Financial crisis

After Fukushima nuclear evaporating

The nuclear industry’s “lingering death” was further accelerated of late by new and on-going shutdowns. At Calvert Cliffs, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, a control rod fell into the reactor core, shutting Unit 1, one of two reactors at the site where plans for a third reactor have stalled indefinitely. At the troubled Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert, Michigan, the reactor was idled on August 12 after a leak from a control rod drive mechanism inside the containment building. At the Millstone nuclear plant on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut, Unit 2 was shut down as water temperatures in the Sound soared above 75 degrees. Meanwhile, the Crystal River nuclear station in Florida, has been closed for three years and may never reopen, potentially costing ratepayers – or Duke shareholders – as much as $2.5 billion in repairs if attempts are made to fix the containment dome. The Progress Energy-Duke merger could spell the end of the combined companies‘ nuclear expansion plans in Levy County, Florida and at the North Carolina, Harris site. The two San Onofre reactor units remain shut near San Diego, due to steam generator flaws and malfunctions. And the Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska reactor has never been reopened since flooding devastated the site when the Missouri River crested and surrounded the plant in the summer of 2011, turning it into an atomic island [photo].

Read details here

America is going broke

More oil has been found than in Saudi Arabia, the military is stronger than ever before, yet the US is on the verge of collapse – morally, socially and economically. The gun and the dollar’s international primacy may keep it afloat, but the people are suffering.

In the largest state of California three cities have now filed for bankruptcy.

With the massive shift of wealth in the USA to the top 2% the bottom 50% now share only 2.5% of total wealth. Those at the bottom 25% (half of the bottom 50%) are basically destitute. More Americans need food-stamps now just to survive than just about any time in our history. Yet, no politician running for President mentions any of this. It is not a “plank” on any major (or minor) political parties agenda. None of the self proclaimed religious candidates mention poverty. It is a dirty big secret that we do not talk about in public. In fact, with nearly all attention being focused on cutting spending, only social spending not military spending, poverty is certainly going to increase even more.

In 2008, 17 million households, 14.6 percent of households (approximately one in seven), were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States. Four million households became food insecure in 2008, the largest increase ever recorded (p. iii, USDA 2008). (To get population figures from family size figures, multiply family size numbers by 2.58, the average family size.)

Researchers find 14.7 million children were poor in 2009, 2.5 million more than in 2000 hild poverty increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009. As a result, 14.7 million children, 20 percent, were poor in 2009. That represents a 2.5 million increase from 2000, when 17 percent of the nation’s youth lived in low-income homes.

With the country in its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, four million additional Americans found themselves in poverty in 2009, with the total reaching 44 million, or one in seven residents. Millions more were surviving only because of expanded unemployment insurance and other assistance.

Using an expanded definition of poverty, the U.S. Census Bureau said it determined that 15.7 percent of Americans — 47.8 million — live in poverty. Some 43 Million Use Food Stamps  More than 14% of the population drew food stamps in November to purchase groceries as high unemployment and muted wage growth crimped budgets.

Myth of Perpetual Growth is Killing Us All.

Everything you think you know about economics … is wrong. Dead wrong. And until economics acknowledge this, the discipline is on a self-destruct path.

Why? The science of economics is not science. Yes, it looks scientific with all the fancy math algorithms and computer models that economists use, but all that’s just window dressing to make the economist look scientific and rational.

They’re not. Their conclusions are pre-ordained, fabricated, based on their biases, personal ideologies and whatever their employer wants to prove to manipulate consumers, voters or investors to buy what they’re selling.

Because all economics is based on the absurd Myth of Perpetual Growth. Yes, all theories and business plans based on growth are mythological.

Economists are master illusionists who rely on a set of fictions, fantasies and forecasts that emanate from a core magical mantra of Perpetual Growth that goes untested year after year.

And yet it’s used to manipulate the public into a set of policies and decisions that are leading the American and the world economy down a path of unsustainable globalization and GDP growth assumptions that will self-destruct the planet.

Click here for another version of Schumacker’s “Small is Beautiful”.

Crash Alert

As you might have noticed, the stock market is falling like a stone. As of 9 AM PST, the Dow Jones has dropped 172 points while all the other indices are down sharply. German 2-year debt (bund) has dipped below 0% this morning at auction, signalling an acceleration in the bank run taking place in southern Europe. Depositors in Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, etc would rather take a loss on their investment, then risk not their money back at all. The European Central Bank (ECB) does not guarantee deposits, so people are withdrawing their money en masse and getting out of Dodge pronto. What we’re seeing is a real-time panic.

The ostensible trigger for the panic is known, but you won’t read about it in the financial media where the news is dumbed down to the point of incoherence. What’s really going on is that the German central bank (The Bundesbank) has indicated that it’s ready to pull the plug on Greece which means that future bailouts will probably not be forthcoming. That’s bad. It means that Greece will run out of money some time in June; their banking system will implode, and the “birthplace of democracy” will be reduced to 3rd world status overnight.

Thoughtful article, read here.

Hanging by a Thread

1,565 fuel rods in the Fukushima plant translates  into 460 tons of nuclear fuel stored in pool in a barely intact building on its third and fourth floors. If the storage pool breaks and runs dry, the nuclear fuel inside will overheat and explode. The worst-case scenario drawn up by the government includes not only the collapse of the No. 4 reactor pool, but also the disintegration of spent-fuel rods from all the plant’s other reactors. The wall of the south side is falling apart at reactor No. 4.

If this pool collapses we would face a mass extinction event from the release of radiation in those rods. This may be the most important thing you ever pay attention to for the sake of your family, friends, your neighbors, every one you know and meet, all of humanity.

Preliminary reports of soil contamination are starting to come in from the USGS, who has seemed reluctant to share this information. Los Angeles, California, Portland, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado so far have the highest radioactive particle contamination out of the entire U.S. A host of fission products have been coming directly from Japan to the west coast for thirteen months. Reports in the past week indicate the pollen in southern California is radioactive now too, and it is flying around, and if you live there and go outside, you are breathing it in. And so are your children.

Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear power industry executive, is claiming that the Fukushima nuclear disaster is already 10 times worse than the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown in the former Soviet Union. If that is true it’s already taps for a whole lot of men, women and children in the northern hemisphere with the absolute promise that the radiation will continue relentlessly through the coming years. It is sounding like nuclear hell coming to earth to teach us something about our arrogance, massive stupidity and pathetic weakness.

The whole article is a must read! and additional information here.

38,052 pounds new materials needed for each US citizen each year.

To see the chart, its fascinating, click here.

“State of the Climate – 2012″ continues the same inexorable process

Australian CSIRO report on State of the Climate 2012 provides an updated summary of long-term climate trends. Each decade has been warmer than the previous decade since the 1950s. Global-average surface temperatures were the warmest on record in 2010 (slightly higher than 2005 and 1998). 2011 was the world’s 11th warmest year and the warmest year on record during a La Niña event. The world’s 13 warmest years on record have all occurred in the past 15 years.

There has been a general trend towards increased spring and summer monsoonal rainfall across Australia’s north during recent decades, and decreased late autumn and winter rainfall across southern Australia. The summary shows that the very strong La Niña event in 2010 followed by another in 2011 brought the highest two-year Australian-average rainfall total on record.
 
State of the Climate 2012 highlights the increase in global sea level and around Australia. Since 1993 sea-surface temperatures around Australia have increased faster than the global average. The concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new high in 2011. Annual growth in global fossil-fuel CO2 emissions between 2009 and 2010 was 5.9 per cent, reversing a small decline of 1.2 per cent recorded between 2008 and 2009 during the global financial crisis.

For the full report click here.

Understanding the American debt

This will help understand the US debt in $:

U.S. Tax revenue:             2,170,000,000,000
Fed  budget:                     3,820,000,000,000
New  debt:                        1,650,000,000,000
National  debt:                14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cut:                 38,500,000,000

Let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget.

Annual family income:                               21,700
Money the family spent:                            38,200
New debt on the credit card:                      16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card:    142,710
Total budget cuts:                                          385

Now we can understand why out $ is high, as is gold and silver, because the US $ is being consistently undervalued by its own actions!

Cowards in our democracies – Hansen

Public doubt about climate science is not an accident!

The threat of human-made climate change and the urgency of reducing fossil fuel emissions have become increasingly clear to the scientific community during the past few years. Yet, at the same time, the public seems to have become less certain about the situation. Indeed, many people have begun to wonder whether the climate threat has been concocted or exaggerated.

Public doubt about the science is not an accident. People profiting from business-as-usual fossil fuel use are waging a campaign to discredit the science. Their campaign is effective because the profiteers have learned how to manipulate democracies for their advantage.

The scientific method requires objective analysis of all data, stating evidence pro and con, before reaching conclusions. Sscience is now pitted in public debate against the talk-show method, which consists of selective citation of anecdotal bits that support a predetermined position.

Why is the public presented results of the scientific method and the talk-show method as if they deserved equal respect? A few decades ago that did not happen.

for the whole report  

Occupy Wall Street, inherent weakness

For some of the structural issues that weaken this consensus-driven protest, read this report. This approach comes from mainstream management models and is designed to keep all participants in line with the majority and its structure makes it impossible for powerful alternative programs to surface. He implies that what is needed is a charismatic leader who cares not a fig for these divisive processes and leads – a man like Martin Luther King – who, frankly and unfortunately, is unlikely to surface within this structure.

Organizing The Occupy Wall Street Movement

http://www.countercurrents.org/tucker161011.htm

Do we think it is happening only on Wall Street. The popular protest movement is happening everywhere, as in Chile, but how profound is it?

Girls occupy own school in free education protest

http://www.smh.com.au/world/girls-occupy-own-school-in-free-education-protest-20111014-1lp58.html#ixzz1aujFLFfN