Last updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2020      (We need geniuses like Yang to fight fast-growing, very complex problems NOW!)
Aggregated News & Opinion
Today’s posts in bigger type.
Prior 2-3 days in smaller type.
Obama's ACA didn't fix this:
The U.S. wastes $1.8 Trillion per year on health care spending compared to the average of 2017 per capita costs of comparable yet profit-controlled advanced countries. Let's end price gouging and adopt profit-control practices too. To the point, 2017 US out-of-control per capita health care spending was $5322 more per person than in France, the highest rated system based on patient outcomes.
Study finds shock rise in levels of potent greenhouse gas [Surprise decrease in ozone layer protection has worsened polar ice melt]
Scientists had expected fall in levels of HFC-23 after India and China said they had halted emissions
Matthew Taylor | The Guardian
In fight against climate crisis, operators will be compensated for early switch-offs
Agencies | The Guardian
If they are serious about tackling climate change, governments must quickly establish the expectation that the price of carbon will follow a generally rising path in the future. Lofty statements from public officials and optimal calculations from climate modelers will not do the job.
JEFFREY FRANKEL | Project Syndicate
  • Risk perception has shifted from the economy to the climate.
  • Greater knowledge and experience of climate change prompted the shift.
  • Short-termism could create blind spots and limit integrated efforts to mitigate risks.
Emilio Granados Franco, Head of Global Risks and Geopolitical Agenda., World Economic Forum | World Economic Forum
  • The Earth has coped relatively well with emissions so far.
  • But 'tipping points' are being reached.
  • Read the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report
Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President, The Club of Rome | World Economic Forum
'Heat islands': racist housing policies in US linked to deadly heatwave exposure [Let's achieve the forest-shade benefits without increasing fire risks]
Deadly ‘heat islands’ which have fewer green spaces and tree canopy linked to racist policies in urban neighborhoods, study finds
Nina Lakhani | The Guardian
Apocalyptic scenes give glimpse of what would be normal conditions in 3C world
Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent | The Guardian
Ocean temperatures hit record high as rate of heating accelerates [Ocean temperature and chemistry change threatening sealife]
Oceans are clearest measure of climate crisis as they absorb 90% of heat trapped by greenhouse gases
Damian Carrington Environment editor | The Guardian
Irrigation systems and oases in the arid south are failing to keep up with the demands of thirsty palm plantations
Harry Johnstone / Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. | The Guardian
The construction industry is wasteful and creates huge CO2 emissions. But what if new buildings had to be adapted and resused or built only with materials already available?
Oliver Wainwright | The Guardian
Fire smoke is considered outside human control and not subject to regulation. It’s time to rethink the way we protect air quality
Nancy Cushing for the Conversation | The Guardian
Laura Tenenbaum, Contributor | Forbes
Residents had for years been drinking water contaminated by dangerous PFAS chemicals – and the impact has been brutal
Tom Perkins in Belmont, Michigan | The Guardian
By Thomas C. Frohlich and Michael B. Sauter | 24/7 Wall Street
Climate change is driving climate change.
James Temple | MIT Technology Review
  • Fifteen of the country’s biggest cloud-storage and independent data centre companies ranked on their use of renewables
  • Some are increasingly powered by wind and solar energy, but many are lagging in disclosure compared to their global counterparts, report says
Echo Xie in Beijing | South China Morning Post
For those spuriously claiming climate ambition comes at a cost, let Australia’s black summer serve as a potent reminder that inaction does, too.
By Edward Cavanough, manager of policy at the McKell Institute, an Australian think tank | NBC News: THINK
Maddie Stone | grist
Detroit’s most vulnerable residents face inequalities like toxic air, lead poisoning, and water shutoffs. Now they’re fighting back
Drew Costley | The Guardian
Louisiana issues permits for proposed complex that would double area's toxic emissions [RIVALING NAZI FINAL-SOLUTION PLANNING AND EXECUTION: How did Republican-controlled local, state and federal governments and 'environmental protection agencies' approve plans to kill predominantly black and poor families in this region of Louisiana—in insidiously slow and cruel ways—to make plastic? Plastic that is itself polluting the planet (killing sea-life in particular), which should be totally illegal to manufacture and use.]
The $9.4bn facility, owned by Formosa Plastics, would consist of 14 separate plastic plants in St James parish, known as Cancer Alley
Oliver Laughland in New Orleans | The Guardian
Scientists are replacing crops and livestock with food made from microbes and water. It may save humanity’s bacon
George Monbiot | The Guardian
Fires will cripple consumer confidence and harm industries such as farming and tourism, Moody’s says
Ben Butler | The Guardian
Fires are more frequent, more damaging, and more terrifying - a symptom of the new age that I call the Pyrocene
Steve Pyne / SEJ | The Guardian

After CNN’s debate ambush and MSNBC’s body-language analysis, loathing of media is becoming a crossover phenomenon
MATT TAIBBI | RollingStone
Aleksander Dardeli, Executive Vice President, IREX | World Economic Forum
Disinformation and lies are spreading faster than Australia's bushfires [Right-wing extremists are excellent at this—because they do it so much—using unvetted, disreputable social media outlets. Their single-minded purpose is to extend and expand their current business and government influence (hint hint).]
Social media claims of an arson epidemic and obstructive environmentalists have infected mainstream reporting of the bushfire crisis
Christopher Knaus | The Guardian
Bad journalists are howled at
BOB SOMERBY in The DailyHowler | EVERY DAY

Arts & Education Events:
If world leaders do not fathom the threat to all life on Earth, they must be removed from office. [REF: World Economic Forum Agenda]
– Today's Posts –
14 states, D.C. and New York City sue to stop Trump plan to slash food stamps for 700,000 unemployed people [If an idea would sicken or kill poor children, Trump thinks it's great.]
Spencer S. Hsu | Washington Post
MSNBC Channel | YouTube
Joe Biden was once a New Deal Democrat. Then he “evolved” and started backing decades of Republican plans to cut Medicare and Social Security.
"Though the President describes this conduct as perfect," said the House Managers assigned to prosecute the Senate trial, "the Founders had a different word for it: impeachable."
Common Dreams staff | Common Dreams
In a break with convention, endorsement by the paper’s editorial board names two candidates as its preferred Democratic nominees for president
Associated Press | The Guardian
Governor has declared a state of emergency ahead of Monday rally, citing ‘threats of violence’ from militia and hate groups
Lois Beckett in Richmond, Virginia | The Guardian
‘Middle Class’ Joe Biden has a corruption problem – it makes him a weak candidate [Neoliberal Democrats serve corporate masters just like Republicans, but they lie about it.]
We don’t have to choose Biden’s way, which would give Trump a perfect foil
Zephyr Teachout | The Guardian
On all economic measures, from jobs to health to GDP to disposable income, the president has failed America
Joseph Stiglitz | The Guardian
Americans had the right to know the harms of smoking. They have the right to know the harms of the energy industry, too
Naomi Oreskes and Geoffrey Supran | The Guardian
"Biden not only pushed to cut Social Security—he is on tape proudly bragging about it on multiple occasions," said Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir in response to accusations by the former vice president.
Jon Queally, staff writer | Common Dreams
Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, Pulitzer-winning Washington Post reporters, have produced a vital and alarming read
Lloyd Green | The Guardian
While the Senate mulls his fate, the president plans to speak to world economic leaders every bit as impeachable as him
Robert Reich | The Guardian
The Chief Justice serves for life shielded from partisan pressures. As a way to dispel combustible suspicions of bias, life tenure makes him the optimal choice for presiding over—and setting the rules for—the trial.
Ralph Nader, Louis Fisher, Bruce Fein | Common Dreams
In Trump’s Impeachment, Republicans Don’t Even Know What They’re Covering Up [Burying inconvenient truth is their reflexive behavior]
Jonathan Chait | The Guardian

Lack of women in energy ‘holding back fight against climate change’ [Could sex reassignment surgery of a thousand fossil fuel executives replacing male executives with women save life on earth?]
Gender imbalance at energy firms and industry events is slowing transition to greener power, claims expert
Adam Vaughan | The Guardian
Only the EU can break Facebook and Google's dominance [If the companies won't change, how can an internationalization be made possible?]
Social media giants have left the US government impotent – Europe must lead the way
George Soros | The Guardian
In the first of our new series, The Upside, we look at how the country went from famine to topping nearly every global social ranking
Jon Henley in Helsinki | The Guardian
Yorkshire campaigners shine spotlight on water firms’ practice of discharging untreated sewage into rivers
Sandra Laville | The Guardian
European intervention now can preserve the peace process, despite the efforts of Israel and Trump
Saeb Erekat | The Guardian
Clashes come on 45th day of strike with 59 arrests and claims police beat protester
Agence France-Presse | The Guardian
Many seeds in the U.S. come precoated with neonicotinoids, one of the most common insecticides in the world. [It's oxymoronic the world depends on private companies not making mistakes since near-term profit is their paramount objective....]
Lee Fang | The Intercept
  • For the first time the Global Risks Report is dominated by the environment.
  • Geoeconomic and political pressures top short-term concerns.
  • Climate-linked issues like extreme heat and ecosystems loss highlighted.
Charlotte Edmond, Senior Writer, Formative Content | World Economic Forum
  • Five potential futures for public and private stakeholders to consider that reimagine how data is used, controlled and shared.
  • For the individual, data utilities could offer a simpler way for users to manage data without having to manage consent with every firm.
  • Governments seeking greater control over data and its commercial potential must balance national goals with the need for global innovation and business effectiveness in this space.
Douglas Elliott, Partner, Financial Services, Oliver Wyman (MMC) | World Economic Forum

IDEA updated 11/18/2019: Those who think nation-states are not increasingly corrupt will not understand why change (below) is needed. [Ref.: The world is waking up to this!]

Virtual Nations [A never-ending editorial]
Instead of Plutocratic-Controlled Politicians owning and controlling 'their' people in "their" Nation-State, why can't people everywhere contract with UN-certified virtual nation agencies to perform fiduciary nation-level functions instead—including managing escrow for Social Security and Medicare, and smart funding of your priority governance and charities. If this were possible and replaced nations states then it would end international wars and immigration crises, as citizens of every virtual nation would be scattered worldwide—as before nation-states. Local city, county and state governments can continue largely unchanged. But at the national virtual nation level, Democracy would be professional-only and not be political. Your only vote would be to renew with same nation agency or change to another nation agency (which transfers escrows), and/or change priorities for governance and charities.
Marc Cherbonnier | The Baltimore Chronicle | Ref.
If you've ever wanted to understand what neoliberalism is, this is the series for you.
Michael Hudson describes the history and content of neoliberal economic thought on the Renegade Podcast.
Big Think Channel | YouTube
Bloomberg Channel | YouTube
  • Our leaders must acknowledge humanity's greatest existential threat.
  • The Club of Rome has published a plan to deliver the changes we need.
  • We can embark on the most exciting transformation in human history.
Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President, The Club of Rome | World Economic Forum
  • Climate-related risks overshadow all other risks – in particular economic risks – undermining cohesive action and creating blind spots
  • Society needs a new “growth paradigm” that addresses the interconnectedness of socio-economic factors with climate change
  • Businesses need to adapt their metrics to assess the value of nature
Gayle Markovitz, Editor, World Economic Forum | World Economic Forum
Douglas Broom, Senior Writer, Formative Content | World Economic Forum

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