Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

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Links December 2019

December 23, 2019

The monthly collection of links to articles on the internet is published in order to keep the blog alive, to create a framework of topics and themes, and to give an idea how everything is interconnected and how the big picture looks after all puzzle pieces are inserted into their proper place.

Other blogs make the same, for instance:
https://dgrnewsservice.org/civilization/ecocide/agriculture/civilization-on-the-march/ 

The problem is, that most of the newsworthy articles are about ecological collapse, poisoning of the biosphere, wars insanity, unraveling of social structures, the coldness of a society based on rivalry, callousness, egoism, and greed.

It is a relentless stream of horror, a deluge of terrifying news, a hail of blows, more blows, and even more blows. Who can bear that, endure, stand tall stoically, and remain unscathed?

If you flee the anti-establishment websites and independent (rogue) blogs to seek solace in mainstream mass media and social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), you will be disappointed. The parallel mainstream media universe presents a slightly more friendly and comforting, but clearly filtered and distorted reality. You know that reports are filtered and distorted and that most are deception, propaganda, lies, because stories change from one day to the next, and they are full of inconsistencies, contradictions, implausibilities, and obvious nonsense.

(If you recognize that stories change from day to day, you are already an advanced media consumer, because most folks are too confused and overwhelmed to even remember yesterdays storyline.)

So you compare your personal life with the conflicting media narratives to find possible correlations.

Are you a spoiled brat who regards inherited wealth and privilege as god-given and who feels entitled to pillage nature and exploit or abuse your fellow humans? Mass media narratives will be probably fine for you. How come that you are even here? This blog is already blacklisted, there’s no need to check again!

Or do you feel discriminated, exploited, fooled, pushed aside? Do you live in debt peonage, in dire poverty, in squalid conditions? Are you forced to join a rat race which you never will be able to win because the deck is absolutely stacked against you?

Do you realize that the rat race parkour is rather a treadmill and that you cannot simply quit?

Do you ask yourself: Why is everyone around me so miserable, aggressive, rude?
(A rhetorical question which can be easily answered).
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12/22/why-everything-is-fucked/ 

There are of course also “feel good” articles and pieces about harmony, wisdom, peace, love, inner strength, and happiness. Some are distraction, appeasement, advertising, marketing — one has to select carefully.

In future the genuinely well meaning articles will be collected and presented in an additional category titled: “Against all odds:”

It was a wonderful idea to brighten the darkest days of the year (in the northern hemisphere) with the festive celebration of Christmas. “We wish you a Merry Christmas,” what else needs to be said if one really means it? We all come together, have a good time, feeling safe, at home, respected and supported.

Christmas has various origins, but the main one is the birth of Jesus in a stable, in the most modest of circumstances, yet despite that giving hope of a better world, heralding a new age, showing that even in the darkest hours the seeds of peace and love are preparing to sprout.

So call, invite or join your fellow living beings, your mate, your relatives, acquaintances, colleagues, and everyone else who may yearn for company. If it is appropriate and wanted hug, kiss, cuddle, feel the warmth and softness of life.

To give small gifts as a sign of appreciation can also not be wrong. They should just be a memento, nothing expensive, nothing bought in a Christmas shopping spree. Something knitted, painted, or carved in the dark evenings of late autumn could be suitable.

If you are alone it’s probably your choice, but if you suffer from being alone there is an easy and sensible solution: Visit the next animal shelter and take home one of the cats who are waiting there for a human friend and a new home. It will give your life a new meaning and you will never regret it. If you are unsure about how to proceed please read this blog post:
https://mato48.com/2018/12/20/do-you-need-a-friend/ 

Feline news:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-50675051
http://hatchingcatnyc.com/2019/11/21/bank-cat-grand-street/ Don’t miss that, it is a really funny story.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50496781
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ne8a9k/rare-individuals-are-amazing-at-reading-cats-expressions-are-you-one-of-them
https://www.thedodo.com/close-to-home/cat-terrified-of-tangerines
http://hatchingcatnyc.com/2019/12/19/angora-cats-wanamakers/ 

Environmental news:

Global consumption of coal declined this year, but a surge in oil and gas pushed up Carbon dioxide emissions over all. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry rose an estimated 0.6 percent this year, according to the Global Carbon Project. Emissions have risen for three consecutive years and there is no sign of a turnaround and no chance to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

About “green” electric vehicles: On the island of Sulawesi, home to vibrant hornbills, miniature water buffalo, tusked deer-pigs and other species found nowhere else, demand for nickel to supply electric-care batteries has brought worries of environment catastrophe. Recent studies have shown that nickel content in the sea around Sulawesi is 20 times the government’s limit.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/25/are-electric-vehicles-really-so-climate-friendly 

In a bleak report, the UN says that drastic action is the only way to avoid worst effects of climate change.

The report warns that the world has squandered so much time mustering the action necessary to combat climate change that global temperatures are on pace to rise as much as 3.9 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Just a few hours after being named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed world leaders at the UN climate action summit with these words: “The real danger is when politicians and CEOs are making it look like real action is happening when in fact almost nothing is being done apart from clever accounting and creative PR.”

https://truthout.org/articles/polluting-companies-are-sponsoring-cop25-talks-in-exchange-for-tax-breaks/
https://thewire.in/environment/chaos-at-un-climate-conference-as-governments-refuse-to-act
https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2019/11/19/Renewables-Alone-Will-Not-End-Climate-Crisis/ Right! We need to radically reduce energy consumption. In-depth analysis with a lot of examples and numbers.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-water-trfn/local-water-scarcity-spilling-over-into-global-crisis-researchers-warn-idUSKBN1XS2KZ Water scarcity will become a global crisis. Water access is hugely unequal, with US residents using 700 to 900 liters a day, Europeans about 200 liters, and many of the world’s poorest just 10 to 15 liters.
https://meta.eeb.org/2019/11/21/chemical-pollution-is-real-serious-and-growing-but-we-can-overcome-it-heres-how/ The European Union has the strongest chemical safety laws in the world, unfortunately they are not enforced.
https://grist.org/article/dark-waters-tells-the-origin-story-of-a-public-health-nightmare-were-still-living-it/
https://www.dw.com/en/japan-environmentalists-say-fukushima-water-too-radioactive-to-release/a-51331676 The storage tanks are full and the ocean is deep.
https://news.mongabay.com/2019/12/a-crisis-situation-extinctions-loom-as-forests-are-erased-in-mozambique/
https://theintercept.com/2019/11/25/amazon-bolsonaro-dorothy-stang-brazil/
https://www.localfutures.org/dammed-good-questions-about-the-green-new-deal/ About hydroelectric dams.
https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/12/article/mekong-river-dying-a-slow-but-certain-death/ What is more important, electricity or food?
https://www.wired.com/story/china-is-still-building-an-insane-number-of-new-coal-plants/#
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50677161 Polar bears invade a Russian village.
https://truthout.org/articles/factory-farm-conditions-are-unhealthy-for-animals-and-bad-for-people-too
https://www.ehn.org/how-climate-change-affects-mental-health-2641458829.html
https://www.npr.org/2019/12/04/784702588/the-best-thing-you-can-do-is-not-buy-more-stuff-says-secondhand-expert
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2226093-recordings-reveal-that-plants-make-ultrasonic-squeals-when-stressed/ Plants make sounds, when stressed. Wouldn’t that imply, that they suffer just like us when they are hurt?
https://truthout.org/articles/the-climate-emergency-has-already-begun-as-earth-systems-collapse/
https://e360.yale.edu/features/the-plastics-pipeline-a-surge-of-new-production-is-on-the-way
https://theintercept.com/2019/12/19/pfas-chemicals-europe-phase-out/ Phasing out PFAS compounds by 2030. Why not now?
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/19/denka-lobbied-likely-cancer-causing-toxin-undermine-science
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/18/us-top-10-countries-pollution-related-deaths-study
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/17/rainwater-pfas-us-potentially-toxic-levels-study Rainwater in parts of the USA contains high enough levels of PFAS (forever chemicals) to possibly affect human health.
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/12/soil-science-climate-change-property.html 

Economic news:

Internationally, the richest 10 percent have 47 percent of the wealth and, according to Oxfam, the 26 richest billionaires own as much as 3.8 billion people in the poorest half of the world’s population.

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/11/article/asias-hidden-economy-masks-hard-realities/
https://tomluongo.me/2019/11/25/stay-strong-go-long-bulletproof-russia-becomes-contrarian-haven/
https://evonomics.com/who-cooked-adam-smiths-dinner/ A very powerful text, please read!
https://www.rt.com/business/420349-five-most-evil-companies/
https://truthout.org/articles/unmasking-the-secret-landlords-buying-up-us-properties/
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2019-12-10/chained-globalization 

Media and technology news:

https://www.rt.com/usa/473679-epstein-abc-coverage-mccarthy/
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/11/fleeing-the-hellscape-of-google-search-with-qwant.html
https://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-privatized-internet-org-domain.html This acquisition caused quite a stir and there a dozens of articles about it. Here a few more inks:
https://act.eff.org/action/help-stop-the-sale-of-public-interest-registry-to-a-private-equity-firm
https://blogs.harvard.edu/sj/2019/11/23/a-tale-of-icann-and-regulatory-capture-the-dot-org-heist/
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/11/29/isoc_ceo_dot_org_sale/
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/backlash-grows-against-sale-of-domain-names-company-2019-11-28
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3041268/chinese-scientists-raise-alarm-about-lcd-screen-pollution
https://www.medialens.org/2019/reopening-auschwitz-the-conspiracy-to-stop-corbyn/
It is scary how well-coordinated, comprehensive, and hateful smear-campaigns against unwanted persons have become. Putin, Assad, Maduro, Morales, and at the end of a long list now Jeremy Corbin. The only possible strategy: Exposing contradictions, inconsistencies, and improbabilities in the media fairytales; disputing the integrity and impartiality of mainstream media at every step; exposing the constant lying; revealing bias, fundamental corruption, and immorality of mainstream media workers. We have to tarnish their reputation, we have to saw doubt, we have to persistently and relentlessly fight them.
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/12/questioning-innovation.html
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/05/dont-look-dont-see-time-for-honest-media-reporting-on-impacts-of-pesticides/
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12/06/fake-news-by-omission%E2%80%8A-%E2%80%8Athe-mass-medias-cowardly-distortion-tool/
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/12/daphne-caruana-galizia-malta/602923/
https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/galizia-murder-investigation-shows-deep-corruption-in-malta-a-1300088.html#ref=nl-international
https://fair.org/home/with-people-in-the-streets-worldwide-media-focus-uniquely-on-hong-kong/
https://fair.org/home/how-the-global-norths-left-media-helped-pave-the-way-for-bolivias-right-wing-coup/
https://fair.org/home/getting-away-with-murder-clash-as-media-euphemism-for-massacre/ 

Imperial news:

An international exam shows that American 15-year-olds are stagnant in reading and math even though the country has spent billions to close gaps with the rest of the world. The US Education Reform is apparently not working.

Death rates from suicide, drug overdoses, liver disease and dozens of other causes have been rising over the past decade for young and middle-aged adults, driving down overall life expectancy in the United States for three consecutive years, according to a strikingly bleak study that looked at the past six decades of mortality data.

Two million US-citizens, mainly in Native American households, still don’t have running water.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/hud-estimates-2-7-percent-rise-u-s-homelessness-due-n1106061 An estimated 567,715 US inhabitants are living without shelter.
https://dgrnewsservice.org/civilization/ecocide/agriculture/rights-for-lake-erie-why-corporate-rights-and-preemption-must-go/ The US legal system gives corporations all rights and nature no chance.
https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/11/26/us-life-expectancy-downward-spiral-study/4303700002/
http://thesaker.is/the-oligarch-takeover-of-us-pharma-and-healthcare-and-the-resulting-human-crisis/ The worlds most expansive healthcare system yields dismal results.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27112019/fossil-fuel-air-pollution-hospital-increase-underlying-kidney-skin-blood-illness This is one of the many examples where concerns for the health of big companies clearly trump concerns for the health of the broad population.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/06/global-poison-spring/
https://ohiovalleyresource.org/2019/11/18/ohio-valley-residents-among-millions-in-america-lacking-access-to-clean-water-sanitation/ The numbers will grow as more and more water sources get contaminated by man-made chemicals.
https://www.mintpressnews.com/genesis-jeffrey-epstein-bill-clinton-relationship/261455/
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/10/17/jeffrey-epstein-again-disappears-from-view-but-what-about-mossad/
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/puerto-rico-water_n_5dd2e6e9e4b0d2e79f917f43
https://www.globalresearch.ca/harassment-surveillance-intimidation-how-americas-police-state-deals-with-dissent-and-political-activism/5695867
https://truthout.org/articles/50-years-ago-today-police-murdered-fred-hampton-his-activism-lives-on/
https://www.globalresearch.ca/how-us-american-exceptionalism-fake-history-hides-shame-creates-stupidity-dangerous-imperialism/5698387 

Imperial conquest news:

https://www.rt.com/usa/475255-pensacola-manifesto-shooter-crimes/ I’m not against you for just being American, I don’t hate you because your freedoms,” the manifesto of Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani begins. “I hate you because every day you support funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity.”

3,804 Afghan civilians were killed 2018 during military actions. US airstrikes killed 579 civilians in the first 10 months this year, a third more than in 2018. According to UNICEF, 631 children were killed and another 1,830 wounded in military attacks in just the first nine months of this year. This marked an 11 percent increase over 2018.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/11/the-coup-in-bolivia-has-everything-to-do-with-the-screen-youre-using-to-read-this.html
https://fair.org/home/unpacking-media-propaganda-about-bolivias-election/
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/11/21/boli-n21.html Protesters are shot dead every day, but mainstream mass media has moved on and ended reporting about Bolivia.
https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/making-sense-of-bolivias-discontent/
https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-government-propelled-coup-bolivia/5695837
https://truthout.org/articles/bolivias-interim-government-moves-to-roll-back-moraless-21st-century-socialism
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/27/bolivian-police-gas-funeral-march-in-latest-crack-down/
https://themilitant.com/2019/11/29/bolivia-protests-falter-after-deal-with-interim-govt/ The MAS will deeply regret this agreement.
https://www.ehn.org/is-the-toxic-legacy-of-the-iraq-war-deforming-children-near-us-bases-2640288680.html
https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/11/27/syria-civilians-abused-safe-zones
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-syria-safe-zone-ethnic-cleansing-death-toll-sna-a9225896.html
https://www.globalresearch.ca/path-war-middle-east-heats-up-while-viewers-watch-impeachment/5696163
https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-is-tulsi-the-only-democrat-who-cares-about-our-wars/ Must read.
https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/01/us-working-lebanon-corruption-protests-hezbollah/ Regime change all over the world.
https://mideastshuffle.com/2019/12/02/iran-protests-why-western-media-got-it-wrong-again/
http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176635/ US exceptionalism is killing the planet.
https://thegrayzone.com/2019/11/27/operation-condor-2-coup-trump-nicaragua-mexico/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/06/authorizations-for-madness-the-effects-and-consequences-of-congress-endless-permissions-for-war/
https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/12/article/us-leads-rising-global-arms-sales/
https://truthout.org/articles/how-war-targets-the-young/ 

Armageddon news:

https://news.mongabay.com/2019/12/the-tipping-point-is-here-it-is-now-top-amazon-scientists-warn/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/19/biosphere-collapse/
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/29/countries-from-siberia-to-australia-are-burning-the-age-of-fire-is-the-bleakest-warning-yet A desperate appeal for sanity and conscientiousness.
https://grist.org/justice/wildfires-are-getting-worse-and-so-is-the-deadly-smoke-they-bring-with-them/
https://www.vice.com/en_in/article/8xwygg/the-collapse-of-civilization-may-have-already-begun
https://www.tandfonline.co m/doi/full/10.1080/00963402.2019.1680047
https://e360.yale.edu/features/the-new-climate-math-the-numbers-keep-getting-more-frightening
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0
https://www.wired.com/story/climate-tipping-point/
https://truthout.org/articles/new-report-on-ocean-oxygen-loss-gives-ultimate-wake-up-call-to-act-on-climate
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/02122019/cop25-climate-change-summit-spain-laggard-countries-united-states-china
https://climatenewsnetwork.net/our-children-await-a-radioactive-legacy/
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/07/from-disbelief-to-dread-the-dismal-new-routine-of-life-in-sydneys-smoke-haze Will Australia become uninhabitable?
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/07/bush-d07.html This is a catastrophe. The smoke will make people sick and cause longterm public health degradation. The fires will wipe out Australias unique fauna (Koalas, Kangaroos, Echidnas, Barking Owls, Tawny Frogmouths, Wallabies, etc.) and cause ecosystem collapse beyond repair. Koalas have already been declared “functionally extinct” after the bushfires destroyed 80 percent of their already diminished habitat.
Only desert will remain and 25 million Australians will maybe have to find a new home elsewhere.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/07/australia-fires-blazes-too-big-to-put-out-as-140-bushfires-rage-in-nsw-and-queensland
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50722650
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/11/fire-d11.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-50862349
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/20/fire-d20.html
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/18/too-hot-for-humans-first-nations-people-fear-becoming-australias-first-climate-refugees
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/23/haze-d23.html 

Uncategorized news:

https://www.fastcompany.com/3064539/self-driving-mercedes-will-be-programmed-to-sacrifice-pedestrians-to-save-the-driver
https://caravanmagazine.in/politics/rise-and-rise-of-hindu-nation
https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/economics/article/3038987/tax-terrorism-indias-slowing-economy-takes-deadly-turn-modis
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/european-forces-to-advise-carabineros-in-public-order-issues-20191125-0013.html
https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/transformation/where-civil-society-when-you-need-it/
https://www.globalresearch.ca/history-of-chinese-inventions-the-present-and-the-future-recent-chinese-state-of-the-art-innovations/5692922
https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/12/article/china-outperforms-west-in-key-education-survey/ 

News from cat land:

The cats were deeply worried and disturbed when their human friend (the author of this blog) disappeared for three days. It was not a matter of food insecurity because a young woman came regularely to wash the food cups, fill them up again, and refill the water bowls.

In some of the family members the disappearance certainly evoked dark memories of sudden, unexpected changes, of heartless abandonment, of broken vows and betrayal. 

Linda was especially hard struck, because as a tiny little kitten she was just thrown out of the car in the middle of the forest to be fortunately found a few days later hungry and injured. Gandhi Jr., who grew up here and never had contact with any other human than me and once a year the veterinarian, also didn’t take it lightly. (When friends are visiting, Gandhi Jr. disappears and only comes out of his hiding place when my friends have left again).

The young woman, a law student in her last year, made everything perfect and she probably would have been accepted as a human friend in case of a longer absence, but it would have nevertheless been only a temporary solution because after finishing her studies she will have to move to a city, there are no job offers for lawyers here in the wilderness.

My disappearance was caused by an acute iron deficiency anemia, which made a stationary hospital treatment necessary. The treatment included a comprehensive health check (with gastroscopy, colonoscopy, ultrasound), blood transfusions, and iron infusions.

The medical stuff was very friendly and competent — I hope, that the healthcare system here will never be privatized, or at least not in my lifetime. Doctors and nurses were from all corners of the world, from Eastern Europe, the Philippines, Thailand, the Caribic, the USA, etc. This is called “brain drain” and it gives a clear advantage to affluent and peaceful nations who can recruit talented people from all over the world.

I will have to change my until now vegetarian diet, a change which could cause a myriad of problems. I bought cast iron pots and bowls and reactivated contacts to organic farmers who raise animals. Eating dead animals — a terrible thought, but lentils and kale alone will not solve the nutritional problem.

White Christmas is a distant memory — there was no snow at Christmas for many years. Temperatures are still around 7 degrees Celsius and it drizzles.

The cats have calmed down again. Linda was hiding for two days in her basket under the bed in the sleeping room and when she finally came out she showed me indubitably that it was not right to leave her alone. Lucia and Rita are always around me, making sure that I don’t run away again.

I will do what I can to stay healthy and be with them as long as they need me. And this Christmas we will be closer than ever.