Pentagon Report: US Military Could Collapse Within 20 Years Due to Climate Change

The Most Revolutionary Act

by Nafeez Ahmed
Oct 25 2019, 2:00am

Image: Calvin Shen

The report says a combination of global starvation, war, disease, drought, and a fragile power grid could have cascading, devastating effects.

According to a new U.S. Army report, Americans could face a horrifically grim future from climate change involving blackouts, disease, thirst, starvation and war. The study found that the US military itself might also collapse. This could all happen over the next two decades, the report notes.

The senior US government officials who wrote the report are from several key agencies including the Army, Defense Intelligence Agency, and NASA. The study called on the Pentagon to urgently prepare for the possibility that domestic power, water, and food systems might collapse due to the impacts of climate change as we near mid-century.

The report was commissioned by General Mark Milley, Trump’s new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making him the…

View original post 562 more words

Strange New World

Strange New World

By 

Fatefulness about the survival of the species is not new. Religious thinking has end-time built in, and for most of our sentient life on the planet human­kind has been predominantly religious. That has changed in Westernized countries, but only relatively recently, and alongside advances in scientific knowledge. Our new pessimism no longer depends on a deity to wipe out this wicked world. Since the Manhattan Project, we have learned how to do it ourselves.

Nuclear, ecological, chemical, economic — our arsenal of Death by Stupidity is impressive for a species as smart as Homo sapiens. Yet fire or flood may belong to an Armageddon whose awful grandeur may not be our fate. Plague — unlovely, heroic, unstoppable, might well get us first. That’s what happens in Margaret Atwood’s new novel, “The Year of the Flood,” her latest excursion into what’s sometimes called her “science fiction,” though she prefers “speculative fiction.” If we have to have a label, that’s a better one, since part of Atwood’s mastery as a writer is to use herself as a creative computer, modeling possible futures projected from the available data — in human terms, where we are now.

Her 1985 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” imagines a United States taken over by God-fearing fundamentalists sick of democracy and civil rights, especially women’s rights. Atwood is chillingly brilliant in depicting the slick twists a technology of freedom can take, shifting ease of access — in this case to financial records and personal information — into theft and surveillance. Overnight, the bank accounts of every woman are transferred to her nearest male relative.

Image
Credit…Illustration by Sam Weber

In “Oryx and Crake,” published in 2003, Atwood leads us through a bioengineered world where a new species, the Crakers, has been invented by a Dr. Frankenstein figure — Crake — and given a chance at remaking the world, thanks to a near decimation of the human race, also masterminded by Crake. At the end of that novel, we are left in a clearing in the woods with a tribe of bewildered Crakers, a few old-­fashioned human beings and Jimmy the Snowman, who’s wondering whether he should finish off the last of his own kind and leave the whole rotten and rotting show to the nonviolent, unclothed human herbivores cell-created by his best friend, Crake.

That end is also the end of “The Year of the Flood.” Here Atwood has brilliantly re-told her own tale, through other mouths and focusing on different details, showing us how the kids Jimmy and Glenn become the Snowman and Crake, and how an end — or the End — can happen in the name of a new beginning.

  • Unlock more free articles.

Create an account or log in

The Waterless Flood has long been predicted by God’s Gardeners, a back-to-nature cult founded by Adam One. Its members live simply and organically, sing terrible hymns, have no dress sense and peddle a bolted-together theology, difficult to think about if you think at all. With values diametrically opposed to those of the ruling CorpSEcorps, the Gardeners aren’t “the answer,” but at least they’ve asked enough questions to avoid a life of endless shopping and face-lifts.

The Gardeners sometimes do evangelical work in the mean streets, known as the pleeblands, or picket a fast-food joint like SecretBurgers because it’s wrong to eat anything with a face. At Secret­Burgers they rescue a young woman named Toby from the murderous clutches of her sex-crazed boss, Blanco the Bloat, and it’s Toby who is one of the central characters in the post-plague part of the story. As a Gardener, Toby rises to the position of Eve Six, in charge of bees, herbs and potions, but Blanco never stops pursuing her, and to save herself, and the group, she receives a new identity in the health spa AnooYoo. Recovering from plastic surgery, she avoids the deadly wipeout germ of the plague.

Image
Credit…George Whiteside

Less cosmetically, but just as effectively, Ren, a pole dancer at a local sex joint called Scales and Tails, is in an isolation room after a bloody attack by a punter, so she too misses the bio-bug. The women’s past and present stories alternate and inter­twine, bringing to life the world they must survive in — a world where pigs have human brain tissue and sheep are bred with human hair in different colors, silver and purple being hot hits for whole-head implants, providing you don’t mind smelling of lamb chops when it rains.

My favorite Atwood genetic invention is the liobam — a cross between a lion and a lamb, engineered by a lunatic fringe religious group that’s tired of waiting for the prophecy of the lion lying down with the lamb to come true. Their own breed has curly golden hair and long, sharp canines, and will look at you very gently while it rips your throat out — which is pretty much the metaphor for the world of lethal paternalism created by CorpSEcorps.

The sensitive CorpSEcorps elite boy Glenn, who becomes Crake, starts out as a teenage sympathizer for the Gardeners but is too seduced by his own brainpower to trust nature. Like his friend Jimmy, Glenn doesn’t know how to love, and the awkward devotion he feels for the girl he calls Oryx is not returned. Atwood is very good at showing, without judging, what happens when human beings (usually men) cannot love. In the worst of them, like Blanco the Bloat, brutality and sadism take over. In the better of them, like Crake, a utopian desire for perfectability re­places the lost and lonely self. Crake designs out love and romance because he wants to design out the pain and confusion of emotion.

In this strangely lonely book, where neither love nor romance changes the narrative, friendship of a real and lasting and risk-taking kind stands against the emotional emptiness of the money/sex/power/consumer world of CorpSEcorps, and as the proper antidote to the plague-­mongering of Crake and Jimmy, for whom humankind holds so little promise. As ever with Atwood, it is friendship between women that is noted and celebrated — friendship not without its jealousies but friendship that survives rivalry and disappointment, and has a generosity that at the end of the novel allows for hope. Atwood believes in human beings, and she likes women. It is Toby and Ren who take the novel forward from the last page, not the genetically engineered new humans.

Atwood is funny and clever, such a good writer and real thinker that there’s hardly any point saying that not everything in the novel works. Why should it? A high level of creativity has to let in some chaos; just as nobody would want the world as engineered by Crake, nobody needs a factory-finished novel. The flaws in “The Year of the Flood” are part of the pleasure, as they are with human beings, that species so threatened by its own impending suicide and held up here for us to look at, mourn over, laugh at and hope for. Atwood knows how to show us ourselves, but the mirror she holds up to life does more than reflect — it’s like one of those mirrors made with mercury that gives us both a deepening and a distorting effect, allowing both the depths of human nature and its potential mutations. We don’t know how we will evolve, or if we will evolve at all. “The Year of the Flood” isn’t prophecy, but it is eerily ­possible.

THE YEAR OF THE FLOOD

By Margaret Atwood

434 pp. Nan A. Talese / Doubleday. $26.95

Jeanette Winterson’s latest novel is “The Stone Gods.”

Catastrophe is upon us – the grim view from Southern Africa

I wonder whether we can still halt our ‘current descent into barbarism’. Is it a war rich against poor?

The New Dark Age

28 January 2020 — Global Ecosocialist Network

 Rehad Desai

The word catastrophe is being used more and more by institutions reporting on the effects of extreme weather in the two regions of Africa, Southern and South Eastern Africa, and of late Australia. The word means a number of things: tragic; fiasco; utter failure; sudden and violent change in a feature of the Earth. All are completely fitting for the situation we now face.

View original post 2,012 more words

A Valentine’s Day Poem

Author -Carole Parkes

Today is Valentine’s Day so here’s a little poem to celebrate it.

Not everybody is naturally romantic. yet, relationships can be loving and fulfilling regardless of that fact. Don’t confuse romance with real love.

Despite not being particularly romantic in the way of bringing flowers etc,. my husband of 54 years shows his love in a million other ways. He’s always here, calls me his best friend, keeps me supplied with coffee, tea, breakfast, and lunch, looks after the garden, and considers me in everything he does. In return, I keep the house and all the gadgets in it clean, wash and iron our clothes, make our evening meal, and also help out in the garden. That’s the type of love I wouldn’t swap for anything.

What is your ideal type of love? Describe it in a comment below.

29339425_346135329239633_3446682544945023750_n

View original post

Cuba in the Struggle Against Coronavirus Epidemic

The New Dark Age

8 February 2020 — Internationalist 360°

Cuba’s biotechnological industry developed the antiviral recombinant Interferon alpha 2B (IFNrec) to combat viral infections affecting patients with HIV, hepatitis B and C,recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, condyloma acuminatum, as well as various types of cancer. Now, China’s National Health Commission selected IFNrec to fight the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, which appeared in the city of Wuhan at the end of last year and as of Friday had left 722 deaths and more than 34 thousand people infected.

View original post 360 more words

Chinese Doctors Using Cuban Antivirals Against Coronavirus

I find this interesting!

The Most Revolutionary Act

Medical workers attend to patients in Wuhan, Hubei province, China Feb. 5, 2020.

Medical workers attend to patients in Wuhan, Hubei province, China Feb. 5, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Telesur

Cuba produces one of the most potent medicines for the treatment of immunological diseases.

The Recombinant Interferon Alpha 2B (IFNrec), an antiviral produced by the Cuban biotech industry, is being used by Chinese doctors to treat patients infected by the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, which has affected more than 28,000 people and has killed 564 patients worldwide.

Since Jan. 25, the ChangHeber Company located in Changchun city has been producing the famous Cuban antiviral, which is one of 30 medicines chosen by the National Health Commission for its potential to cure respiratory diseases.

Currently, IFNrec is applied against HIV-related infections, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, genital warts, and hepatitis types B and C. It is also effective in therapies against different types of cancer.​​​​​​​

ChangHeber, Biotech, and Changchun Heber Biological Technology are three companies that have joined forces within…

View original post 53 more words

The last month of 2016

Again, some reblogging!

AuntyUta

dscn2610 This is part of Wollongong Hospital. I took this picture on Sat. 10th of Dec 2016

dscn2606 On Friday, 9th Dec, Peter had been admitted to the hospital. We were allowed to accompany him to this Holding Bay before he went to the operating theatre.

dscn2602

The 9th of Dec was Caroline’s birthday. Since we were not allowed to see Peter for some time, we took the chance to all go out for some lunch in Wollongong, sort of like a birthday lunch for Caroline.

Soon after lunch we went back to the hospital and found out that Peter was doing all right. The procedure had been going as well as expected. (In the meantime we found out that Peter has to undergo the same procedure another time in a few months.)

The following day, Saturday, Caroline and I went to visit Peter in hospital. This was the day when Caroline had…

View original post 273 more words