Sunday, July 30, 2017

 

News Links, July 31, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The Global Pension Nightmare – Global pension underfunding will be $400 trillion by 2050.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russia's President Putin orders 755 US diplomatic staff to leave
White House Sacks Top Iran Hawk Amid Ongoing Disagreements
Tillerson, Mattis Seen Opposing Aggressive Action Against Iran


## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Soldier among several shot dead in Venezuela poll violence

## Energy/resources ##
Russia drafts agreement to tap Iranian oil fields
Keep in mind that fossil fuels are there, for the taking, and even in this age of net energy decline they still offer a significant energy surplus after all costs are paid. Free hydrogen, on the other hand, exists in only tiny amounts in nature. Therefore we must use another source of energy to extract hydrogen by some process (such as electrolysis of water) and pressurize it for use in cars. Just as with recharging EV batteries, the energy available to run the car is less than that used to "recharge" it. Further, a fossil-fuel "subsidy" is needed for manufacturing the cars and the equipment for extracting and pressurizing hydrogen. Advocates of EVs and hydrogen cars insist that these are the "future of transportation" while ignoring the colossal fossil-fuel subsidies that are required for manufacturing the vehicles, obtaining fuel, and building and maintaining roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure. -- RF
China's ageing solar panels are going to be a big environmental problem
Tian Min, general manager of Nanjing Fangrun Materials, a recycling company in Jiangsu province that collects retired solar panels, said the solar power industry was a ticking time bomb. "It will explode with full force in two or three decades and wreck the environment, if the estimate is correct," he said. "This is a huge amount of waste and they are not easy to recycle," Tian added.
This should be a wake-up call: Renewables will never be able to prolong the lifespan of industrial civilization. Dismantling and recycling an end-of-life PV farm will consume a huge amount of energy, which would have to be diverted from other renewable power sources. Because renewables won't support economic growth to start with, the recycling-power requirement would be a serious drain on society, thereby further accelerating economic contraction. And then there is the energy requirement for building new solar farms. Same goes for wind farms. As I've repeatedly said, it's all downhill from here. -- RF
US backs use of coal for energy in Africa

## Got food? ##
Mongolia bans grain exports due to drought from hottest temperatures in 56 years
Mongolia has suspended grain exports with as much as a third of its farmland suffering from severe drought after temperatures last month rose to the highest in more than half a century, agricultural officials said.
The bottom line is that fossil fuels have been staving off mass starvation on our grossly overpopulated planet. Most of the blame for this situation belongs to our short-sighted and greedy leaders, who continue to stupidly insist on more growth as they panic about falling birth rates. Talk about cutting your own throat! -- RF
Furthermore, according to a World Economic Forum presentation, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics, February 2016, by 2050 there will likely be more plastic than fish in the seas, unless socio-economic policies change drastically. But, where's the leadership?
Good question! But as I remarked above in the food category, our leaders set the policies that put our societies on a self-destructive path — and take no responsibility for it. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
WSJ Asks "Who Paid For The 'Trump Dossier'?"
Democrats don't want you to find out - and that ought to be a scandal of its own...
Debbie Wasserman Schultz & Pakistani Computer Guys: More Than Bank Fraud
North Korea is behind an increasingly orchestrated effort at hacking into computers of financial institutions in South Korea and around the world to steal cash for the impoverished country, a South Korean state-backed agency said in a report.
P&G Slashed Digital Ad Spending. This is What Happened Next
Tired of feeding an opaque, slimy industry of bots and fake clicks.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
PBS' Anti-Russia Propaganda Series
PBS has joined the anti-Russia propaganda stampede with a five-part documentary series that recycles the false and deceptive claims that have become Official Washington's dangerous new groupthink.
The Dawn of an Orwellian Future
The U.S. mainstream media continues to spread its own "fake news," like the falsehood about an intelligence community "consensus" on Russia-gate "hacking," as algorithms begin to marginalize dissent.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Brazil Deploys 8,500 Armed Forces in Rio de Janeiro
It's the only realistic way to prop up a failing industrial society. -- RF
As in other countries, we subject citizens to pressure-cooker socioeconomic environments that create stress, then take their money by selling them the means to reduce their stress (hey, the victims are a big "market"). Those who call for overhauling society to eliminate the causes of stress and give people happiness and fulfillment without a mad rat race are voices in the wilderness. -- RF
## UK ##
UK's "Ground Rent Scandal" is Wrecking Homeowners
The Global Rentier Economy is now on steroids.
The U.S. Hypocrisy of 'Human Rights'
Long before President Trump, the U.S. government had made a mockery of "human rights," condemning abuses by adversary states but silent when crimes were committed by U.S. agents or U.S. allies.




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