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31 August, 2010

Global Coal Supplies: It Might Be Worse Than Anyone Thinks

Global Coal Supplies: It Might Be Worse Than Anyone Thinks - Scitizen: "A new study on global coal supplies suggests a worldwide peak in production from existing fields in 2011.

Claims that the world has 200 to 400 years of coal left at current rates of consumption have blinded policymakers and the public. The claims are based on two questionable notions: 1) That official coal reserve estimates are accurate and 2) that the world will experience no growth in the rate of consumption of coal over the period cited.

In a new study published in the international journal Energy researchers Tadeusz W. Patzek and Gregory D. Croft suggest that actual historical coal production is a better indicator of the future trend of worldwide coal output than stated reserves which are notoriously unreliable. They note, for example, that the state of Illinois, despite its rank as second in reserves in the United States, has seen its production decline by half over the last 20 years. In the meantime Illinois' estimated recoverable reserves have actually increased from 32 billion tons to 34 billion tons between 1987 and 2006.

They mention the work of David Rutledge at the California Institute of Technology who has detailed the sharp downward revisions in the official reserve estimates in recent decades and who believes ultimate production will fall far short of the current reserve estimates. The trajectory for reserves, Rutledge shows, has largely been down as planners include constraints both technical and practical such as coal in seams too thin to mine economically or the presence of a large city over a shallow coalfield. Rutledge also applies Hubbert Linearization to the production data to obtain a truly startling picture of ultimate future recoveries: 50 percent less than current forecasts..."


Not Just Oil: U.S. Hit Peak Water in 1970 and Nobody Noticed

Not just oil: US hit peak water in 1970 and nobody noticed: "The concept of peak oil, where the inaccessibility of remaining deposits ensures that extraction rates start an irreversible decline, has been the subject of regular debate for decades... having a better sense of when we're likely to hit it could prove invaluable when it comes to planning our energy economy. The general concept of peaking has also been valuable, as it applies to just about any finite resource. A new analysis suggests that it may be valuable to consider applying it to a renewable resource as well: the planet's water supply..."


Why We Are Totally Finished

Why We Are Totally Finished | FINANCIAL SENSE: "Capitalism Fixes Problems & Preserves Democracy: Capitalism is what we should be relying on to fix our problems. Capitalism has it's own ecosystem, just like biology's ecosystem. An economic ecosystem that weeds out the weak, has parasites that eat the failures and new bacteria that evolves and grows replacements for that which failed. A system that keeps everything in balance.

The problem is we are no longer a capitalistic society. What we were taught in school is now utter and absolute nonsense. Capitalism is a thing of the past..."


Dr. Fatih Birol On World Energy Outlook Post Copenhagen

YouTube - Dr. Fatih Birol on World Energy Outlook post Copenhagen

Obama Needs Your 401(k) to Balance His Budget

Obama Needs Your 401(k) to Balance His Budget: "The Obama administration is 'taking the first steps to confiscate retirement dollars,' according to Dr. Jerome Corsi who predicts that the end result will be retirees with 401(k) plans holding near-worthless government debt 'that will be paid off in a devalued currency worth … pennies on the dollar.'

The move to confiscate those retirement dollars for government purposes was best illustrated by Christina Kirchner, President of Argentina, in 2008 when she announced plans to seize her citizens’ private pension funds. Writers at the Heritage Foundation said that while Kirchner claimed such seizure was necessary to protect her citizens’ investment accounts from the global meltdown, 'most observers believe[d] her real motive [was] to use the $30 billion in seized assets to ease the massive debt obligations her leftist spendthrift government [had] run up.' The Wall Street Journal agreed, saying that 'taking over the … pension fund assets [would] ease the cash crunch faced by [her] government.'..."


"Collapse" Documentary Now Available On DVD and ITUNES


Now Available On DVD and ITUNES!


30 August, 2010

We Are Following The Same Food Supply Patterns As Previously Collapsed, Failed Societies

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results." -- Albert Einstein


Why our agricultural empire will fall - Sustainable food - Salon.com: "In an age of super-sized meals and obesity epidemics, food-shortage doomsday scenarios always seem a little surreal. Backed by half a century of agricultural abundance, it's easy to imagine that cheap food will permanently abound. But in a new book, 'Empires of Food,' academic Evan Fraser and journalist Andrew Rimas show us that we are not the first advanced civilization to have a hubristic, misplaced confidence that we'll always be fed.

By tracing the rise and fall of a number of preindustrial empires, the authors show us just how much trouble we're in. The Romans, the Mesopotamians and the medieval Europeans, for example, all had agricultural systems that, much like ours, were yoked to complex technology and highly specialized trade networks. And each of those societies eventually failed because they hadn't accounted for soil erosion, growing overpopulation and weather changes. Climate change, anyone?

Fraser and Rimas propose no easy solutions, advocating instead that we learn to store surplus food, live locally, farm organically and diversify our crops.

Salon spoke to Evan Fraser over the phone about agricultural patterns through history, the instability of our food system, and whether the solutions he proposes are ultimately unaffordable for the world's poor..."


Location Services Pose Huge Security Risks

Location services pose huge security risks - USATODAY.com: "Sylvia was dining out with a friend. The restaurant manager interrupted her dinner to tell her she had a phone call. It was from a complete stranger who tracked her online. He had described her to the manager.

Louise was at a bar with colleagues. A stranger began talking to her. He knew a lot about her personal interests. Then, he pulled out his phone and showed her a photo. It was a picture of Louise that he found online.

Both of these stories are true. And they're very unnerving. There is also a common thread. The women were tracked by something known as 'geotagging.'

Geotagging adds GPS coordinates to your online posts or photos. You may be exposing this information without even knowing it. Geotagging is particularly popular with photos; many smartphones automatically geotag photos.

Photos can be plotted on a map for easy organization and viewing. But if you post photos online, and you could reveal your home address or child's school. You've given a criminal a treasure map..."


Islands Brace For Arrival of Hurricane Earl, U.S. East Coast In The Crosshairs

Graphic Source
Antigua and Barmbuda brace for arrival of Hurricane Earl - Chicago International Travel | Examiner.com: "A strengthening Hurricane Earl was nearing the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barmuda late Sunday afternoon and islanders were preparing to deal with potential flooding and damaging winds.

At 4 p.m. CDT, Earl was 150 miles east of Barmuda and moving to the west-northwest at 14 mph. It appeared the storm might track just to the north of the island, but hurricane-force winds extend out up to 45 miles from the center of Earl.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported Earl had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, with higher gusts. Forecasters expect the storm to continue to intensify and become a major hurricane tomorrow.

Earl is expected to bring three to five inches of rainfall to the Northern Leeward Islands, with some spots picking up as much as eight inches. The rainfall may be very heavy and occur in a short period of time.

'The likelihood for flooding is therefore going to be high,' Leonard Josiah of the Antigua and Barbuda Met Office told the Antigua Observer newspaper..."


Thousands Flee Eruption of Indonesian Volcano

Photo Source
Thousands flee as Indonesian volcano erupts - Yahoo! News: "A volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra erupted for the first time in 400 years Sunday, spewing a vast cloud of smoke and ash into the air and sending thousands of people fleeing from their homes.

Indonesia issued a red alert after the Sinabung volcano erupted, blanketing the area in thick and acrid black smoke, disaster officials said, although no casualties have yet been reported.

'It's clearly dangerous so we've raised the warning to the highest level, or red level,' said Surono, head of the nation's volcano disaster alert centre.

'From the crater, it shot smoke and volcanic ash 1,500 metres (5,000 feet) into the sky,' he told AFP.

The 2,460-metre (8,100-foot) Sinabung in northern Sumatra has not erupted for more than 400 years but had shown 'some volcanic activity' since Friday, Surono said, adding that they were monitoring the situation.

Villagers said they saw lava emerge from the crater around midnight, about 15 minutes before the eruption..."


Too Stressed to Procreate -- American Birth Rate Declines In Harsh Economic Times

Unfortunately, this curb in overpopulation is likely too late to do us much good, coming as it is here AFTER we have depleted our natural resources and ruined much of our environment.


TOO STRESSED TO PROCREATE - The Burning Platform: "Here is another brick in the wall of the Fourth Turning. Births are declining rapidly just as they did in the late 1920′s and early 1930′s. The birth rate bottomed out at 19.0 in 1933 and stayed flat until after World War II. Today’s birth rate of 13.5 is the lowest in US history. With our rapidly aging population (10,000 people per day turn 50 years old), this low birth rate is another nail in our coffin. The declining births follows the exact pattern of the last Fourth Turning. This is totally logical as the mood darkens. When people see a bleak uncertain future ahead, why would they bring a child into the world?

The NCHS reports that U.S. births declined to 4.136 million in 2009, from 4.247 million in 2008. The birth rate declined to 13.5 from 13.9 in 2008 (births per 1000 total population). Births have declined for two consecutive years, and are now 4.2% below the peak in 2007. Notice that the number of births started declining a number of years before the Great Depression started. Many families in the 1920s were under severe stress long before the economy collapsed. By 1933 births were down by almost 23% from the early ’20s levels."

To see the chart, click here.


29 August, 2010

Oliver Stone Agrees With Us

Oliver Stone’s New ‘Wall Street’ Film: Market-Timing Signal for ‘Crash of 2010?’ Or the ‘Death of America’s Soul?’ Michael Lewis Discovers Both for Vanity Fair - Wall Street Warzone: "...It’s the collapse of capitalism and the collapse of our society. It is. Our way of life is going to change.”

The 'collapse of capitalism?' Yes, Stone’s predicting the 'collapse of capitalism.' Not just a stock market crash, the 'collapse of capitalism.' He’s predicting the 'collapse of our society.' Worse, Stone’s predicting: 'Our way of life is going to change.' Is this really a market timing signal? Hey, it was in 1987. Will history repeat? The odds say yes..."


2 Days of Food Stretched More Than 2 Weeks By Trapped Miners

2 days of food stretched more than 2 weeks in mine - Yahoo! Finance: "Each of the 33 miners trapped a half-mile underground lived on two spoonfuls of tuna, a sip of milk, a bite of crackers and a morsel of peaches. Every other day.

They were so careful in eating what was supposed to be a two-day emergency supply that when the outside world finally reached them 17 days after a mine collapse, they still had some food left.

The discipline the men have already shown will be essential during the four months it may take rescuers to dig a hole wide enough to get them out of their shelter. The first communications with the trapped miners, now able to talk through a fixed line with their rescuers above -- show how determined they have been to stay alive..."


The Trillion Dollar Bailout You Didn’t Hear About

The trillion dollar bailout you didn’t hear about – Commercial real estate values plummet again yet banks hide losses. A $3.5 trillion financial disaster in the making. We are now proud owners of an AMC theater and Chick-fil-A.: "The latest data on existing home sales should tell you exactly where we are in this so called recovery. Average Americans are unable to purchase big ticket items without massive government subsidies. It is also the case that all the too big to fail banks are standing only because of the generous support of taxpayer money. Without large tax credits and the Federal Reserve buying down mortgage rates the housing market is extremely weak. Yet very few of the housing “analysts” actually bother to ask why they are weak in the first place. The employment market is in disarray and wages have fallen for everyone outside of the top 1 percent of income earners. The bailout fatigue is running out of steam but banks are using clandestine methods to offload trillions of dollars of commercial real estate to taxpayers. The next giant bailout is already happening but you probably haven’t heard about it...

... Over a year ago, the U.S. Treasury was secretly discussing 'Plan B' about gearing up for a giant commercial real estate bailout. Not much was said about this in the mainstream media. Yet now we know that banks specifically the Fed are taking on incredible amounts of CRE loans onto their books. In other words, the bailout is already happening. Think this isn’t the case? We now own a mall out in Oklahoma...

Source - NPR: 'As part of the bailouts of AIG and Bear Stearns, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York spent more than $70 billion to buy toxic assets the companies owned. Last week, prompted by a lawsuit filed by Bloomberg News, the Fed finally told the world exactly what it bought.

The Fed now owns loans to Hilton hotels in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Malaysia and Trinidad. It owns loans to the Miami airport, and the Civic Opera House in Chicago.

It also owned a loan to Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City. Then, when the owners of the mall couldn’t make the payments, the Fed foreclosed. So now it owns the mall, which includes a Chick-fil-A and an AMC theater'"


Convert a Bike Pump into a Manual Vacuum Pump

Convert a Bike Pump into a Manual Vacuum Pump: "Vacuum pumps, while expensive, have a ton of uses, like vacuum sealing food or saving space with items in storage. Instead of buying one, though, you can convert an old bike tire pump into a vacuum pump for just $20..."


Hindenburg Omen Signaling Possible Stock Market Crash Tripped Again

Yes Folks, Hindenburg Omen Tripped Again - MarketBeat - WSJ: "The Hindenburg Omen reared its ugly head late last week, signaling more doom and gloom as stocks plod along amid the dog days of summer.

The Omen, a technical indicator which uses a plethora of data to foreshadow a stock-market crash, was tripped again on Friday, marking the second time since Aug. 12 it has occurred. (It also came close on Thursday, but one of its criteria fell short.)

The latest trigger has prompted the Omen’s creator, Jim Miekka, to exit the market. 'I’m taking it seriously and I’m fully out of the market now,' Miekka, a blind mathematician, said in a telephone interview from his home in Surry, Maine..."


Consumers Face Jolt From Coffee Prices

Consumers face jolt from coffee prices- Top Stocks - MSN Money: "Coffee prices surged to a 12-year high Monday, pushed by last year's poor Central and South American harvests and upcoming heavy storms in other coffee-producing regions that are adding to an already tight period for availability..."


28 August, 2010

Yahoo! India News Reports Massive Solar Storm to Hit Earth in 2012 With 'Force of 100m Bombs'

Massive solar storm to hit Earth in 2012 with 'force of 100m bombs' - Yahoo! India News: "Astronomers are predicting that a massive solar storm, much bigger in potential than the one that caused spectacular light shows on Earth earlier this month, is to strike our planet in 2012 with a force of 100 million hydrogen bombs.

Several US media outlets have reported that NASA was warning the massive flare this month was just a precursor to a massive solar storm building that had the potential to wipe out the entire planet's power grid.

Despite its rebuttal, NASA's been watching out for this storm since 2006 and reports from the US this week claim the storms could hit on that most Hollywood of disaster dates - 2012.

Similar storms back in 1859 and 1921 caused worldwide chaos, wiping out telegraph wires on a massive scale. The 2012 storm has the potential to be even more disruptive.

'The general consensus among general astronomers (and certainly solar astronomers) is that this coming Solar maximum (2012 but possibly later into 2013) will be the most violent in 100 years,' News.com.au quoted astronomy lecturer and columnist Dave Reneke as saying...

... 'They can even trip circuit breakers and knock out orbiting satellites, as has already been done this year,' added Reneke.

No one really knows what effect the 2012-2013 Solar Max will have on today's digital-reliant society.

Dr Richard Fisher, director of NASA's Heliophysics division, told Reneke the super storm would hit like 'a bolt of lightning', causing catastrophic consequences for the world's health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken.

NASA said that a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause '1 to 2 trillion dollars in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to 10 years for complete recovery'..."


DIY Hydroelectric Power For the Homesteader

I have always been intrigued by microhydro electricity. Be advised: in addition to what you will see below, there are even more diverse possibilities.


FCIV 'S- Homesteader's Notebook: "Large scale hydroelectric power has been used worldwide for a long time to generate huge amounts of power from water stored behind massive dams. Small scale hydropower has been used for hundreds of years for manufacturing, including milling grain, sawing logs and manufacturing cloth. However, it can also be used without a dam to generate electricity for home scale remote power systems. These so-called micro-hydro installations can be a very good complement to a solar power system, as they produce electricity 24 hours a day..."


Homestead Hydropower: "Home-scale hydroelectric power systems offer an opportunity for humans to forge an intelligent and sustainable partnership with sunshine, rain and running water. Sometimes dubbed “microhydro,” this approach uses low-impact mechanical systems to harness moving water to generate clean, reliable electric power. Unlike the intermittent power from wind or solar systems, hydroelectric power can flow night and day from year-round streams.

A hydroelectric system converts the force from flowing water into electricity. You take the kinetic energy of water flowing downhill from a stream or river and direct it onto a wheel in a turbine that converts the rotational energy to electricity. The amount of power produced depends on the volume of water flowing onto the turbine and the vertical distance it falls through the system. Equipment costs range from about $1,000 for the smallest, to $20,000 for a system large enough to power several modern homes..."


Few May Imagine What Is Coming

Few May Imagine What Is Coming — Rick's Picks: "... No person not directly from a Great Depression family is prepared for what will come. That means that unless your parents where born no later than 1920, you cannot have any basis to form an understanding for the potential pain of a real collapse...

... There is one great difference between the Great Depression and today where The People are concerned. Nearly everyone in 1920 knew how to take care of him or herself. They knew meat came from a cow, and milk did not come from a bottle. And yet today, the young cannot imagine a milk bottle delivered to the door by the milkman. Nor have they ever imagined a family coming together to butcher a steer and can the meat because there was no freezer...

... Is it time for the Super Depression? Probably, because the majority who have lived through that kind of pain are all dead and gone...

... And what of us hard-currency nuts?... But Steve, you say: there are so many suffering without jobs today. True enough. But in 1934, there wasn’t any unemployment in the place where my dad pulled a crosscut saw for $1.00 per thousand, part-time. (That’s about 50 cents a day, since there was someone on the other end of the saw)..."


10 Day Survival Pack For Your Vehicle For Just $25

10 day survival pack for your vehicle for just $25 by Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #104: "It seems like every winter there are news stories of people getting stranded for weeks in bad weather while driving through the many remote areas of our country. In fact, this past winter, our nation held its breath waiting for news of James Kim and his family who got lost traveling the snowy roads of Josephine County in Oregon, not far from where this magazine is published. While his wife and daughters, who stayed with their vehicle, were eventually found alive, he succumbed to the cold as he hiked through snow looking for help for his family. And there are also many cases of people trapped for days in their vehicles after skidding over a bridge embankment, even though they were only a few hundred feet from a busy highway.

I have written many articles about how to prepare your home for a power outage or national emergency, but today I want to address how to be prepared for an emergency when traveling in your car or truck..."


Low Prices and Rates Can't Slow Fall in Home Sales

Low prices and rates can't slow fall in home sales - Yahoo! News: "Home prices in many parts of the country scream bargain, and mortgage rates haven't been this low for decades. So why are houses across the nation sitting on the market for so long?

Sales of previously occupied homes in the United States fell 27 percent in July, the weakest showing in 15 years, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. It was the largest monthly drop in the four decades..."


27 August, 2010

Morgan Stanley Says Government Defaults Inevitable

Morgan Stanley Says Government Defaults Inevitable - Bloomberg: "Investors face defaults on government bonds given the burden of aging populations and the difficulty of increasing tax revenue, according to a Morgan Stanley executive director.

'Governments will impose a loss on some of their stakeholders,' Arnaud Mares in the firm’s London office wrote in a research report today. 'The question is not whether they will renege on their promises, but rather upon which of their promises they will renege, and what form this default will take.' The sovereign-debt crisis is global 'and it is not over,' he wrote.

Rather than miss principal and interest payments, governments may choose a 'soft' default in which they pay back debts with devalued currencies resulting from faster inflation or force creditors to take lower returns, Mares said in an interview..."


Hard-Nosed Fed Sends Global Markets Reeling

Hard-nosed Fed sends global markets reeling - Telegraph: "... 'This has been one of the most interesting days in finance ever,' said Andrew Roberts, head of credit at RBS. 'We are right at the tipping point. Yields are about to collapse even further, equities are about to turn over. The end game approaches, probably in next few weeks'..."


Seven Women Brazenly Steal From A CVS Store

I thought I should bring this to light by way of showing that our society is devolving around our ears...


YouTube - Seven women steal from CVS


Indian Arrested at Houston Airport With “Jihadi” Material

The Hindu : Front Page : Indian arrested at Houston airport with “jihadi” material: "Washington: An Indian on his way to Houston, Texas, to deliver a lecture to the Hindu Congress of America has been arrested for possessing what has been described by authorities as “jihadi material.”

Vijay Kumar (40), a documentary filmmaker, was arrested at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport last Friday after officials noticed him behaving oddly in the line for a security check, according to reports.

When he was taken aside for secondary screening, Mr. Kumar's baggage was found to contain books on espionage, information on U.S. military weaponry, and numerous publications on Jihad, including the mention of 'infidels.'

When a set of brass knuckles and approximately $10,000 worth of currency were uncovered in his bags, he was arrested..."


The Most Isolated Man on the Planet

The most isolated man on the planet. - By Monte Reel - Slate Magazine: "The most isolated man on the planet will spend tonight inside a leafy palm-thatch hut in the Brazilian Amazon. As always, insects will darn the air. Spider monkeys will patrol the treetops. Wild pigs will root in the undergrowth. And the man will remain a quietly anonymous fixture of the landscape, camouflaged to the point of near invisibility...

... He's an Indian, and Brazilian officials have concluded that he's the last survivor of an uncontacted tribe. They first became aware of his existence nearly 15 years ago and for a decade launched numerous expeditions to track him, to ensure his safety, and to try to establish peaceful contact with him. In 2007, with ranching and logging closing in quickly on all sides, government officials declared a 31-square-mile area around him off-limits to trespassing and development. It's meant to be a safe zone. He's still in there. Alone..."


26 August, 2010

Artificial Meat? Food For Thought By 2050

Sadly, I believe the coming struggles will remedy the situation described below...


Artificial meat? Food for thought by 2050 | Environment | The Guardian: "Artificial meat grown in vats may be needed if the 9 billion people expected to be alive in 2050 are to be adequately fed without destroying the earth, some of the world's leading scientists report today.

But a major academic assessment of future global food supplies, led by John Beddington, the UK government chief scientist, suggests that even with new technologies such as genetic modification and nanotechnology, hundreds of millions of people may still go hungry owing to a combination of climate change, water shortages and increasing food consumption..."


Gunman In The Philippines Ends Standoff By Killing 8, Wounding 7

Gunman in the Philippines ends standoff by killing 8, wounding 7 - CNN.com: "Hong Kong urged its residents to cut short or cancel planned trips to the Philippines on Tuesday in the aftermath of a bloodbath that left eight dead on a Manila tour bus.

Hong Kong's regional government issued its highest level of travel warnings in the aftermath of the killings, urging all residents to avoid traveling to the Philippines.

'Those already there should attend to their personal safety and stay alert,' the advisory read. Tour groups were urged to return 'as soon as possible,' while other groups scheduled to visit were urged to cancel their trips.

Manila police said Rolando Mendoza, a former police officer upset at having lost his job, took hostage a busload of tourists from Hong Kong on Sunday and killed eight of them before being shot dead. One passenger was critically wounded and six others hospitalized with less serious injuries after the 10-hour standoff erupted into gunfire..."


The End: The Special Issue and Online Extras: Scientific American

The End: The Special Issue and Online Extras: Scientific American: "Welcome to 'The End,' at least as we know it. The features here, from the September 2010 issue, cover a range of topics, such as the decomposition of human flesh, the disappearance of cultures, the Earth's remaining natural resources, and apocalypse scenarios.

You will also find links to our exclusive digital offerings as they go live, including an interactive, rich-media feature, as well as links to interviews about the issue on public radio's The Takeaway..."


Iran Unveils Bomber Drone

Iran unveils bomber drone: report: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday unveiled a home-made unmanned long-range bomber drone, the state IRIB TV reported.

Ahmadinejad unveiled the drone, dubbed Karrar, in a ceremony marking the country's Defense Industry Day.

The 4-meter-long drone has a flight range of 1,000 km at a very high speed, the report said.

"This jet has mainly the message of peace, friendship and dignity for humanity," and "it is also the messenger of death for (Iran's) enemies," Ahmadinejad said at Tehran's Malek Ashtar university known for its military researches.

The drone is capable of carrying a military payload of rockets to carry out bombing missions against ground targets, the local satellite Press TV said.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said Friday that Iran has successfully test-fired a new surface-to- surface missile, Qiam, which has been equipped with new technical specifications and exceptional tactical powers.

In July, Head of Iran's Army Research Center Mohammad Sadri announced that Iran was intending to build new radar-evading drones that can be operated by its submarines.

In 2009, Iran's Air Force commander Brigadier General Hassan Shahsafi said that Iran had successfully tested its two home-made drones of 'Ra'd' (Thunder) and 'Nazir' (Harbinger) and mass production of the drones would begin soon.

Iran has reiterated that its military capability enhancements have defensive and peaceful purposes.

The United States and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of civilian nuclear program."


China in Secret Military Build-up, India Concerned

China in secret military build-up, India concerned - World - DNA: "Listing areas in which China’s military is on the march, the report said China is developing and fielding large numbers of advanced medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles and deploying a new class of nuclear-powered submarines equipped with intercontinental ballistic missiles.

China’s clandestine strategic build-up has Indian military and strategic experts worried..."


25 August, 2010

U.N. Warns of Disease in Pakistan Following Epic Flooding

UN Warns of Disease in Pakistan; Response to Aid Appeal Sluggish | Asia | English: "The United Nations says 3.5 million children in Pakistan are at risk from waterborne diseases, warning of a 'second wave of death' from the country's devastating floods.

U.N. humanitarian spokesman Maurizio Giuliano said Monday as many as six million people in Pakistan face the risk of contracting diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses if donors do not provide more aid following the country's devastating floods.

The World Health Organization's representative in Pakistan, Guido Sabatinelli, says a lack of clean water and unavailability of medication is a 'deadly combination' for those already in poor living conditions..."


Cholera Confirmed in Pakistan's Floods | News | English: "... the U.N. confirmed the waterborne disease cholera has been found in the disaster zone.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says the catastrophic floods, triggered by monsoon rains, have affected 20 million people. Many of those have lost their homes; others were displaced temporarily, but it is not clear if they have returned to their homes.

The government canceled independence day celebrations as floods triggered by monsoon downpours continued to devastate a region where aid workers say 6 million people need humanitarian assistance.

U.N. officials confirmed the first case of cholera in Mingora, in the northwestern district of Swat. Other cases of the deadly disease are suspected and aid workers are treating thousands of cases of acute watery diarrhea.

Authorities say the floods have killed 1,600 people..."


U.S. Electricity Blackouts Skyrocketing

U.S. electricity blackouts skyrocketing - CNN.com: "... Should Americans view these kinds of scenarios as extraordinary circumstances -- or a warning sign of a darker future?

Experts on the nation's electricity system point to a frighteningly steep increase in non-disaster-related outages affecting at least 50,000 consumers.

During the past two decades, such blackouts have increased 124 percent -- up from 41 blackouts between 1991 and 1995, to 92 between 2001 and 2005, according to research at the University of Minnesota.

In the most recently analyzed data available, utilities reported 36 such outages in 2006 alone..."


Russia Is Burnt

The Hindu : Opinion / Lead : Russia: forests up in flames: "Forests, Russia's greatest wealth after hydrocarbons, have turned into its curse this summer. The worst heat wave on record, aggravated by a severe drought, has triggered ferocious wildfires that have burned down scores of villages, left thousands of people homeless and forced an evacuation at the country's main nuclear facility.

With forests covering two-thirds of Russia's territory, wildfires break out every summer. But in previous years, they most often affected the sparsely populated territories of Siberia and the Far East. This year, deadly wildfires engulfed European Russia, where four-fifths of the country's 142 million people live.

At the height of the disaster, more than 800 fires raged in over 800,000 hectares in central Russia, which had almost no rains this summer as temperatures soared above 40 degrees Centigrade, almost 20 degrees above the annual average. Over 2,000 houses have burned, leaving thousands of people homeless; dozens have died in burning houses and fighting the fires. The Russian nuclear agency, Rosatom, had to remove all radioactive and explosive material from the Federal Nuclear Centre near the town of Sarov in central Russia, as forest fires came within 4,000 metres of the secret facilities where Russian nuclear weapons are made. More than 200,000 fire-fighters and army personnel battled the fires across the country..."


The New Nation - Internet Edition: "Several thousand Muscovites are thought to have died in July alone from this year's unprecedented heatwave and August could add more fatalities, a Russian scientist said on Tuesday, Thomson Reuters reported.

Moscow, a metropolis of over 10 million people, has suffered intense heat since late June, with day temperatures sometimes nearing 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

The crisis shriveled a third of Russia's grain crop, shaved billions off this year's economic growth and killed at least 54 people in wildfires. The heat subsided on Tuesday.

Citing a report by the Moscow Registry Office, Boris Revich, a senior demography and ecology researcher at Russia's Academy of Sciences, said 5,840 more Muscovites had died in July than in the same month last year.

Revich said he believed the overwhelming majority of these additional deaths had been caused by the fierce heatwave..."


18 Signs That America Is Rotting Right In Front Of Our Eyes

18 Signs That America Is Rotting Right In Front Of Our Eyes: "Sometimes it isn't necessary to quote facts and figures about government debt, unemployment and the trade deficit in order to convey how badly America is decaying. The truth is that millions of Americans can watch America rotting right in front of their eyes by stepping out on their front porches. Record numbers of homes have been foreclosed on and in some of the most run down cities as many as a third of all houses have been abandoned. Unemployment remains at depressingly high levels and the number of Americans on food stamps continues to set new records month after month. Due to severe budget cuts, class sizes are exploding and school programs are being eliminated. In some areas of the U.S. schools are even going to four day weeks. With little to no funding available, bridges are crumbling and street lights are being turned off in many communities. In some areas, asphalt roads are actually being ground up and turned back into gravel roads because they are less expensive to maintain. There aren't even as many police available to patrol America's decaying cities because budget problems have forced local communities across the U.S. to lay off tens of thousands of officers..."


Even Tony Robbins Is Warning That An Economic Collapse Is Coming

Even Tony Robbins Is Warning That An Economic Collapse Is Coming: "It seems like almost everyone is warning of a coming economic collapse these days. Do you remember Tony Robbins? He is probably the world's best known 'motivational speaker' and his infomercials dominated late night television during the 80s and 90s. He was always urging all of us to 'unleash the power within' and to take charge of our lives. Well guess what? Now Tony Robbins is warning that an economic collapse is coming. In fact, he has issued a special video warning about what he believes is about to happen. Considering the incredible connections that he has at the highest levels of the financial world, it makes a lot of sense to consider what he is trying to warn us about. Robbins says that a 'major retracement' is coming to financial markets and that the coming collapse is going to be a 'painful process' as we go through it. Those familiar with Tony Robbins know that he always goes out of his way to stress the positive, so if even he is openly warning the public about a coming economic nightmare than you know that things are starting to get really, really bad out there..."


15 Signs The U.S. Housing Market Is Headed For Complete And Total Collapse

15 Signs The U.S. Housing Market Is Headed For Complete And Total Collapse: "The U.S. housing market is dying. You will only hear hints of this on the mainstream news and from the politicians in Washington D.C., but as statistic after statistic continues to roll in, the reality of what is happening is becoming very difficult to deny.

Up until the end of April, the giant tax credit that the U.S. government was bribing home buyers with helped stabilize the real estate market, but now that the tax credit has expired the decline of the U.S. housing market has resumed. Mortgage defaults continue to set new records. Foreclosures continue to set new records. Home repossessions by banks continue to set new records. The number of homes being constructed and the number of Americans applying for home loans is at stunningly low levels.

For decades, owning a home has been touted as the very heart of 'the American Dream', but today that dream is out of reach for an increasing number of Americans. Why? It is because there are not nearly enough jobs for everyone. Without a jobs recovery, there simply is not going to be a housing recovery. Unfortunately, as the U.S. economy continues to come apart like a 20 dollar suit, even more Americans are going to lose their jobs and the U.S. housing industry will continue to experience a very painful decline..."


This Economy Is Ripping The Dignity Of Millions Of Unemployed Americans To Shreds

This Economy Is Ripping The Dignity Of Millions Of Unemployed Americans To Shreds: "If you can still put a roof over your head and food on the table for your family, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate. There are millions of Americans out there right now that are really, really suffering. The cold, hard reality of it is that there aren't even close to enough jobs out there for everyone right now. It is almost as if we are all caught in a really bizarre game of musical chairs where the losers get stripped of their tickets to the middle class. What this horrible economy is doing to the dignity of millions of middle class Americans is incredibly saddening. There are a lot of very highly educated and very hard working Americans who cannot seem to get jobs no matter what they do and now find themselves doing whatever they can just to survive. It can be really hard to keep your dignity when you played by all the rules and you worked as hard as you could all your life and now you find yourself a half step away from being homeless. Those of us who are still doing okay should never look down on those who are struggling in this economy, because the truth is that any of us could be next..."


24 August, 2010

Peak Oil Alarm Revealed By Secret Official Talks

Peak oil alarm revealed by secret official talks | Environment | The Observer: "Speculation that government ministers are far more concerned about a future supply crunch than they have admitted has been fuelled by the revelation that they are canvassing views from industry and the scientific community about 'peak oil'.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is also refusing to hand over policy documents about 'peak oil' – the point at which oil production reaches its maximum and then declines – under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act...

... A spokeswoman for the department insisted the request from [DECC] was 'routine' and said there was no change of policy other than to keep the issue under review...

... But documents obtained under the FoI Act seen by the Observer show that a 'peak oil workshop' brought together staff from the DECC, the Bank of England and Ministry of Defence among others to discuss the issue...

... a letter in response to the FoI request written by DECC officials and dated 31 July 2010 says it can only release some information on what is currently under policy discussion because they are 'ongoing' and 'high profile' in nature..."


The Big One

The Big One: Study shakes up scientists' view of San Andreas earthquake risk - latimes.com: "Researchers find major quakes on the southern section, on average, every 88 years — three times as often as previously thought. It's the strongest evidence yet that we're overdue for a massive quake.Southern California is long overdue for a major earthquake along the San Andreas fault, according to a landmark study of historic seismic activity released Friday.

The study, produced after several years of field studies in the Carrizo Plain area about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles, found that earthquakes along the San Andreas fault have occurred far more often than previously believed.

For years, scientists have said major earthquakes occurred every 250 to 450 years along this part of the San Andreas. The new study found big temblors on the fault every 88 years, on average.The last massive earthquake on that part of the fault was in 1857, leading scientists to warn that another such temblor is likely in Southern California.

'The next earthquake could be sooner than later,' said Lisa Grant Ludwig, a UC Irvine earthquake expert and co-author of the study, which was published online in the journal Geology. 'It was thought that we weren't at risk of having another large one any time soon. Well, now, it might be ready to rupture.'..."


Free Land: Build Your Homestead Without the Debt

Free Land: Build Your Homestead Without the Debt: "If you were inspired by our Firsthand Reports Off the Grid and Thriving or Learning to Live a Self-Sufficient Life but don't have the funds ready to move to your own homestead, opportunities for free land and other big incentives might revive your dreams of self-sufficiency.

Echoing the Homestead Act of 1862 which offered settlers ownership of up to 60 acres in exchange for (and after) farming it for five years, small towns looking to boost or stabilize population are giving away free housing lots. This practice, dubbed mini-homesteading, attracts residents and businesses to dwindling rural communities. Free land has drawn folks from across the country and, for a few communities, has saved small town businesses and public schools from closing.

In some cases, the town will suspend property taxes for a few years or help with the down payment to build your house on the land..."


We Are Headed for the 'Greatest Depression'

and now were headed for the greatest depression says gerald celente: Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance: "The fake 'recovery' was nice while it lasted, says famous apocalyptic forecaster Gerald Celente, founder of the Trends Research Institute. But now the fun's over, and we're headed for what Celente describes as the 'Greatest Depression.'

Specifically, the always startling Celente says the country is headed for rising unemployment, poverty, and violent class warfare as the government efforts to keep the economy going begin to fail..."


In His Own Words: Brian Williams on Katrina. Oct. 27, 2005


Spike in Layoffs Feeds Fear of Faltering Recovery

Spike in layoffs feeds fear of faltering recovery - Yahoo! News: "Layoffs are back, and that's bad news for the fragile economic recovery.

New applications for unemployment benefits hit a nine-month high last week — a spike that suggests private employers may shed jobs this month for the first time this year.

Workers are losing construction jobs in Georgia and manufacturing jobs in Indiana. Some of the layoffs are coming as stimulus money dries up and public works projects come to a halt. Government employees are being let go, too, as states and cities grapple with budget crises.

Without more jobs, consumers will not feel secure enough to spend much money, further slowing the economy. The grim outlook has economists lowering their estimates for growth in the second half of the year. And on Thursday it led to a sell-off on Wall Street led by investors worried that the United States could tumble back into recession..."


Double-Digit Jump in Bankruptcies

Double-digit jump in bankruptcies - The Hill's On The Money: "Bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12-month period ending in June, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

The over 1.5 million filings marks the highest number of bankruptcies to occur in a 12-month period since the bankruptcy reform act was enacted in 2005..."


23 August, 2010

Best Five Books For Living Off The Grid

Best five books for living off the grid | Living Off Grid: Free Yourself


Are You Ready For A World Without Antibiotics?

Are you ready for a world without antibiotics? | Society | The Guardian: "Antibiotics are a bedrock of modern medicine. But in the very near future, we're going to have to learn to live without them once again. And it's going to get nasty

Just 65 years ago, David Livermore's paternal grandmother died following an operation to remove her appendix. It didn't go well, but it was not the surgery that killed her. She succumbed to a series of infections that the pre-penicillin world had no drugs to treat. Welcome to the future.

The era of antibiotics is coming to a close. In just a couple of generations, what once appeared to be miracle medicines have been beaten into ineffectiveness by the bacteria they were designed to knock out. Once, scientists hailed the end of infectious diseases. Now, the post-antibiotic apocalypse is within sight.

Hyperbole? Unfortunately not. The highly serious journal Lancet Infectious Diseases yesterday posed the question itself over a paper revealing the rapid spread of multi-drug-resistant bacteria. 'Is this the end of antibiotics?' it asked..."