“Tired Mountain Syndrome” – North Korea’s Nuclear Test Site Is Headed For A Deadly Collapse

UN Security Council sanctions aside, one of the reasons China has closed much of its border with North Korea and imposed emergency measures to monitor radiation flowing across the mountainous terrain is because the country’s scientists worry that the mountain under which North Korea has held five of its six nuclear tests is in danger of collapsing and unleashing a devastating cloud of radiation on the surrounding terrain.
And just in case anybody doubted the veracity of China’s warnings, a slew of independent analysts have confirmed what Beijing has long feared: North Korea’s Mount Mantap, a 7,200-foot-peak under which North Korea has carried out most of its recent nuclear tests, is suffering from ‘tired mountain syndrome,’ according to the Washington Post.
Satellite images captured during the North’s Sept. 3 test of a purported hydrogen bomb, Mt Mantap could be seen visibly shifting during the enormous detonation which triggered a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in North Korea’s northeast.
And since that test, the region – which is not known for seismic activity – has experienced several landslides and no fewer than three more earthquakes.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 20, 2017.

A Call for ‘Do-Nothing’ Presidents Without Legacies

Some in the news media and editorial page pundits are aghast that many of President Donald Trump’s executive orders and legislative proposals sent off to the United States Congress represent an attempt to undue the presidential ‘legacy’ of Barack Obama. The question is, why should it be presumed that presidents need to have policy legacies to leave behind after their term in office has ended?
In this particular case, many of those on the political ‘left’ are focused on the proposals coming out of the Trump White House to repeal and replace ObamaCare – the (un)Affordable Care Act – as well as ‘climate change’ legislation and international agreements, land use and mining regulations, and the Iran nuclear armaments deal.
Not All Presidential Legacies are ‘Equal’ in the Eyes of the Pundits An interesting question is whether the news pundits would be in the same public policy uproar if an immediately preceding president had been a classical liberal or libertarian and had left a ‘legacy’ of having dismantled the interventionist-welfare state, which his successor started to intentionally reverse by once more introducing all the same regulatory and redistributive legislation that had been repealed and abolished.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on October 17, 2017.

Rocketman May Have Destabilized the Ground in North Korea

Sources in South Korea are reporting that there was another earthquake in North Korea of a 2.7 magnitude near the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. This was the fourth earthquake to hit the region since the last underground nuclear test on September 3rd, 2017. The first earthquake was a 6.3 magnitude. The last North Korea test was a hydrogen bomb. U. S. intelligence reportedly determined the blast was 10 times greater than that of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 15, 2017.

Power Grid Failures: CA Wildfires Are Now A Serious Critical Catastrophic Event

The death toll continues to rise because of the California wildfires currently scorching across wine country. With 23 dead and hundreds missing, the fires are labeled as a ‘serious critical catastrophic event’ complete with power grid failures.
The wind known as the Diablo is picking up again, the air is dry, there is no rain in sight and the killer wildfires that have scorched the wine country of Northern California remain almost completely uncontained. Officials warned Wednesday that some of the big fires could merge making them almost impossible to contain. While thousands have been told to evacuate or prepare to leave their homes, hundreds are missing and 23 are dead.
There’s now also a probable link between the wildfires and the power grid failure. The huge utility company PG&E acknowledged that the extreme winds late Sunday and early Monday had knocked trees into power lines in conditions conducive to wildfires. ‘The historic wind event that swept across PG&E’s service area late Sunday and early Monday packed hurricane-strength winds in excess of 75 mph in some cases,’ said Ari Vanrenen, a PG&E spokeswoman, in a statement released after the San Jose Mercury News first reported on a possible link between the wildfires and the power grid. ‘These destructive winds, along with millions of trees weakened by years of drought and recent renewed vegetation growth from winter storms, all contributed to some trees, branches, and debris impacting our electric lines across the North Bay,’ she said.

This post was published at shtfplan on October 12th, 2017.

EPA Administrator: The War On Coal Is Over!

‘The war on coal is over,’ EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt declared in the coal mining state of Kentucky. The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that he will sign a new rule overriding the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Pruitt was among about two-dozen attorney generals who sued to stop former President Barack Obama’s push to limit carbon emissions, so the elimination of the Clean Power Plan is personal to him. Getting rid of the Clean Power Plan will mark the culmination of a long fight he began as the elected attorney general of the state of Oklahoma.
Pruitt has long rejected the government consensus that man-made emissions from burning fossil fuels are the primary driver of global climate change – or is it global warming?

This post was published at shtfplan on October 10th, 2017.

Connor Stedman: Carbon Farming

Sequestering atmospheric carbon through natural means
Climate change remains a hotly debated topic. But a scientific fact not up for dispute is the pronounced spike in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere over the past two centuries.
There’s a building urgency to find solutions that can manage/reverse that spike — a process known as carbon sequestration. But how to do that on a planetary scale? It’s a massive predicament. And most of the ‘solutions’ being proposed are technologically unproven, prohibitively costly and/or completely impractical.
Enter carbon farming. It uses nature-based farming practices to park gigatons of carbon in the soil, rebuild soil health and complexity, and revitalize the nutrient density of the foods that we eat. It is quite likely the only practical — and best — way to sequester carbon at massive scale, as well as reap a multitude of by-product benefits.
In this week’s podcast, field ecologist and agriforestry specialist Connor Stedman explains the science behind the carbon farming process:
For the last few million years of the Earth’s history, when there’s been this cycle of glaciers advancing and receding in the northern hemisphere, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has gone between about 180 parts per million and 280 parts per million. That is the band in which all of human history has happened, up until the last 200 or 300 years.
Now the concentration of carbon dioxide is about 407 parts per million, almost 50% higher than the upper end of that historical normal. Carbon dioxide is one of a number of greenhouse gases that hold heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, rather than it being fully reflected back out into space

This post was published at PeakProsperity on Monday, October 9, 2017,.

EPA To Repeal Obama-Era “Clean Power Plan”

In another policy move that is sure to ‘trigger‘ liberals and climate-change advocates, the New York Times is reporting that EPA Chief Scott Pruitt will on Tuesday announce that the agency is taking formal steps to repeal an Obama-era policy meant to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Pruitt justified dismantling the policy – known as the Clean Power Plan – by arguing that his predecessors had departed from regulatory norms in crafting the plan, which was finalized in 2015 and would have pushed states to move away from coal – an industry that President Trump has championed – in favor of sources of electricity that produce fewer carbon emissions.
‘The war on coal is over,’ Mr. Pruitt told the Times.
‘Tomorrow in Washington D. C., I will be signing a proposed rule to roll back the Clean Power Plan. No better place to make that announcement than Hazard, Kentucky.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.

Harvey Weinstein’s Lawyer Quits After Two Days As Democrats Scramble To Distance Themselves

Harvey Weinstein’s attorney Lisa Bloom cut ties suddenly with her “radioactive” movie mogul client in a terse Saturday tweet.
‘I have resigned as an advisor to Harvey Weinstein,’ wrote Bloom – ironically a women’s rights advocate – who was brought in after the Miramax Films co-founder was accused by the NYT of spending decades sexually harassing the women he worked with. ‘My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.’
I have resigned as an advisor to Harvey Weinstein.
My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) October 7, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 7, 2017.

Harvey Weinstein Succeeds Where Trump Failed, Sends NYTimes Stock Tumbling

For months Donald Trump has been engaged in a war of words with “fake news” powerhouse, New York Times, and all he has achieved is to boost its subscription while sending its stock price soaring.
Well, where Republican Donald Trump failed to punish the liberal NYT, Hillary Clinton’s prominent Democrat supporter, Harvey Weinsten, has succeeded, and in one day the shares of the NYT fell the most in almost two months after the movie mogul threatened to sue the publisher over its article detailing allegations of sexual harassment. Times shares dipped 3% to $19.50 Friday, the biggest intraday decline in two months.

The prominent, and now radioactive Hollywood producer, famous for such Oscar winners as ‘The English Patient’ and ‘Shakespeare in Love,’ took a leave of absence from his production company following the New York Times article on Thursday.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 6, 2017.

Fukushima Operator Given Green Light To Restart Nuclear Reactors

Via TheAntiMedia.org,
The Japanese utility Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has received approval to operate reactors for the first time since the 2011 Fukushima meltdown.
On Wednesday, the Nuclear Regulation Authority said TEPCO’s two reactors in northern Japan met new and stricter safety standards.
The authority unanimously approved the draft certificate for reactors number 6 and 7 at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, marking the first step in the process toward restarting them. Portions of the plant’s reactors were damaged in a 2007 earthquake.
Much of the Japanese public is opposed to granting TEPCO permission to once again operate reactors, and rightfully so.
TEPCO was blamed for safety lapses in the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster after a major earthquake in March of 2011, and the tsunami that followed damaged the power supply and cooling system of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, resulting in an unprecedented nuclear accident.
The area around the plant will be closed for the foreseeable future, with extremely high levels of radiation still being recorded in 2017. Radiation from the damaged plant has found its way into the ocean and surrounding areas, including groundwater. The long-term effects of the disaster are still unknown.
TEPCO said in a statement that it will continue improving safety standards at its plants while focusing on Fukushima’s decommissioning in addition to compensation for the thousands of evacuees.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 5, 2017.

Chris Hedges On The End Of Empire: “The Death Spiral Appears Unstoppable”

The American empire is coming to an end. The U. S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U. S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding. Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too.
***
The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence until the dollar is dropped as the world’s reserve currency, plunging the United States into a crippling depression and instantly forcing a massive contraction of its military machine.
Short of a sudden and widespread popular revolt, which does not seem likely, the death spiral appears unstoppable, meaning the United States as we know it will no longer exist within a decade or, at most, two. The global vacuum we leave behind will be filled by China, already establishing itself as an economic and military juggernaut, or perhaps there will be a multipolar world carved up among Russia, China, India, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and a few other states. Or maybe the void will be filled, as the historian Alfred W. McCoy writes in his book ‘In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power,’ by ‘a coalition of transnational corporations, multilateral military forces like NATO, and an international financial leadership self-selected at Davos and Bilderberg’ that will ‘forge a supranational nexus to supersede any nation or empire.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.

Known Unknowns: The Dangers Of North Korea’s H-Bomb Threat

Authored by Larry Greenmeier via ScientificAmerican.com,
The U. S.’s 1954 Castle Bravo thermonuclear disaster offers a cautionary tale about what could go wrong…
Since North Korea’s foreign minister recently floated the idea that his country might test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean, the North’s leader Kim Jong-un and U. S. Pres. Donald Trump have engaged in an escalating battle of name-calling and threats. As unsettling as the exchange has been, fortunately there has so far been no demonstration of thermonuclear weaponry. Many experts question whether Pyongyang actually has an H-bomb and the capability to accurately deliver it. But it is difficult to fully dismiss its sudden decision to ratchet up its rhetoric from nuclear to thermonuclear – and its suggestion that it would move its tests from underground bunkers to the open ocean.
North Korea’s six nuclear tests over the past decade have steadily grown more powerful. Whether it could build an H-bomb in the near future and would test it in the atmosphere – such tests were prohibited by the international 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty – is an open question. The environmental and health impacts this kind of test are also unpredictable and would largely depend on how the bomb is built, where it is detonated and how the weather patterns at that time affect the radioactive fallout.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.

California Assemblyman Promises Bill To Ban Gas Cars By 2040

San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting would like for you to know that he has every intention of introducing new legislation in 2018 that will (i) make it much more difficult for low-income Californians to buy affordable vehicles and (ii) increase greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, Ting didn’t word it in exactly that way but his proposal to ban combustion-engine vehicles will inevitably result in both of the unintended consequences above.
As the Sacramento Bee points out this morning, Ting has promised to introduce his destructive legislation in January saying at some point you just need to “put a line in the sand.”
France and the United Kingdom are doing it. So is India. And now one lawmaker would like California to follow their lead in phasing out gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. When the Legislature returns in January, Assemblyman Phil Ting plans to introduce a bill that would ban the sale of new cars fueled by internal-combustion engines after 2040. The San Francisco Democrat said it’s essential to get California drivers into an electric fleet if the state is going to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets, since the transportation sector accounts for more than a third of all emissions.
‘The market is moving this way. The entire world is moving this way,’ Ting said. ‘At some point you need to set a goal and put a line in the sand.’
‘California is used to being first. But we’re trying to catch up to this,’ Ting said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 30, 2017.

Scientists Are Developing A Technique To Control The Weather With Laser-Beams

In a breakthrough that could permanently ameliorate the threat of thinning water supplies in California and much of the western US, a team of scientists says it will soon be able to induce rainfall and lightning storms by firing high-energy laser beams into the heavens.
Express reports that the breakthrough involves manipulating the static electricity present in clouds – which, after all, are just balls of condensation, triggering rainfall, according to experts at the University of Central Florida and the University of Arizona.
A six year drought in California was finally declared over this year but the threat for the south-western state as well as other locations in the world remains the same.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 29, 2017.

Entire Island Of Vanuatu Evacuates As Preparation For Another Volcanic Eruption

Volcanoes seem to be exploding at a higher rate right now, and the earth is riddled with earthquakes. Now, the entire island of Ambae is evacuated as the Manaro volcano becomes increasingly active.
The island of Bali in Indonesia is already evacuated under threats of Mount Agung’s imminent eruption. Now the island of Ambae in Vanuatu is also cleared of people, as worries about the Manaro volcano’s (also known as Lombenben) activity becomes a concern.


This post was published at shtfplan on September 28th, 2017.

Why Political Correctness Fails (When What We Know “For Sure” Is Wrong)

Most of us are familiar with the Politically Correct (PC) World View. William Deresiewicz describes the view, which he calls the ‘religion of success,’ as follows:
There is a right way to think and a right way to talk, and also a right set of things to think and talk about. Secularism is taken for granted. Environmentalism is a sacred cause. Issues of identity – principally the holy trinity of race, gender, and sexuality – occupy the center of concern.
There are other beliefs that go with this religion of success:
Wind and solar will save us. Electric cars will make transportation possible indefinitely. Our world leaders are all powerful. Science has all of the answers. To me, this story is pretty much equivalent to the article, ‘Earth Is Flat and Infinite, According to Paid Experts,’ by Chris Hume in Funny Times. While the story is popular, it is just plain silly.
In this post, I explain why many popular understandings are just plain wrong. I cover many controversial topics, including environmentalism, peer-reviewed literature, climate change models, and religion. I expect that the analysis will surprise almost everyone.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 27, 2017.

Island Nation Of Vanuatu Evacuated As Volcano Erupts

Natural disasters are coming fast and furious around the globe. About 6,000 people have been evacuated from the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu because of an erupting volcano.
Although the Monaro volcano on Ambae island has been active since 2005, however, sudden activity on Saturday raised fears of a major eruption. The director of Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office Shadrack Welegtabit said on Tuesday that Vanuatu would declare an emergency on the island after the volcano’s activity measure was raised to Level Four for the first time over the weekend.
Vanuatu is located about one-quarter of the way from Australia to Hawaii. It’s made up of 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited, and is home to around 280,000 people. The nation is considered one of the world’s most prone to natural disasters, with a half-dozen active volcanoes as well as regular cyclones and earthquakes. It rests on the Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire,’ the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanoes are common.
Welegtabit also said those villagers had been moved into schools and community halls in the island’s eastern and western regions and that authorities have already planned to send a ship to the island filled with water, food, and other supplies to help those people who had been displaced. That ship is due to arrive on Wednesday.

This post was published at shtfplan on September 26th, 2017.

Buffett, Boomers, & The End Of A Bygone Era

Golden Age
Once upon a time the capital markets consisted of a fairly closed community, comprised on one side by mostly clever, well-connected men working together in syndicate to maintain control over national economic and financial affairs, and on the other side by mostly high earners spread disparately across the land hobnobbing with the syndicate’s local representatives.
It was a privileged ecosystem sanctioned by legally-greased law makers and reluctantly accepted by the great unwashed that acquiesced because capitalism was better than recently defeated fascism and postWar communism, and because, with hard work and production, they too could join the club.
A sequential series of naturally-occurring events successfully transformed and democratized the formerly clubby ecosystem, but in doing so embedded CAT 5 risks into the global productive economy. Consider…
Over-spending by US lawmakers in the 1960s led to the end of the global fixed exchange rate monetary system in the 1970s. US dollars and global assets could begin to be leveraged without limit. Global exporters of oil demanded more money in exchange for their finite resource.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 25, 2017.