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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Unprecedented #Fear Grips #Russia As #Bee Populations Decline Sharply

"Large areas of central and southern Russia have seen a major decline in their bee populations in recent months."

Image result for serious looking putin

Russia alarmed by large fall in bee populations

The head of the Russian beekeepers' union, Arnold Butov, said 20 regions had reported mass bee deaths.
The affected regions include Bryansk and Kursk, south of Moscow, and Saratov and Ulyanovsk on the Volga River.
Mr Butov, quoted by Russian media, said the crisis might mean 20% less honey being harvested. Some officials blamed poorly regulated pesticide use.
Yulia Melano, at the rural inspection service Rosselkhoznadzor, complained that her agency had lost most of its powers to control pesticide use since 2011.
Bee collecting pollen near Moscow, file pic
Russia produces about 100,000 tonnes of honey annually. Mr Butov said the union's members were collecting data on bee losses, so that by 1 August a detailed report could be submitted to the Russian government.
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Monday, July 29, 2019

As #Soil Degrades, #Farming May End In 60 Years

"Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years, a senior UN official said"

Image result for top soil degradation

Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues

By Chris Arsenault
ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years, a senior UN official said on Friday.
About a third of the world's soil has already been degraded, Maria-Helena Semedo of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told a forum marking World Soil Day.
Image result for top soil degradation charts
The causes of soil destruction include chemical-heavy farming techniques, deforestation which increases erosion, and global warming. The earth under our feet is too often ignored by policymakers, experts said.
"Soils are the basis of life," said Semedo, FAO's deputy director general of natural resources. "Ninety five percent of our food comes from the soil."


Friday, July 26, 2019

#ClimateCrisis: July Predicted To Be #Hottest Month Ever

"Even with more than a week left until the end of the month, experts are already anticipating that the current record from July 2017 will fall."
Image: Hot weather

A girl cools off in Washington Heights in Manhattan during a July 2019 heat wave. Mike Segar / Reuters

July is on track to become Earth's hottest month on record, climate scientists say

 By Denise Chow


July is on track to become the hottest month in recorded history, climate scientists say, after heat waves blanketed North America and the Arctic saw warmer than usual temperatures. It’s the latest sign that the planet’s overall climate is warming, and that human activities are causing extreme events such as heat waves to become more likely and more intense, the scientists say.

Even with more than a week left until the end of the month, dozens of experts are already anticipating that the current record from July 2017 will fall.

 Image result for heatwave 2019 charts

“It's looking like there's a strong likelihood that we will end up with the warmest month ever,” said Brian Brettschneider, a climate researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. (In this case, "ever" means since modern record-keeping began in 1880.)

In July 2017, when the previous record was set, average global temperatures were 2.16 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th century average for July of 57.8 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which collects climate data and tracks temperature records. This July is expected to narrowly surpass the average temperatures from two years ago, scientists who study climate patterns say.



Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Extreme Heat Records Reported By #Belgium and #Netherlands

All-time records in Germany and Luxembourg could also fall in continent-wide heatwave

All-time temperature records are set to be broken in major cities across Europe

On Thursday temperatures could exceed the all-time record of 38.5C, recorded in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003
Highest temperature record broken on Wednesday. Code orange extreme temperature warning issued
Highest temperature record broken on Wednesday. Code red warning issued for entire country
Bordeaux saw its highest ever temperature since records began of 41.2C on Tuesday
Record temperature of 42C possible for Thursday. Current record of 40.4Chas stood for more than 70 years
Golfech nuclear power plant
Two reactors shut down in an effort to limit the heating of water used to keep reactors cool
Code red warning issued in Zaragoza region, hit by its worst wildfires in 20 years last month

Monday, July 22, 2019


"The American dispatch of troops, Patriot missiles and a squadron of F-22 warplanes to Saudi Arabia looks like yet another ratcheting up of the confrontation"

An image grab taken from a broadcast by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on July 19, 2019 reportedly shows footage from an IRGC drone, showing a map of the route taken by the US amphibious assault ship USS Boxer; the US is about to send troops into Saudi Arabia

 Iran: Spectre of war looms as tit-for-tat tanker seizures plunge relations with UK to low not seen in decades 

  By Kim Sengupta 


Relations between Britain and Iran seem to be the bleakest they have been for decades with the confrontation over the tankers and rising accusations and recriminations.

At the same time there is increasing sabre-rattling in the wider arena of the region with Donald Trump‘s administration sending troops back to Saudi Arabia and Washington and Tehran raising the tempo of mutual insults and threats.

Image result for iraq war 2003

In London the cabinet emergency committee, Cobra, met until the early hours of Saturday morning and in the evening came the news that British Airways was cancelling flights to Cairo for a week as a security precaution. It was not immediately clear if this was related to the situation in the Gulf, but the development added to the uncertainly and trepidation.




Friday, July 19, 2019

#ALERT: #OPEC Oil Pruduction Continues Its Dramatic Fall

"Saudi Arabia, though their production was up 126,000 barrels per day in June, is still producing half a million barrels per day below their quota ???"


 Image result for est saudi oil reserves

OPEC June Crude Oil Production

The following June OPEC data is based on the latest July OPEM Monthly Oil Market Report and is in thousand barrels per day.

OPEC 14 crude only production was down 68,000 barrels per day in June.


 Image result for est oil reserves opec 2019



Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Third Of All #Species Face #Extinction

Latest list shows extinction now threatens a third of all assessed species, from monkeys to rhino rays

 Image result for species extinction chart

IUCN red list reveals wildlife destruction from treetop to ocean floor

From the tops of trees to the depths of the oceans, humanity’s destruction of wildlife is continuing to drive many species towards extinction, with the latest “red list” showing that a third of all species assessed are under threat.

 The Roloway monkey, one of the seven primate species pushed closer to extinction.

The razing of habitats and hunting for bushmeat has now driven seven primates into decline, while overfishing has pushed two families of extraordinary rays to the brink. Pollution, dams and over-abstraction of freshwater are responsible for serious declines in river wildlife from Mexico to Japan, while illegal logging is ravaging Madagascar’s rosewoods, and disease is decimating the American elm.




Monday, July 15, 2019

#Prince Charles Warns World Has 18 Months To Fix #Climate Crisis

"It's up to all of us to ensure young people's voices are heard and their interests protected, but it's the people who have the power to shape policy for young people - all of you - that must champion them at the highest levels."

Prince Charles

The Prince of Wales has warned global leaders they have 18 critical months to solve climate change and restore the balance of nature, ensuring the survival of the human race. 

The Prince, addressing foreign ministers from around the Commonwealth, said they were "uniquely positioned" to lead the world by example, urging them to match ambition with “the practical action that is required”. 
Speaking as the future head of the Commonwealth, a position which was confirmed during a convention in London last year, he emphasised that the next 18 months would see "critical meetings that will collectively determine the global agenda for the coming decade"Image result for climate crisis charts.  
The leaders of Commonwealth countries will gather next year in Rwanda for a week-long summit, at which they will discuss the "unparalleled challenges caused by rapid climate change and biodiversity loss". 

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Friday, July 12, 2019

#Global #Economy On The Same Path As Roman #Empire

"The richest 1 percent of the Romans during the early Republic was only 10 to 20 times as wealthy as an average Roman citizen." Image result for the decline of rome

Following in Rome's Footsteps: Moral Decay, Rising Inequality

 Here is the moral decay of America's ruling elites boiled down to a single word.

There are many reasons why Imperial Rome declined, but two primary causes that get relatively little attention are moral decay and soaring wealth inequality. The two are of course intimately connected: once the morals of the ruling Elites degrade, what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine, too.

I've previously covered two other key characteristics of an empire in terminal decline: complacency and intellectual sclerosis, what I have termed a failure of imagination.
Michael Grant described these causes of decline in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire, a short book I have been recommending since 2009: 

There was no room at all, in these ways of thinking, for the novel, apocalyptic situation which had now arisen, a situation which needed solutions as radical as itself. (The Status Quo) attitude is a complacent acceptance of things as they are, without a single new idea. 




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