The John James Newsletter 205
11 November 2017
God forgives always, men forgive sometimes, but nature never
We have consciously chosen that guns are more sacred than life, that coal is more venerated than our children, that greed more divine than love
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers
As I wandered along the road, I felt a deep sense of calm grow within me. Now I knew, not just in my head, but viscerally, in every cell of my body, that life as one knew it could be snatched away in a moment. I welcomed myself to life in the Anthropocene
Dianne Monroe, a survivor of the Santa Rosa fire
The first ultra-intelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control
Irving John Good
Remember Severn Suzuki at the Rio Summit in 1992
She was 12, calling for the adults to grow up. “You grown-ups say you love us. But I challenge you,
please, make your actions reflect your words”.
Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, the debate was over. We – everyone everywhere – have been desensitised. Over a million children have starved to death in Somalia and Gaza, and that news too is bearable.
What Explains US Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest its the guns
Americans make up about 4.4% of the global population but own 42% of the world’s guns. Worldwide a country’s rate of gun ownership correlates with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. Gun control legislation tends to reduce gun murders, according to a recent analysis of 130 studies from 10 countries. This suggests that the guns themselves cause the violence.
American Hyper-Capitalism Breeds the Lonely, Alienated Men Who Become Mass Killers
Despair, rage and lack of human connection among white men are key culprits in America’s mass shooting epidemic.
There Have Been More Mass Shootings in the US in 2017 Than Days
The latest incident marked the 244th mass shooting in 2017, and more than 10,000 gun-deaths. We are 240 days into the year. A mass shooting is any incident in which “four or more shot and/or killed in a single event, at the same general time and location not including the shooter.”
Genocide by Starvation in Somalia – and Nigeria and Yemen
Some 29,000 Somali children are believed to have died in the last 90 days alone. The UN has made an emergency appeal for $2.4 billion but only received $1.1 billion in pledges. This is the largest hunger emergency in the world. If these crises are left unresolved, malnutrition and deaths will increase exponentially in a catastrophic deterioration. As many as 1.4 million children could die of starvation in the coming months.
In Somalia, little sign of promised food aid for 6 million people facing starvation
As UN calls for coordinated global efforts to help Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen, humanitarian aid is slow to reach some of those on brink of famine. While cash assistance would have been preferable to enable people to buy food directly themselves, immediate relief in the form of food, water and medication is now needed in the next two to three weeks.
India to overtake China’s population by 2022 – six years earlier than expected
Nigeria will replace the US as the world’s third most populous country by around 2050. Africa is expected to account for more than half of the world’s population growth over the next 35 years. The current world population of 7.3 billion will reach 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, it predicts.
UN World Population Prospects 2017
The population projections are based on the probabilistic projections of total fertility and life expectancy at birth, based on estimates
5 Major Effects of Over-Population in India
These are: 1. Population and Food Supply 2. Population and Unemployment 3. Population and the Burden of Education 4. Population and Housing and Health 5. Economic Consequences of Rapid Population Growth.
The three-degree world: the cities that will be drowned by global warming
The UN is warning that we are now on course for 3C of global warming. This will ultimately redraw the map of the world. Until now, global efforts such as the Paris climate agreement have tried to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. However, with latest projections pointing to an increase of 3.2C by 2100, these goals are slipping out of reach.
From Miami to Shanghai: 3C of warming will leave world cities below sea level
An elevated level of climate change would lock in irreversible sea-level rises affecting hundreds of millions of people. Famous beaches, commercial districts and swaths of farmland will be threatened at this elevated level of climate change, which the UN warned this week is a very real prospect unless nations seriously reduce their carbon emissions.
Climate Change Migration
Caritas State of the Environment ambassador speaks about the battle Kiribati is facing to combat climate change.
While Donald Trump is obsessed with building walls, Xi Jinping is busy building bridges
Neoliberalism is a self-serving racket: an elaborate theory that serves as an excuse for the very rich to release themselves from the constraints of democracy, tax, regulation, decent pay and conditions for their workers, care for the living world and all the other decencies we owe to each other.
Under my administration, America produced more oil by opening up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration; opening more than 75% of our potential oil resources offshore; quadrupling the number of operating rigs; adding enough new oil and gas pipelines to circle the earth
In 2000 a total of 405 people were killed by terror attacks worldwide, while after 14 years of supposed war on terror that number escalated to over 32,000, an 81-fold increase
The Paradise Papers exposes the rapid movement toward an international oligarchy
What Will It Take to Kill Fossil Fuels Once and for All?
Only when all the economic factors are addressed will fossil fuels be killed off for good. Lower prices have allowed renewables to make up ground over the last few years, but tax breaks and tariffs continue to play the key role in keeping the coal and oil industries alive.
The inside story of the Saudi night of long knives
There will be regime change in the near future, and the only reason that it has not happened already is because the old King is liked among his family. It is possible that there may be a struggle emanating from the military as during the days of King Farouk, and we may have a ruler arise that is not friendly to the United States.
The Institutionalisation of the Qatar Crisis
The unwillingness of the parties to make adequate concessions is an outcome of the dispute’s root causes.
Regime Change in Iran By Other Means
Trump’s decision not to certify Iranian compliance with the terms of the nuclear deal has not been the death knell for the JCPOA that the president and the leaders in Riyadh and Jerusalem may have hoped. The European Union stands firm behind the deal.
Consolidation of power in the hands of the most hardline faction of the Saudi royal family
Everything suggests that Saudi Arabia and its US backer are taking coordinated steps to challenge Iran more forcefully. The entire US ruling elite is deeply troubled by Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East and the fact that, notwithstanding the expenditure of vast amounts of blood and treasure, Washington has proven incapable of bringing the world’s most important oil-exporting region under its control. Instead, the US is losing ground to Russia, and increasingly China, which is emerging as an economic player.
Electric cars’ green image blackens beneath the bonnet
All electric vehicles produce fewer emissions over the lifecycle than conventional cars of the same weight class, and this holds true even when the electricity grid that powers them is mostly generated by fossil fuels. But, the lack of regulation differentiating between electric vehicles effectively encourages carmakers to sell cars with bigger batteries and longer ranges — features that sound great but are at odds with electric vehicles’ green image, given the amount of lithium and cobalt used in the batteries.
As the link requires a subscription a pdf is attached.
4-in-1 system makes power, water, A/C, and heat with 30% energy saving
Currently, significant amount of energy is required for the generation of electricity, water, air-conditioning, and heat. Running four independent processes also result in extensive energy wastage, and such systems take up a huge floor area, The plant uses natural gas to power micro turbines to produce electricity. Waste heat generated from exhaust gas is efficiently recovered and channeled back to produce chilled water, which is required to cool air-conditioning. The plant recycles non-potable water, such as rain water and water discharged from showers and washbasins, to produce drinking water and waste heat generated also produces hot water or steam.
Sleeping Ice Giants Stir — East Antarctica’s Totten Glacier Accelerates Toward Southern Ocean
Home to most of the world’s remaining land ice. Scientists previously thought that this last bastion of somewhat stable ice in the world would only slowly succumb to the slings and arrows of human-caused climate change. That its ice giants would still sleep for some time — giving the world more time to stave off or avoid worsening rates of sea level rise. Unfortunately, new evidence reveals that this is not the case. Massive ice bergs are breaking off from West Antarctica, rainfall is now observed, at times, all around the frozen continent’s perimeter from west to east, and the vast Pine Island glacier is being undermined by warm water currents — causing it to crack up from the inside out.
Hidden Channels Beneath East Antarctica Could Cause Massive Melt
Russian Collusion: Kushner, Gazprom, Facebook and Twitter
Evidence of harmful collusion and conflict of interest damaging to the US related to the Trump Campaign and its associates has now grown beyond the scope of any of our deepest fears.
100 years after Balfour: The reality which shames Israel
The Balfour Declaration not only promised to deliver a homeland for the Jews. It also promised that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. Has this promise been kept?
India’s 1-percent grabs nearly a quarter of all income
After 1991—when the Congress government of Narasimha Rao broke with the state-led economic development strategy India has pursued since independence it embraced a “new economic policy” aimed at transforming India into a cheap-labor haven for global capital—that income inequality truly surged.
Were we to absolutely stop burning fossil fuels today, the earth will continue to heat 2C by 2100.
There is a 95% chance that Earth will warm more than 2C at century’s end, and a 1% chance that it’s below 1.5 C, with a median forecast of 3.2C. This is the grim reality. “There are only two realistic paths toward avoiding long-run disaster: increased financial incentives to avoid greenhouse gas emissions and greatly increased funding for research that will lead to at least partial technological fixes,” said Dick Startz. “Neither is free. Both are better than the catastrophe at the end of the current path.”
Here’s How Far the World Is From Meeting the Paris Climate Goals
Not one major industrialised country is currently on track to fulfil its pledge, One year after the Paris Agreement entered into force, we still find ourselves in a situation where we are not doing nearly enough to save hundreds of millions of people from a miserable future.
The Threat to the Future of the Nation-State
Controversies over hate speech and gender politics continue to roil American campuses. These, however, are probably the least important conflicts in the country right now, considering the almost daily evidence of disintegrative pressures of every sort: demonstrations by white supremacists, mass shootings and police killings, the current dismantling of the federal government. Not to speak of the way cities and states are defying Washington’s dictates on immigration, the environment, and health care. The nation’s motto of e pluribus unum — out of many, one —is in serious danger of being turned inside out.When it comes to demagogues and divisiveness, Trump has plenty of competition — in Europe, the Middle East, and all over our splintering planet.
Unresolved complaints soar against Australian government’s welfare agency
More than 55 million phone calls to Centrelink, the Australian government welfare office, were met with a busy signal during the 2015–16 financial year—nearly double the 29 million a year before. A Senate estimates committee was belatedly told last month of this extraordinary rise, which had been hidden from public view. Being unable to contact Centrelink can have serious consequences for some of society’s most impoverished and vulnerable members. This includes being cut off benefits for failing to report information, or being unable to complete applications for benefits. In the same year, the government accused tens of thousands of welfare recipients of falsely claiming payments worth $2.8 billion.
Another Record Breaking Year for Opium Production in US Occupied Afghanistan
The US military has been operating in Afghanistan as part of the war on terror for over 16 years now, and opium production in the war-torn nation continues to increase, year-over-year, coinciding with the rise of the opioid crisis.the U.S. military is being used to create an environment where the drug trade is allowed to flourish.
The US Has Soldiers Deployed In Almost Every Country On Earth
The US stations 240,000 troops in 172 countries. Only 21 have missed out. Which is next in line?
Where will all the nuclear waste go? Who can pay?
There are approximately 72,000 metric tons of nuclear waste at 75 sites in the US with nowhere to go and no viable plan. In 50 years when the US reactors are all shut down there will be 139,000 metric tons of orphaned spent nuclear fuel from reactors alone — stacked in overfilled fuel pools or in “temporary” storage. Much of this waste will remain forever deadly.
World’s 250 Largest Firms Account For 1/3 Of All Emissions, Few Have Reduction Goals
The top of the list was unsurprisingly dominated by fossil fuel firms, such as ExxonMobil, Coal India, and Gazprom — unsurprising because essentially every part of the industrial and agricultural systems that the modern world is dependent upon are based around the aggressive use of fossil fuel reserves. Without continual reduction in emissions from this group of companies, effectively mitigating the long-term risks of climate change is impossible.
Understanding how to make money out of thin air – The bankers and the euro
Banks lend out money that doesn’t exist. Borrowers receive a balance, a voucher of their bank. With it, they can order their bank to make payments for them. Banks mutually cross all payment orders against each other and at the end of the day they only pay the remaining differences. This way they can operate with very little money. However, with very little money the risk increases they cannot pay ocurring losses. They reduce this risk by lending more and more, thus putting more and more balances into circulation (inflation). This decreases the value of each money unit and allows borrowers to pay back their outstanding debt more easily. This prevents most of the losses borrowers would otherwise cause.
What are the Paradise Papers and what do they tell us?
The leak of 13.4m documents shows the scale of the offshore empire and involves everyone from the Queen to Facebook. There are also details from 19 corporate registries maintained by governments in secrecy jurisdictions – Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Cook Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Labuan, Lebanon, Malta, the Marshall Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vanuatu. The papers cover the period from 1950 to 2016.
Reaction around the world to release of Paradise Papers – live
It’s easy to lose sight of the human consequences of tax avoidance. The point has been made this morning by Oxfam and Transparency International that denying tax revenue to government takes away crucial funding for essential services, like hospitals or schools.
Australian tax office poised to investigate schemes revealed by Paradise Papers
The ATO is in a position to respond decisively to this data release,’ deputy commissioner says. It has been working for several months with partner agencies across the world in anticipation of the new data release.
South Australias stunning transition to consumer powered-grid
9.2% of the electricity generated in the state over the last financial year came from small-scale (sub 100kW) solar PV on the rooftops of households and businesses. That level of rooftop solar penetration is a record for any major grid in the world,
A North Korean Defector in Washington
The celebration of defectors from communist countries is an old tradition in Washington. Over the years, dozens of diplomats and spies from the Soviet Union—along with numerous world-famous athletes and dancers—have stepped across the US national security stage and done their part for freedom, America-style.
November 3:Bubonic plague in Madagascar and the US
As Madagascar deals with a deadly outbreak of plague which has already claimed the lives of 127 people, it has been revealed that the US is among the countries regularly hit by the deadly disease. Something today that very few people are aware of is that in the south-west, there’s an average of 11 cases of bubonic plague per year.
October 12: Plague outbreak leaves 57 dead, more than 680 infected in Madagascar
Pneumonic plague is more virulent or damaging and is an advanced form characterized by a severe lung infection. The infection can be transmitted from person to person via airborne droplets — coughing or sneezing. The incubation period is short, and an infected person may die within 12 to 24 hours.
August 27: Bubonic plague outbreak feared in central Asia
Health officials on alert after teenager who ate infected barbecued marmot dies and three others are admitted to hospital.
Black Death MAPPED: ‘global outbreak’ warning as NINE new countries place on high alert
The latest outbreak, which took root in Madagascar, has now killed 124 people and infected around 1,300, but scientists say this figure will definitely rise. South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Comoros, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion have all been placed on high alert by World Health Organisation (WHO) monitors.