Links 8/21/2023

Mapping Arctic Foxes’ Spectacular Solo Journeys Scientific American

Using home lampshades to turn pollutants into purified air Interesting Engineering


5.1-magnitude earthquake shakes southern California while Tropical Storm Hilary threatens millions with flooding NY Post

Alpha dog of extractivism pushes status quo Canadian Dimension

A community transformed from mining town to resort destination. It doesn’t want to go back The Narwhal

Can Archaeology Help Restore the Oceans? Sapiens


Quarter of global population faces extremely high water stress each year Down to Earth


A new COVID variant nicknamed “Pirola” is raising global alarm but don’t freak out yet Salon


Maryland reports first locally acquired malaria case in 40 years NBC News

The Sahel

Pro-coup rally in Niger after threat of military intervention Al Jazeera


German minister hails India’s digital transformation after buying vegetables using UPI WION


China set to cut lending rates as economic recovery drags FT

China eyes robot manufacturing as way to fuel economic growth South China Morning Post

How to Kill Chinese Dynamism Project Syndicate

China’s farming push is about war RT

European Disunion

German police arrest 2 US soldiers in man’s killing Anadolu Agency. “Police hand over investigation to US authorities following deadly dispute in German town of Wittlich.”

German Finance Minister vows to rebalance public debt Al Mayadeen

New Not-So-Cold War

SITREP 8/20/23: F-16s Paper Over 500k Losses Report Simplicius the Thinker

Modifications to Russia’s Patnsir Air Defence Systems Improve Efficiency Against Storm Shadow Missiles and HIMARS Rockets Military Watch Magazine

Ukraine is re-engineering a 36-foot-long Soviet-era missile system to strike inside Russia, UK intel says Business Insider


Ukraine war fatigue is growing Intellinews. Amongst the wider western public, just not the elites.


Chinese imports of Russian gas soar RT

Q2 2023: Business bankruptcies at highest level since 2015 Eurostat. The EU.


Unusual US troop movements in Iraq, Syria spark speculation The Cradle

US offloads oil from seized Iranian tanker despite Tehran’s warnings: Report The Cradle

South of the Border

US sanctions 100 Nicaraguan municipal officials over rights abuses Reuters

Biden Administration

Hunter Biden investigation: David Weiss worked with Beau Biden when he was state attorney general Washington Examiner

The Online Problem That Isn’t Being Solved Governing


Trump says he will “not be doing the debates” Axios

Trump leads DeSantis by 46 points in new poll The Hill


Democrats en déshabillé

Hardly anyone owns a hydrogen car. California may pay up to $300 million for fuel stations anyway CalMatters

Imperial Collapse Watch

Every Empire Falls Consortium News

Supply Chain

Does India’s disruption of the global rice market pose new threat to food security? East Asia Forum

Groves of Academe

No Room At The Dorm: As College Begins, Some Students Are Scrambling For Housing Forbes

The University of California Is Bailing Out Private Equity Giant Blackstone Jacobin. From April, still germane.

Class Warfare

‘Slum’ landlord stuffed 40 tenants into a 4-bed house, making $450,000 Business Insider

Charles Cohen downplayed Covid’s impact on offices. Now his could be casualties The Real Deal

New York City Unveils Plan to Convert Vacant Offices into Housing Units The Deep Dive


Why Lime scooters tossed into the Spokane River stay there Seattle Times

X glitch wipes out most pictures and links tweeted before December 2014 The Verge

The Bezzle

Elon Musk’s X follower count bloated by millions of new, inactive accounts Mashable

San Francisco launches driverless bus services on Treasure Island Interesting Engineering

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Alice X

    Jake Johnson at Common Dreams:

    ‘The Guatemalan People Have Spoken’: Anti-Corruption Advocate Bernardo Arévalo Wins Presidency

    From the piece:

    Allan Nairn, an American investigative journalist who has covered Guatemala for decades, wrote before Sunday’s election that in the case of an Arévalo victory, Guatemala’s conservative elites “have made it clear that they will do what’s needed to prevent” him from taking office.

    “Merely winning the vote will not be enough; to take office he must first win big, and then many thousands will have to be ready to take to the streets if circumstances demand,” Nairn added.

    Same old playbook for the elites of Guatemala.

  2. griffen

    For a split second looking at the anecdote, my still caffeine replenishing mind thought that was a golf ball in the clutches of the above animal’s mouth. Alas, it’s just a tasty egg soon to be enjoyed.

  3. flora

    A new COVID variant nicknamed “Pirola” is raising global alarm but don’t freak out yet – Salon

    I’m saving the headline to compare with this coming Sept, Oct, and Dec headlines. ;)

    1. Ignacio

      Pirola is one of hundreds of ways to call a dick in Spanish. Hola, hola, no me toques la pirola. Makes the variant sound terrible.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        That was worth the cut’n’paste time to get the translation. Glad the “hello”s stopped at two, three would have been too Barbie and that would have been weird.

        1. ambrit

          Three “hellos” would have ben too Stooges for me. (Now that I think of it, perhaps Iggy Pop and the Stooges could ‘pull it off.’)

        2. skippy

          Why can’t Ken get Barbie pregnant – ???? – he comes in a different box ….

          You made me do it …. runs away …

      2. ChrisRUEcon


        Reminds me of the old Papiamento joke:

        “Que ding? Que Ding? Salada di pating*!”

        * – Papiamento for dick

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine is re-engineering a 36-foot-long Soviet-era missile system to strike inside Russia, UK intel says”

    Ah, I see that Business Insider is once more playing footsie with the truth. How about we change around that headline to match the real situation then-

    ‘The UK is re-engineering a 36-foot-long Soviet-era missile system to strike inside Russia to recreate 9/11 with a Moscow skyscraper’

    I think that years after this war ends, it will come out how NATO has been engineering all these missiles with upgraded NATO electronics. Same for all those Black Sea drones. They would have been manufactured in a NATO nation and shipped to the Ukraine. Same too with that drone that attacked the Kerch bridge. And helping to direct all those weapons to their targets would have been all those US drones flying around the Black Sea. The Ukrainians with their own technical expertise would have been helping a lot but without NATO backing, would probably not have been able to do anywhere near as much.

      1. flora

        I wonder if the West’s leaders, or “leaders”, are so intellectually inbred (why else insist on all the sensor ship?) that they aren’t capable of real leadership in the real world. In many cases they aren’t even capable of competence in their basic job responsibilities. (Lookin’ at you, Pete.)

      2. PelhamKS

        Thanks for the link. It says something that we have to extend ourselves to this degree of obscurity to get an alternative — and more informative — read on what’s happening in Europe.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Just read that the Serbian President was saying-

        ‘ Vladimir Zelensky, has requested a private meeting at the upcoming ‘Western Balkans’ summit in Athens, Greece. “Tomorrow morning, at the request of the Ukrainian president, I will have a bilateral meeting with him,” Vucic said. “We will discuss face to face everything that has happened regarding Kosovo, recognition and non-recognition of territorial integrity of countries, and other issues.”’

        Should be fun.

    1. begob

      I assumed all those marine drones were coming out of Winfrith in the UK, but last week an article popped up quoting the Ukrainian government to the effect that the drones are all local product, made by local people, for local people. Well, for their immediate neighbours. A Nordstream-style shift of responsibility?

    2. Feral Finster

      “I think that years after this war ends, it will come out how NATO has been engineering all these missiles with upgraded NATO electronics. Same for all those Black Sea drones.”

      Duh. So what is Russia proposing to do about it? Continuing to dither won’t make the problem go away.

      1. Phenix

        Russia is not ending the world. I’ll take that as a win. Our deluded elites are acting like it’s a game theory exercise and they will win because they will risk nuclear annihilation.

        We also all over simplify war. Russia does not have an endless supply of young men. In the past the Russian military would overwhelm adversaries with their sheer manpower but that is not an option. Russia like China is on a demographic cliff. Any mass casualty war is the death of the Russian state since Russia is an ethnic group too.

        I believe Russia will continue to shield its soldiers and wait for Ukraine to exhaust itself in a pointless counter offensive and war.

  5. ChrisRUEcon

    #COVID19 #Salon

    ” … but don’t freak out yet”

    These family-blog people … I guess we should wait until it’s surging and people are actually dying, eh? The entire fetid (mainstream) media landscape during the Democrat-administered part of the pandemic has been dedicated to the following fallacies: “COVID is mild”; “vaccination alone can protect”; “non pharmaceutical interventions are not effective”; “so go out there and spend, spend, spend into the economy!”


    1. David Z

      Nothing to do with “Democrat-administered” ; it’s the way the US govt. works.

      Republican-administered would probably be as bad or possibly even worse with the Covid-is-just-like-a-flu in Chief.

          1. tegnost

            Had flora made the same statement and left out promise it would still be true.
            T also killed the tpp and the $700 ocare penalty, and it is not lost on some of us that the $700 penalty was how the whole ocare grift was gotten past the supremes (It’s a tax). Politicians promises are worthless, but their actions are not. To paraphrase joe from scranton, name me one thing the dems have done for regular people.

            1. Michaelmas

              tegnost: name me one thing the dems have done for regular people.

              I can name a number of things. More to rather than for regular people, but ….

              [1] Passed NAFTA;
              [2] Passed GATT;
              [3] Repealed Glass-Steagall;
              [4] Taken more money from the banks to field a presidential candidate than any previous US presidential candidate took in history, in order that that president can then arrange for the banks to avert a FDR/New Deal replay after their massive criminality crashed the economy in 2008 with the GFC;
              [5] Foreclosed on a million American households to resolve the GFC’s damage, then sold off those homes for cents on the dollar to the very banks and financial industry who caused the crash in the first place, in turn enabling ….
              [6] Those criminals to jack up rents for the increased numbers of renters out there to where persons earning a median American income can no long afford rent in many US states.

              One could go on. The point is that on the evidence of, firstly, the plain fact that for almost two-decades — more than nineteen years — of the thirty-two years of US decline and collapse since 1991 and the Cold War’s end, the Democrats have been in power; and also, secondly, on the evidence of what the Democrats have specifically done while in power, as enumerated above ….

              On that evidence, the Democrats are not the lesser evil. Yes, doubtless the Republicans are vermin. But it’s a sign of the poor thinking skills of many Americans that they’re unable to recognize that on the real-world evidence the Democrats are the greater evil.

        1. some guy

          T also opposed and suppressed mask-wearing. T also tried suppressing testing. If someone thinks they will get a better-than-Bidendemocrat covid policy under Trump, they can vote for Trump and hope for the best, I suppose.

              1. flora

                adding too much: whenst I was at my parents home long ago, and asked my mother if I could watch a Prairie Home Companion 10 year anniverary show on the TV, she said yes, alright. (silly daughter. but whatever.) She was reading one of her history books when this song came on, and she suddenly started up and began to sing along the words she knew from her childhood, and then glared at the TV because the words weren’t as she remembered them, and then listening a moment she began to laugh. And she laughed so hard tears were coming down her cheeks. I’ve never forgotten.

            1. some guy

              To oppose and suppress mask wearing? And to try suppressing testing? Yes, he was wrong to do that.

              And the BidenDemocrats have joined him in that wrongness by carrying forward his mask-suppression and testing-obstruction policies.

              Now . . . if someone thinks Trump as President again will rethink his opposition to masking and testing, they can vote for him on that basis. If someone thinks a President reTrump would just maintain what are now the BidenDemocrat anti-mask and anti-test policies, then someone will hunt for other areas on which the two Parties/Presidents might be different … and vote for the difference they would prefer.

          1. Alex Cox

            Trump gave us Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for several months. As a freelancer, this was the first (and only) unemployment benefit I ever received.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        My point is about mainstream (liberal, which I should have clarified above) media treatment of non-pharmaceutical interventions. When Trump was president, liberal media was all pro masking and vilified non-maskers. This was never a sincere, or science-based critique, however. It was merely tribal virtue signaling. Once Biden became president, and despite the fact that more people were dying from COVID under Biden’s vaccine-available tenure than Trump’s, suddenly masks were a “scarlet letter” … funny how that worked out, eh?

    2. Mikel

      “These family-blog people … I guess we should wait until it’s surging and people are actually dying, eh?”

      The establishment will be consistent with that narrative. Mass death be damned! After decades of easy money, the only thing that freaks them out is having to navigate an economy with higher interest rates – especially an economy so reliant on real estate flipping.

  6. Mikel

    “It’s been described as the most deadly Covid strain since Omicron.”

    By whom?? No one who is tracking it, that’s for sure…”

    It seems like there has been an uptick in Covid coverage in other press.

    The joker in me wants to make a quip about realizations that Covid is still around coming at the same time as realizations set in about higher interest rates sticking around for longer.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        I access NC via Feedly and have had no RSS issues.

        Best part of getting NC thru RSS? Every once in a great while you get a notification for a post that isn’t there. Sometimes they show up later, sometimes they don’t . . . [spooky music plays in the background]

        1. Anon

          This is my method as well, for the past decade, and ditto on spooky music. I do miss being able to read the entire article from within Feedly, but I gather that would kill ad revenue for the site.

    1. LifelongLib

      FWIW, today I got a No RSS message for a non-NC email, the first time I’ve seen it. But when I exited the email and redisplayed it I could access the links. Go figure…

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Using home lampshades to turn pollutants into purified air”

    Is this a cultural thing? I cannot recall the last time we actually had a light with a lampshade in our house. Maybe decades ago. Are they still common in the US? I once read an article by author Alistair Cook talking about America back in the 40s and 50s and he noted that in American homes, instead of having a central overhead light, it was common to see multiple lamps & lampshades set up in each room.

    1. John R Moffett

      Funny, we have no overhead lights that we use except for the basement. All other rooms have multiple table and floor lamps with LED lights and lampshades, right here in the US!

    2. t

      Restaurants had a lot of hanging light fixtures, the last time I was in one. We have a floor lamp in the living room with plant lights aimed at plants.

      And the plant lights and the bulbs in the light in the hood over the stove are the only warm bulbs in my house.

      This idea may be a bit late. Or should be used for window sills.

    3. nippersdad

      Yes, they are common around here, but this might explain why getting a good shade has now become so prohibitively expensive.

  8. SocalJimObjects

    “Hunter Biden investigation: David Weiss worked with Beau Biden when he was state attorney general ”

    That’s not really the biggest problem. Now I am not an expert in US laws, but Karl Denninger pointed out the following sometime last week?

    (a) An individual named as Special Counsel shall be a lawyer with a reputation for integrity and impartial decision making, and with appropriate experience to ensure both that the investigation will be conducted ably, expeditiously and thoroughly, and that investigative and prosecutorial decisions will be supported by an informed understanding of the criminal law and Department of Justice policies. The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government.

    The law is only for little people as usual.

    1. Alice X

      Not only was David Weiss the US Attorney for Delaware who oversaw the plea deal that fell apart, he stays on in his former position. This doesn’t pass the smell test even from 30,000 feet.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Doesn’t his appointment to that new job as Special Counsel preclude him being able to give testimony about his part in that “get-out-of-jail-forever” plea deal for Hunter Biden’s case?

        1. begob

          Mercouris makes a different point, that the appointment of SC for the time being precludes Congress from investigating, or at least from airing, the issues. Presumably up until the election next year.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The plea deal was the culmination of weiss’s “exhaustive,” 5-year “investigation” of hunter biden. weiss found the “crimes” he found and proposed the “penalties” he proposed. The case was supposed to be closed.

      When the judge in Delaware did not cooperate with weiss’s recommendation for immunity from criminal prosecution in perpetuity, he apparently decided there was more investigatin’ to be done. (And a friendlier judge / venue to be found.)

      So was he lying about the “investigation” then, or is he lying now?

    3. scott s.

      I think the law was the Ethics in Government Act, but that law sunsetted. The implementation in the Code of Federal Regulations remains after the end of the act, but I’m guessing the AG can waive the regulations though there may be things like Administrative Procedures Act that limit his ability to do so. But other than Hunter who would have standing to object?

    4. ArvidMartensen

      Politicians prayer:
      Lord, never let anyone ask a question of me that hasn’t been vetted by my staff,
      And never let there be an investigation into me or my friends that isn’t run by a safe pair of hands appointed by me or my friends.

  9. LawnDart

    China, Tech, and anti-Bezzle (for them)

    Briefly mentioned this to Ambrit a day or two ago; China is quickly developing their low-altitude airspace with a particular focus on Urban Air Mobility (UAM), the use of drones and eVTOLs for logistics, as taxis, for firefighting/emergency response, and much more, with one of the main reasons being the easing of urban traffic and congestion, expediting the flow of people and goods. Other Asian nations will quickly follow, with many of them adapting and integrating the Chinese technology and products.

    Europe is attempting to move quickly on this too, as we may see at the 2024 Olympics with a company called Volocopter offering air-taxi services at the games.

    The USA is hopelessly behind in what is being called the third-wave of aircraft development, and will miss out on it as an economic catalyst: the center of high-tech action, development and benefits have moved elsewhere, while we decay.

    1. ambrit

      I can see this happening, but it will require an increase in air traffic control of at least a magnitude. Thus, an all AI air traffic control system for low altitude flight? Given how badly the earthbound “self driving” vehicles have fared so far, I do have to worry.
      Will the threshold for effective AI anything be a function of sheer computing capacity or breakthroughs in algorithm design?
      Secondly, in many processes, backup capacity to deal with nodes of failure is critical to ensure continued functionality. Neo-liberal “entrepreneurs” will strip out that secondary capacity in the name of ‘financial efficiency.’ We will be set back to the days when the auto manufacturers ran analysis that balanced projected legal costs from wrongful death suits against increased profits that resulted from the design “compromises” that caused the deaths in the first place. Essentially, the financialization of even the “value of a life.” Not only will that be a world not worth living in, it will be a world too dangerous to live in.

      1. John Zelnicker

        Ford Pinto, anyone? For those who came in late, that is the classic example of a cost/benefit analysis that led to the decision NOT to fix the problem of Pinto gas tanks exploding in rear end crashes.

        Ford decided it would be cheaper to pay the wrongful death claims than to re-engineer the location of the gas tank.

        1. Wukchumni

          I was the 4th in line on the Wukchumni family 1974 puke green (the manufacturer’s claim was ‘avocado’) Pinto, once unleashed from life as a lowly pedestrian.

          Luckily I killed it by running into some lady in Buena Park and not the other way around, the fronts were solid on Pintos.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            If you were driving on Firestone 500 radial tires, some of my sweat may have been in the tire causing the plies to separate at unfortunate moments.

            Not sure Firestone ever admitted the actual cause of the problem, but they upgraded to radial tire making without climate controlling their factories and tried to make the tire builders make radials for less than they were paid for building bias tires. This worked OK in the winter but when summer came tirebuilders work shirtless and are quite sweaty. Sweat between the plies has long-term consequences. (My sweat was introduced during the bead-making process so if the rim blew out that was me : )

          2. B24S

            Driving into SF in the mornings (I once was a cabinet maker at a museum), I used to regularly see a Pinto that had plates reading “KABOOM”. Never saw anyone tailgating it…

            Had friends with one. They pulled out of a gas station after filling up, stopped at the light at the corner, and looked into the rear view mirror to see a semi with smoking brakes barreling towards them. They got nailed hard, pushed into the intersection (luckily no cross traffic that moment) as the tail got crushed, spilling raw fuel all over the place. What saved them from immolation was that the tank was full, and there were no fumes to spark.

        2. ambrit

          Hi down there in the Torrid Littoral from the hot as Hades hill country.
          Funny how the Pinto debacle has been ‘conveniently’ forgotten by ‘The Usual Suspects.’
          The Pinto was a case where actual death and mayhem was involved. I shudder to think of what is happening to us of a maleficent nature on the Silicon Valley front. It may not be quite so disasterific, but the malign effects will work their monstrous magic longer, and, dare I say it, like Long Covid, be cumulative.
          Stay safe on the hill.

          1. Terry Flynn

            As usual I’m late to the party but I’m nodding vigorously and thinking about how this issue has played out across the “QALY-using world” in health care. First of all they argued “we aren’t putting a value on life”.. Then they had to admit “we are but at least it’s consistent”. Then when actual funding decisions (fund/not) were analysed it was discovered that the oft quoted £30,000/QALY “rule of thumb” was in fact a rule with no thumbs.

            Then some “annoying” (sarcasm alert) cross-disciplinary person worked out that this is VASTLY different from the value of a statistical life used in transport cost-benefit analyses. Which isn’t necessarily bad… It just requires transparency as to why healthcare is different from Amtrak/Intercity 125/SNCF etc. That debate died when uncomfortable issues got raised…. And ultimately is now buried because “we can’t afford nice things now post 2008/2010/date of choice”.

            I’ve seen this in 3 non US countries. Same phenomenon, just not necessarily same date and “reasons”.

      2. LawnDart

        Thus, an all AI air traffic control system for low altitude flight?

        Yes. Approved by CAAC (China’s FAA) on Friday:

        EHang Unmanned Aircraft Cloud System Approved by the CAAC; EH216-S Positioned for Post-TC Commercial Operations

        …the world’s leading autonomous aerial vehicle (“AAV”) technology platform company, today announced that its EHang Unmanned Aircraft Cloud System (“UACS”) has been officially approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (“CAAC”) for UACS trial operations. With the UACS trial operations approved, EHang, as the world’s first manufacturer and operator of passenger-carrying unmanned vehicle system, further solidifies a vital foundation for commercial operations post the certification of EH216-S. Additionally, the approval of the UACS trial operations serves as a significant safeguard for large-scale operational safety and management.

        1. semper loquitur

          I could see that cloud being hacked and those unpiloted vehicles being turned into missiles with a built-in body count…

    2. cnchal

      I’m glad China is working on it. May even be justified considering the dense environment they will be used in. The system has to be completely automated with no human intervention except emergencies, of which there will be many. There are too many variables in the real world that the virtual ignores and can’t know. Crashes will be epic.

      If the US were woking on it, the result wiould be sky sports cars for rich people flown for fun.

      1. LawnDart

        If the US were woking on it, the result wiould be sky sports cars for rich people flown for fun.

        Ha! That’s exactly what’s happening!

        And the two leading US would-be manufacturers of eVTOLs, Archer Aviation and Joby Aviation, are using our tax-dollars via DOD contracts (a Bezzle!) to build these toys!!!

    3. urdsama

      Never going to happen.

      Climate change is set to radically change resource priorities in the next 10-20 years and this is just one of many things that will die on the vine. Not to mention resources for yet another mass deployment akin to the car just isn’t sustainable.

      1. LawnDart

        Between here and there it will already have happened… because it’s happening now, and not in the future.

        It will not happen in the west, because we lack the brains, the tech, the skilled-labor, and have a hopelessly corrupt regulatory environment: we lack the tangible and intangible resources that make it possible.

        And who has the resources that will make the happen? BRICS and the global South.

        Battery tech is already moving quickly from and beyond lithium and other rare-earths.

        Decay, collapse, will be happen more quickly in some places than in others. And the Western World already is dragging itself into the grave that it itself has dug, while elsewhere there is still hope and the belief in a livable future– should they not be drug into the dirt by the West’s cold hands.

        1. urdsama

          I appreciate the optimistic outlook, but I’m not sure that is where the world is headed.

          China is having problems of their own, as are many of the places that would be the first to adopt such systems. Government approval hardly makes the technology ready for deployment. Ask California how automated cars are going, despite it being officially sanctioned.

          The various technologies mentioned still have a long way to go before they can fulfill the dreams of the “new, brighter future”.

          Finally, many of the resources required will not be available for such plans in the near future, no matter the region. Climate change has ramped up far, far faster than even the gloomiest of predictions. I doubt people will stand for resources being used for anything other than basic survival.

          The grave being dug is for all humanity, not just for those most responsible. A sad truth, but a truth none the less.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Can Archaeology Help Restore the Oceans?”

    Quite an interesting article but no mention if they ever found the remains of the ancestors of these people. For those interested in archaeology, I can recommend the Time Team series that first aired in the UK in 1994 and went to 2014 but has started up again. Been treating myself to an episode a night the past coupla weeks-

    Time Team Official (869 videos)

    Lots of American in comments say that they find it addictive too.

    1. petal

      Rev Kev, I can’t recommend Time Team enough. Love that show. Learned so much by watching it. This past year I won one of their giveaways(an autographed bag and a journal) and I nearly cried from joy. When my 8th and 9th GGP were exhumed last summer, because of Time Team I knew what the archaeologists were doing and why, and what would be done during post-dig analysis. The 2007 Isle of Man episode(where they found the braided hair in the fairway grave, and the ogham stone) came up in a post the other week on the A Walk Through Manx History fb page. I believe Time Team did a couple of episodes in the other Channel Islands, maybe Jersey?

    2. Laughingsong

      I was just thinking about that show the other day! Good to hear it’s started up again, although I guess the presenters may have changed…I will have to go look! Thanks Rev!

        1. Laughingsong

          Oh no! He of the stripey jumpers! That’s a shame. I just subscribed to their Patreon, so I saw that Tony Robinson was still involved, but I haven’t seen anything about Phil “Oooh Aarrr” Harding yet.

    3. Pat

      I periodically go on Time Team binges. It is not just educational, but soothing and reassuring as well. History goes on and given the chance will rise.

      There was a brief American version where it was clear that the producers had not a clue what made the original so compelling.

    4. Roger Blakely

      There was an episode where they were digging on a British army base. They were being assisted by wounded veterans from the war in Afghanistan. One veteran said that the only thing that kept him alive was having Time Team on endless loop.

  11. MicaT

    I have a question about all the articles provided on NC that say wind, solar, hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture etc all don’t work for their own specific reasons.
    And then there is mention of using less as the solution.

    Are there any papers or articles that show how that would work in practice?
    IE how much would this reduction really be?
    I’m all for trying to reduce my energy usage, but I’m not sure how much I could accomplish and how meaningful it would be?

    1. ambrit

      Good point, but do consider that, as events are unfolding, the “reduction in use” envisioned will be forced upon us by events outside of our control. Restrictions in energy supply, water supply, food supply, and with global sea level rise, even living space, all will come into play. The synergies will be deadly for many. (Billions?)
      The choice is stark. Either “manage” a crash, or try to live through one.
      A number of commenters here are Preppers of various degrees of style and ‘completeness.’ These have voted to ‘prepare’ to try and “live through the Crash.” I would far prefer to assist ‘government’ to prepare on a larger scale to “weather the storms.” Unfortunately, with the prevalent cultural focus on wealth extraction and accumulation, i.e. Neo-liberalism, the ‘Future’ is left to shift for itself. We will regret that.
      Stay safe.

      1. MicaT

        Hi Ambrit,
        Yes that’s what I see some places.
        Other comments say that the need for power will increase because of more water, heating,cooling etc. and people won’t care where the power comes from as long as they get it.
        This is why I’m confused.
        When I listen to more right leaning sites the idea of conserving just isn’t an option.
        When I listen to more left sites, it’s either all solar/batteries or more like NC that reduction is the answer.

        I don’t see how going back to the magical 50’s is possible without about 7 billion less people.

        1. Bsn

          I hope you mean by the “magical 50s” the 1850s. I think that will be what we’re heading for, quite soon. Very little to no power and hoping you have a good faming season – which will be seldom.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Personally I am hoping that it shakes out to an 1890s scenario. But I always was an optimist.

        2. ambrit

          “… about 7 billion less people.”
          See the Club of Rome report, “The Limits of Growth,” from 1972. Yes, 1972. Someone knew that far back that this was coming. Whatever was done about it has been hidden from the public. (Unless The Jackpot is an actual program.)
          Club of Rome publications:
          Also, I see a pun in their name. The first “club” I think of when Rome is mentioned alongside it is the “Fasces,” carried by the lictors as the sign of their authority.

        3. Robert L. Peters

          I take some comfort in seeing that more neighbors are opening windows upstairs and downstairs, or on opposite sides of their houses to take advantage of natural cooling. Shades and awnings help, too. Each abode can have microclimates with a few degrees of relativeness or coolness.

          In apartments, I survived warmer months with a box fan exiting air on one side that would pull in cooler air from the other. In cold times, any solar gain was welcome.

          Some nights it became necessary to have the fan blowing toward the bed over a grill pan filled with water for some homemade swamp cooling. There were benefits even in perception of degrees of comfort.

      2. ilsm

        how was life before steam engines?

        gutting oil and coal, buying intermittency and grossly overstated equipment reliability/durability, while presuming we get the metals w/o lots of energy, and slag.

        horses and oxen.

        when do the headliners start doing zoom?

        1. Wukchumni

          Cheer up… humanity did without steam engines for 69,811 years somehow, prior to their invention.

    2. Lex

      The reduction in use cannot reasonably be a bottom up process, that’s just shifting the burden to the public in the old privatize the profits and socialize the losses model.

      Reduced use would look more like a massive investment in public transport and rail for long distance transport of goods. When the long distance aspect is mostly solved by rail, short haul electric trucks become a feasible option for “last mile” type delivery. And we see a massive reduction in use of diesel fuel.

      Reducing fossil fuel use has to come from the top and be supported by whatever infrastructure spending is necessary. It has to come from legal requirements for waste and packaging to have a designed use as an input for another process / product. All very complex things that will take a lot of effort, competence and investment. Which is why the call is for individuals to somehow reduce use. The powers that be aren’t competent or interested in the effort, nor are they willing to make the investment. Which is why it will be forced on everyone because nobody with the power to do it in a way that would be socially beneficial will have done anything before things fall apart.

      1. jefemt

        I do not agree, The change has to come from each individually. We simply cannot wait for politicians and / or business to lead.
        Individual action and choices, particularly in industrialized wealthy ‘North’, first-Tier societies and nation states.
        Sadly, when I look at lifestyles, patterns, and expectations in my little part of the world, or when I travel- only for work- my choice- I fall into the, ‘Game Over’ mindset. First and foremost because I recognize as I travel, I am in my own car, by myself, eating off the industrial centralized monopolized systems, chasing dollars for debt-serf tax-mule economy. Hard to imagine a less sustainable insane lifestyle. Multiply that by 2 billion—
        It’s easier when I am at home, in a bike-walk setting, to do little with less. Can we all be in a bike- walk home garden put food by live with the sun pattern? We could, but I know even on my own block, 95% would tell me to get bent.

        1. chris

          Whip yourself harder! Smile when you do it. That will no doubt help things…

          There are laws, and codes, and limits. The current world requires so much to happen at night so that life can resume in the day. What you’re mentioning isn’t possible without a massive change in how things work. I sympathize with your intent. But please believe me when I tell you absent your voting to create an entirely new way of life in the US, or inventing reliable desktop fusion, there really is nothing you can do.

    3. CuriosityConcern

      I personally am trying to acquire and install a heat exchanger (mini-split) that can run off a direct DC connection to 4-6 solar panels. It’s a 1 ton system and will not fully replace gas furnace, but would be off grid. If I can DIY it, would probably pay for itself in one to two years by offsetting wintertime gas usage. The hardest part of DIY will be submitting plans and obtaining a permit.
      Will use wintertime savings to acquire more solar or a modest DIY battery system and then try to electrify more household appliances.
      Not sure if any of this would qualify for the US Federal subsides.

    4. chris

      The good news is unless you drive a lot, or have a huge house, or have some kind of funky appliance at home that uses a lot of power, or have an EV, there’s very little your actions will do in this regard. Most of your consumer electronics use little energy compared to prior versions. All energy use can be limited by simply unplugging them. Your individual impact on energy use is likely negligible.

      The bad news, however, is your individual impact is negligible. The decisions about this need to be made at levels we’re not really allowed to influence. Also, lots of issues around spare capacity too. Like, the Canadian wildfires that hit the east coast earlier this summer nearly zeroed out solar power generation for a day or two in some places. If you were operating a hospital, that relied on 100% solar, how exactly would you have managed that situation? Maybe with batteries? But there are codes and other requirements for emergency support that limit that and require on site generation which uses fossil fuels. Usually NG but sometimes diesel.

      Or, let’s say you live in a condo complex that uses a majority of renewable energy for most of its operations, but has a wicked peak usage when the sun goes down and the wind doesn’t blow, due to a 1000 people charging phones and watching Netflix at the same time while their EVs are plugged in. What do you do? You probably rely on the little peaking plant generation you have close by, and maybe your parking spot requires you to approve of your vehicle supplying power back to the local grid too. Which, if things go wrong, means you don’t have a car to use in the morning. So sorry, your neighbors wanted to take a shower at midnight so you’ll be an hour late to work…

      We’re left with decisions like how much domestic industry do we want? What are the code requirements for emergency power supply? How do we public design buildings to minimize heating and cooling loads? Should we allow individual ownership of jets? Etc. Etc. None of which you as individual are likely to have much if any say in.

      Please feel free to do what you can. Please help other people to minimize their needs so that their bills are reduced. Please feel free to help your people plant stuff or change their living conditions to be more pleasant and liveable with passive effects that require no power usage. Vote according to your conscience. Don’t beat yourself up about this topic because it’s highly likely there is nothing you can do about it. No one in power has shown the slightest interest in making real change here.

      1. Tom Stone

        We’re in the beginning of a completely uncontrolled pandemic caused by a Corona Virus, a type of Virus known for rapid evolution.
        The die off has begun, I would be very surprised to find a Human population greater than 2 Billion in 2050.
        It’s going to be very messy.

        1. eg

          This will likely be one of the ecological “solutions” to human overpopulation that Gaia has in store for us. I expect there will be others.

          I expect that our species will also participate in the culling with enthusiasm and gusto — it’s one of the enduring features of tribalism.

          Yeah — Jackpot.

      2. ambrit

        Taking it to it’s illogical extreme, we will see the rise of genuine eco-terrorists. Manpads can be bought on the black market many places around the world. Send a few to your cousin in America who belongs to that “crazy” ‘Save the Climate’ group. Then sit back and applaud quietly when you see on the news that someone in America shot down a millionaire’s private jet with a Stinger, or Milan, or whatever. It will become that “bad” before it gets “better.”

        1. chris

          Between this and a few other references on NC, I’m going to share some examples from comic books that speak to how far off the rails people have imagined things could get.

          For example, in the 90’s we had the eco-terrorist group “HOP” in the Punisher and Punisher War Journal comics. HOP = humans off planet. No, they didn’t have a plan for where us humans should go once we left…

          And relative to some of the crazy doctors thinking about surgery to take us outside of the sexual binary, I give you the inimitable Stranger Kisses. That story posits an Epstein-like situation where very wealthy people who desire sex with more than two sexes at the same time in the same person can be indulged with slaves who have been extensively modified to provide what the rich patrons want.

          If we’re going Jackpot kind of crazy we might as well look to comic books for where we’re going…

    5. FUBAR111111

      I’ve done my part for global warming by converting everything I own to burning high-sulfur coal, including all household appliances and my fleet of 36-cyl Humvees.

      The weight of the coal-fired toothbrush is a bit of a problem though, hard to lift it up, but I’m working on it.

    6. Mikel

      “I’m all for trying to reduce my energy usage, but I’m not sure how much I could accomplish and how meaningful it would be?”

      Just keep your carbon footprint score lower than Al Gore’s.

    7. heresy101

      There is a lot of doom and gloom thinking here at NC but things are changing fast even though the fossil fuel propaganda is everywhere.

      It looks like peak oil is here because Saudi Arabia and the UAE are both building huge solar and battery projects for when their oil is no more. The UAE’s is 5 GW solar that is going to 10 GW and they may add more later. The amazing thing is that the cost is very low at $5/MWh ($0.05/kWh) for 25 years! China has enough solar to cover it’s housing needs. Most coal factories in Australia will be closed by 2030 and several provinces are almost 100% renewable now.

      What you can do is: install all LEDs, when updating appliances get the most energy efficient, convert to electric and get rid of gas and oil appliances, install a heat pump, and buy an EV, even used.

      A heat pump can lower your carbon impact on the environment. We had taken the utility to 100% GHG neutral but even if your utility is not that green, electricity is better.

      Our municipal utility went from 460 GWh/year in 2005 to 370 GWh/year in 2018 while the population grew by about 10,000 and there was no loss in businesses. Two major factors were the conversion to LEDs and energy efficiencies in new appliances.

      We replaced the 18 cu ft refrigerator that was in our house with a new energy efficient one that was 29 cu ft and used less energy. The Orange President tried to get rid of all energy efficiency measures and I don’t think President Alzheimer’s has fully restored those.

      Replacing all your lights with LEDs is the simplest thing an individual can do to save energy. An 8 watt LED can put out as much, or more, light than a 60 watt bulb and can last for over 10 years. You can even get LEDs with wi-fi that can be scheduled and can change color. LEDs were a big part of the conservation in our town and even offset the increase in usage from the adoption of EVs, which were a high percentage of EVs per population.

      Solar and wind resources are growing in the US and the world. The price of solar has come way down; not as cheap as in the UAE, but cheaper than oil and gas. The advent of Virtual Power Plants VPP will make two way generation a major electricity resource.

      EVs will be about 50% of new car sales by about 2025 and there growth will only expand greatly from there. Getting rid of ICE cars and their pollution will create a big improvement in health by getting rid of a lot of air pollution.

      Don’t despair because of all the fossil fuel propaganda, which appears even here on NC.

      1. chris

        I feel like I should say something to represent energy realism here…

        Let’s leave aside that your main recommendation is for someone to spend a lot of money replacing things and throwing away what they’ve currently got. Where do you think LEDs are manufactured? According to the latest reports in the market, they’re all made in China. So you’re OK with them being manufactured in dirty places and shipped using tons of fossil fuels to where ever you are? Or are you advocating for new factories building these things domestically which will release a lot of GHG and fossil related activity?

        When it comes to solar and wind, both suffer from reliability and capacity. You can’t run a factory off them. Again, the Canadian wildfires earlier this summer reduced solar power generation by the equivalent of a large nuclear power plant 1400 MW. But unlike a power plant of any kind, you can’t rely on solar to reach it’s rated capacity. Unlike a power plant, the BEST case scenario for a solar panel is 25 years of use, but you can’t get a consistent 25 years of use out of the panels. And that’s IF they’re maintained and IF no windstorms damage them. Ditto for wind, which has the additional risk of fire and people building stuff next to the field which changes the available wind to generate power. Compare that to a coal or nuclear power plant which you can use for 60+ years and do things to increase power output over the lifetime use. With nuclear you can recycle the spent fuel too. Or use a completely different design that doesn’t create much if any waste.

        And, you’re really going to advocate for used EVs? These things aren’t that great when new and you want to buy them used? You have a plan for all those bum battery sets? Or what you think will power the charging stations at the rate needed so that people are lined up waiting for hours to charge their vehicles? Because remember, it’s not just the volts, its the current, which means you need a lot of power to juice those batteries up quickly. Or do you imagine that we’ll be OK spending hours at “gas” stations?

        The concept of VPPs is firmly in the “smart” camp and I can’t think of a better bezzle for modern times. I’m going to assume you mean the next gen plans for systems because the current approach of local peaking plants involves fossil generation in most cases. But next gen VPP = I’m going to put stuff in your house that is controlled by smart usage monitoring software from a party that isn’t your utility, and another party has put a huge battery in/on your house, and another party cycles it as many times as needed in ways you can’t control, while a host of local utilities and other parties get in the way of any clean claims that comes from problems with it. And you introduce the risks of feeding and distribution systems for power at the residential level, including inside houses and at garages to charge up EVs. And we don’t have a good sense of how to design these systems yet. Or how to make them safe. Or how to do this with any kind of equality in distribution. If VPPs get adopted en mass, it means we’ve given up on the grid in favor of the concept of local generation and consumption at the same places, and those places will not be where the poor people are. The poor and struggling will have what’s left of the grid.

        But all of that presumes that we can and will mine the necessary minerals to do all this. Which we in the US have decided not to do, while pissing off the Chinese who control most of what’s available in the world. And even if that weren’t true, just what the EV manufacturers and other corps have said right now assumes US interests will acquire the bulk of the materials worldwide. Which, since other countries are trying to do things too, you know won’t happen.

        The gloom and doom you may be referring to on NC is called reality. We can’t continue on as we have. Individuals have been eliminated from control over the critical systems. The current options ignore that the only way what you’re proposing works is by a lot of people losing what they currently have. What we need to do is decide what we actually want to do and then how we want to power it. This becomes a lot easier if we sacrifice large scale heavy manufacturing. I don’t think that’s a good idea either but if we eliminate every furnace and fabrication facility in the US you might get close to a solar powered world. If you eliminate every plant making concrete, and gravel, and sand, and bitumen, and fertilizer, then maybe we’ll reach nirvana in the US. Of course, we’ll need to get all that stuff from India and China so I’m not sure how much good us giving all that up will do.

        The concept we need to become comfortable with in order to actually make changes and feel some urgency about it, on the worldwide scale and at home, is failure. We have failed. The systems we’ve created will fail soon too. And because we’ve failed to do anything for as long as we have there may be no way to mitigate the damage to come. Things like VPPs and EVs will just delay when the rich have to reckon with what they’ve done and failed to do. But for too many in the US, those systems have already failed and nothing of what you’re advocating for will make any difference.

        1. heresy101

          Yes, you confirm my contention about doom and gloom. The energy realism you describe is just the fossil fuel talking points that nothing can or should change. Fossil fuel uber alles!!

          Even if you don’t make an effort to save energy and money by replacing your incandescent bulbs with LEDs, you can save a lot of money and energy if you replace them when they burn out. A 60 watt light output LED uses 8 watts for about 10 years. If you replace one now you will save over 87% energy (5256 kWh vs 701 kWh) over ten years and won’t have to spend for about 5 replacement incandescent bulbs.
          The point about them all being made in China is the 1% and neoliberals (Clinton and Bush) trying to destroy the US working class and cutting their costs. Even incandescent bulbs are made overseas and as an energy cost it is still better to buy LEDs even if they are made in China. New factories in this country don’t have to run on fossil fuels because even steel and mines are beginning to run on renewables.

          Solar and wind are not as unreliable as you claim. I can’t find the steel plant name that is converting to renewables nor the mines that are running electric trucks to transport the iron, etc that is being mined because electric is cheaper.

          Texas and Australia will probably beat California to a 100% renewable electric resource mix. The contention that you need a fixed baseload to run an electric system is changing and no longer true. Our 38% geothermal power was great for nighttime usage and since we didn’t have air conditioning (minimal), it worked well for us. Much of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area is running on solar and wind although it isn’t 100% yet.

          Solar is good for 25 years with almost zero marginal cost (cleaning and repairing a few failing panels) because the solar energy is free. Coal and gas are dying because they requre a contiuous source of coal or gas for every day of those 25 years. They are being priced out of the market by wind and solar which are much cheaper, but not as cheap as the UAE yet. We had the opportunity to participate in a combined cycle (gas turbine and steam plant together) in about 2010. While it was the most efficient combined cycle plant of the time, my boss and I decided to go with renewables instead. It turned out to be the right decision because the last time I looked in 2018, it was only running at a 18% capacity factor (% of year running) that wasn’t enough to cover the debt service. We didn’t get any solar (but got wind) because it was $185/MWh in 2003 and we had filled our resouce needs with solar before it dropped to the lowest cost energy. As our contracts expire, solar and wind will be the logical choice and hopefully near the UAE solar price.

          You may use coal and nuclear for 60+ in theory but coal and nuclear are being shut down right and left because they are too expensive for the market and are being priced out. Nuclear has the problem of 1000’s of years of radioactive waste that they don’t know what to do with and getting uranium comes from places like Niger, where the US will probably lead to a government overthrow to protect the uranium.

          You mention peaking power plants (jet engines bolted to the ground driving a generator) being key to the grid. They once were like our 40 year old turbines that no longer can meet the 10 minute spin up time. They are being replaced by batteries with almost instantaneous power. Calpine was going to close a six year old peaker in Redding, CA because they were losing money on it. CAISO persuaded them to stay open for another year because it wanted experience with the battery plant. PG&E closed a peaker in Elkhorn Slough area by Monterey because they found batteries much more efficient and cheaper. I believe that they are going to expand the battery plant.

          Batteries are coming mostly from China (CATL and BYD (Warren Buffett)). They are better than the ones from Korea because they don’t burn or explode because they are lithium iron phosphate. Both are working on sodium ion batteries which will be cheaper and have no problems charging at low temperatures. There is no shortage of sodium and little need to mine it so it avoids the problems of finding lithium and other materials. If the Repugnants don’t block them, Ford has a agreement to build a CATL battery factory in Michigan and pay CATL royalties.

          If you select carefully, a used EV can be a great deal. Don’t buy a Chevy Bolt (unless the batteries have been replaced) and others using SK Korean batteries. We have two 2014 Evs – a Toyota RAV4 EV and a Tesla Model S. The Toyota has 45,000 miles but only 100 miles range and doesn’t have regenerative braking while the Tesla has 40,000 miles, 90% battery, 250 miles range, 85kWh battery, and regenerative braking. My wife takes the Tesla to a remote gigong class and we are putting about 2,000 miles a month on them using about 600 kWh and costing about $160/month ($0.08/mile) at PG&E’s outrageous electric rates. Also, most car companies are now adapting Tesla’s North American Charging System NACS, so people will find it easier to charge on the road. If you are careful, a used EV is not a bad solution.

          Next year I plan to put in solar and wind that will generate more electricity than we use and can be put back in the grid to lower the duck’s neck during the 5-9 hour peak usage period. I will install two 20 kW dual axis solar trackers and 10 – 5 kW vertical wind turbines (9ft tall with a 4ft diameter) on the hill behind our house. Payback will be in the 3-5 year period depending on the VPP. Many businesses, homes, and companies are installing solar because it is the lowest cost energy.

          You are right that the design of VPPs are still in the formative stage but the bugs will be worked out so that electricity can be a two way street that hopefully the customer and utility will benefit. Given that the poor are near polluting businesses and commercial areas, VPPs may benefit the poor from solar installed at commercial areas. If all utilities were made into municipal utilities then everyone will be better off except the 1%.

          If you want to follow the utility industry more closely, is a good source about FERC, ISOs, Utilities, and renewable resources. For renewable resources and changes that are occurring, is a good source.

          The world is slowly purging itself of fossil fuels and their air pollution, letting methane into the atmosphere, polluting the oceans, having horrible spills on railroads, and putting CO2 into the atmosphere but the speed is not fast enough for any of us. Failure is accepting that the fossil fuel world is all we have and can’t go beyond it. It is like saying 100 years ago that transportation can only be by horse and buggy and there is no other alternative.

          Check back in 2030 and see where we are after we have eliminated most of fossil fuel failures and the idea that NOTHING can be done since we are all failures because we listen to fossil fuel propaganda.

          1. chris

            You clearly enjoy that flavor of kool aid, so I won’t bother commenting on most of you wrote. But I think you’re missing the big point which really needs to be discussed. And the discussion could be useful, so let’s try to have it.

            I don’t care what we use. Nothing I’ve written is pro-fossil fuel. I’m an engineer. Give me the parameters and we can make something happen. But the problem is we are trying to do everything and we have no plan, no parameters. I know the idea of an industrial plan is verboten in the US, but that’s really what we need right now.

            We need to decide what base level of production we want our economy to support, what base level of energy our citizens need to have access to, and then we need to decide how they’re going to get it. Every form of power generation has benefits and problems. What we need to decide is what level of industry we want, what type of infrastructure will support it, how we’re going to build it, and then how we’re going to maintain it. We’ve passed the point where these decisions are easy. Many different people are going to lose out on something regardless of what we choose. The problem with most of what passes for grid storage systems and other next gen concepts is they work great as long as you don’t have hot summers, cold winters, and heavy industry. Much like the Prius, if you live in a place like San Francisco, it’s not a bad option. If you live in Western PA, you’ll be disappointed. If you actually have to use your vehicle to do things other than commute or go back and forth running errands, you’ll be left in a bad situation sooner or later. The same goes for power generation. Every type of generating facility has challenges. What we need to do is decide what trade offs we’re willing to accept for the kind of economy and society we want to support. That’s really it. Until we’ve made those decisions nothing else really matters.

      2. ArvidMartensen

        Someone said recently that we are ignoring all the energy which has already been stored in the oceans by fossil fuel use. Oceans were a heat sink for such a long time. Now they are turning into a heat source. And the heat is causing drying, and summer in winter, and fires of unbelievable ferocity and magnitude.

        Nothing we can do to stop that happening. The energy has been stored, fait accompli. Our future is literally baked in. And the energy use around the world is increasing yearly, not decreasing. EVs use electricity which is at least 50% coal generated, so I do not plan to get one. Nor did I ever turn my lights off on “Earth Day”. Twas an obvious PR con, making us feel like we are part of the solution when we are actually utterly irrelevant.

        Those who profit and their governments are not listening to the science. They all think that the massive profits they are making from coal and gas and oil and solar panels and windmills will give them the massive wealth needed to fund their escape. To New Zealand. To Canada. To Mars. To other planets. And all I can say to them is, good luck with that. In reality, they are just showing the limits of human thinking, and how stupid the smartest of us are.

        I saw a scholarly description of psychopathy lately, which is that psychopaths have “a tendency to maximize one’s own utility unhindered by the resultant disutility for others”. They will keep doing that until they are the only ones left. Because the truth is that they do not care about anybody else but themselves. Not me, not you, not the US, not the white races, not the black races etc. Nobody.

        As usual the poorer and dispossessed people who did not cause the problems are the first to suffer.

        We have to plan for a hellish future, if only to make life the best we can for ourselves, our families and our communities. The book that springs to mind is ‘The Road’.

    8. Even keel

      I’d say you have to stop being a consumer. Stop thinking and acting primarily in the consumption realm.

      Start being a proprietor. A producer. And produce well and correctly.

      below is a link someone left yesterday in links. A USGS research program verified that a single landowning couple in southeast Arizona single-handedly substantially increased his land’s carbon retention, water retention, water production, and water quality, by installing some 7,000 individual dry rock dams in his streams. Ie, he piled the rocks and blocked the water a bit.

      You may not own a watershed in Arizona, but you can find a way to take ownership of something near you: land, a system, an institution, and to work it and improve over your life.

  12. griffen

    In light of the weather events in southern CA during the wee hours and into today, I saw news there was also a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. Is this San Andreas or is it more 2012…asking for a friend which doom loop scenario we might be observing as I reside on the east coast. We in the Carolinas are prone to the hurricanes on the coast, but not always the case as Michael wreaked some havoc blasting this way northward in 2018. High winds and tornadoes generally speaking, just wreaking a bit of chaos in wide swathes well north of where it reached dry land near the FL panhandle.

    Drats, thought I was adding to knowledge perhaps unknown. I see the above story linked to the earthquake already!! I’ll stick to my day job, daily filing of the TPS reports.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Don’t forget the new coversheets for those TPs reports. It was all in the memo, ‘kay? That would be greaaaat.

      1. ambrit

        Sorry Rev, but the spike protein is out of the lab; those TPS cover sheets are cover for empty voids now. The requisite data is no longer coming in.
        Time to get the Gamers involved?
        “Brotherhood of the Sane” A cooperative data collection role playing game. Character upgrades are “purchased” through the uploading of verifiable ‘real world’ coronavirus information. {And yes, pissing in a cup and measuring the virus markers therein does count as “wastewater data retrieval.”} Small scale analysis systems for measuring both virus and proxies will be crucial here. The “Big Boys” have gone on a bender somewhere, (maybe Bernie’s,) and left the rest of us ‘in the lurch.’
        Citizen Science meets Candy Crush.
        Stay safe. Keep masking.

    2. Wukchumni

      Its Mayan understanding that Burning Man is also in the doom loop…

      When you add water to alkali dust in turns into something almost approximating quicksand, a gooey mess where if you tried to ride your bike through it, the tires would get all mucked up in no time flat, or if you attempted to walk, you might get 10 feet before giving up, its that bad.

      I kinda doubt its gonna happen this year, as the event is beholden to the calendar dates.

      GERLACH, NV – In a startling and unparalleled move late on August 16th, the Burning Man Organization announced the relocation of Black Rock City’s golden pin 2 miles South West, closer to Gerlach. The decision comes in response to the threat posed by Hurricane Hilary, which is expected to drop more rain across the Black Rock Desert over a period of one to two days than has accumulated over the past 100 years.

      This extraordinary weather phenomenon has raised grave concerns, especially with the festival’s impending dates. The necessity to shift to higher ground came after careful evaluation of the hurricane’s potential impact, including the fact that the lake may not evaporate in time for the event to take place.

      1. divadab

        Alkali desert is not my preferred destination, whatever the draw. The Rainbows have a much better sense of healthy locations for their gatherings and what’s more it’s not all a bunch of narcissists larping it up.

      2. ambrit

        I thought that it was; “Mayansplaining.”
        “Nobody gets out of here alive.”
        If it is still wet out there, why not repurpose it as the “Drowning Man” Festival?

        1. juno mas

          The water depth on the playa will be mere inches, for the most part. Although the renaming is inventive.

      3. B24S

        Thanks for that. I’ve avoided checking in on developments, but while I myself have zero interest in severe exposure and dust in every crevice, not to mention the tech-holes, I’ve been wondering what ideas were floating about re BM, as I have a friend flying in from the east so as to make sacrifice to the Man. She and her late used to to assemble and disassemble Philly Folk Fest (over forty years on Grounds Crew), and I remember the year of the hurricane (’71/2?), known as Mud-Fest. Perhaps this is round 2?

        1. Wukchumni

          This will be my 8th Burn with a healthy 13 year hiatus until last year.

          Can’t do anything about the dust except learn to live with it, and it can be kinda magical in its full fury.

          We were out by the man when a savage beast of a dust storm enveloped everything, I couldn’t see my sandals-I lost my friend. So completely disoriented I went the wrong way for awhile, righted myself while pushing my bike (forget about riding!) and it took me an hour to find our camp.

          I thank my lucky stars for Covid, for if it wasn’t for that, my buddy would have never bought a Covid RV, but he did and we went to the burn and had a blast.

          Mistakenly, i’d thought that the internet had wormed itself into the playa in a big way, but not really. Maybe you could get a text out at 3 am, but certainly not at 3 pm. It seemed to me to be similar in my 2/3rds Rip Van Winkle approach to things of past Burning Man events in the earlier aughts, where the information highway was largely non-existent, and the feel was similar to a week out in the wilderness.

          I saw no tech moguls or compounds last year, its more of an internet meme of what maybe once was.

          I can attest to a drop off in interest, our camp went from around 32 to 15 this year, we lost our Swedish contingent of around a dozen. No biggie as far as i;m concerned, i’d prefer a more intimate camp.

          You still crave for information when cut off from the web, and its all in front of you, go explore.

    3. Tom Stone

      You saw what happened to Lahaina, if the Hayward fault pops during a high offshore wind event that’s what will happen to the SF East Bay from Fremont to the Carquinez Straits.

    4. Wukchumni

      From my perspective here on the front porch of the back of beyond, it was all in all a good drenching, maybe a couple inches in tiny town, more up top on account of orographic lift, with the main fork of the Kaweah peaking at around 5,000 cfs, which is nothing compared to 26,000 cfs in March.

      What it does do is makes the forest for the trees somewhat fireproof as in too wet to burn, right in the middle of what would normally be the height of fire season.

      You take your little victories where you can find them, these days.

    5. JBird4049

      >>>In light of the weather events in southern CA during the wee hours and into today, I saw news there was also a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. Is this San Andreas or is it more 2012…asking for a friend which doom loop scenario we might be observing as I reside on the east coast.

      I cannot find the length of time the quake lasted, but it does not seemed very long, and unless it last several minutes, a trembler of that strength is nothing to worry about. Please do not forget that the state has been building its quake resistance for over a century. While I do not think that enough has been done at all, those incremental efforts really do add up.

      The real reason for all those earthquakes having massive casualties is due to both poor building standards and the corrupt that makes what standards there are not followed. Thin the walls, reduce the rebar, use poorer quality concrete but charge the same for the skim. Unless there is an earthquake, and it could be centuries, who will find out? California has had an increasing amount of corruption and incompetence both in the government inspections and in the construction in the past several decades.

      I guess we will find out the quality of those comparatively recent buildings, overpasses, bridges, and highways when a major quake actually does hit us. Of course, for now, those who built any murderous substandard construction will quite possible still be alive. Who knows if I will be in or on any of them. (Interesting, I just got a vision of Dirty Harry from the movie Dirty Harry pointing his .44 magnum revolver to me and saying “Do I feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?”)

      The flooding from the storm is much more of a problem, but… very occasionally, a small quake, or a series of them, can be a pre-earthquake for the real earthquake, and you cannot know until after the main event that it was pre-quake trembler or not. (Does that make sense?) But really, meh.

  13. rusell1200

    I haven’t really done my due diligence, but if your going to get non-fossil fuel trucks going, I am not sure what other tech is out there except hydrogen. Hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, but their are other ways to produce it and it is one of the ways to get storable energy from solar.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      “…. I am not sure what other tech is out there except hydrogen….

      ummm…Draft Horses, Oxen and Mules.

      but can we please do something about the Persistent Herbicide in all the hay,making all that potential manure all but unusable?

      1. Robert L. Peters

        It pains me to see a semi-trailer stacked with hay bales, where the front corner bales are blackened with soot from the truck exhaust.
        Would it kill the driver or loader or whoever to put a tarp over the front?
        Or consider a cleaner truck?
        Poor cows.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          No matter how you feed cattle they’re sloppy eaters and drop a lot of their food onto the ground which they then eat later after the easier to reach food is gone. This would be the same ground they poop on. Among their many bovine talents, cattle (and most livestock) have the ability to eat and excrete simultaneously.

          I suspect in small doses they’d appreciate a little smokehouse flavor every now and then.

    2. JE McKellar

      Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is the other way, collected from dairy cows or pig farms. Hydrogen has the big advantage of being usable in fuel cells, giving off only water vapor as exhaust. The no-exhaust benefit is especially important in smoggy cities, and in powering warehouse forklifts. IIRC, California has a law where the trucks pulling into the port loading yards have to be emission-free, so that’s another important but limited need for hydrogen.

  14. Carolinian

    Turley on the recent 14th amendment controversy. He says it doesn’t amount to much for all the reasons discussed here. Trump can be president even if he’s in jail.

    Of course if law article authors ran the world things would be different but in our world the Supreme Court runs our constitutional world and hard to see them disagreeing with what Turley says.

    1. ambrit

      I’m wondering if America’s Elites are contemplating similar actions to those ‘suggested’ by the elites of Guatemala. How would an American Domestic Coup look? The suspension of the Constitution for the duration of the Emergency? {Who gets to define the ‘boundaries’ of what qualifies as an “Emergency” will be key here. Rule by FEMA fiat?}

      1. mrsyk

        Maybe we’re already seeing what a coup looks like here, the beginning part that is. It’s seeming more and more likely that the 2024 elections are going to dissolve into a general power grab. Think looting the local Walmart during a hurricane.

        1. Wukchumni

          Luting in concert with thieves isn’t how things get plucked, and could cause some establishments to go baroque if 5 finger dismounts continue.

            1. Wukchumni

              No way would I advocate domestic violins but sometimes a tuba for alongside the head is called for.

              1. Mark Gisleson

                Penny whistling in the dark. Brass doesn’t amount to much when you see what the full orchestra looks like.

                I found this Yandex “simple answer” to be helpful:

                There are 104 Army bands, 15 Marine bands, 13 Navy bands, 23 Air Force bands, 2 Coast Guard bands, and 1 Merchant Marine band. There are also military-style bands of civilians, such as the Grand Virginia Military Band.

                1. ambrit

                  Speaking of which, the Wagnerian Bands.
                  Uh, wouldn’t that Merchant Marine band be the original “Mercenary Band?” Their tee shirts would be Merch merch.
                  “Bombast and bluster, for criminal lustre.”

      2. Feral Finster

        No, TBTB will continue to pretend that the Constitution is not a dead letter, because a “nuanced reading” of the First Amendment mandates censorship or some other glib BS.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The big constitutional issue will be if Trump is kept off the official 2024 ballot / not allowed to run due to a bogus felony “conviction” in a kangaroo court somewhere, which is later overturned as a result of prosecutorial overreach or some sort of reversible, demonstrably partisan judicial “mistake.”

      It’ll be pretty hard to call it a legitimate election if that happens.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        OTOH, Trump is not the hardest name in the world to write in.

        I don’t think most people think 2000 was a legitimate election. It still happened and nothing was ever done about it.

        The 2024 election could be one of those Karl Rove whaddya gonna do about it after the fact moments in American history of which we have many.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          “The 2024 election could be one of those Karl Rove whaddya gonna do about it after the fact moments in American history of which we have many.” This is kind of how I feel.

          And let’s suppose for the moment 1/6 was a totally organic and authentic thing. Well, the most motivated to do “something” played their hand and, regardless of liberal pant-wetting, didn’t do much of anything. Even with the capital cops being told to stand down, all you had was a bunch of yahoos putting their feet up on the desks and taking selfies. So what?

          To be fair, what can you do?

          1. Feral Finster

            Pretend that, rather than occupy an insignificant and largely ceremonial institution such as Congress, the 1/6 protesters had instead marched on NSA headquarters outside Washington or the CIA in Langley.

            They would be shot on sight long before they made it near a building and nobody would be dithering or trying to figure out what they were authorized to do.

            1. hunkerdown

              That would have been ceremonial and insignificant as well.

              What if they had marched on CFR, Brookings, AEI, ISW instead? They’re just NGOs, not worth police protection.

      2. Feral Finster

        As long as the Establishment get an acceptable candidate into the White House, the 2024 election will be declared with great fanfare to be The Most Democraticest Elexshion Evah!

        If an unapproved candidate were somehow to get in, the very same election will be ipso facto illegitimate and pundits and talking heads will compete to come up with the wildest and most outlandish conspiracy theories, while at the same time the Deep State in and out of office will be working overtime to hamstring the elected winner and otherwise prevent him or her from implementing any policy. To Protect Muh Democracy.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “No Room At The Dorm: As College Begins, Some Students Are Scrambling For Housing”

    I know that those Colleges are really greedy for all those fees so perhaps they should open up all the car parking lots that they can for students to park their live-in cars at. They can even provide those students use of toilets and showers as well which is much cheaper than renovating buildings. But if called out on this, they can say that in return campus security is providing safety for them to camp there and it is much cheaper than trying to rent. Richer students will not have to worry about any of this of course.

      1. Wukchumni

        My wife blew the turn to get on the 5 freeway and we ended up getting off of the 10 freeway on Alameda in the industrial area of downtown LA and yours truly had taken over behind the wheel and I got lost looking for a way out, pulled a too tight u-turn, hit the curb and scratch 1 flat top tire, killed on the sidewall.

        We limped to a place to rest the beast, and called AAA to come change the flat, and our vantage point was near the old Sears on Soto, it must have been something back in the day, an impressive site from a few blocks away.

        Got the spare put on and we ventured down a road to find our way back to the 5 freeway, when we encountered the street of RV’s, nothing newer than the turn of the century for the most part, and never going on vacay again either.

        All you needed was a couple of RV’s on either end to complete would would look like a latter-day group of settler wagons headed west that camped nightly in a circle for safety against attacks by restless natives.

        I’ve seen such images in videos and whatnot, but being right there in the very belly of the beast of a street that went on for hundreds of yards, a boulevard of broken dreams.

        1. tegnost

          I got off at the wrong inglewood back in the day and my passengers were in a panic(we survived). I always view LA as a war zone so I don’t “go to LA”, I do strikes…moms goes to stern and I spend my time in the botanical garden there…

          which is so awesome for those interested, packs a punch for it’s size, and an oasis in westwood if you find yourself there.
          As to the RV’s Ballard in seattle has made progress getting the unworking rv’s off the streets up north, last time I was there some stalwarts were holding on down by the ship canal. Student rv parking would be van life, but that might not be a bad thing…

    1. Cat Burglar

      A report from San Francisco State University here.

      A friend just starting grad school is going to live in her car four days a week, because she is from across the state. Her first night, before orientation, went well.

      At orientation she learned that the University has an outreach office for homeless students and students living in their cars; one of the outreach staff told her that a survey two years ago found that 34% of student body was living in their cars! There are a couple streets not too far from the school where people usually park and sleep. At the moment she is sussing out where she is going to stay.

      She has said for a while that favelas in the United States are only a matter of time, but this country has created the mobile auto-favela.

  16. flora

    an aside: is it just possible the furor and outrage over the raid on the Marion Record newspaper, which was investigating local problems, prompted the NYTimes and others to start actually, you know, reporting?

    ““Earlier this year, The Times found, Mr. Weiss appeared willing to forgo any prosecution of Mr. Biden at all, and his office came close to agreeing to end the investigation without requiring a guilty plea on any charges,” The New York Times reported.”

    1. ambrit

      Nah. The NYT has just begun the “damage control” for the Biden defenestration ahead of time. Lay the groundwork for an “orderly transition of power” before throwing the Embarrassment in Chief to the wolves.
      I would be more certain that other editors and owners of “news outlets” are worried that this ‘happening’ in Kansas could come to their doors. They certainly have things to hide. Imagine the FBI raiding the offices of the NYT and seizing all of their records and computers. What compromising items would be hidden there?
      At the least, the integrity of sources will be degraded from here on.

      1. Wukchumni

        But if you jump out of the lower windows in the West Wing, all that might happen is a sprained ankle…

          1. Wukchumni

            Humbly report. sir

            Once when I was in a taxi in Prague, I witnessed 2 successful defenestrations and an aborted attempt by other drivers en route to the city from Ruzyně airport, its a national sport of sorts there.

  17. Kouros

    The vertical bar chart with the increase in mortality in the 20s-40s age for cardiovascular causes is misleading, made to look as there is a 100% increase in the cases.

    If you repost that graph with the 0y axis starting at 0 I’ll buy it, but as it is sold is just hype.

      1. curlydan

        the standard deviation from 2000 to 2020 was 0.21 and the mean was 4.5, so from 2021-2023, the readings were respectively (and roughly) 6x, 8x, and 3x standard deviations above the mean.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      Agreed. Not saying that there isn’t an effect, but the chart clearly overstates it. Edward Tufte would not approve.

  18. Mikel

    This week: BRICS meeting and the Jackson Hole gathering of central bankers.

    Going to be alot to chew on by the weekend.

  19. flora

    When I was a little kid, grade school, playing maybe a board game or a basketball game with other kids, it wasn’t unusual for one slightly older kid who was losing to suddenly change the rules saying, “I’m older, I know all the rules you still don’t know. I’m right.” If they were the oldest in the game they often got away with that ploy. For a time. There’s yer “rules based order.” imo. / ;)

    1. mrsyk

      This is a fascinating read. Right out of a Guy Ritchie movie. Thanks.
      Edit. I want to know who was getting played with the fake gold. So many possibilities.

    1. cnchal

      I was the only dot connector at the licence renewal place this morning, so actually almost nobody is connecting dots of any size or color at all, no matter how well dressed.

      Ukraine war? What’s that, err is it still going? Covid? Hard to remember!

    2. ilsm

      I was worn out in 2015, too many shells in the us’ “black budget”

      and the evasive actions of two Minsk scams, and fine dining at Normandy meets

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Chinese imports of Russian gas soar”

    Gee, I wonder where the Russians got all that gas from so that they could sell it to the Chinese.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Russia’s done with the West … thankfully … hopefully. Western Europe’s abject capitulation to US interests has put paid to any return in our lifetimes at least … there’s gonna have to be a whole lot of regime change in western Europe to bring Russia back into the fold … and that means pivoting away from the US.

  21. Mikel

    “The Online Problem That Isn’t Being Solved”
    In many rural areas and tribal lands, there is no high-speed Internet service at all.

    It’s been decades now. Sounds like a feature, not a bug.

    1. tegnost

      All I know is that wealthy rural areas such as san juan island and bishop, ca have fiber and those I know who have homes there claim better internet than they have in their first homes…

      1. Cat Burglar

        The story in the Bishop area about the fiber cable installed in the Eastern Sierra — under Obama’s stimulus package –was that then-Governor Schwarzenegger wanted a high speed connection to his place in Mammoth Lakes. The cable goes right past the house of a couple friends outside town, and there is no option for them to connect to it. It is a mile and a half from my place outside town, and I can’t connect to it. Rumor has it that military data streams for drone warfare use the cable, but I have not been able to track down a solid and specific source for the claim.

    2. PelhamKS

      When we were living in upstate New York several years ago, then-Gov. Cuomo threatened to boot Spectrum out of the state in six months if it didn’t fulfill its promise of connecting all rural areas. Bravo, I thought.

      Nothing happened.

  22. Wukchumni

    Sweat drops keep falling from my head
    And just when the T-shirt sticks like in a second skin
    Nothing seems to fit
    Those sweat drops are falling from my head, they keep falling

    … So I just did me some talking to the sun
    And I said I didn’t like the way he got things done
    Never sleeping on the job
    Those sweat drops are falling from my head, they keep falling

    … But there’s one thing I know
    The temperatures they send to meet me
    Won’t defeat me, it won’t be long
    Till climate change steps up to greet me

    … Sweat drops keep falling from my head
    But that doesn’t mean wet bulb temps will soon be turning red
    Crying’s not for me
    ‘Cause I’m never gonna stop the heat by complaining
    Because I’m free
    Nothing’s worrying me

    … It won’t be long till climate change steps up to greet me

    Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, performed by B.J. Thomas

    1. Ignacio

      Wuk!!! Thank you!!! I learnt to sing that song in English language classroom when i was about 8-9yo. I liked very much the song and has ever since been a soft spot for me.

      Again. Thank you! I am now learning this new versión.

      1. Wukchumni

        de nada!

        I always associate it with Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, a movie that aged well.

  23. Wukchumni

    Every Empire Falls Consortium News
    It’d be weird living in the aftermath of the Sum Never Sets on the USA, greatly reduced in our scope of pushing everybody around {in a pickle? need some lettuce, special orders don’t upset us…} and what comes around goes around rules do apply.

    And talkin’ Empires, I hear Taylor is now going after the adult male fan market-seldom seen at her concerts, er ‘Swift He’s’

      1. Wukchumni

        I’m sitting with my sister and best friend @ our cool car camping digs @ San Clemente state beach and ask them if they have ever heard a Taylor Swift song?

        And we all collectively nod on noggins back & forth, and forced ourselves to listen to a few, not bad but not all that.

        1. Pat

          I have a fondness for “Shake It Off” and not just because of the silly videos people did to it. There are just some upbeat catchy pop tunes that are great to do things you aren’t fond of but want to get through quickly. You use the beat, sing along and generally make a fool of yourself. From my youth this includes “I wanna Hold Your Hand” and a good half a dozen Monkees tunes. Nineties Boy bands provided more than a few, including George Michael during his Wham years. And I still break into Call Me Maybe every once in a while.

          Taylor gives fairly decent pop tunes besides those, but I am pretty sure if I live another decade it will be the silly sing a long as you work tunes of hers I will recall.

          1. ForFawkesSakes

            I totally agree. That song, of her entire catalog, is a real bop.

            My peers are shocked when that one comes up on a playlist.

  24. juno mas

    Re: Earthquakes and Hurricanes

    As for temblors the Ojai (Oh-Hi) rattle was minor by Cali standards. The hurricane was more topical as a tropical storm; as it set day records for rain rather than wind.( I guess Wuk can race up to Triple Divide Peak (Sierra’s) and look down on all the flooding occurring in the Owens Valley on the east side.)

    I was reading NC comments when the 5.1 quake hit. I’m about 40 km away and the ground rattle was recognized immediately; nothing like the Northridge quake (1994) that threw me out of bed. I instantly went to,-162.59766&extent=64.69911,-27.59766 to get the details. Self-reported “Did You Feel It” data at the site shows it was felt as for away as the Bay Area (SF).

    1. Wukchumni

      Climbed Triple Divide Peak around the turn of the century and unfortunately that pesky Whitney ridge gets in the way of having a view of the Owens Valley, but rest assured it was flooding and how.

      A 5.1 for somebody fluid in the underground as most in SoCal are, is enough of a jolt to maybe break a few things, so you can be famous for 15 seconds on social media.

  25. JEHR

    Re: Alpha dog of extractivism pushes status quo

    Canada has been responsible for mining in many countries and its reputation abroad is horrible. Why should a country like Canada allow human rights abuses in foreign countries? I am ashamed at how these mining companies treat their foreign workers. Surely, it would be better to treat others as we would wish others to treat us. Such hypocrisy is outrageous.

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