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    Daily Digest 10/19 – Assessing the Damage in PR, ‘Ecological Armageddon’ Warning After Insect Number Plunge

    by DailyDigest

    Thursday, October 19, 2017, 3:47 PM


Curbing car emissions has made palladium the most precious of metals (jdargis)

Palladium is used in catalytic convertors that convert the harmful gases in car exhaust into less toxic substances. So before electric cars sweep across the world’s roads, the metal is in high demand as car manufacturers look for other ways to cut the emissions from their fleets. The price of palladium, which is mostly mined in South Africa and Russia, has surged almost 50% this year as investors bet that the market is heading for a shortage in supply.

7 Thoughts On Blockchain, Cryptocurrency & Decentralization After Another Three Months Down The Rabbit Hole (Adam)

As a non-techie, that sounds exactly like a paragraph I read yesterday on Medium. But an important difference about the evolution of crypto and the evolution of the internet is how public crypto’s early evolution is. There were maybe a few thousand people who cared about what Cerf was doing in the early days of the Internet. So it was done out of the public’s eye. It wasn’t until 1994, 21 years after Cerf’s 1973 solution, that Netscape introduced it’s browser, and most people learned about the internet.

The Fragile Gold Industry: Gigantic Equipment, Massive Capital Expenditures & Rising Costs (yogmonster)

Thus, the $564 cost of sales plus $250 capital cost now equals $814 an ounce. But, this does not include the additional expenses which would push the actual total cost from the Pueblo Viejo Mine over $900 an ounce. This is just my simple calculation which shouldn’t be compared to the industry’s more complex accounting of Net Present Value. Even though the Pueblo Viejo Mine is Barrick’s lowest cost gold mine in the company, Barrick’s total cost to produce gold last year was $1,125, based on the $1,251 spot price. Again, that is my simple “Net Income Break-Even Analysis.”

DEEP taking heat on its proposed changes to solar policy (DennisC)

Concerning, but less alarming to solar proponents, was another provision that would change the way residential solar customers in particular are compensated for the excess power they make. Under a concept called “net metering,” residential solar customers in Connecticut now are paid the retail electric rate for their excess power. Net metering broadly has been viewed as essential to solar energy adoption, especially when systems cost more than they do now.

Trump’s Iran Decision Haunts Big Oil (Michael K.)

It’s unclear if the U.S. will reimpose sanctions, but if it does, the impact will be uncertain. Most likely, they’ll be substantially less effective than the sanctions coordinated by the international community prior to 2016. That’s because the U.S. will probably go it alone. Shortly after President Trump announced that he was decertifying the nuclear deal, the leaders of France, Germany and the UK issued a joint statement supporting the continuation of the agreement. Iran also said that it will continue to abide by the agreement. “This creates a giant wedge—it’s Iran and the rest of the world on one side and the U.S. on the other,” John Glaser, director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, told Bloomberg.

Assessing the Damage in Puerto Rico (edelinski)

After the hurricanes, the volume of water flowing through Guajataca Dam’s 646-ft-wide spillway was so immense that it undercut and eroded the spillwall. The Corps is providing Dept. of Defense resources to stop the erosion below the spillway, says Col. James A. DeLapp, commander for the Corps recovery field office in Puerto Rico.

“The roads are basically cut off,” says DeLapp. “You can’t get trucks down there to push rubble in because it’s still spilling water.”

‘This is very alarming!’: Flying insects vanish from nature preserves (Adam)

John Losey, an entomologist at Cornell University in New York who was not involved with this study, said he was impressed by the scope of the new research across time, space and habitat range. Insects were collected at 63 locations in Germany, including grasslands, swamps, sand dunes, wastelands, shrub land and along the margins of human settlement.

All of the locations were protected areas. “This decline happened in nature reserves, which are meant to preserve biodiversity and ecosystem functioning,” Hallmann said. “This is very alarming!”

Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers (PaulJam, Michael_Armstrong)

“Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth [but] there has been some kind of horrific decline,” said Prof Dave Goulson of Sussex University, UK, and part of the team behind the new study. “We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.”

We Should Be Talking About the Effect of Climate Change on Cities (jdargis)

These reports overturn long-held assumptions about the stability of Greenland’s glaciers: until recently, scientists had predicted that Greenland’s ice sheet would stabilize once the glaciers close to the warming ocean had melted. The discovery of ice-bound fjords reaching almost sixty-five miles inland has major implications since the glacier melt will be much more substantial than anticipated. The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets combined contain over 99 percent of the Earth’s glacial ice. If they were to melt completely, they would raise global sea levels a virtually inconceivable 65 meters (200 feet).

Gold & Silver

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  • Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - 9:34am



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 515

    Herbicide use more damaging?

    As a former beekeeper, I have found that killing off the sources of food for pollinators and the other insects that feed on blossoming plants, has an equally detrimental  impact on insect populations. Spraying headlands and ditches, to reduce weed contamination of crop fields is a standard local practice in many rural communities. It is largely funded by non-farming county taxpayers. It seems somewhat redundant when the largest consumer of herbicides is the agricultural industry. In the days before ubiquitous use of herbicides, many rural communities relied on the tried and tested method of cutting ditches and headlands. Some even bagged or baled these crops to supplement feed supplies. Was it a pain in the ass for these farmers? For some yes, while others found the convenience of spraying very expensive. Time to reexamine the practice?

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  • Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - 12:26pm


    Mark Harvey

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 06 2016

    Posts: 6

    Insect loss

    One of Chris’s anecdotes – bugs on the windscreen – now quantified in Germany and no longer an anecdote.  Sad and worrying.

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  • Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - 12:57pm



    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 01 2010

    Posts: 821

    Contra Corner Free Again?

    I just noticed David Stockman’s Contra Corner is free again as I could read recent articles.  Lee Adler last published in July.  Found a Peter Coyne post for analysts job in July too.   What happened?

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  • Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - 7:21pm



    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 465

    Insect Decline Math

    As Dr. Bartlett encouraged, do the math.

    Flying insect populations have decreased by 75% in the last 27 years.  Insects account for two thirds of all life on Earth.

    If you postulate that non flying insects have suffered the same decline as flying insects, then life on Earth has been reduced by 0.75 * 0.66 = 0.5 or 50%.

    All life on Earth has been reduced by 50% in the last 27 years?!

    Perhaps the decline in flying insects hasn’t been experienced equally by non-flying insects.  Never, the less this is a catastrophy that deserves more attention than virtually everything that the main stream media has been reporting this year.

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