Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Unbelievable Wildfires Torment #Russia

 

Image: A firefighter battles a blaze in Russia's Zabaikalsky region


Russia Wildfire Is Size of Vermont and Delaware: Greenpeace


MOSCOW — Colossal wildfires in Russia have burned an area the size Vermont and Delaware combined, Greenpeace said Tuesday, amid fears the country could suffer its worst wildfire season in more than 100 years.
The season is still in its early stages, but wildfires blazing across the country's far east have already scorched through more than 11,500 square miles, according to the environmental charity.
The largest area burned in a single wildfire season in the 21st century was 50,000 square miles in 2013 — around the size of Alabama.

We could suffocate from lack of oxygen

About two-thirds of the planet’s atmospheric oxygen is produced by ocean phytoplankton, and therefore any reduction in plankton from heat or acidification would deplete atmospheric oxygen global;y, resulting in the mass mortality of animals and humans.



Global air pollution is worsening, and poor countries are being hit the hardest
80% of people in cities and towns are breathing particulates at concentrations higher than the WHO’s recommended level. Air pollution in urban areas as a whole was 8% worse in 2013 than it was in 2008. 



Key Hothouse Gas at Record Rate Near 408 Parts Per Million
Atmospheric CO2 keeps being pushed into record ranges by ongoing fossil fuel emission. Levels are now high enough to force rapid sea level rise, glacial destabilization, greater droughts, floods and wildfires, and declining ocean health.



The Fed Setting Up For A U.S. Dollar Collapse If No June Rate Hike

Summary

The U.S. dollar index has been on the rise thanks to Fed officials talking up rate hikes.
Propping up the U.S. dollar by the Fed is referred to as a “Fed Dollar Put”.
The Fed may have already painted themselves into a corner about rate hikes.
A no June rate hike decision may cause a dollar collapse as speculators pile onto short positions.
The U.S. dollar index, or DXY, a weighted index of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of six major currencies, has bounced 3.72% since its 15-month low on May 3, when Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart and his San Francisco Fed colleague John Williams told reporters that U.S. financial markets may be underestimating the odds of a central bank rate increase at the June 14-15 Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, meeting.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Earthlings: "Our Planet's Poles Are Shifting"


Climate Change May Be Causing Earth's Poles To Shift

Scientists solve mystery of why the planet's axis is tilting eastward.



The position of Earth's axis has dramatically shifted, likely because of melting ice sheets (fueled by climate change) and natural changes in water storage on land, according to a new study in the journal Science Advances.
Erik Ivins, senior research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and co-author of the study published on Friday, told The Huffington Post that the movement of water on Earth's surface affects the planet's distribution of mass -- and its axis -- much like adding weight to a spinning top.
"If you considered a spinning top, and then placed a piece of chewing gum on the top, it would start spinning around a new axis," Ivins said in an email. "On the Earth, since water can be transported in and out of the oceans to the land -- affecting global mean sea-levels -- this also changes the moments of inertia, in exact analogy to the piece of chewing gum on a spinning top."

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of our problems

Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump – neoliberalism has played its part in them all. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007‑8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump. But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been catalysed by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has no name. What greater power can there be than to operate namelessly? 
Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative?


The Demoralized Mind
Western consumer culture is creating a psycho-spiritual crisis that leaves us disoriented and bereft of purpose. How can we treat our sick culture and make ourselves well? 



Naomi Klein: Radical Solutions 

Climate crisis 'might just be the catalyst we need to knit together the great many powerful movements bound together by the inherent worth and value of all people.'


Civil Disobedience is the Only Way Left to Fight Climate Change

Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them, and if we can, we should join them



We're in the Eye of a Global Financial Hurricane

Image result for crazy pundits cartoons

The only "growth" we're experiencing are the financial cancers of systemic risk and financialization's soaring wealth/income inequality.
The Keynesian gods have failed, and as a result we're in the eye of a global financial hurricane.
The Keynesian god of borrowing from the future to fund today's consumption has failed.
The Keynesian god of monetary stimulus / financialization has failed.
Every major central bank and state worships these Keynesian idols:
1. Growth. (Never mind the cost or what kind of growth--all growth is good, even the financial equivalent of aggressive cancer).
2. Borrowing from the future to fund today's keg party, worthless college diploma, particle board bookcase, stock buy-back, etc. (oops, I mean "investment")--a.k.a.deficit spending which is a polite way of saying this unsavory truth: stealing from our children and grandchildren to fund our lifestyles today.
3. Monetary stimulus / financialization. If private investment sags (because there are few attractive investments at today's nosebleed valuations and few attractive investments in a global economy burdened with massive over-production and over-capacity), drop interest rates to zero (or below zero) to "stimulate" new borrowing... for whatever: global carry trades, bat guano derivatives, etc.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

EYE on the World - #Climate Driven Troubles

" Stories Going Beyond the Mainstream " 


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Climate Impacting Troubled Global State of Affairs 


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NOT GOOD: Global Heat Wave Hits Fourth Record
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-Breaking Month



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A Song Of Fire And No Ice: We Just Had Our Fourth Record-Breaking Hottest Month In A Row This Year


A record fire-storm in Canada fueled by record warmth. Record ice-melt in Greenland and the Arctic sea, driven by off-the-charts warmth in the far north. And, NASA reported Friday, we’ve just been through the hottest April and the hottest January-April on record — by far.
Last month smashed the record for hottest April, as this chart of NASA data (via Rahmstorf) above shows:


Unprecedented Collapse of 
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Venezuela Imminent


Political and financial crisis deepens with pressure on president Nicolas Maduro to stand down

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Venezuela on the brink of collapse
The political and economic crisis in Venezuela is continuing to deepen, with protesters taking to the streets of Caracas to demand that socialist president Nicolas Maduro resign.
"A large, seemingly wealthy, apparently modern and resource-rich country is on the brink of collapse, financial default and, potentially, a humanitarian crisis," says the Financial Times.

Yemen: Another Country Facing Starvation

  Geo-Political Climate News


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KEY MESSAGES
  • The food security and nutrition situation in Yemen will turn into a humanitarian disaster unless urgent funding is accessible for FAO to timely deliver the inputs needed to: meet the April/May cereal and vegetable planting season and the summer fishing season; and vaccinate livestock in time for winter.
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  • Real 
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    Economy Tanking BIG Time


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  • Undeniable Evidence That The Real Economy Is Already In Recession Mode


  • You are about to see a chart that is undeniable evidence that we have already entered a major economic slowdown.  In the “real economy”, stuff is bought and sold and shipped around the country by trucks, railroads and planes.  When more stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the country, the “real economy” is growing, and when less stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the country, the “real economy” is shrinking. 


  • Financial Troubles Stir Saudi Arabia


  • Saudi Arabia’s Credit Rating Lowered  
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  • While strong when compared with other sovereign credit ratings, Saudi Arabia’s fiscal health remains under threat from low oil prices, Moody’s said. Moody’s Investors Service said the drop in crude oil prices, off more than 50 percent since the middle of 2014, has undermined the economy and finances for Saudi Arabia. As a result, the long-term rating for the country was lowered 
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"Where Have All the Bees Gone?"


Nation’s
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Beekeepers Lost 44 Percent of Bees in 2015-16
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Summer losses rival winter losses for the second year running

Beekeepers across the United States lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2015 to April 2016, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey. Rates of both winter loss and summer loss—and consequently, total annual losses—worsened compared with last year. This marks the second consecutive survey year that summer loss rates rivaled winter loss rates.   
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Friday, May 20, 2016

NOT GOOD: Global Heat Wave Hits Fourth Record -Breaking Month


Global temps


A Song Of Fire And No Ice: We Just Had Our Fourth Record-Breaking Hottest Month In A Row This Year


A record fire-storm in Canada fueled by record warmth. Record ice-melt in Greenland and the Arctic sea, driven by off-the-charts warmth in the far north. And, NASA reported Friday, we’ve just been through the hottest April and the hottest January-April on record — by far.
Last month smashed the record for hottest April, as this chart of NASA data (via Rahmstorf) above shows:
How big a jump was April 2016 compared to the historical record? In an email, Stefan Rahmstorf, Head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, notes that “The margin by which April beats the previous record April is three times larger (0.24 °C) than the margin of any previous record April (biggest was 0.08 °C).”
Also, this has easily been the hottest January-April on record, which isn’t a surprise given that last month’s record was hot on the heels of the hottest March on record by far, which followed the hottest February on record by far, and hottest January on record by far.
Dr. Gavin Schmidt, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, points out on twitter that there is a pattern between how hot Jan-April is and how hot the full year is. He notes that if this pattern holds, then there is a greater than 99% chance that 2016 will be the hottest year on record. (Note: The chart below uses a different temperature scale than the previous chart: It compares recent temperatures to the preindustrial average rather than 1950 to 1981).


Japan now has more electric car charge points than petrol stations

Japan is speeding ahead of the rest of the world, blissfully free of the range anxiety that afflicts plug-in drivers elsewhere.

Bakken wells and ethane emissions

The gas at issue is ethane, a hydrocarbon that ranks third behind carbon dioxide and methane as a driver of the global warming. 

Saudi officials were supporting 9/11 hijackers, 

First serious public split revealed among commissioners over the release of the secret ‘28 pages’ that detail Saudi ties to 2001 terrorist attacks. The 2004 final report was largely an exoneration of Saudi Arabia, which was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers.
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/12/911-commission-saudi-arabia-hijackers?CMP=twt_gu 



Undeniable Evidence That The Real Economy Is Already In Recession Mode



You are about to see a chart that is undeniable evidence that we have already entered a major economic slowdown.  In the “real economy”, stuff is bought and sold and shipped around the country by trucks, railroads and planes.  When more stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the country, the “real economy” is growing, and when less stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the country, the “real economy” is shrinking.  I know that might sound really basic, but I want everyone to be on the same page as we proceed in this article.  Just because stock prices are artificially high right now does not mean that the U.S. economy is in good shape.  In fact, there was a stock rally at this exact time of the year in 2008 even though the underlying economic fundamentals were rapidly deteriorating.  We all remember what happened later that year, so we should not exactly be rejoicing that precisely the same pattern that we witnessed in 2008 is happening again right in front of our eyes.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Scientists Fear Unprecedented Mangrove Dieback


Mangrove dieback in Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, in May 2016. Photo: Norm Duke / James Cook University TropWATER Centre

Mangrove Dieback Worries Scientists

Scientists are worried about an "unprecedented" dieback of mangroves in northern Australia and the link with large-scale coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.
The widespread damage to mangroves around the Gulf of Carpentaria has been highlighted at an international wetland conference held this week in Darwin.
While a detailed scientific survey has yet to be undertaken, photographs revealed hundreds of hectares of mangroves dying in two locations along both the west and east coastlines of the gulf.
Professor Norm Duke, spokesman for Australian Mangrove and Saltmarsh Network, said the scale and magnitude of the loss appears "unprecedented and deeply concerning".
Prof Duke said the damage was particularly alarming given this year's severe coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, as it appeared to correlate with extreme warming events in the region.



The New Normal: Cold War 2.0

Hybrid War - from “responsibility to protect” to color revolutions, from currency attacks to stock market manipulations.

Why Middle Eastern Leaders Are Talking to Putin, Not Obama

Russia’s less dominant militarily but more willing to act, and that has changed the dynamics in the region.The Russians are seen as willing to use power to affect the balance of power in the region, and the US is not. 

The Panama Papers - Secrets of the Super Rich

How the rich and powerful exploit the system. The money trail includes $12 Trillion Looted from Developing Countries. Authoritarian regimes account for over $11 trillion of this.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44612.htm 



George Soros Sells Stocks, Buys More Gold, Why Investors Should Care



Legendary investor George Soros sold 37% of his long stock exposure last quarter and bought a lot more gold (and gold stocks).

Soros, who made his fortune over the last few decades from his macro views on capital markets, is now worried about the global economy and is bullish on gold. Earlier this year, Soros publicly made the case that China is in trouble and it reminds him of the U.S. in 2007-early 2008- before the big 2008 financial crisis. When big legendary investors act, history shows us, it is wise to listen.

Here’s a brief history on Soros.

The Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist, 85, is chairman of Soros Fund Management, a private family office  he created about five years ago after closing his hedge fund and returning capital to his investors. Soros is best known as “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England” because he shorted $10 billion worth of British pounds, making him a profit of $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis.

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