AuthorTopic: Official Chinese Toast Thread  (Read 194020 times)

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Re: Official Chinese Toast Thread
« Reply #765 on: March 27, 2016, 09:13:55 PM »
Is there a legitimate banking system, policed by honest regulatory authorities, and courts dishing out impartial judgements in the US?

There certainly was the last time I tangled with one. Hip hip horray for the US jury system!!

What was the court, what was the case & what was the regulatory agency involved the last time you "tangled with one"?

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Said courts. Not regulatory agency. And bite me.  :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny:

IOW, more unsubstantiated claims.  YAWN.


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Offline Surly1

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Re: Official Chinese Toast Thread
« Reply #766 on: March 28, 2016, 04:17:02 AM »
Is there a legitimate banking system, policed by honest regulatory authorities, and courts dishing out impartial judgements in the US?

There certainly was the last time I tangled with one. Hip hip horray for the US jury system!!

What was the court, what was the case & what was the regulatory agency involved the last time you "tangled with one"?

RE

Said courts. Not regulatory agency. And bite me.  :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny:

Didn't think a jury had anything to do with dismissal of Weatherford's intellectual property infringement suit.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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China “Could Push Whole World into Fresh Economic Crisis”
« Reply #767 on: April 10, 2016, 03:40:52 AM »
Getting Toastier...

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http://wolfstreet.com/2016/04/09/china-push-world-into-economic-crisis-end-of-chinese-miracle/


China “Could Push Whole World into Fresh Economic Crisis”

by Wolf Richter • April 9, 2016


“The End of the Chinese Miracle”

After years of big wage increases in China, the supply of cheap labor is coming to an end. The migration of rural populations to cities, which in practically no time created over 250 cities with over 2 million inhabitants, is also coming to an end.

As the cost of labor has soared, the manufacturing base is now migrating to cheap-labor countries like Vietnam, leaving less work in Chinese cities for migrant laborers. With few options left, they’ve started to return to their villages. This leaves China with massive challenges, just when its debt-burdened economy can least afford them.

Given China’s size, “the demise” of its economic-growth model has “huge implications for the global economy,” according to the Financial Times’ fascinating, informative, and dark documentary, “The End of the Chinese Miracle.” It’s only 15 minutes, and worth every second of it:

For the wealthy Chinese, buying a home in the US or Canada has been an effective way to launder some money and get their wealth out of harm’s way. In the trophy markets on the US West Coast and in the Canadian cities of Vancouver and Toronto, rumors of a massive influx of Chinese money have swirled with growing intensity for years. In Vancouver, 33% of sales are to Chinese investors, according to new estimates of National Bank. Read…  Desperate Chinese Investors Flood US, Canadian Housing Markets, But Real Numbers Are Taboo
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Official Chinese Toast Thread
« Reply #768 on: April 10, 2016, 05:36:42 AM »
Wolf should have read The End of Cheap China years ago. If the west is any indication they should still have BAU in 40 yrs, esp as wages stop rising.
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China Buys the World on Platinum Visa Card
« Reply #769 on: May 13, 2016, 09:57:07 PM »
The Chinese have now sunk to a NEW LOW!  Instead of building their own worthless Ghost Cities and Bridges to Nowhere, they are buying up everybody else's worthless assets!  On CREDIT no less!  lol.

RE

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/05/11/china-outbound-mergers-acquisitions-number-one-cross-border-acquirer/

China Inc. Tries to Buy the World, with Impeccable Timing
by Wolf Richter • May 11, 2016   

New king of foreign M&A, at peak prices, funded by state-owned banks.

Not even five-and-a-half months into the year, Chinese mergers & acquisitions in other countries have hit $110.8 billion, nearly four times as much as during the same period last year, and surpassing the total volume of the entire year 2015 ($106.8 billion).

And so China Inc. has become the number one cross-border acquirer for the first time ever, ahead of Canada with $67.7 billion in deals, and the US with $53.1 billion.

The superlatives go on: the number of deals soared 79% year-over-year to 300, according to the Nikkei. Of these, 17 were mega-deals of $1 billion or more, up from six such deals last year.

The US, where equity prices have peaked after a seven-year QE-and-ZIRP-fueled rally, and where total M&A through April has plunged 21%, according to Dealogic, and where withdrawn or collapsed deals have hit a record high as of May 4 of $378 billion — well, that market has now become the number one destination of the Chinese shopping spree.

Chinese acquisitions of US companies have soared sevenfold from $3.9 billion last year to $31.3 billion so far this year, the highest total ever. It accounted for 28% of China’s outbound M&A activity.

The largest deal so far this year was aviation and ocean freight conglomerate Tianjin Tianhai’s $6.3 billion acquisition of technology products distributor Ingram Micro.

That deal, whose strategic logic – other than capital flight – remains somewhat hard to grasp for the uninitiated, brought China’s acquisitions in the global tech space to $17.6 billion so far this year, giving it a 45% share of global tech M&A, thus unseating the US that had dominated this game since 1995.

Then there’s consumer electronics maker Haier Group which bought GE’s home appliance business for $5.4 billion.

Some of the biggest buyers were state-owned companies funded by state-owned banks, including state-owned China National Chemical which plunked down $44 billion in February to grab Monsanto’s former target, Syngenta, a Swiss-based pesticide and seeds maker. It was the largest Chinese takeover ever.

Withdrawn or collapsed deals also set records: Chinese companies pulled 15 bids for a total of $24 billion, up from 10 bids and $1.6 billion last year at this time. The biggest bid that went awry this year was Anbang’s blockbuster $15.5 billion effort to yank Starwood Hotels out of Marriott’s claws.
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Official Chinese Toast Thread
« Reply #770 on: May 14, 2016, 12:12:06 AM »
Clever strategy - buy gold and foreign assets while the Yuan is unsustainably high, then devalue and peg to gold, and reap the rewards of cheap exports.

China obviously aims to have you all as its new cheap labour force.   :evil4:
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Re: Official Chinese Toast Thread
« Reply #771 on: May 14, 2016, 12:33:28 AM »
Clever strategy - buy gold and foreign assets while the Yuan is unsustainably high, then devalue and peg to gold, and reap the rewards of cheap exports.

China obviously aims to have you all as its new cheap labour force.   :evil4:

Cheap exports to WHOM?  Who will be buying at any price and with what money?

I also fail to see how the Chinese will maintain control over their foreign "assets" without sending out the Chinese People's Army to hold them.

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China is headed for a 1929-style depression
« Reply #772 on: July 04, 2016, 11:38:29 PM »
When the Chinese Bubble POPS, the PAHHTY IS OVAH!

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-economist-thinks-china-is-headed-for-a-1929-style-depression-2016-06-30

This economist thinks China is headed for a 1929-style depression

 
 
 
 

Published: July 1, 2016 8:05 a.m. ET

 
 
 
 

Andy Xie is among the loudest voices warning of an inevitable implosion

By

SueChang

Markets reporter

Andy Xie isn’t known for tepid opinions.

The provocative Xie, who was a top economist at the World Bank and Morgan Stanley, found notoriety a decade ago when he left the Wall Street bank after a controversial internal report went public. Today, he is among the loudest voices warning of an inevitable implosion in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Xie, now working independently and based in Shanghai, says the coming collapse won’t be like the Asian currency crisis of 1997 or the U.S. financial meltdown of 2008.

In a recent interview with MarketWatch, Xie said China’s trajectory instead resembles the one that led to the Great Depression, when the expansion of credit, loose monetary policy and a widespread belief that asset prices would never fall contributed to rampant speculation that ended with a crippling market crash.

China Speakers Agency
 

Andy Xie.

China in 2016 looks much the same, according to Xie, with half of the country’s debt propping up real-estate prices and heavy leverage in the stock market — indicating that conditions are ripe for a correction.

“The government is allowing speculation by providing cheap financing,” Xie told MarketWatch. China “is riding a tiger and is terrified of a crash. So it keeps pumping cash into the economy. It is difficult to see how China can avoid a crisis.”

A longtime critic of Chinese economic growth

Xie’s viewpoints have at times attracted unwelcome attention. In 2006, when he was a star Asia economist at Morgan Stanley MS, -0.23% a leaked email to colleagues in which he said money laundering was bolstering growth in Singapore led to his abrupt departure from the bank.

In early 2007, he termed China’s surging markets a “bubble” that could lead to a banking crisis,” and in 2009 he likened them to a “Ponzi scheme.”

Xie, who is from China but was educated at — and earned a Ph.D. from — Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has said Chinese authorities have tried to characterize him as an American spy sent to disrupt their markets after his 2007 prediction. China’s consulate general in San Francisco and its embassy in Washington did not reply to requests for comment.

While he now works independently, Xie’s opinions on Asian affairs remain influential. He writes regularly for the South China Morning Post, among other publications, in May saying China is running a “gigantic monetary bubble that has corrupted virtually every corner of the economy.”

Xie “is a respected economist,” said Huawei Ling, managing editor of Caixin Weekly and a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. “I appreciate his consistency and his analysis on China’s economic issues,” she said.

His 2007 forecast, meanwhile, turned out correct. Soon after his prediction, the Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +0.67%  started plunging. After hitting a peak of 6,092 on Oct. 19, 2007, it fell below 2,000 over the next 12 months.

Yardeni Research
 

Years before hedge-fund managers like Kynikos Associates founder Jim Chanos turned bearish and George Soros predicted a hard landing, Xie was a dissenting voice amid a chorus of prognosticators enamored with China’s late 20th Century emergence from poverty.

In an interview with this reporter more than a decade ago, Xie warned of a lack of depth in China’s dazzling rise, saying the rapid growth on the country’s coastal cities masked the fact that many inner areas of the country were stuck in the “Stone Age.”

Concerns about China’s economy are more commonplace now. Two camps have formed in 2016: those like Templeton Emerging Markets Group Executive Chairman Mark Mobius, who believe a resilient China is experiencing temporary growing pains, and those who, like Soros, foresee an imminent collapse.

Read: Here’s why Bank of America thinks George Soros is wrong on China

Xie is firmly in the latter camp.

“China grew too fast,” Xie said. “The government is using its power to stop the unraveling but not address the issue. It is just buying more time.”

Fresh worries about China after the Brexit vote

Xie’s criticism coincides with fresh worries about China after the U.K.’s vote to quit the European Union, which triggered an across-the-board selloff in risky assets as investors sought cover in safe-haven assets. Global markets have rebounded somewhat, but uncertainty remains.

Read: Here’s why investors bought S&P 500 bonds — not stocks — after Brexit

Subsequent strength in the U.S. dollar has prompted analysts to predict an accelerated weakness in the Chinese yuan. The yuan USDCNY, -0.0090% slumped to a nearly six-year low against the greenback this week, according to FactSet.

More broadly, fissures have started to appear in the world’s second largest economy After years of expanding at a blistering pace. China’s gross domestic product grew 6.9% in 2015, its slowest pace in a quarter-century.

For 2016, Beijing has set a GDP target of 6.5% to 7%; The latest spate of global uncertainties prompted Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank to trim their forecasts to 6.4% and 6.6%, respectively.

The export sector, long a driver of Chinese growth, is sputtering due to global saturation and household consumption is barely 30% of China’s GDP, Xie said. In the U.S., household consumption accounted for more than 68% of GDP in 2014, according to the World Bank.

Read: China’s 2015 economic growth slowest in 25 years

China’s stock market last year dove in June, losing more than 30% in a month as regulators tightened margin-trading and short selling rules, making it more difficult for investors to borrow money to invest in stocks. A belief that the government was not properly responding to the economic slowdown also weighed on sentiment.

Then in August, authorities unexpectedly devalued the yuan in a bid to support the flagging economy, sparking unprecedented capital flight.

Xie and other observers say the surest way to get China out of its rut is to boost consumption, marking a deliberate turn away from a manufacturing-focused economy. Efforts are under way to move China in that direction, but analysts say the process could take years or even decades — during which China could reach a breaking point.

Total social financing, a broad measure of funds secured by households and nonfinancial companies, topped $22 trillion in March, more than twice China’s $10.4 trillion GDP, according to official data.

There’s no equivalent metric in the U.S., but household debt stood at $14.3 trillion while nonfinancial debt totaled $13 trillion at the end of the first quarter, according to the Federal Reserve. The combined tally of $27.3 trillion is roughly 1.5 times the U.S. GDP.

Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank DB, +1.31% said in May that China’s credit bubble is worse than the U.S. subprime buildup that led to the last financial crisis. “It is clear that in China in recent years more and more capital has been misallocated and not resulted in higher GDP growth,” said Slok.

 

Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital Management, who was among the few on Wall Street to correctly predict the subprime mortgage crisis, shorted the Chinese yuan earlier this year, warning investors in a 13-page February letter that China is making the same mistakes the U.S. did 10 years ago.

“The unwavering faith that the Chinese will somehow be able to successfully avoid anything more severe than a moderate economic slowdown by continuing to rely on the perpetual expansion of credit reminds us of the belief in 2006 that U.S. home prices would never decline,” Bass wrote.

Xie, meanwhile, says he is doubtful of the Communist’s Party’s ability to manage and grow China’s economy — but believes that, if they become more hands-off, the country could become the world’s leading economic force. At the core of Xie’s concerns about China is the contention that the government is doing more harm than good.

“If government takes a step back instead of dominating the economy so much, China can be twice as big as the U.S. in 20 years,” he said.

‘The Communist Party isn't compatible with the future of China’

Today’s regime in China recalls the U.S.-backed Chinese National Party, or Kuomintang, that ruled the country until its defeat at the hands of the Communist rebels in 1949, according to Xie.

The Nationalists, he says, flooded the economy with easy money to support speculation that led to runaway inflation. That, in turn, shifted public sentiment in favor of the Communists, who drove the Nationalists out of the country.

“It was very similar to what is going on right now,” said Xie. “If you keep on printing money to use for speculation, you will have hyperinflation and a currency crash,” he said. “The Communist Party isn't compatible with the future of China.”

Xie’s criticism of the government hasn't resulted in his arrest although he was not certain whether that will not change in the future. Chinese officials have started to muzzle analysts and journalists who have published pessimistic reports on the economy, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

And his research reports are not currently distributed in China. “There are safety mechanisms to stop someone like me reaching the ordinary people,” said Xie.

Despite his frustration, however, he occasionally belies immense pride in his country and bemoans the fact that the global community may be underestimating China’s potential.

“The economists in the West who say that China isn't very important are wrong,” he said. “China isn't an emerging economy. It is the only country that caught up with the West, and it will shape the path of the global economy in the future.”

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Chinese Plan 100M+ Ghost Cities of the Future
« Reply #773 on: September 09, 2016, 04:05:49 AM »
Really, it is unbelievable how stupid these people are.  Forget doubling down on making the same mistakes the West did, they wanna up it by an order of magnitude.  130 MILLION people in a Beijing Megalopolis!  They can't keep the air clean with 20M!

Pepe Escobar thinks these folks will Rule the World? ???  :icon_scratch:

The Chinese are TOAST.



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<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/gNE7VPtvfbI" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/gNE7VPtvfbI</a>

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Chinese Compete with Elon Musk for Peak Stupidity
« Reply #774 on: October 05, 2016, 06:07:15 AM »
Forget the Bridges to Nowhere.  That's not good enough for the Chinese.  Now they are building Spaceships to Nowhere.  ::)

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http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/5/13171760/china-spaceplane-tourism-20-people

    Science
    Space

China wants to build the world's biggest spaceplane
Proposed plane would carry 20 tourists to space, but some are skeptical
by Amar Toor @amartoo Oct 5, 2016, 6:12a

China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology

A Chinese company is building a spaceplane that would carry up to 20 tourists, according to a report from New Scientist. The government-backed China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology have designed two versions of a one-piece rocket that would take off on its own power, though some are skeptical of the academy’s approach.

Rocket scientist Lui Haiquang presented the project at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico last week, telling attendees that the academy’s designs could be scaled up to accommodate more passengers. Team leader Han Pengxin tells New Scientist that ground tests are nearly finished, and that he expects test flights to be completed “in the next two years.” Han expects payload launches to begin by 2020, and if proven to be safe, the spaceplane could carry passengers for about $200,000 to $250,000 per ride.

""It is always easier to draw illustrations and talk possibilities than to build and fly spacecraft.""

Other commercial spaceflight companies have similar ambitions. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo would carry six passengers to the edge of the atmosphere, as would New Shepard, the space capsule from Blue Origin. The Chinese project aims to carry significantly more passengers, and unlike SpaceShipTwo, which requires an aircraft to lift it to the edge of the atmosphere, the academy’s plane would take off “vertically like a rocket and land on the runway automatically without any ground or on-board intervention,” Han tells New Scientist.

The academy has designed two versions of the plane: a 10-tonne design that could carry five people to an altitude of 100 kilometers, and a 100-tonne version that would carry up to 20 passengers to an altitude of 130 kilometers. Both versions would be reusable, and the larger plane would be able to put small satellites into orbit, as well.

Roger Launius, of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, tells New Scientist that the project is an "interesting initiative," though he says the paper presented in Mexico last week still lacks important technical details. "It is always easier to draw illustrations and talk possibilities than to build and fly spacecraft," Launius tells the website.
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Food supply fears spark China land grab
« Reply #775 on: October 13, 2016, 06:10:10 PM »
1.3B People? NO PROBLEM!  We'll ship the food in from Africa!  ::)

What could possibly go wrong?  :icon_scratch:

RE

http://www.greanvillepost.com/2016/10/12/food-supply-fears-spark-china-land-grab/


Food supply fears spark China land grab
October 12, 2016 Rowan Wolf   

=By= Paul Brown
[Photo: A farmer in China spreads pesticide on her crops. Image: IFPRI via Flickr]

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 2.38.28 PM

With the impacts of climate change threatening food supply as population grows, China is buying land on other continents to grow more crops.

China is protecting itself against future food supply problems caused by climate change by buying or leasing large tracts of land in Africa and South America, a leading UK climate scientist says.

Professor Peter Wadhams, an expert on the disappearing Arctic ice, says that while countries in North America and Europe are ignoring the threat that changing weather patterns are causing to the world food supply, China is taking “self-protective action”.

He says that changes in the jet stream caused by the melting of the ice in the Arctic are threatening the most productive agricultural areas on the planet.

“The impact of extreme, often violent weather on crops in a world where the population continues to increase rapidly can only be disastrous,” he warns.

“Sooner or later, there will be an unbridgeable gulf between global food needs and our capacity to grow food in an unstable climate. Inevitably, starvation will reduce the world’s population.”


Land resources bought by China and Saudi representatives. Washington Post.

Protect food supply

Professor Wadhams, former head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, says China has already realised this is a threat to its future stability and has been taking over large areas of land in other countries to grow crops to protect its food supply.

The drawback, he says, is that the Chinese are introducing industrial agricultural practices that damage the soil, the water supply and the rivers.

“But China is positioning itself for the struggle to come − the struggle to find enough to eat,” he says. “By controlling land in other countries, they will control those countries’ food supply.”

Professor Wadhams, who is a former director of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, is the UK’s most experienced sea ice expert.

In his new book, A Farewell to Ice, he describes a number of serious threats to the planet resulting from the loss of Arctic ice. These include much greater sea level rise than estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), resulting in the flooding of cities and of low-lying deltas where much of the world’s food is grown.

    “China is positioning itself for the struggle
    to come − the struggle to find enough to eat”

He says China has seen the unrest in parts of the world caused by food price increases in 2011 during the Arab Spring, and has sought to guard against similar problems at home by buying land across the globe.

His warnings are echoed in Brazil, where there are concerns about Chinese plans to build a 3,300-mile (5,000km) railway to get soya, grain and timber to the coast to supply China’s needs.

But fears over land grabs by China are only a small part of the changing world that will be created by the loss of ice in the Arctic discussed by Wadhams in his book.

He attacks the last four British prime ministers − John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron − for talking about climate change and doing little. And he says his fellow scientists on the IPCC are failing in their duty to speak out about the full dangers of climate change.

Professor Wadhams told Climate News Network that colleagues “were too frightened of their jobs or losing their grants to spell out what was really happening”. He said it makes him very angry that they are failing in their duty through timidity.

Based on his own measurements and calculations, he believes that summer ice in the Arctic will disappear before 2020 – which is 30 years before the IPCC estimate. He also believes that sea level rise has been badly underestimated because the loss of ice from Greenland and the Antarctic was not included in the IPCC’s estimates.

“My estimates are based on real measurements of the ice in the Arctic – the IPCC rely on computer simulations. I know which I believe.”

He is also concerned about the large escapes of methane from the Arctic tundra and the shallow seas north of Siberia – again, something that has not been fully taken into account in the IPCC’s calculations on the speed of warming.
Bordering on dishonest

“They know it is happening, but they do not want to frighten the horses [alarm people]. It is bordering on the dishonest,” he says.

Professor Wadhams has concluded that there is now so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that dangerous warming is inevitable unless more drastic action is taken. He says reducing emissions will help, along with planting forests, but it will never be enough.

“What is needed is something that has not been invented yet − a large-scale method of passing air through a machine and taking out the carbon dioxide,” he says.

“In the long run, only by taking carbon out of the air can we hope to get the concentrations down enough to save us from dangerous climate change.

“It is a tall order, but if we spend enough money on research we can find a way. Our future depends on it.”
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Official Chinese Toast Thread
« Reply #776 on: October 13, 2016, 08:24:58 PM »
Quote
“My estimates are based on real measurements of the ice in the Arctic – the IPCC rely on computer simulations. I know which I believe.”

You can't take "real measurements" in the future and have them now, so his estimates are forecasts based on simulations just as much as the IPCC's are.  Since the IPCC models (all 31 of them, drawn from every recognised modeller) were calibrated using the REAL data available (2012?), the only differences he could have are those from 2013-2016.  That is not enough time for significant differences to have emerged.

Quote
He is also concerned about the large escapes of methane from the Arctic tundra and the shallow seas north of Siberia

He doesn't know how large these methane escapes are, nobody does, because it hasn't been monitored in enough locations to give an overall figure.  While there are indeed huge quantities of Methane locked up in permafrost, something has to melt the permafrost before the Methane is liberated.  While permafrost covers a large AREA, it is the permafrost VOLUME that gives the huge quantities of Methane.  Since the permafrost always refreezes in winter, and needs to be re-thawed in summer, a large quantity of that deeper permafrost will never be thawed, nor its methane released.

So what is he raving about? - well, he has a book to sell, so HE is right, and IPCC and everyone else is wrong.

Quote
What is needed is something that has not been invented yet − a large-scale method of passing air through a machine and taking out the carbon dioxide

And there is a reason why it will never be invented.  CO2 will only combine with reagents that are suitable, and they don't exist in nature - they have to be created by chemical means, against the thermodynamic equilibrium.  In other words, making the reagents to extract the CO2 is going to be energy-intensive, which means burning more fossil fuels, which creates more CO2.  And then you have to gather the raw materials to make the reagents, which requires transport, which requires fossil fuels, which creates more CO2.  And then you have to spread the reagents out, using transport, or force the air to the reagents, using energy.  And finally you have to reprocess the products to get back to the reagents, ready to start the cycle again, requiring more energy, more fossil fuels, and more CO2.

Coming at it a different way, there is Entropy in CO2 mixed in with air, that takes Energy to reverse.  It should be possible to quantify what the Entropy of Mixing is at 400 ppm, over and above the Entropy at 275 ppm (pre-industrial levels).  I can't do it, but it can be done.  How much energy is that, compared to everyday energy usage?  I guess it will be huge. That would set a minimum required energy for the task, that assumes 100% efficient processing.  The real efficiency would be a lot lower than that - CCS at the coal-fired power station is possible, but it is so energy-intensive that already it doesn't make energetic sense.

There is no solution to the extraction of CO2 from the air (and the oceans).  But fortunately, what the IPCC have got wrong is the prediction of the amount of fossil fuels that are going to be burned in the future.  They ignore Peak Fossils, so all the temperature predictions are too high.  Peak Fossils and the Collapse of Industrial Civilisation will prevent serious global warming, but of course THAT will be worse than anything Professor Peter Wadhams and the IPCC has ever contemplated.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 08:34:51 PM by Palloy »
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Chinese cruise ship ‘stuck at sea for two days in smog’
« Reply #777 on: January 05, 2017, 04:31:19 AM »
Burnt Toast.



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http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2059214/chinese-cruise-ship-stuck-sea-two-days-smog


China air pollution
Chinese cruise ship ‘stuck at sea for two days in smog’


Vessel unable to dock safely in Tianjin because severe air pollution limited visibility, newspaper reports
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2017, 12:37pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2017, 3:17pm

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3 Jan 2017

A large cruise ship with more than 2,000 people on board was stuck at sea for two days because it was unable to dock in the heavy smog that has enveloped much of northern China, according to a newspaper report.

The vessel finally returned to the Port of Tianjin on Monday afternoon after drifting for two days at sea, according to the Beijing Evening News. The thick air pollution had earlier made it impossible to safely berth the vessel, according to the article.

What goes into our lungs when we breathe in China’s severe smog?

A passenger was quoted as saying that the ship was scheduled to return on New Year’s Eve after travelling to South Korea and Japan.

But she was told by the crew that the ship could not dock as visibility was severely compromised by the smog.

She said the passengers had been unsure how long they would be stuck at sea but were grateful there was plenty of entertainment on board to kill time.

“Unlike passengers who are stuck at some public facilities like an airport, we got to use the pool and the gym to keep ourselves busy,” she said.

Drone footage showing extent of smog-stricken Beijing’s traffic jams leaves viewers gasping

The organiser of the trip, local travel agency Caissa Cruises, even held a banquet for the passengers to celebrate the New Year, she told the newspaper.

While the cruise ship was stuck at sea, over 1,000 other passengers were held up at the Tianjin port on New Year’s Eve waiting to board their South Korea-bound vessel which was delayed due to the thick smog, Tianjin Daily reported.

Discussions between passengers and the travel agency, Caissa Cruises, grew heated as the firm failed to provide them with lodging options, the report said. An elderly woman fainted during the fracas, it added.

One passenger posted on social media, saying that many non-locals were stranded at the port as roads had been closed and flights out of the city had also been cancelled.
Watch: Classes hit by smog in Beijing

The latest round of smog, which started on New Year’s Eve, has hit all forms of transport across the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area.

The authorities issued the first red alert for fog on Tuesday, affecting northern and eastern areas of the country

Schools have been closed and vehicles ordered to stay off the roads. A red alert means visibility may fall below 50 metres.
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An Old Guy and a Dog's Life in the Chinese Toaster
« Reply #778 on: June 07, 2017, 04:56:10 AM »
Toast.

RE

http://shanghaiist.com/2017/05/03/abandoned-luxury-villas.php


LOOK: Elderly man and his dog are only residents of abandoned community with 70 luxury villas


LOOK: Elderly man and his dog are only residents of abandoned community with 70 luxury villas

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This 75-year-old man is the only current resident of a sprawling community located next to a lake in Anhui province that includes over 70 luxury villas left abandoned before completion.

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Well, that's not entirely true. There's also the man's dog.

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The elderly man surnamed Gao is paid 1,800 yuan a month to keep watch over the deserted villas, along with all the construction equipment that has been left behind. Gao first got the job back in 2009 soon after the project began with a 300 million yuan investment. But two years ago, the 130,000 square meter site along Chaohu Lake in Anhui's capital city of Hefei was abandoned, NetEase reports. Since then, the weeds have taken over.

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Now, the only one living there is Gao who stays in a shabby bungalow next to the entrance gate of the "ghost town" and spends his time tending to his small vegetable garden and taking care of the stray dog he has adopted.

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In the last decade, Chinese companies have embarked on numerous ambitious real estate projects in anticipation of millions more people leaving the countryside for the city. While some of these projects have worked out, others have not. Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced China's most ambitious development project yet -- turning a Hebei backwater into this century's version of Shenzhen or Pudong.

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China's Workers and the Emerging Intern Class
« Reply #779 on: December 19, 2017, 12:08:28 AM »
http://apjjf.org/2017/24/Chen.html

China's Workers and the Emerging Intern Class
Michelle Chen


Student interns en route to their assignments
   
December 14, 2017
Volume 15 | Issue 24 | Number 3

Every day, the ranks of China’s young workforce bubble with bright minds, a cosmopolitan vanguard, striving for a piece of the coveted “Chinese dream”— that level of technical and professional jobs and economic security never known to their parents’ generation. But every day the race for Asia’s globalization miracle masks a shadow labor market that uses the education system to exploit a hyper-competitive youth labor market, under crushing pressure to achieve middle-class status.

In September 2017, youth activists in Hong Kong launched a campaign to expose one facet of this growing phenomenon of youth in precarious manufacturing work: the labor advocacy group Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) called out one cutting-edge tech brand for perpetuating exploitative labor practices in its supply chains in China. The group’s investigation into the Quanta Chongqing factory—a mega-industrial facility in one of China's rapidly developing inland cities, which Beijing has been promoting as rising global export hubs—revealed a small army of young laborers. Although these student workers were, on paper, described as temporary interns, presumably apprenticing for skilled positions in electronics—they hardly matched the international profile of China’s best and brightest marching toward technological progress: rather, they were, according to a recent research investigation, often engaged in the grudge work of neoliberal capital, toiling as many as 12 hours a day, sometimes overnight, without the standard labor protections afforded to regular workers and in gross violation of China’s regulations for protecting student interns.

SACOM accused Quanta, a Taiwanese-owned subcontractor for some of the world’s leading tech brands, of forcing student interns to work under harsh conditions under the guise of educational programming. The work performed, according to the group’s investigation, had little to do with training, nor was it compensated according to the skills or time they had invested in vocational school programs. And on an institutional level, their role as cogs in Apple's supply chain fueled a wider phenomenon of student workers being drafted as inexpensive “surplus” labor for China's export economy.

Ironically, these youth also fit the demographic profile of China’s emerging consumer class, who relish their Apple, Samsung and Microsoft products as icons of a new material culture. The two sides of China’s millennial caste—the surging “youthquake” of mass consumption, alongside an increasingly precarious and alienated wave of young low-wage workers, many of them among China’s three hundred million rural migrants—represent two faces of China’s rising young masses. Trapped between soaring ambitions and increasingly constricted prospects for social advancement, they are tethered to a labor market and a product market built on Digital Age sweatshops.

A “Social Responsibility” Crisis

Following SACOM's report, Quanta, a leading producer of laptops, and other electronic products denied the allegations in the press, though it did not directly refute the group's claims. But SACOM's campaign primarily targeted the top of the supply chain, calling on Apple to adhere to its Corporate Social Responsibility code by reining in exploitation of student workers and pushing to improve wages and working conditions at its suppliers. Though Apple has publicly denied SACOM's claims on their specific charge that its longtime supplier Quanta was directly producing the Apple Watch Series 3 model in question at the Chonqing plant. However, activists dispute Apple's refutation, saying their investigations show that the company is still profiting from its intern workforce on an ongoing basis, though it appears to have since severed a specific recent contract under pressure. Recently, in fact, Apple issued its own report conceding that an internal audit had uncovered labor exploitation of interns at a different facility run by another major multinational electronics supplier, Foxconn, its leading supplier and China’s largest industrial employer with more than one million workers..

Following a similar pattern of plausible deniability, HP did not respond specifically to the charges following SACOM’s reports, but later told The Guardian that it closely regulates its supply chain to ensure compliance with local labor standards. Multinational brands often distance themselves from smaller under-regulated subcontractors at the base of its supply chain. Following a labor scandal, tech giants routinely promise to investigate such incidents under their voluntary social responsibility codes. But while companies perfunctorily reassure the public they will self-regulate their sourcing, the usual methods of internal supply-chain monitoring and factory audits have been criticized as ineffective whitewashing by independent advocacy groups.

More broadly, the reports of widespread intern abuse represent the standard, not the exception, in China’s low-wage manufacturing system. With more development moving into regional interior cities and manufacturing investment shifting to cheaper parts of Asia, the workforce is being dispersed across more remote areas, and labor watchdogs warn of downward pressure on wages and a decline in government regulation of working conditions.

An analysis from Hong Kong Polytechnic University researcher Jenny Chan (who is also a contributing editor of The Asia Pacific Journal) describes an intern labor pipeline in which significant numbers of the 18 million youth in vocational schools find themselves programmed as labor bots, powering assembly lines through the systematic cheapening of student labor presented as internships. These interns are often subjected to worse conditions and lower wages than the standard employees they work alongside in violation of China’s internship laws prohibiting 16- to 18-year old students from working overtime and night shifts. According to Chan, across China’s manufacturing sector, scarcely regulated networks of low-wage casual student labor enable both government and commercial profiteers to profiteer from a “two-tier” labor system, under a legal rubric of vocational education.

China’s electronics-export sector banks on young people’s career aspirations to fill spots in its supply chain. As the exclusionary university exam system shunts millions of “leftover” Chinese students into vocational schools. The system is driven by and perpetuates collusion with multinationals with interns channeled into high-tech low-skill factories: as Chinese wages have risen with global manufacturing investments over the last decade, the internship infrastructure has simultaneously emerged as a way for huge corporations, including Honda and another massive Apple contractor, Foxconn, to circumvent regulations and strip student-workers of their labor rights. Foreign-contracted Chinese firms exploit young workers as disposable seasonal labor required to work long illegal overtime hours to meet peak-season production demands (as when a new iPhone rolls out), at the expense of their families, the school system, and low-wage workers of all skill levels.

 

Student interns working at Foxconn


Yet some of the hyperexploited interns in the investigation have sometimes displayed a savvy awareness of their degraded status. A 16-year-old interviewee told researchers: “Come on, what do you think we’ve learned standing for more than ten hours a day manning machines on the line?…There’s no relation to what we study in school. Every day is just a repetition of one or two simple motions, like a robot.”

Since the student workforce churns seasonally with the academic calendar, these feeder programs offer no professional development opportunities or promotional prospects. Interns are excluded from core social-welfare obligations that accompany standard employment, saving companies from matching payments, while they work the comparable, backbreaking hours, often as many as 60 hours a week including overtime. The paternalistic social structure, typically constructed around a dorm-like living arrangement, is designed to present a youthful atmosphere. But the insularity of the intern’s work-lives, coupled with the constant surveillance of their activities, risks eroding student-workers’ sense of personal autonomy as lines between their jobs and private lives blur.

The main feeders for this workforce are vocational institutions that, like for-profit trade schools in the United States, reflect the corporatization and commercialization of the “middle tier” education system. Since internships are incorporated into the training—while heavily promoted by local governments and teachers as a career springboard—young interns enter jobs hoping to prepare for careers as technicians, healthcare workers, or business managers. But by the time they discover they’ve been piped into seasonal grunt work on electronics-assembly lines with no training in their specializations, their time is already firmly controlled by their quasi-employers, who, through shady contract arrangements with schools and labor agencies, are able to expand work terms “to meet production needs, ranging from three months to a full year, with scant regard for student training needs.”

At Foxconn, China’s largest industrial employer, for example, students who are legally exempt from “medical insurance, work injury insurance, unemployment benefits, maternity insurance, and old age pensions” are also, because of their trainee status, excluded from the standard on-the-job “skills subsidy” for long-term workers, despite being typically underpaid.

At Quanta Chongqing, similarly, recruiting firms had reportedly drawn students from local vocational schools, helping to stock the assembly lines with more than 60 percent of the total workforce, according to one mid-level manager. In language reflecting the on-demand global tech economy, he explained to researchers that students served as a more “flexible” spigot of labor than the older worker pool who might be hired for longer-term jobs: “It takes only a few weeks,” he said, “to order those students from the schools....The factory doesn’t want to keep too many regular workers as it gets far fewer orders during low seasons. You can’t easily fire workers if they are regular employees, but you can tell the interns to leave at almost any time.

SACOM has accused Quanta of violating both domestic labor law and Apple’s corporate code of conduct. Existing policies require generally that student internships in the manufacturing sector involve work relevant to their major. But overall, the intern experience today reflects the structural incentives in the neoliberal global economy to rely on a fluid, liminal workforce of expendable workers, as interchangeable as the widgets they produce.

The charges brought against Quanta fit a grimly familiar pattern of young students being pressed to work in manufacturing facilities as part of a school-mandated internship. But the persistence of the pattern over years, despite existing laws limiting internships to education-related activities, show that current oversight mechanisms are failing. Whether this is a product of suppliers managing to continue finding ways to circumvent the law, often in collusion with local governments, or of regulators being under-resourced or corrupted, a sense of malign neglect surrounds the supply network. This is most clearly borne out in the public denials among multinational firms operating in China. While companies like Apple may be technically able to downplay links to certain subcontractors with unsavory track records, watchdog reports regularly turn up contravening evidence, tracing at least some parts of various devices back to unregulated subcontracted facilities with brutal labor practices. The links are often indirect, and perhaps increasingly institutionalized, as complicity throughout the industry keeps global importers, China-based vendors, and multinational subcontractors intertwined under a status quo of mutually reinforcing profits.

According to Chan, because of the scarcity of decent job opportunities for students excluded from university, employers readily capitalize on the rising vocational-worker surplus, knowing that, by law, interns “don’t have the right to join trade unions,” and, in turn, “are wanted also because they can be used to break the strikes or to divide the labor force. This is integral to control of the work force.”

Chan also argues that recent reforms purporting to standardize internships might have further entrenched the two-tier system, since the measures “institutionalized the reality that interns would be paid at 80 percent of employees of the same positions.” So in effect, “the state is actively shaping and sustaining labor precarization.”

There are signs that the government is getting more serious about cracking down on intern abuses and pressuring corporations to police their own supply chains. For example, the central government promulgated a new internship law for vocational students in April 2016, setting age limits on hiring students and adding parent consent mandates as well as standards for three-party contracts for schools, businesses and students. SACOM’s report on Quanta notes that another Apple supplier, Foxconn Zhengzhou, under pressure from critics, issued a memorandum in the summer 2017 barring the hiring of all students under 22 years of age and clarifying vetting requirements for hiring older students.

Though this appears to indicate that the company, and Apple, as the chief contractor, are focused on compliance, the crisis at Quanta suggests that massive exploitation continues, even within a framework of voluntary corporate “compliance.”

Moreover, Chan noted in follow-up correspondence that while the government moved to tighten regulations in 2016, recent labor investigations suggest the practice of pressing interns into excessive shifts has persisted at Foxconn, and the cases that have attracted media attention represent “probably the tip of a huge iceberg.” Noting the role of global electronics brands in creating an “on demand” manufacturing system that relies on precarious intern labor, she adds that although there might be “pro-labor legislators at the center...the new rules on internship governance are weakly implemented thus far.” Amid market forces buttressing corporate impunity, the integrity of the regulatory system may hinge on civil society and independent labor activism through grassroots initiatives like SACOM.

 

The Global Incorporation of Education in the Neoliberal Era

Once a vaunted institution of social advancement in Chinese society, vocational schools have turned into clearinghouses for working-class youth, as bosses and local officials pressure program managers to dispatch short-term laborers to meet companies’ production goals. Yes, students nominally volunteer for these programs, but as Chan explains, interns are socialized and taught by teachers to “unthink exploitation” in a way that, in the eyes of the state, rationalizes the expropriation of their undervalued labor.

Parallel examples can be seen in the United States with a similar internship model that treats the pre-professional internship program (often available to college students or recent graduates) as a form of apprenticeship that is generally exempt from the federal regulatory standards that apply to regular workers. Instead, a parallel legal framework has emerged, one established about 70 years ago, long before they became a white-collar training ground in professions ranging from entertainment to law offices. Journalist and activist Ross Perlin has explored the structural implications of this for the wider US workforce, positing that equity at every level of labor is undermined when the law grants corporations unlimited authority to employ an underregulated contingent workforce with the intention of meeting spot labor demands with as few legal obligations as possible. Any two-tier system of labor, Perlin argues, promotes displacement and substandard work. This is even the case in white-collar professions when a surplus labor force is available, particularly when young trainees are desperate to “break into” a field. The system often operates with impunity in collusion between the intern's educational institution and the firm.

The pattern currently unfolding in China’s student labor system illustrates one extreme example of the consequences of this convergence of educational, political, regulatory and business institutions in a cycle of exploitation and structural corruption, affecting the entire spectrum of the economic hierarchy, from the classroom to the corporate boardroom.

 

Intern Ethics

The fundamental ethical dilemma underlying the internship system is that interns eviscerate the wage system by allowing academic credit or ill-defined “learning experience” to lower or eliminate their compensation to the benefit of the firm. The legal definition of an internship requires that the work offer “primary benefit” in the form of vocational or educational reward, to the intern. But often, the employer capitalizes on degrading the real-life value of the work as a vocational program and by setting intern wages far below standard wages for workers they essentially replace. To an even greater extent, perhaps, than professional industries in the US, China's intern economy has been captured by a liminal labor infrastructure in which the state, corporations, and the educational bureaucracy cooperate to maximize production and profit at the student’s expense.

Nonetheless, Perlin also reflects on the potential ramifications of reform—noting a backlash that has emerged recently in some industries as interns have taken legal action and campaigned to end the abuse of unpaid and underpaid internships. Though there has been some legal backslide, he argues that the momentum is on the side of the many workers at all tiers of the workforce who see the corrosive effects of internships on workplace standards. This will require, he points out in a recent commentary, stronger regulations that align internship conditions with those of federal labor law. As the two-tier structure is leveled out, he argues in a New York Times commentary, “those workers who have been displaced or in many cases replaced by unpaid labor, by unpaid interns, will benefit.

In China, a regulatory overhaul could yield similar benefits for students and the workers they often replace, if it provides a streamlined way of investing in their education in a career-track job. When the law incentivizes a more balanced distribution of jobs across different social segments, the resulting restructuring of the labor force will allow a more orderly economic procession that encourages more sustainable development, which the government is already trying to promote in order to harness the country's overheated expansion.

The tech sector might be especially primed for change, given the relative mobility and international exposure of the workforce: Part of China's recent efforts to reform intern labor has called for reducing the number of internships—for example, by aiming to cap intern employment at 10 percent of a facility’s total workforce and no more than 20 percent of workers in a specific position—and importantly, ensuring some educational programming is incorporated into existing internships. International industry associations such as the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition have called for revamping vocational education systems in order to improve program quality. Still, applying these regulations remains dependent on the industry's willingness to pioneer a new model of public accountability and social sustainability, which is spurred from below by public pressure from the next generation of worker-consumers.

The trend of “proletarianization” of students should also inform American and global debates on the future of work. In the current national push to train and uplift the semi-skilled workforce and revive manufacturing after decades of offshoring, US communities should be wary of what kind of work President Trump is promising to “bring back” from abroad. The potential for shared exploitation—not the shared prosperity neoliberalism professes to give us—makes the rights and welfare of China’s intern class deeply relevant as young workers worldwide grapple with the question of what kind of future they can build.

 

This is a revised and expanded version of an article that originally appeared at The Nation on May 31, 2017 under the title "Your Phone May Have Been Built by an Intern.
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