I Told You Not to Worry About the Climate

Off the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact  June 20, 2017

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“This is the Captain speaking. First, let me make this absolutely clear: there is no reason to worry.”

On a mid-morning in May, the telephone rang in the modest home of the mayor of Tangier, a village of 470 people on tiny Tangier Island, 12 miles off the coast of Maryland in the Chesapeake Bay. It was the president of the United States calling. If you lived there, you would not know which to think more odd; that the president was calling James “Ooker” Eskridge, or that Ooker was in his house to take the call, on a fair-weather weekday, and not on the water crabbing (he had been warned the call was coming).

If you live anywhere else on the planet Earth, you will be hard put to decide which part of the ensuing conversation was the most strange.

The President had seen something on television, which is what stimulates his cumbersome thought processes. The piece on CNN documented the fact that Tangier Island was slowly but inevitably […] Continue Reading…

I Spy Doom Vol 2 Issue 3: Improving Personal Heaters

Off the keyboard & vidcam of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 26, 2017

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In our last episode of I Spy Doom, we looked at ways to make a very simple Personal Heater from just a Soup Can, a Rock and a source of heat like a Tea Light Candle or Can of Sterno.  In fact you can use about anything that you can burn as a source of heat in one of these things, from Twigs to Newzpaper.  It's not a huge source of heat, but in a very small space like a 2 man tent or a refrigerator box for the homeless, it will make a decent difference in the overall warmth of your shelter.  You can of course also use more than one of them at a time, just be sure you put it somewhere you are not going to knock it over.  A good way to do that is to hang it from the ridge line or roof of your shelter.  Cut holes in either side of the can and make a hanger from some piano wire.

Generally […] Continue Reading…

Maya Theater States

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on July 9, 2017

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"What generally occurs when a civilization over-extends is not a complete disappearance but a rapid decline in complexity."

 

Detroit: Theater Ruins

 The collapse of the Classic Maya period, around 900 CE, is an active academic field, with many conflicting theories and a mountain of literature. While traveling in the Yucatán we are reading Arthur Demarest’s Ancient Maya: the Rise and Fall of the Rainforest Civilization (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

 

One of the terms Demarest uses to describe the period is a “theater-state.” The ruling elite, known as the K’uhul Ajaw, or Holy Lords, were relatively hands-off with respect to economics, social welfare and trade but devoted lots of resources to legitimizing their political and religious authority through monumental architecture, art, pageant, sports spectacles and warfare.

 

 

 

This resource misallocation — taking away from the real needs of the populace, especially in times of stress — led to swelling the elite class, enormous diversions to unproductive types of labor, depredations from unnecessary wars, resentment from disenfranchised youth who were relegated to javelin–fodder, and, of course, ecological decay — as previously elegant eco-agriculture microsystems (using 400–500 species […] Continue Reading…

Collapse Step by Step, Part 3: Political Compasses

Off the keyboard of Irvine Mills

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 1, 2017

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A couple of years ago I wrote a series of posts titled "A Political Fantasy", in which I talked about what might be accomplished if political realities weren't what they are and it was possible for governments to simply do what is needed to get us through the coming collapse and energy decline with as little grief as possible. I didn't think back then that many of the things I was suggesting were likely to happen and I still don't.

I've been promising to take a look at the other side of this and write about political realities for a while now. In my last post I talked about the likely end points of collapse. The rest of this series will be about how we'll get from here to there. Since politics is going to play a large part in that, this seems like a good time to address the subject.

First we'll talk about politics in the western democracies that I and (I suspect)my readers are ost familiar with. If you are a citizen […] Continue Reading…

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: Seed Saving-Cum-Taxidermy (part 2/3)

Off the keyboard of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen

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Published on From Filmers to Farmers on July 26th, 2017

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With a bit of ice on the floor depositers could almost ride the seeds right on in
(photo by Global Crop Diversity Trust)

As odd as it sounds, I can't help but think that it's so ridiculously easy to point fingers at the short-sightedness of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault that not only is it also all-too-easy to label it as the "Vault of Doom", but that this can lead one to miss out on the much more dire issue of what the Vault represents in the present.

If we look at the Vault's layout, it turns out that the access tunnel from its main door was designed and built to slope downwards, a rather questionable idea when you think about the effects that gravity tends to have on permafrost and snow when they get above 0℃. Why in the world was the Svalbard Global Seed Vault designed in such a way? As put by Hege Njaa Aschim of the Norwegian government (owner of the Vault),

The construction was planned like that because it was […] Continue Reading…

Boondocking the Last Great Frontier 3

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 30, 2017

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The early part of Day 3 of Boondocking wasn't a whole heck of a lot different than Days 1 & 2, another early trip to the Alaska Club followed by a trip to the Library to do some reading and surf the Doom-o-sphere on their FREE Wi-Fi.  I did dispense with the trip over to Kalahdi Brothers Coffee for one of their expensive Coffee Drinks to save a little money.  I have been spending pretty profligately here over the last couple of days.  I also am planning on spending $15 today on a For Pay campsite, which I really do not have to do but I wanna make some Videos for the I Spy Doom series and this location is a real good spot for making those vids.

I ate a real big breakfast for me of Sausage, Eggs and Homefries, so I am not at all hungry when the afternoon rolls around and really probably could go the whole rest of the day on just that meal, so the remaining 2/3rds of my […] Continue Reading…

Mismodelling Human Beings

Off the keyboard of Brian Davey

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Published on Credo Economics on July 21, 2017

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“rational economic men” in love, politics and everyday life

This chapter explores the assumptions about human nature on which mainstream economics is based. The description of “rational economic man” ignores most psychological and psychotherapy understandings of people.

Key to the conceptual confidence trick are assumptions about what people in general are like. It is all based on an implicit modelling of human beings. Certain types of behaviour (the type that allows economists to model people and markets) are called “rational”. Now, you might think that this description of people is meant by economists to be applicable only to economic and market activities. Certainly this was the point of view of one of the founders of the famous Chicago school of economics, Frank Knight. Although committed to the alleged virtues of the market, Knight was not naive about how far you could take economic analysis. In his book Risk, Uncertainty and Profit he concluded that economics only applied to the satisfaction of wants, and that this business of satisfying wants by no means accounted for all […] Continue Reading…

Q is for Quotidian Fluctuations in a Teacup

Off the keyboard of Jason Heppenstall

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Published on 22 Billion Energy Slaves on June 12,  2017

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Here in the UK, things have been a little weird over the past week. People have red rings around their eyes and they get angry at the slightest provocation. You may have heard that there was an election, and that the result was somewhat unexpected and confusing. You may have seen some news about it and experienced a fleeting sense of bewilderment, wondering whether it was relevant in any way to your own life. And then, deciding that it wasn't, you will have instantly forgotten about it. But if you're even a wee bit curious as to what is afoot, here is an explainer of sorts. I will summarise the election twice. The first summary will be incredibly brief. In fact, it will be one sentence. Should your curiosity be piqued, the second summary will be a bit more in depth.

Summary 1

Nobody is in control and the politicians are running around like headless chickens emitting a strange gurgling squawk from their neck holes as they hold up banners saying 'Situation Normal […] Continue Reading…

Mining Asteroids

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on July 19, 2017

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Mining the asteroids: how desperate can we become?

 

 

A silly idea that seems to be coming straight from a science fiction story of the 1950s. Mining the asteroids wouldn't just be outrageously expensive; the problem is that there is nothing to mine there. Yet, some people seem to take the idea seriously

It seems that, when we are in trouble, we tend to revert to our childhood memories, seen as happy times that, somehow, could return. That may explain why President Trump is dreaming of an impossible return to coal. He may see the idea through his memories of childhood as a time of happy miners and prosperous families.

Some others, instead, may revert to memories influenced by the science fiction of the 1950s, when the idea of "mining the asteroids" was commonplace. Jerry Pournelle wrote a delightful essay on this genre in 1980 under the title "Those Pesky Belters and Their Torchships". You may also remember the 1981 movie "Outland" starring Sean Connery and taking place in a mine on the moon of Jupiter, […] Continue Reading…

I Spy Doom Vol 2 Issue 2: Small Scale Heating

Off the keyboard & vidcam of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 26, 2017

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In the first episode of Volume 2 of I Spy Doom, we discussed ways to Self-Insulate, so you personally can stay pretty warm even in Freezing temperatures just by conserving body heat.  This is the MOST important thing to do if you live in a cold climate!  Your Preps MUST include good cold weather clothing, in layers you can wrap on as the temps drop, or strip off as they rise.  You NEVER want on so many layers you start to sweat.  That makes you uncomfortable, and makes the clothing start to stink also.  Then you need to wash it more often, which beats it up faster.  Your goal in self-insulation is to stay just warm enough you are comfortable.  As night falls, this usually means adding one or two more layers before you crawl into the sleeping bag.

Here in Episode 2, we discuss the most simple, cheap and "primitive" ways to make personal heaters good for very small spaces like a 2-3 man tent or refrigerator […] Continue Reading…

Turns Out We Won’t Always Have Paris

Off the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact  June 3, 2017

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Turns Out We Won’t Always Have Paris

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In the movie Casablanca, Rick and Ilsa had a great time in Paris, then the world descended into war. In real l;fe, we really aren’t going to have any reason to remember Paris.

 

 

 

Politicians around the world have perfected the art of appearing to do something about a problem, when actually doing something about it would harm the financial interests of their industrial sponsors. This was never better illustrated than by the Paris Climate Accord.

If anyone is paying attention to words any more, please note that the thing is called an “accord,” or “agreement,” not a treaty —  because treaties are binding, and cannot be violated without consequences. An “accord,” on the other hand, is a statement of a wish, as in “wouldn’t it be nice if we had world peace?” A treaty says, “If you attack my friend I will beat you to a bloody pulp,” whereas an accord says, “I really wish you wouldn’t speak harshly to my friend.” […] Continue Reading…

Svalbard Global Seed Vault 1

Off the keyboard of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen

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Published on From Filmers to Farmers on July 21st, 2017

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Not the "Doomsday Seed Vault" But Rather the "Vault of Doom" (part 1/3)

 

Well, at least it was made sure that the Svalbard Global Seed Vault looks real pretty
(photo courtesy of Johann Fromont)

The sheer sensationalism of doom-laden Internet headlines doled out by journalists raised on Hollywood disaster movies (and now clickbait) recently reared their ugly head again, this time in regards to the venerated Svalbard Global Seed Vault. I'm no fan of what some have misleadingly nicknamed the "Doomsday Seed Vault", but with journalists narrowly clamouring on about some recent hiccoughs that the Vault experienced does the greater catastrophe that the Vault represents get obfuscated. Those recent hiccoughs are certainly nothing to scoff at (as I'll explain), but by missing out on the greater implications they imply does the fundamental problems of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault get missed, those being that not only is the Vault not a "Doomsday Seed Vault" but, and as I'll explain in part 2, that it transforms seed saving into something akin to the art of […] Continue Reading…

Boondocking the Last Great Frontier: Day 2

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 23, 2017

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Day 2 of Boondocking the Last Great Frontier has arrived, and after waking up at the fairly late hour for Boondocking of 9AM in the Walmart parking lot and doing some personal hygiene cleanup in the for Cripples toilet stall in the Men's bathroom, I buy an Egg McMuffin at the Mickey D's inside the Walmart for breakfast for $3.  I am almost able to consume 3/4s of this disgusting but calorie laden food sitting in the driver's seat of SaVANnah, with my Mobile Desk attached to the Steering Wheel to place the McMuffin on and surf the web for Doom Newz while I eat breakfast.  Then I fire up SaVANnah and drive over to the Alaska Club to do some swimming rehab and take a Sauna and Steam Bath again.

My early day tasks now complete, I prep up for today's overnight parking, which will be another FREE spot, this time one of the Public Use camping spots you can find around almost any state, although there are more of them in Alaska then […] Continue Reading…

The Sixth Extinction: A Seneca Cliff in the Making

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on July 15, 2017

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Image above from the paper by Hull et al. "rarity in mass extinctions and the future of ecosystems" Nature 528, 345–351 (17 December 2015). Notice how the decline in the fossil abundance, takes the shape of a "Seneca Cliff". The article examines the current situation of the Earths's ecosystem and concludes that we are not yet falling down the cliff, but we might be in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, my colleagues make me think of the old joke, "I wouldn't want to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." That happened to me once more when I read an interview to Smithsonian paleontologist Doug Erwin that was published with the title "We are NOT in the sixth mass extinction", ("The Atlantic," June 13, 2017). Here, Erwin states that the idea that we are in the sixth extinction is just "junk science".

 

If you wanted further proof that scientists are a bunch of unreliable nerds who live in a world of their own, you need to go no further. How can it be that the […] Continue Reading…

The Ragweed Tribe

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on July 2, 2017

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"We bonded much more deeply than crash-pad stoners or cubicle rats. More like soldiers in a combat outpost."

 

 

We are at the gatehouse to The Farm, the Welcome Center we set up for greeting guests as they arrive. This day they are coming for the annual homecoming celebration we call Ragweed Days. Our job is not unlike the door greeters’ at WalMart, without the blue vests. We have a tie-dye pouch to hold pencils and loose change in case we sell some books or t-shirts, and a stack of hold-harmless forms to give non-residents to sign.

 

 

It is a bit incongruent, because in the early days of the community money was never exchanged between hippies. It wasn’t that we were socialist or communist. We were intentionally moneyless. 

By some reckonings, more than 4000 people lived at The Farm at some point in time during the past half-century. In the 1970s there were more than 500 youths under the age of 18 living here.

 

The community is now in its fourth generation since the original bus caravan left Haight […] Continue Reading…

Lessons Learned from Death & Near Death Experiences 4

Off the keyboard of Geoffrey Chia

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on June 29, 2017

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LESSONS LEARNED FROM DEATH AND NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES

Part 4: PEA or EMD and a tale with a twist

By Geoffrey Chia, MBBS, MRCP, FRACP, July 2017

Sudden death may be due to causes other than malignant arrhythmias or ventricular asystole. Catastrophic events may lead to a clinical state known as “pulseless electrical activity” a term which replaced the old but entirely adequate term “electromechanical dissociation”. Simply put, PEA or EMD is a state where there seems to be adequate electrical activity of the heart (eg sinus or junctional rhythm at, say, 50 beats per minute) as displayed on the ECG monitor, but there is little or no mechanical output of blood from the heart. There is no pulse (or a barely palpable pulse, prior to complete loss of the pulse). Obviously the patient will be unconscious at the time and if the situation cannot be redeemed within a few minutes, the patient will die.

If a patient presents out of the blue with PEA and we know nothing of preceding events, we teach […] Continue Reading…

I Spy Doom RETURNS!

Off the keyboard & vidcam of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 19, 2017

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It's been quite some time since I did an episode of I Spy Doom on Diner You Tube.  I am renewing the series now however in conjunction with my blogging series on Boondocking the Last Great Frontier.  The vids will be appearing in the middle of the week on the Diner, while the articles are published on Sundays for the Diner Sunday Brunch collapse meal.

The first videos are concerned with STAYING WARM and heating your mobile living arrangement in an economical fashion.  One of my greatest FEARS and a source of many nightmares since I became disabled was that I would end up as a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska. ©

There are many ways to do it and many choices possible beyond just idling your engine, which was how I mostly did it when I was living the OTR life as a professional trucker.

In our first installment of the series, we will cover what comes BEFORE adding auxiliary heating systems, which […] Continue Reading…

Spring in the Tropical Rainforest

Off the keyboard of Palloy

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on July 18, 2017

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Lovely morning this morning – this would be called Spring, if we had one.  I did promise you photos of the Spear Project, this is a spear not for throwing but for holding as a defence against charging pigs, technically a pyke. 6 foot long and with a very sharp tip on it, held in place with a Tec screw through the metal blade, and with cordage for a binding.  You could drip a gum resin onto the binding to fix it permanently, but as the blade might easily break (Pakistani steel is not the best) I didn't do that.

OK.  What to do next on a bright spring morning?  Have a look at all the things growing in tubs. 

Aloe vera plus 3 plantlets and tumeric

Oh look the Aloe Vera has hatched some babies!  When they are really happy they produce pale yellow flowers rather like a lupin, but when they are neglected they reproduce by plantlets that grow on the fleshy leaf margins, and then drop off. I should set up some […] Continue Reading…

Ouch & Hepp is BACK with Patience!

Off the keyboard of Jason Heppenstall

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Published on 22 Billion Energy Slaves on April 7 & June 7  2017

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O is for Ouch!

 

Hello everyone, just to say that I'm not writing much at the moment as I've had a little … accident. As you can see from the picture, my right hand is not fully functional, and given that it's my writing hand I'm forced to type with one finger on my left hand.

Yes, two weeks ago I was cutting through a steel pipe with an angle grinder when the tool caught an edge, banged against a wall and rebounded onto the back of my hand. Luckily, I was at home when it happened, which is a five minute walk away from the nearest hospital. Once there they ascertained that it was serious enough to be sent to the regional hospital, and I emerged two days later having had an operation to sew together a severed tendon and dig some fragmented disk out of the bone.

Although I've been using power tools for 25 years, this was my first experience of anything going wrong. It was a silly […] Continue Reading…

Navigating 21st Century Hopelessness

Off the keyboard of Lucid Dreams

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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 16, 2017

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Is our techno-industrial way of life fundamentally benevolent?  Is it advisable to continue perpetuating a civilization that is predicated by non-renewable fossil energy sources as well as unsustainable rates of renewable resource extraction?  Our civilization requires an ever growing GDP to be considered healthy.  This is a measure of production in terms of consumption.  Our literal benchmark for the health of our society is based on how much we can consume in a year as a nation.  The reason for this is to create monetary profit for the individuals of this society whom have shares in the corporations controlling this production.  The actual physical wealth of the world is subjugated to the tune of dollars and cents.  To make this pathway possible it requires a proletariat class willing to sell their lives for an hourly rate.  This hourly rate is the lowest possible rate so as to not reduce the profit that’s stolen from the resources of the Earth and the energies of its peoples.  This hourly rate is about making money and […] Continue Reading…

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You might want to consider that in this day and age your online record would also be probed in case of an incident. Attitude, mindset, regards towards safety rules.  If I was a lawyer trying to throw you under the bus I would search... Maybe time to be...

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Tagio said: Steve, if you have time to indulge me, what do you think the effect of the depreciating [...]

The Bakken statistics are still kept: https://www.dmr.nd.gov/oilgas/stats/historicalbakkenoilstats.p [...]

Steve, if you have time to indulge me, what do you think the effect of the depreciating dollar (103 [...]

Some truth comes out of MSM: "Electrical power is needed, too, to keep water and sanitation sys [...]

Hey Steve! I'm sure your bat/laptop has plenty more hits left in it the problem is that it migh [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

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Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

This study analyzed the trends of extreme daily rainfall indices over the Ouémé basin using the obse [...]

Climate change is prevalent across the world and can have large influence on plant regeneration, rec [...]

This study aims to estimate the influence of atmospheric circulation modes on future Baltic Sea leve [...]

Given the growing evidence and scientific consensus on global climate change, carbon emission tradin [...]