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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 14,830

About Me

Brit gone native. Cooperative member. Ecology. Cartography. Programming. Music production.

Journal Archives

Not only.

Natural selection in neighboring species populations is affected by the presence of the GMOs (yes, and any domesticated and non-domesticated species) themselves. In the case of GMOs engineered to be particularly pest-resistant, the pests evolve, so as a consequence new pesticides tend to get developed and/or pesticide use tends to increase in the context of the industrialized, energy-inefficient, corporate-controlled agriculture, horticulture and animal-'husbandry' in which such technology is being employed in a way always designed to benefit corporate controllers, owners and shareholders long before any thought might be given to the consequences, proven or yet to be proven, for the human population at large, its social wellbeing and its natural environment.

Re: A Spanish ship, carrying 'treasure' from Spain’s then colonies in South America,

sunk by British (formally declared or not so much) naval forces (and salvaged by whoever).

¿How can there be any question about who owns it, today?

Yes. There will be artificially-controlled protected environments for the Chosen Few

and their servants with noble architecture, hanging gardens and perfumed air while the rest of us participate in the ecologically inevitable process of population self-regulation by dying in billions in the coming decade through entirely natural causes such as famine, disease, police-state activity and war.

See: no big deal, really.

Though climate change is a crisis, the population threat is even worse

... Demand for food is set to double by 2050 as a result of increasing population and consumption per capita – especially as more people move to an increasingly meat-based diet. So-called “rational optimists” are quick to claim that this demand will be easily met without significant further appropriation of land for agricultural use thanks to the ongoing “miracle” of the green revolution.

This ignores the fact that soil degradation and erosion are increasing rapidly in many parts of the world; that many of the world’s crops are increasingly at risk from novel (primarily) fungal pathogens; and that climate and crop models showing the number of extreme weather events associated with predicted future climate change are projected to have potentially devastating effects on crops in significant parts of the world.

Indeed, there are ample reasons to be concerned that we may be heading towards unprecedented food crises over the coming decades, with consequent extremely deleterious risks to the health of hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of people. Furthermore, in many parts of the world where population is increasing rapidly, there is a rise in the number of people living in close quarters with pigs and poultry (not to mention the increasing consumption of “bush meat”). And as a consequence we are greatly increasing the risk of a novel pathogen crossing the species barrier and creating a truly terrifying global pandemic.

Remarkably, collectively, we seem to want to deny all of this: that we are the drivers of the main problems facing us this century; and that, as we continue to grow, these problems are set to get worse. Climate change, extreme weather events, pollution, ecosystem degradation – the fundamental alteration of every component of the complex system we rely upon for our survival – are due to the activities of the rising human population...

/... http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/04/climate-change-population-crisis-paris-summit

Turkey-Syria CIA ratlines (Pepe Escobar)

... So why did Washington take virtually forever to not really acknowledge ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is selling stolen Syrian oil that will eventually find is way to Turkey? Because the priority all along was to allow the CIA – in the shadows – to run a “rat line” weaponizing a gaggle of invisible “moderate rebels”.

As much as Daesh – at least up to now – the Barzani mob in Iraqi Kurdistan was never under Washington’s watch. The oil operation the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) runs to Turkey is virtually illegal; stolen state-owned oil as far as Baghdad is concerned.

Daesh stolen oil can’t flow through Damascus-controlled territory. Can’t flow though Shi’ite-dominated Iraq. Can’t go east to Iran. It’s Turkey or nothing. Turkey is the easternmost arm of NATO. The US and NATO “support” Turkey. So a case can be made that the US and NATO ultimately support Daesh.

What’s certain is that illegal Daesh oil and illegal KRG oil fit the same pattern; energy interests by the usual suspects playing a very long game...

... The key reason why Washington always solemnly ignored Ankara’s array of shady deals in Syria, through its fifth column Turkmen jihadis, is because a key CIA “rat line” runs exactly through the region known as Turkmen Mountain...

/... http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/03/how-russia-is-smashing-the-turkish-game-in-syria/

Uruguay makes dramatic shift to nearly 95% electricity from clean energy

... Despite its relatively small population of just 3.4 million, Uruguay has earned a remarkable amount of global kudos in recent years. It enacted groundbreaking marijuana legalisation, pioneered stringent tobacco control, and introduced some of the most liberal policies in Latin America on abortion and same-sex marriage.

Now, it is being recognised for progress on decarbonising its economy. It has been praised by the World Bank and the Economic commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the WWF last year named Uruguay among its “Green Energy Leaders”, proclaiming: “The country is defining global trends in renewable energy investment.”...

... “What we’ve learned is that renewables is just a financial business,” Méndez says. “The construction and maintenance costs are low, so as long as you give investors a secure environment, it is a very attractive.”...

... Along with reliable wind – at an average of about 8mph – the main attraction for foreign investors like Enercon is a fixed price for 20 years that is guaranteed by the state utility. Because maintenance costs are low (just 10 staff) and stable, this guarantees a profit.

As a result, foreign firms are lining up to secure windfarm contracts. The competition is pushing down bids, cutting electricity generating costs by more than 30% over the past three years. Christian Schaefer, supervising technician at Enercon said his company was hoping to expand and another German company Nordex is already building an even bigger plant further north along route five. Trucks carrying turbines, towers and blades are now a common sight on the country’s roads...

/... http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/03/uruguay-makes-dramatic-shift-to-nearly-95-clean-energy

Costly "cleaner" coal fights for space in emissions debate

The global coal industry is trumpeting "cleaner coal" technology to fight bubbling competition from renewable energy, but the high costs of greener plants are proving a major obstacle in selling them to power-hungry countries such as India...

... With world leaders due to meet in Paris from Monday to try to agree a deal to tackle climate change, the World Coal Association (WCA) is touting the use of very hot steam under extreme pressure to raise a power plant's efficiency, which it says can cut the greenhouse gases emitted from burning coal by up to 30 percent...

... India should be one of the most promising markets - already the world's third-biggest consumer, it is ramping up domestic production as it plans to more than double coal output to an annual 1.5 billion tonnes by the end of this decade.

More efficient use of its coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels, could help New Delhi address accusations the world's third biggest emitter of carbon dioxide is not doing enough to slow its greenhouse gas growth. "Expanding efficient coal consumption will help address India's energy trilemma of meeting demand, reducing energy poverty and actively participating in climate change commitments," WCA CEO Benjamin Sporton said...

/... http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/11/30/climatechange-summit-coal-idINKBN0TJ06I20151130


What of coal gasification?

Coal gasification is the process of producing syngas–a mixture consisting primarily of methane (CH4) carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O)–from coal and water, air and/or oxygen. Historically, coal was gasified using early technology to produce coal gas (also known as "town gas"), which is a combustible gas traditionally used for municipal lighting and heating before the advent of industrial-scale production of natural gas. In current practice, large-scale instances of coal gasification are primarily for electricity generation, such as in integrated gasification combined cycle power plants, for production of chemical feedstocks, or for production of synthetic natural gas. The hydrogen obtained from coal gasification can be used for various purposes such as making ammonia, powering a hydrogen economy, or upgrading fossil fuels. Alternatively, coal-derived syngas can be converted into transportation fuels such as gasoline and diesel through additional treatment via the Fischer-Tropsch process or into methanol which itself can be used as transportation fuel or fuel additive, or which can be converted into gasoline by the methanol to gasoline process. Methane or natural gas extracted from coal gasification can be converted in to LNG for direct use as fuel in transport sector. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_gasification

...

Linde (1990, 1994) has proposed that a background space-time "foam" empty of matter and radiation will experience local quantum fluctuations in curvature, forming many bubbles of false vacuum that individually inflate into mini-universes with random characteristics. Each universe within the multiverse can have a different set of constants and physical laws. Some might have life of a form different from ours; others might have no life at all or something even more complex or so different that we cannot even imagine it...

/... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_inflation#Quantum_fluctuations_of_the_inflation_field

Will Beijing become a tighter sub-imperial ally of Western financiers?

On Nov. 30, the Chinese yuan will join the dollar, euro, pound and yen as the world’s official reserve currencies, as recommended by the International Monetary Fund. What this heralds is the amplification of extreme uneven development and the abuse of Chinese economic surpluses, yet again, for the purpose of bailing out a corrupt, fragile world financial system.

Aside from the IMF itself, the driver appears to be the People’s Bank of China, which needs a new name now: the Western Bankers’ Bank of China. Its official statement claimed “a win-win result for China and the world.”

But here, the name “China” really means the neoliberal clique at the helm of Beijing’s economic management, and the “world” means a very shaky capitalism suffering periodic spasms in its hyper-speculative financial centers. For the last fifteen years, these centers have enjoyed a Washington backstop that was the beneficiary of Chinese official purchases of US Treasury Bills. Reaching $1.3 trillion in late 2013, that process has finally reversed, with about $100 billion in net T-Bill sales since then. But Beijing still holds about a third of its foreign reserves in these investments, representing more than a fifth of all foreign US T-Bill holdings (in turn, the $6 trillion in US T-Bills is about a third of total US foreign indebtedness – an amount so vast it can only be repaid by running the Fed printing press).

Beijing is mindful of homegrown economic problems, including its own vast overindebtedness, the secondary cities’ real estate meltdown and the $3.5 trillion collapse of the main stock markets mid-year. If London bankers are correct, when the IMF welcomes the yuan, an additional $1 trillion of global reserves could move into Chinese financial assets. That would negate Beijing’s August 2015 2 percent currency devaluation and make the whole system more balanced at surface level, yet far more chaotic underneath as a result of international contagion from a future Chinese debt crisis. Meantime, China will probably bolster the IMF’s own loan-pushing in its new self-interested currency partnership.

Is there an alternative, an opting-out of the financial death grip between China and the West? And for the other BRICS, is there a way to support the Bank of the South (which without Brazil’s support appears stillborn), or to default on ‘Odious Debt’ (as did Ecuador in 2009), or to impose tough exchange controls (as did Malaysia to halt capital flight in 1998), or to insist that state regulators get control of local financiers rather than the other way around?

...

Far better would be to turn the BRICS finance ministries and central banks over to activists trained by the current wave of student #FeesMustFall protests, European struggles against austerity, Occupy, debt cancellation advocacy and the Third World’s thousands of IMF Riots the last third of a century. Sure, we don’t yet deserve those gigs – because our counter-power has repeatedly risen and then rapidly shriveled during the neoliberal era’s contestations against corporate and banking elites. But one day we must go for it.

/... http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/China-Sucked-Deeper-into-World-Financial-Vortex-as-BRICS-Sink--20151125-0024.html

Qasem Soleimani

Qasem Soleimani (Persian: قاسم سلیمانی‎‎, born 11 March 1957) is a major general in the Iranian Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (IRGC) and since 1998 commander of its Quds Force—a division primarily responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations. A veteran of the Iran–Iraq war, he has been active in many conflicts from Afghanistan to the Levant. His methods have been a blend of military intervention through ideological proxies and hard-nosed strategic diplomacy...

... Following the September 11 attacks of 2001, Ryan Crocker, a senior State Department official in the United States, flew to Geneva to meet with Iranian diplomats who were under the direction of Soleimani with the purpose of collaborating to destroy the Taliban, which had targeted Shia Afghanis. This collaboration was instrumental in defining the targets of bombing operations in Afghanistan and in capturing key Al Qaeda operatives, but abruptly ended in January 2002, when George W Bush named Iran as part of the "Axis of evil" in his State of the Union address.

In 2009, a leaked report stated that General Soleimani met Christopher R. Hill and General Raymond T. Odierno (America’s two most senior officials in Baghdad at the time) in the office of Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani (who has known General Soleimani for decades). Hill and General Odierno denied the occurrence of the meeting.

On 24 January 2011, Soleimani was promoted to Major General by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Khamenei is described as having a close relationship with him, helping him financially and has called Soleimani a "living martyr".

Soleimani has been described as "the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today" and the principal military strategist and tactician in Iran's effort to combat Western influence and promote the expansion of Shiite and Iranian influence throughout the Middle East...

... According to several sources, including Riad Hijab, a former Syrian premier who defected in August 2012, he is also one of the staunchest supporters of the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War. In the later half of 2012, Soleimani assumed personal control of the Iranian intervention in the Syrian civil war, when Iranians became deeply concerned about the Assad government's lack of ability to fight the opposition, and the fallout to the Islamic Republic if the Syrian government fell. In Damascus he is reported to have coordinated the war from a base in Damascus at which a Lebanese Hezbollah commander and an Iraqi Shiite militia coordinator have been mobilized... He is widely credited with delivering the strategy that has helped President Bashar al-Assad turn the tide against rebel forces and recapture key cities and towns...

... In October 2015, it was reported that he had been instrumental in devising during his visit to Moscow in July 2015 the Russian-Iranian-Syrian offensive in October 2015...

/... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qasem_Soleimani
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