Daily Archives: January 3, 2019

John Zarrella explains the significance of landing on the far side of the moon

How China’s Big Overseas Initiative Threatens Global Climate Progress – Yale E36 0

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a colossal infrastructure plan that could transform the economies of nations around the world. But with its focus on coal-fired power plants, the effort could obliterate any chance of reducing emissions and tip the world into catastrophic climate change.

By Isabel Hilton • January 3, 2019

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, has been described as the most ambitious infrastructure project in history. It is a plan to finance and build roads, railways, bridges, ports, and industrial parks abroad, beginning with China’s neighbors in Central, South, and Southeast Asia and eventually reaching Western Europe and across the Pacific to Latin America. The more than 70 countries that have formally signed up to participate account for two-thirds of the world’s population, 30 percent of global GDP, and an estimated 75 percent of known energy reserves.

The first phase — of transport and energy infrastructure and seaports — will enable a level of industrial development and economic integration that Beijing hopes will generate new markets for Chinese companies and create a Chinese-dominated network of countries, tied into China’s economic and industrial realm. If successful, it would create a sphere of technological, economic, diplomatic, and strategic power big enough to challenge that of the United States.

BRI has the potential to transform economies in China’s partner countries. Yet it could also tip the world into catastrophic climate change.

Speaking at a meeting in San Francisco in September, Nicholas Stern, the prominent British economist, laid out his concerns: “The more than 70 countries that are signed up to the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said, “have an average GDP of around one-third of that of China. If they adopt China’s development model, which resulted in a doubling of China’s GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions in the first decade of the century, it would make the emissions targets in the Paris Agreement impossible.”

NAFTA at 25: A New Beginning?

Published on Dec 31, 2018

January 1st marks 25 years since NAFTA – the North American Free Trade Agreement – went into effect, fundamentally altering trade relations in North America. Who benefited and who lost from this trade deal? Long-time NAFTA activist Lori Wallach, of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, analyzes the result

See part 2:

BBC World Service – Newshour – How climate change is transforming lives


Wilkerson’s Real “Vice” – Cheney Moved GOP to Far Right (4/4)

Published on Jan 3, 2019

In 2005, the Iraq War debacle weakens Cheney’s influence in the White House, but in and out of office, he continued to help create conditions for far-right control of the Republican Party – says Larry Wilkerson, depicted in the film VICE and former Chief of Staff to Sec. State Colin Powell – a REPLAY of a 2010 interview by Paul Jay

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Wilkerson’s Real “Vice” – Cheney’s Cold War and Regime Change (3/4)

Published on Dec 31, 2018

Cheney killed an Iranian peace offer, pushed a New Cold War with China, and planned regime change in Iraq, Iran and North Korea – says Larry Wilkerson, depicted in the film VICE and former Chief of Staff to Sec. State Colin Powell – a REPLAY of a 2010 interview by Paul Jay

See related:


The GOP’s most successful scam is about to reboot itself – Alternet.org

written by Thom Hartmann / Independent Media Institute January 2, 2019

Get ready to see it on your TV. The GOP is about to kick back into Two Santa Clauses mode and restart the scam they’ve been running since Reagan. It’ll…

Get ready to see it on your TV. The GOP is about to kick back into Two Santa Clauses mode and restart the scam they’ve been running since Reagan.

It’ll predictably begin in the first week or two of January, probably first on “Meet the Press” and other Sunday shows that feature “serious thinkers” and only rarely challenge Republicans. It’ll simultaneously roll out on Fox, on right-wing hate radio, and in the conservative media.

And there are more than a few “Third Way” Democrats eager to go along with it.

At its core, the strategy is simple and elegant: When Republicans are in power, run up as much debt as possible, mostly by borrowing and giving that cash to the Republican donor class through tax cuts and corporate subsidies; when Democrats have political power, Republicans suddenly become hysterical about the debt and demand that Dems keep taxes low while cutting social spending.

If successful, not only will Republicans (and corporate-funded Dems) block any genuinely progressive spending legislation in 2019 or 2020, but they’ll prevent any possibility of debt-free college, Medicare for All, or a Green New Deal in the entire next presidential term, clear through 2024 or beyond.

For this remarkably successful 38-year-long GOP head-fake strategy, you can thank a guy named Jude Wanniski.

…(read more).

U.S. and Israel Formally Leave UNESCO

Jan 02, 2019

The United States and Israel are, as of yesterday, officially out of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The Trump administration announced the withdrawal in October 2017, citing “anti-Israel bias,” with Israel following suit immediately after. Both the U.S. and Israel had stopped paying member dues since 2011 after Palestine joined UNESCO.

NBC News Climate Change Poll Report Shows Belief Is Partisan, Driven By Flawed Media Coverage

The United States remains the only developed democracy where The Climate Change Debate is primarily over whether climate change is real. Most places, the debate is over what to do about it. But not in the World’s Greatest Democracy, where one of the two major political parties our system allows simply denies—using various, ever-shifting, often-contradictory lines of rhetoric—that it’s real and man-made and we must do something to combat it. A new chunk of polling data suggests this dynamic may continue, regardless of the mountains of evidence that have led scientists to come to an unambiguous consensus that the climate is changing and human beings are largely causing it.

NBC News published a report Sunday that illustrated the problem and, simultaneously, demonstrated a major factor in why it has been allowed to persist. The top-line takeaway was that the American public now mostly accepts that the problem is real. Oh, joy.

…(read more).

NASA reveals unique shape of distant Ultima Thule

Published on Jan 2, 2019

The ice world known as Ultima Thule has finally been revealed. New Horizons encountered Ultima 6.5 billion kilometers from Earth. The event set a record for the most distant ever exploration of a Solar System object. Scientists have decided to call the larger lobe “Ultima”, and the smaller lobe “Thule”.