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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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Social Decline: Anger & Complicity in a Time of Limits

 Anger is a natural part of being human and can arise because people feel they have been badly treated, a personal boundary has been crossed or they have been denied something. It is also part of collective behavior that can regulate or amplify stress.

We’re part of an integrated globalised society hitting financial and ecological limits and this is starting to challenge peoples’ habituated expectations. There’s been a clear emergence of tensions and anger in many parts of the world since the global financial crisis began. The effects of the crisis, and responses to it have made people angry at the financial sector, governments, the “One Percent”, international institutions or capitalism itself. Ecological constraints are being reflected in record food and oil prices. Food prices have always been a trigger of social unrest, in France in 1789 and the year of revolutions in 1848. More recently Yaneer Bar-Yam and colleagues show a strong correlation between the Food and Agricultural Organization’s (FAO) food price index and outbreaks of social unrest. This has forced simmering but contained antagonisms to the surface as happened in the Arab Spring.
 
But we need to be clear, the large-scale predicament and the emergent socio-economic stresses that we are beginning to experience has very little to with fraud, corruption and the greed of a tiny few. It has a lot to do with our human civilization running into limits. As socio-economic stress deepens and uncertainty rises we can expect anger spreading in severity and scale in the coming years. Uncomprehending rage turned outwards and inwards, fantasies of catharsis through revolution, extremism and authoritarianism, aggressive power/productive asset accumulation and scapegoating are just some of destructive behaviors we’re likely to see.
 
The stakes involved in such transitions mean that it’s important to interrogate our anger, and question its foundations. That’s why I’d argue that in the rich part of the world there has been a huge amount of self-righteous finger-pointing that is not only delusional but may well be detrimental to how we deal with the collective challenges ahead. None of this means, for example, that fairness and inequality (especially in-group) are not hugely (and innately) important for people, and that societies who fail to engage with it in the difficult years ahead are greatly adding to the risk of catastrophic social fractures that will do nobody any good.
 
From; http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-03-25/anger-complicity-in-a-time-of-limits

Posted on Thursday, April 17th 2014

As Overpopulation Pressure Pushes Humans Into Remote Jungle Locations, It Is The Roads They Hack Out Of The Jungle Which Are The Kiss Of Death For The Environment.

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“It’s reached crisis proportions,” said William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University in Australia and the director of ALERT. “Whether you’re talking about the Amazon, Sumatra, Siberia or the Congo, there’s hardly a wilderness area left that isn’t under assault from new roads. Those roads usually open a Pandora’s Box of environmental problems—such as illegal fires, deforestation, hunting and gold mining.”

“It’s become one of the biggest environmental worries of this century,” said Thomas Lovejoy, an ecologist who has served as an environmental advisor to three U.S. presidents. “Roads are driving a great deal of habitat loss and fragmentation around the world.”

According to the group, 95 percent of forest loss occurs within 50 km of a road, which is a dire prospect given projected road expansion — 90 percent of which will be in countries with the highest levels of biodiversity — in coming decades.

“It’s been estimated that we’ll have another 25 million kilometers of paved roads by 2050—enough to encircle the Earth more than 600 times,” said Lovejoy.

From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/03/scientists-urge-ban-on-roads-in-intact.html

Posted on Wednesday, April 16th 2014

The USA Is No Longer A Democracy. It Is Run By Large Corporations And Wealthy Elites. But We Knew That Didn’t We?

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
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Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.

Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. [..] Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, [but when] the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.
From; http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-apr-15-2014-this-is-where-we-say-good-night-and-good-luck/

Posted on Wednesday, April 16th 2014

Economic Collapse: The World Centre Of Capitalism, New York, Has 22% Of Its Population On Food Stamps

There is no question about it, NYC feels more like “Disneyland for Wall Street” than ever before. The very rich are doing very well, everyone else, not so much. We are often told by charlatans and mainstream media propagandists that this mythical rising tide of wealth lifts all boats. If that’s the case, we find it quite perplexing that the homeless population in America’s financial center is exploding five years into the so-called recovery (homeless people are living in coffin-sized spaces inside the frame of the Manhattan Bridge). Meanwhile, let’s not forget that 22% of the city is on food stamps. How is this possible? Because we have witnessed five years of egregious corruption and crony capitalist theft, not a genuine recovery. That’s how.
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-15/new-york-disneyland-wall-street-coffin-sized-living-spaces

Posted on Wednesday, April 16th 2014

The Laws Of Physics Are Not Negotiable : Global Warming Has Not Stopped And It Will Go On For Centuries.

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"There is no standstill in global warming," Jarraud said as he presented the WMO’s annual review of the world’s climate which concluded that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth hottest year since 1850 when recording of annual figures began.

"The warming of our oceans has accelerated, and at lower depths. More than 90 percent of the excess energy trapped by greenhouse gases is stored in the oceans.

"Levels of these greenhouse gases are at a record, meaning that our atmosphere and oceans will continue to warm for centuries to come. The laws of physics are non-negotiable," Jarraud told a news conference.

The 21-page survey said the global land and sea surface temperature in 2013 was 14.5 degrees Celsius (58.1 Fahrenheit), or 0.50C (0.90F) above the 1961-90 average. It was also 0.03C (0.05F) up on the average for 2001-2010.

The WMO’s Annual Statement on the Status of the Climate, pointed to droughts, heatwaves, rising seas, floods, and tropical cyclones around the globe last year as evidence of what the future might hold.

Froml http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/03/wmo-global-warming-not-stopped-will-go.html

Posted on Tuesday, April 15th 2014

Turning The Planet Into Suburbs, Farms & Mines : Australias Extinction Crisis.

Australia scientists resign ‘living dead’ species to extinction, call for triage debate – ‘I’m afraid to tell everybody we’re in a terminal situation. We’re confronting a whole raft of species about to go over the extinction cliff.’

The dramatic ongoing loss of Australian animal and plant species has prompted influential scientists to call on governments to start making tough decisions about which ones to save - and which species should be left to face extinction.

The proposal to triage Australia’s unique species comes from some of the nation’s most senior conservation biologists.

It is a radical and controversial shift from decades of hard-fought conservation victories aiming to preserve all species and wilderness.

"I’m afraid to tell everybody we’re in a terminal situation. We’re confronting a whole raft of species about to go over the extinction cliff," Professor David Bowman, an expert in environmental change biology at the University of Tasmania, said.

Professor Corey Bradshaw, director of the Environment Institute’s Climate and Ecology Centre at The University of Adelaide, says Kakadu National Park has suffered a 95 per cent decline in mammals.

"Kakadu National Park, our largest national park, is basically a biodiversity basket case," Professor Bradshaw said.

"The Great Barrier Reef has been suffering biodiversity declines for decades. Now if we can’t get it right in our two biggest and most well-known and certainly the best-funded parks and protected areas in Australia, what hope have we for the rest of our national parks?"

Around Australia at least 100 unique species have already become extinct since European settlement with more than 1,500 under threat, but scientists suspect many more have vanished or are on the brink without anyone realising.

It is a worldwide phenomenon, with global extinction rates of species not seen at this level since the loss of the dinosaurs.

Australia’s network of under-resourced national reserves is being overwhelmed, while sprawling urban, agricultural and industrial development, feral animals and climate change are partly to blame, scientists say.

Some believe the current focus on saving all threatened species is misplaced, and say there should be more emphasis on saving the most vital ecosystems and species.

It could mean amending laws mandating recovery plans for all species, according to a senior environmental lawyer.

"The focus on threatened species seems doomed to failure, especially because of climate change," Jeff Smith from the NSW Environmental Defenders Office said.

"We need to be looking at key species that are able to drag ecosystems and other species up by the bootstraps."

Professor Bowman says the difficulty is confronting the notion that not all species are equal.

"If you put in one corner a rare butterfly and in another corner a Tasmanian devil, I have to say as a conservation biologist that the Tasmanian devil is more important - it’s a top predator, it’s at the end of an evolutionary lineage, it’s charismatic, it’s a mammal (and) we can’t afford to lose such a thing," he said.

Some environmentalists strongly oppose picking winners and losers, among them Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

"I can’t bear the thought that we should give up on our iconic Australian species and I can’t bear the thought that we somehow throw the towel in too soon," she said.

From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/03/australia-scientists-resign-living-dead.html

Posted on Monday, April 14th 2014

Fukushima Radiation; Marine biologists now telling me there’s been a change in radioactive material coming from Fukushima — More and more strontium being detected in samples, not just cesium — Is gov’t testing for it… is it in our food?

Journalist from Switzerland: I talked to some marine biologists a few days ago and they told me that in their samples they see a change in the mix of radionuclides. They’re saying proportionally there’s more and more strontium, not just cesium. The food checking here is purely on cesium, under the assumption there is very little else. But are the Japanese authorities actually measuring the right thing if they’re only focusing on Cesium. Is strontium also in our food? And I don’t know what else which is simply not measured?

From; http://enenews.com/swiss-journalist-marine-biologists-reporting-change-radioactive-material-coming-fukushima-strontium-being-detected-cesium-video

Fish testing at 124 times over radiation limit caught off Fukushima

Fish with deadly levels of radioactive cesium have been caught just off the coast of Fukushima prefecture, as scientists continue to assess the damage caused to the marine food chain by the 2011 nuclear disaster.

One of the samples of the 37 black sea bream specimens caught some 37 kilometers south of the crippled power plant tested at 12,400 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, making it 124 times deadlier than the threshold considered safe for human consumption, Japan’s Fisheries Research Agency announced. 

The samples were caught at the mouth of the Niidagawa river in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on November 17. Two other fish caught there also tested non-safe for human consumption, showing radiations levels of 426 and 197 becquerels per kilogram. The rest of the fish were reportedly within safety limits. 

Black sea bream are currently restricted from being fished in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures and sold for human consumption, as scientists from the Fisheries Research Agency say they plan to investigate the source of the contamination further. 

From; http://rt.com/news/fukushima-fish-cesium-radiation-548/

Posted on Sunday, April 13th 2014

Here Is An Accurate Graph Of Global Warming. Well All You Science Deniers Out There, The Graph Was Made In 1972. Thanks For Ignoring It & Wrecking The Planet.

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A remarkably accurate global warming prediction, made in 1972

John Stanley (J.S.) Sawyer was a British meteorologist born in 1916. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1962, and was also a Fellow of the Meteorological Society and the organization’s president from 1963 to 1965.

A paper [pdf] authored by Sawyer and published in the journalNature in 1972 reveals how much climate scientists knew about the fundamental workings of the global climate over 40 years ago. For example, Sawyer predicted how much average global surface temperatures would warm by the year 2000.

"The increase of 25% CO2 expected by the end of the century therefore corresponds to an increase of 0.6°C in the world temperature – an amount somewhat greater than the climatic variation of recent centuries."

Remarkably, between the years 1850 and 2000, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels did increase by very close to 25 percent, and global average surface temperatures also increased by just about 0.6°C during that time.

Sawyer also discussed several other important aspects of the Earth’s climate in his paper. For example, he addressed the myth and misunderstanding that as a trace gas in the atmosphere, it may seem natural to assume that rising levels of carbon dioxide don’t have much impact on the climate. Sawyer wrote,

"Nevertheless, there are certain minor constituents of the atmosphere which have a particularly significant effect in determining the world climate. They do this by their influence on the transmission of heat through the atmosphere by radiation. Carbon dioxide, water vapour and ozone all play such a role, and the quantities of these substances are not so much greater than the products of human endeavour that the possibilities of man-made influences may be dismissed out of hand."

Sawyer referenced work by Guy Callendar in the late 1930s and early 1940s, in which Callendar estimated that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had increased by about 10 percent over the prior 100 years (an impressively accurate measurement, as current estimates put the increase during that time at about 9 percent). Sawyer also referenced the Keeling Curve, which included continuous reliable measurements of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere beginning in 1958.

Compared to measurements of human carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, Sawyer noted that only about half of those human emissions were remaining in the atmosphere. The other half, climate scientists had concluded, were being absorbed by the oceans and the biosphere. Sawyer wrote,

"Industrial development has recently been proceeding at an increasing rate so that the output of man-made carbon dioxide has been increasing more or less exponentially. So long as the carbon dioxide output continues to increase exponentially, it is reasonable to assume that about the same proportion as at present (about half) will remain in the atmosphere and about the same amount will go into the other reservoirs."

Indeed, over the past four decades, human carbon dioxide emissions have continued to increase more or less exponentially, and about half has continued to remain in the atmosphere withthe other half accumulating in natural reservoirs. The carbon dioxide being absorbed by the oceans has contributed to the problem of ocean acidification, sometimes referred to as “global warming’s evil twin.”

From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/03/a-remarkably-accurate-global-warming.html

Posted on Saturday, April 12th 2014

Both Russia & China Want An End To USA Hegemony. American Blundering In Crimea Has Just Pushed The Two Communist (?) Superpowers Closer Together.

Following China’s unwillingness to vote against Russia at the UN and yesterday’s news thatChina will sue Ukraine for $3bn loan repayment, it seems Russia is returning the favor. Speaking at the Chinese Economic Development Forum, ITAR-TASS reports, the Chief Economist of Russia’s largest bank stated that "China’s Yuan may become the third reserve currency in the in the future."

Managing Director and Chief Economist of investment company Sberbank Yevgeny Gavrilenkov said at the 15th governmental Chinese economic development forum in the Chinese capital on Sunday (via ITAR-TASS):

China’s yuan (renminbi) may become a third reserve currency in the world in the future

"This forecast can be made on figures of domestic economic growth. Probably the country will keep high GDP growth rate and the GDP volume will increase to around 14-16 trillion U.S. dollars for a brief period of time, the indicators comparable to the European Union and the United States.

Meanwhile, Chinese securities are more attractive for the countries that have a surplus in economy, particularly the Middle East states; and China will obviously follow the path of securing the country’s assets,”

The forum which opened in the Chinese capital on March 22 discusses a broad range of issues of economic reforms and China’s stronger role as the second largest world economy. First Deputy Prime Minister of the Chinese State Council Zhang Gaoli, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde and top managers of major world corporations participate in the forum as honorary guests.

From; http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-mar-10-2014-enter-the-piper-stage-left/

Posted on Friday, April 11th 2014

Remember I Said That Russia & China Wanted To Destroy The Dollar World Currency. Well Here It Comes.

Wotfigo; Remember that if the USA loses the global currency then it will not be able to keep printing $85 billion a month & pass the costs of to the rest of the world. In other words, the USA collapses economically as a global superpower. (Mind you,it gets to keep all its nuclear bombs and military infrastructure).
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It’s On: Gazprom Prepares “Symbolic” Bond Issue In Chinese Yuan
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Curious what the fate of the petrodollar is? Look no farther than this Interfax update blasted moments ago by Bloomberg: “Gazprom Considers ‘Symbolic’ Yuan Bond Issue, Interfax Says.”

Bloomberg adds that the gas giant is considering proposals from potential organizers to market bonds in yuan, Interfax reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Gazprom unlikely be able to gain more than $300m due to mkt volume, newswire reports
No mandates, deal timeline yet
Issue may add new investors, become a “topical” public relations act amid tensions with U.S., EU
Well, yes. It’s called “symbolic” for a reason. More importantly, it is a symbol of what happens when one can “create” money de novo without the presence of the world’s increasingly defunct reserve currency, either secured by gas or by future cash flows, i.e., unsecured.

Confused? Read:

Petrodollar Alert: Putin Prepares To Announce “Holy Grail” Gas Deal With China
Russia And China About To Sign “Holy Grail” Gas Deal
40 Central Banks Are Betting This Will Be The Next Reserve Currency
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-10/gazprom-prepares-symbolic-bond-issue-chinese-yuan

Posted on Friday, April 11th 2014