The John James Newsletter 206
18 November 2017
It is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war was largely about oil
Global temperature in October has risen to +1.2C: this was 0.8C ten years ago
The first whites to sail to America smelt the cedars of the East Coast a hundred leagues out, while ships would swim through large islands of floating flowers. America was once a a riot of colour and sound and luxuriant vegetation
Frederick Jackson Turner
A notice to humanity from the science community
Over 15,000 scientists from more than 180 countries just issued a dire warning to humanity: “Time is running out to prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss. Scientists are in the business of analysing data and looking at the long-term consequences. This second warning is not a false alarm, for they are acknowledging that we are heading down an unsustainable path.
World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice
“We are jeopardising our future by not reining in our intense material consumption and rapid population growth”.
‘Giant Leap Backwards’ as Global Carbon Emissions Soar to All-Time High
The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen about 2% in 2017, dashing hopes that the pollution had been stabilised.
Is this really the only hope we have? Bill Gates is funding a proposal that requires such resources and causes such high emissions that its as bad as the problem. There is only one solution, and that is to cease all fossil fuel use now. It would produce famine and poverty, but isn’t that better than doing further harm to our beautiful planet, our home?
Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?
An apparatus the size of a semi trailer could remove a ton of C02 per day, or 365 tons a year. The world produces about thirty-six billion tons of CO2 annually, so a hundred million trailer-size units could keep up with current emissions.
The seven megatrends that could beat global warming: ‘There is reason for hope’
Is the tide is finally turning, thanks to cheap renewable, lab-grown meat and electric airplanes?
A powerful new feature documentary on how overpopulation affects human behaviour.
Evidence of world’s earliest winemaking uncovered by archaeologists
Humans made grape wine hundreds of years earlier than previously believed, according to analysis of clay pottery dating back to 6,000 BC. While there are thousands of cultivars of wine around the world, almost all derive from just one species of grape.
A drone-killer smaller than your palm recognises the victim and explodes inside the skull. And few politicians want to ban this technology. Or is it now too late?
Ban on killer robots urgently needed
Tiny autonomous weapons that can select and kill human targets without supervision, with face recognition. This technology will fall into the wrong hands. No one is safe. Politicians too can be cut down in broad daylight.
First part of this interview is on the mini-drones now being used
They can lie in wait in a nearby tree, solar-powered, quiet for days, looking like a bird or an insect, invisible and waiting for your face to appear – and then Whaaaaam!
On the brink of war
A regional war could be the most devastating in modern history. If successful we would see the destruction of Iran, regime-change in Qatar, and the eradication of Hezbollah. If unsuccessful, the destruction of Saudi Arabia, Israel and the UAE, and Saudi Arabia’s partition into a number of states. And what of the world’s oil supplies?
‘Train of Injuries Must End,’ House Dems Introduce Articles of Impeachment Against Trump
A group of Democrats have introduced five articles of impeachment accusing President Trump of obstructing justice, violating the foreign emoluments clause, undermining the freedom of the press, and other constitutional breaches. “The time has come to make clear to the American people and to this president that [Trump’s] train of injuries to our Constitution must be brought to an end.”
We Are Concerned Trump ‘Is So Unstable’ He Might Order Nuclear Attack
Trump is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear weapons strike.
House Dems file impeachment articles against Trump
“He’s used the presidency to line his pockets with money,”
France will replace US funding for UN climate science
French president Emmanuel Macron sent a pulse of excitement racing through the Bonn climate summit with a speech seizing the mantle of climate leadership from the US.
Higher Education’s Deeper Sickness
Political imbalance causes intellectual degradation. Riots against free speech are only a symptom.
If The Saudi Arabia Situation Doesn’t Worry You, You’re Not Paying Attention
Gigantic waves of change are now sweeping across the Middle East, impacting the global price of oil and world markets. A dramatic geo-political realignment by Saudi Arabia is upending many decades of established strategic relationships among the world’s superpowers and throwing the Middle East into turmoil.
Saudi Arabia’s Total Blockade on Yemen is a “Death Sentence”
There will be a famine in Yemen.
The World’s Largest Humanitarian Crisis
Yemen has suffered the biggest-ever-recorded cholera epidemic (895,000 cases as of November), 17 million Yemenis are food insecure (60% of the population), and 2.9 million are internally displaced refugees. About 4.5 million children and pregnant or lactating women are acutely malnourished, … a child under 5 dies in Yemen every 10 minutes from preventable causes,…and a staggering seven million people do not know where their next meal is coming from.
Cow vigilante violence in India under a Hindu fundamentalist government
The state cannot harass the minorities openly, but by letting vigilantes do so, it keeps majoritarian feelings satisfied. The private armies, which may be useful for polarising society before elections, are kept happy.
Hydrogen could deliver one fifth of world carbon cuts by 2050
Fuel cell vehicles combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity to power an electric motor, producing water as a byproduct. However, making hydrogen from fossil fuels, a common route, also produces some greenhouse gas emissions. So far the take-up of hydrogen vehicles is tiny and industry experts say their wider use is years away, with high purchase prices and a lack of refueling stations the major barriers.
‘Half my lung cancer patients are non-smokers’: toxic air crisis chokes Delhi
Pollution not affecting peoples’ health. “I am seeing a peak in people aged in their 40s, even people in their 30s. Our cancers are occurring earlier, more in non-smokers, and more in females.
44 UK towns and cities have air ‘too dangerous to breathe’
Each year, air pollution is estimated to cause 40,000 premature deaths.
Compare the orderliness and scale of this operation to the failures of the Australian government on Manus Island. We must not forget this Chinese capacity, as in the occupation of all the South China Sea that was undertaken in secrecy over only 24 hours.
The Arctic Silk Road: A Huge Leap Forward for China and Russia
A few days ago, the Xuelong icebreaker sailed through the Arctic, an event of historic importance. Beijing intends to move goods through the Arctic to Europe, which reduces the distances involved by up to 20-30%, saving time, fuel and human resources in the process. 90% of Chinese goods are transported by sea.
Israel Lobby Is Slowly Being Dragged Into The Light
The honorary president of Conservative Friends of Israel, Lord Polak has recruited four-fifths of Conservative MPs, and almost every government minister, to a group whose explicit goal is to advance Israeli interests in Britain. The prime minister, Theresa May, is regarded as one of Israel’s most fervent supporters in Europe. That should be a cause for public indignation – no other foreign state enjoys such unabashed, high-level political support.
European conference on settlement activity declares Israel ‘apartheid regime’
Representatives from 24 European countries agreed to accuse Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” in the West Bank.
China’s ‘Petro-Yuan’ is Set to Challenge the US Military-Backed ‘Petro-Dollar’
As the US dollar continues to lose its status as the world’s premiere reserve currency, the reality of a world war seems inevitable.
In China, Trump Became the Capitulator-in-Chief
The meeting was a “remarkable moment” in the modern history of US-China relations. Trump “projected an air of deference to China that was almost unheard-of for a visiting American president.” Xi, in response, didn’t reciprocate.
A few years old, but worth the read. If you are blocked I found that Crtl-R may reopen the page so you you can read it.
Imagining a Remapped Middle East
The political boundaries of the Middle East are in tatters. Syria’s ruinous war, the centrifugal forces of rival beliefs, tribes and ethnicities, the unintended consequences of the Arab Spring, are pulling apart a region defined by European colonial powers a century ago and defended by Arab autocrats ever since.