Accelerating Global Climate Collapse
November 28, 2017 ... Russia : plans to start building a launch pad for the environmentally friendly Angara rockets in 2018. United States, saddled with endless war and unable to squeeze much more from the poor, lags further and further behind the rapid pace of both Russian and Chinese progress toward national moon colonies.
Angara is a family of Russian space rockets of various classes, from light to heavy, created as a substitute for the Proton-M and Rokot rockets. In contrast to the previous generation, Angara rockets use ecologically friendly fuel components. So far there have been only two launches, both from the northern site Plesetsk. A light Angara-1 2PP rocket blasted off in July 2014 and a heavy Angara-A5, in December 2014.
The Vostochny spaceport in the Amur region has been under construction since 2010. Last year the first space launch from the spaceport was carried out. The spaceport’s second unit is due to be completed in 2018. The original contractor - federal agency for special construction - was abolished.
November 18, 2017 ... China : Futuristic space exploration plan aims high. Visionary goals indicate future leadership. The first rocket was invented about nine hundred years ago in China. Rockets in those days used solid fuel and were often used as weapons or fireworks displays.
According to a development plan from the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the major developer of Chinese carrier rockets, the Long March 8 will conduct its first flight in 2020 and will start to offer low-cost launch service to clients. The Long March 9, the heaviest and most sophisticated model that is under development, will first be used around 2030 to enable China to carry out manned lunar explorations and robotic round trips to Mars to bring samples back.
Designers at the academy said the superheavy Long March 9 will have a liftoff weight of 3,000 tons and can thrust a 140-ton payload to a low Earth orbit, which means the nation will be able to transport its astronauts to the moon. China Daily has the story by Zhao Lei
November 12, 2017 ... Tax evasion - Earth : Conspicuous tax evasion, from David Ruccio, Real World Economics
The release of the so-called Paradise Papers confirms, with additional names and more salacious details, what we already knew from the Panama Papers and other sources: the world’s wealthy increasingly use offshore tax havens to engage in conspicuous tax evasion.
That’s on top of their participation in conspicuous consumption, conspicuous philanthropy, and conspicuous productivity.
According to Annette Alstadsæter, Niels Johannesen, and Gabriel Zucman, in a study published before the release of the Paradise Papers, the equivalent of 10 percent of world GDP is held in tax havens globally—and that’s only counting bank deposits, not the portfolios of equities, bonds, and mutual fund shares that wealthy individuals entrust to offshore banks.
And, as it turns out, offshore wealth is extremely concentrated: the top 0.1 percent of richest households own about 80 percent of it, while the top 0.01 percent own about 50 percent of offshore wealth.
So, how does it work? Real World Economics explains it here
November 12, 2017 ... United States : Russian Times has been branded a foreign agent
A United States report outlined the political reasons for moving against the broadcaster in the January 6, 2017 report by the US Director of National Intelligence on “Russian intervention” in the 2016 elections.
The report alleged, “Russian Times broadcast, hosted, and advertised third-party candidate debates and ran reporting supportive of the political agenda of these candidates. The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a ‘sham.’” Read full report at Defend Democracy Press
November 2, 2017 ... China : Scientific papers gain global credibility
China is now the world's most cited country in material science research, with eight other research fields ranking second globally. These are agriculture, chemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, physics and pharmaceuticals.
China also ranks second behind the US for the seventh consecutive year in the number of articles published in the world's most prestigious science journals, such as Nature and Science.
The report points to some shortcomings in China's scientific literature. In recent years, China's research has grown rapidly in applied science and engineering, but medicine and other health fields lag behind the US and European countries. Read full report at China Daily
October 27, 2017 ... towardfreedom.com : Plastic Tide: Oceans Set to Contain More Plastic Than Fish by 2050
Photo Credit: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP
"Plastic pollution means detritus such as drink bottles and flip-flops as well as tiny plastic fragments including micro-beads used in cosmetics are concentrating in the oceans and washing up on the most remote shorelines, from deserted Pacific islets to the Arctic Circle, the UN specialised body informs.
“Humans have already dumped billions of tonnes of plastic, and we are adding it to the ocean at a rate of 8 million tonnes a year,” UNEP warns, adding that as well as endangering fish, birds and other creatures who mistake it for food or become entangled in it, plastic waste has also entered the human food chain with health consequences that are not yet fully understood.
More Plastic than Fish?
"The UN estimates that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 – with over 5 trillion pieces of plastic weighing more than 260,000 tonnes currently floating in the world’s oceans. Meanwhile, harmful fishing subsidies that contribute to overfishing are estimated to be as high as 35 billion dollars. Read the full article by Baher Kamal here
October 15, 2017 ... China : Vehicles on a freeway leading to Beijing are stuck in a traffic jam on Oct 8, the last day of the eight-day National Day holiday. China Daily photo>/a>
October 11, 2017 ... Iran & Turkey : Both countries to conduct bilateral trade in national currencies
In yet another sign that Turkey’s Eurasian pivot is about cold hard economics, rather than more fleeting ideological concerns, Turkey and Iran have officially announced that future bilateral trade will be conducted in Iranian Rial and Turkish Lira. This represents yet another blow to Dollar hegemony, as countries ranging from Russia, China and Venezuela, begin exploring trading options that are not dependent on the United States.
A global effort among countries whose economies aren’t directly tied in to the US financial and monetary systems, to drop the Dollar and begin trading in local and regional currencies, has long been a priority among states that are effectively getting ripped off by Dollar derived exchange rates and practices.
September’s BRICS summit in Xiamen China placed a heavy emphasis on the need for BRICS nations and their partners beyond, to begin developing and implementing different means of exchange than the US Dollar.
The US has leveled sanctions against economies ranging from Russia to Iran and Venezuela to North Korea, while threatening to do the same to China. This has made the need to find alternatives to the Dollar as the standard trading and reserve currency, all the more pressing. Read full article
October 8, 2017, 2017 ... Defend Democracy Press : Has The Israel Lobby Destroyed Americans’ First Amendment Rights?
The Israel Lobby has shown its power over Americans’ perceptions and ability to exercise free speech via its influence in media, entertainment and ability to block university tenure appointments, such as those of Norman Finkelstein and Steven Salaita. Indeed, the power of the Israel Lobby is today so widely recognized and feared that editors, producers, and tenure committees anticipate the lobby’s objections in advance and avoid writers, subjects, and professors judged unacceptable to the lobby.
Many seasoned experts believe that without the influence of the Israel Lobby, particularly as exerted by the Jewish Neoconservatives, the United States would not have been at war in the Middle East and North Africa for the last 16 years. These wars have done nothing for the US but harm, and they have cost taxpayers trillions of dollars and caused extensive death and destruction in seven countries and a massive refugee flow into Europe. Defend Democracy Press for full article
September 16, 2017 ... Caracas : Venezuela published the price of its oil and fuel in Chinese currency on Friday in what it called an effort to free the country from the “tyranny of the dollar,” echoing a plan recently announced by President Nicolas Maduro. China, Russia and Iran are also working on a similar project. Trillions of petro dollars sloshing around the world-wide oil market will soon be looking for a new home. Reuters for full story
September 15, 2017 ... Syria : Russian news brings us into the liberated city of Deir ez-Zor, via drone photography. Very touching spontaneous happiness. compliments to Russian Times
September 9, 2017 ... Modern Society : This graph is from Lars Syll of Real World Economics Red is general fund spending on higher education. Blue is spending on prisons. Did declining red cause rising blue on purpose by central planners?
August 17, 2017 ... Earth Overshoot Day : Take the test and discover how many Earths your life-style requires compliments of Footprint calculator.org
August 15, 2017 ... Himalayas : view the Himalayas from an airplane compliments of Chinese news.
August 6, 2017 ... Prague, Czech Republic : The freight train X8074 from Prague arrives in Yiwu, east China's Zhejiang Province, Aug. 4, 2017. The first freight train from Prague, the Czech Republic to Yiwu arrived at Yiwu west freight station at about 11:00 a.m. Friday after a 16-day journey. The train carried 82 containers of crystal products, automobile accessories, beer and some other Czech products, with total value of about five million U.S. dollars. (Xinhua/Lyu Bin)
Chinese freight trains now regularly visit England, Spain, Poland, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. More photos China news
August 2, 2017 ... University of California, Los Angeles : With many Americans choosing to eat less meat in recent years, often to help reduce the environmental effect of meat production, UCLA geography professor Gregory Okin began to wonder how much feeding pets contributes to issues like climate change.
All that meat has important consequences. Okin calculated that meat-eating by dogs and cats creates the equivalent of about 64 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, which has about the same climate impact as a year's worth of driving from 13.6 million cars. Read more at Physics.org.
July 31, 2017 ... London : Energy policies of the world’s richest countries impose a double burden on their citizens. Taxes of citizens given away as corporate welfare subsidies cause increased medical bills for taxpayers. Destruction of the environment, global climate collapse and increased medical costs are paid for by average taxpayers. Full story at Climate News Network.
July 30, 2017 ... Greece : Drug money saved banks during global crises claims UN advisor. Defend Democracy reiterates from Greece, where the financial industry continues to strip their country to the bone.
"Drug money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations’ drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer." This is a repeat of an old story retold by Greece hoping humanity can learn from their painful austerity lesson. Read more at the Guardian
July 22, 2017 ... England : Justice in the Age of Finance analysed by C.P. Chandrasekhar for Real World Economics
The big news late in June 2017 was that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the UK had charged four former senior executives of Barclays bank, including its former chief executive, John Varley, with fraud committed almost a decade earlier, during the global financial crisis of 2008. This is the first chief of an institution embroiled in the 2008 financial crisis who faces criminal (as opposed to civil) proceedings. How long the investigation will take and what the punishment will be is yet to be seen. But being the first criminal prosecution of a small number of the large group of financial chieftains who through their acts of commission and omission precipitated the crisis, the event has received substantial media attention. read more at real world economics
Ten years have passed since the global financial crisis of 2007-08. While long-term, structural factors played a role in precipitating that crisis, early evidence showed that conscious actions by banks and leading investment banking firms which exploited the loopholes that financial deregulation offered were equally responsible. Moreover, compensation practices that linked salaries and bonuses to profits made, encouraged the pursuit of profit at the expense of all else. As a result, fraud was at the centre of the crisis that devastated ill-informed or wrongly tutored investors and borrowers, many of whom earned a minuscule fraction of what the functionaries of finance did, and had been persuaded into living beyond their means by accessing easily available debt. This could continue for long because the securitization that deregulation encouraged, allowed those who created credit assets by lending to transfer the risk to dispersed investors for a fee. The opaque instruments created to conceal the accumulating risk in the system were merely emblematic of the ubiquitous fraud. read more at Real World Economics
May 11, 2017 ... United States : Reported US Bomb Shortages
The U.S. Air Force is reportedly running out of ordinary bombs, smart bombs, and in some cases missiles. No kidding. The air war over Syria and Iraq that began in August 2014 and is now two-and-a-half years old has eaten through America’s supply of bombs. Weapons makers evidently can’t produce such munitions fast enough to keep up, so the U.S. military is, for instance, cutting into its stockpiles of smart bombs in Asia to send some to the Middle East and Africa simply to keep pace with demand -- and, according to recent reports, it may nonetheless be failing to do so. Consider this a longer term problem since, in the era of Donald Trump, the generals are increasingly running their own wars, which, if the daily drumbeat of news about them is accurate, are only ramping up further. Edited slightly for brevity, read full story at Tom Dispatch
May 8, 2017 ... University of Bonn : Cannabis reverses aging processes in the brain, study suggests
Memory performance decreases with increasing age. Cannabis can reverse these ageing processes in the brain. This was shown in mice by scientists at the University of Bonn with their colleagues at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel). Old animals were able to regress to the state of two-month-old mice with a prolonged low-dose treatment with a cannabis active ingredient. This opens up new options, for instance, when it comes to treating dementia. Next step: clinical trial on humans
Read full news release at Science News
May 5, 2017 ... The Mall, USA : What happens when you combine conspicuous consumption and consumption productivity??? You get Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans complete with “crackled, caked-on muddy coating.” On sale for $425 at Nordstrom. Read full article at Real World Economics
May 4, 2017 ... Washington DC : Health insurance for the poor voted to be cut by act of US Congress. Another twist of the austerity screw funnels 800 billion toward trillion dollar rich people's tax holiday.
Smiling ogres wearing dark suited uniforms surrounded the president who came to congratulate congressional republicans for their sadistic cruelty. Cutting health insurance for rural, agricultural America and the urban poor to give to the rich was obviously Trump's plan from the beginning. Voters were brainwashed with an old corporate trick; advertise the big lie.
Further discussion at Truthout
May 3, 2017 ... London : A new study indicates humans can change very quickly. This is the heart of hope; Rapid controlled evolution of a mature human species using autonomous democracy to focus distributed intelligence. Further discussion at Climate News Network
We are cosmic powered biology expressed as humans surfing big-still-banging at life speed. Cosmic powered biology is equal partner with planets, stars, and beings so huge that light cannot escape their gravity. Our evolution began when the first quarks solidified out of primordial plasma. A mating frenzy began then that has not slowed down. Quarks joined to become more complex beings for the pure joy of being something new together with others. Evolution is accelerating equal with cosmic expansion as fast as new ideas and people meet. Cosmic powered biology now sees Cosmos and knows it.
Autonomous democracy focuses distributed intelligence of cosmic powered biology in the information-age; it is distinct and separate from government. Desire and effort for and in support of totalitarian control of Cosmos is futile hubris. The most efficient nations are those that facilitate focus of distributed intelligence. Unfocused billions cannot surpass even a small country of a focused half million using information age autonomous democracy.
Note that Kurds went to Mexico for study with Zapatistas and returned home to effectively double their population with complete gender equality. Further discussion at Climate News Network
May 2, 2017 ... People's Budget USA : Provides sufficient investment to repair roads and bridges … debt-free college for all students … corporations and wealthy pay fair share of taxes … makes veterans a priority … Supports women’s social and economic empowerment … Protect the right to vote and support criminal justice reforms … address climate change and invest in a clean-energy economy … Promote a progressive national security strategy. sign here to support budget
Editor's note ; As an old budget director and controller from off broadway San Francisco. Believe me. This is important. How our representatives spend the wealth of humanity via the US government has a big impact. The US government is the #1 CO2 polluter on Earth and the US military is #1 in the US government. Here is the actual People's Budget
April 26, 2017 ... London : A leading climate scientist says the claim of a slowdown in the rate of increasing global temperature is not supported by facts. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, found no evidence supporting the idea of a slowdown in global climate collapse.
Read more at Climate News Network and
US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
April 26, 2017 ... California Medi-Cal for all : Medical insurance for all, Senate Bill 562; everyone is covered with health insurance; one medical card, good everywhere with real patient choice. You pick your hospital or doctor. First legislative hearing was April 26 before the Senate Health Committee and the bill moved forward.
SB 562 provides for comprehensive health insurance coverage, including hospital and outpatient medical care, primary and preventive care, vision, dental, hearing, women’s reproductive health services, mental health, lab tests, rehab and other basic medical needs, with no insurance denials based on corporate profit goals.
Real healthcare insurance through a coordinated system with public oversight, as exists in every other major country in the world, has been a dream and goal of policy makers in the U.S. for more than a century It has been blocked by corporate lobbyists representing those who profit off the sick.
High costs also directly affect quality of care as well. The life expectancy gap between rich and poor Americans has been widening since the 1970s with the difference between the richest and poorest 1 percent now at 10.1 years for women and 14.6 years for men.
It’s time to end that disgrace, and make healthcare insurance a right, and a reality for all of us.
Challenging questions flier
The actual bill
Complete public announcement
April 24, 2017 ... University of Cambridge : Caterpillar found to eat plastic shopping bags, possible biodegradable solution to plastic pollution
Scientists have found that a caterpillar commercially bred for fishing bait has the ability to biodegrade polyethylene: one of the toughest and most used plastics, frequently found clogging up landfill sites in the form of plastic shopping bags.
The wax worm, the larvae of the common wax moth, is a scourge of beehives across Europe. In the wild, the worms live as parasites in bee colonies. Wax moths lay their eggs inside hives where the worms hatch and grow on beeswax - hence the name.
"Wax is a polymer, a sort of 'natural plastic,' and has a chemical structure not dissimilar to polyethylene," said CSIC's Bertocchini, the study's lead author. read full report
April 17, 2017 ... Cornell university : Eye expressions offer a glimpse into the evolution of emotion
New research by Adam Anderson, professor of human development at Cornell University's College of Human Ecology, reveals why the eyes offer a window into the soul.
"When looking at the face, the eyes dominate emotional communication," Anderson said. "The eyes are windows to the soul likely because they are first conduits for sight. Emotional expressive changes around the eye influence how we see, and in turn, this communicates to others how we think and feel."
This work builds on Anderson's research from 2013, which demonstrated that human facial expressions, such as raising one's eyebrows, arose from universal, adaptive reactions to one's environment and did not originally signal social communication. Full Eureka alert here
April 14, 2017 ... Atascadero News Opinion Section, A-4 : SLO County, California
April 13, 2017 ... MIT/UC Berkeley : The MIT laboratory of Evelyn Wang has built a scaleable device that draws water from air using sunlight as power source.
The solar-powered harvester, reported in the journal Science, was constructed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology using a special material - a metal-organic framework, or MOF - produced at the University of California, Berkeley.
In 2014, Omar Yaghi and his UC Berkeley team synthesized a MOF - a combination of zirconium metal and adipic acid - that binds water vapor, and he suggested to Evelyn Wang, a mechanical engineer at MIT, that they join forces to turn the MOF into a water-collecting system. Read complete physics.org article
April 10, 2017 ... Oregon State University : Greenhouse gas effect caused by mangrove forest clearing is major
Clear-cutting of tropical mangrove forests to create shrimp ponds and cattle pastures contributes significantly to the greenhouse gas effect, one of the leading causes of global warming, new research suggests.
"On a personal scale, this means a typical steak and shrimp cocktail dinner produced through mangrove conversion would burden the atmosphere with 1,795 pounds of carbon dioxide," said J. Boone Kauffman, an ecologist at Oregon State University who led the study.
"This is approximately the same amount of greenhouse gases produced by driving a fuel-efficient automobile from Los Angeles to New York City." (For one steak and shrimp dinner).
"What we found was astounding," said Kauffman, a senior research professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences. "It's a remarkable amount of carbon that is emitted into the atmosphere when you convert these mangrove forests to shrimp ponds or pastures. And the food productivity of these sites is not really very high." read more at physics.org
April 10, 2017 ... China : 70% Chinese millennials lead global home ownership
Seventy percent of Chinese millennials (the people born in the 1980s and 90s) are now said to own their home, and more than 90 percent of those that haven't bought yet say they intend to do so in the next five years, according to a new survey by HSBC.
The survey by the British banking giant included interviews with 9,000 people based in nine countries. While Chinese millennials lead the global trend of buying a home among the age group, Mexico is next at 46 percent, followed by France at 41 percent, the U.S. and Malaysia at 35 percent, Canada at 34 percent, the UK at 31 percent, Australia at 28 percent and the UAE at 26 percent. full article at China News
April 8, 2017 ... Boston : Across the U.S., state-level carbon emissions are higher in states where income is more highly concentrated among the wealthiest residents, according to a new study by two Boston College researchers.
Spending power drives carbon-intensive consumerism. But so do the political clout and economic power of the wealthiest individuals, according to Jorgenson and Schor, whose analysis with co-author and BC graduate student Xiaorui Huang employed established economic models that assess the political and economic influence of individual wealth on society. Full article at Science News
April 4, 2017 ... Iraq : NASA photo; Oil field fires in Qayyarah have been extinguished completely
This oil field has burned for almost a year. A nearby sulfer mine and processing plant burned along with the oil field. Complete story at NASA Earth Observatory
NASA Photo of October 25, 2016 ... Iraq : Oil and sulfer fires near Mosul
April 2, 2017 ... Groundwater forecast : Groundwater is being depleted faster than aquifers can recharge
Groundwater – from underground supplies, as opposed to water in rivers or lakes – supplies global agriculture with 43% of crop irrigation.
The country exporting the most crops produced using groundwater is Pakistan, with 29% of global non-renewable sources embedded in trade. The second largest user of groundwater for irrigated crop export is the US (27%). India (12%) is third place. read complete Climate News Network article
March 27, 2017 ... United States : Trump took the presidency with 19.5% of Americans voting for him; Clinton lost with 19.8%; almost 59% did not vote (of which half were not eligible); and far more of those who were eligible to vote chose to stay home (30% of Americans) compared to the number who voted for the winner or the loser (less than 20%). Complete article
March 24, 2017 ... United States : US Government sinks to grotesque new lows
Democrats have adopted the full panoply of early 1950's anti-Russian witch hunt McCarthyism to smear Russia and republicans are no better. Something's going on around here. What it is ain't exactly clear…
Tani Cantil-Sakauye, chief justice of California’s Supreme Court, asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to stop immigration agents from stalking the state’s courthouses to make arrests. “Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws,” Cantil-Sakauye wrote in a letter.
“I am deeply concerned about reports from some of our trial courts that immigration agents appear to be stalking undocumented immigrants in our courthouses to make arrests,” she wrote.
Complete in-depth articles at Washington Post and Truthdig includes input from the Mayor and Police Chief of Los Angeles.
So what's going on with democratic party McCarthyism and republican cruelty? More than meets the eye.
Democrats in denial search for someone to blame for their political losses and fixate on the Russians. But there's more. Forget nuclear winter; the bipartisan democrat and republican trillion dollar nuclear modernization program needs an enemy and Russia is it.
Thus, US weapons designers have turned old nuclear warheads into more efficient weapons of mass destruction with a new fuse that sets the bomb off at more precise elevation above the target. This means hardened missile silos could be eliminated in a first strike by the US. The result is Russia on a less than one minute hair trigger alert to protect itself against the rogue US military empire. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
What will those diabolical democrats and republicans dream up next? Austerity-funded weapons design as a top priority policy appears robust until the empire bankrupts the population.
Meanwhile, Russian GMO-free produce exports surpass its weapons export sales and approach a third of its natural gas exports. Russia has proven that organic farmers are more practical than US weapons of mass destruction.
March 23, 2017 ... Human Health : Comparison of health expenditures among nations clearly illustrates effect of US austerity and corporatist health system.
March 22, 2017 ... Chiapas : Zapatista cultural strength uses organic coffee to assist the world's refugees and their ongoing struggle for freedom and an autonomous democracy.
Truthdig and telesur have the full story.
March 9, 2017 ... University of California - Santa Barbara : Eating healthier food could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says a new study out of UCSB, some relatively small diet tweaks could add up to significant steps toward addressing climate change.
That's the finding of a new study led by UC Santa Barbara researchers, who analyzed the potential effects of healthier model diets for the United States. The results appear in the journal Climatic Change.
The food system contributes about 30 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with the largest proportion coming from animal-based food. In addition, the poor quality of the standard U.S. diet -- including high levels of red and processed meat and low levels of fruits and vegetables -- is a major factor in a number of preventable diseases. The U.S. spends $3 trillion on health care every year --18 percent of the gross domestic product -- much of it allocated to diseases associated with poor diets.
The connection made here are that the unhealthy US diet uses environmentally destructive farming methods and the resulting medical expenses also contribute to global climate collapse. Smaller scale organic gardening leads to healthy people who avoid red meat and processed foods. This in turn reduces medical industry contribution to global climate collapse. Read full UCSB news release here
March 8 2017 ... Women's Day : Small loans made to help small businesses. In honor of Women's Day, the micro-finance organization Kiva is giving out FREE loans to first-time lenders. It costs you nothing and helps a borrower. ZeroWasteNews invites you to take part. Click photo below.
How to boycott Trump products — Click on List for more info
March 7 2017 ... Geneva : Two United Nations experts are calling for a comprehensive new global treaty to regulate and phase out the use of dangerous pesticides in farming, and move towards sustainable agricultural practices. They say: “excessive use of pesticides are very dangerous to human health, to the environment and it is misleading to claim they are vital to ensuring food security.”
The Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, and the Special Rapporteur on Toxics, Baskut Tuncak, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that widely divergent standards of production, use and protection from hazardous pesticides in different countries are creating double standards, which are having a serious impact on human rights.
Chronic exposure to pesticides has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, hormone disruption, developmental disorders and sterility. Farmers and agricultural workers, communities living near plantations, indigenous communities and pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable to pesticide exposure and require special protections. Read full UN report
March 1, 2017 ... US military Budget yields Chaos : Over 90% of world terrorism is located near US military concentrations. During this same time, Afghanistan became #1 world Heroin producer.
February 26, 2017 ... San Luis Obispo County, California:
Immigration directive not a focus, officials say;
unedited excerpts from The Tribune, Newspaper of the California Central Coast, front page, above the fold, Sunday paper.
As President Donald Trump's administration beefs up immigration enforcement and looks to local law enforcement agencies for help, San Luis Obispo County officials say they're in the business of protecting residents, not deporting them.
Only one California agency, the Orange County Sheriff's office, is among the participants.
In San Luis Obispo county, local law enforcement agencies say they aren't interested. And California law backs them up, giving local agencies discretion in detaining people with immigration violations. State law also makes it illegal for state and local law enforcement to detain anyone solely for immigration purposes.
California is home to more than 2.5 million undocumented immigrants.
Despite the Trump directive, the California TRUST Act, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in 2013, gives local law enforcement officers discretion when detaining people for potential immigration law violations.
Lori Haley, an ICE spokeswoman, said that the agency isn't granting interviews to the news media and declined to comment on the memorandum.
Local police departments also want no part in the ramped up immigration enforcement.
Capt. Jeff Anderson of the San Luis Obispo Police Department said officers don't ask about residents' citizenship when responding to calls.
"Our focus is still and will always be to serve the people in our community," he said. "We don't want them to hesitate to call or contact us because we'll look into their immigration status." read full article at The Tribune
February 25, 2017 ... Editor : The US government has done far more than permitted, perpetuated, and subsidized corporate destruction of the environment and climate; it is the number one polluter in the country. And the US military is number one polluter in the US Government. Shame on all those Generals who sent the toxic smoke of burn piles over the children of America serving the United States. Those generals are worse parents than they are generals.
And lest people make haste to blame the republicans, do not forget it was 56 years ago when president Lyndon Johnson was given the first very accurate projection of impending climate collapse. And examine what he did. Rather than concentrate on preserving Earth life support bio systems, President Johnson, a democrat, chose to sacrifice the loyal and patriotic service of American youth and fortunes on a to this day still grotesquely polluting nonsensical domino theory of war.
Instead of acting as an adult human being elected with honor to the most responsible job in the US, Lyndon Johnson was driven from office in disgrace for warring on people so isolated many of them had only vague notions connecting explosions on the ground to high flying bombers. War is never the answer.
February 23, 2017 ... Europe : Mysterious Radioactive Leak Detected Across Europe. The US atom bomb test sniffer plane called Constant Phoenix has been deployed.
According to reports, small amounts of highly radioactive radioisotope, iodine-131, of unknown origin, have been detected over large areas of Europe. A nuclear ‘incident’ in the vicinity of the Arctic circle may have spread the mysterious radioactive leak during the past week. The quantities of radiation detected are said to be not harmful to human health.
Adding an air of mystery to this alleged “incident” was the spotting of the “Constant Phoenix”, which on Friday arrived in the UK’s Mildenhall airbase after departing from Florida.
Further note: The Constant Phoenix sniffer aircraft is paid for by US citizens. Even so, results of radiation monitoring, since the Fukushima meltdowns, are no longer made available to US citizens. This policy change was instituted by the Obama administration following the meltdowns in Japan. Read the full yourNewsWire European reports here
February 21, 2017 ... Davao City, Phillipines : The City Engineer’s Office said Monday that a rainwater collection system is mandatory before they will issue the certificate of occupancy. Rainwater collection in new buildings is mandatory.
The ordinance contains provisions on the proper harvesting, storage and utilization of rainwater in Davao City.
Engr. Arjean V. Jumamoy, a representative from the City Engineer’s Office noted that the purpose of rainwater collection is to mainly conserve water and to utilize rainwater for non-potable purposes such as flushing the toilet and for general cleaning purposes. “This ordinance is a requirement only to those new applicants for new building permit for residential, commercial and institutional,” Jumamoy said.
“Actually, we won’t only conserve water but also the energy because if we have rainwater, there will be a lesser energy used in pumping for our municipal water,” she stated.
She added that “we are just too confident that we are have constant rain here in the city but the people don’t know that our water resource is actually deflating.” read complete article here
February 20, 2017 ... Global Economy, Planet Earth : Six men are as wealthy as half the world's population.
"As of 02/17/17, the world's 6 richest individuals (all men) had $412 billion … Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Amancio Ortega, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim Helu (with Larry Ellison jockeying for position) … The wealth of these six men increased by $69 billion in just one year ... In the U.S., the Forbes 400 own as much as 3/5 of the American People." Read report from Common Dreams
Editor's note: Cannibal capitalism is destroying Earth life support system so that a half dozen very weird people can compete to see which one is the best and eventually owns everthing.
Competitive capitalist perspective is blind to the logical next step; when nobody, the surviving fictional corporate being, actually owns everything.
February 17, 2017 ... San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico : The Walls Above, The Cracks Below (And To The Left) The Storm On Our Path ...
For us, as Zapatista originary peoples, the storm—the war—has been going on for centuries. It arrived to our lands with the lies of the dominant civilization and religion. At that time, the sword and the cross bled our people dry.
Over time, the sword was modernized and the cross was dethroned by the religion of capital, but it continued to demand our blood as an offering to the new god: money.
We resisted, we always resist. Our rebellions were displaced by the dispute between various forces for Power. Those forces, always from above, demanded that we struggle and die to serve them. They demanded obedience and submission under the guise of liberating us. Like those who said and say they fight, they came and come to rule. There were supposed independences and false revolutions, those past and those to come.
Since then, those above have taken turns and continue to take turns in order to govern, badly, or aspire to do so. In past and present calendars, their proposal continues to be the same: that we offer our blood, while they lead or pretend to lead.
Finally the system unmasks itself and shows its true face and vocation. “War Always, War Everywhere,” reads the name on the proud ship that navigates through a sea of blood and shit. It is money and not artificial intelligence that fights humanity in the decisive battle: that of survival. read complete Zapatista invocation here
February 15, 2017 ... Massachusetts : Massachusetts could become the first U.S. state to commit to 100% renewable energy. Legislation, introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Sean Garballey and Marjorie Decker and in the Senate by Sen. Jamie Eldridge, establishes targets for Massachusetts to meet its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2035 and all of its energy needs, including heating and transportation, from renewable sources by 2050. full Ecowatch report here
February 5,2017 ... Real World Economics : Astonishing almost vertical global climate collapse graph totally refutes lying corporatist propaganda from greedy people like Trump.
Accelerating Global Climate Collapse
“The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”
Dave Raithel quoted this statement by Garry Kasparov. Graph prepared and presented by merijntknibbe at Real World Economics
February 5,2017 ... Massachusetts Institute of Technology : MIT States That Half of All Children May be Autistic by 2025 due to Monsanto.
A senior scientist at MIT has declared that we are facing an epidemic of autism that may result in one half of all children being affected by autism in ten years.
Dr. Stephanie Seneff, who made these remarks during a panel presentation in Groton, MA last week, specifically cites the Monsanto herbicide, Roundup, as the culprit for the escalating incidence of autism and other neurological disorders. Roundup, which was introduced in the 1970’s, contains the chemical glyphosate, which is the focal point for Seneff’s concerns. Roundup was originally restricted to use on weeds, as glyphosate kills plants. However, Roundup is now in regular use with crops.
If you don’t consume corn on the cob or toasted soybeans, however, you are hardly exempt from the potential affects of consuming glyphosate. Wheat is now sprayed with Roundup right before it is harvested, making any consumption of non-organic wheat bread a sure source for the chemical. In addition, any products containing corn syrup, such as soft drinks, are also carrying a payload of glyphosate. Complete Defend Democracy post Original Post date: 26 January 2015 by Janet Phelan
February 4, 2017 ... Zapatista Alchemy : Concluding remarks at a conference on Zapatista need for real science.
"When, upon the recommendation of a compa, I read that excellent text called The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, by the neurologist Oliver Sacks, I thought that Sacks must have been itching to open that man’s head to see what was happening in his brain. Although I would have preferred to open his wife’s head to understand how she could stand to be confused for a hat and why she didn’t “fix” her husband’s dysfunction with a good smack upside the head." Full presentation
February 1, 2017 ... Minneapolis, Minnesota : "Its criminal for the U.S. to bomb and attack other countries and then turn away refugees when the U.S. has destroyed their homeland." The Anti-War Committee
Fifteen thousand peace marchers against Trump Muslim ban and defending all immigrants were addressed by the mayor and others outside the Federal Building in downtown Minneapolis. Read complete FightBack news source
January 28, 2017 ... San Francisco, California : Official determination of methods to cut off transfer payments from California to the US is ongoing. Trump is threatening California sanctuary cities with cuts in federal funding. California could then restore Trump's cuts and reduce payments to the federal government to cover its added costs.
California is among very few donor states. Most of Trump's electoral victories are from states receiving California donations to their financial welfare. Read complete article
Governor Brown, fondly referred to as Governor Moonbeam, also vows to launch satellites to monitor global warming if US funding for NASA's Earth science research is eliminated. The Governor also warned Trump to keep his hands off the Livermore National Lab that is managed by the University of California. He said the labs do good science and he is a regent who will defend science in California.
January 26, 2017 ... Connecticut's Senator Murphy explains US president's policy :
"We bomb your country creating a humanitarian nightmare then lock you inside. That's a horror movie, not a foreign policy."
Tweet reported on Democracy Now. Compliment Senator Murphy - office phone 202-224-4041
Note that for those who defend against terrorist invasion by the United States government, the creepy US president also wants to reinstate torture and reopen secret US torture bases. This policy is actually designed to terrorize US citizens into submission. Torture almost never yields useful information.
January 19, 2017 ... United States : "In the past 30 years, America had 13 wars spending $14.2 trillion...no matter how good your strategy is you're supposed to spend money on your own people."
A visiting Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma said that. Common Dreams report
January 18, 2017 ... United States : Americans average five hours a day watching television. By the time we reach age 65, we’re watching more than 50 hours of television a week, and that number increases as we get older. And reality TV programming consistently captures the largest percentage of TV watchers every season by an almost 2-1 ratio ... the political scene in the United States has devolved over the years into a carefully calibrated exercise in how to manipulate, polarize, propagandize and control a population. Complete counterpunch source
January 17, 2017 ... Real World Economics : Since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet. Read more at Real World Economics
January 16, 2017 ... Oxfam : New estimates show that just eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world. As growth benefits the richest, the rest of society – especially the poorest – suffers. The very design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to this extreme, unsustainable and unjust point. Our economy must stop excessively rewarding those at the top and start working for all people. Accountable and visionary governments, businesses that work in the interests of workers and producers, a valued environment, women’s rights and a strong system of fair taxation, are central to this more human economy. Full Oxfam report
Those eight men are Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim Helu, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, and Michael Bloomberg. Common Dreams review
Chinese passengers enjoy high speed sleeper trains
January 6, 2017 ... China : Chinese passengers now travel one of the world's longest high speed rail lines in night sleeper cars or regular day seats.
The 2,264-kilometer Shanghai-Kunming rail line runs across the five provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan. The high speed train with sand proof bearings reduces travel time from Shanghai to the capital of Southwest China's Yunnan province Kunming from 34 to 11 hours. Full speed tunnel videos and original text at Russian Times
January 4, 2017 ... United States : The war against alternative information.
Excerpts from McCarthyism 2.0 – part 1, by Rick Sterling
The US has passed the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act” that President Obama signed into law on Dec. 23 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, setting aside $160 million to combat any “propaganda” that challenges Official Washington’s version of reality.
The new law mandates the U.S. Secretary of State to collaborate with federal agencies... “to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.”
The legislation was initiated in March 2016... amid allegations of “Russian hacking” around the U.S. presidential election and media furor over supposedly “fake news.” Defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for the bill: “It’s imperative that leaders in both the private sector and the public sector step up to protect our democracy, and innocent lives.”
The new law is remarkable... because it merges a new McCarthyism about purported dissemination of Russian “propaganda” on the Internet with a new Orwellianism by creating a kind of Ministry of Truth – or Global Engagement Center – to protect the American people from “foreign propaganda and disinformation.”
The new Global Engagement Center is authorized to: “Facilitate the use of a wide range of technologies and techniques...” (This section is an apparent reference to proposals that Google, Facebook and other technology companies find ways to block or brand certain Internet sites as purveyors of “Russian propaganda” or “fake news.”)
The law also is rife with irony since the U.S. government and related agencies are among the world’s biggest purveyors of propaganda and disinformation – or what you might call evidence-free claims, such as the recent accusations of Russia hacking into Democratic emails to “influence” the U.S. Election. Read the complete Consortium News article here
One Belt train route reaches England from China
January 2, 2017 ... China : Free trade freight train connections with England create profitable rail-linked business as well as people to people relations through tourism, science and the arts. The present schedule is one train weekly.
Departing from Yiwu West Railway Station in eastern Zhejiang Province, the train will travel for about 18 days and more than 12,000 kilometers before reaching its destination in Britain.
Yiwu is known for producing small commodities, and the train mainly carried such goods, including household items, garments, cloth, bags and suitcases. It will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before arriving in London.
London is the 15th city in Europe added to China-Europe freight train services.
The service will improve China-Britain trade ties, strengthen connectivity with western Europe, while better serving China's Belt and Road Initiative, an infrastructure and trade network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes, the China Railway Corporation said. Source: Xinhua News
December 31, 2016 ... Zapatista Year-end Speech : Read one of the world’s most prominant democracy workers. Be patient with the computer translation posted in the archive. The Zapatista Subcommandante has the interesting skill of writing in one's native language for computer translation into many languages. English and Russian are easy. Chinese, Japanese and Korean are more difficult.
The writer was once Subcomandante Marcos, former Zapatista leader He almost always wore a mask and was able to change identity to avoid hero worship and provide himself with a new window for looking at the world.
The Zapatistas are quite impressed to discover that it is true that autonomy grows from living the new story. This is a sociologist’s dream, the Zapatistas are knowingly applying Albert Einstein’s social thought about visualizing a new story and then living it until a crytical mass accepts the new story over the old.
At that point, the new story becomes reality.
This is not magic. This is physics. Did Einstein really say that? It sounds like he might have. (Though my understanding of his math and physics is entirely poetic).
Humanity writes a new story rather than confont the monster hydra.
Distributed intelligence does not threaten existing bad government. Instead, it makes wealth in balance with Earth that is so huge it causes billionaires to feel greed, but they are left behind in the dust of happier, healthier and stronger nations that are not impressed by tawdry billions.
Link to original speech en español
December 23 - 29, 2016 ... Editor : If everyone on Earth lived like the US, the world economy would require almost five Earths for replenishment of aquifers, forests, fish stocks, erosion and pollution recycling.
The existing world economy will double in eighteen years at 4% growth per year. At that point, world economic activity will require three Earths and the US will be operating at a ten Earth consumption rate. The rest of the world will still be attempting to catch up.
A crash education campaign is the only known solution. But that conflicts with billionaires amassing still more wealth.
Thus, to some, the near future looks like robot trucks will soon deliver robot produced goods to robot consumers programed at 4% consumption growth per year. Either that, or lonely surviving billionaires be battling twenty pound scorpions and 30 foot alligators, like during the last global geologic era warm spell.
Believe it or not.
Alternatively; Designing and building a human economy and way of life that uses less than one Earth provides living space for the diverse forms of life that manufacture the balanced atmosphere life requires. This is seen as a rewarding job by those who enjoy breathing.
Safety shield erected at Chernobyl A massive radiation shield has been installed over the number four nuclear reactor in Chernobyl, Ukraine, the site of the catastrophic 1986 nuclear accident. The steel-and-concrete structure is 275 metres wide, 108 metres high and weighs 36,000 tonnes. It is the largest movable land-based structure ever built and will last about 100 years, when a new replacement shield must be ready. Read original Nature article here
November 27, 2016 --- editor : unknown source
November 23, 2016 ... Nasa Earth Observatory : Satellite Detects Human Contribution to Atmospheric CO2. Launched in July 2014, NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) was designed to give scientists comprehensive, global measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Now a team of scientists has used that satellite data to identify a human signal amid the seasonal fluctuations of the greenhouse gas.
Ground stations have provided a broad view of carbon in the atmosphere. Those valuable past efforts have been limited in various ways, past measurements could not necessarily pinpoint the sources of carbon dioxide. Full NASA article with More Maps
November 22, 2016 ... Defend Democracy Press : Hundreds of cancer-causing chemicals detected in Americans’ bodies
Concerns about the human health effects of perpetual exposure to environmental toxins often get dismissed or ignored by health authorities on the grounds that such chemicals don’t stick around inside the body long enough to cause problems. But a new report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) – the first of its kind – suggests quite the opposite, and could help explain why rates of cancer and other chronic diseases continue to skyrocket in the developed world.
Researchers from the respected environmental watchdog group spent upwards of a year poring through data compiled from more than 1,000 biomonitoring studies, as well as other research published by leading government agencies and independent scientists, and came to some shocking conclusions. They found that as many as 420 unique chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer, are now being detected in human blood, urine, hair and other tissue samples, demonstrating not only that carcinogens are everywhere, but that they’re also permeating our bodies at an alarming rate. Complete article here