Links 2/16/10

Fog decline threatens US redwoods BBC (hat tip reader John D)

White House revamps communication strategy Washington Post. DoctoRx notes, “Absolutely CLASSIC headline from WaPo today. When the polls are down, change the messaging/PR/image. How pathetic!”

Algae to solve the Pentagon’s jet fuel problem Guardian (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck). If this pans out, it is a very big deal.

The Times Fronts for U.S. Assault on Marja Progressive and Slow going for Marines in assault on Afghan Taliban stronghold LA Times (hat tip DoctoRx)

EU Finance Ministers to Resist Obama Plans for Banking Overhaul Bloomberg

Millions of credit card holders feel the crunch as interest soars Times Online

Utah eyes slashing senior year of high school to save money Raw Story (hat tip reader John D)

UK house prices ‘to slump as credit crunch returns’ Telegraph

Goldman on the Yuan – What Do They Know? Bruce Krasting

Britain and the PIGS Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Can we handle the truth? Steve Waldman

It’s Time for Financial Reform Plan C Alan Blinder, Wall Street Journal. This sort of thing drives me nuts. Blinder calls for a special resolution authority. Who isn’t in favor of a special resolution authority? That’s motherhood and apple pie on the financial reform front, right? Well, first, unless there are also measures to reduce the interconnectedness of the large international capital markets firms, I doubt anyone is going to have the guts to take one out and shoot them. You might at best see a Citi-style forced dismemberment. But second, what do you do with Citi in particular? It has $500 billion in uninsured foreign deposits. If you put it in receivership and don’t guarantee them, you risk a run on Citi (which means a further cash drain, thus higher resolution costs) and I don’t see how guaranteeing them is politically acceptable, particularly when uninsured depositors in Indymac took big losses.

Oh, now I see (hat tip Mark Thoma) that Hank Paulson has a NY Time op ed….on the very same subject! Ahem, sure looks like a coordinated effort to me.

Barclays: ‘Judge us on our pay’ Robert Peston

Solving CLOs at Barclays FT Alphaville. A nice little bit of sleuthing.

How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America Don Peck, The Atlantic (hat tip reader Sundog). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Barbara):


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  1. fresno dan

    Fog decline threatens US redwoods

    I am probably the only person alive who enjoyed a foggy central valley of my youth. Yeah, bad for traffic and a safety hazard, but the ethereal vision of the streetscape made merely walking through the city a journey of mystery and intrigue.

  2. carol

    Alan Blinder: “.. There is good news here. If Congress fails to act, the Fed will, by default, continue to be the tacit systemic risk monitor and regulator. …”

    How could anyone see that as good news?!

    Re Financial Reform Plan B, incl. a consumer financial protection agency, Kevin Drum writes about a TV ad that portrays the reform bill (H.R. 1471) as a $ 4 T bailout for Wall Street bankers. Almost unbelievable.
    The ad is linked in here:

    1. dlr

      But it is a 4T dollar bailout for Wall Street Bankers. They didn’t pick that 4T dollar number out of nowhere. In the same bill from the House that passed the consumer protect act, there is also an authorization for the Federal Reserve to spend up to 4 Trillion dollars at their own discretion in the event of another financial ‘crisis’.

      The mind boggles.

  3. joebhed

    Re: The Great Settling of Accounts

    We knew it was coming.
    A debt-money system that depends on continued issuance of new debts(money) in order to make the debt-service payments on yesterday’s issuance is an unsustainable debt-money system run amok.

    The result is the private bankers that issue all sovereign debt-based currencies are bankrupting governments at all levels.

    The question thus becomes whether we the people of these sovereign countries are capable of restoring monetary sovereignty and issuing our own circulating medium in the future, debt-free at issue, or if we’ll allow the Paulson-Blinders of the world to settle their accounts by writing off the PRIVATE debt-holdings while forcing greater austerity on ALL public services – at a minimum.

    Wake up call.

  4. i on the ball patriot

    I posted this (below) on the, “EU Showdown With Greece Looming”. thread, but think it also goes well here under the ‘remedial plan C’ discussion. It is self explanatory but I would add that maybe it is time we discussed not only the problem of how do we beat swords into plowshares, given that we have such a large military industrial complex, but also how do we similarly beat the unnecessary finance industry into plowshares? How do we repurpose and reinvent the lives of those of us working on the present day slave plantations for the rich masters? …

    … a says — “That might be painful, but it’s not punishment. Think it as though the EU is telling a cigarette smoker he can’t smoke – that might seem like punishment to the smoker, and it may be painful, but, at least in the eyes of the doctor, it is necessary and beneficial to the smoker and society at large.”


    You need to get the drug dealer that hooked him and cut his balls off! And then you need to go after the drug itself and eliminate it from the planet. THAT would be beneficial to the ‘smoker’ and society at large.

    The drug dealers are the financial institutions.

    The drug is not tobacco, it is USURY. It is debt slavery.

    Usury, masked in the cute little names of; credit, bonds, derivatives, etc., is as immoral now as slavery was in the 1800’s.

    The civil war that must be fought now is not north against south, but rather it is the war of the wealthy ruling elite against the masses. A subset of that war is a war against the ignorance imposed by aggregate generational corruption that has instilled in the masses the dysfunctional belief that debt slavery is normal and OK. It is not normal! It is not OK!

    Just as shackling and enslaving another human being with physical chains is immoral and a despicable and heinous act, so too is enslaving another human being with the invisible chains of usury with punishment for default backed up by the power of the plantation state, owned and operated not by the people, but rather by the super wealthy ruling elite!

    When you engage in discussion of that slavery, without acknowledging that it is clearly slavery, and offer up instead ‘remedial’ plans for the smoother operation of that slavery, then you are in effect; legitimizing, validating, and aiding and abetting that slavery by lending your good name to the process, and at the same time you express your ignorance of the depth of your brainwashing and therefore, by those acts, you give up your power.

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

    1. aet

      LOL. Being “in debt” is NOT slavery.
      Slaves may NOT have debts: only their Masters may.

      I’ve been working away for decades: I’m not in debt, and so now I’m the creditor: is that why interest rates paid to me are so low? Is there now so much money about, that none will pay me interest?

      Don’t like being in debt? (How did you come to be in debt anyway?)
      Then be a man and pull the plug: stiff your creditors. It’s happened often before: and unlike a Roman Debtor, actual slavery will not today likely be the outcome for the debtor.
      (Except in the most backward – and always right-wing authoritarian it seems – hellholes.)
      You think that this ought to change? That debtors – or is it lenders – are or have been “irresponsible”? Pray tell, to whom precisely ought they be responsible? And why?

      I think the current system only needs the rules enforced and tweaked against the bigwigs: we don’t need no stinking revolution: just some decent – and decently funded (that means taxes)- Public Prosecutors.

      1. i on the ball patriot

        aet says — “LOL. Being “in debt” is NOT slavery.
        Slaves may NOT have debts: only their Masters may.”

        Your stuck in the 1800’s. Usury IS slavery. Slaves today are forced to wear usury chains and even provide their own upkeep, thereby saving their masters untold billions in maintenance costs. Those that don’t pay up are tossed into the streets for non performance instead of being taken out behind the barn and shot …

        Interest rates being paid to you are low now because the middle class is intentionally being decimated by their usury masters. The ‘prudent’ slaves like yourself, will now be set in perpetual conflict with the not so prudent slaves, to cut global consumption and population.

        Who will enforce and tweak the rules for you and provide the public prosecutors? The same foxes that corrupted them? Good luck with that. The government needs an overhaul.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  5. John

    How many of the anti-big-government crowd (or anti-military crowd for that matter) know that the first Internet-type networking system came out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)? It was called ARPANET and you can read about it on wikipedia. And now, it looks like DARPA has the inside track on making the first viable algae-based biofuel.

    Big government can afford to do the type of long-term, massive research projects that short-term-profit-focused corporations cannot. DARPA funds a lot of projects in engineering at the graduate-school level. They actually funded my Master’s thesis project when I was getting my M.S. in Electrical Engineering.

    1. aet

      Only idiots and ideologues think that Government per se is a “problem”.

      It’s only “bad government” that’s the problem.
      “Good government” is a blessing not to be underestimated. And it often is underestimated, because it is so rare – and lately it seems almost unknown – in people’s experience.
      So strong is this tendency, we often get the “throw the baby out with the rotten bathwater”-type libertarian anarchists, of the strange inchoate, logically incoherent, and ironically sheeplike, type one encounters trading in paper values.

      Like children they repeat: “All Government is baaa baaaa baaad. All untaxed private gains are gooo gooo good.”

      To which I reply with a “Bah!” of my own.

      1. velobabe

        “type libertarian anarchists”
        i took you literally: h/t chaospark
        The traditional answer
        Libertarians want severely limited government and anarchists want none.
        The humanist answer
        Libertarians are nonviolent; some anarchists are violent.
        The funny answer
        Libertarians are to anarchists as nudists are to naked people.They’re just middle class & organized so they appear less crazy.
        The Party answer (from Andre Marrou)
        An anarchist is an extreme libertarian, like a socialist is an extreme democrat, and a fascist is an extreme republican.
        The graphic answer
        It’s like the difference between a lover and a rapist.They’re both in the same place but one uses violence to get there.
        The straight answer
        Libertarians believe in free markets, private property, and capitalism. Anarchists who believe in these things usually call themselves libertarians.

  6. Richard


    Regarding the problem you describe:

    “Well, first, unless there are also measures to reduce the interconnectedness of the large international capital markets firms, I doubt anyone is going to have the guts to take one out and shoot them. You might at best see a Citi-style forced dismemberment. But second, what do you do with Citi in particular? It has $500 billion in uninsured foreign deposits. If you put it in receivership and don’t guarantee them, you risk a run on Citi (which means a further cash drain, thus higher resolution costs) and I don’t see how guaranteeing them is politically acceptable, particularly when uninsured depositors in Indymac took big losses.”

    Wouldn’t the right answer be simply to make the bank’s bondholders eat the cost of anything that is done for uninsured depositors? If stipulated in advance, that could also result in helpful bondholder pressure on banks to operate overseas through subsidiaries rather than branches which would help locate regulatory and insurance responsibilities with host governments, where they belong.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Citi has $500 B (roughly) in long term debt, and $140 B in equity.

      The issue is that the fate of the uninsured depositors will presumably be held in abeyance while creditor claims are being sorted out. Deposits are subordinate to senior debt, so they must take losses first

      A lot of these depositors are presumably major corps. Citi controls a major cash management system. So it is hard for them to extricate themselves from Citi even if they want to.

      The uninsured deposits plus control of this major money management platform keeps Citi in the TBTF category, no matter what the officialdom pretends.

      1. Richard

        Thanks, this is helpful.

        What if deposits were deemed senior to all unsecured debt (and CDSs) in the event of resolution?

        I’m trying to see if there is a reasonably straightforward way to make resolutions practicable by shifting depositor risk to bond and equity holders, where it would seem more properly to belong.

  7. pmr9

    The guardian article on jet fuel from algae is typical of the hype with which biofuel projects are sold to gullible investors, journalists or generals.

    Under optimal conditions, making 1000 litres of biodiesel from algae requires 6 tonnes of CO2 (for efficient photosynthesis, algae are grown in air enriched with 10% CO2), plus sterile water and fertilizers. To make 1000 litres of kerosene (presumably using genetically-modified algae to make hydrogen, then using this to make synfuel), you’d need about twice as much CO2. This assumes that all CO2 is captured and re-used – without investment in a special plant to separate the CO2, at least half the CO2 would have to be released so the CO2 requirement doubles again.

    The idea that the military could just set up a plant in the desert to make kerosene is absurd – if biofuels from algae have any future, it’s as a way to recycle some of the exhaust gas from coal-fired power plants.

    1. paper mac

      Yep. Algal biofuels are wildly unlikely to pan out any time before supply restrictions begin putting serious upward pressure on oil prices. For reference, these things now cost in the area of a couple hundred dollars.. a GALLON. Orders of magnitude more expensive than kerosene and the EROEI ain’t great either. Gonna take a few decades to get those kinks worked out..

      1. alex

        “Algal biofuels are wildly unlikely to pan out any time before supply restrictions begin putting serious upward pressure on oil prices.”

        Which is why it makes sense for the federal government (likely the military) to buy the stuff at some subsidized level. It wouldn’t be the first technology to get started that way.

        “these things now cost in the area of a couple hundred dollars.. a GALLON.”

        In test tube quantities. By the late 1990’s the DOE aquatic species program (using open ponds) concluded that diesel could be produced from algae at $4/gallon (exclusive of taxes). That’s probably $5/gallon with inflation, plus taxes bring it up. It may also have been overly optimistic, but the price is way less than what you say, even in pilot plant quantities.

        “EROEI ain’t great either.”

        Links? I hadn’t heard that EROEI is that bad for algae. Corn ethanol, hell yeah, but not algae.

        “Gonna take a few decades to get those kinks worked out..”

        All the more reason to work on it now.

    2. alex

      While the algae article is indeed over-hyped, and its entirely possible that many of the algae startups are little short of scams, you’re analysis of the technology is overly pessimistic.

      First, you don’t need the CO2 enriched atmosphere – that’s an approach that one company took, using the waste CO2 from power plants. Most approaches don’t use it.

      You also don’t need sterile water or anything approaching it. While invasive less desirable algae species are a problem in open ponds, closed systems avoid that. There’s also a hybrid approach that starts off in a closed system and then dumps the “starter mix” in open ponds, where the comparatively high starting concentration avoids the invasive species problem. Even in a pure closed system the water is far from sterile, and may even contain sewage (for fertilizer), be “gray water”, or (depending on the algae species) brackish or salt.

      Also hydrogen production from algae is but one approach. More commonly the projects seek to produce diesel directly from high lipid content algae, or “green crude” that can be more or less conventionally refined.

      Fertilizer may be a bigger long term problem, particularly phosphates (the limited supply, mostly in Morocco, is an even bigger potential problem for agriculture). For algae production possibilities include using sewage (which won’t scale indefinitely) and nutrient rich deep sea water.

      I wouldn’t write off this technology yet. It’s the only biofuel technology that makes any sense.

  8. sam hampster

    Re: “How a New Jobless Era Will Change America,”

    First, this is a period piece, because it captures the job scene, before the coming fallout in education, health care and state jobs, which will put those “still working” women out on the street.

    Second, the tone of the article assumes that Americans cannot be happy living in a trailer with enough pocket money for alcohol, drugs and a flat screen television to follow a new war against Iran.

    In short, it is an overly optimistic, pie-in-the-sky piece as America quickly races towards competitiveness in the new fetid, global village.

      1. paper mac

        Dan- that map includes Laskar Gah, the regional capital. To be sure, there are some more dwellings scattered in the vicinity of Marja, but the Afghan Fallujah this ain’t. Marja itself is little more than a hamlet, which, due to the extent to which the imminent attack was telegraphed, has largely been emptied of whatever Taliban fighters may have been around. This attack is a PR exercise plain and simple, designed to produce an easy “win” for the coalition. Too bad that’s a “lose” for the civilian population.

  9. rickstersherpa

    Regarding the high school shortening idea, this is not as silly idea as it sounds as for many people the last year of high school is now a joke, at least the last semester. Also, I have very pessimistic attitude about the “panacea” of education that so many economists (the Havard crew of Ed Glaeser, Ken Rogoff, Larry Summers, and Milton Feldstein are constantly using this as the solution to inequality). A lot of people, boys in particular, don’t have apitude to high SAT score/testing talents that our education system is currently designed to promote. Second, no matter how you push everyone’s education, you are still going to get a Bell Shape curve and only the high scorers are going to get the good jobs at the investment banks.

    This basically leaves the stock clerk jobs and cashiers at Walmart and their equivalents, and drug dealer. There will be a job with benefits that requires education, soldier/sailor/airman, but we only need about 250,000 new recruits a year and we are pretty good about educating them.

    I admit that I am a pessimist by temperment, with a sick kind of pleasure in reading stories about the coming doom, but whatever optimism I had a year ago has pretty much gone up in smoke. One of the factors being the intemperate criticism of Obama that the otherwise sensible Yves and others have made (I did not particularly like the “orgy” picture this past weekend. I am white and a boomer. Growing up in Chicago, and well into my adulthood, I have heard to many white acquaitances (and I am sad to admit even friends) make the crudest kinds of racist comments. Hence, it makes the satire in that picture of go over like a lead balloon for me. Also, a lot of the criticism seems misplaced because Obama has not goverend any particularly different then the policies he campaigned on (apparently everyone on the Left thought he would break his promise to make “Afghanistan” the main focal point of the GWOT and forgot that voted for the FISA amendments and immunity while in the Senate. That he is governing as a DLC Democrat should not be surprise since he pretty much ran as a DLC Democrat with the exception of his reminder that he had been against the War in Iraq and his race as being the Liberal attraction. But apparently we are surprised.

    For more disheartening stories see this in theAtlantic:

    and, being the 1880s and 90s redux, how it will lead to more of this: :

    In early 1978, I remember (and I admit that memory can play some tricks) that Ronald Reagan was considered just as much a joke, as unqualified, and unelectable as Sarah Palin is now. Here is another chance for history to repeat.

    1. Hugh

      Actually quite a few of us on the left remember Obama’s support of the FISA Amendments Act. It was the moment I definitively broke with him. He was far from my top choice but I did support him for about 6 months. But even during this time I was growing increasingly frustrated with him. His subsequent actions, such as his swinging Democratic support for the TARP, simply confirmed my decision. I was one of the first to write on just how Establishment he was. I mean progressives knew from the beginning he was not progressive. My own initial analyses were very negative but I have to admit even I was surprised by the depth of his conservative Blue Dog corporatism. We expected movement on some issues, but instead we got nothing. He has completely shut out progressives and progressive ideas from his Administration. This is important becase however much you would like to rewrite history he ran on progressive not Blue Dog rhetoric. If he had run as a Blue Dog, he wouldn’t have gotten the nomination, let alone won the general election.

      His core message was Change we can believe in. He and the Democrats have failed to deliver on this. Indeed they have betrayed it at every turn and it is going to kill them in November. And it should.

    2. dlr

      I completely support Utah’s idea about letting people who have completed their required credits graduate early. 12th grade isn’t just a waste of time for people ‘with low SAT scores’ like rickstersherpa mentioned. People with high SAT scores would benefit as well – by going on to college one year earlier, and thus graduating early. Ditto with people who are planning on getting vocational training at the local community college.

      Wasting time is wasting time.

    1. john c. halasz

      The problem is that the actual vampire squid is only 1 foot long and doesn’t suck blood. (Presumably the “vampire” name comes from its relatively harmless spiked tentacles).

      Taibbi apparently failed to do research before hitting upon his hyperbolic metaphor.

  10. Hugh

    What bothers me about the Atlantic article by Don Peck on what is essentially longterm unemployment in this country, –well there are actually several things. There is this otherworldly quality to it as if our crisis unemployment levels resulted from natural forces and not a greedy, predatory financial system and its ruinous effects on the real economy. There is a fatalism too about it I detest. We should all just get used to it. The only suggestion to improve employment was a brief mention of employer tax credits. How can I take anyone like this seriously if this is all he can come up with?

    I also didn’t like his use of Edmund Phelps. Phelps suggests that the “new” natural rate of unemployment should be between 6.5% and 7.5%. How utterly convenient. I have criticized this in the past. According to the BLS, we currently have 14.8 million unemployed. The current workforce is 153 million. Take 7.5% of that (11.5 million) and suddenly with a few strokes of a pen our jobs hole is reduced to 3.3 million. Consider a rather ordinary expansion with employment rising by about 200,000 a month. Subtracting out natural growth/new entrants, it would take us just under 3 years to make up this 3.3 million. Of course, this ignores that there are some 25 million (U-6) who are un- or under employed. I guess Phelps would just as soon pretend they don’t exist. It certainly obviates the need for larger and more sustained government involvement.

    Peck has another throw away line that irked me. He said there was little evidence of any class warfare currently. For me, that is just so telling. Why is it that it is only class warfare when the poor and middle classes want to tax the rich, but when the wealthy loot the poor and middle classes it is just part of the business cycle?

    We all know high unemployment is going to be with us for a long time and that there is nothing natural about it. It is the product of a criminal business culture, their accomplices in government, and of course a complicit media that doesn’t ask or answer the tough questions even when it acts, as here, like it does.

    1. carol

      “high unemployment is going to be with us ”

      A study has been published recently, showing that the unemployment levels are highly correlated to the income level of the job/previous job.
      Some 31% unemployment (U3) for people in 100k jobs.

      So, if you and your friends are in the 100k ‘class’, then it’s probably just a normal recession.
      see a.o.

      We’re not in this together; it might undermine the cohesion in our society.

    2. psychohistorian

      good comment Hugh and I want to take it a bit further.

      Too me it is the bastardization of faith based capitalism that is associated with faith based religion. It is stupidly faith based to believe that aggressive economic competition in support of the greater common societal good does not need regulation.

      How the rich elite keep the under classes fighting with each other and themselves is beyond me.

      Long term employment problems are going to be made worse by the ultimate collapse of the excess and unsustainable consumption of Americans. As that reverts to a level closer to the rest of the developed world it will put increased pressure on employment everywhere. It needs to be understood that there in not currently enough productive employment for all that wish it and that fact will put extreme pressure on wages of the lower educated and skilled segments of the population. Adjustment to this lower wage level in the US will show increasing inequality between the lower classes which will cause social unrest, IMO.

      Not how I would like to see our country go……

  11. dlr

    Bad news about the redwoods, but there is some good news for environmentalists half way around the globe. From the National Geographic:

    “…rising temperatures could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent.

    Scientists are now seeing signals that the Sahara desert and surrounding regions are greening due to increasing rainfall.

    If sustained, these rains could revitalize drought-ravaged regions, reclaiming them for farming communities.

    The green shoots of recovery are showing up on satellite images of regions including the Sahel, a semi-desert zone bordering the Sahara to the south that stretches some 2,400 miles (3,860 kilometers).

    Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences.

    The study suggests huge increases in vegetation in areas including central Chad and western Sudan.

    The transition may be occurring because hotter air has more capacity to hold moisture, which in turn creates more rain, said Martin Claussen of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, who was not involved in the new study.

    “The water-holding capacity of the air is the main driving force,” Claussen said.

    While satellite images can’t distinguish temporary plants like grasses that come and go with the rains, ground surveys suggest recent vegetation change is firmly rooted.

    In the eastern Sahara area of southwestern Egypt and northern Sudan, new trees—such as acacias—are flourishing, according to Stefan Kröpelin, a climate scientist at the University of Cologne’s Africa Research Unit in Germany.

    “Shrubs are coming up and growing into big shrubs. This is completely different from having a bit more tiny grass,” said Kröpelin, who has studied the region for two decades.

    In 2008 Kröpelin—not involved in the new satellite research—visited Western Sahara, a disputed territory controlled by Morocco.

    “The nomads there told me there was never as much rainfall as in the past few years,” Kröpelin said. “They have never seen so much grazing land.”

    “Before, there was not a single scorpion, not a single blade of grass,” he said.

    “Now you have people grazing their camels in areas which may not have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. You see birds, ostriches, gazelles coming back, even sorts of amphibians coming back,” he said.

    “The trend has continued for more than 20 years. It is indisputable.”

    This desert-shrinking trend is supported by some climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago.

    For instance, in 2005 a team led by Reindert Haarsma of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute in De Bilt, the Netherlands, forecast significantly more future rainfall in the Sahel.

    The study in Geophysical Research Letters predicted that rainfall in the July to September wet season would rise by up to two millimeters a day by 2080.

    Satellite data shows “that indeed during the last decade, the Sahel is becoming more green,” Haarsma said.

    Even so, climate scientists don’t agree on how future climate change will affect the Sahel: Some studies simulate a decrease in rainfall.

    “This issue is still rather uncertain,” Haarsma said.

    Max Planck’s Claussen said North Africa is the area of greatest disagreement among climate change modelers.

    Forecasting how global warming will affect the region is complicated by its vast size and the unpredictable influence of high-altitude winds that disperse monsoon rains, Claussen added.

    “Half the models follow a wetter trend, and half a drier trend.”

    The reason I bothered to cut and paste this whole article here was because the IPCC is so one sided in its treatment of potential impacts of global warming changes. Anyone who has been reading the UK press is aware of the ‘Aficagate scandal’. I don’t think the US press has picked it up yet, but it is getting a lot of play in the Times of London, and the Telegraph, etc. Despite the above trends, and lively dispute about the results of climate change in the Sahara and the Sahal, the IPCC’s highly publicized prediction for North Africa is that some countries might see a 40% decline in rain fed agriculture.

    This is just wrong. That isn’t science, it is deliberate scare mongering.

  12. Sundog

    Just to say “Cheers!” for making Don Peck’s Atlantic piece the link of the day, and also for featuring the writer’s name in the cite.

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