Monday, October 17, 2016
'Free markets' are like unicorns; no one has ever seen one but it doesn't stop the credulous from believing.
Big Whoop: The Nairobi agreement on hydrofluorocarbon emissions is garnering a lot of self-congratulatory praise by those involved. It's a joke. An unenforceable joke. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are widely used in fridges, air conditioning and aerosol sprays. They make up about 1% of greenhouse gases. But like CO2 they have an atmospheric lifetime of 100 years or more and are 10,000 to 20,000 times worse than CO2. The agreement calls on the richer countries (US, Canada, Europe) to “cut back within a few years” and reduce their emission of HFCs by 10% from the level reached in 2019. [See the problem? Add like crazy now so there's a high mark to cut from.] Developing countries are irsupposed to build like crazy now and freeze there use at 2024 levels. India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and the Gulf states will not freeze their use until 2028. China, the world's largest producer of HFCs, will not actually start to cut their production or use until 2029. A spokesman explained that the agreement followed the Pattern set in Paris and that “by agreeing to an early HFC phase down schedule, we've bought ourselves a bit more time
put off doing anything about global warming
to shift to a global low carbon economy.” Actually cutting HFC's
now and outlawing them within a decade would be worth all the hoopla.
Freezing them for a decade or two and then cutting them by 10% is a
PR gimmick. Letting China and India kill the rest of us is
Crass Act: Fox's Lou Dobbs, showing his usual good sense, tweeted the pone number and address of one of those accusing Trump of sexual assault. Makes you wonder why more women don't step forward.
The Important Stuff: A study by scientists from Cornell and Columbia Universities and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies [Jim Hansen's old home] published in Science Advances says that a megadrought lasting decades is 99% certain to hit California and the American Southwest this century. Historically, such megadroughts have occurred about once in a thousand years; now theyare expected to become “commonplace.” How sure are they this is going to happen? If you put “Major California Earthquake in next decade” at one end of the scale and “The Sun will rise tomorrow” at the other, the megadrought would be right up there next to the sun coming up.
Spot On: “The Cashless Society Is a Creepy Fantasy”
Clandestinely: The CIA put out a press release saying the Obama administration was “contemplating” “an all-out cyber war with Russia.” Not the NSA, whose field of expertise this is, but the CIA. Its aim will be to “embarrass the Kremlin leadership” more than it does ours. Anything, of course, to protect Hillary.
Win, Place and Show:, Most Americans (62%) think the economy is rigged in favor of the already rich, their bankers and their Wall Street lackeys. Trump supporters (by definition not “most Americans”) say it is rigged in favor of the poor who get government assistance. Go figure.
Boy Scout: Donald, preparing for the inevitable, says the election will be stolen from him, that he will not concede, and will never accept a Clinton victory. Neither Trump nor his supporters are going to go quietly – his advance troops are already garrisoning at Democrat offices. About 25% of the nation's electorate will have immense amounts of anger towards the elected government in particular and society in general. Big Fun.
Food For Thought: The German government has ruled out state support for Deutsche Bank. How do you say “not too big to fail” in German?
Two Pence Worth: The loyal Mike Pence says “I don’t understand” why Michelle Obama denounced Trump’s “sexually predatory behavior”.
A Parting Shot:
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 6:58 AM