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Iran Threatens America’s Military Bases Across Middle East If US Supports Israeli Counterattack

Iran Threatens America’s Military Bases Across Middle East If US Supports Israeli Counterattack

The Saturday evening fireworks show in the Middle East marked Tehran’s first full-scale military attack on Israel. Although largely unsuccessful, concerns mount that US military bases in the region might be targeted with ballistic missiles and suicide drones if the US supports an Israeli retaliation strike.

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari told The Washington Post that Iran launched 300 drones and missiles at Israel, adding that “more than 99 percent” had been intercepted by either Israel or the US. President Biden condemned Tehran’s “brazen attack” on Israel and told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about America’s “ironclad commitment” to Israel’s security. However, the US president warned Netanyahu that the US won’t support counterattack strikes against Iran.

Ahron Bregman, a political scientist and expert in Middle East security issues at King’s College in London, told The New York Times that Iran’s direct attack on Israel last night was the first of its kind from its own territory, calling it a “historic event.”

Over the years, Tehran has used foreign proxies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia and Yemen’s Houthi rebels to strike Israeli interests. At the moment, the Houthis are targeting US, UK, and Israeli-affiliated commercial vessels in the Southern Red Sea. And early Saturday, Iran seized an Israeli-affiliated container ship near the Strait of Hormuz.

Tehran’s attack on Israel is a major escalation. There are mounting concerns that Israel could strike back. If so, Iran warned Washington that US military bases could be in the crosshairs of missiles and suicide drones.

“Our response will be much larger than tonight’s military action if Israel retaliates against Iran,” Iran’s armed forces chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, told state media, as quoted by The Times of Israel

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

The largest renewable energy project in history fails: only desert is left and we have lost $2 billion

The largest renewable energy project in history fails: only desert is left and we have lost $2 billion

A renewable energy project that promised to change history seems to have failed. At the moment, there is only desert and an apparent loss of 2 billion dollars. Human beings are going through a period of energy transition. We need energy and several initiatives have already appeared that promise to exploit infinite and renewable energy.

However, not all the proposals that appear to try to meet human needs are successful. Sometimes they fall by the wayside due to lack of budget, impossibility of exploitation or disparity of opinions among the agents involved. The latter is the problem that has led a renewable project with great potential to be put on standby.

This renewable energy project has lost billions dollars: now there is only desert.

The dispute has been about the type of energy to be used. Morocco’s largest planned solar project has been delayed for this reason. The $2 billion, 800 MW Noor Midelt I power plant was scheduled to start operating this year, but construction has not even begun.

The delay began when the Energy Ministry and grid operator ONEE rejected CSP technology, different sources told Reuters. The state energy agency MASEN cleared the contract to make Noor Midelt I a reality in 2019. It was awarded to the consortium led by EDF Renouvelables.

It requested that the plant have photovoltaic (PV) technology, which is more affordable but has little capacity to store energy, and CSP, which is more expensive but continues to supply the grid for hours after dark.

However, since the contract was awarded, ONEE and the Ministry of Energy have communicated that they would only agree to purchase the power if MASEN switched from CSP to PV or modified the saline energy storage to batteries.

The renewable project continues to face delays for this reason.

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

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CIII–We All Believe What We Believe…Evidence Be Damned.

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CIII

Teotihuacan, Mexico. (1988) Photo by author.

We All Believe What We Believe…Evidence Be Damned.

The following contemplation is my comment on the latest Honest Sorcerer post that explores personality ‘types’ and how these contribute to why we tend to hold such different views of our world.

Very interesting discussion and does help to explain a lot. And, again, you’ve provided me a springboard to share my own thoughts…

Perhaps these inherent differences (not necessarily hard-wired since I can see that my own answers to many of the questions on the test — which I took many years ago as well since my employer at the time regularly discussed and explored such things — have changed significantly over the years; I seem to have ‘come to the middle’ in many areas) are a big contributor to why I’ve come to hold that we believe what we believe, regardless of evidence or well-reasoned, counter-arguments.

In fact, being who we are with our complex cognitive abilities, we fight off non-confirmatory thoughts/ideas to reduce/avoid the stress/anxiety that can arise when our beliefs are challenged.

One of those beliefs I’ve certainly encountered when discussing ‘collapse’ with others is the idea that our pursuit of the perpetual growth chalice on a finite planet is just fine, thank you very much; please don’t regale me with your data and/or pre/historic and research-based examples of societal decline and/or overshoot…I will not listen or I will list off all the evidence of human progress and problem-solving abilities — particularly with respect to complex technologies — to prove my perspective.

And, of course, it doesn’t help the attempt to counter this notion of infinite growth on a finite planet when the ruling caste who significantly profits from the pursuit (in both monetary and power terms) cheerleads and encourages it at every turn and opportunity. I hear nothing but propaganda about the benefits of human expansion and development from my local/regional/federal politicians whenever they open their mouths and rarely, if ever, discussion of the knock-on, negative impacts except assurances that they will be minimal and/or overcome — yes, we are constructing a relatively expansive community upon these wetlands in this ecologically-sensitive area above important aquifers, but we’re putting a butterfly parkette in to benefit the environment…

For anyone agreeing with the herd and/or deferring to authority, as most of us do, or simply sitting on the fence, then it’s next to impossible to break with the majority perspective. I’ve given up my attempts to raise or even discuss the topic with most family members and others in my social circle — unless I am directly asked for my input. They simply do not want to even think about such a ‘depressing’ subject. Better to discuss and debate whether you think the Toronto Maple Leafs will make it through the first round of the upcoming hockey playoffs…

We even see such opposing views within the ‘collapse-aware’ communities, such as the Degrowth Movement, where a major core seems to hold that with just the right tinkering, and then widespread adoption, of ‘correct’ behaviours and technologies, humanity can solve the problems at hand — never recognising that it’s an unsolvable predicament that we might, at best, be capable of slightly mitigating for some small percentage of people.

It’s a right pickle and reminds me of a quote from a Richard Duncan article (an electrical engineer behind the Olduvai Theory of civilisational collapse):

“…according to the Olduvai schematic, world energy production per capita will decrease…[then] there will be a rash of permanent electrical blackouts worldwide. Consequently the vital…functions — communication, computation, and control — will be lost.
…Mother Nature then solves for us the (apparently) insuperable problem of the Tragedy of the Unmanaged Commons, which the human race seems either incapable or unwilling to solve for itself.”[1]

If you’ve made it to the end of this contemplation and have got something out of my writing, please consider ordering the trilogy of my ‘fictional’ novel series, Olduvai (PDF files; only $9.99 Canadian), via my website — the ‘profits’ of which help me to keep my internet presence alive and first book available in print (and is available via various online retailers). Encouraging others to read my work is also much appreciated.

[1] See this.

Today’s Contemplation: And Now For Something Completely Different, Part 6

Today’s Contemplation: And Now For Something Completely Different, Part 6

February 16, 2023 (original posting date)

While I take a break from my Contemplation posts here is the sixth installment of chapters from the fourth book in my fictional novel series (that stalled a few years ago but have ready). I will continue to share some of these over the next little while. Here are the links to PDF files of Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, and now Chapter 6.

The storyline: Flowing from actual world events, a damaged environment, dwindling energy resources, and a manipulated market-economy all come crashing together in this tale about the social and individual impact of stresses that overwhelm a precarious and complex global system. Supply chain interruptions, border disputes, increased fascism, growing protest movements, and mass migration out of rural areas into cities dominant the new normal.

Basically, this is a tale (set in Canada) about the individual (and societal) reactions to a breakdown of our complex systems. Life is proceeding ‘normally’ for most while a marginalised minority are increasingly concerned about the unsustainability of our way of life. Governments begin to clash with domestic populations while the machinations of some of the ruling caste, especially around energy systems, is exposed. Chapters trace the lives and experiences of a handful of people during the timeframe of about 3 months before to 3 months after a grid-down situation…

If you’ve made it to the end of this contemplation and have got something out of my writing, please consider ordering the trilogy of my ‘fictional’ novel series, Olduvai (PDF files; only $9.99 Canadian), via my website — the ‘profits’ of which help me to keep my internet presence alive and first book available in print (and is available via various online retailers). Encouraging others to read my work is also much appreciated.

Inflation is Causing Tectonic Shifts

Inflation is Causing Tectonic Shifts

Even if stock investors are acting as if nothing happened along the road they are walking, they will soon wish they had not missed the obvious.

a person walking down a road next to a stone wall
Photo by Roberta Piana on Unsplash

Yesterday when stocks crashed hard, I wrote the following caveat to their epitaph:

Whoa! Delusions broken. At least, for todaybut give investors a wisp of faint hope tomorrow, and greed may go from free fall to free floating again.

Indeed, the faintest wisp was all they got in today’s PCE inflation report, but that was all it took to send them deliriously positive in a state of euphoria and denial again. That won’t likely last long, foolish as it is, because the road is likely to be more than bumpy from here on out on the inflation front—more like jagged—and because bond investors today refused to give up the tougher edge they took yesterday with the bond vigilantes holding out for better returns. Never underestimate the foolishness and denial that undergirds this stock market, causing investors to miss the obvious signs on each side of them.

… Because, as I also wrote yesterday …

The 2YR yield is now getting very close to 5%. At those levels Treasuries will be seriously sucking money out of stocks for the practically free ride of doing nothing but sitting home with zero risk and clipping interest coupons. Those days won’t be long in coming.

That is what we saw today in bond action as yields continued to rise. A few articles in the news today highlighted how bond traders are now demanding higher yields from US Treasuries and not letting go of the reins…

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

Acceptance, Forgiveness, Gratitude

Acceptance, Forgiveness, Gratitude

Since I’ve come to the (tentative) conclusion that we have no free will (and that in fact there is no ‘self’ to have free will), it’s utterly changed the lens through which I see the world. I now see that our behaviour is completely conditioned by our biology and our culture, given the circumstances of the moment, and that ‘we’ have no ‘choice’ but to do what we do. We are all doing our best (though that is often, seemingly, pretty awful), and no one is to ‘blame’. For anything. Even though our conditioning, so often, causes us to inflict, and to suffer, horrible violence and trauma.

As I’ve internalized this, my writing has morphed from describing what I think ‘should’ be done to instead just trying to understand why (ie as a result of what conditioning and what circumstances) things are as they are. So I now use the ‘reminders’ list above, to cope with the accelerating collapse of our civilization and its component systems, instead of any action or preparation list. We can’t act, after all, other that how we’re conditioned, and we can’t prepare for something we cannot possibly predict.

Still, even this list is really wishful thinking. I cannot ‘choose’ to do or not do these things. I can, perhaps, by keeping it in front of me, track the degree to which my behaviour does or does not align with these ‘reminders’. If that helps me to cohere somewhat to these reminders, it is only because that is what my conditioning already inclines me to do. Everything is determined (ie a consequence of our conditioning, and of the circumstances of each moment, neither of which we have any agency over), but nothing is determinable (ie predictable, because, unless we are gods, we cannot know how we are next going to be conditioned, nor what the circumstances of each moment will be).

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

Did Lockdowns Set a Global Revolt in Motion?

Did Lockdowns Set a Global Revolt in Motion?

“The intellectual parlor game is over. This is a real-life struggle for freedom itself. It’s resist and rebuild or doom.”

My first article on the coming backlash – admittedly wildly optimistic – went to print April 24, 2020. After 6 weeks of lockdown, I confidently predicted a political revolt, a movement against masks, a population-wide revulsion against the elites, a demand to reject “social distancing” and streaming-only life, plus widespread disgust at everything and everyone involved.

I was off by four years. I wrongly assumed back then that society was still functioning and that our elites would be responsive to the obvious flop of the whole lockdown scheme. I assumed that people were smarter than they proved to be. I also did not anticipate just how devastating the effects of lockdown would be: in terms of learning loss, economic chaos, cultural shock, and the population-wide demoralization and loss of trust.

The forces that set in motion those grim days were far more deep than I knew at the time. They involved a willing complicity from tech, media, pharma, and the administrative state at all levels of society.

There is every evidence that it was planned to be exactly what it became; not just a foolish deployment of public health powers but a “great reset” of our lives. The newfound powers of the ruling class were not given up so easily, and it took far longer for people to shake off the trauma than I had anticipated.

Is that backlash finally here? If so, it’s about time.

New literature is emerging to document it all.

The new book White Rural Rage: The Threat to American Democracy is a viciously partisan, histrionic, and gravely inaccurate account that gets nearly everything wrong but one: vast swaths of the public are fed up, not with democracy but its opposite of ruling class hegemony…

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

Biden Tells Bibi: US Will Not Support A Counterattack Against Iran After Hundreds Of Drones, Missiles Sent

Biden Tells Bibi: US Will Not Support A Counterattack Against Iran After Hundreds Of Drones, Missiles Sent

SATURDAY, APR 13, 2024 – 11:59 PM

Update(Midnight ET)It is just after 7am Israel local time and Israel’s military is reporting the Iranian attack has stopped, several hours after Iran said its ‘limited’ operation has “concluded” – which involved an unprecedented hundreds of suicide drones as as well as ballistic missiles sent against Israel in retaliation for the April 1st Israeli attack on Iran’s embassy in Damascus. Below is the top story from English-language Times of Israel:

Hebrew media reports claim that not a single drone or cruise missile managed to infiltrate Israeli airspace.

According to the unsourced reports, most ballistic missiles were also knocked down outside of Israeli airspace.

A report in Ynet says some 20 cruise missiles were downed short of Israel’s borders. The US, UK and Jordan helped take down many of the drones.

Israel is reporting very little damage inside the country (though previously admitting “minor damage” against at least one key airbase in the south).

After the enormous Iranian drone and missile swarm a senior Israeli official has been quoted by Israel’s Channel 12 as saying “Iran’s attack was a strategic failure.” The official added in a threatening manner, “Now they can get ready and not sleep in peace.” Israel’s war cabinet appears to be readying a military response…

Crucially, the Biden White House appears to be strongly signaling to the Netanyahu government that the attack is ‘done’ and that the United States will not back any follow-up counterattack operations against Iran:

US President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US will not aid any Israeli counterattack on Iran, US media report, citing senior administration officials.

Axios and CNN report that message was passed during a phone call between the pair.

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

Snopes Changed Fact-Check After Pressure From Biden Administration: Emails

Snopes Changed Fact-Check After Pressure From Biden Administration: Emails

A ’tough letter’ preceded the change.

The fact-checking website Snopes changed one of its ratings after pressure from President Joe Biden’s administration, newly disclosed emails show.

Snopes on Jan. 10, 2023, said that there was some truth to a claim that President Biden’s administration was planning to ban gas stoves.

Under a heading of “what’s true,” Snopes said that “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a federal agency, is currently considering a ban on gas stoves if they can’t be made safer, due to concerns over harmful indoor pollutants that cause health and respiratory problems.”

Under another heading, it said that the ban has not been put in place.

The article quoted Richard Trumka Jr., a CPSC commissioner, as saying that “any option is on the table” when dealing with gas stoves. “Products that can’t be made safe can be banned,” Mr. Trumka told Bloomberg a few days prior.
Pamela Rucker Springs, a spokeswoman for the CPSC, hours after the rating was published contacted Snopes writer Nur Ibrahim, the newly disclosed emails show. She said she it was “not accurate to say that CPSC is ‘considering a ban on gas stoves’ and that Mr. Trumka’s views ”do not represent official statements on behalf of the commission.”

The CPSC “is not currently considering a ban on gas stoves, though a commissioner said ‘anything is on the table’ if they can’t be made safer,” the updated article states.

Ms. Springs sent a link to the updated page to White House official Michael Kikukawa, the newly disclosed documents show. “Sent over tough letter to this writer yesterday when the initial claim was rated as ’mixed,’” she wrote.

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

Today Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CI–Theory Is Great, In Theory: More On Our ‘Renewable’ Energy Future

Today Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CI

February 13, 2023 (original posting date)

Monte Alban, Mexico (1988). Photo by author.

Theory Is Great, In Theory: More On Our ‘Renewable’ Energy Future

Quite often I get involved in online discussions with others about our predicament(s). Most of the time these are quite friendly in nature and a sharing of ideas and questions.

On occasion these turn into disagreements. And sometimes, unfortunately, these turn quite confrontational with me having to disengage from the dialogue due to the vitriol thrown at me — apparently I am not only anti-humanistic but a Big Oil shill, a climate change denier, and a fucking idiot/liberal/conservative/progressive/Malthusian, etc..

Once the ad hominem attacks begin, I usually just state we will have to agree to disagree and discontinue the interaction. I know people don’t want their beliefs challenged, they want them confirmed so if the interaction has gone sideways there’s little point to continue it. Few if any people change their beliefs due to a well-reasoned or evidence-based argument that runs counter to their own thoughts.

This said, most of the disagreements are civil and the issue stems from a divergence in whether we can ‘solve’ the problem/predicament we are focusing upon. I’ve found that the vast majority continue to believe that we can address the topic we’re discussing via some complex technology — usually non-renewable, renewable energy-harvesting technologies such as those that harness wind or sunshine to produce electricity (aka ‘renewables’).

While at one time during my fall into the rabbit’s hole of Peak Oil and all the related issues, I held out ‘hope’ for humanity and our planet. Nowadays, more often than not, I am tending towards there being no way out of the conundrum we walking, talking apes have led ourselves into. Neither time nor resources are on our side it would seem. Salvation, as it were, has been lost to the sands of time.

Here is one recent example with a fellow member of a Degrowth group I am a member of stemming from an article of The Honest Sorcerer’s that I posted to the group.

LK: “Politics” is just a name for technology of resource allocation on a societal scale.

We’re currently using the 18th century technology based on exponential growth (investments are made to obtain money to make more investments), it’s called “capitalism”.

Degrowth is another technology of resource allocation, and the one we need, because exponential growth on a finite planet is not possible.

(Having said that, we still need to combine degrowth with all kinds of low-emissions energy sources like renewables and nuclear, and we need to work on extending the life of existing low-carbon energy sources for as long as possible)

My response:: While I agree that degrowth (and radical at that) is needed, the alternative energy-harvesting technologies to fossil fuels you suggest we need to pursue require huge carbon inputs for their construction (and in perpetuity), continue to contribute to the destruction of our biosphere via the massive mineral mining and processing necessary, and only serve as an attempt to sustain the unsustainable so end up making our fundament predicament of ecological overshoot even worse. We need to be pursuing a low-/no-tech future with one hell of a lot fewer people. It is increasingly looking like it will have to be Nature that takes us there…

LK: The science is quite clear, low carbon energy sources have much, much lower carbon intensity of energy generation over their lifetimes, and lifetime extension to optimise for energy production instead of returns on investment decreases that carbon intensity even further. And fossil fuels have an enormous mining impact.

This is the third line of defense of fossil fuel companies: first they were straight-out lying about climate change, then they were lying about whether climate change is caused by humans, now they are lying about relative impacts of fossil fuel vs low carbon technologies, and it apparently works.

Low-tech future doesn’t work, it’s just a lie fossil companies are telling us to keep burning fossil fuels. We’re a tool-using social species and we need tools to get out of the shit we got into by using tools.

We will have to agree to disagree.

First, it seems you are assuming a support for fossil fuels in my comment that is not present. One does not have to be in any way supportive of the continuation of our extraction and use of them to see that alternatives are in every way — upstream and downstream — still quite dependent upon them. In fact, if you look at the largest investors in support of ‘alternatives’, you will discover it is the large energy businesses (aka Big Oil). Why would that be? Perhaps because they know that fossil fuels are required in huge quantities for them.

Second, the view that only carbon emissions are important blinds people to all the other complexities concerning our predicament of ecological overshoot. Biodiversity loss, mostly because of land system changes brought on by human expansion, appears to be much more significant. A concerted push to adopt non-renewable, renewable energy-harvesting technologies will ensure continued destruction of our biosphere.

The current refrain seems to be “Complex technologies and human ingenuity will save us from our predicament of ecological overshoot and its various symptoms (e.g., biodiversity loss) because they’ve worked up to this point in our history”…except inductive reasoning/logic does not always work. Continual observations by the turkey of the farmer have provided nothing but overwhelming evidence and positive reinforcement that the farmer is a beneficent and thoughtful caregiver; right up until the day before Thanksgiving and the trip behind the barn to the killing cone.

You should look at the work of energy researcher Alice Friedemann and geologist Simon Michaux to understand better the limitations of the ‘solution’ referred to as our ‘energy transition’.

But you are correct that a low-tech future doesn’t work. It doesn’t work to support our unsustainable living arrangements but more importantly the power and wealth structures of the status quo…that is why the ruling caste is pushing ‘renewables’: to maintain/expand their share of a quickly-shrinking economic pie. And this is ultimately why we will pursue these complex technologies despite the impossibility of what their cheerleaders promise. The profiteers of our world stand to make one hell of a lot of money before it all goes to hell in a handbasket.

These images/memes perhaps sum my perspective up:

LK: There’s one thing that kills people pretty rapidly and effectively and that is the lack of energy.

You can either support low-carbon energy sources or you can support fossil fuels or you can support widespread energy poverty that kills a fuckton of people, and those will be mainly poor people in the Global South.

Degrowth is not anarcho-primitivism, it’s not about the remnants of humanity huddling in cold and without hospitals and sewage networks, it’s about building sustainable future around equitable use of energy for everyone.

But we need low-carbon energy, because climate change drives biodiversity loss, water crises (because rising oceans make a lot of areas lose their access to potable water) and other nasty third-order effects.

My response: Again, we’ll have to agree to disagree. Pre/history shows us overwhelmingly that the utopian future you imagine is not possible on a finite planet with 8 billion (and growing). It is denial/bargaining in the face of biogeophysical realities and limits. Ecological overshoot for homo sapiens will be, I am almost certain, dealt with by Nature, not us — particularly given all the claims/liens on future energy/resources in the form of quadrillions of dollars of debt/credit that currently exist and have been created to sustain our current arrangements with zero concern for the future from which the resources have been stolen.

LK: There’s a lot of research by degrowth theoreticians that demonstrates that we’re perfectly technologically capable of supporting 8 billion people on a finite planet, leaving 50% of it to wild nature. It just would be a different life than the US “cardboard houses in suburbia with 2,5 cars per family and 2+ hours of commuting daily, eating beef and flying regularly”.

It would require end of capitalism, though, which is why capitalists are promoting narratives of “we’re doomed, there’s nothing we can do, all alternatives are bad, I guess we’ll have to die off in the future, but so far, we’re bringing in record annual profits”.

My response: Theory is great, in theory. Reality is something quite different. Every complex society to date has perished/collapsed/declined — most before ‘capitalism’ ever existed. To believe we will do otherwise is, well, just denial/bargaining built upon a lot of assumptions and hope. We would be better to plan for a future much, much different than the one you paint. But, again, I think Nature is going to take care of this predicament for us.

After mostly finishing this contemplation I came across Gail Tverberg’s latest that provides some great insight into why the complex technologies many are arguing will help solve our energy dilemma will not.

There are plenty of similar arguments out there if one so chooses to discover them and the overwhelming evidence that ‘renewables’ are not in any way going to do much except: add to the drawdown of finite resources; contribute to the continuous overloading of planetary sinks; provide more profits for the industrialists, financiers, and well-connected elite; and, sustain the misguided belief system that all is well for the most part, and human ingenuity and our technological prowess can solve any problem that stands in the way of some utopian future where we all (billions and billions of us) live in harmony with nature. Transcending the biological and physical constraints of existence upon a finite planet is well within our reach…if only you believe.

See especially:

If you’ve made it to the end of this contemplation and have got something out of my writing, please consider ordering the trilogy of my ‘fictional’ novel series, Olduvai (PDF files; only $9.99 Canadian), via my website — the ‘profits’ of which help me to keep my internet presence alive and first book available in print (and is available via various online retailers). Encouraging others to read my work is also much appreciated.

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh C–Grieving: A Natural Response To Recognition Of Growth Limits

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh C

February 11, 2023 (original posting date)

Monte Alban, Mexico. (1988) Photo by author.

Grieving: A Natural Response To Recognition Of Growth Limits

Denial, anger, bargaining, and depression in the face of grievous reality is everywhere; and we all do it to some extent. Some move through the stages more quickly while others remain bogged down in one or more. And it’s not uncommon to bounce back and forth between different stages.

We don’t want to accept the unpalatable, particularly our (and society’s) mortality. Grappling with such thoughts can be debilitating, both physically and psychologically. I know my first few years of reflecting upon our various predicaments as I travelled down the rabbit’s hole that is Peak Oil was most difficult. My anxiety was, at times, through the roof; but being who I am much of that was channelled into physical activities, particularly constructing some elaborate food gardens.

Psychologists are fairly certain that moving to the final stage of grieving — acceptance — and engaging with reality in a more forthright manner (even when it is not what we wish or want) allows one to deal with the emotions in a way that helps us to validate them in a healthier way. But this is so difficult to do when we are grieving. Extremely difficult.

Accepting, for example, that our complex society and its relatively high living standards (thanks primarily to our leveraging of a one-time cache of photosynthetic-created energy) have an expiration date is a contemplation the vast, vast majority of us do not want to consider. We desperately fight to keep the negative thoughts out of our minds, thereby impacting the belief systems through which we interpret the world — its past, present, and future.

In a world that has experienced significant problem-solving success due to our tool-making abilities and this finite supply of dense and transportable energy reserves, it’s exceedingly difficult to imagine this trend of ‘progress’ is coming to an end. We subsequently weave a variety of comforting narratives to avoid such a disheartening reality.

“Complex technologies and human ingenuity will save us from any problem we encounter, including (place your favourite one here)” is one common narrative…except inductive reasoning/logic of this nature does not always work. Continual observations by the turkey of the farmer have provided nothing but overwhelming evidence and positive reinforcement that the farmer is a beneficent and thoughtful caregiver; right up until the day before Thanksgiving and the trip behind the barn to the killing cone, knife in hand.

Confronting the blinders imposed upon us by these comforting narratives allows us to view our world and reality differently, and very much more accurately in my opinion. Not perfectly, but more reflective of the limits existence upon a finite world brings to a biological species not very much different from all the others on this planet — except perhaps for its tool-making skills and denial of reality.

Alas very, very few want to do this. We would rather remain comfortable in our beliefs that humanity is not limited by its physical environment and stands outside Nature. To paraphrase Nietzsche: we don’t want exposure to reality because that destroys our illusions.

One such illusion among others that I’ve confronted recently is the belief that growth (be in economic or population) is not only inevitable but purely beneficial. It has been driving a significant construction ‘boom’ in my province and more specifically my town for a number of years. I’ve written about this before but I continue to see some rather misguided but quite common beliefs dominating the discussion among locals.

The following thoughts are what bubbled up in my mind as I reflected upon these conversations and what the significant majority of my fellow Ontarians appear to believe.

We need to reject the mythos that growth (especially economic but also population) is always and forever a good/beneficial policy path. It is not. Not only are the very real negative environmental/ecological consequences ignored or rationalized away in such a story, but the limits of what is possible and social problems that arise from it mostly discounted/minimized.

In addition, the tendency to assume such growth is inevitable completely overlooks the fact that it is a sociopolitical/socioeconomic policy choice, not a predestined path. We can stop or reverse it if we so choose.

Finally, little if any attention is paid to the reason(s) our ruling elite cheerlead growth. It is not for the virtue-signalling reasons they shout and market repeatedly. It is about sustaining a Ponzi-type economic system that supports status quo power and wealth structures. It is profit and prestige motivated. It must always be remembered that the primary motivation of our ruling caste is the control/expansion of the wealth-generating/-extracting systems that provide their revenue streams and thus positions of power and prestige. All other considerations are secondary/tertiary and ultimately are leveraged to meet their primary one.

The world is a complex nexus of geography, geology, biology, physics, and chemistry. And the stories told by our ‘leaders’ mostly ignore (or rationalize away) the physical realities of these fundamental sciences in favour of sociocultural myths that reinforce the idea that humans stand outside Nature — and their positions in our societies.

Significantly exponential credit-/debt-based fiat currency growth (thanks to the private financial institutions creating it from thin air and charging interest for its use in order to garner obscene profits, and which is what is feeding all this) collides catastrophically with the realities of existence upon a finite planet and its physical limits.

Given interest-bearing fiat is a claim/lien upon future resources — that we have encountered significant diminishing returns upon — and that we are several quadrillion dollars already in hawk, the writing is on the wall that we are totally and completely fubar. What is unsustainable cannot be sustained; no matter how much money we create. All we are succeeding in doing is stealing resources from the future and ensuring our planetary sinks are beyond repair.

The best option left is to prepare locally for the impending breakdown of the various complex systems that we have grown dependent upon, particularly the procurement of potable water, food production, and regional shelter needs. In addition, we should be degrowing our regions/communities, not making the situation even more dire and compounding its effects by continuing to chase growth — no matter what the profiteers from this perpetual-growth strategy are repeatedly telling us.

What I did say on one of the FB posts to try and keep it relatively succinct and simple:

Infinite growth on a planet with finite resources already encountering diminishing returns and using trillions of dollars of debt-/credit-based ‘money’ to pull them from the future. What could possibly go wrong? We are travelling in exactly the opposite direction of where we should be heading.

If you’ve made it to the end of this contemplation and have got something out of my writing, please consider ordering the trilogy of my ‘fictional’ novel series, Olduvai (PDF files; only $9.99 Canadian), via my website — the ‘profits’ of which help me to keep my internet presence alive and first book available in print (and is available via various online retailers). Encouraging others to read my work is also much appreciated.

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCIX–Energy Future, Part 4: Economic Manipulation

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCIX

February 9, 2023 (original posting date)

Monte Alban, Mexico. (1986) Photo by author.

Energy Future, Part 4: Economic Manipulation

In Part 1, I argue that energy underpins everything, including human complex societies. In Part 2, I suggest that the increasing need for diminishing resources, especially finite or limited ‘renewable’ ones, invariably leads to geopolitical tension between competing polities. Part 3 further posits that this geopolitical competition creates internal societal stresses that are met with rising authoritarianism and attempts at sociobehavioural control of domestic populations by the ruling elite.

Economic manipulation — mostly through the financial/monetary systems of a society, that the ruling caste controls — is part and parcel of addressing the societal stresses that arise as things become more complex (as a result of the problem-solving aspects of a society), competition with other polities increases, resources become more dear, and control of the population takes on greater urgency.

All of the activities to sustain a society require resources, primarily energy but also material ones whose retrieval and processing require energy of some nature. Any non-renewable resource, but also limited renewable ones, must be acquired to not only maintain human life (i.e., procurement of potable water, food production, regional shelter needs) but to support any and all activities — be they physical- or service-based.

The various production and resource-allocation/distribution systems are what constitute an economic system[1]. While there are differing opinions about the number and variety of economic systems, the common thread tends to be that it is a means of distributing goods/services to the members of a group/society.

Economic anthropology[2] for the most part is the study of the mechanism of exchange within a human society, be it a more ‘simple’ band or ‘complex’ state.

In less complex societies where little to no division of labour or occupational differentiation exists and production surpluses are minimal to non-existent, economic activities tend to take place within a framework of reciprocal exchange[3]. I will provide you with some of my current surplus knowing that at some point in the future you will reciprocate this behaviour. Relationships in such groups are primarily impacted by kinship ties and a sense of reciprocal obligation, and not economic ones as occurs in larger, more complex societies.

A complex society[4] tends to have a more complicated/multi-layered economic system, the basis of which is a financial/monetary system[5] that likely came into existence as a population exceeded Dunbar’s number[6] and as a means of helping to track the increasing number of reciprocal obligations that arose[7]. The ruling caste of a society tends to control the monetary/financial systems and evidence strongly suggests that they manipulate them, as they tend to with everything they touch, to their advantage in order to meet their primary goal: the control/expansion of the wealth-generation/-extraction systems that provide their revenue streams and thus positions of power and prestige.

While there is much written about the shift from a system of reciprocity-based[8] exchange to one of credit-/debt-based fiat currency[9], it is without doubt that the implementation of a fiat money system opened the door to the possibility of significant manipulation by those who control it [10]. I say significant because even with a commodity-based currency (e.g., precious metals), manipulation (i.e., debasement, rehypothecation) has been common[11].

Joseph Tainter’s thesis in The Collapse of Complex Societies[12] is basically based upon economics. He posits that as a problem-solving organisation, a society endeavours to solve the problems that arise in the course of meeting needs. These problems are addressed via organisational adaptations but also very much through material acquisition and redistribution. This is accomplished in the most economically-efficient way by accessing the easiest- and cheapest-to-retrieve resources first and foremost. This provides the highest energy-return-on-energy-invested[13].

Eventually, however, as a society’s demands/requirements increase due to growth and increasing complexity, the harder- and more-expensive-to-retrieve resources must be pursued. This results in diminishing returns[14] on the energy/resource investments made and the surpluses that existed during the early days are whittled away until eventually a society encounters a point where more and more people opt out of supporting the various systems as they are having to invest greater and greater amounts of personal energy/resources but getting back fewer and fewer benefits.

Diminishing returns eat into surpluses in order to maintain/expand complexities. With falling surpluses, there is less room for a government elite to fund their various projects, be they military expansion and/or legitimisation activities to assert domestic control — to say little of the wealth directed towards maintaining the elite’s living standards. One of the approaches by the ruling caste to offset the negative consequences of diminishing returns and deterioration of societal surpluses is through a manipulation of the economic system. Perhaps the primary means of such manipulation is to debase the currency with the intent to make it ‘go further’ and ensure the elite maintain/expand their portion of a shrinking pie. If this is done at a relatively slow pace, very few if any of the populace take note of the impacts — but they are there nonetheless.

One of the best documented and analysed instances of such manipulation has been during the history of the Roman Empire, where debasement of the Roman currency over time has been observed. This manipulation had many negative societal impacts and was one of the many contributing factors leading to the empire’s eventual collapse according to a number of analysts/historians[15].

Of course, such ‘money creation/printing’ invariably results in price inflation — and many times to hyperinflation — as more currency is chasing the same or more slowly expanding amount of goods/services[16]. This price inflation/currency debasement has a more deleterious impact upon the masses than it does those closest to the monetary creation/distribution system. In particular, consider the Cantillon Effect[17] where the ruling caste/insiders who first have access to the ‘newly-minted currency’ can use it prior to inflationary impacts[18]. But is also benefits the state in other ways, particularly the ability to ‘hide’ taxes within it[19] and allowing debtors (government being amongst if not the largest) to pay off debts more easily[20].

There have been a number of examples of more recent currency debasements, some hidden (i.e., coordinated efforts by numerous central banks to debase their currencies in unison[21]) and some quite obvious[22]. For the current world’s primary reserve currency (the U.S. dollar), there has been the gold confiscation during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency[23], President Richard Nixon’s abrogation of the Bretton Woods Agreement[24], and, most recently, the phenomenon referred to as Quantitative Easing[25].

It’s not simply an exponential increase in the physical stock of ‘money’ that contributes to currency debasement and it negative impacts since government-minted currency makes up only a small fraction of the money creation, but it is the ever-expanding supply of credit-/debt-instruments. With the shift to a purely fiat currency free from any limitations to infinite expansion, the degree of manipulation possible is, well, limitless…except for one rather important impediment: physical resource finiteness.

So, as we circle back to the implications for our fundamental resource, energy, one must consider the observation that money/currency is when all is said and done a potential claim upon energy (even other resources require energy to be accessed and distributed). And, as energy analyst Art Berman notes in the tweet below, all the debt that we have created (currently several quadrillion at this juncture in time) is a “lien on future energy”.

And the conundrum we face as resource extraction and processing encounter diminishing returns — and the elite attempt to counter this with ever-increasing credit/debt instruments — is perhaps best captured by the late Michael Ruppert’s simple statement in the documentary Collapse: “Infinite money growth collides with finite energy.”

With an significant exponentially-increasing amount of claims upon finite resources we seem to be left with the options of attempting to pursue perpetual growth to meet these claims, a debt jubilee or reset of the systems, or monetary/financial/economic collapse. Any or all of these choices are likely to be attempted to some degree or another; in fact, some argue this is already and has been happening.

Basically our economic system has become a gargantuan and complex Ponzi scheme[26] established by our ruling elite and upon which are all involved and dependent upon.

As I commented on a Nate Hagens video post: Our economy is for all intents and purposes a gargantuan, complex Ponzi scheme that we are all a part of and dependent upon to a great if not complete extent. We all (for the most part) wish it to continue, including the ruling caste for their power and prestige comes from sitting atop the pyramid. Given our cognitive abilities and biases, we are adept at all sorts of denial and bargaining to see it otherwise, and/or to craft comforting narratives as to how it can be transitioned to something sustainable and equitable. But, as with all such complex systems — especially one dependent upon perpetual growth upon a finite planet — it is fragile and will, given enough time, eventually collapse. There is no other path at this particular point given how far into ecological overshoot we are. When, however, is the unanswerable question. Human complex societies can go on for a long time before it recognises that things have changed significantly enough to be considered ‘collapsed’…

Given gdp’s (a proxy for economic ‘growth’ and thus living standards — not a perfect proxy, of course, given the perpetual changes in calculation and increasing financialization of the economy) almost perfect correlation with energy production[27], and that our future is certainly going to be one of declining energy resources, there should be little doubt that falling living standards is before us — particularly for those in so-called ‘advanced’ economies.

Our ‘advanced’ economies have a long way to fall to reach the level of many emerging ones and it is likely that we will continue to see energy/resources ‘stolen’ from the periphery to support the core — perhaps allowing time for the core to mitigate their decline somewhat, or perhaps as a means to sustain the core for a short time more before a sudden, Seneca-style fall appears as a Black Swan event. Only time will tell…

Please note, I have done my best to wrap my head around and understand this topic/issue. This has been one of the more difficult subjects to write about with any sense of confidence (and I am certain I have misunderstood/misinterpreted a number of things). I am neither schooled in nor worked within the economic realm. Despite this paucity of ‘training’, I do believe the warning of Henry Ford when he paraphrased U.S. Congressman Charles Binderup that “It is perhaps well enough that the people of the nation do not know or understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”.

Perhaps it has been purposely designed to be excessively complex and incomprehensible, or this labyrinthian structure is simply the epiphenomenon of the ongoing attempts to ‘solve’ societal issues as they arise over time; and then become leveraged by some (many? most? in leadership positions) to take advantage of loopholes that are in turn addressed through changes and legislation, that leads to further complexity and the cycle continues with the original purpose/solution becoming ever more complex and serpentine… Suffice it to say, the system(s) are increasingly becoming more convoluted and fragile as a result with nonlinear feedback loops and emergent phenomena arising leading to increasing risk since these can neither be predicted nor controlled — only reacted to after the fact.

My growing sense is that if some unforeseen Black Swan event or geopolitical ‘accident’ doesn’t bring on a rapid decline in social complexity, then it will likely be a ‘mistake’ in the economic realm as it tends to impact significantly the various subsystems of trade, transportation, communication, etc. that the global, industrialised world depends upon for everything from potable water procurement to regional shelter need construction to food production and distribution, and everything in between.

If you’ve made it to the end of this contemplation and have got something out of my writing, please consider ordering the trilogy of my ‘fictional’ novel series, Olduvai (PDF files; only $9.99 Canadian), via my website — the ‘profits’ of which help me to keep my internet presence alive and first book available in print (and is available via various online retailers). Encouraging others to read my work is also much appreciated.

[1] See this, this, and/or this.

[2] See this.

[3] See this.

[4] See this.

[5] See this and/or this.

[6] See this and/or this.

[7] See this.

[8] See this, this, and/or this.

[9] See this.

[10] See this, this, this, this, and/or this.

[11] See this, this, this, this, and/or this.

[12] See this.

[13] See this and/or this.

[14] See this and/or this.

[15] See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and/or this.

[16] See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and/or this.

[17] See this.

[18] Keep in mind that currency/money comes into existence in a number of ways; in our modern economic world it is primarily ‘created’ via the debt-/credit-disbursement activities of various financial institutions, especially the banking and shadow banking industry. It has been estimated that around 95% of our increasing money supply is created from nothing by financial institutions.

[19] See this, this, this, this, this, and/or this.

[20] See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and/or this.

[21] See this, this, this, and/or this.

[22] See this, this, this, this, and/or this.

[23] See this, this, this, and/or this.

[24] See this, this, this, and/or this.

[25] See this, this, this, this, this, this and/or this.

[26] See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and/or this.

[27] See this, this, this, this, and/or this.

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCVIII–‘Inevitable’ Growth: Helping To Keep the Profiteer Gravy Train Pumping

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCVIII

February 7, 2023 (original posting date)

Monte Alban, Mexico. (1988) Photo by author.

‘Inevitable’ Growth: Helping To Keep the Profiteer Gravy Train Pumping

The following are two brief comments (followed by a couple of shorter responses to others) I put out on one of my town’s FB pages regarding the ongoing conversation/debate around a proposed 18-story apartment complex along our main street. This is a very controversial plan given the fact that buildings have been limited to 6 floors for decades and brings to the surface the insane speed with which development has been occurring in our once small town with the moniker ‘Country close to the city’ — which most laugh at now given the ongoing loss of ‘ruralness’ once felt/observed. This community on the edge of the Greater Toronto Area has grown from around 13,000 in 1995 (when my wife, newborn, and I moved to a spot overlooking a kettle lake 10 minutes north of the built-up centre) to close to 50,000 presently with plans to continue expanding at a 5–10% per annum clip for as long as possible. For anyone who has ever seen the television series Schitt’s Creek, several of the buildings seen in the show exist along our main street (e.g., the veterinary clinic) and the main buildings are located in the town of Goodwood ten minutes east of us.

Everybody keeps going on and on about how we need to increase significantly the supply of housing to keep prices affordable but this is not at the root of this issue. That rather facile explanation is the one being leveraged and marketed by the profiteers (especially developers and banks, and facilitated by politicians eager to look like they’re doing something ‘positive’) to expand their cash cow of ever-expanding ‘development’ — regardless of environmental impacts and finiteness of resources.

These unaffordable prices are primarily the result of gargantuan money creation (i.e., credit/debt) by financial institutions (banking and shadow banking) to support (at least for a bit longer) the Ponzi nature of our monetary/financial/economic systems.

Much of this newly created ‘money’ is sloshing around in the system looking for assets with the best returns and what better avenue than parking it in housing — much of which is being bought up by the rentier class (especially the ‘investment’ industry who suck up most of the supply).

Take a look some time at the enormous exponential increase in debt/credit instruments over the past few decades — all of which are potential claims on future resources (particularly energy) that have encountered significant diminishing returns.

This will not end well…

The ‘growth is inevitable’ narrative that some are repeating here must be challenged. Pursuing growth is a conscious choice and one being made and repeatedly propagated by those who stand to profit the most from it: the ruling caste of society who market it as purely beneficial and ignore or rationalise away the negative aspects. This creates an Overton Window that limits our thinking and thereby beliefs.

Limits to growth and the significant negative consequences of such growth (e.g., ecological overshoot) are real. While such repercussions can be ignored/denied/bargained with, the very real biophysical impacts continue on and compound regardless of our beliefs or wishes.

The speed with which growth overwhelms systems is not something to wave away via denial or bargaining through magical thinking (i.e., some as-yet-to-be-hatched technology will ‘solve’ our resource woes and toxic legacies). While growth can be perceived to have some good intentions, as the saying goes “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

We are putting at risk not just the overburdened planetary sinks that help to absorb and cleanse the pollutants created by our expanding industrial processes, but also the finite resource stocks — especially energy — that we depend upon for everything. Perhaps more importantly to sustaining a livable environment is the destruction of ecological systems in the wake of our growth. Biodiversity loss (mostly due to land system changes) over the past century or more has been off the charts and puts all species, including homo sapiens, in jeopardy.

And ‘building up’ to densify areas and prevent expansion onto farmland or environmentally-sensitive lands does absolutely nothing to eliminate the above issues. The sinks and stocks continue to be affected at almost the exact same rate. It is the continued growth that is the problem, not how we accommodate such growth.

For any that continue to believe growth in inevitable and can go on indefinitely (or, at least, for a lot longer before we must confront it), you need to watch the following presentation by the late Dr. Albert Bartlett, a physics professor from Colorado University, on the reality of exponential growth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI1C9DyIi_8.

You have fallen prey to the mythical narrative the governments, banks, and developers have created around supply and demand impacting house prices. This is not the primary reason. The fundamental reason is all the credit/debt ‘money’ created by the financial institutions and government (mostly financial institutions). This newly created money seeks return and gets funnelled into popular assets, sometimes good ones but oftentimes not (think Non-fungible Tokens, cryptocurrency, or many stocks). Housing is one of the very popular targets for all this ‘money’, most of it in the hands of the ruling elite/caste that buy up the housing stock and then rent it out. When well-off individuals/families and/or investment firms (what some have referred to as the rentier class) have millions/billions of dollars at hand to soak up assets, they sink much in real estate and land thereby driving up the price of these assets. The developers, banks, and other profiteers, however, leverage the rising prices to argue for more of their cash cow: development. They need more land, hence opening up the Greenbelt. They need to build more houses, thus the push to build ‘millions’ of residences. Despite the building binge that has been going on for decades around Toronto, prices have shot through the roof. It’s not about supply and demand.

Disagree completely. Growth is happening to keep our Ponzi economic system going for as long as possible…a bit of a misguided strategy on a planet with finite resources, especially energy. We need to be pushing degrowth, not growth.

Shaving it off at zero would be best. The idea that ‘growth’ is inevitable is another of those notions that needs to be challenged. ‘Growth’ is a choice and one being made by our ‘leaders’ (mostly because the ruling caste profits immensely from it). It is neither inevitable nor beneficial past a particular tipping point when it begins to encounter diminishing returns — to say little about the negative impact any and all growth has on ecological systems.

While ‘printing’ money is a tad inaccurate (the vast majority of new money is loaned into existence by banks and shadow-banking institutions), the primary reason housing costs have ballooned is certainty related to this as you suggest: newly created money is flowing into certain hard assets such as housing. If one includes the derivatives nightmare and other debt-liabilities, the world is drowning in quadrillions of dollars of interesting-bearing obligations. The issue around housing costs is multifaceted and supply/demand is but a very small aspect…but one leveraged as THE one by those who stand to profit from ever-expanding development; mostly the banks and developers. I am reminded of what industrialist Henry Ford stated (paraphrasing US Congressman Charles Binderup):”It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

Middle East Crisis: Container Ship Hijacked Near Strait Of Hormuz Amid Soaring Iran Tensions

Middle East Crisis: Container Ship Hijacked Near Strait Of Hormuz Amid Soaring Iran Tensions

While Israel on Friday braced for cruise missile and suicide drone attacks, there are new reports on Saturday morning that Iranian commandos hijacked an Israeli-affiliated container ship heading towards the Strait of Hormuz.

AP News says the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations initially reported the hijacking of Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries, a container ship linked to London-based Zodiac Maritime. Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer controls the international ship management company that owns and charters large vessels.

Video of the boarding has been circulating X for the past hour. However, “AP could not immediately verify the video, it corresponded to known details of the boarding, and the helicopter involved appeared to be one used by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which has carried out other ship raids in the past,” the media outlet said.

According to Bloomberg data, MSC Aries was leaving a port from Dubai on Thursday and heading towards the Strait of Hormuz. The vessel’s last known position was recorded around 1256 local time on Friday off Dubai’s coast. AP noted that the ship’s transponder had been switched off.

X user Megatron called the ship’s seizure by Iran a “big game changer”:

This once again is confirming that the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar are helping Israel bypass the Houthi blockade by land route from the UAE port.

Iran is now cutting that route as well. 

If Hezbollah cut the Mediterranean route with its drones, Israel could fall into a complete trade blockade.

The incident in the Strait of Hormuz is very concerning since maritime chokepoints in the region are plagued with conflict. Off of Yemen, in the Bab-El Mandeb Strait, Iran-backed Houthis have unleashed multi-month drone and missile attacks against US, UK, and Israeli vessels.

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

Iran Says If US ‘Interferes’ In Retaliation On Israel, American Bases Will Be Struck

Iran Says If US ‘Interferes’ In Retaliation On Israel, American Bases Will Be Struck

Update(1317ET): Israeli hospitals have been put on a high state of alert by the home command, awaiting an ‘imminent’ Iranian retaliation attack. Iran has also reportedly put the United States on notice…

Three U.S. Officials told Axios : Iran has sent a message to the U.S. through several Arab countries, that if they interfere in Iran’s response against Israel, U.S. bases in the region will be struck.

Meanwhile, Russia just chose quite the wrong moment to conduct a test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile from its Kapustin Yar airbase in southern Russia. The rocket was reportedly seen soaring high in the atmosphere from parts of northern Iraq and Iran, triggering concerns it was Iran beginning its attack.

Below are some breaking headlines:

  • ALERT US sends reinforcements to Middle East amid fears of Iran attack: official
  • A large number of Iron Dome missiles were launched in the Upper Galilee after a salvo of 50 missiles was launched from Lebanon
  • Israel’s Channel 12 reports Home Front Command has sent hospitals a message in the last hour asking hospital managers to ensure staff availability.
  • The White House has Confirmed a change in U.S. Force and Alert Posture across the Middle East, but has Refused to go into further details.

Hezbollah appears to have ramped up its missile salvos over northern Israel:

There are also new reports that the US Navy has parked an advanced missile ship just off Israel’s coast, readying to assist with a possible response.

* * *

Update(1116ET): At a moment US intelligence has indicated that Iran could strike Israeli soil in the next 24 to 48 hours, a top US general was spotted at an airbase in central Israel on Friday…

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

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