The John James Newsletter No. <180>

The John James Newsletter 180

3 June 2017

The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. With such a people you can do what you please.

Hannah Arend

Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people

Spencer Johnson

The death of Fairfax, the end of newspapers and the threat to democracy

In a small robust democracy with relatively little commercial quality journalism, it has the makings of a civic catastrophe. That’s because the serious journalism of influence in Australia, apart from the government-funded ABC, resides mainly in four newspapers – the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Australian Financial Review and the Australian. Between them, these four mastheads provide most of Australia’s coverage of politics, justice, economics, business, science, health, welfare, public policy, international affairs, arts, culture and ideas. Until recently, these four employed around 1500 journalists. Today that number is closer to 1000. Within two years it could be as few as 500.

China Aims to Spend at Least $360 Billion on Renewable Energy by 2020

The agency said that China would create more than 13 million jobs in the renewable energy sector by 2020, curb the growth of greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming and reduce the amount of soot that in recent days has blanketed Beijing and other Chinese cities in a noxious cloud of smog.

Palestinian prisoners in Israel suspend hunger strike

Deal struck with Israel after intense talks hailed as ‘victory’ for Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for 40 days.


An idea that you can act on now 


The selling of policies has developed in the same way as the selling of commodities. Package it prettily, spin the story, adjust to suit the trends in social media and any other data collection, with the one purpose of directing your beliefs and actions to suit their agenda. If you are stuck in this bog of manipulation, what can you do? Search these stories on the web, check their truth, search for others, and above all do your own investigation. Listening only to theirs turns you into a ZOMBIE.  

Assad Just Explained How The US Really Works

“The American President has no policies. There are policies drawn by the American institutions which control the American regime – the intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, the big arms and oil companies, and financial institutions, in addition to some other lobbies which influence American decision-making. The American President merely implements these policies, and the evidence is that when Trump tried to move on a different track, he couldn’t. He came under a ferocious attack. As we have seen in the past few week, he changed his rhetoric completely and subjected himself to the terms of the deep American state. That’s why it is unrealistic to make an assessment of the American President’s foreign policy, for he might say something; but he ultimately does what these institutions dictate to him. This is not new. This has been ongoing American policy for decades.”

‘Liar, Liar’: A Song Assailing Theresa May Tops the Charts in Britain

The song has a catchy chorus and a not-so-subtle message of oppression and poverty.

Coral bleaching on Great Barrier Reef worse than expected

Surveys taken throughout 2016 show escalating impact from north to south, with 70% of shallow water corals dead north of Port Douglas. It is now confirmed that about 29% of shallow water corals died from bleaching during 2016, up from the previous estimate of 22%, with most mortality occurring in the northern parts of the reef.

Australians say climate change is catastrophic risk, even as government turns blind eye

84% of 8000 people surveyed in eight countries consider climate change a “global catastrophic risk”. The figure for the Australian sample was 75%. The question asked how much participants agreed or disagreed that “climate change, resulting in environmental damage, such as rising sea levels or melting of icecaps” could be considered as a global catastrophic risk”? A global catastrophic risk was described as “a future event that has the potential to affect 10% of the global population”.

Australia can’t lose in the global race for cheaper, cleaner energy

A new report from CSIRO outlines four pathways for Australia to hit our Paris climate targets, and get cheaper energy at the same time. Australia is well positioned to benefit from innovative low emission technologies.

UK reels from climate induced food rationing

Will we still be able to feed ourselves as the climate get hotter? Australia is a net importer of fresh food – The supermarket food gamble may be finished.

Scientists Just Found a New Weapon That Can Combat Cancer: Coffee

British researchers have found that the amount of coffee you drink correlates to your chances of developing liver cancer. The research claims the same applies for Decaf,

Telstra signs deal for 70MW solar farm to cap energy costs

They are investing directly in renewable energy to reduce their electricity costs, which continue to soar in Australia as network costs and wholesale prices rise unchecked.

Brexit and the City

Some have predicted the fall of the nation-state and the rise of the city state to replace it. City states are easier to defend than nations and they breed innovation and nurture trade. The world’s mega cities have economies larger than most nations and are the hubs of commerce that fuel the globalisation that disenfranchises the working and middle classes that support Western democracy. In these megacities, life is cheap, slavery is rife and global commerce is not always top of everyone’s mind. To survive, these cities must maintain their food, water and energy supplies and sufficient infrastructure to remain connected to their sources of revenue.


Climate change could make cities 8C hotter

Nearly 5C of the total would be attributed to average global warming. The rest would be due to the so-called “urban heat island” effect, which occurs when parks, dams and lakes, which have a cooling effect, are replaced by concrete and asphalt – making cities warmer than their surrounds

Urban ‘heat island’ effect could intensify climate change, making cities up to 7C warmer

‘Any hard-won victories over climate change on a global scale could be wiped out by the effects of uncontrolled urban heat islands. After studying 1,692 cities around the world, they concluded about 25 per cent could warm by more than 7C by the end of this century under the worst-case scenario for carbon emissions.

Overpopulation in Manilla

The Philippines has one of the fastest growing populations in Southeast Asia. From having fifty million inhabitants in 1980, the Philippines today is home to around ninty million people with 11 million living in Manila only. Living place is becoming increasingly satuarated. This overcrowding is causing a range of problems such as lack of education, lack of healthcare, unemployment and general poverty.

Inside the Philippines’ ‘baby factory’

In the Philippines, one in 10 teenagers aged 15-19 are already mothers, according to the UN. While across the world teen pregnancy rates have been going down, in the Philippines it is growing rapidly.

The looming correction

Altair Asset Management hands back to clients fearing the Australian east-coast property market “bubble” and its “impending correction”; worries that issues around China’s hot property sector and escalating debt levels will blow up “later this year”; “oversized” geopolitical risks and an “unpredictable” US political environment; and the “overvalued” Aussie equity market. But it was the overheated local property market that was the clearest and most present danger,

This discusses the entire spectrum of UK involvement in and support for terror groups

Terror in Britain: What Did the Prime Minister Know?

Critical questions – such as why the security service MI5 maintained terrorist “assets” in Manchester and why the government did not warn the public of the threat in their midst – remain unanswered, deflected by the promise of an internal “review”. The alleged suicide bomber, Salman Abedi was part of an extremist group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, that thrived in Manchester and was cultivated and used by MI5 for more than 20 years.

British Intelligence Received Warnings that Manchester Bomber Was Plotting Attacks

The FBI passed these warnings to MI5 in January, after placing Abedi on their terrorist watch list.

The Government knew that the failed ‘war on terror’ could cause this attack 

Were Saddam and Gaddafi not overthrown, it is unlikely that Salman Abedi would have been in a position to slaughter people in Manchester

World watches as Yemen descends into total collapse 

“The people of Yemen are being subjected to deprivation, disease and death as the world watches.” Last week, 22 international and Yemeni humanitarian and human rights groups including Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee and Oxfam raised alarm over Yemen. They called on the council, in particular Britain which has the lead for addressing the conflict at the top UN body, to “end its year-long inaction on Yemen, and move decisively to end what is now the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.”

95 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’.

All these companies are listed an the extent of their commitments spelled out. A great resource.

Bangalore water woes: India’s Silicon Valley dries up

Bangalore is known as India’s Silicon Valley. But the metropolis is running out of water fast. The job of distributing water from an ever-shifting array of dying wells has been taken up, in large part, by informal armadas of private tanker trucks. The tanker barons of Bangalore—the men who own and direct these trucks—now control the supply of water so thoroughly that they can form cartels, bend prices, and otherwise abuse their power. Public officials are fond of calling the tanker owners a “water mafia.”

Cape Town is almost out of water

The city faces a severe water crisis as reservoirs sank to an effective 10.5% of their capacity after five years of drought.The city was declared a disaster area in March as it confronted its worst drought in more than 100 years. The crisis mirrors a countrywide crisis last year when townships ran dry and residents of major cities staged collections of bottled water, which was donated and trucked across South Africa.

Russia Calls Bill an “Act of War.” 

The bill presumes to grant the US “inspection authorities” over shipping ports (and major airports) specifically, ports in China, Russia, Syria, and Iran.

Indonesian Borneo is finished: Pollution reaching epic proportions 

Wherever one looks, the entire landscape is ruined: mountains mutilated beyond recognition, forests gone, and huge tracts of land “cleared.” Despite what I already witnessed in all corners of Indonesia for years, I’m still not prepared for what opens in front of my eyes: the endless and horrifying sprawl of natural calamity: dozens of square kilometres of dust, noise, and mud. I try to avoid 100-ton trucks which almost run my car off the path. They are transporting coal. I see filthy processing plants. I see old, rusty equipment scattered all around the area.The environment is “changing,” pollution is reaching epic proportions, but there is very little awareness, even among the poorest of the poor, of the dreadfulness of the situation.

Angela Merkel Stopped Relying on President Trump Only After Failing to Reason With Him

Merkel effectively threw up her hands and gave up on him. “The times when we could fully rely on others are a bit finished,” she told a crowd of her supporters in Munich. “That’s what I experienced in the last few days.” That impression had in fact taken shape over several months.

Five Reasons Why Climate Action cannot be Trumped

  1. The Paris Agreement is global. 

The US, though powerful and a large emitter, is still just one country. China, Germany, France, UK, India and over 147 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement and show no signs of backtracking.

  1. Renewables are unstoppable. 

Trump may favour fossil fuels, but he can’t beat economics. Solar and wind are now the cheapest form of new power in many countries, like Australia. Renewable power will continue to drop in cost as it continues to be dramatically scaled up. Just ask one of the countries capitalising on it – China. China will invest $360 billion in renewable energy through to 2020, creating 13 million more jobs in the process.

  1. US States are taking the lead. 

US states are already leading on clean energy, including the Republican stronghold of Texas, and one of the world’s largest economies, California

  1. Leadership is also coming from the world’s largest companies. 

95 global corporations (many of them based in the US) – including Apple, Coca-Cola, GM, Goldman Sachs, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Unilever, and even Walmart – have committed to 100% renewables in their operations.

  1. The rest of the world is already responding. 

The EU and China have just announced they will strengthen their climate ties. The EU has promised to give China €10m to rollout a national emissions trading system. This comes on top of indications they could levy ‘carbon taxes’ on US imports. International markets are also signalling this as a damaging move for the US, with US energy stocks taking a plunge. It is likely the US will be one of the biggest victim of this decision, missing out on countless business opportunities and becoming increasingly uncompetitive.

However, Trump’s action will embolden those trying to hold back action on climate change.

Just this week Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg announced Australia will divert funds for renewable energy to coal, and as the Chief Scientist prepares to hand down his report on the national energy system next week, our role – in holding our leaders to account and injecting facts into the national debate – is crucial.

In 50 years time I suspect the history books will note Trump’s actions as farcical. But this story’s ending will be written by us, the people of the world who dared to stay strong, stand together and light the way to a better future.

Thanks for shining on,

(Email from Tim Flannery and the Climate Council).

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