Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 9/9 - Picking Death Over Eviction, The Energy Return Of Food

Monday, September 9, 2013, 10:18 AM

Economy

Economic Reports Ease Concerns in China (jdargis)

The flattening in imports of reprocessing goods reflects a broad move by many multinational companies to shift entire supply chains to mainland China, instead of merely assembling goods there from components manufactured all over the world. That trend toward procuring parts in China persists even as a growing number of export factories in low-wage sectors like garments, toys and furniture are moving to other countries, like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Picking Death Over Eviction (jdargis)

Over the past five years, at least 39 farmers have resorted to this drastic form of protest. The figures, pieced together from Chinese news reports and human rights organizations, are a stark reminder of how China’s new wave of urbanization is at times a violent struggle between a powerful state and stubborn farmers — a top-down project that is different from the largely voluntary migration of farmers to cities during the 1980s, ’90s and 2000s.

Uber Allies (jdargis)

It isn’t just companies and regulators who will have to be flexible, though. Workers will, too, since the sharing economy requires people to function as micro-entrepreneurs. Uber is just a broker, and the drivers aren’t anyone’s employees, any more than the landlords in Airbnb’s system are. They are all independent contractors, working for themselves and giving the companies a cut of the action. This has certain attractions: no boss, the ability to set your own hours, control over working conditions. It also means no benefits, no steady paycheck, and the need to always be hustling; in that sense, it fits all too well with the free-agent nation we’re increasingly becoming. Sharing, it turns out, is often a hell of a lot of work.

Tullow Oil Rallies on Arctic Norway Discovery (James S.)

Tullow has a 20% interest in the Wisting Central discovery, located in license PL537. The operator is OMV, with a 25% interest, with other stakes owned by Idemitsu (20%), Norway’s own Statoil (15%) and Petoro (20%).

In South Florida, a Polluted Bubble Ready to Burst (jdargis)

The damage to the estuaries has been so profound and the clamor from local communities so intense that political leaders have pledged action. Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, visited the affected areas last month and proposed spending a total of $130 million for two separate projects.

Dead Vlei (jdargis)

Nearby is yet another "place of no return" this one even older, and much more dead than Sossusvlei. Known as Dead Vlei or "dead marsh" (Vlei being Afrikaans for a type of marsh), it is found among the tallest dunes in the world -- some reach 1,312 feet high, which is almost as lofty as the Empire State Building. Dead Vlei was once like Sossusvlei, with the river draining into it nourishing desert life and even trees. But no longer. Some 900 years ago the climate dried up, and dunes cut off Dead Vlei from the river.

Biggest volcano on Earth found: It's been hiding under the ocean (jdargis)

That last statement might be a bit of a reach – Olympus Mons is not only the size of Arizona, it's also more than 70,000 feet tall. You'd have to stack five or six Tamu Massifs on top of each other to reach that high. (The largest active volcano on Earth is Mauna Loa in Hawaii, which stands 33,000 feet tall, but has a footprint only about 2,000 square miles.)

The Energy Return Of Food (Eric G.)

One method of calculating the energy return of food involves estimating the energy value of produced food, measured in Calories, in the numerator of the ratio and including the energy inputs, measured in Calories, of human labor in the denominator. This measures energy return from an ecological perspective much like I did above in my fermented burdock example, and offers a sense for the labor efficiency in food production. Anthropologists, among them Richard Lee and Marshall Sahlins, applied this approach to estimating the energy efficiency of food procurement of hunter-gatherer tribes through the 1960s and into the 1970s, and often recorded energy returns for these groups in the range of 5-10. This implies that for every Calorie of labor energy these people invested in the procurement of food, their efforts yielded 5-10 Calories of food to sustain them. These estimates suggest solidly positive returns and, if accurate, illustrate why these groups only had to work, on average, a few hours each day for their subsistence.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the Gold & Silver Digest: 9/7/13

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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9 Comments

Tall's picture
Tall
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2010
Posts: 564
How to lose your home even if it is 'paid off'

Tax lien purchasers have foreclosed on nearly 200 houses since 2005 and are now pressing to take 1,200 more, many owned free and clear by families for generations.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2013/09/08/left-with-nothing/?hpid=z2

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2833
The "Backfire" Effect

Found this quite interesting:

The "Backfire" Effect

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Posts: 4149
SailAway's picture
SailAway
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Posts: 404
Living Kidneys 3D Printed in China

Kind of amazing…

Researchers at a university in eastern Zhejiang Province have used a 3D printer to create living kidneys, which is expected to be used for transplants in the future.

Living Kidneys 3D Printed in China

 

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 4149
saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4149
Nearly two dozen public pension plans in R.I. still critically u

"Interim Town Manager Richard Kerbel said the town expects to emerge from critical status by next year, based on recently negotiated changes with the police and firefighter unions and other hoped for changes in the union contracts for other town employees.

Among them: deferring, for eight years, the cost of living adjustment, or COLA for police and firefighter retirees."

 

"The public policy group State Budget Solutions released a report this week showing Illinois’ pension debt is more than $287 billion, nearly three times the $100 billion debt Illinois lawmakers say they are working to contain."

"By the next fiscal year, the VA budget is projected to rise 58 percent since 2009 to $152.7 billion, more than double the $70.9 billion spent in 2005, agency figures show.

At the Dayton VA, spending has risen to a projected $285.3 million this year compared to $131.2 million in 2001.

Two factors more than any others have driven health care costs higher at the Dayton VA Medical Center, officials said. Aging Vietnam veterans who have more health needs as they grow older, and the return home of thousands of veterans from the battlegrounds of Iraq and Afghanistan."

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Outside's in

Scary stuff, Saxplayer!   Unfortunately, this feels like it is only the beginning.

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 4 2012
Posts: 572
skepticism...

Forgive the skepticism and perhaps the denigration, but China has given us many a tainted product. If I can't trust them with my dog's food how am I ever going to trust them with my kidney? I feel like I should be hung out to dry for saying that, but it is a reflection of my pespective that they lack integrity in how they go about doing things in their quest to rise to power.

Jan

KugsCheese's picture
KugsCheese
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Joined: Jan 2 2010
Posts: 1447
Energy Return of Food

The Law of Entropy tells us over time we can not beat >= 1 energy return.   Energy can be stored over time in fossil deposits and radioactive chemicals but over time use of it will still go to < 1.   So either we lop off some 5 B people or go nuke to buy more time because solar/wind cannot support this many people.  Nature is about collapse of species so nothing shocking.

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