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January 05, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-01

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis during a battle against ISIS

bigger

Mohammad Ali Shabani @mashabani - 16:33 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
If you don't think this is a literal dream of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis come true, you have no idea about #Iran, #Iraq or the ties that bind them.
Sam @sonofnariman - 16:31 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
Mourners in Karbala welcome the bodies of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Suleimani this evening
---
Zahra Shafei 🇮🇷 @shafei_d - 16:09 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
Martyr Soleimani’s handwritten will: “My wife, I have chosen my burial place in the cemetery of the Martyrs of Kerman, Mahmoud knows it. I want my gravestone to be simple. Just write ‘Soldier Qassem Soleimani’ no more titles and phrases.”
---

Aerial videos (1, 2) of a gianormous crowd in Ahvaz, Iran, as the bodies of Soleimani and his comrades arrive. Ahvaz has a strong Sunni and Arab population which is not always supportive of the Islamic Republic. Soleimani's funeral will probably be the biggest the world has ever seen. Live TV of the mourning can be seen here.

---
Other issues:

Some dimwit of journalist at NPR let this 'U.S. officials' lie pass without any attempt to correct it:

Trump's Push For Lofty Nuclear Treaty Sparks Worry Over Current Deal
...
While it has far fewer nuclear weapons, China has been doing more testing than the rest of the world combined, U.S. officials have said.

For the record: Nuclear tests by country: U.S. 1032, USSR 727, UK 88, France 217, China 47.

Walrus is a volunteer firefighter in Australia. He writes:

The cause of these fires? Australian drought and the highly inflammable nature of the Eucalyptus tree - coupled with the forest management fantasies of inner city liberals who won't allow anything like the levels of fire reduction burning as practiced by our Aborigines for thousands of years. The greenies can't handle simple logic; Eucalyptus forests shed fuel all the time. You can have little "cool' fires every five years to clean up the fuel or a big fire every few decades, but you eventually will get a fire. You do the maths.

While I recently visited my rural home region I heard similar language about 'inner city liberals' who had voted for re-introducing wolves in that and other areas. Two local sheep breeders I know have since given up their hobby because the wolves, despite high fences, killed most of their sheep. Local hunters lament that all other game is now gone. My brother's children are told not to go into the woods in which I explored and played in throughout my own childhood. Dogs now have to be leashed during walks.

Our hundreds of years old family crest includes a wolf's hook, a strong piece of metal used to trap wolves. Wolves have no natural enemies. They kill even when they are not hungry. They leave the cadavers behind to rot without taking even one bite. There were sound reasons for my forbears to extinguished them. 'Green' city dwellers seem unable to understand that those reasons still exist.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on January 5, 2020 at 17:29 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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@ Posted by: ziggie | Jan 6 2020 17:14 utc | 196

The simple fact that Australia exists long before the Aboriginals set foot first on the island-continent.

Maybe Australia had vaster natural fires before Aboriginal corridors were built, maybe not. The Aboriginals weren't ecologists: they did that because it fit best their own personal interests.

What is not up to dispute is that, if wildfires in Australia were vaster or not before human first settlements, the fact stands that Australian biomass thrived - with or without the Aboriginals.

The difference with this specific wildfire is its intensity: an estimated 500 million animal specimens died, and it is plausible at least one species went extinct. There are no record in geological history of species being extinct by wildfires, i.e. a single wildfire is not part of the natural extinction portfolio a biologist would consult when analysing why a species was extinct.

In this scenario, climate change fits best the facts on the field: more intense drought left the Australian forests historically dry, which made it historically flammable. This, in conjunction with the fact that the Australian government apparently forbid its citizens to build anti-fire corridors and its lack of funding for firefighting, may have resulted in this exceptional wildfire.

Posted by: vk | Jan 6 2020 17:35 utc | 201

corbett> Interview 1506 – Ryan Cristian on the Assassination of Soleimani

Not particularly significant except that it presents the matter to yet another audience. At some point the Emperor has no clothes, then dangerous things (if history guides) happen. Weimar? Worse.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 6 2020 17:40 utc | 202

@ Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 6 2020 16:33 utc | 191

Parasites do not enter into the food chain, by today's ecological model. They are considered a separate group, outside the food chain.

The same is true for the decomposing microorganisms, and the carrion eaters.

The wolf is at the top of the food chain, which makes it an "apex predator". For usefulness purposes, the biologists don't include human socioeconomic activity as another degree in the food chain, so human beings are not considered preadators of wolves. Apex predators kill themselves all the time (usually, for territorial reasons, since a biome can only have one apex predator at the same time), so it is not weird for a wolf to be killed by a human, or a human to be killed by a wolf.

Posted by: vk | Jan 6 2020 17:42 utc | 203

One more for the "Japanification of the USA" codex:

Why Are Young Americans Killing Themselves?

Suicide is now their second-leading cause of death.

Posted by: vk | Jan 6 2020 17:54 utc | 204

What is the one event that would be the greatest threat to the United States' foreign policy position in the Middle East It isn't Iraq forging stronger ties with Iran or the collapse of the colonial state in Palestine but Saudi Arabia withdrawing from its alliance of sorts with the United States. No more petrodollars recycled into treasury bills, no more oil trades in dollars and no more billions of dollars wasted on the latest crap weaponry from the United States that the Saudis can.t even use themselves Everyone seems to believe that the Saudis were part of a trap to kill Soleimani because the Saudis are deceptive murderous bastards, but what if the Saudis really were trying to split with Washington? That would be something that could bring down the Washington empire. That would be a threat to the United States that not even Trump could ignore, and what better way to remind the Saudi regime of its proper place than killing the messenger? What better way to keep Boeing afloat than forcing the Saudis to buy more American junk?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 6 2020 18:25 utc | 205

re: Walter @198 "In hinterlands it's irresponsible to fail to carry a gun (with care!)"

Yeah, this is fucking stupid advice. If a cat is going to attack you, you're not going to 'clear leather', let alone get off an effective shot. People carrying guns in the wilderness have been a greater source of worry for me over the 40+ years I've been hiking/biking in the woods.

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Jan 6 2020 18:44 utc | 206

@204 Ghost Ship

The Fed would just keep monetizing the debt as they are now and the US would spend more money on arms to prop up the arms manufacturers.

Posted by: TJ | Jan 6 2020 18:46 utc | 207

speaking of money, my friend in turkey says this about the general and iran - This general is a threat to the Iranian administration.... 60 thousand militants in the Middle East....Very much money...You don't know Iran...

essentially he is saying iran wanted to get rid of him and the financial burden on them for this ongoing support to iraq/syria and etc....

i don't know that i agree with him here, but i am sharing it as i haven't heard this viewpoint expressed before..

Posted by: james | Jan 6 2020 19:02 utc | 208

Jen@159

I concur.
People (no matter how driven, or good-willed) can be expected to drop their lives at a moments notice for 5-6 months of the year.

Looking at the R.F.S Fires-Near-Me site, I have been watching fires overtake areas where I know I have installed Stand-Alone PV Systems (SAPS) over the past 20 years. Previous companies/no contact details/lovely people/feel powerless, just about sums it up.
Burnt to within about 3-4km from my dad's place down near Jervis Bay, too.
I am personally freaked-out at the very thought of what people are dealing with in the fire-grounds.

We need leadership, but we have the coal-waver-in-chief.
I'm sure they are wishing it came on an election cycle, so they could pork-barrel the local electorates and pick up a few extra marginal seats.

Help us.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 6 2020 19:03 utc | 209

As I predicted (in the post of Soleimani's death), Iran will not opt for a pitched battle (as the USA wanted to lure it), but to hit and run, vietnamized warfare:

‘We are trying to prevent open war,’ Iraqi PM tells US ambassador as tensions mount

Top Khamenei Advisor Threatens US With ‘Second Vietnam’ in Middle East

As Ritter well stated, the only way out where the USA would emerge as a clear winner would be if it used nuclear weapons. But, as I also mentioned in one of my last comments here in this thread, a nuclear fallout in the ME would be bad for capitalism, since nukes also wipes out a lot of capital (i.e. it would be "bad for business").

The ironic thing is that this was the same strategy George Washington himself used to win the war of independence against the British Empire: never draw a decisive pitched battle, also wage smaller battles at the best possible place and time, don't be ashamed to retreat whenever necessary, erode the morale of the stronger side (your enemy's), kill its (political) will to fight. Washington knew that, as long as the Continental Army existed, the American revolution would live. So he never put its most precious element all in in a game he had minimal chance of winning.

Posted by: vk | Jan 6 2020 19:04 utc | 210

Soleimani, it seems, was on his way to making peace, as a representative of the Iranian government. Trump murdered him on the way. Put bluntly, Trump murdered peace. I don't know how the rifgt and wrong of a situation could be clearer. Yet Iran is told to simmer down. If Xi. Putin, Merkel and Macron told Trump to back the eff down - putting it in slightly sweeter words - he would. But Putin keeps his mouth well shut, as does Xi. Merkel and Macron make a point to blame Iran.

There could not be a clearer example of one nation being bullied and victimized. The Iranian government is guilty of many sins, like all governments, but that is entirely beside the point.
The entire international community continues to watch this horrifying spectacle like it's sport, though with a bit of obligatory murmuring that Iran should simmer down and isn't it awful, but they really are bringing it on themselves, etc..

In particular, we are now seeing the results of the many times Israel has bombed Iranian allied forces as Putin looked on with that genial smile on his face that he keeps in a jar foe Netanyahu. What we are seeing is where the path paved with utter impunity leads. We are seeing naked evil in the form of a puffed up orange cartoon of a man and his legion supporters, who truly are deplorable, though no one ever had less right to use that term as she did than Hillary - Hillary the obliviator (or have some folks here forgotten that when they suggest we would have been better off with her in the oval office?).

Posted by: paul | Jan 6 2020 19:10 utc | 211

re: Ghost Ship | Jan 6 2020 18:25 utc @ 204
and "...Saudi Arabia withdrawing from its alliance of sorts with the United States."

Unfortunately, You don't have any idea how the KSA functions.
I worked there in the 1970's, when the estimated population was ca. 4 million saudis and 4 million foreign-guest workers.
Today, there are 34 million(2019 wikipedia) saudis.
I can 1st begin by saying KSA abolished slavery in 1963.
When I was there the 'elites' had gov't ministry jobs where there effective workday was perhaps 1-2 hours in the late morning, and, after taking a long lunch hour, the individual would...perhaps come back for a few minutes.
The overwhelming remaining majority lived on welfare otherwise.
Simply said, the real saudis did literally nothing except eat, procreate and pray 4x a day.
I'm sure it hasn't changed in that respect.

The saudi-petrodollar connection is a misnomer.
Why?
The western bankers have more or less total control of their non-saudi assets found in the 'saudi national sovereign funds'.
It's also been rumored that their gold bullion in Switzerland has been....kept/seized as security for their current deficit-spending.

The theatre d'absurd called KSA is a *City of London* creation.
The reason for their existence was their absolute ruthlessness to an enemy tribe.
Same goes for their talmudic-tribal cousins in occupied-Palestine.
Ever hear of the *Dönmeh* of Salonika?
X-

Posted by: Veritas X- | Jan 6 2020 19:11 utc | 212

Pft@140

I posted a link to a "causes of bushfires" article to Jen, @132.

Seems humans are responsible for c.50% of the fires, according to the article (which seems to avoid the poorly maintained electrical infrastructure angle; still several court cases pending IIRC).

Anyways, in my opinion, we need to create a "Headwaters National Park" and keep the upper reaches of the Murray-Darling Basin free-flowing. It will cost a lot of cash, but a lot less than the "Just-Stays-Flying_35mins"/JSF35 boondoggle we are in the process of peeing away tens of billions on. Priorities, huh?

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 6 2020 19:12 utc | 213

@AnneR (173) , my sister rented her house to a couple, and she warned them to keep any dogs indoors because of the sheep in a neighbour's field. But they couldn't believe that their lovable Labrador could turn into a homicidal maniac, so they let him out and you can guess what he did to the sheep.

Labradors are very friendly towards humans (even towards intruders, so they make really crappy guard dogs) but they're not so gentle with sheep. This was written a couple of years ago:

"There is no particular breed that is more likely to attack sheep. Figures collated by police in North Wales show the highest number of attacks are by huskies and German shepherd dogs but lurchers and Labradors are not far behind."

Still, many people think that the biggest danger to animals is the Big Bad Wolf, even though nearly all of what it eats is from wild animals. Not only that, it's mostly deer and wild boars, which are culled in huge numbers in Germany every year in order to control their population. So the wolf is already doing that job for free.

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 6 2020 19:13 utc | 214

Canada, an USraeli collaborator since time immemorial who severed all relations with Iran several years ago, is not to be trusted and should be forced to vacate the region along with its imperialist overlords...

Canadian-Led NATO Mission in Iraq in Limbo As Alliance Stands Pat on Suspension

https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2020/01/06/canadian-led-nato-mission-in-iraq-in-limbo-as-alliance-stands-pat-on-suspension-3/#.XhOByvxOnIX

"...Sidestepping questions about calls from Iraq for US and other foreign troops to leave the country, Stoltenberg says NATO will continue to speak with Iraqi authorities and stands ready to restart training efforts once the situation improves...The training mission includes about 250 Canadian soldiers, while Canada also has dozens of special forces and other military personnel in Iraq, whose activities have similarly been suspended over fears of retaliation over the killing of Iranian Gen Qassem Soleimani..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jan 6 2020 19:15 utc | 215

langa@141

What a load of absolute horse-shit. Or was that post intended to be a lorem ipsum?

Australia is so damn flammable that there only narrow windows (ie: not raining, not too hot, not too dry, not too windy) within which to conduct proscribed fuel-reduction burns.
There is an open dialogue between local, state, federal, national parks, and fire-services (both paid and volunteer) to work out the most ideal strategy every day of the year. It makes me feel that you are insulting their acumen and skill-set.
Blaming anyone is a diversion, and a Murdoch-esque, conservative trash-mag' wank.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 6 2020 19:19 utc | 216

@ Dr Wellington Yueh | Jan 6 2020 18:44 utc | 206

So I have been told. You ever meet up with a 2 legged wolf or a big cat you'll wish you had a gun. They don't like the noise. I live in town now, but I am a veteran of the woods. You hike your pathwayway, brother. I know mine. I've seen 'em up close, bears dropping smoking chit as they circle round to hunt...the man. In addition to gun, take dog. Stay out from under trees.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 6 2020 19:22 utc | 217

trill@148
"the next generation of nuclear power plants" Emotional reasoning? Surely not based on economic grounds?

Solar PV or wind, even coupled with battery "firming" is around a third of the price of nuclear, and I would love to see the projected forward costs of dealing with 25,000++ years of waste-management, oh, and hope we don't start another war and bomb the reactors, oh, or go extinct from our own stupidity and leave the ~2,600 current nuclear sites to melt down and turn our planet into a festering genetic shit-heap.

I am well aware that solar and wind and batteries (and everything else humans do) has a waste consequence. Nuclear is just the worst one us humans have ever come up with.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 6 2020 19:30 utc | 218

PeterAu1@170

The 1939 fires were "the worst" I had always thought, but we are on an approach to match it this season.
Temperature records are being constantly broken (48.9C in Penrith the other day, 47C where I am). You have to keep in mind that in 1939 most of our fire-fighting assets were small, weak, and often hand-pumped. We had no experience of anything that large, and it was a massive learning-experience (and not in a pleasant way).

We are getting hotter & drier, with a side-order of random flood episodes. Maybe the new cyclone that formed today will keep feeding some moisture over the continent, and the Indian Ocean Dipole will swing back the other way (-).

We need a government who will lead, make the pecuniary changes to make sure we have assets on the ground when needed (proscribed-burns and emergency-services), and start managing the landscape like we actually give a damn.
That is where we can learn a lot from our indigenous cousins, and adapt to fit in with country rather than expecting country to fit in with us.

There's always hope.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 6 2020 19:49 utc | 219

Looks like I won the argument. Australia's government lowkey admit temperature rises to blame for epic bushfires:

Videos: Australian Fires Expected to Burn For ‘Months to Come’ as Death Toll Spikes

Reserve troops were deployed to Australian states this weekend as temperatures soared, along with Australia’s Medical Assistance Teams, which are typically sent to other countries to support their relief efforts following disasters.

[...]

On Monday, rain was reported in certain areas of New South Wales and along Australia’s east coast from Sydney to Melbourne. However, officials have warned that temperatures are expected to once again spike by Thursday and that fires in Victoria and New South Wales would form a “mega blaze."

So, it is record high temperatures that are the main cause for the intensity and vastness of the bushfires.

When a bushfire is intense and vast enough, it throws up hot ash to the sky, like a missile barrage, which can then land on virgin (and exceptionally dry, therefore much more flammable) parts of the forest, thus igniting new, non-continuous bushfires. Just your cookie cutter corridor wouldn't solve the problem in this situation.

Wrapping up: with climate change (man made or not), Australia has become a highly-flammable place, essentially a gun powder barrel waiting for the first spark (which could or not have been arson).

Prime Minister Scott Morrison seems to have given up:

"The fires are still burning, and they'll be burning for months to come," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday, pledging to increase funding for the recovery efforts to $1.4 billion.

Posted by: vk | Jan 6 2020 19:55 utc | 220

vk@201.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology have released figures for 2019.
They break all of Australia into 0.5deg longitude portions, and then adjust the latitudinal size to render the same square-kilometre sized grid. From this, they correlate data from the nearest 5 or so weather stations to provide nation-wide averages.
2019, it appears, will be recorded as one of the top couple of hottest & driest years on the extant record.
We are drying. It hit the South-West in the early-mid 1970's, when rainfall rapidly dropped to around 50-55% of the typical average, and it seems to have moved across the nation in lock-step.
Hopefully it is part of a cyclical perturbance, that will right itself in time. I do not hold much hope for that, though.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 6 2020 20:24 utc | 221

@221
Ps. I had black, charred Eucalypt leaves raining from the sky in suburban Sydney a few weeks ago. It truly makes you start to wonder just how bad can bad actually get given the right temp/humidity/wind-speed.
Fire jumped The Hacking River in 1994, and burned out houses on the North of the river, which is truly in the suburbs of Sydney, about 12km South of me. You have to think about the unthinkable now, and everyone needs a fire plan in Australia.


Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 6 2020 20:33 utc | 222

Ramstein Air Base in Germany played a key role in the killing of Soleimani
politics https://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/501603/DWN-Exklusiv-Interview-Deutsch-iranische-Handelskammer-warnt-vor-Zusammenbruch-der-Handelsbeziehungen

Posted by: Nick | Jan 6 2020 22:44 utc | 223

VK@201-

well if the aboriginals built fire corridors for their own interest, then they were in fact ecologists, and far better than non aboriginal modern ecologists, I would say.

Climate change does not best fit the facts of the field- i thought you were a materialist? Point me to the indisputable climate change fact sheet? We do know that cotton farming and the privatization of water and the role of the government in general are all ecologically unsound and significant factors.

Posted by: Chris | Jan 6 2020 23:07 utc | 224

@ Posted by: Chris | Jan 6 2020 23:07 utc | 224

Both hypotheses are not excludent. Climate change happened which left Australia more flammable than ever - at the same time the Australian government begun to deteriorate.

But the fact on the field we have right now is that rising temperatures are the main culprit. 2019 was the hottest year ever recorded in Australia.

Posted by: vk | Jan 6 2020 23:26 utc | 225

@vk #79
Mean relative humidity has been declining for many years, but it is extremely hard to see how a 60 year decline of relative humidity of roughly 5% makes a difference now.
Or put another way: why the fires in the last 2-3 years vs. the 60 years of overall decline?

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 7 2020 2:20 utc | 226

@vk #220
Perhaps you can point out the difference between weather and climate.
Australia is experiencing record temperatures, but are these due to climate change, or urban heat island effect, or localized weather systems? Or more likely, some combination? Note also that huge fires will create localized climate and temperature changes themselves; the tragic Camp Fire put a pall of smoke over the entire SF Bay Area and was accompanied by several very warm days.
But it was an anomaly. Certainly temperatures aren't increasing in SF, appreciably, overall.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 7 2020 2:33 utc | 227

Jon_in_AU

I think a put a comment somewhere back in the thread on the prescribed burning in WA. National park wiped out by tree top fire, state forrest around it that was burned every 5 years untouched.

If the weather is getting hotter and drier, all the more reason for burning in spring and autumn.

I think the practice was stopped in WA, and I don't know how long ago it was stopped in the eastern states, not that they ever had a comprehensive burning program like WA.
With treehuggers and rainbow flag wavers getting too bigger say, anyone parking a house in the bush is a fool.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 7 2020 6:15 utc | 228

The billionnaires of the world are above the law.Look how Carlos Ghosn escaped from Japanese House arrest in a chest.I suppose Jeffrey Epstein sold his,that brought him likely to Tell Aviv,(huge bagage hickup at Tell Aviv Airport the day after his suicide)to Carlos to make his voyage Osaka-Beyruth.I suppose it's got a light and satellite communication.And of course it's Wall Street Journal that has the info.

Posted by: willie | Jan 7 2020 11:34 utc | 229

@ Posted by: c1ue | Jan 7 2020 2:20 utc | 226

So, answer me a question: is it easier ti start a campfire with dry or wet firewood?

That lower humidity favors fires is a long eatablished fact, known since prehistoric times. No need to delve into meteorology.

There's also a big misunderstanding here. It's not that the scientists who are skeptical about the global warming hypothesis deny there is climate change; they are only skeptical about what is causing it (i.e. if it is anthropogenic or not).

The problem is: people (specially politicians and capitalists from the coal and oil sectors) used this as evidence there is no climate change at all or that there's nothing we can do to stop it. But this is not the correct conclusion: the climate is changing, so we must at least try to adapt to it (provided we really can't do nothing to stop it). It doesn't matter if it is anthropogenic or not: governments shouldn't leave their peoples in the dark.

Posted by: vk | Jan 7 2020 11:50 utc | 230

: willie | Jan 7 2020 11:34 utc | 229 (Jeffery's alive? Sure. That's obvious.)

But the big baggage PU.... I'd like to see the source, not that I doubt it's true.

Jeffery's springing, like Marylin's "suicide", is one of the most obvious crime-scenes in History.
.................................

About the climate. David Collum wrote about this. There are probably more than once causes.

The people in charge intend to use climate change to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else by leveraging the process. Their stick is that A, The weather's Bad. B, it's your fault, C, pay up!

The last thing "they" want is for climate change to stop. Which it probably won't.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 7 2020 12:03 utc | 231

nothing to do with the war? Don't bet on it. "Tonight’s Successful Starlink Mission Makes SpaceX the World’s Largest Satellite Operator, Was First U.S. Space Command Launch"

there may be a plan here to wash China with propaganda...

But to the idea...Werner would be so joyous!

see YT " Space patrol Laughing Alien 1953 "

and see " Raumpatrouille Orion"

Posted by: Walter | Jan 7 2020 13:24 utc | 232

127# Cynthia

As much I can recall the green parties in the Netherlands Germany and France have always been aligned on their countries participating in the American and Nato interventionist ventures.Never say a word afterwards on bombing with depleted uranium warheads.I still recall the argument of the dutch greens for staying longer in Afghanistan:"so that little girls can safely walk to school".That was about fifteen years ago.
As for the global warming question,I think it is instrumental to the establishment of their programmed New World Order,which would make an end to sovereignty of all nations,because it would create a mechanism that affects all of the individuals living on earth because they are going to tell us how to live properly "to save the planet"(ah,quelle connerie!"),with punishments when we do not listen.If the PTB really cared about our environment they'd be putting an end to pollution,toxic chemicals,hormones that pass into the ocean,plastic isles,etc.Now all they do is talk about carbondioxyde,which seems to be measurable,and big bucks are to be made with the right to CO² emissions.So to me it is just another Madoff trick,to begin with,where the few are taxing the many without any benefit for the many.Big publicity stunt,and it has nothing to do with trying to find healthy solutions to real environmental problems.For instance plastic bags being replaced by bags made out of corn.

War is the most polluting activity,but it is so much necessary to follow the leader when he wants to be mad.
The American Army is the States'biggest employer,so yes,if they were'nt there,there would be much less pollution,even in times of peace (he,when was that).

Posted by: willie | Jan 7 2020 20:48 utc | 233

Now I have a question to anybody.
Does anyone think that our internet will be available as it is now,when a shooting war starts in the Middle-East?Is it technically even possible to shut entire countries out of it,while it stays up for the military?How can we stay in contact,now that everybody is connected by telephone and computer?Should we go and buy ourselves shortwaveradioequipment?

Posted by: willie | Jan 7 2020 21:03 utc | 234

The net depends primarily on submarine cable and terrestrial cable. Yes, there is sat too, but pretty much forget about electricity, let alone net - if it goes hot enough. One assumes that the sats will be fubar and the cables cut. Of course that's if it gets hot enough. There are very few SW stations, alas, these days. And in war ham radio is prohibited.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 7 2020 21:12 utc | 235

willie @234: No internet, little or no power, and running out of food fast is what I expect. If you have a generator, you are still going to need fuel, and food and water, and everything runs on electricity or fuel. It's going to be epic.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 7 2020 21:33 utc | 236

200#
VeritasX

Could it be Lloyd George,british prime minister,founder of the welfare state,who indeed visited Hitler,at a point of time?

Posted by: w | Jan 7 2020 22:01 utc | 237

231#
Walter.
I was trying to be funny.But there was indeed reported in some journal,maybe Haaretz,or just Figaro,and it was the day after Epstein killed himself that thousands of voyagers were stranded or retarded on Tel Aviv Airport due to luggage mishandling.I think it took some eight hours for things to clear up.I posted a comment here on this,just to notice the report.

Posted by: willie | Jan 7 2020 22:17 utc | 238

Raumschiff Orion,das war groszartig zur Zeit.Die Musik und Bilder am Beginn ,wunderschön,aber die eigentliche story,wenn man's jetzt wieder mal anschaut,war eigentlich sehr unfantasiereich.Eine art Vorlaüfer der Startrek-Sendereihe,wo eigentlich das Gesetz im Weltall unterworfen ist an so'ne Galaktische Rat oder Kommission von Beamter,haha.
Tut mir Freude das sie dasz erwähnt habt.
Bestâtigt noch mal meine Eindruck dasz viele hier zwischen sechzig und siebzig Jahre alt sind!

Posted by: willie | Jan 7 2020 22:27 utc | 239

@239 Ich erinnere mich an die Geschichte mit dem Gepäck. Du hast Recht

Posted by: Walter | Jan 7 2020 22:37 utc | 240

You can lie, cheat and steal if its all legal.

Below is a link to an article at The Register describing empire corruption of the finance/control aspects of the internet thingy we are using.

ICANN extracts $20m signing fee for $1bn dot-com price increases – and guess who's going to pay for it?............Sorry, meant to say Verisign contributes to 'security threat' education

Read the article title until you get the message, and by all means, wade though the ICANN swamp they describe.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 7 2020 23:00 utc | 241

Breaking: "At least six" ballistic missiles have hit Ain al Assad base (American) in Al Anbar province, both Iranian and Iraqi sources report. This has been confirmed by the US military. US air defense & AWACS in the region have been unable to detect these missiles. (I've seen reports of up to 30+ rockets hitting the base).

Posted by: David | Jan 7 2020 23:22 utc | 242

Peter_AU_1@228
Nice call on the prescribed/proscribed...I'd been at the bar, and I'm a victim of the Australian education system...

On the fire-management jazz, check:
Queensland fire chief rejects criticism on shortfall in hazard reduction burns

or,

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says hazard reduction burn not the 'panacea'

or,

'Not a silver bullet':CFA calls for calm discussion around fuel reduction burns

Yeah, I know they are all from "Aunty" but we need a collective strategy, to be sure.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 8 2020 17:07 utc | 243

@vk #230
The problem with your extrapolation of decreased humidity making it easier to start a fire (wet wood vs. dry wood) is that this example is meaningless in the context of reality.
The question is very simple: do you actually believe that the fire tragedies in Australia this year are primarily caused by climate change? The answer appears to be yes, despite the actual change in temperatures and/or humidity being tiny.

Fires in Australia are nothing new. I note that you don't address the possibility of fire control scheme changes, nor of localized weather (vs. climate) among other, likely much greater factors.

But even disregarding the cause - how exactly would these climate level changes be addressed via human behavior changes?

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 8 2020 20:35 utc | 244

@ Posted by: c1ue | Jan 8 2020 20:35 utc | 244

The Chinese seem to agree with me:

Raging bushfires expose multiple governance woes of Australia

As the new year dawns, the whole world is aghast at the devastating bushfires raging across Australia, where more than 20 lives have been lost and many more people are unaccounted for. Heart-wrenching images of ravaged villages and townships, residents forced to flee homes, and 500 million koalas, kangaroos, wombats and other wild life creatures perishing in the inferno have brought to living rooms the intensity of the inferno.

The bushfire started in early August last year, destroying large swathes of forest tracts. To date the most populous and economically active states, including New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, have been gravely hit, with the unprecedented dire aftermaths.

So, we have: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. Pick up a map of Australia and see the pattern: there's none. Fires ravaged through the entirety of the Australian territory. Now pick up the factors that could affect the entire Australian continent basically at the same time. The only one I can see is climate change.

Yes, diagnosis by exclusion sucks, but here we are.

There are natural causes to the calamity. The persisting drought and record high temperatures have made self combustion easier and fire fighting efforts extremely difficult. The flammable eucalyptus trees and the flat topography let the firestorms spread easily. Sudden change in wind direction often makes flame movements unpredictable, and frequent dry lightnings ignite new blazes in the bush tinder.

This is a direct mention to all the factors induces (or made much worse) by climate change in the Australian ecosystem. A drier forest is a more flammable forest: that is not opinion, that's a basic chemistry fact. Lucky me, the Chinese seem to understand basic chemistry, so I'm not alone in this sad world.

However, the Chinese also didn't exclude the human factor (as I also didn't. See my last comments here):

There are, however, human factors involved.

Australia takes only 0.3 percent of the world population, but its greenhouse gas emission level is as high as 1.3 percent, making it one of the world's biggest emitters. Australia's target of carbon reduction has been criticized as too low and the government has not been too willing to take concrete steps. In addition to being the world's fourth largest producer of coal, Australia is also a major exporter of fossil fuels, causing emission rise not only in the country, but in the export destinations as well. The newly endorsed Adani Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland has gone ahead in spite of widespread opposition in the country.

There have been unyielding voices in Australia refuting links between the wrecking calamity and climate change. Former prime minister Tony Abbott has been a staunch denier of the scientific evidence of climate change, in particular of the relationship between the emission of carbon dioxide and global warming. Scott Morrison, the current Prime Minister, has said he will not make "reckless" cuts to the coal industry.

Such attitude and approach is naturally hazardous to nature. Rise in temperatures and the resulting lack of humidity have been among the major causes of the tragedy wreaking havoc across Australia.

In Australia, the fire safety and protection services are mainly the responsibility of the states and territories, causing a dysfunctional gulf between the federal authorities and the state and territory governments, as well as among the provinces. As Australia is a land perennially haunted by the bushfire menace, it is imperative to create national and inter-state schemes to better coordinate fire prevention and combating efforts.

The Australian fire fighting services consist largely of volunteers who, though extremely dedicated and highly skilled, have their own commitments. Only recently has the federal government mobilized the armed forces to participate in the rescue and evacuation missions.

As you can see, they don't list any of the conspiracy theories mentioned here.

There is no secret eco-anarchist, Team Rocket-style, terrorist organization in Australia doing arson. Arsonists are a fact of life in any modern country, and they've always existed in Australia. Besides, if a kid with a matchstick can bring down Australia, then Australia's system doesn't deserve to exist in the first place.

There's also no hippie takeover in Australia. The greens in Australia govern a minority of the local councils, and Australia has been drifting to the right, not to the left, since the 2010s. The hippies also don't have any control over what happens inside the private properties of the farmers: there's no green under the bed: if they want to open a corridor in their farms, they will do that. It's funny, actually: the more right-winger a country goes, the more powerful the left-wing gets - very cool paradox (I call this the "Hitler Paradox").

When a bushfire gets intense and vast enough, it reaches a level were it both catapults a cloud of burning ash and torches the soil to a radius much beyond the actual fire (both by the fact that the soil itself gets hot and the fact that much of the vegetable life in a forest is made of roots, which burn "by wire"). Controlled fires don't work at this level, so even if there were only aboriginals living in Australia, the catastrophe would likely be the same.

Also, as the Chinese correctly pointed out, Australia's government had the ingenious idea of decentralizing firefighting, giving up its powers over it to the local governments. As a result, each province has its own rules and own firecorps, making it impossible to do a well-coordinated operation against a nationwide, epic bushfire.

And there's more: not only did the Australian federal government decentralized firefighting, but it also deprofessionalized it. Now, most firefighters are amateurs. You don't have to be an expert in Ancient Rome's History to know that one professional is worth ten or even more amateurs in operations that need military-grade logistics. Amateurization of firefighting in Australia may have been good for a neoliberal PM who wanted to cut costs - but bad for the firefighting itself.

In conclusion, not only the right-winger conspiracy theories pointed out here and the internet wrong, but the exact opposite is true: it was the far-rightist ideology of small government, cost cutting and maximum profits that burned Australia to the ground - not some random, Neroesque imaginary group of eco-anarchists.

Posted by: vk | Jan 8 2020 21:06 utc | 245

@ Posted by: c1ue | Jan 8 2020 20:35 utc | 244

This post is more complex, so I'll repost it with the correct diagramation (to the onwer of the blog: fell free to delete the previous one).

The Chinese seem to agree with me:

Raging bushfires expose multiple governance woes of Australia

As the new year dawns, the whole world is aghast at the devastating bushfires raging across Australia, where more than 20 lives have been lost and many more people are unaccounted for. Heart-wrenching images of ravaged villages and townships, residents forced to flee homes, and 500 million koalas, kangaroos, wombats and other wild life creatures perishing in the inferno have brought to living rooms the intensity of the inferno.

The bushfire started in early August last year, destroying large swathes of forest tracts. To date the most populous and economically active states, including New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, have been gravely hit, with the unprecedented dire aftermaths.

So, we have: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. Pick up a map of Australia and see the pattern: there's none. Fires ravaged through the entirety of the Australian territory. Now pick up the factors that could affect the entire Australian continent basically at the same time. The only one I can see is climate change.

Yes, diagnosis by exclusion sucks, but here we are.

There are natural causes to the calamity. The persisting drought and record high temperatures have made self combustion easier and fire fighting efforts extremely difficult. The flammable eucalyptus trees and the flat topography let the firestorms spread easily. Sudden change in wind direction often makes flame movements unpredictable, and frequent dry lightnings ignite new blazes in the bush tinder.

This is a direct mention to all the factors induces (or made much worse) by climate change in the Australian ecosystem. A drier forest is a more flammable forest: that is not opinion, that's a basic chemistry fact. Lucky me, the Chinese seem to understand basic chemistry, so I'm not alone in this sad world.

However, the Chinese also didn't exclude the human factor (as I also didn't. See my last comments here):

There are, however, human factors involved.

Australia takes only 0.3 percent of the world population, but its greenhouse gas emission level is as high as 1.3 percent, making it one of the world's biggest emitters. Australia's target of carbon reduction has been criticized as too low and the government has not been too willing to take concrete steps. In addition to being the world's fourth largest producer of coal, Australia is also a major exporter of fossil fuels, causing emission rise not only in the country, but in the export destinations as well. The newly endorsed Adani Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland has gone ahead in spite of widespread opposition in the country.

There have been unyielding voices in Australia refuting links between the wrecking calamity and climate change. Former prime minister Tony Abbott has been a staunch denier of the scientific evidence of climate change, in particular of the relationship between the emission of carbon dioxide and global warming. Scott Morrison, the current Prime Minister, has said he will not make "reckless" cuts to the coal industry.

Such attitude and approach is naturally hazardous to nature. Rise in temperatures and the resulting lack of humidity have been among the major causes of the tragedy wreaking havoc across Australia.

In Australia, the fire safety and protection services are mainly the responsibility of the states and territories, causing a dysfunctional gulf between the federal authorities and the state and territory governments, as well as among the provinces. As Australia is a land perennially haunted by the bushfire menace, it is imperative to create national and inter-state schemes to better coordinate fire prevention and combating efforts.

The Australian fire fighting services consist largely of volunteers who, though extremely dedicated and highly skilled, have their own commitments. Only recently has the federal government mobilized the armed forces to participate in the rescue and evacuation missions.

As you can see, they don't list any of the conspiracy theories mentioned here.

There is no secret eco-anarchist, Team Rocket-style, terrorist organization in Australia doing arson. Arsonists are a fact of life in any modern country, and they've always existed in Australia. Besides, if a kid with a matchstick can bring down Australia, then Australia's system doesn't deserve to exist in the first place.

There's also no hippie takeover in Australia. The greens in Australia govern a minority of the local councils, and Australia has been drifting to the right, not to the left, since the 2010s. The hippies also don't have any control over what happens inside the private properties of the farmers: there's no green under the bed: if they want to open a corridor in their farms, they will do that. It's funny, actually: the more right-winger a country goes, the more powerful the left-wing gets - very cool paradox (I call this the "Hitler Paradox").

When a bushfire gets intense and vast enough, it reaches a level were it both catapults a cloud of burning ash and torches the soil to a radius much beyond the actual fire (both by the fact that the soil itself gets hot and the fact that much of the vegetable life in a forest is made of roots, which burn "by wire"). Controlled fires don't work at this level, so even if there were only aboriginals living in Australia, the catastrophe would likely be the same.

Also, as the Chinese correctly pointed out, Australia's government had the ingenious idea of decentralizing firefighting, giving up its powers over it to the local governments. As a result, each province has its own rules and own firecorps, making it impossible to do a well-coordinated operation against a nationwide, epic bushfire.

And there's more: not only did the Australian federal government decentralized firefighting, but it also deprofessionalized it. Now, most firefighters are amateurs. You don't have to be an expert in Ancient Rome's History to know that one professional is worth ten or even more amateurs in operations that need military-grade logistics. Amateurization of firefighting in Australia may have been good for a neoliberal PM who wanted to cut costs - but bad for the firefighting itself.

In conclusion, not only the right-winger conspiracy theories pointed out here and the internet wrong, but the exact opposite is true: it was the far-rightist ideology of small government, cost cutting and maximum profits that burned Australia to the ground - not some random, Neroesque imaginary group of eco-anarchists.

Posted by: vk | Jan 8 2020 21:12 utc | 246

The last I read, Joe Biden is the Dem frontrunner. Below is a ZH link about his son that shows Hunter does not just screw other countries but multiple women as well.

"Past Due": Court Declares Hunter Biden The Father Of Child In Arkansas

A paragon of virtue, just like his dad.....and Trump as well.

The US has the best government money can buy.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 9 2020 2:33 utc | 247

@ Posted by: c1ue | Jan 8 2020 20:35 utc | 244

You are an idiot. "The only one I can see is climate change."

You know nothing about Australia, it's history, or anything about bushfires.

You can see climate change in current events and weather patterns that have been surpassed many times in the last 150 years, because that's what you want to see.

Posted by: DM | Jan 9 2020 3:04 utc | 248

Australia should buy some Beriev Be-200 firefighting planes (vid).

Posted by: S | Jan 9 2020 14:11 utc | 249

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