The New Zealand Treasury estimated that two droughts in 2007 and 2013 jointly reduced GDP in New Zealand by around NZ$4.8bn (US$3.4bn in 2017). Using previously published methods, which used climate models to estimate changes in the types of weather patterns typical of severe New Zealand drought, we estimate that around NZ$800m (US$568m) of this cost is due to climate change.
Aerial view of flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, on 31 August 2017. Credit: UPI / Alamy Stock Photo.
This area of research – known as “event attribution” – provides a means for climate scientists to examine how the severity and frequency of weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts and storms, are changing as greenhouse gas concentrations rise.
In a pair of new journalpapers, we have attempted to open up a new avenue for quantifying the “attributable costs” of weather-related disasters. We focus on recent droughts and floods in New Zealand and the landfall of Hurricane Harvey in Texas in 2017.
Using event attribution as the scientific basis for quantifying how extreme weather has changed, we have been examining the links…
Energy companies’ earnings are under pressure with oil prices having fallen by a third since the start of the year. Shell’s write-down comes as the industry cuts costs and reins in investments in the face of the health crisis, which has curbed global demand for crude oil by nearly a third in April, according to International Energy Agency estimates.
LONDON (AP) — Energy producer Royal Dutch Shell warned Tuesday it will slash the value of its assets by $22 billion to account for lower oil and gas prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company predicted the write-down for the quarter and said it continues “to adapt to ensure the business remains resilient” in challenging times. Earlier this month, its competitor BP, also cut the value of its own assets by up to $17.5 billion.
Shell predicted prices for Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, would be at $50 dollars a barrel in 2022. Earlier it had predicted a price of $60 a barrel. On Tuesday, it was trading near $41 a barrel.
“Imagine how the American government would react if multiple Chinese state agencies such as Xinhua were exposed secretly helping protest groups across the United States to evade surveillance and crackdowns by law enforcement agencies,” observed South China Morning Post columnist Alex Lo. He speculated that if the roles were reversed, the United States would most likely “threaten China with war.”
Beijing’s repeated accusations of foreign interference in Hong Kong’s internal affairs appear to have been vindicated, after a government funding freeze exposed US financial support for activists in the semi-autonomous city.
Around $2 million had been earmarked to help Hong Kong activists “evade surveillance by the Chinese government,” according to a recent TIME report. The cash was never delivered though, due to restructuring and cuts at the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which allocates federal funds for overseas news and information initiatives, including Voice of America. Some funds had already been paid out, however.
The money was supposed to go towards the Washington-based Open Technology Fund (OTF), which pours cash into internet “freedom” projects around the world. Although officially an independent non-profit, the organization is funded by Congress.
When it comes to the entrance of foreign troops into the country, the decision has to be debated in the Senate first, a procedure that Ivan Duque deliberately violated.
The Third Section of the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca, Colombia, ruled on Wednesday in favor of a legal action issued by opposition senators against president Ivan Duque, regarding the presence in the country of U.S. military troops.
In Colombia, citizens are allowed to appeal under a rule named Tutela Action, by which citizens can demand respect for their constitution. When it comes to the entrance of foreign troops into the country, the decision has to be debated first in the Senate, a procedure that Ivan Duque deliberately violated […]
Underground storage of captured carbon dioxide – likely to be key in supporting the transition towards clean energy – can also induce earthquakes. An earthquake-induced rupture of an artificial carbon dioxide reservoir would nullify costly efforts to keep the gas out of the atmosphere, as well as posing health risks to local residents – so understanding how to manage such risks is imperative in the development of such technology.
While operations have since resumed in Britain, the practice still remains a political battleground, with earthquakes at the centre. The UK government’s fracking commissioner, Natascha Engel, recently resigned, claiming that an [unreasonably low] magnitude 0.5 threshold for tolerated earthquakes amounted, in effect, to a ban on…
Prior to watching this documentary, I had no idea Japanese bombers attacked northern Australia 97 times during World War II.* This film reenacts the evacuation of 95 Aboriginal children from Croker Island during the bombing. Members of the “Stolen Generation,” the mixed race children were forcibly removed from their mothers to be raised in Christian missionary schools. Claiming the practice would facilitate assimilation, the Australian government continued to kidnap mixed race children until 1970.
The filmmakers also interview three of the surviving children as they reminisce about their separation from their families and their 42 day journey from Croker Island to Sydney.
Darwin was evacuated (except for essential services) in 1941, shortly before the first Japanese bombing raid. The three missionary sisters running the Croker Island school had the option to evacuate but chose to remain with their students.
Once Darwin was evacuated, the school ceased to receive food shipments from the Australian mainland. This left the sisters and children no choice but to evacuate. They traveled to Barclay Point in Queensland by naval frigate. From there two trucks drove them 50 kilometers through the tropical rainforest to Oenpelli. Because the trucks kept having breakdowns, most of the children ended up walking.
From Oenpelli, they walked barefoot 344 kilometers to the army base in Pine Creek. With limited provisions, they relied on bush water holes and wild water grass (wild sugar cane) for water and supplemented their bread and butter will lizards and wild berries.
At Pine Creek they were put on a train to Sydney. The army built two portable shelters for them on a mission homestead one-half hour south of Sydney.
In 1946, 63 of them chose to return to Coker Island. They remained there until age 16, when they went to Darwin to look for work. In 2011, when this film was made, only 12 evacuees were still living. The film ends with an extremely moving reunion they held with the last surviving missionary sister.
In the first and deadliest set of attacks, 242 aircraft hit Darwin on the morning of 19 February 1942. Killing at least 235 people and causing immense damage, the attacks made hundreds of people homeless and resulted in the abandonment of Darwin as a major naval base.
The film can be viewed free at the Maori TV website:
Despite its grand promises to be a beacon of light during the pandemic, Citibank customers are spilling their guts to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s complaint database with horror stories of what Citi has put them through during this crisis.
The first thing you need to know about Citibank and its parent, Citigroup, is that they have an extensive rap sheet. (See here). The second thing you need to know is that Citigroup is a serial predator that perpetually promises its regulators that it’s going to reform, but never does.
The third thing you need to know is that Citigroup has made a sap out of the Federal Reserve – not once, but twice. During the last financial crisis of 2007 to 2010, Citigroup somehow induced the Fed to secretly give it $2.5 trillion cumulatively in below-market rate…
The war plan directed against Canada initially formulated in 1924 was entitled “Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan — Red”. It was approved by the US War Department under the presidency of Herbert Hoover in 1930. It was updated in 1934 and 1935 during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was withdrawn in 1939 (but not abolished) following the outbreak of the Second World War.
Canada Day, July 1st 2020. Canadians celebrate the birth of Canada.
On July 1st 1867, Canada became a nation, a federation, under the British North America Act, largely in response to the threat of annexation by the United States as formulated in a bill adopted by the US Congress in 1866.
Let us reflect on our history:
Our national sovereignty has been threatened by the US from the very outset.
While Canadians are familiar with the 1866 US Plan to Annex Canada, they are unaware of the fact that the US had formulated a plan in the late 1920s to bomb and invade Canada. (This is not mentioned in our history books and it is not the object of critical media reports.)
For those who yearn for an end to systemic racism, these are exhilarating times as Black activists and organizations lead a global uprising against symbols and structures of white supremacy.
But if you are a racist group masquerading as a civil rights organization, these days are fraught with the danger that you’ll get found out.
It’s a balancing act that has for years bedeviled the Anti-Defamation League, a major Israel lobby group in the United States.
Its counterparts in the UK are facing the same challenge.
The crisis is particularly acute right now as the ADL tries to portray itself as an ally of Black Lives Matter while also shielding Israel from criticism over its plans to annex Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, further entrenching the system of apartheid.
A leaked memo obtained last week by Jewish Currents writer Josh Leifer highlights the dilemma of ADL leaders.
The memo sets out how the lobby group can, in Leifer’s words: “find a way to defend Israel from criticism without alienating other civil rights organizations, elected officials of color and Black Lives Matter activists and supporters.”
The gist of the strategy is to allow some soft criticism of Israel while fending off more precise and accurate descriptions of Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights as “apartheid” and “separate but equal” – the latter a term long used to whitewash violently enforced, legalized racial segregation and subjugation in the United States.
The authors of the memo fear that a clash with progressive forces over annexation could put ADL on the “wrong side” of the Black Lives Matter movement and “challenge relationships between ADL and many civil rights organizations and coalitions.”
It is ironic that the ADL fears Israel being associated with apartheid.
As well as infiltrating Palestine solidarity groups, the ADL spy passed on confidential files about anti-apartheid activists to South Africa’s brutal intelligence agency.
The latest ADL leak confirms concerns that were revealed in a private report obtained by The Electronic Intifada in 2017.
That report – jointly written by the ADL and the Reut Institute, an Israeli think tank – lamented that Palestinian rights campaigners have been “able to frame the Palestinian struggle against Israel as part of the struggle of other disempowered minorities, such as African Americans, Latinos and the LGBTQ community.”
The report recommended that Zionist groups try to disrupt this dynamic by “Partnering with other minority communities based on shared values and common interests such as on criminal justice reform, immigration rights or in fighting against racism and hate crimes.”
Today the ADL sees Black Lives Matter as a chance to burnish its “civil rights” street cred while advancing its anti-Palestinian agenda […]
The corporate media news cycle this week is once again promoting fear in the American population by claiming that COVID cases are again on the rise in “hot spots,” prompting calls for more lock downs and other measures, including many states now requiring people to wear face masks in public.
Two key pieces of information are missing from almost all of these reports in the corporate media: death rates (even by their own statistics) are NOT increasing but holding steady or even decreasing, and inaccuracy with the tests themselves is still widespread.
A report earlier this month out of Wichita Falls, Texas, for example, revealed that testing of residents and staff at a medical facility revealed many positive results, but since none of them were sick, they retested 20 of them, and the second test result was negative in all 20 .
In a Facebook post Monday night Sheridan Medical Lodge reported that 78 residents and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 during routine testing conducted on May 25 however after retesting 20 staff and residents the test came back negative.
According to the post, 46 residents and 32 staff members tested positive during routine facility testing.
All positive cases were asymptomatic. According to the post, it is unusual for cases at a nursing facility to not show any symptoms which prompted a retest of 20 residents and staff.
The results of all 20 retests have come back negative for COVID-19. (Source.)
The national corporate media franchises would probably never publish something like this, because it doesn’t fit their narrative for the Plandemic […]