Last updated: Sunday, January 19, 2020      (We need geniuses to fight huge and rapidly growing problems NOW.)
Aggregated News & Opinion
Today’s posts in bigger type.
Prior 2-3 days in smaller type.
Obama's ACA didn't fix this:
The U.S. wastes $1.8 Trillion per year on health care spending compared to the average of 2017 per capita costs of comparable yet profit-controlled advanced countries. Let's end price gouging and adopt profit-control practices too. To the point, 2017 US out-of-control per capita health care spending was $5322 more per person than in France, the highest rated system based on patient outcomes.
  • Risk perception has shifted from the economy to the climate.
  • Greater knowledge and experience of climate change prompted the shift.
  • Short-termism could create blind spots and limit integrated efforts to mitigate risks.
Emilio Granados Franco, Head of Global Risks and Geopolitical Agenda., World Economic Forum | World Economic Forum
  • The Earth has coped relatively well with emissions so far.
  • But 'tipping points' are being reached.
  • Read the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report
Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President, The Club of Rome | World Economic Forum
'Heat islands': racist housing policies in US linked to deadly heatwave exposure [Let's achieve the forest-shade benefits without increasing fire risks]
Deadly ‘heat islands’ which have fewer green spaces and tree canopy linked to racist policies in urban neighborhoods, study finds
Nina Lakhani | The Guardian
Apocalyptic scenes give glimpse of what would be normal conditions in 3C world
Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent | The Guardian
Ocean temperatures hit record high as rate of heating accelerates [Ocean temperature and chemistry change threatening sealife]
Oceans are clearest measure of climate crisis as they absorb 90% of heat trapped by greenhouse gases
Damian Carrington Environment editor | The Guardian
Irrigation systems and oases in the arid south are failing to keep up with the demands of thirsty palm plantations
Harry Johnstone / Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. | The Guardian
The construction industry is wasteful and creates huge CO2 emissions. But what if new buildings had to be adapted and resused or built only with materials already available?
Oliver Wainwright | The Guardian
Fire smoke is considered outside human control and not subject to regulation. It’s time to rethink the way we protect air quality
Nancy Cushing for the Conversation | The Guardian
Laura Tenenbaum, Contributor | Forbes
Residents had for years been drinking water contaminated by dangerous PFAS chemicals – and the impact has been brutal
Tom Perkins in Belmont, Michigan | The Guardian
By Thomas C. Frohlich and Michael B. Sauter | 24/7 Wall Street
Climate change is driving climate change.
James Temple | MIT Technology Review
  • Fifteen of the country’s biggest cloud-storage and independent data centre companies ranked on their use of renewables
  • Some are increasingly powered by wind and solar energy, but many are lagging in disclosure compared to their global counterparts, report says
Echo Xie in Beijing | South China Morning Post
For those spuriously claiming climate ambition comes at a cost, let Australia’s black summer serve as a potent reminder that inaction does, too.
By Edward Cavanough, manager of policy at the McKell Institute, an Australian think tank | NBC News: THINK
Maddie Stone | grist
Detroit’s most vulnerable residents face inequalities like toxic air, lead poisoning, and water shutoffs. Now they’re fighting back
Drew Costley | The Guardian
Louisiana issues permits for proposed complex that would double area's toxic emissions [RIVALING NAZI FINAL-SOLUTION PLANNING AND EXECUTION: How did Republican-controlled local, state and federal governments and 'environmental protection agencies' approve plans to kill predominantly black and poor families in this region of Louisiana—in insidiously slow and cruel ways—to make plastic? Plastic that is itself polluting the planet (killing sea-life in particular), which should be totally illegal to manufacture and use.]
The $9.4bn facility, owned by Formosa Plastics, would consist of 14 separate plastic plants in St James parish, known as Cancer Alley
Oliver Laughland in New Orleans | The Guardian
Scientists are replacing crops and livestock with food made from microbes and water. It may save humanity’s bacon
George Monbiot | The Guardian
Fires will cripple consumer confidence and harm industries such as farming and tourism, Moody’s says
Ben Butler | The Guardian
Fires are more frequent, more damaging, and more terrifying - a symptom of the new age that I call the Pyrocene
Steve Pyne / SEJ | The Guardian
Trump Accused of 'Disgraceful Abdication' of Duty to Protect Earth for Proposal to Neuter Landmark Environmental Law [Trump loves everything that's killing the planet. We're confused why thinking people support him...]
The reported plan targets the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which has been called the Magna Carta of environmental legislation, and could hasten approval of pipelines like the Keystone XL.
Andrea Germanos, staff writer | Common Dreams
Chris Dickman of the University of Sydney said "without any doubt at all" the animal death toll has exceeded one billion.
Jake Johnson, staff writer | Common Dreams
Donna Lu | New Scientist
Madeleine Cuff | GreenBiz
Huge crowds led by weeping supreme leader mourn Suleimani in Iran [Hopefully Do-Nothing government will prevail in Washington until elections remove the unfit-to-lead]
Tensions rise as thousands take to streets of Tehran for funeral of general killed in drone strike
Bethan McKernan in Istanbul and local correspondent in Tehran | The Guardian

Aleksander Dardeli, Executive Vice President, IREX | World Economic Forum
Disinformation and lies are spreading faster than Australia's bushfires [Right-wing extremists are excellent at this—because they do it so much—using unvetted, disreputable social media outlets. Their single-minded purpose is to extend and expand their current business and government influence (hint hint).]
Social media claims of an arson epidemic and obstructive environmentalists have infected mainstream reporting of the bushfire crisis
Christopher Knaus | The Guardian
Bad journalists are howled at
BOB SOMERBY in The DailyHowler | EVERY DAY

Arts & Education Events:
If world leaders do not fathom the threat to all life on Earth, they must be removed from office. [REF: World Economic Forum Agenda]
– Today's Posts –
Since Sen. Kamala Harris dropped out last month, "Sanders appears to have gained almost all of [her] former supporters in California."
Jon Queally, staff writer | Common Dreams
BENJAMIN SIEGEL and ADIA ROBINSON | Yahoo News / Good Morning America
The move, which critics called "deeply disappointing" but "not surprising," was enabled by an executive order from the president.
Jessica Corbett, staff writer | Common Dreams
How bad can the climate crisis get if Trump wins again? [LIFE, worldwide, is dying at ever faster speed. We have to effectively silence irrational government and corporate leaders, and give leadership to the very best people. And, obviously, Democracy is not very good at picking the best people to lead (hint hint).]
US greenhouse gas emissions are up since 2017 and Trump’s administration has ripped up curbs on climate polluters
Emily Holden in Washington | The Guardian
Richard Luscombe | The Guardian
President Trump had claimed that a planned attack on four American embassies was a justification for the strike on an Iranian general.
By Thomas Gibbons-Neff | New York Times
The White House hopeful's surge in support comes just three weeks before the early state's nationally watched caucus day.
Jessica Corbett, staff writer | Common Dreams
Turning Biden's support for Iraq War into foreign policy 'experience.'
Julie Hollar | Common Dreams
Hogan ready to sue Pennsylvania, EPA over lagging cleanup effort [An unusual Republican, Hogan occasionally does the right thing.]
Karl Blankenship | Bay Journal
The Unequal Burden of Urban Lead [Let's get the lead out! Governments need public works projects—employing the able unemployed—to actively eradicate lead found in housing as a major objective of urban renewal projects. It cannot be left to financially-stressed homeowners to detect and remedy themselves. Then we'll have (even more) minorities working in jobs-for-the-brilliant, like at the Apple Store Genius Bar]
Decades after federal regulations banned the use of the deadly metal in paint, gasoline, and plumbing, the effects of lead continue to be felt across America’s cities.

  • For the first time the Global Risks Report is dominated by the environment.
  • Geoeconomic and political pressures top short-term concerns.
  • Climate-linked issues like extreme heat and ecosystems loss highlighted.
Charlotte Edmond, Senior Writer, Formative Content | World Economic Forum
  • Five potential futures for public and private stakeholders to consider that reimagine how data is used, controlled and shared.
  • For the individual, data utilities could offer a simpler way for users to manage data without having to manage consent with every firm.
  • Governments seeking greater control over data and its commercial potential must balance national goals with the need for global innovation and business effectiveness in this space.
Douglas Elliott, Partner, Financial Services, Oliver Wyman (MMC) | World Economic Forum
  • The UK is threatening to tear up its defense alliance with the US after President Donald Trump's Iran crisis triggered a rupture between the two countries.
  • UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told The Sunday Times that the UK was looking to forge stronger alliances with other international partners that shared its priorities.
  • He said the US under Trump risked withdrawing from its global leadership role.
  • Wallace also said Trump threatened to tear up the US's intelligence-sharing relationship with the UK.
Adam Bienkov | Business Insider
  • European leaders issue a statement of support for Iran's nuclear deal despite Trump calling for them to walk away from the "foolish" arrangement.
  • The leaders of the United Kingdom, France and Germany want to salvage the 2015 accord, which is designed to limit Iran's nuclear ambitions, which Trump pulled the US out of in 2018.
  • The statement follows Trump telling UK prime minister Boris Johnson to abandon the agreement.
  • The leaders repeat their "regret and concern" for Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement and impose sanctions on Iran.
  • The statement comes as the UK moves to downgrade its defence alliance with the US.
Thomas Colson | Business Insider
Several people wounded during demonstrations in Tehran over plane deaths
Michael Safi in Beirut | The Guardian
President, in charge for past 17 years, faces domestic political threats as troops sent to Libya
Bethan McKernan in Istanbul | The Guardian
The prime minister is clearly under pressure as the bushfire crisis lays bare the consequences of a warmer planet
Sarah Martin | The Guardian
Nordic countries at odds with EU over minimum wage [U.S. national minimum wage: $7.25 per hour since July, 2009; some non-Republican states pay higher]
Countries including Denmark and Finland fear one-size-fits-all plan could undermine collective bargaining
Daniel Boffey in Zagreb | The Guardian
  • Iraq's prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, has told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the US should begin preparing for a troop withdrawal from the country, the Associated Press reported Friday.
  • He asked the US to "send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism to carry out the parliament's resolution regarding the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq," a statement from his office said.
  • Iraq's parliament recently passed a nonbinding resolution calling for the end of foreign military operations in Iraq in response to the US drone strike in Iraq that killed the top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.
Ryan Pickrell | Business Insider
Why instinct and ideology tell Trump to get out of the Middle East [The American public have overwhelming thought so for decades!]
The Suleimani crisis is unlikely to deflect the president from his long-term goal. What would be the consequences for the region of an American exit?
Simon Tisdall | The Guardian

  • Our leaders must acknowledge humanity's greatest existential threat.
  • The Club of Rome has published a plan to deliver the changes we need.
  • We can embark on the most exciting transformation in human history.
Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President, The Club of Rome | World Economic Forum
  • Climate-related risks overshadow all other risks – in particular economic risks – undermining cohesive action and creating blind spots
  • Society needs a new “growth paradigm” that addresses the interconnectedness of socio-economic factors with climate change
  • Businesses need to adapt their metrics to assess the value of nature
Gayle Markovitz, Editor, World Economic Forum | World Economic Forum
Douglas Broom, Senior Writer, Formative Content | World Economic Forum
  • The Nordic countries have pioneered a social and governance model that reconciles growth and dynamism with equality and social peace.
  • Besides a socioeconomic model built on free universal health care, quality education, and affordable housing, they also promote constructive nationalism.
Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum | World Economic Forum
Contentious new research argues going green is good for the economy as well as the earth.
By Jessica Stillman, Contributor, | Inc.
CEO reveals step change at world’s largest fund manager and predicts fast reshaping of global finance
Joanna Partridge | The Guardian
New Economics Foundation calls for £50bn to reboot economy on greener footing
Richard Partington Economics correspondent | The Guardian
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn at the first PMQs of 2020 and Johnson’s meeting with the new European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen
Andrew Sparrow | The Guardian
"Stop Making a Killing at the Planet's Expense": Climate Advocates Call for Fossil Fuel Companies to Foot Australia Fires Bill [If these companies are stuck in denial, they need to be destroyed. NOW. Confiscate all their money, property and holdings. The time for being polite is over!]
"'Whatever it takes' needs to include serious and ambitious action to reduce Australia's and global emissions."
Eoin Higgins, staff writer | Common Dreams

IDEA updated 11/18/2019: Those who think nation-states are not increasingly corrupt will not understand why change (below) is needed. [Ref.: The world is waking up to this!]

Virtual Nations [A never-ending editorial]
Instead of Plutocratic-Controlled Politicians owning and controlling 'their' people in "their" Nation-State, why can't people everywhere contract with UN-certified virtual nation agencies to perform fiduciary nation-level functions instead—including managing escrow for Social Security and Medicare, and smart funding of your priority governance and charities. If this were possible and replaced nations states then it would end international wars and immigration crises, as citizens of every virtual nation would be scattered worldwide—as before nation-states. Local city, county and state governments can continue largely unchanged. But at the national virtual nation level, Democracy would be professional-only and not be political. Your only vote would be to renew with same nation agency or change to another nation agency (which transfers escrows), and/or change priorities for governance and charities.
Marc Cherbonnier | The Baltimore Chronicle | Ref.

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