Tuesday, June 30, 2015

SIXTH EXTINCTION Underway Says US Study, & More


The Earth has entered a new period of extinction, a study by three US universities has concluded, and humans could be among the first casualties.
The report, led by the universities of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, said vertebrates were disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal.








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The planet is entering a "sixth great extinction" that even the most conservative estimates show is killing off species at rates 100 times higher than it would have been without impact of human activity.











These temperatures are 1.05 degrees Celsius above 1880s. They exceed maximum Holocene values making current warming similar to the Eemian of 150,000 years ago. This pace of greenhouse gas accumulation has never been seen in all the Earth’s deep history.











Riyadh’s war in Yemen marks a dramatic escalation in its efforts to roll back Iran’s rising influence in the Middle East.  A strategy fuels a new Saudi-Iranian or Sunni’-Shi’a “Cold War” in the Middle East.











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Australia’s global reputation has taken another drubbing, with reports far and wide that have highlight ‘bribery’, ‘democracy undermined’, ‘abandonment of good government’ and ‘Australia plumbing new depths’.










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Coalition details strategy to boost solar at expense of wind - Australia 

 The Coalition government led by Tony Abbott has detailed its plans to boost investment in large scale solar installations, as it seeks to reduce the number of wind farms that Abbott and other senior Coalition members find ugly and offensive.








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Monday, June 29, 2015

OMG = "Acute Disruption To The Global Food Supply," & More










The global food system is “under chronic pressure to meet an ever-rising demand, and its vulnerability to acute disruptions is compounded by factors such as climate change, water stress and heightening political instability.”










The Chinese are working feverishly to develop new offensive weapons systems that would only be used in such a war.  We are moving in that direction.  And this is how wars typically happen as events build up over time.










Russian crisis threatens 40,000 Swiss jobs: study


...if the sanctions are continued, Germany would lose 465,000 jobs, Italy 215,000 jobs, Spain 160,000 jobs and France 145,000 jobs, and the UK 110,000 jobs.Tit-for-tat retaliations by Russia are another part of the explanation for the negative economic impact.











This figure, as created by the EIA, has (with the media’s help) created the impression of a huge oil glut in the U.S. market. No one, either within the media or the industry, has asked for clarification of this number and it is instead taken as gospel. This is now wreaking havoc in energy states such as Texas, as well as threatening most oil companies as well as tens of thousands employed within the oil and gas industry. With such importance placed on a number which has impacted not only billions of dollars in company revenue but many lives for the worse, how can it be largely unchallenged by all but a few in the media?










The new studies do not come as a surprise to hydrologists like Jerad Bales, chief scientist for water at the United States Geological Survey. But for him and other experts, an open question is whether the governments and individuals who control groundwater can or will work to gain more knowledge about the extent of the resource and how much use is sustainable.
















Cook and Sand have been working on the project since 2011. They received funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and have started a company, Ab E Discovery LLC, to commercialize the technology. Cook says they still need to “learn more on how it works. It is a very novel approach, so there is still much to be discovered academically while we help producers meet their goals privately.”








More Leading Global Headlines




 Threatens Taxpayers


Nature Rebounds



ISIS Plans To Launch Terror Attacks Across India







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Peak Everything Lecture

Cornell University













Friday, June 26, 2015

Water Cuts Creating California Ghost Towns, & More




California Water Cuts Leave City Days 


Away From Running Out Of Water



MOUNTAIN HOUSE (CBS13) — The community of Mountain House is days away from having no water at all after the state cut off its only water source.
Anthony Gordon saves drinking water just in case, even though he never thought it would come to this.
“My wife thinks I’m nuts. I have like 500 gallons of drinking water stored in my home,” he said.
The upscale community of Mountain House, west of Tracy, is days away from having no water. It’s not just about lawns—there may not be a drop for the 15,000 residents to drink.









Those who sold property during that period made an average of $230,633 and more than a third of sellers doubled their money. Only 9 per cent of those selling properties recorded a loss, thus more than 90 per cent made a profit, CoreLogic RP Data shows.








One of our underlying problems is that energy costs have risen faster than most workers’ wages since 2000. Another underlying problem has to do with globalization. Globalization provides a temporary benefit. In the last 20 years, we greatly ramped up globalization, but we are now losing the temporary benefit globalization brings. We find we again need to deal with the limits of a finite world and the constraints such a world places on growth.












Even if and when investors ‘see the light,’ the hard part is knowing where to put the capital next in order generate a return on clean energy, water, and infrastructure. The New Energy complex includes leading renewable energy companies, electric transport and the development of a much smarter grid (which will include some measure of storage), where the ownership of key assets is widely distributed.













The technology has moved even faster than I thought. I talked about an autonomous car back then, and it happened within a year. Same with IBM's Watson (the computer that won the quiz show "Jeopardy" in 2011). That was pretty remarkable. But in general I haven't changed my view that in the long term this is going to be a disruptive change and we're going to have to do something fairly radical to adapt to it. It might be 10, 20 years, but eventually we'll get to the point where there won't be enough jobs for most people - average people who aren't rocket scientists with a Ph.D. from MIT.






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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Stinky People Increase In California Drought + TPP Senate Votes, & More

Consumers changing their cleaning patterns in response to a drought isn’t unheard of. Unilever Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman recently told analysts and investors that Brazilians are showering 15 percent less because of water shortages. Meanwhile, the company’s products that are geared toward helping consumers use fewer resources are growing twice as fast as its other brands, and they’re more profitable, Polman said at a conference this month.






So who voted for TPP fast track in the 

Senate? 


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The government’s fiscal health is the worst among major industrialized economies, with public debt at more than 200 percent of nominal GDP due mainly to swelling social security costs amid the aging society.














'On the Offensive' Against Monsanto, France Removes Roundup from Store Shelves


Monsanto product will no longer be sold in aisles of nurseries frequented by amateur gardeners











Jesse Ruiz, the school district's interim CEO and board member, issued a statement Monday repeating assertions that CPS' projected $1.1 billion budget deficit was "the result of shamefully low state education funding and a broken pension system that penalizes Chicago taxpayers and our city's children."













Thinking Like an Elephant


I believe the disappearance of our megafauna impoverishes human life as well as wildlife. We evolved in a wonderful, terrible world, of horns and tusks and fangs and claws, and we carry with us the vestigial psychological equipment – a ghost psyche – required to navigate it. I believe we miss the thrill and fear the great beasts inspired, just as our ecosystems miss their interventions. So you can probably guess what I want to do. I want to bring them back.














German Banker: Obama Is Destroying Europe


Interviewed on June 6th by German Economic News, the chief economist at Bremer Landesbank, Folker Hellmeyer, says that because of Obama’s sanctions against Russia, German exports declined year-over-year by 18% in 2014, and by 34% in the first two months of 2015 (no later figures), but he asserts that “The damage is much more comprehensive than these statistics show,” because those are only the “primary losses,” and there are in addition “secondary effects,” which get even worse over time. 










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