The John James Newsletter  256

View Email Online                          Send to Friends                          Subscribe to NewsletterImage27 October 2018

Men with black hearts and clean fingernails
     
George Monbiot

How CAN anyone imagine that there can be jobs for all when the population keeps wildly rising AND the share of the resource base, including water and food provisions, keeps shrinking?
      Emily Spence

The radical reorganisation of global capitalism from sanctions may not appeal to multi-nationals because they would lose all the cost-benefit advantages that seduced them to delocalise to China in the first place – and the lost advantages won’t be offset by more tax cuts at home
      Pepe Escobar

It would take the average Ethiopian 240 years to register the same carbon footprint as the average American
     Amadou Sy

“We’re a sovereign nation,” bleated Scott Morrison. And then proceeded to act as if Australia was not merely an American vassal, but a Donald Trump toy
    
Michael Pascoe

Despite population growth, the global daily food supply per person rose 20 percent in 40 years – AND over 800 million people are undernourished and 300 million adults are obese
      Bernard Gillan

The trouble is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt
      Bertrand Russell

The rule of the uber-rich is terrifying. They know no limits. They have never abided by the norms of society and never will. We pay taxes—they don’t. We work hard to get into an elite university or get a job—they don’t. We have to pay for our failures—they don’t. We are prosecuted for our crimes—they are not.
     
Chris Hedges

The Rule of the Uber-Rich Means Either Tyranny or Revolution
Political theorists, from Aristotle and Karl Marx to Sheldon Wolin, have warned against the rule of the uber-rich. Once the uber-rich take over, Aristotle writes, the only options are tyranny and revolution. They do not know how to nurture or build. They know only how to feed their bottomless greed. No matter how many billions they possess, they never have enough. They are the Hungry Ghosts of Buddhism. They seek, through the accumulation of power, money and objects, an unachievable happiness. The state apparatus the uber-rich controls now exclusively serves their interests. They are deaf to the cries of the dispossessed. They empower those institutions that keep us oppressed—the security and surveillance systems of domestic control, militarised police, Homeland Security and the military—and gut or degrade those institutions or programs that blunt social, economic and political inequality, among them public education, health care, welfare, Social Security, an equitable tax system, food stamps, public transportation and infrastructure, and the courts. The uber-rich extract greater and greater sums of money from those they steadily impoverish. And when citizens object or resist, they crush or kill them.     
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2064431.pngThe Rule of the Uber-Rich Means Either Tyranny or Revolution
Political theorists have warned against the rule of the uber-rich. Once the uber-rich take over, the only options are tyranny and revolution. They do not know how to nurture or build. They know only how to feed their bottomless greed. No matter how many billions they possess, they never have enough. They are the Hungry Ghosts of Buddhism. They seek, through the accumulation of power, money and objects, an unachievable happiness. The state apparatus the uber-rich controls now exclusively serves their interests. They are deaf to the cries of the dispossessed. They empower those institutions that keep us oppressed—the security and surveillance systems of domestic control, militarised police, Homeland Security and the military—and gut or degrade those institutions or programs that blunt social, economic and political inequality, among them public education, health care, welfare, Social Security, an equitable tax system, food stamps, public transportation and infrastructure, and the courts. The uber-rich extract greater and greater sums of money from those they steadily impoverish. And when citizens object or resist, they crush or kill them.     
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1986772.pngThe Extinction Rebellion
Children alive today will face unimaginable horrors as a result of floods, wildfires, extreme weather, crop failures and the inevitable breakdown of society when the pressures are so great. We are unprepared for the danger our future holds. Climate change = mass murder.

“From the 31 October citizens of the UK will commit repeated acts of disruptive, non-violent civil disobedience. We demand the UK declares a state of emergency, takes action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025, and creates a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what our zero carbon future will look like. There will be mass arrests. We are willing to make personal sacrifices. We are prepared to be arrested and to go to prison. We will lead by example, to inspire similar actions around the world. This requires a global effort but we believe it must begin in the UK, today, where the industrial revolution began. We will not be led quietly to annihilation by the elites and politicians. We will fight their genocidal behaviour with honour, resilience, and peace, in the spirit of all those who fought for our freedoms before us. We call on everyone, regardless of your political beliefs to join us in fighting for life on earth.    Read the challenge

How organic agriculture in Cuba saved its population from hunger
The fall of the Soviet Union left Cuba in a dire economic situation. Citizens started to grow crops on their balconies whilst farmers, left with no petrol or pesticides, were forced to resort to traditional methods. This started a true revolution: that of organic agriculture. They returned to ploughing fields with oxen, got closer to their customers through direct sales and used natural alternatives to pesticides. Cuba’s example shows that sustainable development isn’t only possible, it’s necessary. This country was forced to abandon its sugar monoculture and has survived thanks to organic agriculture.   
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2064428.jpgBan entire pesticide class to protect children’s health
Evidence is ‘compelling’ that organophosphates increase risk of reduced IQs, memory and attention deficits, and autism for prenatal children. “We found no evidence of a safe level of organophosphate pesticide exposure for children. Well before birth, pesticides are disrupting the brain in its earliest stages, putting them on track for difficulties in learning, memory and attention, effects which may not appear until they reach school-age. Government officials around the world need to listen to science, not chemical lobbyists.”   
Read moreGlobal legal actions on climate change
Our Children’s Trust is working to support youth and attorneys around the world who are developing and advancing legal actions to compel science-based government action on climate change in their own countries, which will protect present and future generations. The success of our partners include Norway’s successful adoption of a public trust-based constitutional climate amendment; Urgenda’s big court win in the Netherlands mandating specific national emission reductions; and the Supreme Court of Pakistan allowing young Rabab Ali’s constitutional climate case to proceed on behalf of the public and future generations. Consideration underway for actions in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, France, India, Holland, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Uganda, Ukraine and UK.     
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New York Sues Exxon Mobil, Saying It Deceived Shareholders on Climate Change
The litigation, which follows more than three years of investigation, represents the most significant legal effort yet to establish that a fossil fuel company misled the public on climate change and to hold it responsible. Not only does it pose a financial threat to Exxon that could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars or more, but it could also strike a blow to the reputation of a company that has worked to rehabilitate its image, framing itself as a leader on global warming. Exxon kept two sets of books when accounting for the effects of climate change. The company told the world that it was prepared for the more stringent regulations that would inevitably be required to combat global warming, but in reality Exxon’s internal estimates discounted the potential future costs of climate policies, even though government action “exposed the company to greater risk from climate change regulation than investors were led to believe.”     Read more

Plastic Can Take 500 Years To Bio-Degrade In The Ocean
Estimated number of years to bio-degrade in a marine environment.    
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As the US and China fight a trade war, the whole world could lose from climate change
A cold war could devastate the world’s technological landscape. Restrictions on technology transfers and linkages will give rise to competing and incompatible standards. The internet would splinter into competing domains. Innovation would suffer, resulting in higher costs, slower adoption and inferior products. If the US and China actually decide to engage in a prolonged cold war, the economic consequences – however dire – would be dwarfed by the lack of action to combat climate change. As it stands, China produces over 9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, making it the world’s largest emitter. The US comes in second, emitting about 5 billion tonnes annually. If these two countries, which together are responsible for 38% of annual global carbon dioxide emissions, are unable to find common ground on climate action, it is all but guaranteed that humanity will miss its last chance.    
Read moreWales Pledges to Leave Its Remaining Coal in the Ground
Wales’ proposed plan to reject all future coal mining applications is set to be finalised by the end of the year as part of the country’s new energy strategy which will aim to ensure that 70% of energy is derived from renewable sources by 2030. “We applaud the Welsh government in taking these vital steps for a climate safe future. Their actions are in direct contrast to its English neighbour who this week has given the green light to start fracking and created an unfavourable environment for renewable energy,”   
Read morePlundering the planet: a report to the Club of Rome
Our overshoot of the earth’s carrying capacity and the depletion rates of resources are for too high for an ordered reduction. All people in power are still pushing for more growth. Population overeach is still a taboo. Recently, “Green Growth” and “Green Development” have become fashion. But their promotors fail to correctly define “green”, “growth” and “development”. Green must be defined as capable to be maintained for a very long time. Growth and development are always material and therefore increase the depletion rates.     
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Survival of the Richest
The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind. They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from the angry mobs. But how would they pay the guards once money was worthless? What would stop the guards from choosing their own leader? The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival. Or maybe building robots to serve as guards and workers – if that technology could be developed in time to insulate themselves from the very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic, and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape.    
Read moreFive Pacific islands lost to rising seas as climate change hits
The submerged islands were part of the Solomon Islands, an archipelago that over the last two decades has seen annual sea levels rise. But six other islands had large swaths of land washed into the sea and on two of those, entire villages were destroyed and people forced to relocate, the researchers found. One was Nuatambu island, home to 25 families, which has lost 11 houses and half its inhabitable area since 2011.    
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Most atolls will be uninhabitable because sea-level rise will exacerbate wave-driven flooding
Read the report

How urban infrastructure falls apart: a medieval cautionary climate tale
The downfall Angkor contains lessons about the vulnerability of modern cities to extreme weather events – the kind that are likely to increase in frequency and intensity with climate change. Angkor, in present-day Cambodia, was the largest city in the pre-industrial world, covering more than 1,000 square kilometres. Flood damage to the city’s complex water distribution system touched off a cascading series of failures that lead to near-abandonment. In the late 14th century, the climate of Southeast Asia abruptly became wetter. This is the first study to show specifically how urban infrastructure was involved in such a collapse. “The basic pathology of Angkor’s collapse is analogous to the challenges faced by networked urban infrastructures in the modern world. This was not an exotic catastrophe with no modern analog.”     Read moreAs Michael wrote “The future is arriving”
Frightening category 5+ Typhoon Yutu ravaging Northern Mariana Islands

Yutu is the worst-case scenario, the kind of storm future storms will be compared to. While the western Pacific is where the world’s most powerful tropical cyclones tend to form, Yutu’s strength is likely to be unprecedented in modern history. Gusts could top 320km/h, producing devastating damage from the collapse of residential structures, partial or total destruction of industrial and apartment buildings, and loss of water and electricity for days to weeks.    
Read moreThe US, the Biggest Carbon Polluter in History, has just Walked Away From the Paris Climate Deal.
With its love of big cars, big houses and blasting air-conditioners, the US has contributed more than any other country to the atmospheric carbon dioxide that is scorching the planet. But over the past 20 years China has massively surpassed the US and the EU combined. Russia is a very small player, in comparison.     
Read moreAround Australia Electric Highway – now complete!
Occasionally, you still hear people remark that electric vehicles are city-bound.  Well thanks to the efforts of the AEVA and the Tesla Owners Club, naysayers now have one less argument.    
Read moreCalifornia’s Underwater Forests Are Being Decimated by the ‘Cockroaches of the Ocean’
The underwater kelp forests are just as important to the oceans as trees are to the land. Like trees, they absorb carbon emissions and they provide critical habitat and food for a wide range of species. But when climate change helped trigger a 60-fold explosion of purple urchins off Northern California’s coast, the urchins went on a feeding frenzy and 93% of the kelp was devoured. And in Tasmania, kelp forests have succumbed to a purple urchin outbreak.   
Read moreA voyage to Antarctica – a pictorial journey
Parts of the continent are warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. Scientists want to know how this will affect the region, its abundant wildlife and the rest of the world. Antarctica contains 90% of all ice and 70% of fresh water on the planet. The ice sheet is more than 4,000 metres thick and if it were to melt, the worlds oceans would rise by nearly 60 metres.      
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