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Hyperinflation Or Great Depression II?

June 1, 2011 Comments off

 

Western Europe has invented two institutions that have taken over the world: the university and the central bank. Today, both are under fire as never before. At the same time, both are in their respective diver’s seats. The greater the criticism, the better they do for themselves.

We are finally seeing articles on the bubble in higher education. It isn’t a bubble. Government money still flows in by the hundreds of billions a year.

We hear that college isn’t worth the money. Well, if it isn’t, why are parents paying it? Because they are buying a consumer good: social acceptance. They are buying off peer pressure. They are unwilling to say to their friends, “Billy Bob is going to become a plumber.” Yes, Billy Bob will always have a good income, but Billy Bob’s parents are unwilling to accept this. Billy Bob will get his hands dirty . . . with “filthy” lucre. Oh, the horror! Better that he should be an unemployed B.A. in sociology with $23,000 of student debt, and his parents $50,000 to $150,000 poorer.

That is to say, people have priorities that are different from what the journalists (with B.A. degrees in a field with a dismal future) write about in their articles. The parents will not admit to Read more…

Walking on thin ice

June 1, 2011 1 comment

theage

Icebergs break away as the melting Antarctica landscape yields to glabal warming.Antarctica

Icebergs break away as the melting Antarctica landscape yields to glabal warming. Photo: Angela Wylie

Every now and then the magnificent, mute marble coast of Antarctica will suddenly find a voice and let out a shattering exclamation – like a gunshot. The noise travels far and wide, thundering uninterrupted across crystal space until sheer distance exhausts it.

It is the sound of an ice cliff collapsing into the ocean. Or maybe of a new iceberg cleaving itself away from the continent and setting sail. It is part of the natural soundtrack of planet history, though it is only rarely, and recently – in geological timescales – heard by humans.

In little remote scientific communities like the Australian Antarctic Division’s Casey Station, on the East Antarctic coast, a roar from the ice might briefly interrupt the labour or conversation of the scientists and tradesfolk who are resident there, working on some aspect of deciphering the climate story. For those lucky enough to be among them, to hear it, it sends a shiver of humility through your bones. You are, after all, at the mercy of this grumbling giant. The cryosphere Read more…

Record-High CO2 Levels a Bad Sign for Global Climate Goals

June 1, 2011 Comments off

greenbiz

Record-High CO2 Levels a Bad Sign for Global Climate Goals

Record levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions last year threaten our chances of keeping the Earth’s temperature from rising 2 degrees Celsius, considered by scientists to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change.

CO2 emissions from energy production in 2010 were the highest in history following a recessionary dip the year before, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a stark announcement Monday. Existing and planned power plants mean the bulk of energy-related CO2 emissions projected for 2020 are already “locked in.”

“This significant increase in CO2 emissions and the locking in of future emissions due to infrastructure investments represent a serious setback to our hopes of limiting the global rise in temperature to Read more…

Russia to accelerate GLONASS navigation satellite launches

June 1, 2011 Comments off

thehindu

Russia will accelerate the pace of communications satellite launches to give its GLONASS navigation system full global coverage capacity by the end of the year, a senior government official said Wednesday.

Russia’s national space agency is planning to place into orbit six new GLONASS navigation satellites by the end of 2011, said Anatoly Shilov, a spokesman for Russia’s National Space Agency.

GLONASS is a Russia-developed satellite-navigation system similar to the U.S.-developed GPS.

The Russian network currently operates 23 satellites, giving coverage of Russia and the former Soviet Union. It needs between 25 and 30 aloft to provide global coverage, according to news reports.

A top government priority for GLONASS is tracking Read more…

Chile Earthquake Today – Terremoto Felt in Santiago

June 1, 2011 Comments off

lalate

Chile Earthquake Today, Terremoto, Felt in Santiago

CORAL GABLES (LALATE) – – Chile was struck by a 6.4 earthquake today. Chile’s earthquake or terremoto was felt in Santiago and struck during the morning rush hour. Today’s temblor is the latest powerful earthquake to strike the country this year. No reports of damage or injury today have been given.

Today’s earthquake activity in Chile produced the highest quake in the region in recent weeks. In April, Chile experienced two major earthquakes with hours of each other. On April 2, a moderate 5.1 quake struck forty-one miles south of San Antonio, Valparaiso. That temblor was followed hours later by an earthquake registering a 5.9 magnitude, centered eighty-three miles east of Iquique in the Tarapaca region stuck.

Like the April earthquakes, today’s temblor struck during the early morning Read more…

Drought continues to tighten its grip on Georgia

June 1, 2011 Comments off

accessnorthga

UNDATED – The drought continues to push deeper into north Georgia while making it difficult for south Georgia farmers to plant two key crops.

A new report shows roughly 77 percent of the state’s cotton crop and 80 percent of the peanut crop have been planted.

The driest conditions in the state continue to be two pockets in southwest and southeast Georgia.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Drought Monitor says the drought has now pushed as far north as southern Habersham County, south Dawson and south Forsyth, extending westward to the Alabama line near Carrollton and LaGrange. Gainesville and all of Hall County are now considered in a drought. Conditions in all of these areas are considered “abnormally” dry.

A swath of counties just Read more…

Categories: Droughts, Georgia Tags: , , ,

Yemen slides into civil war

June 1, 2011 Comments off

csmonitor

Antigovernment protesters react as they block the road with rocks and burning tires during clashes with Yemeni security forces in Taiz, Yemen, on Wednesday, June 1.

After months of trying to tamp down unrest, Yemen‘s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his security forces have become embroiled in a conflict that meets all the classic definitions of a civil war.

He and his security forces are now fighting on three main fronts: In the capital of Sanaa, Saleh loyalists are engaged in a pitched battle with tribesmen under the direction of Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, leader of the powerful Hashid tribal confederation; Islamist militants have taken control of the southern province of Abyan; and in the southern city of Taiz, Saleh’s Republican Guard violently dispersed protesters. Yemeni government forces have reportedly killed more than 50 people since Sunday.

Saleh has Read more…