The dead zone is forecast to be between 8,500 and 9,421 square miles – an area roughly the size of New Hampshire, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The zone is a threat to aquatic organisms as well as the humans who depend on them in the gulf’s booming seafood industry.
"Stream flows were nearly double normal during May, delivering massive amounts of nutrients to the Gulf, and that’s what drives the dead zone," said Donald Scavia, Special Counsel to the U-M President for Sustainability and director of the Graham Sustainability Institute. (See pictures of flood waters rising along the Mississippi river.)
Scavia noted that the most likely 2011 scenario is a Gulf dead zone of at least 8,500 square miles. This estimate far surpasses the 6,000-square-mile average of the past five years, as well as the current record, set in 2002, of 8400 miles.
The oxygen-starved Gulf dead zone is largely caused by farmland runoff containing fertilizers and livestock waste from as far away as the Corn Belt. Nitrogen and phosphorus from these sources flow down the Mississippi River and into the Gulf in late spring and summer each year, prompting explosive algal blooms, which later die and sink to the ocean floor. As they decompose, the algae provide bottom-dwelling bacteria with organic matter to feast on. Oxygen is consumed in the process, producing an oxygen-starved region in bottom and near-bottom waters: a dead zone.
This year, nitrogen and phosphorus have been seeping from Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers into the Gulf in alarmingly high amounts. In May 2011, 164,000 metric tons of nitrogen were transported to the northern Gulf, according to the U.S. Geological Survey – a 35% climb from average May nitrogen estimates in the last 32 years. The Gulf has seen a shocking 300% increase in nitrogen content since 1960.
“The disappointing economic reports are key to stocks’ retreat since early May. The Dow and S&P fell for a sixth-consecutive week last week and the Nasdaq is now negative for 2011. “People are definitely afraid,” Murphy said. “We have been told told to buy the dips for the past nine months, but that is no longer working.””—Stocks: Week ahead features lots of economic reports - Jun. 12, 2011
But there’s an even more fundamental divide in the cartel. Between those countries like Saudi Arabia with big reserves that want a stable price for their oil, and those like Iran, Libya and Venezuela who have little spare capacity. Samuel Ciszuk is an oil analyst with IHS Global Insight.
Samuel Ciszuk: Those who are starting to see the end of their reserves are obviously interested in maximizing the amount of money they will get out of it.
That group of countries today refused to back Saudi Arabia’s call to pump more oil and restrain prices, hence the jump in the price of crude. But the Saudis hinted that they may step up production anyway. Chris Skrebowski of Peak Oil Consulting says this could herald the end of OPEC.
Chris Skrebowski: I think it’s probably a 60 or 70 percent chance that this will fundamentally change the cartel. That in practical terms, it will split.
With Saudi Arabia pumping more oil and with OPEC in disarray, that would seem to be good news for beleaguered oil consumers. But as Professor Kent Moors of Duquesne University told the Marketplace Morning Report, don’t bet on it.
Kent Moors: Well, gas prices probably have gone down as much as they’re going down nationally. We’re not going back anywhere close to $3.30 or thereabouts.
Such is the rapid growth in demand for oil — in China, India and elsewhere — the price seems headed inexorably higher.
Meanwhile, the oil sands in Canada which are touted as an alternate solution further reveal how problematic peak oil is becoming as we get closer to spending a barrel of oil to extract one:
This pipeline fight is over the most expensive oil in the world. Oil companies drilling in the Canadian oil sands typically spend $60 or more to produce one barrel of crude. It’s what’s called tough oil — it takes a lot of energy, geology, and fancy acronyms.
Drew Zieglgansberger: Probably the most advanced technology right now is called SAGD, or it stands for Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage.
Drew Zieglgansberger is vice president at the Canadian oil firm Cenovus. We’re on a bus, touring their operations in middle-of-nowhere, Alberta. He says the world’s easy oil is gone.
Zieglgansberger: The oil now that people are looking for are not the nice light oil sitting in pools that you drill into it and it just flows by itself.
What’s left is in remote places, often way underground. As for the oil sands, they’re not even a liquid.
Zieglgansberger: It’s basically a solid matter. It’s very much like a shoe polish. It’s hard and it’s… if you put it in a cup it would be there forever. If you dump it out, it’d be like dumping some wet sand in your sandbox.
Still, processing the oil sands is worth it, ‘cause American import one hundred barrels of crude, every second. That comes out to 24,000 barrels by the time this story is over. Or one million gallons. The key ingredient to oil sands is heat: you send steam down a well, turn the sand into liquid, and pump it.
Zieglgansberger: This is basically a big, big boiler.
The steam source runs almost 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. Great big fire.
Zieglgansberger: This is where we’re burning natural gas. If you look at a normal barbecue, your barbecue is probably about 30,000 or 40,000 BTU of heat, maybe. This one generator is 250 million. It’s a massive amount of energy.
There’s the rub. In some cases, the energy put in equals what you get out.
Not worth it, says Calgary author Andrew Nikiforuk. His book is called Tar Sands.
Andrew Nikiforuk: The returns are absolutely minimal. It takes one barrel of oil or oil equivalent to get one-and-one-half barrels. Some steam plants are getting even negative returns.
Energy use makes the oil sands process emit 17 percent more greenhouse gases than normal oil — according to a U.S. government study. Critics say that makes for one of the dirtiest crudes in the world, not to mention the chemical wastewater, and clearing of forests for mining.
Canadian activist Danielle Droitsch is with the Pembina Institute.
Danielle Droitsch: It’s similar to Venezuela. It is similar to Nigerian oil. So it’s sort of the worst of the worst.
Droitsch moved to D.C. last year, in her view to keep the oil sands industry honest. She’s fighting the expansion of a pipeline carrying Canadian oil sands crude to the United States. And for now it is stalled. The application’s been at the State Department for 33 months. Opponents like Droitsch think choking off supply will help choke off oil addiction quickly. But the reality of driving suggests, maybe not.
Analyst Jim Burkhard at IHS Cambridge Energy says most of us own our cars for a decade or more. So it’ll take a long time to retire a whole generation of oil guzzlers.
Jim Burkhard: So even if we have stunning success in electric vehicles, it will take decades before we see that reduce overall global oil demand.
Read the rest of the article to find out more about the pipeline. Peak oil isn’t fake science. It’s real. Oil companies have been talking about it for a decade, but try to play it down. We have some time left, but we’re on the down-hill slope at this point.
As per the EMP topic: They can also be cause by solar CME's, or Coronal Mass Ejections. Apparently, the power grid in the US is very vulnerable, as it is old an in quite a state of disrepair. A massive solar flare could potentially fry it. This might leave some areas or some devices still functioning, depending on the severity.
More importantly though, I think is understanding what will happen to all the nuclear plants if the grid does go down. If all electronics are fried, there will be no way to prevent meltdown and fallout.
killciv - I agree that CME’s are more likely right now given given that we recently entered a period of increased solar activity in 2011. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg…
very valid point about the nuclear infrastructure in this scenario.
Pattern Recognition: Biological Threat Round-up - June 1, 2011
I’ve been meaning to start listing on-going bacterial, viral, and pandemic types of threats. I see them as one of several types of Mother Nature’s tools for population control. These are lower probability threats in the US, but I like to watch them in case something ever gets out of control. Anyway, here are the more interesting news stories happening right now.
Scientists say a new strain of antibiotic-resistant staph has been identified in humans and fresh, unpasteurized cow’s milk in Europe, although it’s not known how widespread or virulent it is. A bigger concern, according to their study, is that a newer test may miss this strain of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus.
Dr. Gregory Moran, a clinical professor of medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine who is not affiliated with the study said “There is nothing to suggest that this is some new, extra dangerous strain that will spread further and take over from the MRSA that we already have.”
Now, drug-resistant superbugs are showing up in supermarket meat. Raw beef, chicken and turkey from Detroit grocery stores contained methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a sinister strain of bacteria that doesn’t respond to typical antibiotics, researchers reported Wednesday.
NEW DELHI: NDM-1, the enzyme associated with extensive antibiotic resistance that was found in India last year, has jumped to new bacteria strains and infected a Canadian, who had no travel history to India.
For the first time, scientists in Canada have reported local acquisition of an organism producing NDM-1 in Ontario, Canada. NDM-1 has been found in bacterial species other than E coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae.
The findings are in tune with a TOI report a few weeks ago that had pointed out about NDM-1 gene, which has been jumping between various species of bacteria at a “superfast speed.”
The Ministry of health yesterday confirmed a new outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in the country. Test results from the Uganda Virus Research Institute indicate that a 12 year-old girl from Zirowe Sub County in Luwero district died from the deadly disease on May 6 at Bombo Military hospital.
“Laboratory investigations confirmed Ebola to be the cause of death and illness. So far about 30 people who had contact with the girl including the health workers are being monitored,”said Dr Anthony Mbonye, the head of the Ebola task force.
(Salt Lake County) -The Salt Lake Valley Health Department (SLVHD) announced today that there have been no new confirmed measles cases in Salt Lake County in 28 days, indicating that the county is no longer experiencing a measles outbreak. The outbreak ends with a total of 9 confirmed cases requiring 3,000 health department staff hours and a not-yet-final cost of $130,246.00
Following large outbreaks of measles in Europe as well as in a growing number of countries around the world, cases are now appearing across the United States. Over the past year, a dramatic increase has been seen in the number of measles cases in such countries as France, Germany, Belgium, Romania, and the UK, and now several American states are reporting an increase in the number of cases as well.
Normally, only about 50 cases of measles occur within the U.S. each year. However, since the beginning of 2011, a total of 98 cases have been reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The majority of cases reported have been caused by unvaccinated people traveling to countries where large outbreaks exist.
The raw Florida oysters that sickened at least 11 people during March and April were contaminated with an unusual but mild strain of cholera. ”This is the first outbreak of illness from this strain of cholera in Florida, and we have yet to be able to find any other cases in the United States,” said Sterling Ivey, spokesman with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
70% of all US antibiotic consumption is used up in adding low-doses to animal feed to make up for unsanitary living conditions and promote faster growth, according to NRDC. This practice has been steadily growing over the last six decades, despite the every-growing threat to humans of superbugs.
The antibiotic doses used in feed or water for turkeys, cows, pigs and chickens are too low to treat diseases - however, they are low enough for a significant number of bacteria to survive and build up resistance. These antibiotics, such as penicillin and tetracyclines, are used to treat humans too.
Health and consumer organizations are demanding to know why the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) came to the same conclusion regarding the antibiotic resistance threat a long time ago, but did not act on its findings.
Approximately half of the current antibiotic production is used in agriculture to promote growth and to prevent crop disease as well as to treat sick livestock. With such massive use, drug-resistant bacteria generated in animals can be then later transferred to humans in food. Antibiotics are frequently given to healthy animals to encourage faster growth. This is of course convenient to the farmer because of faster growth it also provides cheaper meat. However, it also provides more opportunities for bacteria to evolve into drug resistant strains.
The second problem is the sharp drop in the development of new antibiotics. In the past drug companies coped with antibiotic resistance by developing new drugs. More recently, however, drug companies are claiming that ‘investing in antibiotics is not attractive’.
Instead, drug companies are shifting their research dollars to developing drugs that treat chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. These drugs are less challenging to bring to market than antibiotics from a regulatory standpoint and are much more lucrative because they are used for years rather than days or weeks as is the case with antibiotics. Furthermore, much of the drug resistance currently is in poor countries that cannot afford expensive new drugs.
Between 1983 and 1987, 16 new antibiotic drugs were approved by the FDA. Since 2003 only seven and since 2008 only two have been approved.
To read more about other trends check out my other Round-ups:
I'm concerned about the EMP topic. I know it's a scary thought and it needs to have more attention put on it. I feel as though the people who claim to know about it, really don't. When I heard about EMP I started to look more into it. I think that your followers are truly interested in different enviromental happenings. There is a guy named Curtis Birnbach that actually knows a lot about EMP, he's going to be on this site on Wednesaday: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/empact-radio/2011/06/01/empact-radio-with-dr-peter-vincent-pry I hope that you check it out & your follwe - - - I think that your follwers would be interested !!!
EMP, thanks for the suggestion. I’ll give it a listen.
I knew about EMP as a phenomena for a long time, but it never really struck me fully until I read William Forstchen’s "One Second After". In my opinion, that book is one of the most realistically presented works in the post-apocalyptic genre.
However, as I began to take a more centered approach to preparation and the types of events I prepare for I started looking at the list in terms of impact and probability.
An EMP event that put us back into the world we lived in several centuries ago is a “high impact, low probability” scenario.
Is it a threat? Yes.
Is it as likely as an earthquake, tornado, or pandemic? I honestly don’t think it is.
Here’s the most common scenario presented for EMP events - besides a large solar flare (coronal mass ejection):
A small EMP-optimized nuke launched from a container ship in the Gulf of Mexico could take out the power grid of the entire continental United States. The same thing could be done anywhere, like Europe or Japan. Source
A commenter, Ben, on the post linked above effectively summarizes my thoughts on EMP:
For EMP Doomsday to be a risk, there must be a group out there with the following:
1. the capability to build a nuke small and rugged enough to fit on a ballistic missile and make it “EMP-optimised” – this is technology advanced enough that it requires the resources of a state
2. suitable ballistic missile technology
3. a desire to cause chaos in the US, triggering a massive global depression and wrecking everyone’s economies
4. the willingness to risk nuclear retaliation given that the source of the attack could be traced using informers, or satellite imagery of the launch correlated with shipping records, or possibly the characteristics of the device. The one part of Western society that would function well after the EMP attack is the military.
No state in the world has these things. North Korea and Iran don’t currently have the technology; I doubt India and Pakistan do either, and neither of those has the motivation; none of the remaining nuclear states with the technical capability to do the attack (which I make UK, France, Israel, China, Russia) would want to wreck a huge trading partner.
Nobody who can presently do it would want to. You could make up a political scenario where tension between the US and Pakistan or China, or the technology level of Iran, might greatly increase in the next few decades. But if an aggressor state was considering a first strike, why would it limit its initial attack to a single EMP missile, while inviting a full nuclear attack in response? Source
I do think this is as real a threat as nuclear war, but the probability is low that someone will be able to pull it off any time soon. I find it hard to believe that the critical military functions needed to respond to such an attack would not already hardened. The rest of our infrastructure, well, that’s another matter.
If it ever does happen, we’re screwed. In that case, use your preps to survive while you learn to live like the pioneers. :) My philosophy is that if you prepare for the more probable threats, you will eventually be prepared for the less probable ones.
Thanks for reading and keep posting. Your new Tumblr is relevant to my interests.
I've read your response four times. I love it. And you're and excellent writer, which I deeply appreciate. Keep at it! You may want to check out JB Ruhl's Seven Degrees of Relevance for a bit of hope. It's a window into my perspective of environmentalism.
And of course, The Lorax.
Thanks Michael, on all counts. :) I appreciate the support. I’ll be sure to read “Seven Degrees of Relevance”. I work hard to keep up a pragmatic hope. :)
“Nature which governs the whole will soon change all things which thou seest, and out of their substance will make other things, and again other things from the substance of them, in order that the world may be ever new.”—Marcus Aurelius Verus - “Meditations” ca. 167 A.D.
Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal said Sunday that he wants oil prices to drop so that the United States and Europe don’t accelerate efforts to wean themselves off his country’s supply.
In an interview broadcast Sunday on “CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS,” the grandson of the founding king of modern Saudi Arabia said the oil price should be somewhere between $70 and $80 a barrel, rather than the current level of over $100 a barrel.
"We don’t want the West to go and find alternatives, because, clearly, the higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives," said Talal, who is listed by Forbes as the 26th richest man in the world. Source
2011 on track to be the deadliest year on record for tornadoes in the US
It has been a historic tornado season in the United States. More than 500 people have been killed, according to figures from the National Weather Service and local authorities. That makes 2011 the deadliest season since 1953, when 519 people were killed in twisters. Source
The Joplin Missouri tornado was the deadliest on record
At least 126 people in Joplin had died due to the storm as of Thursday night, said Newton County Coroner Mark Bridges. That makes the tornado the single deadliest to touch down in any U.S. community since modern record-keeping began in 1950. Source
The deadliest tornado year on record is 1925, which had 794 deaths, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The number of fatalities so far this year is more than 8 1/2 times the average number for an entire year — 56, according to CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. Source
NEW DELHI, May 24 (Reuters) - Solar power in India could cost the same as conventional electricity by 2019-20, a report said on Tuesday, which could boost the use of an energy source regarded as key to curbing emissions in the world’s third-worst carbon polluter.
A KPMG report said more aggressive policy could see solar power prices decline at a rate of 5-7 percent annually over the next decade, ensuring “grid parity”, or the point when solar power costs the same as conventional power, as early as 2017-18.
From a hillside, Kamal Saadat looked forlornly at hundreds of potential customers, knowing he could not take them for trips in his boat to enjoy a spring weekend on picturesque Oroumieh Lake, the third largest saltwater lake on earth.
"Look, the boat is stuck… It cannot move anymore," said Saadat, gesturing to where it lay encased by solidifying salt and lamenting that he could not understand why the lake was fading away.
The long popular lake, home to migrating flamingos, pelicans and gulls, has shrunken by 60 percent and could disappear entirely in just a few years, experts say — drained by drought, misguided irrigation policies, development and the damming of rivers that feed it.
Official reports blame the drying mainly on a decade-long drought, and peripherally on consumption of water of the feeding rivers for farming. They put 5 percent of the blame on construction of dams and 3 percent on other factors. Others disagree about the relative blame.
The first alarm over the lake’s shrinking came in late 1990s amid a nagging drought.
Nonetheless, the government continued construction of 35 dams on the rivers which feed the lake; 10 more dams are on the drawing boards for the next few years. Read more
Revolution is spreading: Protests sweep Spain, Greece, and elsewhere
Eurozone fears bring instability to global markets - May 25th, 2011 “…there are also mounting protests in the Continent against public sector spending cuts and rising unemployment. At the same time, fears that Greece, Italy and Spain will be unable to re-pay their sovereign debts without an expensive bail-out sent markets in Europe and North America tumbling earlier this week.” Source
Thousands in Greece austerity protest - May 25th, 2011 - ATHENS - Thousands of protesters gathered in Athens and other major Greek cities Wednesday to condemn the government’s austerity policies after an online campaign inspired by recent turnouts in Spain.
More than 10,000 people, according to media estimates, assembled in the capital’s central Syntagma Square, shouting and shaking their fists at the lawmakers inside the nearby parliament building.
Another 5,000 gathered in the northern city of Thessaloniki and similar protests were planned in the cities of Patras, Ioannina, Iraklio and others.
Spain went through similar protests last week leading up to their election:
Protests to continue in Spain - May 25, 2011 - Since mid-May, Spain has been witnessing demonstrations against the government’s austerity measures.
The massive protests came after the government of Prime Minister Zapatero introduced a slew of drastic austerity measures, including the cutting of civil servant wages, as part of its plans to curb the budget deficit from 11 percent a year earlier to within three percent of the GDP, a limit set by the European Union by 2013. Source
Meanwhile, protests are returning to Egypt:
Egypt’s PM tries to head-off “Second Revolution” - May 25, 2011 - Facebook groups, which helped oust President Hosni Mubarak in February, have been complaining about what they see as slow political and economic reforms and delays by the military council and the interim government in bringing to justice former officials charged with abuse of power and graft.
They have called for a massive demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the hub of protests that toppled Mubarak, on Friday in what they dubbed the “second revolution”. Source
And yet the Slut-walk Protesters, which have also gone global, would rather invest their time in protesting a stereotype. Ladies, I know it’s a problem that is deeper than some, but really, people are putting it all on the line for a shitload of heavy, heavy issues and you organize against what some dumb cop said in Canada? #firstworldproblems
Tornadoes increasing in frequency for past 60 years
Officials in Joplin, Missouri, confirmed at least 116 people dead after a twister smashed the city Sunday. Destructive tornadoes and severe storms tore through the South in late April, killing hundreds of people.
With all the advancements in storm technology, the question is simple: Why?
"That’s the question of 2011," Henson said. "Why have so many people died in these tornadoes? That’s the open question. It’s partly because of the strength of these tornadoes. Also because they’ve hit populated areas." Source - CNNImage source - CNN
There have been increasing numbers of measured tornadoes in the past 60 years, and may be even more in the future. Meteorologists chalk this up to better detection. But climatologists believe that we’re going to see more and worse severe storms and tornadoes in the U.S. in coming years thanks to climate change.
Two studies from 2007 point to a warmer future that could “bring the USA a dramatic increase in the frequency of weather conditions that feed severe thunderstorms and tornadoes by the end of the 21st century.” The first, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says that the some locations will see twice as many days per year that favor severe thunderstorms.
"The densely populated regions of the South and East, including New York City and Atlanta, could be especially hard-hit," reports study lead author Jeff Trapp of Purdue University.
A second study from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York says that “the strongest severe storms and tornadoes are likely to happen more often and be stronger.”
However, there are other forces at work, such as reduced wind shear (or side to side movement of air) in a warmer climate, that could have the opposite effect on tornado frequency. So basically, climate change could lead to more tornadoes, or possibly to fewer tornadoes.
Nowhere, however, do they mention the need to pack my AK and hatchet.
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.
I’m loving people today. Feeling warm and fuzzy about humanity for a change. The old homeless guy I gave a ride to last night hugged me when I dropped him off and said he felt like we’d met for a short while for a reason. Sharing an hour with a down and out stranger is sometimes all it takes to make life better for a bit.
Why does this make me think of the Metal Gear series? So either this is gonna be an “Outer Heaven” in the sense that a non-political, military country is forcibly established—a mercenary paradise—or it’s an “Outer Heaven” in the MGS4 sense that it’s gonna be a shady parent company for numerous private military companies. :P
But seriously, there’s just something not right about this whole thing…
Already on Sunday, waters in Vicksburg, Mississippi, had reached record levels of 56.2 feet , the weather service reported. This is well above the 43-foot flood stage, but still short of the forecasted crest of 57.5 feet on Thursday. Levels in Natchez, further south downriver, were two feet higher than the record set in 1937 on Sunday, but just under three feet shy of the 63-foot crest expected Saturday.
The weather service said the river was also cresting Sunday in New Orleans and Reserve, Louisiana, because of the spillway operations. At Reserve, the river was cresting at 28.2 feet, above the historic 1929 flood level of 26 feet. At New Orleans, however, the crest was 17 feet, about four feet below the historic level of 1922.
SHTF in Louisiana as controlled flooding set to destroy town
When I think of SHTF scenarios, this is as realistic as it gets. Your entire town is being destroyed. You have to grab your shit and leave. Time to get out of Dodge. Gods help those folks…
Hundreds of people packed into the Butte La Rose firehouse to learn about the flood projections from the Army Corps of Engineers.
Col. Ed Fleming delivered the dire news.
"Listen to me, listen to me, OK," he said. "I’m telling you the depth of water from right here will be 15 feet."
The number stunned the crowd.
Pierre Watermeyer turned to friends and said, “It’s over with, it’s over with.”
Butte La Rose will soon be a ghost town. Residents are packing up and heading out. “It’s just a somber mood. Everybody’s just doing what they got to do,” Watermeyer said. “At least we have time to get out.”
There are more than 800 homes in the Butte La Rose area of St. Martins Parish, which sits right in the flood path. It’s home to an eclectic collection of Cajuns who’ve come to this hideaway for generations to drift through the hidden waters catching crawfish.
The 15-foot flood prediction in Butte La Rose is based on the Corps inundation map for when the Morganza Spillway is opened.
Inflation accelerated to its fastest annual pace in two and a half years in April, as surging gas prices continued to hit American consumers.
The Consumer Price Index, the government’s key inflation measure, rose 3.2% over the last 12 months ended April 30, according to Friday’s report from the Labor Department. It was the biggest 12-month jump since October 2008.
A provocative appeal from The Economistyesterday calls on Americans to “save the Fourth Amendment.” While Economist blogger Lexington focuses on the constitutionality of street patdowns by police in troubled neighborhoods, it’s worth noting that the line has become increasingly blurred…
Writing in the journal Science, they say current policies focus on the production of a few crops and a minority of farmers while failing to address farming’s contribution to global warming, biodiversity loss, natural resource degradation, and public health problems.
You know, if you follow me, that I’m skeptical of conspiracy theories. However, there are some very interesting “coincidences” going on with regards to people related to or investigating the BP oil spill. Check it out and make your own decisions.
Over the course of the past year, you’ve most likely come across strange stories regarding the tragic fates of those connected with the BP oil disaster. When compiled, the stories are all together shocking and disturbing. Is it possible that the nine deaths and others affected who were involved in different areas of disaster knowledge are just random coincidences? Check into the details and decide for yourself.
Of the 12 high profile people in question, 9 are mysteriously dead, 1 nearly died in a brutal assassination attempt, 1 is imprisoned under questionable charges, and another has simply disappeared. You can watch a video tutorial of the cases while you read the segments. Below that, you can follow the links to all the cases.
Not all of the people listed are directly related to the disaster, however, they are high profile truth tellers with different areas of expertise. Statistically speaking, it is unlikely that this many experts and activists would suddenly wind up dead within a year of the disaster. It is suspected that those who were indirectly connected with the event, may have had more knowledge or pull than originally thought.
Hi, tell me about skeptical survivalism. Must be a summary, paper, thread, or something under 30 pages that describes your perspective, yes? climateadaptation.tumblr.com/ask. Best, Michael
Ps I'm truly intrigued. Not bs'n
Thank you for your interest in the theme I’m working from with the stories I share. You ask about skeptical survivalism. I’ll try to give a quick synopsis of my motivations.
I’m concerned about the impact of rapid climate change, peak oil, food shortages, ballooning population expansion, extremism, religious conflicts, and the political unrest that result from all of these factors. I don’t think the world will end, but I do believe that in the next few decades there is potential for any number of what I call Dramatic Change Events, sometimes referred to as “black swans”.
There is always that potential, we all know that, but I believe the confluence of these factors, which seem to be nearing levels previously unseen in the age we live in, raises the probability of us having to deal with some sort of survival scenario in our lifetime.
However, here’s where the skepticism comes in. When you dig into these concepts and issues, the topics quickly change to conspiracy theories and speculation, loosely associated facts used to form strong assumptions.
I make assumptions, but I realize that many of them are things I accept because I take a ‘leap of faith’ at the end and decide the proof is good enough for me, but knowing that I would never feel comfortable saying “This is an absolute fact. You should believe it as well”.
So, I’m skeptical in that I work hard to keep from drawing too many hard and fast conclusions, but rather reserve judgment when I can without completely losing my point of view and voice.
For example, I think there is a trend in the mass animal and fish deaths, despite the common arguments that it happens every year and now we are just hearing about it more. I believe that human generated pollution and climate change are bringing it about in many ways. I’ve gone into some of the scientific research behind the causes of algal blooms in this post. I also look at the extreme winter weather we’ve had which has caused oxygen deprivation in so many lakes. Can’t really prove it with no room for doubt though. Still yet, no one of importance is looking for these connections, so I’m following it for my own interest.
I dislike extremists, fundamentalist/literalist black and white thinking, and many of the other ideologies I see expressed by people who are drawn to survivalism. I felt that there needed to be a voice in the survivalist community who doesn’t try to blame every problem we have on Barack Obama, globalism, the loss of Christian ideals, or the NWO [to name just a few pet causes].
So, I share Doomer type stories on several major themes as an environmental scan of current events that may or may not be related. I mostly leave it up to the reader to do the math and see where it all fits together. And I encourage critical thinking, to the point where you question your own assumptions as well as those of others.
The end goal is for me to be better prepared to survive natural disasters, inflation, food shortages, or any less probable, but worse, scenarios. To be better able to take care of and protect my family. That’s all that matters to me.
I defined my perspective further in the introductory post when I began writing here. It should give you more perspective on where I’m coming from.
Thanks again for your interest. I hope the information I share can be helpful.
PS - the link to ft.com was behind a paywall. I find links to their site regularly that I’d like to see but require the subscription. I have the title of the post from the 2 seconds it’s visible before the login prompt comes up, so I’ll dig into it a bit more from other sources. Definitely relevant to my interests.
Memphis, Tennessee (CNN) — The Mississippi River is cresting at Memphis, forecasters said Tuesday, as attention began turning to flooding concerns in Louisiana and Mississippi.
The slow passing of the bulge of water working its way from north to south along the Mississippi is only the beginning of the end of the siege for Memphis residents, who could be dealing with high water levels into June.
And the struggle is just getting started for residents of Mississippi and Louisiana, where the river is expected to rise over the next few days to levels unseen since 1927.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal predicted Tuesday that as many as 3 million acres of his state could be affected by the flooding.
A new study from Duke University found potentially toxic levels of methane in drinking water near natural gas wells — levels so high they create the risk of explosion.
The study, released Monday, said about half of the 68 drinking water wells tested in Pennsylvania and New York located within a half a mile from natural gas wells had high levels of methane — the prime ingredient in natural gas fuel. Source
CUDJOE KEY, Fla. (WSVN) — Marine mammal rescuers and volunteers are trying to help more than a dozen pilot whales stranded in the lower Florida Keys.
By noon Friday, rescuers had cordoned off seven pilot whales with safety boons within a makeshift sea pen, where veterinarians are monitoring them and trying to rehabilitate them with the help of the volunteers. Four other whales have been confirmed dead since their stranding Thursday.
A bill making its way through the state Legislature may expand gun-owners rights when it comes to using deadly force in self defense, but it has many critics — including police — worrying about safety.
Current Minnesota law allows the use of deadly force to prevent a felony in your home, but the new proposal would let gun owners shoot in self defense in a garage, car, deck, tent, boat, hotel room and other places. Opponents have said the move could put more people in danger.
Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom, who is a critic of the bill, and Andrew Rothman, of the Minnesota Gun Owners’ Civil Rights Alliance, joined FOX 9 News to share their views on the proposal.
Pattern Recognition - Mass Fish Kill Roundup - Early May 2011
This just doesn’t stop. I’m past the point of thinking these numbers are “normal” or that they “happen all the time”. The effects of poisoning, oil spills, climate change in the form of extreme winter conditions, and algal blooms also caused by humans cause this trend to continue.
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Governor Lilia Pineda on Monday has asked fourth district Provincial Board member Nestor Tolentino investigate the tons of dead fish floating along the Masantol portion of Pampanga River.
Fish and Wildlife Services say that the remaining fish should do well because there will be less competition. “There will be lots of food for them, and they’ll start reproducing as long as we don’t get a number of winter kills. Then they’ll come back on their own,” says Ed Pirogowicz, Fish and Wildlife Officer.
This final stage of the northbound migration through Southland waters is occurring later than usual and comes during an unseasonably early arrival of blue whales into Southern California waters.
Blue whales are being seen sporadically, as close as a mile from shore to several miles offshore, as they presumably conduct a hunt for vast blooms of shrimp-like krill. The Dana Pride crew has seen krill off Orange County and on Saturday the crew of the Christopher out of Long Beach witnessed a blue whale lunge-feeding at the surface, nine miles from shore.
Hordes of lemmings have been spotted leaving the safety of the mountains to make their way down to more inhabited areas, falling victim to traffic and being preyed upon by other animals.
“I must have seen a thousand just since Saturday. They are absolutely everywhere. They are swimming about in the lake close to our house, they jump on the ice floes, and they scurry around the outside of our house,“ said holiday-maker Magnus Lundberg, to the local Östersundsposten (ÖP) daily.
Favourable weather has created the conditions for 2011 to become what Swedes call “a real lemming year”.
According to Bengt Landström of the mountain unit at the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten, this may well be a record year for lemmings…
To read more about mass fish kills and whale strandings check out my other Round-ups:
Record wildlife die-offs reported in Northern Rockies
A record number of big-game animals perished this winter in parts of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming from a harsh season of unusually heavy snows and sustained cold in the Northern Rockies, state wildlife managers say.
Based on aerial surveys of big-game herds and signals from radio-collared animals, experts are documenting high mortality among offspring of mule deer, white-tailed deer and pronghorn antelope.
Wildlife managers estimate die-offs in the tens of thousands across thousands of square miles that span prairie in northeastern Montana, the upper Snake River basin in Idaho near Yellowstone National Park and the high country of northwestern Wyoming near the exclusive resort of Jackson.
Brimeyer said the estimated death rate doubled among deer fawns in the Jackson area this year, rising to 60 percent or more from 30 percent.
He said many thousands more elk have crowded the feeding grounds of the National Elk Refuge near Jackson, yet another sign of the toll winter is exacting. The trend also is pronounced in a wildlife management area near McCall in the mountains of central Idaho, where the estimated mortality rate among mule deer fawns is 90 percent this winter, compared with an average annual rate of 20 percent.
In The Looming Tower, the Pulitzer-winning history of al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11, author Lawrence Wright lays out how Osama bin Laden’s motivation for the attacks that he planned in the 1990s, and then the September 11 attacks, was to draw the U.S. and the West into a prolonged war—an actual war in Afghanistan, and a broader global war with Islam.
Osama got both. And we gave him a prolonged war in Iraq to boot. By the end of Obama’s first term, we’ll probably top 6,000 dead U.S. troops in those two wars, along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans. The cost for both wars is also now well over $1 trillion.
We have also fundamentally altered who we are. A partial, off-the-top-of-my-head list of how we’ve changed since September 11 …
We’ve sent terrorist suspects to “black sites” to be detained without trial and tortured.
We’ve turned terrorist suspects over to other regimes, knowing that they’d be tortured.
In those cases when our government later learned it got the wrong guy, federal officials not only refused to apologize or compensate him, they went to court to argue he should be barred from using our courts to seek justice, and that the details of his abduction, torture, and detainment should be kept secret.
We’ve abducted and imprisoned dozens, perhaps hundreds of men in Guantanamo who turned out to have been innocent. Again, the government felt no obligation to do right by them.
The government launched a multimillion dollar ad campaign implying that people who smoke marijuana are complicit in the murder of nearly 3,000 of their fellow citizens.
The government illegally spied and eavesdropped on thousands of American citizens.
Presidents from both of the two major political parties have claimed the power to detain suspected terrorists and hold them indefinitely without trial, based solely on the president’s designation of them as an “enemy combatant,” essentially making the president prosecutor, judge, and jury. (I’d also argue that the treatment of someone like Bradley Manning wouldn’t have been tolerated before September 11.)
The current president has also claimed the power to execute U.S. citizens, off the battlefield, without a trial, and to prevent anyone from knowing about it after the fact.
The Congress approved, the president signed, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a broadly written law making it a crime to advocate for any organization the government deems sympathetic to terrorism. This includes challenging the “terrorist” designation in the first place.
Flying in America now means enduring a humiliating and hassling ritual that does little if anything to actually make flying any safer. Every time the government fails to catch an attempt at terrorism, it punishes the public for its failure by adding to the ritual.
American Muslims, a heartening story of success and assimilation, are now harassed and denigrated for merely trying to build houses of worship.
Without a warrant, the government can search and seize indefinitely the laptops and other personal electronic devices of anyone entering the country.
The Department of Homeland Security now gives terrorism-fighting grants for local police departments across the country to purchase military equipment, such as armored personnel carriers, which is then used against U.S. citizens, mostly to serve drug warrants.
It is so frustrating to hear everyone cheer like we won something, we didn’t. Am I glad this scum bag is off the face of the earth and that he can no longer harm another human being? Fuck yes. Am I glad it cost over 900,000 lives to do so? No. He got EXACTLY what he wanted, even down to his death. As evil and maniacal as he was, he was still an intelligent man, and we did exactly what he thought we would. I only wish this could have happened before so many other innocent people had to die.
Petraeus & Panetta: Dynamic Duo of Defense. Thus begins the Decade of Spy Wars...
This story is pregnant with what our next decade is likely to look like - or the parts we find out about anyway. President Obama just put the head of the CIA in charge of the military, and the head of the military in charge of the CIA. It’s a Dynamic Duo of Defense.
The Dynamic Duo’s reign may simply be for the remainder of the President’s administration, but they survived the transition into a Democratic administration, it’s less likely they’ll get completely sacked if a Republican took over in 2012. Either way, it seems like the time when the US could fund long drawn out ground campaigns is passing. It’s time to hire some Minute Men.
Republican voters won’t give Obama credit for keeping these Bush cronies in positions of power. Democratic voters will lose more faith because of this tendency to perpetuate so many policies of the Bush administration.
Perhaps it is a wise choice to cross the wires like this. But I don’t trust soldiers not to be soldiers, or spooks to give a fuck, so the vices of these archetypes lead me to speculate a dangerous, and perhaps unscrupulous, power structure has been created. I’m sure it is also argued that they are checks and balances for each other. I see it also pitched as maximizing the impact by cross training. Mixing the intelligence and cunning of a Doberman with the brute strength and ferocity of a Pitt Bull.
Thus begins the Decade of Spy Wars and the continued Resurrection of the Soldier of Fortune.
Washington (CNN) — It’s Washington’s version of the reality television show “Wife Swap.”
President Barack Obama has tapped one of the country’s top military men to head the Central Intelligence Agency, while the current CIA chief is being nominated to take charge of the military.
The decision to send Gen. David Petraeus to the CIA and shift CIA Director Leon Panetta to the Pentagon is as much a reflection of the political skills of two talented bureaucratic infighters as it is a sign of the administration’s shifting agenda in a variety of hot spots around the world.
Faced with a looming reelection campaign and tighter budget constraints, Obama wants to move ahead with plans to complete the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and begin the process of winding down the unpopular war in Afghanistan, according to numerous analysts. New fiscal and political realities are contributing to a growing emphasis on smaller, more flexible, less costly, and potentially more dangerous military and paramilitary engagements in the years ahead.
Translation? A smaller Defense Department that is more reliant on solid intelligence gathering, and an increasingly militarized CIAmore heavily involved in armed conflicts. Panetta and Petraeus are, by all accounts, uniquely qualified to manage the change. Source
Procter & Gamble Co. last week notified U.S. retailers that it was raising wholesale prices on Pampers diapers and baby wipes, Charmin toilet tissue and Bounty paper towels, a company spokesman said Monday.
The wholesale price increases amount to 7% for Pampers diapers, 3% for Pampers baby wipes and an average increase of 5% for Bounty and Charmin products.
The price increases come in the wake of rival Kimberly-Clark Corp. on Monday saying it was raising prices on most of the products it sells in North America as it faces higher costs for key materials like wood pulp and fuel. Last month, Kimberly-Clark announced price increases on items like Huggies diapers and Cottenelle bathroom tissue. Source
Kimberly-Clark reported Monday that a bigger-than-expected rise in the cost of raw materials took a toll on first-quarter profit, which fell 9% to $350 million, or 86 cents a share, from $384 million, or 92 cents a share, a year earlier, even as net sales increased 4% to $5 billion.
The Dallas-based company, which also makes Kleenex tissues, said cost increases for raw materials like wood pulp, resins and fuel are likely to run twice as high this year as previously projected. It said it needs to raise prices in response.
Clorox Co., which reports next week, says it is raising the price of Glad trash bags by 9.5% beginning in May. The cost of some of its salad products, like Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix, will also rise.
Shoppers and investors will be watching for similar moves from Colgate-Palmolive Co.,Unilever PLC and Energizer Holdings Inc., which report results this week.
Consumers already are absorbing higher costs for food and gasoline. And price tags are also forecast to begin rising for apparel, reflecting rocketing cotton costs. U.S. consumer prices rose 2.7% in March from a year earlier, the largest increase since December 2009.
"When you look across almost every category out there you are seeing the impact of higher commodity costs show up and higher selling prices for everything," Kimberly-Clark CEO Thomas Falk said on a conference call to discuss quarterly results Monday.
CHICAGO, March 18 2011 (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co will raise U.S. detergent prices by 4.5 percent in June as the world’s largest household products maker starts to respond to rising costs for materials, packaging and transportation.
The maker of Tide, Gain and Era laundry detergents said the increase would go into effect on June 6. Source
What you see here is the manufacturers raising prices on things they know people have to have and are less likely to buy generic. This is just the beginning of commodities price increases. Stock up while you can or BUY GENERIC.
Shoppers are less likely to switch to a cheaper brand on a baby product than many other items on the shopping list, according to a recent survey by Sanford Bernstein analyst Ali Dibadj. Just 10% of consumers said they switched to a cheaper diaper brand because “it’s not worth paying more in this category,” and no consumers reported switching baby food. By comparison, nearly a third of consumers said they switched brands of bleach, bottled water and liquid soap.
Jacking up prices carries marketing risks, even for diapers. Premium brands face intense competition from less-expensive options, especially private-label brands, which gained market share during the recession. Nevertheless, many parents, especially new ones, are willing to splurge on babies even when cutting back elsewhere, believing pricier products are better for comfort or development.