The John James Newsletter  253

View Email Online                          Subscribe to NewsletterForward this message to a friend so they can use the Subscribe to Newsletter link at the top of the message to receive future emailsImageThe recent IPCC report says we could, but will we?
It tells us we can limit planetary destruction if we act now, but we know from the world’s response to that report that we won’t act, not now and probably not ever. Since the Paris agreement, the mining of fossil fuels has increased, and we are still constructing coal powered plants, and planning more oil extraction. No country has instituted a carbon tax, no country has passed mandatory energy efficiency measures, no country has reduced car emissions or the production of cement, or plastics, or weapons of war. There has been not one agricultural reform to reduce methane emissions. Not one country has started to do anything commensurate with the risk, not one!
And we know the weather is being destabilised, the world is getting too hot for life, cereal production is threatened and the permafrost is melting and releasing more methane – something this report, like its predecessors, does not mention.
And what of population growth around the tropics that further stretch the earth’s capacity for food, goods, energy, homes and water.
The IPCC state that a condition for success is that we withdraw much of the carbon we have put into the air. Not only do we not have the technology, but every calculation shows there would be little net gain as the environmental cost would be too high.
What the report does not say is that it would be better to reduce our wealth and comfort to safeguard our future; better to end all fossil fuel use right now; better to shut down all operating coal plants and cancel any under construction; better to impose a stiff carbon tax; better to end the use of plastics; better to develop a recycling economy at all levels; better to stop fighting.
This latest report offers hope that something could be still be done in spite of history. The report warns our leaders, but is it likely they will lead? Do you reckon??? Read it here.
As long as our current political and economic system remains we cannot avoid paying the extreme penalty for what we have inflicted on our planet, our only home.
John James

The scariest thing about the IPCC Report is that it’s the watered down, consensus version. The latest science is much, much, much more terrifying
Jamie Henn

The IPCC understates a key risk: that self-reinforcing feedback loops could push the climate system into chaos before we have time to tame our energy system, and the other sources of climate pollution
Mario Molina

Capitalism cannot save nature because it sees nature only as another collection of commodities, the long-term persistence of which comes second to immediate profit concerns
Jeffrey Hollander

Politics is the not-so-gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other
Oscar Ameringer

You have no idea of how much the people must be misled if the support of the masses is required
Mien Kampf

From 1952 to 1985, the western edge of the Vavilov ice cap, 1,820 square kilometres in area and between 300 metres and 600 metres in thickness, shifted at about 12 metres a year. By 2011 it had stepped up the pace to 75 metres a year. By 2015, the ice front had broken into tongues that moved at more than 1,000 metres a year. And within a year the leading edge had started racing into the Kara Sea at 5,000 metres a year. By the way, it is also thinning at the rate of a third of a metre a day,
Michael Willis

Nations have lost control of their own economies: it doesn’t matter what people want as there is no way to vote against the global interests of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil. This is the core of today’s political crises. The global result is movements of resistance, of which Trump is just a part.
Chris Hedges

The problem with carbon capture is that it is energy-intensive and expensive. The process uses chemicals to absorb carbon dioxide from exhaust gas. Then they have to be separated so that they can be reused and the carbon dioxide can be buried. All of this consumes energy. Power plants equipped with carbon capture systems generally use up to 30 percent of the electricity they generate just to power the capture, release, and storage of carbon dioxide.
Prachi Patel   

Our climate’s natural variability is now on steroids
Joelle Gergis

At this point both 1.5 and 2C climate goals goals are starting to look wildly out of reach
New York Times

Today, 2 degrees is aspirational and 1.5 degrees is ridiculously aspirational. We need to face the fact that we might not stop at either, and start thinking seriously about what a 2.5 degree or 3 degree world might look like
Gary Yohe

Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change
The IPCC report warns that the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 C by 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people. The date falls well within the lifetime of most people alive today. It is based on current levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The window on keeping global warming below 1.5 C is closing rapidly and the current emissions pledges made by signatories to the Paris Agreement do not add up to us achieving that goalTo limit global warming to 1.5 degree C is “possible within the laws of chemistry and physics.” But doing so would require unprecedented changes.    Read more

Lets ponder those changes. Reduce coal and gas production and (and!) use by 10% each year, so phased out by 2030. Compensation? Share market losses? Massive equipment junked? Enforcement? Silence the barons? If we haven’t begun this process so far, what makes you believe its going to be any different from here?     The report is our obituary, premature but timely.

Sketch shows that even were we to stop now there would still be overshoot. This, like all studies, does not take methane into account, nor the almost 1C increase that would occur as the pollution falls out of the atmosphere, our blanket of filth that has been keeping the temperature lower.
2054844.jpgWhat’s Not in the Latest Terrifying IPCC Report?
“The scariest thing about the report is that it’s the watered down, consensus version. The latest science is much, much, much more terrifying” because it does not cover the threat from methane and the threatened tipping points when self-reinforcing feedback loops push the climate system into chaos before we have time to tame our capitalist energy system. The world has less than twelve years to drastically alter course to avoid the worst impacts of human-caused global warming and that nothing less than keeping all fossil fuels in the ground is the solution to avoid future calamities. Experts responding to the report have a potentially unwelcome message for your already over-burdened hearts and minds: It’s very likely much worse than you’re being told.    Read moreVast costs of Arctic change
The costs of a melting Arctic will be huge, because the region is pivotal to the functioning of Earth systems of oceans and climate. The release of methane from thawing permafrost beneath the East Siberian Sea, off northern Russia, would cost $60 trillion in the absence of mitigating action — a figure comparable to the size of the world economy in 2012. A 50-gigatonne reservoir of methane, stored in the form of hydrates, exists on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. It is likely to be emitted as the seabed warms, either steadily over 50 years – or suddenly. The total cost of Arctic change will be much higher, mostly borne by developing countries, which will face extreme weather, poorer  health and lower agricultural production.     Read moreReactions of the Least Developed Countries to the IPCC Report    Read more‘There’s nowhere to hide’: companies warned on climate risks
When it comes to corporate Australia and climate change, 2018 is shaping up as a perfect storm. Investors and lawyers are all circling, ramping up their scrutiny on how companies are planning for climate change, how they are trying to tackle it, and what information they are releasing about the risks it poses to their operations. More than 200 institutional investors with $26 trillion in assets under management said they would step up pressure on the world’s biggest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to combat climate change.    Read moreFinal warning
These projections underestimate what is happening in the atmosphere-ocean-land system since, due to amplifying feedbacks from desiccating land, warming oceans, melting ice, methane release and fires, no temperature limit can be specified for global warming. The Paris agreement, which focuses on limits to emissions, hardly acknowledges the essential need to down-draw atmospheric carbon which has already reached >450 ppm CO2 including methane. The report takes little account of the non-linear to abrupt behaviour of atmospheric conditions, no of aerosol blanketing. Together these mean global temperatures are tracking closer 2 degrees. The “Paris target” of 1.5oC is meaningless since: (1) no mechanism is known to arrest amplifying feedbacks rom rising above this limit, and (2) no plans for draw-down of atmospheric CO2 appear to be at hand, the $trillions required for such endeavor being spent on the military and wars.    Read more

Climate Change Kills More People Than Terrorism
Twenty governments commissioned a study of the human and economic costs of climate change. It linked 400,000 deaths worldwide to climate change each year, projecting deaths to increase to over 600,000 per year by 2030. When scientists attribute deaths to climate change, they don’t just mean succumbing to a heat wave. Heat waves devastate food security, nutrition, and water safety, increase malaria and dengue and floods contaminate drinking water with bacteria and pollution.  MAP of the most vulnerable countries.   Read this

2054845.pngDutch Court orders Government to Move Faster on Emission Cuts
The government of the Netherlands, said the court, “has done too little to prevent the dangers of climate change and is doing too little to catch up.” Dennis van Berkel, the legal counsel for Urgenda, added that the move “has consequences for all governments. They should look at this closely and realise that they are not acting in the interests of their own people. By delaying [climate] actions and not increasing them to the highest possible level—they are violating the rights of their people.”      Read moreHow to protect your private data when you travel to the United States
First, use a cloud-based service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or to backup all of your data. Use another service like Boxcryptor, Cryptomator or Sookasa to protect your data such that neither the storage provider nor government agencies can read it. Next, cross the border with no or clean devices. If a border agent asks you to unlock your device, simply do so and hand it over. There should be nothing for them to find. You can access your data from the cloud at your destination. However, border agents do not need your device to access your online accounts. What happens if they simply demand your login credentials? Protecting your cloud data requires a more sophisticated strategy.     Read moreBaulking at the Chinese – wisdom at last
Pakistan, following in the footsteps of Malaysia and Myanmar, is the latest country to baulk at the infrastructure focus of Beijing’s Belt and Road-related investments. They require it shifts to agriculture, job creation and foreign investment. Various Asian and African countries worry that Belt and Road-related investments in infrastructure risk trapping them in debt and forcing them to surrender control of critical national infrastructure, and in some cases media assets. Malaysia has suspended or cancelled $26 billion in Chinese-funded projects while Myanmar is negotiating a significant scaling back of a Chinese-funded port project on the Bay of Bengal in a bid to avoid shouldering an unsustainable debt.      Read more
India alarmed at Saudi oil refinery project in strategic Gawadar port.  Read hereStephen Hawking’s final scientific paper
Black Hole Entropy and Soft Hair was completed in the days before the physicist’s death in March. It may have been the last scientific exchange Hawking had. “It was very difficult for Stephen to communicate and I was put on a loudspeaker to explain where we had got to. When I explained it, he simply produced an enormous smile. I told him we’d got somewhere. He knew the final result.”     Read moreCerrado towns terrorized to provide toilet paper for the world
Global consumers who buy brand name toilet paper and tissues may unwittingly be fuelling land conflicts, environmental crimes and the loss of native vegetation in Brazil. Residents of Forquilha, a traditional community in Maranhão state, allege that an agricultural entrepreneur used armed gunmen to try and force them out in 2014. The businessman took land claimed by the community and converted it to eucalyptus plantations, intending to sell the trees to Suzano, Brazil’s biggest pulp provider. Kimberly-Clark confirmed that it sources a significant amount of eucalyptus in Brazil from Suzano and Fibria, with pulp used to make “tissue and towel products like Scott, Cottonelle, Kleenex and Andrex.”      Read moreLonger and more frequent marine heatwaves over the past century
We identify significant increases in marine heatwaves over the past century. From 1925 to 2016, global average marine heatwave frequency increased by 34%, resulting in a 54% increase in annual marine heatwave days globally. These trends can largely be explained by increases in mean ocean temperatures, suggesting that we can expect further increases in marine heatwave days under continued global warming.     Read this

What Does Runaway Warming Look Like?
The forcing caused by the rapid rise in the levels of greenhouse gases is far out of line with current temperatures. A 10°C higher temperature is more in line with these levels, as illustrated by the image below. Carbon dioxide levels have been above 400 ppm for years. Methane levels above 1900 ppb were recorded in September 2018. Such high levels are more in line with a 10°C higher temperature based on 420,000 years of ice core data from Vostok, Antarctica, research station.     Read moreUS Women Earned More PhDs Than Men Last Year    Read more
A mature response to the inevitable – at last!
Governor Baker Signs Legislation Directing $2.4 Billion to Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental Protection, and Community Investments.    Read moreThe power of a hug
Being hugged leads to release of the hormone oxytocin, setting off a range of downstream outcomes that could explain the benefits of hugging. Oxytocin is involved in a complex range of social processes, but has been implicated romantic bonding and trust. The benefits of hugs and affectionate touch more generally rest within the cardiovascular system. One study found lower systolic blood pressure in the husbands of couples asked to increase the frequency of affectionate touch with one another. Other research documents lowered blood pressure and heart rate among women who receive frequent hugs. We hug to convey that we care, that we’re grateful for a benefit received, that we share in an achievement.     Read moreWhy the American empire has lost control
The dollar as the world’s reserve currency is running on fumes. The moment that’s over, American financial supremacy is instantly finished. It will be very similar to the aftermath of the Suez disaster—something like that is a characteristic of late empire. And the fragility of an empire means that when collapse comes it’s almost instantaneous. You look back at the rapid fall of the old Soviet Union. A failing empire is like a house of cards that just comes down—it’s not a slow descent. We know from history what happens. It’s not a mystery.     Read more

‘There’s no plan B’: Chris Hedges on the collapse of America
We’re on the cusp of disintegration and I’m also clear that this has been a long process in which this is the culmination of a political, economic, and cultural deterioration.     Read moreGot a political problem? Commission a report
Reports are the tried and true method to look like your doing something – without burning any political capital. In Australia we have had eight or more reports on climate change and energy policy. Let’s survey the field, charred as it is with the remains of ashed reviews and inquiries.
1. In 2006 we had the Switkowski report into nuclear power.
2. The Garnaut climate change review was released in 2008,
3. then updated in 2011, after the release of eight interim papers. It recommended, of course, a carbon tax, an idea that now seems laughably utopian.
4. The Finkel report in 2017 was supposed to form the basis for a credible, coming-together policy on energy and emissions reductions. Its chief recommendation – the creation of a clean energy target – was ignored.
5. In the last year the Climate Change Authority has done three reviews – into the Emissions Reductions Fund, The National Wind Farm Commissioner and the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting legislation.
Yet climate policy in this country remains constipated. It is a boom time for reports, if not for their recommendations.     Read moreFacebook deletes alternative health pages as the war on free news escalates
False health information can be disastrous, but “alternative” doesn’t always mean illegitimate. Can Facebook tell the difference? Facebook has deleted dozens of pages dedicated to fringe or holistic medicine in an apparent crackdown on pseudoscience. The Global Freedom Movement, an alternative media site, reported that the social platform purged over 80 accounts and that “no reason was provided. No responses to inquiries have been forthcoming.” This includes rather large accounts focused on health, natural remedies, and organic living, such as Just Natural Medicine (1 million followers), Natural Cures Not Medicine (2.3 million followers), and People’s Awakening (3.6 million followers). Small accounts with under 15,000 followers were also hit. Jake Passi spent six years building his Collectively Conscious page, which covered alternative health, spirituality, science, and “information that isn’t covered on mainstream media networks” and laments that his Facebook community was suddenly erased without warning. It had 915,000 followers.     Read moreThe Pentagon’s Insect Army
Swarms of insects, transporting genetically modified infectious viruses, attack the agricultural crops of a country and destroy its food production – this is not a science-fiction scenario, but a plan that is actually being prepared by DARPA, the Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency. This scenario of an attack on agricultural cultures in Russia, China and other countries, led by the Pentagon with swarms of insects transporting the virus, is not a science-fiction fable. DARPA’s programme is not the only one to use insects as a weapon of war. The US Office of Naval Research has asked for research from Washington University in St Louis in order to transform locusts into biological drones.     Read more

2054843.jpgFarmers’ climate denial begins to wane as reality bites
Australia has been described as the “front line of the battle for climate change adaptation”, and our farmers are the ones who have to lead the charge. Farmers will have to cope, among other pressures, with longer droughts, more erratic rainfall, higher temperatures, and changes to the timing of seasons. Yet, puzzlingly enough to many commentators, climate denial has been widespread among farmers and in the ranks of the National Party, which purports to represent their interests. There are signs we may be on the brink of a wholesale shift in farmers’ attitudes towards climate change. For a farmer, accepting the science means facing up to the prospect of a harsher, more uncertain future.      Read moreSalmon Farmers Are Scanning Fish Faces to Fight Killer Lice
New technology will use facial recognition to build individual medical records for millions of fish to prevent the spread of epidemics like sea lice that infect hundreds of millions of farmed fish and cost the global industry $1 billion each year. “We can build a medical record for each individual fish, like a revolution.” Also a facial-recognition system to monitor cows so farmers can adjust feeding regimens to enhance milk production. Scanners will allow them to track food and water intake and even detect when females are having fertile days.    Read moreHow can politicians lie about climate change after signing off on the truth?
“Approval” means that the material has been subjected to detailed line by line discussion and agreement. “By endorsing the IPCC reports, governments acknowledge the authority of their scientific content.” So, both the US and the Australian governments – which means Republicans and Coalition members, for they are the government – know, but still promulgate denial. They lie for political reasons and for gain. PIC.    Read more

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