The John James Newsletter. <128>

John James Newsletter0

The John James Newsletter 128

16 Julyl 2016

A war against terrorism is terrorism

Woody Harrelson

If we destroy human rights and rule of law in the response to terrorism, they have won

Joichi Ito

Is this the time for payback?

Remember when the Reagan administration so overspent on Star Wars etc that the Russians had to keep up and got into such financial difficulties that Communism imploded? Do we have the same today but reversed?  Are the Russians and the Chinese setting up the Americans to expend so much on threats against them spread across the whole globe that they wont be able to cope? The US may be the preeminent global military superpower, but it is now being pulled in multiple directions on a scale not seen in recent history. Nor is it truly in control of its own destiny. In Asia even more than Europe, its foes and allies are often calling the shots while the US is often left playing catch-up.

South China Sea: Can US prevent a war on Australia’s door step? Can it stop one in Europe?

Two events in particular have driven this development, separate but subtly interlinked. On the Korean peninsula, the deployment of a new South Korean missile defence system and imposition of new US sanctions on the north has nudged tensions higher. Now, an international court decision on China’s claims in the South China Sea could further amplify already growing posturing over disputed maritime boundaries. 

Hague Tribunal finds China has no ‘historic title’

In a judgement that is even tougher on Beijing than anticipated, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has rebuked China on everything from its interference in its smaller neighbour’s fishing to the environmental devastation wrought by its large-scale construction on fragile coral reefs. Crucially the judges also found that the Beijing’s artificial islands do not generate an extended maritime zone because the natural features could not sustain human habitation. 

What’s at stake in China’s claims to the South China Sea? 

Sir David Attenborough speaks about population

The dangers facing the Earth’s ecosystems are well known and the subject of great concern at all levels. Climate change is high on the list. But the underlying and associated cause is population growth. 

The Reef, then WA’s Kelp. And now this……

Scientists Connect Massive Die-Off Of Australian Mangroves To Climate Change

“We have seen smaller instances of this kind of moisture stress before, but what is so unusual now is its extent, and that it occurred across the whole southern gulf in a single month. It is a natural process, but nature usually does this incrementally. Not with such severity. We have never seen this before.”

Turkey: Back to Zero Problems with Neighbors?

What went wrong? Factors that contributed to Turkey’s regional isolation included problems with Israel related to Hamas and Gaza, a deadlock with Armenia, and a stalemate in Cyprus. Ankara supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, but a military coup ousted this new ally. The crisis of the Arab Spring also precipitated the civil war in Syria, leading to major tensions with Moscow and Tehran. By late 2015, the country that once followed a zero-problems-with-neighbors strategy now had zero neighbors without problems.

Drilling down in the deep blue

A massive oil rig is on its way from South Korea to the pristine waters of the Great Australian Bight, courtesy of Labor and the Coalition.

Latest Leak Shows TTIP Puts US-EU Clean Energy Goals in ‘Mortal Danger’

The agreement “could sabotage European efforts to save energy and switch to clean power and would result in a giant leap backward in our fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground. The draft energy chapter shows that the EU will propose a rollback of mandatory energy savings measures, and any future pricing schemes designed to encourage renewable energies.

The TTIP proposal would:

    1. Require the US and the EU “to eliminate all existing restrictions on the export of natural gas in trade”;

    2. Undermine clean energy policies, such as renewable portfolio standards or feed-in tariffs, by stating that electricity utilities shall not discriminate “between types of energy” in granting access to the electrical grid;

    3. Obligate them to “foster industry self-regulation” on energy efficiency rather than using mandatory requirements that oblige corporations to boost the energy efficiency of their products; and

    4. Threaten protections against destructive extraction of natural resources in countries outside of the US and EU. 

Warming is shifting around Earth’s clouds

The warming of the planet over the past few decades has shifted a key band of clouds poleward and increased the heights of clouds tops, exacerbating Earth’s rising temperature,expanding the area of dryness in the subtropics, 

‘Divisive, Illiberal and Calculating’ Theresa May to be UK Prime Minister

“It is simply inconceivable that…May should be crowned prime minister without even having won an election in her own party, let alone the country” 

#WebOfDenial: Senators to Call Out Big Oil’s Blockade of Climate Action

Senators condemn industry’s “massive campaign to deceive the public about climate change” 

Republicans Back Exxon’s Right To Be A Climate Denier

The latest development in a now tit-for-tat battle over the so-called ‘web of denial’ that fossil fuel companies are increasingly being accused of spinning over decades, in order to delay action on climate change.

The No-State Solution to the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Twelve years ago today, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory opinion at the request of the United Nations General Assembly on the legality of the wall Israel has constructed in the West Bank. The ICJ affirmed that all of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are “occupied Palestinian territory”, and that Israel’s wall, as well as its settlements, violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. 

Fires in central africa

Central and Western Africa are experiencing a massive wildfire outbreak due in part to drought and our ever challenging climate anomalies. This is not only escalating an intense CO2 plum over Africa, it is also adding to the ongoing predicament of our near term demise as a species. Scientists say “..there’s a significant risk that we’ve already hit “the limit” and that a carbon feedback is underway.” No coverage from major news organizations. 

Major Wildfires in Central and Western Africa as Drought, Hunger Grow More Widespread

CThe Copernicus CO2 monitor shows an intense CO2 plum issuing from very intense wildfires over Central and Western Africa on Wednesday, February 10th. Other CO2 hotspots include China, the Northeast US, Northern South America, Southeast Asia, and a region stretching from Siberia through to the Arctic. It’s worth noting that Northern Hemisphere CO2 levels now range from 400 to 414 parts per million. Image source: CAMS CO2 Monitoring.

SA paramedics to stop work as union says service struggling with cost-cutting

crude cost-cutting was leading to chronic staff shortages, ramping, and an unmanageable workload within the ambulance service. 

‘War on Terror’ Blowback Hits Dallas

Do U.S. government officers at all levels – national, state and local – now believe that remote-control killing of a target is safer and cheaper than detaining the accused (whether a suspected international terrorist or a domestic suspect) than arresting the person, holding a trial and imprisoning him or her after a conviction for a crime?

Militarization And Police Violence

Hardly a day goes by without news of a police killing.  And each time we hear from scholars and observers that the police is too militarized.  

After Dallas Shootings, Police Arrest People for Criticising Cops on Facebook and Twitter

Several police departments have arrested individuals for posts on social media raising concerns on free speech.

Draft Republican Platform Calls for Annexation of Area C of West Bank

The so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has always been a distraction to buy time for the Israelis to annex most of the West Bank, and will be tangled up in the unexamined question of controlling access to scarce water resources.

Murdoch, Coalition go in guns blazing against wind and solar

For more information on how the gas cartel works in a market with virtually no transparency, see this excellent report on 

Australian gas is a bargain … if you’re Japanese

Gas prices have gone through the roof. The big winners are a gas cartel of three producers, foreign buyers of Australian gas and investors who’ve made 1,300 per cent returns in a pipeline stock.

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