The John James Newsletter 239

posted Sep 4, 2018, 6:32 PM by Clement Clarke

The John James Newsletter  239

14 July 2018

We fill the air with harmful gases and pretend they 'go away'
We use the oceans as a garbage dump
We buy and sell endangered species as decorations

      Scientists’ Warning: 2nd Notice

We have ZERO years left to solve climate change. Emissions have to come down steadily in the years ahead to avoid committing to catastrophic climate change impacts
      Michael Mann

The the sum of the body weights of all 7.5 billion people on Earth now comprises 32% of the total mass of all vertebrates (mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians) on land. Our domesticated animals comprise another 65%. That is, humans and our domesticates comprise 97% of the mass of all terrestrial vertebrates – leaving only 3% for all of the Earth's wild terrestrial vertebrates
      Will Steffen
We need to be open to the very real possibility that there is now no way out - its just a matter of time as the anomalies we have unleashed work themselves out.  When the time cones, I would prefer to know why, rather than be clueless and terrified. In these letters I am sharing my grief in small increments. Much easier to talk about.
      John James

An existential risk is one that threatens the premature extinction of Earth-originating intelligent life or the permanent and drastic destruction of its potential for desirable future development
      Australian Senate report

Why do we have a system where a defeated candidate can take the highest office in the land, then wield the power of making lifelong appointments to an unelected body which holds the ultimate sway over our public (and personal) life? What kind of democracy or republic do we have when someone who was not the choice of the majority of voters can reshape the nation in a fundamental way, for generations to come?
      Chris Floyd

Ah yes, truth. Funny how everyone is always asking for it but when they get it they don't believe it because it's not the truth they want to hear
Helena Cassadine

I told my son, "you will marry the girl I choose." He said, "no."
I told him, "she is Bill Bates' daughter." He said, "yes."
I called Bill Gates and said, "I want your daughter to marry my son." Bill Gates said, "no."  
I told Bill Gates, "my son is the CEO of the World Bank." Bill Gates said, "ok."
I called the president of World Bank and asked him to make my son the CEO. He said, "no." 
I told him, "my son is Bill Gates' son-in-law."  He said, "ok."
And that's exactly how politics works. And thus began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in influential positions of government. The practice is unbroken to this day.

Australia’s foreign interference laws threaten whistleblowers and media freedom
The Australian people have been denied their right to be informed about, let alone to vote on, the most serious and punitive legislative measures to be enacted since the Second World War. It is a fundamental precept of democracy that power derives from the consent of the people. The Coalition and Labor parties have no legitimate authority to deprive the population of the democratic rights that have been achieved through decades, and even centuries, of struggle against tyranny and despotism.   Read more

The rise of fascism on the sinking Titanic
“Anti-democratic leaders are winning democratic elections … and some of the world’s savviest politicians are moving closer to tyranny with each passing year.”  Inherent in fascism are extreme nationalism, totalitarianism, racism, militarism and a push for war [all of which are on the increase]. The mainstream media not uncommonly excelling itself in aiming derogatory comments at perceived adversaries, unverified false flags and personal smears.   Read more

On the flooded Thai cave and the Hiroshima deluge
The heroic rescue of 13 young people from the flooded Chiang Mai cave in Thailand represents everything which is wonderful about humans cooperating and helping each other, and where they are at their best. By stark contrast the cover-up by the authorities and the media of the underlying reasons for the unfolding tragedy of the Hiroshima deluge, in which to-date more than 200 people have died or are  missing, tells of their indifference to the advancing spate world-wide of extreme weather events affected by global warming.  Read more

The seductive chest-swagger of the male greater sage grouse
Every spring, male grouse gather across sagebrush country in the western United States to engage in elaborate courtship rituals that include inflating and pulsing their chest sacs to draw the attention of females.  Read more


Do heat waves bother you? Under Trump climate policies, add another 12°F
Extreme heat has smashed temperature records around the country and around the world in the past week alone. But if we fail to significantly curb emissions of carbon pollution — the path set forth by President Trump’s climate policies — then these severe and deadly heatwaves will become the normal summer weather. America (and much of the world) will start seeing monster “humid heat waves” — where the heat index hits a fatal 131°F — every second year. The authoritative assessment of the science of climate change, with a focus on the US projects a stunning 8°F to 10°F average warming over the interior of this country under the report’s “higher emissions” of carbon pollution scenario. It makes clear the astounding observation that temperature extremes rise at an even faster rate than average temperatures.  Read more

Where has all this money gone? Let's remember that millions of Americans are homeless and hungry (including combat veterans), that the national infrastructure is left to rot, that the rich no longer pay their share, that health care is being eviscerated, etc etc. So, if its not from taxation, where has the money come from? The simplistic answer is its from all of us in the rest of the world, for we have all bought the US bonds that give these thieves the wherewithal to rob the system and create the Empire.

Pentagon Cannot Account For $6.5 Trillion Dollars. TRILLION !!
The financial management systems actually "prevent DOD from collecting and reporting financial information ... that is accurate, reliable, and timely". (page 4)
* DOD frequently enters "unsupported" (= imaginary) amounts in its books (page 13) and uses those figures to make the books balance. (page 14)
* Inventory records are not reviewed and adjusted; unreliable and inaccurate data are used to report inventories, and purchases are made based on those distorted inventory reports. (page 7)
* DOD managers do not know how much money is in their accounts at the Treasury, or when they spend more than Congress appropriates to them. (page 5)18
* DOD tracks neither buyer nor seller amounts when conducting transactions with other agencies. (page 12)
* "The cost and depreciation of the DOD property, plant, and equipment are not reliably reported ..." (page 8), nor is any material in the possession of contractors  (page 9)
* DOD does not know who owes it money, nor how much. (page 10) nor can they track the money as "Internal Controls", intended to track the money, are inoperative. Thus, DOD cost reports and financial statements are inaccurate, and the size of the errors cannot be identified.
* DOD does not observe many of the laws that govern all this
The accountability and appropriations clauses of the US Constitution are just window dressing, behind which this mind-numbing malfeasance thrives. Is this the real source of the mega-wealth of a few Americans? It covers fraud and theft on an unbelievable scale where those with the golden key can extract whatever they can.   Read more
   War profiteers v. The people of the US
The fact that this mind-blowing amount of missing tax money has not been a lightning rod for mainstream media coverage, congressional investigations, and a lead issue for all political representatives, particularly those who claim to care about our skyrocketing national debt, calls into serious question the integrity and legitimacy of all leadership and responsible parties.   Read more
   Rigged: How Combined $5.1 Trillion in Tax Cuts by Bush, Obama, and Trump 
   Went Mostly to Nation's Richest

With $5.1 trillion, the US government could provide healthcare for all Americans and make public colleges tuition free with cash to spare, but a report released on Wednesday by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that the past three presidents have instead opted to send this vast sum of money to the richest Americans through massive tax cuts that will send 83% of its benefits to the top one percent.   Read more

Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms [Jim Hansen et al]
The modelling, paleoclimate evidence, and on-going observations together imply that 2◦C global warming above the pre-industrial level could be dangerous. Continued high fossil fuel emissions are predicted to yield
(1) cooling of the Southern Ocean, especially in the Western Hemisphere;
(2) slowing the Southern Ocean overturning circulation, warming the ice shelves, and growing ice sheet loss;
(3) slowdown and eventual shutdown of the Atlantic overturning circulation with cooling of the North Atlantic;
(4) increasingly powerful storms; and
(5) non-linearly growing sea level rise, reaching several meters over 50–150 years.
These predictions, especially the cooling in the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic with markedly more cooling in Europe, differ fundamentally from existing climate change assessments. We discuss observations and modelling studies needed to refute or clarify these assertion.   Read more


A Seneca Collapse for the World’s Human Population?
The horse population in the US declined from some 27 million in 1920 to about 3 million in 1960. No one called for the extermination of horses but they had lost their economic value – replaced by machines –  and so they were not cared for anymore and not even allowed to reproduce. And that was the Seneca Cliff for horses. Why not a similar cliff ahead for humans? They, too, have lost their economic value, being replaced by machines. You say that humans are not horses? Sure, but think about something: who decided the fate of horses? And who decides the fate of humans? You get my point, I guess. With humans rapidly becoming technologically obsolete, there would be no need to wait for an energy cliff to bring down civilization as a whole before seeing their numbers radically curtailed.   Read more

I have thought hard on whether I should include this. It is the most terrifying prospect that we could be eliminated within a short time.  Yet, I have heard this expressed (sometimes clearly, sometimes in hints) by Paul Beckwith, Peter Wadhams, Guy McPherson, Natalia Shakhova, Andrew Glikson, and other climate scientists. Though hotly disputed, there is a real possibility of rapid catastrophic extinction, and we should be aware of that. Since we no longer have any idea of how the consequences of our collective actions are going to play out, we need to know that this possibility exists.

Will humans be extinct by 2026? The methane bomb.... ??
In the Arctic, vast amounts of carbon are stored in soils that are now still largely frozen. As temperatures continue to rise and soils thaw, much of this carbon will be converted by microbes into carbon dioxide or methane, adding further greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. In addition, vast amounts of methane are stored in sediments under the Arctic Ocean seafloor, in the form of methane hydrates and free gas. As temperatures rise, these sediments can get destabilized, resulting in eruptions of huge amounts of methane from the seafloor. Due to the abrupt character of such releases and the fact that many seas in the Arctic Ocean are shallow, much of the methane will then enter the atmosphere without getting broken down in the water. What makes the situation so dangerous is that huge eruptions from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean can happen at any time. We can just count ourselves lucky that it hasn't happened as yet. As temperatures continue to rise, the risk that this will happen keeps growing.  Read more
    Can we weather the Danger Zone?
As an earlier Arctic-news analysis shows, Earth may have long crossed the 1.5°C guardrail set at the Paris Agreement. Earth may have already been in the Danger Zone since early 2014. This is shown by the image on the right associated with the analysis, which is based on NASA data that are adjusted to reflect a preindustrial baseline, air temperatures and Arctic temperatures.   Read more


We Are Being Warned
Humanity is on a collision course with Nature. A damaged Nature will survive. We may not. We must change course to avert an ecological disaster. All scientists, citizens, companies and organisations are invited to sign/endorse the articles’ recommendations, and help change civilisation’s current trajectory.   Read more
      World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice
Especially troubling is the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising GHGs from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and agricultural production—particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption. We have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms [including our own] could be annihilated or committed to extinction by the end of this century. We must recognise, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.   Read more


Karma bites: Rhino poachers mauled and eaten by lions in South Africa
At least three poachers who broke into a rhinoceros reserve in South Africa received a brutal dose of karma when they were torn to pieces by a pride of lions. Staff at the Sibuya Game Reserve in Kenton-on-Sea, South Africa discovered the men's bloody remains on Tuesday, including dismembered limbs and a decapitated head. Several pairs of empty shoes were discovered, indicating that the lions ate the men, although staff say that more remains may be hidden in the thick bush. "The lions are our watchers and guardians and they picked the wrong pride and became a meal,"  Read more

Australia on the front line of clash with China, says Steve Bannon
"At the forefront of the geopolitical contest of our time. What's playing out in Australia is more important than what's happening in the US and other places. If we continue on this path we're on, China will control all of the countries of South East Asia and they will control Australia,"   Read more

Rhino fossil rewrites the earliest human history of the Philippines
Between 777,000 to 631,000 years ago archaic hominins had reached the Phillipines. We find them in the islands of Sulawesi and Flores by 200,000 years ago and one million years ago, respectively. Like Luzon, Sulawesi and Flores are large Wallacean islands located relatively close to the edge of the southeastern tip of continental Asia, the “Sundaland” on the map.  Read more


Trump’s Energy Offensive Against Iran: An Expert Analysis
By using the threat of closure of the Hormuz Strait, Iran warns the oil market away from using its maximum spare capacity to cover for Iran’s oil exports. It’s reminding the market of the scenario of no spare capacity and possible geopolitical conflict and supply cut! Iranian Presidents Hassan Rouhani and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad both used the same exact words for a same threat to their oil export: “if Iran oil is banned, not a single drop of oil will pass through Hormuz Strait.” These warnings should not be seen as the “bluster”.  Read more

Massive surge in rooftop solar would bring an end to Australia’s coal era
The biggest threat to Australia’s legacy coal fired generators is the continued boom in rooftop solar. “Consumers are going to be the most influential generator in terms of volume. There will be more capacity behind the meter than the total current capacity in the National Electricity Market.”    Read more
   Unprecedented': Solar panel installations soar, on track to triple 2017 record
Rooftop solar panel installations soared by almost half in the first six months of 2018 as businesses eclipse residential take-up for the first time. In the January-June half, rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panel installations reached 701.9 megawatts, up 48% from the same time a year earlier. The long-predicted jump in commercial-sized systems – those of more than 15 kW – is finally happening "It's a three-to-four years' payback now for commercial [users]. It makes more sense, especially with electricity [prices] rising."   Read more


Boudica's rebellion against the Roman Empire - a reminder for today?
Were the Romans in Britain at the time of Queen Boudica because of the British mineral resources that provided copper, tin, iron, lead, and even precious metals: gold and silver? Invading a foreign country was preceded by a long period of cultural and commercial assimilation and it was attempted only when it could provide a financial profit. Cassius writes that Seneca had lent to the Iceni a large sum of money and that the Iceni were unable to return it. That suggests that the key of the story - as it is often the case - was money and blames Seneca himself for precipitating the rebellion by insisting to have his money back. At this point, the Iceni elite had little choice: either lose everything they had or rebel against the largest military power of their time. Neither was a good choice, but Boudica chose the one that turned out to be truly disastrous. The inner mechanisms that kept the Roman Empire working were not different from that of other empires in human history, including the US.  Read more

Pakistan’s Financial Crisis Puts China’s Belt and Road On The Spot
Concerns that China’s $50 billion plus investment in Pakistani infrastructure and energy, the Belt and Road’s crown jewel dubbed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), potentially amounts to a debt trap, compound suggestions that Pakistan increasingly will have no choice but to toe Beijing’s line.  China has so far been willing to bail Pakistan out with Chinese state-owned bank giving the South Asian country some $5 billion in loans in the last 12 months in addition to a $1.5 billion trade facility. Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves plunged to $9.66 billion last month from $16.4 billion in May 2017.   Read more

Trump's Personal Driver for 25 Years Sues for Unpaid Overtime
the billionaire real estate developer didn’t pay him overtime and raised his salary twice in 15 years, clawing back the second raise by cutting off his health benefits. “In an utterly callous display of unwarranted privilege and entitlement and without even a minimal sense of noblesse oblige,”    Read more
    Trump administration's opposition to breastfeeding
Advocates for improved nutrition for babies are outraged over reports that the Trump administration bullied other governments in an attempt to prevent the passage of an international resolution promoting breastfeeding.  US intervention amounted to “public health versus private profit. What is at stake: breastfeeding saves women and children’s lives. It is also bad for the multibillion-dollar global infant formula (and dairy) business.”      Read more

Where Financial Inequality Is Rampant
There is increasing recognition that GDP measures or GDP per capita are insufficent when it comes to understanding the true economic well-being of households. That has resulted in research becoming increasingly focused on household income with a higher emphasis on income inequality. The wealthiest 10 percent of households hold 52 percent of total household wealth on average. By contrast, the 60 percent least wealthy households only own about 12 percent. The situation is by far the worst in the United States where th richest 10 percent of households own 79 percent of the wealth. The bottom 60 percent of American households only own 2.4 percent of household wealth.    Read more

Donald Trump Uses Right-Wing Populism to Unite Divergent Groups
Every far-right upsurge in the US over the past 40 years has been powered by different rightist currents coming together. In the 1980s, the convergence between Klan and Nazi forces — which had distrusted each other for half a century — gave us the modern white nationalist movement. In the 1990s, the explosion of Patriot/militia groups was fuelled by a new mix of white nationalism, Christian Reconstructionism, John Birch-style conspiracist and gun rights ideology. Over the past decade, the rise of the “alt-right” has followed the same dynamic.    Read more

Trees are a city’s air conditioners, so why are we pulling them out?
The population of major Australian cities is expected to double in the next four to five decades. Planned increases in urban density are likely to result in the removal of a significant number of trees from urban areas. Fewer trees in cities help create urban heat island effects – that’s when buildings and footpaths absorb the sun’s heat and then radiate it back out. Increases of up to three degrees are common and, in extreme cases, night-time increases of up to 12 degrees have been recorded.     Read more

The Maps of Israeli Settlements That Shocked Barack Obama
A State Department map shows Palestinian population centres in the West Bank. Obama was surprised to see how “systematic” the Israelis had been at cutting them off from one another. Not only were Palestinian population centres cut off from one another but there was virtually no way to squeeze a viable Palestinian state into the areas that remained. When the settlement zones, the illegal outposts, and the other areas off limits to Palestinian development were consolidated, they covered almost 60% of the West Bank.   Read more

Bulldozing Palestine, one village at a time
Israel wants the village of Khan al-Ahmar razed to the ground to cut off Jerusalem from the West Bank. The story of Khan al-Ahmar is just one example of the systemic and illegal forced displacement and replacement of Palestinians with Israelis across Palestine. Palestinians are being displaced by a variety of calculated Israeli policies. Since Trump took office, an emboldened Israel has approved more than 14,000 additional settlement units in the West Bank.     Read more