John James Newsletter No. <58>

The John James Newsletter 58
2 May 2015

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little
Edmund Burke

“So many wonderful things! This is the best blog, not just in australia. but the world. The Russia-Iran nexus is very important and makes what else is happening in the region even more interesting and significant. Two fast-rising powers – Russia and Iran. Israel will have to look out. Keep it up, John”

(8fbfef9d-9974-4244-886b-74d89a9eceeaA reader)

How much fossil fuel has been used in your lifetime?
How much fossil fuel has been extracted since you arrived at this page? Or since you were born? The numbers below highlight the staggering amount of oil, coal and gas we take out of the ground – and how quickly change is needed
Prince Charles on brink of ending all fossil fuel investments

Syria’s Nightmarish Narrative
With military and political help from Saudi Arabia and Israel, the possibility of an Al-Qaeda and/or IS victory in Syria is coming true, as the army retreats and as Obama remains indecisive.
Assad’s hold on power looks shakier than ever as rebels advance in Syria
Syria’s Revitalized Rebels Make Big Gains in Assad’s Heartland
The recent offensives in Idlib have been strikingly swift — thanks in large part to suicide bombers and American anti-tank TOW missiles. Regime forces have only held out for hours or a few days.

Syria’s Revitalized Rebels Make Big Gains in Assad’s Heartland

Al Qaeda Is Beating the Islamic State
Get ready for the clash of caliphates.

Big Insurance Companies warning to Prepare For Climate Change

The number of volcanoes erupting now is greater than the 20th century’s YEARLY average
During the 20th century, there were a total of 3,542 volcanic eruptions, or 35 each year. There are 36 volcanoes erupting around the world right now. This is the trend.

The Number Of Volcanoes Erupting Right Now Is Greater Than The 20th Century’s YEARLY Average

‘We don’t buy panda products – so the Chinese should get their hands off our elephants’
Poachers are slaughtering 25,000 elephants a year for their ivory tusks. The elephant will be extinct within the decade.

How come we bomb ISIS thugs but finance the thugs of Ukrainian?
Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Nail Rebel Fighter to Cross, Burn Him Alive
US-backed militants carry out brutal execution. Video shows Ukrainian neo-nazi militia carrying out an ISIS-style execution during which they nail a separatist rebel to a cross and then burn him alive.

Then and Now Photos That Show Dramatic Changes on Earth
The melting of the Northwestern Glacier in Alaska between 1940 and Aug. 4, 2005.
Seven surprising results from the reduction of Arctic Sea ice cover


The Great Transition by Lester Brown
Wind and solar costs are falling rapidly, making them competitive with fossil fuels in more and more markets. States and countries are getting double digit shares of their electricity from wind farms and solar panels are popping up on rooftops from California to Australia to Bangladesh. To give you a sense of just how quickly change is happening, the Institute has posted the first chapter of the book online.

Most reports assume that 2°C is an appropriate policy target
David Spratt’s “Recount: It’s time to ‘Do the math’ again” concludes that the evidence does not support this propositions.

In Nigeria, university degrees can lead to poverty
With over 20 million unemployed youth in Nigeria, young Nigerians are spending an increasing proportion of their twenties pursuing academic qualifications, rather than gaining work skills. They are doing this on the savings of households living on $2-4 per person a day — families who are scrimping and sacrificing so that one person can break out of these economic conditions and land a good job.

What it Means to Be ‘Liberal’ or ‘Conservative’ in China
Leftists enjoy greater popular support in lower-income, inland regions, compared to wealthier coastal provinces, whereas the opposite is true for liberals. There is a strong correlation between leftist beliefs and ‘cultural conservatism’ — defined as those who support “traditional, Confucian values”.

What it Means to Be ‘Liberal’ or ‘Conservative’ in China

Not Your Father’s National Front
Marine Le Pen has assembled the West’s largest, most successful anti-immigration and anti-globalist party, by playing down its racist roots.

Not Your Father’s National Front

Laundering the Global Garment Industry’s Dirty Business
Two years after Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza disaster, a dense network of little-known agents and subcontractors is still getting in the way of better work conditions. The workers protest loudly and often for better conditions, blocking roads with burning tires near sprawling, dingy factories.

Laundering the Global Garment Industry’s Dirty Business

Hopes of vaccine for Parkinson’s sufferers
Scientists believe that an abnormal protein may trigger the condition. It may be possible to prime a person’s immune system so it is ready to attack this protein as it passes through the body so it would not destroy the dopamine-manufacturing cells, where the disease inflicts its greatest damage.

Global forest watch
Interactive maps that you can follow global deforestation year by year

Unburnable Carbon: Why we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground
Pollution from Australia’s coal resources, particularly the enormous Galilee coal basin, could on its oen take us two-thirds of the way to a two degree rise in global temperature.

India cancels licences of 8,975 NGOs
Including Greenpeace as it was financing Indian NGOs which were filing writs.

Wind turbines are less effective and CO2 abatement cost is higher than commonly assumed
It is often assumed that effectiveness of wind energy is 100%, i.e., a MWh of wind energy displaces the emissions from a MWh of conventional energy. But it is usually much less.
Wind turbines’ CO2 savings and abatement cost

Binge drinking in childhood can cause damage to brain for life
“Long-term potentiation” permits a nerve cell, to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell. This helps a person acquire new information and remember. It is at its height when a person is young and able to absorb large amounts of new memory.

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