Links 6/11/2024

Early morning frost spotted on some of Mars’s huge mountains The Guardian

Satellites spot strange sky glow that only comes out after midnight New Atlas

Climate/Environment

Mortality attributable to PM2.5 from wildland fires in California from 2008 to 2018 Science. From the abstract: “We estimate a total of 52,480 to 55,710 premature deaths are attributable to wildland fire PM2.5 over the 11-year period with respect to two exposure scenarios, equating to an economic impact of $432 to $456 billion.”

HOW ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CREATED A WORLD AWASH IN TOXIC CHEMICALS Law and Political Economy Project

Greenwashing the Amazon STAND.earth. “How Banks Are Destroying the Amazon Rainforest While Pretending to be Green.”

Water

There’s a Hidden Water Cycle in The Amazon We Barely Know Anything About Science Alert

Pandemics

Study shows ‘not surprising’ fatal spread of avian flu in ferrets The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Dairy farmers look to poultry industry that had to kill 100 million birds for guidance as it confronts its own bird flu epidemic Fortune

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Clinical and Functional Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Sequelae Among Young Marines The Lancet (preprint). “”In this population of healthy young adult US Marines with mostly either asymptomatic or mild acute COVID-19, one fourth reported physical, cognitive, or psychiatric long-term sequelae of infection.”

From a thread on John Cunningham Virus in England:

India

In Tit-For-Tat Move, India To Rename 30 Places In Tibet In Response To China’s Arunachal Provocation News18

China?

Four US college instructors injured in ‘brutal’ China stabbing attack CNN

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US will turn Taiwan Strait into ‘unmanned Hellscape’ if China invades: Senior admiral WION

China’s defense ministry says Dutch ship incident ‘heinous’ Reuters

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China is distorting its stockmarket by trying to prop it up The Economist

China could be on the cusp of reversing hukou, a legacy Mao policy Semafor

Syraqistan

Israel and the Misjudgement of Reality Alastair Crooke, Strategic Culture

UN Security Council endorses US-sponsored Gaza ceasefire resolution Al Jazeera

Commentary (1):

Commentary (2):

Does US support for Israel’s Nuseirat attack have legal ramifications? Middle East Eye

US Court Hears Appeal in US Genocide Complicity Case Consortium News

WFP pauses Gaza aid via US pier as Israeli soldiers ‘killed’ in intense Rafah clashes Middle East Eye

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Intel halts construction of new $25 billion factory in Israel CTech

Tel Aviv University’s President Warns of ‘McCarthyist’ Danger of Proposed Israeli Law Haaretz

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Is Israel about to expand the war to Lebanon? The Week

Israel Expects Far-right Gains in European Parliament Will Rebuff Criticism of Gaza War Haaretz

European Disunion

Markets see ’emotional reaction’ to European election results and Macron’s surprise move Euronews

Analysis: What Just Happened In France And What It Means Policy Sphere

‘Win together or lose separately?’: French left calls for unity ahead of snap elections France 24

France’s far-right forces hold talks on teaming up to beat Macron Politico

Macron’s loss in France boosts prospect of second term for von der Leyen Politico

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine may store some F-16 warplanes in other countries to protect them from Russian attacks AP

Russia ready to strike NATO airfields hosting Ukrainian jets – MP RT

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US lifted weapons ban for Ukraine’s Azov Brigade, WP reports The Kyiv Independent. Commentary:

Building the bridge: How to inject credibility into NATO’s promise of membership for Ukraine Atlantic Council

First Rheinmetall-Ukraine joint production and repair plant becomes operational The Kyiv Independent

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Deploying Off Florida’s Coast: How Powerful is Russia’s Yasen-M Class Attack Submarine Military Watch

Al Qaeda leader calls foreign fighters to Afghanistan Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Russia to create job opportunities in Afghanistan, invest in projects Al Mayadeen. From May 15, still germane.

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Book Review: Towards the Abyss The Wayward Rabbler

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Terrorism Warning Lights Are Blinking Red Again Foreign Affairs. Commentary:

South of the Border

COLOMBIAN VICTIMS WIN HISTORIC VERDICT OVER CHIQUITA: JURY FINDS BANANA COMPANY LIABLE FOR FINANCING DEATH SQUADS. EarthRights International (press release)

Groves of Academe

Pro-Palestine protesters arrested following protests, encampments on campus Daily Bruin (UCLA)

US campus protests: Hillary Clinton fails to grasp the moral power of this turning tide Middle East Eye.

Democrats en déshabillé

ARIZONA GOVERNOR KATIE HOBBS ACCUSED OF ‘PAY-FOR-PLAY’ SCHEME AMID CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION Hoodline

California is sitting on millions that could boost wage theft response Cal Matters

Why Do Socialists Run as Democrats? Left Notes

GOP Clown Car

Oklahoma governor signs bill shielding poultry companies from lawsuits over chicken litter pollution Investigate Midwest

The Revolving Door

Members of Congress Take Lobbyist Jobs Paying as Much as $4 Million Lee Fang

Biden

Can the “OG Organizer” Keep Biden in the White House? The Nation

Trump

Trump’s felony convictions are having minimal impact on his campaign The Hill

The Supremes

Audio catches Supreme Court Justice Alito declaring religious crusade to reshape America Boing Boing

AI

AI trained on photos from kids’ entire childhood without their consent Ars Technica

Apple Bursts Onto the AI Stage with Apple Intelligence, ChatGPT, and Multimodal Siri Gizmodo

X Marks the Spot: Musk to Ban Apple Devices Over OpenAI Integration PYMNTS

Roundup: Is this peak AI hype? Disconnect

Our Famously Free Press

New York Times source code stolen using exposed GitHub token Bleeping Computer

Healthcare?

California bill would tighten oversight on private equity hospital purchases Becker’s Hospital Review

Police State Watch

Seventh Circuit Shrugs, Says The Odor Of Legal Weed Can Justify A Warrantless Vehicle Search Tech Dirt

The Bezzle

‘Precision Ag’ promised a farming revolution. What’s taking so long? KCUR

Scammers Pose as Small Business to Sell Knockoff Goods PYMNTS. Sounds similar to Amazon.

Class Warfare

Hundreds of children live on Skid Row. Can L.A. do more for them? Los Angeles Times

27,000 Virginia Teachers Win Historic Union Election with Presidential Election Implications Payday Report

Sports Desk

Pakistan thought it was playing USA, turned out to be Team India H-1B Indian Express

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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140 comments

  1. The Rev Kev

    “US campus protests: Hillary Clinton fails to grasp the moral power of this turning tide”

    Hillary Clinton’s political instincts always were cloth-earned and I saw today example another today when she tweeted-

    ‘Hillary Clinton
    @HillaryClinton
    Eighty years ago today, thousands of brave Americans fought to protect democracy on the shores of Normandy.
    This November, all we have to do is vote.’

    https://x.com/HillaryClinton/status/1798688498784079878

    They are a bad as Bidens as when he was talking at Normandy, he wanted to make it all about the Ukraine, even though the occasion was probably the last time that those vets will ever be there and should have been about them. Here in that article, Hillary is trying to make out that Israel-Palestinian relations are like a Facebook relationship – ‘It’s complicated.’

    Reply
    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      The Rev Kev: I was trying to determine if Conor Gallagher’s feathered predator is a reference to the Hamid Dabashi article about the griftological travails of Hillary Clinton.

      Dabashi is wonderful at damning with faint praise. His article is worth it just for the rhetorical device of pretending that Hillary Clinton is an “erudite” person with many good qualities.

      Yet I come not to praise Hillary Clinton but to bury her.

      As Dabashi notes, “erudite” Hillary has never seen a war that she didn’t like. This is the same Hillary who tried to blame all wars on men and then grift at Columbia with seminars about war crimes against women. Hint: During war, men and women and children are mistreated, sold into slavery, and sexually abused. And those are the ones who survive the carpet bombings. This is not an issue for Hillary the Erudite Grifter and the Department of Women’s Studies.

      Yes, I wasted a few minutes reading about America’s least-successful politician, a thorough mediocrity whose specialty is bald-faced lying. Now where is that server with her work product that she “wiped”?

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Subpar small state lawyer gets thrust into the national limelight by philandering but politically successful husband. It must be destiny.

        Arkansas can be a lovely state to drive through but clearly all that greenery conceals a dark side. On the other hand Hill originally hailed from your Chicago turf so we flyovers may be off the hook.

        Reply
        1. Henry Moon Pie

          My spouse worked for a while at a New Mexico ski resort bought by one of the Clintons’ Arkansas friends, Dan Lasater. The couple was a frequent visitor. Lasater’s administrative aide was a woman named Patsy Thomason, famous for “cleaning up” Vince Foster’s office after he turned up dead.

          From what I’ve read, there was about as much snow year round in Little Rock as there was at Angel Fire in January. Lasater was convicted of trafficking in ’86.

          Reply
      2. Skip Intro

        Blaming wars on men, like claiming Trump would start WW3, was not about condemning those things, but about claiming it was time for a woman-owned war (no Maddy and Condi don’t count). All she is really saying is “It’s My Turn”

        Reply
          1. Cassandra

            Also Vicky Nuland, who (rumor has it) was HRC’s choice for Secretary of State for herself’s first term. If Nuland’s Maidan cookies end up igniting WWIII, that could bring female psychopaths up to parity with their male counterparts.

            Reply
    2. Neutrino

      cloth-earned, led me to search and found cloth-eared, as in not paying attention, or hearing incorrectly. Hill hears what she wants to hear and disregards the rest. In another phrase, her only tool is a hammer so everything looks like a nail.

      Nobody would confuse her for a person of the cloth, only for making up of whole cloth.

      Reply
    3. Alice X

      A few of us have long known she had a picture of her true soul in the attic, and what it looks like. It isn’t pretty.

      Reply
      1. Jabura Basaidai

        ahhhh yes, an updated “The Picture of Dorian Gray” – although a far more frightening portrait – definitely a legend in her own mind – Oscar would have a field day in these times –

        Reply
    1. Ghost in the Machine

      This was quite good. Very informative about what is going on in Israel, especially psychologically and economically. Pretty clear major change is happening.

      Reply
  2. Viscaelpaviscaelvi

    Re. the F-16 deployment in Poland. The wording “to protect them from Russia” seems to be universally interpreted as “they will be based in Poland and will fly from there in missions against Russia”.
    But that language is quite vague and can include the possibility of basing them in Poland but not to use them against Russia immediately (maybe some, for token use for PR operations) but to keep them until the end of the war so that they can become the backbone of the future Ukrainian air force.
    It would have the additional advantage that a Ukraine that boasts the fait accompli of a significant air force can never be considered fully demilitarised, those planes therefore becoming, by dint of their mere existence, an obstacle for any negotiations between Russia and Ukraine to end the war.

    Reply
    1. Benny Profane

      “keep them until the end of the war so that they can become the backbone of the future Ukrainian air force.”

      There is no and never will be a Ukranian air force at this rate. There may soon be no Ukraine, unless a miracle appears in Kiev. Certain deluded thinkers in the west (that Atlantic council essay! Hoo boy) just want to taunt Russia into an attack on a NATO country, then it’s the all out WWIII they’ve been dreaming about, but, thank gawd, Putin is in charge and won’t step in that trap unless he has to.
      I agree that they’ll stay in Poland, along with whatever is left over in arms and logistic organization, and that will become the new front. But one wonders if Poland will accept the Banderites with the Nazi tattoos. As Hillary says, it’s complicated.

      Reply
    2. ilsm

      Early on in the SMO, after US’ building up Ukraine military came out of the secret budget, there was thought about ‘arming up’ Kiev for the long haul. I suspect that was the US’ hinting about F-16’s (and Abrams). Those days are gone!

      F-16 from EU countries, awaiting the F-35, are probably lower readiness than the USAF’s abysmal scoring of its own fleet.

      Keeping F-16’s in the air consume huge numbers of costly ‘line replaceable units’ (LRU). The supply chain to restock LRU’s is long, expensive and often very late to returning a repaired item. You cannot buy new LRU’s in most cases!

      Very expensive supply stocks, and highly trained technicians suggest the NATO the F-16’s to be kept out of harm’s way!

      Burning up a stock of LRU’s will ground many F-16’s.

      Reply
    3. Aurelien

      As I read the article, they will be kept outside Ukraine, but flown in to replace combat attrition and aircraft sent back for repair. In effect, they are a kind of reserve fleet, to be drawn on when needed. The argument is presumably that they will not be flying combat missions against Russia directly in Ukraine, so they are not a legitimate military target. Legitimate military targets are “objects which, by their nature, location, purpose, or use, make an effective contribution to military action, and the total or partial destruction, capture, or neutralisation of which would provide a definite military advantage” according to the ICRC. A clever State Department lawyer may be able to argue that F16s in Poland ready to fly into Ukraine fall outside that definition, but I doubt if that will cut much ice in Moscow. Of course, attacking Poland would be a case of Article V of the Washington Treaty, but that’s really a political issue, and not a legal one.

      Reply
      1. hk

        Some of the stories (I think I heard it on Alex Christoforou’s podcast) are dicier: supposedly, they’ll be based in Romania, will land and load up in Ukraine, then do their thing and return to Romania. That seems to come a little too close to pass off as “not a legitimate target.”

        Reply
  3. haywood

    US to Openly Arm Ukraianian Nazi “Azov Brigade”

    Am I to believe reading this that Azov has not been using US arms this whole time? They’ve been on the front lines against Russia not just in this war but the almost decade long war preceding it. Throughout which the US has been the primary sponsor of Ukrainian warfare. That can’t be right.

    Reply
    1. Frank

      It’s not. Similar to the announcement that western weapons could be used to strike old Russian territory, this has been going on the whole time and is only now being announced officially.

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Fortunately the Azov Brigade do not need many heavy weapons. When your job is to stay well behind the front-line and shoot down any Ukrainian soldiers trying to retreat or evacuate wounded comrades, machine guns do just fine.

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        At least two Azov brigade-sized units, the Third Separate Assault Brigade and one other, were sent to the front lines in Avdiivska. IIRC they lasted about two days and then refused orders to attack. I suppose because they were suffering too many casualties.

        Reply
    3. Irrational

      Exactly my thought. But hey it must be those same consultants who cannot tell if Israel is committing genocide /s

      Reply
  4. SocalJimObjects

    Pakistan thought it was playing USA, turned out to be Team India H-1B

    In the next World War, the headline will be “China and Russia thought it was fighting the US, turned out to be Team Central and South America H-1B”.

    Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    The wings on that Osprey in today’s Antidote du jour intrigues me and I swear that they look like laminar flow wings like the old P-51 Mustang had, also meant for speed.

    Reply
    1. diptherio

      Somebody is about to become sushi. Osprey are amazing birds. Used to live near a nest, but never got to witness a catch. I did see a heron catch some fish, though, which was also impressive, but in a completely different way.

      Reply
    2. Craig H.

      This photo was massively upvoted on reddit two days ago but when I saw it there was no information on the photographer. If it is a photograph the person behind the camera is genius and/or unmatched in skill. I am dubious it is possible to get this image with a camera.

      Please correct me if you are out there and you can!

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        The osprey pic is just great. I wonder if it was singled from a film. Eyes and both claws focused in some for us unknown point in the water with the brain making automatic calculations on water diffraction. AI machines are aficionados.

        Reply
        1. juno mas

          In my younger days I had a summer home on a northern California lake (Almanor). Osprey were quite abundant. They are prolific on attack. They can grasp fish of a size that makes return flight to the nest a struggle. Unlike a golden/bald eagle they will orient their catch in their talons parallel to the direction of flight (reducing resistance). Elegant, dynamic raptor.

          Love the photo!

          Reply
  6. Joker

    That’s a frightening statistic that illustrates the insane amount of propaganda that must have taken place in the Philippines: 73% of Filipinos support military action by their country against China.https://t.co/VRtJECd6ST

    Send them Javelins, and flags, and Lindsey Graham. Slava Filipina!

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Bertrand is simply demonstrating that he knows nothing about the history or politics of the Philippines. For that matter, he doesn’t seem to know how to read a map. He also seems not to have read (or understood) the article he linked to. This is a consistent pattern of his tweets.

      The survey referred to in the article was specifically about the Kalayaan Islands. This are part of the southern section of the Spratly Islands and which have been occupied by the Philippines for decades – other islets in the chain are occupied by China and Taiwan. The basis of both their claims (the islands are nowhere remotely near either China nor Taiwan) is actually the US, which in the immediate post war period favoured Chiang Kai-shek and his claims on all the South China Sea, which he saw as necessary for his planned re-invasion. The US actively prevented the Philippines from staking its obvious claim (as they are clearly geologically part of the Philippines archipelago) on the islands for this reason when they won independence. the islands are nowhere near China, and China has never had any past presence in the area – their claim is solely based on piggybacking on a Kai-shek claim which itself was highly dubious. Subsequently, the Philippines staked their claim on the islands on the basis of proximity and the historic fishing patterns – its a very important part of the fishing industry of Palawan and losing those grounds would impoverish thousands of very poor people. Its a matter of great pride to the Filipino people that they’ve stood up to both big powers to assert their claims.

      The survey linked in the SMCP article clearly shows that what respondents were asked was whether their government should maintain its military presence there and push its claim in the islands whatever the more powerful military forces in the region want. The Philippines may be dirt poor and Bertrand may like to look down on their military, but they are a proud post-colonial nation trying to stand up for the integrity of what they see as their territory. Its nothing to do with trying to start a war with China as he implies. The aggression in the area has been ongoing for many years, and its almost always been China that has been the active aggressor against the Philippines. For various reasons – most notably the involvement of Taiwan – the US has actually tended to take a back seat on the dispute.

      Reply
      1. Emma

        A proud post colonial history of hosting US military bases and electing US backed stooges like the Marcos? And a colonial history of having a seventh of it’s population killed by US occupier

        Arnaud Bertrand lives in the area and has tweeted pretty extensively on this topic. If you have something more substantive than “poor Palawan fisherman” and proud Filipino independence (nevermind that the issue was kept at a comparative simmer until Marcos came in), I would be curious to hear it.

        https://x.com/RnaudBertrand/status/1788784323090579579

        Reply
        1. hk

          No offense meant, but Filipinos are entitles to believe that their country should defend what they regard as their own territory. Territorial disputes over small islands in East Asia (the Sptratlys, the Paracels, the Liancourt Rock, the Pinnacle Islands) are not only very real, but also something that really stirs the feelings in the countries involved (wrong island, but a South Vietnamese captain who was killed in a battle with the Chinese over one of the Paracels is the only South Vietnamese military member regarded as a national hero by the government of unified Vietnam). Openly demeaning one of the countries involved in the dispute is the last thing that outsiders should be doing.

          Personally, the best thing that outsiders can do to address problems like this is to play a true honest and neutral broker. The US is worsening the problem by openly being involved on the side of the one of the claimants (the Philippines) but the problem is that this makes the resolution to the problem difficult, not that the Philippines’ claim is any less real nor the Filipinos’ sentiments are somehow phoney.

          Incidentally, one should not dismiss the Marcoses just as mere “US backed stooges.” Filipino politics on all sides are pretty byzantine and brutal and the elder Marcos, albeit in a very shady and unpleasant way, a highly capable politician who built a genuinely popular support base. There are good (even if not exactly “moral”) reasons why Imelda and the younger Marcos have been able to maintain support all these years (hint: it’s not because they are “backed by” US.), although it’s an open question as to how long that will last.

          Reply
          1. Emma

            All strongmen have to have substantial local support (usually through a mix of military and oligarchs who control the local media) or they wouldn’t be able to strongman, but the ties between US MIC and the Marcos family are well documented. And Duterte was a strongman too who also played the SCS game but had the wisdom not to overtly antagonize the Chinese over the dispute and let Americans build bases again. So I stand by my accusation of stoogedom for Marcos.

            Yes, Bong Bong Marcos has a more authentic base than Zelensky (though the later had plenty of genuine popularity as a media creation who campaigned on making peace with the Russians), but only because the US allowed the family to keep its wealth and influence, and sheltered them for decades to prevent proper prosecution of their crimes.

            On SCS disputes, the two recently academic studies I’ve seen both say that China has by far the strongest historic claims over the islands. There’s may be common use and fairness arguments for all the countries bordering the area to come to some kind of condominium on usage and rights between themselves. China’s specific concerns over SCS is pretty clearly fear that it’ll lead to US bases and permanent presence in the area. That’s why the tension with Vietnam is not so heightened despite the larger amount building by Vietnam.

            Reply
  7. CA

    https://x.com/RnaudBertrand/status/1800339330894069921

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    This is a fascinating study that demonstrates how China has decoupled economic growth from environment degradation, and has now entered a phase where it can grow economically and have its environment improve at the same time.

    https://scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3266048/chinas-yangtze-industrial-heartland-signs-growth-without-eco-damage

    A team of researchers from France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Britain, South Africa and China has been following over several decades the evolution of the ecological status of China’s third largest freshwater lake: Lake Tai (Taihu) in China’s Yangtze River Delta, where Shanghai is located.

    This area is of course one of the world’s most densely populated and intensively modified landscapes, and also where 25% of China’s GDP comes from.

    What the researchers discovered is quite extraordinary: whilst in the early days of China’s economic development the lake witnessed an “unprecedented acceleration in soil erosion, water eutrophication and ecosystem degradation”, a shift happened over the past 2 decades whereby the lake’s environment not only stopped degrading but even started getting better. As such, environmental degradation “decoupled” from socio-economic growth: growth continued (over the past 2 decades the area’s GDP increased 8x) but without environmental degradation, and even with an improvement of the environment.

    For instance the level of algae in the lake started decreasing, there are less and less signs of erosion and the lake’s water quality has been at safe levels for now 16 years.

    This is obviously great news. I still remember the headlines a few years back when pundits used to say that environmental degradation was an inescapable consequence of China’s growth… Well, not anymore!

    * China’s key industrial basin shows eco-damage need not follow GDP growth: study

    9:28 PM · Jun 10, 2024

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Ecomodernist Bertrand is grasping at straws. This “study” was of one lake to which special attention has obviously been given. China’s contribution to the carbon crisis continues to grow apace.

      Economic growth requires growth in energy consumption, and growth in energy consumption necessarily requires environmental degradation either directly from fossil fuels or from mining the minerals necessary to electrify.

      China’s technological prowess is considerable, but they don’t have the ability to produce a perpetual motion machine.

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, the framing of that story is really kind of weird, not least because Tai Lake is most definitely not ‘typical’ (I suspect the story framing is part of how they got permission to publish the results). If Bertrand could be bothered to look a little deeper past press releases he would know this (he is not, imo, a reliable source of information on anything China related). The lake took the brunt of the early phase of 1980’s industrialisation, but the core of China’s industry has moved inland and further south, while the Suzhou/Shanghai region has become more service oriented so there has been a natural movement of the nastier industries away from the conurbation. But the extreme water stresses there remain a huge problem.

        Back in the 1990’s I was peripherally involved in freshwater studies in inland China – at that time, the coming catastrophe was very visible,and got much worse – I well remember my shock at the first time crossing the upper Yangtze in a small boat – I expected it to be bad but… not quite that bad. And this was well upstream of the major industrial areas.

        Since then, there have been some remarkable strides made in China in terms of reducing pollution, but its overwhelmingly been on the ‘visible’ pollutants, while overall degradation goes on at pace. Air pollution is far less now than just 10 years ago, although much of this has come about through a natural replacement of older industrial plant. Shanghai is also of course a big financial centre, so they are more interested in quality of life issues than the inner lower Tier industrial cities. The nature of Chinese government tends to be very problem oriented, which has its benefits, but can result in a lot of very superficial approaches. Once, famously, a local government charged with removing a vast unsightly spoil heap before an international event, opted to simply cover it in green paint. Tai(hu) Lake is quite a good example of this – there are regular local environmental scandals there which can’t be hidden as its a major source of potable water for the region (or at least, what passes for potable water in China, nobody I know drinks from the tap). I can’t find a link at the moment, but about 10 years ago a local environmental activist made a fuss about factories breaking emission levels around the Lake and ended up in prison for three years for his troubles.

        Almost by accident (it was never really a focused policy), China is making enormous strides in renewable energy – the sheer scale of the new solar and wind investments is something to behold. Unfortunately, its going side by side with equally epic investments in coal and a range of heavy industries. In particular, the obsession with covering the entire country with concrete and steel is going unabated, hence the very high level of CO2 emissions when you look at it in population or GDP terms (its little to do with exports, its overwhelmingly domestic policies that drive this). This is a pretty much inevitable outcome if your economic policy is focused almost entirely on quantitative GDP outputs at the expense of anything else. Its unfortunate, as China has probably more low hanging fruit than almost any major CO2 emitter, but is very reluctant to grasp it for domestic reasons.

        Reply
        1. Emma

          When Ireland’s per capital carbon consumption reaches China’s (which embodies a tremendous amount of export and catch-up construction), I would take your criticism about what China should do more seriously. Currently it appears to be almost double that of the Chinese. Maybe they could do things better. Maybe the people who are closest to the problems are aware of them and are actively working to solve them. Or maybe they prioritize other factors because for now, that’s more important than what “garden” people think they should do.

          There’s been a long standing desire amongst the population for clean air and water and the change is quite visible from the last 30 years. A lot of waterways and lakes that used to stink of industrial wastewater and raw sewage is now desirable green spaces. Did you follow up your visits from 30 years ago with more recent visits? China has a way of changing from top to bottom every year or two, so true observations from even 5 years ago may have significantly changed.

          Reply
          1. PlutoniumKun

            I stated per capita and per GDP. Irelands CO2 emissions are 50% greater than China’s per capita, but its GDP per person is 2-3 times larger (depending on how you calculate it), resulting in an adjusted figure below China’s, and one that is dropping despite a far faster population rise.

            Xi Jiping has himself has showed a surprising amount of interest in Irelands CO2 policy – he was very involved in agriculture and environmental policy prior to his elevation to Beijing. A translator friend of mine who was involved in his visit said he impressed everyone with the detail of his questions on pollution issues when he visited dairy farms in Ireland some years ago. His past contacts with Ireland is a source of great pride to the Chinese community in Ireland.

            And yes, I am a regular visitor to China over the past quarter century and I try to keep in touch with former industry and academic contacts within China I made in the 1990’s.

            Reply
            1. Emma

              So you’re saying that higher income countries have the right to pollute more to enjoy their higher GDP and lower income countries get lectured over how they use their carbon pollution.

              Reply
            2. Ignacio

              In per capita terms Ireland emissions are quite high at 7,7t if OWD is correct but China’s at about 8t in 2022. Ireland has reduced emissions quite sharply in the last 20 years. It surprised me your assertion (50% higher in Ireland) so I checked.

              Reply
              1. Emma

                My bad. I googled for numbers and got 13.4 tons for Ireland and 8.3 tons for China. Still, we’re comparing the workshop of the world that is doing furious development catch up to a largely post industrial country that already built out its infrastructure.

                Reply
    2. John

      By what mechanism has this been accomplished? The tenor of the post leans toward “this was a natural process” or am I missing the point.

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        The local governments in the region have long tried to pin environmental problems in the lake to ‘natural’ processes (such as devastating algae blooms in the past which were clearly the result of industrial inputs), so they are reluctant to ascribe improvements to anything but generalised and undefined ‘processes’. Once you identify a specific cause of a problem, that problem then becomes your problem if you are a local bureaucrat.

        So my guess is that the framing of this reporting of the study was predetermined. You’d have to go through the original primary study to know what they actually discovered.

        Reply
    3. CA

      “This is a fascinating study that demonstrates how China has decoupled economic growth from environment degradation, and has now entered a phase where it can grow economically and have its environment improve at the same time….”

      A remarkable article, reflecting any number of remarkable environmental gains that are being made in China. Distressingly, Western prejudice means a repeated dismissal of environmental or environmentally sound gains that are being routinely made in China. The Western need is to always have a supposedly moral reason to attack China:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/11/business/economy/us-ban-china-uyghur-labor.html

      June 11, 2024

      U.S. Bans Imports From 3 Chinese Companies Over Ties to Forced Labor
      The government targeted companies involved in making seafood, aluminum and footwear, citing their links to labor programs affecting Chinese minorities.
      By Ana Swanson

      Reply
    4. CA

      The United States is preparing more economic attacks on China, but readying the supposed moral justification takes time:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/11/business/economy/us-ban-china-uyghur-labor.html

      June 11, 2024

      U.S. Bans Imports From 3 Chinese Companies Over Ties to Forced Labor
      The government targeted companies involved in making seafood, aluminum and footwear, citing their links to labor programs affecting Chinese minorities.
      By Ana Swanson

      With those additions, 68 companies now appear on the so-called entity list of firms that the U.S. government says participate in forced labor programs, nearly double the number at the beginning of the year.

      Robert Silvers, an under secretary at the Department of Homeland Security who is chair of a committee overseeing the list, said that the government was accelerating the pace of additions to the list, and that the public should expect that to continue…

      Reply
  8. thoughtfulperson

    How may this play out? Per the article, Russia can cut the cord to the EU at any time. Timing considerations:

    – usa elections in early Nov., 5 months from now. Having a melt down a la the Afghan pullout in Ukraine won’t look good for Biden.

    – European elections? Macron just decided better a snap election than wait much longer… there are certainly others (uk date set?)

    – Winter is coming. It may be mild but you never know. “Mild” for Ukraine is still pretty cold. Heat can perhaps be provided with wood burning?

    – Will the borders be sealed to prevent another larger flood of refugees? (a la Gaza borders?)
    I suspect not. That means a huge burden on the EU to house, feed, employ an influx of people (the usa might take a few million but there are still 29 million left in Ukraine last i heard)

    – will the EU want to avoid a further collapse of Ukraine (and the likely flood of refugees) by coming to terms with Russia? The usa won’t before the Nov elections. So peace in late November ?

    What could change this equation? Eu/Ukraine strikes on Russian targets – inside Russia (preferably Moscow and environs). Russian direct strikes in response, on EU countries, compelling an expansion of the war. No longer a war in Ukraine only, with the EU and usa comitting troops. Ukraine would be totally razed, and the infrastructure of the EU and western Russia likely damaged significantly.

    This might help Biden win reelection as a war hero (remember at the start of the “global war on terror” bush et al had 90% support, by the end it was 25%). “You can’t change horses in the middle of a war” and other manure of that nature will be prevalent.

    I suspect Russian leaders have been trying to communicate what will happen if there are strikes on Russian soil (Ukraine power cord gets cut immediately?), but it does not appear the west is listening.

    Reply
    1. Benny Profane

      “This might help Biden win reelection as a war hero”

      Cmon. MSM won’t tell you that a very large majority of Americans want at least a negotiated end to this Ukraine debacle. When was the last time you saw a Ukranian flag out there? Then you’re telling me that senile old man will be seen as a hero for starting WWIII? At the same time he’s sponsoring genocide in Gaza? And, to top it off, threatening to shut down the world’s economy by sailing around the other side of the world and fighting with China? Hero? Heros at least have to win.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Shrub besides the rah rah speeches knocked over the Taliban temporarily. Then his opponents were the ilk of Gephardt and Daschle followed by a Kerry campaign full of people dedicated to helping Mother.

        Is Biden going to visit a Ptomkin battlefield and need a change of pants?

        Reply
      2. chris

        I agree with you but then I’m biased. I can’t imagine a set of circumstances where things falling apart less badly makes Biden look great, but then I am also a person who can’t imagine why anyone would line up behind Biden in the first place. Or why anyone’s fear/hatred of Trump would lead them to unite behind Biden. But I know many of my friends in professional careers are absolutely never Trumpers and refuse to consider any argument that Biden is not the best candidate in this situation. They even belive the line about Biden being able to beat Trump because he already did it once! As if the concerted efforts of everyone in the establishment, the pandemic, and a favorable media, AND likely voting shenanigans didn’t drag his corpse over the line. Even then, it was just barely over the line too. Not being Trump might be enough to win again. That position still holds a lot of sway with likely voters.

        But if all the people who are suffering right now and want to turn over the table and start over come out to vote, then not only will Trump win but the Democrat reaction will be so over the top that it will make Stop The Steal and Jan. 6 look like kiddie shows. I have never forgotten how quickly the Liberal Left faction went from “When they go low, we go high” to Punch a Naughtzi. They got violent very quickly.

        Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Over 2 years in, not to mention the GWOT or Biden’s nonstop claims to be a foreign policy guru, Genocide Joe doesn’t have a prayer at becoming popular. Republicans think he is a baby killer. A few contractors in northern Virginia won’t flip anything.

      Changing horses midstream has been his campaign since the beginning. He’s going to shout more to boomer democrats about effing kids who don’t remember how he claimed credit for policy enacted before he was a senator.

      Reply
  9. zagonostra

    >COLOMBIAN VICTIMS WIN HISTORIC VERDICT OVER CHIQUITA

    The “powerful message” might just be the opposite after 17 years of litigation. Reminds me of a movie I saw recently, Dark Waters with Tim Robins.

    “This verdict sends a powerful message to corporations everywhere: profiting from human rights abuses will not go unpunished. These families, victimized by armed groups and corporations, asserted their power and prevailed in the judicial process”

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9071322/

    Reply
  10. timbers

    “Trump’s felony convictions are having minimal impact on his campaign The Hill”……Since when is fund raising hundreds of millions for a campaign “minimal”?

    Reply
  11. zagonostra

    >Hundreds of children live on Skid Row. Can L.A. do more for them? Los Angeles Times

    Wrong question, WILL L.A., and the U.S. in general do more. I think this country’s historical concern for the poor and down trodden answers the question.

    Reply
    1. Chris Cosmos

      It appears that “helping the poor” is about insiders making money. So and so gets the contract and changes a hundred dollars to give fifteen dollars worth of “help.” I’ve seen it happen. In a culture where trust is as low as it is, particular concerning government, it is hard to get a consensus on doing anything. I think, honestly, that the next step is to put the focus in another direction, i.e., making compassion and love a real thing in the culture however unlikely and solutions will emerge.

      Reply
  12. ChrisFromGA

    Lies, lies, lies, they’re thick out there.

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Growth-in-US-Oil-and-Gas-Output-Slows-Down.html

    So where is all this energy going to come from to power “billions and billions” of new wattage supplied to data centers that run AI? Oh wait, it’s just another Wall Street bezzle.

    I look forward to reading the Degrowth slides when I can get back into X. Musk has made it impossible to browse twitter threads without authentication.

    Reply
      1. ChrisFromGA

        Thanks! I try to avoid X/twitter now because of the news of the Israeli company that Musk hired to do biometric authentication on content creators. I have a burner account but don’t want to give any more clicks to that place than I have to.

        Reply
        1. Captain Obvious

          Just replace “x.com” with “xcancel.com”, or “nitter.poast.org”, or.”nitter.privacydev.net”.

          Reply
  13. Joker

    First Rheinmetall-Ukraine joint production and repair plant becomes operational The Kyiv Independent

    It’s a trick to make Russians waste missiles. They just stole the money, and cut the red tape
    in an empty hangar.

    Reply
    1. Cetzer

      If I remember correctly, there is a generous insurance policy for such targets by Germany, the EU or who else snorted on Selensky’s trail. Rheinmetall just takes the insurance payout (plans the next target) and doesn’t need to involve its clean hands in some risky shenanigans.
      And now to the question, whose cadavers will adorn the bombed ruin to make the insurance claim plausible (enough for European bureaucrats, perhaps the same, who fell for Chinese CO2-Compensation frauds)

      Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “US plans to launch the ‘unmanned Hellscape’ plan if China invades Taiwan: Senior admiral”

    ‘In the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the island could deploy a massive drone swarm designed to disrupt and harass the invading forces.’

    Admiral Samuel Paparo may be getting too optimistic here. What if the Russians help the Chinese with their EM warfare to screw up those drones? What if the Chinese send up a million drones with explosives whose sole purpose is to hunt down and do a kamikaze run on those US/Taiwanese drones? As the scenario that the Admiral is depicting is an actual war, what if you have a Chinese cargo ship have a dozen containers pop their sides out and drones swarm out of them to attack US Navy facilities? The Admiral forgets that when you launch a military action, that the other side gets a vote as well.

    Reply
    1. Joker

      US plans to do what Ukraine is trying to do to Crimea. Banderites even have a slogan that Crimea will be Ukrainian or uninhabited. We all know how that turns out.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        If the Banderites had kept control of Crimea, by now it would be known as the Gaza of the Black Sea. They have said in the past that their aim is to get rid of any Russians from Crimea and to populate it with pure Ukrainians i.e. Banderites – who will be able to get rich grabbing all that land and its resources. But the Russians have decided to help the Banderites by sending them on to meet Bandera himself.

        Reply
    2. Chris Cosmos

      That Navy dude’s affirmation is pure caca and typical of US military propaganda. Still, any war there would be a disaster so I don’t think either side will go for it. The only reason to go for it now is that if the imperialists wait for five years China will be too powerful to go after.

      However, I believe the main function of this move to “fight” China is that the China threat is an even better money-maker than the Russian threat in the long run. The US focus on war is eighty percent about profits for cronies.

      Reply
    3. Kouros

      Who’s going to supply Taiwan with food and energy and raw materials during the combat period? How is Taiwan going to exportits chips to the west?

      Reply
      1. Young

        What about the unfulfilled orders of Joe and Jill ( no, no, not that couple) at amazon.com and walmart.com?

        Reply
  15. GramSci

    Re. Oklahoma bill shielding poultry farms

    Curiously, the article doesn’t mention bird flu, only the phosphorus runoff from fields fertilized with chicken litter that grazing animals might eat.

    Reply
  16. zagonostra

    After starting to read Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book Two Hundred Years Together I think that Putin didn’t spend enough time in his history lesson during the Tucker interview.

    In his latest book Solzhenitsyn, 84, deals with one of the last taboos of the communist revolution: that Jews were as much perpetrators of the repression as its victims. Two Hundred Years Together – a reference to the 1772 partial annexation of Poland and Russia which greatly increased the Russian Jewish population – contains three chapters discussing the Jewish role in the revolutionary genocide and secret police purges of Soviet Russia.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/jan/25/russia.books

    https://ia800209.us.archive.org/35/items/Solzhenitsyn200YearsTogether/Solzhenitsyn-200%20Years%20Together.pdf

    Reply
  17. .Tom

    I assumed that Sunak’s early election was because he knows what’s coming, that nobody can stop it, and he prefers to let Labour take the blame. That seems a simple enough model to explain apparent abdication. So why would it be a “300 IQ, 4D chess-type move” when Macron does it? (the PolicySphere link)

    Reply
  18. Ghost in the Machine

    The Terrorism Warning Lights Are Blinking Red Again Foreign Affairs.

    My first thought was “watch out for the false flag’ by a desperate genocidal administration wanting to heard Americans into more war.

    Reply
    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Me too. They’re running out of support and running out of options. Since they love rehashing old playbooks…well, you know the rest.

      Reply
    2. chris

      Yep. There have been billboards up and down the east coast sponsored by organizations like JewBelong that have been asserting Hamas will attack the US if we don’t defeat them in Israel. That’s despite the fact that Hamas has never shown itself to be anything but a highly specific regional entity with no interest in the US. But that won’t stop people from blaming Hamas or Hizbullah or some other easy target the next time we’re attacked. Regardless of whether it’s true or not.

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        Very much like the people terrified that ISIS was going to attack the United States. They don’t have a navy, bro.

        Reply
  19. Neutrino

    The environmental law article, among other reactions, made me question:
    How many Teflon pans did I, and others, use?
    How many Post-It notes did I, and others, handle?
    And so on. /: :(

    Reply
  20. John

    I understand that both Biden and Blinken have a visceral dislike of Mr. Putin, but does that confer on them the right to drive US policy toward Russia to open hostility. Russia is a peer nuclear power. Dislike away B&B, but your duty is to protect, preserve, and defend the United States and neither the US nor the world at large can afford to indulge your emotions. Grow up, do your job, or get out of the way.

    Reply
    1. CA

      “I understand that both Biden and Blinken have a visceral dislike of Mr. Putin, but does that confer on them the right to drive US policy toward Russia to open hostility…”

      The visceral dislike was developed and cultivated from the time Mr. Putin showed an effectiveness in leading Russia out of the devastating Yeltsin depression and rebuilding the country. The word of choice for Mr. Putin became “thug”:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/23/opinion/david-brooks-snap-out-of-it.html

      September 22, 2014

      Snap Out of It
      By David Brooks

      President Vladimir Putin of Russia, a lone thug sitting atop a failing regime….

      October 21, 2014

      Putin and the Pope
      By Thomas L. Friedman

      One keeps surprising us with his capacity for empathy, the other by how much he has become a first-class jerk and thug….

      December 20, 2014

      Who’s Playing Marbles Now?
      By Thomas L. Friedman

      Let us not mince words: Vladimir Putin is a delusional thug….

      December 21, 2014

      Conquest Is for Losers: Putin, Neocons and the Great Illusion
      By Paul Krugman

      Remember, he’s an ex-K.G.B. man — which is to say, he spent his formative years as a professional thug….

      January 27, 2015

      Czar Putin’s Next Moves
      By Thomas L. Friedman

      ZURICH — If Putin the Thug gets away with crushing Ukraine’s new democratic experiment and unilaterally redrawing the borders of Europe, every pro-Western country around Russia will be in danger….

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/16/world/middleeast/white-house-split-on-opening-talks-with-putin.html

      September 15, 2015

      Obama Weighing Talks With Putin on Syrian Crisis
      By PETER BAKER and ANDREW E. KRAMER

      WASHINGTON — Mr. Obama views Mr. Putin as a thug, according to advisers and analysts….

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/opinion/mr-putins-mixed-messages-on-syria.html

      September 20, 2015

      Mr. Putin’s Mixed Messages on Syria

      Mr. Obama considers Mr. Putin a thug, his advisers say….

      Reply
      1. anahuna

        Back in 2001, GW Bush had this to say

        I looked the man (Putin) in the eye and saw … the enemy
        By Tod Robberson

        9:08 AM on Jun 29, 2010 CDT

        In 2001, President George Bush issued a truly astounding appraisal of Vladimir Putin, the former KGB agent who has run Russia since replacing Boris Yeltsin in 1999. “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.”

        The mockery in the Western press was loud and almost unanimous. Looks as if, in this instance, GW got something right.

        Reply
      2. Neutrino

        Pay-per-view event:

        Putin, with judo gi and black belt optional, taking on tag team of Obamas and Biden.
        That could be entertaining, and would shut up the latter, that posturing blowhard liar.
        Obama could ask for Big Mike to tap in before they all tap out.

        End of match quote: Da. Is for all murdered chefs!

        Reply
    2. inchbyinch

      Didn’t Biden take an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the US from all enemies, foreign and domestic? I guess that explains his disregard of the constitution, and the rights that a free people should ‘enjoy.’ Just shut the hell up, and go ‘shopping’ for things you really don’t want or need. Defending the nation must mean waving Israeli and Ukrainian flags, and tearing up the constitution to be used as confetti when the inevitable victory parades come sauntering down Fifth Avenue.

      Reply
  21. The Rev Kev

    “Deploying Off Florida’s Coast: How Powerful is Russia’s Yasen-M Class Attack Submarine”

    The Russians have only a very small detachment of ships visiting Cuba consisting of the frigate ‘Admiral Gorshkov’, nuclear-powered submarine ‘Kazan’, oil tanker ‘Pashin’, and salvage tug ‘Nikolay Chiker’ but it is that sub that is causing concern. Right now there are two US Navy destroyers and two vessels towing sonar equipment following this sub around so I guess that the Navy can show Congress that they are “doing something.” Meanwhile those Russian sailors are probably thinking of – shore leave in Cuba among friends. Can you imagine the reaction when a Chinese Navy contingent goes to visit Cuba and the Caribbean? They do have a blue water navy right now and nearly all their ships are modern. That would cause a very different reaction.

    https://www.rt.com/news/599105-us-shadow-russians-cuba/

    Reply
    1. CA

      “Can you imagine the reaction when a Chinese Navy contingent goes to visit…”

      China has been the world’s leading shipbuilder for several years. Now building more than half the world’s ships by tonnage, with an order list extending over 5 years. Also, critical ships are now entirely built with domestic supplies and are technically advanced. This, despite assurances by prominent Western economists that China could not build proper ships.

      Reply
  22. The Rev Kev

    “China is distorting its stockmarket by trying to prop it up”

    I’m shocked, shocked that a large industrial power would actually rig their stock market. It’s unheard of I tell you. It is simply not done. (tell me when to insert the sarc tag)

    Reply
    1. Mikel

      I nearly fell of my chair when I saw the headline. What kind of fool hasn’t noticed the entire global casino being propped up?

      Reply
    2. CA

      “China is distorting its stockmarket by trying to prop it up”

      This is an important report, coming after years of The Economist and fellow travellers forecasting a China economic collapse and needing a reason to explain why the collapse still hasn’t come.

      Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Meta is owned by Zuckerberg. He wouldn’t be doing that without the US government pushing him to do so as for years he has bent over backwards for the Israelis.

      Reply
  23. Aurelien

    The Policy Sphere article on France is fair enough as far as it goes, but the reality is that nobody really knows why Macron made this decision, very rapidly, with a handful of advisers, and apparently not even consulting his Prime Minister. It does, of course, mean that the second round of voting will take place only about a week before the opening of the Olympics, when security is already a nightmare, and where the consequences of this rushed, incoherent exercise would have been dangerous in any event. The new National Assembly will meet around the time of the opening ceremony, when central Paris will be sealed off like a war zone.

    I’ve heard two possible suggestions about motive, neither of them flattering. The first is that the campaign will be all-in anti-Le Pen, defence of western civilisation against the fascist Putinite hordes. The aim will be to frighten the electorate into voting for Macron’s increasingly enfeebled party, by not giving any of the other parties time to prepare, and hoping the Left, with its traditional divisions, won’t be able to get together. This will not work, and indeed may backfire horribly, but it will do a great deal of damage. The second is that we’re seeing a temper tantrum from an adolescent who can’t get his own way. He’s trying to destroy as much of the French system as possible as a form of revenge. It was always clear that Macron would leave smoking ruins behind him: it just looks as if they may come sooner than anyone expected.

    Reply
    1. Cetzer

      “not giving any of the other parties time to prepare”
      I was astonished that such a short time is legally possible. In most countries (not established) candidates/parties have to show (and therefore collect) signatures of supporters and parties have to hold internal congresses to designate candidates/tickets etc. Time might even be too short to print election posters, so the opposition will have to make do with burning Macron-like straw dolls.

      “that Macron [Sunak…] would leave smoking ruins behind him”
      They are maybe more interested in what lies ahead for them (neglecting former subjects). Maybe many a politician’s brain is overloaded with a very personal question: Nuclear war!? Who might sit on the last plane to New Zealand?

      Reply
      1. converger

        I always get a kick out of the New Zealand bunker scenario.

        Imagine a truly despicable person like Peter Theil sitting inside his impregnable redoubt behind his flaming moat, the moment he realizes that the heavily armed and armored mercenary thugs surrounding him don’t need him any more…

        Karma can be a bitch.

        Reply
    2. PlutoniumKun

      It seems very similar to Sunaks bizarrely timed election call.

      Having an election just before the Olympics seems crazy, although maybe he has some sort of notion that a French victory in the Euro’s plus the Olympics will lead to some sort of feel good factor.

      Reply
      1. hk

        I am curious: how good or bad are France’s prospects? Gambling odds seem to like them, more or less, but surely, one can’t presume such things?

        Reply
        1. PlutoniumKun

          I’d say they have marginally the best squad (after England) in the competition and they know how to win.

          I haven’t looked at the bookies odds, but its hard to see past one of Germany, England or France winning, and there is little between the three. So I’d guess that would put them around 4/1, if you could find a generous bookie.

          Reply
  24. Keith

    From the “peak AI” disconnect article…

    “According to Mims, AI companies are running out of data to train their models on: they’ve already used up the internet and “there aren’t 10 more internets’ worth of human-generated content for today’s AIs to inhale.” Sequoia also estimates companies have spent $50 billion buying chips from Nvidia to power their AI ambitions, but have pulled in a mere $3 billion in revenue. This isn’t the 2010s when companies could get away with losing billions of dollars a year and still keep chugging along.”

    There is a journalistic trope lately that AI companies are “running out of data to train their models on” which is getting a bit overplayed. This last wave of genAI models indeed were using gobs of stolen data that was not “curated” and had very low quality but high quantity. However, the next wave is getting a bit more boring and tightening up the grossly wasted compute by using better training sets. See the link below, companies are starting to use smaller higher quality datasets that create “better” models (as well as creating smaller models, no link for that today). Fineweb is pretty large but there is at least one smaller version (edu).

    https://huggingface.co/spaces/HuggingFaceFW/blogpost-fineweb-v1

    That being said, these improvements are more of an academic curiosity and are a solution looking for a problem :)

    Reply
    1. Mikel

      Dystopian tech needs a dystopia to thrive.
      But I’ve said before, some tech is very beneficial for people with various handicaps, but that’s a limited demographic for their projections of trillions.

      Reply
  25. The Rev Kev

    “Israel and the Misjudgement of Reality”

    Seems that the Israeli public are just fine with this war and making sure that the Palestinians never have their own state. Do they understand how most of the world views them now? Do they have a clue? For most countries I suspect that they are done with the Holocaust of WW2 and do not want to hear about it anymore. Not after watching the Israelis do their own mini-holocaust on the Palestinians. The Israelis have moved so far to the right it is not funny and I wonder how they will cope after the end of this war? The fact that they have had to abandon the north of the country because of Hezbollah is one thing but what about when it come time to negotiate with them to wind things down? For years they have depended on military dominance to keep their position but after being unable to keep Hezbollah down, unable to stop an Iranian missiles barrage and still being unable to defeat Hamas in Gaza after eight months is making their military dominance seem shaky. Do they imagine that when this war is over that they will turn to the world and say ‘Well those were crazy times but it is all over now. Time to get back to normal so let’s look forward and not backwards. So can we go back to doing business again?’

    Reply
    1. ilsm

      Israel is running the Gestapo playbook. Any offense justifies murdering whole villages and burning cities to rubble.

      All paid by US taxpayers, enriching the MIC.

      Reply
    2. chris

      Do they imagine that when this war is over that they will turn to the world and say ‘Well those were crazy times but it is all over now. Time to get back to normal so let’s look forward and not backwards. So can we go back to doing business again?’

      Yes. That is exactly what they think should happen. Same with Ukraine. The US and all of our God-fearing, right minded Allies, assume that we’ll get through this sticky patch things will return to a state normalcy. Which appears to be 2007 in their minds. I imagine they are going to be very disappointed with reality in 2024 as things progress.

      China is not going back to being second rate. Russia is not going to give away its oil and other resources. Europe will not recover economically. Western military capability will continue to degrade. The planet will continue to heat up. The US will continue to suffer because its short term thinking and focus on profit over necessary technology will continue to destroy any advantages we still have. Our people will continue to get sick. The labor force will continue to have reduced output. Silicon Valley will continue to promise quick highs that result in massive hangovers. And the people will continue to be desperate and angry.

      The future could be a very different place from the past. I don’t think our wise leaders are ready for it.

      Reply
    3. Es s Ce Tera

      What I wonder is if, like the Germans, the Israelis will come to realize the full horror of what they have done (and are about to do, which will be worse). And if so, would that be what leads to the two state solution?

      It’s not a problem to convince the Israelis they’re committing a genocide, they know it and they’re open and transparent about it. What needs doing is to convince them that genocide is morally wrong. How do you convince a people that genocide is wrong when they no longer believe in human rights and human dignity? The many years of Nakba have required them to systematically remove this from their belief system, partially to live with themselves. Commiting atrocities like this kills the soul, you become unmoved by human connection and empathy. How do you get it back?

      Reply
      1. hk

        Who says Germans really came to a full reckoning? Their current leaders don’t seem to have done such a thing.

        Reply
  26. Mikel

    Study shows ‘not surprising’ fatal spread of avian flu in ferrets The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

    And what happens when it spreads to dogs and cats? I do remember reports of dogs with Covid.

    Reply
  27. Mikel

    “Apple Bursts Onto the AI Stage with Apple Intelligence, ChatGPT, and Multimodal Siri” Gizmodo

    How will people stand the constant intrusion of all that prompting and notification? It’s a great way to break a person’s train of thought. It should be insufferable.
    But the end game is for people to let the SillyCon supply their thoughts.

    Reply
      1. Mikel

        One needs a phone with the port for the card.
        So many of the phones being produced these days without as many ports/slots.
        I don’t really download apps to a phone once I buy.
        But I turn off or put to sleep as many as possible.

        That’s my security. I’ll try things out on laptop where the control of them is more transparent. And only if necessary. I don’t play games on the phone or laptop either.

        Reply
  28. Mikel

    “Roundup: Is this peak AI hype?” Disconnect

    Yeah, but look out for “mandates” from the bought and paid for government to help spur the BS along.
    It’s one of the more frightening aspects of another pandemic.

    Reply
  29. more news

    US Civil Defense News
    https://x.com/CaptCoronado/status/1800270871283610037
    🚨Update: US ON FULL ALERT!! The Hunt is on!! US Navy P8 Poseidon ‘Sub hunter’ is flying over the coast of Florida in search of rogue Russian submarine!!
    The Russian Navy nuclear Submarine Kazan is 66 miles away from Florida coast, equipped with 4500-km Kalibr-M missiles, off the coast of Cuba!! New Cuban Missile Crisis.

    Reply
  30. Mikel

    “There’s a Hidden Water Cycle in The Amazon We Barely Know Anything About” Science Alert

    That depends on who “we” refers to.

    Reply
    1. Alice X

      ~That depends on who “we” refers to.

      Certainly not the indigenous folks who have been tracking such things for eons.

      Reply
  31. Elijah SR

    Always good to see a piece by Neal Meyer. I’ve been partial to the ‘dirty break’ strategy in DSA for some time. It seems like DSA electeds are in a tough place this year and I’ve heard rumblings that they may refuse to endorse AOC, Bowman, and others. Maybe the tide is shifting around how DSA relates to the Democratic party, maybe for good or for ill. And maybe all of it is too little, too late.

    Reply
  32. Kouros

    China and India posturing in the high Tibet. Those areas are a bit like Antarctica, nobody lived there and claimed the land. Passers by only. Neither Inida nor the Raj had any footprint there, while the Tibetan polity was for a while a vassal state to the Qing.
    It is land grabbing, at the last open border.

    Reply
  33. Ron Singer

    HOW ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CREATED A WORLD AWASH IN TOXIC CHEMICALS

    Can Chemicals be Regulated?

    Executive summary: no.

    Why Sperm Counts Are Dropping For Men Today | GQ

    Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
    Benjamin: Yes, sir.
    Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
    Benjamin: Yes, I am.
    Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

    Well, plastics and 8,426 other things. I have counted them.
    The trend suggests the numbers go to zero by 2080, which is bad because by then humans will be struggling to replace all the billions lost in the ongoing collapse of civilization.
    Has anyone seen the movie “Children of Men”?

    Reply
    1. Alice X

      ~Has anyone seen the movie “Children of Men”?

      Yes! The planet will free itself of the most insidious of parasites.

      Reply
      1. Ron Singer

        Look at the bright side: zeroing out those pesky gametes will solve the controversies over abortion and contraception.

        Reply
  34. Ron Singer

    Hundreds of children live on Skid Row. Can L.A. do more for them?

    Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality… for one very rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor.
    – Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, V, 1, ii.

    At least.

    Reply
  35. Willow

    > Ukraine may store some F-16 warplanes in other countries to protect them from Russian attacks

    Basing F-16s in Romania is because close proximity to Odesa. I.e. West is desperate to stop capturing Odesa. But at what cost? Does West really want to hand Romania to Russia on a platter? Romania is a much more easily captured, defendable and valuable for Russia than west of Ukraine. It is absolute strategic madness on the part of the West to go there. The cost of failure in trying keep Odesa will be a massive set back. Almost as if the super deep Deep State is trying to strengthen Russia for some reason..

    Reply
  36. Al Zimmerman

    The US phone device manufacturer Apple, has removed the popular ballistic bullet solver app Strelok from it’s app store. According to the precision reloading website, the reason for this, is because the app developer is Russian, and the app is used by Russian military snipers to calculate their bullet data in the war against Ukraine.

    This does not really stop anything, other than hamper US and international users of the app, because there are other US based apps still available that do exactly the same thing.

    Talk about bullying.

    Reply
    1. C

      Sounds like he has had a tough time but is still among the living. I’m very happy to hear he is on the road to recovery. I Hope he takes whatever time he needs to get his strength back, even though he is a tough nut. We can get along a while longer without him, but sure will miss his presence. I wish him all the best.

      Reply

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