Peace Ecology

With serendipitous timing, as a big march for the climate, and various related events, are planned on and around the International Day of Peace, Randall Amster has just published an important book calledPeace Ecology.
This book bridges divides that very much need to be bridged between peace activism and peace academia, and between peace advocacy and environmentalism. This is, in fact, a peace book for deep environmentalists and an environmental book for deep peace advocates.
Typically, I think, peace activists appear to the peace academic as a bit uninformed, ahistorical, reactive, and negative in the sense of being ‘against something rather than for something.’
Peace academics, I’m afraid, often appear to the peace activist as uninterested in ending wars, uncurious about the evils of wars, unimpressed by the military industrial complex as a cause of wars, and altogether too concerned with the personal virtues of people who are in no way responsible for the scourge of war. It is the rare political studies academic who occasionally can be spotted opposing war or documenting the superiority of nonviolent struggle, whereas the peace studies scholars are essentially advocates of environmentalism and democracy who – unlike other environmentalists and democrats – happen to recognize the ginormous roadblock that militarism presents for their agenda. Or so it appears to the activist, who searches in vain for any large academic contingent giving war and war propaganda the full critique they so richly deserve.

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 6, 2014.

Obama’s Oil Boom – Global Warming Be Damned

Considering all the talk about global warming, peak oil, carbon divestment, and renewable energy, you’d think that oil consumption in the United States would be on a downward path. By now, we should certainly be witnessing real progress toward a post-petroleum economy. As it happens, the opposite is occurring. U. S. oil consumption is on an upward trajectory, climbing by 400,000 barrels per day in 2013 alone – and, if current trends persist, it should rise again both this year and next.
In other words, oil is back. Big time. Signs of its resurgence abound. Despite what you may think, Americans, on average, are driving more miles every day, not fewer, filling ever more fuel tanks with ever more gasoline, and evidently feeling ever less bad about it. The stigma of buying new gas-guzzling SUVs, for instance, seems to have vanished; according to CNN Money, nearly one out of three vehicles sold today is an SUV. As a result of all this, America’s demand for oil grew more than China’s in 2013, the first time that’s happened since 1999.
Accompanying all this is a little noticed but crucial shift in White House rhetoric. While President Obama once spoke of the necessity of eliminating our reliance on petroleum as a major source of energy, he now brags about rising U. S. oil output and touts his efforts to further boost production.
Just five years ago, few would have foreseen such a dramatic oil rebound. Many energy experts were then predicting an imminent ‘peak’ in global oil production, followed by an irreversible decline in output. With supplies constantly shrinking, it was said, oil prices would skyrocket and consumers would turn to hybrid vehicles, electric cars, biofuels, and various transportation alternatives. New government policies would be devised to facilitate this shift, providing tax breaks and other incentives for making the switch to renewables.
At that time, a growing concern over climate change and the prospect of further warming due to increased emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels seemed to dim the long-term prospects for petroleum…

This post was published at Wolf Street on September 5, 2014.

Latest Study into the Possibility of Megadroughts Ignores Much of the Real Science of Climate Change

A new study in the Journal of Climate Science warns that decades long drought may become the norm for the southwestern United States.
‘A drier Southwest is also a Southwest at risk of a megadrought,’ said study author Toby Ault, a climate scientist at Cornell University.
Of course, the study implicates global warming as the cause of these future droughts, it does not take into account the planet hasn’t actually warmed at all since 1998. Publications from around the world have published articles relating to the hiatus in global warming. You can read some of them here, here, and here. This article, by the eminent climate scientist Prof Don Easterbrook gives a full explanation of not only the end, for now of global warming, but how the planet is actually cooling at the moment.
The Journal of climate science study only takes into account precipitation, and even with that it deals with the averages in recent years. It makes no account for years of mammoth snowfall, or years of years of above average rainfall. Finally, it makes no reference at all to the cycles the Earth is proven to go through.
Back in the 1970′s scientists were screaming that a new ice age was upon us…they were of course wrong. The planet goes through cycles of warming and cooling and this is what’s happening now, it has always happened and it will continue to happen.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on September 5th, 2014.

Big-Oil CEO Faces His Failure by Keeping His Eyes Closed about Global Warming

Head of Oil Company that’s Most at Risk Of Declining Value
From Oil & Gas Is Burying His Head in the Tar-Sand About It
According to the landmark study of the impact that the rising world concerns about global warming will have destroying the market-value of oil company stocks, no large oil company is as vulnerable as Norway’s Statoil, but Statoil’s head says that he must drive his firm, and implicitly therefore Norway’s economic future, down the drain of this declining market-value. His response to the challenge, he says, must be to drive his corporate ship even straighter into the coming economic abyss for fossil-fuels firms.
He says:
Many people want Statoil to invest in all types of renewable energy activities. Often with no concern for whether the company can achieve realistic profitability within a reasonable time span. It is an easy stand to take for people who are under no obligation to run a profitable business. But I know who will be blamed if Statoil decides to invest five billion Norwegian Kroner in something which is in today, but turns out to be a fiasco in five years’ time,
The headline and sub-head of that article is: ‘Helge Lund uncertain about Statoil’s green future: It is not given that Statoil will become a green company.’ It was published on 21 August 2010, in the Norwegian newspaper, Stavanger Aftenbladet.
The reporters at Aftenbladet wrote: ‘He believes that one of the most important tasks for the years ahead is to reduce the cost of renewable energy.’ But nothing indicates that his firm (the one firm that’s the most at-risk of a big global-warming market-value hit) should hotfoot the way into this ‘green’ direction – switching away from investing in oil and gas, to investing instead in renewable energy. Exactly the contrary, in fact. Statoil’s President/CEO said:

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 4, 2014.

The September Start of War

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; The fact that you gave us all warning of the turn in the Cycle of War coming in 2014 back at the 1998 conference and at 2011 conference, was truly amazing to watch how this has all worked out. But the stunning realization that you pinpoint Ukraine as the flash point and then said it will turn up in September which has arrived with the Russians openly invading Ukraine, I just do not know how anyone from the goldbugs to government cannot appreciate what you have done with analyzing time. They expose their own stupidity and bias by trying to criticism you on a personal level when you have shown us this is not opinion or just outright ignore you and hope you go away. People should be supporting your work and the sooner you go public the better.
Do you have any idea what makes this all work so precisely? The ECM picks events to the day, but you said this war in Ukraine would turn up starting in September. Your timing is truly amazing.
Thank you so much for showing us a new way to look at everything. I use to attend various lectures on cyclical analysis. But they seemed primitive at best and only concerned about trading some single market thinking they have conquered the world. Nobody has ever comprehended the global connectivity that you show us all the time. I really do hope the government would just for once care about society and listen to what your models really project. So many lives would be saved not to mention money from chasing absurd ideas like global warming that is obviously a natural cycle. It is a shame the analytical community does not stand up and support you rather than trying to compete with you when they cannot even understand the depth to which you have taken cyclical analysis.
Thank you once again for showing us the light.
HRK
ANSWER: Thank you. I am very glad that some people are starting to see that this is something very important that could really change the future is implemented. We are trying to take this public to protect everything and then hopefully the technology can be applied to many fields. Ego keeps the industry fragmented. Only when we crash and burn does it appear that there would be any type of unity in the analysis community. They argued Keynes was nuts until the Great Depression hit. This is just how it functions. As for a market forecasters, generally all they are doing is trying to make a buck. They are not normally inspired by lofty goals. They are content trying to develop just trading systems to sell.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 3, 2014.

Reuters Stumped as Polls Show Decline in Warming Worry

Why we’re so blase about global warming … If you don’t regard global warming as a serious problem, your company is growing. According to the survey jockeys at Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who think global warming is “very serious” or “somewhat serious” has declined since 2006 (from 79 percent to 65 percent). While a firm majority still considers global warming to be very or somewhat serious, the numbers show that public alarm over the topic has receded over a period during which the scientific, journalistic, and political consensus on the topic has surged the other way. – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: People don’t care about the biggest threat to the planet? That doesn’t make any sense.
Free-Market Analysis: Reuters is astonished that people aren’t so worried about global warming as they used to be. The editorial excerpted above spends a lot of time trying to figure out why this is so.
Of course, maybe people are less worried because they have decided the threat has been exaggerated. That’s the one alternative that the article resolutely does NOT examine.
Here’s more:
… Fewer respondents agree that the earth is warming and fewer agree that human activity causes warming. These figures must give cognitive whiplash to those who dismiss the public as a herd of easily driven sheep.
The scientific establishment, the press, and politicians have a flimsy grasp of mass opinion. Americans’ blas and wishy-washy attitudes toward global warming may be related to the positive short-term effects of environmental policies that they observe daily.

This post was published at The Daily Bell on September 02, 2014.

Despite California’s drought, residents are promised access to several times more water than is actually available

There is a major water crisis currently sweeping California, and experts say outdated water allocation data is making the problem even worse. In many areas of the state, say experts, water control measures, many of which were established back in the 1920s and 1930s, have over-promised water that doesn’t actually exist, and water regulators are scrambling to make things right as the Golden State limps through one of the worst droughts in recorded history. According to the Los Angeles Register (LAR), the state has promised about five times more water to residents, businesses and public utilities than is actually available from its vast network of reservoirs, distribution canals and aquifers. This is because the State Water Resources Control Board does not actually know how much water is currently being used throughout the state, nor does it have accurate data on how much can legally and feasibly be distributed. A new study on the subject explains that there is such a significant backlog in water allocation data that state water regulators and local water managers are stumped as to where water use needs to be further restricted, and where it might need to be loosened. Despite the fact that more than 60 percent of the state is currently suffering through “exceptional” drought conditions, the most severe level, some freshwater is still reaching the ocean, for instance, which means it is being wasted.“If they don’t know how much water is being used, they’ll have to use a pretty blunt instrument,” explained study author Ted Grantham to LAR.

This post was published at Natural News on Sunday, August 31, 2014.

U.S. Court rules that biotech corporations can’t force grain elevator companies to accept GMOs

A federal appeals court has ruled that a biotech giant cannot force a grain elevator firm to store a strain of genetically modified corn. As reported by agriculture website Capital Press, Syngenta attempted to employ a 100-plus-year-old warehouse law to force the elevator company, Bunge, to accept the GM corn. The ruling may preempt other makers of GM seeds and crops from using the same litigation tactic against grain elevators that have refused to harbor crops with altered transgenic traits, according to experts. Controversy began in 2011, Capital Press reported, after Bunge operators refused to accept the Syngenta Seeds-produced Agrisure Viptera variety of corn. The elevator operators told farmers growing the GMO strain that they could not take it because it had yet to clear legal and regulatory requirements in all major export destinations. At the time, the strain had yet to be accepted by the Chinese government.‘You don’t have a private cause of action’Capital Press noted:In response, Syngenta filed a lawsuit accusing Bunge of violating the U. S. Warehouse Act of 1916, which requires elevators to treat depositors fairly.
Farmers who grew Viptera corn had to ship their crops to other elevators and find other sources of corn to fulfill their contracts with Bunge, which hurt Syngenta’s reputation and market share, the biotech company claimed.

This post was published at Natural News on Sunday, August 31, 2014.

Federal judge overturns Kauai County’s GMO and pesticide regulations

Last Nov., Kauai County, which consists of three Hawaiian islands, passed Kauai County Ordinance 960, which required large-scale agricultural operations to disclose the presence of pesticides and genetically modified (GM) crops, as reported by Hawaii’s KHON 2 News. Despite Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. vetoing the measure, the ordinance passed, offering Kauai County residents new hope in protecting themselves and their environment from the year-round spraying of large quantities of restricted-use pesticides by multinational chemical companies. The passing of Ordinance 960 was a huge victory for the people. It even established buffer zones near sensitive areas like schools, medical facilities, parks, homes, roadways, shorelines and waterways, according to KHON 2. Ordinance 960 was intended to go into effect Aug. 16 of this year, but it was delayed by a lawsuit, and, unfortunately, on Aug. 25 a federal judge ruled to overturn the county ordinance, claiming that the community had no right to regulate pesticides and GM seeds, because state and federal laws already do so.

This post was published at Natural News on Saturday, August 30, 2014.

Russian government instates fines for violating GMO labeling regulations

The Russian government doesn’t buy into America’s genetically modified seed hype so easily. In fact, the Russian government takes a hard stance against the patented seeds, since some are spliced with bacteria to produce insecticide from within. When this kind of lab-manipulated food finds its way into the Russian marketplace, it must be evaluated, scrutinized and labeled appropriately. Current Russian laws require that foodstuffs with 0.9 percent GMO ingredients by weight be labeled accordingly, warning consumers of the transgenic material. There’s nothing wrong with questioning food products that come from a lab, which have never been proven safe long-term in the human population. Russians suspicions of the untested transgenic material are wise and have put them on a course of reducing their intake of genetically modified ingredients altogether. According to the Russian government, the proportion of GMOs in the Russian food industry had dropped significantly in the past decade from 12 percent to just 0.01 percent. Reportedly, the entire country has only 57 registered GMO food products available.
New Russian law would mandate labeling for all GMO products and instate fines Now, a new bill, drafted by the Russian state consumer rights agency Rospotrebnadzor, is looking to mandate labeling of any food product containing any amount of genetically modified ingredient. Under the new law, those who fail to properly label the GMO products they sell would be subject to fines from anywhere between $555 and $4,150. The improperly labeled food stock would then be confiscated and likely discarded by the government.

This post was published at Natural News on Saturday, August 30, 2014.

‘All Natural’ Bee-Saving Pesticide is Genetically Engineered

Here we go again, folks. Recently Natural News published an article titled ‘New, all-natural pesticide unveiled by scientists – and it won’t kill the bees!’
Good news on the honeybee front – a team of scientists in the UK have created a biopesticide made from spider venom and plant protein that may provide hope for the endangered pollinators.
A study published in the research journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B [PDF] states that the experimental, nontoxic biopesticide Hv1a/GNA is ‘unlikely to cause detrimental effects on honeybees.’
Let’s just take a little peek at the source document – ‘Proceedings of the Royal Society B,’ shall we?
Recombinant GNA, and the fusion protein Hv1a/GNA were produced in the yeast expression system…
Definition of ‘recombination:’
Recombination noun r-km-b-n-shn: the formation by the processes of crossing-over and independent assortment of new combinations of genes in progeny that did not occur in the parents.

This post was published at FarmWars on August 29, 2014.

‘I don’t want a unitary, unfakeable identity.’

Dan Geer’s keynote speech at the Blackhat security conference earlier this month (video, transcript) included an important discussion of the often-misunderstood ‘right to be forgotten’ and the larger context of why it matters: the threat posed by compelled identification, and how we can defend ourselves against that threat:
Privacy used to be proportional to that which it is impossible to observe or that which can be observed but not identified. No more – what is today observable and identifiable kills both privacy as impossible-to-observe and privacy as impossible-to-identify, so what might be an alternative? If you are an optimist or an apparatchik, then your answer will tend toward rules of data procedure administered by a government you trust or control. If you are a pessimist or a hacker/maker, then your answer will tend towards the operational, and your definition of a state of privacy will be my definition: the effective capacity to misrepresent yourself…
The Obama administration’s issuance of a National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace [NSTIC] is a case in point; it ‘calls for the development of interoperable technology standards and policies – an ‘Identity Ecosystem’ – where individuals, organizations, and underlying infrastructure – such as routers and servers – can be authoritatively authenticated.’ If you can trust a digital identity, that is because it can’t be faked…. Is having a non-fake-able digital identity for government services worth the registration of your remaining secrets with that government? Is there any real difference between a system that permits easy, secure, identity-based services and a surveillance system? Do you trust those who hold surveillance data on you over the long haul, by which I mean the indefinite retention of transactional data between government services and you, the individual required to proffer a non-fake-able identity to engage in those transactions? Assuming this spreads well beyond the public sector, which is its designers’ intent, do you want this everywhere?…

This post was published at Papers Please on August 27th, 2014.

Government To Regulate Groundwater For 1st Time As California Drought Becomes “Race To The Bottom”

The ongoing disaster that is the drought in the West is leaving wells dry across California – which account for up to 60% of water usage. As WSJ reports, as groundwater levels plunge (100 feet or more lower than norm), wells are being driven further and further into the earth (500 feet in some cases) forcing the state legislature is considering regulating underground water for the first time. “We can’t continue to pump groundwater at the rates we are and expect it to continue in the future,” warns one engineer, adding “What’s scary is we’re not fixing anything… It’s a race to the bottom.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/29/2014.

The Kardashians And Climate Change: Interview With Judith Curry

Climate change continues to drive energy policy, despite the fact that there is no way to reconcile eradicating energy poverty in much of the world with reducing carbon dioxide emissions. This is one of the many conundrums of the climate change debate – a debate that has been taken over by social media and propaganda, while scientists struggle to get back into the game and engage the public.
Judith Curry is an American climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as the co-author of over 140 scientific papers. Her prolific writings offer a rational view of the climate change debate. You can find more of Judith’s work at her blog: JudithCurry.com
In an exclusive interview with Oilprice.com, Curry discusses:
‘ The Koch-funded climate denial machine ‘ Why the public is losing trust in scientists ‘ How alarmist propaganda has skewed the climate debate ‘ How climate change has contributed to a new literary genre ‘ The impact of social media and the ‘Kardashian Factor’ ‘ Climate and the ‘clash of values’ ‘ Global warming or global cooling? ‘ The Polar Vortex and ‘global warming’ ‘ Extreme weather hysteria ‘ Why climate change should not drive energy policy
Oilprice.com: You’ve talked a lot about the role of communication and public relations in the climate change debate. Where do scientists fail in this respect?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/25/2014