Archive for February 11, 2012

Bill Gates backs climate scientists lobbying for large-scale geoengineering.

Other wealthy individuals have also funded a series of reports into the future use of technologies to geoengineer the climate.

Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates speaks at a breakfast hosted by Climate Solutions in Seattle

The billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is backing a group of climate scientists lobbying for geoengineering experiments. Photograph: Ted S. Warren/AP

A small group of leading climate scientists, financially supported by billionaires including Bill Gates, are lobbying governments and international bodies to back experiments into manipulating the climate on a global scale to avoid catastrophic climate change.

The scientists, who advocate geoengineering methods such as spraying millions of tonnes of reflective particles of sulphur dioxide 30 miles above earth, argue that a “plan B” for climate change will be needed if the UN and politicians cannot agree to making the necessary cuts in greenhouse gases, and say the US government and others should pay for a major programme of international research.

Solar geoengineering techniques are highly controversial: while some climate scientists believe they may prove a quick and relatively cheap way to slow global warming, others fear that when conducted in the upper atmosphere, they could irrevocably alter rainfall patterns and interfere with the earth’s climate.

Geoengineering is opposed by many environmentalists, who say the technology could undermine efforts to reduce emissions, and by developing countries who fear it could be used as a weapon or by rich countries to their advantage. In 2010, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity declared a moratorium on experiments in the sea and space, except for small-scale scientific studies.

Concern is now growing that the small but influential group of scientists, and their backers, may have a disproportionate effect on major decisions about geoengineering research and policy.

“We will need to protect ourselves from vested interests [and] be sure that choices are not influenced by parties who might make significant amounts of money through a choice to modify climate, especially using proprietary intellectual property,” said Jane Long, director at large for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US, in a paper delivered to a recent geoengineering conference on ethics.

“The stakes are very high and scientists are not the best people to deal with the social, ethical or political issues that geoengineering raises,” said Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace. “The idea that a self-selected group should have so much influence is bizarre.”

Pressure to find a quick technological fix to climate change is growing as politicians fail to reach an agreement to significantly reduce emissions. In 2009-2010, the US government received requests for over $2bn(£1.2bn) of grants for geoengineering research, but spent around $100m.


David Shrigley: one of the cleverest, funniest conceptual artists

Cartoon or work of art? From his stuffed animals to slogan teatowels, Shrigley’s work is simple but profound.

David Shrigley

‘A Shrigley drawing that does not make us laugh makes us do something else – think.’
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist. © David Shrigley

It’s the image everyone knows best – so well known that we’re not even going to use it as an illustration here: a Jack Russell, stuffed, standing up, holding in its paws a sign saying “I’m dead”. There is also a version in which the stuffed animal is a cat.

David Shrigley  Brain Activity  –  Hayward Gallery, London SE1

Starts 1 February 2012  Until 13 May 2012

Venue website

He also has a show ‘Arms Fayre’ at Stephen Friedman Gallery from 8th February to the 10th March 2012. (Free)

See Here Pictures of Shrigley’s Wierd World:-

Listen to David on BBC Radio4 The Today Programme Wednesday February 1st :-

David Shrigley at Frieze Art Fair 2010-Video:-

Several things strike one when looking at this. The first reaction – I’ve tried this out on a few people who have somehow managed not to see the image yet – is laughter: a short, shocked laugh that suddenly evaporates, like a drop of water on a hot shovel, as the work’s various contradictions and ambiguities align and realign themselves within your consciousness.

First, you notice the audacity. It’s a work of what seems like blinding obviousness. But in attributing the ability to express a condition to something that is manifestly unable to do so, Shrigley is having a go at the infantilising anthropomorphism currently sloshing around daily culture: the coffee cup which has “Careful – I’m hot!” printed on it; or, as I saw recently on a tourist double-decker the other day, “Sorry – I’m not in service”. But there’s more.

What the work is inviting us to do is, literally, to laugh at death – for that is what you are seeing: almost all you are seeing. But not all, for a living hand arranged the body, wrote on the sign, and stuck the sign in the paws. There is life there, but a cruel kind of life, the kind that is rumoured to make sport of the corpses in the back rooms of undertakers, that (at its most innocent) makes the bodies of the dead assume unnatural positions, or look as though they’re doing silly things. But there’s still more, yet another flip side: he may be making the animals do things they were incapable of when alive, but they’re doing things that cartoon animals have no problem doing and, moreover, the truth they are proclaiming can’t be gainsaid. That animal is dead, after all, just as its placard proclaims.

The more one thinks about it the more eloquent a statement about death it seems. For all its ambiguities, sparked off from the simplest of elements and generating a surprisingly rich and accessible range of interpretations, there is, just as one may say about death, no let-out, in the end. It makes Damien Hirst‘s works of taxidermy, with their endless titles, almost look as though, in comparison, they are evading the issue. (There’s a Shrigley cartoon in which a father and son are looking at one of Hirst’s flyblown heads in a perspex box. “It’s bloody brilliant, son, that’s what it is,” says a speech balloon, and – as Shrigley has used the same joke in a short film urging us, and governments, to support the arts – you suspect that he really does think it’s brilliant.)

Yet one of the most curious things about Shrigley’s works of taxidermy is that somehow – and I have not got close up enough to one to see if any trickery has been used, but I would guess not – these animals’ faces look, uncannily, as though they have been drawn by David Shrigley. The expression, the unsettlingly expressive blankness characteristic of his cartoon figures’ pupil-less eyes, is Shrigleyan. They have become subsumed into his world. Now, that really is clever.

In one of his introductions to Shrigley’s collections, Will Self wrote that, once you’ve looked at enough of his drawings – he gives a figure of a hundred – “there is no plane of reality other than that described by Shrigley.” It’s a good point, and a testament to Shrigley’s genius, which is not a word I use lightly.

On first encountering a Shrigley drawing, one is of course immediately aware that we are in a realm of artistic fluidity. You might even experience, before it’s sunk in, a spurt of outrage that anything like this can earn any claim to our attention. And then you might ask: are we looking at a cartoon, or a work of art? Surely something so rudimentary cannot be art? But then you can’t really say they’re cartoons either, or not with complete confidence. A cartoon that does not make us laugh can be said to have failed; a Shrigley drawing that does not make us laugh makes us do something else – think, probably. This already puts it in the premier league of conceptual art, which, too much of the time, makes us only think darkly about Arts Council funding, or the limits of human gullibility.

Iran Turns Embargo Tables: To Pass Law Halting All Crude Exports To Europe.

February 11, 2012 1 comment

By Tyler Durden on 27th January 2012.   Find Article Here:-

In what is likely a long overdue move, Iran has finally decided to give Europe a harsh lesson in game theory. Instead of letting Euro-area politicians score brownie points at its expense by threatening to halt imports and cut off the Iranian economy, the Iranian government will instead propose a bill calling for an immediate halt to oil deliveries to Europe. The move, with most reports citing the Iranian news agency Mehr, has come about in response to the EU agreement to impose sanctions against Iran, which were announced earlier this week. And why not? After all if Europe is indeed serious, sooner or later Iran will be cut off but in the meantime experience significant policy uncertainty, which is precisely what the flipflops on the ground need. The one thing that Europe, however is forgetting, is that all that whopping 0.8 Mb/d in imports will simply find a new buyer.Quickly.

So with China, India and Russia already having bilateral agreements with Iran in place, we are confident that said buyer will have a contract signed, sealed and delivered within an hour of the proposed bill’s passage. Furthermore, as SocGen speculated, the fact that Europe will be even more bottlenecked in its crude supplies (good luck Saudi Arabia with that imaginary excess capacity), and which just may force the IEA to release some more of that strategic petroleum reserve (and thus give JPM some more free money on the replenishment arbitrage) will send Brent to $125-150 – something which Iran will be delighted by. That is of course unless some “experts” discover that Iran may or may not have a complete arsenal of shark with fricking nuclear warheads attached to their heads (despite what Paneta has already said) which gives the US the green light for a full blown incursion, which in turn will send oil over $200, and the world economy into a global coordinated re-depression.
From Spiegel:

 “If this bill is passed, the government will be forced to stop selling oil to Europe before the actual implementation of their sanctions,” said Emad Hosseini, spokesman for the Iranian parliament’s energy commission, reportedly said. The bill is set to become law on Sunday.

The EU sanctions allow for oil deliveries from Iran until July 1. Any pre-empting of this timescale by Tehran could prove problematic for countries like Italy, Greece and Spain, who would need to urgently find new suppliers.

China, meanwhile, a major importer of Iranian oil, has also criticized the EU sanctions. The Xinhua news agency quoted the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday as saying: “To blindly pressure and impose sanctions on Iran are not constructive approaches.”

Many members of the EU are now heavily dependent on Iranian oil. Some 500,000 barrels arrive in Europe every day from Iran, with southern European countries consuming most of it. Greece is the most exposed, receiving a third of all its oil imports from Iran, but Italy too depends on Iran for 13 percent of its oil needs. If this source were to dry up abruptly, the economic conditions in the two struggling countries could become even worse.

Already on Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned of the economic consequences of the EU’s planned embargo. Stopping deliveries from the world’s fifth largest producer could drive up the price of oil by 20 to 30 percent.

Perhaps instead of doing its best at crippling the world energy markets, and crushing the global economy, Europe should stick to bailing itself out, and other activities in which it has extensive experience.

Categories: News of the moment

China And Japan Currency Swap – The Nail In US Dollar’s Coffin?

Written by:   January 27th, 2012  By Horace Campbell  Find Full Article Here:-

On 25 December 2011, the government of Peoples Republic of China and Japan unveiled plans to promote direct exchange of their currencies. This agreement will allow firms to convert the Chinese and Japanese currencies directly into each other, thus negating the need to buy dollars. This deal between China and Japan followed agreements between China and numerous countries to trade outside the sphere of the US dollar. A few weeks earlier, China also announced a 70 billion Yuan ($11 billion) currency swap agreement with Thailand.

After visiting China, the Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihiko Noda went on to India and signed another currency swap agreement with the government of India. These currency agreements in Asia came in a year when the countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) were seeking to deepen ways to strengthen their firewall to protect their economies from the continued devaluation of the US dollar. In the year of the ‘Eurozone crisis’ when the future of the EURO as a viable currency was fraught with uncertainty, many states were reconsidering holding their reserves in the US dollar.

Moreover, in the face of the neo-liberal orthodoxy of the Bretton Woods institutions (especially the IMF) swap agreements were proliferating in all parts of the globe. The Latin Americans established the Bank of the South and are slowly laying the groundwork for a new currency, the SUCRE. As in Asia, the Bank of the South will be one of the fundamental institutions of the Union of South American Nations that has been launched in Latin America in order to guarantee the independence of the societies of Latin America. Not to be left as the only region holding dollars, the leaders of the oil rich states of the Gulf Cooperation Council have been buying gold while announcing as long ago as 2009 the intention to establish a monetary union with a common currency. In Africa there are plans for the strengthening of the financial basis of the African Union but so far there has not been the same kind coordinated regional plans for financial independence. During the period of the debate on the debt crisis in the USA, the Nigerian central bank governor Lamido Sanusi announced that Nigeria plans to invest 5 to 10 percent of its foreign exchange reserves in the Chinese currency – the Yuan also known as the renminbi (RMB).

These accelerated Swap agreements – (agreements between two or several countries (bilateral vs. multilateral) on exchanging currencies in times of crisis) – came a decade after the countries of ASEAN established the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI). In the aftermath of the Asian economic crash and the currency attack by speculators of the financial services industry, the CMI had been established to promote financial cooperation among the ASEAN countries with regional collaboration on currency issues high on the agenda. Initially when the CMI was launched, the government of China had been lukewarm to the goals of the CMI but over decade, especially after the 2007-2008 Wall Street crash, the preliminary partnership that was called ASEAN plus three (Viz ASEAN countries plus China, Japan and Korea) matured to the point where the ASEAN Swap Agreements have now been expanded to the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) agreement, and a set of rules with structured mechanisms for financial regionalism to work for the development of Asian bond markets. These three pillars of the new Asian economic cooperation – CMIM, Asian Bond Markets and bilateral swap agreements – mark a new stage in the international political order.

Categories: News of the moment

We’ve been here before – and it suits Israel that we never forget ‘Nuclear Iran’.

By Robert Fisk Wednesday 25th January 2012.  Find Article Here:-

The Ayatollah ordered the entire nuclear project to be closed down because it was the work of the devil.

Turning round a story is one of the most difficult tasks in journalism – and rarely more so than in the case of Iran. Iran, the dark revolutionary Islamist menace. Shia Iran, protector and manipulator of World Terror, of Syria and Lebanon and Hamas and Hezbollah. Ahmadinejad, the Mad Caliph. And, of course, Nuclear Iran, preparing to destroy Israel in a mushroom cloud of anti-Semitic hatred, ready to close the Strait of Hormuz – the moment the West’s (or Israel’s) forces attack.

Given the nature of the theocratic regime, the repulsive suppression of its post-election opponents in 2009, not to mention its massive pools of oil, every attempt to inject common sense into the story also has to carry a medical health warning: no, of course Iran is not a nice place. But …

Let’s take the Israeli version which, despite constant proof that Israel’s intelligence services are about as efficient as Syria’s, goes on being trumpeted by its friends in the West, none more subservient than Western journalists. The Israeli President warns us now that Iran is on the cusp of producing a nuclear weapon. Heaven preserve us. Yet we reporters do not mention that Shimon Peres, as Israeli Prime Minister, said exactly the same thing in 1996. That was 16 years ago. And we do not recall that the current Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, said in 1992 that Iran would have a nuclear bomb by 1999. That would be 13 years ago. Same old story.

In fact, we don’t know that Iran really is building a nuclear weapon. And after Iraq, it’s amazing that the old weapons of mass destruction details are popping with the same frequency as all the poppycock about Saddam’s titanic arsenal. Not to mention the date problem. When did all this start? The Shah. The old boy wanted nuclear power. He even said he wanted a bomb because “the US and the Soviet Union had nuclear bombs” and no one objected. Europeans rushed to supply the dictator’s wish. Siemens – not Russia – built the Bushehr nuclear facility.

And when Ayatollah Khomeini, Scourge of the West, Apostle of Shia Revolution, etc, took over Iran in 1979, he ordered the entire nuclear project to be closed down because it was “the work of the Devil”. Only when Saddam invaded Iran – with our Western encouragement – and started using poison gas against the Iranians (chemical components arriving from the West, of course) was Khomeini persuaded to reopen it.

All this has been deleted from the historical record; it was the black-turbaned mullahs who started the nuclear project, along with the crackpot Ahmadinejad. And Israel might have to destroy this terror-weapon to secure its own survival, to ensure the West’s survival, for democracy, etc, etc.

For Palestinians in the West Bank, Israel is the brutal, colonising, occupying power. But the moment Iran is mentioned, this colonial power turns into a tiny, vulnerable, peaceful state under imminent threat of extinction. Ahmadinejad – here again, I quote Netanyahu – is more dangerous than Hitler. Israel’s own nuclear warheads – all too real and now numbering almost 300 – disappear from the story. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are helping the Syrian regime destroy its opponents; they might like to – but there is no proof of this.

The trouble is that Iran has won almost all its recent wars without firing a shot. George W and Tony destroyed Iran’s nemesis in Iraq. They killed thousands of the Sunni army whom Iran itself always referred to as “the black Taliban”. And the Gulf Arabs, our “moderate” friends, shiver in their golden mosques as we in the West outline their fate in the event of an Iranian Shia revolution.

No wonder Cameron goes on selling weapons to these preposterous people whose armies, in many cases, could scarcely operate soup kitchens, let alone the billions of dollars of sophisticated kit we flog them under the fearful shadow of Tehran.

Bring on the sanctions. Send in the clowns.

Categories: News of the moment

UK D-Notices to Go Worldwide.

Kurt Nimmo  January 27th, 2012.   Find Full Article Here:-

Google and the British government are working together to sweep websites into Orwell’s memory hole. It is a joint effort that will soon go worldwide as the global elite continue to build and refine their censorship apparatus.

UK D Notices to Go Worldwide google cctv camera

Google told The Telegraph today that national security is “the single biggest category” among the reasons cited for scrubbing pages from Google search results. Google’s Daphne Keller flew to the UK to testify before the the Leveson Inquiry and said her company had cooperated with the British government in 82 per cent of cases. PM David Cameron established the inquiry in the wake of the News International telephone hacking scandal last year.

The collaboration between Google and the British government is reminiscent of practices established under the so-called D Notice system, a modernized version of the Official Secrets Act used to censor political speech. Newspaper and periodical editors now routinely check with the government’s D Notice Committee before publishing information, a process that operates as de facto self-censorship.

The D Notice system was used in the Dr. Kelly case. Kelly was suicided after he accused the British government of planting in a dossier a questionable claim that WMDs could be released from Iraq within 45 minutes.

Earlier in the week, a former Soros Open Society minion and Stanford University scholar called on Google to act as a thought crime enforcer by providing warnings about websites that contain “conspiracy theories” such as the belief, held by a majority of Americans, that global warming is not primarily man-made.

As Paul Joseph Watson noted on Tuesday, the call by Evgeny Morozov to render the internet politically correct according to the dictates of the global elite and their bureaucrats is similar to an argument made by Obama’s science czar, Cass Sunstein, to force websites to carry warnings if they post content deemed inappropriate by the government.

In keeping with its mission to surveil and track and trace its users – allegedly for commercial purposes – Google has announced that it will follow the activities of users across nearly all of its ubiquitous sites, including YouTube, Gmail and its leading search engine, according to the Washington Post. Consumers won’t be able to opt out of the changes, which take effect March 1.

Categories: News of the moment

Cell Phones, EMF Negatively Altering Important Regions of the Brain

February 11, 2012 1 comment

Mike Barrett   NaturalSociety  January 27th, 2012.  Find Article Here:-

A new Greek scientific study has demonstrated how frequency electromagnetic fields, namely cell phones, portable phones, WiFi, and wireless computer equipment, alter important protein changes in the brains of animals. Exposure to electromagnetic frequencies is the result of our advancing technologies, but it is important to study these effects so people know exactly what they’re dealing with in order to take the necessary precautionary measures.

Cell Phones, EMF Negatively Altering Important Regions of the Brain

The study, entitled “Brain proteome response following whole body exposure of mice to mobile phone or wireless DECT base radiation,” was published in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine. Important areas of the brain such as the hippocampus, cerebellum, and frontal lobe are regions responsible for learning, memory, and other functions. These areas are negatively impacted by microwave radiation, even at levels below the safety guidelines put in place by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation protection.

Researchers found that 143 proteins in the brain were negatively impacted by radio frequency radiation over a period of 8 months. A total of 3 hours of cell phone exposure were simulated over the 8 month time period, and the results showed that many neural function related proteins’ functional relationship changed the for worse.

It is known that short term exposure of microwaves exuded from a cell phone, depending on how far the antenna is from the head, can penetrate as much as 1 1/2 inches into the brain, but this study focuses more on the long term effects and how EMF impacts specific brain proteins. This provides new evidence of the potential relationship between EMF and health complications stemming from EMF such as headaches, dizziness, sleep disorders, and even tumors and Alzheimer’s disease.

Another study conducted by a Russian team of researchers also showed that EMF and cell phones cause significant long-term cognitive decline in children. It may be time for parents to re-determine if young children should really be using these devices with growing bodies and developing brains.

A number of foreign countries are attempting to adopt precautionary protocols to limit cell phone use in an attempt to mitigate the number of adverse effects they have on human health. In 2011, the WHO/IARC released a report stating that cell phone radiation may have a carcinogenic effect on humans. In fact, the World Health Organization actually said that cell phones are in the same cancer-causing category as lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform.