China plans to damn all the great rivers of Tibet. Neighbors cry.

Inconvenient News Worldwide

Important piece by Michael Buckley, NYT. The U.S. should study these issues from the perspective of China’s neighbors downstream. The most popular comment to date:
Zhanjiang, PRC      “The water wars of the 21st century are just beginning and the countries with the best militaries will prevail. Sadly hardly a govt. in the world is willing to discuss the real problem which is that there are just way too many people. Closer to home, take the situation in California where despite the drought we are still adding more homes and people and the govt. has as of yet to come with any sensible plans for dealing the the desertification that is occurring.”

It might be time to start a trade war with China to support Tibetan independence, and a China-free South China Sea. It might be good to start by finding a new name for the sea…

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Krugman cites 5 percent of Americans know that Obamacare is costing less than predicted.

Paul Krugman: “The good news about costs hasn’t made it through at all: According to a recent poll by, only 5 percent of Americans know that Obamacare is costing less than predicted, while 42 percent think the government is spending more than expected….

…At a deeper level, however, what we’re looking at here is the impact of post-truth politics. We live in an era in which politicians and the supposed experts who serve them never feel obliged to acknowledge uncomfortable facts, in which no argument is ever dropped, no matter how overwhelming the evidence that it’s wrong.

And the result is that imaginary disasters can overshadow real successes. Obamacare isn’t perfect, but it has dramatically improved the lives of millions. Someone should tell the voters.”

The Affordable Care Act is costing taxpayers much less than expected, but that hasn’t deterred the prophets of disaster.|By Paul Krugman

Someone named Trevor Noah will take over the Daily Show.

Someone named Trevor Noah will take over the Daily Show.

Between rampant racial inequality and Ebola outbreaks, South African comedian Trevor Noah admits he hesitated to visit a country as underdeveloped as America’

I heard about this Colbert Report, but just finally found it.

President Barack Obama delivers a special edition of The Word, proving that he is perfectly capable of doing Stephen’s job.

I’m celebrating the fact that I just finished my taxes, and in case it doesn’t work out, I renewed my passport.

After engaging Stephen in an epic name-dropping battle, “Hard Choices” author Hillary Clinton prompts him to make an important decision.

Is it good to help the poor, if adding to overpopulation?

I wonder how Nicholas Kristof reconciles this Doctor who serves the poor in Angola, with the possibility that the work contributes to population growth, in a place that already has too much population?  I keep holding up such stories of aiding the poor, with the graph of Wold Population growth that is of deep concern. Kristof’s story is clear and touching, but it raises many reactions, as one can see by the comments. I have to confess that I now want to evaluate most interventions against the following graph of the history of world population growth, which is perhaps the greatest problem facing most countries.

Evangelical Christians are one of the few groups liberals mock openly. Here’s why that is wrongheaded.|By Nicholas Kristof

Alan Rusbridger, Guardian, If we burn all our carbon reserves, we will cook ourselves.

Post from Gray is  on Facebook.

From the Editor of the Guardian: “The coming debate is about two things: what governments can do to attempt to regulate, or otherwise stave off, the now predictably terrifying consequences of global warming beyond 2C by the end of the century. And how we can prevent the states and corporations which own the planet’s remaining reserves of coal, gas and oil from ever being allowed to dig most of it up. We need to keep them in the ground.
An oil field in North Dakota, US.
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An oil field in North Dakota, US. Photograph: Les Stone/Les Stone/Corbis

There are three really simple numbers which explain this (and if you have even more appetite for the subject, read the excellent July 2012 Rolling Stone piece by the author and campaigner Bill McKibben, which – building on the work of the Carbon Tracker Initiative – first spelled them out).

2C: There is overwhelming agreement – from governments, corporations, NGOs, banks, scientists, you name it – that a rise in temperatures of more than 2C by the end of the century would lead to disastrous consequences for any kind of recognised global order.
565 gigatons: “Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by mid-century and still have some reasonable hope of staying below 2C,” is how McKibben crisply puts it. Few dispute that this idea of a global “carbon budget” is broadly right.
2,795 gigatons: This is the amount of carbon dioxide that if they were burned would be released from the proven reserves of fossil fuel – ie the fuel we are planning to extract and use.

You do not need much of a grasp of maths to work out the implications. There are trillions of dollars worth of fossil fuels currently underground which, for our safety, simply cannot be extracted and burned. All else is up for debate: that much is not.”

As global warming argument moves on to politics and business, Alan Rusbridger explains the thinking behind our major series on the climate crisis|By Alan Rusbridger

the War on Drugs has corrupted our society, more evidence.

What follows are reactions to the editorial in the NYT, Feds Gone Wild, which you will find under the graphic below.

Michael S , a recommended commenter, writes that the War on Drugs has corrupted our society. There is lots of evidence to support his statement. The next step, is to end the failed War on Drugs, by decriminalizing and legalizing all the addictive drugs, while regulating and taxing their commerce, and offering Norwegian Prison System style benefits for recovery to all drug addicts. Before this grand solution, or panacea occurs, perhaps our security agents should take their sex partners abroad, so they don’t have the temptation of using foreign prostitutes, who might be foreign agents.

Law enforcement officers posted abroad need strong, unequivocal guidance from their agencies’ leaders about sexual misconduct.|By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Steve Denning at Forbes: When Will ‘The World’s Dumbest Idea’ Die?

Steve Denning in Forbes, attacking the bushiness model of always maximizing shareholder value, at the expense of other values:

“The extraordinarily generous compensation afforded to senior executives is recognized in an HBR article by Professor Mihir Desai, the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School to be a giant “financial incentives bubble”, accompanied by an unjustified sense of entitlement.

The short-term gains of large-scale off-shoring of manufacturing are recognized to have caused massive loss of competitive capacity: new heuristics for outsourcing have emerged.

Supposed distinctions between leaders and managers, as argued by leadership guru Professor John Kotter, are dissolving: managers are leaders and leaders must be able and willing to get their hands dirty and manage.

As a result of a failure of many firms to recognize and respond to these changes, a study by Harvard Business School has concluded that the US has lost much of its capacity to compete.”

What’s the over/under in years until the world’s dumbest idea’–maximizing shareholder value–is a minority view? With major thought leaders like Google’s Eric Schmidt behind it, my wager: Major thought leaders end 2014: All businesses and business schools: 2020.|By Steve Denning

Steve Denning at Forbes: The origin of ‘the world’s dumbest idea’: maximizing shareholder value

Amazing article. I found this while asking google, Why is IBM in trouble. It’s stock decreased d14% in 2014, why the market soared. This was accepted dogma when I attended bushiness school at the University of Washington.

The origin of ‘the world’s dumbest idea’: maximizing shareholder value: The idea got going with an article by Milton Friedman in the New York Times in 1970. The economic consequences were disastrous.|By Steve Denning

Why is IBM in delcine?

I asked the other god google, why is IBM in trouble, and this is what I got– Steve Denning at Forbes Magazine online.

Why IBM Is In Decline

Why IBM Is In Decline: Sam Palmisano’s interview in June HBR corroborates that what’s causing its share price to soar—managing investors—is also undermining its capability to survive.|By Steve Denning

Roundup, widely used in farming, is “probably” carcinogenic.

Great comments. Read these after the article below.

organic farmer

NY 7 hours ago

I started my adult career as an avid genetic engineering student. I am now an organic farmer. So I ask just a few questions –
In 2015, after 20 years of Biotech-based agriculture, have we –
1. decreased the tonnage of pesticides applied?
2. decreased the toxicity of pesticides applied?
3. increased reliable weed and insect control?
4. protected bees, butterflies and other beneficial organisms?
5. increased farm/rural viability and profitability?
6. increased regional food security and sovereignty?
7. increased food nutritional value?
8. increased soil health and decreased soil loss / degradation?
9. increased water quality and reduced water use?
10. decreased dependence on purchased finite off-farm resources?
11. reduced agriculture’s impact on climate change?
12. reduced the amount of petroleum-based energy used on farm?
13. increased biological and genetic diversity on farms?
Never ever forget that it is the entire package of this style agriculture – the pesticides, fertilizers, neonics, ethanol-driven markets, monopolization of the farm supply chain, rural social impacts, unintended environmental and health consequences, plus the genetic event – that is the ‘proof of the pudding’. It is that entire ‘pudding’ that we must honestly evaluate.

Scott Baker

NYC 8 hours ago

In fact, glyphosate has been known to have very serious health consequences for some time, even to Monsanto. Further, it has been found in the urine samples of virtually everyone ever tested for it in random trials.
What we need is old-fashioned farming, involving crop rotation and variety, beneficial insects to eat the crop-killing ones, and a tax system that penalizes low-yield high-acreage farms, instead of labor-intensive, high-yield, low acreage farms.
See also here on the last point:…
– Scott Baker, president of Common Ground-NYC

179 Recommended
Roundup, widely used in farming, is “probably” carcinogenic.|By Mark Bittman