The John James Newsletter 228

posted May 17, 2018, 1:44 PM by Clement Clarke
The John James Newsletter 228

5 May 2018  

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Soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible
Slogan, Paris, May 1998

Imagine a website that lets you easily buy your electricity from your neighbour, or get it from the nearby solar garden that you part-own, or the wind turbine at your friend’s farm at the edge of town
A plan to re-power Australia

By using its naval power to dominate the sea that carried oil, and by insisting that oil be traded in US dollars, it was able to live beyond its means by issuing dollar-denominated debt instruments and forcing countries around the world to invest in them. The US has accumulated absolutely stunning levels of national debt—beyond anything seen before. When this debt bomb finally explodes, it will spread economic devastation far beyond US borders. And it will explode, once the petrodollar wealth pump, imposed on the world through American naval and air superiority, stops working
Dmitry Orlov

Our problems are man-made. Therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings
John Kennedy

Environmentalists universally advocate efficiency measures (eg for coal-fired power plants and automobiles) and alternative energy sources (eg solar and wind) but universally FAIL to advocate population-stabilization and consumption-reductions -  without which global warming control is impossible 
Nicholas Arguimbau 

WE WON!! But not yet in the US or Australia
Europe just voted for a ban on bee-killing pesticides, after we built the largest petition in the world for bees, and thousands of us flooded ministries with messages. This is a major victory and opens the way to a new era of more sustainable farming. But we must keep the pressure up -- now we’re taking the fight to the US, Canada, and the rest of the world. Keep signing and sharing!
37 millions bees found dead in Ontario, Canada after planting large GMO corn field 
As much as biotech companies and their financial beneficiaries want to pretend that the problem has absolutely nothing to do with GMOs at all, but rather the pesticides, the fact is that 94% of GMO corn are treated with neonicotinoids and since the introduction of GMOs, the use of pesticides has increased by 500 million pounds

Woolworths and Coles and excessive plastic packaging on fresh produce
Plastic-wrapped bananas. A plastic tube of apples. A handful of mushrooms on a plastic tray, swathed in plastic wrapping. Excessive plastic packaging smothering your fruit and veggies could end up in the ocean, where it never truly breaks down. Instead, it chokes turtles and seabirds and ends up in the stomachs of fish and other marine animals.
Over 5,400 wet wipes have been found in one single area of the Thames foreshore. 
As the wet wipes break into smaller pieces, they contribute to the global microplastics problem, breaking down into tiny particles which enter the food chain and endanger marine life. A recent study found more than seven in 10 Thames flounder had plastics in their stomachs. “The Thames riverbed is changing. Wet wipes are accumulating on the riverbed and affecting the shape of the riverbed. It looks natural but when you get close you can see that these clumps are composed of wet wipes mixed with twigs and mud.”
Environmental Impact of Disposable Diapers
Diaper manufacturers are not obligated by law to disclose the component parts of their diapers. They need to be exposed to oxygen and sunlight to decompose, they do not degrade well in a landfill, they take about 500 years to decompose. The millions of tons of untreated waste added to landfills each year can contaminate ground water, and the viruses excreted in a baby’s feaces can leak into local water supplies.

Hottest April Temperature Ever Recorded on Earth in Pakistan
The "reading in Nawabshah adds to a long list of international hot weather extremes since 2017, which includes Spain's and Iran's highest temperatures ever recorded last summer" and Pakistan breaking the monthly world record when the temperature reached 53.5°C (128.3°F) in Turbat last May. "The recent eye-popping temperatures in Pakistan fall in line with a growing body of research showing how climate change is making heat waves more common and intense nearly everywhere," which is "particularly dire news for what's already one of the hottest parts of the world," 

Video: IDF Soldiers Block Road, Shoot Unarmed Protesters, Celebrate on Camera
As the video’s description notes, these Israeli soldiers casually discussing how to shoot a man who is trying to clear road access to his home, shows an Israeli soldier celebrating and shouting “that son of a bitch” after shooting an unarmed Palestinian protester with a rubber-coated metal bullet. The previous video showed Israeli snipers aiming at a Palestinian man standing still in the Gaza strip and subsequently cheering as he is shot.
Haley: Hamas must stop using Gaza children as cannon fodder 

Russian Missile Tech has Made America's Trillion Dollar Navy Obsolete
New missile technology has made a naval empire cheap to defeat. Previously, to fight a naval battle, one had to have ships that outmatched those of the enemy in their speed and artillery power. The Spanish Armada was sunk by the British armada. More recently, this meant that only those countries whose industrial might matched that of the US could ever dream of opposing it militarily. But this has now changed: Russia’s new missiles can be launched from thousands of kilometres away, are unstoppable, and it takes just one to sink a destroyer and just two to sink an aircraft carrier. The American armada can now be sunk without having an armada of one’s own. The relative sizes of American and Russian economies or defence budgets are irrelevant: the Russians can build more hypersonic missiles more quickly and cheaply than the Americans would be able to build more aircraft carriers.
Is the WWIII over before it has begun - if so all else is paper-tiger-blustering
Electronic Weapons Are ‘Disabling’ US Aircraft in Syria
"Russia has integrated electronic warfare and offensive and defense electromagnetic spectrum capabilities into its operations and strategies, in a way not seen from NATO forces in Europe,

Citing 'Conclusive Evidence' of Explosives - Petition to Re-Open 9/11 Investigation
According to the 52-page petition federal statute requires the US Department of Justice to review the evidence with a special grand jury. The petition states: “The Lawyers’ Committee has reviewed the relevant available evidence .. and has reached a consensus that there is not just substantial or persuasive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted crimes related to the use of pre-planted explosives and/or incendiaries .. on 9/11, but there is actually conclusive evidence that such federal crimes were committed.”

How long it takes to turn an acquaintance into a true friend
Ways of talking mattered. Catching up, joking around and having meaningful conversation promote intimacy and closeness while small talk actually decreases closeness in the relationship,' he added. Best friendships take work and time, unsurprisingly, and did not emerge until people had spent 300 hours together.

Antarctic Research Project: Will a Huge Glacier Soon Break Off
We already know Thwaites Glacier is melting at a rate of about 40 centimeters per year, according to the BBC. That alone has caused about 4 percent of the world’s sea level rise we’ve seen in the past 25 years. As if that weren’t startling enough, scientists are worried Thwaites is about to make a much bigger splash: if ocean waters have infiltrated far enough beneath this glacier, its Florida-sized-mass could begin sliding off land and into the ocean.

Shift to renewables would save Australians $20bn a year
40% of transport could be emissions-free by 2035 and neighbours could trade clean electricity. A total shift to renewable energy would pay for itself through cost savings within two decades, and ultimately save Australians $20bn a year in combined fuel and power costs. “Meanwhile, state and local governments, households, communities, farmers, and businesses large and small are getting on with the job of repowering Australia with clean, affordable energy. The going can be unnecessarily tough, as the rules of the game are stacked against them, but progress is happening at a remarkable rate.”

Chinese Surveillance Is Literally Getting in Workers’ Heads
If it’s creeping you out to think of your boss being able to read your mood changes, you should remember it’s not new or uncommon for employers to monitor workers in the interest of increasing profits. An estimated 80 percent of major U.S. companies keep tabs on workers’ email, internet, or phone usage. 
Cambridge Analytica shuts down in wake of Facebook scandal
The embattled consulting firm continues to face backlash over mining data on 87 million Facebook users that it used to sway American voters while working for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Cambridge Analytica used the data to create complex algorithms meant to influence voters while doing analytics and other election-related outreach for the Trump campaign. Ex-Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie told House Democrats last week that the firm was set up as a “full-service propaganda machine” for the Trump campaign, creating and promoting factually dubious information to spread discontent among American voters.
Cambridge Analytica Just Went Out of Business. Don’t Worry, Its Owners and Executives Have Already Started a New Company, Emerdata Ltd.

Damaged coral reefs are going quiet and young fish can't find their way home
"During bleaching, corals lose their zooxanthellae, they starve to death, they die and live coral cover is replaced by algae. Those young fish graze the reef and keep the algae down. Without the fish suppressing the growth of algae, the corals have essentially no space on the reef and can't get through."

Antarctic ice shows Australia’s drought and flood risk is worse than thought 
Australia is systematically underestimating its drought and flood risk because weather records do not capture the full extent of rainfall variability, according to our new research. Significantly longer and more frequent wet and dry periods were experienced in the pre-instrumental period (that is, before the 20th century) compared with the period over which records have been kept. Our results challenge the underlying assumptions that govern water resource management and infrastructure planning. These assumptions include:
    that droughts longer than five years are rare;
    that droughts or flood-dominated periods cannot last longer than about 15 years;
    that drought and flood risk does not change over time, so a century of instrumental records is enough to gain a full understanding of the situation. The fact that these assumptions are probably wrong is a concern. 
Recent Australian droughts may be the worst in 800 years 
we reconstructed 800 years of seasonal rainfall patterns across the Australian continent. Our new records show that parts of Northern Australia are wetter than ever before, and that major droughts of the late 20th and early 21st centuries in southern Australia are likely without precedent over the past 400 years.

The Methane Time Bomb And The Future Of The Biosphere
Methane, the most potent common greenhouse gas, billions of tons of which are stored in Arctic permafrost, lakes, shallow seas and sediments, is emitted as the Arctic warms byan average of 3-8 degrees Celsius. This release threatens to melt the large polar ice caps, leading to tens of meters sea level rise and disappearance of species a rate two orders of magnitude faster than they would have without human interference. Compounding this effect is extensive drilling for coal seam gas, perforating the crust in several parts of the world and releasing commercial and fugitive emissions of methane to the atmosphere. Having sent young generations to kill and die in wars, the powers to be are now presiding over the greatest mass extinction of nature since 66 million years ago

Debt as % of gdp. 

Bill Gates: Coming Disease Could Kill 30m Within 6 Months, And We're Not Ready 
New pathogens emerge all the time as the world population increases and humanity encroaches on wild environments. It's becoming easier and easier for individual people or small groups to create weaponised diseases that could spread like wildfire around the globe. A small non-state actor could build an even deadlier form of smallpox in a lab.

Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory Tackles the Multiverse
Here’s a (really) simplified explanation of (one) multiverse theory. The Big Bang happened. The universe expanded. In some places, it kept expanding. In others, it stopped. In the places where it stopped, universes formed — ours, and a potentially infinite number of others.

Think of Cape Town, Mobutu and the others at serious risk: Bangalore. Beijing. Cairo. Jakarta. Moscow. Istanbul. Mexico City and also London, Tokyo, Miami and Sao Paulo.
Melbourne's water supply at risk due to ‘hidden collapse' of forests caused by logging 
A hidden collapse meant that while the ecosystem may appear superficially intact, the lag time in recovering old-growth mountain ash forests — the linchpin in preserving mountain ash ecosystems — “means that collapse is almost inevitable”. Lindenmayer said if drastic measures were not immediately taken to halt or greatly reduce native logging operations in mountain ash forests, the forest may not be able to recover from the level of projected collapse in 2067 and would instead be replaced by an open acacia woodland.
World Water Development Report 2018
By 2050, around three billion people could be living in “severely water-scarce areas.”

Australia’s biggest solar farm about to begin commissioning
The 124MW Sun Metals facility that will provide one third of the power needs for its zinc refinery near Townsville in north Queensland. The Sun Metals solar farm is not the only one to be near completion; the 100MW Clare solar farm, also in north Queensland, has begun commissioning and it may be overtaken when the Whyalla steelworks complete their first large scale solar array, part of a plan to source 1GW of solar and storage to slash electricity costs by around 40%.

Freud’s Model And Madison’s Invention
Thanks to the psychological model by Sigmund Freud and constitutional invention of James Madison, we can see with more clarity how the structure and dynamics of the mind provide a model for the organisation and function of the democratic State.

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