Showing posts from June 15, 2016

Greenland Hits Record 75°F, Sets Melt Record As Globe Aims At Hottest Year

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[Highest temperature ever recorded in Greenland in June - not good in a country that has enough ice to raise global sea levels 20 feet. *RON*]

By Joe ROmm, Think Progress, 15 June 2016
Last Thursday, Greenland’s capital hit 75°F, which was hotter than New York City. This was the highest temperature ever recorded there in June — in a country covered with enough ice to raise sea levels more than 20 feet.

It comes hot on the heels of the hottest May on record for the entire globe, according to NASA. As the map above shows, May temperature anomalies in parts of the Arctic and Antarctic were as high as 17°F (9.4°C) above the 1951-1980 average for the month.

And this all follows the hottest April on record for the planet, which followed the hottest March on record, the hottest February on record, and the hottest January on record. NASA says there is a 99 percent chance this will be the hottest year on record — even though the current record-holder for ho…

Ships Have Gotten Too Big

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[An interesting report on the method of transportation that is used to move, literally, Ninety Percent of EverythingContainer ships doubled in size between 1955 and 1975, then quadrupled again by 1995. Shipowners wanted to capture the gains both from globalization and from economies of scale. Which worked, up to a point — but the point was passed long ago. The latest mega-carriers are too big for most ports. The concentration of risk means sky-high insurance costs. And yet shipowners are still building ever bigger, hoping to drive rivals out of business. A crash looms. *RON*]
By Adam Minter, Bloomberg View, 14 June 2016
In December, the quarter-mile-long Benjamin Franklin became the largest cargo ship ever to dock at a U.S. port. Five more mega-vessels were supposed to follow, creating a trans-Pacific shipping juggernaut by the end of May. But thanks to a massive miscalculation on the part of the fleet's owner -- there's not enough dem…

American attitudes on refugees from the Middle East

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[Sadly enough I suppose there's nothing shocking here. *RON*]
By: Shibley Telhami, Brookings Insitute, 13 June 2016

With conflicts in the Middle East continuing unabated, refugees continue to flow out of several war-torn countries in massive numbers. The question of whether to admit more refugees into the United States has not only been a source of debate among Washington policymakers, it has also become a central question within the U.S. presidential race. Nonresident Senior Fellow Shibley Telhami conducted a survey on American public attitudes toward refugees from the Middle East, in particular from Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Below are several key findings from the poll.

The gig economy is neither ‘sharing’ nor ‘collaborative’

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["What exactly is being shared here? Who is collaborating with whom? Freelancers on Upwork are no more sharing their skills with the world than I am sharing mine with the Financial Times. Airbnb hosts are not collaborating with their guests any more than Marriott International is collaborating with its customers." *RON*]

Sarah O’Connor, Financial Times, 14 June 2016

If there is one phrase that makes me wince more than the “sharing economy” it is the “collaborative economy”. Last week, we were confronted with both: Morgan Stanley published a report on the former and the Centre for European Policy Studies (at the request of the European Commission) wrote one on the latter.
The reports are on broadly the same topic: the growth of companies such as Uber, TaskRabbit and Upwork and how they might change the economy. It is an interesting question and one I think about a lot. But these are very different companies that do not sit comfortably und…

Our Bodies Have So Many More Cancer-Causing Chemicals Than We Thought

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[A new report reveals more than 400 known or likely carcinogens are lurking in people’s bodies. *RON*]

Will Greenberg, Mother Jones, 14 June 2016

An estimated 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2016. While some of this is rooted in sheer genetics, many of these cases may be sparked by substances in the air, soil, food, and materials around us.

A new report released today by the Environmental Working Group shows just how many of these substances end up inside of us. Pulling data from places like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EWG detected up to 420 possiblecarcinogens—the name for cancer-causing agents—in people's bodies.

"A lot of [known or likely carcinogens] are in products we buy off the shelf and assume are safe," said Curt Dellavalle, lead author on the report.

What‘s the big deal? Understanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership

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["I don't know what TPP is." "I don't understand the implications." There's no excuse - read some of these reports, watch some of these videos and learn about the global corporatocracy. Or go to and type TPP in the search box! *RON*]

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives web page.

As debate over whether Canada should ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continues, the CCPA is pleased to introduce a new series of reports to demystify the complicated trade deal and clarify its ramifications.

The series, What’s the Big Deal? Understanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, will provide readers with detailed analyses of various aspects of the TPP and help them to better understand the trade deal’s impact on policy areas such as health care, jobs, labour, and environmental protection.

To date, seven reports have been released in the series (see below), and more will be published over the coming months. F…