Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 10/8 - Seven Days in September, 'Time Quickly Running Out' On Climate Action

Monday, October 8, 2018, 12:01 PM

Economy

Banks Brace for the Downside of Higher Rates (sign-in required, Thomas R.)

Banks have enjoyed a profit boost from rising interest rates over the past couple of years. But now those higher rates could turn into a drag.

Raconteur Report: Monthly Checkup (thc0655)

And last month's dire doom-and-gloomery from a couple of official jacktards wasn't helping. This outbreak is essentially contained, so far, but like a brushfire that isn't out, it might get put out, or it might experience a week of high winds, blossom into incandescence, and wipe out tens of thousands or millions.

So still a thing, but no more and no less than when we first reported on it in August.

Here's What Makes the Facebook Data Breach so Harmful (Thomas R.)

“Most data breaches involve financial information, but your Facebook account can be misused in a number of ways that are harmful,” says Justin Brookman, the director of consumer privacy and technology policy for Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports. “Accessing your private communications and posts by itself is pretty invasive, but that information could also be used to crack account security questions or to scam you and your friends.”

Seven Days in September (Paul D.)

As much of a danger as he may be to the republic, Trump will be gone in two or six years. The greater danger may well have been out-of-control, unelected intelligence officials inserting themselves into the electoral process and now, allied with Trump administration officials, into the governing process. A saying at the National Security Agency is: “Administrations come and go, but we will still be here.”

As Medicare issues new cards, scam callers try to profit (Thomas R.)

Even if it looks like a local call, it’s probably not. Many times, scammers are engaging in “neighbor spoofing” to make the number look like it’s local. Fraudsters can spoof phone numbers easily and change that spoofed number regularly. You’re more likely to answer it, if it’s a new number, experts said.

Hamptons millionaires build luxe panic rooms to hide from MS-13 (thc0655)

“People used to open up their garages and show off their Lamborghinis,” Weisberg said. “Now they take guests to the wine bar in their safe room.” Catsimatidis, who, in addition to worrying about MS-13 has also had his home broken into, is installing infrared sensors at his place. But that’s nothing compared to the security measures that Al Corbi, president of SAFE (Strategically Armored & Fortified Environments), an architecture-focused security firm, has designed for customers, including Hamptonites.

Challenged by Long Island Lawmakers, Police Will Look Into Treatment of Immigrant Families Who Reported Missing Children (jdargis)

Martinez said she called police Commissioner Geraldine Hart over the weekend to discuss the reporting. She said that, among other things, the police will look into the case of high school freshman Miguel Moran, who disappeared in early 2016, and the case of a 15-year-old girl who went missing with boys affiliated with the gang around the same time. Moran’s remains were found that September. Parents of both teenagers say the police appeared to dismiss their requests for help because they were immigrants. The father of the 15-year-old girl secretly recorded detectives as they threatened his daughter and ignored his requests for interpretation.

US Citizens Have Even Less Freedom Thanks To Alleged Russian Election Meddling (Thomas R.)

This is not to say that we do or do not agree with how Freedom House determines the level of freedom, because taxation (government theft and the most obvious violation of basic human civil rights) rates were obviously not a factor in their rankings. Nor were the number of government services the public is forced to fund at gunpoint whether they use them or not taken into account. It appears they judge only on a few very social layers. But read the reports and see for yourself.

Chinese stocks fall almost 5% in market bloodbath as investors digest a week of bad news in a single day (Thomas R.)

The main driver, however, appears to be a failure from markets to believe that fresh stimulus from China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, will help prevent US President Trump's trade war from causing an economic slowdown in China. The PBOC cut its required reserve ratio for Chinese banks by 1% over the weekend.

Hicks: We don't have a labor shortage. We have a pay shortage. (Thomas R.)

Once a business asks for special tax breaks or other favors, it becomes a part of the favor granting political machine. That is why it will lobby for a higher minimum wage, because it makes it easier for a governor and mayor to shell out a billion or two dollars for its new headquarters.

Saudi Arabia is investing another $45 billion with SoftBank (Thomas R.)

Son and Bin Salman were the powerhouses behind setting up the first SoftBank Vision Fund in 2016. At the time, Son said he wanted it to become "the biggest investor in the technology sector." He also said in September of this year that he plans to spend around $50 billion a year on startup investment.

David Attenborough: 'Population Growth Must Come to an End' (Paul D.)

The legendary English broadcaster, who spoke with the BBC on the 40th anniversary of his groundbreaking Life On Earth series, commented on a variety of environmental topics. He said he's eating much less meat: "We simply cannot destroy the natural forests and plains of the world in order to feed ourselves. We have to modify our diet." On the growing issue of plastic pollution, he said, "We should do our best to avoid the use of plastic."

Rocked by Trump's sanctions, Iranian oil exports drops further (Thomas R.)

Oil prices have extended a rally on expectations the sanctions will test the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers. Brent crude LCOc1 on Wednesday last week reached $86.74 a barrel, the highest since 2014.

None of the Iranian crude exported in the first week of October is heading for Europe, according to the Refinitiv data. The tankers are sailing to India, China and the Middle East.

Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, experts warn (Thomas R.)

"This is concerning because we know there are so many more problems if we exceed 1.5 degrees C global warming, including more heatwaves and hot summers, greater sea level rise, and, for many parts of the world, worse droughts and rainfall extremes," Andrew King, a lecturer in climate science at the University of Melbourne, said in a statement.

FDA Bans Use of 7 Synthetic Food Additives After Environmental Groups Sue (Thomas R.)

The FDA had concluded that these flavoring compounds do not pose a health risk to consumers. "The synthetic flavoring substances that are the subject of this petition are typically used in foods available in the U.S. marketplace in very small amounts and their use results in very low levels of exposures and low risk," concludes an FDA statement on the petition.

Landmark UN climate report warns time quickly running out (Thomas R.)

"This report is not a wake-up call, it is a ticking timebomb," said Gro Harlem Brundtland, Acting Chair of The Elders in a statement. "Climate activists have been calling for decades for leaders to show responsibility and take urgent action, but we have barely scratched the surface of what needs to be done. Further failure would be an unconscionable betrayal of the planet and future generations."

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 10/5/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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9 Comments

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
We Need Massive Change to Avoid Climate Hell

"To correct course and avoid 1.5 C, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, we’ll need to cut emissions by half before 2030, and go carbon-neutral by 2050, the report says. That gives us three decades to transform our energy production into something unrecognizable, with renewable energy galore combined with carbon capture techniques like the bolstering of forests, and maybe even sucking the stuff out of the atmosphere and trapping it underground. We’ll have to change our behavior as individuals, too. Meaning, we’re looking at unprecedented change, what is essentially the restructuring of civilization."

https://www.wired.com/story/we-need-massive-change-to-avoid-climate-hell/

Here are some issues mentioned by the report:

1. A global average temperature increase of 1.5°C is now considered worse than previously thought. 1.5 C is a catastrophe for many parts of the planet, and includes damage to agriculture. However, an increase to 2°C means the extinction of corals, major declines in insects, marine mammals, land vertebrates, etc.

2. At 1.5°C, the hottest days over land will be 5.4°F higher. At 2°C, they will be 7.2°F higher at 2°C. At 1.5°C, the coldest days at high latitudes will be 8°F higher. At 2°C, almost 11°F higher.

3. Drought and heavy rainfall will last longer and be more intense at 1.5°C, and even worse at 2°C.

Here's are some problems with this report:

1. It only covers man-made carbon emissions. It does not cover carbon emitted from the world's tropical forests (now a net emitter, no longer a net absorber). It does not cover carbon emitted by warmer soil. It does not cover carbon emitted from thawing permafrost, etc.

2. It doesn't cover methane or vater vapor or other greenhouses gases.

3. It doesn't cover positive feedbacks like loss of sea ice, loss of albedo, etc.

4. The best case scenarios - keeping to a 1.5°C global average temperature increase above 1850 baseline - depend not merely on reductions in carbon emissions, but also on as-yet-to-be-invented-and-scaled miracle technology that would extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for storage - on the order of thousands of gigatons.

5. Guy McPherson says the Earth is at least 1.73°C over the 1750 baseline already. So in reality, it's likely too late.

11th Hour, with Brian Williams:


 

Poet

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3191
McPherson

I recall that Mark Cochrane thought Guy McPherson's predictions were too dire a few years back.  I would like to get his input now that real world changes are happening faster than predicted and this report is more dire than any published before.

A few days back Akgrannywithgrit posted a lecture by Jeremy Rifkin that Chris expressed some skepticism about.  I don't have any strong opinions one way or another about the merits of Rifkin's thesis, but it strikes me that he is one of the few people out there to lay out something of a road map out of our shared predicament.  Our global need is great and urgent.  If we are to make a serious effort to limit global warming to survivable levels, we must act soon and overwhelmingly.  We cannot afford to not do so.

Therefore, we need a course to follow.  Acting willy nilly without a clear focus is not an option.  If the world is to be mobilized it must be done through global and national bodies like the UN and national governments.  We don't have other models that are already in place and capable.

I am not optimistic that such leadership will emerge any time soon.  The US would normally be the one gov't that could take on such a role, but given our current POTUS, who thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax, has pulled us out of the Paris climate accords and is the laughing stock of the rest of the world, it is unlikely we will do so.

Following a clear plan, flawed though it might be, will at least get us started toward a shared goal.  There will inevitably be mistakes along the way, but humans possess the one trait that is indispensable, adaptability.  To paraphrase someone smarter than I, no battle plan survives the first shot.  And, if we ever needed a battle plan, this is the time.

I would like to see a good discussion of what our real world options are.  This is as good a place to begin such a discussion as any.

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
Status: Platinum Member (Online)
Joined: May 4 2014
Posts: 606
AKGrannyWGrit's picture
AKGrannyWGrit
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 6 2011
Posts: 489
Climate Change

The discussion of climate change seems to leave out important points.  For instance people will have little effect through individual actions as long as governments are ingaging in weather warfare.  No one discusses that because it’s a taboo subject. Next its easy to blame too many “people” as the problem rather than governments, corporations and the rich and powerful.  And lastly while a sharing economy sounds good it won’t work as long as the global meme is “more profit”!  The best thing we can do is create a micro environment within the community we live in.  The serenity prayer is helpful here - we can’t change what is, but we can create a pocket in life that is supportive, caring and an example for people around us. My 2 cents.

AKGrannyWGrit

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3191
Granny
Quote:

For instance people will have little effect through individual actions as long as governments are ingaging in weather warfare.  No one discusses that because it’s a taboo subject.

I'm not sure what you mean by "weather warfare", but as far as I know the US is the only nation to pull out of the Paris agreement.  And, its not a taboo subject.  Its talked about virtually everywhere climate change is accepted as reality.


Quote:

Next its easy to blame too many “people” as the problem rather than governments, corporations and the rich and powerful.

Totally agree.


Quote:

And lastly while a sharing economy sounds good it won’t work as long as the global meme is “more profit”!

Again, totally agree.  But, that's part of the reality we are facing.  Humanity has to go through a gigantic psychological shift if we are to be successful in avoiding the worst effects of climate change.  I've long thought that the capitalism-socialism split is just a device to keep people and countries arguing.  In reality, all economies are some blend of both.  Finding the right balance is the key.


Quote:

 The best thing we can do is create a micro environment within the community we live in.

That is certainly important, but remember the old maxim "think globally, act locally."  Local efforts are necessary, but without wider coordination probably fruitless.  One community doing everything right will die right along with the rest of us if those efforts are not shared, agreed upon and acted upon globally.  We must enter the political fray if we wish our governments to act in accord with the science.  We still have some semblance of democracy here and with much wider participation in the process can again make it effective.  As I have said before, the greatest virtue of democracy is that when things are so overwhelmingly bad everyone recognizes it, we can throw the rascals out.  But, that requires participation.  IOW, vote.

Wendal's picture
Wendal
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2013
Posts: 23
McPherson

I would think Guy McPherson would have lost all credibility and standing - not only for his extreme views on NTHE - but particularly for these very disappointing and unsettling accusations...

https://deepgreenresistance.blogspot.com/2017/08/statement-on-guy-mcpher...

I particularly find the comment from Nicole "Stoneleigh" Foss compelling.

AKGrannyWGrit's picture
AKGrannyWGrit
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 6 2011
Posts: 489
Really?

By repeating the accusations against McPherson here the suggestion is that they are TRUE.  Oh please, the message is let’s discredit someone so we will accuse them of something and the court of public opinion will condem them.  Don’t like Mr. MCPherson, fine,  debate his science and beliefs but leave out unsubstiantiated accusations!!!! 

Really, it’s a great disservice to women everywhere to accuse any man whose opinions or actions that one doesn’t like or agree with of sexual abuse or bad behavior.  Are we tired of this trite, mean-spirited trend yet?

AKGrannyWGrit

 

 

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 871
Need a New Forum Topic
Doug wrote:

Following a clear plan, flawed though it might be, will at least get us started toward a shared goal.  There will inevitably be mistakes along the way, but humans possess the one trait that is indispensable, adaptability.  To paraphrase someone smarter than I, no battle plan survives the first shot.  And, if we ever needed a battle plan, this is the time.

I would like to see a good discussion of what our real world options are.  This is as good a place to begin such a discussion as any.

Doug,

I think this is a great idea! Let's look at what the real world options are. Let's evaluate those options and come up with a cost/benefit analysis to see if the idea is worthy or should be flushed. There are ideas that work very well for individuals or specific situations but aren't scaleable across society.

I disagree that this is as good a place to begin such a discussion as any. The Daily Digest really isn't the place for this discussion. It will get lost over time. I recommend that you start a new forum topic to hold the discussion. Why don't I do it? I don't think there are any palatable society-wide solutions available. That doesn't mean there aren't any. I am open to exploring the ideas. If we can develop a plan that works (on paper,) has low risk, has few side effects, and isn't cost (or freedom) prohibitive, you can be assured that I'll be on board.

You can bet that I'll contribute my thoughts. I'm sure others will as well.

Grover

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 441
Climate Change: Mouse in the room

Climate change is the least problem to worry about. The elephant in the room is another global war: Clearly its increasing global tensions that are heating up. The world is locked into another global arms race.

Realistically Global CO2 emissions will peak with Oil since its primary energy source used for transporation and even production of coal. Of course Peak oil also means peak food production, and also makes an awful lot of unhappy campers: These billions of unhappy campers are going to select leaders that promise them return of the good times: aka as abundant resources, which in turn can only be achieved by stealing them from someone else. I'll let you explore the ramifications.

 

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