Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #293

By Ken Haapala, President,Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Hypothesis Testing: Following up on work by the late Bob Carter, retired Australian chemist Ian Flanigan tests the hypothesis that the observed warming since the onset of industrialization is entirely natural against the alternative that it is due to anthropogenic carbon-dioxide emissions. Note, that due to differences in training, there are differences in terminology used between the Australians and Americans, but not in procedure. The testing of hypotheses is critical if one is to assert, as the leaders of NASA-GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) asserted: CO2 is the control knob of the earth’s temperatures.

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Caught in a Crisis Abroad

By Scott Stewart – Re-Blogged From https://worldview.stratfor.com

The past week, a “non-coup” forced Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe from power. And while the Kenyan Supreme Court certified the re-election of Uhuru Kenyatta, it is almost certain the country’s political unrest will continue. But this turmoil is not really that unusual; there almost always are crisis events of one type or another roiling some part of the world during any given week. And this means that at any given time there are travelers or expatriates who find themselves caught in tense situations in a foreign country. We thought it would be helpful to provide some guidance on how to react when caught in such a situation.

Residents of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, thank soldiers on the street after the resignation of President Robert Mugabe.

(MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

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Top 6 Ideas to Creating Survival Shelters in the Wild

By Alex Park, Owner of http://www.authorizedboots.com 

Veteran survivalists innately understand the Rule of Threes: humans will die after 3 minutes with no air, 3 days without water, or 3 weeks of going without food. At least, those are the most commonly known rules. One that is equally essential and that gets glossed over is the fact that people can die in three hours without shelter that thoroughly protects them in harsh conditions.

You may not think the weather in your area is harsh enough to kill you but you might be surprised. During a 1964 race in England, three competitors were cut down by the cold even though it never dropped to freezing temperatures. Even without the threat of imminent death, you can still face abundant health risks if you spend an extended period of time exposed to the elements. You name it, Heat, UV rays, cold, rain, snow – all these and more can shorten your lifespan quickly if you are continually exposed to them without a proper shelter to safeguard yourself.

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Distorting of Climate Science

By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website

Summary: Scientists and journalists play a vital role in the public policy debate about climate change, explaining the reports of the major climate agencies. Here Roger Pielke Jr. describes an example of how they too often misrepresent those findings, distorting the debate and feeding the public’s loss of confidence in science as an institution.

About those exaggerations in the media about climate.

Pielke on Climate” – part 2 of 3.

About the misreporting of experts’ reports.

By Roger Pielke Jr. at The Climate Fix.

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Self-Harm, Suicide Attempts Climb Among US Girls

Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Attempted suicides, drug overdoses, cutting and other types of self-injury have increased substantially in U.S. girls, a 15-year study of emergency room visits found.

It’s unclear why, but some mental health experts think cyberbullying, substance abuse and economic stress from the recent recession might be contributing.

The rising rates “should be of concern to parents, teachers, and pediatricians. One important reason to focus on reducing self-harm is that it is key risk factor for suicide,” said Dr. Mark Olfson, a Columbia University psychiatry professor who was not involved in the study.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #292

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President

Quote of the Week. “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” – Mark Twain [H/t Joe D’Aleo]

Number of the Week: 82%

COP-23: After two weeks of the participants declaring how they are out to save the world from carbon dioxide-caused warming, the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP-23) of the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) has ended with the promise – wait until next year. It is at COP-24 that the delegates of the various countries promise to address the hard task of developing the complex rules needed to fulfill the promises and pledges they made to achieve the Paris Agreement in 2016.

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Trump Names Mulvaney to Lead Consumer Bureau

Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump said he is naming White House budget director Mick Mulvaney to be the temporary head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, setting up what could be a high-stakes clash over the regulator’s leadership.

Mulvaney’s appointment came just after outgoing CFPB Director Richard Cordray had already tapped his deputy to run the agency on an acting basis, a move that was widely seen as an attempt to prevent the White House from defanging the watchdog.

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Precious Metals Bears’ Fear Of Fridays

By Dimitri Speck – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I have shown that the gold price behaves quite peculiarly in the course of the trading week. On average, prices rise almost exclusively on Friday. It is as though investors in this market were mired in deep sleep for most of the week.

Upon this I received a plethora of inquiries from readers regarding the corresponding moves in silver. Thus I examine the behavior of the silver market on individual days of the week in this issue of Seasonal Insights.

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Corporate Earnings Fiction

By Wolf Richter – Re-Blogged From Wolf Street

The Biggest Sinners in the Dow.

All 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average have now reported earnings for the third quarter. As required, they reported these earnings under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). These standardized accounting rules are supposed to allow investors to compare the results of different companies. But that’s too harsh a fate for many of our corporate heroes, and so they proffer their own and much more pleasing accounting strategies – as expressed in “adjusted” earnings and “adjusted” earnings per share (EPS).

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Where’s the Money?

By Eric Worrall  Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

h/t GWPF – UCS Strategy Director Alden Meyer has accused developed countries of “hiding behind the United States”, refusing to provide firm commitments to use taxpayers funds to pay large climate “damages” to poor countries.

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Highlights of the 2017 Heartland Energy Conference

By Andy May – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

On November 9, 2017 Heartland held their “America First Energy Conference” in Houston, Texas. It was held in the JW Marriott Hotel next to the Houston Galleria. The venue and food were both very good. As a former employee (and sometime consultant) in the energy industry, I was very interested in what they had to say. In this post I will discuss what I considered the most important “take-aways” from the conference. There were two rooms and two simultaneous speakers at the conference most of the time, so this post only covers the talks I listened to.

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In Defense of the Electric Car – part 3

By John Hardy  – Re-Bloged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Full disclosure: I own an electric car, and I think they are useful for city transportation. However, having owned one for a decade, I can say that it hasn’t been practical or cost-effective. John Hardy believes they are the future, I’ll let you, the reader, decide. – Anthony Watts


Part 1 of this series expressed the view that regardless of “the environment”, EVs are poised to inflict a massive disruption on the automotive industry, and outlined the strengths of the technology and some of the reasons that it is happening now.

Part 2 discussed the main issues for Western automakers in handling this disruption

Part 3 below is devoted to common misconceptions which cause some to mistakenly conclude that EVs will not be practicable in the foreseeable future.

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Soaring Deficits Force Treasury Into Foolish Gamble

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The Treasury opened the fiscal year 2018 with an October budget deficit of $63.2 billion. That is 37.9% larger than the $45.8 billion deficit in October of last year. The primary reason behind this surge in year-over-year deficits was a 21.6% increase in net interest expenses. The annual red-ink problem looks even greater when recognizing that the national debt is already over 105% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), at nearly $21 trillion, and with an additional $10 trillion projected to be added in the next ten years.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the budget deficit grew to 3.5% of GDP for fiscal 2017. But due to the growth in spending for Social Security, Medicare, and net interest payments, the deficit explodes to 5% of GDP ($1.4 trillion) by 2027.

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Think College is Expensive Now – Wait Until its Free

By The Common Constitutionalist – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

There is a well known saying which most of us have heard. It goes: “You think it’s expensive now. Wait until it’s free.”

We heard it from those darned conservatives and fiscal hawks prior to the passage of ObamaCare, and the left claimed we were crying wolf. We said: “you think health insurance is expensive now – wait until it’s free.” And the left laughed and called us fearmongers.

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Standing in the Flames of a Prescribed Burn

By Seeker – Re-Blogged From https://www.seeker.com

To prevent mega-wildfires from spiraling out of control, technicians set landscapes ablaze on purpose.

Wildfires have become increasingly intense and dangerous, burning millions of acres annually and costing billions to control nationwide. Wildfire severity has been on the rise thanks to a decades long policy of fire suppression; essentially putting out any and all natural fires, no exceptions. This stance has resulted in a surprisingly unintended effect.  Landscapes are now choked with trees, grass, and shrubs, essentially fuel for a mega fire.

Freeman Dyson on ‘Heretical’ Thoughts About Global Warming

By Freeman Dyson – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak.

But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in.

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Business is Lousy When Your Feet Hurt

[I found this review of sneakers for plantar fasciitis sufferers. Hope it’s helpful. -Bob]

Re-Blogged From Authorized Boots

If you have plantar fasciitis, you know the pain being stuck in unsupportive footwear! Shoes without legitimate curve support and padding can bother your side effects and draw out the condition. To battle this, many individuals with plantar fasciitis decide on shoes as a one-stop arrangement! A decent combine of tennis shoes can ease manifestations by giving gravely required padding, support, and soundness.

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In Defense of the Electric Car – part2

[Full disclosure: I own an electric car, and I think they are useful for city transportation. However, having owned one for a decade, I can say that it hasn’t been practical or cost-effective. John Hardy believes they are the future, I’ll let you, the reader, decide. – Anthony Watts]


The demise of the Western auto industry: Part 2 – the problem

By John Hardy – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Part 1 of this series here, expressed the view that regardless of “the environment”, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are poised to inflict a massive disruption on the automotive industry, and outlined the strengths of the technology and some of the reasons that it is happening now.

In Part 2, I outline what I see as the main issues for Western automakers. They need to wake up and smell the coffee: the history of technology is strewn with examples of once-great companies that failed to adapt to a technology advance and went to the wall. Traditional Western automakers may just do the same. They appear to have failed to realise that gearing up for EVs is not just business as usual with a different drivetrain. In particular they have until very recently shown no sign of thinking about fast charge, sourcing the cells that go into batteries, the dealer network or maintenance.

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Next-Generation Crazy: The Fed Plans For The Coming Recession

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

nsanity, like criminality, usually starts small and expands with time. In the Fed’s case, the process began in the 1990s with a series of (in retrospect) relatively minor problems running from Mexico’s currency crisis thorough Russia’s bond default, the Asian Contagion financial crisis, the Long Term Capital Management collapse and finally the Y2K computer bug.

With the exception of Y2K – which turned out to be a total non-event – these mini-crises were threats primarily to the big banks that had unwisely lent money to entities that then flushed it away. But instead of recognizing that this kind of non-fatal failure is crucial to the proper functioning of a market economy, providing as it does a set of object lessons for everyone else on what not to do, the Fed chose to protect the big banks from the consequences of their mistakes. It cut interest rates dramatically and/or acquiesced in federal bailouts that converted well-deserved big-bank losses into major profits.

The banks concluded from this that any level of risk is okay because they’ll keep the proceeds without having to worry about the associated risks.

At this point – let’s say late 1999 — the Fed is corrupt rather than crazy. But the world created by its corruption was about to push it into full-on delusion.

The amount of credit flowing into the system in the late 1990s converted the tech stock bull market of 1996 into the dot-com bubble of 1999, which burst spectacularly in 2000, causing a deep, chaotic recession.

Instead of letting this (also well-deserved) crisis run its course, the Fed again protected Wall Street by cutting interest rates to unprecedentedly-low levels, something that rational observers warned would cause another bubble of some kind. Sure enough, the resulting housing bubble expanded to epic proportions before popping in 2007, with results that most readers remember clearly.

The Fed then completely lost it, setting short-term interest rates at literally zero and buying trillions of dollars of bonds to push long-term rates down to record low levels. This lit a rocket under asset prices, enriching the banks and their wealthy clients while saddling the rest of society with debilitating student loan, car, house and credit card debt. Again – to observers outside the Keynesian bubble delusion – this was not sane behavior. But in the context of an overriding compulsion to save Wall Street at any cost, it was sold – and bought – as somehow heroic rather than pathological.

Which brings us to today, 9 years into the latest bubble-driven recovery with debts everywhere at record levels, stocks and bonds priced for perfection, and interest rates still at historically low levels. Now the Fed is making plans for the next, inevitable recession. And not surprisingly, given the past three decades’ trajectory, those plans are even crazier than their predecessors:

Fed’s Williams calls for global rethink of monetary policy

(Reuters) – Global central bankers should take this moment of “relative economic calm” to rethink their approach to monetary policy, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said Thursday, warning that to fight the next recession, as with the last, they would need to do more than just cut interest rates.

Other Fed officials, including Chicago Fed Bank President Charles Evans, have in recent days urged a strategy review at the Fed, but Williams’ call for a worldwide review is considerably more ambitious.

With many major economies facing slower growth and thus lower interest rates even when unemployment is low, central banks will need to find ways to stimulate their economies that work even when many other countries are also trying to boost their growth.

“We will all be better able to contain the next economic recession if we develop approaches that succeed even when many countries are simultaneously constrained by the lower bound,” Williams said at the opening of a two-day conference on Asian economic policies at the San Francisco Fed. “And that means taking into account the nature of monetary policy spillovers.”

Strategies that central banks should consider including not only the bond-buying and forward guidance used widely in the last recession, but also negative interest rates that was used in some non-U.S. countries, as well as untried tools including so-called price-level targeting or nominal-income targeting. Central banks may also want to consider setting a higher inflation target, he said.

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Fed should convince markets it would tolerate inflation at 2.5%, Evans says

(MarketWatch) – Inflation has been too low for too long and the U.S. central bank has to alter its communications with the markets to convince investors the central bank is willing to let it run hotter than the 2% target, said Charles Evans, the president of the Chicago Fed, on Wednesday. In a speech in London, Evans said the Fed must alter its statement to make clear that its inflation target of 2% is not a ceiling. “Our communications should be much clearer about our willingness to deliver on a symmetric inflation outcome, acknowledging a greater chance of inflation at 2.5% in the future than what has been communicated in the past,” Evans said. Many economists and Fed officials think the low inflation seen this year is due to transitory factors. But Evans said “it gets harder and harder for me to feel comfortable” with the transitory explanation “with each low monthly reading.”

Some Thoughts

Think of the Fed – and the other major central banks – as a person who does a stupid but not necessarily criminal or pathological thing, and then starts committing ever-more serious crimes to cover up the original act. Each new atrocity is justifiable in the moment, since it keeps the perpetrator out of jail, but the later stages of the process seem criminally-insane to rational bystanders. Here’s some of what the Fed is planning and why it’s bad:

  • Negative interest rates are a distortion of markets that imply a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of markets, which is to efficiently allocate capital. When savings generates a negative return, as they do when bonds and bank accounts charge rather than pay interest, capital shrinks rather than grows. There is no possibility of “efficient allocation” when returns are negative.
  • Evans said the Fed must alter its statement to make clear that its inflation target of 2% is not a ceiling.” One of the hallmarks of obsession is a fixation on one thing to the exclusion of everything else. The Fed official quoted here is living in a world where real estate, bond and stock prices are at record levels, and consumer, corporate and government debt is soaring. And where a painting, wristwatch, and piece of paper with a single line of text recently sold, respectively, for $450 million, $17 million, and $1.8 million. And he sees unacceptably-low inflation.
  • Strategies that central banks should consider including not only the bond-buying and forward guidance used widely in the last recession, but also negative interest rates that was used in some non-U.S. countries, as well as untried tools including so-called price-level targeting or nominal-income targeting, he said.” Price-level targeting, since it focuses on the wrong prices, will simply blow up even bigger asset bubbles (thus illustrating another definition of insanity: repeating the same activity while expecting a different outcome).And nominal-income targeting? Here again, it’s easy to raise the average income by enriching the 1%, but using negative interest rates (which lower the incomes of small savers) and asset purchases (which bypass small savers who lack big stock and bond portfolios) to help society as a whole is worse than pointless. Which is another sign that the Fed literally doesn’t see the biggest part of the economy — financial asset prices — because those prices aren’t accounted for in its “aggregate demand” economic models.

Anyhow, the list of delusions and other pathologies could go on for a while. Suffice it to say that when the next recession hits – which, based on the action in junk bonds, subprime mortgages and the yield curve, may be fairly soon – some truly crazy ideas will be dumped on a still (amazingly) unsuspecting public.

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Social Security Inflation Lag Calendar – Partial Indexing

By Daniel Amerman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

There is a lot of advice out there about Social Security – most of which is based on Social Security being fully inflation indexed.

However, as we will establish in this first in a series of analyses, Social Security is only partially inflation indexed. As a matter of design it does not fully keep up with inflation.

Sound like an obscure difference?

“Partial inflation indexing” is little understood by the general public, but it could transform your standard of living – along with the quality of life of millions of others – in the years and decades to come. Indeed, partial inflation indexing can mean effectively having only 11 months of benefit purchasing power- or even 8 months –  to cover 12 months of expenses each year.

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Longer Life in a Pill May Already Be Available at Your Local Drug Store

By Shelly Fan – Re-Blogged From Singularity Hub

To most of the scientific community, “anti-aging” is a dirty word.

A medical field historically associated with charlatans and quacks, scientists have strictly restricted the quest for a “longevity pill” to basic research. The paradigm is simple and one-toned: working on model organisms by manipulating different genes and proteins, scientists slowly tease out the molecular mechanisms that lead to — and reverse — signs of aging, with no guarantee that they’ll work in humans.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #291

By Ken Haapala, President,Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

USGCRP Science? As reported in TWTW last week, a search for the current budget of the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) found nothing newer than the requested budget for FY 2017, which ended in September 2017. The USGCRP produced the Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I, (CSSR) released last week. In his evaluation of the latest USGCRP report Joseph Bast of The Heartland Institute linked to an August 20 article in the Washington Post stating that a federal advisory panel to the USGCRP had been disbanded. Its charter was expiring, and the Trump administration chose not to extend it. The advisory panel was the 15-person Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment. The status of the USGCRP is not clear.

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Will Macro-Economists Ever Learn?

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

As we lurch through successive credit crises, central bankers and economists believe they learn valuable lessons every time, and that the ultimate prize, the suppression of business cycles through monetary policy, will be achieved. Enormous effort is put into computer models to enable economists to predict the future, and no doubt, the modellers are now working with artificial intelligence to improve their accuracy.

We saw, over Brexit, how wrong the Bank of England’s and the UK Treasury’s models were, and these errors were also evident in the OECD’s model. Brexiteers smelled conspiracy, but in the absence of evidence, perhaps we should give them the benefit of the doubt and assume the errors were genuine. If so, all computer economic modelling has been a waste of time.

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Living with the Exponential – I

By George Smith – Re-Blogged From Barbarous Relic

Before the middle of this century, the growth rates of our technology— which will be indistinguishable from ourselves— will be so steep as to appear essentially vertical. From a strictly mathematical perspective, the growth rates will still be finite but so extreme that the changes they bring about will appear to rupture the fabric of human history. That, at least, will be the perspective of unenhanced biological humanity.

Kurzweil, Ray. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, September 26, 2006

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Deepening Crisis In Hyper-inflationary Venezuela And Zimbabwe

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

– Deepening Crisis In Hyper-inflationary Venezuela and Zimbabwe
– Real inflation in Zimbabwe is 313 percent annually and 112 percent on a monthly basis
– Venezuela’s new 100,000-bolivar note is worth less today than US$ 2.50
– Maduro announces plans to eliminate all physical cash
– Gold rises in response to ongoing crises

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Climatic Irony Found in An Old National Geographic Magazine

By Doug Ferguson – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Having moved from Minnesota to Alaska this past summer, we have been making the rounds of thrift shops, stores and other venues to restock our home with things we left behind to reduce our moving costs.

Before heading out to one of our recent forays, I caught up on the news on the well known climate blog, “Watts Up With That” and read the 10/30/17 article, How Google and MSM Use “Fact Checkers” to Flood Us with Fake Claims by Leo Goldstein. You should read it. The link is here

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Gold Miners’ Q3’17 Fundamentals

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

The gold miners’ stocks have spent months adrift, cast off in the long shadow of the Trumphoria stock-market rally. This vexing consolidation has left a wasteland of popular bearishness. But once a quarter earnings season arrives, bright fundamental sunlight dispelling the obscuring sentiment fogs. The major gold miners’ just-reported Q3’17 results prove this sector remains strong fundamentally, and super-undervalued.

Four times a year publicly-traded companies release treasure troves of valuable information in the form of quarterly reports. Companies trading in the States are required to file 10-Qs with the US Securities and Exchange Commission by 45 calendar days after quarter-ends. Canadian companies have similar requirements. In other countries with half-year reporting, many companies still partially report quarterly.

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Stem Cell Study Offers New Clues to Reversing Aging

   By Shelly Xuelai Fan – Re-Blogged From Singularity Hub

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Warning Signs of a Market Top

By Rob Williams – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Stocks this year have surged to record highs on speculation that President Trump’s push for tax reform will help to boost the economy and give corporations a chance to reward shareholders with dividends and buybacks.

But the strong gains shouldn’t distract investors from some worrisome signs that portend of a market decline, Albert Edwards, global strategist at Societe Generale, said in a Nov. 15 report.

“Investors are beginning to punish the corporate debt and equity of highly indebted U.S. companies,” Edwards said. “Excess U.S. corporate debt is probably the key area of vulnerability that could bring down the QE-inflated pyramid scheme that the central banks have created.”

Image: Albert Edwards: Watch Warning Signs of a Market Top
Albert Edwards (Societe Generale/Dollar Photo Club)

Renewable Energy – by Royal Decree

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The St. Louis city council has unanimously passed a resolution decreeing that by 2035 the city will somehow, almost magically be powered by 100% “clean, renewable” electricity. Or at least by paper certificate, as St. Louis city council raises electricity costs for poor families

City of St. Louis skyline in September 2008. Image: Wikimeda
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To Counter China, India Pushes East

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • China’s regional expansion in the Asia-Pacific will continue driving India into a security partnership with the United States and Japan as part of its Act East policy.
  • Barriers to market access will continue limiting the expansion of Indian trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
  • Fiscal and project management impediments will limit progress on India’s two key infrastructure projects in the northeast, thereby limiting its land-based ASEAN trade.

With its Act East policy, India is focused on strengthening its trade and infrastructural ties with Southeast Asia.

(BEYHANYAZAR/iStock)

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House Passes Sweeping Tax Reform Bill

Daily Caller News Foundation – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines

The House passed a comprehensive tax reform bill Thursday in a significant step toward fulfilling the GOP leadership’s goal of placing a bill on President Donald Trump’s desk by the end of the year.

The bill passed 227 to 205, with 13 Republican defectors and no supporting votes from Democrats.

The House version slashes the corporate rate from 35 to 20 percent, collapses the existing seven income brackets down to four and eliminates a plethora of popular deductions, resulting in a total of $1.4 trillion in individual and business tax cuts over the next decade.

“For the first time in 31 years we are wiping the tax code clean and replacing it with one that is fairer and simpler for everyone,” GOP Rep. Devin Nunes of California, a member of the Ways and Means Committee, told the New York Times.

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In Defense of the Electric Car – Part 1

[Full disclosure: I own an electric car, and I think they are useful for city transportation. However, having owned one for a decade, I can say that it hasn’t been practical or cost-effective. John Hardy believes they are the future, I’ll let you, the reader, decide. – Anthony Watts]

By John Hardy – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Preamble

In the West, almost all climate change activists consider Electric Vehicles (EVs) important because they are believed to emit less CO2 per mile. In contrast, many (but not all) climate sceptics consider them a waste of space because they regard them as a solution to a non-problem: they believe that all that EVs are good for is virtue signalling.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #290

By Ken Haapala, President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Academic Threats? On November 3, the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released what may be the final climate report of the Obama Administration. The USGCRP was established 1989 by an executive order by President George H.W. Bush and was “mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” It comprises 13 Federal agencies and had a 2016 enacted budget of $2.6 billion and a 2017 requested budget of $2.8 billon. [These numbers are out of date, but more recent data was not found in a search of its web site.] The current executive director is Michael Kuperberg, who was appointed by President Obama in July 2015.

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South China Sea Feud

Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump on Sunday offered to mediate in the South China Sea disputes, while his Chinese counterpart played down concerns over Beijing’s military buildup and the prospects of war in the contested waters.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke separately about the territorial rifts ahead of an annual summit of Southeast Asian nations that also includes the U.S., China and other global players. The disputes are expected to get the spotlight at the summit, along with the North Korean nuclear threat and terrorism.

The long-simmering disputes are one issue where the two major powers’ influence, focus and military might have been gauged, with the U.S. and China both calling for a peaceful resolution but taking contrasting positions in most other aspects of the conflict.

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Inflation Poised to Roar as Producer Prices Rise More Than Expected

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in October, driven by a surge in the cost of services, and there were also signs of steady increases in underlying wholesale inflation.

The Labor Department on Tuesday said its producer price index for final demand increased 0.4 percent last month after a similar gain in September. In the 12 months through October, the PPI jumped 2.8 percent, which was the largest increase since February 2012. The PPI rose 2.6 percent year-on-year in September.

Image: Inflation Poised to Roar as Producer Prices Rise More Than Expected
(DreamsTime)

Chicago Pawns A Crown Jewel

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

A new bond issue from Chicago is rated AAA. That’s great because it means the city’s finances are on the mend, right?

Nope, just the opposite. Here’s the story:

Bondholders fret as alchemy turns Chicago’s junk to gold

(Bloomberg) — Chicago’s public pension debt is $36 billion and growing, it’s facing $550 million in budget deficits over the next three years and this summer the state had to bail out a school system that was flirting with insolvency.

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What You Won’t Find in the New National Climate Assessment

By Dr. Pat Michaels – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Under the U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990, the federal government has been charged with producing large National Climate Assessments (NCA), and today the most recent iteration has arrived. It is typical of these sorts of documents–much about how the future of mankind is doomed to suffer through increasingly erratic weather and other tribulations. It’s also missing a few tidbits of information that convincingly argue that everything in it with regard to upcoming 21st century climate needs to be taken with a mountain of salt.

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Gold Investment Stalled

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Gold has largely been drifting sideways for the better part of a couple months now, sapping enthusiasm. Gold investment demand has stalled due to extreme stock-market euphoria. Investors aren’t interested in alternative investments led by gold when stocks seemingly do nothing but rally indefinitely. But once stock-market volatility inevitably returns, so will gold investment demand which fuels major gold uplegs.

Like nearly everything else in the global markets, gold prices are heavily dependent on investment capital flows. When investors are buying gold in a meaningful way, demand exceeds supply which drives gold’s price higher. When they’re materially selling, supply trumps demand thus gold’s price naturally retreats. The past couple months have been stuck in the middle, with gold investment flows neutral on balance.

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What A Pre-Crash Market Looks Like

By Michael T Snyder – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The only other times in our history when stock prices have been this high relative to earnings, a horrifying stock market crash has always followed.  Will things be different for us this time?  We shall see, but without a doubt this is what a pre-crash market looks like.  This current bubble has been based on irrational euphoria that has been fueled by relentless central bank intervention/a>, but now global central banks are removing the artificial life support in unison.  Meanwhile, the real economy continues to stumble along very unevenly.  This is the longest that the U.S. has ever gone without a year in which the economy grew by at least 3 percent, and many believe that the next recession is very close.  Stock prices cannot stay completely disconnected from economic reality forever, and once the bubble bursts the pain is going to be unlike anything that we have ever seen before.

If you think that these ridiculously absurd stock prices are sustainable, there is something that I would like for you to consider.  The only times in our history when the cyclically-adjusted return on stocks has been lower, a nightmarish stock market crash happened soon thereafter

The Nobel-Laureate, Robert Shiller, developed the cyclically-adjusted price/earnings ratio, the so-called CAPE, to assess whether stocks are likely to be over- or under-valued. It is possible to invert this measure to obtain a cyclically-adjusted earnings yield which allows one to measure prospective real returns. If one does this, the answer for the US is that the cyclically-adjusted return is now down to 3.4 percent. The only times it has been still lower were in 1929 and between 1997 and 2001, the two biggest stock market bubbles since 1880. We know now what happened then. Is it going to be different this time?

Since the market bottomed out in early 2009, the S&P 500 has been on a historic run.  If this rally had been based on a booming economy that would be one thing, but the truth is that the U.S. economy has not seen 3 percent yearly growth since the middle of the Bush administration.  Instead, this insane bubble has been almost entirely fueled by central bank manipulation, and now that manipulation is being dramatically scaled back..

And the guys on Wall Street know what is coming.  For example, Joe Zidle says that this bull market is now in “the ninth inning”

Joe Zidle, of Richard Bernstein Advisors, is arguing that the bull market has entered the bottom of the ninth inning.

“This is a late-cycle environment,” Zidle said on CNBC’s “Futures Now” recently.

“In innings terms, they’re not time dependent. An inning could be shorter or they could be longer. It just really depends,” the strategist said.

This bubble has lasted for much longer than it ever should have, and everyone understands that a day of reckoning is coming.

In fact, earlier today I came across an article on Zero Hedge that contained an absolutely remarkable quote from Eric Peters…

We are investing as if 1987 will happen tomorrow, because it will,” said the CIO. “But we need to be long, or we’ll be out of business,” he explained, under pressure to perform. “So we construct option trades that are binary bets.” Which pay X profit if stocks rally, and cost Y if markets fall. No more and no less.

What you do not want is a portfolio whose losses multiply depending on the severity of a decline.” That’s what most people have today. “At the last stage of the cycle, you want lots of binary bets. Many small wins. Before the big loss.”

Are we at the start or the end of the ‘Don’t know what I’m buying’ cycle?” asked the same CIO. “No one knows.” But we’re definitely within it.

When their complex swaps drop 40%, and prime brokers demand more margin, investors will cry ‘It’s not possible!’ But anything is possible.” The prime brokers will hang up and stop them out.

In case you don’t remember, in 1987 we witnessed the largest one day percentage decline in U.S. stock market history.

When it finally happens, millions upon millions of ordinary Americans will be completely shocked, but most insiders know that the other shoe is going to drop at some point.

In particular, watch financial stock prices very closely.  Last month, Richard Bove issued a chilling warning about bank stocks…

One of Wall Street’s most vocal bank analysts is troubled by the rally in financials.

The Vertical Group’s Richard Bove warns that the overall market is just as dangerous as the late 1990s, and he cites momentum — not fundamentals — as what’s driving bank stocks to all-time highs.

If we don’t get some event in the economy or in politics or in somewhere that is going to create more loan volume and better margins for the banks, then yes, they would come crashing down,” Bove said Monday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “I think that the risk in these stocks is very high at the present time.”

It isn’t going to take much to set off an unstoppable chain of events.  Our financial markets are even more vulnerable than they were in 2008, and the right trigger could unleash a crisis unlike anything we have ever seen in modern American history.

Unfortunately, most Americans keep getting fooled by the artificial boom and bust cycles that the central banks create.  Right now most people seem to have been lulled into a false sense of security, and they truly believe that everything is going to be okay.

But every time before when the market has looked like this a crash has always followed, and this time will be no exception.

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Coal Demand and Prices Surge… As Do U.S. Coal Exports!

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Coal_Price_Soars

Coal prices are on the rise again. With benchmark rates in Australia up over 30 percent since July — approaching the $100/t mark that prevailed in November 2016 after a massive run-up last year.

And a number of events the past week show that things could get even more heated in coal over the coming months.

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Steel Buildings: Purchase Do’s and Don’ts

   By David Lieberman

Steps to follow when planning a steel building purchase

When planning a steel building purchase – whether it be for residential or commercial purposes, there are a few steps which you must follow and areas which need to be addressed.

Firstly, you will require a check list to ensure that you have everything covered. There are certain basic guidelines which are strongly recommended that you follow. Have you done your homework and found out the difference in costs if you DIY versus a contractor?

Basic Guidelines

There are certain things which you must know if you are planning steel building purchase.

  • Do NOT fall for the “offering a special pricing if you buy NOW” gimmick. Take your time.
  • Be certain that your building conforms to the local building inspectors requirements BEFORE signing the contract.
  • Once the contract is signed, obtain all of the permits required. All of the following questions need to be checked off PRIOR to starting:
  • “What is the building code?
  • What are the design loads?
  • Will you need to submit Engineer stamped structural drawings?
  • Will you need to submit Engineer stamped foundation drawings?
  • Will you need to submit design calculations?
  • Will you need to obtain approval from zoning or community planning commission?” (www.metalbuildingdepot.com)
  • “The items described on your contract are what you are buying. Please be sure to carefully review all contract documents before you sign off. If a contract does not describe an item in specific terms, you should not expect the item to be the best product available. And just as important – is what a contract does not say. Specifically if your contract does not indicate that you are getting framed openings and garage doors – then you are NOT going to get framed openings and garage doors.
  • Understand that making changes after the sale will cost you money. Once the design is completed it will cost money to make changes. If an order is in fabrication – and requires modifications due to customer demands – the entire process has to be stopped, pulled off-line and inventoried. Once the inventory of completed items is confirmed, it’s back to the drawing board. You will be responsible for extra time required to re-design the project and all other associated expenses.
  • Do NOT get creative. Follow the building plans as specified in the manufacturer’s plans. “An erection manual offers important general guidelines and the proper procedures for erecting a steel building safely.

Budgeting

When you are planning to purchase a steel building, nothing is more important than your budget. Your budget will let you know exactly what you can and cannot do. “When preparing your budget, it is essential to reflect on the overall cost of the project. Even on small jobs, the cost of the building materials usually represents less than half of the total cost…The entire cost of your project will depend on how much additional work is required to complete it as planned. Adding “build-out” items such as sheetrock, plumbing and electrical are only a small part of the total cost.

DEPOSITS ON KITS

Though not the average modus operandi, some steel building companies will request that you put down an initial deposit. Do not be confused thinking that this goes towards the purchase price. Normally, these “deposits” are to pay for the engineered plans that come with the kit.

Benefits of Building it Yourself

Currently, there is state-of-the-art software which will assist you in designing and planning the prospective steel building you are going to purchase. Another plus of doing this project yourself is that you get to choose the accessories and options versus having them chosen for you in a kit.

The Foundation

Steel building foundations is what will support your steel building. When planning the steel building purchase, “Most manufacturers of steel buildings recommend that the foundation be designed by an experienced foundation engineer. This will insure proper design, make the actual erection of the steel building go a lot smoother and reduce costs. Proven construction techniques and adherence to OSHA and other local codes are highly recommended.

Access

Another aspect which must be decided during the planning of the steel building purchase is access to the site. “…Obviously, the vehicle transporting your steel building must be able to access the site from the adjacent highway or road. This access must be prepared in advance of the truck arriving!

Any overhead obstructions or anything in the way needs to be removed, including trees, boulders, debris. A landscaping contractor might need to be hired for this purpose.

Put down gravel or lay planks on the access route if the soil cannot sustain the heavy wheel loads.

Check the planned building site to make sure there is enough space to physically perform the tasks required to erect the steel building. The proximity of adjacent buildings and other obstructions can severely hinder the construction process. “ (www.erectingsteelbuilding.com)

The importance of accurate foundation construction and anchor bolt settings cannot be overemphasized! The anchor bolts must be in the exact locations as specified in the Anchor Bolt drawing provided by your steel building manufacturer. There is an extremely small tolerance for the placing of the anchor bolts, only +-1/16″ to +-1/18″.

The foundation must meet local design/load conditions.

Foundation errors and improper location of anchor bolts are the most frequent and troublesome errors made in steel building construction. Errors can wind up costing you a lot of money!

NOTE: DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT start the erection process on “green” or uncured concrete. Anchor bolts may pull loose, concrete spall (chip out along edges) may occur and equipment may crash or crack the slab! Normal “Portland” cement should cure in at least seven days and high-early-strength concrete in at least three days. Special circumstances may require even longer curing periods.

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Author: My name is David Lieberman. I am a blogger and also have my own site Bestforacar. I am a graduate of Psychology from the Columbia University in the City of New York, where I edited the literary journal.

When Will Free Markets Emerge?

By George Smith – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

If someone asked you to define “free market,” could you?  Could you do it on the spot without recourse to dictionaries or other crutches?

There’s an old tale about the origin of the term “laissez-faire” that gets to my point.  Here’s the write-up in Wikipedia:

The term laissez faire likely originated in a meeting that took place around 1681 between powerful French Comptroller-General of Finances Jean-Baptiste Colbert and a group of French businessmen headed by M. Le Gendre. When the eager mercantilist minister asked how the French state could be of service to the merchants and help promote their commerce, Le Gendre replied simply “Laissez-nous faire” (“Leave it to us” or “Let us do [it],” the French verb not having to take an object).

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Failed Climate Predictions

By Javier – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Here, for the first time in public, is Javier’s entire collection of massive, “consensus” climate science prediction failures. This collection is carefully selected from only academics or high-ranking officials, as reported in the press or scientific journals. Rather than being exhaustive, this is a list of fully referenced arguments that shows that consensus climate science usually gets things wrong, and thus their predictions cannot be trusted.

To qualify for this list, the prediction must have failed. Alternatively, it is also considered a failure when so much of the allowed time has passed that a drastic and improbable change in the rate of change is required for it to be true. Also, we include a prediction when observations are going in the opposite way. Finally, it also qualifies when one thing and the opposite are both predicted.

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