The John James Newsletter 242

posted Sep 4, 2018, 6:45 PM by Clement Clarke

The John James Newsletter  242

4 August 2018

The rainforests are increasingly falling silent
      Alexander Lees

The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle
      Michael Mann,

We are now living in a magical society that is immune to the ecological law of gravity
      Richard Heinberg

Climate change is continuing to unfold, while the impacts from it will probably accelerate. There won’t be a new normal in our lifetimes
      Anthony LeRoy Westerling,

Disastrous fires typically occur in regions with medium population densities, and at times of anomalously high heat, wind or dryness. Climate change projections suggest an increase in days conducive to extreme wildfire events by 20 to 50% in these disaster-prone landscapes, with sharper increases in the subtropical Southern Hemisphere and European Mediterranean Basin
David Bowman

In NSW, soil moisture levels, critical for crops and pasture, have been this low over so large an area only twice before – in 1902 and 1965 - and the drought is not over yet
      Karl Braganza,

With the droughts and floods going on globally at the moment, it is a good time to reflect on just how close we may be to collapse. Farmers up here are VERY worried. West of us the paddocks are just dirt with no grass cover at all. They are feeding their stock, but many of them die anyway with the poor condition that they are in. Feed is running out. They are trucking barley from SA and hay from WA. There is no barley left on the east coast of Australia that is not already committed. Their concerns are, that even when rain comes it will still be another couple of months at least before they will have any feed in their paddocks. It is already a catastrophe west of us…. I am sure we will hear the cries from the city when the price of grains and meat go through the roof… meanwhile the government is not really stepping up in the way they need to, to ensure food security for the country. The next few months will be challenging to watch….

      Mark Oates

Humanity has been organised by the triad of private property, which concentrates enormous wealth in the hands of oligarchies; the family, through which fortunes pass through inheritance; the state, which protects both property and family through armed force. It is this triad that defines the Neolithic age of our species, and we are still there – indeed now more than ever
Alain Badiou

The more serious predictions of warming and fires to occur by 2050, they’re occurring now in real time. This is just July and we’re not even into the worst part of fire season
Jerry Brown

The climate changes now occurring are much greater than what we predicted a decade ago
Michael Mann

We might pray for time. But the uncontrollable levels of climate change is bringing starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war to your life. The impacts will be catastrophic to our livelihoods and the societies that we live in. Our "civilised" norms of behaviour may degrade. With the power down, soon you wouldn’t have water coming out of your tap. You will depend on your neighbours for food and some warmth. You will become malnourished. You won’t know whether to stay or go. You will fear being violently killed before starving to death.
      Jem Bendell

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Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy
“Inevitable near term social collapse, probable catastrophe, possible extinction.”
This is an important paper by Jem Bendell, Professor in Sustainability Leadership in the UK.
With the droughts and fires and floods going on globally at the moment, it is a good time to reflect on just how close we may be to collapse.
My purpose is to provide us with an opportunity to reassess our work and life in the face of an inevitable near term social collapse due to climate change. The approach is to analyse recent studies on climate change and its implications for our ecosystems, economies and societies, as provided by academic journals and publications direct from research institutes.
Synthesised, this research leads to a conclusion there will be a near term collapse in society with serious ramifications for our lives.
The paper reviews some of the reasons why collapse-denial may exist, and offers a new meta-framing of the implications for research, organisational practice, personal development and public policy, called the Deep Adaptation Agenda.
Its key aspects of resilience, relinquishment and restorations are explained.
This agenda is premised on the view that social collapse is now inevitable.
The author believes this is one of the first papers in the sustainability management field to conclude that climate-induced societal collapse is inevitable in the near term and therefore to explore the implications.    Read more 
Due to climate change, predicted declines in the yields of rice, wheat, and corn in China by 36%, 18%, and 45%, respectively; and a 6–23 and 15–25% reduction in the wheat yield in India over the coming decades. The loss of coral and the acidification of the seas is predicted to reduce fisheries productivity by over half. The rates of sea level rise suggest they may be soon become exponential. About half of all plants and animal species in the world's most biodiverse places are at risk of extinction.

Widespread food shortages are to become the new normal, along with unpredictable fires and torrential storms. This is nature's payback time. The Bush Fire Danger Period in northern NSW has been brought forward two months, another unheard-of event in winter (normally October 1). The intersection of these two projections (food shortages and natural calamities) should be thought through by all of us. We may be growing our own food, but could it be swept out to sea or incinerated? and what would we do then? Or are we only lemmings to mutely watch on TV?
The decade from 1979 to 1989 when we almost stopped climate change
The efforts of a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians, and explains how thoroughly they grasped the problem and how agonisingly close they came to solving it. In the decade 1979 to 1989, we had an excellent opportunity to solve the climate crisis. Almost nothing stood in our way.  We came so close, as a civilisation, to breaking our suicide pact with fossil fuels. The world’s major powers came within several signatures of endorsing a binding, global framework to reduce carbon emissions — far closer than we’ve come since. During those years, the conditions for success could not have been more favourable. The obstacles we blame for our current inaction had yet to emerge. Among scientists and world leaders, the sentiment was unanimous: Action had to be taken, and the United States would need to lead. It didn’t.   Read more
Extreme global weather is 'the face of climate change'
Climate change has long been predicted to increase extreme weather incidents, and scientists are now confident these predictions are coming true. Scientists say the global warming has contributed to on the scorching temperatures that have baked the UK and northern Europe for weeks. The hot spell was made more than twice as likely by climate change, a new analysis found, demonstrating an “unambiguous” link.    Read more
Attribution of the 2018 heat in northern Europe
The probability of such heatwaves have increased everywhere in this region due to anthropogenic climate change, and is generally more than two times higher today than if human activities had not altered climate. With global mean temperatures continuing to increase heat waves like this will become even less exceptional.    Read more
    Global fires, droughts and Orwellian Newspeak while Nero fiddles
The current heatwave has been caused by an extraordinary stalling of the jet stream wind, which usually funnels cool Atlantic weather over the continent. This has left hot, dry air in place for two months – far longer than usual. The stalling of the northern hemisphere jet stream is being increasingly firmly linked to global warming, in particular to the rapid heating of the Arctic and resulting loss of sea ice.   Read more
California's Frightening Fires Are the Nightmare Scientists Long Predicted
'Climate Change...In Real Time'. Wildfires ravaging the state have "spawned bizarre pyrotechnics, from firenados to towering pyrocumulus clouds that evoke a nuclear detonation." in recent weeks, experts have sounded alarms about heat waves and wildfires across the globe, linking the extreme weather to the warming climate. The "unprecedented" heat wave which has swept across Europe and fueled dozens of fires in Sweden was made more than twice as likely by climate change.      Read more
As California burns, many fear the future of extreme fire has arrived
Recent wildfires in California are notable for their ferocity. These events are not aberrations. They are California’s future. The Carr fire had burned more than 98,000 acres, and containment stood at 20%, with more than 5,000 structures threatened.      Read more
California fires rage, and Gov. Jerry Brown offers grim view of fiery future
more than 13,000 firefighters are currently on duty, fighting 16 large fires that have burned a total of 320,000 acres and displaced more than 32,000 residents. Seventeen states have offered assistance to California during the last week, sending help from as far away as Maine and Florida.     Read more

Time is running out in the tropics: warning of global biodiversity collapse
The future of hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems' an international team has warned that a failure to act quickly and decisively will greatly increase the risk of unprecedented and irrevocable species loss in the most diverse parts of the planet. Although the tropics cover just 40% of the planet, they are home to more than three-quarters of all species including almost all shallow-water corals and more than 90% of the world's bird species. Most of these species are found nowhere else, and millions more are as yet unknown to science. Humid tropical forests and savannas store 40% of the carbon in the terrestrial biosphere and support rainfall in some of the world's most important agricultural regions.    Read more
The North China Plain is the heartland of modern China.
It is threatened by deadly heatwaves due to climate change and irrigation. Wet-bulb temperature will exceed the threshold that Chinese farmers can tolerate while working outdoors. As the largest contributor to the emissions of greenhouse gases, with potentially serious implications to its own population, continuation of the current pattern of global emissions may limit habitability in the most populous region on Earth.     Read more
In Myanmar, Flood Warnings come only after the Floods
“The flow of water was so fast, our house was flooded in 30 minutes,” he said. “We have nothing, and now we have to start our life from the beginning.” This year’s monsoon season has brought crippling floods to many parts of Southeast Asia. In some cases, poor dam construction, extensive deforestation and a lack of emergency preparations have worsened the effects.    Read more

Drought Relief Is Coming. Australia’s Farmers Say It’s Nowhere Near Enough.
The cattle are more bones than meat, the dirt more dust than soil — and the rain, the glorious rain, just never comes. The drought that has been suffocating Australia for months just keeps tightening its grip. The affected region in eastern Australia is larger than Texas and has not seen substantial rain in two years. “I don’t know anywhere we’re going to find hay within 750 kilometres of us. I do believe there might be some in Western Australia, but that’s a long way away.”    Read more

118 all-time heat records have been set or tied across the globe
An unusually sharply kinked jet stream has been stuck in place for weeks now, that allows the heat to stay in place over three areas where the kinks are: Europe, Japan and the western US. The same jet stream pattern caused the 2003 European heat wave, the 2010 Russian heat wave and fires, the 2011 Texas and Oklahoma drought and the 2016 Canadian wildfires and, of course, now.    Read more
Is the sun setting on the US imperium?
China is on the march to a dominant military footprint while American policy lacks strategic intent. In retrospect, the “Made in USA” global financial crisis of 2008 would seem to be the moment when China chose to discard Deng Xiaoping’s counsel of hiding its light under a bushel and biding its time. The growth of its comprehensive national power has been accompanied, it now seems clear, by a sophisticated strategy of harnessing that power to serve China’s security and commercial interests on the global stage. In particular, massive economic growth has given China the financial wherewithal to acquire military muscle to serve three layers of a national security strategy.    Read more
Defence Plan B.
Canberra’s foreign and defence bureaucracy is appalled by Donald Trump’s monstering of the Anglo allies and of NATO, his enthusiasm for Kim Jong-un and his appeasement of Vladimir Putin. Where to without the comfort of a great, powerful and reliable friend, it asks? To Plan B, say some suggest a more intelligent response to the increasing unreliability of the US under Trump would involve 1) assume that whoever succeeds Trump will be equally averse to taking responsibility for Australia’s defence. 2) take steps to wean the ADF off the positioning and training with the US that risks their automatic involvement in a regional war of America’s choosing with a cool and rational assessment of Australia’s own national interests, and not be ‘joined at the hip’ with American forces.  3) we should discourage the tendency in Canberra to treat every regional dispute as being subject to a military solution, as the US has a tendency to do and as China, up to now, has not. 4) we should invest much more on improving and expanding our diplomatic assets and seek to rebuild the trust we have lost. and 5) we can expand diplomatic staff in Beijing, open new consulates in more regional centres and improve Chinese language capability among our diplomats.     Read more

Full absurdity of National Energy Guarantee laid bare
The NEG, as we all know, has been conceived and tailored to satisfy one group – the influential band of climate deniers and technology skeptics sitting on the back bench and within the cabinet of the Australian federal Coalition government. It promises to do little or nothing on emissions, it promises to stop investment in wind and solar in it tracks, and then promises, like magic, to deliver significant bill savings to consumers. And it is all based on modelling that is either incomplete, not released, or complete nonsense.    Read more
Mossad is the world leader in assassinations with 800 operations in the last decade
The numbers alone are extraordinary. Not only have Mossad’s secret agents killed more people than the agents of any other state since World War II, but the pace has rapidly increased, with some 800 operations in the past decade. Is enemies, of course, deserve a large share of the blame. But perhaps killing has become so easy that Israel’s leaders have stopped looking for other solutions. Either way, the end is nowhere in sight — and so Mossad’s killings go on. Because of their secretive nature, they rarely make the headlines. But even as you are reading these words, someone, somewhere, is planning the next hit.    Read more
This is how refugees from heat and war and fire will be treated. Even Australia now demands proof of origin to renew a passport. This trend will be particularly severe in countries next to those with low-lying land now waiting for the seas to swamp them.
India: an attempt to take away citizenship on the basis of religion
In Assam 40,000 people face being ‘declared’ illegal migrants or simply ‘Bangladeshis’. While the government has assured that all care will be taken and people have a right to go to the tribunal and can file their documents, it is well known that this government is determined to create a permanent division between the people on the basis of their religion and ethnicity, and make it impossible for other refugees to cross the border.   Read more
The City of My Birth in India Is a Climate Casualty. It Didn’t Have to Be.
Global warming poses an urgent threat to Kolkata (Calcutta), a river delta city of 14 million as the city’s natural defences are being lost. Kolkata the mighty Ganges to the west and wetlands to the east, emptying into the Bay of Bengal. The city’s lakes and creeks could swallow the rains. Today, many lakes and canals are filled with muck or built over altogether. An area of low-lying fields that once absorbed the runoff is now a suburb of high-rises known as New Kolkata. The rapid extraction of groundwater is causing the landscape to sink.   Read more

Microplastics Are Invisible, Scary, and Everywhere
Widespread evidence of single-use plastic products in the deepest parts of the ocean, more than a thousand kilometres from shore. These were even wedged into the depths of the Mariana Trench, some 10,898 meters below the water’s surface, providing “a clear link between daily human activities and remote environments where no direct human activities occur.”   Read more
Facebook censors anti-fascist rally in Washington
The social media giant carried out a major escalation in the campaign to censor the Internet, deleting the official event page for an anti-fascist rally scheduled for August 12 on the grounds that it was engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour."     Read more
Trump, the Queen and Putin
It could have been worse. Donald Trump did not try and grab Queen Elizabeth by the pussy – at least as far as we know. But no doubt his critics would say that was only because he was so preoccupied with kissing Vladimir Putin’s arse.  As the rest of the world scrabbles through the smouldering remains of the most recent incursion from the most powerful man on earth, even the most sanguine are starting to ask just what they have got themselves into. And, not before time, Australia’s leaders are wondering what is coming next and how they can cope with it.    Read more
Russia Is Preparing for a “Perfect Storm”
Having read the full report of US Department of the Treasury, it is easy to see that the size of the Russian investments in treasuries was reduced to $14.9 billion for 96 just a few months ago. She is putting that into gold, so it is possible to assume that in the near future certain events are expected that can significantly raise the price of gold.   Read more

How the Neocon Dream for Everlasting Hegemony Turned America Into a Nightmare
Few Americans today understand how the US came to be owned by a London-backed neoconservative/right-wing alliance that grew out of the institutional turmoil of the post-Vietnam era. Even fewer understand how its internal mission to maintain the remnants of the old British Empire gradually overcame American democracy and replaced it with a “national security” bureaucracy of its own design. We owe the blueprint of that plan to James Burnham, Trotskyite, OSS man and architect of the neoconservative movement whose exposition of the Formal and the Real in his 1943 The Modern Machiavellians justified the rise of the oligarch and the absolute rule of their managerial elite. Americans would be shocked to find that our current political nightmare came to power with the willing consent and cooperation of President Carter and his National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski; aided by intelligence agencies in Europe and the Middle East. A straight line can be drawn between today’s political hysteria and the 1970s era of right-wing Soviet hysteria.      Read more
The Battle for the South Pacific is on
China is already in Australia’s backyard, the South Pacific, wooing and cultivating friends with soft power.  As part of China BRI initiative, Chinese investment with the South Pacific nations totalled $1.78 billion outstripping Australia’s $137 million for subsea internet cable connecting Australia-PNG-Solomon Islands.  The current scorecard is China 10 nations and Australia 2 nations.  Is Australia’s or New Zealand’s security being threatened?  Would the formation of a South Pacific block a risky option for Australia or New Zealand economic health? Or if you can’t beat them, join them? According to the wiki tribune report (China fills a vacuum in South Pacific from Fiji to Australia 8Feb2018), China has invested in a total of 9 countries in the South Pacific.      Read more
Bring Australia up to speed on electric vehicles
By building its first nationally coordinated EV fast charging network after receiving a major funding boost by Fast Cities Australia, a sister company to Brisbane fast charger maker Tritium. It had secured a $7 million investment from St Baker’s Energy Innovation Fund – allowing work to begin on the project, which it believes will give Australian EV drivers, fleet owners and manufacturers the confidence to go electric.     Read more