Tag: Doomsday scenarios

On February 6 Antarctica Was Warmer Than Orlando, But Mainstream Democrats Fiddle as the Planet Burns

Yves here. One can debate what in particular to do about climate change, but it’s hard not to conclude we should be engaging in a war level mobilization. Yet the Democrats, the folks that like to think they represent reason and science, think the most important thing is not to change things too much, when […]

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Breakdown or Breakthrough? Degrowth and the Great Transition

Yves here. While most people respond better to positive messaging, I find “degrowth” to be far too sanitized a term for the sort of consumption cutbacks we all have to make to have any hope of averting the worst climate and species loss outcomes. A big problem is most of us depend economically on infrastructure […]

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Foreign Exchange Swaps: Hidden Debt, Lurking Vulnerability

Yves here. Anyone who remembers the crisis will recall that one of the critical elements that turned what should merely have been a housing crisis into a global financial crisis was that accounting rules allowed banks to record certain types of assets at zero risk weights, such as AAA rated CDOs with some additional insurance […]

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Believe It or Not, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Was Even Worse Than Previously Thought

Yves here. We provided a great deal of coverage on Deepwater Horizon, aided considerably by a petroleum engineer who gave detailed explanations. We were on the downbeat side. As too often happens, we weren’t downbeat enough. This piece curiously omits the fact that the dispersant that BP used, corexit, actually made matters worse, both by […]

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The Paris Agreement Set an Unrealistic Target for Global Warming. Now What?

By Shannon Osaka. Originally published at Grist It’s been a rallying cry for activists and a key talking point for diplomats. For decades now, 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) of global warming has been viewed as a “do not cross” line in climate policy, a temperature at which cataclysmic and potentially permanent damage to […]

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400 Million Locked Down in China To Fight Coronavirus

Yves here. One consideration that slightly ameliorates the downside scenario in this post is that China really has no other way of contending with a serious contagion like the coronavirus, whether it rises to a pandemic level or not, than quarantine and other methods to enforce greatly increased social distance. China has a woefully tiny […]

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Climate Change Needs To Be on the Balance Sheet

Yves here. Proper climate change accounting is long overdue. Just think if corporations had been made to record the cost of pollution or climate change remediation as a contingent liability… By Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and a political economist. He has been described by the Guardian newspaper as an “anti-poverty campaigner and tax expert”. He […]

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Public Health Officials Offer Scant Details On U.S. Coronavirus Patients

Yves here. I’ve kept the original headline to this Kaiser Health News piece even though it focuses attention away from issues that the article raises that seem more important. It is important to protect patient privacy to the extent possible. It’s a generally accepted principle of care plus having the identity of coronavirus victims get […]

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Coronavirus: Australia Faces Calamity

Yves here. This post from our colleagues at MacroBusiness looks at the economic impact of the coronavirus, first on China, then the knock-on effects around the globe. Skeptics have long thought that China’s high levels of private debt and dependence on increasingly not-very to un-productive investment would lead to a retrenchment and potentially even a […]

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Do Davos Billionaires and Bankers Really Believe Booms and Busts Are Over Because They’ve Trained the Fed?

By Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. Produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute Can runaway booms descend into busts absent monetary tightening by the world’s central banks? I pose this question in the wake of an extraordinary exchange on January 22 at Davos between Bloomberg editor-at-large Tom Keene […]

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The War in Libya Will Never End

Yves here. Libya….yet another country that has become a quagmire. An update on the sorry state of play. By Vijay Prashad, an Indian historian, editor, journalist, and a writing fellow and chief correspondent at Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He is the chief editor of LeftWord Books and the director of Tricontinental: Institute […]

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How CEOs, Experts and Philosophers See the World’s Biggest Risks Differently

Yves here. I’m putting up this piece precisely because I find it to be frustratingly superficial and hope readers will come up with additional observations and ideas. Specifically, it skips over the various reasons why CEOs are so blinkered in their view of risks that they don’t put climate change at the top of the […]

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Coronavirus: Not Looking Good

The aggressive and increasingly stringent measures taken in China to contain the “novel coronavirus” sure look like the officialdom is worried, if not panicked about the disease. Although we and they are suffering from bad data (for instance, shortages of tests and even in places personnel to confirm that suspected cases are the coronavirus and […]

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Blue Acceleration: Our Dash for Ocean Resources Mirrors What We’ve Already Done to the Land

By Robert Blasiak, Research Fellow in Ocean Management, Stockholm University. Originally published at The Conversation Humans are leaving a heavy footprint on the Earth, but when did we become the main driver of change in the planet’s ecosystems? Many scientists point to the 1950s, when all kinds of socioeconomic trends began accelerating. Since then, the […]

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Desperation Hidden in Plain Sight: Coastal Edition

We’ve regularly featured “How Is Your Economy?” queries to readers to get a more granular view of how different regions and industries in the US (and selectively abroad) are faring. A short thread in Links yesterday has me wondering if I’ve been asking the wrong question all these years. Asking about overall conditions can direct […]

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This Problem With Fracked Oil and Gas Wells Is Occurring ‘at an Alarming Rate’

By Justin Mikulka, a freelance writer, audio and video producer living in Trumansburg, NY. Originally published at DeSmogBlog. On February 15, 2018, a fracked natural gas well owned by ExxonMobil’s XTO Energy and located in southeast Ohio experienced a well blowout, causing it to gush the potent greenhouse gas methane for nearly three weeks. The obscure accident ultimately resulted in one of the […]

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Local Climate Policy Run Amok, Bellingham Edition

Yves here. This post on Bellingham is a mini-case study in a community-level climate change initiative. Since local politics is where citizens typically can have the biggest impact, it’s therefore germane to a lot of readers. What it illustrates, sadly, is that even on a small scale, devising good policy is often hard. By Peter […]

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Could Sleeper Trains Replace International Air Travel?

Jerri-Lynn here. Regular readers are probably aware of my fondness for night trains  (see Take the (Night) Train Redux, and Take the (Night) Train).. Seems I’m not the only one who tries to patronise these services whenever possible. The post focuses on the environmental benefits of choosing rail travel over air travel, and doesn’t mention […]

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