Tuesday, March 20, 2018


News Links, March 21, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
January's record highs may have been the market top for 2018, Morgan Stanley says
'I misspoke': US official blunders by mistakenly declaring key China talks dead
The comments by David Malpass about the supposed cancellation of the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue sowed confusion - as did his retraction

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iraqi lawmaker warns of "plots to expand U.S. military bases" in Iraq
Iraq still has lots of high-quality conventional oil left, so it's no wonder the US refuses to leave (and why the war was started in the first place). Everyone knows that when push comes to shove, you can't fight a war on a piddling amount of renewable energy. -- RF
US, South Korea announce annual military exercises to begin on April 1
To deter Russia, US needs new low-yield nukes, says STRATCOM head
Unmitigated Failure: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 15 Years Later
Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia: Top Three Stunning Admissions From the Top U.S. General in the Middle East
In one Palestinian village, the whole story of the occupation
Encircled by the separation barrier, threatened with demolition orders, and deemed illegal aliens in their own homes, the residents of the Palestinian village of Walajeh are fighting for their lives.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Arrests made in Trans Mountain protests

## Energy/resources ##
"Is it possible to accelerate by a factor of 20?" he asks. "Yeah, but I don't think people understand what that is, in terms of steel and glass and cement." 
Discusses the previous article. But there's still more to be aware of. Even if the transition were magically achieved, there would still be no economic growth, and people in developed countries — who are used to living extravagantly — would be shocked by their low "energy rations." We're never going to transition into a Glorious Technological Future; instead, humanity is going to be catapulted into a future of privation, mass starvation, and war. Are you ready? -- RF
Unbelievable: Coal puts halt to South Africa's renewables industry
In an unexpected turn of events, two unions representing coal interests have put a halt to the signing of 27 renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs), thus effectively stopping South Africa's renewables industry in its tracks.
S.Korea fuel oil imports soar as coal, nuclear plants shut
Energy at the heart of sustainable development, IEA says
Many of the goals for renewable energy and universal electricity may be out of reach.
No Water Shortage at The World Water Forum
There's no escaping water rationing in Brazil's drought-hit capital Brasilia -- unless you're attending an international conference on global water supply problems.
Battery makers descend on Australia, Canada cobalt developers
Nervous Asian battery makers are turning to early-stage cobalt projects in Australia and Canada to lock in supplies of the critical battery ingredient ahead of expected shortages as demand for electric vehicles revs up.
However, even as CO2 emissions are much lower, there are questions over the climate benefits if lower CO2 is offset by higher methane emissions from gas, which typically come from the drilling and extraction of natural gas, and its shipment via pipeline and local distribution lines.

Despite major improvements in water quality, seawater is still polluted from sources such as industrial waste, sewage and run-off from farmland, the researchers noted.
Billion-dollar polar engineering 'needed to slow melting glaciers'
Underwater sea walls and artificial islands among projects urgently required to avoid devastation of global flooding, say scientists

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Nearly 100 Operations Of American Meddling In Russia Publicly Admitted By NED
Empire Files: Post-Soviet Russia, Made in the U.S.A. (YouTube)
The increased aggression towards Russia from US politicians and media is made more clear when taking into account the real history of the post-Soviet period. The hidden story of Boris Yeltsin's presidency explains how deeply the US government, along with Western capitalist institutions, cheered, shaped and exploited the country after the fall of the Soviet Union, paving the way for the political system they all condemn today.
If at first you don't succeed... Reminds one of the new timeline served up by the US government five years after 9/11. -- RF
Did Putin Order the Salisbury Hit? (Patrick J. Buchanan)
Is Profit-Maximizing Data-Mining Undermining Democracy?
If targeting political extremes generates the most profit, then that's what these corporations will pursue.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Why was my lecture on science and free speech shut down?
60 Minutes' Embarrassing Interview with Mohammed bin Salman
The 60 Minutes interview with Mohammed bin Salman was predictably not very informative and served as little more than a platform for the crown prince to spread propaganda.
Oh, brother! -- RF
Accusations of "whataboutism" amount to a cynical, sleazy attempt to stifle debate without actually engaging in argument. It's also the sort of desperate and childish propaganda tactic you'd expect during late-stage imperial decline.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Low-carbon computing is needed to avoid a technological collapse
The technological collapse is coming, anyway. The main driver is net energy decline, not carbon. -- RF
Karachi needs $9-10 bn to keep it going: WB
The World Bank has estimated that Pakistan's metropolitan city Karachi needs $9 to $10 billion financing over a period of 10 years to meet its infrastructure and service delivery requirements in urban transport, water supply and sanitation and municipal solid waste management.
Although self-driving vehicles are hailed as a beneficial technological innovation, this shows that self-driving and other uses of robotics and artificial intelligence considerably increase society's level of complexity. The lack of economic growth and low childbearing (see following article) indicate that costs are now outweighing benefits. -- RF
Ultimate Indicator Suggests US Never Recovered From the Great Financial Crisis
The ultimate indicator of personal economic confidence is the determination to perpetuate the species and have children.
As I have observed repeatedly, childraising costs in latter-day industrial society under a declining-net-energy regime are prohibitively high. Although this article deals with the US, declining fertility rates are observed in other developed societies as well. Even in newly developed China, many couples elect to have only one child even though the one-child restriction has been lifted. -- RF

## Japan ##
Japan sets sights on carrier-based fighter jets
Retrofitting vessels for the F-35B would raise constitutional issues
China, not North Korea, to dominate Japan military planning
40 years after opening up, China is going backward
And the ruling Chinese Communist Party appears to be trying to go much further; it seems to want to change the world to fit its needs.
Which is what all previous empires have done. -- RF
It matters less who fills the position of Secretary of State or CIA director when the real issue is that both federal agencies are routinely engaged in activities that are both unconstitutional and anti-American.
The only surprise is that it took people so long to catch on. Now how much more time will be needed before the populace realizes that America's political system is a China-style one-party system? -- RF
But somebody came out ahead in all these deals – in addition to CEOs and other top executives who reaped huge bonuses and stock compensation packages: Wall Street.

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