Lawlessness / Ruined – part 46

From Watershed Sentinel:
Unhealthy pteropod showing effects of ocean acidification including ragged, dissolving shell ridges on upper surface, a cloudy shell in lower right quadrant, and severe abrasions and weak spots at 6:30 position on lower whorl of shell. Photo by NOAA, CC, cropped from original

“Ocean Acidification is Reshaping Marine Food Webs” by Gavin MacRae (Watershed Sentinel)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Average surface ocean pH is now 30% more acidic than in pre-industrial times. In a business-as-usual scenario, by 2100, ocean water could be over one-and-a-half times more acidic.

The effects of ocean acidification can be grouped into “known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns,” says Wiley Evans, a chemical oceanographer leading ocean acidification research for the Hakai Institute. Evans is riffing on an old Donald Rumsfeld quote because, although the underlying chemistry is straightforward, the full consequences of ocean acidification are uncharted. “A lot of what is unknown is at the species level,” he says. Only a handful of organisms have been thoroughly tested for their response to rising acidity. “And then there’s the ecosystem response – how impacts on one organism is going to affect the whole food web, and the ecosystems that those organisms reside in. So pretty quickly it snowballs into a lot of unknowns.”

Many types of shelled organisms build their shells by combining carbonate ions with calcium to form calcium carbonate. But because some of the carbonate ions have already bonded with hydrogen ions, shellfish, mullusks, corals, and other shelled creatures face a scarcity of carbonate ions with which to build their shells.

“The first time we really noticed this was happening was with oysters in the Pacific Northwest of the United States,” says Spalding. “The largest oyster farming business in the world … saw a dramatic loss in production as a result of some acidic events.” Since then, ocean acidification has become an ongoing concern for shellfish farmers, particularly for operations in developing countries lacking the technology to monitor and react to pH changes.

Shellfish are most vulnerable to acidity as tiny, newly hatched larvae, when they have to exert a tremendous amount of energy to build their first shell. The scarcity of carbonate can either prove fatal, or the shellfish “end up with very deformed shells and thinner shells, and become more susceptible to predators,” says Spalding.

The same threat applies to urchins, snails, seastars, and corals, although the exact chemical process can vary. In a study conducted near a volcanic seep which emulated future CO2 levels, “triton shell” sea snails were found to have their shell thickness halved, and in some cases so dissolved their body tissue was exposed.

Whether it’s a Watershed Sentinel article or an amazing book like “Evolution: Still A Theory In Crisis,” by Michael Denton, When scientists talk authoritatively about what was going on on earth 252 million years or 500 million years ago, you can bet that they are guessing (but will never admit that). And there’s lots of attitude on display among enviros, and journos reporting on environmentalists’ findings, in that almost all of them refer to ‘climate change’ rather than ‘climate crisis’. (If you show that kind of attitude, Are you capable of following the pro biological evolution crowd in talking authoritatively – and dishonestly – about what happened on earth millions of years ago even though it is not established fact? I think so.) No one (human) has a clue about what was happening on earth even 100,000 years ago, let alone millions of years ago. I don’t buy it for a minute when some well educated person starts talking about events on earth that long ago. (Carbon dating has been shown to go off by orders of magnitude once you go back about 5000 years.) But those who have chosen to disbelieve in an actual Creator God and out of hand reject therefore the inspired, and historical, record that is the Christian Bible set themselves up to be victims of and pushers of lies about earth’s history. They are smart people who have fooled themselves. They will be corrected. Everyone will be.

Flooding in Bangladesh
Zakir Chowdhury / Getty Images

“Study: Climate change makes rich countries richer and poor ones poorer” by Molly Enking (Grist)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

It’s not just capitalism that’s making the rich richer and the poor poorer: Climate change is exacerbating the trend worldwide. The economic gap between the richest and poorest nations, in terms of per capita income, is now about 25 percent larger than it would have been without human-caused climate change, according to a new study from Stanford University.

“Our results show that most of the poorest countries on Earth are considerably poorer than they would have been without global warming,” climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, lead author of the study, said in a statement. Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, some rich countries have actually benefited economically from global warming.

Between 1961 and 2010, warming temperatures have significantly slowed economic growth in tropical countries like India and Nigeria, while aiding economic growth in cooler countries like Canada and the U.K., according to the study, which was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.

“The historical data clearly show that crops are more productive, people are healthier, and we are more productive at work when temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold,” said study co-author Marshall Burke, a Stanford assistant professor of Earth system science, in a press release. “This means that in cold countries, a little bit of warming can help. The opposite is true in places that are already hot.”

Challenger Rahul Gandhi (left) and incumbent Narendra Modi (right)

“As the 2019 Indian General Election Takes Place, Are the Nation’s Farmers Being Dealt a Knock-Out Blow?” by Colin Todhunter (Off Guardian)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In 1830, British colonial administrator Lord Metcalfe said India’s villages were little republics that had nearly everything they could want for within themselves. India’s ability to endure derived from these communities:

“Dynasty after dynasty tumbles down but the village community remains the same. It is in a high degree conducive to their happiness, and to the enjoyment of a great portion of freedom and independence.”

Metcalfe was acutely aware that to subjugate India, this capacity to ‘endure’ had to be broken. Since gaining independence from the British, India’s rulers have only further served to undermine village India’s vibrancy. But now a potential death knell for rural India and its villages is underway.

There is a plan for the future of India and most of its current farmers don’t have a role in it. Successive administrations have been making farming financially unviable with the aim of moving farmers out of agriculture and into the cities to work in construction, manufacturing or the service sector, despite these sectors not creating anything like the number of jobs required.

The aim is to displace the existing labour-intensive system of food and agriculture with one dominated by a few transnational corporate agribusiness concerns which will then control the sector. Agriculture is to be wholly commercialised with large-scale, mechanised (monocrop) enterprises replacing family-run farms that help sustain hundreds of millions of rural livelihoods, while feeding the urban masses.

John Flint and Larry Fink

“Amid mass beheadings, Wall Street scrambles for Saudi profits” by Bill Van Auken (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The hideous public beheadings of 37 men in a single day in Saudi Arabia last Tuesday have provoked scant protest from Western governments or the corporate media.

The same newspapers and broadcast networks that have summoned up their moral outrage over abuses, both manufactured and real, by governments in Russia, China, Iran, Syria and Venezuela are clearly unmoved by these criminal executions. They maintain their stony silence even though those who were decapitated with swords included three young men who were arrested as minors, tortured into signing confessions and convicted of “terrorism” for daring to join protests against the country’s monarchical dictatorship.

President Nicolas Maduro at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas Venezuela

“Maduro: US Seized Citgo to Steal Venezuelan People’s Assets” by ? (teleSUR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

During a meeting at the Miraflores Palace, Maduro affirmed that the refining company Citgo is about to acquire a US$1.3 billion debt, an illegal operation which is backed by the United States and the suspended opposition-led Venezuelan National Assembly.

“It’s a crime what they’re doing with Citgo, they’re doing business with it. At least 10 percent of [those US$1.3 billion] goes to the thieves, congressmen and congresswomen of the right’s National Assembly,” President Maduro said, adding that they are deciding “who gets those US$1.3 billion… with the President Donald Trump administration’s complicity.”

The opposition-controlled National Assembly expects to vote on making a US$71 million bond interest payment when it meets next week. This PDVSA’s 2020 bond payment is part of Guaido’s effort to control the Venezuelan state’s overseas assets, a goal which is not legal.

The National Assembly, which has been in contempt ​​​​​​since 2016, ​decided in February to change the Citgo’s board of directors by appointing people related to transnational oil companies. That decision, however, is illegal since the Venezuelan Court of Justice decided that all the National Assembly’s actions are null and void.

“Trump Has Murdered Over 40,000 Venezuelans With Sanctions” by Caitlin Johnstone (Rogue Journalist)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A new study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has found that tens of thousands of Venezuelans have died as a direct result of Trump administration sanctions put into effect in August 2017, and that tens of thousands more are expected to die as a result of additional sanctions put into place in January of this year…

To be clear, this unforgivable atrocity rests predominantly on the shoulders of the Trump administration. It is true that Venezuela has had deep economic troubles for years due to declining oil prices and other issues, and it is true that the sanctions in question follow a longstanding agenda of previous administrations and were built on the foundation of an Obama policy declaring the Venezuelan government an “extraordinary threat to national security”. But the report is clear in its assessment that what took the nation’s economy from a state of high inflation to hyperinflation was the August 2017 sanctions, and that’s what’s been causing these high numbers of deaths which will get even worse due to the January 2019 sanctions.

“Int’l Monitors: US Coalition Killed Over 1,600 Civilians During Bombing of Raqqa, Syria” by ? (21st Century Wire)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

==== == =
According to a new report issued by an independent conflict monitoring group, the US-led bombing campaign waged in 2017 to ‘liberate’ the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State (ISIS), ended up killing more than 1,600 civilians – a figure that is 10 times as high as the number of dead claimed by the US-led coalition.

These numbers are according to reports submitted by Amnesty International, and Airwars, a London-based conflict monitoring group formed in 2014 to study the impact of the US-led air campaigns against target nations. After 18 months of researching civilian deaths, including two months on the ground in Raqqa, the group have finally released their findings, and are urging that the US-led coalition “end almost two years of denial” about the true death tolls resulting from their bombing runs in Syria, and Iraq.
= == ====

I have no use for Amnesty International, but progressives seem to – even while some progressives report on AI’s evil. Can we not get these numbers from other orgs? Anyway, the author also refers to “the group.” Who is he or she referring to since the article mentions both AI and Airwars?

“RCMP invasion of Wet’suwet’en Nation territory breaches Canada’s ‘rule of law’” by Pamela Palmater (Canadian Dimension)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes flowery public speeches about respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples and reassures the international community that there is no relationship more important that the one with Indigenous peoples, Canada invaded sovereign Wet’suwet’en Nation territory. When questioned about this aggressive move at a Liberal fundraiser in Kamloops, British Columbia, he responded: “No, obviously, it’s not an ideal situation… But at the same time, we’re also a country of the rule of law.” Canada’s invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory through its national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), is an example of the blatant violation of the rule of law in favour of corporate interests. Canada has consistently failed to follow the rule of law when it comes to Indigenous peoples, and the violent arrests of the Wet’suwet’en people at the Gidimt’en checkpoint, set up in support of the Unist’ot’en homestead, is a glaring example of Canada’s lawlessness.

The people of Wet’suwet’en Nation, as represented by their traditional government, have long asserted their sovereign jurisdiction over their Nation’s lands which span about 22,000 square kilometres in northwest British Columbia. These lands have never been ceded, nor have their rights to use, manage, protect or govern these lands been extinguished in any way. The Nation has never signed any treaty or constitutional agreement that has specifically surrendered their sovereignty as a Nation. While there have been many federal and provincial laws that have interfered with First Nation laws in general, there has never been an explicit extinguishment of Wet’suwet’en laws and jurisdiction over their Nation’s sovereign territory. Their land rights are not only recognized in Canada’s Constitution Act, 1982, but they are also protected in numerous international treaties and declarations, like the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). In other words, there was no legal basis for Canada to invade their territory…

It becomes very clear then, that Canada has a long history of breaching the rule of law when it comes to First Nations. In the Wet’suwet’en case, Canada has prioritized the extraction interests of a corporation over the constitutionally protected rights of a sovereign Aboriginal Nation. This is a clear violation of the law. The Wet’suwet’en right to occupy and protect their territory is an internationally recognized human rights norm, now reflected in UNDRIP. Article 8 provides the right of Indigenous peoples not to be subjected to the destruction of their culture – something that would naturally come from destruction of their lands and waters with a pipeline.

From Haïti Liberté:
On Apr. 16, Prime Minister nominee Jean-Michel Lapin delivered his papers to the House of Deputies as a cacophony of gunfire echoed immediately outside the building.

“Jean-Michel Lapin Under Fire from “Guerrillas”” by Catherine Charlemagne (Haïti Liberté)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Haitian paradox is being pushed to the extreme. The capital, Port-au-Prince, should be Haiti’s safest city. Instead, it is the most dangerous with armies of gangs taking its population hostage.

Worse, the Bicentennial district, along the city’s waterfront, should, according to all logic, be a kind of “No Man’s Land” or “Forbidden City” for armed gangs. But it remains the capital’s most threatened territory, controlled from one end to the other by “warlords” who sow terror day and night on everything that moves. Even stray dogs do not dare venture at a certain time in this district, which has the honor to house the Parliament, the Prime Minister’s office, and so many other public and private institutions. This territory offers no guarantee of getting out alive if a gang leader decides to mount a punitive operation against a rival or just wants to have fun shooting in all directions.

Paradoxical indeed, as it turns out that Port-au-Prince’s Bicentennial district has many more police officers per square meter than any other place in the country. Even the immediate area around the National Palace, with the Interior Ministry, and the Palace of the Supreme Court concentrates as many police and security agents, so this small perimeter become a true triangle of death. In this curious and singular country, everything is paradoxical. If one wants to protect oneself, it is better to live in neighborhoods where there are fewer public institutions, synonymous today with bait to attract prey for bandits and murderers…


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