The John James Newsletter No. <190>

The John James Newsletter 190

5 August 2017

While tiny and poor Lebanon has hosted over a million Syrian refugees, every country in the region has hosted Syrian refugees – except Israel.

The eight richest persons hold as much wealth as bottom 50 % of world’s population. That is, 8 people hold as much wealth as 3.5 billion people hold collectively. According to world bank data 767 million people are living below the international poverty line, which is $1.90 per person per day

Binu Matthew

What remains of democracy is largely the right to choose among commodities.

Noam Chomsky

Trump is a particularly American version of conspicuous consumption: $7 million in gold leaf in the Louis XIV-style ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago private club, the gold-plated bathroom fixtures on his plane, the gold-plated helicopter, the $100 bottles of Trump 24K Super Premium Vodka with a 24-karat gold “T” on the label, and his name skylined across the planet in giant golden letters.; when his casinos cratered his investors were left holding the bag, his steaks went to the dogs, his airlines barely got off the ground, and Trump University’s triumph lay in the number of lawsuits it produced.  Consider this not failure, but Donald Trump in his prime.

TomGram

The compromise reached in the Paris Agreement safeguards the vested interests of  fossil fuels, while constraining the capacity of the international community to take any effective action to deal with the threat this causes

David Wasdell

The Pentagon believes that future wars will be in cities

As in Mosul “The once-elegant historic Old City is now an expansive graveyard – a crumbled flattened monument to one of the most merciless conflicts of the century”. 

Mosul’s Bloodbath: ‘We Killed Everyone – ISIS, Men, Women, Children’

Iraqi soldiers receive brutal, final order in last days of battle with IS – Kill anything that moves. Results can be found crushed in the rubble

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47529.htm  

Tesla battery popular on both sides of politics

But if the conservatives are struggling with new technology, the public seems to be embracing it. Energy analyst Ketan Joshi published this graph above on his Twitter feed which shows that even 70% of Liberal/National supporters think the battery is a good idea, or a very good idea.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/graph-of-the-day-tesla-battery-popular-on-both-sides-of-politics-52827

The graph lists % by Totals; Green voters; Labor voters; Coalition voters; other.

The climate crisis could rapidly become a food crisis

Global food security depends on trade in just four crops: maize, wheat, rice and soybeans. The first three account for 60 per cent of the world’s food energy intake. The fourth, soybeans, is the world’s largest source of animal protein feed, making up 65 per cent of global protein feed supply. Their production is concentrated in a handful of exporting countries, including the United States, Brazil and the Black Sea region,

http://www.smh.com.au/world/the-climate-crisis-could-rapidly-become-a-food-crisis-20170727-gxkdxs.html 

I love this judge !!

Well worth watching – faith in people

https://www.facebook.com/seen.everything/videos/1261806133923921

The Mask Is Off: Trump Is Seeking War with Iran

Trump has made it clear, in no uncertain terms and with no effort to disguise his duplicity, that he will claim that Tehran is cheating on the nuclear deal by October—the facts be damned. In

http://lobelog.com/the-mask-is-off-trump-is-seeking-war-with-iran/#more-40434 

Evidence Suggests Alzheimer’s Doesn’t Destroy Memories, it Only Blocks Them

The key to recalling memories from the void of Alzheimer’s disease may be to use lasers to activate certain neurons in the brain. If this research undertaken on mice could be applied to humans, it could help the millions suffering from the disease.

https://futurism.com/new-evidence-suggests-alzheimers-doesnt-destroy-memories-it-only-blocks-them

All Volvo cars to be electric or hybrid from 2019 

Landmark move as first big manufacturer says it will stop making vehicles solely powered by internal combustion engine Several of the major carmakers, including Renault-Nissan, BMW and VW, have declared ambitious plans for electric cars, supported with grants by governments, which see them as a key way of tackling air pollution and climate change.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/05/volvo-cars-electric-hybrid-2019 

Paris 1.5-2°C target far from safe, say world-leading scientists

Because “if such temperature levels are allowed to long exist they will spur “slow” amplifying feedbacks… which have potential to run out of humanity’s control.” the current temperature of 1ºC warming (compared to the 1880-1920 baseline) is about half a degree warmer that the Holocene maximum, and about as hot as it got in a previous warm period, the Eemian (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) when the “sea level was 6-9 meters (20-30 feet) higher than today”. This glimpse into past climates shows that the current level of climate warming, with temperatures similar to the Eemian maximum, are dangerous. This is because “long-term” feedbacks would result in significant loss of polar ice sheets, raise the sea level by several metres, and may activate the permafrost layer in a nasty carbon-cycle feedback.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/paris-1-5-2c-target-far-from-safe-say-world-leading-scientists-81532

Vanishing Land Fuels ‘Looming Crisis’ Across Africa

Large groups of people are on the move, desperate for usable land. Data from NASA satellites reveals an overwhelming degradation of agricultural land throughout Africa,  more than 40 million Africans are trying to survive off land whose agricultural potential is declining. At the same time, high birthrates and lengthening life spans mean that by the end of this century, there could be as many as four billion people on the continent, about 10 times the population 40 years ago.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/29/world/africa/africa-climate-change-kenya-land-disputes.html 

Russia’s villages and their culture are melting away

The Pskov region has four maternity hospitals, down from 26 a decade ago. “We understand that the Pskov region is melting away,” Shlosberg said. The trend is similar across Russia.”Everything that was best – the national way of thinking, the national economy – everything was rooted in our existence on the land.”

http://www.smh.com.au/world/how-russias-villages-and-their-culture-are-melting-away-20170730-gxlm5t.html 

What you can do

#PlasticFreeJuly – Take Action in Your Community

Ask your local coffee shop to get  people to bring their reusable mugs and bags;  ban or fee on plastic bags or styrofoam

http://storyofstuff.org/blog/plasticfreejuly-take-action-in-your-community/?akid=7612.1053022.wb9Y2U&rd=1&t=12 

Dire Consequences if Trump Pulls out of Iran Deal

Trump seems determined to go forward with a very hostile program toward Iran, and, although a baseless US pullout from the JCPOA seems unlikely, even the so-called “adults” are pushing for a pretext for a pullout. Such an act does not seem likely to attract European support. Instead, it will leave the United States isolated, break the nuclear arrangement and provide a very reasonable basis for Iran to restart the pursuit of a nuclear deterrent in earnest. That would be an obviously disastrous outcome, and one that could very well lead to war.

http://lobelog.com/dire-consequences-if-trump-pulls-out-of-iran-deal/#more-40471 

Why a ‘cashless’ society would hurt the poor: A lesson from India 

With cashlessness becoming a new economic frontier, the effects of such state-led policies on cash-dependent economies must be considered seriously before they are indiscriminately introduced. My work in India leads me to believe that cash plays an important role in our modern economy, particularly among the poor, and those urging a cashless future should do so with great caution.

https://theconversation.com/why-a-cashless-society-would-hurt-the-poor-a-lesson-from-india-79735 

In Its Third Month, India’s Cash Shortage Begins to Bite

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/24/world/asia/in-its-third-month-indias-cash-shortage-begins-to-bite.html 

Australia’s pumped hydro storage potential worth thousands of Tesla big batteries

Australia has enough untapped pumped hydro energy storage potential to support a 100 per cent renewable energy grid – 35 times over, a team of Australian National University researchers has found. The ANU team – led by one of Australia’s key solar PV innovators, Professor Andrew Blakers – said this week it has so far mapped roughly 5,000 potential pumped hydro energy storage sites around the country, and hopes to identify hundreds more, Off-river pumped hydro works by storing water in an upper reservoir and running it through a turbine to a lower reservoir when electricity is needed – such as when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. The water can then be pumped back uphill when electricity from renewables and other sources is abundant and cheaper.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-pumped-hydro-storage-potential-worth-thousands-tesla-big-batteries-32690/

When Life on Earth Was Nearly Extinguished

The planet’s most profound catastrophe struck 252 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, killing 90% of life in the ocean and 75% on land. The fossil record nearly goes silent and remains startlingly impoverished for millions of years: trees disappear, bacteria replace coral reefs, insects hush. What looks like fungus spikes in the fossil record, perhaps the sepulchral rot of a dying world. It was as close as earth has ever come to being sterilized altogether, and would take 10 million years for the planet to fully recover, setting the stage for the eventual rise of the dinosaurs. A growing body of evidence suggests that this ancient apocalypse was brought on, in large part, by gigantic emissions of carbon dioxide from volcanoes that erupted across a vast swath of Siberia.   When this magma started spreading into the shallow crust of Siberia, it intruded into one of the world’s largest coal basins, cooking huge deposits of carbon-rich rocks. it wasn’t until the magma started burning through fossil fuels on a colossal scale that the mass extinction began. The carbon dioxide was delivered to the atmosphere just as effectively as by any coal-fired power plant. The rate at which we’re injecting CO2 into the atmosphere today, according to our best estimates, is 10 times faster than it was during the End-Permian,

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/29/opinion/sunday/when-life-on-earth-was-nearly-extinguished.html 

Trump Considers Prolonging Afghan War to Secure $1 Trillion in Untapped Mineral Deposits 

Trump is being pressured by a billionaire financier and a chemical executive to escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan in a bid to exploit the country’s mineral wealth. The Times reports Trump discussed Afghanistan’s vast deposits of metals and rare earth metals with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and is reportedly considering sending an envoy to Afghanistan to meet with mining officials.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41499-trump-considers-prolonging-afghan-war-to-secure-1-trillion-in-untapped-mineral-deposits 

Shifting distribution of northern summer temperatures – James Hansen

http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/PerceptionsAndDice/

World Wildlife Fund: Queensland Government failing to protect native bushland

Tree clearing rates rise, Olive Valee exposed, againt is very alarming, the most alarming component is the clearing of remnant vegetation, mature bushland which has never been cleared before

http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2015-09-17/wwf-report-critical-of-queensland-land-clearing-return/6782208 

and

https://www.facebook.com/wilderness.society/videos/10155122408618500

“The Ocean Cleanup” Aims To Launch Fleet Of Trash-Collecting Booms

Slat’s plans, which he says will constitute “the largest cleanup in history,” call for the launch of a fleet of floating trash collectors that will supposedly be able to clean up 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 5 years. That’s quite a claim.

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/07/31/company-known-ocean-cleanup-aims-launch-fleet-trash-collecting-booms-approach-make-sense/  

Experimental protein reactors produce basic food from carbon dioxide and electricity

Take one serve of carbon dioxide. Apply high voltage. Wait a few weeks … and you’ve got a high-protein meal. Could this be the food of our future?

http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/experimental-protein-reactors-produce-basic-food-from-carbon-dioxide-and-electricity/news-story/6c08578e2086fd4588bce94ddcd8d1b3 

Light-powered process could convert carbon dioxide into fuel

Nickel-based photocatalyst a step towards making high-value multi-carbon fuels using solar energy

https://cosmosmagazine.com/chemistry/light-powered-process-could-convert-carbon-dioxide-into-fuel 

Present CO2 Levels are Capable of Melting Large Portions of East and West Antarctica

Looking back to a period of time called the Pliocene climate epoch of 2.6 to 5.3 million years ago, we find that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were somewhat lower than they are at present — ranging from 390 to 400 parts per million. We also find that global temperatures were between 2 to 3 degrees Celsius warmer than 1880s ranges, that glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland were significantly reduced, and that sea levels were about 25 meters (82 feet) higher than they are today.the model found that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsed in just 100-300 years under the steady 400 ppm CO2 forcing at 4.23 million years ago. In addition, the Wilkes Basin section of Antarctica collapsed within 1-2 thousand years under a similar heat forcing. In total, the study found that Antarctica contributed to 8.6 meters of sea level rise at the time due to the loss of these large formations of land ice.

https://robertscribbler.com/2017/08/01/new-study-finds-that-present-co2-levels-are-capable-of-melting-large-portions-of-east-and-west-antarctica

Politically charged: do you know where your batteries come from?

We need to think carefully about the security of the sources of lithium-ion battery materials, as well as the environmental impact of their extraction.

https://theconversation.com/politically-charged-do-you-know-where-your-batteries-come-from-80886 

Will solar powered cars ever be real?

This year things are different. On the weekend of 14-15 October, nearly half the entries of the 40 cars contingent that cross the finish line in Adelaide’s Victoria Square will be in the Cruiser Class category.  This class has doubled since 2015. The Cruiser Class requires the car to seat at least two occupants and be closer in design requirements to the every day car.

https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/will-solar-powered-cars-ever-real

During Genocide, Trump Intervenes for Himself and Friends

Washington needed an anti-communist Indonesia during the Cold War—which led to the Sukarno massacres of 1965. And Washington now needs Indonesia as a defense against China. The lives of the Papuan people are simply an inconvenient obstacle. Trump, Icahn, and Freeport will play their games, but the Pentagon will ultimately prevail.

http://lobelog.com/during-genocide-trump-intervenes-for-himself-and-friends/#more-40503 

Warming to boost deadly humidity levels across South Asia

Around 30% of the population is projected to live in a climate characterised by a median of the maximum annual wet bulb temperature of 31C or more. At present, the number of people facing this level of threat is essentially zero.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40793019 

Extreme El Nino events to double in number even with 1.5-degree warming

big El Ninos will still become twice as common as their natural frequency to an average of about 10 per century and continue to rise further, During El Ninos, the eastern equatorial Pacific is unusually warm, triggering a reversal of trade winds and a shift in rainfall patterns that often have consequences – such as droughts in Australia and the Horn of Africa, heavy rain in South America – well beyond the region.

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/extreme-el-nino-events-to-double-in-number-even-with-15degree-warming-study-20170720-gxfmwl.html 

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