Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trifecta of Crises

From Jenna Orkin:

Climate Change/Water
Emerging Economies Face Acute Disaster Risks: UN
All Disasters are Local
Localization cometh, one way or 't other.
China Running Out of Water
Pay Farmers to Halt Irrigation to Help Water Crisis
Stemming the Water Wars - Jeffrey Sachs
Australia's Largest River Close to Running Dry
"Adelaide, Australia's fifth biggest city, could run out of water in next two years."
Australia's Wine Growers Face Ruin Without Rain
Can 350.org Save the World?

Energy/Recession
Oil and Gas Cos. Projects' Costs Up 30% Due to Rig Shortage
Gas: 12% Surge in Three Weeks Plateau Theory Drives Total to Oil Sands
Total honors Peak Oil in the breach, by acknowledging its plateau aspect.
If Oil Demand is Falling, Why Are Prices Going Up? (from Rice Farmer)
Gas Shortage Forces Kuwait to Shut Shuaiba Fertiliser Plant
Credit Card Defaults Rise to Record Highs
US Derivatives Regs Pose Risk for Commods Markets
Central Derivative Clearing May Concentrate Risks
How to Follow the Fossil Fuel Money on Capital Hill
Some databases referenced in above article:
Open Secrets
Source Watch

NY Sunday Times Magazine: The Debt Issue
Includes a false-bravado interview with Myron Scholes, formerly of Long Term Capital Management, more recently of credit default swap fame.
Even to Save Cash, Don't Try This Stuff at Home
Dr. Doom: Capitalism Could Fail Like Communism (from Rice Farmer)
American Express to Cut 4000 Jobs
Audit the Fed, Then End It - Ron Paul
Biden Reveals Veep's Secret Bunker
US Health Officials Worried About Flu Pattern
But it's great for demand destruction: Four schools are closed in Queens, a hundred in the US and four thousand in Japan.
First Ocean Acidification Lawsuit Filed Against EPA
"Ocean acidification is global warming's evil twin," said Miyoko Sakashita, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity's oceans program.

Does that make global warming the good twin?

As one of twelve original plaintiffs in "the residents' lawsuit" against the EPA following 9/11, I'm particularly interested to see where this lawsuit on ocean acidification goes. Ours ended with a Court of Appeals decision that said, in legalese, "We know they lied and did everything wrong and that people are sick and dying as a result, but suck it up."
China, US, Held Secret Talks on Climate Change Deal
World Trade Center Cheat Sheet
Planned at 79 floors and 71 floors, to be done by 2011 and then 2014, these towers [Towers 2 and 3] may never exist.

I warned Lower Manhattan electeds and activists of that particular local manifestation of the economic crisis years ago, only to be met with deer-in-headlights stares. That's a step up from the mocking dismissals of warnings about the envirodisaster of 9/11 eight years ago.
The Future of California Farming (from Rice Farmer)

UK/Europe
UK: Caroline Lucas: "We've got to get better at painting a positive vision of a post-carbon world. This is not about sitting around a candle in a cave."
Of course not. How absurd.
UK Defies Argentina By Claiming Seabed Rich in Oil and Minerals
British, French Nuclear Subs Crash in Atlantic
...and reported in the Chinese press.
Car Scrappage Scheme Has Difficult Start
Courts Rule British Soldiers Have Right to Life
Woman Beaten Up Over Asparagus Price
Gas Pipeline Fight Escalates Sharply
Rally Running Out of Steam
Are the writers aware of how poignant their metaphors seem these days? How literally the rally is running out of steam?

Middle East
Obama to Push Israel for Two-State Pledge
Likud Rejects Peace Plan

Russia/Central Asia
JP Morgan Banker Resigns to Advise Russia on Foreign Mergers
Euro's Stake in Reserves Overtakes Dollar
Gazprom Slashes Dividend by 86%
The Kremlin Takes Aim at Mongolia's Uranium Reserves
Nicaragua Gets Free GAZ Buses After Helping South Ossetia
Kazakhstan: Manufacture of Gasoline Decreased 10% in April
...and kerosene, including jet fuel, decreased 24%.
Kyrgyz PM: Energy Losses Should Come to 25% in 2009
Kilcullen Believes Drone War Should End While Supporting Troops in Faraway Places

China
China Aviation Oil Net Profit Drops 54% in Q1
Iron Ore Imports Hit Record High
China's Fiscal Revenue Down 13% in April
Fraud Uncovered in Stimulus Spending
Suicide Epidemic Has City Reeling

Japan
Will Second Wave of Price Destruction Finally Spur Change?
Banks See Fertile Ground in Farms
Swine Flu Cases Surge; Most Are Teenagers

India
In One Minute, India Best Stock Market in World with 48% Gain in '09

Women
Like African Americans, women gain power just in time to be left holding the bag when civilization crumbles. The black belt of Dalia Grybauskaite, the first female president of Lithuania, should set us straight on whether or not this microtrend is truly an endorsement of the 'feminine' side of mankind, whatever that may mean.
Vote in India Reshapes Landscape
First Women Win Seats in Kuwait Parliament
Woman is Elected to Lead Lithuania

10 comments:

tony said...

"If Oil Demand is Falling, Why Are Prices Going Up?"

very simple, China is filling its oil stockpiles (together with its copper and iron ore stockpiles): http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a5yhtDZx75kw&refer=home

Los Doggies said...

We have received our books. We look forward to reading and hope everyone gets their copies soon.

MCR - give us your words and energy! we miss you on the blog.

Sebastian Ronin said...

Re "Like African Americans, women gain power just in time to be left holding the bag when civilization crumbles."

So that's why everything is getting blown up! Sounds like a scorched earth policy to me. =:-D

Rice Farmer said...

Yea, lots of schools closed in Japan. What's going on? The media are saying that the swine flu virus is not highly toxic, but is highly infective. Meanwhile, schools are closing, but the government urges businesses to stay open. Conclusion: they are not worried about deaths as much as the blow to the economy if lots of people end up flat on their backs and businesses close or are understaffed.

Pandabonium said...

There is a beautiful and instructive YouTube video posted at the blog "Kurashi - News from Japan" (martinjapan.blogspot.com/).

It's about sustainability and localization.

"Forests, wetlands and rice paddies, and grasslands: In Japanese, there is a name for this kind of area that encompasses these ecosystems, along with houses and roads and shops where people make a living: Satoyama"Harvest Time In SatoyamaEnglish, 6 1/2 minutes.

Rice Farmer said...

Pandabonium, thanks for posting that. Satoyama is a good example of how certain kinds of human intervention can actually enrich ecosystems... and feed humans.

Sebastian Ronin said...

Re, Can 350.org save the worldI honestly believe that these types of Pollyanna exercises in futility are more damaging than they are constructive. They are damaging in that they instill a false hope, the hope that it is still possible to dodge the bullet of ecological collapse and degradation. The tipping point is visible in the rear-view mirror; we have already left it in our industrial wake and smoke.

Environmentalists and Green parties, their political voice, will never cop to the fact that their conduct is at an ethical equivalent of a vociferous carnie roping in dupes to take a rigged shot at winning a plastic kewpie doll, the blind desperation behind a weight loss pitch, or the barking of a televangelist that Jebus is just around the corner, no need to assume personal and immediate responsibility in the here and the now.

Environmentalists will never cop to such conduct because to do so they would have to firstly admit that they are guilty of it. Environmentalists and Greens would have to surrender the juvenile notion of “saving the world.” (The degree of Western vanity contained in the latter propaganda is truly amazing.) Furthermore, Green parties would have to be prepared to sacrifice their flimsy electoral bases and, in the case of Canada, their taxpayer-subsidized cash flow ($1.95/vote at the federal level).

All such false efforts detract in equal proportion from the efforts and resources that could be being applied to regional and local strategies of prepare, prepare and prepare some more. Unfortunately, not until the political will is crafted at the regional and local levels to undertake such measures will anything be accomplished. One of the most important tools for business planning, a calculation of opportunity cost, is not in neither the national nor international environmentalist dictionaries. This will be most clearly evident when the same gang of illusionists gathers in Copenhagen to release yet another dire warning for the planet’s future.

In its annual report last year, the IEA is anticipating one of two warming scenarios over the next 20-30 years. The IEA’s client base is the G20; there is no need to fudge on the numbers. The two scenarios are for either 450 ppm CO2 levels or 550 ppm. Even with the former “more optimistic” level, the IEA states the following (please read carefully):

“Even leaving aside any debate about the political feasibility of the 450 Policy Scenario, it is uncertain whether the scale of the transformation envisaged is even technically achievable, as the scenario assumes broad deployment of technologies that have not yet been proven. The technology shift, if achievable, would certainly be unprecedented in scale and speed of deployment. Increased public and private spending on research and development in the near term would be essential to develop the technologies needed to make the 450 Policy Scenario a reality.”One has to wonder if the tagging along of a 351st bicyclist on the day of the 350.org protest would be the equivalent of a 100th monkey while the saber-rattling in the Arctic escalates.

businessman said...

I wonder what's already going on with our own food supply...

Bakers Furious at Mass Medication of New Zealand's Bread"While about 50 countries already have voluntary schemes, the September introduction would put New Zealand among select few that make it mandatory, or are planning to do so."

tony said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/may/19/gps-close-to-breakdown

GPS system 'close to breakdown'
Network of satellites could begin to fail as early as 2010

just an idea: could it be intentional?

Tyler Havlin said...

Loud Paradigm Shift Rumblings

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldenJackass/1242973800.phpA must read.