Feb 172020
 


Jack Delano Discarded oil cans at truck service station on U.S. 1, New York Avenue, Washington, DC 1940

 

Japan Braces For Hundreds More Cases Onboard Cruise Ship (G.)
Taiwan Confirms First Coronavirus Death On Island, Cases At 20 (R.)
Pay Attention To Shanghai, Beijing, Japan Infection Rates (F.)
Japan’s Economy Shrinks At Fastest Rate Since 2014 (BBC)
Coronavirus Cases Rise Again In China, Recession Looms In Japan, Singapore (R.)
Americans Disembark From Virus-Hit Cruise; China Says New Cases Slow (R.)
Scramble To Track Cambodia Cruise Ship Passengers After Virus Case Found (R.)
‘Animals Live For Man’: China’s Appetite For Wildlife To Survive Virus (R.)
Armed Robbers Steal Hundreds Of Toilet Rolls In Hong Kong (BBC)
Devin Nunes Says Trump ‘Has To Tweet’ To Combat ‘Hard Left’ Media (Fox)
1,100 Former DOJ Employees Call On Barr To Resign (NPR)
German Court Halts Work On New Tesla ‘Gigafactory’ (BBC)
Australia Broadcaster Loses Newsroom Raid Case (BBC)
Breakdown or Breakthrough? Degrowth and the Great Transition (NC)
US Peach Grower Awarded $265 Million From Bayer, BASF In Weedkiller Suit (R.)

 

 

Well, we do have some numbers:

 

• Cases 71,330, up 2,076 from yesterday

• Deaths 1,775, up 106 from yesterday

• 760 million Chinese under quarantine

 

We also have plenty confusion. For instance, Reuters has two headlines that say Coronavirus Cases Rise Again In China and China Says New Cases Slow. That clears things up.

But the most dramatic event over the weekend must be the repatration of various nationalities to their homelands. About 400 Americans were evacuated from the Diamond Princess, with Australian Canadian, Italian, South Korean and Hong Kong passengers set to follow soon. 44 of these Americans are infected with the virus, and they won’t be going home. The rest will, though.

This is happening while “Japan is bracing for the possibility of hundreds of additional cases of the coronavirus onboard the stricken Princess Diamond”, says the Guardian. So the Americans that are flown home go into quarantine, right? Well… Some Diamond Princess passengers face another two weeks in isolation if they have shared a cabin with someone who tests positive.”

Remember, as of the start of the evacuation, there were 3,711 people on board. 1,219 had been tested of which 355 have been confirmed positive for the virus (among them the 44 Americans). Ergo, 2,492 people were not tested, among them the remaining 356 Americans. Who will only go into isolation if they shared a cabin with a positive case. The rest can do what they want.

We see the issue here, don’t we? How many of those 356 Americans may be infected? How many of the other nationalities which will fly home? There have been suggestions that the onboard air circulation system on the ship may have played a role in spreading the virus. If so, it could be everywhere. And yes, there could be “hundreds of additional cases”.

Then there’s the Werkendam cruise ship, from which hundreds were allowed to spread all over the world, taking off from Cambodia and/or Malaysia, before a positive case was found. Now it’s a “Scramble To Track Cambodia Cruise Ship Passengers”. Sort of like a modern version of the biblical “Go Forth and Multiply”. Where were these decisions made? Anyone ask the WHO, or China?

 

Meanwhile, China keeps trying. In Hubei province, Xiaogan city – with a population of nearly 5 million people, 3,279 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the second highest number in China, and 70 deaths, “all vehicles including motorcycles, electric bikes, bicycles and tricycles are prohibited from driving on the road”. Try that in NYC, LA, Paris, Moscow, name a major city.

And the economic effects get increased attention as well. “Barclays analysts estimate that real [Japan] GDP contracted 3.2% on a quarterly basis, a little better than market consensus of -3.8%. This is all pre-coronavirus…] Take it from there. At this point hearing from economists, bankers, investors is pretty useless, because they have little idea what goes on, and, like politicians, they won’t consider really bad scenarios until it’s too late.

But it’ll come trickling through. Served in a sauce of “we’ll be fine”.

UPDATE: 99 additional people tested positive aboard the Diamond Princess. 14 American evacuees who tested positive made the flight anyway, in a separate compartment

 

 

 

 

“Xiaogan, 70km from the city of Wuhan, has 3,279 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and has recorded 70 deaths.”

Japan Braces For Hundreds More Cases Onboard Cruise Ship (G.)

Japan is bracing for the possibility of hundreds of additional cases of the coronavirus onboard the stricken Princess Diamond, as experts warned the country was still in the “early stages” of the outbreak. The passengers evacuated from the ship face further uncertainty too, with the US and Australian citizens set for a further two weeks of quarantine after arriving homeHundreds of American passengers have flown back to the US and Australia said it would follow suit on Wednesday. Onboard the Diamond Princess, 355 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 out of an original total of about 3,600 passengers and crew, and after testing 1,219. Forty American passengers who were diagnosed with the virus have been transferred to hospitals in Japan.

Some Diamond Princess passengers face another two weeks in isolation if they have shared a cabin with someone who tests positive. The total number of people infected around the world climbed to more than 71,000 on Monday, including a further 2,048 confirmed cases in China, where the total number of deaths stands at 1,770. Five people have died outside China. Of the 105 deaths reported in China on Monday, 100 were in Hubei province, the centre of the outbreak. Cities in Hubei have stepped up measures to stop the virus’s spread.


Xiaogan city – which has a population of nearly 5 million people and the second highest number of confirmed cases in China – ordered residents to stay in their homes or face detention of up to 10 days. State media reported that “all vehicles including motorcycles, electric bikes, bicycles and tricycles are prohibited from driving on the road”. Xiaogan, 70km from the city of Wuhan, has 3,279 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and has recorded 70 deaths.

Read more …

Fifth location outside China.

Taiwan Confirms First Coronavirus Death On Island, Cases At 20 (R.)

A taxi driver has died from the coronavirus in Taiwan, marking the first such death on the island and the fifth fatality outside mainland China from an epidemic that has curbed travel and disrupted global supply chains. Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said during a news conference on Sunday that the deceased person was a 61-year-old man who had diabetes and hepatitis B. Taiwan has to date accumulated 20 confirmed cases. The deceased person had not traveled abroad recently and was a taxi driver whose clients were mainly from Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, the minister said. One of his family members was also confirmed to have the virus.

The pair constituted Taiwan’s first local transmission cases, the minister said, adding that authorities were trying to find out as soon as possible the source of contraction. “So far, we are not able to gather his contact history, so we are actively making investigations, hoping to find out the source of the contraction,” Chen said. The island will on Monday start testing all patients who show symptoms associated with coronavirus and had traveled abroad recently, the health ministry said.


The coronavirus, thought to have emerged at a wildlife market in the central Chinese province of Hubei, has killed 1,665 people in China with latest figures showing 68,500 cases of the illness. Taiwan has banned entry to Chinese visitors and foreigners with a recent history of travel to China and suspended most flights to its giant neighbor. Many schools have also extended their Lunar New Year holiday to late February to curb the spread of the virus. In a response to panic buying of masks on the island, the government scrambled to build several mask production lines and Premier Su Tseng-chang has vowed to more than double its daily mask production to 10 million by early March.

Read more …

Economic consequences. Japan was doing awful under Abenomics already.

Pay Attention To Shanghai, Beijing, Japan Infection Rates (F.)

Beijing and Shanghai have under 1,000 reported cases and only four deaths, based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Their data is sourced from the World Health Organization, the U.S. Center for Disease Control, the European Center for Disease Control and two China health agencies. China is the main source of the numbers. There are many people outside of China who doubt Beijing and Shanghai’s low case load. Watch for those numbers to rise in the weeks ahead. [..]

Covid-19 remains a mystery pathogen. It can be deadly. It’s like a bad pneumonia. Scientists believe it came from a species of bat. There is also concern that it escaped a virology research lab in Wuhan. There is no vaccine for Covid-19 yet, so those who have it are being treated with a variety of anti-viral medications and have to wait for the virus to work its way out of the body. Markets are repricing everything China related. Barclays Capital analysts released a 20-page report on the coronavirus on Friday where they said they were pushing out the recovery period, and think Japan heads into a technical recession because of it. Japan will release its fourth quarter GDP numbers on Monday.

Barclays analysts led by Tetsufumi Yamakawa in Tokyo estimate that real GDP contracted 3.2% on a quarterly basis, a little better than market consensus of -3.8%. This is all pre-coronavirus and mostly due to domestic tax matters. Yamakawa does see an increasing risk in first quarter weakness due to the Covid-19 impacts, and if that leads to negative growth, and it could, Japan hits a technical recession with back to back contraction. Weaker China tourism and a decrease in trade with China is a huge headwind for Japan. For Barclays, the probability of a recession there has surged to 69%.


Barclays’ China view is basically Wall Street consensus: so long as the virus stays concentrated in Hubei, they are going to trust China keeps it that way. [..] Xi Jinping last week called for even tighter restrictions on Hubei, and put two new Party bosses in charge to make sure the clampdown is enforced. “We think these efforts showed the urgency and determination of the government to stabilize the epicenter as soon as possible,” says Eric Zhu, an economist with Barclays in Hong Kong. “We expect incremental improvements,” he says.

Read more …

How is Abe still the PM there?

Japan’s Economy Shrinks At Fastest Rate Since 2014 (BBC)

Japan’s economy shrank at the fastest rate in five years at the end of 2019 as it was hit by a sales tax rise, a major typhoon and weak global demand. Annualised GDP fell by a much steeper than expected 6.3% in October-December. There are also concerns the coronavirus outbreak will mean the slump continues this quarter. That has raised fears that the world’s third-biggest economy may fall into recession. During the period Japanese consumer spending fell 2.9% after the country’s sales tax was raised in October to 10% from 8%. In the same month Typhoon Hagibis hit large parts of the country.


Last quarter, capital spending dropped by 3.7% and exports slipped 0.1% amid the ongoing US-China trade war. Investors are now watching to see whether the economy will rebound after the coronavirus forced China to shut down factories and led to a big drop in Chinese tourists visiting Japan. In response to today’s data economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said the Japanese government was ready to take all necessary steps to deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy and tourism.

Read more …

Recession looms everywhere by now. We just don’t want to know it.

Coronavirus Cases Rise Again In China, Recession Looms In Japan, Singapore (R.)

Japan and Singapore appeared to be on the brink of recession on Monday as the coronavirus epidemic disrupted tourism and supply chains around the world, and as China imposed tougher restrictions to try and stop the virus spreading further. The number of reported new cases of coronavirus in China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the epidemic, rose on Monday by more than 1,933, after two days of falls, and there were 100 deaths reported since Sunday. Across mainland China, officials said the total number of cases rose by 2,048 to 70,548, with 1,770 deaths. Nearly 90% of new cases were in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people where the virus is believed to have originated at a market illegally trading wildlife late last year.

The virus, which is believed to have a 14-day incubation period, has forced thousands of people to be quarantined around the world. In Cambodia, authorities were scrambling to track down hundreds of passengers who disembarked from the Holland America Line cruise ship Westerdam after an American woman left the ship and was tested positive for coronavirus in Malaysia. More than 100 have already left the country, while some 300 are reportedly still in Cambodia. “I believe there’s 300 Americans here at this hotel plus a few hundred from other countries. We will all be tested for the coronavirus today and tomorrow by the Cambodian Ministry of Health,” said passenger Holley Rauen, a public health nurse and midwife from Fort Myers, Florida.


“We have no idea when we get to get home…” American passengers were taken off another cruise liner on Sunday to fly home after being quarantined for two weeks off Japan. Seventy new coronavirus cases were confirmed on board the Carnival Corp. Diamond Princess in Yokohama. The 3,700 passengers and crew have been held since Feb. 3. Some 355 people on board have tested positive for the disease, by far the largest cluster of cases outside China. Those with the disease have been taken to hospital in Japan and no one from the ship has died. Around half of the guests onboard are from Japan.

Read more …

It’s just a matter of waiting for new clusters to pop up now.

Americans Disembark From Virus-Hit Cruise; China Says New Cases Slow (R.)

American passengers were taken off a cruise liner on Sunday to fly home after being quarantined for two weeks off Japan, while China said the rate of new coronavirus cases had slowed, calling that proof its steps to fight the outbreak were working. An announcement aboard the Diamond Princess, where 3,700 passengers and crew have been held since Feb. 3, told Americans to get ready to disembark on Sunday evening for charter flights home. Passengers wearing masks could later be seen waving through the windows of buses parked near the ship. Of the roughly 400 Americans on the cruise, more than 40 are infected with the virus and will stay in Japan for treatment, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

“They are not going to go anywhere. They’re going to be in hospitals in Japan,” Fauci told the CBS News program “Face the Nation.” “People who have symptoms will not be able to get on the evacuation plane. Others are going to be evacuated starting imminently to air force bases in the United States.” Kyodo News Agency said the flights carrying U.S. passengers left Haneda Airport at around 1700 ET (2200 GMT). Canadian, Italian, South Korean and Hong Kong passengers were expected to follow soon, after their governments also announced plans to repatriate passengers. “Leaving in a few hours. No details. Might be going to Texas or Nebraska,” U.S. passenger Gay Courter told Reuters.


Seventy new coronavirus cases were confirmed on board, bringing the total on the ship to 355, by far the largest cluster of cases outside China. Fauci told the Washington Post there were 44 infected Americans. Within China, authorities reported 2,009 new cases on Sunday, noting that this was down from more than 2,600 the previous day. They said this showed their efforts to halt the spread of the virus were bearing fruit.

Read more …

Is anyone criminally responsible?

Scramble To Track Cambodia Cruise Ship Passengers After Virus Case Found (R.)

Holland America Line said it is working with governments and health experts to track passengers who disembarked from its Westerdam cruise ship docked in Cambodia after an American woman tested positive for coronavirus in Malaysia. The cruise line, which is owned by cruise giant Carnival Corp, said none of the other 1,454 passengers and 802 crew have reported any symptoms. “Guests who have already returned home will be contacted by their local health department and be provided further information,” a statement from the company said. Passengers had been cleared to travel by Cambodian authorities after health checks when the cruise ship docked on Thursday. It had spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand.


But on Saturday, Malaysia said an American woman who arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Friday on a chartered flight had tested positive for the new coronavirus that has killed more than 1,700 people, the vast majority in China. The woman’s husband tested negative for the coronavirus. About 137 of the 145 passengers on the chartered flight had already left for other countries as of Sunday after showing no signs of illness, Malaysian authorities said. Dozens more of the Westerdam passengers had flown through Thailand and onward to other countries, Thai officials said. At least 236 passengers and 747 crew remain aboard the vessel off the Cambodian port city of Sihanoukville, Holland America said. Others were in hotels in Phnom Penh, the capital.

Read more …

Did you know the Chinese see the world the same way Christian religions do? G-d appointed man the master of the world! Must be the dumbest facet of religion: man declares himself G-d.

‘Animals Live For Man’: China’s Appetite For Wildlife To Survive Virus (R.)

For the past two weeks China’s police have been raiding houses, restaurants and makeshift markets across the country, arresting nearly 700 people for breaking the temporary ban on catching, selling or eating wild animals. The scale of the crackdown, which has netted almost 40,000 animals including squirrels, weasels and boars, suggests that China’s taste for eating wildlife and using animal parts for medicinal purposes is not likely to disappear overnight, despite potential links to the new coronavirus. Traders legally selling donkey, dog, deer, crocodile and other meat told Reuters they plan to get back to business as soon as the markets reopen. “I’d like to sell once the ban is lifted,” said Gong Jian, who runs a wildlife store online and operates shops in China’s autonomous Inner Mongolia region.

“People like buying wildlife. They buy for themselves to eat or give as presents because it is very presentable and gives you face.” Gong said he was storing crocodile and deer meat in large freezers but would have to kill all the quails he had been breeding as supermarkets were no longer buying his eggs and they cannot be eaten after freezing. Scientists suspect, but have not proven, that the new coronavirus passed to humans from bats via pangolins, a small ant-eating mammal whose scales are highly prized in traditional Chinese medicine. [..] “In many people’s eyes, animals are living for man, not sharing the earth with man,” said Wang Song, a retired researcher of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


[..] Much of the farming and sale of wildlife takes place in rural or poorer regions under the blessing of local authorities who see trading as a boost for the local economy. State-backed television programs regularly show people farming animals, including rats, for commercial sale and their own consumption. However, activists pushing for a ban describe the licensed farms as a cover for illegal wildlife trafficking, where animals are specifically bred to be consumed as food or medicine rather than released into the wild.

Read more …

Brace for much more of this.

Armed Robbers Steal Hundreds Of Toilet Rolls In Hong Kong (BBC)

Armed robbers in Hong Kong made off with hundreds of toilet rolls worth more than HKD1,000 ($130). Toilet rolls are currently in short supply in Hong Kong due to shortages caused by panic-buying during the coronavirus outbreak. Knife wielding men robbed a delivery man outside a supermarket in the Mong Kok district, police said. Police have arrested two men and recovered some of the stolen loo rolls, local media reports said. The armed robbery took place in Mong Kok, a district of Hong Kong with a history of “triad” crime gangs, early on Monday.


According to local reports, the robbers had threatened a delivery worker who had unloaded rolls of toilet paper outside Wellcome Supermarket. An Apple Daily report said that 600 toilet paper rolls, valued at around HKD1,695 ($218), had been stolen. Stores across the city have seen supplies massively depleted with long queues when new stock arrives. Despite government assurances that supplies remain unaffected by the virus outbreak, residents have been stocking up on toilet paper. Other household products have also seen panic-buying including rice, pasta and cleaning items.

Read more …

“What’s happening here with Barr, I think people need to understand that he’s cleaning up the mess from not only the Obama administration, but also the mess that was left with the whole Russia-gate fiasco…”

Devin Nunes Says Trump ‘Has To Tweet’ To Combat ‘Hard Left’ Media (Fox)

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., fired back at Democrats who criticized Attorney General William Barr for his role in former Trump associate Roger Stone’s sentencing and defended the president’s use of Twitter after he used the platform to comment about the ongoing criminal case. “What’s happening here with Barr, I think people need to understand that he’s cleaning up the mess from not only the Obama administration, but also the mess that was left with the whole Russia-gate fiasco,” Nunes told “Fox & Friends Weekend,” saying taxpayers paid tens of millions of dollars to fund then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team “that went chasing and trying to put us into a status of a permanent coup against the president of the United States.”

Nunes’ comments came days after Barr himself publicly swiped at Trump, declaring Thursday that the president’s tweets about Justice Department prosecutors and open cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.” [..] “I think what the attorney general said was very clear, that the president should be careful making comments about criminal investigations. One should not see that as anything other than but what it is,” Nunez said, adding that Barr “didn’t say to stop tweeting, because the fact of the matter is, with 90 percent of the media being hard left and really just working for the Democratic Party, the president has to be able to tweet.”


Earlier in the week, Trump applauded Barr on Twitter for the decision to reverse the sentencing recommendation, writing: “Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought.” “He’s built a powerful tool reaching millions of Americans, millions of people around the globe,” Nunes added, “so the president has to tweet. At the same time, the attorney general has to be able to do his job.” He also said, “It’s understandable that the president can be frustrated,” and called Stone’s dramatic early-morning arrest by federal agents in January 2019 “ridiculous.”

Read more …

It’s ilke the interagency debate in the House testimonies. The civil servants think they have the right to set policy. And don’t you dare question that. But wasn’t it perhaps high time someone did?

1,100 Former DOJ Employees Call On Barr To Resign (NPR)

More than 1,100 former Department of Justice officials are calling on Attorney General William Barr to resign after his department lowered the prison sentence recommendation for Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Trump, in a move that’s led to accusations of political interference. In a letter released Sunday, the former DOJ officials, who have worked across Republican and Democratic administrations, wrote that Barr’s intervention in the Stone case has tarnished the department’s reputation. “Such behavior is a grave threat to the fair administration of justice,” the former officials wrote.

“In this nation, we are all equal before the law. A person should not be given special treatment in a criminal prosecution because they are a close political ally of the President. Governments that use the enormous power of law enforcement to punish their enemies and reward their allies are not constitutional republics; they are autocracies.” On Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington had recommended a prison sentence of up to nine years for Stone’s 2019 conviction on charges including making false statements to Congress and witness tampering. On Twitter, Trump said the sentencing recommendation amounted to “a horrible and very unfair situation.” But then on Tuesday, the Justice Department intervened, ordering a new sentencing memo and calling for lighter punishment. A senior DOJ official told NPR that officials were “shocked” at the original recommendation.


[..] To Julie Zebrak, who’s among the former DOJ officials who signed the letter, Barr’s behavior shatters a cardinal norm that has been in place for decades: that the Justice Department’s prosecutorial decisions should not be influenced by the White House. Zebrak told NPR that Barr’s move “sent shockwaves through the former DOJ alumni.” She added: “We are all watching in a really rapid and terrifying way the undermining of the department and the diminishment of the rule of law. We have to sort of speak up and speak out when we can.”

Read more …

“Clean cars” require cutting forests. This is where the environmental movement meets its Armageddon; there’s just not enough knowledge, they’ll believe anything that sounds good.

German Court Halts Work On New Tesla ‘Gigafactory’ (BBC)

Tesla has been ordered to temporarily halt preparations for a car factory in Germany after environmentalists won a court injunction on Sunday. The electric carmaker had been clearing forest land near the capital, Berlin, ahead of building its first European car and battery plant. The court emphasised the injunction was temporary and subject to further hearings, probably this week. Protesters say the factory is a threat to local wildlife and water supplies. To much fanfare, Tesla’s boss Elon Musk announced plans last November to build a European facility known as a “gigafactory” in Grünheide, in the eastern state of Brandenburg.


But the factory has become a flashpoint between environmentalists and Germany’s pro-business Christian Democrat and Free Democrat parties, who fear the issue could damage the country’s image as a place to do business. The dispute highlights the risks for the US carmaker, which has not been officially granted permission to build the factory. Tesla was, however, granted permission by Germany’s environment ministry to begin site preparations “at its own risk”. This has involved clearing about 91 hectares (225 acres) of forest and the felling of thousands of trees – something that outraged an alliance of environmentalists called the Green League. In a statement on Sunday, the court representing the Berlin and Brandenburg region cautioned: “It should not be assumed that the motion seeking legal protection brought by the Green League lacks any chance of succeeding.”

Read more …

If the goverment can let its journalists rot in Belmarsh, this shouldn’t be a surprise. How loud has ABC been in its defense of Assannge?

Australia Broadcaster Loses Newsroom Raid Case (BBC)

Australia’s national broadcaster has lost its legal challenge to controversial police raids on its Sydney newsroom last year. In June, police searched the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the home of a newspaper journalist over articles which relied on leaks from government whistleblowers. The raids sparked public outrage and protests across the nation’s media. However, the Federal Court of Australia has ruled the searches were legal. ABC’s managing director David Anderson said the decision was “disappointing”. He said the raids had been a high-profile “attempt to intimidate journalists for doing their job”. Australian Federal Police alleged the stories and reporters at the centre of its searches had breached national security laws.


In the raid last year, they seized thousands of documents over a 2017 ABC investigation which alleged Australian armed forces had committed war crimes in Afghanistan. Police also raided the home of News Corp reporter Annika Smethurst. In 2018, she had reported an alleged attempt by a government agency to spy on Australian citizens. Australia’s conservative government tightened its security laws in 2018 to make it a criminal offence for journalists to receive classified information from military or intelligence sources. Canberra has previously said it backs press freedom but that “no one was above the law”.

Read more …

Never voluntarily.

Breakdown or Breakthrough? Degrowth and the Great Transition (NC)

When mainstream approaches to sustainability fail to challenge economic growth they provide limited, sometimes even false solutions to today’s crises. Technological and political interventions that reduce environmental impacts and enhance overall efficiency – though contributing to sustainability in a narrow sense – end up adding to global inequality and ecological overshoot, insofar as they accelerate growth. Growth is one of the chief drivers of social inequality and environmental degradation; it is also what sustains the global capitalist economy. Sustainability solutions that promote growth under the banner of “green growth” are the easiest to accept and implement, but they are the least able to address the roots of today’s crises.

Proponents of green growth believe that growth can be decoupled from environmental impacts, yet there is no empirical evidence that this is possible. Meanwhile, acting on such an unproven assumption obscures the real harm being done by sustaining extractive and exploitative capitalism. We have already surpassed the known limits to growth, so degrowth is our only option. Sustainability is an outcome of healthy metabolic relationships between an organism and its environment. When consumption depletes resources faster than their rate of regeneration – which is what we are currently doing – it is by definition unsustainable.

Although essential, today’s most progressive reforms, including the Green New Deal and the circular economy, will only be effective when combined with a more equitable distribution of resources and decreasing per capita consumption in advanced economies. For sustainability efforts to be effective, they must be part of a comprehensive degrowth agenda focused on systems change. Contrary to common misunderstandings, degrowth does not mean negative growth or imply sacrifices to one’s quality of life. Rather, it is focused on reducing a society’s material and energy throughput while actually enhancing quality of life. [..]


The next 30 years constitute what systems theorists call a ‘decision window.’ How societies decide to respond to mounting social and ecological pressures will determine whether the system evolves or collapses. Once the decision window ends and the global system passes the chaos point, the system irreversibly changes, and there are only two futures left – breakthrough or breakdown. There is no chance that a wildly optimistic techno-future can sustain growth beyond social and planetary boundaries. Civilization will either collapse or it will follow a path of managed descent and sustainable reorganization. The only breakthroughs remaining follow paths of degrowth.

Read more …

They’ll appeal. Check back in a decade.

US Peach Grower Awarded $265 Million From Bayer, BASF In Weedkiller Suit (R.)

A Missouri jury’s $265 million award to peach grower Bill Bader in his lawsuit against herbicide providers Bayer and BASF has raised the stakes for the two companies as at least 140 similar cases head to U.S. courts later this year. A jury in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, handed Bader, the state’s largest peach farmer, $15 million in actual and $250 million in punitive damages. He sued the companies saying his 1,000-acre orchard was irreparably harmed by herbicide that they produce, which drifted onto its trees from nearby farms. The three-week trial was the first case in the United States to rule on the use of dicamba-based herbicides alleged to have damaged tens of thousands of acres of U.S. cropland.

The herbicide can become a vapor and drift for miles when used in certain weather, farmers have claimed. Bayer said it was “disappointed with the jury’s verdict,” and plans to appeal. BASF also said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the decision and plans to appeal. Both companies said their dicamba-based herbicides are safe when used as directed. Bayer faces separate multi-billion-dollar litigation over the Roundup weedkiller made by Monsanto, the U.S. firm it took over for $63 billion in 2018. Monsanto made Roundup and dicamba, and Bayer is being sued over both products.


[..] Bayer and BASF face other dicamba lawsuits that could begin late his year before the same judge in Missouri, said attorney Billy Randles, whose firm represented Bader and also represents dozens of others with similar claims. “These are all the same” allegations, said Randles. “They claim negligent design, failure to warn and all allege a joint venture” between Bayer and BASF. The jury found the two equally liable for the damages.

Read more …

 

 

 

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Home Forums Debt Rattle February 17 2020

This topic contains 28 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  zerosum 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #54029

    Jack Delano Discarded oil cans at truck service station on U.S. 1, New York Avenue, Washington, DC 1940   • Japan Braces For Hundreds More Cases
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle February 17 2020]

    #54030

    williampemberton3
    Participant

    Raúl—I love your aggregator, and your often enlightening comments. But cheap, uneducated potshots at Christianity, while a recognized liberal pastime, are rather beneath the quality we have come to expect here. Everything about Christianity enforces the idea that man is NOT God. Nothing suggests that man is the “master” of creation, but rather that man is RESPONSIBLE FOR creation. It is rather liberal moral relativism, i.e. I determine what is right and wrong for myself, that attempts to put man in the place of God. Some neoconservatives use the language of Christianity to shield their unfettered greed, but that is no more “Christianity” than it is an argument against capitalism.

    #54031

    Dr. D
    Participant

    They’re still at this weeks later. So…NY Times follows all of us from, dunno, a month ago, that the Wuhan market is, 300 meters from the Wuhan biological weapons lab. Ya don’t say? Who’d a thunk? But no, really a bat ate a pangolin who ate a human. …And as reported — by China — that human was a lab worker. In that lab. Total accident, perfectly natural. Nope! Although we’ve been using bioweapons since Genghis Khan catapulted bodies over the walls, nobody never did nothin’. In the lab. 300 meters from the outbreak point. So don’t eat those animals.

    Moving on, so since we now known – and have known for days – that the tests aren’t perfect…and we’ve known that fact since since tests were invented…we then give one test and kick you out the door. …In 14 days. Because we know that the incubation can be 28, if not more, since unlike many, you can be re-infected. But sure, we ship everybody worldwide, with no precautions, after getting all together, breathing heavily, in a half-quarantine, making sure we’ve been as close as possible.

    No one is bothered at all. No one gets in trouble. “Who could have known?” You know, except everyone who’s ever been a doctor, anyone who’s done any training in epidemics, or anyone who’s seen a movie or read a pulp-fiction thriller on the subject.

    Okey! Dokey! Trust the Government and the World Health Organization. They make expert decisions on your behalf and when have they ever lied to you, created bioweapons, or used them?

    Biological Weapons: A Useful and Timely Factual Overview

    The Geopolitical Deployment of Biological Weapons


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_warfare#Modern_history

    Oh except everywhere, all the time. But remember: we’re the good guys, so it’s okay and totally not against the 1925 Geneva Convention when we do it.

    Yes, please trust your government and media. It’s just straight Darwinism, maybe leaving the rest of us to survive a little. In aggregate.

    1,100 Former DOJ Employees Call on Barr to Resign (NPR)”

    Wow, thanks for being political and putting your name on a list. It’s so much easier now. Is that wrong? Well, if the permanent bureaucracy sets all policy, decides who’s hired, fired, what gets done, what do we have elections for? So, you’re saying we WANT an unaccountable, unelectable, un-removable, permanent group, you know, oligarchy, Deep State, an EU, whatever you want to call it, and for the people to have no say, no power, no chance except armed resistance. Got it. We know. You’ve been saying that for decades. That’s what we’re deciding right now. But if it doesn’t go according to democracy having an effect, your man Swalwell may have to break out the nukes and drop them on his own country, because like everywhere else on earth, the people won’t stand for it.

    Your choice. Hey what did that Democrat say? “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Hey nobody important, amirite? Just some idiot who said he’d break up the undermining, back-stabbing, undemocratic CIA and spread their ashes to the wind. …Who knew that and told you publicly that was true 60 years ago. And the President before him. And…

    “The electric carmaker had been clearing forest land near the capital, Berlin,”

    That’s ‘cause there’s no open land, no unused factories anywhere on planet earth already. Don’t you know it’s green when we pave the planet from sea to shining sea? P.S. don’t spill a quart of oil in your lawn or you’ll be arrested and fined by the EPA . ‘Cause that’s green! That’s logic!

    …And that’s kid’s stuff compared to the wars we fight and the mountains we level for the lithium mines. Behold! A Pale Green (Chloros) Horse!

    “Australia Broadcaster Loses Newsroom Raid Case (BBC)”

    Since they all worship government and fascism, they can enjoy the full consequences of their actions. Because #Logos, reality, is, you know, real. Nah. We’ll deny it and act super surprised.

    #54032

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    “Did you know the Chinese see the world the same way Christian religions do? G-d appointed man the master of the world! Must be the dumbest facet of religion: man declares himself G-d.”

    Raul speaks the truth. Religion tends to take the role of God upon itself by claiming to know that a) god is real and b) it knows what God wants. One may object that, as a single Xtian, one doesn’t see thingsd this way. (I, as a single Xtian, certainly don’t.) But Xtuianity as a group entity mostly has. It’s in its own history.

    Nobody’s taking a cheap pot shot at anything aexcept maybe you for roasting raul for pointing out an unfortunate and ugly facet of Xtianity (and humanity in general).

    #54033

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    P.S. Xtianity doesn’t make humanity reposible for Creation. Xtianity doesn’t even make humanity responsible for itself.

    The responsible Ones?

    #54034

    Dr. D
    Participant

    ~280~ The TRUTH About Pete Buttigieg, Leaked Bloomberg Audio, Julian Assange Out Of Solitary

    Because the media totally isn’t lying and is doing their job, covering 1st 5 obvious things on Wall St. Pete. But posting for 13:30, where he takes 5 minutes to read the high-level mostly white-collar, multi-billion dollar crimes that no one cares about. And is hard on Trump. Wouldn’t want confirmation bias. But for real things he’s actually done/is doing, which is how you know it’ll never be on T.V. The only enemy is the truth. Like the name of God, we must never have the Truth in our mouth. Even if it would win, help us, and make impeachment and the election easier. Because that’s our religion.

    Oh and 18:15 on Assange. With solutions!

    #54036

    sumac.carol
    Participant

    I like the north american indigenous story of creation in which animals and plants lived on Earth before Earth Mother arrived, giving animals advance knowledge of the Earth and putting humans in the position of gleaning knowledge from the animal and plant life, in order to survive on “Turtle Island”. The narratives we tell ourselves are important – just like the one about how good it is for huge corporations to set up supply chains that span the globe! Good for creating great jobs and cheaper stuff –what could go wrong?
    Back to my herbal hobby horse- just read on Mercola site that iodine is another great general anti-viral – apparently could be used as aerosol or in masks. Also read on Jon Barron the reminder that intestinal flora are responsible for at least 70 percent of immune function, so it might be good to keep those little guys fed and healthy, avoiding antibiotic-laden meat, opt instead for unpasteurized sauerkraut.

    #54037

    sumac.carol
    Participant

    I like the north american indigenous story of creation in which animals and plants lived on Earth before Earth Mother arrived, giving animals advance knowledge of the Earth and putting humans in the position of gleaning knowledge from the animal and plant life, in order to survive on “Turtle Island”. The narratives we tell ourselves are important – just like the one about how good it is for huge corporations to set up supply chains that span the globe! Good for creating great jobs and cheaper stuff –what could go wrong?
    Back to my herbal hobby horse- just read on Mercola site that iodine is another great general anti-viral – apparently could be used as aerosol or in masks. Also read on Jon Barron the reminder that intestinal flora are responsible for at least 70 percent of immune function, so it might be good to keep those little guys fed and healthy, avoiding antibiotic-laden meat, opt instead for unpasteurized sauerkraut.

    #54038

    zerosum
    Participant

    Jack Delano Discarded oil cans at truck service station on U.S. 1, New York Avenue, Washington, DC 1940
    Yep! I remember, that was normal….. buying oil when getting gas

    • Armed Robbers Steal Hundreds Of Toilet Rolls In Hong Kong (BBC)

    Yep! Even when and where the virus has not arrived. Supplies of facemasks, etc. are being stolen. There will be a big profit to be made when the virus arrives. That’s the way supply and demand, capitalism/monopoly operates.

    • 1,100 Former DOJ Employees Call On Barr To Resign (NPR)

    The key word is former. see …. their bias is still operating even after retirement. see when they were working there was justice now there is no justice
    god like …. for ever and ever
    amen

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_warfare#Modern_history

    Here is the plot for the next best selling fiction book.

    Nobody and I mean nobody who has ever tried to use an infected blanket as a biological weapon, would ever think of doing that again.
    Just in case, I would think that it would be advise able to has a research lab looking into finding anti-virus.
    Since China is not a capitalist country, then I can assume that profit was not their main objective in developing an anti-flue against the common cold virus.
    China tried to find protection/anti-virus for the cold flue virus. China made a mistake. An experiment did not produce an anti-virus. The experiment escaped.
    Covid-19 remains a mystery pathogen. It can be deadly. It’s like a bad pneumonia.
    The deaths from the Covid-19 could have been avoided.
    If China had lets the USA come to the rescue.
    The USA will save the world.
    The USA will find a cure for Covid-19.
    The End

    #54039

    PlanetaryCitizen
    Participant

    “The civil servants think they have the right to set policy. And don’t you dare question that. But wasn’t it perhaps high time someone did?”

    Exactly, what we really need is a King and his henchmen! Only then will we have true order in the country!

    #54040

    Dr. D
    Participant

    It wouldn’t be a king if he’s voted in and out.

    It would be WORSE than a king if the courtiers and advisors decide, can never be named, can never be appealed, can never be questioned, and can never be removed.

    That’s the only form of government WORSE than democracy and WORSE than a king. At least occasionally kings can be benevolent. Democracies can work a little at first.

    Henchmen only. You have suggested the only method by which the government is preeminent, and is never accountable to, nor restrained by, the people. The people are an afterthought, cattle to be used. Pure, unabashed tyranny. And of what? OF the FEW, those civil employees, OVER the many, the people and taxpayers who exist strictly at their pleasure, i.e. YOU. And me. Or if they spend 20 years ignoring and avoiding the prosecution of rapes of underage girls in Minnesota for the elite on a small island in the Caribbean, exist FOR their pleasure. And there’s nothing you can do. We cannot even QUESTION if it’s wrong.

    It’s almost like, “a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance,” but you see how the people deal with such men, and such disorder as they cause.

    I intend to question my civil servants, because they ARE servants, and hold them accountable to law, ALL law, for they are human beings like the rest of us, and NOT superior, not our betters, not more equal. And that’s a revolutionary thing, I guess, so I’ll outline it here, where someone has kindly written it for me:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence
    https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration

    #54041

    zerosum
    Participant

    Something to read

    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/flusight/about-flu-forecasting.htm

    Unlike CDC’s traditional influenza surveillance systems, which measure influenza activity after it has occurred, flu forecasting offers the possibility to look into the future and better plan ahead, potentially reducing the impact of flu.

    #54042

    zerosum
    Participant

    ONLY – OLD SICK POOR – FALSE
    Breaking: Liu Zhiming, head of Wuchang Hospital, a designated hospital in #Wuhan, died just now from pneumonia caused by #COVID19. Mourning goes to the FIRST hospital director who died on the battlefield against the virus.

    #54043

    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    DiEM25 demands: no extradition of Julian Assange to the United States
    https://diem25.org/diem25-demands-no-extradition-of-julian-assange-to-the-united-states/

    #54044

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    There is no organizing principle to this rant other thasn I got an iron infusion this AM and how have just enough oxygen going in my brain to be old and crotchety. If it makes any sense, blame thine own self.

    I was at the hospital this morning. I’d guesstimate the increase in face masks and conscientious hand-cleaning was increased 300% per cent. The amount of ‘have a mask’ proferring locations was definitely increased. I wrapped my scarf around my face. I noticed almost all the mask-wearers were Asian, and I thought I detected one or two angry looks their way from people who looked rather ‘mur’can to me. How dare those Asians seek health-care and follow health care disease prevention protocol!

    While it can be intriguing to ponder who the virus is the result of government military madness gone awary by accident or on purpose, I have no idea what we can practically do with such hypotheses. So, “USA” is perhaps invading “China” with evil viruses? If so, cute, but viruses don’t wear uniforms, and they follow orders no better than human soldiers do.

    It is, after all, a global civilization and economy.

    I think the virus will briefly make a weird retreat before swelling ominously like a tsunami before overhwhelming the medical systems of any polity it squares off with. From all the (few) solid data I know on how this thing spreads, I think the actual contagion rate in effect right now is much like Raul and others interpret from the data: basically unstoppable without global ubiqutuitous quarantine.

    Here’s an interesting stat on cruise ships:

    “Total worldwide ocean cruise capacity at the end of 2018 will be 537,000 passengers and 314 ships. Annualized total passengers carried worldwide will be 26.0 million (a 3.3% increase over 2017). Brand diversification of all operations is summarized below.”

    That makes for a lot of conveniently offshore hospital beds for what appears to be a necessary 28-day quarantine/observation period before being let into less stringent quarantines for another week or two.

    Basically twelve quarantines of half a million per month.

    Why I mention this is beyond me. We’d never cooperate and it wouldn’t work anyway. What works is that you create a culture right away where for 4 solid weeks everyone acts like the plague is everywhere. You have to freeze people in manageable quarantine boundaries until contagion ceases, and that is that. (Which, fwiw, is what China IS doing, however incompetently or dishonestly. The strain on China of what little they’re doing is already pulling the dragon apart.)

    For a country like the USA, at 4 face masks a day, that’s 300-plus million face masks times four times a day (120 million face masks a day) times 30 days. That’s 14.4 million face masks. Even if everyone behaved, that’s a big industry rampup for something needing action yesterday. And that doesn’t do much if foreign citizens come here and reinfect us. I read that China is the world’s largest manufacturer of face masks and they are already experiencing shortage-related issues.

    Oh, and it’s census year.

    Putting aside the usual entertainmernts of hysterical speculation, this thing looks like a genuine century-shaper. Happening right at the cusp of a historical turning point. Practically a hundred years on the dot since the Spanish flu thingie.

    With weather that tends to destroy entire regional sanitary systems like we see happening in major, record-breaking floods in the south Midwest right now.

    And so on… how do you stop a just-in-time global economy without trashing necessary supply lines? I don’t see it.

    But at least I haven’t seen any ‘Xtian God is on OUR side” nonsense from the ‘mur’can profile. Wait till it becomes a religious thing.

    Oh well.

    Beat the Reaper

    So some racially bigoted violence will occur in the process here in the States. Ho-hum. This is America. Racially bigoted violence is a Slurpee flavor to us. I may get to kick the ass of some asshole kicking Asian ass for stupidity’s sake yet. I got a mean streak in me likes to stomp people what like to stomp people. Especially whwen they pull a gun. I’ve made one person pondere ating their .45. I made another guy realize that pointing a cocked double-barrel sawed-off makes me klaught and, apparentl;y, kinda scary to be near, so that person left. (Ah, being young had its moments.) I’d love to show some dumbass 2nd Amendment dildo what lousy protection a firearm is in real life. If it makes you feel safe, it’s already dangerous. Sorry, 2nd Amendment devotees, but it’s a dumb rule interpreted stupidly by both sides and it means nothing cuz we’re already drowning in guns and ammo. And then there’s the funny nonsense about walking around armed like it’s Baghdad, and calling yourself “just a law-abiding citizen”.

    Likewise, the left dismissing them as “God, guns, and religion” feeble-minders. Apparently, some people prefer lawyers, guns, and money, America’s primary GDP these days.

    Face Masks

    #54045

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    Stupid bold html. Wasn’t me!

    #54046

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    “For a country like the USA, at 4 face masks a day, that’s 300-plus million face masks times four times a day (120 million face masks a day) times 30 days. That’s 14.4 million face masks.”

    Not enough oxygen yet. That’s 1.2 billion face masks a day or 36 billion a month. That’s five times the entire gobal populace for one nation for one month. Well, a month is all it should take, but still. The logistics make solving Y2K seem easy. And they had years.

    Oh, this one’s for Doc D: so it’s 1999 and the US Post Office had this y2k countdown clock whizzing milliseconds along like it’s just another budget deficit marquee albeit backwards.

    “Is that thing Y2K compliant,” I joked?

    “Gee, I dunno,” the guy said, far too seriously. I bought my stamps and left, humiliated and defeated by the public education system yet again. Yes, we grow them that dumb and yes, they handle our mail. I don’t weant to know what chatter is like in google headquarters cafeteria. I think I’d rather watch rats chew on Rubix cubes.

    #54047

    boscohorowitz
    Participant
    #54048

    Dave Note
    Participant

    Global supply chain are toast at this point.

    There never was a plan ‘B’ in efficient ‘just in time’ supply chains vs costlier redundant backup inventory warehouses.

    There is no way in hell to correct such a colossal mis-allocation of resources into the blind alley of ‘just in time’.

    Smart thinking of all the things, little and large, that you’d miss if their supply chain really broke but good.

    The story of armed men robbing a truck in Hong Kong for a couple hundred rolls of toilet paper comes to mind. Imagine getting shot and dying for a delivery load of toilet paper, imagine that as your epitaph.

    Many municipal water systems have replaced older US made pumps with Chinese knockoffs to save money over the last few decades. The US companies and factories that made them and spare parts are gone. The Chinese factories are shut down and quarantined, there are very few spare parts in the supply chain. Do you like safe potable water? Well, maybe you’ll just have to due without ‘for awhile’.

    How about your Meds? Do you really need them? Well 96% of them are made in China, Including all the ones there are frantically trying to use on Coronavirus patients desperately hoping something will work. Well, will you trust your Chinese meds aren’t tainted from now on. Did you have much faith in Chinese quality control safety regulations before the Covid19 Ninja virus? How about now and going forward?

    I Told You I Was Sick

    #54050

    zerosum
    Participant

    How about your Meds?
    I read, don’t have clue if its true, that the raw chemicals to make the meds are made in India.

    #54051

    Dave Note
    Participant

    Both China and India produce the base chemicals for pretty much all world meds.

    #54052

    WES
    Participant

    Dr. D:. To the best of my knowledge, in the 30 or so countries I have been in, nobody I ever met trusted their government!!!! That seems to be a universal truth!

    I think one could safely extend that mistrust to world government organizations like the UN and WHO, and to the media too!

    #54053

    WES
    Participant

    Dave:. Guess I had better stock up on allergy pills! thanks

    #54054

    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    A large percentage of vitamins and other supplements come from China, too. For example, “An estimated 95% of the world’s vitamin C is produced in China (according to vitamin distributors).”

    #54055

    zerosum
    Participant

    Will the Death from Old flue be replaced by death from New flue.
    https://www.contagionlive.com/news/flu-cases-surpass-22-million-as-13th-coronavirus-case-is-confirmed-in-us
    Flu Cases Surpass 22 Million as 13th Coronavirus Case is Confirmed in US
    FEB 11, 2020 | MICHAELA FLEMING

    Recent estimates indicate that of the 22 million flu cases in the US thus far, 210,000 hospitalizations have occurred, and 12,000 deaths have been reported.

    #54056

    Dave Note
    Participant

    Would We Still Have Power & Water If We Had A Massive Coronavirus Quarantine In The US?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/would-we-still-have-power-water-if-we-had-massive-coronavirus-quarantine-us

    #54057

    Dave Note
    Participant

    No we would not.

    #54058

    zerosum
    Participant

    There is no vaccines for COVID-19
    who will lose money if people do not buy the flue vaccines?
    China has 8 producers of influenza products
    https://www.who.int/influenza/Influenza_vaccine_manufacturers2009_05.pdf

    #54059

    zerosum
    Participant

    Let’s get technical

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107316/
    MMWR Recomm Rep. 2018 Aug 24; 67(3): 1–20.
    Published online 2018 Aug 24.
    Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, 2018–19 Influenza Season
    Lisa A. Grohskopf, MD,1 Leslie Z. Sokolow, MSc, MPH,1,2 Karen R. Broder, MD,3 Emmanuel B. Walter, MD,4 Alicia M. Fry, MD,1 and Daniel B. Jernigan, MD1

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