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Friday, June 28, 2019

#Overpopulation Causing #Water Depletion In Major #Indian Cities

"Complicating the issue are the devastating effects of climate change. Monsoon rains have been more erratic and droughts more common, threatening farmer's harvests"

Srini Swaminathan, who took this photograph of Chembarambakkam reservoir from a plane, told CNN: "I have been living here since 1992 and have never seen anything like this before."

Srini Swaminathan, who took this photograph of Chembarambakkam reservoir from a plane, told CNN: "I have been living here since 1992 and have never seen anything like this before."

India's sixth biggest city is almost entirely out of water


New Delhi (CNN)The floor of the Chembarambakkam reservoir is cracked open, dry and sun-baked. About 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away, in Chennai, India's sixth largest city, millions of people are running out of water.

Chembarambakkam and the three other reservoirs that have traditionally supplied Chennai are nearly all dry, leaving the city suffering from an acute water shortage, said Jayaram Venkatesan, an activist in the city.

Due to an inability to collect sufficient rain water combined with low groundwater levels, the Tamil Nadu state government has been struggling to provide water to residents. 
With the reservoirs dry, water is being brought directly into Chennai neighborhoods in trucks. Every day, hundreds of thousands of residents have no choice but to stand in line for hours in soaring summer temperatures, filling dozens of cans and plastic containers. 


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Is #Pentagon Now Open To Decisive #Nuclear War?

"US joint chiefs of staff posted then removed paper that suggests nuclear weapons could ‘create conditions for decisive results"

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Nuclear weapons: experts alarmed by new Pentagon 'war-fighting' doctrine

The Pentagon believes using nuclear weapons could “create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability”, according to a new nuclear doctrine adopted by the US joint chiefs of staff last week.

The document, entitled Nuclear Operations, was published on 11 June, and was the first such doctrine paper for 14 years. Arms control experts say it marks a shift in US military thinking towards the idea of fighting and winning a nuclear war – which they believe is a highly dangerous mindset.

“Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability,” the joint chiefs’ document says. “Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”
At the start of a chapter on nuclear planning and targeting, the document quotes a cold war theorist, Herman Kahn, as saying: “My guess is that nuclear weapons will be used sometime in the next hundred years, but that their use is much more likely to be small and limited than widespread and unconstrained.”

 Image result for dr strangelove bomb

Kahn was a controversial figure. He argued that a nuclear war could be “winnable” and is reported to have provided part of the inspiration for Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr Strangelove.

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Monday, June 24, 2019

#NYT: Population #Disruptions Worst In 75 Years

" we are trapped in an age of impunity that is placing civilians, as well as humanitarians, in the crossfire, and driving thousands from their homes every day.”
 Image result for world wide migration 

GENEVA — The number of people fleeing violence is the highest recorded since World War II, according to figures released Wednesday by the United Nations refugee agency, as old conflicts dragged on and new ones erupted.

The global population of people displaced by conflict reached 70.8 million last year, up from a little over 43 million a decade ago, the report said. Around 80 percent of the world’s refugees have been living in exile for five years, and around one-fifth of them for 20 years, it noted, underscoring the intractable nature of the situation.
“We have become almost unable to make peace,” Filippo Grandi, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, told reporters in Geneva.


The report’s total figure is conservative, Mr. Grandi said.
It includes only some of the four million people who have fled the economic meltdown and political turmoil in Venezuela. Thousands of Venezuelans cross the border each day en route to Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador or Peru, or take to boats for perilous journeys to Caribbean islands.

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Friday, June 21, 2019

#ClimateCrisis Tied To Bleak Future Of #Oceans

"As secretary of the state’s department of natural resources Wade Crowfoot said in his Ocean Day remarks, “If we can’t do it in California, where else in the world are we going to do it?”

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Ocean Advocates Are Increasingly Concerned About Climate Change

'It's become an underlying theme in everything we're doing.'

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The world’s oceans are deeply affected by climate change – and vice versa. But until recent years, ocean advocates throughout California had long tackled issues like over-fishing and coastal pollution without as much emphasis on the broad-reaching relationship between climate and oceans.
That’s all changed, as evidenced by a March annual lobbying event at the state capitol.
In 2004, when a dozen or so advocates gathered for the first Ocean Day, “climate change was a side issue,” said Environment California’s Dan Jacobson, who launched the event.
When more than 200 people convened from throughout the state last month, climate had become “the overarching issue” in legislator meetings on a range of topics.
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“It’s become an underlying theme in everything we’re doing,” said Jacobson. “Even the guy who literally rescues animals stranded on the shore is saying, ‘Of course, this is all getting worse because of climate change.'”

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

#YALE: Just Twelve Years Left To Fix #ClimateCrisis?

"We need to support one another in making the required changes to limit global warming. We need to convey the benefits of giving up our old unhealthy lifestyles to create a healthy environment for all of us"

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Life makes us wake up to needed changes.
A visit to the doctor’s office and accompanied tests indicate you have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Your doctor indicates two pathways to addressing the condition before things get worse. You can change your lifestyle, or you can take medication with possible side effects. If you accept the medical facts and adopt the first recommendation, then you will set a goal.
For example, “I will lose 20 pounds over the next three months and diligently monitor my glucose levels.” You talk with health and wellness experts and come up with a plan to reach those goals. Up to this point you have been in the stages of symptom diagnosis and receiving expert advice. Now, the hard work begins: You actually have to change the way you have been living your life.
 6th Extinction?
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You need to eat differently and exercise more, and you need to do these things every day for the rest of your life. You also need to monitor your progress to ensure you are meeting your goals. Initially, you may even question the accuracy of the diagnosis, or your doctor’s conclusion. You may even seek a second opinion. You wonder how long you can wait to change the way you have been living.

Monday, June 17, 2019

#WSJ: World On Edge As Gulf of #Oman Attacks Raise #War Fears

"Attacks have exposed vulnerabilities in security in the Gulf of Oman"

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Gulf of Oman Attacks Trigger Tighter Security on Key Shipping Routes

Governments and tanker companies were stepping up efforts to protect shipping lanes as the U.S. and Iran traded accusations over attacks on two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway traversed by over a third of the world’s seaborne crude oil.




Friday, June 14, 2019

Ultimately REAL PHYSICAL #Economic #Growth Stops, And Then...

"What economists around the world get wrong about the future."

Nubes, 2011.


The idea that economic growth can continue forever on a finite planet is the unifying faith of industrial civilization. That it is nonsensical in the extreme, a deluded fantasy, doesn't appear to bother us. We hear the holy truth in the decrees of elected officials, in the laments of economists about flagging GDP, in the authoritative pages of opinion, in the whirligig of advertising, at the World Bank and on Wall Street, in the prospectuses of globe-spanning corporations and in the halls of the smallest small-town chambers of commerce. Growth is sacrosanct. Growth will bring jobs and income, which allow us entry into the state of grace known as affluence, which permits us to consume more, providing more jobs for more people producing more goods and services so that the all-mighty economy can continue to grow. "Growth is our idol, our golden calf," Herman Daly, an economist known for his anti-growth heresies, told me recently.
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In the United States, the religion is expressed most avidly in the cult of the American Dream. The gatekeepers of the faith happen to not only be American: The Dream is now, and has long been, a pandemic disorder. Growth is a moral imperative in the developing world, we are told, because it will free the global poor from deprivation and disease. It will enrich and educate the women of the world, reducing birth rates. It will provide us the means to pay for environmental remediation—to clean up what so-called economic progress has despoiled. It will lift all boats, making us all rich, healthy, happy. East and West, Asia and Europe, communist and capitalist, big business and big labor, Nazi and neoliberal, the governments of just about every modern nation on Earth: All have espoused the mad growthist creed.



Wednesday, June 12, 2019

HUGE #Concern As #Atmospheric #Carbon Levels Still Leaping

"Each year of high emissions adds to the stock of carbon in the air, bringing us closer to catastrophe"

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Atmospheric carbon levels are leaping 

We can't afford more years like this...

One of the many ironies of the climate crisis is that as temperatures change and extreme weather becomes more common, we need more energy to maintain comfort. Hotter summers have driven an increase in power-hungry air conditioning and cooler temperatures in some places – which may be driven by the melting Arctic – raise demand for heating.
BP’s report that carbon emissions from energy use have risen at the fastest rate in nearly a decade reflects those forces, as well as continuing demand from a rising global population and expanding industries.
The effect is already discernible in the atmosphere. Last week, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography reported that carbon dioxide levels in the air leapt this year by the second highest amount in their records, to 414.8 parts per million, at the famous observatory in Mauna Loa where CO2 has been measured continuously since 1958.

BP’s report states carbon emissions from energy use have risen at the fastest rate in nearly a decade.

We cannot afford many more years like this. Every year of high emissions adds to the stock of carbon in the air, bringing us closer to the 450ppm of carbon dioxide that scientists warn could tip us into catastrophe. The IPCC’s stark warnings last year showed how dangerous a rise of 1.5C would be, and on current terms we are headed for an even bigger rise.

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Monday, June 10, 2019

#Global Warming Driving Sixth Mass #Extinction

" to resist change and, in the interests of maximising profit, continue to move far too slowly to avert increasingly dangerous outcomes.  Young people rightly protest against this and those responsible for killing flora and fauna (which includes humans), destroying their habitat and giving impetus to the 6thmass extinction now in progress."

Effects of Global Warming

Why are young – and not so young – people becoming more vociferous in their protests about global warming?  Why has climate change become a political and partisan issue at democratic elections?  Why do ‘greenies’ try to stop the development of new coal mines and call for speedier reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions?  The answer is that the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly Carbon Dioxide (CO2), are becoming increasingly evident and dangerous – although relatively mild at present, compared to what they could soon become.
Much is being said about the cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in terms of lost jobs, lost income and harm to national and global economies but we hear relatively little about the catastrophic consequences of not reducing emissions.  Prioritising short term profit and ideology ahead of emissions reduction will inevitably result in an uncontrollable, unpredictable and destructive climate resulting in socio-economic collapse.
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Analysis of air trapped in ice cores shows that over the past 800,000 years the normal concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere varies between 170 parts per million (ppm) during cold periods (so called Ice Ages) to 260-300 ppm when the planet reaches its warmest.  Concentration of COin the atmosphere now stands at over 415 ppm and is continuing to rise at an accelerating rate as we burn ever increasing amounts of fossil fuels.
For well over a century it has been widely known that COabsorbs infra-red light reflected from the earths’ surface then re-emits it, much of it back to the surface.  The higher the concentration of COin the atmosphere, the warmer the surface temperature gets, a phenomenon known as global warming which has a number of effects including 1. ocean warming, 2. loss of land-based ice and permafrost, 3. climate change which becomes less predictable and 4. sea level rise.  Below is an outline of these effects.



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