“The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) simply blows out of the water anything else that’s been attempted in human history.”
“As currently planned, it will involve some 7,000 separate infrastructure or extractive industry projects scattered across 70-odd nations, with a total price-tag of $8 trillion. It’ll span half the planet — from Asia to Africa, Europe and the South Pacific. It’ll affect every facet of human endeavor, in one way or another.”
It will be business as usual on steroids.
It’s way past the time that we need to get our heads out of our arses or our slave owners ones and be realistic about the fact that the juggernaut we are strapped into has already careened off the cliff. The only two things I can see derailing this latest lunacy is war or the collapse of industrial civilisation, which is in-itself now an extinction event for our favourite species due to the loss of ‘Global Dimming’ ,with it’s attendant temperature spike and the meltdown of 350 + nuclear plants and their more horrific 1300 odd spent fuel pool fires.
I expect we’ll get both as the last few resource wars are fought to our bitter end.
To get a sense of perspective lets look at just one of the 7000 projects courtesy of The Third Pole
Will Two Chinese Dams affect the Belt and Road Initative?
“China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG)received the licence to develop the West Seti dam in 2011 after the Australian firm SMEC, which held the permit for over a decade, failed to raise investment for the project.”
“CTG representatives are now asking the government to guarantee a 17% return on investment besides issuing a sovereign guarantee. If these conditions are not met, they say the project will not be feasible.”
A 17% guaranteed return with a sovereign guarantee! Every predatory investor on the already crippled planet will compete for some skin in that ‘game’.
Now factor in the dire consequences of the other 6999 projects. Starting to get my drift are we?
By all means lower your carbon footprint however you can but lets keep a sense of perspective on where we are at. All the squirly lightbulbs, electric cars, solar panels, wind generators and best of intentions in the world won’t mitigate the carbon footprint of a small fraction of this series of projects.
It’s way past the time that the so called alternative energy options are able to mitigate our predicament to date, especially considering the 10 to 30 year lag between emissions and when we see their full consequences manifest, let alone this latest nightmare. The inertia in the system is enormous.
We need to stop lying to ourselves and our youth that the department of capitalism that markets renewables to the unquestioning is a viable ‘alternative’ in the bigger scheme of things.
The carbon emissions alone from such a series of projects will be mind boggling but wait, there’s always more;
“In biodiversity and environmental terms, again, it’s the worst thing we’ve seen anywhere — and in the past forty years, I and my colleagues have seen some pretty horrific stuff in the Amazon, Africa, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. I actually think the BRI will have a greater net impact on ecosystems than it does global warming.”
Recently on this blog I referred to the removal of 150 to 200 species every day as the ultimate game of Climate Change and Extinction Jinga Imagine the chaos this proposal will have on the already precarious situation we find ourselves and our other earthlings in!
More detail below on the “The Belt and Road Initiative” ;
China’s Global Energy Initative Could Bring Environmental Catastrophe;
It is imperative that we Join the Dots and be honest with ourselves and those we love when facing the climate/extinction crises. We are so far up shit creek that the nonsense being espoused by the Green and Left Parties on renewables and carbon quotas by some far off date like 2030 or 2050 needs to be challenged and dismissed for the snake oil it really is. It’s little more than re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic after the stern has sunk below the irradiated, plastercised, hypoxic “Canfield Ocean”.
We are being distracted by corporate NGO’s that need you to sign near worthless online petitions and for you to send money for their very survival. Many of them are now little more than another one of the corporations that are grinding the living planet into dust. I saw a petition today that was petitioning the White House that Slaves Built. WTF are you thinking petitioning the White House? Whatever you’re smoking is making you delusional. Don and the other swamp rats await the rapture. Runaway abrupt climate change is a gift from their evangelical ‘God’.
If your reading this blog regularly, you’ll know that the situation is extremely dire from what we know but there is so much we have yet to grasp and uncover. There can only be a host of so called “Black Swan Events” waiting to appear when we least expect.
There is a veritable “Shit Storm” coming ready or not. Everything is happening faster than previously thought.
Whatever I happen to smoke from my own ‘legal’ garden does not make me delusional. But if I happen to accidentally see the front page of a corporate-owned newspaper, or if I walk unsuspecting into someone’s house where a blaring television has airbrushed ignorant talking heads blatting about the latest and greatest indignity to the US corporate/MIC ego, those moments can definitely make me feel as if I’m delusional. What they are smoking is to be avoided at all costs because it’s like a airborne virus infection that all you can do is run away as you watch people lose all their critical thinking capabilities within minutes of contact…if they had any critical thinking skills in the first place. Which is doubtful.
I turned off the tv in 1993, and cannot read a so-call ‘newspaper’ without getting upset and arguing with it. I’m better off without either I’ve found. Most people would be better off without…but then they wouldn’t know what to think.
Yep, we have lost the Arctic. No doubt about it when you add in that CO2 lag time you’ve mentioned again. And the world is losing the Antarctic, and Greenland, and the world’s glaciers, and the Siberian methane clatrates, and and…oh my.
It makes one wonder just where that Planet B is, and how do we get there, doesn’t it? Oh wait, only the obscenely wealthy would be allowed to migrate. And their military. Never mind. Would rather not be there to watch this happen all over again.
I tell people that the climate and environmental cliff we’ve fallen off of is so far above our heads that we can’t see the edge. I have documentation, science facts, and they don’t get it, don’t want to get it, don’t want to read anything at all, and as I speak I watch the wall of indifference cover their eyes as they stick their noses right back into their cellphones to see who has ‘liked’ them on their FaceBlech page today.
Nope, don’t have either of those, either. It is a choice and I’m certainly better off without both of those modern conveniences, too, I’m guessing.
Used to read NBL years and years ago then he gave up the Mud Hut and exited to Belize(?) I think. What’s the point, right? But I pop in and read what you write here quite often as I do other reality shit-show science sites along with anything not corporate. Consortium News, other places, all is so dismal. Are our species truly this damned stupid? Seems so.
I imagine I should quit waiting to read any good news, though. With the Class War having been won worldwide by indecently wealthy psychopathic personalities there isn’t going to be any good news about climate or environment. Not ever. That is extremely depressing to contemplate.
I watch the corporate clearcut logging ops going on everywhere in these mountains and ridgelines that are all around me here in the corner of NE Washington State. And this year I’m getting to watch the birds starve to death. They came early (92’F in APRIL at 49’N Latitude!) and left because there was and still are a decided lack of flying insects for the swallows and other flying-to-eat birds. 72 species of birds used to show at one time or another every year here, but only the robins and other ground feeders are still finding food for their babies. For the first time this Spring there are birdhouses around this ridgeline property that are not being fought over. As a matter of fact there are empty birdhouses with no tenants; a first in my experience. Very few hummingbirds made it back this year, too. This is scary.
The alarms are going off daily and nobody is listening, nobody is seeing. The young people that know and talk with me (the old surfer/skater/snowboarder/musician/karate teacher dude so I’m a ‘safe’ adult to talk to) ask me what I’ve read lately. They are far more aware than their elders think they are. And I tell them to not have babies and why they shouldn’t. They are listening far more than any ‘adult’ I know around here. And I tell them to ‘do something fun every day’ because…well, you know.
Should I thank you for what you write? Maybe, but it would be much better if you put up cute kitty photos and maybe added some patriotic military pictures of nuclear missiles and aircraft carrier flyovers so that this site can, you know, tone down the stark reality of what you scribble.
On the other hand there are enough of those already so maybe not. But I do thank you for being a voice in the wilderness. It’s hard to be…socially unacceptable because you don’t fit or think in the corporate-approved construct surrounding you.
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Thanks for your informed analysis and anecdotal observations Seal,especially regarding the bird life dropping away.
Here’s the link to what the President of Finland had to say about the Arctic;
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Hello again, thanks for the reply though I didn’t expect one.
Old news you sent me in the finlandtoday piece. Read it elsewhere when it was published. I read too much obviously.
I do honestly think we are way past losing the Arctic and expect very soon that the ice cap will just go ‘poof’ and disappear one sunny summer day. This year? Next year? The year after? The climate collapse acceleration is mind boggling in every category one cares to look at.
410ppm CO2+ now being measured daily at Moana Loa observatory. That is staggering to contemplate. At least to anyone with any Geo-historical knowledge of the past influences of CO2 on this planet. Again, oh my!
Add in what I’ve been reading about the latest Antarctic and Greenland. Nothing humans can do at this point to stop it. Shut the entire industrialized world down and instant chaos and death and rioting while the climate will still continue to spin madly in directions we probably don’t know of yet. And for a very long time in human terms. Positive feedback are kicking in. We can only guess at those. So humans burn more and ignore consequences.
It not only scares the piss out of me but there are times that it leaves one feeling sucker punched when something in your brain clicks into another piece of disparate information and suddenly all of it makes sense together. Breathless feeling. It’s just too much!
As for the Paris agreement in the finlandtoday article, that was rendered so toothless as to be essentially useless. Besides the fact that it didn’t go far enough to even make a small dent in the continuous and rapidly increasing outpouring of CO2 worldwide, it had no enforcement clause. It’s just a dog & pony show for the politicians, and when corporate power is allowed to ‘finance’ the meetings what does one expect?
A political ‘agreement’ made by sociopath politicians and their corporate owners intent on keeping their own wealth and power pretty much speaks for itself.
As is the IPCC. Another utterly useless politicized group touted as the be-all of know-all that is so far behind the current science due to the politics inherent in such a body that I don’t give its pronouncements much credence. Refusing to even consider adding in the Siberian & Arctic Ocean methane clathrate releases in their publications? Really?
I read the last Arctic Emergency Methane Group posting when they folded up shop years ago. That last summary…pretty much said everything one does not want to hear. And I read Sam Carrena’s Arctic blog and puzzle over those graphs and charts he’s always putting up trying to fit it into my mental ‘world picture.’ And Shakhova’s damned Siberian methane zits are already popping their heads off. The Tyndall Center, Kevin Anderson, InsideClimateNews, on and on it goes. I can’t keep up with all that is being published nearly daily and don’t try to, but my curiosity demands that I continue reading about it from as many directions as I can handle.
I used to print out copies of what I was reading and the charts and other documents (had an income then that could afford the ink & reams of paper), and used to mail and email out to friends and family every couple of months about what I had read on climate. Not anymore, not for a few years now. Nobody wants to read any of it. Even my nearing-40 years of friendship & surfing ex-biology teacher and MS in Sp Ed best friend who’s lived in Hawai’i for the last 25 years said enough, don’t send anything on climate anymore. As he said, it is all too depressing and he knows how bad it is but doesn’t want to actually read it.
As has my 75 year old neighbor and retired high school biology teacher & librarian & fighter of the Forest Service logging contracts. Mike and I used to share info often, spend time talking about what we’d read (we read similar info but from different books and websites and perspective). We haven’t talked much on this subject over the last 4-5 years. His wife would get mad at him for even talking about it and it was causing some pretty intense friction. She loudly repeated that she did not want to know because she can’t do anything about it. So they keep making the drive to the coast to visit the grandkids that live around Seattle and to shut completely out of her mind what their lives are going to be like soon enough. She told me recently that she only reads headlines now. And I assume in mainstream corporate media. So she becomes less educated daily.
I was flabbergasted at that comment. What does one say to something like that?
Mike has 50 years of calendars, records of every day’s weather over the last five decades in these mountains on the same piece of property. There is a markedly noticeable change point about 20 years ago that he pointed out. Radical changes here in the Selkirk Range of eastern Washington State that I’ve seen and I’ve been in this mountain range only 14 winters. My calendars are full of weather data. too, and I’m seeing big changes in my time here.
I’ve looked through a bunch of his old ones, the winters especially being a mountain surfer, and you can’t really say it even snows much here anymore in comparison to what the average was back then. And in truth it doesn’t. From -35’F winters with 4 feet of snowpack starting from October to April, and now it rains in January at my elevation (2339′) as it does on top of the local ski hill. My big Ariens snowthrower rarely gets used more than once or twice a winter now with some years not at all as the road into the property turns to mud because it melts or gets rained on.
This is the fourth mountain range I’ve lived in since the mid-80s, progressively farther and farther north, and the freaky weather is following me!
Changing thoughts into another direction:
I still have a copy of a summary of the ‘secret’ 2003 Pentagon climate collapse report given to little Wankerbush and President Cheney back in 2004. The one that was buried for months until someone leaked it to the Observer/UK (the copy I have). Mega-droughts, famine, rising seas, wars over dwindling resources and always over oil, huge refugee populations trying to escape death in their own countries. Commissioned by influential Pentagon advisor Andrew Marshall, it laid out “an imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change”…that is ‘plausible and would challenge the US national security in ways that should be considered immediately’. By 2020 ‘catastrophic’ shortages of water and energy supplies will become increasingly harder to overcome. The report states expected worse problems by 2024.
It was just one tiny report that few paid attention to and those that did had no influence on policy changes in government. It was Dick Cheney’s show, and he’s a Halliburton oil man. It was rapidly buried under the onslaught of the continuing destruction of Iraq and forgotten.
Seems that in 2018 we are seeing a lot of that report in action, doesn’t it?
I apologize for replying at length. It’s not a busy day on this property with another bout of t-cell lightning storms blowing by overhead again. Sticky heat and every Friday of this month has had lightning but last night was the less obvious Friday as it didn’t flash overhead and no bolts were hitting the ground less than a one second count away for a change. But I could hear thunder and the old dog went to panic panting and was trying to find somewhere to hide so I know there was more that I couldn’t hear to the west over the Huckleberry Mountains. Never quite got here but there are more t-cells in the sky to the west and black & gray overcast clouds in every direction. Where I live used to have the last freeze in June…it is just starting to sprinkle.
I hope this reply finds you doing something fun today.
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But wait, there’s more!
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Would mountainous regions be more sensitive to climate change due to the effect of elevation? These regions also have rain shadows that sustain micro-climates.
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Already we are seeing more volcanic and seismic activity planet wide with the Pacific Ring of Fire being particularly active.
I was in Nepal days before the 2015 earthquake which I believe had a climate change component to it as the Third Pole melts releasing pressure on the tectonic plates.
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I suppose this could be true…. mega tons of ice melt would affect gravity and the tectonic plates……… yes not unlikely
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Kevin you’ve hit a mega issue again. The Belt and Road initiative seems to envision building an artificial industrial skin over vast areas of the planet (replacing the natural skin). Aside from the suicidal amount of carbon involved, there will be ripples of large-scale unintended consequences. Waterways and species extinction are just some.
Imagine the movement of people, not just goods. Perhaps the Chinese government assumes excess Chinese population will move OUT along these transportation corridors, but other humans could migrate inward, toward the last standing signs of civilization? Of course invasive species will also travel both ways.
What we now know is that decentralization and localization with permaculture is the only viable option. China pictures itself as the engine – but “engines” are from the economy of the 1900’s. Sure America was “successful” by building the Interstate Highway system in the 1950’s, but all that assumed infinite fossil fuels, and no affect on the atmosphere, both of which are now wrong.
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A tennis star is cutting down on his use of plastic racket covers. This could be a game changer!
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Haha, hilarious, we need a laugh at this blog, much appreciated!
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Ironic humor I’m guessing? Yet if we don’t find something to laugh about our faces may freeze solid being overwhelmed with grief or madness at it all… I pulled a dead woman out of a very cold ocean three decades ago, and her face had frozen at the moment she realized that she was drowned. Believe me, dumb humor about tennis pros is better though reality is punching hard at all of us…
Update on my comments earlier about insects here in these mountains. I don’t know if it’s getting worse than I noticed at first or if I’m becoming increasingly more aware of it as the heat of summer bakes us. It’s been 100’F+/38’C+ the last few days (this started in April, near 90’F!) and another gigantic lightning storm roared through last night right around dark. Every Friday in June a t-cell lightning storm came through. Seems like it might continue this month.
But the insects. They didn’t show up with the heat. Usually I can see tons of them flying around between the house and the apple tree in heat and there are practically none. At night the windows are mostly clear of bugs being attracted by the house lights, and when I turned on the outside yard/security light the other night (I was working in the shop and it’s best to have a light on due to bears, cougars, and coyote packs) there were NO INSECTS batting around the light 25 feet up. The crowd of moths that always show up when it goes on was down to just a couple every time I walked outside and looked up.
Almost no butterflies during the days, either. As in five or ten across my 8 acre forested property and those may be the same ones counted twice. The flying Chinese Knapweed weevils I released ten years ago have done an incredible job of killing out that invasive and there are flowers and bushes all over in the open spaces that have come back, but…there just aren’t any bugs. Some bees, a couple different wild species yes, but not in the numbers I’ve grown accustomed to, either..
So I noticed something else. Besides the incredible lack of flying insect-eating birds; no bats. I haven’t seen a bat fly by once at night and they always blow through under the porch roof to grab insects around the front windows. I can sit out at night and feel them whoosh by.
A bit of good news: I heard banging inside the woodstove pipe this morning and managed to catch and release the male mountain bluebird that had trapped himself in it. He kept trying to fly up (impossible in a 6″ pipe) so I opened the flue and stuck a flashlight in there and he made his way down towards the light below instead. Caught him in a towel, and he flew away covered with dust. He looked pretty weak but the nest is in one of the birdhouses out front so hopefully he will survive the ordeal.
That’s it. Mostly not good news but we’re starting to get used to that, aren’t we?
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I’m grateful for these anecdotal observations of the collapse of the flying insect populations. Thanks for taking the time.
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I have noticed fewer June bugs (scarab beetles) this season. And there are fewer deer flies than there were a few years ago. Crickets and dragonflies seem to be doing okay.
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Good observations. Still seeing abundant bird and insect life in Northland NZ. Freeing the bluebird must have lightened your day.
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Since crickets were mentioned by wqjcv, I’ve listened every night this last week and there are NO CRICKETS. Oh my, something I wasn’t aware of until it was pointed out. It’s what I have been unconsciously missing all Spring (which was very very short). It hit 100’F yesterday after another monster lightning t-storm blew in July 9th at 4:30am, it was 100’F that day and the preceding three days after another Friday massive t-storm hit July 6th near dark. A lightning t-cell storm every single Friday since the first of June on my calendar. If none today (Friday 13th of July) it will break the every-Friday storm pattern.
Just an addendum to this conversation…
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The Sepo’s are getting paranoid that China might be copying their strategies. The difference between the two is that China is the master of ‘Soft Power’.
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“The power would flow from large “clean energy bases” with showcase mega-projects, including; a massive 50 gigawatts of Siberian hydropower from the Lena and Amur rivers basins; a 100-gigawatt “wind power circle” in the heart of the Arctic; and African dams to harness the flow of the Nile, Congo and Zambezi rivers. To top it off, solar farms would cover 5% of the Sahara Desert.”
Therein is the predicament. There is no ‘low carbon’ with such monumental projects.
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We have the technology to move into space. We’ve had it for 50 years, since Armstrong stepped on the moon in 1969! That’s where we should be but nooooo, let’s just keep fighting over the finite and rapidly diminishing planetary resources until we’re back to fighting with sticks and stones. That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
We are NOT an intelligent species. Clever enough to invent nuclear weapons but not smart enough to get rid of them when we realized just how terrible they are.
I think there is always a make-or-break point for any technological species to either get off the planet of their birth and out where the resources are…or die out fighting and squalling over the leftovers on a poisoned toxic ball of mud spinning in space. We seem to be following the latter concept. I’ll just bet this medium-small galaxy of ours is littered with died-out spoiled planets covered in ruins….
This crap military ‘Space Force’ that the USA idiot-in-chief is spouting about…back to space could be far more important if we put power sats, giant solar collectors above the gravity well, and designed focused beams to get that energy to reach the planet below. Instead all that has happened with the US space program is putting spy & military war toys into space aiming down! All ‘national security’ so we the people will never know what the hell murderous toys they have floating above our heads.
It’s insane. We are insane. And we had such promise as a species, ya know? If only we could have managed to make it out of preschool…
Space is raining free energy from the sun and down here the wealthy psychopaths seem to only be capable of starting more wars for the remaining energy deposits that are killing the planet’s ecosystem and climate. But I guess that keeps the war profiteers in business, and the corporate world ruining what’s left of the planet’s surface, eh? If only there were intelligent people not greedy f**ks running the world…
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Energy may be raining down from the sky from our 4.6 billion year old sun & there may be enough to power the entire planet several times over BUT it’s weak & dispersed & is only available for half the time.
Solar panels are inefficient collectors of this energy at best only 20% & 72% of our planet is covered in ocean, you can’t put solar panels on the ocean so that leaves the land.
Space is out as well for not only the expense but the RESOURCES aren’t enough & when their used up, they won’t be replaced.
Much of the land is already covered with humans, cities, roads, “developments” for more humans, crops, forests & mountains, can’t put solar panels there either, crops won’t grow in the shade, not enough rooftops to meet the demand, not enough resources to build enough of them to keep just the lights on let alone our industry, agriculture, transportation & civilian needs.
Forget about “renewables” their just another way to PROFIT from burning OIL!
Moving out into space is pointless, all other planets in this solar system are too hostile for life, other stars are too distant for us to ever reach, we are stuck here, sink or swim & we are sinking.
I have been counting the birds each winter & for years also doing “nestwatch” for Cornell university.
I stopped “nestwatch” 4 years ago when the swallows stopped nesting here, not enough insects, they just show up, look at their nestbox & leave, they never build a nest & return south, alone, no young. I see very few hummers any more as well, where there were more than 8 or 9, now there is one or two.
I’m being eating out of house & yard by many starving birds, I put out food 3X a day, there is little left by nightfall. For example a White crowned sparrow arrived here all “puffed up” a sign of stress like starvation. After a week of good eats here, it’s no longer puffed up.
Insects & spiders are way way down, the only butterfly I see anymore are those alien pests, the cabbage white. The media claims its “climate change” that has caused the insect Armageddon but I disagree, insects have evolved here for hundreds of millions of years, they survived terrible extinction events, a little warming shouldn’t cause their collapse but our POISONS could.
I used to hear frogs in the spring but no more, their gone too.
The sea bird population has crashed, starved to death, whales are washing up dead & dying on the beaches full of PLASTIC other sea life may have simply starved to death.
The crab season has been delayed yet again, domoic acid again & their not filled out yet with meat, life is dying all around us & nobody seems to have noticed.
I have a large Chinese? elm out back but this year a large trunk split off & fell to the ground & died, I expect the rest of the tree will soon fallow suit. My Brugmansia also has branches rotting off at the base & falling to the ground, will it too die?
Yet all we hear from our RULERS is calls for MORE DAM GROWTH!!! INSANE!
We now have tens of thousands of migrants DEMANDING to be let in so they can compete against our poor, unemployed & homeless for not enough jobs! Like it or not, we need to END ALL IMMIGRATION!
Europe is finally starting to shut the door to immigrants, we simply don’t have the resources for more poor, needy people, they & us are doomed anyway.
I’m just an ancient, single, female with only a poor, “mommy track” high school “education”, most of my education came after school.
I “get it” why do so many other people smarter & better educated than I still live in an illusion?
Is it because “outsiders” to society can better see just how delusional & irrational we are?
I also don’t have a cell phone, don’t like being spied on, I have no use for one & their too expensive. I left Facebook for it’s excessive CENSORSHIP & SPYING!
I could see way back in the 1960-70’s that there were way too many of us & so I chose to not have any children but “our” government constantly fights against women having an sex education, birth control & especially ABORTIONS, all over the world, women are still being FORCED TO BREED, having children they do not want & cannot afford to care for.
Too many little girls are sold into sex slavery & the little boys sold to contractors & over worked others are simply abandoned to survive or die on the streets.
People still believe in things that have not just proven to be WRONG but those beliefs are IRRATIONAL!
With so many willingly IGNORANT, STUPID people & with IGNORANT, GREEDY & STUPID people in control, what “hope” is there?
May as well party like it’s 1999 because we will never see 2100.
An excellent politicial critique from Andrew Korybko;
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A great contribution to the debate from the Third Pole
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Good article. Not unexpected. It’s the entire world of governments and the wealthy that own and run them. They are truly insane.
New article with CO2 loading of the ocean with scientists saying they are sorry for being wrong because they were measuring it wrong. It is way worse than they thought.
Can we say OOPS?
I don’t have the funds for paywalls. Here’s the pdf link if you do:
That feeling of ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME?’ comes over me now and then. How about you?
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For anyone delusional enough to believe the hype about China reducing it’s emissions read on.
“China has doubled-down on conventional sources, according to Ms. Adams.That source of choice is natural gas. Over the past year, demand for energy in China has increased substantially – in the case of liquefied natural gas (LNG), by 15 per cent.”
Pedal to the metal, into the abyss we steam full speed ahead.
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Kevin,you know as well as I do that China has more people than the realistic ‘carrying capacity’ of the entire planet at a US-level of technology, and the majority of their population isn’t there yet. Why would anybody expect them to do what the US with ‘only’ 325 million refuse to do? Nobody is going to de-carbonize, not a single one of the countries that are the worst emitters are going to change any of their habits. And all the poorer ones are going to keep trying to catch up because everybody wants to live in luxury. Or at least have a tv and a toilet…
It truly is insane behavior. Boggles the mind, really it does! It’s like you get made a little dizzy reading about it.
Besides, China isn’t really much of a communist state anymore. Not that they ever were since it has always been more of an Animal Farm totalitarian state than a truly communist (everybody shares equally) government. Never had been one on the planet. But China has morphed into capitalism and they are growing the same extreme rich elite segment of the population that is based on buying/selling of products. Even if it is just the selling of near-slave labor in private factories making name-brand crap for US markets, I think that is very much a capitalism mindset.
Yeah, our species foot is pushing that accelerator right to the firewall, aren’t we? Look around the world! And then industry & military keep hitting the button on the Nitro tanks to boost the speed. 2018 is almost over and with non-linear growth of everything bad in this tiny polluted petri dish of a planet, and it joins the ‘hottest year’ list. As if we hadn’t figured that out already.
And weather continues to go weirder here. No surprise. Finally started snowing, a little at least. It’s nearing Winter Solstice but as soon as the sun comes up in the morning, even behind the clouds, what snow there is immediately starts melting. Last week there was a couple inches on Monday & Tuesday nights, but Wednesday dawned clear and the temperature went to 52’F/11’C by noon! Wind was chill but the heat from the sun was impressive. Iced overnight but same with Thursday as it was too warm at 6’C and the crusty thin snow on the ground started turning to water. Snowed more last night (Saturday night), maybe another couple inches, but water is pouring off the roof out the window as I type this so it’s not even close to freezing. Not just dripping but steady stream coming off the metal roof in places.
My local snowboarding hill just hit 4 feet of base on the peak which is a horribly thin snowpack for this far north this time of year. I’ve got…maybe 3″ across the property. Starting to fall out of the conifers, too, as it’s getting too heavy as it melts for the needles to hold up. Oh, it’s raining outside. In mid-December! Aw crap!
There’s been years of this happening, I’ve got calendars of local weather data. Less and less snowpack so there is less going to aquifer recharging. Then add in earlier Spring hot day melt-offs. Rain becomes more and more likely in winter (last year it was mid-January) and rain is not good for a snowpack and…nobody talks about it. Start mentioning climate collapse and most people’s faces go numb right in front of my eyes. Or they get angry. Which is what an extreme fear reaction leads to. Attack what scares you most is very common in primate species.
The few that I do talk with aren’t sleeping well, either. I’ve noticed that these people tend to be readers and not television addicts. Is that significant?
The so-called ‘progressive’ Democrats (few though they are in this rural mountain red zone) are all rabidly anti-Trump but cannot seem to apply the same measure of questioning towards ‘their’ side of the corporate party. The actual gov policies put forth are not all that different but the ‘identity politics’ are. At least superficially. People don’t want to dig deeper because it would rip the mask off and myths are very, very hard to let go of. Then there’s that ‘paycheck’ thing about people are not going to go against where their money is coming from.
Nope, nobody is going to cut the crap. And most of them have no idea they should be buckling up. Not that buckling up is going to do much when the 18 wheeler tractor-trailer of climate collapse runs the skateboarder over.., Aw damn, Kevin. Not just reading the science but looking out the window at consequences and the world is hell-bent on finding out what the bottom of the cliff feels like. Absurdity? Irony? A lesson in Stupidity? A portrait in Greed? A Satire on the meaning of life? Let’s get philosophical or should we start fiddling like Nero? Or wait, we probably already are.
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Sheila, I beg to differ. You are limiting your perception by only thinking of yourself as standing here on the surface of the planet. Widen your horizon!
Sunlight is incredibly powerful when you get out of this thick dirty dark cocoon of atmosphere! An analogy would be to take your most powerful flashlight and put a thin dirty towel over the lens. You’d think the batteries were going dead, right? Nope, just the ‘atmosphere’ blocking the light. Astronauts without heavily shielded lens go blind instantly if they looked at the sun directly when outside of the space stations. One little mistake and no more being an astronaut along with having a dog lead them around on a leash the rest of their lives…
As for getting sun half the day…ummmm did you forget that the hydrogen/helium nuclear hell we call a sun doesn’t actually set in space? Even down here on the planet think of the summer sun at the North Pole. It never sets, either. It just bobs along above the mountains and then goes up a little higher when morning comes. In northern Europe you can snowboard at a ski hill in sunshine 24 hours a day though I understand it is very hard to sleep.
Satellites, scientific instruments, telescopes floating in space, the labs that are up there, are powered by solar collectors that operate 24 hours a day. The bigger they make them the more juice they can pull in. All the electronics and computers and instrumentation need enormous amounts of power. No problem, just throw out more collectors if you need more electricity.
We could manufacture (and actually are already) micro-blanket collectors but make them the width of the planet to grab the sun’s energy. You just don’t put them in orbits where they will block normal sun cycles on the surface. Space is vast. We really don’t understand that concept down here at the bottom of the gravity well. Only the humans that have been above our atmosphere have an inkling of just how big it is.
Expense and resource use. Well, what we needed to stop doing 49 years ago was stop using the resources left on and in this planet and go out where it’s literally raining resources. A single 5 mile-long nickle/iron asteroid has more iron than humans have ever ripped out of the ground. Everything we need in resources is right above our heads! We should have started designing and building tugs to go pull them back to a stabile orbit around the moon where the manufacturing plants would be located because throwing out toxic waste onto the moon just isn’t a problem. It’s a dead world, and think of the resources under the surface of that orb we could use. We had the growing technology but we just weren’t an intelligent enough species to take space travel to the next logical step that would ensure our survival.
Protect the status quo, the wealth flowing to the already ridiculously wealthy, was the only option our so-called leaders would focus on. And still do. To the death of us all.
Would have been cheaper than the $21 Trillion dollars that is just flat disappeared from the just released first Pentagon budget audit that was (in)completed. They followed bits and pieces of that money to accounts that didn’t exist…POOF! Incomplete because there is no paperwork on $21,000,000,000,000.00. Divide that by 325,000,000 United States citizens and you come out with $64,615,384.62 per person. Nice chunk of change the military can’t account for. I certainly could find use for my $64.5 million share…
Imagine in 1970 that the US withdrew all troops from Vietnam, closed all the military bases around the world, put all those people to work by instituting a country-wide crash program to build and launch crews to build habitats and infrastructure on the moon and in space (factories in La Grange points, all the rest). Imagine not letting the Department of War steal the best minds and scientists to make better death machines to kill us all with and instead directed those brilliant minds into putting their intelligence to this crash program to get our species off the planet. Imagine all those trillions spent for something good instead of creating death.
Imagine where we could be right now as a civilization. Instead we’re still using goddam engines in vehicles that were invented in the 1800s and digging billions of tons of freaking coal both spewing CO2 still. Excuse me? Are we stupid?
You said: Moving out into space is pointless because… You are still limiting your thinking here. There is no chance of survival on this planet and there never was once we invented technology. A species either gets itself out of the nest at that point BEFORE they use too much of those finite resources up to get out there, before we poison the planet beyond survivability of the species, or not. It’s pretty obvious our so-called ‘leaders’ have made the choice as they choose to send the peasants out to fight one another for the dwindling resources until they are gone. You do not want to live back in the rocks & sticks era of our evolution. People died of old age at 30.
But no, our leaders will keep fighting over what’s left because it is for a good cause. And what better than the improvement of hedge funds profit margins and offshore bank accounts and stock portfolios of fossil fuel robber barons. Too bad that making those profits makes the species die off , eh?
This circles back to Point 2 you’ll notice.
The dinosaurs ruled this planet for a couple hundred million years and died because they had no idea what an asteroid was. We are the first species that has the ability to go out and stop one. That in itself is utterly amazing. And to hit that technological mark only took roughly 200 years. My oldest grandpa who fought in WWI France grew up with horses, buggies, choo-choo trains, and sail/steam ships which were the marvel of progress.
Of course all of this is in the coulda/shoulda/and didn’t category. People commenting here on Kevin’s site have a pretty good grasp of the reality that we are the asteroid hitting this planet and that this movie ain’t going to end up a cute little Capitan Kirk Star Trek voyage. Hiding from cannibal mobs while you starve to death (after eating every cute birdie around your house you can catch, and your cats and dogs and goldfish fillets) or under a nuclear winter sky at -50’F. Or you fill in the blank ______________. It has become ridiculously obvious that nothing is going to be done to even mitigate this collapse.
Birds: We have 72 species of birds here or that stop off according to my retired biology teacher neighbor that had to do a year-long study of his 30 acres property on the creek (adjoins mine) for the Forest Stewardship Program a few years ago. They’ve been there about 45 years. Huge declines in these mountains, too. It’s climate collapse-created completely out of balance weather and seasons, habitat destruction (investment & hedge-funded industrialized logging & clearcutting up here), and of course the immense amount of all the chemical ‘cides layered over the forest to make the trees ‘grow’ like 2-4-D & 2-4-T, and then add in the animal fodder farms down in the valleys. Swallows came back way too early last Spring, there weren’t any bugs, and they either went down the hill or died. The ground-eaters did okay but the flying bug eaters starved. Hummingbirds were back and there was one that showed up that I swear wasn’t supposed to be east of the Cascades. Two feeders and I was filling nearly 4 cups in each every two days. Hard to count but my guess was around ten little metallic green females and at least a couple of very pretty males. I had empty birdhouses this year, too, by the way.
About jobs…There will never be ‘enough’ jobs that pay a living wage. This system is NOT set up that way because Capitalism is all about the owners not the workers. This country was founded by the owners and they set it up to protect themselves and their fortunes. Remember, the only people who have the right to vote are white male property owners!
Jobs shipped out by US corporations (big change when Reagan’s boys got to work in the early 80s) to increase profits for the owners are never going to come back.
It’s not about the immigrants, either, and I wish you’d stop repeating the incorrect propaganda being spewed out over this.
Read this reality:
“Beginning in the 1960s, as the UK Independent points out, “Guatemala and El Salvador both experienced civil wars which spanned decades and killed hundreds of thousands of people collectively. . . . Honduras did not have a civil war, but it was used as a staging ground for the Contras, a far-right guerrilla group backed by the Reagan administration in neighboring Nicaragua’s civil war. These wars — backed by the American intelligence agencies — destabilized the region and subjected generations to a cycle of extreme poverty and violence.”
And The Nation notes that Honduras, since its 2009 coup (supported by Hillary and officially recognized as a ‘lawful’ government by Obama regime), “has been ruled by conservative governments and an elite determined to squeeze personal gain out of the nation’s resources. After the United States helped block a return to constitutional rule, the new leaders declared Honduras ‘Open for Business.’ Today the country has the most extreme pro-corporate legislation in the region.”
End quote by Robert Koehler Chicago award-winning journalist and editor.
Sheila, the reality is that border crossing arrests have made a huge drop in recent years, and Obama deported more undocumented workers than W. Bush’s regime! And since it was the US that financed, armed, and trained the death squads operated by the right wing dictators the CIA installed in those countries that has made their lives so miserably awful for generations…who’s really to blame? You said you had a library, happen to have War is a Racket? I know I’ve asked this of you before but you never said you had read it. It is the most perfectly damning little book on real US policy matters one can read through and understand very quickly. And it explicitly lays out what the US Army did to those people over and over and over…with Brig General Butler leading them to ‘victory’ for US corporations until he retired in the early 1930s.
Remember when the US gov-subsidized GMO Monsanto corn crop got dumped into Mexico so cheap it crashed the Mexican farm economy and the farmers & families starved back during the B. Clinton regime in the late 90s? What do you expect people to do when they can’t be a farmer like dad, grandpa, their g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandpa on a farm the family has grown maize on for a thousand years? Wherea are they supposed to go? Then add in the accelerating devestation to food growing regions down there from climate collapse in the equitorial countries over the last 30 years and you have a receipe for not just the thousands you are so worried about but tens of millions of migrants fleeing north to escape the heat. That has been mostly caused by the industrialized north. Again, what do you expect people the US has shit on for over a century to do?
There’s just too much known history about this subject and most of it can be laid right on the doorstep of the USA politicians, the corporations who control them, and the military who murder people at their command. The magic word here is ‘Exploitaion.’
We have always been, and continue to be, a slave-owning society. Just the forms have changed, not the outcomes.
As for listening to the corporate media and expecting to hear truth, here’s a cute quote:
“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”
– Joseph Goebbels, 1936
As for many unrelated other comments in your posting, I’ll leave them for another time except these two. Big rant, lady! Ha!
But you finished ‘mommy track’ high school. Not me. Broken family and was homeless on the beach around 15 1/2 years old. Funny about high school, I have no idea what it was like as I barely started 10th grade before walking away. But I have always been a voracious reader and sixteen years later during a divorce I took my GED and then started school at San Diego City College. I found out I wasn’t a stupid high school dropout the next June when I was put on the Dean’s Honor List for a 4.00 GPA. I studied everything when I shifted to a university at 33 years old…my curiosity went crazy! And what I found out was that school doesn’t make a person intelligent unless you want to learn. Lots of very ignorant people on campus.
And as a last reply, about your cannabis comment, I have a medical card and find myself still in harvest because I just haven’t bothered to go trim the three hanging upside down in the chill dry solar, tool, & snowboard waxing back room. I grow sativa and hybrids but always possible from seeds and not clone starts, and they are outdoors until blackout where they go in at night and out during the day. I sew fabric 18″ bottom/22” tall-sided grow bags that hold 3 cubic feet of soil each which is the limit I can roll on a hand truck. Nice living in a legal state with a wonderful south-facing exposure. CBD oil paste from the harvest scraps and a nighttime when-the-day-is-over bowl is fine with me.
So, in celebration of harvest time and the Winter Solstice, how about we all get to partying like it was 1977 and we had just gotten rid of psycho neurotic Nixon and thought the world had a chance of becoming a better place.
Boy did we get that freaking wrong…
Happy Winter Solstice! I just got another year older. We ain’t dead yet. Isn’t that amazing?
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Happy winter solstice to you too seal!
I may have finished HS but I then had to go to work & the only jobs I could get as an unskilled female was low wage, no future shit work. litterally SHIT work.
I’m still PISSED OFF at how GIRLS were denied a EDUCATION that would give them JOB SKILLS instead of just the DAM mommy track!
That’s a long long rant & no I haven’t read “War is a racket” but the many other books I have read have made that all too clear & it’s a very PROFITABLE racket for a few.
Have you read Howard Zinn’s “A peoples history of the United States”? It covers our shameful history from 1492 until about 2003.
I wish we had a real BOOK STORE here but I have to go online to “browse” books & it’s just not the same as a real brick & mortar shop where you can actually SEE & READ the book your considering buying.
We have already closed the door to any idea of mining or moving into space, too difficult & too expensive & we won’t have the resources to mine anything beyond the moon.
As for moving to other planets in our solar system, that too is OUT.
If we can’t even survive on earth in earth 2, we certainly can’t survive on Mars. Going to Mars would be a fatal, one way trip. The soil is toxic, there is no breathable air & we cannot terriform Mars, it’s gravity is way too weak to retain an atmosphere.
Yes, the sun is “up” 24-7 in space BUT just how do you get that energy down to earth? Beaming it down would be expensive & dangerous & earth does have CLOUDS that would reflect/absorb much of that energy.
We still need FOSSIL RESOURCES to build those solar panels & transport them no matter where you put them & their still an inefficent converter of that energy into ONLY electricity, NO ESSENTIAL liquid fuels or raw materials like we now get from fossil resources.
You must be a touch typist, only a touch typist could compose such a long rant, join the club!
That’s the one useful skill I learned in HS, making pot holders & aprons wasn’t.
The problem with migrants is that we already have too many poor, jobless, homeless, unskilled people here who already speak English, we certainly don’t need & can’t absorb tens of thousands of NON English speaking, poor, unskilled, needy people, adding more such will only make life worse for everyone.
Yes, this criminal, war mongering government really messed up central america but it’s the working class that pays the price not the rich who profited from those unjust, illegal wars.
We have so WASTED our limited resources by feeding unsustainable growth, the many were exploited & their sweat made a few obseenley RICH!
Everything you mentioned about the CRIMINAL actions of this UNELECTED government is true but we the WORKING CLASS had nothing to do with what “they” did.
“Imagine where we could be right now as a civilization. Instead we’re still using goddam engines in vehicles that were invented in the 1800s and digging billions of tons of freaking coal both spewing CO2 still. Excuse me? Are we stupid? ”
YES, we as a species is STUPID!
I think one reason we are still burning fossilized dead animals in ICE is the limits of physics, electricity is just too inefficient to power our transport system.
First off, you have to GENERATE the electricity usually by burning FF, even hydro & nuclear wouldn’t exist without fossil resources to build & maintain them, then to manufacture those solar panels, you still need
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DAM, I was NOT ready to post that!! WTF!!!
Continuing after “you still need” FOSSIL RESOURCES!
Without fossil resources we cannot do any of the things we would need to do to continue to live a high tech existence here or support this unsustainable & excessive population.
Solar energy is just too weak & dispersed to power a high tech civilization & we will run out of both resources & energy before we can even make a dent in our electrical needs & solar power does NOTHING for our resource shortages.
Those who survive our collapse, if any, will be back to the equivalent of the “stone” age with fewer “stones”.
“Again, what do you expect people the US has shit on for over a century to do? ”
Of course if I were in their shoes, I would also want a better life & I too might try to migrate to where I thought I could find it, but invading other countries & trying to force your way in will not be tollerated in countries that already have too many POOR, NEEDY, UNEMPLOYED, HOMELESS people, I too would be REJECTED at the border & sent packing.
I will have to continue this rant later, I need more time & it’s getting late.
Have a good, safe & “high” winter solstice seal!
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Hydrology issues relating to the “Belt and Road Initative”
Pedal to the metal, it’s full speed ahead and outrageous for The Guardian to pretend that a 1.5C temp increase is achievable.
Some interesting insights from Andre Vitchek on the Belt and Silk Rd’
But Kevin, don’t you just love the 2nd picture of the article? A four-lane highway…and that shows us all exactly that what the freaking planet needs is obviously more highways for more cars and trucks. More asphalt and concrete covering the dirt. And most of this building I would assume is tearing through living forests and grasslands etc etc.. It did mention the railways being built but again, more land around them being covered over for buildings and access roads just makes the problem worse, doesn’t it? Most certainly it isn’t about using less fossil fuel!
There’s an insight for ya.
I disagree with the author’s painting of China as a benevolent ‘spreading wealth everywhere’ because why? They are such nice guys? After roughly 6,000 years of existence, the history of that land doesn’t show much care for the peasants who do the work. Mandarins and Emperors mostly, like everywhere else on the planet over the eons with their kings and queens and clergy and war lords etc etc. Our species tends to continue repeating the same mistakes over and over and over.
China has never been a communist country, share and share alike. There has never been a communist country on this planet because there are always ‘some animals are more equal than others’ no matter what the national myths are. And now China is far more capitalist in its economics but neocons/neoliberals (the USA two-faces one-party state) are still calling them ‘commies.’ It does hit the emotional button that so many have been Pavlov-trained to react to quite well. Control of information is necessary.
But I’m curious why anyone would think that any other economy would want a competitor to garner more power and market share? And every country is a competitor with every other country. Too many people on this planet but we all know that already.Indonesia complaining they don’t have a car industry because they build shit for Japan? And they admit there is already clogged streets on those islands…so they want their own or do they want Japan out and have none and become a bicycle country? The wealthy in every country always to the exploiting, the rest of the people are…trapped in traffic jams breathing poisoned air.
The Belt & Road is one hell of a gi-freaking-gantic building project and there are enormous sums of money to be made by Chinese billionaires and the rest of the world’s billionaires are realizing how much and definitely want in (or control) of the looting. And, in the environmental/climate/biosphere way, this entire project is the exact opposite of where our species needs to go. More of the same on a grander scale certainly isn’t my idea of progress.
I never was very good at getting with the program or jumping on a bandwagon…
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Great article confirming all the bad news on the effects of energy extraction in the Arctic.
From an article on Strategic Culture, link and full story below. A very interesting take on the explosion in Beirut. For the record I don’t believe it was an ‘accident’.
Iran and the New Silk Road
The fact is that the long awaited $400 billion China-Iran economic and security pact which is in its final stages of negotiation includes not only important oil for infrastructure agreements which will extend advanced rail and new energy grids to Iran. This program also includes an important military/security partnership which will dramatically transform the “rules of the game” in the middle east for generations. Elements of this pact include not only defense and intelligence sharing infrastructure, but also also bolster China’s new digital currency the e-RMB which will circumvent western controls on trade.
Meanwhile Russia’s announced extension of the 20 year security/economic partnership agreement first signed in 2001 by Presidents Rouhani and Putin will certainly be finalized in the coming months. Iran has also made it’s interests in acquiring Russia’s S400 system well known and all geopoliticians understand well that this system which is spreading fast across all of Eurasia from Turkey to South Korea renders America’s F-35s and THAAD missile systems impotent and obsolete.
If the China-Russia-Iran triangle can be firmly established, then not only does America’s sanctions regime policy disintegrate, but a vital platform of Middle Eastern development will be established to better spearhead the growth of transport and advanced development corridors from China to the east (and Africa) along the New Silk Road. Since November 2018 an Iran-Iraq-Syria railway has taken great strides towards implementation as part of middle east reconstruction funded by Iran and ultimately connecting to Syria’s Lattakia Port as a hub to the Mediterranean and a 32km Shalamcheh-Bashra railway is in an advanced phase of development with Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Ahmad stating:
“Iran’s railway system is linked to railways of central Asia, China and Russia and if the 32 km Shalamcheh-Basra railway will be constructed, Iraq can transfer goods and passengers to Russia and China and vice versa.”
While the 32 km rail line would be phase one, the 2nd phase is scheduled to be a 1545 km rail and highway to the Syrian Port.
The Iran-Iraq-Syria regional participation in the broader New Silk Road is incredibly important, especially since Iraq signed a September 2019 Memorandum of Understanding to join the BRI under a new infrastructure-for-oil program. This plan involves China’s reconstruction of the war-torn region under a multiphase program of hard infrastructure (rail, roads, energy and water projects), and soft infrastructure (hospitals, schools and cultural centers).
“China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is not the green project that Beijing claims it is. Leading up to the first BRI forum in May 2017, the Chinese government published official documents declaring BRI would promote the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals (Chen 2019). At the forum itself, Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping advertised BRI as a “vision of green development and a way of life and work that is green, low-carbon, circular, and sustainable” (Xinhua 2017). BRI, which promises sustainable development for all participating countries, hinges on the truth of this premise. General Secretary Xi accrued significant international support and global participation for BRI with this claim. China established the International Green Development Coalition on the Belt and Road in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme, increasing BRI’s international legitimacy (Liqiang 2019).”
World is not on track to achieve global deforestation goals
“The report finds that we are not on track to meet any of the ambitious NYDF targets. Increased rates of large-scale infrastructure development and natural resource extraction threaten forests, and the global demand for both industries is only growing as global population climbs. In fact, infrastructure alone is to blame for upwards of 17% of deforestation in tropical and subtropical forest countries, and megaprojects are currently being implemented in all major tropical forest regions.”
“One such megaproject, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), was established in 2013 by the Chinese government to enhance trade and investment in Eurasia and beyond. The BRI encompasses several projects related to hydropower, coal-fired power plants, roads and railways. Approximately 126 countries, mostly low- and middle-income countries have signed on, according to the NYDF report.”