Archive for the ‘Links’ Category

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Links July 2017

July 21, 2017

As the world gets hotter, people use more air conditioning, and thus consume more electricity. And if that electricity comes from fossil fuel sources, it will create more global warming, which in turn will increase the demand for air conditioning.

So we build solar and wind farms, to “decarbonize” energy production, but the wind turbines and solar panels are manufactured in large factories, most of them in China, and this process needs huge amounts of energy and resource, while contaminating soil, water, and air around the factories. The contamination is far away from us at the moment, but over time it will spread and the industrial poisons will one day reach us as well.

The solar panels and wind turbines have to be transported over the oceans and installed where they are needed, the electricity grid has to be enlarged, new switching and transformer stations have to be built. The new facilities all have to be maintained, broken and worn out parts be replaced.

All this is only possible as long as we can use cheap fossil fuels. When oil, natural gas, and coal become scarce and expensive, the high tech wind and solar farms will become expensive too. There will be no new installations and the use of the old wind and solar farms  will be extended beyond their designed life span, just as the nuclear plants now are used beyond their planned life span as it is too costly to build new ones.

At least the wind turbines and solar panels will not melt down and spew radioactivity into the  atmosphere if they finally break.

Feline news:
http://asia.nikkei.com/Life-Arts/Life/Thailand-s-exotic-cats-becoming-hard-to-find
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/07/more-animals-in-government.html
http://boredomtherapy.com/ungrateful-cats/ Funny, but the captions and notes sometimes show typical human arrogance.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4664568/Owners-snap-cats-shunning-expensive-toys.html The same as above with a few different pictures.
http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/14/san-jose-cat-killer-sentenced/ What about the hunters?

Environmental news:
http://news.sky.com/feature/sky-ocean-rescue-a-plastic-whale-10917187
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-chevron-idUSKBN19A1V4
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-air-pollution-death-20170628-story.html
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change
http://www.independent.co.uk/Weather/iran-ahvaz-hottest-temperature-ever-recorded-world-record-extreme-death-valley-california-a7815771.html
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170710185549.htm
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/eating_our_way_to_disease_201707091
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/07/11/save-planet-cut-holidays-sell-car-dont-have-many-children-say/ The tourism industry will not like this. What about the environmental impact of wars? How much could humanities ecological footprint be reduced if we stopped waging wars?
https://www.globalwitness.org/en-gb/campaigns/environmental-activists/defenders-earth/
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/ravens-humans-and-apes-can-plan-future
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/07/maybe-were-at-the-start-of-a-sixth-mass-extinction-after-all/533124/
https://dgrnewsservice.org/civilization/colonialism/clouds-of-uncertainty/
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html Armageddon, the full and annotated version. Sensationalism, horror fiction, “climate disaster porn?” Or a fact based sober look at our diminishing survival chances? Can be “doom-and-gloom” a wakeup call or is it demotivating and counterproductive, because it destroys hope? Is this a paralyzing narrative of inevitability and hopelessness? Cassandra warned the Trojans in vain, will todays Cassandra calls be in vain too?
https://newrepublic.com/article/143899/climate-change-killing-us-right-now
https://intercontinentalcry.org/nicaragua-deadly-country-land-rights-activists/

Economic news:
http://www.nasdaq.com/article/columnthe-waning-power-of-the-petrodollar-20170713-00172
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/07/don-quijones-people-not-amused-eu-efforts-de-cash-lives.html

Media and technology news:
The mass media channels no longer report news but feed people a narrative that pushes continued globalization and the dissolution of the nation state, a uniform global popular culture, and a world run for and by a handful of cosmopolitan elites who would be happy to see the rest of humans turned into 21st century debt slaves.
Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. are enemies because they aren’t prepared to give up their national sovereignty to a bunch of bankers, tech billionaires, and other unhinged parasites who feel it is their divine right to rule the planet.
https://theconversation.com/the-iphone-turns-10-and-its-isolated-us-not-united-us-79405
http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/bilal-abdul-kareem-al-qaeda-clarissa-ward-cnn-syria-propaganda
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/07/hiding-us-lies-about-libyan-invasion/
http://dissidentvoice.org/2017/07/fake-news-on-russia-in-the-new-york-times-1917-2017/
http://progressive.org/magazine/how-the-biotech-industry-cultivates-positive-media/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/14/russia-trumps-ecocide-at-the-petroleum-broadcasting-system/ A hard hitting rant about an PBS host who is oblivious to the most crucial economic issues concluding with a preview of armageddon.
http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2017/852-mass-media-siege-comparing-coverage-of-mosul-and-aleppo.html

Imperial news:
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin talked for 2 hours and 20 minutes. They had been scheduled to meet for only 35 minutes. Secretary of State Tillerson and Melanie Trump tried to stop the meeting, one can only guess why. And one can only speculate what Vladimir Putin thinks about Trump after this encounter.
US President Donald Trump’s incoherent, confused, and often illogical actions make it clear that he is not highly educated and knowledgable, his attention span is tiny, and his mental capacity for decision making limited. He would be a lousy chess player and he most probably never tried to master this game — poker surely fits him better.
Donald Trump proves, that one doesn’t have to be a genius or even moderately bright to succeed in US-America, one just has to be ruthless, devoid of moral restrictions, and lucky. The US economy is the perfect environment for high-stakes gamblers, con men, and notorious liars. Most of them are crushed but the few who succeed become embodiments of the “American Dream” and role models for the next generation of gamblers, con men, and liars.
Those who obey laws, formal rules, and regulations are lost, because the real rules of US society still are the rules of the “Wild West.” Technology has changed, the spirit remained the same.
http://inthesetimes.com/article/20212/detroits-underground-economy-gift-barter Hope.
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176305/tomgram%3A_frida_berrigan%2C_resistance_is_fertile_%28not_futile%29/ We are not alone, we are a worldwide movement.
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/interactives/2017/july/mirror-mirror/

Imperial conquest news:
http://theduran.com/former-haitian-government-official-ready-to-expose-clinton-corruption-found-dead/
https://www.csis.org/analysis/us-military-spending-cost-wars
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/ex-weapons-inspector-trumps-sarin-claims-built-on-lie/
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/afp/2017/07/iraq-syria-conflict-us-military-civilians.html Why is there no collective media outcry like during the Aleppo offensive? The Mosul battle is bloodier and more brutal than Aleppo ever was, for Raqqa we will see…
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/one-week-after-mosuls-liberation-horror-of-us-siege-continues-to-unfold/
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/mosul-massacre-battle-isis-iraq-city-civilian-casualties-killed-deaths-fighting-forces-islamic-state-a7848781.html
http://www.unitar.org/unosat/node/44/2615?utm_source=unosat-unitar&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=maps According to UNOSAT 5,536 buildings have ben destroyed or damaged in the old city of Mosul.
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2017/07/at-any-cost-civilian-catastrophe-in-west-mosul-iraq/
http://theduran.com/israel-acts-block-syrian-counter-offensive-al-qaeda/
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/18/netanyahu-pushes-trump-toward-wider-wars/
http://news.antiwar.com/2017/07/03/israel-seizes-solar-panels-donated-to-palestinians-smashes-electronics/ Israel makes life for Palestinians as miserable as possible and takes every chance to humiliate them. They are “vermin.” Israel can do that with impunity, because there is no Arab solidarity, the international community turns a blind eye, and the Jewish lobbies in both USA and Russia make sure, that Israel is not restraint and never will be held accountable.
http://www.workers.org/2017/07/09/israel-seizes-palestinian-women-leaders/
http://www.workers.org/2017/07/09/israeli-youth-say-no-to-military/
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-40496778 Saudi Arabia’s role in promoting Islamic extremism is long known and even mainstream news media channels cannot conceal it. In this and every other respect the Israeli-Saudi axis is a natural and logical development (birds of a feather…)
According to al-Badil newspaper: ”A leaked document in Qatar’s embassy and a letter to Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on October 26, 2016, show Mohammed bin Salman and Mohammed bin Zayed’s support for certain key al-Qaeda members in the Arabian Peninsula.”
http://www.dw.com/en/saudi-arabia-exports-extremism-to-many-countries-including-germany-study-says/a-39618920
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/us-backed-war-in-yemen-sparks-deadly-cholera-outbreak/
http://www.globalresearch.ca/yemen-court-battle-exposes-uk-saudi-arms-trade-a-marriage-made-in-hell/5599284
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/10/politics/trump-us-military-libya-strategy/ Kalifa Haftar is considered as Russia’s guy, so the USA has to go in again to support their Islamist proxies.
A Washington Post headline reads: “Hong Kong was supposed to change China. How did the opposite happen?” If one is convinced, that the Western way of life is the most productive, most fulfilling, ultimately prudent and just way to live, one has to wonder indeed.
Not to be outdone, a New York Times headline on the same day reads: “Is a Buddhist Group Changing China? Or Is China Changing It?” (Its about Taiwan based Fo Guang Shan.). We got it, China has to change, by whatever means possible.
(Fo Guang Shan entered mainland China in 2000, focusing on charity and Chinese cultural revival while avoiding Buddhist proselytizing in order to avoid conflict with the Communist Party, which opposed religion. Fo Guang Shan’s presence in China increased under General Secretary Xi Jingping after he started a program to revive traditional Chinese faiths.)

Uncategorized news:
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/07/why-young-chinese-people-are-abandoning-ambition-for-sang-culture Collective disillusionment? Dropping out of the rat race? A rebellion against the competition society, against social Darwinism?
http://www.geo.coop/blog/when-feeling-good-bad

News from cat paradise:

The cats are fine despite the heat. Unfortunately they cannot shed their fur, so they sleep all day long under the bushes at the northern side of the house or in the cellar. Princess Min Ki finally has eaten her anti worming pill, but aunt Rosy and Gandhi Jr. still object strongly to taking the pill.

Yesterday there was a thunderstorm and it rained enough to fill up all 24 rain water barrels. Today I will not have to irrigate but from tomorrow on I have to go up again at 4 AM to turn on the sprinklers and run around with the watering cans. The grapevines and blueberry bushes need special care as they are vulnerable to drought. I spend roughly four hours to water all plants. At 8 AM I turn off the sprinklers and stop watering because then the sun comes up behind the trees of the forest and sunshine soon reaches the whole of the garden.

Working in the garden is only possible till 12 AM, after that one has to recede into the house for domestic activities and/or an extended siesta. From 5 PM one can go out to the garden or the forest again.

A construction worker from the village dropped dead in the heat and some elderly people also died. Because of increasing forest and field fires the authorities issued a countrywide ban on smoking in forests and barbecue in public places. This summer until now 130 forest fires happened, more than ever before. Fire brigades are on constant alert. A help line for people who experience heat related health problems was installed and all media channels publish advice how to cope with the unusual heat. 

As I reported already, harvest will be extraordinary though it didn’t look that way in spring, when a late cold spell froze many blooms to death. Strawberries were about the same as last year, but currants, raspberries, and jostaberries grew in never before seen quantity and quality.

Mint has reached weed status now and surpassed lemon balm as the dominant plant. Mint, lemon balm, and nettle (of course) are plentiful, marigold and camomile will probably also be self-proliferating from next year on. Sage, thyme, echinacea (purple coneflower) still need special care and protection from pests. Thyme and echinacea are liked by the slugs and in spring slugs eat and destroy the young sprouts again and again until the plants give up and die.

Slug control can be done by slug traps (which are in my case little former cat food cans filled with beer), and biologically by toads, frogs, and hedgehogs. Toads, frogs, hedgehogs all love the garden, unfortunately the toads and frogs are chased and occasionally killed by the cats, while the hedgehogs love the beer and empty the cans meant as slug traps as soon as I put them out or refill them. I have to place little mesh baskets over each slug trap, which makes the whole procedure even more cumbersome than it already is.

The hedgehogs can have their beer as long as they eat the slugs and snails, I only fear that they are not very good in finding slugs when they are intoxicated by the beer.