The John James Newsletter 238

posted Sep 4, 2018, 6:29 PM by Clement Clarke

The John James Newsletter  238

7 July 2018

I believe that adult hypocrisy is the biggest problem children face. Adults telling children to be honest while lying and cheating. Adults telling children to not be violent while marketing and glorifying violence... etc, etc
      Marian Wright Edleman - Children's Advocate

There is enormous fear that an uncontrollable President at the upcoming Putin/Trump summit will make an agreement that will bring to an end the demonizing of Russia that serves to protect the enormous budget and power of the military-security complex
     Paul Craig Roberts

Nowadays even some of the Greens appear to consider plastic bags and the tampon tax as greater vote winners than the demise of the biosphere
      Andrew Glikson

America is one-dollar-one-vote, not really one-person-one vote
      Eric Zuesse

In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch alone (and there are at least four others), there are more than 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing an estimated 88,000 tons. That one patch is equivalent to 250 pieces of debris for every human on Earth (JJ: Times 5+ ÷ 365 = 20 pieces/day each)
      Noel Celis

The annual death rate for Aboriginal Australians is 2.2% compared to 2.5% for sheep and 0.7% for White Australians. This is happening in one of the richest countries of the world from deliberate neglect - the under-5 infant death rate is over 3 times higher; 1 in 5 Aborigines have diabetes and life expectancy is about 20 years less than that for White Australians.

How does it keep happening that the US, the land of the free, the home of the brave, is the only place on Earth where gun murders and maimings and assaults exceed the death tolls of all the world’s active war zones combined?
      Larry Wines

The merger between Bayer and Monsanto brings together the manufacturer of the world’s most lethal pesticides with the manufacturer of the world’s most lethal herbicides. Already the concentrated power of these behemoths is a hazard to democracy; together they threaten both political and ecological disaster. What economists call progress, ecologists recognise as ruin
      George Monbiot


In Memoriam - “I love not man the less, but Nature more.”
My ambition to see the seabird colonies of the Shetlands and St Kilda has been replaced by the intention never to visit those islands during the breeding season: I could not bear to see the empty cliffs, whose populations have crashed by some 90% this century. I have lived long enough to witness the vanishing of wild mammals, butterflies, mayflies, songbirds and fish that I once hoped my grandchildren would experience: it has all happened faster than even the pessimists predicted. Walking in the countryside or snorkelling in the sea is now as painful to me as an art lover would find her visits to a gallery, if on every occasion another Old Master had been cut from its frame. The cause of this acceleration is no mystery.   Read more


Do you want to know what I believe? To understand the basis for my sustained editing of this Newsletter? I have done over 20 years of inner search, and concluded that as I need to be alive and active in life and simultaneously totally unattached to the outcome. I will do my best to tell you why we are in such a mess, but in the end if this fails to change any of you I wont hang on to expectations that my efforts to bring consciousness to our situation will actually change anything.
   Sunrise doesn't last all morning
   A cloudburst doesn't last all day
   All things must pass, All things must pass away

Activism without inner work is impotent

Consciousness. Those who have done the work to bring consciousness to their social habits and inner lives are not randomly floating about at the whims of chance in a tornado of information, but are grounded in a clear sense of themselves and who they are. They thus have a much better chance of correctly figuring the truth, the manipulation, and essential value for the path they’d like to see society walk along. In a culture that is saturated with media propaganda, I’ve cultivated this inner knowing through many years of dedicated personal development. The most compassionate thing you can do for the world is to clear your inner being of falsehood and delusion so that with a clear mind and body you can be useful without attachment. Read more

Temp Records Shattered Across Northern Hemisphere
Over the past week, 21 all-time temperature records were shattered across the Northern Hemisphere. These records coincide with an extreme heatwave blanketing large parts of Europe, North America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. In Quebec, safety officials were inundated with 1,200 calls per day due to heat stress and heat injury. 23 all time record high maximum and record high minimum temperatures have been produced as a result of the present heatwave during the past 7 days. This compares to zero records over the same time period.   Read more


Global temperature rises could be double those predicted by climate modelling
“Climate models appear to be trustworthy for small changes, such as for low-emission scenarios over short periods, say over the next few decades out to 2100,” she said. “But as the change gets larger or more persistent it appears they underestimate climate change.” The researchers looked at three documented warm periods, the Holocene thermal maximum, which occurred 5,000 to 9,000 years ago, the last interglacial, which occurred 116,000 to 129,000 years ago, and the mid-Pliocene warm period, which occurred 3m to 3.3 m years ago. “Observations of past warming periods suggest that a number of amplifying mechanisms, which are poorly represented in climate models, increase long-term warming beyond climate model projections. This suggests the carbon budget to avoid 2°C of global warming may be far smaller than estimated, leaving very little margin for error to meet the Paris targets.”  Read more

Hidden in plain sight: what the recycling crisis really looks like
The fascinating story of what can be done to recycle our waste. Australians produce a lot of waste. According to Clean Up Australia, the amount of waste that hits landfill in Australia every year is enough to cover the entire state of Victoria. The average Australian produces 1.5 tonnes of waste in a year.    Read more

Deepwater Horizon Long-Lasting Impact on Marine Life's Building Blocks
"At the sites closest to the spill, biodiversity was flattened, and lingering oil residues have altered the basic building blocks of life in the ocean." It's premature to imagine that all the effects of the spill are over and remediated. We rely heavily on the ocean and we could be looking at potential effects to the food supply down the road. Deep sea microbes regulate carbon in the atmosphere and recycle nutrients.  Read more

Superbugs Lurking on Three-Fourths of Supermarket Meat
The government still allows most producers to give highly important antibiotics to healthy animals to compensate for stressful, crowded, and unsanitary conditions," which are rampant on factory farms. "These non-treatment uses are counter to WHO recommendations, and create a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria." If the FDA waits for this serious threat to become a true national health crisis, the FDA will have been negligent in its mission of 'protecting the public health ... by ensuring the safety of our nation's food supply.'"  Read more

Eliminating Corruption No Easy Task For Amlo
The new Mexican president has vowed to change the way his country is fighting its war against drugs, improve life for the poor, rejuvenate the economy and eradicate corruption. That last point is one of the most pressing issues in Mexico and it may also prove difficult to tackle. At his final campaign rally, Amlo said that "we will get rid of this cancer, that is destroying this country". The scale of the challenge is evident from this data published last year. When asked about whether they had paid a bribe to access basic services over the past year, 51% said they had. That is the highest level of corruption in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Read more

How we should manage Donald Trump’s meltdown world
The assumptions that have sustained and underpinned Australian security and economic policy for decades are in meltdown. The post-Second World War global order – an open, rules-based system underpinned by a robust network of security alliances, and by effective multilateral institutions in which rules could be agreed and norms reinforced – is the only one we have known in our modern history. As the Trump administration conspicuously abandons those norms, that order is now unravelling with remarkable speed.    Read more

Beijing to spend three trillion dollars on infrastructure in 60 countries
Oil pipelines across Myanmar, cargo railways from Beijing to London, railways from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, and numerous other projects all over Europe, Asia, and Africa. The People’s Republic of China is expanding its diplomatic and economic influence around the world, reflecting the American Marshall Plan they aim to replicate the economic boom the US experienced after the Second World War. Beijing is increasingly challenging American hegemony one region at a time.   Read more

Declines of protein and minerals essential for humans
CO2 levels this century will alter the protein, micronutrients, and vitamin content of rice with health consequences for the poorest rice-dependent countries, with  over 600 million people.  Read more

How Germany is leading Europe’s organic food revolution
The EU has been working since 2014 on new regulations for a sector that grew by more than 7% in 2015, and is worth €75 billion globally. Lack of consensus regarding some issues, in particular pesticide levels, unleashed war in Brussels and, as a result, the regulations were among the most disputed in the history of the EU’s agricultural policy. Although it is still a niche business, ecological crops have grown at a pace of 500,000 hectares a year in Europe in the last decade, according to Eurostat, and in 2015 they accounted for 6.2% of farmlands. “The goal is to reach 50% by 2030,”   Read more
    Organic food production booms in Germany
Organic food production in Germany reached a new record in 2016, with 1.25 million hectares of land devoted to organic farming and 27,132 organic farms in operation: a 15% increase on the previous year. However, it still represents only 7.55 of all arable land in the country. The German government hopes that, eventually, 20% of all arable land will be cultivated organically – but has yet to set a date for the target.   Read more

Rhode Island sues major oil companies over climate change
Rhode Island has sued the major oil companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp and BP plc, accusing them of contributing to climate change that is damaging infrastructure and coastal communities in the state.  Read more
Rhode Island Files Historic Lawsuit Against 21 Big Oil Companies for "knowingly contributing to climate change and its catastrophic consequences"
The lawsuit marks the first in the country filed on behalf of a state and its citizens against Big Oil. For a very long time there has been this perception that they were too big to take on, but here we are—the smallest state taking on the biggest, most powerful corporate polluters in the world, because it's the right thing to do. They need to be held accountable for the damage they're inflicting on our coastal economy, infrastructure, and way of life.  Read more
California Cities Wanted Big Oil to Pay Up for Climate Damage But Federal Judge Just Said 'No'
"By kicking the case to a do-nothing Congress and a climate denying White House, the court essentially ruled that taxpayers alone should pay the massive costs of adapting to climate change" while delivering a partial victory for science by affirming the undeniable role that fossil fuels have played in the global climate crisis.   Read more

El Niño: Warm water creeps into otherwise-calm Central Pacific
During a large El Niño, like the 2015-16 event, a huge area where sea levels are more than a foot (30 centimeters) higher than normal is visible in Jason-3 images. The high sea level is caused by a thick layer of warm water in the upper several hundred feet of the ocean. Such large El Niño events affect weather and climate across the globe, The warm water is currently confined to the subsurface, with no warming at the ocean surface -- a first indicator of an upcoming El Niño event.  Read more


China isn’t playing tech catch up – it’s leapfrog and it may get dirty
In 2016, China earned just $1 billion from the rest of the world in intellectual property payments. In contrast it paid out US$24 billion (and according to many critics, it should have paid a great deal more). Compare those numbers with the equivalent figures for the US, which last year earned $128 billion from licensing its intellectual property to other countries, while paying out $48 billion. Meanwhile, Japan earned $35 billion, and paid out $18 billion. In semiconductors state planners want Chinese companies to command a third of the international market by 2030, yet in AI they are aiming at nothing less than global dominance.  Read more

Facebook reveals it gave 61 companies access to widely blocked user data
It provided Nike, Spotify, a dating app and other services with special rights to information. The revelations contrast with previous statements that the function which allowed such detailed access had been shut down in 2014. In a separate disclosure, the social network also revealed it had granted special privileges to 52 other hardware and software firms to integrate “Facebook and Facebook features” into devices and services, which also involved access to some basic user data. Apple, Amazon and the Chinese smartphone giant Huawei were among the companies on that list.   Read more

US Provides Military Assistance to 73 Percent of World’s Dictatorships
We were told we had to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator. We had to bomb Libya because Muammar Gaddafi was an evil dictator bent on unleashing a “bloodbath” on his own people. Today, of course, we are told that we should support insurgents in Syria because Bashar al-Assad is an evil dictator, and we must repeatedly rattle our sabres at North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin because they, too, are evil dictators. This is part of the larger, usually unquestioned mainstream corporate media narrative that the US leads the West in a global struggle to combat terrorism and totalitarianism and promote democracy. I set out to answer a simple question: Is it true?  Read more

UN report on US poverty: dystopian future or devastating reality?
The US is a society of extreme poverty and human rights violations. Across the country, in urban as well as rural areas, vast wealth and great innovation exist side by side with shocking and abject poverty, where millions have little hope to improve the circumstances for themselves or their children. At the same time, there are widespread beliefs about the innate differences between these two groups that are little more than caricatures: one being industrious and entrepreneurial, the other wasters and losers with themselves to blame for their lot in life. Poverty has persisted because of a stingy safety net and a dysfunctional labor market. Those in power restrict the well-being of millions and refuse to see their humanity. One-in-nine workers are paid poverty-level wages, even when working full time.   Read more

Peace at last? Is it possible this dreadful war may be over? Should we thank the  Russians for that?
The battle in the South of Syria is Coming to an End: Israel Bowed To Russia’s Will
After only two weeks since the beginning of the military operation, jihadists and militants in most of south Syria have either surrendered or were overwhelmed, the over 70 villages they occupied were liberated by the Syrian Army. Meanwhile, Israel has reduced the conditions pronounced from launching threats to menaces. This clearly means all players (the US, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia) have dropped the jihadists and militants they were training and are turning their back on them: they are now on their own.   Read more
US forces leaving Syria while Russia remains in the Levant
Russian advisors are confident that the US forces will pull out of al-Tanf and will also aim to completely withdraw from north of Syria (al-Hasaka and Deir-Ezzour) in the next six months. According to top decision makers President Trump is pushing his administration to approve an already prepared total withdrawal plan.   Read more

The rise of fascism on the sinking Titanic
Inherent in fascism are extreme nationalism, totalitarianism, racism, militarism a push for war, all of which are on the increase, including in the mainstream media, not uncommonly exceling itself in aiming derogatory comments at perceived adversaries, unverified false flags and personal smears. Advocates of peace and survival, including climate scientists, are frozen out from media platforms.There was a time when 2+2 equaled 4, facts were not labelled as “fake news”, “conservatism” meant to “conserve”, “defense” meant protection not napalm bombing of peasants, lumps of coal were not introduced into parliaments and aspiration for wealth was not considered a higher cause than social justice.   Read more

The Two Superpowers: Who Really Controls the Two Countries?
The Washington Post and New York Times are telling us that if Trump meets with Putin, Trump will sell out US national security, The Saker says that Putin finds himself in a similar box, only it doesn’t come from the national security interest, but from the Russian Prime Minister Medvedev, who represents the rich Russian elite whose wealth is based on stolen assets during the Yeltsin years enabled by Washington.  These elites, The Saker concludes, impose constraints on Putin that put Russian sovereignty at risk. Shades of President Kennedy, who did not listen to the CIA and Joint Chiefs of Staff about invading Cuba, nuking the Soviet Union.  Is the New York Times setting up Trump for assassination on the grounds that he is lovely-dovey with Russia and sacrificing US national interests? I would bet on it.   Read more

Las Vegas 1972 and 2018 - urban sprawl
Typical of all expanding cities at the expense of the natural.  Read more


The South Patagonian Ice Field
one glacier shown has shrunk from 16 miles (26 kilometers) long in 1985 to 8 miles (13 kilometers) in 2017, detaching from three other glaciers in the process.  Read more


Deforestation near Pucallpa, Peruvian Amazon
Between 1986 and 2016 large areas within the Amazon rainforest have undergone large-scale deforestation over the past few decades. However, in locations like the Peruvian Amazon, most of the deforestation is caused in recent years by small-scale agriculture,  Read more


Arctic sea-ice coverage hits record low
These images compare the 1984 minimum, which was roughly equal to the average minimum extent for 1979–2000, with that of 2012, when the minimum was about half that.  Read more