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91
Geopolitics / Re: Money
« Last post by AGelbert on November 29, 2018, 11:06:56 am »
Selected Quotes From Proverbs 16 King James Version (KJV):

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.


92
Climate Change / Re: Pollution
« Last post by AGelbert on November 28, 2018, 10:02:34 pm »
How Inequality Increases Environmental Damage for Everyone (But Not Equally)

November 27, 2018


James Boyce of PERI discusses how inequalities in power encourage the creation of environmental damage. Inequality disempowers some communities while allowing the powerful to profit at the environment’s and everyone else’s expense

https://therealnews.com/stories/how-inequality-increases-environmental-damage-for-everyone-but-not-equally
93
Geopolitics / Re: Money
« Last post by AGelbert on November 28, 2018, 09:30:32 pm »
November 28, 2018

Systemic Corporate Crime: Business as Usual , Making Markets Irrelevant 🤬


Russell Mokhiber, the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter, speaks at the forum, “Destroying the Myths of Market Fundamentalism,” held in Washington DC, on October 19, 2018


Series: Destroying the Myths of Market Fundamentalism

Ralph Nader: Destroying the Myths of Market Fundamentalism

Antitrust and How Kleptocracy Corrupts What Markets are Supposed to do Well

The Virtues and Limits of Markets

https://therealnews.com/stories/systemic-corporate-crime-business-as-usual-making-markets-irrelevant
94
Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« Last post by AGelbert on November 28, 2018, 05:30:17 pm »
PART OF THE TRUTHOUT SERIES Progressive Picks

BY Karen Garcia, Sardonicky

PUBLISHED November 28, 2018


SNIPPET 1:

Quote
With about eight dynasties now possessing as much money as half the entire world’s population combined, it is impossible to ignore the fact that extreme wealth inequality is antithetical to the health and future of humanity and every other living thing on earth.


SNIPPET 2:

Quote
Meanwhile, back in the US capitol, House Speaker-in-Waiting Nancy Pelosi 👎 took to the pay-walled pages of the Amazon Empire’s Washington Post mouthpiece in yet another attempt to convince the oppressed that her plutocratic Congress is in their corner.

But her words can’t help but betray that the Democratic Party’s toothless new “restoring democracy” legislation is simply more sugar-coating of the continued oppression of ordinary people by the Amazon-America League of Oligarchs. She follows the neoliberal playbook of diagnosing the lethal cancer and then prescribing band-aids to keep it nicely hidden. The “big tells” are highlighted in my bold.

Full article:

95
Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Last post by AGelbert on November 28, 2018, 01:26:06 pm »
November 28, 2018

Rising insurance costs may convince Americans that climate change risks are real


Quote
One of the great challenges of tackling climate change is making it real for people without a scientific background. That’s because the threat it poses can be so hard to see or feel.

In the wake of Hurricanes Florence and Michael, for example, one may be compelled to ask, “Was that climate change?” Many politicians and activists have indeed claimed that recent powerful storms are a result of climate change, yet it’s a tough sell.

What those who want to communicate climate risks need to do is rephrase the question around probabilities, not direct cause and effect. And for that, insurance is the proverbial “canary in the coal mine,” sensitive to the trends of climate change impacts and the costly risks they impose.

In other words, where scientists and educators have had limited success in convincing the public and politicians of the urgency of climate change, insurance companies may step into the breach.

Steroids and climate change

Dr. Jane Lubchenco 👍, an environmental scientist who oversaw the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 2009 to 2013, offers a clever analogy to convince people of the connection between the destruction wrought by a single hurricane and climate change. It involves steroids and baseball.

Her analogy goes like this. If a baseball player takes steroids, it’s hard to connect one particular home run to his drug use. But if his total number of home runs and batting averages increase dramatically, the connection becomes apparent.

“In similar fashion, what we are seeing on Earth today is weather on steroids,” Lubchenco explains. “We are seeing more, longer lasting heat waves, more intense storms, more droughts and more floods. Those patterns are what we expect with climate change.”

And those weather patterns come with a cost.

Someone has to pay for these damages

In 2017, for example, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and other natural disasters like Mexican earthquakes and California wildfires caused economic losses of US$330 billion, almost double the inflation-adjusted annual average of $170 billion over the prior 10 years.

Estimated costs from Hurricane Florence, which struck the Carolinas in September, range as high as $170 billion, which would make Florence the costliest storm ever to hit the U.S.

More broadly, total economic losses from wildfires in the U.S. in 2017 – the third-hottest year on record, behind 2016 and 2015 – were four times higher than the average of the preceding 16 years and losses from other severe storms were 60 percent higher.

This led me and others to realize that we should be more focused on insurance companies, society’s first line of defense in absorbing these costs, making their industry arguably the one most directly affected by climate change.

For example, the insurance industry paid out a record $135 billion from natural catastrophes in 2017, almost three times higher than the annual average of $49 billion. That’s not to mention the uninsured losses that were also incurred – uninsured losses from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy were 50 percent of the total $65 billion in losses, a staggering tab picked up by individual citizens and the taxpayer.

Insurers will eventually adjust to this emerging reality. And with it will come changes in our economy, including higher costs that will affect everyone’s pocketbook.

A whole new ballgame

The International Association of Insurance Supervisors, a respected international standard-setting body for the insurance sector, recently published a report calling climate risk a strategic threat for the insurance sector. It cautioned against relying on annual adjustments to manage climate risks as physical risks can change suddenly and in “non-linear ways.”

Recognizing this threat, many insurers are throwing out decades of outdated weather actuarial data and hiring teams of in-house climatologists, computer scientists and statisticians to redesign their risk models.

In response, insurances premiums will increase and coverage will decrease.

The take-away? It’s going to become increasingly hard for people living in disaster-prone areas to insure their stuff. And this trend might not be gradual. Note the term “non-linear” a couple of paragraphs above. This refers to the tendency of markets in times of stress to suddenly jump to dramatically higher or lower price ranges. For homeowners insurance, that could mean Floridians or Californians paying two or three times more than just a few years earlier – at a time when property taxes are also rising due to clean-up costs of past disasters.


Agelbert NOTE: Expect to hear/read (repeatedly, of course) this bit of (BS) happy talk spewing forth from the CAPITALIST profit over people and planet cheerleading mainstream media SOON:

Quote
Hi, I'm here from the Insurance Business.  I'm here to help.
96
New Inventions / Ion Power
« Last post by AGelbert on November 28, 2018, 12:50:52 pm »
Ion ⚡ drive: The first flight

1,476,197 views 👀 


nature video

Published on Nov 21, 2018

Researchers from MIT have flown a plane without moving parts for the first time. It is powered by an ‘ion drive’ which uses high powered electrodes to ionise and accelerate air particles, creating an ‘ionic wind’. This wind drove a 5m wide craft across a sports hall. Unlike the ion drives which have powered space craft for decades, this new drive uses air as the accelerant. The researchers say it could power silent drones.

Read the original research paper:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0707-9

Read Nature’s Editorial which also raises possible concerns about how a silent drone might be used:
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07477-9
97
Renewables / Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Last post by AGelbert on November 28, 2018, 11:51:20 am »
CleanTechnica
Support CleanTechnica’s work via donations on Patreon or PayPal!

Or just go buy a cool t-shirt, cup, baby outfit, bag, or hoodie.


Developing Nations Are Stepping Up Into Global Clean Energy Leadership

November 28th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill

A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance has highlighted the rising importance of developing nations in driving clean energy adoption worldwide, and finds they are seizing the mantle of global clean energy leadership from wealthier, more developed nations.

A combination of surging electricity demand, declining technology costs, and a surge in innovative policy-making have resulted in developing nations stepping up to seize the mantle of global clean energy leadership from wealthier nations, according to a comprehensive new report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) as part of its annual Climatescope project.

According to the report, emerging market nations surveyed by Climatescope accounted for the majorities of clean energy capacity added, and new funds deployed, globally in 2017. Specifically, developing nations added an impressive total of 114 gigawatts (GW) worth of zero-carbon generating capacity — including 94 GW worth of wind and solar. At the same time, developing nations brought online the least amount of new coal-fired power generating capacity since at least 2006 — with new build coal falling 38% year-over-year to 48 GW, half of what was added in 2015.

“It’s been quite a turnaround,” said Dario Traum, BNEF senior associate and Climatescope project manager. “Just a few years ago, some argued that less developed nations could not, or even should not, expand power generation with zero-carbon sources because these were too expensive. Today, these countries are leading the charge when it comes to deployment, investment, policy innovation and cost reductions.”

In addition to the increasing economic viability of clean energy technologies — specifically technologies such as wind and solar — which are further bolstered by the “exceptional” natural resources boasted by many developing nations, when combined with continually declining technology equipment costs, new renewable energy projects in developing nations are regularly outcompeting new fossil fuel projects on price. This has been most evident in the 28+ GW worth of generation contracted through tenders in emerging markets in 2017.

Financing for renewable energy projects in developing nations is similarly increasing, with 54 developing nations recording investment in at least one utility-scale wind farm, and 76 countries receiving financing for solar projects of 1.5 megawatts (MW) or larger (up from 20 and 3, respectively, a year ago). Further, development banks, export credit agencies, and other traditional backers are all combining to ensure investment and project backing continues to support the development of clean technology projects in emerging nations.

“European players, in particular, have moved aggressively to finance projects, particularly in Latin America,” said BNEF head of Americas Ethan Zindler, who helped found Climatescope. “While concessional capital is still clearly required in least developed countries or in others just beginning to adopt clean energy, elsewhere private funders appear quite comfortable deploying capital at volume.”

The report further highlights the growing trend that shows developing nations are skipping the fossil fuel stage of economic development which has so plagued their more developed brethren.

“I think it’s undeniable that for an equivalent level of economic development (GDP/capita), a number of emerging markets have a much higher penetration of solar and wind than their most developed peers had,” explained Dario Traum, who spoke to me via email.

“That’s a factor of technology change but also of course of cost. Emerging markets are where renewables most frequently undercut existing power procurement cost. In particular, Latin America has a number of countries that are amongst the countries with the highest level of solar + wind penetration, often facilitated by hydro and interconnection with neighbours.

“Caveat to all that is that big manufacturing and demographic hubs in Asia haven’t yet been able to get around coal as a cheap way to power industry around the clock. But they are seeing the consequences too, in particular air pollution. So a strong support for renewables there to.”

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/11/28/developing-nations-are-stepping-up-into-global-clean-energy-leadership/
98
Laura Flanders Show: Divest to Decolonize

November 25, 2018

At the traditional start of the holiday season, many in the US come together with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks. Though for indigenous peoples around the world perhaps apologies, even recompense, would be more in order. We hear from Native American activists Michelle Cook and Hartman Deetz about the ongoing struggle for autonomy and environmental protection


https://therealnews.com/stories/laura-flanders-show-divest-to-decolonize

99
Geopolitics / Re: Money
« Last post by AGelbert on November 27, 2018, 07:28:00 pm »

Corporate Tax-Break Subsidies  : Boosting Monopolies , Fueling Inequality

November 25, 2018

Greg Leroy, Executive Director of Good jobs First, speaks at the forum, “Destroying the Myths of Market Fundamentalism,” held in Washington DC, on October 19, 2018


Series: Destroying the Myths of Market Fundamentalism

Ralph Nader: Destroying the Myths of Market Fundamentalism

Antitrust and How Kleptocracy Corrupts What Markets are Supposed to do Well

The Virtues and Limits of Markets

https://therealnews.com/stories/antitrust-and-how-kleptocracy-corrupts-what-markets-are-supposed-to-do-well
100
Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Last post by AGelbert on November 27, 2018, 06:47:08 pm »
#ExtinctionRebellion Launches Civil Disobedience Campaign Over Climate Change

November 26, 2018

A day after a new US Government report warned of imminent climate catastrophe, TRNN spoke to some of the protesters who marched and shutdown traffic in Manchester, England, to urge action over the climate crisis
Story Transcript

PROTESTER: We are Extinction Rebellion. We’re here to protest the government’s inaction on climate change. They’ve failed us with inadequate policy over the last thirty years. We demand the government declares a climate emergency, that they communicate this to the general public, that they set up a national assembly of citizens to help decide on policy and that they’re committed to carbon neutrality by 2025.

JAISAL NOOR: I’m Jaisal Noor in Manchester, England. As you can see behind me, dozens of people have sat down in the center of the street to protest climate change as part of extinction rebellion. Hundreds of people marched today in Manchester, perhaps thousands more in London. Last week, 70 people were arrested in London as they shut down five bridges, key arteries. And the point of the protests is to draw attention to the catastrophic impacts of climate change and to demand immediate action.

ANNA: I’m Anna. I’m here because we’re talking about, in 10 years, mass starvation, we’re talking about hundreds of millions of climate refugees, we’re talking about more flooding in my hometown of Lancaster, we’re talking about more wildfires like we’ve seen in California. And we’re here to say that we are willing to interrupt, our normal lives, give up our normal lives. Some of us are willing to be arrested, some of us are willing to go to prison and give up our liberty because this is an extinction we’re talking about, and we want to stop that from happening, we want to save the living planet. It’s a simple and apparent desire.

JAISAL NOOR: This march comes just a day after a U.S. government report detailed the catastrophic impacts of climate change already underway and the future impacts that could happen, including hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damage across the United States and the world.

SPEAKER: The ecological crisis impacting upon this nation, and indeed this planet, its wildlife, can no longer be ignored, denied, nor go unanswered.

MINA: Our goal is basically that the government acknowledges that we are facing an emergency, and it demands that we implement the necessary procedures to declare a crime emergency and cut carbon emissions. I think XR has a better chance than anything I’ve ever met of working, because it doesn’t tell people what to do, it allows people to mobilize themselves, it gives people the freedom to choose and tells them that they have that power to do it themselves.

JOSH REDNER: Because we’re facing the greatest crisis in the history of humanity on current trajectory as we’re headed towards sort of major, major disruption by climate change within the next few decades, within my lifetime. I’ve got friends with small children; their lives are quite likely to be destroyed by this if things don’t change soon.

JAISAL NOOR: Current U.S. President Donald Trump has said global warming is a hoax.

JOSH REDNER: Well, that’s actually interesting because Trump’s widely thought of as sort of the archetypal climate denier due to his public statements. But if you look at what he’s actually doing in his private life, his company has actually recently applied to the Irish Government for planning permission to build flood defenses around his golf course due to the expected sea level rise and increase in frequency and intensity of storms that are basically putting his property at risk. So even if he doesn’t believe in climate change, the people who are running the show behind the scenes, they know exactly what’s going on. They’ve known exactly what’s going on for decades and their response has been pumping funding into groups that try and basically try and cloud the judgment of the public, essentially.

Look at the recent midterms, look at the level of funding from fossil fuel interests for climate denying candidates, basically trying to block any attempt to get any kind of effective legislation through to limit CO2 emissions. These people know what’s going on and they’re basically acting to try and prevent action on it. This is due to the system, the companies that are tied up in fossil fuels and the financial institutions that are actually increasing investment in things like fracking, tar sands. These are the worst things that we could be investing in, and the people in power are basically behaving as if they’re trying to make things as bad as possible as fast as possible. And the only people who can actually stop that is the mass of the population.

Extinction Rebellion is a sort of grassroots organization. We’re trying to organize this in a democratic way to try and join the people together. We’re taking inspiration from movements from through history like the suffragettes, like the civil rights movement in America, the fight against apartheid, all these movements of ordinary people who through history have actually joined together and won things from power, they’ve won rights, they’ve won the vote, they’ve made strides towards greater equality. We’re trying to take inspiration from them to sort of force the issue.

Climate justice, to me, means that it’s sort of the opposite of what we have now, essentially. So the projections for climate change now, and this actually goes somewhere into explaining why there’s been such a lack of action, is because the impacts will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable people in societies around the world. So the people who are likely to be feeling the brunt of the force the earliest and the hardest are people who are already suffering. The UN released a report just a couple of years ago that found that already, displacement around the world due to war and things like that is already higher than it was during World War II. These are the people who are going to feel the brunt of climate change through drought, the impacts on food security, extreme flooding, extreme weather events. These things are going to impact the poorest people the hardest.

The Lancet released a report a couple of years ago that said that climate change is the single greatest threat to human health in the 21st century and the people who are going to be feeling those health impacts are, again, the most vulnerable people in the world. So that, for me, is complete climate injustice because the people who have contributed to climate change the most are the richest, the rich countries, Britain, the U.S., the industrialized nations who have burned all the fossil fuels, extracted all these resources for their own economic development to build these rich countries that we live in at the expense of the Third World and the poor people around the world. And now, they are the people who are going to be feeling the brunt of it.

So climate justice, for me, is an attempt to try and reverse these relations between the people of the world and sort of make a fair and equitable plan for how we’re going to cope with it. We know what we need to do, it’s time to do it. And the only way that we can force it is if enough people join together and get out in the streets and demand it.


https://therealnews.com/stories/extinctionrebellion-launches-civil-disobedience-campaign-over-climate-change

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