Mauldin's Vision Quest (Chris M.)
Finance is something that touches the lives of literally every person on the planet in some way, shape, or form; and over the past few years, as the world has teetered on the brink of a meltdown — the like of which we haven’t seen in three generations — only to seemingly recover again in remarkably short order, the subject of finance has become more important than ever before, even as comprehending its myriad moving parts has become more troublesome.
Among those hot topics was the runaway shadow banking system, defined by Investopedia as “The financial intermediaries involved in facilitating the creation of credit across the global financial system, but whose members are not subject to regulatory oversight. The shadow banking system also refers to unregulated activities by regulated institutions.” Examples given include hedge funds, derivatives and credit default swaps.
The recommendation was also made by the World Health Organization decades earlier. In a 1999 guideline, the WHO recommended the stockpiling of stable iodine. However, it added, “For adults over 40, the scientific evidence suggests that stable iodine prophylaxis not be recommended unless doses to the thyroid from inhalation are expected to exceed levels that would threaten thyroid function. This is because the risk of radiation induced thyroid carcinoma in this group is very low while, on the other hand, the risk of side effects increases with age.”
Your chicken is about to get more full of feces (Michael W.)
The USDA is moving toward final approval of a rule that would replace most government inspectors with untrained company employees, and to allow companies to slaughter chickens at a much faster rate. (The rule is called the "Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection", but advocates like the Center for Food Safety and Food and Water Watch are calling it the "Filthy Chicken Rule".) It could be approved as soon as this week.
5 Industries Worried About Peak Oil (James S.)
The debate over the impact of peak oil has been raging for decades. Although few deny that the end of mass oil consumption is drawing nearer, educated estimates now range between 2020 and 2030. But more important than the timeframe of peak oil are its consequences. Some seek to spell the end of life as we know it, so reliant is the world upon black gold. Others, equally extreme in their views, embrace the news, looking forward to a time when humanity will magically clean up its act. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Clean energy sources are making major advances as they become cheaper and easier to implement while almost all OEMs have launched lavish research programs into vehicles powered by other means. But the consequences of peak oil are not to be underestimated.
Pollution removal was analyzed by honing in on four major pollutants established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be harmful to air quality: nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide and any particles with a diameter less than 2.5 microns. The health consequences from air pollution considered in the study were pulmonary, cardiac, vascular and neurological damages.
The press release states that in the U.S., 130,000 deaths related to particulate matter and 4,700 deaths related to ozone occurred in 2005 as a result of air pollution.
Earth survived near-miss from 2012 solar storm: NASA (Arthur Robey)
Experts say solar storms can cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything from radio to GPS communications to water supplies—most of which rely on electric pumps.
They begin with an explosion on the Sun's surface, known as a solar flare, sending X-rays and extreme UV radiation toward Earth at light speed.
East of the Rockies, and particularly in the Midwest, the summer has been cool and wet. Meanwhile, all of California has been suffering from severe to exceptional drought conditions, with the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma not far behind. Texas was certainly in the drought bull's-eye last year, and while conditions have improved, the state is not out of the woods yet.
This is not simply transforming how Chinese people grow, distribute and consume food. It also stands to become a formidable new factor in climate change; cooling is already responsible for 15 percent of all electricity consumption worldwide, and leaks of chemical refrigerants are a major source of greenhouse-gas pollution. Of all the shifts in lifestyle that threaten the planet right now, perhaps not one is as important as the changing way that Chinese people eat.
Gold & Silver
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