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Russian Diplomat: “Yes, Russia Is Preparing For War, I Can Confirm It”

A week after Russian president Vladimir Putin doubled-down on a warning to Russia’s geopolitical foes first made earlier this year by declaring that Russia would use its “unstoppable” nuclear weapons in response to an incoming missile attack shortly after US president Trump announced the US would pull out of the INF Treaty, , a Russian diplomat has both confirmed (and denied) what US war hawks have been calling out: Moscow is preparing for war, he said, just in case the US starts one.

Speaking at the UN on Friday, Andrey Belousov, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control, echoed Putin’s comments from last week that Russia is indeed readying itself for war, but only so it can defend its people against American aggression.

“At a recent meeting, the US stated that Russia is preparing for war. Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I can confirm it”, Belousov said adding that “We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people.”

Russia’s military build-up and large-scale drills, which have often been painted in the Western media as preparations for all-out war, are a defensive necessity, he said.

Russia doesn’t seek a confrontation, he said, unlike the US. “Why else would the United States pull out of the [INF] Treaty, increase their nuclear potential, adopt a new nuclear doctrine that lowers the threshold for nuclear weapons use – that’s the question for us all.”

Belousov’s words came after a Russian draft resolution to reinforce the INF Treaty, which bans intermediate-range nuclear weapons, was overwhelmingly rejected at the UN First Committee.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Warning! Civilization at Risk, Crisis by 2040 (And Other Nonsensical Climate BS)

The amount of climate scaremongering in the past few weeks is stunning. And it’s all pure bullshit.

Check out these headlines.

Q&A

Q.What do all of those headline have in common?

A. They are all based on the same study. The study is riddled with huge numbers of blatant errors making the study for lack of better words, pure bullshit.

Riddled With Errors

  • Almost no quality control checks have been done: outliers that are obvious mistakes have not been corrected – one town in Columbia spent three months in 1978 at an average daily temperature of over 80 degrees C. One town in Romania stepped out from summer in 1953 straight into a month of Spring at minus 46°C. These are supposedly “average” temperatures for a full month at a time. St Kitts, a Caribbean island, was recorded at 0°C for a whole month, and twice!
  • Sea surface temperatures represent 70% of the Earth’s surface, but some measurements come from ships which are logged at locations 100km inland. Others are in harbors which are hardly representative of the open ocean.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Israel’s Defense Chief Says “No Choice But War” As Forces Build Along Gaza Border

We reported over the weekend that Israel has mustered its largest build-up of tanks and armored personnel carriers since 2014 at a deployment area along the border with Gaza and that “all-out war” looks inevitable after weeks of heightened tensions with Hamas. This after special UN envoy for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov late last week warned the UN Security Council that “we remain on the brink of another potentially devastating conflict.”

It now appears Israel is ready to act, as on Monday Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israeli parliament that he’s been left with “no choice” but to launch military action against Hamas militants. Last week rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip, with one landing dangerously near the densely populated city of Tel Aviv, and unrest along the border fence has continued largely unabated for months.

Palestinians protesting along the Gaza border fence. Via Reuters.

During his bellicose speech before lawmakers, Lieberman threatened invasion of Gaza: “Wars are only conducted when there is no choice, and now there is no choice,” the defense minister said. He indicated that anything less than the “toughest response” to Hamas is not being considered as Tel Aviv has “exhausted the other options.”

He said of protests which Israeli forces have somewhat routinely fired upon as Palestinians approach the fence and a security “no-go” zone: “There is no popular uprising,” and added, “There is violence organized by Hamas. Fifteen thousand people don’t come by foot to the border at their own will. They come by bus and are paid.”

Lieberman’s accusation that Hamas pays large sums to protesters comes as international human rights groups have frequently decried Israel’s lose of live ammo to stop protesters from approaching the fence, which have over the past six months resulted in dozens of Palestinian casualties.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

UN Climate Change Report: A Choice between “Mad Max and Hunger Games”

UN Climate Change Report: A Choice between “Mad Max and Hunger Games”

Humanity, we’re essentially told, is doomed lest people concede their freedom to the experts, lawmakers, and bureaucrats who can save us.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this week released a special report detailing all the ways climate change is predicted to wreak havoc on humans.

The report is about 800 pages long, so I’ll offer a summary to save you some time:

  • Global temperatures today are 1.0°C above pre-industrial temperatures.
  • We’re seeing an increase in extreme weather and other negative consequences as a result of the increase, including receding sea ice in the Arctic and rising global sea levels.
  • A 1.5°C increase will be (much) worse than a 1.0 increase; 2°C would be much worse than that.
  • We’re currently on track to exceed 3°C.
  • Only broad and drastic changes in the world economy can prevent global calamity.

The report’s glum findings were announced at a press conference by a United Nations panel in Incheon, South Korea. Panelists tried to sound optimistic, but there was no sugar-coating the report’s key finding.

“If you would like to stabilize global warming to 1.5°C, the key message is that net CO2 emissions at the global scale must reach zero by 2050,” said panelist Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a French climate scientist and research director at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. “That’s the most important finding of the report.”

Barring these substantial reductions, we’re told, millions will die. Literally.

The report made it clear that fossils fuel—oil, gas, and coal—which the world heavily depends on, must be phased out to achieve this goal: especially coal.

“Coal will have to be reduced very, very substantially by the middle of the century,” said Jim Skea, a Scottish academic and IPCC panelist. “Coal has the highest carbon content of all the fossil fuels.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Vast Blind Spot’: IPCC Accused of Ignoring ‘Decades Long’ Fossil Fuel Misinformation Campaign on Climate

‘Vast Blind Spot’: IPCC Accused of Ignoring ‘Decades Long’ Fossil Fuel Misinformation Campaign on Climate

Charles Koch

The United Nations (UN) climate science panel is being accused of ignoring research into fossil fuel-funded misinformation campaigns that have been key to holding back action on global warming.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — an assessment of more than 6,000 research papers — found global warming caused largely by fossil fuel burning would have severe impacts even if limited to 1.5°C (2.7°F).

Described by the IPCC as “one of the most important climate change reports ever published,” the report is designed to inform policy makers and the public around the world.

But several researchers are angry the report did not take account of academic research into the “decades-long misinformation campaign” funded and promoted by fossil fuel interests and so-called “free market” conservative think tanks that has been a major brake on progress.

Several researchers say the lack of consideration of academic research into misinformation campaigns was a vital but missed opportunity to educate the public and policy makers. The groups that have colluded with the fossil fuel industry have been credited with pushing President Donald Trump to pledge to pull the U.S. from the UN‘s Paris Agreement.

A Vast Blind Spot

This is an important barrier to climate action, but it is never addressed,” said Professor Robert Brulle of Drexel University, who has published research on the funding and influence of climate science denial efforts.

A large existing literature on this was ignored by the IPCC,” he added.

The IPCC special report showed that keeping global warming to 1.5°C would require a rapid phase-out of fossil fuel use between now and the middle of the century.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

We Need an Ecological Civilization Before It’s Too Late

We Need an Ecological Civilization Before It’s Too Late

In the face of climate breakdown and ecological overshoot, alluring promises of “green growth” are no more than magical thinking. We need to restructure the fundamentals of our global cultural/economic system to cultivate an “ecological civilization”: one that prioritizes the health of living systems over short-term wealth production. 

We’ve now been warned by the world’s leading climate scientists that we have just twelve years to limit climate catastrophe. The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has put the world on notice that going from a 1.5° to 2.0° C rise in temperature above preindustrial levels would have disastrous consequences across the board, with unprecedented flooding, drought, ocean devastation, and famine.

Oxfam_East_Africa_-_A_mass_grave_for_children_in_Dadaab
A global crisis of famine and mass starvation looms unless we can turn around the trajectory of our civilization

Meanwhile, the world’s current policies have us on track for more than 3° increase by the end of this century, and climate scientists publish dire warnings that amplifying feedbacks could make things far worse than even these projections, and thus place at risk the very continuation of our civilization. We need, according to the IPCC, “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” But what exactly does that mean?

Last month, at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco, luminaries such as Governor Jerry Brown, Michael Bloomberg, and Al Gore gave their version of what’s needed with an ambitious report entitled “Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century by the New Climate Economy.” It trumpets a New Growth Agenda: through enlightened strategic initiatives, they claim, it’s possible to transition to a low-carbon economy that could generate millions more jobs, raise trillions of dollars for green investment, and lead to higher global GDP growth.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

United Nations: A $240 Per Gallon Gas Tax Is Needed To Fight Climate Change

United Nations: A $240 Per Gallon Gas Tax Is Needed To Fight Climate Change

The United Nations has declared that a $240 per gallon gasoline tax is “needed” to fight climate change. To limit global warming, the UN’s report says that $27,000 per tonne of gasoline will need to be stolen from the public by the year 2100.

For Americans, that’s the same as a $240 per gallon tax on gasoline in the year 2100, should such a recommendation be adopted. In 2030, which is only 12 years away, the report says that the carbon tax would need to be as high as $5,500, and the equivalent to a $49 per gallon gas tax, reported The Daily Caller. 

The constant fear mongering and theft of the public in the name of climate change has not dwindled much in the past ten years, and if anything, it has gotten worse. No amount of money will ever be enough to satisfy the ruling class elitists that expect us to just accept that they will continue to steal from us in the name of any agenda they try to scare us about. This is no longer about climate change, but about the desire to steal from those on the very bottom of the economic ladder by those who believe themselves to be superior with authority over everyone.

Hopefully, this is an unlikely scenario, but with more and more humans demanding their own slavery at the hands of other humans, who knows.  This huge tax is, however, what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report, released Sunday night, sees as a policy option (normal people see it as egregious theft) in the name of reducing emissions enough to keep projected global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to The Daily Caller. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

UN Report Cites Central Bank Liquidity Bubbles, Loose Money, Debt Expansion

A UN report has everything wrong as to the cause of current problems. Yet, the report mentions central bank liquidity.

Seldom does one see a report that “debt is the problem” while being 180 degrees wrong as to the cause of the buildup in debt.

The United Nations’ Trade and Development Report for 2018 blames the “Free Trade Delusion” for what ails the word.

International trade in the late nineteenth century was managed through an unholy mixture of colonial controls in the periphery and rising tariffs in the emerging core, often, as in the case of the United States, pushed to very high levels. But like today, talk of free trade provided a useful cover for the unhindered movement of capital and an accompanying set of rules – the gold standard, repressive labour laws, balanced budgets – that disciplined government spending and kept the costs of doing business in check.

Wow. There’s more:

But if there is one lesson to take from the interwar years, it is that talking up free trade against a backdrop of austerity and widespread political mistrust will not hold the centre as things fall apart. And simply pledging to leave no one behind while appealing to the goodwill of corporations or the better angels of the super-rich are, at best, hopeful pleas for a more civic world and, at worst, willful attempts to deflect from serious discussion of the real factors driving growing inequality, indebtedness and insecurity.

With such an ass-backward premise, one might expect the entire report to be wrong. Far from it.

Liquidity Driven Bubbles

Unlike their progressive MMT brethren, the authors understand some things:

  • There’s an unsustainable buildup of debt
  • There are huge asset bubbles
  • Cheap liquidity stretched valuations to extreme levels

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump and Washington’s Warmongers Sow Death and Destruction

Trump and Washington’s Warmongers Sow Death and Destruction

Trump and Washington’s Warmongers Sow Death and Destruction

The squalid charade in the US Senate over the nomination of a Supreme Court judge and the comic opera performance by President Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly are deeply embarrassing for many Americans — but far from all Americans, because substantial numbers support the flawed Court nominee and strongly endorse Trump’s arrogant and malevolent insults to so many nations. They relish confronting and menacing those who dare to disagree with them.

Trump’s threats against Venezuela were in line with similar intimidating remarks he made about North Korea at last year’s UN Assembly, but it’s unlikely we’ll see a similar reversal this time round. He also threatened Venezuela last year, and he’s maintained the offensive, in all meanings of the word. In 2017 he declared that President Nicolas Maduro’s government was strangling the country through “faithfully implemented” socialism and vowed to help the Venezuelan people “regain their freedom, recover their country and restore their democracy”. In New York on September 25 he said it would be easy for the Venezuelan military to launch a coup d’état and impose regime change, which was a direct threat to the country’s sovereignty. His encouragement of revolution followed his announcement to the Assembly that “I honour the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honour our sovereignty in return.”

But Trump is telling — ordering — many countries how to live and work, and has no respect whatever for customs or beliefs that do not fit with his confused and distorted view of how the nations of the world should conduct their affairs. He contradicted his statement about all nations having the right to do as they wish by calling on the UN to “resist socialism and the misery it brings to everyone.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How the U.N. Joined America’s War Against Syria

How the U.N. Joined America’s War Against Syria

America has been at war to transfer control of Syria over to the Saud family, who own Saudi Arabia; and America has been trying to do this ever since the first of the CIA’s coups against Syria failed in 1949. But only during the U.S. Presidency of Barack Obama did the United Nations become a tool in this American enterprise. Obama entered the White House in 2009 secretly hoping to be able to overthrow Syria’s Government; and when the CIA-assisted “Arab Spring” uprisings in the Arab world started flowering in 2011, the U.S. Government had the important U.N. operatives fully on-board assisting the U.S. Government to assist this overthrow — to hand Syria to the Sauds (the Sauds being America’s most important international ally, and the world’s richest family) to control.

By the time of June 2011, the Obama State Department, under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was already deep into planning the overthrow not only of Syria’s Government (planning the international recruitment of jihadists to do that), but of Ukraine’s Government (planning international recruitment of nazis to do that).

Although the common view is that America’s main allies are European, that viewpoint is no longer true. Today’s America is allied mainly with the Sauds, and with Israel, which latter is the Sauds’ chief lobbying arm both in North America and in Europe, because Christian-majority populations are far more sympathetic to Jews than to Moslems. For a politician to be publicly sympathetic to Jews is much better for a politician than for him/her to be publicly sympathetic to Muslims. So, Israel carries the Sauds’ lobbying water, not only their own.

On 3 December 2011 (near the end of the year when the “Arab Spring” started), the independent investigative journalist Sibel Edmonds headlined “US Media: Distorters of Reality & Gravediggers of Truth”, and she reported:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism’s Imminent Demise

Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism’s Imminent Demise

A climate change-fueled switch away from fossil fuels means the worldwide economy will fundamentally need to change.

Image: Shutterstock

Capitalism as we know it is over. So suggests a new report commissioned by a group of scientists appointed by the UN Secretary-General. The main reason? We’re transitioning rapidly to a radically different global economy, due to our increasingly unsustainable exploitation of the planet’s environmental resources.

Climate change and species extinctions are accelerating even as societies are experiencing rising inequality, unemployment, slow economic growth, rising debt levels, and impotent governments. Contrary to the way policymakers usually think about these problems, the new report says that these are not really separate crises at all.

Rather, these crises are part of the same fundamental transition to a new era characterized by inefficient fossil fuel production and the escalating costs of climate change. Conventional capitalist economic thinking can no longer explain, predict, or solve the workings of the global economy in this new age, the paper says.

Energy shift

Those are the stark implications of a new scientific background paper prepared by a team of Finnish biophysicists. The team from the BIOS Research Unit in Finland were asked to provide research that would feed into the drafting of the UN Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), which will be released in 2019.

For the “first time in human history,” the paper says, capitalist economies are “shifting to energy sources that are less energy efficient.” This applies to all forms of energy. Producing usable energy (“exergy”) to keep powering “both basic and non-basic human activities” in industrial civilisation “will require more, not less, effort.”

“Economies have used up the capacity of planetary ecosystems to handle the waste generated by energy and material use”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Leaked U.N. climate change report shows inverted thinking on growth

Leaked U.N. climate change report shows inverted thinking on growth

The Reuters news service managed a genuine journalistic coup by getting an advance copy of a U.N. climate change report not due out until October. Given what the report says—it’s dire—and the fact that the climate isn’t going to stop changing while the report gets reviewed, somebody decided to get the ball rolling.

Reuters has so far chosen not to make the entire draft available. But from its reporting we can see already the contradictory thinking that remains a barrier to facing up to climate change, to wit:

Global warming is on course to exceed the most stringent goal set in the Paris agreement by around 2040, threatening economic growth…

This kind of thinking is so obviously inverted, and yet the inversion is entirely invisible to most people. While it may be true that global warming threatens economic growth, it is far more salient to say that economic growth threatens us with global warming.

There is a partial but perhaps unconscious recognition of this fact in the following from the Reuters story:

The report outlines one new scenario to stay below 1.5°C, for instance, in which technological innovations and changes in lifestyles could mean sharply lower energy demand by 2050 even with rising economic growth.

Generally speaking, changes in lifestyle on a scale necessary to bring about “sharply lower energy demand” would mean an end to economic growth. What is supposed to keep growth going in this scenario is, of course, technological innovation. While it is true that innovation can make energy production less carbon intensive, what it can’t do is prevent people from using more energy, especially if supply continues to grow and the price remains affordable. Energy efficiency generally makes energy cheaper even as the person being efficient saves money.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia Furious As U.S. Navy Destroyer Approaches Syria Without Notification

Late on Monday we reported that US Navy Destroyer, USS Donald Cook (DDG-75), equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as the Aegis missile defence system, was approaching the port of Tartus in Syria, which doubles as the location for the Syrian logistics base of the Russian Navy. According to CNN Turk, the US destroyer was at at a distance of 100 km from the port, as of Monday.

The destroyer, which left the Cypriot port of Larnaka and was headed for the Syrian shore, was reportedly buzzed by Russian warplanes which circled above the US warship four times.


🇺🇸 departed , 🇨🇾 April 9, 2018, after completing a scheduled port visit April, 7, 2018. @USEmbassyCyprus http://www.c6f.navy.mil/news/uss-donald-cook-departs-larnaca 

USS Donald Cook Departs Larnaca

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) departed Larnaca, Cyprus, April 9, 2018, after completing a scheduled port visit. The visit served to enhance U.S.-Cyprus…


To be sure, Russia is concerned, and seemingly angry, that another showdown may be imminent. According to Pravda, the Chairman of the State Duma Defence Committee Vladimir Shamanov said that the United States did not notify Russia of the approach of the group of US warships to the Russian naval base in Tartus.

A group of ships of the US Navy has appeared at a distance of 150 miles from the Tartus region. It is common in international practice potential participants of events in the area should be notified accordingly in advance. We have not been notified, although we had legally ratified the agreement on two bases in Tartus and Khmeymim,” the official said.

“Moreover, US President Donald Trump said that he would think about the missile attack on Syria despite any resolutions at the UN Security Council. All this smells of something are outside the framework of universally recognised international norms,” Shamanov added, suggesting that Russia is preparing for a Syria attack.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Water Wars Loom: UN Warns 5 Billion People Will Face Civilizational Threat By 2050

While residents of Cape Town, South Africa, brace for Day Zero (the day that the city of 4 million’s municipal water supply will be cut off for most households and businesses in order to preserve water after a severe drought that has emptied reservoirs), they are far from alone.

As MarketWatch’s Ciar Linnane notes, experts say this dystopian scene could be played out in other major cities in the coming years, as demand for water continues to increase with population growth and as climate change makes already-dry regions still dryer.

More than 5 billion people could suffer water shortages by 2050 due to climate change, increased demand and polluted supplies, according to a UN report on the state of the world’s water.

As The Guardian reports, the comprehensive annual study warns of conflict and civilisational threats unless actions are taken to reduce the stress on rivers, lakes, aquifers, wetlands and reservoirs.

Demand for water is projected to rise fastest in developing countries. Meanwhile, climate change will put an added stress on supplies because it will make wet regions wetter and dry regions drier.

“For too long, the world has turned first to human-built, or ‘grey’, infrastructure to improve water management. In doing so, it has often brushed aside traditional and indigenous knowledge that embraces greener approaches,” says Gilbert Houngbo, the chair of UN Water, in the preface of the 100-page assessment.

“In the face of accelerated consumption, increasing environmental degradation and the multi-faceted impacts of climate change, we clearly need new ways of manage competing demands on our freshwater resources.”

By 2050, the report predicts, between 4.8 billion and 5.7 billion people will live in areas that are water-scarce for at least one month each year, up from 3.6 billion today, while the number of people at risk of floods will increase to 1.6 billion, from 1.2 billion.

Water quality is also deteriorating.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Britain To Expel Russian Diplomats, Calls UN Session After Deadline Expires Without Moscow Response

The UK was braced for a showdown with Russia on Wednesday after a midnight deadline set by Prime Minister Theresa May expired without an explanation from Moscow about how a Soviet-era nerve toxin was used to strike down a former Russian double agent.

Russia, which denied any involvement in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter with Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet military, said it was not responding to May’s ultimatum until it received samples of the nerve agent, in effect challenging Britain to show what sanctions it would impose against Russian interests.

“Moscow had nothing to do with what happened in Britain. It will not accept any totally unfounded accusations directed against it and will also not accept the language of ultimatums,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday according to Reuters. He added, however, that Russia remained open to cooperating with Britain in investigating the poisoning, blaming the British authorities for refusing to share information.

Russia’s Interfax news agency reported the Russian embassy in London planned to ask for consular access to Yulia Skripal, Sergei’s daughter.

Britain’s response to the expiry of the deadline and lack of explanation from Moscow was expected to be announced by May in parliament later, after May convened a meeting of the National Security Council at her Downing Street office in the morning. Furthermore, Bloomberg reported that the U.K. has called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to update Council members on the investigation into the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, the U.K. Foreign Office said in a tweet.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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