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Archive for the ‘collapse’ Category

The Land of Plenty [of hungry people]

Posted by feww on November 24, 2008

Could When Will Food Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

40,000 hungry people in 11,000 vehicles harvest 300 tons of free crops at Platteville, Colorado

Joe and Chris Miller were in for a big surprise when they allowed people to pick up free vegetables left over after the harvest —40,000 people showed up.

“Overwhelmed is putting it mildly … People obviously need food.” Chris Miller said.

The couple had expected up to 10,000 people to show up Saturday to pick free crops including carrots, leeks and potatoes. Instead, 40,000 people arrived in an estimated 11,000 vehicles turning some 30 acres of the 600-acre farm 37 miles north of Denver into a parking lot.

“Everybody is so depressed about the economy … This was a pure party. Everybody having a great time getting something for free.” Said Sandra Justice of Greeley who works at a technology company. She, her mother and son picked 10 bags of vegetables. Denver Post reported.

The hungry guests picked an estimated some 300 tons of produce Saturday. “Joe and Chris Miller’s fields were picked so clean Saturday that a second day of gleaning—the old practice of picking up leftover food in farm fields—was canceled Sunday.” The Post said.

Whereas the Millers had previously allowed schoolchildren and some church groups to harvest their own food, they opened the farm to the free public harvest this year after learning that food was stolen from churches.

Let’s hope the party spirit doesn’t deteriorate too quickly into pitch battles between competing crowds as the harvests start shrinking!

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Image of the Day: A World Out of Focus!

Posted by msrb on November 14, 2008

But that’s OK, He Shall Save His People [sic]


Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives to lead his general audience in Saint Peter Square at the Vatican November 12, 2008. REUTERS/Max Rossi. Image may be subject to copyright.

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The cause of death: Poverty

Posted by msrb on September 11, 2008

The overwhelming majority of human-enhanced natural phenomena like hurricanes and extreme climatic events are invariably the poor!


A resident drags a corpse through a flooded street after tropical cyclones left hundreds dead and thousands stranded in Gonaives in this September 8, 2008 photo released by the Untied Nations in Haiti. REUTERS/handout/logan Abassi.

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Shifting Focus from the CO2 Plague

Posted by feww on September 5, 2008

written by a reader

Ever wondered how distorted a racist report on the environment could get? Would it come from a neocon academic or a politician?

Wonder no more!

Asian short-lived pollutants from Asian power plants, Asian cooking and Asian heating [Thai Massage?] could create summer hot spots in the central United States and southern Europe, the neocon “scientists” said.

Unlike the long-lived greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, the particle and gas pollution cited in this report only stays in the air for a few days or weeks but its warming effect on the climate half a world away could last for decades, the scientists said.

“We found that these short-lived pollutants have a greater influence on the Earth’s climate throughout the 21st century than previously thought,” said Hiram “Chip” Levy of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Err… that’s a very interesting find. How did you think of that?

“By 2050, two of the three climate models we use found that changes in short-lived pollutants will contribute 20 percent of the predicted global warming.”

Asian soot and Asian sulfate pollution would result in hotter, drier summers in the American Midwest and the Mediterranean section of southern Europe region, but the effects would [miraculously] spare Asia, Levy said.

That’s a very “interesting” [laughable] load of nonsense, Mr Levy. What you are essentially saying is that the consequences of Asian economic activity is like an environmental weapon, conspiratorially pointed at “us” alone.

Mr Levy’s report is of course a distorted political statement, not environment science, the purpose of which is to shift focus from the CO2 “plague,” and to put the onus of global air pollution on Asia [read China.] And in case you are also wondering as to who would encourage such politically-motivated utter nonsense disguised as science, wonder no more. It is Uncle Sam, of course, who else?

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It’s All About Big Oil, Stupid!

Posted by msrb on September 2, 2008

Palin using Alaska’s burgeoning population (!) as a pathetic excuse to destroy polar bears?

Our colleagues at FEWW reported earlier that “the state of Alaska [Gov. Palin] is suing the federal government because she says listing polar bears as a threatened species is hurting Alaskan oil and gas exploration and development …”

Republican vice-presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shakes hands as she campaigns in O'Fallon, Missouri, August 31, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress. Image may be subject to copyright.

Palin, a mother of five, said on Monday that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant in an announcement intended to rebut rumors that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.

Evidently, she neither believes in family planning, nor cares about the terrible affects of unwanted teen pregnancy on her child. And sex education was out of the question, too!

Why would she give a damn about the environment?

On the wisdom of Sen. McCain choosing Gov. Palin as his running mate thinkprogress said: “Palin is a champion for drilling, the Bush-Cheney approach to energy policy that brought us $4.00-per-gallon gasoline and the rising threat of global warming.”

“Like McCain, Palin believes that oil drilling is the only solution to our energy problems. ‘I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can’t drill our way out of our problem,’ she says. She supports more drilling in protected areas of the Outer Continental Shelf and the Alaska Natural Wildlife Refuge, once attacking McCain for his ‘close-mindedness on ANWR.’”

Polar What?

AS Arctic sea ice continues to shrink, currently to its second-lowest level ever, with particular melting in the Chukchi Sea,  polar bears have to swim far off the Alaskan coast in search of suitable platforms to hunt food.

Nine polar bears were seen swimming in open water over a six-hour period on August 16, government scientists said, including one more than 50 miles offshore, World Wildlife Fund officials reported.

“That represents a huge increase over previous sightings, said Margaret Williams of the fund’s Alaska office. A total of 12 polar bears were spotted in open water between 1987 and 2003, Williams said.”

Dutiful mothers, female polar bears usually give birth to twin cubs, which stay with her for more than two years until they can hunt and survive on their own. Photograph by Norbert Rosing. (Source: National geographic). Image may be subject to copyright.

IS THIS RELATIONSHIP ANY LESS IMPORTANT THAN THE ONE BELOW?

Bristol Palin , the 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is seen holding her brother Trig at a campaign event in Dayton, Ohio, August 29, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress. Image may be subject to copyright.

To the big oil, she is, like Condoleezza Rice, a godsend. She is an angel [sic] in disguise. Ok! Palin is nowhere near as ‘smart’ as Condi, but she would reach the voters Condi couldn’t possibly reach because Palin’s white, “attractive,’ has five children and is soon to be a grandma.

Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope said: “No one is closer to the oil industry than Gov. Palin. Along with her support for drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and off our coasts, she also opposes a windfall profit tax on the richest oil companies. Under her leadership, Alaska has sued the federal government for considering listing the Polar Bear as a threatened species even though global warming threatens its very existence.”

The impact of global warming in Alaska is one of the worst on the planet. “Alaska has experienced an average warming of 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 °F) and about 4.5 °C (8°F) in the inner regions in winter months since the 1960s, the largest regional warming of anywhere in the U.S., according to records.”

The Alaskan landscape is covered with dead spruce trees after a major outbreak of spruce bark bettles in the arctic region in this file image. REUTERS/handout

“In Alaska, 35 percent forest, global warming is causing irreversible changes including droughts, forest fires, and infestations of tree-killing insects like spruce beetles and spruce budworm moths. In the last 15 years, the spruce beetles, which thrive in warmer climates, have destroyed a total of about 3 million acres (1.21 million hectares) of spruce forest in south-central Alaska.”

“The warmer temperature means Alaska’s peat bogs, which are nearly 14,000 years old, are drying up. Ed Berg, an ecologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has discovered that shrubs and other plants have been rooting in areas of peat big normally too soggy for woody plants to grow during the last three decades.”

Palin, however, doesn’t believe in sustainability or alternative energy. She said, “alternative-energy solutions are far from imminent and would require more than 10 years [sic] to develop” [The Post and Courier Charleston, SC, 8/16/08.] Never mind the fact that the Department of Energy has clearly stated that offshore drilling “would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.”

It’s All About Big Oil [and Big Money, too,] Stupid!

“When I look every day, the big oil company’s building is right out there next to me, and it’s quite a reminder that we should have mutually beneficial relationships with the oil industry.” (Roll Call, 8/25/08)

In A Letter About Sarah Palin from Anne Kilkenny, quoting Anne Kilkenny, a resident of Wasilla, Alaska, where Palin was a mayor from 1996 to 2002, Mudflats wrote: “She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it
with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.”

A big spender, Palin must have already entered Wall Street International Banking Syndicate’s “Top Ten Most ‘Friendly’ US Governors’ Chart.”  In June 2007,  Palin signed into law the largest operating budget in Alaska’s history, more than $6.6 billion. (Source.)

There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.” Said Anne Kilkenny, a homemaker.

Way to Go Gov!

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What We Always Believed, World Bank Finally Confirms

Posted by msrb on August 29, 2008

But even their revised figures don’t tell the full story!

The World Bank has warned that world poverty is much worse than they previously thought. WB said number of poor people in Africa doubled  to 380 million between 1981 and 2005. With the depth of poverty deteriorating even further the average poor person is now living on just 70 cents per day or $255 per year—the cost of a meal for two in the average [London, Tokyo, NY, LA ... ] restaurant.

There were 1.4 billion people living below the new poverty line of $1.25 per day in 2005, many more than the previous estimate of 985 million in 2004.

It makes you wonder whether those living in abject poverty were included in the “household surveys.

The Press Release:

Press Release No:2009/065/DEC

WASHINGTON, DC, August 26, 2008 – The World Bank said improved economic estimates showed there were more poor people around the world than previously thought while also revealing big successes in the fight to overcome extreme poverty.

The new estimates, which reflect improvements in internationally comparable price data, offer a much more accurate picture of the cost of living in developing countries and set a new poverty line of US$1.25 a day. They are based on the results of the 2005 International Comparison Program (ICP), released earlier this year.

In a new paper, “The developing world is poorer than we thought but no less successful in the fight against poverty,” Martin Ravallion and Shaohua Chen revise estimates of poverty since 1981, finding that 1.4 billion people (one in four) in the developing world were living below US$1.25 a day in 2005, down from 1.9 billion (one in two) in 1981.

An earlier estimate—of 985 million people living below the former international US$1 a day poverty line in 2004 —was based on the (then) best available cost of living data from 1993. The old data also indicated about 1.5 billion in poverty in 1981. However, the new and far better ICP data on prices in developing countries reveal that these estimates were too low.

The new estimates continue to assess world poverty by the standards of the poorest countries. The new line of US$1.25 for 2005 is the average national poverty line for the poorest 10-20 countries.

“The new estimates are a major advance in poverty measurement because they are based on far better price data for assuring that the poverty lines are comparable across countries,” said Martin Ravallion, Director of the Development Research Group at the World Bank, “Data from household surveys have also improved in terms of country coverage, data access, and timeliness.”

“The new data confirm that the world will likely reach the first Millennium Development Goal of halving the 1990 level of poverty by 2015 and that poverty has fallen by about one percentage point a year since 1981, ” said Justin Lin, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics at the World Bank. “However, the sobering news that poverty is more pervasive than we thought means we must redouble our efforts, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The new data show that marked regional differences in progress against poverty persist. Poverty in East Asia has fallen from nearly 80 percent of the population living below US$1.25 a day in 1981 to 18 percent in 2005. However, the poverty rate in Sub-Saharan Africa remains at 50 percent in 2005—no lower than in 1981, although with more encouraging recent signs of progress.

MORE KEY FACTS & ANALYSIS

  • This is the first major effort to update poverty data based on 2005 measures of purchasing power parity. The new poverty estimates are also based on data from 675 household surveys across 116 developing countries. Over 1.2 million randomly sampled households were interviewed for the 2005 estimate, representing 96% of the developing world. But lags in survey data availability mean that the new estimates do not yet reflect the potentially large adverse effects on poor people of rising food and fuel prices since 2005.
  • The number of poor has fallen by 500 million since 1981 (from 52 percent of the developing world’s population in 1981 to 26 percent in 2005) and the world is still on track to halve the 1990 poverty rate by 2015. But at this rate of progress, about a billion people will still live below $1.25 a day in 2015. Also, most people who escaped $1.25 a day poverty over 1981-2005 would still be poor by middle-income country standards.
  • East Asia’s progress has been dramatic since 1981, when it was the poorest region in the world. In China, the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day in 2005 prices has dropped from 835 million in 1981 to 207 million in 2005. The Bank’s earlier 2004 estimate had 130 million people living in China below $1 a day based on 1993 PPP.  Thus, the new calculations reveal more poor people than assumed earlier, but China’s remarkable success in reducing poverty still stands.
  • In the developing world outside China, the $1.25 poverty rate has fallen from 40 percent to 29 percent over 1981-2005. However, given population growth, this progress was not enough to bring down the total number of poor outside China, which has stayed at about 1.2 billion.

In South Asia, the $1.25 poverty rate has fallen from 60 percent to 40 percent over 1981-2005, but again, not enough to bring down the total number of poor people in the region, which stood at about 600 million in 2005. In India, poverty at $1.25 a day in 2005 prices increased from 420 million people in 1981 to 455 million in 2005, while the poverty rate as a share of the total population went from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the $1.25 a day rate was 50 percent in 2005—the same as it was in 1981, after rising, then falling during the period. The number of poor has almost doubled, from 200 million in 1981 to about 380 million in 2005. If the trend persists, a third of the world’s poor will live in Africa by 2015. Average consumption among poor people in Sub-Saharan Africa stood at a meager 70 cents a day in 2005. Given that poverty is so deep in Africa, even higher growth will be needed than for other regions to have the same impact on poverty.

For middle income countries the median poverty line for all developing countries—$2 a day—is more suitable. 2.6 billion people lived on less than $2 a day in 2005—a number largely unchanged since 1981. This suggests less progress in crossing the $2 a day hurdle. By this measure, the poverty rate has fallen over 1981-2005 in Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa, but not enough to bring down the total number of poor. The $2 a day poverty rate has risen in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, though with signs of progress since the late 1990s.

– ### –
Contact: mtuckprimdahl@worldbank.org
After the embargo lifts, the new poverty data will be available at http://econ.worldbank.org/research and
ICP data is available now at http://www.worldbank.org/data/icp

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China: 50,000 Years of Corruption

Posted by terres on August 28, 2008

submitted by a reader

Corrupt Chinese Govt Officials Detained

Why are Hu Jin-tao and Wen Jia-bao still on the loose?

If you say that ‘endemic corruption threatens the Communist Party’s grip on power,’ then the Chinese Big Brother lets you off the hook! Well, this is a trick that Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao seem to use every time like a ‘secret code.’

What happened to the ex-Party General Secretary and President Jiang Zemin and his son?

The cases of Zhou Zhenyi, Liu Jingbao, and Wang Weigong, as well as the recently exposed Zhaogu case in Shanghai City are all related. All these cases involve large-scale corruption, bribery and embezzlement and all involve Jiang Mianheng, son of Jiang Zemin. (Internet photos) - Epoch Times

Who exactly is in charge in China, anyway? We know the media and judiciary, like our own, are NOT independent. Is it possible that the same cabal who run our country, the continent, Europe, Australia, as well as … also run China? Think about it it isn’t as far fetched as you might think!

Back to the corruption news: Auditor General Liu Jiayi reported that 14 central government officials had been arrested and nearly 200 other people had been punished. It’s not cleared what means of punishment were applied!

Apparently the offenses included using the Sichuan earthquake disaster relief funds to build government offices. Since building government offices is not an offense, it must be presumed that the earthquake funds were earmarked for other uses!

In his 2008 annual report, China’s auditor-general also reported about 50 government departments had misused or embezzled about 4.5bn yuan ($660m) in 2007. In some cases public funds were used to speculate in the stock market.

This raises a few more questions: Were the offenders discovered because their luck ran out and they lost the founds? Will the stock market pay the public money back? Who owns, or profits from the Chinese stock market?

Additionally, “managerial irregularities” totaled to another 42bn yuan ($6bn) worth of of public money misuse, especially by China’s education and commerce ministries, and the statistics and tax offices.

So, what about the cheating Chinese officials in the Beijing “Opium” Olympics? Was that category of cheating condoned because it served the glory of the capitalist communist fatherland?

If you thought a ruling party as powerful and ruthless as the Central Committee of the [capitalist] Communist Party of China could eradicate all official and non official corruption with the flick of a finger, you would be right.

What good is the power, if the Chinese people are swamped by official corruption, industrial pollution and systemic oppression? How could their future, unlike the past,  bode well for them?

Why don’t they? The only plausible explanation is no one would be willing to shoot the Peking Duck that lays the golden eggs!

Once again, China has disappointed the world—just when you thought it had a chance to make it through!

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The Billionaires’ contribution to CO2 pollution

Posted by msrb on August 23, 2008

Submitted by a CASF Member:

What’s the richest people’s contribution to carbon dioxide pollution?

Previously, EDRO calculated the amount of carbon dioxide emission for each dollar of GDP in 2007 both globally and nationally for China and the US. But, how much do the world richest people [or largest corporations¹] contribute to the global CO2 pollution?

One way to compute the figure is by calculating the global average per capita CO2 emissions in relation to the world average per capita wealth.

McKinsey Global Institute in Mapping Global Capital Markets, published January 2008, reported: “The total value of the world’s financial assets—including equities, private and government debt securities, and bank deposits—grew faster in 2006 than the historical average rate, climbing by 17 percent [from $142trillion in 2005] to reach $167 trillion.”

The growth for 2007 was comparable, possibly up by about 20 trillion to a new total of $187 trillion. Base on the above figures, the global average per capita wealth for 2007 is calculated as follow:

$187,000 billion [total value of the world's financial assets] ÷ 6,612,040,000 [world population in 2007] = $28,282 [global average per capita wealth in 2007]

[The above income figure is an abstraction, of course. In actual terms, about 4.73 billion (71.6%) of world population fell in the low and lower middle income categories in 2007, according to the World Bank.]

The total anthropogenic (caused by human activity) CO2 emissions in 2007 was previously calculated by FEWW at 38,058.66 MMT. The global average per capita anthropogenic CO2 emissions for 2007 is calculated as

38,058.66 MMT [The global anthropogenic CO2 emissions for 2007] ÷ 6,612,040,000 [world population in 2007] = 5.76 tons [anthropogenic CO2 production per head]

How much CO2 Pollution does a billionaire produce?

Take Warren Buffett, the world’s riches man, for example. His assets were valued at $62 billion dollars in the 2007/2008 financial period. Compared with the “average person” in the world, Mr. Buffett had 2,192,227 times more assets.

$62 billion [Mr. Buffett’s assets] ÷ $28,282 [global average per capita wealth in 2007] = 2,192,227 [Ratio of Mr Buffett's wealth to the global average per capita wealth]

Therefore he produced 2,192,227 times more carbon dioxide than the average person in the world:

5.76 [tons of CO2 per head] x 2,192,227 [Ratio of Mr Buffett's wealth to the global per capita wealth] = 12,618,000,000 kg [12.62 MMT of CO2 produced by Mr Buffett in 2007 - puts a new slant on "filthy rich"]

The world had 1,125 billionaires in the 2007/2008 financial year, with the total assets of about $4.38 trillion. They produced a total 891.43MMT of CO2 in 2007.

The above figure is also an abstraction. In reality, however, the world’s richest people are responsible for the bulk of CO2 pollution because as Praetorian Guards of the exponential growth economy they disallow and suppress any change to a sustainable system stifling all initiatives toward an eco-centered, low-carbon, “oikonomia²,” or economics for community.

Notes:

1. The global 2000 companies and therefore their shareholders accounted for $30 trillion in revenues, $2.4 trillion in profits, $119 trillion in assets and $39 trillion in market value in 2007. About 72 million people are employed by these companies. Source: Forbes.

2. Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb, Jr. in for the common good define oikonomia as follows. “The Discipline of Economics as Chrematistics: Aristotle made a very important distinction between ‘oikonomia’ and ‘chrematistics.’ The former, of course, is the route from which our word ‘economics’ derives. Chrematistics is a word that these days is found mainly in unabridged dictionaries. It can be defined as a branch of political economy relating to the manipulation of property and wealth so as to maximize short-term monetary exchange value to the owner. Oikonomia, by contrast, is the management of the household so as to increase its use value to all members of the household over the long run. If we expand the scope of household to include the larger community of the land, of shared values, resources, biomes, institutions, language, and history, then we have a good definition of ‘economics for community.’”

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Image of the Day: A Burning Question!

Posted by msrb on August 23, 2008

Where Did He Get All the Money From?


Court security officials guard the defendant’s cage of jailed former Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky during a court hearing in Chita August 21, 2008. Former Russian oil tycoon Khodorkovsky’s appeal for early release comes before a court on Thursday. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva. Image may be subject to copyright.

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A Day in South Ossetia

Posted by feww on August 21, 2008

‘I’ve never heard anything so monstrous as people shelling a hospital’

Tom Parfitt travelled to Tskhinvali, in a trip organized by the Kremlin, to witness first hand the destruction caused by the battle for South Ossetia.


Ossetians stay in a basement of a destroyed hospital in Tskhinvali. Photograph: Mikhail Metzel/AP. Image may be subject to copyright

At a crossroads in the north of the city there was evidence of a fierce fire fight. … The heavy turret of one tank had been tossed across the street, falling through a shop front. Nearby on the ground lay a human foot. …

At the crossroads, Izolda Deppiyeva, 50, looked out on the scene of ruined ground floor apartment in a block riddled by gunfire. … “There was a great wave of pressure which twisted me and flung me against the kitchen wall.”

A former theater stage actress, Deppiyeva said she had lived for four days in a cellar with her relatives without food and water. … “I could not leave,” she said. “This land is my body, my home. We are a proud beautiful people and we are not leaving. I survived, I am alive!” …

Tina Zakharova, one of the doctors, pointed out chunks of shrapnel which had hit the building. “This is the humanitarian aid that Georgia sent us,” she said, “and that,” she said, pointing at a field hospital nearby, “is the help we received from Russia. Which do you think we should chose?” She added: “I’ve never heard anything so monstrous as people shelling a hospital.”

Colonel Konashenko said: “The Georgians could not get tanks through these narrow streets. So first they turned it to ruins with a Grad attack and tried to punch through here to the center of the city. There was heavy fighting in the streets. I think more than 500 bodies were pulled out of this part of town.”

Asked if there had been atrocities against civilians the Colonel replied: “I personally saw one man beheaded lying in the street and others say they witnessed civilians who had been finished off with a shot to the back of the head.” Read the full story here.

Copyright the author or the  newspaper/agency.

(For more images see source. WARNING! mature audience only!)
For other images click here.

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    Protect Economy from Climate??!

    Posted by msrb on August 21, 2008

    Shouldn’t the scientific message be

    Protect World from Economy?

    You know your problems are serious when eight scientific organizations urge the next U.S. president to “protect the country” not by way of changing the predatory economy but instead by means of “funding for research and forecasting” to dodge the climate change.

    Instead of urging an immediate end to the exponential growth economy and demanding a zero-growth, low carbon, waste-free oikonomia for managing the environment, welfare of humans and other living species, and a system of ‘housekeeping’ for the planet’s natural resources to sustain life on Earth, the country’s top scientists are looking for ways of serving the economic Titanic.

    The group includes the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.

    “We don’t think we have the right kind of tools to help decision makers plan for the future,” Jack Fellows, the vice president for corporate affairs of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of 71 universities, told reporters on Wednesday.

    Indeed not, Mr. Fellows!

    BTW, is the Union of “Concerned” Scientists among your lot?

    The Environmental Cost of US Economy (carbon footprint only!)

    • US GDP (2007 PPP) : $13.8 trillion [World Bank]
    • US CO2 Emissions (2007) : 6,825.733 MMT [based on CDIAC data updated by MSRB/CASF]
    • Virtual CO2 content of US dollar (2007) : 494 g (The average amount of CO2 produced each time a dollar was paid or received in 2007. SEE: How Much Carbon Dioxide Does Your Money Make?)


    Surprised? (source: bp1.blogger.com). Image may be subject to copyright.

    Read the news report here: Scientists urge U.S. to protect economy from climate change

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    <.!.>

    Posted in 6th Great Extinction, cabal, collapse, Earth, ecosystems, Energy, environment, George W. Bush, Global Warming, government, lifestyle, money, Omnicide, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

    The things EPA capo won’t do!

    Posted by msrb on August 8, 2008

    EPA management under Stephen Johnson: An organized crime operation!

    As ethanol production drove up the price of corn this year, Texas Governor Rick Perry asked the Environmental Protection Agency in April to cut the ethanol mandate by 50 percent because the price rises were making it too expensive for farmers to feed livestock.

    EPA ruled on Thursday that there was no evidence that the ethanol mandate would “severely harm” the U.S. economy by driving up food prices, thus rejecting the claim by Texas.

    “This research found that the RFS mandate is not causing severe economic harm,” EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said and that the mandate was “strengthening our nation’s energy security and supporting Americas’ farming communities.”

    The Renewable Fuel Standard, RFS, requires 9 billion gallons (~34.1 billion liters) in renewable fuels to be blended into the US gasoline supply in 2008, and 11.1 billion gallons (~42 billion liters) in 2009.

    It is believed that about 34% of U.S. corn crop in 2008 would be used to produce ethanol.

    Parry called EPA’s decision “a mistake that will only increase the already-heavy financial burden on families while doing even more harm to the livestock industry.”

    In July 2008, Johnson said the EPA would not regulate greenhouse gas emissions. He said: “If the nation is serious about regulating greenhouse gases the Clean Air Act is the wrong tool for the job and it’s really at the feet of Congress to come up with good legislation that cuts through what will likely be decades of regulation and litigation.”

    The states of Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April for failing to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks. The lawsuit came one year after the Supreme Court ruled that the agency had the power to do so.

    After calls by Sen. Barbara Boxer and three other senators for him to step down, Stephen Johnson said he wouldn’t resign.

    They 4 senators have also asked the U.S. attorney general to investigate whether Johnson had made false or misleading statements in sworn testimony before Boxer’s environment committee. Reuters reported.

    Boxer said Johnson’s decisions on global warming lead, mercury and drinking water standards, were “harmful to the American people.”

    What’s the point of spending billions of taxpayer money on science, education, NASA, NOAA, NCAOR … ocean and atmospheric research, when all it takes is a one person veto by the EPA capo [or indeed capo dei capi himself] to nix everything?

    Related Links:

    ::

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

    Antienvironmental, Antisocial, Anti American!

    Posted by msrb on July 15, 2008

    President [sic] George W. Bush lifts a Presidential ban on offshore drilling in a symbolic move.

    “Today, I’ve taken every step within my power to allow offshore exploration,” Bush told reporters. “This means the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress.”

    President George W. Bush speaks on offshore oil drilling, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, July 14, 2008. REUTERS/Larry Downing. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

    “Now the ball is squarely in Congress’ court … The time for action is now.” Bush said after signing a memorandum reversing a presidential ban previously instituted by his father [ Bush 41] when he was a President about 20 years ago.

    If both the presidential and congressional bans were lifted, it would then be up to individual states to permit drilling off their shores, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. Florida’s Gov. Charlie Crist has expressed support for drilling while California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reiterated his opposition. Reuters reported.

    “Calls for more drilling will only increase the already record profits of big oil and will do little to reduce the costs of gas at the pump,” said Larry Schweiger president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation.

    The presidential offshore drilling ban, instituted by Bush 41 in 1990 as per request of the big oil, and extended by President Bill Clinton, would have  expired in June 2012. Offshore drilling is allowed in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coasts of Alabama,  Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, but not Florida.

    “The president cruelly is misleading Americans for attempted political gain,” said Florida’s Sen. Bill Nelson. “He knows ruining our coastlines won’t bring down gasoline prices nor solve our energy challenges.”

    Related Links:

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

    Nature Must Be Punished, Look at the Mess in California!

    Posted by msrb on July 14, 2008

    submitted by a CASF Member

    Nature must not be allowed to do what she does best: Care for life!

    Humanoids’ ignorance of Nature’s defense mechanisms hasn’t improved in 12,000 years! Take California’s wildfires, for example. Tackling the wildfires has become strictly a Freudian affair. Freud said:

    “Against the dreaded external world one can only defend oneself by some kind of turning away from it, if one intends to solve the task by oneself. There is, indeed, another and a better path: that of becoming a member of human community, and, with the help of a technique guided by science, going over to attack against nature and subjecting her to human will.”

    Way to go Sigmund!

    Sigmund Freud, 1938

    Nature is viewed as a malignant force to overcome. Humanoids fight nature trying their damnedest to prevent her from doing what she does best: Sustaining life!

    Wildfires are an indispensable tool in Nature’s cycle-of-life toolbox. But, they have decided that the fires must not be allowed to burn naturally.

    How dare she? Line up the crews. If 2 thousand firefighters aren’t enough, then get 5, 10, 20,000, if necessary! If you need even more, import them from half way across the world. Mobilize the National Guard!

    Nature’s cycles of life have been ruining our lifestyles. No wonder the Government declared war on “evil” wildfires, a century ago!

    If you couldn’t build your log cabin in the forest, on the riverbank, or on the beach, where you want to live, what good is Nature to you? Who needs nature, if she misbehaves?

    If nature can’t provide you with enough rainwater when you need to put the fires out, or cleanse the air so that the smug doesn’t choke your kids, why should you let her go on?

    Why hasn’t she provided you with enough carbon sinks to remove the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere to prevent you from boiling? What good is she?

    Come to think of it, why is this stinking planet so small? Why didn’t nature create a planet 10, 20, 30 even a 100 times bigger, and cleaner?

    Nature has failed to provide you with the “perfect” planet. She is hampering your progress. She must be punished. And if that doesn’t work, she must not be allowed to go on. If she continues like this, you don’t need her.

    No Good For Living!

    You build a dream log home in the woods; invest considerable time and money selecting the right refrigerator-freezer, freezer, microwave oven, coffeemaker, juice extractor/blender, bread maker, toaster, dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer, state-of-the-art lighting, 50″ digital TV, set top box, DVD, VCR, projector, dehumidifier, ceiling fans, heating system, cooling system, bleeding-edge sound-surround stereo system, bathroom TV, whirlpool/Spa, floodlights, pool pump, water filters, waterbed heater, hair dryer, floor heater, dehumidifier, humidifier, ionizer, air filter, furnace, cooler … it takes months and months of planning, spending, traveling. Imagine life without the SUV! And then comes the evacuation order… the next day it’s all over. Mother nature has consumed everything. You finally decide this nature just isn’t conducive to lifestyle. This planet isn’t good for living!

    Freudian Assault Against Nature Syndrome

    Having reached the peak of Freudian Assault Against Nature Syndrome, there are only two courses of action available to humanoids:

    (i) Look for a new planet, one that is a lot bigger and much cleaner than this “sh*tpit.”

    (ii) Create a new, more disciplined nature, one that doesn’t bitch with you and knows how to work effectively, cleaning up the piles you leave behind.

    When you’re through with Sci-Fi, then sober up to this fact: “In the humanoids’ declared war against nature, whichever side ‘wins,’ we will [all] be the losers!

    Related Links:

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, greenhouse gases, politics, tourism, travel, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

    It’s 4th of July, once again!

    Posted by msrb on July 4, 2008

    submitted by a reader

    It’s the Independence Day again and what have we done?

    Just exactly what have we done in the past 12 months, since the last 4th of July celebration, to strengthen our “independence?”

    Thanks (!) to our government’s three branches: the legislature, executive, and judiciary we have a country which is less stable, less healthy, more tyrannical and worse off than even the last 4th of July.

    Since the last Independence Day we have made our great country far less safe ecologically, socially and economically.

    So let’s start congratulating [sic] everyone all around. A heartfelt thanks [sic] to you:

    Mr. President [sic], Vice President and the rest of Cabal.

    Senators and Representative.

    Each and every n-starred General, mid and low-ranking officers and all other military personnel, wherever you may be.

    Judges, lawyers, police officers…

    Experts, scientists, teachers…

    And last, but by no means least, to all of you ordinary people for making it easy for the above mentioned to remove the last remaining vestiges of freedom, sanity and subsistence out of our great [sic] nation!

    God [sic] Bless AMERICA, and god bless YOU!

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Fight For Food!

    Posted by msrb on July 2, 2008

    Could When Will Food Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

    Accelerated land degradation threatens food security of a quarter of the world’s population: FAO

    Main entry: Land degradation threatens 1.5 billion people


    An Egyptian rice farmer shows his drought damaged rice crop and cracks in the rice terrace soil caused by more than 30 days of no rain in a village near Balqis, northeast of Cairo June 14, 2008. REUTERS/Nasser Nuri. Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB Fair Use Notice!

    Related Links:

    Background Information:

    Posted in biocapacity, cabal, China, collapse, Earth, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, lifestyle, money, Omnicide, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Image of the Day: Blind scientists examining the elephant

    Posted by msrb on July 1, 2008

    The Exponential Growth Economy’s White Elephant!


    “Blind monks examining an elephant” by Itcho Hanabusa (1652–1724). Each blind monk can only “see” the part of the elephant he has examined.

    Blind “Experts”

    Blind Expert #1. It’s the oil addiction!

    Blind Expert #2. Nay, nay; it’s the coal-fired power plants.

    Blind Expert #3. Nay, nay; the SUVs.

    Blind Expert #4. Nay, nay! It must be the sprawling suburbia.

    Blind Expert #5. Nay, nay! It’s …

    Blind Expert #6. We NEED more trees to protect the economy.

    Blind experts Nos. 1 – 8 urged the next U.S. president to “protect the country” not by way of changing the predatory exponential growth economy, but instead by means of “funding for research and forecasting” to dodge the climate change.

    Related Links:

    Posted in biocapacity, Bush, collapse, Earth, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, Omnicide, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

    NASA Mars Project:

    Posted by msrb on June 22, 2008

    NASA Mars Project: A Massive Black Hole Swallowing Other People’s Money

    It makes NO sense whatever blowing away the taxpayers dollars looking for ice on Mars as life becomes extinct down here on Earth!

    How much does NASA spend looking for the ‘holy grail’ in the solar system and beyond?


    Scientists using the NASA Swift satellite have found evidence of a black hole swallowing a neutron star. The black hole may have first stretched the dense neutron star into a crescent and broken off crumbs in the process. The black hole could have then swallowed the star largely in one gulp, feeding on the crumbs in the minutes and hours that followed. Such a black hole would grow more massive, like a python that downs a wild boar. Credit: NASA/Dana Berry, Skyworks Digital

    Related Links:

    ~0~

    Posted in 6th Great Extinction, agriculture, American economy, Armageddon, biosphere, carbon dioxide, Chinese, CO2, coal, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, NASA, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    I’m a War President, Not a Weatherman!

    Posted by msrb on June 21, 2008

    The Best Caption Competition Winners:

    - There’s no war here.

    - Don’t trouble me with national emergencies, I have a war to fight.

    - Our troops need all the money we can send them to fight the enemy over there.

    - Don’t be sissies! This is nothing like the 1993 deluge.


    President George W. Bush talks to the media after viewing receding floodwaters on Normandy Drive in Iowa City, Iowa, USA, on 19 June 2008. EPA/MATTHEW HOLST / POOL. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

    Midwest Flood Victims Feel Misled by Feds

    “They all told us, `The levees are good. You can go ahead and build,”‘ said Parks, who did not buy flood coverage because her bank no longer required it. “We had so much confidence in those levees.”

    “People put all their hopes in those levees, and when they do fail, the damage is catastrophic,” said Paul Osman, the National Flood Insurance Program coordinator for Illinois. “New Orleans is the epitome; a lot of those people didn’t even realize they were in a floodplain until the water was up to their roofs.”


    This used to be a road, and we parked our trucks right there!

    Volunteers sandbag a building submerged in Burlington, Iowa June 15, 2008. Officials moved paintings, books and documents out of harm’s way on Sunday as record flooding in parts of the U.S. Midwest partly submerged the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. REUTERS/Eric Thayer (UNITED STATES). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

    Who Cares?

    “We reported to the president in ’94 that the levee system was in disarray, the levees were not high enough to take care of any potential problem. People didn’t understand their flood risk and there wasn’t good co-ordination across federal, state and local governments,” said Gerald Galloway, a professor of engineering and flood control expert.

    “The same thing applies today,” Galloway said. “It’s amazing that in the face of [Hurricane] Katrina and now this particular challenge that we continue to relearn the same lessons.”

    Galloway’s recommendations to improve the levee system were basically ignored. He said that he’s experiencing much the same response now from officials as in 1993.

    Related Links:

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    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Early “Dividends” of Climate Change

    Posted by msrb on June 17, 2008

    Could Food and Fuel Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

    Iowa Survives, But only Just!

    Climate fury stays execution of Iowa—for now, any way. The worst flooding in the Midwest, at least in the last 15 years, is receding.

    Photo
    A home is flooded along the Mississippi River near Gladstone, Illinois June 16, 2008. Flooding in the U.S. Midwest is taking a toll on freight carriers, costing barge lines about $1 million per day and likely disrupting railroads for months to come, said traders and industry executives on Monday. REUTERS/Eric Thayer. Image may be subject to copyright. See PRO fair Use Notice!

    The early dividends are as follows:

    • The price of corn at the Chicago Board of Trade rocketed past $8 a bushel [a bushel of corn or maize weighs about 25.4kg; wheat and soybean, about 27.22kg.]
    • About 3.3 million acres of cropland was deluged [2 million acres of soybeans, and 1.3 million acres of corn.]
    • An estimated 2 million acres wasn’t planted.
    • About 21 percent of Iowa’s 25million acres of cropland were flooded.
    • At least twenty-six people have died since May 25 as a result of the storms or tornadoes in the Midwest.
    • Up to 40,000 Iowans in 11 counties, declared federal disaster area, including 30,000 in Cedar Rapids were evacuated.
    • About 200,000 gallons of drinking water were distributed.
    • Nearly 5 million sandbags were used.
    • Mississippi River, the main shipping artery to the export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico is closed due to high water levels caused by heavy rains throughout last week.
    • The President [sic] is spending a day in Iowa

    The Iowa flooding will have a significant impact on the global food prices because the United States exports 54 percent of the world’s corn, 36 percent of soybeans and 23 percent of wheat.

    “Estimates show 3 million acres of corn under water and probably 2 million didn’t get planted. So that gets you up to 5 million or over 700 million bushels, and that takes out the entire carry-out [stocks carried over to the next crop,]” said Glenn Hollander, a grain merchant on the CBOT trading floor.

    NO estimates are yet available concerning the permanent damage done to the soil.

    Special Feature Short Story:

    Environmental Disasters: Too Close for Comfort?

    Related News Links:

    Background Information:

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

    Fuel and Food Strikes Flare in South Korea

    Posted by msrb on June 16, 2008

    Fuel and Food Strikes Spreads to South Korea

    About 18,000 operators of construction machinery went on strike in South Korea on Monday demanding cheaper fuel and higher pay, joining thousands of truckers who began their strike last week.


    South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Lee may be forced to resign in the coming weeks.

    The strikers are also angry over the policies of the new President Lee Myung-bak, who came to office amid a landslide victory in December, but has since become increasingly unpopular because of a decision to resume imports of U.S. beef.


    Protesters chant slogans at a candlelight vigil on a street leading to the U.S. embassy and the presidential Blue House in central Seoul June 10, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won.
    Image may be subject to copyright. See PRO Fair Use Notice!

    There have been waves of street protest in the recent weeks demanding the government to repeal of the U.S. beef deal. The South Koreans are concerned about the threats of mad cow disease associated with the US beef.

    Adding to the pressure, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions is expected to call on its 600,000 members to stage a walkout against Lee’s privatization and pension reform plans, Reuters reported.

    The strikes have so far cost Korea $3.5 billion, the commerce ministry said.

    Related News Links:

    Related Links:

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Could Food and Fuel Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

    Posted by msrb on June 13, 2008

    Update: More Fuel Strikes Flare Across Europe

    Europe Fuel Protests Turn Deadly

    Two truck drivers were killed in fuel protests in Spain and Portugal, while a third driver received serious burn in a suspected arson attack.

    The imapct of haulers’ strike is now being felt throughout the Spanish and Portuguese economies.

    In Spain the country’s 18 car factories are running out of parts and fuel. The car industry accounts for about 5 percent of Spain’s GDP.

    As the blockade continues in the European nations, consumers rush to stockpile food and fuel causing severe shortages in some areas.

    Related Links:

    msrb

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    If you thought your assets were safe, think again!

    Posted by msrb on June 12, 2008

    One Day Soon, A Tiny Wall Street Black Hole Will Suck In the Rest of Your Assets!

    Original Entry: Black Holes Suck!

    The Goal of the Cabal is to Strip YOU of Everything You’ve Got. Then Your Hearts and Minds Will Follow!

    Posted in Bush, cabal, China, collapse, Earth, ecosystems, Energy, environment, George W. Bush, government, lifestyle, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    UNEP: A Weapom of Mass Deception?

    Posted by msrb on June 7, 2008

    UNEP Clumsy Scaremongering Diminishes the Seriousness of Environmental Threats

    Original Entry: UNEP Issues Some CO2 Reduction Snakeoil!

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    We Need Food!

    Posted by msrb on June 2, 2008

    Food Riots Break Out in Bangladesh Again

    Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers protesting over low wages and soaring food prices clashed with the police on Sunday during fresh protests over low wages and soaring food prices.

    “They smashed dozens of vehicles, attacked nearby factories and pelted stones and bricks at our officers. Police fired shotguns to disperse the unruly workers,” police chief said.

    Four protestors, including two with bullet wounds, were admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital A nurse said.

    Bangladesh’s garment industry employls about 2.5 million workers, or 40 percent of the industrial workforce, and accounts for about 80 percent of the country’s export earnings. The average garment worker earn a basic minimum wage of about 25 dollars a month.

    Bangladeshi households spend nearly 70 percent of their income on food. Prices for rice, the country’s staple food have doubled in the past 12 months mainly because of floods last summer and a major cyclone that caused severe damage to the crops in November.

    Unions have demanded a major increase in salaries, saying the existing basic payment fixed in late 2006 has become redundant due to rocketing prices of food and other commodities over the past year.

    In April, at least 20,000 protesting garment workers clashed with police and 50 were injured.


    Bangladeshi demonstrators protesting against rising food and fuel prices on the outskirts of Dhaka in April, 2008. Police clashed with thousands of garment workers in southwest Bangladesh Sunday during fresh protests over low wages and soaring food prices. (Image may be subject to copyright. see MSRB Fair Use Notice.

    Food Riot in Kenya

    About a thousand Kenyan demonstrators protesting against rising food prices were assaulted by the riot police who fired teargas to disperse them on Saturday.

    Widespread food shortages have led to skyrocketing food prices amid political corruption. Annual inflation rose by an average 24.2 percent in April and May.

    “The government must subsidize the cost of food, it is not fair for the poor to be suffering with high food prices yet the government has not increased salaries,” said one of the organizers.

    Disputed presidential election has also triggered violent clashes across Kenya killing 1,600 people and displacing about one half of a million people since December 2007.

    Food and fuel riots, protests and strikes have erupted this year throughout the “third world” countries in Africa Asia and the Americas including Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cameroon, Egypt, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Pakistan, Philippines Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen (other countries may have been omitted inadvertently).

    Video links:

    mno

    Posted in Africa, against nature, agriculture, Americas, asia, basic needs, biocapacity, China, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Food, Global Warming, government, money, politics, staple diet, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

    “Great” Nation, Phony “President”

    Posted by terres on May 28, 2008

    Illegal Occupation, Ongoing Massacre … and Crocodile Tears

    UPDATE: May 30, 2008 – The Army announced that 115 soldiers, including 22 National Guard and Army Reserve troops, killed themselves last year. That marked a 12.7 percent rise from the 102 suicides recorded in 2006. There were 85 Army suicides in 2005. (Source)

    George w Bush War On Iraq Stats [continuing]

    • Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction: 0
    • Number of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invasion: 1,213,716 (Source)
    • Number of U.S. Military Personnel Condemned to death by G W Bush (Officially acknowledged) In the U.S. War On Iraq: 4,083 (Source)
    • Total Wounded: 30,329 (official figure); up to 100,000 (estimates)
    • Personnel suffering from brain injuries (PTSD or depression): 300,000 troops, or 18.5 percent, of the more than 1.5 million troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan (Source: RAND Corporation).
    • Currently serving: about 155,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 33,000 in Afghanistan
    • Suicide among troops: CBS News reported that more than 6,250 American veterans took their own lives in 2005 alone. That comes to slightly more than 17 suicides every day. (Source)
    • Monetary Cost of War: The Iraq War Will Cost Us $3 Trillion, and Much More (Source)

    The Commander In Chief [sic] Would Never Send His Daughters to War!


    [Crocodile Tears!] A tear glistens in the corner of US President George W. Bush’s eye as he makes remarks during Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, May 26, 2008. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES). Image may be subject to copyright. See Fair Use Notice!


    [Bush and Co heavily camouflaged by the massive flags!] President Bush delivers his remarks at Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Day commemoration, Monday, May 26, 2008, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta). Image may be subject to copyright. See Fair Use Notice!

    Related Links:

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    Posted in collapse, Energy, environment, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    President Carter: Israel has at least 150 atomic weapons

    Posted by msrb on May 27, 2008

    What a Wonderful World!

    So Reassuring to Know the World Won’t End with a Whimper


    Former US President Jimmy Carter speaking at the 2008 Hay Festival. Photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA. [Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB Fair Use Notice!]

    President Carter:

    “The U.S. has more than 12,000 nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union (Russia) has about the same, Great Britain and France have several hundred, and Israel has 150 or more. We have a phalanx of enormous weaponry … not only of enormous weaponry but of rockets to deliver those missiles on a pinpoint accuracy target.” (Source)

    What are those precious human qualities that President Carter has, but have eluded most presidents before him and certainly all Oval Office occupants after him?

    Related Links:

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    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, government, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    If the world were falling apart!

    Posted by msrb on May 25, 2008

    Why Does “IF” Hate America, its Middle Class and the Poor So Much?

    Warren Buffet: “If the world were falling apart I’d still invest in companies”

    Mr Buffet, we know how your anti-environment, contorted mind works! There really isn’t much more you can do, other than waging war on nature, is there? It would of course be out of the question to do something outrageous like changing the system, creating a sustainable future, or working in harmony with nature …

    • Warren “IF” Buffet’s Net Worth: $62.0 billion
    • CO2 pollution produced by Mr Buffet in 2007: At least 12.62 million metric tons [MMT]
    • Combined Net Worth of World’s Richest 100: $1,725 billion
    • No. of World’s Billionaires: 1,125 heads
    • Combined Net Worth of World’s Billionaires: $4,384 billion (source)
    • CO2 pollution produced by World’s Billionaires in 2007: At least 891.43MMT
    • No. of people who live on less than $2 per day: About 4 billion souls (Source)


    Warren “If” Buffet listens to a question during a news conference in Madrid May 21, 2008. REUTERS/Andrea Comas. Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB fair Use Notice!

    If it were possible to amass so much money by so few without declaring war against nature …

    If it were possible to accumulate so much “wealth” without causing severe ecological degradation, creating abject poverty and harming so many …

    If it were possible to transform so much of the earth’s natural resources into trash and still have a future …

    If it were possible to do what you do without committing genocide, war crimes, murder …

    If the world were not falling apart …

    [Warren Buffet produced at least 12.62 MMT of CO2 in 2007]

    Related links:

    abc

    Posted in collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Pinheads in the House: Fanning Oil Chaos

    Posted by terres on May 22, 2008

    Summited by a member

    The pinheads in the House of Reps. make even White House look “smart!”

    House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices

    The House of Representatives voted 324-84 to approve legislation allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for not pumping out enough oil. The White House has reportedly threatened to veto the bill.

    “This bill guarantees that oil prices will reflect supply and demand economic rules, instead of wildly speculative and perhaps illegal activities,” said Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, who sponsored the legislation.

    Just exactly what are the supply and demand economic rules in a political economy, Rep. Kagen of Wisconsin? I bet you don’t have a single clue what you are talking about.


    Uncle Sam: I Want You, Your Oil, ‘n Your Money!

    Uncle Sam’s Drinking Habits and the OPEC Dimwits

    Lo and behold, the good ol’ lynch mob [the House of Representatives] is out to get someone: The bartender [OPEC], no less!

    They are desperate to hang the bartender, not because he had Uncle Sam smashed out of his tiny head by giving him too much to drink; they are lynching him because he refused to serve more of “them devil’s brew” to the usual clientèle who would never leave the bar sober: The runaway economy, the corporations from hell and the rest of the morons who are so addicted to their waste-intensive lifestyles they wouldn’t know their sustainable energy sh*t from Shinola.

    Weak dollar and inflation are eating out the heart of the system; the cars are getting thirstier than ever before [and a hell of a lot more of them hit the roads each day;] Mrs Rabbit is breeding too many bunnies, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 even 9 bunnies a throw; the bunnies diets are getting more exotic, they’d no longer settle for carrots; four times as many lambs air-cruise today as they did a decade or so ago; Exxon [Valdeez] Mobil and other oil monsters broke all their previous profit records.

    But all of those factors put together couldn’t possibly play more than a minor part in the overall picture. They could probably account for 5-10 percent of the price rise. That’s child’s play when compared to the wholesale fleecing of an entire flock of marsupial boneheads by Wall Street speculators. How do they do it?

    Uncertainty!

    The oil price is rising rapidly because of the uncertainty created by the US military presence in the Gulf. The continued occupation of Iraq, the threat of war [true or false] against Iran and Syria [fed by the frenzy created by the free media, trusted journalist prima donna and venerable "ex-CIA" political activists] and the implied warning of a US military takeover in Saudi Arabia, in case their ruling regime loses favor with its own people, are the main drivers for the rapid price rise. [The perils of a possible regional war in South America, waged by US-backed Colombia against Venezuela, and fears of supply disruptions in Nigeria also help increase the uncertainty factor.] Who created the chaos in the first place? The Prez and the Congress, of course! And who is responsible for the rapidly rising oil prices? It is the OPEC, stupid!

    Gotta strike while the iron is hot!

    Who else can we sue, while the proverbial iron is still hot, Rep. Kagen of Wisconsin? I know, let’s sue the pants off the National Corn Growers Association. Just look at the mess they have created. So what they are producing overcapacity? It’s not enough! Look at price of corn, $6 dollars a bushel and there isn’t nearly enough of it going around to feed the poor. [Stay clear of any absurd argument about the obscene amounts of grains wasted to produce ethanol. Why, don't you drive a car? Start with the ethanol and you'll end up in a feedlot looking a red heifer in the eye.]


    Uncle Sam Supplying the World with Berry Brothers Hard Oil Finish, chromolithographic print c. 1880.

    OPEC: Damned if they do; damned if they don’t!

    It’s very difficult to sympathize with some of the OPEC members, for example, Saudi Arabia. But to blame OPEC for the inebriated Uncle Sam’s bladder mishaps goes an extra mile and a half beyond the Reps. standard milestone of hypocrisy.

    In the first three months of 2008, the five companies Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell Oil, Chevron and BP America earned $36 billion.

    Exxon [Valdeez] Mobil made a profit of $1,504 per second in the first quarter of 2008. That’s stealing an additional 43 cents a day [each and every day] from each US citizen [woman, man and child,] thanks to Wall Street speculators. But even Exxon knows that level of corporate racketeering is unsustainable. That’s the stuff riots are made of.

    Do the Reps. dare upset their old paymasters, the oil monsters like Exxon? Of course not. Can they afford to point a finger at Wall Street? Not a chance. Or mess with their own future by saying something stupid like healthy economy, renewable energy, or other scary stuff like that? No way!

    The ol’ lynch mob have eyed their “nigga,” and are about to unleash the bloodhounds.

    With a bunch of remarkable idiots making moronic queen-of-hearts laws for the greatest flock of sheeple on Earth, is it any wonder the world is teetering precariously on the brink of catastrophe?

    What Others Say

    [ Updated May 24, 2008 ]

    JOAN CLAYBROOK, president of Public Citizen, said: “You are paying sky-high prices at the gas pump because the barons of ‘big oil’ have bushwacked the American people. With the help of major league lobbyists and the high-ranking politicians receptive to them, oil companies are earning enormous profits through a combination of anti-competitive practices — including market manipulation — made even easier by the wave of recent oil company mergers and the government’s outrageously weak regulatory oversight.

    “Every time you buy gas, you know you are being price-gouged, but did you know that, for every gallon of gas you buy, you are being charged an extra 70 cents — at least — that is related purely to market speculation and not a function of supply-and-demand? The oil barons not only get away with this, they use their considerable influence to prevent the passage of meaningful fuel economy legislation, further squeezing consumers by ensuring automakers will continue to build gas-guzzling cars.”

    Steve Kretzmann, Founder, Oil Change International, said: “In their testimony about high gasoline prices, top oil executives repeatedly ducked questions about gas prices, demanded access to more drilling, and could not tell Senators how much they earn. Not a single suggestion came from the oil executives that will lower gas prices. There’s a reason for that, which is that the only answer is one they don’t want to discuss — an urgent transition to renewable energy.

    “We could drill every last inch of Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, and our coasts and it would barely make a dent in supply or prices. Congress needs to stop this political theater and get serious about the transition to renewable forms of energy. So far, they’re continuing to lavish the industry with billions in subsidies, while receiving millions from the industry in campaign contributions.”

    Nadine Bloch, field director with Oil Change International, said: today: “I was arrested in the Senate hearing room yesterday for demanding a Separation of Oil and State. We can’t drill our way out of this problem. We need to get Big Oil money out of our Congress.” [Source]

    Jeroen van der Veer, CEO, Shell, second largest oil monster in the world, said: “What we say and what we see is there are no physical shortages [...] There are no tankers waiting in the Middle East, there are no cars waiting at gasoline stations because they are out of stock. This has to do with psychology in the markets and you cannot forecast psychology.” (Source)

    [Update: May 28, 2008 ]

    Deborah Fineman [via Ralph Nader,] president of Mitchell Supreme Fuel Co. in Orange, New Jersey: “Energy markets have been dictated for too long by hedge funds and speculators, who artificially manipulate the numbers for their own benefit. The current market isn’t based on the sound principles of supply and demand but it is being rigged by companies and speculators who are jacking up prices for their own greed.”

    Harry C. Johnson [via Ralph Nader,] former banker and oil executive said, “some industry experts, who profit greatly from the high price of crude, and have stated openly that the worldwide economic price of crude, absent speculators, would be around $50 to $60 per barrel.

    Ralph Nader: “Oil was at $50 a barrel in January 2007, then $75 a barrel in August 2007. Now at $130 or so a barrel, it is clear that oil pricing is speculative activity, having very little to do with physical supply and demand. An essential product—petroleum—is set by speculators operating on rumor, greed, and fear of wild predictions. “

    “A sane government would drop all subsidies and tax loopholes for Big Oil’s huge profits and other fossil fuels and promote a national mission to solarize our economy to achieve major savings from energy conservation technology, retrofitting buildings, and upgrading efficiency standards for motor vehicles, home appliances, industrial engines and electric generating plants.

    “Those are the permanent ways to achieve energy independence, reduce our trade deficit, create good jobs that can’t be exported and protect the environmental health of people and nature.

    “Those are the reforms and advances that a muscular consumer, worker and small business revolt can focus on in the coming weeks.

    “What say you, America?”

    Related Links:

    Possibly elated Links:

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    NZ: Military Regime with a Civilian Face

    Posted by msrb on May 11, 2008

    NZ Dollar, ANZ Bank, Spies, Assassins, Phone Tapping, Attempted Murder and the Military Regime with a Civilian Face

    See Original Entry:

    New Zealand or North Korea?

    Posted in business, cabal, canada, Capitalism, China, civilization, collapse, concerned citizens, currency, driving, Energy, government, laser light, money, New Zealand, North Korea, option, politics, psyop, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    In Petroleum We Trust!

    Posted by msrb on May 9, 2008

    The New Oil-Rule Economy will replace the “old” economy in the very near future. A single company/organization will have a monopoly on about 80 percent of “economically recoverable” global oil reserves. It will dictate “production,” pricing, and delivery (and will even decide on the end user – who may or may not buy the oil). How much is too much for a barrel of oil, $40, $240, or $4,000? Soon, the current monetary system will be of no value. Harry Saloor, The Management School of Restorative Business, May 2004.

    Crude oil reaches another record high at $124.61 a barrel

    The price of a barrel of crude oil reached another record high in London and New York last night with US light crude at $123.69 in New York trading ( in after-hours trade it hit $124.61 a barrel). In London, Brent crude settled at $122.84 a barrel, an all time record.


    In Petroleum We Trust (Gas coupon printed in 1973 oil crisis)

    It is believed that tight supply concerns, higher world energy demand forecasts and the weak dollar are the main factors that are pushing up oil prices. According to a recent report by Goldman Sachs, the price of crude oil could reach $200 a barrel in as little as six months due to tightening supplies.

    Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil shares rose by 1.3% and Chevron’s climbed 2.2% on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Related Links:

    ./\.

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved . . .”

    Posted by msrb on April 30, 2008

    Who is thinking, if we all think alike?

    By Harry Saloor, Founder, Creating A Sustainable Future
    April 21, 2008

    In The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1) I quoted E. F. Schumacher who, in Small is Beautiful, described what he called the six leading ideas, a toolbox of ideas stemming from the nineteenth century by which the civilization interprets the world:

    - Systemic application of the theory of evolution;
    - Natural selection, which insures the survival of the fittest through competition;
    - Suppression of spirituality, religion, philosophy, art and culture in favor of economic gains;
    - Relativism, which denies all absolutes and negates the idea of truth in pragmatism;
    - Positivism, which states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge and such knowledge can only come through empirical sciences (i.e., positive affirmation of scientific theories via exact scientific observations);
    - Freud’s theory of unconscious mind, unconscious desire and repression.

    Freud said, “Against the dreaded external world one can only defend oneself by some kind of turning away from it, if one intends to solve the task by oneself. There is, indeed, another and a better path: that of becoming a member of human community, and, with the help of a technique guided by science, going over to attack against nature and subjecting her to human will. [And if the technique guided by science fail to reverse the ‘marsification’ of Earth that it started in the first place, you can always hide behind more abstractions!]”

    Freud’s theory of unconscious mind, unconscious desire and repression forms the backdrop for a powerful myth that, coupled with a discourse based on [fatal] traditions [narrative enforced through social proof] and religious dogma [pluralistic ignorance], are driving human race toward extinction.

    Social Proof and our response to the Collapsing world

    How could we be ignoring the signs of the looming environmental catastrophes, and what has that got to do with social proof? Robert Cialdini, the famed psychologist, says: “Experiments have found that the use of canned merriment causes an audience to laugh longer and more often humorous material is presented and to rate the material as a funnier. In addition, some evidence indicates that canned laughter is most effective for poor jokes.”

    But why is canned laughter so effective, especially when we know it to be “mechanically fabricated” and so blatantly false? To understand this, Cialdini says, we first need to understand the nature of the principle of social proof, a potent weapon of influence. “It states that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct. The principle applies especially to the way we decide what constitutes correct behavior.”

    On those conditions under which social proof operates optimally, Cialdini adds, “when we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to and accept the actions of others as correct.”

    Pluralistic Ignorance

    The main danger of acting under social proof is “the reaction of other people to resolve uncertainty,” Cialdini says, because the others “examining the social evidence, too. Especially in ambiguous situation, the tendency for everyone to be looking to see what everyone else is doing can lead to a fascinating phenomenon called ‘pluralistic ignorance.’ A thorough understanding of the pluralistic ignorance phenomenon helps immeasurably to explain a regular occurrence in our country that has been termed both a riddle and a national disgrace: the failure of entire groups of bystanders to aid victims in agonizing need of help.”

    Cialdini cites the classic example of “bystander inaction” that has been the subject of much debate in political, scientific and journalistic circles. The case is about the murder of Catherine Genovese in Queens, New York City. The murderer, the NYC police revealed inadvertently, had stalked and attacked his victim for thirty five minutes in three separate attacks before finally stabbing her to death. At least thirty-eight of the victim’s neighbors witnessed parts of the attack “from the safety of their apartment windows without so much as lifting a finger to call the police.” Why?

    [Note: The accuracy of some details of the The New York Times report of Catherine Genovese’s murder written by Martin Gansberg has since been challenged, but extensive research into other similar cases, as well as an impressive program of research performed by two New York based psychology professors, John Darley and Bibb Latané, their colleagues and students, has produced unambiguous results that verify the characteristics of “bystander inaction” as described by Cialdini.]

    Why did so many “good folks” fail to call the police even anonymously?

    Did those folks hated the victim and wanted to see her dead? Were they all cold-hearted bastards who were hardened by the sheer volumes of violent crime in NYC? Were they afraid of the murderer? Was it the “depersonalization” associated with urban life?

    Cialdini knows why: “The psychologists speculated that, for at least two reasons, a bystander to an emergency would be unlikely to help when there are a number of other bystanders present. The first reason is fairly straightforward. With several potential helpers around, the personal responsibility of the each individual is reduced: ‘Perhaps someone else will give or call for aid, perhaps someone else already has.’ So with everyone thinking that someone else will help or has helped, no one does.”

    “The second reason is the more psychologically intriguing one; it is founded on the principle of social proof and involves the pluralistic ignorance affect. Very often an emergency is not obviously an emergency. Is the man lying in the alley a heart-attack victim or a drunk sleeping one off? Are the sharp sounds from the street gunshots or truck backfires? Is the commotion next door an assault requiring the police or an specially loud marital spat where intervention would be inappropriate and unwelcome? What is going on? In times of such uncertainty, the natural tendency is to look around at the actions of others for clues. We can learn, from the way the other witnesses are reacting, whether the event is or is not an emergency.”

    What are we doing as the global catastrophe unfolds?


    The Last Judgement – Fresco in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.

    Each day, we are faced with the facts about collapsing ecosystems, droughts, floods, declining fisheries, wild food, fiber, timber and wood fuel resources, deteriorating supplies of freshwater, eroding croplands, deteriorating air quality and climate regulation systems, failing mechanisms for disease and pest control, loss of pollinators, loss of natural hazards regulation, mounting toxic pollution in the environment . . . each case being tantamount to a premeditated murder. Every time we watch the news on the TV (or computer screen) from the comfort of our livingroom couches we witness yet another ecological disaster in the making. More species are becoming extinct, sea-levels are rising, ice is melting faster, extreme climatic events claiming more victims each day . . . every disaster a separate instance of “attack” on “Catherine Genovese,” over and over again, as we look on until she is finally murdered right in front of our eyes without our so much as lifting a finger to dial the “police.”

    Cialdini says: “What is easy to forget, though, is that everybody else observing the event is likely to be looking for social evidence, too. And because we all prefer to appear poised and unflustered among others, were likely to search for that evidence placidly, with brief, camouflaged glances and those around us. Therefore everyone is likely to see everyone else looking unruffled and failing to act. As a result, and by the principle of social proof, the event will be wrongly interpreted as nonemergency. This, according to Latané and Darley, is the state of pluralistic ignorance ‘in which each person decides that since nobody is concerned, nothing is wrong. Meanwhile, the danger may be mounting to the point where a single individual, uninfluenced by the seeming calm of others, would react.”

    Where does the religious dogma come in?

    The problem becomes compounded when some people, prejudiced by the same powerful methods of influence of social proof, believe everything is meant this way and that “the beginning of the time of salvation would be marked by an important and undeniable event, usually the cataclysmic end of the world.”

    Among the examples cited are: The Montanists of Turkey (second century CE); the Anabaptist in Holland (16th century); The Sabbataists of Izmir (17th century) and the Millerites of the US (19th century).


    Posters like this were placed in public locations around the New England area in 1992. (Image maybe subject to copyright). See MSRB Fair Use Notice.

    There we have it. The “almighty” took the good part of 4.54 billion years to create and perfect the Earth (not counting the preparatory time of 9 or so billion years that he previously spent to “create” the universe) so that it could be destroyed by a cataclysmic event, at least according to Christian eschatology (study of the religious beliefs concerning final events, or End Times).

    With the heaven and angels (“they were created before God created the Earth”) awaiting our arrival, do we need to decontaminate, restore and preserve this garbage-dump of a planet and keep it fit for life? Why must we bother, if our peers, the pluralistic ignorant inactive bystanders, who surely must know better because there are so many of them, invite us to have faith and join the believers instead?

    For those who “believe,” “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved . . . ” latecomers may dial “R” for Rapture!

    References:

    - Cialdini, R.B. (1993). Influence: The psychology of persuasion, New York: Quill William Morrow

    - Saloor, H.(2007, February). The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1). Killed by Homo Economicus. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from http://www.restorative-business.org/empire_focus.htm [website no longer maintained.]

    - Saloor, H.(2007, February). The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 5). Who Really Benefits from Cheap Oil. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from http://www.restorative-business.org/empire_focus.htm [website no longer maintained.]

    - Saloor, H.(2007, February). Cosmic Scale Evil: Money Fetishism and the Looming Omnicide. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2007/08/08/p18766

    Posted in 6th Great Extinction, Armageddon, basic needs, biocapacity, business, cabal, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, religion, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Let Them Eat Bullets!

    Posted by msrb on April 23, 2008

    Delivering Climate Security: International Security Responses to a Climate-Changed World

    According to the above-titled report written for Britain’s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), governments around the world have hugely underestimated the potential conflicts resulting from climate change. The highlights of the report are:

    • If climate change is not slowed and critical environmental thresholds are exceeded, then it will become a primary driver of conflicts between and within states

    • In the next decades, climate change will drive as significant a change in the strategic security environment as the end of the Cold War,” said Mabey.
    • If uncontrolled, climate change will have security implications of similar magnitude to the World Wars, but which will last for centuries
    • A failure to acknowledge and prepare for the worst case scenario is as dangerous in the case of climate change as it is for managing the risks of terrorism or nuclear weapons proliferation
    • Unless achieving climate security is seen as a vital and existential national interest it will be too easy to delay action on the basis of avoiding immediate costs and perceived threats to economic competitiveness

    Source

    Can the world elite brand the poor and starving masses as “terrorists” in order to eliminate them?

    Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.” According to a report by New York Sun.

    News Reports:

    Special Links:

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Bolivia’s Morales blames fuels crops for food shortage

    Posted by feww on April 22, 2008

    Morales: Life first and cars second

    Bolivian President Evo Morales criticized “some South American presidents” for supporting the use of biofuels, which he blamed for high food prices and global hunger.

    Morales said he disagreed with “some South American presidents who were talking about biofuels but did not understand what they were talking about.”

    “This is very serious,” he said. “Cars come first, not human beings. But, for us, how important is life and how important are cars? So I say life first and cars second.”

    In his U.N. speech, Morales called on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to develop policies to curb the use of biofuels “in order to avoid hunger and misery among our people.”

    Less than 48 hours earlier the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell declared that world will need every form of energy available – from coal to biofuels – to keep pace with a booming population. He added:

    “Despite high prices [oil touched $117 a barrel on Friday] , demand is not dropping, there is only slower growth. Easy oil and easy gas cannot supply all that surge in demand …”

    “So it is not a matter of choice, do we do coal, or oil, or nuclear? The world will need everything, including biofuels. You name it.”

    “The essential point of biofuels is over time they will play a role,” “But there are high expectations what role they will play in the short term.”

    “Biofuels are all about how you develop them without unintended consequences. It is not only the competition with food, it is also the competition for sweet water in the world …”

    The oil minister for Qatar, a member of the OPEC severely criticized biofuels at the energy forum, where producers and consumers meet.

    “Now the world is facing a shortage of food,” he said in his answer to a question on food shortages, but “I don’t think we should blame oil, we should blame biofuels.”

    Related Links:

    Posted in collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, freshwater, Global Warming, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Giga Trends

    Posted by feww on March 28, 2008

    Know Exactly Where You Are Heading!

    Without a complete change of direction in human activities, the economy and lifestyles, and based on the elite Zeitgeist, “World Spirit,” available data and observed trends

    • History of civilization (past experience)
    • Current socioeconomic developments (present trends)
    • The exponential rate at which the dynamics of collapse are compounded (future events)

    CASF Model, using seven “Giga Trends,” has produced the following forecast concerning the probability of incidence of each trend.

    See Main Entry: Giga Trends

    Posted in civilization, collapse, Exponential Growth, industrialism, money, socioeconomics, war | Leave a Comment »

    A Path to the Future

    Posted by msrb on February 3, 2008

    There’s a path to the future, which the “blind” cannot find!

    Coming soon… 

    Posted in collapse, emergy, environment, Future, lifestyle | Leave a Comment »

    Exponential Growth Economy and Oil

    Posted by terres on November 27, 2007

    The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 4)

    Exponential Growth Economy and Oil: How much should oil really cost?

    The system of exponential growth has failed civilization monumentally and on all counts! The runaway economy continues to exploit cheap oil to feed its malignant growth, while failing to recognize that burning oil (and other fossil fuels) is responsible for nearly all of the environmental catastrophes and the looming ecological collapse; and that oil is a finite resource, which is approaching depletion. This system of economy is susceptible to total collapse at any time, especially if triggered by shortages in the oil supplies, and is therefore unsustainable.

    The Oil Paradox

    The exponential growth culture has created a curious paradox:

    A. If the global consumption of oil persists at current levels (let alone increased by 2% a year as the forecasts suggest), the ecological system and therefore its subsystem, the economy, would collapse. [Our projections show a partial but significant ecological collapse by as early as 2015.]

    B. Both the economy and social system (civilization) would collapse as oil becomes scarcer. Any large reduction in the supplies of cheap oil (in the absence of a strong community management program) would result in the collapse of the economic system, forced by lower outputs and reduced mobility. Competition and conflict over the remaining finite resources of oil would result in war, possibly a global thermonuclear war, which would result in the collapse of civilization and all other systems.

    We have reached an ecological threshold whereby any economic activity within the malignant culture of exponential growth triggers a host of destructive forces that are detrimental to the environment and human welfare. To steer away from the two equally undesirable scenarios, however, a two-step defense strategy is available:

    Step One: To prevent the ecology from total collapse, the global supplies and consumption of oil must be reduced substantially. This can only work by increasing the price of oil and by placing a ceiling on the total amount of oil extracted globally.

    Step Two: Having prevented the ecological collapse (we hope), the collapse of the social system can be avoided by removing the exponential growth economy from the picture and replacing it with life-centered community management program. To create a semblance of a sustainable future, the leading nations of the world must adopt a different system of economy, the Democratic Economy.

    Democratic Economy

    The need for a new system of community-based economy is paramount if, at least, some of our children are to have a future, and perhaps a chance of experiencing a fraction of the enjoyment and privileges of life to which they are entitled. Having bailed out of our commitment to the culture of exponential growth and disclaimed our false economic welfare we must switch to a system of life-centered economy where basic needs of human beings are integrated into the restoration of the ecological systems. Democratic Economy is economy for community designed to be sustainable and to meet all of basic needs of human being without causing further damage to the ecology. The human communities on a regional, national and global level assume guardianship for the entire living community including humans, other animals, plants and what is left of the planet’s natural capital and ecosystems. More on this subject, later.

    There is a small window of opportunity, but its size is shrinking according to the urgency by which we act to stop the collapse of the biosphere.

    Oil Price and the Elusive GDP

    Trying to fix the price of a vital commodity like oil in the debt driven, gangster-ridden, ‘now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t’ exponentially growing system of economy is tantamount to creating an elastic yardstick. As the industry experiences a price hike in the energy supplies, it would increase the price of their goods by an even larger margin making the goods and services more expensive. This is probably not a bad thing for the environment [save for other inflationary factors and other human uncertainties] because many of the unwanted products and services would simply price themselves out of the market.

    Our attempt is to highlight the value of oil as a vital commodity and not just to increase the price of oil for the sake of creating worldwide inflation to the detriment of the poor.

    On a purely mathematical basis, all other prices, indexes and variables remaining equal, we believe a substantial increase in the oil prices, moving it closer toward its actual value, coupled with an agreed ceiling on the production, would reduce extraction, export and therefore the consumption. As a result, the environmental pollution would decrease substantially to the benefit of ecosystems and all life forms including human beings.

    Total world GDP (purchasing power parity) for 2006 was an estimated 65 trillion dollars. In the same year the total energy supply worldwide was a staggering 507 exajoules (5.07+E20), about 150 times its pre-industrial levels, about 40 percent of which came from oil. We believe that without such massive surge in the energy supplies, the total world GDP would have been at least 150 times lower than the actual figure (assumption is made that the pre-industrial milieu could support the current world population of 6.67 billion).

    It would be reasonable therefore to equate the value of the 31 billion barrels of oil pumped out of the ground in 2006 to 40 percent of the total world GDP, or 26 trillion dollars. Based on this figure the average price of each barrel of oil would rise to over 838 dollars.

    Calculations:

    65 trillion dollars x 0.4 = 26 trillion dollars [actual value of the oil pumped throughout 2006 as a share of the world GDP]

    26 trillion dollars ÷ 31 billion barrels of oil = 838.71 dollars [minimum actual value for a barrel of oil]

    This figure of course does not take into account other important factors.

    First, the premium value of oil as a major fuel for transportation. Without oil, the producer and the service provider cannot reach the market and the wheels of industry would come to a grinding halt. No other fuel could currently claim a similar utility value. In 2006, oil accounted for at least 96 percent of the transport fuel use. Let us call this premium increase the ‘utility value.’

    Second, the additional premium attached to oil as a finite resource. The remaining useable oil in the ground should last us much longer than the appointed decade or two, until the human community has decided to shake off its ‘Freudian feathers,’ adopt democratic economies and develop ‘clean,’ renewable sources of energy to replace carbon fuels, paid for from the current oil incomes. Call this premium increase the ‘continuity value.’

    Third, premium for internalizing cost of the environmental damage caused by oil consumption (and other carbon fuels). To save what remains of our collapsing ecosystems, the ‘producer’ must internalize the cost of offsetting the environmental damage caused by oil consumption, and pay for the development cost of alternative human-centered community systems that are not dependent on oil. [The premium should increase for more polluting fossil fuels like coal.] The internalization of pollution cost at source must not provide governments the excuse to relegate, or abandon their duty of care to the environment. The producers must also be solely accountable for any damage caused by oil spillages during shipping and distribution. By adopting this ‘door-to-door’ care system, we also aim to remove last vestiges of purpose or ‘usefulness’ for the existing oil companies. Call this premium the ‘restoration value.’

    Fourth, premium reserved to pay for supplying oil to poor nations/communities for their basic needs. To avoid any reliance on a trickle down system where the oil supplied to the rich would be expected to somehow miraculously reach the poor, the producer would reserve a premium to supply oil to the poor nations/communities through its door-to-door care system (discussed earlier)-the ‘Care Value.’

    Fifth, the premium added for cost of monitoring the extraction ceiling and export. This premium would pay for the cost of monitoring the agreed ceiling placed on the extraction and export of oil on a national level. However, it is highly unlikely that the depraved ruling elite in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the former pumping stations now rent-a-citizen Gulf States would honor any agreements reached in this regard. It would therefore be necessary to impose heavy penalties on such regimes when they breach the extraction quotas. More on this issue later. Call this this premium the ‘integrity premium.’

    As the additional premiums are added to the price of oil, the cost of a barrel rises above the 1,000 dollars reaching its true value somewhere below the 2,000 dollar per barrel mark. The proponents of cheap oil and the chrematists who profit from selling large volumes of oil at give-away prices would no doubt complain bitterly and try their utmost to block any such move. They would cite a host of reasons, especially inflation, which would decrease consumption (!) and bring the industry to a grinding halt thus affecting the elusive GDP (what’s so bad about that?)

    Our answer to these elements is that reducing the supplies and consumption of oil, as noted earlier, is the only way to stop the exponential deterioration of the ecosystems and prevent an ecological crash. Everything else must follow suit. The time has come to sacrifice the interest of a handful of individuals in favor of saving life on the planet. Either we reduce our ecological footprint (immediate reduction is vital, especially in the consumption of fossil fuels and production of the deadly pollutions created as a result), or nature would decide for us, probably decimating our numbers, or worse, a total collapse of the ecosystems would occur.

    We believe that by adopting a system of Democratic Economy on regional, national and global level that trades oil at or near its actual value, mindless consumerism and product fetishism would end. By producing only the goods that human community really needs (as opposed to the dumped merchandise perceived as necessary), the pressure on the Earth’s natural resources would ease. Lowering the volume of production would result in reducing the overall volumes of waste, and improving life quality.

    We believe that in a system of Democratic Economy a slowdown in manufacturing would translate to less capital requirements, which in turn results in less energy needed to produce the machinery. By producing only the essentials and without the use of large capital, the system would create full employment opportunities.

    Flying fewer or no passengers to the world’s ‘holiday destinations,’ or consuming fewer or no food products flown half-way across the world, the community-owned airlines and food production industries would help reduce the levels of CO2e greenhouse gasses and other toxic pollution significantly.

    As the price of oil reaches closer to its actual value, fewer vehicles remain on the roads, hence creating less CO2e pollution. A system of Democratic Economy would enable us to redesign our car-centered population centers as human-centered communities, which would require far fewer vehicles to run. Human-centered communities provide safer, healthier and emotionally rewarding environments. They create more jobs, provide more varieties and require far less energy to manage, and are therefore less costly and more sustainable.

    Building fewer roads and parking spaces, human-centered communities would free the land for local food production, creating reliable, healthy produce at affordable prices, which would ease the pressure to compete for resources.

    Life as usual is no longer an option – at the current rates of decline our life support systems could collapse within our lifetime, probably even sooner than projected.

    [Note: If we do not understand the message, then we must ask until we do because once we have understood the message only one course of action remains: Stop the Ecocide! Otherwise, we need to prepare something along the following lines to whisper in our children’s ears, every night before they go to sleep:

    “Honestly, sweetheart, I kind of realized what was happening, but just didn’t have the time, incentive, or moral courage to do anything about it. Don’t you worry though, because ‘experts’ say when you grow up you can use matter/antimatter technology to travel to outer space and look for another hospitable planet …’]

    Posted in collapse, Democratic Economy, Exponential Growth, GDP, oil | Leave a Comment »

    Urgent Call to Action

    Posted by edro on September 30, 2007

    Stop Omnicide Campaign

    The Management School of Restorative Business (MSRB) and Creating A sustainable Future (CASF) are launching a campaign to stop omnicide-the killing of everything.

    The wide-scale collapse of Earth’s ecosystem that is currently occurring will lead to the extinction of humans as well as other species in a very short time, unless the trend is halted.

    We believe that concerned individuals could, even at this late hour, cause a major paradigm shift in the “goals,” perceived values and direction of civilization steering humanity away from certain extinction and help save a fragment of the future for the next generations.

    The Campaign Team invites you to participate in the Stop Omnicide Campaign. Please post your comments and suggestions and let us know how you can help publicize the campaign.

    Posted in collapse, Earth, environment, extinction, politics | Leave a Comment »

     
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