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These billionaire preppers are planning for the apocalypse. Here’s why

A photo of a mushroom cloud, with a bright yellow explosion.
Some tech billionaires are convinced that the end of the world is just around the corner.(Getty Images: FPG)

When Douglas Rushkoff was invited to speak to a group of mega-rich tech elite at a private desert resort, he thought he’d come fully prepared.

He was wrong.

Rushkoff, an author, theorist and professor at the City University of New York, had been asked to present an address on “the future of technology”.

For his services, Rushkoff was offered an exorbitant fee — about a third of his annual professor’s salary — along with flights and a three-hour limo ride to the mystery location

“[When I arrived], instead of bringing me out onto a stage, they brought these five guys into this green room where I was getting ready. And they said, ‘this is it’,” he tells ABC RN’s The Drawing Room.

The small group was from the “upper echelon of the tech investing and hedge fund world” and at least two were billionaires.

Initially, Rushkoff was peppered with a few innocuous questions.

“They asked me all the typical questions that tech investors ask, like, ‘what’s better, Bitcoin or Ethereum? Virtual reality or augmented reality?'” he says.

But then the real conversation started. It became clear why Rushkoff had been summoned to the desert.

“How do I maintain authority over my security force after ‘the event’?” one of the men asked.

New Zealand or Alaska?

Rushkoff says ‘the event’ is a euphemism for the end of society — which could be “environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, solar storm, unstoppable virus, or malicious computer hack that takes everything down”.

These five men were mega-rich preppers convinced that society could collapse at any moment, and were keen to get Rushkoff’s opinions on how to survive and thrive.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Economist Steve Keen says the planet cannot sustain 8 billion people | The Business | ABC News

Should we have predicted Black Swan events like COVID and the war in Ukraine? Where is the next crisis coming from?

A man in a helmet looks out of a tank, with a fierce expression on his face
A Ukrainian serviceman looks out from inside a tank and as the war with Russian rages it’s not unthinkable that Vladimir Putin will unleash nuclear weapons.(Reuters)

Who predicted the 2008 global financial crash? COVID? The war in Ukraine?

Of course, some did. Hollywood gave us a taste of a global respiratory pandemic in the 2011 film, Contagion.

Some economists saw the unravelling of the financial markets and the ensuing recession long before it happened.

And we should all have seen Vladimir Putin’s war coming. He had already annexed Crimea, he massed troops on the border for months and kept warning he would strike.

But even if we should know, we often don’t want to know. We certainly don’t prepare.

These events are what statistician Nassim Taleb popularised as “Black Swans”. Why? Because they are outliers. They have extreme impact. What’s more, we are all wiser after the event, concocting explanations that make it all seem so predictable.

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to members of his military.
Vladimir Putin had warned for months he intended to strike Ukraine yet when he did few were prepared.(Reuters: Russian Defence Ministry)

Another pandemic was always going to happen. We had trial runs with SARS and Swine Flu. How we had erased the history of the so-called “Spanish Flu” pandemic that killed more people than World War I.

Financial crash? Well, Asia’s markets collapsed a decade before the GFC.

Let’s not forget the Great Depression.

War? When has the world not been at war?

‘Black Swan’ events are not so rare

But these recent Black Swan events reshaped our world. The best laid plans were reduced to dust. People die. Businesses are ruined. Livelihoods and homes are lost.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

NT’s Blacktip gas field production drops, forcing shutdown of Northern Gas Pipeline

photo from a height of a power station with the sea in the background
The Channel Island power station is the main provider of electricity to the Darwin-Katherine interconnected system.(Supplied: Territory Generation)

Production from the offshore field which supplies gas for the Top End’s electricity generation has decreased by nearly 50 per cent this year — raising concerns about the long-term security of the resource.

Power and Water Corporation (PWC) has an agreement with Italian company ENI to buy gas from its Blacktip field until 2031, using the gas to generate electricity for the Darwin to Katherine grid.

But over the past 12 months, gas output from the field has been steadily dropping.

Blacktip’s production has decreased so much that there is not enough gas to run the Tennant Creek to Mount Isa pipeline, where PWC normally sends its excess supply.

Wood Mackenzie energy research analyst Anne Forbes said it was common for gas fields to have production issues, but Blacktip’s problems seemed particularly bad.

“There’s been quite a significant [production] decline, much more severe than we would generally assume would happen for this type of gas field,” she said.

“It’s been quite unexpected.”

Aging electricity infrastructure in the Northern Territory
Most of the Northern Territory’s electricity is provided by gas-fired power stations.(ABC News)

The Blacktip field is made up of 12 separate stacked reservoirs across four different geological formations — meaning it is difficult to extract gas from.

“[A gas reservoir] will always not perform as you expect — it might be better or it might be worse,” Ms Forbes said.

“In this case it’s not been as good as [ENI] had hoped.”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Most productive NSW agricultural shire counts hundreds of millions of dollars in crop losses

aerial farm flooding shot
Crops on the verge of harvest have been wiped out.(Supplied: Rabbit Hop Films)

New South Wales’s peak farming body says the damage bill for wheat losses alone in the state’s flood-hit north-west will surpass $150 million.

Parts of Moree, Gunnedah, Dubbo and Moama have been evacuated as more than 140 flood warnings remain across the state.

Agronomists say the grain-growing hub of the north-west is expected to have “conservatively” lost more than 120,000 hectares of wheat that was nearly ready to harvest.

The region also boasts large barley and canola outputs and is in the summer planting window for crops such as cotton and sorghum.

The NSW Farmers Association is calling on the federal government to bolster flood support payments in Labor’s first budget in this term of government.

The lobby group’s Grains Committee chair, Justin Everitt said the dollar value of the wheat damage is on top of approximately $42 million farmers spent to grow the crop, in a year where input costs have been extraordinarily high.

He said crops are “now drowning beneath floodwater” and may be a “complete write-off” if paddocks don’t dry out soon.

“You spend all this money preparing your paddocks, sowing your crops, fertilising and spraying them, only to see them wiped out a couple weeks before harvest. It’s heartbreaking,” Mr Everitt said.

“Farmers know they’re taking a bit of a gamble when they’re planting a crop, but this ongoing wet weather with flood after flood after flood is just unbelievable.”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Most productive NSW agricultural shire counts hundreds of millions of dollars in crop losses

aerial farm flooding shot
Crops on the verge of harvest have been wiped out.(Supplied: Rabbit Hop Films)

New South Wales’s peak farming body says the damage bill for wheat losses alone in the state’s flood-hit north-west will surpass $150 million.

Parts of Moree, Gunnedah, Dubbo and Moama have been evacuated as more than 140 flood warnings remain across the state.

Agronomists say the grain-growing hub of the north-west is expected to have “conservatively” lost more than 120,000 hectares of wheat that was nearly ready to harvest.

The region also boasts large barley and canola outputs and is in the summer planting window for crops such as cotton and sorghum.

The NSW Farmers Association is calling on the federal government to bolster flood support payments in Labor’s first budget in this term of government.

The lobby group’s Grains Committee chair, Justin Everitt said the dollar value of the wheat damage is on top of approximately $42 million farmers spent to grow the crop, in a year where input costs have been extraordinarily high.

He said crops are “now drowning beneath floodwater” and may be a “complete write-off” if paddocks don’t dry out soon.

“You spend all this money preparing your paddocks, sowing your crops, fertilising and spraying them, only to see them wiped out a couple weeks before harvest. It’s heartbreaking,” Mr Everitt said.

“Farmers know they’re taking a bit of a gamble when they’re planting a crop, but this ongoing wet weather with flood after flood after flood is just unbelievable.”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

NT’s Blacktip gas field production drops, forcing shutdown of Northern Gas Pipeline

photo from a height of a power station with the sea in the background
The Channel Island power station is the main provider of electricity to the Darwin-Katherine interconnected system.(Supplied: Territory Generation)

Production from the offshore field which supplies gas for the Top End’s electricity generation has decreased by nearly 50 per cent this year — raising concerns about the long-term security of the resource.

Power and Water Corporation (PWC) has an agreement with Italian company ENI to buy gas from its Blacktip field until 2031, using the gas to generate electricity for the Darwin to Katherine grid.

But over the past 12 months, gas output from the field has been steadily dropping.

Blacktip’s production has decreased so much that there is not enough gas to run the Tennant Creek to Mount Isa pipeline, where PWC normally sends its excess supply.

Wood Mackenzie energy research analyst Anne Forbes said it was common for gas fields to have production issues, but Blacktip’s problems seemed particularly bad.

“There’s been quite a significant [production] decline, much more severe than we would generally assume would happen for this type of gas field,” she said.

“It’s been quite unexpected.”

Aging electricity infrastructure in the Northern Territory
Most of the Northern Territory’s electricity is provided by gas-fired power stations.(ABC News)

The Blacktip field is made up of 12 separate stacked reservoirs across four different geological formations — meaning it is difficult to extract gas from.

“[A gas reservoir] will always not perform as you expect — it might be better or it might be worse,” Ms Forbes said.

“In this case it’s not been as good as [ENI] had hoped.”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Grid renewal generates billion-dollar shock as costs of energy transition become clear

A woman looks up at a large transmission tower.
Consumers are looking at a major increase in spending on power networks across Australia.(ABC News: Hugh Hogan)

Australian consumers have been told to brace for big hikes in their power bills after a watchdog revealed the true costs of overhauling the grid to deal with the renewable energy transition.

In a decision heralded as a landmark, Western Australia’s economic regulator this month said the state’s major electricity network provider should be allowed to spend $9 billion over the next five years – $1 billion more than it requested.

Network— or poles and wires — costs typically account for up to half the average electricity bill, with the rest made up of costs associated with generation, retailing and environmental policies.

Economic Regulation Authority chairman Steve Edwell said the draft decision reflected the urgent need for upgrades to Western Power’s network to ensure it could handle the surge of renewable energy flooding onto the system.

But Mr Edwell, who was also the inaugural chairman of the Australian Energy Regulator, said it was also a sign of what was to come around the country, where poles-and-wires companies face a race against time and a huge increase in costs to make sure they can keep up with the energy transition.

“The period between now and 2027 is pivotal,” Mr Edwell said.

“We’ve got to get it right and we’ve got to make sure the grid is in as good a shape as it can be to enable this transformation to continue at pace.

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

Farmers turning to alternative growing methods in wake of sky-high fertiliser price

A weathered hand holds fertiliser which is charcoal and white coloured grounds
Fertiliser prices have risen sharply this year.(Trevor De Landgrafft)

In 12 months the price of commonly used fertilisers essential for Australia’s $43 billion cropping industries has increased by as much as 230 per cent.

Grain farmers looking to sow summer or winter crops are bracing for a massive increase in production costs and some are looking for alternative options to synthetic fertilisers.

Thomas Elder Markets commodity analyst Andrew Whitelaw recently analysed fertiliser prices and he was shocked by what his modelling revealed.

“If we look at urea and [diammonium phosphate], those prices this time last year were around about $400 to $550 a tonne landed in Australia,” he said.

“Now we’re talking, for both of them, above $1,400 a tonne.

A Rabobank graph shows the increase in input prices farmers are facing.
A Rabobank graph shows the increase in input prices farmers are facing. (Source: CRU, AIP, Baiinfo, Rabobank 2021)

Rising cost of synthetic nitrogen

Mark Seymour, a veteran crop scientist specialising in pulses in Western Australia, said the rising cost of synthetic nitrogen could lead to farmers investigating whether a pasture or pulse crop could fit into their systems to naturally fix nitrogen into the soil.

“No one thing will fit everyone,” he said.

“Some people may just reduce their inputs and grow the same enterprise; there’s talk of more fallow in the areas that do fallow well and for the areas that do legume relatively well, you might expect more go into those and reduce inputs into the legume phase.

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

ABC News Busted Using Gun Range Footage To Report Turkish ‘Slaughter’ Of Kurd Civilians

ABC News Busted Using Gun Range Footage To Report Turkish ‘Slaughter’ Of Kurd Civilians

ABC News was just busted using two year old gun range footage while reporting on Turkey ‘slaughtering’ the kurds in the wake of a US withdrawal from the region. 

This video right here appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town. The Kurds, who fought alongside the US against ISIS now horrific reports of atrocities committed by Turkish-backed fighters on those very allies” -ABC News 


Wow! ABC News is trying to pass gun range videos as combat footage from Syria


For comparison, here’s the ABC News report: 

And here’s the footage they used – from the Knob Creek gun range in West Point, Kentucky in 2017. 

Just a simple editing room oversight, we’re sure. 

How US Sugar Subsidies Bring a Red Tide of Algae to Florida’s Shores

How US Sugar Subsidies Bring a Red Tide of Algae to Florida’s Shores

fertilizer.PNG

ABC News reports that “Toxic red tide blooms are creeping up Florida’s west coast, killing marine life and irritating humans.” The red (or maroonish) tide is truly a nasty problem that I have experienced first-hand in the form of a ruined vacation.

It is a potentially toxic algae to wildlife when it occurs in high concentrations. The Karenia brevis algae can be a threat to fish, birds, and even manatee. At least 92 manatees have been killed so far and at least one whale shark! This creates conditions at the beach of discolored water, dead fish, and a horrible smell. Tourists are adversely affected as well as local businesses.

The algae are a natural phenomenon that has been known of for almost two centuries. However, the harmful “blooms” have occurred much more often and in more places in recent decades. More recently, it has been plaguing southwest Florida beaches since November 2017 and is now particularly bad over a larger area.

I was recently attacked on Facebook for explaining all the benefits we would receive if we reduced the number of regulators and their budgets, i.e., fewer unnecessary regulatory restrictions on businesses and resource owners, less spending and taxes, more resources in the productive economy, and more entrepreneurship to name the primary ones.

My “friend” wrote that if we reduced the number of regulators, who would protect him from all the various perceived evils, including the red tide at the Florida coast.

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

Don’t Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste

Don’t Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste

Photo by Iwan Gabovitch | CC BY 2.0

Last month’s explosive news from the safe, reliable nuclear deterrence folks is that at least four barrels of military radioactive waste either burst or exploded somewhere inside the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), near Idaho Falls, April 11. INL officials said the “ruptured” barrels reportedly contained a sludge of fluids and solvents sent from the long-shuttered Rocky Flats plutonium weapons machining site near Denver. The officials did not describe which radioactive materials were in the sludge.

The accident was reported by ABC News, the Associated Press, the Seattle Times, the Japan Times, Industrial Equipment News, and Fox Radio among others. Laboratory spokespersons said a 55-gallon drum, or two, holding radioactive sludge “ruptured.” Energy Department (DOE) spokesperson Danielle Miller wrote April 12 that, “Later, there were indications that a third drum may have been involved.” On April 25 Erik Simpson, a spokesman for DOE contractor Fluor Idaho, told the AP that four barrels had burst. Simpson said the “ruptures” (i.e. explosions) were heard outside the building where they took place.

The DOE’s Miller called the prompt deconstruction of the rad waste barrel(s) an “exothermal event” — a pseudonym for “bomb” that means “a chemical reaction accompanied by a burst of heat.” The phrase harks back to the officially described “gaseous ignition event” involving hydrogen gas in a loaded high-level rad waste cask at Wisconsin’s Point Beach reactor site in May 1996. The cask contained 14 tons of highly radioactive used reactor fuel, and the explosion (a word avoided only by agency public relations linguistic gymnastics) blew the high-level waste cask’s 4,000-pound lid right off.

One theory about the cause of the accident is that “radioactive decay made the barrel[s] heat up and ignite particles of uranium,” the AP reported. Unfortunately for the first responders, “When the firefighters left the building emergency workers detected a small amount of radioactive material on their skin,” the AP reported April 12.

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

How We Ended Up Here: A Brief History Of “Fake News”, And The Role Of FaceBook

How We Ended Up Here: A Brief History Of “Fake News”, And The Role Of FaceBook

With major media outlets having launched their campaign against fake news, which can be seen in in action in the screengrab below in which ABC News is disputing a news item…


You can see the Facebook “fake news” warning label in action here — “disputed by ABC News” https://www.facebook.com/Bipartisanism/posts/1226204234123249?mc_cid=ac1a251744&mc_eid=b08cb83114 

Thousands Flee Lake County as Valley Fire Spreads to 25,000 Acres

Thousands Flee Lake County  as Valley Fire Spreads to 25,000 Acres

Valley Fire spreads to over 25,000 acres; thousands evacuated

Cal Fire says the Valley Fire in Lake County has grown to over 25,000 acres burning homes, shutting down parts of Highway 29 and forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from of nearby towns.

Cal Fire says the Valley Fire in Lake County has grown to over 25,000 acres burning homes, shutting down parts of Highway 29 and forcing the evacuation of nearby towns and more than 3,000 people.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the fire began around 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Lake County, which is about 100 miles north of San Francisco. At its start, it was 50 acres, but grew to 400 by 4 p.m. It was over 10,000 acres by 6:30 p.m. It was past 25,000 acres late Saturday night.

PHOTOS: Fire crews battle 10,000 acre Valley Fire in Lake County

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

 

 

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