The John James Newsletter 248

posted Oct 15, 2018, 7:35 PM by Clement Clarke

The John James Newsletter  248

15 September 2018

It is clear that limiting warming to 2ºC is beyond us; the question now is whether we can limit warming to 4ºC. The conclusion that, even if we act promptly and resolutely, the world is on a path to reach 650 ppm and associated warming of 4°C is almost too frightening to accept. Yet that is the reluctant conclusion of the world’s leading climate scientists. Even with the most optimistic set of assumptions — the ending of deforestation, a halving of emissions associated with food production, global emissions peaking in 2020 and then falling by 3 per cent a year for a few decades — we have no chance of preventing emissions rising well above a number of critical tipping points that will spark uncontrollable climate change.
Clive Hamilton

Climate change is now reaching the end-game, where humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences
      Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

We can expect that sea level rise could become unstoppable for millenia, impacting much of the world’s population, infrastructure and economic activity
      Alan Mix

73% of Australians are concerned about climate change, up from 66% in 2017
70% agree that the Government needs to ensure the orderly closure of old coal plants and their replacement with clean energy,
67% want to end coal-fired power within the next 20  years, up from 61% in 2017

      The Australia Institute

Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.
      Henry Kissinger

12,800 immigrant children detained in American internment camps
NY Times

The inhabitants of planet Earth are quietly are playing Russian roulette with climate and no one knows what lies in the active chamber of the gun
      Wallace Broecker

Human cognitive dissonance and the 7th mass extinction of species
CO2 rise is at a rate close to that induced by an asteroid impact. With this perspective, the ignorance of the majority, enhanced by vested interests-controlled mainstream media, and the criminality of atmosphere-polluting lobbies, may only become clear when survivors finally comprehend the loss of large parts of the habitable Earth. In true Orwellian Newspeak fashion, the “powers to be” have changed the language, from “climate change” and “global warming” to “electricity power prices”, namely from the future of live on Earth to the hit pocket nerve, a Faustian Bargain which underpins the sacrifice of future generations and much of nature.     Read more


As Florence Threatens 'Catastrophic' Destruction, A Reminder That North Carolina Passed Law Mandating Climate Warnings Be Ignored
State legislators passed an anti-science law after a 2010 report warned global warming would cause devastating sea-level rise. They were alarmed for the value of pricey waterfront property.     Read more
One-third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture
Reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint is central to limiting climate change. And to help to ensure food security, farmers across the globe will probably have to switch to cultivating more climate-hardy crops and farming practices. “The food-related emissions and the impacts of climate change on agriculture and the food system will profoundly alter the way we grow and produce food,” Agricultural production provides the lion’s share of greenhouse-gas emissions from the food system, releasing up to 12,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year — up to 86% of all food-related anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions. Next is fertilizer manufacture, which releases up to 575 megatonnes, followed by refrigeration, which emits 490 megatonnes. The researchers found that the whole food system released 10-16,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere in 2008, including indirect emissions from deforestation and land-use changes.     Read more and even more
The political class is taking it easy
The better Australia's economy, the worse its politics. The bigger its boom, the smaller its politicians. And the greater the crisis in the world, the more trivial the crises that consume Canberra. Australia's economy has entered its 28th year of growth, unprecedented for any developed country. At the same time, its federal Parliament pitched itself into its most dismal performance since coup fever took hold with sudden ferocity in 2010. But the coup two weeks ago was the worst yet, for three reasons.     Read more
My response
I read this and a couple of his references with care. The root problem is true enough:  as QE will soon be over and US Fed interest rates will rise. The market in nearly everything has been based on cheap (and therefore endless) credit. Unless people prepare for the depressed prices to come it will take only a gnat's fart to topple the whole structure.
Add to that the multitude of stressed situations (food, weather, hatred, unsettled governance etc) and it will be more than a gnat that farts. In our global world there is no way we won't all be affected.
Markets are usually in advance of situations, and though 2019 is quoted as the year that the Feds will end QE, the consequences are likely to be anticipated. Australian banks are already increasing mortgage rates without any move from the RBA. Is this a portend, or only to recoup losses from the Royal Commission?
A severe crisis of confidence for which there may be no easy answer may shake confidence in money, per se. My personal recommendation is to hold a little gold and silver. And be prepared to fight the banks when you can't pay your mortgage and they move to repossess your house, as they did in the Depression. Sounds apocalyptic? Not surprising as, by any scenario, it is.

Australia was founded on a hypocrisy that haunts us to this day
Sir Joseph Banks said in evidence to Britain’s parliamentary committees, that the long coast of eastern Australia was “thinly inhabited even to admiration”. As for the vast hinterland, of which he knew nothing, he said that it was almost certainly uninhabited. It seems this advice had a decisive influence on both the decision to send an expedition to Botany Bay, and to justify a lack of recognition of Aboriginal sovereignty or property. This was a fundamental departure from well-established precedents in the North American colonies.     Read more
New Zealand's politicians just came up with a good plan — together
As Australia adjusts to another prime minister undone by climate change, New Zealand has just released its comprehensive roadmap for transition to a low emissions economy. It makes a clear case that it is possible to reduce emissions and remain competitive, even in an uncertain and rapidly changing international environment. This vision shows that a transition is not only feasible, but brings opportunities in new and established industries and markets. It exposes the absurdity of claims that the slightest action is akin to an economic wrecking ball, and that the cost of delay is mounting.     Read more
Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
Capitalism as we know it is over. So suggests a new report commissioned by a group of scientists appointed by the UN Secretary-General. The main reason? We’re transitioning rapidly to a radically different global economy, due to our increasingly unsustainable exploitation of the planet’s environmental resources. Climate change and species extinctions are accelerating even as societies are experiencing rising inequality, unemployment, slow economic growth, rising debt levels, and impotent governments. Contrary to the way policymakers usually think about these problems, these are not really separate crises at all.      Read more
The colossal, exponentially increasing physical infrastructure for the ‘internet-of-things’ is projected to consume one-fifth of global electricity by 2025 and 14% of global carbon emissions
      Janine Morley

Conventional capitalist economic thinking can no longer explain, predict, or solve the workings of the global economy in this new age with focus on short-term profit with little interest in social good
      Jeremy Grantham

While Donald Trump distracts the public, his administration is dismantling every aspect of government that benefits the people.
      Noam Chomsky

By 2050, climate change could cause irrigated wheat yields in developing countries to drop by 13%, and irrigated rice could fall by 15%. In Africa, maize yields could drop by 10–20%
      Philip Thornton

The massing of the Syrian army near Idlib and the Russian and Syrian bombing suggest that the Assad-Putin-Rouhani coalition has decided to accept the risk of a clash with the Americans to end the rebellion. If so, this puts the ball in America’s court.
      Patrick Joseph Buchanan
Reducing the need for pesticides.
Tailored flower strips allow pest-eating insects to travel throughout crop fields, rather than being limited to the perimeter. In a similar project under way in England, flowers such as oxeye daisy, red clover, common knapweed and wild carrot have been planted on 15 large arable farms in central and eastern parts of the country. The strips will be monitored for five years as part of a trial – the first of its kind in the UK.      Read more

The Bangkok climate talks are stymied on who pays. Important as this is, it misses the point. Money only compensates for damage done. It does little to prevent further damage. At root, there are only two issues - fossil fuel use, and the consumerist greed that this engenders. If we (and I mean all of us) bought less and traded less we could dispense with most of that coal, oil and gas. But that would reduce our standard of living, our satisfactions. Psychologists call this the Pleasure Principle, and it drives most of our actions. Managed differently, we could get our pleasure from being in tune with nature and each other. But this would mean the end of ....??
My job is to reflect the wishes of the community
McGirr is still coming to terms with having wrestled the seat of Wagga Wagga in regional New South Wales from the state Liberal party which had held it for 60 years. He has published extensively on the health-related impacts of climate change. "in the medical literature no one is arguing about whether climate change is real. What they’re trying to work out is how we’re going to die from it.”     Read more

200 leading scientists and artists sign a joint letter urging environmental action
“It is time to get serious. The sixth mass extinction is taking place at unprecedented speed. But it is not too late to avert the worst. We are living a global cataclysm. Global warming, drastic decrease of living spaces, collapse of biodiversity, pollution of water and air, rapid deforestation: all are alarming. At the current rate, in a few decades, there will be almost nothing left. Humans and most living species are in a critical situation.”    Read more
The problem is not plastic. It is consumerism.
It is mass disposability. Or, to put it another way, the problem is pursuing, on the one planet known to harbour life, a four-planet lifestyle. Regardless of what we consume, the sheer volume of consumption is overwhelming the Earth’s living systems. Do web believe that a better form of consumerism will save the planet? The problems we face are structural: a political system captured by commercial interests and an economic system that seeks endless growth. Of course we should try to minimise our own impacts, but we cannot confront these forces merely by “taking responsibility” for what we consume. As the famous Hothouse Earth paper published last month, that warned of the danger of flipping the planet into a new, irreversible climatic state, concluded, “incremental linear changes … are not enough to stabilize the Earth system. Widespread, rapid, and fundamental transformations will be required to reduce the risk of crossing the threshold”. Disposable coffee cups made from new materials are not just a non-solution. They are a perpetuation of the problem. Defending the planet means changing the world.     Read more
Unhappy With a Future Ruled by Pharma, Hospitals Are Making own Drugs
All across the US, critical medications are in short supply, leaving hospitals scrambling to pay exorbitant prices for drugs that they have to painstakingly track down, or identify (possibly inferior) alternatives. A group of major American hospitals have banded together to form Civica Rx, a nonprofit organisation that will manufacture its own supply of 14 as-yet-unnamed generic drugs. The governing members have already pledged $100 million to launch the company that represents about 500 hospitals, which will each agree to purchase a certain amount of their medications from Civica Rx.     Read more
A drop-back in human population is not a bad outcome. Indeed, it is a necessity to preserve the natural world. Its a slow process sadly, and may not shrink our numbers quickly enough. Should men with Zero-sperm be given medals?
Sperm Count Zero
Not only were sperm counts per millilitre of semen down by more than 50% since 1973, but total sperm counts were down by almost 60%: We are producing less semen, and that semen has fewer sperm cells in it.  The downward slope is unwavering. We're on track instead to void the species entirely.      Read on the cause

Putting the brakes on the escalating solar panel waste issue
What do you do with your solar panels when they are past their use by date? In an end-of-life management for solar photovoltaic panels estimated that by the end of 2016, global PV waste streams would have reached over 40,000 metric tonnes globally – a figure set to skyrocket to up to six million tonnes of waste annually by 2050. By 2030 the recovery of raw materials could be valued at up to US$450 million, and provide the raw materials needed to manufacture 60 million new panels.     Read more
Signal, Noise and Global Warming’s Influence on Weather
There is no detectable long-term change in (say) tropical cyclone heavy rainfall and yet we have studies that conclude that human-caused climate change made Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall 15% heavier than it would have been otherwise. This is not actually a contradiction and the video below shows why.      Watch video


Category 6? Climate change may cause more hurricanes to rapidly intensify
A new study shows that we have a lot to worry about when it comes to changing hurricanes as the planet warms.
      Read more
Visit a zero carbon office building in Melbourne
Sustainability permeates every aspect of 200 Victoria Street and EPA's fit-out – including integrating a tri-generation plant to power the building, hollowing out the light-filled atrium, mapping natural sunlight into work spaces, selecting materials to improve air quality and using videoconferencing to reduce travel and greenhouse gas emissions. The result is a vibrant and healthy workspace that delivers on all aspects of environmental, social and economic sustainability, including a 5.5 star energy tenancy rating.      Read more
Hydrogen fuel breakthrough in Queensland
"Today is the very first time in the world that hydrogen cars have been fuelled with a fuel derived from ammonia — carbon-free fuel." 15 companies are committed to developing a hydrogen refuelling station network across Australia. In parallel, local and state governments have also committed to build hydrogen refuelling infrastructure with stations set to come online in the next 12 to18 months. Hydrogen-powered cars could be on sale within the next two years.     Read more
There’s at Least One More Ugly Battle Brewing in Syria
An informed source says that the initial bombing by the Syrian army and the silence from Turkey is intended to send a message to the outer rim of the rebels, those with no firm al-Qaeda commitment. What that message says is that the rebels are being left alone to fend for themselves and that it would be better to cut a deal now before the terrible slaughter starts. This bombing is not the first salvo in the final battle but the last attempt at a negotiation. Those who listen to the sound of the bombs fall are stuck in a circular debate: all acceptable solutions for the end of this war are unrealistic and all realistic solutions are totally unacceptable.    Read more

The last man standing - Al Qaeda
US-based think tanks have even written entire papers on Idlib’s status as a dangerous and dysfunctional epicentre of armed militancy. One 2016 paper published by the Century Foundation titled, “Keeping the Lights On in Rebel Idlib,” would admit. With extremists more recently uprooted from around Damascus and the southern city of Daraa sent to Idlib, the concentration of “entrepreneurial criminals” has only risen. Continued support by the West of terrorists occupying Idlib ensures a bloody battle to finally liberate the civilian population held hostage and abused by these extremists.    Read more
Invasion of the Pathogens
Insect-–borne-disease cases in the US have nearly tripled in the past dozen years, from mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. Between 2004 and 2016, bites from mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas led to a reported 642,602 cases of bacterial, viral, and parasite-related illness—with Lyme accounting for 82%. Importantly, nine of the diseases had never been reported in the US previously, and seven of nine are carried by the seemingly ubiquitous tick.     Read more
Is This Fish Self-Aware?
The cleaner wrasse appears to have passed the mirror test—considered a hallmark of cognition across species. In front of a mirror, the fish repeated idiosyncratic movements — such as dashing quickly out of view — as if trying to test whether its reflection was another fish. The wrasse also seemed to try to rub off a coloured marker on its skin when it spotted the dot in the mirror — but not when the marker was transparent, or when the mirror wasn’t around.If the finding holds, this humble fish will join a very exclusive club.     Read more
Americans are spending $153 billion a year to subsidize low wage workers
Wall-mart, McDonalds, Amazon can pay low wages and enforce punitive working conditions because the difference is made up from the public purse. Nearly three-quarters of enrollees in America’s major public support programs are members of working families; the taxpayers bear a significant portion of the hidden costs of low-wage work in America. Walmart employees received at least $6.2 billion in public aid every year. Burger King has a net worth of $25 billion, while his workers receive an estimated $356 million in subsidies each year.     Read more
The Countries Spending the Most on Education     Read more