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In story: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August

Re: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August
( / )
The problems are probably political rather than scientific. Do we really trust "business friendly" government to suitably regulate GMOs?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
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In story: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August

Re: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August
( / )
No, just get myself in the media talking pseudo-scientific waffle.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
Dirty Rio Water a Threat at 2016 Olympics
The waters where Olympians will compete in swimming and boating events next summer in South America's first games are rife with human sewage and present a serious health risk for athletes, as well as for visitors to the iconic beaches of Rio de Janeiro.

An Associated Press investigation found dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from sewage in venues where athletes will compete in the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic water sports.

Tokyo is scrapping the $2billion project for the main 2020 stadium, and the logo meets plagiarism questions.

by das monde on
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In story: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August

Re: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August
( / )
Bill Nye says science changed his anti-GMO views
Backstage at Real Time with Bill Maher science communicator Bill Nye shows the world how real science is done.

After publishing in his book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation that he is critical of GMO's he spent time with scientists in the field and revised his views and says he will be revising his book for the second edition due out in the fall of 2015.

Nye said he is very excited about revising that chapter and telling people about his new view saying, "when you're in love you want to tell the world."

Another author, interviewed by National Geographic, is not changing his thesis yet:

the subversion of science has been much deeper than most people could imagine. There has been a consistent degradation of science and twisting of the truth on the part of numerous eminent scientists and scientific institutions on behalf of genetically engineered foods. The aggregate fraud to promote genetically engineered foods is by far the biggest fraud in the history of science.
by das monde on
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In story: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August

Re: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August
( / )
Are you going to bully bullies from their self-esteem?
by das monde on
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In story: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August

Re: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August
( / )
das monde:
Wong notes that many anti-bullying initiatives try to change the behavior of bullies, but often don't work. This is likely because behavior is hard-wired and not learned, she says.

I think I'm going to try being a scientist. It looks easy.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on
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In story: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August

Re: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August
( / )
Study: Bullies Have Higher Self-Esteem, Lower Depression Rates
"Humans tend to try to establish a rank hierarchy," Jennifer Wong, a criminology professor who led the study, told the Post. "When you're in high school, it's a very limited arena in which you can establish your rank, and climbing the social ladder to be on top is one of the main ways ... Bullying is a tool you can use to get there."

Wong notes that many anti-bullying initiatives try to change the behavior of bullies, but often don't work. This is likely because behavior is hard-wired and not learned, she says. Experts suggest that schools might expand competitive, supervised activities as an alternative outlet to channel dominating behavior.

by das monde on
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(Guardian)

As if fake people from an insurance brochure visual ever gripped anybody's imagination.

Though the Guardian's choice of picture and caption is insinuating that. It's all part of the "image" analysis of politics we have come (over decades now) to expect in place of genuine political analysis.

The real problem for people like Cooper and Burnham is that they've chosen sides in a class war, and the side they've chosen doesn't need them.

They are the epitome of irrelevance.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on
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Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership bid has a momentum even he didn't expect | Politics | The Guardian

One of the young Corbyn supporters, Heather Shaw, 23, who met the candidate in London on Tuesday, echoed this, listing some of the issues that mattered to her. "A large part of his support is from young people. People say he is an old left-winger or an old Marxist but to my generation his ideas seem quite new," she said. "His ideas on renationalisation of the railways and the energy companies. Free university tuition that people of my generation have not had. The idea of spending more money on infrastructure."

Shaw, originally from Wigan, works for an online company in London. She recalled how despondent she and her friends had been after the election, gathered in the Cock pub near Oxford Circus. "We were talking about how there was no hope. Nothing good is going to happen. Labour will not get in for the next 10 years. It is only because of Jeremy Corbyn that there is excitement in British politics."

If it had only been Cooper, Burnham and Kendall in the contest, she said she would not have become involved. "I would just be watching from the sidelines," Shaw said.

(Guardian reporting is apparently, erm, changing horses...)

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
Let's keep this crap out of CA  ... we already have enough problems. Put it in a shit hole that won't notice destruction ... like Chicago.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on
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In story: I'm done with the EU

Re: I'm done with the EU
( / )
It is possible through a thorough greening of the economy, de-monopolizing the utility giants, banks and MIC and liberating that money to pay forward for the infrastructure needed.

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Economy and Finance
( / )
Russians Buy Gold Again In June - Another 25 Tonnes
Russia continues to add to its gold reserves and added another 800,000 ounces in June or another 25 metric tonnes, and analysts believe this buying will continue in the coming months.

Its total gold reserves now amount to 41 million ounces or around 1,275 metric tonnes, with a current value of just $48 billion. Russia's total FX reserves are $362 billion and their gold allocation is now 13% of their total reserves.

Russia is boosting its gold reserves as prices plunge

Russia has been building its gold reserves as part of a continuing effort to reallocate its reserve portfolio.

But by growing its gold stockpile, Russia may be exposing itself to the risk of holding an asset whose value has been steadily heading south.

[...] gold prices fell for a 10th session Wednesday with August gold falling $12, or 1.1%, to settle at $1,091.50 an ounce on Comex. The precious metal is off nearly 6.7%% in July and 7.7% for the year [...]

 The one-two punch of plunging oil prices and international sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine have hit the country, run by President Vladimir Putin, hard. Russia's gross domestic product shrank by 4.2% in April year-over-year, following a 2.7% contraction in March.

The recent Iran deal, which paves the way for Tehran to start exporting more oil, is expected to further weigh on Russia's economy

by das monde on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living Off the Planet
( / )
If not everything can be saved, should everyone really know better?
by das monde on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living Off the Planet
( / )
Washington, D.C., Sinking Fast, Adding to Threat of Sea-Level Rise
New research confirms that the land under the Chesapeake Bay is sinking rapidly and projects that Washington, D.C., could drop by six or more inches in the next century--adding to the problems of sea-level rise.

This falling land will exacerbate the flooding that the nation's capital faces from rising ocean waters due to a warming climate and melting ice sheets--accelerating the threat to the region's monuments, roads, wildlife refuges, and military installations.

by das monde on
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In story: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August

Re: Open Thread 27 July - 2 August
( / )
Buy property! No, wait - buy stocks! OK, back to property!
China has a problem: Its citizens are among the best savers in the world, but they don't have enough places to stick their money -- a reality that's contributing to the formation of asset bubbles.

From rents to haircuts, Americans start to feel price hikes

Apartment rents are up. So are prices for restaurant meals, haircuts, gym memberships and a cup of coffee.

For American consumers who have become used to flat or even falling prices for several years, an unfamiliar sight has emerged in many corners of the economy: Inflation is ticking up.

The price increases remain modest. And in many cases, they're canceled out by price declines for other items that are keeping overall inflation historically low.

Confusions of the rentier & creditor ruled global economy... Everyone has problems, but the institutions are focusing on helping money work most effectively.

This looks relevant to the "demand-lead" discussion over there.

by das monde on
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In story: I'm done with the EU

Re: I'm done with the EU
( / )
They are pensionners. They have interest in investing their money (via pension funds) in high growth countries (peripheral in the 2000's) and use it in a low inflation country (Germany).

The 41 million employees are not equals. The poors are screwed, and the not poors have the same interests as the pensionners. Plus, if equal to the french situation, only the richest are voting. So, yes, the ones who are poor and do not vote are underlings who have the same importance to german governement as greek employees.

by Xavier in Paris on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
But that would eliminate crucial Olympic events like the Men's Freestyle Contract Bidding High Jump, the Big Name Architect's Stadium Slalom, and the More Fireworks than God 100m Opening Sprint.

If you take those out, what's the point?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on
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In story: I'm done with the EU

Re: I'm done with the EU
( / )
"There is no way a change in government in Germany will lead to a demand-led growth in Germany or elsewhere, because nobody in Germany has any interest to a demand-led growth."

Nobody. There are 41 million employees in Germany, but nobody has an interest in demand led growth.

"Pensionners do not need a demand-led growth, they want low inflation."

nonsense. they have in interest that their income rises faster then inflation, that is all.

by IM on
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In story: I'm done with the EU

Re: I'm done with the EU
( / )
There is no way a change in government in Germany will lead to a demand-led growth in Germany or elsewhere, because nobody in Germany has any interest to a demand-led growth. Pensionners do not need a demand-led growth, they want low inflation.

If, unicorns aside, a demand-led growth were to take place in Germany, then a lot of problems would be solved.

The size of the demand increase needed in Germany is illustrated by the difference between the red line and the european average.



by Xavier in Paris on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living Off the Planet
( / )
Nations Most at Risk have Least Familiarity with Term "Climate Change" | Inter Press Service

NEW YORK, Jul 28 2015 (IPS) - Although four in 10 adults have never heard the phrase "climate change," many are aware that something is amiss with local weather patterns, a new survey covering 119 countries has found.

Published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, the study based on Gallup poll results found that worldwide, a person's level of education is the single strongest predictor of climate change awareness.

And understanding that the problem is "anthropogenic" - caused by humans, rather than being a naturally occurring phenomenon - increases the personal perception of risk.

This was particularly true in Latin America and Europe, whereas perception of local temperature change was the strongest predictor in many African and Asian countries.

It found that awareness of the problem was very uneven. Two-thirds of people in Egypt, Bangladesh and Nigeria, for instance, had never heard of climate change, while in North America, Europe, and Japan, more than 90 percent of the public is aware of it.



by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
Pretty much what I am thinking. This is an event that should just stop happening anyplace but the very largest cities. Like "Do you have ten million people to use this stuff afterwards? No? Then do not even think about it".
by Thomas on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Economy and Finance
( / )
Yes, trade deals really do overturn democracy - The Ecologist
Forget tariffs, forget Obama's promises. The whole point of modern 'trade agreements' is to whack pesky labor, environment and health laws, writes David Morris, and so empower capital and corporate power against regulators, governments and democracy itself. Unconvinced? Just imagine what these deals would look like if they were there to empower people.

On 18th May the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a final ruling in favor of Canada and Mexico in a case involving a US law requiring country-of-origin labels on packages of beef, pork, chicken and other kinds of meat.

The three-judge WTO panel estimated economic damages at more than $3 billion. These will be meted out by Canada and Mexico as retaliatory tariffs on a potentially wide array of US industries, from "California wines to Minnesota mattresses", as Gerry Ritz, Canada's Minister of Agriculture predicted.

"The only way for the United States to avoid billions in immediate retaliation is to repeal COOL", Ritz announced. Congress hastened to comply. The day the WTO issued its ruling Rep. Michael Conway (R-TX) introduced legislation to overturn the COOL law. On 10th June the House overwhelmingly passed the bill, 300-131.

The COOL decision and its almost immediate legislative impact demonstrated in real time the inaccuracy of President Obama's comments. Encompassing 12 Pacific Rim countries with 40% of the world's economy the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be the largest trade agreement since the WTO was formed in 1995.

But to call it a 'trade agreement' is both accurate and misleading for it conjures up images of agreements that largely target tariffs. That is no longer the case. Of TPP's 29 draft chapters, only five deal with traditional trade issues.

Modern trade agreements have less to do with trade than with national sovereignty. The primary focus of modern trade agreements is the elimination of existing laws that govern commerce.



by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living Off the Planet
( / )
CO2 overview for COP21 - 100% renewable - Renewables International

Bernard Chabot is back today with a massive (314-page) overview of carbon emissions worldwide. For the first time, he has broken down emissions by energy source and country. Most sources lump fossil fuels together. Now, we can see per country what the difference between oil, gas, and coal is. The analysis suggests more attention needs to be paid to oil.

This article is available as a PDF.



by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living Off the Planet
( / )
Offshore Wind Farm Raises Hopes of U.S. Clean Energy Backers - The New York Times

"There are many good reasons why offshore wind has not been yet developed while other renewables have in the U.S.," chiefly its high cost, said Paul Bledsoe, an energy consultant based in Washington and former climate adviser in the Clinton White House. "However, we're still at a point where we have less than 10 percent renewable energy and if we are going to increase that number dramatically to somewhere near some of the major European countries, offshore wind will almost surely be part of that mix."

That will take time. When the first offshore farm was built, in Denmark in 1991, developers were not thinking that it would suddenly become a mainstream form of energy, said Michael Hannibal, chief executive of the offshore division at Siemens Wind Energy, which supplied the turbines for that first plant. It took about a decade of testing and planning -- and putting in place a set of programs and generous subsidies -- for the market to begin taking off in Europe.

Advertisement Continue reading the main story

Advertisement Continue reading the main story

Part of what has driven the higher rate of adoption -- especially in Britain, Denmark and Germany -- is that Europe lacks as many cheap, clean (or cleaner) alternatives that can replace coal, diesel and nuclear plants. Electric rates are generally higher, natural gas is more expensive and open land for wind and solar fields is harder to find than in the United States, making an expansion to the seas more economically viable.



by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
Big cities like Tokyo and LA can in all likelihood use any new facilities built.  Lord knows that everything in Tokyo will pretty much always be used to maximum capacity, because with 30 million people and the transit to get them where they want to go, any space can find an audience.
by Zwackus on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
The best thing about this news is that fighting the good fight sometimes works out. BostonStrong! A small group of smart, dedicated individuals managed to air the obvious and change the conversation towards a win.

For the rest of the field there are Paris, Rome, Budapest. Obviously it would be best if the IOC took their scam to, say, Baku, Azerbaijan and some other non-European place in 2028.

Toronto officials, drunk on the recent Pan-American Games, are considering a run.

LA may have good chances but it's awfully late in the game. LA entering and winning could be good from a common sense point of view but that would open up the possibility of a European city winning 2028. As someone who doesn't want that plague to land in Hamburg, Paris 2024 would be very attractive to me because then it would ensure Hamburg not being chosen for 2028 either (Europe twice in a row being practically impossible).

by epochepoque on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
"'The Olympics are dead': Does anyone want to be a host city anymore?"

Some place in Texas ... but then again, I live in CA.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on
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In story: 28-31 July 2015

Re: Economy and Finance
( / )
Revelation #2. All politicians lie. Except maybe Bernie ... but he won't make it to the WH.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on
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".... are false and unfounded,""

And Bill Cosby NEVER drugged and raped all of those women!

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on
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In story: I'm done with the EU

Re: I'm done with the EU
( / )
Xavier in Paris:
I do claim that it is in Germany's interest to destroy the economies of the peripheral states of the European Union, by undercutting their industries, using the fixed exchange rate allowed by the euro to artificially lower german wages relative to peripheral wages, and using a ECB-led monetary policy that has been tailored only for german interests, excluding peripheral countries needs.

You do claim, but you never did demonstrate that it is Germany's interest (my emphasis) to "destroy" the periphery. As Thomas remarked, destroying EU's economy is hurting Germany too (no one is an island and neither is Germany). As you know, I tend not to attribute to malice what can be more easily explained by stupidity.

(and yes, your sig is as offensive as the Churchill quote)

by Bernard on
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News and Views

 28-31 July 2015

by In Wales - Jul 28, 36 comments

Your take on today's news media

 24 - 26 July 2015

by In Wales - Jul 23, 49 comments

Your take on today's news media

 Open Thread 27 July - 2 August

by Bjinse - Jul 27, 12 comments

Care to comment?

 Open Thread 20-26 July

by Bjinse - Jul 20, 31 comments

Summer chatting

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