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Peak Civilisation is in the rear view mirror for most humans on the planet. Economies, lifestyles & environment are declining almost everywhere. Overpopulation, resource depletion, pollution & energy decline continue to exacerbate the problems. Available net energy is the determinant of the quality & complexity of civilisation. As the inexpensive, easy to get energy sources decline, disorder in human systems & the biosphere will increase.. Entropy (disorder, randomness) increases. Entropy Wins

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Plastic Pollution of the Oceans. 
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Millions of tons. That’s how much plastic should be floating in the world’s oceans, given our ubiquitous use of the stuff. But a new study finds that 99% of this plastic is missing. One disturbing possibility: Fish are eating it.If that’s the case, “there is potential for this plastic to enter the global ocean food web,” says Carlos Duarte, an oceanographer at the University of Western Australia, Crawley. “And we are part of this food web.”Humans produce almost 300 million tons of plastic each year. Most of this ends up in landfills or waste pits, but a 1970s National Academy of Sciences study estimated that 0.1% of all plastic washes into the oceans from land, carried by rivers, floods, or storms, or dumped by maritime vessels. Some of this material becomes trapped in Arctic ice and some, landing on beaches, can even turn into rocks made of plastic. But the vast majority should still be floating out there in the sea, trapped in midocean gyres—large eddies in the center of oceans, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.To figure out how much refuse is floating in those garbage patches, four ships of the Malaspina expedition, a global research project studying the oceans, fished for plastic across all five major ocean gyres in 2010 and 2011. After months of trailing fine mesh nets around the world, the vessels came up light—by a lot. Instead of the millions of tons scientists had expected, the researchers calculated the global load of ocean plastic to be about only 40,000 tons at the most, the researchers report online today in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “We can’t account for 99% of the plastic that we have in the ocean,” says Duarte, the team’s leader.He suspects that a lot of the missing plastic has been eaten by marine animals. When plastic is floating out on the open ocean, waves and radiation from the sun can fragment it into smaller and smaller particles, until it gets so small it begins to look like fish food—especially to small lanternfish, a widespread small marine fish known to ingest plastic.“Yes, animals are eating it,” says oceanographer Peter Davison of the Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research in Petaluma, California, who was not involved in the study. “That much is indisputable.” But, he says, it’s hard to know at this time what the biological consequences are. Toxic ocean pollutants like DDT, PCBs, or mercury cling to the surface of plastics, causing them to “suck up all the pollutants in the water and concentrate them.” When animals eat the plastic, that poison could be going into the fish and traveling up the food chain to market species like tuna or swordfish. 
From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/07/ninety-nine-percent-of-plastic.html

Plastic Pollution of the Oceans.
________________________________________
Millions of tons. That’s how much plastic should be floating in the world’s oceans, given our ubiquitous use of the stuff. But a new study finds that 99% of this plastic is missing. One disturbing possibility: Fish are eating it.If that’s the case, “there is potential for this plastic to enter the global ocean food web,” says Carlos Duarte, an oceanographer at the University of Western Australia, Crawley. “And we are part of this food web.”Humans produce almost 300 million tons of plastic each year. Most of this ends up in landfills or waste pits, but a 1970s National Academy of Sciences study estimated that 0.1% of all plastic washes into the oceans from land, carried by rivers, floods, or storms, or dumped by maritime vessels. Some of this material becomes trapped in Arctic ice and some, landing on beaches, can even turn into rocks made of plastic. But the vast majority should still be floating out there in the sea, trapped in midocean gyres—large eddies in the center of oceans, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.To figure out how much refuse is floating in those garbage patches, four ships of the Malaspina expedition, a global research project studying the oceans, fished for plastic across all five major ocean gyres in 2010 and 2011. After months of trailing fine mesh nets around the world, the vessels came up light—by a lot. Instead of the millions of tons scientists had expected, the researchers calculated the global load of ocean plastic to be about only 40,000 tons at the most, the researchers report online today in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “We can’t account for 99% of the plastic that we have in the ocean,” says Duarte, the team’s leader.He suspects that a lot of the missing plastic has been eaten by marine animals. When plastic is floating out on the open ocean, waves and radiation from the sun can fragment it into smaller and smaller particles, until it gets so small it begins to look like fish food—especially to small lanternfish, a widespread small marine fish known to ingest plastic.“Yes, animals are eating it,” says oceanographer Peter Davison of the Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research in Petaluma, California, who was not involved in the study. “That much is indisputable.” But, he says, it’s hard to know at this time what the biological consequences are. Toxic ocean pollutants like DDT, PCBs, or mercury cling to the surface of plastics, causing them to “suck up all the pollutants in the water and concentrate them.” When animals eat the plastic, that poison could be going into the fish and traveling up the food chain to market species like tuna or swordfish.
From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/07/ninety-nine-percent-of-plastic.html

Posted on Tuesday, July 22nd 2014

Descent Into Despair. Dade County, Drugs, Violence, Gangs & Shattered Dreams. 
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There are times when the deindustrial future seems to whisper in the night like a wind blowing through the trees, sending the easy certainties of the present spinning like dead leaves. I had one of those moments recently, courtesy of a news story from 1997 that a reader forwarded me, about the spread of secret stories among homeless children in Florida’s Dade County.  These aren’t your ordinary children’s stories: they’re myths in the making, a bricolage of images from popular religion and folklore torn from their original contexts and pressed into the service of a harsh new vision of reality.God, according to Dade County’s homeless children, is missing in action; demons stormed Heaven a while back and God hasn’t been seen since. The mother of Christ murdered her son and morphed into the terrifying Bloody Mary, a nightmare being who weeps blood from eyeless sockets and seeks out children to kill them.  Opposing her is a mysterious spirit from the ocean who takes the form of a blue-skinned woman, and who can protect children who know her secret name. The angels, though driven out of Heaven, haven’t given up; they carry on their fight against the demons from a hidden camp in the jungle somewhere outside Miami, guarded by friendly alligators who devour hostile intruders. The spirits of children who die in Dade County’s pervasive gang warfare can go to the camp and join the war against the demons, so long as someone who knows the stories puts a leaf on their graves.This isn’t the sort of worldview you’d expect from people living in a prosperous, scientifically literate industrial society, but then the children in Dade County’s homeless shelters don’t fit that description in any meaningful sense. They live in conditions indistinguishable from the worst end of the Third World; their lives are defined by poverty, hunger, substance abuse, shattered families, constant uncertainty, and lethal violence dispensed at random. If, as Bruce Sterling suggested, the future is already here, just not evenly distributed yet, they’re the involuntary early adopters of a future very few people want to think about just now, but many of us will experience in the decades ahead, and most of humanity will face in the centuries that follow: a future we may as well call by the time-honored label “dark age.”
From; http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-broken-thread-of-culture.html

Descent Into Despair. Dade County, Drugs, Violence, Gangs & Shattered Dreams.
________________________________________
There are times when the deindustrial future seems to whisper in the night like a wind blowing through the trees, sending the easy certainties of the present spinning like dead leaves. I had one of those moments recently, courtesy of a news story from 1997 that a reader forwarded me, about the spread of secret stories among homeless children in Florida’s Dade County.  These aren’t your ordinary children’s stories: they’re myths in the making, a bricolage of images from popular religion and folklore torn from their original contexts and pressed into the service of a harsh new vision of reality.God, according to Dade County’s homeless children, is missing in action; demons stormed Heaven a while back and God hasn’t been seen since. The mother of Christ murdered her son and morphed into the terrifying Bloody Mary, a nightmare being who weeps blood from eyeless sockets and seeks out children to kill them.  Opposing her is a mysterious spirit from the ocean who takes the form of a blue-skinned woman, and who can protect children who know her secret name. The angels, though driven out of Heaven, haven’t given up; they carry on their fight against the demons from a hidden camp in the jungle somewhere outside Miami, guarded by friendly alligators who devour hostile intruders. The spirits of children who die in Dade County’s pervasive gang warfare can go to the camp and join the war against the demons, so long as someone who knows the stories puts a leaf on their graves.This isn’t the sort of worldview you’d expect from people living in a prosperous, scientifically literate industrial society, but then the children in Dade County’s homeless shelters don’t fit that description in any meaningful sense. They live in conditions indistinguishable from the worst end of the Third World; their lives are defined by poverty, hunger, substance abuse, shattered families, constant uncertainty, and lethal violence dispensed at random. If, as Bruce Sterling suggested, the future is already here, just not evenly distributed yet, they’re the involuntary early adopters of a future very few people want to think about just now, but many of us will experience in the decades ahead, and most of humanity will face in the centuries that follow: a future we may as well call by the time-honored label “dark age.”
From; http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-broken-thread-of-culture.html

Posted on Monday, July 21st 2014

Geo Politics & The Decline Of America.

The Emerging German-Russian Axis

Vladimir Putin commented at a German-Russian official function: “We value the accumulated potential of Russian-German relations and the high level of trade and economic cooperation. Germany, one of the European Union leaders, is our most important partner in enhancing peace, global and regional security.” We would contend that we are seeing a decisive shift in the political character of Eurasia as ’continental empires’ are starting to challenge the monopoly of ‘legal’ international violence that the US has exercised for the last 25 years. Such struggles have the potential to become major regional problems, but what is intriguing is the emerging continental alliance between Russia and Germany - a combination of German industrial might and Russian raw materials and military strength would instantly create a colossus.
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-02/emerging-german-russian-axis

Posted on Sunday, July 20th 2014

Tens Of Thousands Of People Now Die Every Year From Infections Resistant To All Known Antibiotics. This Is Darwinian Evolution At Its Finest.

Superbugs risk taking us back to the dark ages’: Cameron vows Britain will lead fightback against antibiotic-resistant strains

David Cameron says action is needed to tackle rise of untreatable bacteriaTens of thousands already dying of infections that are resistant to treatmentWorld Health Organisation warns scratches could be fatal if nothing is doneScenario where antibiotics do not work is unthinkable (wotfigo; Unthinkable? Really? Perhaps Cameron should read Charles Darwin’s book).
‘This great British discovery has kept our families safe for decades, while saving billions of lives around the world.’But that protection is at risk as never before.’Resistance to antibiotics is now a very real and worrying threat, as bacteria mutates to become immune to its effect.’He warned 25,000 people in Europe already die every year from infections resistant to anti-biotic drugs.’Tthis is not some distant threat but something happening right now’, he added. ’If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine where treatable infections and injuries will kill once again.’That simply cannot be allowed to happened and I want to see a stronger, more coherent global response, with nations, business and the world of science working together to up our game in the field of antibiotics.’Following discussions at the G7 last month, I have asked the economist Jim O’Neil to work with a panel of experts and report back to me and other world leaders on how we can accelerate the discovery and development of a new generation of antibiotics.’Mr Cameron has become the first world leader to speak out about the threat of antibacterial resistence.
From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2677491/Cameron-declares-war-against-superbugs-PM-pledges-Britain-lead-fightback-against-antibiotic-resistant-strains.html#ixzz36NwGiHA0 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Posted on Saturday, July 19th 2014

Climate Change: Northern Canada Temperatures 4 Degrees F Above Normal Fuel Record Forest Fires

Forests Fires In Northwest Canada Burning At Unprecedented Levels
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Perhaps not surprisingly then, the current Northwest Territories fires have been fueled by hot and dry weather. Yellowknife’s June high temperatures were 3.8°F above normal highs while rainfall was only 15 percent of normal. Through July 15, high temperatures have been running 4°F above July averages and the city has only seen 2 percent of its normal rainfall for the month. While these conditions can’t be tied specifically to climate change, they’re in line with those trends.
For the past few weeks, dry and warm weather have fueled large forest fires across Canada’s remote Northwest Territories. The extent of those fires is well above average for the year to-date, and is in line with climate trends of more fires burning in the northern reaches of the globe.Of the 186 wildfires in the Northwest Territories to-date this year, 156 of them are currently burning. That includes the Birch Creek Fire complex, which stretches over 250,000 acres.The amount of acres burned in the Northwest Territories is six times greater than the 25-year average to-date according to data from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center.Boreal forests like those in the Northwest Territories areburning at rates “unprecedented” in the past 10,000 years according to the authors of a study put out last year. The northern reaches of the globe are warming at twice the rate as areas closer to the equator, and those hotter conditions are contributing to more widespread burns.The combined boreal forests of Canada, Europe, Russia and Alaska, account for 30 percent of the world’s carbon stored in land, carbon that’s taken up to centuries to store. Forest fires like those currently raging in the Northwest Territories, as well as ones in 2012 and 2013 in Russia, can release that stored carbon into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. Warmer temperatures can in turn create a feedback loop, priming forests for wildfires that release more carbon into the atmosphere and cause more warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s landmark climate report released earlier this year indicates that for every 1.8°F rise in temperatures, wildfire activity is expected to double.In addition, soot from forest fires can also darken ice in the Arctic and melt it faster. The 2012 fires in Siberia released so much soot that they helped create a shocking melt of Greenland’s ice sheet. Over the course of a few weeks in July that year, 95 percent of the surface melted. That could become a yearly occurrence by 2100 if temperatures continue to rise along with wildfire activity.
From; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/northwest-territories-canada_n_5596932.html

Posted on Friday, July 18th 2014

The End Of The Coral Reef Is In Sight
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Caribbean coral reefs ‘will be lost within 20 years

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Most Caribbean coral reefs will disappear within the next 20 years, primarily due to the decline of grazers such as sea urchins and parrotfish, a new report has warned.A comprehensive analysis by 90 experts of more than 35,000 surveys conducted at nearly 100 Caribbeanlocations since 1970 shows that the region’s corals have declined by more than 50%.But restoring key fish populations and improving protection from overfishing and pollution could help the reefs recover and make them more resilient to the impacts of climate change, according to the study from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the United Nations Environment Programme.While climate change and the resulting ocean acidification and coral bleaching does pose a major threat to the region, the report – Status and Trends of CaribbeanCoral Reefs: 1970-2012 – found that local pressures such as tourism, overfishing and pollution posed the biggest problems.And these factors have made the loss of the two main grazer species, the parrotfish and sea urchin, the key driver of coral decline in the Caribbean.
Grazers are important fish in the marine ecosystem as they eat the algae that can smother corals. An unidentified disease led to a mass mortality of the sea urchin in 1983 and overfishing throughout the 20th century has brought the parrotfish population to the brink of extinction in some regions, according to the report.Reefs where parrotfish are not protected have suffered significant declines, including Jamaica, the entire Florida reef tract from Miami to Key West, and the US Virgin Islands. At the same time, the report showed that some of the healthiest Caribbean coral reefs are those that are home to big populations of grazing parrotfish. These include the US Flower Garden Banks national marine sanctuary in the northern Gulf of Mexico, Bermuda and Bonaire – all of which have restricted or banned fishing practices that harm parrotfish.
From; http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/02/caribbean-coral-reef-lost-fishing-pollution-report

The End Of The Coral Reef Is In Sight
____________________________________________
Caribbean coral reefs ‘will be lost within 20 years

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Most Caribbean coral reefs will disappear within the next 20 years, primarily due to the decline of grazers such as sea urchins and parrotfish, a new report has warned.A comprehensive analysis by 90 experts of more than 35,000 surveys conducted at nearly 100 Caribbeanlocations since 1970 shows that the region’s corals have declined by more than 50%.But restoring key fish populations and improving protection from overfishing and pollution could help the reefs recover and make them more resilient to the impacts of climate change, according to the study from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the United Nations Environment Programme.While climate change and the resulting ocean acidification and coral bleaching does pose a major threat to the region, the report – Status and Trends of CaribbeanCoral Reefs: 1970-2012 – found that local pressures such as tourism, overfishing and pollution posed the biggest problems.And these factors have made the loss of the two main grazer species, the parrotfish and sea urchin, the key driver of coral decline in the Caribbean.
Grazers are important fish in the marine ecosystem as they eat the algae that can smother corals. An unidentified disease led to a mass mortality of the sea urchin in 1983 and overfishing throughout the 20th century has brought the parrotfish population to the brink of extinction in some regions, according to the report.Reefs where parrotfish are not protected have suffered significant declines, including Jamaica, the entire Florida reef tract from Miami to Key West, and the US Virgin Islands. At the same time, the report showed that some of the healthiest Caribbean coral reefs are those that are home to big populations of grazing parrotfish. These include the US Flower Garden Banks national marine sanctuary in the northern Gulf of Mexico, Bermuda and Bonaire – all of which have restricted or banned fishing practices that harm parrotfish.
From; http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/02/caribbean-coral-reef-lost-fishing-pollution-report

Posted on Friday, July 18th 2014

Crashing Economy: I Hope You Don’t Work For Microsoft.

Microsoft Announces Record 18,000 Layoffs, Three Time More Than Expected
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While the news was reported earlier this week, it is perhaps notable that what was once considered the leading US tech company has also succumbed to the great “jobless” US recovery (in which the US economy is somehow adding 200K+ jobs every month even as it is firing millions). Furthermore, what was supposed to be 6,000 layoffs has just tripled to 18,000,which also happens to be the largest round of layoffs in MSFT history, surpassing the previous record of 5,800 set back in 2009.
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-17/microsoft-announces-18000-layoffs-three-time-more-expected

Posted on Thursday, July 17th 2014

Entering The Final 15 Years Of Excess Oil Available For Import (Excluding China & India).
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As someone once said, what can’t continue tends not to continue, and there is no way we would have a functioning global economy if two countries consumed anything close to 100% to Global Net Exports of oil, but here’s the problem: Given an inevitable ongoing decline in GNE, unless the Chindia region cuts their GNE consumption at the same rate as the rate of decline in GNE, or at a faster rate, the resulting ANE decline rate will exceed the GNE decline rate, and the ANE decline rate will accelerate with time. It’s a mathematical certainty.In any case, the projected rate of decline in the GNE/CNI Ratio puts us at a point in 2030 at which we cannot arrive, but the 2013 data will almost certainly show that we continued to slide toward a point at which we cannot arrive:
Quite the conundrum.What we take away from this is that China and India’s demand for oil is rising so fast, in perhaps 10 years’ time available oil in the markets will either go to them or it will go to us, but not to both. Time to prepare to fight over the stuff, and make it unavailable for the poor at the same time?!
From; http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-jul-1-2014-lowest-rates-in-500-years-oil-shortages-in-10-years/

Entering The Final 15 Years Of Excess Oil Available For Import (Excluding China & India).
________________________________________
As someone once said, what can’t continue tends not to continue, and there is no way we would have a functioning global economy if two countries consumed anything close to 100% to Global Net Exports of oil, but here’s the problem: Given an inevitable ongoing decline in GNE, unless the Chindia region cuts their GNE consumption at the same rate as the rate of decline in GNE, or at a faster rate, the resulting ANE decline rate will exceed the GNE decline rate, and the ANE decline rate will accelerate with time. It’s a mathematical certainty.In any case, the projected rate of decline in the GNE/CNI Ratio puts us at a point in 2030 at which we cannot arrive, but the 2013 data will almost certainly show that we continued to slide toward a point at which we cannot arrive:
Quite the conundrum.What we take away from this is that China and India’s demand for oil is rising so fast, in perhaps 10 years’ time available oil in the markets will either go to them or it will go to us, but not to both. Time to prepare to fight over the stuff, and make it unavailable for the poor at the same time?!
From; http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-jul-1-2014-lowest-rates-in-500-years-oil-shortages-in-10-years/

Posted on Thursday, July 17th 2014

18 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Accelerating As We Enter The Last Half Of 2014

#1 The Bank for International Settlements has issued a new report which warns that “dangerous new asset bubbles” are forming which could potentially lead to another major financial crisis.  Do the central bankers know something that we don’t, or are they just trying to place the blame on someone else for the giant mess that they have created?#2 Argentina has missed a $539 million debt payment and is on the verge of its second major debt default in 13 years.#3 Bulgaria is desperately trying to calm down a massive run on the banks that threatens of spiral out of control.#4 Last month, household loans in the eurozone declined at the fastest rate ever recorded.  Why are European banks holding on to their money so tightly right now?#5 The number of unemployed jobseekers in France has just soared to another brand new record high.#6 Economies all over Europe are either showing no growth or are shrinking.  Just check out what a recent Forbes article had to say about the matter…Italy’s economy shrank by 0.1% in the first three months of 2014, matching the average of the three previous quarters. After expanding 0.6% in Q2 2013, France recorded zero growth. Portugal shrank 0.7%, following positive numbers in the preceding nine months. While figures weren’t available for Greece and Ireland in Q1, neither country is showing progress. Greek GDP dropped 2.5% in the final three months of last year, and Ireland limped ahead at 0.2%.#7 A few days ago it was reported that consumer prices in Japan are rising at the fastest pace in 32 years.#8 Household expenditures in Japan are down 8 percent compared to one year ago.#9 U.S. companies are drowning in massive amounts of debt, but the corporate debt bubble in China is so bad that the amount of corporate debt in China has actually now surpassed the amount of corporate debt in the United States.#10 One Chinese auditor is warning that up to 80 billion dollars worth of loans in China are backed by falsified gold transactions.  What will that do to the price of gold and the stability of Chinese financial markets as that mess unwinds?#11 The unemployment rate in Greece is currently sitting at 26.7 percent and the youth unemployment rate is 56.8 percent.#12 67.5 percent of the people that are unemployed in Greece have been unemployed for over a year.#13 The unemployment rate in the eurozone as a whole is 11.8 percent - just a little bit shy of the all-time record of 12.0 percent.#14 The European Central Bank is so desperate to get money moving through the system that it has actually introduced negative interest rates.#15 The IMF is projecting that there is a 25 percent chance that the eurozone will slip into deflation by the end of next year.#16 The World Bank is warning that “now is the time to prepare” for the next crisis.#17 The economic conflict between the United States and Russia continues to deepen.  This has caused Russia to make a series of moves away from the U.S. dollar and toward other major currencies.  This will have serious ramifications for the global financial system as time rolls along.#18 Of course the U.S. economy is struggling right now as well.  It shrank at a 2.9 percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2014, which was much worse than anyone had anticipated.But if U.S. economic numbers look a bit better for the second quarter, that doesn’t mean that we are out of the woods.

Posted on Wednesday, July 16th 2014