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    Daily Digest 8/21 – Coal Surge Scuttling Climate Change Efforts, The Telltale Signs of Imperial Decline

    by DailyDigest

    Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 2:46 PM


The alarming statistics that show the U.S. economy isn’t as good as it seems (sand_puppy)

“We have a ‘Two Realities’ economy in America,” said William Rodgers, a professor at Rutgers University and chief economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. “One segment has truly recovered from the Great Recession and is at full employment. The other continues to experience stagnating wages, involuntary part-time employment, inflexible work schedules and weaker access to health care.”

America’s prisoners are going on strike in at least 17 states (TS)

“The main leverage that an inmate has is their own body,” Sawari said. “If they choose not to go to work and just sit in in the main area or the eating area, and all the prisoners choose to sit there and not go to the kitchen for lunchtime or dinnertime, if they choose not to clean or do the yardwork, this is the leverage that they have. Prisons cannot run without prisoners’ work.”

NATO and the Myth of the Liberal International Order (tmn)

Behind Trump’s bullying and bluster, though, the core message he delivered in Brussels was not that different from those given by previous administrations. Indeed, the same kvetches have recurred under every US government, Democrat and Republican alike, since the end of World War II. Even before NATO was founded in 1949, there were disagreements between the US and UK over how to divide the burden of the postwar transatlantic security architecture; Wallace Thies, in his 2002 book on NATO, Friendly Rivals, dubbed it “an argument even older than the alliance itself.”

German schools in crisis amid teacher exodus (Thomas R.)

To solve the problem, GEW says there needs to be room for more pupils in schools. “In the short term, however, we have to resort to extra measures,” Ms Tepe said. “Colleagues without a teacher training course need at least a crash course of several weeks to prepare.”

The Telltale Signs of Imperial Decline (thc0655)

An absurdly heightened sense of refinement as the wealth of the top 5% has risen so mightily as a direct result of financialization and globalization that the top .1% has been forced to seek ever more extreme refinements to differentiate the Elite class (financial-political royalty) from financial nobility (top .5% or so), the technocrat class (top 5%), the aspirant class (next 15%) and everyone below (the bottom 80%).

Archaeologists explore a rural field in Kansas, and a lost city emerges (Thomas R.)

A few years ago, Donald Blakeslee, an anthropologist and archaeology professor at Wichita State University, began piecing things together. And what he’s found has spurred a rethinking of traditional views on the early settlement of the Midwest, while potentially filling a major gap in American history.

Using freshly translated documents written by the Spanish conquistadors more than 400 years ago and an array of high-tech equipment, Blakeslee located what he believes to be the lost city of Etzanoa, home to perhaps 20,000 people between 1450 and 1700.

M2 And Gold Prices (GE Christenson)

The official hoard of U.S. gold (more than half at Fort Knox) declined from over 20,000 tons in the late 1950s to about 8,133 tons in 1980. Before 1971 that gold backed a percentage of dollars in circulation. After 1971 dollars were created with few restrictions, which was profitable for the banking cartel and convenient for “spend-spend-spend” politicians.

NASA finds ice on the surface of the moon (Thomas R.)

To show that there definitely is ice at the poles, scientists utilized data from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, M3, which launched in 2008 aboard the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. M3 is an imaging spectrometer, which means it has the capability to measure wavelengths of light. This provides scientists with a way to determine the composition of materials. M3 has already had a big lunar win — it helped discover water on the moon in 2009.

Trump Administration Embraces Energy Dominance Agenda (Michael S.)

As of 2017, the EIA has calculated daily oil consumption in the country averaged 19.88 million barrels. Production this summer hit 10.9 million bpd, and the EIA expects it to rise further to 11.7 million bpd in 2019, which would make the country the biggest oil producer in the world, provided Saudi Arabia and Russia continue pumping at their current level. In other words, the United States is on track to boost its oil production and exports further. but energy independence is not yet attainable.

EPA Head Signs Proposal to Undo Restrictions on Coal Plants (sign-in required, Thomas R.)

The Trump administration moved to overturn Obama-era environmental rules on power-plant emissions, a long-telegraphed action designed to help coal-burning plants compete with natural gas and other cleaner alternatives as a national energy source.

Surge in coal use scuttling climate change efforts (Paul D.)

This revival in the coal industry has also been mentioned in leading energy-monitoring reports since 2017. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that coal production last year had risen by 3.1 per cent, while coal consumption in the energy sector had also increased, by 1 per cent. According to the IEA’s 2018 coal overview, higher production has been noticed in all major coal-producing countries except Germany and Poland, while global trade in coal in 2017 rose by 3.3 per cent from the year earlier.

Australia pulls out of climate change targets agreed at Paris conference (Paul D.)

In 2014 he even said Australia could reduce emissions by up to 28 per cent, saying: “There’s a definite commitment to 26 per cent but we believe under the policies that we’ve got, with the circumstances that we think will apply, that we can go up to 28 per cent.”

Despite the boast, he was later reported to have told colleagues he was “misled” while in Paris, and recently argued that using energy policy as a means of reducing emissions is “madness”.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/20/18

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One Comment

  • Tue, Aug 21, 2018 - 2:33pm



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 199

    Australian madness...

    … may possibly perhaps be coming to an end. Sort of.
    Our current conservative neoliberal federal government is utterly obsessed with selling coal. Simple, simple equation: coal out = money in. Lots of money.
    They seem be the pawns of a number of rich and influential people, including one who owns large tracts of land in the Northern Territory and may have been behind a recent NT government decision to permit fracking. Popular opposition to this insult is developing.
    Cheery news: the federal government is in disarray. A right-wing lunge for power is fracturing the party. (The chief lunger has been nicknamed Benito by a newspaper.) It doesn’t know what it stands for any more. Elections are not far away. Maybe we will see — oh please — a change of government.
    The only drawback is that the alternative party, Labor, the other head of the beast if you will, has gone along with the conservatives on far too many issues, waved through too many bills. Will they really slow down the despoliation?
    Stop the world, I want to get off. Hey, Mars looks inviting; any real estate on offer there? Waterfront views would be appreciated.

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