive donation to the DUP is like a John le Carré novel. The DUP has harmed Northern Ireland and endangered the union it exists to protect. How much did the lure of dark money influence that crazy decision? Any self-respecting voter would want to know.
How Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business
‘I can’t believe that his dad is billing him for a charitable outing.’ But that’s what they wanted.” It’s also very consistent. The Donald J. Trump Foundation famously acted llke an arm of the overall business, using the charity’s money to settle a Trump business lawsuit, make a political donation and even purchase expensive portraits of its namesake. Meanwhile, Trump businesses billed the Trump campaign, fueled by small outside donors, more than $11 million to use his properties, chefs and private aircraft.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
NEVER GIVE UP
No matter what is going on, Never give up.
Develop the heart Instead of the mind and
Be compassionate to everyone, work for peace and
Never give up no matter what is going on around you, Never give up
Paraphrased from His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Naomi Klein interview on Trump
The US has a president who embodies many of the things Naomi Klein has been warning about for years. She says her new book had to be written before things got worse. “It is undeniably terrifying that at this moment of such intense gravity for the planet this figure of such extreme stupidity has risen to power. But that means that there is more urgency to find solutions”.
US fired depleted uranium at civilian areas in 2003 Iraq war, report finds
Dutch peace group Pax says findings show US was in breach of official advice meant to prevent suffering in conflicts. Coordinates revealing where US jets and tanks fired nearly 10,000 DU rounds in Iraq during the war in 2003. PAX estimates that there are more than 300 sites in Iraq contaminated by DU, which will cost at least $30m to clean up. DU is a chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metal attractive to weapons designers because it is extremely hard and can pierce armour.
Up to 15 tons of depleted uranium used in 1999 Serbia bombing
An international legal team is preparing a lawsuit against NATO over the alliance’s alleged use of depleted uranium munitions during its bombing of Yugoslavia. These have allegedly caused a rise in cancer-related illnesses across the region over the years. “We expect the members of NATO to provide treatment to our citizens who are suffering from cancer,” Aleksic said, adding that the bloc “must also provide the necessary technology and equipment to remove all traces of the depleted uranium” from Serbia.
Dirty Open Secret: US Created and Supports ISIS
US Defense Intelligence Agency documents prove that ISIS, al-Qaeda and like-minded terrorist groups are the “major forces” used as US foot soldiers in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. The myth of so-called “moderate rebels” was long ago discredited. The DIA documents show America, NATO, Saudi Arabia and other regional rogue states support an Islamic caliphate to challenge, topple and replace Bashar al-Assad with an imperial puppet.
Without Putin, Syria Would Have Ceased to Exist’
Interview with Flemish Priest Living in Syria. Before the war the country had no government debt and there were no homeless people. On the contrary, over two million refugees from neighboring countries, such as Iraq, were taken care of and being treated in the same way as native Syrians. Daily life was very cheap, such as food. Schools, universities and hospitals were free even for us as foreigners. I spoke to a French surgeon who said the hospitals in Syria were better than those in France.
Saudi Arabia is destabilizing the world
The Saudi’s long campaign to pull the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims back to the 7th century. We barely notice it, but every day, from Mumbai to Manchester, we feel its effects.
World Coal Production Just Had Its Biggest Drop on Record
Coal, the most polluting fuel that was once the world’s fastest growing energy source, has been a target of countries and companies alike as the world begins to work toward the goals of the Paris climate agreement. Consumption is falling as the world’s biggest energy companies promote cleaner-burning natural gas, China’s economy evolves to focus more on services than heavy manufacturing and renewable energy like wind and solar becomes cheaper.
Start your weekend with a map.
The map is unlabeled, uncaptioned thematic maps with no scales or legends. Your job is to figure out what data is being presented by the map. To solve the map, you have to find the clues on it and come up with an explanation that ties them all together. Click here for hints.