Links 10/18/2023

Watch Two Men Pull a Drowning Red Deer Out Of a Well in Mexico Field & Stream

Crocodile sex frenzy triggered by Chinook helicopters and thunder in central Queensland ABC Australia

How to finance a faster shift to a better world Martin Wolf, FT

What’s Rite Aid Doing in Trenton? Credit Slips


El Nino Fizzles. Planet Earth Sizzles. Why? (PDF) James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Reto Ruedy, and Leon Simons

Surprising discovery about coral’s resilience could help reefs survive climate change (press release) University of California

Production of Methane by Sunlight-Driven Photocatalytic Water Splitting and Carbon Dioxide Methanation as a Means of Artificial Photosynthesis American Chemical Society. From the Abstract: “This article describes an experimental apparatus of artificial photosynthesis, which generates methane gas from water and carbon dioxide with the aid of sunlight energy…. One of the versions was implemented in the competition of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Horizon Prize on Artificial Photosynthesis ‘Fuel from the Sun’ in 2022. For future expansion as artificial photosynthetic plants, the technical issues related to scaling up the plant size are extracted and discussed from these results.” Big if true. Can energy mavens comment?

Karl Marx’s “degrowth communism”? International Socialism


Saltwater intrusion no longer a threat to New Orleans’ drinking water Axios


Xi praises ‘deepening’ trust between China and Russia in talks with Putin France24

Ports, railways, a naval base: China’s Belt and Road in five projects Channel News Asia

China tightens curbs on foreign travel by bankers, state workers Channel News Asia

Slowing Chinese EV demand drives down battery metal prices FT

A Third of Japanese People Aged 70 to 74 Still in the Workforce Nippon


Map Explainer: The Gaza Strip Visual Capitalist

Bread, figs, phosphorus Numb at the Lodge

* * *

Jake Sullivan’s Trial by Combat The New Yorker. Sullivan: “As a child of the eighties and ‘Rocky’ and ‘Red Dawn,’ I believe in freedom fighters and I believe in righteous causes, and I believe the Ukrainians have one. There are very few conflicts that I have seen—maybe none—in the post-Cold War era . . . where there’s such a clear good guy and bad guy. And we’re on the side of the good guy, and we have to do a lot for that person.” Six-year-olds playing Cowboys and Indians. With nuclear weapons.

A Requiem for the Rules-Based Order: The Case for Value-Neutral Ethics in International Relations Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs (Amfortas).

Essaying again… Michael Smith, Crying in the Wilderness. Old school blogger (“Stop Me Before I Vote Again”) surfaces on Substack. (Partly) about category errors!

There Is No American Sword for the Israel–Palestine Gordian Knot The American Conservative

Impending Genocide New Left Review

* * *

Israel Bombs Gaza City Hospital, Killing at Least 500, Palestinian Officials Say Truthout. Good aggregation including, importantly, from WaPo: “The video, filmed outside the hospital and verified by The Washington Post, captures the first sounds of an explosion — a whirring through the air and then a blast.” So the question of (Israeli) aircraft vs. (Hamas) rocket could be settled empirically, assuming one trusts WaPo’s digital evidence?

After blast kills hundreds at Gaza hospital, Hamas and Israel trade blame as rage spreads in region AP. Of course, Israel (as do we) has form.

‘It’s from us? It looks like it!’: Israel releases ‘audio of Hamas operatives discussing failed rocket launch’ and video showing missile exploding in the sky moments before blast killed hundreds at Gaza hospital Daily Mail

* * *

Biden tells Netanyahu it appears ‘the other team’ caused Gaza hospital blast AP

Biden arrives in Israel after Arab leaders summit cancelled BBC

Why Biden Is Visiting Wartime Israel Daniel Kurtzer, Haaretz

US sending rapid response force near Israel The Hill. “The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), a special forces unit capable of carrying out a wide range of missions, is moving to the region.”

* * *

Fascism in the West to Enable Genocide in Palestine Craig Murray

Former ambassador and Assange advocate Craig Murray detained under UK terror laws The Grayzone

* * *

Dr. Gabor Maté on Gaza:

Hamas recorded press conference (with transcript):

From last week, but germane, since it doesn’t seem to have made it into the mainstream.

* * *

Stunning State Department Memo Warns Diplomats: No Gaza ‘De-Escalation’ Talk HuffPo. Looks like “civilian” was added to the “No Say” list:

Israel-Palestine war: Israeli minister seeks arrest of journalists who ‘harm national morale’ Middle East Eye

Hamas’ cash-to-crypto global finance maze in Israel’s sights Reuters

Dying Gazans Criticized For Not Using Last Words To Condemn Hamas The Onion

Dear Old Blighty

Pandemic Health Agency with No Proper Governance Spent Billions Without Parliamentary Approval Byline Times

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine Targets Russia With Secret New Supply of U.S. Weapons Foreign Policy

Ukraine’s special forces use daring raids and distraction tactics in bid to free Crimea CNN. Small boat warfare. Pure cope.

Memo to the president: A bold agenda for the Washington summit The Atlantic Council. Ah. A “bold agenda.”


Google, DOJ still blocking public access to monopoly trial docs, NYT says ArsTechnica

Republican Funhouse

Jordan’s floor failure strengthens private push to empower McHenry Politico. Toga party!

Spook Country

Why Big Tech, Cops, and Spies Were Made for One Another Cory Doctorow, The Intercept

Digital Watch

What Happened to San Francisco, Really? The New Yorker. This caught my eye: “‘A.I. First means you turn to A.I. before you talk to a human. A.I. First means you turn to an A.I. before you hire. If the A.I. doesn’t do it, you build it. If you can’t build it, then you hire someone.’ [Jeremiah Owyang, an entrepreneur and investor who works out of an Airstream trailer] added, ‘That is a precursor of what’s going to happen to corporate America.'” Kill it with fire….

Accelerationism is Terrorism Crooked Timber

The enshittification of academic social media The Thesis Whisperer. Important!

* * *

AI Safeguards Are Pretty Easy to Bypass PC Magazine

Your Fantasy, On Demand: How AI Porn Is Reshaping a Taboo Industry Decrypt. Always the first to profit from new media.

Burned-out parents seek help from a new ally: ChatGPT Axios

The environmental impact of the AI revolution is starting to come into focus The Verge

Our Famously Free Press

How the conspiracy-fueled Epoch Times went mainstream and made millions NBC

Getting the News Has Never Been More Complicated DAME

Sports Desk

Cricket returns to the Olympics after 128 years Le Monde

Netherlands beat South Africa with shock ICC Cricket World Cup win Al Jazeera

Class Warfare

Expert panel identified health-related social needs and methodological considerations for a polysocial risk score medRxiv. From the Abstract: “Objectives: A polysocial risk score, which summaries multiple different health-related social needs (HRSNs) into a single likelihood of risk, could support more effective patient and population health management.” Can’t manage what you don’t measure! Including stochastic eugenicism….

Dawn of the Bathroom JSTOR. Similar pattern to ventilation today?

Our Early Ancestors Were Predator Hunters, Too Field & Stream

DNA shows poorly understood empire was multiethnic with strong female leadership Harvard Gazette. From April, still germane. More biomolecular archaeology.

Cash Only: What To Know If You’re Planning To Ditch Your Bank Forbes

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. The Rev Kev

    “Jake Sullivan’s Trial by Combat”

    I think that this article is all about the New Yorker trying to give political cover to Jake Sullivan. In reading this article, it was all about the Ukraine and Russia and kinda boasted that he was Hillary’s protege. But there was not one mention of the Middle East war. This is significant as just a few weeks ago Sullivan came out and said ‘The Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades’ and started to reel off all the things that the US was doing in this region. He literally had no idea that the whole region was about to blow up which was kind of his job to notice. I guess that he got too wrapped up in the thoughts of the Saudis signing the Abraham Accords. But here, the New Yorker is giving him this in-depth interview to kind push that stuff-up of his to the side-

    1. digi_owl

      Echoes of economists patting themselves on the back for getting the world economy under control right before the subprime shenanigans blew up our faces.

      And writing that i get a vague memory of one of Steve Keen’s earliest videos, where his model showed smaller and smaller movements on the graph and then it just went completely bonkers. the quiet before the storm, as the saying goes. Heck, i think any parent or babysitter is familiar with how one should get worried when the kid becomes quiet.

      I guess one could generalize it to say that when things go quiet, energy is being pent up. And when it gets released, watch out.

      1. The Rev Kev

        As a past parent, I can assure you that so long as our kids were yelling and playing, we never worried. It was when they went quite that we went looking to see what they were doing.

        1. Knot Me

          You must have had all boys. In our home, when the boys went silent, things were burning or breaking somewhere. When the girls were loud it was because there was havoc all around. Usually our guys.

    2. Milton

      A couple of lyric lines written by Camper Van Beethoven about Reagan could easily apply the Jake Sullivan here.

      Cause he’s living in some B-movie
      The lines they are so clearly drawn
      In black and white life is so easy…

    3. Benny Profane

      Interesting that he was brought up Irish Catholic and considered the Jesuits. As a half Irish Catholic myself, I can tell yo that one is not taught how to approach certain subjects from various viewpoints. There is right, and there is wrong. Red Dawn, indeed.

    4. Reply

      The Sullivan Principles guided a past generation during the South African apartheid era.
      Jake Sullivan is alpha testing his version, the Sullivan Unprinciples.
      Triangulation and strangulation.
      It won’t end well for the world, but, hey, at least he is getting some notoriety.

    5. Nikkikat

      Jake Sullivan is a campaign guy and not a good one at that. This idiot has no business being anyone national security advisor. The whole lot are incompetent. Our foreign policy run by
      Biden’s Presidential campaign wasn’t such a good idea.

      1. John k

        Too embarrassing to sack him – maybe they should get somebody competent like Nuland to be his no.2… oh, wait…
        To pick somebody that’s good at diplomacy you have to know what the word means. And then you’d have to want that.

    6. Carolinian

      As a child of the eighties and ‘Rocky’ and ‘Red Dawn,’

      I guess Rocky–Stallone wrote himself a movie so he could get work–gets a pass but Red Dawn is pure Reagan era bs. Clearly our masters of the universe are nostalgic for all that Cold War belligerence where they get to play Jack Ryan versus the Red Menace. Later Stallone himself jumped on the bandwagon with Rambo.

      1. diptherio

        I misread Rocky as Rambo at first, due to the reference to “freedom fighters” and I thought, “uh…you remember the ‘freedom fighters’ in Rambo were Mujaheddin, right?”

      2. flora

        They are very romantic movies, in the larger sense of romanticism. (Not sweetheart love stuff, necessarily.)
        After what I’ve seen of Sullivan and others in the admin I can well imagine they are romantics and not pragmatic realists. / my two cents

      3. Allourproblemsstemfrom2008

        “but Red Dawn is pure Reagan era bs”

        Unless it helps you understand that countries you invade will probably have the same reaction and makes you want to think twice before invading other countries?

        1. Alex Cox

          That was not the writer director’s intention. Milius was a full-on neocon. He made a good surfer movie, though.

    1. zagonostra

      I don’t think Krystal and Saagar are in the least bit relevant anymore, kind of like TYT. When they first left The Hill there was some promise, but they’ve lost all credibility, at least speaking for myself, and by most comments of fellow denizens I read.

      1. .Tom

        Agree. When they initially announced Breaking Points they proudly boasted that they would now be free to give the audience exactly it wants. I thought that sounded like a terrible idea and it quickly proved to be. Turns out they were willing to trade almost all their accumulated reputational capital for more people paying attention to them. Surprise!

        1. JBird4049

          I don’t know. I sometimes strongly question the conclusions of the people at Breaking Points and Counter Points, but at least it seems that they are willing to call a spade a spade, which is something when compared to most of the media. Certainly, the IDF, the Israeli government, and Hamas all get equal scorn. I certainly see the hits on both sides of the Uniparty.

  2. KLG

    I’ll go second. Kohei Saito’s book Marx in the Anthropocene (degrowth communism) is very good, but it does take a concerted effort in a quiet room. Along with John Bellamy Foster, Saito covers it well.

    And there is nothing to add to Gabor Maté.

  3. ciroc

    I saw a video of the scene after the bombing of a hospital in Gaza. Only a few cars were burnt out and the hospital was largely intact. An IDF spokesman said the hospital would have been destroyed if it had been hit by an air strike. I agree with that.

    1. YuShan

      I agree. Yesterday I thought Israel had indeed bombed that hospital by mistake. How else could the total building collapse and cause 500 dead? Hamas doesn’t have bombs that are that powerful (look at the limited damage Hamas rockets they cause in Israeli cities).

      But what the daylight footage shows is that the hospital is still standing and the fire that they were showing was not a collapsed building but a fire on the parking lot! There is also no big crater that you would expect if it were an Israeli bomb.

      In other words: it is partly a hoax. Many people were there and many have been killed on the parking lot, but I don’t think it is anywhere near the 500+ that was reported and everything points to it being indeed a misfired Palestinian rocket that crashed on a very bad place.

      People can check the footage themselves.

      1. Kouros

        It was some courtyard were people were waiing that was hit, impacting a bit in the hospital, which was hit twice by IDF in the previous days.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I saw that video too and it seemed to show secondary explosions cause by the fuel tanks of the cars exploding. So in a case of the dog that did not bark, where are the satellite images of this hospital right now? If we could see them, then they would show the full extent of the damage to the hospital from above. We should have had them by now. But so far, no such images are emerging. One thing is sure. I saw video of that explosion which is linked today and the Palestinians do not have anything like that which could create such a huge fireball so this idea that it was a falling piece of a Palestinian rocket is just a furphy.

      1. bob

        Why are we dealing with show me the footage. When Israel was invaded women and children were killed people should show me the pictures. Pictures were shown people said there were a I generated. It everybody believes without any proof anything that comes from the other side. Much like what happened several years ago with believe every woman. The lack of critical thinking is amazing.

        1. ambrit

          Someone, (the Usual Suspects?) is trying to make the hospital strike “disappear.”
          So far, AI generated video ‘content’ can still be separated from ‘real’ footage. Anything made “by the hand of man” is inferior to the productions of ‘nature.’
          As for “The lack of critical thinking is amazing.” I’ll just note that, by your grammar and syntax, you are either an AI yourself, of a non-native English speaker. Either way, the facts so far suggest that you are associated with the Hasbara-Barbarian Cartoon Studio.
          That NC is suddenly experiencing a wave of such “information shaping” comments shows the desperation of the Status Quo to maintain control of the Narrative.
          Oh, and did you notice that an UN warehouse in Gaza was bombed?
          Film at Eleven.

          1. bob

            Sterling comments. Perhaps she should address the issue instead of attacking someone. Perhaps you do not have any objective response.

            1. ambrit

              I didn’t realize you were a silver stacker.
              Being a flesh and blood Terran human, all I can do is approach full objectivity, but, like standard Einsteinian physics, approach the speed of light, yet never achieve it. This is the ‘light’ that makes you free, the universal disinfectant, that which ghouls and vampyres fear.
              So, I offer you this tempered “subjective” response. It falls far short of “The Truth,” but we all can expect but varying degrees of success in the apprehension of the base state.
              As for the charge placed against me for resorting to an “ad hominem” argument, well, I am still questioning the “hom” bit concerning your comments.
              Whatever the ‘reality’ here, let us agree to disagree. I am in agreement with Rev Kev above. Where are the areal and satellite photos?
              Stay safe. Keep away from strong magnets.

          2. Jabura Basaidai

            little ‘b’ appeared a few days ago & YS just seemed to pop up recently…hmmmm…not paying attention to them – grammar and spelling atrocious – but agree with you that there seems to be an attempt to ‘info shape’ since this conflict broke out trying to sneak in here – and btw, it’s Hanna-Barbera cartoons – but did like the Barbarian use – think we’re going to be reading more of these type of postings but given the level of true “critical thinking” amongst the commentariat it won’t get too far – so if you shape-shifting yahoos think you’re going to make a dent go pound sand, the intelligence here is case-hardened –

      2. YuShan

        There are multiple drone videos showing the scene today. There doesn’t appear to be much damage to the hospital. There are a few burned cars and that is mostly it.

        The large fireball isn’t so strange imo, given that the rocket still had most of it’s fuel when it crashed shortly after launch.

        The damage also isn’t consistent with 500+ dead. There is a small impact crater (about the size your dog can dig in 5 minutes). Even if it had happened on a crowded market place you wouldn’t have 500+ dead with such small explosion. And where are the 500+ bodies?

        I’m just going by the evidence that I can see myself, because I trust neither the Israelis nor Hamas. I find it weird that this story is still maintained while there are hundreds of people there who can all see that the hospital is still standing.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Got any links for those drone shots that you mentioned? Haven’t seen any yet. You would reckon with the size of that blast, that those cars would have been thrown about but the ones I see burned in place-

          And have you forgotten that this is not the first time that Israel has dropped bombs on hospitals the past coupla days? Or the second. Or the third. I’m seeing a pattern here-

    3. RookieEMT

      I don’t see a lot of blood and the fire damage looks limited to the parking lot.

      There likely was a tragedy but I’m wondering how hundreds of people died with hundreds more injured.

        1. RookieEMT

          There is a photo of the grassy lot next to the parking lot. They show blood soaked ground and blood soaked clothing. Plenty of personal items. That’s where the casualties happened.

      1. caucus99percenter

        It is more than probable that the parking lot, a part of the hospital grounds, was full of families who had left their homes because of the IDF’s order cum warning to vacate northern Gaza.

        The strike occurred at about 7.30pm local time. The hospital was packed with people injured in previous Israeli strikes, as well as civilians seeking shelter, believing the hospital grounds to be safer than their homes after relentless Israeli attacks that have already killed more than 3,000 people.

    4. Mark Gisleson

      The hospital had been previously bombed. What in that clip identifies this footage as being taken after the latest bombing and not the previous bombing? I’ve watched it several times and there is no timestamp. The video is not continuous, it jumps from one place to another. It’s clearly been edited but not for clarification.

      As in Ukraine, you never see a 360° video. Stand in one place and simply turn around with the camera running. Instead everything is edited, you only see things from certain angles. That’s a huge tell, just like the J6 footage that came with dramatic music.

      1. RookieEMT

        The ’24 hour rule’ doesn’t work anymore. Gotta wait a week now to get anything close to confirmation.

        1. digi_owl

          Between the outlets racing to get the most clicks, and seemingly independent reporters coordinating the message via email lists and similar, things have gotten quite bad indeed.

    5. PlutoniumKun

      An ‘air strike’ can mean anything. JDAM kits can be attached to any bomb of any size, including thermobarics (which Israel is known to use) – the latter can cause relatively little physical damage to buildings if used in an airburst.

      1. Roger

        Exactly, it could be an air burst or a a cluster munition which spits out many smaller bombs to cover a large area (although in the videos I have seen it doesn’t look like a cluster bomb). The over pressure and heat combined would then ignite everything on the ground. People were taking cover in and around the hospital so there could easily have been large numbers of people there.

    6. furnace

      Highly unconvincing. This whole narrative smells of hasbara and cope, and in any case, as a twitter person noted, the ones who gotta be convinced isn’t us, it’s the leaders of the Muslim world. And they seemed to have a pretty good idea of who is culprit. That being said I saw more than a few strewn body parts and dead babies yesterday, far far more than I care for, and I am very much unconvinced that Hamas has even a tenth of the firepower necessary for that. As has been shown as well, there was originally a narrative of “yes, we bombed the hospital, it was full of Hamas” that quickly got deleted. Frankly the attempt to make it a “oops Hamas murdered its own citizens” seems not only distasteful, but absolutely ridiculous and pathetic in light of what Israel has been doing for the past week (and decades).

    7. zagonostra

      Did you not see that Israel initially justified the bombing, and that they had earlier stated that they were going to bomb the building and that it should be evacuated…all this speculation of Hamas being responsible is mind boggling.

      The people out on the street protesting know who is responsible and there is much blood on the hands of Israel, the US, UK, France and Japan for blocking UN cease fire motion sponsored by Russia. And, of course it always has to be added for those being accused of anti-Semitism, it does not excuse Hamas’s terrorism on Israel’s civilians.

  4. Rodeo Clownfish

    Energy “maven” here. I’m a chemist who once worked in the field of photocatalytic water splitting. Regarding the recent paper “Production of Methane by Sunlight-Driven Photocatalytic Water Splitting and Carbon Dioxide Methanation as a Means of Artificial Photosynthesis”, this is a demonstration paper, not a discovery. Kazunari Domen is a heavy-hitter in the field of photocatalysis, and what he and his group have done here is to combine sunlight-driven water splitting (into hydrogen and oxygen) with a heat+pressure driven reaction of converting CO2 and hydrogen into methane, to show that they can at least produce a measureable amount of methane.

    The demonstration is not meant to represent a new technology or process that needs to be refined and scaled up. The purpose of this demonstration is to call attention to the extent of efficiency of the light-driven water splitting. This is a field that for decades was stuck in infancy, and for decades before that was stuck in an embryonic state. The energetic demands of driving two reactions (oxidation of water to oxygen, reduction of water to hydrogen) from the harvested energy of photons are daunting. Nature is a marvel at this. Scientists cheated for many years by driving one half of the process with photocatalysts (usually the reduction half) and then providing a sacrificial reagent (fuel) to be consumed in place of the other part (oxidation of water). Truly non-sacrificial photocatalytic water splitting was first reported in 2009 (not by Domen) and the efficiency was infinitesimal. Domen has been at or near the forefront of this field for the last 20 years, and now his group has got non-sacrificial water splitting up higher than half a percent in efficiency. Their record is about 0.76%, and that same composite material used as part of this demonstration worked at 0.54% on Day One of the rest run. The photocatalyst degrades appreciably with use.

    So the field of light-driven water splitting is now out of infancy. Maybe we can say it is a toddler. No commercial technology will come before more years of research and development. Even if higher efficiencies were not needed, the challenge of discovering photocatalysts that resist degradation is non-trivial. Nature knows this last point, too. Natural light harvesting systems also degrade and are rebuilt constantly within the cells of plants, algae, cyanobacteria, etc.

    But watch this space. Maybe not in our lifetimes, but in our kids’ lifetimes, this will be a technology that provides a low-cost production of hydrogen for use as a fuel.

    1. voislav

      Fellow chemist here :) They are using UV photocatalyst, so system efficiency is also limited by the limited sunlight intensity at UV frequencies. They estimate commercial applications will need 4-10% efficiency (vs. less than 1% now), which will require visible light catalyst, rather than UV.

      The main problem with switching from UV catalyst to visible light one is that the energy of the photon drops and there may not be enough energy to drive the reaction from a single-photon event. The lower the energy of the photon the better the catalyst needs to be. So it’s not a question of improving the efficiency of the process or the catalyst, it requires a completely different catalyst.

      So as Rodeo Clownfish say, it’s a very interesting field in terms of scientific development, but it’s far off from any commercial applications.

    2. Michael Mck

      What is the efficeincy of a leaf and that of turning biomass into methane? Would farms and gently managed semi-wild areas better serve as our solar methane generators while serving other needs too?
      Of course the lowest hanging fruit is to reduce our consumption…

      1. juno mas

        Plants and algae consume photons from sunlight at varying rates. The rate is controlled by the the cell biology of the green plant. Green plants only use ~30% of the sunlight (visible light) that they are exposed to. Woody green plants (trees) are carbon sinks; until they decay.

    1. nap

      Haven’t seen or heard any comments on the I/P situation from Noam Chomsky, an expert on the Middle East and arguably the world’s leading advocate for peace and social justice (now 94). Hope he’s OK.

      The most recent addition to his website is from June:

      1. The Rev Kev

        Considering that fact that Chomsky was telling people to vote for old Joe Biden back in ’20 to save the environment and to save America from Trump, he may be keeping a low profile as we watch how his advice is playing out.

      2. jsn

        I’ll be interested to see how and if Chomsky addresses this.

        From my perspective, HAMAS is what despair looks like without the American comforts of streaming, booze, fentanyl and the NRA.

        In the context of yesterdays Okay Doomer link, this looks like the shape of things to come.

        1. Allourproblemsstemfrom2008

          Chomsky should remove himself from public spotlight after his 2021 performance. Specifically when he stated people who refused to follow the newspapers and the corporately owned government should be banned from grocery stores. What is that saying, live long enough and you become the villain?

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    From the “multi-ethnic” empire, or archeologists seeing what they want to see.

    “I think what we’re seeing is that as armies of Xiongnu warriors were going out and expanding the empire, elite women were governing the borders,” she said.

    Oh, the proto-HillaryClinton of the Xiongnu. Strong women leaders, according to the archeologist.


    In contrast, the story posted yesterday, of the discovery of Neandertal cooking pits, was of three archeologists from three food-obsessed cultures, Portuguese, Catalan, and Italian, discovering that the Neandertal were good cooks. News one can use.

    1. GramSci

      «As for the servants buried around them, they turned out to be a highly diverse group of males, incorporating populations from the empire’s farthest reaches and beyond.»

      Ah. yes. Powerful Wealthy Warrior Women with (male, we are told) slaves. What’s not to celebrate?

      1. Robert Hahl

        In some places and times, all of the household slaves were killed when the master died, to align interests.

      2. DJG, Reality Czar

        GramSci: Thanks for the posting. I was walking back from the plastics recycling bin when the image of all of those sacramentally slaughtered slaves came to mind.

        Inequality. What’s not to celebrate?

    2. Louis Fyne

      clearly that was a western research team (lol):

      “expanding the (xiongnu) empire” = killing and pillaging innocent Han empire civilians and border towns

    3. PlutoniumKun

      I was reading this and thinking the exact same thing. You can pretty much date any archaeological headline for the past century just by the topic emphasis. For the last few years ‘strong female leaders’ and ‘female warriors’ has been the essential tag-line, independent of any actual evidence. I guess this is not unconnected with todays ‘must read’ article showing the pressure on academics to grab a social media audience.

      From what I know of the Xiongnu, they were typical steppes people, with the men away for long periods either herding or at war, so the women looked after the home base. That this left a DNA mark is unsurprising. Most likely the men left their own DNA trace according to where they were attacking. Most Europeans can trace a male line back to some Steppes warrior.

      The Xiongnu people did settle and became the northern Xia people, sometimes claimed as a Chinese dynasty. Back in the 1990’s I wandered around a Xia city site in Inner Mongolia and was saddened to see random Chinese tourists just picking up tiles and other remains as souvenirs. This was at the very beginning of the new Chinese prosperity – I hope that at some stage that and other sites were given stronger protection.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I could be wrong here but didn’t the Chinese make it a practice to marry off young princesses to strong leaders on their borders? If, as you say, these leaders were off doing herding or warring on other people, that would effectively leave a Chinese princess with a great deal of power at home making changes in the interest of China.

        1. Louis Fyne

          yes, but intermittently.

          and the wife, assuming she would be the main wife, was generally for the ruler (or very top tier).

          unlikely that Han Chinese DNA would have made a noticeable impact among the lesser nobles (their equivalent of barons, dukes)

        2. PlutoniumKun

          I believe it was the other way around – the Han had contempt for the barbarians to the north and only sent high ranking women as wives under duress. But as most steppe warlords had plenty of children, marrying them off for political reasons was apparently quite enthusiastically pursued, often at the point of an arrow or several.

    4. Daniil Adamov

      Yes, that’s absolutely them seeing what they want to see. It is fairly well-attested that women had more rights among the horse-riding nomads of the steppes than among their settled contemporaries. It seems plausible that they did have some noticeable political power among the Xiongnu. But the evidence cited in the article is limited to noblewomen receiving lavish funerals. It is quite the leap of logic to go from that to “they were governing the borders” (whatever that even means – they were in charge of the Border Patrol?). This is sadly a persistently popular approach to archaeology – interesting findings are extrapolated to fit sensational conclusions that suit one’s political preferences, whether they are anarchist, feminist, nationalist or whatever else.

        1. digi_owl

          Gets me thinking of an XKCD comic where someone was holding up a [citation needed] sign in the style of Wikipedia during a political speech.

          Sadly it, like so much of internet “culture”, got caught up in the Obama hopium and the resulting TDS.

    5. Ignacio

      Hahaha, I had some fun with the “food obsessed cultures”. Yes, and enjoy! Now waiting for a typical “Neardenthal escalivada” in the next Catalonian restaurant. Hmmmmmmmm.

    6. hk

      Well, to be fair, women warriors were rather common on the steps (besides the legend of Amazons supposedly originating from what the Greeks saw of Scythian tribes, Chinse chronicles do record warrior queens frequently leading their steppe adversaries, on top of many archeological evidence.) Of course, one figures that these women warriors were nothing like HIllary Clinton: they’d have known quite a bit about real warfare, one’d figure.

  6. Acacia

    Ian Welsh weighs in:

    There is still serious danger of escalation of the Israeli/Palestinian war, and if it escalates it could escalate very quickly and widely. If the US starts hitting Iran, well remember that Iran is a serious Russian and Chinese ally. Understand also that the “street” in most Muslim countries is super-majority pro-Palestine.

    Frankly, if I were them and could co-ordinate it, I’d just all declare war and finish the problem once and for all. Israeli unconditional surrender, and the creation of a new Palestinian state with equal rights for all, no matter their religion or ethnicity. Then de-Zionize. In other words, give them the Germany/Japan post-WWII treatment. As long as Israel exists as a religious ethnic apartheid state, it will remain a source of massive instability, and remain the possible flare up point for regional or even world war.

    1. Glen

      It’s estimated Israel has 200-400 nukes. What does unconditional surrender mean with nuke armed adversaries?

      Or flip that around and imagine how the Ukraine – Russia conflict would play out if Ukraine had access to nukes.

      It’s always been assumed that nuked armed countries will use these weapons when in the throes of ceasing to exist although this was always imagined as a conflict between two nuke armed countries descending into total war.

      Dangerous times.

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Slowing Chinese EV demand drives down battery metal prices FT

    Slightly misleading headline – Chinese EV demand is not slowing, the rate of growth is (slightly) decelerating. The rapid drop in lithium price has more to do with very rapidly increasing supply (20-25% year on year for 2023-2025). EV sales are in fact repeatedly beating forecasts. They are likely to increase now that a wider range of budget cars are now hitting the market. Surprisingly, the leaders in this is not the Chinese, but the French.

    1. Ignacio

      I always had this “strange” idea that instead of starting with the luxury SUV for the most exclusive market segments, the best way to develop an industry is to fight in the “budget” segment (if this is a correct expression). To be sure Tesla managed to improve very much their batteries with their approach but, wouldn’t it be faster with a more difficult approach? Toyota has decided to wait until they develop their own supposedly better batteries though some say this is a mistake if they are loosing market share now. But they might be right if they win back later with better cars… who knows.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        A bottom up approach would have been ideal (arguably, you have that with electric bikes and scooters, etc), but i don’t think it made economic sense until such time as the battery pack and drive train could be made more cheaply. Plus I think people had to be ‘persuaded’ that they really don’t need a lot of range (only a tiny proportion of trips actually need 200km+ of power). But right now battery prices are collapsing thanks to a gigantic oversupply and with lithium costs going down, so finally we will get budget cars that make sense for most people. I think we’ve hit the tripping point as with solar where the costs are driving the industry in the right direction. Except in the US of course, which has its own unique dynamics.

        Btw, I’d alway be cautious with Toyotas battery tech. It’s an annual event now where they claim a huge breakthrough in solid state batteries – they’ve done so for more than a decade, but nobody has seen them yet. I think Toyota will be the first big loser – they bet big on hybrids and hydrogen, very much the wrong horses. The French will do well, as they have secured their supply chains and have gone for the budget car segment while everyone else is trying to go upmarket.

        1. Synergizing the Future

          “battery prices are collapsing thanks to a gigantic oversupply and with lithium costs going down, so finally we will get budget cars that make sense for most people”

          Because markets….

      2. Roger

        BYD is the new Toyota, crushing everyone including Tesla (in China). Profits doubled in the past year, has 35% of the Chinese EV market and expanding globally now. Tesla just missed earnings expectations by a big chunk and is struggling to maintain its meagre market share in China (about 7% and declining Q over Q, back to where it was in Q4 2022 before all the price cuts).

        BYD just released its Seal competitor to the Model 3 at incredibly competitive pricing in Australia.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Our Early Ancestors Were Predator Hunters, Too’

    Yeah, nah! They are telling me that Neanderthals went after Cave Lions which were estimated to weight about 700 pounds (320 kgs) plus? Even using fire to help them that would be a risky battle. I would suspect that those guys were doing what a lot of predators were doing. Going after the old, the young, the injured, the weak, the stupid and the like. Neanderthals had a tough battle as it was hunting food and seeing the injuries on their bones that they left us, the only match that archaeologists could find with modern human bones were those who took part in Rodeos with bulls and wild horses. Even then, those Neanderthals probably had to hurry before other predators turned up to claim that kill.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      There is some genetic evidence that mesolithic people didn’t just hunt predators, they actually brought them with them to islands. Genetic traces of bears in Ireland (extinct since medieval times) indicate that they may have been brought by boat from northern Spain or the Pyrenees along with many other species, including possibly even wolves, in the first post-Ice age wave of settlers. Presumably the hunters did this for a fashion for bearskin coats, or they just found the local fauna a little boring.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Bringing in bears in boats? Could have happened but that would have been some sort of vanity project by a tribal leader wanting to demonstrate his power and wealth. But somehow that sounds like a case of ‘Hey Gronk. Hey Shad. Hold my brew and watch this!’

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Nobody really knows for sure, but I suspect that the first arrivals to Ireland found an island almost impenetrable due to dense (ungrazed) forests and marshes. It seems likely that the hare was the biggest grazing animal to make it before the seas rose, and it was probably largely confined to uplands (the Irish Hare is related to the Alpine hare, not the Brown hare of Britain). The early settlers would have been mostly fishing folk.

          It seems nearly certain that they deliberately introduced deer, badger and foxes, the latter two probably for hair and pelts. There is increasing evidence that they introduced a lot more than that, multiple times, including bears. Curiously though, they don’t seem to have brought in dogs, although its possible that the Irish wolf (extinct since the 18th Century) may have been some sort of hybrid – nobody has been able to isolate any DNA yet so far as I know.

          Needless to say, they left snakes and bigger spiders at home in Spain, they weren’t stupid.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Terraforming. You’re talking about terraforming. By the sounds of it, Ireland was nothing at all like it is today and was really a wild frontier. You wonder how it got that way in spite of being so close to the British isles. Did the last ice age sweep it clean of large mammals who could not escape?

            1. PlutoniumKun

              Yes, Ireland was almost entirely swept clear by the last ice age – a few mountain tips in Kerry were all that kept their noses above the ice.

              I was taught at school that as the ice receded, animals crossed the land bridge from Europe to Britain to Ireland, with just snakes being too slow to make it before the Irish Sea formed. But then genetic studies revealed that most Irish native animals were not related to British animals at all – even foxes or badgers – their nearest relatives are in northern Spain. At first they hypothesised that there was some sort of refuge that animals could have survived, but more refined studies point to the animals being brought directly from around where Spain meets the Pyrenees. It’s quite fascinating really. One can only wonder what it would have been like crossing the Bay of Biscay in a dug out canoe with a couple of bear cubs.

  9. Lexx

    ‘Fascism in the West to Enable Genocide in Palestine’

    I feel I should ask, Lambert, if suppression of social media (such as it is) regarding Gaza here in the West includes Naked Capitalism? It would not appear so, but much is happening out of the commentariat’s view.

    1. Daryl

      In an apparent attempt to prove all the points in the article, Craig Murray was detained and had his laptop/phone seized on the 16th.

        1. .Tom

          Singled out and his harassment is clearly visible to us in the fringe media. Like the incident with Kit Klarenberg earlier this year, I believe the first purpose is to create a chilling effect.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            IIRC this type of harassment has been plaguing Mr Murray for a while because of his views –

  10. flora

    LBJ pointing to his appendix scar.

    Levine’s cartoon of LBJ pointing to his scar from an appendix operation, the scar is drawn like the outline of Vietnam.

    Guardian cartoonist sacked for borrowing Levine’s imagery in a new context.

    1. flora

      I remember the VN war destroyed LBJ’s chance of re-election. He knew that, and declared he would not be a candidate for the presidency again.

        1. digi_owl

          I ran into something about local politicians being different from the national ones because they had to face the people their decisions affected each day.

          And there has been some recent musings about how the ending of the draft detached the public from the ramifications of the government’s adventurism.

          And didn’t we see this with the empires during the world wars, where they had to increasingly rely on troops recruited from the colonies?

          That in turn may well have hastened their own demise, as now the colonies learned how to fight for their own freedoms.

          Sadly those freedoms were short lived, as it seems most ended up with leaders who’s interests aligned more with the former colonial masters than the local population.

        2. flora

          Thanks for this history. They sound like today’s neocons. Can one be pro-Israel and anti-neocon. Can one be pro-America and anti-neocon? The current MSM rhetoric seems to say that to accept one means you must accept the other. I don’t accept that. If you deny one you have automatically denied the other. I deny that. / ;)

    2. The Rev Kev

      The Guardian’s memory does not extend that far into the past for that bit of context. In truth, their memory probably goes only as far back as 2014 – when they took drills and angle grinders to the hard drives containing the Edward Snowden files in front of GCHQ technicians.

      1. flora

        That bit of context is fairly famous, not obscure at all. You’re probably right about the 2014 date. Lots of things happened that year. / ;)

  11. Johnny Davis

    What Happened to San Francisco, Really?
    My point of view from one who grew up there starting in the 1960s and watched the rise and fall of the city.
    Those in the article are outsiders using the city as a fulcrum for ideology, profit and power. It’s not the pandemic, it’s the politics.

    The City was the best, but it attracted the worst, the addicts and free spirits that wouldn’t or couldn’t fit in elesewhere in America. At first the Haight, a neighborhood of them, then they spread out, registered to vote and the creeping takeover of city institutions began from the bottom up in the 1970s. The housing projects provided the muscle, got city jobs, voted for nearby college and university radicals that took over local government at first in their name until there was a critical mass of them.

    District elections balkanized whatever civic unity there was. Black supervisor, gay
    supervisor, hispanic supervisor, Chinese supervisor, Filipino supervisor, all claiming more money and burnishing victimhood creds. More outsiders poured in. Slowly at first, then a headlong rush to neoMarxist liberation horseshit which became institutionalized and the local establishment.

    Newsom appointed by mayor Willie Brown, a Texan, to oversee parking meters, rose through the ranks and became part of the San Francisco Family poltical mafia. After sucking up to Brown, by now running the state legislature, Canadian Kamala Harris pupated and became D.A.

    The public schools were failing ideological sewers by the 1990s. The majority of natives left are those blessed, or trapped, by rent control or living in public housing. Those who could escaped to nearby suburbs. The majority of 3rd and fourth generation San Franciscans live in clean, green and mostly white Marin County, which has great schools, nature and what’s left of the California Dream.

    San Francisco is a malignant political tumor. Until a complete replacement of the corrupt local officals, the defunding of tax parasitic homeless servicing and attracting non-profits, and the election of a Giuliani, there is no hope. Baltimore by The Bay, led by a poor little black girl, London Breed Liu, who grew up in the projects, and whose father in law is the second richest man in Asia.

    Here’s an illustrative example of the distillation and maturity of corruption:

      1. Brenda

        Hippies were mostly just wandering youth following fashion. I was one :-)
        The ideology behind the political corruption came out of places like the New School in New York City, via the universities transmitted and encarnated via the Beatniks who preceded the Summer of Love by ten years in San Francisco. Many of the Hippies became Reagan Republicans, others became toothless shit stained bums lying in California’s gutters.

    1. flora

      Thanks for this history. What was is Lincoln said?
      “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
      Sounds like the same can apply to cities.
      A city divided against itself cannot stand.

      Wasn’t SF in the 1960s a large working class town? Can the working class afford to live there now? Strange how campus ‘leftists’ turned against the working class. Fight the man by kicking down and kissing up? I’ll never understand that as a leftist position.

      1. digi_owl

        Most cities had working class living “down town” back in the day, because most cities had some form of industry within it at the time. But with time came laws etc (often with good intention as they regulated air quality and like) that pushed industries either outside city limits or abroad, and the old buildings became condominiums and offices, leading to gentrification and rising prices as the workers were displaced to commuter towns.

      2. scott s.

        I think SF was the financial center of the west until overtaken by LA. (Think Bank of America / Transamerica guess the bank is now a NC bank.)

    2. NYMutza

      San Francisco is a city that should have never been. It sits on the tip of a peninsula that is pounded by high winds, dense fog, and cold rain. It is isolated by way of geography, with just a few way to ingress and egress. The city is completely dependent on the outside for water, food, fuel, and energy. It even depends on a nearby locale for resting places for its dead. In contrast, Oakland has everything that San Francisco doesn’t have. Only by an odd quirk of fate is Oakland considered a second rate city versus San Francisco. In the long run, it would be best for San Francisco to be largely de-populated, perhaps maintaining a population of 50,000 or so.

  12. Revenant

    The dawn of the bathroom article was interesting.

    To me, the modern practice of putting a toilet in the same room as a sink and bath is gross. The Japanese traditionally separate them, at least by a dividing door if not in separate rooms. I like old houses here in the UK, where this was also the standard practice. It is always sad to see a modernisation where a loo has been jammed into a lovely bathing space.

    It was until recently forbidden to have a loo that opens into a kitchen so downstairs loos in the UK were invariably across a rear hallway from the kitchen or the front door. In the pursuit of ever smaller new-builds and ever nastier residential conversions, this sensible rule has been abolished. The achievement! Thank god we can contemplate thirteen years of Tory misrule sitting on the crapper in our own kitchens.

    1. digi_owl

      Yeah there was a period of that around here as well, when the toilet was given its own small room with a sink.

      But that has been abandoned as those rooms are not well suited for elderly occupants, in particular in newer constructions that try to account for those needing wheelchair or walker.

    2. Lexx

      If you haven’t read it already, you might check out Bill Bryson’s book, ‘At Home’. Bill explained that his wife had had enough of his long absences to do research for his next book and he was to pick a subject closer to home, so he chose the invention of the home and all the rooms in it.

      We have a Japanese toilet in our bathroom, topped by a bidet toilet seat with a soft-close lid. I was reminded again how incredibly civilizing and infantilizing… doh! (a bit like spellcheck, which refuses to recognize the word ‘infantilizing’) using one really is while on the road. When you once again have to wipe yourself, you realize how much you’ve turned over to a machine and “skills” have been lost. Old, autonomous skills. One comes full circle in old age.

      The puzzler for me is how Europeans can stand to have their washing machines and dryers in the kitchen. I get the convenience of a wall of plumbing, but I don’t want laundry smells in with my good cooking smells. Gross! And after all the work I put in cooking from scratch… aw, hell no.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I have that book and love it for it’s explanations. It’s brilliant. As for Europeans having their their washing machines and dryers in the kitchen, I think that that was standard in American homes until some time after WW2. I have seen images of homes built just after that war and there was often a washing machine in the kitchen though for a dryer, they used a clothes line. Homes were on average less than a thousand square feet back in the 1950s so families had to utilize all the space that they could-

        1. LifelongLib

          In my late parents’ home where I grew up (built 1960) the washer and (later) dryer were in the basement. This was in the U S. Pacific Northwest near Seattle. My mom tried using an outdoor clothesline but the near constant rain at the time made that unworkable, hence the dryer. Not every house in the area had a basement though.

      2. digi_owl

        Depends on space available. Some have them in their own laundry room, while other have them in a corner of the bathroom. In all cases the room is (hopefully) set up to handle spills and general damp air.

        1. Joe Renter

          Just be thankful that one is not doing time, since your cell buddy and you you live in a 6 by 9 with the crapper.

    3. .Tom

      Being able to wash your hands before exiting the room where you did a push isn’t gross, it’s good design. Otoh, it’s also good design to separate that room from the one where you bathe, brush teeth, apply makeup, do your hair and nails etc.

    4. Xihuitl

      “To me, the modern practice of putting a toilet in the same room as a sink and bath is gross.”

      Agreed. I’m not brushing my teeth at a sink next to a toilet. So I took out one of the toilets in my two-bath 60s condo, and took out the tub in the other and replaced it with a bidet. Made it the WC.

      Grew up spending summers in an 18th century farmhouse in the mountains of Vermont. No indoor plumbing except in the kitchen. We had lovely china chamber pots under the bed and a wooden outhouse that my grandmother called “the library” for the abundance of reading material in it.

    5. NYMutza

      I recall reading an article during the early days of the pandemic that pointed out that fecal matter is expelled into the air when toilets are flushed (this was referring to public toilets which typically don’t have lids). That got me thinking because I had my toothbrush in a holder above the toilet. The thought of my toothbrush being contaminated with fecal matter grossed me out so I now keep my toothbrush inside the medicine cabinet. I also close the toilet lid before flushing. I agree that the toilet should be physically separate from the sink and tub/shower. New construction and major remodels should certainly keep them separate. In the meantime, wash your hands and face after using the toilet.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “‘It’s from us? It looks like it!’: Israel releases ‘audio of Hamas operatives discussing failed rocket launch’ and video showing missile exploding in the sky moments before blast killed hundreds at Gaza hospital”

    Say, does anybody remember the time when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over the Ukraine back in 2014 and almost immediately the Ukrainians released a tape showing rebels discussing shooting this plane down? And then it was shown that the whole tape was dodgy as hell and had signs of ‘editing?’ Does Israel have any Arab speakers that they could have used for this new tape?

    1. ilsm

      The warheads/bombs are not dangerous until the fuse is activated, an active warhead/bomb before release or XX seconds before target may be dangerous and/or useless.

      The concept is called “insensitive munitions”. US has it and everyone else who do not want to lose launchers, bombers etc have it.

      If the so called Hamas allies’ rocket went off course early in mission the warhead should have been inert, the fuse not set. So to speak.

      Or maybe it was a local design? Or maybe a psyop from IDF.

  14. Tom Stone

    I take exception to your description of Jake Sullivan as “Acting like a six year old”, my Daughter had more sense at age six than Sullivan has demonstrated and she is not alone.
    Make it “Spoiled 5 year old” and I think you have it.

  15. juno mas

    RE: Coral resillience study

    The study was done by the University of Southern California (a private school) and not a University of California (public) institution. (Although they occasionally collaborate.)

    1. ambrit

      I spotted this in the first paragraph and knew immediately that the premise was false.
      “The ratchet of progress only ever turns in one direction. Going back is not an option.”
      This is a hilarious case of “creating your own reality,” a la the political neo-cons. The authors of that prospectus obviously have never heard of entropy.

  16. John k

    It’s refreshing to see msm reporting now more balanced re the war on the gazan prison. I assume the optics are different with 2.3-mil civvies cut off from food.water/power as they’re bombed at will, and even bombing hospitals. Just my spec, but maybe there’s a growing consensus within intelligence that we’ve been making a series of foreign policy mistakes.
    But imo it’s not that the warmongers have Biden’s ear, he’s one himself. And he’s got 2 carrier groups in the med bathtub to play with. I’ve seen MoA’s spec he wants to take out the Russian naval base in Syria while also removing Assad… what if those carriers sink? Interesting times.
    Imo an oil embargo on Israel won’t do anything. But one on the west would quickly crush eu.

  17. JBird4049

    >>>Accelerationism is Terrorism Crooked Timber

    When reading philosophy including even the basic writings in an ethics class I am taking, it can be hard to parse because it is dense. One actually has to sit and think about what you just read, but it becomes increasingly understandable when you take the time to do so. What the “ideology” or thought writer Kevin Munger is talking about is hard because it is baloney, often pseudo-religious, masked by pretentious, highfalutin, pseudo-logical woo-woo. A soufflé of bullbleep, which becomes more puke inducing the more you try to understand it.

    The other day I was cramming (of course) at the last minutes for a quiz dealing with Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Despite the near panic, I was enjoying going through part of it. It was forcing me to slowly (whether I wanted to or not) go through the sentences and paragraphs, thinking about what I was reading. Mental exercises.

    Okay, fine, JBird is studying Aristotle, wheee. But I remember thinking: Was this worth doing? What was the point? Spending money and time. I cannot think of billionaire, politician, pundit, or any other “important” person thinking that an unexamined life is not worth living. Logic and reason is for the suckers. I am reading about what makes a good person, but what is suggested is not acceptable to the Important People. For them, the people ruling our lives, it is lies and stupidity aalllll the way down with only propagandistic sophistry passing as deeeep thought acceptable, and if I don’t accept this deeeep thinking, I am a hater, a bigot, a tool, or the enemy even for suggesting reason and moderation or even a slightly differing opinion.

    I am still stuck pretending to believe in lies for mere survival. While I could take some more risks, I guess, it could easily go ka-boom in my face. Happy, happy. Joy, joy.

  18. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “El Nino Fizzles. Planet Earth Sizzles. Why?”
    This newsletter from Hansen quickly delves into the nitty-gritty of estimating the amount of accelerated warming due to the reductions in the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere. These two extracts from the conclusion capture what I take away from this link:
    “The important point is that there are two large human-made climate forcings: GHGs and aerosols. The aerosol forcing is poorly understood.” [Increasing aerosols decreases the rate of warming so that a reduction in aerosols results in a positive forcing of the rate of warming.]
    “…there is a latent southern Hemisphere polar amplification of warming that has long been dormant, as Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover has been relatively constant for several decades. The recent decline of sea ice area may be an indication that, averaged over weather, Antarctica will become a more important contributor to global temperature change.”
    All the IPCC wrangling about +1.5°C and the CO2 budgets and modeling results assume that some composite of the many Climate Models is much more accurate in its predictions about the real world climate than warranted by how incomplete those models are. Too much is unknown and only discovered as Climate Chaos evolves. So far the climate models have underestimated just how quickly and how violently the climate is and will change. Hansen’s newsletter suggests +1.5°C may be here already.

    1. JBird4049

      Flora, that is a wonderfully depressing article. However, thank you for the link. Maybe, I ain’t paranoid? :-)

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