Wednesday, March 25, 2009

From Jenna Orkin:

UN Panel to Call for Global Currency Reserve, Ousting US Dollar
Geithner, Bernanke Reject New Global Currency Idea
Geithner's Arrogance Knows No Bounds (from Rice Farmer)
Obama Reaches Out to World With Op-Ed on Global Economy
Perfect Storm of Environmental, Economic Crises Closer Than You Think
Cue the Helicopters: Dollar Devaluation is Here (from Rice Farmer)
Economic Problems Causing Potential Record High Abortions Nationwide
US Lawmaker Backs Missile Cooperation with Russia
European Barriers to American Biodiesel
Investor Demand Could Push Gold to Record High in 2009 - WSJ
Possible Fallout if Ecuador Leaves the Dollar
Declassification Board Tells Obama Openness At Risk
UK Advice to Rural Communities on Surviving Credit Crunch
Farming for the Future (North Carolina)
State's Jobless Rate Forecast to Pass 12% (California)

Japan Exports Suffer Another Record Plunge
Japan Exports Plunge Almost 50%
Japan Joins the Race for Uranium Amidst Global Expansion of Nuclear Power
Women and Japan's New Poor
S. Asia Reporters at "Severe Risk"
Taiwan's Jobless Rate Hits Record 5.75%
Youtube Blocked in China
"The YouTube blockage came as government officials there publicly challenged the authenticity of a video that purports to show police beating to death a pro-Tibet demonstrator last year."
Asia Declines New EZ IMF Loans
"Thanks, but we're not that desperate." - JO

European Industrial Output Plunges by Most on Record
European Bank Resists Rush to Print Money
EU Backs Stronger IMF
French Ports Face Fresh Unrest

Eastern Europe
Is Hungary the Financial Crisis' Next Iceland?
Pension Glut Fuels Hungary's Crisis
Czech Republic, Third of Eastern Europe's Dominos
Russia to Increase Submarines in Black Sea Fleet
Putin: Ukraine Gas Plan "Unprofessional"

Middle East
Gulf Single Currency Deadline Delayed Beyond 2010
Rioting Workers Get Paid: UAE

US Calls it a Coup in Madagascar; Suspends Aid
Somalia: Three Dead in Bosaso Riots
Riots as Traders' Plot is Fenced (Kenya)
Kano, Nigeria, Struggles to Meet Demand for Water
Zimbabwe: Western Double Standards Exposed

Japan's Trade Collapse Threatens Australia's Growth
Collapse in World Trade Heightens Risk for Australia

Baltic Dry Index Drops 20% in Five Days: This is Clearly the End of Days (from Rice Farmer)
One in Seven People Goes Hungry Every Day
World Paper Currency Values Race to Bottom


Hikikomori said...

Sir Fred Goodwin attack: Bank Bosses Are Criminals group claims responsbility

A group calling itself Bank Bosses Are Criminals has claimed responsibility for vandalising the Edinburgh home of Sir Fred Goodwin, the disgraced former chief executive of RBS bank.

By Aislinn Simpson @
25 Mar 2009

[...] Sir Fred was subject to heavy criticism after refusing to give up any of his £700,000-a-year pension, awarded after he stepped down following the disatrous acquisition of Dutch rival bank ABN Amro which saw RBS bailed out by the taxpayer. [...]

businessman said...

Here's a letter of resignation sent by a high-level AIG employee to the company's Chairman, published in the New York Times:

Paul said...

G20 Meltdown in the City


"On April 1st, we'll show the G20 what meltdown means.

Lost your home? Lost your job? Lost your savings or your pension? This party is for you!

Capitalism has been heating up our world for years, melting the icecaps, burning up the rainforests, pushing the planet to tipping point. Now we're going to put the heat on them. At the London Summit , the G20 ministers are trying to get away with the biggest April Fools trick of all time. Their tax-dodging, bonus-guzzling, pension-pinching, unregulated free market world's in meltdown, and those fools think we're going to bail them out. They've gotta be joking!"


I support the message, and any non-violent demonstration... However, I fear that for some people, things have gone too far (ref: the attack on Sir Fred's house).

businessman said...

Jenna...I don't how you've been doing it but you've been providing us with a huge amount of solid articles from all over the world recently.

I'm concerned that you may be taking performance-enhancing steroids.

PontusD said...

"world's economy has virtually melted down and the School of Life -- less a school than an arty bookshop with a classroom downstairs in the Bloomsbury neighborhood of central London -- has become something of a sanctuary from the chaos."

ecosutra said...

Oh ya, Saul Griffith: Inventing a super-kite to tap the energy of high-altitude wind

grayfox said...

George Monbiot's article makes great points regarding industrialized processes for creating biochar. Just like anything else that's done to make lots of money, creating biochar could be more destructive than beneficial. Cutting forests of live trees to produce it is just plain nuts.

On the other hand, using most(but not all) of the dead wood in fire-prone forested areas would be a great way to produce biochar - reducing the fire hazard and improving soil fertility. This can really only be done at a small scale by the individuals living in the forest. It doesn't lend itself to industrial scale if you're not cutting live trees down.

Many folks who live in the forests of the west also heat their homes with wood - I for one. Making biochar is an opportunity to use a resource that otherwise will burn in the next forest fire that comes through, releasing all that carbon into the atmosphere.

I've been experimenting with producing biochar in my airtight woodstove - a little every day through the winter. I've found it can easily be separated from the ash by dumping the coals into a bucket of water. The ash falls to the bottom and the charcoal floats to the top. I scoup the charcoal off the top and spread the ash around my fruit trees or back into the forest.

I'm experimenting with different ways of crushing the biochar before putting it in the garden. One way is to put it in areas where farm animals tend to stand. They crush it and it gets mixed in their manure which later gets added to the compost pile. For more immediate use, I've been crushing it with something heavy like a sledge hammer (great upper body exercise). I'm also thinking about the less eco-friendly method of driving my car over it.

I'm adding biochar to certain parts of my garden and I'll report back on how my vegies grow. Life is one big experiment.

Sebastian Ronin said...

Re the Porritt article, “Perfect storm of environmental and economic collapse closer than you think”

Porritt correctly points at three factors in play: food shortages, scarce water and high-cost energy that will hit the global economy before 2030. It is interesting to note that these factors were identified by the British government's chief scientific adviser, John Beddington. No problem so far. The chief scientific adviser knows what many others know.

The problem with this scenario, and it is serious, is that the major factor of Post-Peak Oil has been excluded. Merely citing “high cost energy” sidesteps the most crucial factor of the analysis. This is made evident by Porritt’s narrow and Green take on environmental factors: “On the environment front, as our financial debts have built up, so have our debts to nature – in terms of the unsustainable depletion of natural resources, measured by the loss of topsoil, forests, fresh water and biodiversity.” How it is possible to mention “debts to nature” and “unsustainable depletion of natural resources” without mentioning Peak Oil is beyond me.

This type of analysis, although handy as Green propaganda, betrays the greater predicament that confronts industrial civilization. It also highlights why Peak Oil cannot and will not make it into the Green vocabulary. To do so would gut the foundation of Green principles and platforms. Re a so-called Green economy, we cannot get there from here. To claim otherwise, while knowing it to be the truth, is a serious and ethical political deception.

In case Porritt or wide-eyed Greens doubt the order of calamities that await, they can simply go to the horse’s mouth. It was reported last week by ASPO-USA that Shell will no longer be investing in renewable technologies such as wind, solar and hydro power because they are not economic. Shell plans to invest more in developing a new generation of biofuels which do not use food-based crops and are less harmful to the environment. Whatever villains’ hats one may wish to put on the oil majors, and they are many, one fact remains and that is that they know their business. That business is the business of energy. They are not about to turn their backs on profitable ventures. If one of the majors claims that “going Green” is a pipedream then it should likely be believed.

And anyway, anything that the House of Windsor endorses is a dead giveaway. Due to their global principles and global political structure, Greens find themselves prancing in the wrong direction as Bilderberg patsies.