“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

How Obama can enforce existing law to force the reduction of reliance on fossil fuels

Fossil fuels must stay in ground to stop warming

Two-thirds of the world’s fossil-fuel reserves must remain unburnt to hold temperature increases below dangerous levels, according to researchers at University College London.
Half the world’s known gas reserves, one-third of the oil and 80 percent of the coal should remain in the ground and unused before 2050 to limit temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius, the maximum climate scientists say is advisable, according to a report from the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources.
“Policy makers must realize that their instincts to completely use the fossil fuels within their countries are wholly incompatible with their commitments to the 2 degrees Celsius goal,” UCL research associate and lead author Christophe McGlade said in the report, which was published recently in the scientific journal Nature.
The research will heighten the debate about so-called stranded assets, the idea that the reserves of oil drillers and coal miners have little value because the fight against climate change will require them to be left in the ground.
While disputed by energy companies, the issue has been gaining greater prominence in recent months. Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney said last year he’d instructed staff to consider whether stranded assets posed a threat to banks, investors and the financial system.
The UCL report, funded by the U.K. Energy Research Center, said that the “overwhelming majority” of coal reserves in China, Russia and the U.S. must remain unburnt, along with 260 billion barrels of Middle East oil and 60 percent of its gas reserves.
Governments are adopting policies to cut carbon dioxide emissions and meet the 2 degrees Celsius target agreed in Copenhagen six years ago.
The International Energy Agency estimates that based on current trends the world may warm 3.6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, raising the risk of more violent storms, droughts and rising sea levels.
The United Nations said in November that the world must halt fossil-fuel emissions within the next six decades to prevent irreversible impacts from a warming planet.
The U.N. estimates that to stand a 50 percent chance of holding global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, emissions since the late 19th century need to be limited to 3,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide, with 63 percent of that already released by 2011. That means there’s 1,100 gigatons left, or at best 30 percent of the 3,700 gigatons to 7,100 gigatons of carbon dioxide contained in known fossil fuel reserves that are economically recoverable, according to the U.N.
The world’s biggest producers of coal, oil and gas reject the concept of stranded assets, saying fossil fuels are needed to provide affordable energy.
Exxon Mobil Corp. said in March that its natural-gas reserves won’t become stranded as global demand grows and the drive for higher living standards in developing nations trumps efforts to curtail carbon emissions.
Glencore, the biggest coal exporter, said in its sustainability report that fossil fuels will be a vital element of the world’s energy sources for some time to come.


  1. Seeing as how the Earth is long overdue for the next Ice Age, a little global warming might be just the thing we need to save our sorry asses.

    The Earth is basically a quite cold place. We are living in high clover at this time.

    Buy a Ford F-250 and drive your guts out !

    Save the Planet !

    Save the Human Race !

    1. An alternative method to keep the Earth warm enough for pleasant life would be to ignite all the gas rat passes.

  2. Just south of Spokane, Washington there is a distinct line where the flat pine country gives way to the rolling hills of the farm land.

    This is where the last glaciation stopped.

    It is quite sobering.

    At that time all of Canada was under an ice sheet.

    Ash would have to return to the USA.

    And this too is a most sobering thought.

  3. Any business man with a functioning brain would make a few simple cost calculations when it comes to Global Warming as a result of man made carbon emissions.

    There are two possible conditions:

    ◇ It is true
    ◇ It is false

    What is the outcome and consequence if it is true?

    The outcome is unknowable and the cost could be calamitous and ruinous. The risk could be infinite.

    What is the outcome if it is false?

    The cost of preparing for the worst is controllable. It has political and security advantages in dumping the need for Russia and Saudi Arabia, Opec and other undependable sources of energy. It can increase employment and provide immense social benefit and comfort.

    If we are wrong that Global Warming by mankind was incorrect, we still made the correct choice because we benefited from the preparation and avoided the calamity from the worst of the two consequences.

    1. Good Grief, you never listen to a word I say.....

      Serious, global warming might save our ass.

      We are long overdue for an Ice Age.

    2. Good Grief, you never listen to a word I say.....

      Really Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, you sound like a frustrated spouse.
      Quit your bitching and man up.

    3. So if the Global Warning folks are correct, that means Siberia will return to the warm temperate zone that it used to be and thaw out the vast peat bogs that exist there that formed there over thousands of years at a much warmer temp?

    4. Jack HawkinsSun Jan 25, 08:39:00 AM EST
      Really Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, you sound like a frustrated spouse.
      Quit your bitching and man up.

      Herr Rodent what would you KNOW about a spouse? After all you don't have one anymore. You drove yours off.... Now she would know about being frustrated, but you? Jack "I aint paying no sticking child support" Hawkins? You sound like a typical domestic abuser.

  4. No one's building coal-fired plants anymore; the value just isn't there.

    We're still building some gas-fired, but that shelf life is probably not much more than 10 yrs. or so.

    Simple "economics" is, actually, our only hope (if there really is a GW problem.)

  5. According to the adherents of the Madoff School of Business in Tel Aviv, the value of those 'Stranded Assets' has no importance...
    Until they are sold.

    The value of assets are always fluctuating, they go up, they go down ...
    Values are not important, until they are 'realized'.

    Now, those of us in the real world may see through this accounting sham. We may know that the market value of those underlying assets have great importance to the companies, the shareholders and the economy at large.

    The advocates of the Madoff Method seem sincere in the beliefs, they have been indoctrinated, to be sure.

    1. Morning Jack, or should I say Herr Rodent. Question. Why do you post garbage so early in the morning that do not add or contribute to the thread?

    2. If you cannot sell those assets, if they are marked to Zero, according to the Madoff School it just doesn't matter.
      They remain on the balance sheet at 'cost'.

    3. Jack HawkinsSun Jan 25, 08:42:00 AM EST
      If you cannot sell those assets, if they are marked to Zero, according to the Madoff School it just doesn't matter.
      They remain on the balance sheet at 'cost'.

      You are a financial whiz of the shit scoopers.

      But you assume much with no facts, as usual.

      I suggest you go and sell some horse manure. that's your pay grade.

    4. Well then, "O"rdure explain to us why your position on SodaStream equity values.

      What is "Occupation"Sat Jul 19, 10:54:00 PM EDT
      it's a great time to buy the stock (Sodastream) Herr Rodent..
      It's undervalued. ($29.11)
      you really just don't understand business..

      That was then ...
      This is now

      Sodastream price Fri, Jan 23, 2015 - $19.26

      Now let us review ...
      "O"rdure recommends buying Sodastream on 19July 2014 at $29.11 telling us it was undervalued.
      On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 Sodastream closed at $19.26

      That is DOWN $9.85 or 33.8% since "O"rdure made his 'buy' recommendation.
      Someone really does not understand business, and it ain't Herr Rodent

    5. Well then, "O"rdure explain to us your position on SodaStream equity values.
      Deleted the 'why' ...


    6. Talk to us, some more, about 'realized value', it is the Madoff Method, no?

    7. The real challenge facing Bibi's Social Media Commando is its complete lack of Institutional Memory

  6. (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Sunday defended his administration's drone-based counter-terrorism strategy against al Qaeda militants in Yemen, saying the alternative would be to deploy U.S. troops, which was not sustainable.

    "It is not neat and it is not simple, but it is the best option that we have,"
    Obama told reporters at a news conference in New Delhi.

    Four months ago, Obama hailed Yemen as a model for "successful" partnerships in the fight against Islamic militants. But last week, the country's U.S.-backed government collapsed, and Iran-backed Houthi rebels took over.

    Some U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday the United States has halted some counter-terrorism operations against al Qaeda militants in Yemen following the takeover. However, other officials said the situation on the ground was fluid and described the halt as a temporary measure to assess chaotic conditions on the ground.

    Obama said the United States has not suspended its counter-terrorism operations.

    "We continue to go after high-value targets inside of Yemen and we will continue to maintain the pressure which we require to keep the American people safe," he said.

    "What we have shown is that we can maintain the kind of pressure on these terrorist networks even in these kind of difficult environments," he said.

    (Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel, Roberta Rampton and Krishna Das)

    1. "It is not neat and it is not simple, but it is the best option that we have,"

      Seems that Mr Obama does not see leaving the region, abandoning the fight against al-Qeada, is a 'better' option for the US to pursue.

      Which seems reasonable, as the Congress has yet to repeal the 14SEP2001 AUMF.

    2. Seems that Mr Obama does not see leaving the region, abandoning the fight against al-Qeada, as a 'better' option for the US to pursue.

    3. Yeah, actually, the Houthis seem to be very much "anti-Al Queda / anti-ISIS."

  7. Speaking to ARA News in Kobane, the Kurdish fighter Noureddin Gabani said that the YPG forces took control of the entire area between the industrial district, in northeastern Kobane, and the 48th Street, south of the city.

    “We were able today to regain control of the area extending from the industrial district and the neighborhood of Kanya Araban, heading south through the eastern parts of the Sidan area, and the streets located western Mustafa Darwish station up to 48th Street,” Gabani said.

    “We easily advanced because the entire area was under the crossfire of the Peshmerga’s heavy weapons stationed on Mashta Nour hill (the strategic hill overlooking the city of Kobane), which helped protect and cover the allied fighters on the ground.”

    Over the last three days, great progress was reported by the defending forces of Kobane in battles against the IS extremists, especially after their control of the Mashta Nour Hill.

  8. Ideology[edit]

    Houthis belong to the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam, also known as Fivers, a sect of Islam almost exclusively present in Yemen. They are from the Shi'ite minority similar to the Twelvers found mainly in Iraq, Lebanon and Iran and are known for being most similar to Sunni Muslims in matters of religious law and rulings. They do however, believe in the concept of an Imamate as being essential to their religion, which makes them distinct from Sunnis.[31]

    The Houthis have asserted that their actions are for the defence of their community from widespread and systematic discrimination, whereas the Yemeni government has in turn accused the insurgents of intending to overthrow the regime out of a desire to institute Zaidi Shia religious law,[32] destabilising the government and stirring anti-American sentiment.[33] The Houthis have told people they are “praying in the wrong way” by raising their arms, as is the custom among Sunnis in Yemen.[34]

    The Yemeni government has also accused the Houthis of having ties to external backers, in particular the Iranian government, as Iran is a Shia-majority country.[35] In turn, the Houthis have countered with allegations that the Yemeni government is being backed by virulently anti-Shia external backers such as al-Qaeda and the monarchy of Saudi Arabia,[36][37][38] despite the fact that former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was also Zaidi.[39]

    You're Praying in the Wrong Way

    Basically, "Big enders" vs. "Little enders"

    1. Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is gearing up to announce a White House bid this year, positioning herself as the Republican party’s chief critic of likely Democratic nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

      Fiorina begins as a relative unknown, and trails far in the polls. In a speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit, a conservative cattle call hosted by Rep. Steve King, Fiorina offered a preview of her anti-Clinton message, which she believes she, as the only other woman in the race, is best equipped to offer.

      “Like Hillary Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe,” she said. “But unlike her, I have actually accomplished something. Mrs. Clinton, flying is an activity not an accomplishment.”

  9. Erbil, Kurdistan Region –A Kurdish military source reported on Saturday that Kurdish Peshmerga forces fired on the city of Mosul, in northern Iraq, with several Grad rockets for the first time since the invasion of the city last summer by the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS).

    The source, on the condition of anonymity, told ARA News that the shelling focused on IS military units in central Mosul.

    “I saw an armory of the group being targeted in the Qadisiyah neighborhood, while an IS militant was trying to transfer the bodies of fallen militants from the damaged house,” he said.

    “A car ــapparently stolen from the Nineveh Plain previouslyــ parked near the targeted building was also destroyed,” the source added.

    Ali Aboud, a civilian based in Mosul, stated to ARA News that more than 18 Grad rockets fell on several areas of Mosul on Saturday, including the Diwaniyah area near the Mosques of Ali bin Abi Talib and al-Muthanna, as well as the al-Rasheed bakery and the Star Restaurant.

    “One of the missiles that pounded the city hit an IS oil tank and caused a huge explosion in front of the al-Risala school in the al-Muthanna district,” Aboud said, pointing out that some of the group’s headquarters were also hit by the Peshmerga heavy weapons.

    “Amid a state of fear and panic, the IS hardline militants opened fire randomly in order to prevent people from approaching the bombed areas, ” Aboud said.

    The Peshmerga forces also stormed and controlled the village of Salihiya near Tel Afar, after the withdrawal of the radicals.

    This comes as the U.S.-led coalition air strikes continued, hitting several areas outside Mosul.

  10. Replies
    1. This is interesting. The Kurds have the headcutters pinned down to the extent that they can shell the middle of Mosul.

      That doesn't bode well for the "dead men walking." :)

    2. “We easily advanced because the entire area was under the crossfire of the Peshmerga’s heavy weapons stationed on Mashta Nour hill (the strategic hill overlooking the city of Kobane), which helped protect and cover the allied fighters on the ground.”

    3. The hill that they took after we bombed the headcutters off of it, I seem to remember. :)

    4. It has not been 'instant' but it is 'gratifying'.


  11. These killings in Paris – with 20 dead in all, amongst whom five Jews – rightly arouse widespread indignation but the Jewish organisations have immediately exploited this indignation for their benefit.

    They forget that, in large part, it’s been under the pressure of international and French Jewish organisations that France has hastily engaged in all sorts of military expeditions causing so many deaths in the Arab-Muslim world.

    They forget this country’s responsibility in the creation of the bogus State of Israel – soon afterwards arming it with nuclear weapons – and in the appalling fate of the Palestinian people since at least 1948; the presence of Netanyahu in Paris and his doings there were, in themselves, an affront to an entire part of the Arab-Muslim world. Those Jewish organisations live in anger and war; that being the case, how can they be surprised if their adversaries live in anger and war as well?

    Such killings may bring to mind a number of murders committed by Jews who subsequently became “heroes” of Jewish history. On February 25, 1994 Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli army physician armed with an assault rifle, shot dead 24 Muslim worshipers and wounded 125 at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron before being subdued and killed there himself. His nearby tomb is a pilgrimage site for many Jews.