The John James Newsletter 233

posted Jun 10, 2018, 4:27 PM by Clement Clarke
The John James Newsletter 233

2 June 2018  

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Our grandchildren will find it hard to believe we could have been so short-sighted as to delay from having to dig our energy out of the ground to merely harnessing the infinite supply being sent to our planet free of charge
Ross Gittings

The children may rattle their toys, but the tsar has the keys to the nursery. The crackpot in the White House neither knows nor cares nor, one suspects, understands. He long ago opened the door for Putin – and Putin walked straight through it
Robert Fisk

A 2,000 year old redwood tree that produces oxygen, sequesters CO2, cleans toxins from the atmosphere, stabilises topsoil, prevents flooding, and creates habitat for pollinators that are crucial to our biosphere, confers economic advantage to none. But cut down, makes $100,000 worth of virgin lumber
Daniel Schmachtenberger

If everyone who wished to have a child were allowed only one, and this remained international law for the next 50 years, the hideous bell-curve that presages doom, would change direction into a sustainable level 
Viki Wright

One of the oft-repeated phenomena of great empires is the influx of foreigners to the capital city. Roman historians often complain of the number of Asians and Africans in Rome
John Gubb

The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant
H L Mencken

We think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that (sic!)
World Bank Chief Economist, Lawrence Summers

"People's Climate Case": Families Sue EU Demanding More Ambitious Action to Combat Climate Crisis
"If it is recognised by the court that climate protection is a human rights issue, then climate protection can be activated in the courts of all other jurisdictions in the world." In what's being called the People's Climate Case, ten families from Fiji, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden have come together to sue European Union institutions for failing to adequately address the global climate crisis that's threatening their livelihoods.

Scientists call for urgent action on bee-killing insecticide
Only around 5% of the water-soluble active ingredients in applied neonicotinoid insecticides are taken up by target plants. The rest disperses into the wider environment, fuelling fears that it is adversely affecting a wide range of other insects.

Fatal Floods in Eastern Africa Means Yet More Food Shortages
Rainfall that’s been twice the seasonal average in parts of eastern Africa has claimed almost 500 lives (500 !! Thats not just a number!), forced thousands from their homes and damaged crops, raising the specter of a repeat of last year’s food shortages. “Recent floods have heavily affected the fragile food security situation in the East Africa region. People have seen their farms washed away through flooding and mudslides.”

I continue to notify you about the gradual erosion of the US dollar and the growth of an alternative global monetary system because it is of the utmost importance. America's basis for power and expansion has been its control over the worlds currency exchange through the IMF and the World Bank. This has been of the utmost importance, because he who controls the money also controls the debt. This is only rarely discussed in the popular press. 
China extends currency swap deal with Pakistan
Pakistani officials also hope that borrowing from Chinese banks will save the nation from seeking help from the International Monetary Fund.
Iran, India to use local currencies for bilateral trade
Both countries are in consonance over the barter-like system, wherein Iran would allow India to make a portion of oil payments in Rupee through the state-run UCO Bank, which has no US exposure. Expediting the formation of a mechanism to withstand US sanctions, India and Iran have discussed various options, including rupee-rial trade, so that bilateral trade between the two countries continues without a blip. Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier. India's private, as well as public sector, oil refiners are heavily dependent on cheap Iranian crude. 
India’s Hidden Message to UN on Iran
In a remarkable rebuke of the US administration, India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has announced that India will not respect unilateral US sanctions on Iran and will recognize “only the UN sanctions.” This is another setback for the White House's hawkish anti-Iran policy, which has already alienated key European allies who are struggling to preserve the Iran nuclear deal without the US. Adding real bite to her major policy announcement, Swaraj then went on to meet Iran's visiting Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is seeking to shore up global sanctions-busting support through a flurry of diplomatic trips.

Entangled dolphin "asks" diver for help
Mother Humpback Stays by Calf While Rescuers Free it From Shark Net
Sharks Love To Be Petted - They're Like Dogs

The face of empires and the search for survival
(a) We do not learn from history because our studies are brief and prejudiced. 
(b) In a surprising manner, 250 years emerges as the average length of national greatness. 
(c) This average has not varied for 3,000 years, or ten generations? 
(d) The stages of the rise and fall of great nations seem to be: 
The Age of Pioneers  
The Age of Conquests 
The Age of Commerce 
The Age of Affluence 
The Age of Intellect 
The Age of Decadence. 
(e) Decadence is marked by: Defensiveness, Pessimism, Materialism, Frivolity, the Influx of foreigners, The Welfare State, loss of infrastructure and a weakening of religion. 
(f) Decadence is due to being too long in wealth and power, Selfishness, Love of money, the lost sense of duty. 
(g) The life histories of great states are amazingly similar, and are due to internal factors. 
(h) Their falls are diverse, because they are largely the result of external causes. 

Fifty-one million US households cannot afford a “survival budget”
Two-thirds of all jobs are low-paying—less than $20 an hour, or $40,000 a year if full-time.mMore than 30% of households cannot afford a basic “survival budget. Those families earning over the poverty level but struggling to afford basic necessities outnumber similarly struggling households living in poverty.

In Canada 20,000 federal infrastructure projects underway
This is a mammoth 12-year, $180-billion plan to overhaul Canadian housing, water systems and social and green initiatives for a generation with new bridges, public transit, science and learning centres, and repairs to existing structures. Investments to keep up with digitisation, international trade growth, climate change and the emerging clean growth economy.

Tesla Gets Green Light To Create The World’s Largest Virtual Solar Plant In South Australia
The original deal – to create the world’s largest virtual power plant – was first struck in February between Tesla and South Australia’s then-dominant Labor Party. But when Steven Marshall of the Liberal Party was elected Premier, it was unclear if the government would honour that agreement, or move forward with the Liberal Party’s own plan to subsidise 40 thousand home battery units to bring renewable energy to people who couldn’t otherwise afford it. In good news  the government decided to do both. The Tesla plan, funded by a two million dollar grant and 30 million dollar loan from the Australian state’s government, could scale up to 50 thousand solar-powered home batteries if the earlier stages are successful. In addition to the Liberal Party’s own 100 million dollar program — which would subsidise about $2,500 of installation costs per household — this means that South Australia may have a grid of some 90 thousand solar-powered homes within the next few years. The government’s continued support for low-cost renewable energy is a good sign for the environment and a future increasingly powered by clean energy.

How will the US nuclear deal pullout affect Iran's economy?
US withdrawal from the JCPOA could be a blessing in disguise for Iran's economy. The reality is that Iran gained almost nothing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action . The most important sanctions that were supposed to be lifted were financial ones. Not only did the US not lift the sanctions that it had committed to, but it also imposed new ones. In clear violation of the deal, the US government continuously tried to deprive Iran from the privileges the JCPOA had promised. 
Tariffs: The Real Risk Is Erratic Policy.
The near-term costs of steel and aluminium tariffs are manageable; the longer-term costs of potential trade wars with seemingly the entire world are greater. US tariffs go into effect on metals from the European Union, Canada and Mexico today, and some have already hit back. Combined with similar measures being prepared by China, Russia and Turkey, the impact of the penalties on American goods could be severe.

 God the Enforcer

Warming ocean waters off Alaska bring widespread ecological changes, with more expected 
Arctic cod, a high-fat fish, is eaten by seabirds, marine mammals, people and even other fish, is crucial to the Arctic ecosystem and its food web. Higher water temperatures harm Arctic cod eggs and larvae and favour lower-latitude, lower-fat fish that have been moving north. And population surveys in the southeastern Bering Sea found that in years when ice melts out early, bird diversity suffers. 

In the Middle East, Putin has a lot to thank Trump for right now
Once it was the State Department which called for 'restraint on all sides' – usually when the Israelis were invading or bombing Lebanon or Gaza – but now it’s the Kremlin which calls for 'restraint' between Israel and Iran. Putin is fast becoming a friend to all and a big compromise seems to have been achieved with the Israelis. They could hit the Iranians if they wished, but no war on Syria, no Israeli (or American) no-fly zones, and – above all – no war with Iran. The Iranians don’t want a war with Israel (neither side would win, as Netanyahu knows), and in Tehran, Putin is the voice of common sense. Once it was the State Department which called for “restraint on all sides” – usually when the Israelis were invading or bombing Lebanon or Gaza – but now it’s the Kremlin which calls for “restraint” between Israel and Iran.

Oz Department for Transitioning to the Dark Ages
A hilarious video that takes on the government’s power supply policies.

The big mistake we go on making on climate change
I’m still combing through the budget’s fine print, but its thousands of pages make almost no mention of climate change. Even the federal government’s latest, 2015 “intergenerational report” peering out to 2055, devotes only a few paragraphs to “environment” and avoids using words starting with c. Our grandchildren will find it hard to believe we could have been so short-sighted as to delay moving from having to dig our energy out of the ground to merely harnessing the infinite supply of solar and wind power being sent to our planet free of charge.

April 2018 was third warmest April on record 
n spite of the low temperatures in parts of the United States last month, 2018 experienced globally the third warmest April in 138 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by NASA scientists.

What a Giant Soda Stream Reveals About the Fate of Corals
Corals are nature’s greatest builders, but humanity is slowly depriving them of mortar. A quarter of the carbon dioxide that we pump into the atmosphere dissolves in the oceans, gradually making them more acidic. This depletes the carbonate ions that corals need to build their mighty reefs. Eventually, they won’t be able to lay down new material fast enough to offset the effects of hungry fish, battering storms, and other eroding forces. Their reefs will start to recede and dissolve. But the One Tree Island experiment suggests that the tipping point may come even sooner than anyone expected.
Is This the Beginning of the End of Coral?
"But the science is clear: Unless we change the way we live, the Earth's coral reefs will be utterly destroyed within our children's lifetimes." Now, having done little to change the way we live, we're in the midst of what scientists have confirmed is the third global coral bleaching event.
Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin is back. The Great Barrier Reef isn't
First Dog on the Moon - see cartoon!

“The Godfather” on Adelson’s Influence on US & Canadian Policies
Wendy Mesley exposes the role of billionaire campaign donor Sheldon Adelson in getting the US embassy moved to Jerusalem, Trump’s abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal, and both U.S. and Canadian politics in general. Adelson, the tenth richest man in the world and the GOP’s largest donor uses his money to influence policies on behalf of Israel.

‘Going to get worse’: red fire ants detected in Queensland's Scenic Rim
It may not be well understood, but if fire ants become permanently established, people in affected areas wouldn’t be able to enjoy our natural amenity or recreational areas. That means no camping, no barbecues on the lawn, no backyard cricket and no outside pets. Vast areas of the state’s natural environment, including world heritage areas and national parks, are prone to fire ant invasion.
Fire will ants prosper as we get hotter
Workers forage during the warmer months, typically when temperatures are between 22°C and 36°C. 

Hyundai jumps back into booming Australian solar market
the company has set some aggressive new volume targets, with plans to sell between 20-30MW of panels in 2018, and 40-50MW in 2019 – compared to a total of around 10MW when it exited the Australia market in 2011. “Nowadays, the Australian market is growing very fast in all markets, but residential and commercial are more stable”.

The Saint Petersburg Economic Forum 
This is an annual affair consisting of a gathering of global economic leaders keen to consider key economic issues facing Russia, developing markets, and the world at large. The Germans are in a bind. That is clearly reflected in the recent statement by the Russian-German Foreign Trade Chamber to the effect that “these actions [sanctions] are holding international business hostage to sanctions. Moscow and the West must find ways to settle the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, counting on de-escalating the conflict instead of its escalation” and “putting pressure on German or any other business, as well as demanding that certain companies take sides in this spat would send an ultimately wrong signal”.

Trump’s New Tariffs Are Causing America’s Closest Friends To View Him As A Hostile Threat
Trump has got the trade war he’s always wanted. And right now it’s hitting some of America’s closest allies harder than China. This is how trade wars escalate, and there’s no telling where this one will end up. A tit-for-tat spiral could imperil the growing U.S. economy that Trump inherited and hurt many G.O.P. voting blocs, such as farmers. Although the metal tariffs cover a narrow range of imports, Trump appears determined to extract some very broad concessions from America’s closest trading partners. 
More countries are readying trade retaliation against the U.S.
US tariffs go into effect on metals from the European Union, Canada and Mexico today, and some have already hit back. Combined with similar measures being prepared by China, Russia and Turkey, the impact of the penalties on American goods could be severe. 

Saudi Wahabbism was initially sponsord by the West
When the Saudi Crown Prince gave an interview to the Washington Post, declaring that it was actually the West that encouraged his country to spread Wahhabism to all corners of the world, there was a long silence in almost all the mass media outlets in the West, but also in countries such as Egypt and Indonesia. Those who read the statement, expected a determined rebuke from Riyadh. It did not come. The sky did not fall. Lightning did not strike the Prince or the Post.

Iran's oil & gas production  
According to the Iran Petroleum Ministry, the proved natural gas reserves of Iran are about ... The US Energy Information Administration estimated Iran's proved gas reserves as of the start of 2013 as 33.6 trillion cubic metres, rendering it 1st the world, surpassing Russia's.... and there's the Caspian sea, too, to which Iran has partial claim.

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Preview YouTube video Entangled dolphin "asks" diver for help
Preview YouTube video Mother Humpback Stays by Calf While Rescuers Free it From Shark Net
Preview YouTube video Sharks Love To Be Petted - They're Like Dogs