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Intermittent renewables–wind and solar photovoltaic panels–have been hailed as an answer to all our energy problems. Certainly, politicians need something to provide hope, especially in countries that are obviously losing their supply of oil, such as the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the more I look into the situation, the less intermittent renewables have to offer. (Please note that I am not talking about solar hot water heaters. I am talking about intermittent renewables added to the electric grid.)
1. It is doubtful that intermittent renewables actually reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
It is devilishly difficult to figure out whether on not any particular energy source has a favorable impact on carbon dioxide emissions. The obvious first way of looking at emissions is to look at the fuel burned on a day-to-day basis. Intermittent renewables don’t seem to burn fossil fuel on day-to-day basis, while those using fossil fuels do, so wind and…
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Stars and Stripes
January 13, 2014
Japan looks to join India, US in naval exercise
By Erik Slavin Stars and Stripes
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan: The Japanese Self-Defense Force wants to join an annual sea drill held by the United States and India later this year, according to Indian media reports.
The request to participate in the Malabar exercise came during a four-day visit to New Delhi last week by Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, and just one month after Japan and India held their first-ever bilateral exercise in the Bay of Bengal.
Japan and India both saw tensions rise last year over separate territorial disputes with China.
“During the meeting with [Indian defense minister] AK Antony, I asked for the participation of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces in the naval war games,” Onodera said recently, according to The Times of India.
Neither India nor the United States…
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The natural world is staggeringly complex, and yet amazingly elegant in how it manages the multitude of interconnected parts into organized, unified wholes that thrive. What is the secret for harnessing this elegance for use in human systems? Tim Winton found that observation of the most common patterns found in the natural world led to the development of high level principles which can then be used to address the most complex challenges that human systems face.
After learning some of the common patterns found in all natural systems, we can then begin to recognize these patterns in human systems , and learn how to balance the ones that are skewed, and to integrate in the ones might add a greater level of enduring health. We can “make a deeper difference by changing the system!”
PatternDynamics is a systems thinking tool for creating systems level change that Winton has been developing over 20 years as he’s worked in diverse fields, including: environmental services contractor, organic farmer, sustainability educator, designer, project manager, consultant, executive leadership, and corporate governance.
What is unique about PatternDynamics is that it combines the patterns of nature with the power of language, to produce a sustainability pattern language.
In a recent paper by Barrett Brown, referring to a study he had done in 2012 of top performing organizational leaders, he observed that these top leaders “use three powerful thinking tools to design their initiatives and guide execution. They are (a) Integral theory, (b) Complexity theory, and (c) Systems theory. These models help them to step back from the project, get up on to the balcony, and take a broad view of the whole situation. They use these tools to make sense of complex, rapidly changing situations and navigate through them securely.”
And famed Permaculture teacher Toby Hemenway (author of Gaia’s Garden)recently posted on his blog the following recommendation: “To enrich our ability to use recipes and put them into context, without engaging in a full-blown design analysis from scratch, we can use pattern languages. The term was coined by architect Christopher Alexander to mean a structured grammar of good design examples and practices in a given field—architecture, software design, urban planning, and so forth— that allow people with only modest training to solve complex problems in design. … Like recipes, pattern languages are plug-and-play rather than original designs, but they allow plenty of improvisation and flexibility in implementation, and can result in rich, detailed solutions that fit. A handbook of pattern languages for the basic human needs and societal functions, structured along permaculture principles, would be a worthy project for a generation of designers.”[my emphasis]
PatternDynamics is firmly rooted in Integral theory, Complexity theory, and Systems theory, and as well contains Permaculture’s emphasis on patterns and principles (PatternDynamics was developed during Tim’s time as Director of the Permaforest Trust, a 170 acre Permaculture education center in New South Wales, Australia). In addition a fifth strong influence was Alexander’s ideas on pattern languaging. These five robust theories and practical application tools provide a very firm foundation that will continue to support PatternDynamics long into the future as it continues to evolve. It is probably not the recipe book that Hemenway envisions, rather the patterns are more like a set of key ingredients from which we are invited to collaborate to co-create the needed recipes for a given context. The goal is to facilitate collective intelligence.
“The key to complexity is systems thinking, and the key to systems thinking is patterns. The key to patterns is using them as a language – an idea I borrowed from architect and mathematician Christopher Alexander’s book ‘Notes on the Synthesis of Form’.”
– Tim Winton
Systems thinking itself is complex and difficult to learn, which is why the series of Patterns in PatternDynamics can be so helpful in simplifying that complexity – “If we don’t have a symbol for something, it does not become enacted in our reality” Winton says.
Secondly, as these Patterns become part of a shared language, this gives us the ability to collaborate with others –hence the facilitation of collective intelligence. Noting the increased complexity in our human systems, Winton states that “No longer is any one person brilliant enough to solve the complex problems we face; we really have to use our collective intelligence.” This innovative method of facilitating collective intelligence is proposed as an essential 21st century skill.
Speaking for myself, after completing the Level II training in PatternDynamics, I notice that I am starting to see “wholes” much more often, in extremely diverse systems. Everything from systems at work in my own body, to systems in organizations I’m involved with, to the systemic problems facing our world, and all the way up to long term processes going on in our universe. Being able to see these wholes then helps the next step – ideas are flowing more easily on how to balance and integrate to improve the health of the systems I am involved with.
Therefore, it is with some excitement that I am preparing to host a One Day PatternDynamics Workshop on January 26, 2014 here in Bellingham, Washington. Click Here for more information about this event. A workshop is also being held in Oakland, CA on January18th – more info here.
To read a longer article I co-wrote about an introductory workshop I attended last year, go here: Integral Leadership Review
US Atrocities in Afghanistan | DailyCensored.com – Breaking Censored News, World, Independent, Liberal NewsUS Atrocities in Afghanistan – DailyCensored.com – Breaking Censored News, World, Independent, Liberal News
US drones murder Afghan civilian men, women and children. American grounds forces do it up close and personal.
US inflicted death, torture and other atrocities reflect daily life. Ordinary Afghans suffer most. They struggle to survive. American aggression is one of history’s greatest crimes.
War criminals remain unpunished. Accountability is denied. Conflict persists. It’s Washington’s longest war. It’s longer than WW I and II combined. It shows no signs of ending.
Trillions of dollars go mass slaughter and destruction. They’re spent for unchallenged global dominance.
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Vital homeland needs go begging. Targeted countries are ravaged and destroyed. Imperial lawlessness operates this way.
Its appetite is insatiable. It ignores rule of law principles. It does whatever it wants. It does it where, when, by what means, and under whatever pretexts it contrives.
It does so unapologetically. It targets one country at a time or in multiples. It wages direct and proxy wars. It does so without justification. It lies claiming otherwise.
Atrocities are virtually de rigueur. All US wars are dirty. In March 2012, 20 US forces murdered 16 Afghan men, women, and nine children aged two to 12.
Children were massacred while they slept. Two women were raped before soldiers killed them. Pentagon officials and media scoundrels whitewashed what happened.
One soldier was blamed for crimes 20 US forces committed. Nineteen got off scot-free. Cold blooded murder and other atrocities persist. They do so with disturbing regularity.
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On November 12, Reuters headlined ” ‘Lack of US Cooperation halts Afghan probe into civilian killings,” saying:
“Afghanistan’s intelligence service has abandoned its investigation into the murder of a group of civilians after being refused access to US special forces soldiers suspected of involvement, according to a document obtained by Reuters.”
War crimes were committed. US forces raided Wardak province. They did so from October 2012 to February 2013.
Seventeen Afghan men were detained. They disappeared. Residents found 10 buried in shallow graves. They were several hundred meters from where US forces are based.
“In the report authored by Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) intelligence agency, investigators said they had asked the United States for access to three US Green Berets and four Afghan translators working with them but were rebuffed,” said Reuters.
On September 23, NDS published its report. “Despite many requests (it made, America hasn’t) cooperated,” it said. “Without (its) cooperation, this process cannot be completed.”
Pentagon officials routinely whitewash serious war crimes. So do US commanders on the ground. Doing so is longstanding US policy. Rare exceptions prove the rule.
Under a decade long military agreement, Afghan officials can’t charge US forces with war crimes. Whatever they do, they’re immune.
Zakeria Kandahari is an Afghan translator. He works with US Green Berets. He’s done so for nine years.
Documents Reuters obtained explained how US interrogations are conducted. Kandahari witnessed Sayid Mohammed’s treatment.
He was murdered. Kandahari named three US Special Forces responsible. He kicked Mohammed,” he said. He beat him. He threatened him.
“I handed him over to Mr. Dave and Mr. Hagen, but later I saw his body in a black body bag,” he said.
Wardak residents accuse US forces of abducting Afghan men and boys. Interrogations involving torture follows.
Karzai is a US installed stooge. He’s done nothing to stop what’s persisted throughout his tenure. Failure to act responsibly reflects complicity.
Russia Today interviewed journalist Matthieu Aikins. He spent five months investigating the Wardak incident.
Local residents bore testimony. They supplied credible evidence. War crimes were committed. According to Aikins:
“The special forces team was deployed to an isolated valley west of Kabul, where the Taliban and other insurgents groups have a very heavy presence.”
“Over last winter, the locals started complaining that the forces team and their translators were murdering people, abducting them, trotting them, and disappearing them.”
“Just extraordinary allegations that at the time were essentially unproven.”
In November 2012, residents first complained about a so-called Special Forces ODA 3124 unit.
When it withdrew in April, human remains were discovered near America’s Nerkh district base.
Local authorities determined that ODA 3124 operations bore full responsibility.
Survivor testimonies confirmed it. Victims described being severely beaten and tortured.
ICRC representatives obtained more evidence. Because of an alleged US investigation, details weren’t disclosed.
According to Aikins:
“In the five months that I spent reporting this story, not a single one of the witnesses that I spoke to had ever been contacted by the US military investigator.”
“So it does really beg the question whether these investigators are actually going to be able to establish any sort of accountability of what happened.”
It bears repeating. Pentagon officials routinely whitewash serious war crimes. So do US commanders on the ground.
Unaccountability is standard practice. US forces guilty of rape, torture and murder go unpunished.
On November 6, Aitkins headlined his Rolling Stone article “The A-Team Killings.”
“Last spring,” he said, “the remains of 10 missing Afghan villagers were dug up outside a US Special Forces base – was it a war crime or just another episode in a very dirty war?”
Six months after US Special Forces arrived in Wardak province, allegations of torture and murder surfaced.
Locals said 10 civilians were abducted. They disappeared. US Special Forces were responsible.
They killed another eight Afghans during their operations. Perhaps more bodies remain to be discovered.
On February 16, “a student named Nasratullah was found under a bridge with his throat slit,” said Aikins.
Family members said US Green Berets abducted him. Other bodies were found. In July, Col. Jane Crichton lied, saying:
“After thorough investigation, there was no credible evidence to substantiate misconduct by ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) or US forces.”
According to Aikins:
“(O)ver the past five months, Rolling Stone has interviewed more than two dozen eyewitnesses and victims’ families who’ve provided consistent and detailed allegations of the involvement of American forces in the disappearance of the 10 men, and has talked to Afghan and Western officials who were familiar with confidential Afghan-government, UN and Red Cross investigations that found the allegations credible.”
“In July, a UN report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan warned: ‘The reported disappearances, arbitrary killings and torture – if proven to have been committed under the auspices of a party to the armed conflict – may amount to war crimes.”
Aikins recounted Gul Rahim’s killing. He spoke to three of his neighbors. They saw US Special Forces arrive.
They heard gun shots. When they left. They saw Rahim’s “bullet-ridden body lying among the apple trees, his skull shattered.”
A man identified only as Omar was targeted. He witnessed Rahim’s killing. He survived.
He was taken to America’s Nerkh base. He was put in a plywood cell. Interrogations began the next morning.
His hands were bound above his head. He was suspended and beaten. Afghan translator Zakeria Kandahari was involved.
Two Americans interrogated him. He said he knew nothing about Rahim and local Taliban commanders.
Beatings intensified. Sessions lasted for two days. “At one point,” said Aikins, “Kandahari held a pistol to Omar’s head and told him that he would kill him as easily as he had killed his friend.”
He was certain he’d die. At night, he was shackled in his plywood cell. Americans handed him over to Afghan forces. He realized he was being freed.
” ‘I promised that I would kill you,’ he says Kandahari told him, ‘and I don’t know how you’re getting away alive.”
Wardak is an intense battleground. It’s “littered with bomb craters and burned-out tanker trucks,” said Aikins.
Many disappeared Afghans “were rounded up by the Americans in broad daylight, in front of dozens of witnesses.”
Aikins obtained credible testimonies. Mohammad Hazrat Janan is deputy head of Wardak’s provincial council.
US forces terrorize people, he said. They do it “because they could not defeat the insurgents.”
People abducted weren’t Taliban, he explained. “(B)ut even if they were, no one is allowed to just kill them in this way.”
Nerkh district feels besieged, said Aikins. It’s a “hotbed of guerrilla resistance.” It’s close to Kabul. It’s a “staging ground for suicide attacks on the capital.”
US forces are stationed at Combat Outpost Nerkh. Green Beret units are called Operational Detachment Alpha, ODA, or A-Team. The Nerkha-based one is called ODA 3124.
It’s involved in counterinsurgency operations. They part of what’s known as “white” Special Forces. So-called “black” ones launch night raids.
CIA elements are involved in local operations. Insurgents control Nerkh rural areas. US forces are vulnerable to ambushes or roadside blasts.
Nerkh incidents didn’t occur in a vacuum, said Aikins. “Over the past 10 years human rights groups, the UN and Congress have repeatedly documented the recurring abuse of detainees in the custody of the US military, the CIA and their Afghan allies.”
According to Human Rights Watch Asia advocacy director John Sifton:
“The US military has a poor track record of holding its forces responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes.”
“There are some cases of detainee deaths 11 years ago that resulted in no punishments.”
Aikins said a former ODA 3124 interpreter named Farooq said he “routinely witnessed abusive interrogations during his time with the A-Team, involving physical beatings with fists, feet, cables and the use of devices similar to Tasers.”
When Obama begins drawing down US forces, Green Berets and CIA will remain. According to Aikins, they’ll be even less oversight than now.
Based on what he’s seen and gotten from witnesses, “the fight in Afghanistan may get even dirtier.”
Covert war may continue interminably. Afghans have enjoyed rare times of peace. They’ve had none for over three decades. Future prospects look grim.
For centuries, Afghans experienced what few can imagine. Marauding armies besieged cities. They slaughtered thousands. They caused vast destruction.
Imperial Britain and Czarist Russia vied for control. Local warlords exerted their own dominance. When Soviet Russia withdrew in 1989, a ravaged country remained.
Living Afghans can’t remember peace, stability and tranquility. Endless conflicts persist.
Post-9/11, America’s attack, invasion and occupation followed. Millions died. Countless others suffer horrifically.
It bears repeating. Nothing ahead looks promising. America came to stay. Permanent occupation is planned.
Afghanistan is strategically important. It straddles the Middle East, South and Central Asia. It’s in the heart of Eurasia.
Occupation projects America’s military might. It targets Russia, China, Iran, and other oil-rich Middle East states.
It furthers Washington’s imperium. It prioritizes unchallenged global dominance. It seeks control over Afghan’s untapped natural gas, oil and other mineral resources.
In June 2010, The New York Times headlined “US Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan,” saying:
They’re worth an estimated $1 trillion. Estimates are notoriously inaccurate.
Whatever they’re worth, they include “huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium – are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.”
An internal Pentagon memo calls Afghanistan the “Saudi Arabia of lithium.” It’s a key material needed to produce “batteries, laptops and BlackBerrys.”
Years of development are needed. Huge potential exists. Heavy investment is likely. An economic bonanza awaits profiteers.
Don’t expect ordinary Afghans to benefit. Surviving concerns them most. Violence continues unabated.
Living conditions are deplorable. Vital services are lacking. Millions have little or no access to clean water.
Many don’t get enough food. Life expectancy is one of the world’s lowest. Infant mortality is one of the highest.
Extreme poverty, unemployment, human misery, and constant fear reflect daily life. Washington prioritizes conquest, colonization, plunder and dominance.
War without end rages. Human needs go begging. Wherever America shows up, death and destruction follow. So does unrelieved dystopian harshness. No end in sight looms.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
- National › Fukushima plant prepares for dangerous fuel rod removal (japantoday.com)
- Fukushima’s fuel rod removal plan (bbc.co.uk)
Laughing is always good:)
- Noam Chomsky on Peak Oil, Economics, Financial Markets (peakoil.com)
- Forget peak oil; peak trash is the world’s real concern: researcher (calgaryherald.com)
- World Energy Congress report dismisses fears of peak oil (peakoil.com)
- Unfortunately, peak oil is not at hand (peakoil.com)
- Peak Oil Demand: Peak Oil Didn’t Go Away, it Just Changed its Name (prometheus.org)
- The propaganda campaign against peaking fossil fuel production (resilience.org)
A few years ago, I had an ah-ha moment when it comes to what we as humans would need to do to live in a sustainable manner. It is very easy. All we have to do is leave our homes, take off all of our clothes, and learn to live on the raw food we are able to gather with our own hands. We have a built-in transportation system, so that is not a problem.
Some animals are eusocial, that is, organized in away that allows for cooperative brood care and other joint tasks. If we follow that approach, we would get our extended families to join us living in nature, au naturel. We could then co-operate on tasks such as child rearing and gathering food.
Nature’s Provision for Order
Nature is organized in a number of ways that make certain that there will be modest change over time…
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EU-Canada – International affairs – Enterprise and Industry. (source/link)
The European Commission and the Government of Canada have made several political commitments to intensify cooperation between regulators. The results of business surveys, notably on the conditions/barriers for market access, have confirmed the impact of differences in regulations on EU-Canada trade and investment. As a consequence, both sides decided to explore ways and means of encouraging regulators to cooperate on a voluntary basis when creating technical regulations that they believe may have significant trade effects.
1. The current state of regulatory cooperation is recorded in the road map [106 KB] .
2. The most recent study on EU-Canada trade and investment was complited in 2009, in preparation for negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which began in October 2009. The EU and Canada have agreed that a chapter on Regulatory Cooperation should be included in this agreement.
Background to the existing cooperation activities
At the Canada-EU Summit held in Ottawa on 19 December 2002, the Commission and the Government of Canada agreed to treat this issue in two separate ways, namely to:
- “intensify our regulatory dialogue and work towards a new Framework in this field”; and
- “design a new type of forward-looking, wide-ranging bilateral trade agreement covering, inter alia, new generations issues and outstanding trade barriers”.
A voluntary framework [48 KB] for regulatory cooperation was adopted in 2004 between the Commission, led by DG Enterprise and Industry, and the Canadian government, led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada (DFAIT).
The voluntary Framework is designed to promote more effective Canada-EU regulatory co-operation, and to work towards preventing and eliminating unnecessary barriers to trade and investment while ensuring better quality and effective regulations to achieve public policy objectives, as described in the press release.
Discussions on a Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement (TIEA) began after the summit, but have since been abandoned and are now replaced by the CETA negotiations.
- CETA Free Trade Deal: Harper Heading To Europe To Conclude Pact (olduvaiblog.wordpress.com)
- EU Assures that CETA Does Not Contain ACTA Copyright Rules (michaelgeist.ca)
- EU, Canada trade deal finalized in Brussels after 4 years of negotiations (business.financialpost.com)
- Harper announces agreement in principle on European free trade (o.canada.com)