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GreenCarReports

Audi CEO arrested in Germany over diesel scandal 

By Eric C. Evarts

Jun 18, 2018

VW's diesel scandal is far from over.

In the latest move on the political chessboard, German authorities arrested the head of VW's luxury division Audi at his home Monday morning according to a Reuters report. German authorities cited concerns that Stadler could obstruct their ongoing investigation into the diesel emissions cheating scandal. A German judge ordered Stadler held in custody to prevent him from obstructing or hindering the diesel investigation, the report said.

Audi and VW confirmed the arrest to Reuters and noted that under German law Stadler is presumed innocent unless proved otherwise.

Audi admitted two months after VW did that it had also installed cheat device software on its cars to fool emissions testing equipment to deliver clean readings on tests even though its cars actually emitted as much as 35 times more pollution than allowed on the road.

Although most of the attention to VW's emissions scandal has been focused on the U.S., where eight company officials have been charged, investigations are also ongoing in Germany, where the cars also failed to meet on-road emissions standards.

CHECK OUT: Audi e-Tron Electric Car To Offer 150-kW Quick Charging Sites

Stadler, the former chief of staff to VW's powerful former chairman Ferdinand Piech, had been handed the post as head of Audi in an effort to promote the automaker's transition to electric-car production. His arrest is likely to throw those restructuring efforts at VW into turmoil.

Audi announced in 2015 that it would develop a new all-electric SUV, the e-tron, and work to build a network of fast chargers around the United States to support the car. As part of a consent decree approved by the court, VW agreed to form a new division, Electrify America, to build a $2 billion network of fast chargers around the United States, and the Audi plan was rolled into that effort. Electrify America has now opened its first locations in the U.S. and laid out its plans for further

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1117271_audi-ceo-arrested-in-germany-over-diesel-scandal


Thanks for the update on diesel-gate.

I'm interested to see what Audi brings to the dance with the H-Tron concept.
2


Paris MoU Releases 2017 “White, Grey and Black” List: United States Falls to Grey as Korea, Poland Move to White

June 19, 2018 by gCaptain

bulk ship in egypt By Igor Grochev / Shutterstock

The Paris MoU has approved its 2017 port state control inspection results for 2017 and adopted its new “White, Grey, and Black” performance lists for flag states and Recognized Organizations (ROs).

The Paris MoU’s annual “White, Grey and Black (WGB) List” ranks flag states from best to worst, from flags with a high performance (White) to flags with poor performance that are considered high or very high risk (Black). The List is based on the total number of inspections and detentions over a 3-year rolling period for flags with at least 30 inspections in the period.

The new “White, Grey and Black List” for 2017 is to take effect from 1 July 2018, at which point it is used to calculate an individual Ship Risk Profile. Typically, flags on the “Grey List” and “Black List” are subject to more stringent banning measures.

The Paris MoU consists of 27 participating maritime Administrations and covers the waters of the European coastal States and the North Atlantic basin from North America to Europe. Its mission is to eliminate the operation of sub-standard ships through a “harmonized system” of port State control.

Each year, more than Annually more than 18,000 individual inspections take place on board foreign ships in the Paris MoU ports, ensuring that these ships meet international safety, security and environmental standards, and that crew members have adequate living and working conditions.

In its newly adopted 2017 “White, Grey and Black List”, the Paris MoU included a total of 73 flags – the same number as last year.

This year’s list had a total of 40 on the “White List”, 20 on the “Grey List” and 13 on the “Black List”. This compares with 42 on the “White List”, 19 on the “Grey List”, and 12 on the “Black List” last year.

New to the “White List” this year, i.e. flags with a consistently-high performance record, are the Republic of Korea and Poland. The top performer this year is France, followed by the Cayman Islands, Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom, respectively.

Korea’s move to “White List” comes after one year on the “Grey List”.

Flags with an average performance are shown on the “Grey List”. On this year’s “Grey List” a total number of 20 flags are recorded, an increase of one compared to last year’s list.

New to the “Grey List” this year is the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and the United States, which were all on the “White List” last year.

The United States moved back to the “Grey List”, ranking as the 43rd best performer behind Algeria and Kazakhstan on the “Grey List”.

From being a non-listed flag last year, Tuvalu is now on the “Grey List”.

The only change to the “Black List” this year is the addition of the Ukraine. The Republic of Congo came in last as the worst performer.

For several years, the Committee has also closely monitored the performance of ROs acting on behalf of flags.

To calculate the performance of the ROs, the same formula to calculate the excess factor of the flags is used. A minimum number of 60 inspections per RO are needed before the performance is taken into account for the list. In the RO performance table to be used for the calculation of the Ship Risk Profile from 1 July 2018, 34 ROs are listed.

In 2017, there was a only a small shift in RO performance compared to last year.

This year, three ROs are in the very low performing position against none last year. Three ROs are in the low performing positions compared to four last year and 17 ROs are in the medium position of the list compared to 19 last year.

Details of the responsibility of the ROs for detainable deficiencies have been published since 1999. When one or more detainable deficiencies are attributed to an RO in accordance with the Paris MoU criteria, this is recorded as “RO responsible” and the RO is informed. Out of 685 detentions recorded in 2017, 99 or 14.5% were considered RO related compared to 13.9% in 2016.

Port State Control regimes carry out inspections on ships to monitor and enforce compliance with international regulations. Since the first regional PSC agreement was signed in 1982 (the Paris MoU), the IMO has since supported the establishment of a global network of eight additional regional PSC regimes.

The nine regimes now cover Europe and the North Atlantic (Paris MoU); Asia and the Pacific (Tokyo MoU); Latin America (Acuerdo de Vińa del Mar); Caribbean (Caribbean MoU); West and Central Africa (Abuja MoU); Black Sea (Black Sea MoU); Mediterranean Sea (Mediterranean MoU); Indian Ocean (Indian Ocean MoU); and Persian Gulf (Riyadh MoU). The United States Coast Guard maintains the tenth PSC regime.

During an IMO workshop in October 2017, the world’s Port State Control regimes agreed to consider moving away from black/grey/white lists and towards expanding an individual ship risk profile approach.

You can view the Paris MoU’s complete 2017 “White, Grey and Black” list here (opens as pdf)

http://gcaptain.com/paris-mous-2017-white-grey-and-black-list-united-states-falls-to-grey-as-korea-poland-move-to-white/
3


First Battery-Powered Offshore Supply Vessel in the Gulf of Mexico

June 20, 2018 by gCaptain
Photo: SEACOR Marine

Louisiana-based SEACOR Marine has completed the installation of the first hybrid battery power system on an an offshore support vessel in the Gulf of Mexico.

SEACOR Marine conducted the upgrade of its OSV SEACOR Maya at Bollinger Shipyards in Morgan City, Louisiana.

In March 2018, the company contracted the American Bureau of Shipping to class the SEACOR Maya as the first OSV in the Gulf of Mexico to operate using hybrid power. Following the successful modification to hybrid lithium battery power propulsion and successful sea trials in May, the vessel was issued its Interim Class Certificate from the ABS with additional notation BATTERY-Li, the first ever ABS OSV to have this notation.

SEACOR Maya is currently operated by MexMar, SEACOR Marine’s joint venture in Mexico.

“The successful installation of a hybrid power solution along with the first ever ABS OSV BATTERY-Li notation is a big milestone for our company,” said John Gellert, SEACOR Marine’s Chief Executive Officer. “We have long believed that cutting edge hybrid power technology has the potential to improve vessel efficiency, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 20 percent. Early indications from sea trials of SEACOR Maya put us well within reach of this target and validate the success of our investment.”

“The new hybrid lithium battery system will also help us improve safety, drive energy efficiencies and reduce our overall environmental impact. As governments tighten emissions standards, this technology will be a key competitive differentiator, leaving us well placed to take advantage of an upturn in the market,” Gellert added.

SEACOR Marine has also engaged with ABS to provide the additional BATTERY-Li notation on three additional OSVs operated by MexMar, including SEACOR Azteca, SEACOR Warrior, and SEACOR Viking.

The vessels are expected to be upgraded to a similar battery system as SEACOR Maya with the upgrade expected to be completed by September 2018. SEACOR Marine will also install the technology onboard six vessels under construction at COSCO shipyard in Guangdong.

The first two vessels are due for delivery by the end of 2018, with the remaining vessels set for delivery in 2020.

The lithium-ion-based systems for all four vessels, called the Orca Energy Storage Systems, is supplied by Corvus Energy. Kongsberg Maritime designed the supply and integration of the hybrid power into the vessels’ control, power monitoring, and dynamic positioning systems. Corvus and Kongsberg are contracted on all four of vessels operated by MexMar as well.

http://gcaptain.com/first-battery-powered-offshore-supply-vessel-in-the-gulf-of-mexico/
4
Agelbert Newz / Audi CEO 🎩 arrested in Germany over diesel scandal
« Last post by agelbert on Today at 01:26:21 PM »
GreenCarReports

Audi CEO arrested in Germany over diesel scandal 

By Eric C. Evarts

Jun 18, 2018

VW's diesel scandal is far from over.

In the latest move on the political chessboard, German authorities arrested the head of VW's luxury division Audi at his home Monday morning according to a Reuters report. German authorities cited concerns that Stadler could obstruct their ongoing investigation into the diesel emissions cheating scandal. A German judge ordered Stadler held in custody to prevent him from obstructing or hindering the diesel investigation, the report said.

Audi and VW confirmed the arrest to Reuters and noted that under German law Stadler is presumed innocent unless proved otherwise.

Audi admitted two months after VW did that it had also installed cheat device software on its cars to fool emissions testing equipment to deliver clean readings on tests even though its cars actually emitted as much as 35 times more pollution than allowed on the road.

Although most of the attention to VW's emissions scandal has been focused on the U.S., where eight company officials have been charged, investigations are also ongoing in Germany, where the cars also failed to meet on-road emissions standards.

CHECK OUT: Audi e-Tron Electric Car To Offer 150-kW Quick Charging Sites

Stadler, the former chief of staff to VW's powerful former chairman Ferdinand Piech, had been handed the post as head of Audi in an effort to promote the automaker's transition to electric-car production. His arrest is likely to throw those restructuring efforts at VW into turmoil.

Audi announced in 2015 that it would develop a new all-electric SUV, the e-tron, and work to build a network of fast chargers around the United States to support the car. As part of a consent decree approved by the court, VW agreed to form a new division, Electrify America, to build a $2 billion network of fast chargers around the United States, and the Audi plan was rolled into that effort. Electrify America has now opened its first locations in the U.S. and laid out its plans for further

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1117271_audi-ceo-arrested-in-germany-over-diesel-scandal
5
Liftra’s Blade Way 💫 brings down turbine blades without a crane

By Paul Dvorak | June 15, 2018

Wind turbine service company Liftra launched the Blade Way 💫 in 2017 and introduced it at AWEA’s recent Windpower 2018 conference, as a way to remove and replace wind turbine blades without the time and cost expense of a high-reach crane. Blade Way has a rated capacity of 14.6 tons, and it can work at peak wind speeds of 12 m/s.



These are the main components of a Liftra Blade Way 💫 blade-removal system.

A few of its advantages include:

Reduced mobilization costs that come from its transport in just two standard 40-foot containers. It boasts of universal compatibility thanks to a system that is configurable for all major turbine brands. Its proven wire system and controls are based on the company’s self-hoisting crane. Also, proven blade yokes are based on the last seven years of development in vertical blade installation technology.

The system is comprised of two blade yokes, one for the root end of the blade and one for the tip end, and a hub sling and hoist block.

The components of the Blade Way include:

֍ Blade Way wire system at the turbine hub.

֍ A dual light-weight crane with two arms for hoisting the hub sling and hoist block.

֍ A steel A-frame that attaches to the container for gaining wire height, and the

֍ Wire system that runs from a winch in the container through the A-Frame and both blade yokes up to the hub sling.

Blade Way 💫 brings down a blade for repair.


The Blade Way 💫 sets up at a turbine and removes a blade this way:

1. Workers position the blade to be replaced by turning the rotor to position the faulty blade vertically.

2. The dual light-weight crane is hoisted with the internal turbine crane and mounted inside the nacelle.

3. With the light-weight crane, the hub sling system is hoisted and hooked around the two ‘bunny-ear’ blades.

4. The root yoke and tip yoke are threaded and hoisted along the wires to each end of the vertical blade.

5. The root yoke clamps the root end of the blade, and the tip yoke clamps the tip end, both at precisely defined positions.

6. The blade is lowered to the ground, either with or without the blade bearing.

Once on the ground, the blade or bearing is changed, and the blade can be hoisted back up and reattached to the hub.

https://www.windpowerengineering.com/operations-maintenance/liftras-blade-way-brings-down-turbine-blades-without-a-crane/
6
CGE Energy obtains U.S. patent for installation process of its WIND-e20 turbine
By Michelle Froese | June 20, 2018

CGE Energy, Inc. announces that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. 9,970,410 to the company, entitled, “Installation and erec tion assembly for an elongated structure.” This patent covers the proprietary equipment used for the easy delivery and crane-less installation of CGE Energy’s WIND•e20 vertical-axis wind turbine.

CGE Energy says its WIND•e20 is the world’s only turbine that can be installed, maintained, and removed without a single crane. The turbine can be delivered on the back of a standard flatbed truck, self-erects, and be installed within days.

CGE’s newly issued patent covers a hydraulic installation frame, devised to support their WIND•e20 turbine (or other wind turbines or elongated structures) in a folded arrangement for transportation on a trailer, and to support assembly and erec tion of the turbine. This transport frame enables the turbine to be delivered on a flatbed truck and can lie flat for maintenance without the need of a crane. This diverges from the way traditional horizontal wind turbines are assembled after delivery, which typically require costly cranes for installation and repair.

“This unique patented technology offers easy turbine transportation using a single truck and trailer,” said Bryan Zaplitny, President and CEO of CGE Energy, as well as, one of the solution’s inventors. “The expansion of our intellectual property portfolio is an integral aspect of CGE Energy’s turbine development and commercialization strategy aimed at positioning the WIND•e20 as a first-in-class onsite energy generator.”

This patent adds to the list of other key patents that are owned by CGE, including having a fluid driven turbine that generates power from wind blowing from any direction, its generator and primary components located in the base of the turbine, and hydraulic locking joints within the turbine’s segmented blades, which allow them to collapse flat against the rotor.

CGE Energy’s strategic manufacturing partner for WIND•e20 is Roush, headquartered in Livonia, Michigan. CGE Energy is also working with Roush’s team to patent innovations that will make WIND•e20 an integral part of the community, bringing positive impact to communications, life safety, homeland security and emergency response.

The WIND•e20 uses three segmented blades to produce power from 20 to 100 kW, depending on generator size. The spinning blades appear solid to birds so they fly 🦅 around the working turbine. 

https://www.windpowerengineering.com/business-news-projects/cge-energy-issues-u-s-patent-for-installation-process-of-its-wind-e20-turbine/
7
Far Out Newz / I Will Not Comply
« Last post by azozeo on Today at 01:22:40 PM »

The latest update from Max Igan.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/55aFy8TrZ0w&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/55aFy8TrZ0w&fs=1</a>
8
Agelbert Newz / IEA Says Global EV Fleet Will Triple In 2 Years ✨
« Last post by agelbert on Today at 01:21:08 PM »
INSIDEEVs

IEA Says Global EV Fleet Will Triple In 2 Years


JUN 19 2018

BY MARK KANE

The International Energy Agency forecast in its latest Global Electric Vehicles Outlook that the number of plug-in electric cars will triple in the next two years.

More than one million plug-in cars were sold in 2017, so the total global fleet exceeded 3 million (54% up year-over-year).

IEA sees strong policy and falling battery costs as the main forces that drives plug-in sales to new record levels every year.

Read Also – Plug-In Electric Car Sales Hit 1,224,000 in 2017

Depending on the scenario, the number of plug-in cars could reach 125 to 220 million by 2030.


he biggest plug-in car market is of course China (580,000 cars in 2017, up 72% year-over-year), but nothing compares to the market share in Nordic countries.

Quote
“Nordic countries remain leaders in market share. Electric cars accounted for 39% of new car sales in Norway, making it the world leader in electric vehicle (EV) market share. In Iceland, new EV sales were 12% of the total while the share reached 6% in Sweden. Germany and Japan also saw strong growth, with sales more than doubling in both countries from their 2016 levels.”


The number of publicly accessible charging stations worldwide was ~430,000 at the end of 2017, according to the report.


Bloomberg’s review of the report notes four major points:

֍ China will remain biggest market

֍ The oil market finally will start to feel the demand displaced by EVs

֍ Governments will recognize falling taxes from road fuel (up to $42 billion by 2030) although we believe it will be offset by higher taxes and higher price of the vehicles

֍ There will be need to build at least 10 more battery factories, of a gigafactory size, by 2025 to meet the demand of nearly 800 GWh annually.

“Electric mobility is not limited to cars. In 2017, the stock of electric buses rose to 370,000 from 345,000 in 2016, and electric two-wheelers reached 250 million. The electrification of these modes of transport has been driven almost entirely by China, which accounts for more than 99% of both electric bus and two-wheeler stock, though registrations in Europe and India are also growing.

Charging infrastructure is also keeping pace. In 2017, the number of private chargers at homes and workplaces was estimated at almost 3 million worldwide. In addition, there were about 430,000 publicly accessible chargers worldwide in 2017, a quarter of which were fast chargers. Fast chargers are especially important in densely populated cities and serve an essential role in boosting the appeal of EVs by enabling long-distance travel.

The growth of EVs has largely been driven by government policy, including public procurement programmes, financial incentives reducing the cost of purchase of EVs, tightened fuel-economy standards and regulations on the emission of local pollutants, low- and zero-emission vehicle mandates and a variety of local measures, such as restrictions on the circulation of vehicles based on their pollutant emission performances.

The rapid uptake of EVs has also been helped by progress made in recent years to improve the performance and reduce the costs of lithium-ion batteries. However, further battery cost reductions and performance improvements are essential to improve the appeal of EVs. These are achievable with a combination of improved chemistries, increased production scale and battery sizes, according to the report. Further improvements are possible with the transition to technologies beyond lithium-ion.

Innovations in battery chemistry will also be needed to maintain growth as there are supply issues with core elements that make up lithium-ion batteries, such as nickel, lithium and cobalt. The supply of cobalt is particularly subject to risks as almost 60% of the global production of cobalt is currently concentrated in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Additionally, the capacity to refine and process raw cobalt is highly concentrated, with China controlling 90% of refining capacity. Even accounting for ongoing developments in battery chemistry, cobalt demand for EVs is expected to be between 10 and 25 times higher than current levels by 2030.

The report notes that ensuring the increased uptake of EVs while meeting social and environmental sustainability goals requires the adoption and enforcement of minimum standards on labour and environmental conditions. The environmental sustainability of batteries also requires the improvement of end-of-life and material recycling processes.

Looking forward, supportive policies and cost reductions are likely to lead to continued significant growth in the EV market. In the IEA’s New Policies Scenario, which takes into account current and planned policies, the number of electric cars is projected to reach 125 million units by 2030. Should policy ambitions rise even further to meet climate goals and other sustainability targets, as in the EV30@30 Scenario, the number of electric cars on the road could be as high as 220 million in 2030.”

https://insideevs.com/iea-says-global-ev-fleet-will-triple-in-2-years/
9
Somebody should do this with suicide rates.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/shqJR_0WdrI?ecver=2" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/shqJR_0WdrI?ecver=2</a>

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Quote
We often hear about shifting unemployment rate at the national scale. It went up. It went down. It changes month-to-month. But unemployment is very regional, more common in some areas of the country than others. In many areas, unemployment rates remain relatively high despite the decreases in the national average.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates county-level unemployment on a monthly basis. You can also get annual averages that go back to 1990. In the animated map above, I used the datasets to show the shifts over the past few decades.

Watch out for the big shift between 2008 and 2011 — and then the decrease in unemployment leading up to the present.

https://flowingdata.com/2016/10/17/animated-map-of-unemployment/

Since I have been in the same place over the time period of the map I watched my spot.  The changes were a barometer of how well I have been doing.  Even the places where I had a job but nobody who had a job at the time was stupid enough to switch are a shade of gray that matches the time.  The times when musical chairs could be played are brighter.  My unemployment periods match the map except I lagged the map the last time I had to get re-employed.  A lot of people destroyed between 2008-2010 vanished so I was lucky.  It will happen again and many will vanish.

I expect a map of suicides would match pretty well to this one.
10
The Billionaire Class is Not Fit to Rule – Paul Jay

June 21, 2018

The ruling elites are creating a world where the majority of people suffer the consequences of the climate crisis and massive unemployment while the super-rich use artificial intelligence to save themselves – a commentary by TRNN’s Senior Editor

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Uzd1AMvL7JQ&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Uzd1AMvL7JQ&fs=1</a>

Story Transcript

The urgency of the situation is startling. The more I look at it, the more it scares the hell out of me. But that’s sort of the point. We need to tell people the whole truth about the urgency of this historical moment. The existential threat of the current moment. Of course, it feels overwhelming, but it does not have to be paralyzing. People can say we are being alarmist, but it’s past time to be alarmed.

While the fight for health care for all, a higher minimum wage, unionization, against systemic racism, mass incarceration and other necessary reforms are just and critical to engaging people in struggle, we also need to tell people the whole truth about just how critical the big picture is.

While the Trump 🦀 presidency is a cabal of criminals, billionaires and far-right ideologues, it must first of all be seen in the context of the threats to our very existence, not merely reduced to the daily scandals and twitter storms. There is no need to treat working people as infants. The culture is aimed at the infantilization of our political discussion. We can believe that America is already great or that we should Make America Great Again, but it’s all the religion of Americanism, and it’s meant to make us willing children who will march into battle or just resign ourselves to things the way they are. We are not infants and we must, as best we can, tell people the whole truth.

As catastrophic and savage as capitalism was during the 20th century, continuous wars and genocides, deep economic crisis and the constant threat of nuclear annihilation, the system proved to be resilient, the global elites did find a kind of equilibrium. Capitalism did not come to an end and the attempts at socialism failed. While many societies around the world have been destroyed, millions slaughtered in war and many more living in deep poverty, the truth is the majority of the people in the advanced capitalist world are mostly doing ok. In the United States there are as many families earning more than $100,000 a year, as there are earning under $30,000. But as resilient as capitalism has proved to be, I don’t think this world order is sustainable. The elites are no longer capable or willing of dealing with grave systemic threats, even when it is in their own long-term interests to do so.

We’re in a different kind of moment than we’ve ever faced before. Of course, nuclear weapons posed an existential threat before, but at least the elites saw that ending human life on earth wasn’t in their interests. That is so far that’s true. Because as crazy as the prospect of nuclear war is, they have not given up their deteriorating hair triggered nuclear arsenals and they actually contemplate the use of localized nuclear weapons. As you know, first Obama planned for a new wave of nuclear weapons, and now Trump is spending billions expanding America’s nuclear capability. While it’s unlikely that the elites will deliberately launch a nuclear Armageddon, we are all living in denial if we think that an accidental triggering of such isn’t possible. The hair trigger policy means there is around ten minutes to decide if what looks like an attack is one or is a glitch in the software. It’s a cold war posture still in place in the United States and Russia, it’s Dr. Strange Love’s Doomsday machine. We can’t have faith in the political leadership of these elites, that is the current leadership of either the Republican or the Democratic Parties or the billionaires who bankroll them, to face up to this danger. One would think it’s in the interest of the elites themselves to deal with this. But the military-industrial complex has far too much invested in a narrative that depends on a major existential rival. They need war and almost war.  American capital will not give up it’s dominant global commercial position they believe depends on their military might. Oil and guns determines US foreign policy, not national security. On this point alone, one can argue this ruling class is not fit to rule. But of course, there is more.

Modern industrial capitalism has given rise to the climate change crisis, a clear and objective existential threat to human and all living things. I’m sure Real News viewers have heard the basic facts, and the process is speeding up. Leading climate scientists have modeled that we will cross the 2 degrees above pre-industrial temperature threshold by 2050, and that was based on all the countries that signed the Paris accords living up to their commitments. Of course with the election of a climate denier as president and the undoing of the far too modest measures that were passed under Obama, who knows what that means to the model. We could cross 2 degrees in less than twenty years? Once that threshold is crossed, apparently, it’s far more difficult to slow down and reverse the process. Dramatic action is needed now. But it’s far down the list of things that get discussed in corporate media. According Media Matters, in the 2016 elections, the four major broadcast channels gave climate change 96 minutes of coverage, and those numbers included Fox who promotes climate denial.

According to a Yale poll, only 13% of people know that more than 90% of scientists believe humans activity causes climate change. Of course, it’s more like 97% of scientists. When it comes to voting, its barely on anyones radar. Yet it is clearly the gravest threat humans have ever faced.

You would think that the elites would find it in their own interest to take action given the apocalyptic consequences of denial or feeble action. But effective policy requires taking on the fossil fuel industry and committing to a green and sustainable economy. Clearly it will require strengthening the role of the public sector and democratizing the political process. It requires changing how things are owned and who has power. Even modest reforms are almost impossible as most of the elites care more about lowering taxes than saving the planet. They are not fit to rule.

Artificial Intelligence is here and rapidly advancing. It will soon produce a world with millions less jobs. Truck and taxi drivers to doctors to you name the occupation, it won’t be long before the top twenty percent of the population, won’t need most of the 80%. If you are a capitalist, a world with massive unemployment might not seem to be so bad, workers trying to compete agains the cost of robots.

The digital revolution makes all this possible. It’s allowed the process of financialization and globalization to grow to a qualitatively greater scale. Imagine creating complex financial products with a pencil and paper. There’s no Amazon or Walmart without computers to create such a beautifully efficient global supply chain. And of course, to play cheap global labor off against American workers which has basically stalled wage increases and hollowed much of the industrial working class.

Why can’t the ruling elites deal with the systemic threats of climate change, financial crisis, global war, and AI? Threats to the future of their own system?  Because they are in the middle of an o r g y of profit making. They can’t believe their good fortune. If they had any doubts before the election, Wall St. now loves Trump. Even though most of finance knows that unregulated, it’s only a matter of time before the crisis of 07/08 repeats itself. But what the hell, no one will go to jail and the public will bail them out again.

Wall St. is euphoric as they swim in an ocean of super wealth. While the financial sector represents about 7 percent of our economy it takes around 25 percent of all corporate profit, with only 4 percent of all jobs. With such concentrated wealth goes a competitive culture that prizes daily returns on capital, above the future of humans on earth. These are the people that control American politics as they throw unlimited funds at political campaigns.

The threat of climate crisis? The elites believe, if they actually think beyond their private jets and yachts, that they will be ok. Their kids will be ok, even their grandkids. And then? Apres Moi le Deluge. After me comes the floods said Louis the XV. In Maryland we just saw much of a city washed away, and it’s surely the shape of things to come.

I think potential of Artificial Intelligence is why the elites who think about such things, are not more alarmed by climate change. Rather than take the necessary measures to transform the economy to one that’s green and sustainable, they are planning to literally head for the hills. They have escape plans. They imagine cities on the hill serviced by robots. It’s the stuff of science fiction, but it’s on the horizon. Their greatest fear is not the cataclysmic destruction of the rest of humanity, but that AI will take over from the humans. Frankly, in that world, I’m rooting for the robots. This ruling class is not fit to rule. We must tell people the whole truth.

Those individuals in the elites who do see what’s coming and are trying to sound the alarm, and there are more than a few, are marginalized.

Of course, corporate media plays a critical role in all of this. They are far too concerned about Russia Gate and Trump’s tweet storms than the critical issues that face us. For obvious ratings reasons, but one wonders how the producers and journalists that play this game live with themselves.

Everything comes down as always, to a simple question. If we have no faith in the ruling elites, and we shouldn’t, then we the people have to change who controls government and build the public sector to challenge the power of the oligarchy. Our job at The Real News is as best we can, tell people the whole truth. The lead up to the 2020 elections will be a critical time to tell this truth. The outcome of those elections can’t be overestimated.

As much as the digital revolution helped create a vile stratum of the ultra-rich, it’s also created the conditions for a more democratic economy and politics. The Sanders campaign has shown that the political structures that were built to look democratic because the power of billionaires would always win out, can be challenged with mass fundraising. Online organizing and social media has transformed political campaigning and made it less reliant on funds for TV ads. The internet allowed independent media to challenge the power of concentrated media ownership, it made The Real News possible. We are just seeing the early phase of what’s possible.

Most importantly, Artificial Intelligence makes a planned and rational economy possible. You can’t have a planned national economy with a pencil and paper, we’ve seen what bureaucracy that led to in the Soviet Union.  But AI gives us the promise of a planned, green and sustainable economy. In fact, massive planned economies already exist. Amazon or Walmart are superbly planned and rational, with an efficient global supply chain that interconnects production everywhere. Superbly planned, internally, as the economy and politics around them become increasingly insane. The problem is the tremendous promise of AI is being strangled by private ownership whose only objective is profit. Scientist Stephen Hawking said control of AI is in the end, the greatest fight we have before us. The fight to harness AI in the public interest can’t be separated from the fight to develop a rational climate policy or a more equitable society.

All over the country and the world people are organizing, fighting for such change. People are in action, at the ballot box and in the streets, to assert the people’s interests. At the Real News we want to strengthen our coverage of these movements, enrich our work on the search for effective solutions, and focus on reaching working people who rarely hear about the big picture in corporate news.

We will redouble our efforts to build our global Climate Crisis Bureau. We are building on our stellar coverage of global affairs, with a focus on US foreign and military policy. We are going hyper local in Baltimore, connecting the daily struggle for a safe and more equitable city with the systemic reasons for chronic poverty and unemployment. Soon we will go local in southern Pennsylvania, covering a congressional race where a progressive Democrat is taking on a Trump supporter. Here we will cover the issues of concern to people who voted for Trump and engage people in the search for real solutions.

And in whatever we do, we will do our best to tell people the whole truth. But we can’t do it without you. It’s critical that we have the funds to strengthen our content and our marketing reach. If you agree with what I’ve said so far, please hit the donate button now. Write a check. Make a phone call. In the US and Canada, the donation is tax deductible. If you are already a donor, thanks very much, and think about donation again. If you are not a monthly subscriber, during our matching grant campaign is the time to sign up. If you give monthly, our matching grant will match a year’s worth of donations. Help us tell people the whole truth. Help us Make Real News.

https://therealnews.com/stories/the-billionaire-class-is-not-fit-to-rule-paul-jay

 For the latest verision of Apex Predators,Tomorrow is Yesterday...

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