Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 12/19 - Fracking Banned In NY State, Life Could Lurk Deep Beneath Earth

Friday, December 19, 2014, 11:19 AM

Economy

Your Waitress, Your Professor (thc0655)

It is a shame I share with many of my blue-collar colleagues, a belief that society deems our work inferior, that we have settled on or chosen these paths because we do not have the skills necessary to acquire something better. It is certainly a belief I held for the majority of my undergraduate experience.

But not all my restaurant co-workers are college dropouts, and none are failures. Many have bachelor’s degrees; others have real estate licenses, freelancing projects or extraordinary musical and artistic abilities. Others are nontraditional students, having entered the work force before attending college and making the wise decision not to “find themselves” and come out with $40,000 in debt, at 4.6 percent interest. Most of them are parents who have bought homes, raised children and made financial investments off their modest incomes. They are some of the kindest, hardest-working people I know, and after three years alongside them, I find it difficult to tell my students to avoid being like them.

Apple 'failing to protect Chinese factory workers' (jdargis)

One undercover reporter, working in a factory making parts for Apple computers, had to work 18 days in a row despite repeated requests for a day off.

Another reporter, whose longest shift was 16 hours, said: "Every time I got back to the dormitories, I wouldn't want to move.

IEA cuts 2015 oil demand growth forecast, predicts lower Russia supply (Thetallestmanonearth)

“The adverse impact of the oil price rout on oil-exporting economies looks likely to offset, if not exceed, the stimulus it could provide for oil importing countries against a backdrop of weak economic growth and low inflation,” the IEA said.

Global oil production fell by 340,000 bbl/day in November month as a result of lower OPEC supplies on the back of Libya’s faltering recovery, while refinery crude throughputs recovered from seasonal lows of 76.8m bbl/day in October.

Déjà Vu All Over Again (thc0655)

What’s going on, rather, is something that a number of us in the peak oil scene have been warning about for a while now. Since most of the world’s economies run on petroleum products, the steep oil prices of the last few years have taken a hefty bite out of all economic activities. The consequences of that were papered over for a while by frantic central bank activities, but they’ve finally begun to come home to roost in what’s politely called “demand destruction”—in less opaque terms, the process by which those who can no longer afford goods or services stop buying them.

NY Governor Bans Fracking In His State (Evan K.)

The state of New York will ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, because of the potential it holds for creating a public health risk and its questionable economic benefits. Gov. Andrew Cuomo essentially had removed himself from the decision-making process, saying he would rely solely on aides with expertise on the issue, including Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. “I don’t think I even have a role here,” Cuomo said at a news conference. At an open cabinet meeting in Albany, the state’s capital, Zucker said he based his decision to ban frackin on a single question: “Would I let my child play in a school field nearby or my family drink the water from the tap or grow their vegetables in the soil? After looking at the plethora of reports as you see behind me and the others that I have in my office, my answer is no.”

New York's Fracking Ban Is About Politics, Not Science. And That's Just Fine. (jdargis)

Cuomo has promised all along to base his fracking decisions on scientific evidence. But, as is often the case with controversial new technologies, the scientific evidence points in both directions. We know there are risks, benefits, and uncertainties. We just can’t agree on how to weigh them. That’s why, as Adam Briggle argued convincingly in Future Tense last year, the fracking debate cannot be settled by science alone. It can only be settled by appeals to values, priorities, and interests—which is to say, politics.

Survivors Proud of Rebuilt Lives Crushed by 2004 Tsunami (jdargis)

While families will never be rebuilt nor the trauma forgotten, interviews with survivors across the devastated coastlines of Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia show how lives have been transformed. Displaced people who struggled for months without jobs and lived in tents or shacks saw an improvement in living standards in the following years.

Life Could Lurk Deep Beneath Earth—in Its Oldest Water (jdargis)

In some areas, they found hydrogen production "equal to that produced in the oceanic crust," a researcher says, suggesting complex microbial communities could be sheltered deep below, just as they are around hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. "Until our most recent work, the hydrogen production in the continental crust was calculated to be negligible: close to zero," he adds. The research team next hopes to search for evidence of life and discover "the differences in the kinds of life we might find in one fracture versus another." The study may give hope to those searching for life on Mars, which also hosts billions-of-years-old rocks that may produce hydrogen, adds Science Daily.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 12/18/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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