How an ageing population will change the world (westcoastjan)
While 87% of Japanese believe the ageing population poses a problem to the country, only 26% of Americans agree.
The survey of 21 countries found that most people believe governments should be responsible for the care of their older populations.
Bloomberg says this is the worst selloff in emerging-market currencies in five years, revealing the impact from the Federal Reserve’s tapering of monetary stimulus. “Investors are losing confidence in some of the biggest developing nations, extending the currency-market rout triggered last year when the Fed first signaled it would scale back stimulus. While Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa were the engines of global growth following the financial crisis in 2008, emerging markets now pose a threat to world financial stability.”
At first glance it might not seem the most interesting or pressing question for you to consider. But I think it is one of those little loose threads that if pulled upon carefully begins to unravel the hints and traces of a much larger story. But please be warned this is speculative.
As of Feb. 1, 2006, when Bernanke took over as chairman, the Fed’s balance sheet indicated it owned $748,840,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities. At that time, the balance sheet listed no mortgage-backed securities. As of Jan. 29, 2013, the balance sheet indicated the Fed owned $2,243,176,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities and $1,532,224,000,000 in mortgage-backed securities.
About 1,400 people filed a joint lawsuit Thursday against three companies that manufactured reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. The 1,415 plaintiffs, including 38 Fukushima residents and 357 people from outside Japan, said the manufacturers — Toshiba, GE and Hitachi — failed to make needed safety improvements to the four decade-old reactors at the Fukushima plant.
Nigeria is Africa’s second largest oil and gas exporter. It holds as many dollars as it does because oil is sold in dollars. Nigeria gets paid in dollars which it then needs to recycle. This is the famous petrodollar in action. It is also a major reason the dollar is still the world’s major reserve currency and that in turn is why America can have such a monumental pile of debt and still (for now) be the risk-off haven that institutional investors run to when other currencies and markets become too risky and unstable.
Titled “Live Between Buildings,” the project proposes several designs sited in various cities like New York, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Helsinki and London. Coming in various configurations, the surfaces are all covered with transparent roof windows to let the maximum amount of light in. The designs are definitely not for the disabled, as access to the various levels requires some nimble navigation up ladders and stairs. But the spatial overlapping allows for a lot of different functions to be potentially packed in, while leaving some room for fun things (climbing wall, swing and hammock? Why not).
Goldman investment sparks political row in Denmark (westcoastjan)
But the plans, given the final seal of approval by parliament’s finance committee on Thursday, led to mounting public opposition to what is seen as handing state assets to a private consortium.
The Socialist People’s Party, one of three parties in Mrs Thorning-Schmidt’s coalition, is split over the issue.
This web portal allows visualization and downloading of future climate projections from a group of “statistically downscaled” global climate models (GCMs). Temperature and precipitation projections from these models have been used to calculate derivative climate indicators that measure the number of days that exceed certain thresholds. You can control what is shown on the map and this plot window using the toolbar on the left.
All derivative climate indicators on this page have been derived from a suite of downscaled World Climate Research Program Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project 3 atmospheric-oceanic general circulation model simulations using four scenarios from the International Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Emissions Scenarios.
What happens when fossil fuels run out? (cmartenson)
In decades past, we got 99 barrels out of the ground for every barrel we used in the extraction process. By the 1970s, that ratio was down to about 25 to one. But when you look at the Alberta oil sands and other similar fields, that percentage is closer to three or five to one. “That’s a whole different proposition from what we were getting in prior decades,” Mr. Martenson said in an interview. “Net energy [resources] in the world [are] shrinking. That is a fact.”
Western U.S. Drought Puts Big Strain on Reservoirs (kelvinator)
Satellite photos show the Colorado River, which feeds Nevada’s Lake Mead, is drying up, meaning the lake is rapidly shrinking. The lake provides water for 20 million people in southern Nevada, southern California and Arizona — and it’s lost 4 trillion gallons of water since 2000. Ben Tracy reports.
Brown ordered the Forestry and Fire Protection Department, known as CalFire, to hire more firefighters because of drought conditions. The Public Health Department offered assistance to 17 rural communities with what it called “vulnerable” drinking water systems, and the Fish and Wildlife Department restricted fishing in some areas because of low water flows.
California’s historic drought reached a new milestone Thursday when the newly released U.S. Drought Monitor showed that exceptional drought now covers 9 percent of the state.
An article by Joe Romm in Think Progress indicates scientists have long predicted that climate change would bring on ever-worsening droughts, especially in semi-arid regions like the U.S. Southwest. As climatologist James Hansen, who co-authored one of the earliest studies on this subject back in 1990, told me this week, “Increasingly intense droughts in California, all of the Southwest, and even into the Midwest have everything to do with human-made climate change.”
Why does it matter if climate change is playing a role in the Western drought? As one top researcher on the climate-drought link reconfirmed with me this week, “The U.S. may never again return to the relatively wet conditions experienced from 1977 to 1999.” If his and other projections are correct, then there may be no greater tasks facing humanity than 1) working to slash carbon pollution and avoid the worst climate impact scenarios and 2) figuring out how to feed nine billion people by mid-century in a Dust-Bowl-ifying world.
Gold & Silver
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