The John James Newsletter 110
26 March 2016
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little
How Barack Obama Turned His Back On Saudi Arabia And Its Sunni Allies
A widely held sentiment inside the White House is that many of the most prominent foreign-policy think tanks in Washington are doing the bidding of their Arab and pro-Israel funders. One administration official refer to Massachusetts Avenue, the home of many of these think tanks, as ‘Arab-occupied territory’. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Gulf monarchies were briefly convinced that they would get their wish and the US was going to do their work for them by overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad. They claimed this would be easy to do, though it would have happened only if there had been a full-scale American intervention and it would have produced a power vacuum that would have been filled by fundamentalist Islamic movements as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. By refusing to bomb Syria, Obama “broke with ‘the Washington Playbook’. This was his liberation day”.
Globally as in Australia, residential solar is a people-led revolution
Surge in renewable energy reduces world greenhouse gas emissions. Falling coal use in China and the US and a shift towards renewable energy globally saw energy emissions level for the second year running,
China Is Getting Serious About Kicking Its Coal Addiction
China is halting construction of hundreds of coal-fired power plants across the country, a major move that highlights the sudden and accelerating death throes of the fuel that powered the creation of the modern world.
Tathra Community Solar Farm performance
In 2014 Bega Valley Shire Council formed a partnership to develop one of Australia’s first community solar farms.
Australia adds 100MW of rooftop solar in first two months of 2016
Port Augusta ‘busting a gut’ to reinvent itself as a solar city
Russia’s Ultimate Lethal Weapon
What we had as a result was a tectonic geopolitical shift; the reconfiguration of the entire world balance of power as Russia and China deepened their strategic partnership, based on a mutual external threat coming mostly from the US, with the EU as accessories. Russian intelligence now knows the alliance makes Russia and China invulnerable, whereas separately they could easily fall victim to US Divide and Rule.
Is capitalism driving climate change?
We speak to author Naomi Klein, and ask UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres if the Paris deal is too little, too late.
What makes consciousness?
Integrated Information Theory has a rather surprising implication: consciousness can, in principle, be found anywhere where there is the right kind of information processing going on, whether that’s in a brain or a computer.
Land-clearing surge in Queensland set to wipe out Direct Action gains
In just three years the rate of clearing will create enough additional carbon dioxide emissions to cancel out emissions savings the government says it will make by paying farmers $670m to stop cutting down trees.
Israel at 60: A Grim Balance Sheet
Given its artificial character and built-in problems, as well as global political-economic and regional demographic trends, Israel’s future in the next 60 years is not bright.
Jimmy Carter unveils truth about Israel
Syrian Kurds Hope to Establish a Federal Region in Country’s North
To formalize the semiautonomous zone they have established during five years of war and to create a model for decentralized government throughout the country they will be stirring the debate over two proposals to redraw the Middle East, each with major implications for Syria and its neighbors.
Syrian Kurds Risk Their Gains With New Federalization Demands
Putin exposes danger of vaccines
“We as a species have the choice to continue to develop our bodies and brains in a healthy upward trajectory, or we can follow the Western example of recent decades and intentionally poison our population with genetically altered food, pharmaceuticals, vaccinations, and fast food that should be classified as a dangerous, addictive drug. We must fight this. A physically and intellectually disabled population is not in our interests,”
15 Children Sue Obama for Lack of Climate Change Action
A group of teenagers went head to head against the US government and the fossil fuel industry after the Oregon-based nongovernmental organization Our Children’s Trust opened a lawsuit against President Obama and a number of federal agencies for inaction on climate change. The group are demanding the government “cease their permitting, authorizing and subsidizing of fossil fuels and, instead, move to swiftly phase out CO2 emissions,”
Ten Times Faster Than a Hothouse Extinction
The human fossil fuel emission is outrageous and unprecedented on geological timescales. An insult the Earth has never seen before. The pace we are emitting carbon into the atmosphere is just insane. We’ve known this for some time because the best of science can’t find any time in all of Earth’s geological history equalled what’s happening now.
C02 emissions are about 150 times that of all the volcanoes on Earth, 10 times faster than the hothouse extinction that occurred some 60 million years ago. “If you look over the entire period, the only event with a massive carbon release that happened over a relatively short period of time is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. We don’t see anything even remotely comparable to what we humans are currently doing.”
The PETM Hothouse was amazingly bad. It wiped out half of all shellfish; it completely reversed ocean circulation and set up a stratified ocean state; peatlands and forests went up in mass conflagrations; terrible insect plagues swept the globe; it forced a mass poleward migration and widespread genetic alteration of mammals which were eventually reduced to dwarfism.
Expected warming this century is 10 to 200 times faster than during the PETM extinction event
PETM: Global Warming, Naturally
Anthropogenic carbon release rate unprecedented during the past 66 million years
Native American Tribe Flee Coast Due to Rising Sea Levels
A small Native American community in coastal Louisiana is to be resettled after losing nearly all its land, believed to be caused in part by rising sea levels, making it the first case of its kind in the US.
Executions in Saudi Arabia reach ‘frightening’ rate as 70th prisoner in 2016 is killed
“Saudi Arabia is making a mockery of justice and dozens of people are paying with their lives”.
China dumped billions of America’s debt in December.
Japan sold even more: $22 billion. In the past year, Mexico, Turkey and Belgium have also lowered their holdings of US debt, all of which have led to a record dump by banks.
Wall Street’s Pile of Unwanted Treasuries Exposes Market Cracks
The world’s biggest bond dealers are getting saddled with Treasuries they can’t seem to easily get rid of. surge in holdings is more likely the result of investors including central banks dumping the debt on the firms
A world war has begun. Break the silence – John Pilger
No journalist in the Western “mainstream” asks why China is building airstrips in the South China Sea. The answer ought to be glaringly obvious. The US is encircling China with a network of bases, with ballistic missiles, battle groups, nuclear-armed bombers. This lethal arc extends from Australia to the islands of the Pacific, the Marianas and the Marshalls and Guam, to the Philippines, Thailand, Okinawa, Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India. America has hung a noose around the neck of China. This is silenced by media Where are those who will shatter the silence? Or do we wait until the first nuclear missile is fired?
Belgian Authorities Had “Precise Intelligence Warnings” Of Brussels Bombings
The day after the mass bombings in Brussels that killed 34 people and wounded another 230, it emerged that Belgian authorities had specific forewarnings of the attack and had already last year identified the men who carried out the assault as Islamist terrorists and that Zavantem Airport and the Maelbeek metro station were known to be target.
Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption
Brazil is suffering its worst economic crisis in decades. An enormous graft scheme has hobbled the national oil company. The Zika epidemic is causing despair across the northeast. And just before the world heads to Brazil for the Summer Olympics, the government is fighting for survival under the cloud of scandal.
UK Austerity: Save the Rich, Cut the Disabled, Punish the Poor
Britain’s government has accelerated the privatization of care, education, health and housing services – a quiet revolution. Budget cuts to social services and payments for disabled people fund tax cuts that line the pockets of the wealthy.
Big solar is heading for boom times
In 2007, there were zero utility-scale solar power plants in the US. Today there are hundreds, ranging from the 579 MW Solar Star project (the world’s largest solar farm) in California down to dozens upon dozens of 10, 20, and 50 MW projects in communities across the country.
World’s first floating wind farm to ‘store’ power
Playing Poker with One Card
The number of registered refugees in Turkey has exceeded three million, which makes it the largest sanctuary in the world. This number is terrifying, not only for human rights organizations or Turkey’s government, but also for European leaders. Turkey is struggling with serious domestic and foreign-policy challenges. Yet another deadly explosion—blamed on the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) this time—has caused multiple casualties in Istanbul. Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet close to its border with Syria last November largely backfired, resulting not only in Moscow’s installation of advanced anti-aircraft systems in Syria, but also shaking NATO’s confidence in Ankara as a reliable ally. Refugees offer a golden opportunity for Erdogan to continue and intensify his blackmail abroad and his repression at home, though it’s unclear how long he can survive by pursuing this strategy.
Turnbull’s sleight of hand on clean energy investment
But the move to de-fund ARENA and create a “new” fund using money already allocated to the CEFC may back-fire, because although the new set-up will continue to support near commercial projects, the technologies and ideas at the formative stage of the innovation process may be left stranded, without funding. So much for the “Innovation Nation”.
Human Warming Pushing Seas Toward EXPONENTIAL Rise of Several Meters This Century
Rates of sea level rise since 1900 and a 1.1 C jump in global temperatures show a non-linear progression, and suggest the initiation of a Heinrich Event. Link this to 90% of solar heat held in the ocean deeps and the 5% increase in evaporation from the seas and we have a sense of what is driving today’s catastrophic weather.
Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: The Threat of Irreparable Harm
We have uncovered the interactions between the ocean and the ice sheets and how soon we will pass points of no return, in which we lock in consequences that cannot be reversed on any time scale that people care about. This would mean loss of most of the world’s large cities and all their history.
Rate of increase in sea levels more than 3.3 mm/yr and rising
Following image from Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms
Carbon emissions highest in 66 million years, since end of the dinosaurs
The pace of emissions eclipses the onset of the biggest-known natural surge in fossil records, 56 million years ago, that was driven by a release of frozen stores of methane beneath the seabed, drove temperatures up by an estimated 5 C
Beyond surveillance: what could happen if Apple loses to the FBI
An Apple loss in the San Bernardino encryption case risks creating a world in which we can no longer trust the gadgets that track how we drive, when we’re home and whether the door is locked