And it may be one of the first concrete signs of how tension with Russia is hurting the European economy, analysts said. Along with a report of a sharp decline in German factory orders, the data raised new questions about the health of the 18-country eurozone as a whole. Only three of the 18 members of the eurozone — Cyprus, Finland and Greece — had reported two quarters in a row of negative output at the end of March. But the number of countries in recession is bound to increase during the coming week as more of them report second-quarter growth.
During Israel’s monthlong air-and-ground assault on the Gaza Strip, the world’s attention has focused on the more than 1,800 Palestinians killed and the more than 30,000 homes destroyed or damaged. But as a temporary truce held and talks toward a longer-term cease-fire began Wednesday, business leaders said that 175 of Gaza’s most successful industrial plants had also taken devastating hits, plunging an already despairing economy into a deeper abyss.
ISIS Consolidates (jdargis)
The birth of the new state is the most radical change to the political geography of the Middle East since the Sykes-Picot Agreement was implemented in the aftermath of the First World War. Yet this explosive transformation has created surprisingly little alarm internationally or even among those in Iraq and Syria not yet under the rule of Isis. Politicians and diplomats tend to treat Isis as if it is a Bedouin raiding party that appears dramatically from the desert, wins spectacular victories and then retreats to its strongholds leaving the status quo little changed. Such a scenario is conceivable but is getting less and less likely as Isis consolidates its hold on its new conquests in an area that may soon stretch from Iran to the Mediterranean.
The gold mining industry literally devours energy to produce an ounce of gold. In the past decade, fuel consumption at the top gold miners more than doubled, but the actual energy cost grew at a much higher rate.
The huge increase of diesel consumption at the top 5 gold miners is due to several factors. As ore grades continue to decline, the gold mining companies need to extract more ore to produce the same amount of gold. Thus, the massive haul trucks that transport this ore burn more diesel in the process.
Silver Pyramid Power (GE Christenson)
The US military spends the equivalent of one silver pyramid about every 8 days and the official US national debt increases by one silver pyramid every 7 days. Borrowing and “printing” this many dollars cannot continue forever. Silver and gold will remain valuable long after the dollar has been inflated to near worthlessness.
Annual Wall Street bonuses are the equivalent of nearly two silver pyramids – nearly double the market value of the annual global production of silver.
A Carbon Bubble In 2015? (Richard B.)
This imbalance between growing demand and declining supply is likely to worsen as environmental limits press back. With climate change becoming serious, our Social Trends cite dozens of major protests as people demand environmental protections, carbon taxes, and other changes to curtail carbon use. Economist Jeffery Sachs predicts the next spate of big hurricanes, droughts, fires, and sea level rise will foment a revolt against coal, gas, and oil.
Solar power is clean and renewable, but out of the box it’s not terribly efficient, at best turning about 25 percent of sunlight into electricity. And solar panels tend to be on rooftops, so they’re exposed to harsh elements, which further reduces their efficiency.
Now that problem has been solved, according to scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia. They report in the journal Applied Physics Letters that they’ve developed a method of making surfaces that actively control how particles and even fluids move across them.
Using Google Earth imagery, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has estimated that outdoor marijuana cultivation in Mendocino County and Humboldt County doubled between 2009 and 2012, with what the agency described as disastrous effect. A marijuana plant can consume five to 10 gallons of water, depending on the point in its growth cycle. By comparison, a head of lettuce, another of California’s major crops, needs about 3.5 gallons of water.
Gold & Silver
Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group
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