Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Breaking News Tues. April 17, 2012

Yesterday I heard about a letter to NASA signed by 50 astronauts and scientists demanding that NASA stop talking about climate change. I emailed greenman at Climate Denial Crock of the Week and asked him about it and he very kindly sent me a link to a story at Skeptical Science about it.
Here's the link.
SkepticalScience: NASA Climate 'Skeptics' Respond with Science! Just Kidding.

So again, thank you to greenman aka Peter, at Climate Crocks! 

Also, this from Ran Prieur via No Tech Magazine.
"We imagine that energy decline and economic collapse will eradicate all high tech, and reduce the whole planet to a preindustrial lifestyle, because it's easy to imagine. It's harder to imagine a collapse that's unevenly distributed. Historically, economic collapses do not reduce everyone to poverty, but increase the gap between rich and poor. I think the same thing is going to happen with technology: while overall resource consumption decreases, the proportion spent at the leading edge of technology will increase. Less energy will be spent moving physical stuff, and more will be spent moving information."
 "Not only will there be a wider gap between the places with the highest and lowest technology, there will also be a wider gap between the highest and lowest technology used by an average person. Already there are African villagers with cell phones. In 20 years you may be living with a group of friends in an abandoned suburb, burning scrap wood for heat, growing open-source genetically modified sweet potatoes, and selling brain time to the dataswarm to gain credits for surgery to install a neuro-optical interface so you can swap out custom eyeballs."
 Now that, is as good  a description of what's coming as anything I've seen. 

and to go along with that, here's a "well duh!" moment for you.

NewScientist: Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world - AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters' worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

Thank yous to RJ at the Global Glass Onion and the Ozarker at Conflicted Doomer , and to Doug at 3Es News and David at ETF Daily, for their help today! They are some serious busy news bees and do  a lot to help make this blog current and interesting.
If you are here by way of the LATOC link, please check out the forums linked at the bottom of this post. I'll bet you find many of your old friends there, and make some new ones as well.

Peak Oil and Energy News
BBC: Fracking should resume - experts - A controversial gas extraction method which triggered two earth tremors near Blackpool last year should continue under strict conditions, a government-appointed panel of experts says.
BBC: Spain warns Argentina of response - The Spanish government has warned it will defend its interests as a row with Argentina over the nationalisation of oil company YPF intensifies.
Promising a "clear and overwhelming" response, the government summoned the Argentine ambassador to Madrid to express its concern.
The majority stake in YPF is owned by Spanish oil firm Repsol.
Bloomberg: Farmers Foil Utilities Using Cell Phones to Access Solar
Zerohedge: WTI Surges Over $105 Ahead Of Margin-Hiker-In-Chief Speech
DailyFinance: Gas Stations Are Hosing Debit Card Users at the Pump
EnergyBulletin: Why Washington’s Iran policy could lead to global disaster
What History Should Teach Us About Blockading Iran
It’s a policy fierce enough to cause great suffering among Iranians -- and possibly in the long run among Americans, too.  It might, in the end, even deeply harm the global economy and yet, history tells us, it will fail on its own.  Economic war led by Washington (and encouraged by Israel) will not take down the Iranian government or bring it to the bargaining table on its knees ready to surrender its nuclear program.  It might, however, lead to actual armed conflict with incalculable consequences.

EnergyBulletin: What the new 2011 EIA oil supply data shows - The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released full-year 2011 world oil production data. In this post, I would like show some graphs of recent data, and provide some views as to where this leads with respect to future production.
Reuters: Seaway Pipe to start reversal May 17, sets tariffs - The reversal of the Seaway Crude oil pipeline will begin on May 17, the company said in a regulatory filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), dated April 13. The filing also said the Seaway Crude Pipeline Co has established initial rates, ranging from $2.07 a barrel for committed customers sending lighter crudes, to $4.32 a barrel for uncommitted customers sending heavier crudes.

Global Conflict
NYT: Israeli Military Officer Suspended for Striking Activist With Rifle
OutcomeMagazine: Bin Laden family 'to leave Pakistan early Wednesday' 
MSNBC: US prepares for last major Afghanistan offensive
CBSNews: Syrian regime widens shelling
Reuters: Despite Obama charm, Americas summit boosts U.S. isolation - President Barack Obama sat patiently through diatribes, interruptions and even the occasional eye-ball roll at the weekend Summit of the Americas in an effort to win over Latin American leaders fed up with U.S. policies.
BlacklistedNews: US-trained Terrorist Group plants Stuxnet Malware  - The international community has eased its condemnation of Iran following recent negotiations between Tehran and six other nations in Istanbul, Turkey. While the participating parties agreed to further discussions on May 23, 2012 in Baghdad, both Israel and the West have given no indication of easing the strict regime of sanctions imposed on Tehran.
BBC: Cleric Abu Qatada arrested again - Radical cleric Abu Qatada has been arrested and told the Home Office will try to deport him, the BBC understands. 
Time: NATO Slammed After 63 Africans Left to Die on High Seas - Survivors of a boat, on which 63 Africans perished while fleeing Libya, allege that NATO officials were aware of their plight, but chose not to help
FP: Rotting From Within: Investigating the Massive Corruption of the Chinese Military
Rollingstone: The Rise of the Killer Drones: How America Goes to War in Secret
- An inside look at how killing by remote control has changed the way we fight.
NYT: Iran: Ready to Resolve Dispute, and Eager to Ease Sanctions

Telegraph: Syria 'more than 11,000 killed in 13 months'  
 More than 11,100 people have been killed in 13 months of unrest in Syria, including 55 since a UN-backed ceasefire took effect four days ago, a human-rights monitoring group has claimed.
CSMonitor: Militaries vie for Arctic edge as ice cap melts - By Arctic standards, the region is already buzzing with military activity, and experts believe that will increase significantly in the years ahead.Alternet: Palestinians begin mass hunger strike on Prisoners' Day

JDeanIcite: Occupy Wall Street: Division, Representation, Collectivity 

Hacker News
ArsTechnica: Ohio man charged with Anonymous-sponsored attacks on police websites - An Ohio man has been charged with hacking into two websites controlled by law enforcement groups after he posted Twitter messages boasting of the intrusions, which were carried out under the banner of "CabinCr3w," an offshoot of the Anonymous hacking collective.

Domestic Financial News
CNNMoney: Senate GOP blocks Buffett Rule bill - A proposal to implement the Buffett Rule was blocked in the Senate on Monday, but proponents of the millionaire tax vowed to keep the issue alive in the months ahead.
Republicans, as expected, garnered enough support to reject Democrats' attempt to bring up the proposal for debate. The Democrats fell nine votes short.
Zerohedge: Ignorance Is BLS
WSJ: Mail Carriers Try Own Rescue
McClatchy: Freeways no longer? Interstates might get more tolls

FiscalTimes: U.S. Cities: The Secret Engine of the Global Economy
CapitalGainsAndGames: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan Is A Coward - One of the most interesting aspects of the fiscal 2013 budget debate is how the GOP is extolling the virtues of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) but, while taking credit for it passing the House is only talking about his budget plan in the most general terms.
In fact, as Congress gets back to work this week after two weeks back in the district for Easter and Passover, watch closely as Republicans talk about how "courageous" Ryan is for taking the lead on reducing the deficit while it stays as far away as possible from any discussion of the specifics spending reductions and tax cuts.
CNNMoney: From 6-figure banker to $30K-a-year butcher
Truthdig: Single-Payer Health Care: $570 Billion Cheaper
NakedCapitalism: Romney’s Lead Economist Urges Policies that will Cause the Next Financial Crisis

CalculatedRisk: LA area Port Traffic increases in March, Exports hit new record 
CharlesHughSmith: Why the Middle Class Is Doomed
Cryptogon: Wal-Mart Nominates Google Vice President to Board
NakedCapitalism: Mortgage Settlement Enforcement Monitor Claims Bank Leaders Are Lying to Him  
CNNMoney: Goldman Sachs earnings more than double

DailyFinance: Is Another Banking Crisis Staring America in the Face? - Federal Reserve Gov. Daniel Tarullo said something earlier this week that should cause the ears of every adult in the country to prick up:
TheAtlantic: How We Pay Taxes: 11 Charts
BusinessInsider: MORGAN STANLEY: This Is What Happened The Last Time The US Economy Faced A 'Fiscal Cliff'
IBTimes: Corporate Tax Rates: Lobbying Helps Big Business Pay Less To Federal Government, Says Study

Global Financial News
BBC: World Bank boss sets priorities - The World Bank's new president, Jim Yong Kim, says that capitalist make t-based growth is a priority for all countries.  
Zerohedge: The Big Rift Between Germany and France
IBTimes: China March FDI Falls 6.1% To $11.76 Billion - Foreign Direct Investment drawn in by China decreased in March subsequent to cuts in spending by investors as Europe is looming in debt crisis along with diminishing national economic growth and restricted likelihood for yuan to gain.
BlacklistedNews: Drive for IMF Funds Caught in Global Power Shift
CounterPunch: Why Jim Kim Should Resign From the World Bank
 Thank you RJ for the following story
NakedCapitalism: Murder, Inequality, Corporate Profits, and Free Trade Go Together - Here’s the President on Sunday on a new trade deal with Colombia. Obama says US trade deal with Colombia has strong protections for workers and the environment…. “It’s not a race to the bottom, but rather it says each country is abiding by everything from strong rules around labor and the environment to intellectual property protection. And so I have confidence that as we implement this plan, what we’re going to see is extraordinary opportunities for both U.S. and Colombian businesses.” Here’s the AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka’s mild  and private (subsequently leaked) objection to the trade agreement. Mr. Trumka noted that many Colombian employers continued to subcontract work in what he said was an illegal strategy to block unionization. He wrote that after municipal workers in the city of Jamundí began a unionization effort in January, the city fired 43 workers, two union leaders received threats, and one activist, Miguel Mallama, “was gunned down in the streets on March 25.” And here’s the reality, as seen by leaders on the ground. “The United States was talking about how our situation has gotten better,”  “But that’s not true. Our situation continues to be bad, and it’s getting worse.” Colombia remains by far the world’s most dangerous country for union leaders and members. Nearly 3,000 activists have been murdered there in the last 25 years, with convictions resulting in a paltry 6 percent of the cases.
Alternet: Coca-Cola profits jump on emerging markets sales
TimesOnline: Rousseff Warns of Tsunami of Money at Sixth Summit of the Americas - Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, used her opening speech at the Sixth Summit of the Americas, to reiterate her criticism of Western monetary policy, which she said was damaging Latin American industry. 
ReutersBlogs: Why Richard Koo’s idea won’t save the Eurozone
Guardian: 'Full crisis mode' returns to Spain - The conservative Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy expects to take direct financial control of at least one of the country's ailing regional governments by May, according to sources in Madrid. With some regional debt already downgraded to junk, senior officials said it would be the regional governments themselves that came to Madrid to beg for help to get through the year. "It wouldn't be surprising if this happened in May," said a high-ranking official. "Some are paying interest rates that are impossible." International lenders are expected to welcome the plans after a series of warnings about the deteriorating state of the Spanish economy. 
SeattleTimes: Moody's downgrades Nokia debt to near junk  - Moody's ratings agency downgraded Nokia's debt grade to near junk status on Monday, citing a sharp decline in first-quarter cell phone sales that led to a 35 percent fall in revenue. 
BBC: Italy leads drop in EU car sales - Deliveries by Fiat fell 26% to 81,469 cars in March
Car sales in Italy were down 26.7% in March compared with a year earlier, leading the falls in European car sales.

Telegraph: IMF still won't admit truth about the euro 
It is often said that travel broadens the mind. Not so for finance ministers gathering in Washington DC this week for the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and G20. For them, the agenda will seem wearily familiar.
Reuters: Japan vows $60 billion to boost IMF firepower - Japan said on Tuesday it will provide $60 billion in loans to the International Monetary Fund, becoming the first non-European nation to commit money to boost the fund's financial firepower to contain the euro zone debt crisis.
Reuters: Spain, Italy slide further into euro zone crisis

ETFDaily: Commodities See An Across The Board Correction In March As Commodity Futures Curves Move In and Out of Contango
TheAtlantic: The Next Global Crash: Why You Should Fear the Commodities Bubble 

M 2.5, Central Alaska

Reuters: Strong quake shakes Chile, no damage reported - A powerful 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck near Chile's eastern port of Valparaiso early on Tuesday, shaking buildings as far away as the capital Santiago, but there were no reports of significant damage and the country's main copper mines were unaffected.
Reuters: Mexico raises alert for Popocatepetl volcano
Mexican authorities raised the alert level for the Popocatepetl volcano near to Mexico City on Monday after it started spewing red-hot fragments of rock.

CivilEats: Mother Takes on Monsanto, Wins Global Prize
Pesticides drift from GE soy fields
Sofía lives in Ituzaingó Annex, a working-class neighborhood of 6,000 bordering commercial soy farms in the province of Córdoba in Argentina.
Argentina is the third largest exporter of soybeans in the world. It is also the third largest producer of genetically engineered (GE) crops worldwide, following closely behind the U.S. and neighboring Brazil. The explosion of GE soy production in Argentina has brought with it dramatic increases in pesticide use, and specifically aerial spraying of Monsanto’s weedkiller, RoundUp. Spraying of the antiquated insecticide endosulfan was also common until this year. Its use is now banned in Argentina as it moves toward a global phaseout under the Stockholm treaty.
RoundUp, long touted by Monsanto as all but harmless, has recently been linked to increased risk of birth defects when mothers are exposed during pregnancy. Endosulfan has also been linked to health harms in children, including birth defects, reproductive harm and autism. 
ClimateCrocks: Debate Long Over for Militaries, Intel. The Question is: Who Controls a Climate Altered World?

DesdemonaDespair: Graph of the Day: Increase in Australia Annual-Average Daily Mean Temperature, 1960-2011 - Australian annual-average daily maximum temperatures have increased by 0.75 °C since 1910, with most of the warming trend occurring since 1970. There has been an increase in the frequency of warm weather and decrease in the frequency of cold weather.
Reuters: Strong quake shakes Chile, no damage reported
CivilEats: Mother Takes on Monsanto, Wins Global Prize
Pesticides drift from GE soy fields
Sofía lives in Ituzaingó Annex, a working-class neighborhood of 6,000 bordering commercial soy farms in the province of Córdoba in Argentina.
Argentina is the third largest exporter of soybeans in the world. It is also the third largest producer of genetically engineered (GE) crops worldwide, following closely behind the U.S. and neighboring Brazil. The explosion of GE soy production in Argentina has brought with it dramatic increases in pesticide use, and specifically aerial spraying of Monsanto’s weedkiller, RoundUp. Spraying of the antiquated insecticide endosulfan was also common until this year. Its use is now banned in Argentina as it moves toward a global phaseout under the Stockholm treaty.
McClatchy: As air pollution from fracking rises, EPA to set rules
"Flaring" takes place after the well has been drilled and before it is put into operation in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. | Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times/MCT
The rush to capture natural gas from hydraulic fracturing has led to giant compressor stations alongside backyard swing sets, drilling rigs in sight of front porches, and huge flares at gas wells alongside country roads.
Air pollution from fracking includes the fumes breathed in by people nearby, as well as smog spread over a wide region and emissions of the greenhouse gas methane.
CNNMoney: Zip-lining adventures generate a million bucks - Ken Stamps spotted a business idea thousands of miles from his Michigan home, in rainforest-rich Costa Rica, where a popular tourist attraction sends travelers soaring through the treetops on a pulley.
DesdemonaDespair: Pro-oil outside groups spend more than $16 million on energy attack ads since January
Alternet: Fukushima damage leaves spent fuel at risk-U.S. lawmaker - (Reuters) - Japan, with assistance from the U.S. government, needs to do more to move spent fuel rods out of harm's way at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden on Monday.
CNN: Study: Glaciers in western Himalayas bucking global melting trend
Grist: New climate strategy: Buy the damn coal and keep it in the ground 
MSNBC: Bald eagles make comeback in the Windy City

America in Decline
IBTimes: 6,500 US Military Veterans Commit Suicide Every Year - Startling figures, which show the real death toll of the US's military campaigns, have revealed that servicemen and women are far more likely to commit suicide once they have left the forces than are killed in battle.
SingularityHub: Police Recording More and More: Cars, Uniforms, and Equipment With Cameras - About the size of a cigar stub, the TASER CAM is built into a battery pack that normally attaches to the Taser and weighs just 3 ounces. It records both audio and 10 fps, black and white video. It can even record in zero light conditions due to an infrared illuminator. Its flash memory can store about an hour and a half of video during a shift.
MSNBC: Pol Wants Transit Workers Armed With Tasers - A state Senator and former NYPD captain wants city bus drivers, subway conductors and other transit workers armed with Tasers to protect themselves in the wake of a steadily increasing number of assaults. Bus drivers and subway workers were attacked 94 times in 2011, up from 72 such incidents that year before. Harassment was also up.

MSNBC: Study: 21 percent of New Yorkers are living in poverty
Children particularly affected by recession, Center for Economic Opportunity data find The number of New Yorkers classified as poor in 2010 increased by nearly 100,000 from the year before, raising the poverty rate by 1.3 percentage points to 21 percent — the highest level and the largest year-to-year increase since the city adopted a more detailed definition of poverty in 2005. 

Truthdig: Chris Hedges: First They Come for the Muslims - Tarek Mehanna, a U.S. citizen, was sentenced Thursday in Worcester, Mass., to 17½ years in prison. It was another of the tawdry show trials held against Muslim activists since 9/11 as a result of the government’s criminalization of what people say and believe. These trials, where secrecy rules permit federal lawyers to prosecute people on “evidence” the defendants are not allowed to examine, are the harbinger of a corporate totalitarian state in which any form of dissent can be declared illegal. What the government did to Mehanna, and what it has done to hundreds of other innocent Muslims in this country over the last decade, it will eventually do to the rest of us. Mehanna, a teacher at Alhuda Academy in Worcester, was convicted after an eight-week jury trial of conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq and providing material support to al-Qaida, as well as making false statements to officials investigating terrorism. His real “crime,” however, seems to be viewing and translating jihadi videos online, speaking out against U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and refusing to become a government informant.

NYDaily: Three in elite NYPD anti-gun unit accused of treating black suspects like 'animals'
Explosive charges in federal discrimination lawsuit
LifeInc: Towns outlawing extreme garage sales -  Richard Zambito, vice president of the Parklawn Civic Association in Alexandria, Va., has become the neighborhood’s unofficial garage and yard sale inspector. (yes, cut out yard sales and let people take up selling dope or prostituting themselves for a living, that makes sense.)

Food and Water
WSJ: Tuna Blamed in Salmonella Outbreak Is Recalled
MSNBC: Dole recalls bagged salad for salmonella risk - Dole Food Co. has recalled 756 cases of bagged salads in 15 states, including Maryland and Virginia, because they could be contaminated with salmonella.

Internet and Online Privacy News
RawStory: MegaUpload close to ‘multi-billion dollar’ public offering before raid: report

Science and Technology
SingularityHub: 5 Axis Robot Carves Metal Like Butter (Video)
ScientificAmerican: Hierarchy of Color Naming Matches the Limits of Our Vision System - The order in which colors are named worldwide appears to be due to how eyes work, suggest computer simulations with virtual people.
These findings suggest that wavelengths of color that are easier to see also get names earlier in the evolution of a culture.
USAToday: Space shuttle Discovery heads to museum
PhysOrg: Novel chemical reaction has set the chemistry world abuzz - A chemical reaction reported by University of Delaware assistant professor Donald Watson and his laboratory group has set the chemistry world abuzz for its creativity and potential utility. 
Watson and his team in the UD Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a chemical reaction that converts carbon-hydrogen bonds to carbon-silicon bonds using the metal palladium as a catalyst, yielding an important new tool for building molecules. The potential industrial applications are broad, ranging from the manufacture of medicines to plastics.
Wired: Great Geek Debates: The Philadelphia Experiment vs. The Final Countdown

Medical and Health
DoctorTipster: Hypertensive Black Patients At Higher Risk Of Sudden Cardiac Death
ScienceDaily: Genetically engineered compound for back pain falls short
NBCConnecticut: Flu Outbreak at Vets Home
- An outbreak of influenza at the state veterans' home in Rocky Hill sent 18 veterans to the hospital on Monday, with six being diagnosed with a special strain of flu.
VietnamNews: Outbreak of hand-foot-mouth disease strikes Mekong Delta

BBC: Prostate trial 'very encouraging'

TheChart: Depression and baby sleep: Vicious cycle? - There's a fascinating new parenting study out that caught our eye at The Chart. It involves the sleep habits of babies and toddlers.
MomsToday: Should kids go vegan?
TodayHealth: Saltiness of fast food depends on where you buy it

Doomsteading, Gardening, Urban Farming
BackdoorSurvival: Everyday Household Tools for Everyday Fix-it Needs
CityFarmer: Open Source Permaculture will include Urban Permaculture Guide

JustInCaseBook: Guy McPherson and Ted Talk

Other News
CNN: Zimmerman's lawyer asks to have judge removed
Kunstler: A Kid With Skittles
CNN: Judge in Norway rampage trial disqualified
MSNBC: Top US military officer: 'We let the boss down' over prostitute scandal
WSJ: New York Trial Details Terror Planning
BBC: Breivik gives massacre testimony - The man accused of killing 77 people in bomb and gun attacks in Norway defends his actions, telling a court in Oslo he would do it all again.
IBTimes: George Washington Voted UK's Greatest Foe
CNN: Pilot sends plane into dive after mistaking Venus for oncoming plane  - It's happened to most of us. We suddenly wake up and find ourselves disoriented, wondering where we are, and possibly mistaking a light in the distance for something completely different. Usually it's no big deal -- you shake it off, wake up and move on.
If you happen to be pilot on a trans-Atlantic flight, the consequences can be much more serious -- like mistaking the planet Venus for another plane and sending the plane you're piloting into a dive that slammed passengers into the ceiling and back to the floor.

NYDaily: Ann Romney defends husband Mitt Romney for strapping dog to roof of car:
FirstRead: Romney offers policy details at closed-door fundraiserCBSNews: Boehner endorses Romney

TinfoilPalace: Sound Familiar? - Penn State Child Abuse Scandal
TinfoilPalace: Vertical Salad Greens (guttering on a fence)

TheOilAge: Tad Patzek on convincing people that the world is finite
TheOilAge: Kremlin prepares austerity program
HubbertsArms: Troops out next year, australian PM to pledge
HubbertsArms: Complete and consistent theory of the Universe
SilentCountry: Good (long) Max Keiser
SilentCountry: Solar Stuff - 2012
DestinyCalls: Planet alignments and earthquakes: Patrick Geryl
DestinyCalls: Self knowledge oracle card website

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