John James Newsletter No. <59>

The John James Newsletter 59
9 May 2015

Men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, while men who can manage money manage all
Will Durant

Two degrees of global warming is not ‘safe’: James Hansen
2 degrees is actually a prescription for disaster. That’s well understood by the scientific community. We know that the prior interglacial period about 120,000 years ago – the Eemian – was less than 2C warmer than pre-industrial conditions and sea level was a least 6 to 8 metres higher, so it’s crazy to think that 2 degrees is a safe limit.

The Case That Blew the Lid Off the World Bank’s Secret Courts
The tobacco giant Phillip Morris demands $2 billion from Uruguay for the sin of strengthening health warnings on cigarette packages. The people of El Salvador face a $300-million case from a Canadian-Australian mining company because El Salvadorans were able to block toxic mining operations. Germany faces a demand of €700 million from a nuclear energy company because, in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, popular movements won a moratorium on new nuclear power plants in the country.

King Canute is alive and well !!
US Senate votes that climate change not caused by humans
The Senate rejected the scientific consensus that humans are causing climate change, days after NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared 2014 the hottest year ever recorded on Earth.

In 50-49 vote, US Senate says climate change not caused by humans

Tesla Battery Will ‘Fundamentally Change the Way the World Uses Energy’
“Our goal is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy. We’re talking at the terawatt scale. The goal is complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world.” Tesla hopes that its $5 billion “gigafactory” under construction near Reno, Nevada will drive down the cost of the batteries for both cars and energy-storage products through mass production.

World’s mountain of electrical waste reaches new peak of 42m tonnes
The biggest per-capita tallies were in countries known for green awareness, such as Norway and Denmark, with Britain fifth and US ninth on the UN report’s list. Last year, 41.8m tonnes of so-called e-waste – mostly fridges, washing machines and other domestic appliances at the end of their life – was dumped.

Arctic Sea Ice At Record Low On April 9 2015
expanded effect of methane hydrate detabilization along the Gakkel Ridge and the high temperatures caused by the onshore methane eruption vents.
To see the importance of the Gakkel Ridge in perspective read,%20the%20Gakkel%20Ridge%20and%20human%20survival.pdf
or my talk

and Methane levels as high as 2845ppb on April 25


Thirty years on, scientist who discovered ozone layer hole warns: ‘it will still take years to heal’
One of the three UK scientists who discovered the hole in 1985 warned that the real lessons of the story had not been learned. “Yes, an international treaty was established fairly quickly to deal with the ozone hole, but the main point shows how rapidly we can produce major changes to our atmosphere and how long it takes for nature to recover.”

Pope Francis, climate change, and morality
Pope Francis is emerging as one of the world’s foremost campaigners on global warming. Many in the environmental and scientific community think that if he injects himself into international climate politics later this year, the ramifications on the climate debate could be dramatic.
Pope Francis, climate change, and morality

Food, Farming and Climate Change is Bigger than Everything Else
Few are familiar or prepared for “peak coffee.” Farmers and scientists now openly discuss the notion of “endangered crops,” including everything from cocoa and wine grapes to salmon and peanuts. The emergence of super-charged pests related to climate change, like the “La Roya” coffee fungus in Central America, is threatening not only our morning cup of joe, but the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of small-scale farmers.

Israeli soldiers cast doubt on legality of Gaza military tactics
Describing the rules that meant life and death in Gaza during the 50-day war – a conflict in which 2,200 Palestinians were killed – the interviews shed light on what individual soldiers were told and on policy.

Air pollution costs Europe $1.6tn a year in early deaths and disease
The costs is 600,000 premature deaths each year, and the sickness caused to hundreds of thousands of other people from preventable causes, such as pollution from small particles that come from the exhausts of diesel vehicles, and nitrogen dioxide that can inhibit breathing.
Photo of the Arc de Triumphe on a bad day.

ISIS-Linked Fighters Tighten Grip in Afghanistan, Outmatch Taliban Brutality
Foreign militants fighting under the black flag of ISIS are conquering territory in northern Afghanistan. The development suggests ISIS is expanding its sphere of influence beyond the Middle East and North Africa, and are moving into areas previously controlled by the Afghan Taliban. Most of the fighters hail from Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the Caucuses — and are even more brutal than the Afghan Taliban.

The Saudi 9/11 Cover-Up
At least 11 members of the Bin Laden Family were spirited out the country in 24 hours after the 9/11 attacks with the assistance of the Bush Administration.  The FBI still denies knowing about the seven airplanes used to move them out when all private, commercial and military air-travel was grounded.

Pushing Back Against a Chinese Lake in the South China Sea
ASEAN condemned China’s efforts to muscle aside neighbours with an aggressive program of island building in the South China Sea, prompted especially by Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. “China is reaping the fruits of this strategy in a reinvigorated US-Japan alliance, a completely transformed US-Vietnam relationship, a closer US-Philippine alliance.”

Pushing Back Against a Chinese Lake in the South China Sea


Reefer Madness: Why Is China on a Building Spree in the South China Sea?

China fires back at South China Sea claimants with reclamation accusations


Fossil fuel subsidies to coal miners costing billions
The cost of subsidising the diesel fuel used by five of the nation’s biggest coal companies – Glencore Xstrata, BHP Billiton, Peabody, Rio Tinto and Anglo American – is around $360 million a year.  The Government will spend more on the Fuel Tax Credit Scheme than on overseas aid

Did a Chinese-Russian-Iranian Coalition opposing NATO have its debut in Moscow?
Moscow’s delivery of the S-300 package is meant to cement Russo-Iranian military cooperation and to enhance Eurasian cooperation against Washington’s encircling missile shield. It is one step closer to the creation of a Eurasian air defense network against the missile threat posed by the US and NATO.
Russia Invites China to Join in Creating Lunar Station
Russia plans to launch its national orbital station by 2023.

The Day After Damascus Falls
The horror that would unfold with either Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front or the Islamic State using Syria as a base for terror attacks on the West and continuing to decapitate infidels would be hard for the world to watch and there would be demands to “do something.” But realistic options would be few, with a shattered and scattered Syrian army no longer a viable force capable of driving the terrorists from power.

Prior to 2001 the US did not recognize any terrorist organizations in sub-Saharan Africa.
The numerous groups that have sprung up in the intervening years have destabilised the countries the US had sought to strengthen.

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?
The Saudis are bombing Yemen because they fear the Shia Houthis are working for the Iranians, and also in Iraq and Syria. So are the United Arab Emirates. The Syrian government is bombing its enemies in Syria and the Iraqi government is also bombing its enemies in Iraq. America, France, Britain, Denmark, Holland, Australia and Canada are bombing Isis in Syria and in Iraq. The Egyptians are bombing parts of Libya, the Iranians have acknowledged bombing in Iraq and of course the Israelis have  bombed Syrian government forces in Syria but not Isis (an interesting choice, we’d all agree).
What is the Saudi-led coalition’s end game in Yemen?
The coalition is dropping weapons and arming various factions in a country already awash with guns. With the right spark, the highly volatile environment falls into an explosive domino effect, where the worst is yet to come and we brace for a Syria scenario on steroids.

Is email killing off the art of conversation?
Most replies contain just five words. Younger people send shorter emails than older users who also spend more time composing their emails.

Peruvian farmers restoring 7th century canals
Non-governmental agency helping farmers restore ancient system in Andean region and revitalise their water supplies.

What are the most controversial points in climate science?
This promises to be a rewarding and informative discussion
What are the most controversial points in climate science?

States meet on climate, renewables, in effort to lead Australia as feds stall
ACT environment minister Simon Corbell said on Monday that the Capital Territory with its ambitious 90 per cent renewables and 40 per cent emissions targets hoped to lead a state-based climate effort that would more than make up for Australia’s distinct lack of ambition on the federal front.
RET deal struck, but policy bastardry continues
Coalition and Labor agree on a big cut to renewables target, but big coal, as usual, is the biggest winner.

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