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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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Ripping Out The Worlds Last Forests, Illegally. This From Mynmar (Burma).

Just how bad is the logging crisis in Myanmar? 72 percent of exports are illegal – ‘A ban is only as good as the enforcement that governs it’

 Just days before Myanmar, also known as Burma, implements a ban on exporting raw logs, the Environmental Investigative Agency (EIA) has released a new report that captures the sheer scale of the country’s illegal logging crisis. According to the EIA, new data shows that 72 percent of logs exported from Myanmar between 2000-2013 were illegally harvested.

"The forestry sector is in crisis [in Myanmar]. Logging is rampant, transparency non-existent. Drivers include consumers’ need for cheap raw materials in the form of logs and in particular Myanmar’s precious hardwoods," EIA Forest Campaign Leader, Faith Doherty, told mongabay.com, adding "this situation is acknowledged by the government and we hope that support for reform in the forestry sector from the international community becomes a reality."

Analyzing new figures released by Myanmar’s Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry and published by the country’s Eleven Media group, the EIA found that official export data accounted for only 28 percent of logs imported into other countries. This means, the rest—over three-fourths of the total—was likely illegally logged and exported. In all, 22.8 million cubic meters of logs were imported to various countries around the world from Myanmar during the period in question.

"Data of this kind has not been published before; lack of transparency remains a major concern in Myanmar and the country still does not report trade data to mainstream global bodies such as the United Nations," reads the EIA briefing Data Corruption: Exposing the True Scale of Logging in Myanmar.

Illegal logging is a global scourge, accounting for some 15-30 percent of deforestation in the tropics and worth an estimated $30-$100 billion in ill-gotten gains annually. Not only does the practice devastate forests, harm biodiversity, and emit carbon, but it also imperils forest communities and robs developing countries of revenue. In Myanmar’s case, the EIA estimates that the country lost out on $6 billion in revenue over the 14 year period, four times the country’s health and education budget during 2013-2014.

http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/03/just-how-bad-is-logging-crisis-in.html

Posted on Wednesday, April 23rd 2014

Overpopulation Killing The Planet: Over 9,000 primates killed each year for single bushmeat market in West Africa

wotfigo; “Bushmeat” means you’re actually eating an endangered primate species. But hey it’s a whole lot cheaper than farming cattle or goats. This is an absolute disgrace.

Over the past 25 years, West Africa’s primates have been put at risk due to an escalating bushmeat trade compounded with forest loss from expanding human populations. In fact, many endemic primates in the Upper Guinea forests of Liberia and Ivory Coast have been pushed to the verge of extinction. To better understand what’s happening, a recent study in mongabay.com’s open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science investigated the bushmeat exchange between these neighboring countries.

Ryan Covey with the University of Oregon and W. Scott McGraw with Ohio State University surveyed the Daobly market in the Ivorian town of Taï along the Cavally River, which serves as a natural border between Liberia and Ivory Coast. The slaughter of wild animals within Ivory Coast’s forests is outlawed, yet illegal hunting is still prevalent in the country’s Taï National Park despite the park’s status as a World Heritage Site and the presence of a long-term primate research project. The primate research stations provide some protection, as hunters largely avoid hunting in research areas. While law enforcement is currently inadequate for protecting the entire park, restrictions have pushed hunting pressure into neighboring Liberia, specifically the Konobo District of eastern Liberia.

Composing part of the West African Guinea Forest biodiversity hotspot, Konobo’s large intact forest is considered a high conservation priority and home to many endangered primate species including the Diana monkey (Cercopithecus diana), West African chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus), and western red colobus (Procolobus badius). Wild animals hunted in these forests are imported daily to the Daobly market, attracting customers from across the country including towns from as far away as 354 miles (570 km). The Daobly market—established in 1992—was created in part to alleviate hunting pressure in the Taï National Park, but has pushed hunting across the border. […]

The researchers counted a total of 723 animals including 264 primates that were traded to customers for restaurant or household consumption. The most common of the nine different primate species observed were the lesser spot-nosed monkey (Cercopithecus petaurista), categorized as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List, and the Diana monkey (Cercopithecus diana), considered Vulnerable. With this data, the researchers estimated that approximately 9,464 primates are sold at the Daobly market every year. […]

To understand how this booming bushmeat market may be impacting primates, the researchers estimated the total primate population in the Konobo forest. In all, they estimated that 342,891 primate individuals lived in the 1,460 square kilometer (563.71 square miles) forest area. According to the researchers, under optimal conditions an area that large would contain a primate population of roughly 428,600 individuals. However, with an annual decrease of over 9,000 primates due to the bushmeat trade in addition to an estimated 20 percent general population reduction over the last few decades, primates in the Konobo District are vanishing at a rate of nearly three percent every year.

From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/03/over-9000-primates-killed-each-year-for.html

Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd 2014

Drought Hit California Having Temperatures 9 to 12 Degrees F Above Normal. 
________________________________________
Four Bad Things We Learned About The Epic California Drought This Week
Those concerned about California’s record-breaking drought received four pieces of bad news this week.
First, the state’s drought conditions did not improve at all. For another week, an unprecedented 23.5 percent of California is experiencing the worst drought category -– exceptional drought. And nearly 69 percent of the state is still either under extreme or exceptional drought. And a remarkable 95 percent of the state is still suffering from severe drought or worse.
Second, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported a stunning loss of snowpack due to extreme warmth:
Another dry week over much of the western United States … and in California, temperatures were 9-12 degrees above normal. This was detrimental to the low snowpack as some areas of California lost half of the snow water equivalence (SWE) in a single week….
Third, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center predicted that the drought in California — and indeed in much of the Southwest — will either persist or worsen in the next three months:
Fourth, as Climate Progress reported Tuesday, a major new study found “a traceable anthropogenic warming footprint in the enormous intensity of the anomalous ridge [of high pressure] during winter 2013-14, the associated drought and its intensity.” If this result stands up, it suggests future California droughts will keep getting longer and stronger if we don’t reverse carbon pollution emissions trends ASAP.
The only bright spot in recent news is that we still appear headed towards an El Niño, which “may suggest wet conditions in California later this year.” Of course, an El Niño typically means dangerously extreme weather in other parts of the world — especially if it turns out to be a super El Niño as some forecast. Thanks to our greed and myopia, our children and future generations face an ever worsening plague of extreme weather events.
From; http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/19/3428687/four-bad-things-california-drought/

Drought Hit California Having Temperatures 9 to 12 Degrees F Above Normal.
________________________________________
Four Bad Things We Learned About The Epic California Drought This Week
Those concerned about California’s record-breaking drought received four pieces of bad news this week.
First, the state’s drought conditions did not improve at all. For another week, an unprecedented 23.5 percent of California is experiencing the worst drought category -– exceptional drought. And nearly 69 percent of the state is still either under extreme or exceptional drought. And a remarkable 95 percent of the state is still suffering from severe drought or worse.
Second, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported a stunning loss of snowpack due to extreme warmth:
Another dry week over much of the western United States … and in California, temperatures were 9-12 degrees above normal. This was detrimental to the low snowpack as some areas of California lost half of the snow water equivalence (SWE) in a single week….
Third, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center predicted that the drought in California — and indeed in much of the Southwest — will either persist or worsen in the next three months:
Fourth, as Climate Progress reported Tuesday, a major new study found “a traceable anthropogenic warming footprint in the enormous intensity of the anomalous ridge [of high pressure] during winter 2013-14, the associated drought and its intensity.” If this result stands up, it suggests future California droughts will keep getting longer and stronger if we don’t reverse carbon pollution emissions trends ASAP.
The only bright spot in recent news is that we still appear headed towards an El Niño, which “may suggest wet conditions in California later this year.” Of course, an El Niño typically means dangerously extreme weather in other parts of the world — especially if it turns out to be a super El Niño as some forecast. Thanks to our greed and myopia, our children and future generations face an ever worsening plague of extreme weather events.
From; http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/19/3428687/four-bad-things-california-drought/

Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd 2014

The USA Wants To Export Oil & Natural Gas. Oh, That’s A Joke. There’s No Net Oil Or Gas To Export.

wotfigo; Remember that USA Domestic Oil Production Peaked in 1970. 

Congress is holding hearings this week on the possible lifting of a US oil export ban instituted in the 1970s to promote national energy self-sufficiency and has invited a number of “experts” with dubious ties to the oil and gas industry to explain to them why it’s such a good idea. Following Russia’s near-annexation of Crimea, American politicians are intent on undercutting Russian president Vladimir Putin’s greatest geopolitical asset—his country’s oil and natural gas exports. If the US could supply Europe with large amounts of fuel, that would reduce the Continent’s dependency on Russia while depriving Putin of needed revenues.

Lawmakers from both parties are also using the hearings to urge the Obama administration to speed up natural gas exports as a hedge against the threat of a conceivable Russian cutoff of gas supplies to Ukraine and other countries. Four Central European nations—Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic—have already made formal requests for US exports.
 
There’s just one tiny problem with all these fervent desires and good intentions. On a net basis, the US has no oil or gas to export.
 
Sure, our nation produces a lot of these fuels, and the amounts have been growing in recent years. But the United States remains a net importer of both oil and natural gas. Let me repeat and emphasize that: the United States remains a net importer of both oil and natural gas.
 
In 2013, the US produced about 7.5 million barrels of crude oil per day, but imported just about as much. While the nation’s rate of domestic production is currently surging, it will likely top out at about 1.5 mb/d above current rates and then start to decline. The likely speed of the decline is a matter of some controversy: the Energy Information Administration forecasts a long plateau and slow taper, while our in-house analysis at Post Carbon Institute indicates a sharper drop-off. Either way, it is extremely unlikely that America will ever again be a net exporter of oil.
 
Last year the United States produced 24.28 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, an all-time record amount. However, we still imported 2.5 tcf of gas (11 percent of total consumption). The trend in US gas production rates has leveled off and (according to our in-house analysis) is likely to begin declining in just the next few years, just about the time new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals will be ready for business.
To be sure, extraordinary claims have been made for America’s oil and gas potential, now that the industry has unleashed fracking and horizontal drilling technologies on shale formations in Texas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. But, as I argued in my book Snake Oil: How Fracking’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Futurethose claims are wildly overblown. A far more accurate assessment of the industry’s prospects comes from its own premiere publication, Oil & Gas Journal, whichreports asset write-downs approaching $35 billion among 15 of the main shale operators. The Journal cites “… recent analysis by Energy Aspects, a commodity research consultancy, showing 6 years of progressively worsening financial performance by 35 independent companies focused on shale gas and tight oil plays in the US.” This worsening financial performance comes despite production growth and a general shift of drilling activity away from dry gas and toward higher-profit liquids (crude and NGLs) since 2010.
 
Oil & Gas Journal cites analysis by Ivan Sandrea, an OIES research associate and senior partner of Ernst & Young London, suggesting that, “Unless financial performances improve, capital markets won’t support the continuous drilling needed to sustain production from unconventional resource plays.” Sandrea forecasts that “Parts of the industry will have to restructure and focus more rapidly on the most commercially sustainable areas of the plays, perhaps about 40% of the current acreage and resource estimates… .”
 
So, just what are we supposed to export?
 
In fact, talk of oil and gas exports is being driven not by excess production capacity or geopolitical acumen, but rather by old-fashioned profit seeking
From; http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-03-27/export-stupidity

Posted on Monday, April 21st 2014

Resource Depletion: As World Oil Reserves Dwindle, Global Economic Chaos Gets Closer.

Ex govt adviser: “global market shock” from “oil crash” could hit in 2015

A former oil man calls for renewable “Renaissance” to ward off shale dystopia

In a new book, former oil geologist and government adviser on renewable energy, Dr. Jeremy Leggett, identifies five “global systemic risks directly connected to energy” which, he says, together “threaten capital markets and hence the global economy” in a way that could trigger a global crash sometime between 2015 and 2020.

According to Leggett, a wide range of experts and insiders “from diverse sectors spanning academia, industry, the military and the oil industry itself, including until recently the International Energy Agency or, at least, key individuals or factions therein” are expecting an oil crunch “within a few years,” most likely “within a window from 2015 to 2020.”

Interconnected risks

Despite its serious tone, The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance, published by the reputable academic publisherRoutledge, makes a compelling and ultimately hopeful case for the prospects of transitioning to a clean energy system in tandem with a new form of sustainable prosperity.

The five risks he highlights cut across oil depletion, carbon emissions, carbon assets, shale gas, and the financial sector:

"A market shock involving any one these would be capable of triggering a tsunami of economic and social problems, and, of course, there is no law of economics that says only one can hit at one time."

At the heart of these risks, Leggett argues, is our dependence on increasingly expensive fossil fuel resources. His wide-ranging analysis pinpoints the possibility of a global oil supply crunch as early as 2015. “Growing numbers of people in and around the oil industry”, he says, privately consider such a forecast to be plausible. “If we are correct, and nothing is done to soften the landing, the twenty-first century is almost certainly heading for an early depression.”

Leggett also highlights the risk of parallel developments in the financial sector:

"Growing numbers of financial experts are warning that failure to rein in the financial sector in the aftermath of the financial crash of 2008 makes a second crash almost inevitable."

A frequent Guardian contributor, Leggett has had a varied career spanning multiple disciplines. A geologist and former oil industry consultant for over a decade whose research on shale was funded by BP and Shell, he joined Greenpeace International in 1989 over concerns about climate change. As the organisation’s science director he edited alandmark climate change report published by Oxford University Press.

Industry’s bad bet

Leggett points to an expanding body of evidence that what he calls “the incumbency” - “most of the oil and gas industries, their financiers, and their supporters and defenders in public service” - have deliberately exaggerated the quantity of fossil fuel reserves, and the industry’s capacity to exploit them. He points to a leaked email from Shell’s head of exploration to the CEO, Phil Watts, dated November 2003:

"I am becoming sick and tired of lying about the extent of our reserves issues and the downward revisions that need to be done because of far too aggressive/ optimistic bookings."

Leggett reports that after admitting that Shell’s reserves had been overstated by 20%, Watts still had to “revise them down a further three times.” The company is still reeling from the apparent failure of investments in the US shale gas boom. Last October the Financial Timesreported that despite having invested “at least $24bn in so-called unconventional oil and gas in North America”, so far the bet “has yet to pay off.” With its upstream business struggling “to turn a profit”, Shell announced a “strategic review of its US shale portfolio after taking a $2.1bn impairment.” Shell’s outgoing CEO Peter Voser admitted that the US shale bet was a big regret: “Unconventionals did not exactly play out as planned.”

Leggett thus remains highly sceptical that shale oil and gas will change the game. Despite “soaring drilling rates,” US tight oil production has lifted “only around a million barrels a day.” As global oil consumption is at around 90 milion barrels a day, with conventional crude depleting “by over four million barrels a day of capacity each year” according to International Energy Agency (IEA) data, tight oil additions “can hardly be material in the global picture.” He reaches a similar verdict for shale gas, which he notes “contributes well under 1% of US transport fuel.”

Even as Prime Minister David Cameron has just reiterated the government’s commitment to prioritise shale, Leggett says:

"Shale-gas drilling has dropped off a cliff since 2009. It is only a matter of time now before US shale-gas production falls. This is not material to the timing of a global oil crisis."

In an interview, he goes further, questioning the very existence of a real North American ‘boom’: “How it can be that there is a prolonged and sustainable shale boom when so much investment is being written off in America - $32 billion at the last count?”

It is a question that our government, says Leggett, is ignoring.

From; http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/28/global-market-shock-oil-crash-2015-peak

Posted on Sunday, April 20th 2014

Thanks to the Chinese Herbal bullshit medicine industry. 
_____________________________________
wotfigo; 
The future that I see is very very scary.
Humans will leave the Planet looking like a dead carcase that has been picked over by a plague of rats & cockroaches. And rhinocerosses without faces, orangutans without trees, horses with broken limbs, & polar bears without ice will be just so much collateral damage. So we must take a moral, social & environmental stand. Useless as it may be. 
That’s why I write my blog ” Entropy Wins”.
Get out of your shopping mall & wake up. 
Thank you to my followers. You are aware!

Thanks to the Chinese Herbal bullshit medicine industry.
_____________________________________
wotfigo;
The future that I see is very very scary.
Humans will leave the Planet looking like a dead carcase that has been picked over by a plague of rats & cockroaches. And rhinocerosses without faces, orangutans without trees, horses with broken limbs, & polar bears without ice will be just so much collateral damage. So we must take a moral, social & environmental stand. Useless as it may be.
That’s why I write my blog ” Entropy Wins”.
Get out of your shopping mall & wake up.
Thank you to my followers. You are aware!

Posted on Saturday, April 19th 2014

IPCC Report: Climate Change Being Felt All Around The World Right Now. And We Still Keep Increasing Burning Fossil Fuels.

image

IPCC report: climate change felt ‘on all continents and across the oceans’

Leaked text of blockbuster report says changes in climate have already caused impacts on natural and human systems

Climate change has already left its mark “on all continents and across the oceans”, damaging food crops, spreading disease, and meltingglaciers, according to the leaked text of a blockbuster UN climate science report due out on Monday.

Government officials and scientists are gathered in Yokohama this week to wrangle over every line of a summary of the report before the final wording is released on Monday – the first update in seven years.

Nearly 500 people must sign off on the exact wording of the summary, including the 66 expert authors, 271 officials from 115 countries, and 57 observers.

But governments have already signed off on the critical finding that climate change is already having an effect, and that even a small amount of warming in the future could lead to “abrupt and irreversible changes”, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

"In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans," the final report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will say.

Some parts of the world could soon be at a tipping point. For others, that tipping point has already arrived. “Both warm water coral reef and Arctic ecosystems are already experiencing irreversible regime shifts,” the approved version of the report will say.

This will be the second of three reports on the causes, consequences of and solutions to climate change, drawing on researchers from around the world.

The first report, released last September in Stockholm, found humans were the “dominant cause” of climate change, and warned that much of the world’s fossil fuel reserves would have to stay in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change.

This report will, for the first time, look at the effects of climate change as a series of risks – with those risks multiplying as temperatures warm.

From; http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/28/ipcc-report-climate-change-report-human-natural-systems

Posted on Saturday, April 19th 2014

Energy Wars: The World Is Running Out Of Energy: Ukraine Crisis Highlights Ugly Global Energy Truths

Anyone who thinks the crisis now unsettling Ukraine is purely about a people’s quest for democracy and “the madness” of Vladimir Putin would be mistaken.

Ukraine, a semi-failed state due to energy debt and corruption, merely illustrates the new energy politics now unsettling governments from the United States to Crimea. It represents our collective global future, should governments and citizens continue to ignore energy flows and budgets.

The story should be familiar to most North Americans. In U.S. political lingo, Ukraine is a blue state dependent on energy imports from Russia, the powerful red state next door. They share a tense master-slave relationship.

The West, including the fantastically indebted G7 club, thinks it has some moral authority in this dispute, but has its own shackles to worry about. It doesn’t export much energy these days, and it is singing the economic stagnation blues because cheap energy is disappearing.

Moreover, Western leaders ignore the realities of a shrinking global economy that can’t grow on high-cost energy.

Russia, a true petro state, sits on one-fifth of the world’s natural gas supply. About one-third of the natural gas burnt in Europe comes from Russia via Ukraine, which once housed the Russian capital centuries ago. In addition, Russia almost exports as much oil as Saudi Arabia.

Not surprisingly, Putin gets his political mojo from oil and gas revenues just as Margaret Thatcher once secured her power base on proceeds from the North Sea. Nearly 50 per cent of Russia’s total budget depends on the sale of hydrocarbons.

Oil and gas production monopolize export revenues, and Russian GDP dances with oil production. Gazprom, Russia’s gas monopoly, is as big as ExxonMobil. Only petrodollars could have fuelled the wasteful Olympic spending at Sochi.

Putin knows energy collapse

Let’s be clear about this: Russia is a major energy exporter and global power. It plays the same role in Europe and the former Soviet Union that Texas, Wyoming and Alaska perform in North America: they, too, are red states with volatile and extreme politics.

Putin and U.S. Republicans share a common reality: they derive their power from energy revenues, and their retain their support by distributing petrodollars to their friends and allies.

Unlike the U.S. media, or Canadian politicians for that matter, Putin also knows what an energy collapse looks like. The Soviet Union experienced one in the late 1980s due to an internal oil crisis and rising oil prices.

It then suffered what Putin calls “the largest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” Stagflation, unemployment and gangsters walked over the corpse of the U.S.S.R., which, much like the U.S., spent its energy reserves badly on big armies, big space dreams and big, unsustainable unions.

So Putin, a master chessman, understands the critical importance of strategic energy flows. With just a few turns of a Gazprom valve, much of Europe freezes.

Ever since winning independence in 1991, Ukraine has been a poor blue state and energy slave. (And for much of its history, Ukraine has written one bloody political opera after another in eastern Europe: imagine a Guatemala with wheat and Cossacks.)

Half of Ukraine’s gas comes from Russia, and at one time the heavily industrialized Ukraine was Gazprom’s biggest and most prized customer. Ukrainians primarily use the gas to power electrical generation and heat apartment buildings.

Gas corrodes political systems

Over the last decade, Ukrainian and Russian politics have been dominated by gas wars. Whenever Ukraine has leaned too far to the West, Russia has pulled the nation back with an assortment of energy carrots and sticks. When Russia threatened to turn off the gas in 2006, Ukraine threatened to shut down the gas transit system.

The energy wars in 2006 and 2009 didn’t change Ukraine’s dependency, because too many middlemen make huge profits off the gas business with ritualized corruption. About one out of five cubic feet of gas passing through Ukraine goes to profiteers and Ukraine’s elites. (Russia has almost completed a gas pipeline system that goes around Ukraine.)

In addition, the Ukrainian government subsidizes gas consumption in the country to keep a lid on political volatility. These subsidies, in turn, have generated a massive debt load. Ukraine, whose economy resembles many of Europe’s basket cases, owes Gazprom more than $2 billion.

The International Monetary Fund recently described Ukraine’s corrupt energy sector as wildly “inefficient and opaque” where “overall energy subsidies in Ukraine reached about 7.5 per cent of GDP in 2012. The very low tariffs for residential gas and district heating cover only a fraction of economic costs and encourage one of the highest energy consumption levels in Europe.”

But in some respects Ukraine’s energy woes aren’t much different than those of the U.S., which has no energy policy other than fracking its landscapes with pornographic gusto. Two U.S. academics summed up Ukraine this way in 2009, but they could have been describing Canada, Mexico or England:

"The needs of the nation, for today and tomorrow, are consistently overridden by short-term political expediency and personal gain, creating a corrosive effect on the entire political system, as it contributes to a broad loss of faith in the political process among the Ukrainian public."

Because a few oligarchs can make a lot of money on the honeypot of fossil fuels, renewables remain less than one per cent of Ukraine’s energy make-up.

From; http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-03-27/ukraine-crisis-highlights-ugly-global-energy-truths

Posted on Friday, April 18th 2014

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