The John James Newsletter 152
17 December 2016
Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and falsehood,
For the good or evil side
James Russell Lowell
People are lazy. With television you just sit – watch – listen. The thinking is done for you
A Manifesto for The Platform
There is a deep despair growing among good people as Trump promises to dismantle seventy years of Social Justice reforms and Environmental Safeguards. We have struggled and devoted our lives to implement worthwhile policies over our lifetimes, and they could be gone in a trice. I sense a forlorn hopelessness growing among us. Instead, The Platform offers an alternative. The Manifesto does not aim at concentrating all our efforts on fighting the polluters. We accept that so much heating is now built into the system that it does not matter what we do we will still suffer massive sea level rise and droughts, food scarcity and deaths. The Manifesto offers the positive message that we can make life better now and in the future, and that we, the people of Good Will, can succeed at this. The Manifesto for Our Platform offers the promise that we can do something, in place of succumbing to numbing despair.
This is the amateur film I assembled for the October Forum “Tomorrows World”- A climate change potpourri
Alarm Over “Witch Hunt”
Trump demands list of Civil Servants who worked on Climate Policy under Obama. “This action should not be viewed in isolation, The Trump transition team is teeming with individuals with a proven history of attacking climate scientists and undermining climate science. Several members now overseeing federal agencies have harassed scientists based on their research and have long signaled a desire to dismantle federal climate science research.”
Flynn’s Wacky Worldview
Skepticism about Michael Flynn’s fitness for the position of national security adviser appears to be growing as more media outlets are paying closer attention to his (and his son’s) core beliefs about the world. Such scrutiny also appears to be more relevant since President-elect Trump may be relying more heavily on Flynn than on the CIA or other government intelligence agencies for his own assessment of world events.
It is the people who will be paying the price.
Trump will use the media to sugarcoat, falsify, distract, intimidate, glorify and massify the millions of people who believed, once upon a recent time, that he would “Make America Great Again.” As the profiteers of Wall Street and the war hawks blend with the corporate statists, the super-confident Trump is telling us what their products will be like and that he’ll be their salesman. If you think all this sounds predictable, there are going to be more than a few “black swans” (to use Nassim Taleb’s best-selling book title) coming over the horizon. It is time to mobilize as citizens in the Paul Revere mode.
The December 19 Electoral College Vote : Anti-Trump Coup Attempt Underway?
Trump won 306 Electoral College votes to Hillary’s 232, her’s heavily concentrated in the northeast, mid-Atlantic and west coast. He won 30 states to her 20 – 270 EC votes needed to be elected. It would take 37 electors, from states he won, to deny him their vote, thereby throwing the process to House members to elect the president.
Methane has just spiked at 2436 ppb
Methane levels over the Arctic Ocean were as high as 2436 parts per billion on the afternoon of December 5, 2016, with most rising from the water. Pre-industrial level was ~720 ppb and each molecule is 20 times more potent than C02. Add that up!
Start-up company breathes new life into old tyres
A biofuel from old rubber tyres that can run turbo-charged diesel engines while reducing emissions by 30 per cent.’We have zero waste from the tyre’
CEFC backs 270MW Sapphire wind farm, in vote of confidence for merchant market
A consortium between Vestas and Zenviron will deliver the project, with Vestas supplying and commissioning the turbines, and Zenviron delivering the balance of plant. TransGrid will build, operate and maintain an on-site substation connecting the Sapphire project to the national energy grid.
FBI v. Assange
Former Icelandic minister claims US sent ‘planeload of FBI agents to frame Assange’ during mission to the country in 2011.
The startling rise in oral cancer in men, and what it says about our changing sexual habits
Oral cancer jumped 61% from 2011 to 2015. HPV infects cells of the skin and the membranes that lines areas such as the mouth, throat, tongue, tonsils, rectum and sexual organs. Transmission can occur when these areas come into contact with the virus. HPV is a leading cause of cervical, vaginal and penile cancers. Younger men are more likely to perform oral sex than their older counterparts and to engage with more partners.
A Drive To Save Saharan Oases As Climate Change Takes a Toll
From Morocco to Libya, the desert oases of the Sahara’s Maghreb region are disappearing as temperatures rise and rainfall decreases. Facing daunting odds, local residents are employing traditional water conservation techniques to try to save these ancient ecosystems.
Is Sustainability Destroying the Earth?
Only one-quarter of all consumption is by individuals. The rest is taken up by industry, agribusiness, the military, governments and corporations. Even if every one of us made every effort to reduce our ecological footprint, it would make little difference to overall consumption. If the lifestyle actions advocated really do keep our culture around for longer than it would otherwise, then it will cause more harm to the natural world than if no such action had been taken.
Saudi Arabia’s Glass: Half Empty or Half Full?
The people of Saudi Arabia have long accepted the bargain imposed by the founding king, Abdul Aziz al-Saud, in which they are disenfranchised but acquiesce in political powerlessness as the state provides them with security and a comfortable life. Now they are being asked to do more for themselves while the government does less, regardless of the price of oil.
Congress Votes To Give Jihadists Anti-aircraft Missiles
The Senate passed a bill that puts every American who travels by plane at risk. It is among the stupidest pieces of legislation ever written – to provide shoulder-launched ground-to-air missiles to lunatic jihadists who will undoubtedly use them to take down American or Israeli jetliners. The argument that these Islamic militants are fully vetted is complete nonsense as both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have repeatedly shown. Rebel groups “have entered into battlefield alliances with the affiliate of al Qaida in Syria formerly known as al Nusra to render the phrase ‘moderate rebels’ meaningless.”
The “Golden Arches” Theory of Decline
One of the answers to Trump, Putin, Orban, Erdogan, Salvini, Duterte, Le Pen, Farage and the politics they represent is to rescue democracy from transnational corporations. It is to defend the crucial political unit that’s under assault by banks, monopolies and chainstores: community. It is to recognise that there is no greater hazard to peace between nations than a corporate model which crushes democratic choice
A degree by degree explanation of what will happen when the earth warms
At 2C temperature increase the hot European summer of 2003 will be the annual norm. Anything that could be called a heatwave thereafter will be of Saharan intensity. Even in average years, people will die of heat stress.
Beyond 2C billions of people will face an increasingly tough battle to survive. To find anything comparable we have to go back to the Pliocene 3m years ago. There were no continental glaciers in the northern hemisphere (trees grew in the Arctic), and sea levels were 25 metres higher than today’s. In this kind of heat, the death of the Amazon is as inevitable as the melting of Greenland.
Between 3 and 4C the summers get longer as soaring temperatures reduce forests to tinderwood and cities to boiling morgues. Temperatures in the Home Counties could reach 45C – the sort of climate experienced today in Marrakech. Droughts will put the south-east of England on the global list of water-stressed areas, with farmers competing against cities for dwindling supplies from rivers and reservoirs. Air-conditioning will be mandatory for anyone wanting to stay cool and the abandonment of the Mediterranean will send even more people north to overcrowded refuges in Scandinavia.
Between 4 and 5C it will be an entirely different planet. Ice sheets have vanished from both poles; rainforests have burnt up and turned to desert; the dry and lifeless Alps resemble the High Atlas; rising seas are scouring deep into continental interiors. Even in Canada and Siberia summers may be too hot for crops to be grown away from the coasts. When temperatures were at a similar level 55m years ago in the early Eocene, alligators were living in the Arctic.
Between 5 and 6C at the end of the Permian, 251m years ago, 95% of species were wiped out. That episode was the worst ever endured by life on Earth, the closest the planet has come to ending up a dead and desolate rock in space. On land, the only winners were fungi that flourished on dying trees and shrubs.
Arctic Warming at Least Twice as Fast as Rest of World
Much of this melt was almost certainly driven by the record warm Arctic temperatures seen during 2016. And according to NOAA, this year shattered all previous high marks for Arctic heat by a big margin — hitting 3.5C warmer than 1900. Overall, this rate of warming is at least twice as fast as the rest of the globe.
Change in the Arctic this year was unlike any ever seen, scientists say
The annual Arctic Report Card documented air and sea-surface temperatures are higher, sea ice is sparser and more fragile and ocean waters absorbing more carbon, thus changing their chemistry to more acidic levels, while warming tundra is now expelling more carbon than it is drawing in from the atmosphere.