Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Coming Blackouts in Britain

From Jenna Orkin:

Collapse: China/West
Britain Facing Blackouts for First Time Since 1970s
Any nostalgia or sense of same old, same old is misplaced. Blackouts are spreading as predicted, harbingers of worse to come.

Demand for power from homes and businesses will exceed supply from the national grid within eight years, according to official figures...

The gap between Britain’s energy needs and demand throws fresh doubt on the Government’s assertion that renewable energy can make up for dwindling nuclear and coal capabilities.
Fuel duty increase
Defence industry warning UK told to step up defence spending or risk becoming a global nonentity
Geo-Engineering Should Be Developed as Insurance Against Climate Change
Climate changing technologies - such as man-made volcanoes and mirrors in space - should be investigated as an “insurance policy” against catastrophic global warming, claims a leading science body.

Comment: Perhaps it's just as well Peak Oil will make most such efforts impossible as these techno-fixes carry untold side effects.
The Case Against a Super-Regulator
Once again, TPTB respond to a catastrophe with a reshuffling of the bureaucracy and the proposal of yet another regulatory czar. In this Op-Ed, the Republican Chairwoman of the FDIC Chairman argues for spreading the responsibility as well as for more localized supervision of state banks.
The Systemic Threat Posed by Megabanks
Countdown To Dollar Implosion Madness
Households Start to Rival the Chinese in Treasury Market
Global Stocks Fall as China Tumbles
Shanghai Index May Drop 25% on Economy, Xie Says (from Rice Farmer)
The USG doesn’t need foreigners to finance the US Fiscal Deficit? Who Knew?
Shipping Rates Seen Falling 50% as China Cuts Imports Amid Vessel Overrun
Preview from Europe: Stocks Get the China Syndrome
As hybrid cars gobble rare metals, shortage looms
China Tightening Control of Rare Earth Minerals
Will Boeing move to Beijing? (from Rice Farmer)
Ralph Lauren to Open Up to 15 China Stores Yearly as U.S. Sales `Flatten'
What Barney Frank Really Said About Ron Paul's HR1207
Mish Videos - On the Edge with Max Keiser
Naomi Campbell attacks companies for 'dropping' black models in recession


There are more Department of Defense contractors in Afghanistan today than there are uniformed U.S. military personnel, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service. Not only that, the ratio of contractors to troops in Afghanistan is higher than in any prior military engagement in U.S. history." As of March 2009, there were 68,197 DOD contractors in Afghanistan, compared to 52,300 uniformed personnel. Contractors made up 57% of DOD’s workforce in Afghanistan. This apparently represented the highest recorded percentage of contractors used by DOD in any conflict in the history of the United States," the CRS report (pdf) said.
U.S. arms dealer pleads guilty in Afghan weapons case

Japanese government routed in election
Democratic Party humiliates Liberal Democrats, who had dominated since 1955...

Japanese Media
(from Secrecy News:


"Japan is a media-saturated nation where the level of consumption of both newspapers and television is extremely high by global standards," according to a new assessment from the DNI Open Source Center (OSC). "Furthermore, the news media have the deep trust of the people.... More Japanese adults trust journalism than trust any other institution [including] schools, the police, or religious institutions." The 67-page OSC report (pdf) describes the peculiar Japanese media landscape, with profiles of major media categories as well as individual news organizations. It also presents numerous curious observations regarding Japanese production and consumption of news and information.

For example: "Surveys report that over half of adults in Japan read news content on their cell phones." Many posters on online Japanese bulletin boards "use nonstandard Japanese, making their comments difficult to read for the uninitiated. For example, Chinese characters are often intentionally misused, and keyboard symbols and other special characters are put together to form nonstandard 'compounds' that make sense only to insiders."

"A stable group of prominent bloggers who consistently help shape mainstream dialogue on key issues of policy has yet to emerge in Japan."

In 2007, however, Japanese was the world's top blogging language, accounting for 37% of all blog entries posted on the Internet.

"Weekly magazines are notorious in Japan for their loose editorial standards, airing rumor, half-truths, and outright falsehoods with little vetting of the information."

"Compared to three decades ago, there are many more opinion magazines that express right-wing views about history and security.... This fact tends to amplify right-wing voices beyond their actual influence and crowd out countervailing opinions from the political center and left." The OSC report on Japanese media has not been approved for public release, but a copy was obtained by Secrecy News. See "Japan -- Media Environment Open; State Looms Large," Open Source Center, August 18, 2009.

Lockerbee Bomber to Reveal Identity of "True Bomber"
Son of Ex-CIA Spy Admits To Taking Russian Money

Swine Flu
Flu Shot or Get Fired
Pregnant women shun flu vaccine

Gold Nanotech Breath Test May Show Lung Cancer Early
Interview with Bill Murphy of the Gold Anti-Trust Association
Mormons Become Victims in $50 Million Gold Bullion Scam


toner deeski said...

RE: Lockerbie scapegoat Abdel Baset al-Megrahi

RanD said...


I want to extend particular thanks to you for this most recent FTW Front Page -- "Coming Blackouts in Britain." Although I've but scanned the page and not yet clicked a thing there, its offerings and their arrangement of presentation bespeak the work of a very special person. But then, from its outset to this moment, FTW has always been a very special place. We thank you so much for being here.

Ruthie & David

Rice Farmer said...

I have not yet looked at the OSC report, but this I can say first-hand about the Japanese media. First, peak oil is a non-story. If you depend on the Japanese media for your news, you would probably not yet even know about it. Second, technology will solve all our problems. In this respect, the media -- especially TV -- relentlessly bombard the public with upbeat stories selling a Glorious Technological Future. There is no doubt some positive feedback between the media and the technology-loving public. Third, consume! The media are filled with features and quasi-news stories that exhort the public to spend and consume. Fourth, the USA can do no wrong. The media faithfully parrot the US government propaganda line, subscribe to the US worldview, are highly deferential to the US, and generally write their news stories with a US-inspired slant.

These are four major characteristics that immediately come to mind.

Jeff said...

It was all over the airwaves here in anchorage today,"In the event we outstrip supply of natural gas this winter,homes heating will be first in line and the powerplant will be shut down for a period of time daily"
And they are saying the pipeline is definitally in decline,I think 6.5% per year now.
The nay-sayers that didn't believe me before were shocked,go figure.

Rice Farmer said...

Just after that last post, I found that today the Mainichi Shimbun (one of Japan's three national mass-circulation dailies) has an interview with David Strahan, author of The Last Oil Shock. Part of the print article appears online here:

So tell your Japanese friends and acquaintances. I've just been told by an informed Japanese source that this is the first serious treatment of peak oil by one of the mainstream media here.

Michel said...

Two very interesting stories today:

The first dealing with the IMF's Special Drawing Rights (read as new "World Reserve Currency")

IMF Signs US$50 Billion Note Purchase Agreement with China

"The note purchase agreement is the first in the history of the Fund, and follows the endorsement by the Executive Board on July 1, 2009 of the framework for issuing notes to the official sector. The Chinese authorities had expressed their intention to invest up to US$50 billion in IMF notes in June (see Press Releases No. 09/204 and No. 09/248)."

This follows last week's announcement boosting SDR reserves by a factor of 10:

IMF Injecting $283 Billion in SDRs into Global Economy, Boosting Reserves

"The allocation, equivalent to $250 billion, was made on August 28 and will be followed by an additional, albeit much smaller, allocation of $33 billion on September 9. With the two allocations totaling roughly $283 billion, the outstanding stock of SDRs would increase nearly ten-fold to total about $316 billion.

There are no notes or coins denominated in SDRs, nonetheless the SDR does play a role as an interest-bearing international reserve asset. The allocation of SDRs by the IMF boosts member countries’ reserves because SDRs can be turned into usable currencies. Once the SDRs have been added to a member country’s official reserves, the country can voluntarily exchange its SDRs for hard currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, euro, yen, or pound sterling, through voluntary trading arrangements with other IMF member countries.

Some countries have already volunteered to set up trading arrangements that will facilitate the buying and selling of SDRs."

The new global reserve currency is taking root. The days of petrodollar hegemony are numbered.

The second story deals with confidence in certain countries' abilities to manage key assets:

Hong Kong recalls its Gold from London

"Hong Kong is pulling all its physical gold holdings from depositories in London, transferring them to a high-security depository newly built at the city's airport, in a move that won praise from local traders Thursday."

Recall the rumours that Germany has demanded the repatriation of it's gold reserves as well. This "demand" has not been confirmed in the mainstream press, however, last week:

Bundesbank confirms Germany's gold is in play

Kirk Ultra said...

Tom Petrie of Bank of America admits to peak oil.

agape wins said...

Happy Labor Day!

Reflect on what this holiday is to celebrate, get past the "Trade Unions", & the negative aspect thereof.
Ask someone who worked before the worker had a voice, what it was like, dirty, unhealthy, unsafe,
overworked, & sometimes hounded by Company "Goons".
Also nothing comes to us Gratis/Free, everything involves Blood, Sweat, & Tears. With the future holding more, and, more Blood--Just call it LABOR!

Music & monkeys:

Now we know why there are so many types of music, quality of the same, & fans of each!!

I know it's been some time, the laptop which contains my drafts
has been down for repair; but is anyone still interested in my
dreams, no dreams, & how I think everything fits/ties together, or
is that old and better forgotten?

nelson said...

I introduced Mike in Toronto on stage at OISE. I am a friend of Loretta's. I do radio and TV Internet in Toronto. With the 9/11 anniversary next week I would like to know if Mike was available to give my radio audience a briefing. I am Sherman Skolnick's cohost. Let me know please if Mike is up to it. Thanks.

RanD said...

How WE build better worlds - #13

Hey Agape wins, by all means -- don't stop letting us know what you're thinking and doing; communicating ourselves to each other is key to our species' very reason for existing! Your words are valuable! I read your every post... sometimes several times over!

Getting-giving-sharing sometimes ego wilting comments from-to-amongst ourselves/each-other should not be (mis)construed as reason for slipping back under the covers thinking one is not making a valuable contribution to the expansion of human consciousness; and, we're of equal value in this multi-generationally protracted social venture into lifting ourselves from where we don't want to be to where it's better. This is how we've always built worlds ever-progressively, if ever-gradually, better for us ALL.

Cheers to you!

cujo said...

Rice Farmer which pref do you live in and what job do you do here? I have been in Japan 15 years now and am in Tokyo running an consulting firm. Be interesting ti hear where you get your information from.

Jenna Orkin said...

email addresses don't normally show up on blogger as yours did not.

mcr doesn't do 9/11 interviews anymore but pls note that a movie about him is about to be released at the toronto international film festival. in light of this event i'll forward your email to him.

v said...

Super fast, super secret software used to manipulate price of oil?



cj said...

H.R. 2596: No Child Left Unimmunized Against Influenza Act of 2009

Time to write to our elected representatives.

v said...

How Will the End of Cheap Oil Affect Future Global Climate?



Paul said...

Peak Oil and the IEA (What they don’t want you to know…)

An interesting insight into the reliability (or lack of`) of information coming out of the IEA and its chief economist, Dr. Fatih Birol.


And yet, Dr Birol who seems to be particularly concerned about his career has become a master in playing something that could be described as a “double game” regarding Peak Oil. Depending on the moment (and most likely, the pressures he receives), he publicly admits or denies the seriousness of Peak Oil and its potential effects.

In June 2004 the BBC supported this claim and gave additional information about who Dr. Birol really is.

“In public, Mr Birol denied that supply would not be able to meet rising demand, especially from the buoyant economies in the USA, China and India. But after his speech he seemed to change his tune… When BBC News Online followed up by asking if this giant increase in production was actually possible rather than simply a desire he refused to answer. "You are from the press? This is not for you. This is not for the press."”

Apparently, for Dr. Birol the (hard) truth is neither for the press nor for the public.


A peon said...

Obama adviser Van Jones resigns amid controversy

Jeff said...

This is really something,Van Jones resigns.

OregonSurvivor said...

The collapse has already happened, according to Gerald Celente:

Meanwhile, Psychology Today promotes the idea that "truthers" are psychotic.

Time for some fiddle tunes.

RayLeeUS said...


Thanks for the article on monkeys and music. It's right in the groove of one of the topics in a book I am writing about the history and evolution of music. I'll have to find out if there's more to the theory then the cursory statement of the article's author: "His theory is that music relates to the most primitive sounds we make and respond to, like laughter, heartbeats, or a mother's cooing." That statement by itself is not very controversial but is the essence of many theories -- it's accepted as a given by many musicologists based on observations made by a number of people over time. The task that many great minds have directed their attention to, and I assume Teie has as well, is to determine more specifically how we got from the primitive seeds of musical input to what we now recognize as music.

It's been noted for some time that gibbons sing duets with their mates, and we have many other examples of music and music-like activity in other species. Learning about how and what types of music stimulate other animals can only be helpful. Imitative human-created birdsong has similarly been found to stimulate birds - specifically, arousing sexual excitement among corresponding female birds (male birdsong can often be more pragmatic than an expression of a birdlike "joie de vie", as large repertoires of songs lead to greater reproductive opportunities). But aside from what we see in the ordinary natural life of primates and other animals they do not make music for anywhere near the myraid purposes we do, or to the extent of development we have achieved.

What fascinates me more is studies testing the musical awareness, cognition, and receptivity among infants and very young children. Humans have progressed through millions of years of evolution beyond the point that we diverged from a common ancestor of our genetic counsin primates, and it's the physical and psychological evolution accrued over those millions of years that holds the keys to understanding human music. Infant responses demonstrate innate abilities and receptors that have essentially encoded themselves into the human genome. While there is much to our responses to music that can be conditioned by environment and education, these innate abilities come pre-packaged for us. The visceral, primitive, stuff is there, but amazing so are some of the advanced abilities that we don't expect to ever see in animals.

How much of the individual characteristics of our own DNA affect our individual responses to music is another area that remains to be seen, but this type of research by Teie tends to highlight the universal responses - i.e. it tends to emphasize that humans should react similarly to different types of music owing to their consistent DNA structure and ancestral experience, as opposed to having varied tastes and responses.

There's still much to learn. However, given that much of what makes human music compelling is its connection to our consciousness of the human situation - i.e. being aware of our existence within time and space but unable to fully understand it - don't be surprised if music's greatest mysteries remain so.

OrwellianUK said...

US Air Force Reactivates B52 Squadron


GQ Magazine suppresses Russian 'False Flag' Story

karlof1 said...

Hi Folks,

FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds's testimony has been released, and its 241 pages can be found here. So far, Huffpost is the only "media" outlet to make any of its contents known, and its very HOT.

RanD said...

RayLeeUS - #14

Your response to Agape wins re his observations-of-interest in (what, in this instance ultimately amounts to being) what the relation of what humans call "music" might be (for at least some species of organisms,such as ours) to themselves, unlocks doors here at FTW --- and everywhere else, for that matter (from RanD's perspective) --- that invites us to take a quantum leap in consciousness from where we've been to where we literally "need" to be (but only for those that want to be "there"). And: if these statements you are reading here were untrue --- then nothing of what you're reading here would have been possible to write nor would what we're referring to here as music have ever come into existence. "Music is the specifically harmonic voice of life, itself; and, as such, routinely manifests from out of the foundation of existence as that which it is from every place it is found to come forth."


Thank you --- RayLeeUS and Agape wins --- for your wonderful contributions to the opening of doors.

And to you too, again, Jenna (oh my goodness, yes!): Thank you so much for being here doing the very special stuff you do.