The Evening Blues - 5-15-24


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues singer, harmonica player and songwriter John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson. Enjoy!

John Lee (Sonny Boy) Williamson - Hoodoo Man

"The apple cannot be stuck back on the Tree of Knowledge; once we begin to see, we are doomed and challenged to seek the strength to see more, not less."

-- Arthur Miller

News and Opinion

Gilad Erdan Does World a Favor by Making Plain Israel's Doomed-to-Fail Strategy

We owe an ironic debt of gratitude to Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan for advancing the cause of the State of Palestine at the United Nations. By delivering a speech to the UN General Assembly that was so unhinged, absurd, vulgar, insulting, undignified, and undiplomatic, Erdan helped to secure a lopsided vote of 143 to 9 in favor of Palestine’s UN membership (the rest abstained or did not vote). But more than that, Erdan helped to clarify Israel’s tactical approach—and why it is doomed to fail.

Let us briefly consider the content of Erdan’s speech. Erdan claimed, in short, that Palestine equals Hamas and Hamas equals Hitler’s Nazi Reich. Erdan told the UN delegates that their nations support a state of Palestine because “so many of you are Jew-hating.” He then shredded the UN Charter at the podium, claiming that the delegates were doing the same by voting for Palestine’s UN membership. All the while, on the very same day as his speech and UN vote, Israel was amassing its forces for yet more slaughter of innocent civilians in Rafah.

Erdan’s rant rose to the level of venomous hatred and absurdity. Palestine would enter the UN as a peace-loving state, a commitment stated firmly and eloquently by the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour (here at 23:44). “We want peace,” Ambassador Mansour declared unequivocally. Moreover, the two-state solution will of course not happen in a diplomatic vacuum. According to the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, and reaffirmed by the Arab and Islamic countries in Riyadh last November, the Arab and Islamic countries have repeatedly pledged to support peace and the normalization of relations with Israel as part of the two-state solution.

Contrary to Erdan’s slander, the governments of UN General Assembly are of course not Jew-haters. Rather, they detest the Israeli government’s assault in Gaza, a carnage so vast that Israel is in the dock at the International Court of Justice on the charge of genocide. The same false charge has been made against student protestors who aren’t anti-Jewish but rather anti-Apartheid and anti-genocide.

The question then is what Erdan was actually doing making a speech that was so over-the-top that it could only serve to bolster, not reduce, the overwhelming worldwide vote for Palestine. Of course, he was doing what all politicians do in the social media age. He was grandstanding for his adoring 157K followers on X (formerly Twitter) and for supporters in Israel’s right-wing Likud Party.

At first, when listening to Erdan, I simply thought that the man was deranged, suffering from post-Holocaust trauma and seeing a Hitler lurking in every shadow. Yet such a view is naïve. Erdan is a highly experienced political figure, well-educated and well trained, and was in full control of a carefully prepared speech (which included a poster and shredder as props). My initial mistake was to think he was speaking to the rest of the UN ambassadors and to viewers of the proceedings such as myself.

The great difference of broadcast-era politics of yesteryear and the social-media era politics of today is that politicians no longer speak to the broad public. They now communicate almost entirely with their base and “near base.” Each person today receives a personalized flow of “news” that is jointly constructed by individual choices (which websites we visit), networks of digital “followers,” algorithms of platforms such as Facebook, X and TikTok, and hidden forcers that include the Intelligence agencies, government propagandists, corporations, and political operatives. As a result, politicians mobilize and motivate their base, and little beyond.

Erdan the politician, and his Likud party, have been fighting against Palestinians for far longer than Hamas has dominated the politics of Gaza, indeed for longer than Hamas has existed. Erdan grew up inside the party, from its youth wing onward, in a movement that has always stood stridently against a Palestinian state and the two-state solution. In fact, Likud has long treated Hamas as a political prop, a ploy to divide the Palestinians and thereby to fend off international calls for the two-state solution. As even the Israeli media report, Likud leaders worked with Arab nations over the years to keep Hamas funded, so that it would pose a continuing competition to the Palestinian authority.

What, then, is Likud’s strategy as Israel increasingly isolates itself from the rest of the world? Here too, Erdan’s own political past ploys offer a clue. Erdan has been one of the Israel’s shrewdest and most successful politicians in building Likud’s alliance not only with the wealthy America’s Jewish community but with America’s Christian Evangelical community as well. The Christian Zionists ardently back Israel’s control over the Holy Land, albeit as a prelude to their Armageddon, not exactly Likud’s longer-term agenda.

Likud’s tactical belief is that the US will always be there, thick or thin, because the Israel Lobby (Jewish and Christian Evangelical alike) and the US military-industrial complex will always be there. Likud’s bet has always worked in the past and they believe it will work in the future. Yes, Israel’s violent extremism will cost Biden the support of America’s young voters, but if so, that will just mean Trump’s election in November, so even better for Likud.

Likud’s strategy relies entirely on the U.S. for Israel’s security, as the sole blocking force in a world community that is increasingly united and aghast at Israel’s massive war crimes, and in favor of imposing the two-state solution on an utterly recalcitrant Israel. Yet U.S. core interests—economic, financial, commercial, diplomatic, and military—are at odds with becoming isolated with Israel within the international system.

The Israel lobby will be hit by a pincer movement. On the one side, American voters, especially young American voters, are aghast at Israel’s brutality. On the other side, America’s geopolitical position is crumbling. Shortly, many European countries, including Spain, Ireland, and Norway, are expected to recognize Palestine and welcome its U.N. membership. Erdan may end up at the top of the heap of the Likud party, but Likud and its extremist and violent partners in the coalition are likely soon to hit the limits of their arrogance, violence, and cruelty.

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs : Netanyahu Out of Options.

Israeli tanks reach residential areas as IDF pushes further into Rafah

Israeli tanks have advanced further into eastern Rafah, reaching some residential districts of the southern border city in Gaza. Witnesses reported seeing tanks crossing the strategically important Salah al-Din road into the Brazil and Jneina neighbourhoods. “They are in the streets inside the built-up area and there are clashes,” one person told Reuters. A UN official said the most advanced Israeli positions were about 2km from his office.

Hamas’s armed wing said it had destroyed an Israeli troop carrier with a missile in the eastern al-Salam neighbourhood, killing some crew members and wounding others. The Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the unconfirmed report.

In a roundup of its activities, the IDF said its forces had eliminated “several armed terrorist” cells in close-quarter fighting on the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. In the east of the city, it said it had also destroyed militant cells and a launch post from where missiles were being fired at IDF troops.

Between 360,000 and 500,000 Palestinians have fled Rafah in the past week after Israeli warnings to evacuate eastern and central neighbourhoods before assaults that look set to open a bloody new phase of the war.

In the north of the territory, where Israeli troops launched a series of operations over the weekend, there were reports of the most intense battles for many weeks, forcing another 100,000 to flee.

Biden BACKTRACKS By Sending More WEAPONS To Israel; Fighting Between IDF And HAMAS INTENSIFIES

Biden Moves Forward Over $1 Billion in Weapons for Israel as Tanks Push Deeper Into Rafah

The Biden administration has notified Congress that it intends to move forward with a weapons package for Israel worth over $1 billion as Israeli tanks are pushing further into the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

The arms package, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, includes $700 million in tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles, and $60 million in mortar rounds.

The arms could take years to deliver, but the deal demonstrates the US’s long-term commitment to arming Israel despite President Biden’s warning that he could stop supplying certain types of weapons if Israel launches a major attack on “population centers” in Rafah. It also shows Israel that any tank munitions it uses in Rafah will be replenished. Reuters reported on Tuesday that Israeli tanks had entered residential districts in eastern Rafah.

Israeli Ministers Join March Calling for Settlements in Gaza, Expulsion of Palestinians

Members of the Israeli government joined thousands of Israelis in a march in southern Israel on Tuesday led by far-right activists calling for the re-establishment of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and the expulsion of Palestinians.

The march commemorated the 76th anniversary of the day Israel celebrates its Independence Day, known as the Nakba, or catastrophe, to the Palestinians as more than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes to create the modern state of Israel in 1948.

Joining the march in the Israeli city of Sderot were two ministers in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, leader of the Jewish Power party.

“In order to preserve the security achievements that our soldiers lost their lives for, we must resettle Gaza with security forces and settlers that will embrace the land with love,” Karhi said in a speech at the march, according to Haaretz. “This is the only real way to make the Hamas Nazis pay a price and to defend our nation and country.”

Scott Ritter : How Isolated Is Israel?

'A War Crime': Rights Group Details Israel's Use of Children as Human Shields

Israeli and U.S. claims that civilian casualties in Gaza are the result of Hamas' use of "human shields" have figured prominently in Israel's defense of the skyrocketing death toll in the enclave, but a report by a local independent human rights group details the recent experiences of three boys in the West Bank, who say they were used to shield Israeli forces from potential harm during their raid on a refugee camp.

Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCIP) on Monday released its interviews with three boys in Tulkarem refugee camp, which was attacked by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on May 6.

The three boys—Karam, 13; Mohammad, 12; and Ibrahim, 14—gave nearly identical accounts of being forced to walk ahead of the IDF soldiers as they raided residential buildings, ensuring they would be attacked by any armed people instead of the Israeli forces.

The soldiers also positioned their guns on the shoulders of two of the boys before firing the weapons, and subjected all of them to beatings.

Karam told DCIP that about 30 IDF soldiers entered his family's apartment with a "huge military dog" during the Tulkarem attack and isolated his family in one room, selecting Karam to come with them as they raided the rest of the building.

The "forced Karam to walk in front of them, open the doors to each room, and enter it before them," DCIP reported. "While they were walking, one soldier placed his rifle on Karam's right shoulder and fired two shots toward an apartment in the building."

Mohammad told the group the IDF soldiers ignored his mother's pleas as they ordered his family to leave his apartment, keeping Mohammad with them.

"I was left alone with the soldiers after they ordered my mother and siblings to go up to the fourth floor of the building. I started crying and shaking in fear because I did not know what they would do to me. They were armed, masked, and had frightening appearances. They had a huge military dog that made terrifying sounds," Mohammad told DCIP.

"After that, the soldiers told me to knock on the doors of the apartments in the building, while they were standing behind me at a fairly short distance, and to ask the residents to come out, and this is what I did," he said. "When we reached the door of one of the apartments, there was no one inside, so the soldiers blew up the door and forced me to go inside alone and check and search it. After I told them that it was empty, they entered it, while I remained held by one of the soldiers at the door."

Ibrahim was forced to walk in front of the soldiers after they interrogated him about "the whereabouts of wanted men," slapped and kicked him, and cuffed his hands behind his back with a plastic tie.

"At first, I thought they wanted to arrest me, but they told me to walk in front of them in the alleys of the Sawalma neighborhood in the camp," said Ibrahim. "They would hide in the alleys and tell me to see if there was anyone around. After that, they untied my hands, and whenever we passed a house or building, they would instruct me to enter and ask the residents to come out. Then they would raid those houses and tell me to open the doors into different rooms."

DCIP's report, said Al Jazeera journalist Sana Saeed, indicates how "every Palestinian child is seen as a threat, as disposable," by the IDF and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

"Israeli treatment of Palestinian children, the way they see them as well as how they abuse their bodies, is genocidal," said Saeed.

As Ben Burgis wrote at Jacobin in November, "accusations that [Hamas fighters] 'use civilians as human shields' rarely seem to be meant quite so literally" as reports of the IDF's practices. "More often, what the accusation amounts to is simply that Hamas fighters and military equipment—or sometimes even just people linked to Hamas' political wing—tend to be located in areas with lots of civilians."

But as in the cases of the three boys at Tulkarem, "there is extensive evidence of the IDF quite literally engaging in human shielding—forcing Palestinian civilians to approach houses for them because they'll be less likely to be shot at than Israeli soldiers, for example," wrote Burgis.

"Israel's High Court banned the practice in 2005, but Israeli human rights group B'Tselem reports that 'soldiers continue to occasionally use Palestinians as human shields even after the court ruling, especially during military operations,'" he added.

Ayed Abu Eqtaish, the accountability program director at DCIP, condemned the IDF practices described by Karam, Mohammad, and Ibrahim.

"International law is explicit and absolutely prohibits the use of children as human shields by armed forces or armed groups," said Abu Eqtaish. "Israeli forces intentionally putting a child in grave danger in order to shield themselves constitutes a war crime."

Bare Minimum To Being Human

Veteran Human Rights Leader Has Seen Enough: Israel Perpetrating Genocide in Gaza

A widely respected humanitarian law expert who has resisted using the term "genocide" for Israel's killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza—a word used "sparingly" in the international human rights movement, he noted—said Tuesday that he has concluded a genocide is indeed taking place, evidenced particularly by Israel's blocking of humanitarian aid.

Aryeh Neier, who co-founded Human Rights Watch in 1978, served as its executive director for 12 years, and also led the American Civil Liberties Union and the Open Society Foundations, noted in an essay in The New York Review of Books that his organizations have used the term "genocide" to describe few mass killings.

Neier was not convinced of South Africa's genocide claim against Israel when it argued its case with the International Court of Justice in January, even though he was "deeply distressed" by the human impact of Israel's relentless U.S.-backed bombing campaign in Gaza.

The 2,000-pound bombs being used against Gaza's population of 2.3 million Palestinians were "clearly inappropriate," wrote Neier in the magazine's June 6 issue. "Yet I was not convinced that this constituted genocide."

Neier wrote that he believed at the time that Israel's retaliation against Hamas for the October 7 attack it led in southern Israel could "include an attempt to incapacitate" the Palestinian group, necessitating the wide-scale assault on Gaza, where it operates.

"I am now persuaded that Israel is engaged in genocide against Palestinians in Gaza," wrote Neier, whose family escaped Nazi Germany as refugees when he was an infant. "What has changed my mind is its sustained policy of obstructing the movement of humanitarian assistance into the territory."

Israel's intent to block aid—and to treat Gazans as "collectively complicit for Hamas's crimes"—has been clear since shortly after the October 7 attack, when Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said: "There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly."

The result of that policy, wrote Neier, has been the deaths of at least 28 Palestinian children from starvation, according to numbers released by the Gaza Health Ministry in April.

"That number could multiply many times over if reports on food insecurity are valid," he wrote, citing warnings from U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power and World Food Program Executive Director Cindy McCain that famine has already taken hold in parts of Gaza.

Under the "complete siege" ordered by Gallant and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, noted Neier, Israel has severely restricted the number of aid vehicles allowed into Gaza, where the population relied on deliveries from about 500 aid trucks per day before the current escalation. Trucks have been subjected to "time-consuming and onerous inspections," with shipments turned away for including items like children's medical scissors and maternity kits.

Neier also cited Israel's killing of more than 200 aid workers and its persuading of international donors to stop funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)—based on unproven allegations that a dozen of its 13,000 Gaza-based staffers had connections to Hamas—as evidence that Israel is taking numerous steps to stop aid from getting to Gaza's starving population, while killing at least 35,173 Palestinians.

Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, said in response to Neier's essay that "no one has more authority among human rights advocates than" the author.

"Aryeh Neier is an immensely respected—and not at all politically radical—figure in the human rights community who can't be credibly accused of having any sort of obsession with Israel," said writer Abe Silberstein.

Neier wrote that after working to protect human rights for more than six decades, "there is much about [Israel's attack on Gaza] that is deeply depressing, including how difficult it is to find a way to give victims any hope that justice will eventually be done."

"I myself hope that the frequent citation of international humanitarian law as the standard for judging the conflict will have a positive effect," he wrote. "Whatever else emerges from this war, and whatever judgment comes from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), it is evident that Israel has done itself as well as its Palestinian victims long-term harm."

The ICJ is currently considering South Africa's claim that Israel is committing genocide, having issued a preliminary ruling in January that the case was "plausible" and that Israel must take steps to prevent genocidal acts.

Although the ICJ does not have jurisdiction to adjudicate war crimes or crimes against humanity charges, wrote Neier, "if it ultimately finds that Israel has committed genocide, that will be a resounding defeat for a state that was born in the aftermath of a genocide that many of its founders had barely survived."

"Stop This War Right Now": U.S. Doctor Who Saved Sen. Duckworth's Life in Iraq, Now Trapped in Gaza

American Medical Missions Trapped in Gaza, Facing Death by Dehydration as Population Clings to Life

Upward of 20 American doctors and medical workers are trapped in Gaza as a result of Israel’s post-invasion closure of the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, according to sources with knowledge of the plight of two ill-fated medical missions. Israel has blocked fuel, food, and water from entering Rafah for over a week, leading to severe dehydration among the general population, as well as among the doctors on mission.

Relatives of the doctors were told by the State Department that rescue efforts were underway, including through coordination with the United Nations and the Israel Defense Forces. Yet on Monday, the Israeli military fired on a United Nations vehicle that was traveling to the European Hospital in Khan Younis, near Rafah, killing a U.N. employee who was an Indian national and injuring another.

A family member of one of the doctors stranded at the European Hospital said that he suspected the vehicle was part of the rescue mission, but was uncertain. “We are aware that a car that is similarly supposed to be their rescue passage was shot at and UN employees were killed and injured and we fear for their ability to have a safe passage and exit,” said the relative. “We are aware that there is active shelling around the hospital and that staff has been told to stay away from windows.” ...

The doctors are rationing water and at least one physician is in poor health and is on an IV drip to combat dehydration. The dire state of the medical mission underscores how difficult the conditions are for average Palestinians, who have spent seven months enduring the Israeli siege, whereas the medical mission arrived only recently.

The Occupation comes home - Max Blumenthal at UMass

Gaza protesters block entrance to Google conference over Israel contracts

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters chained themselves together in front of the entrance to Google’s annual developer conference on Tuesday in protest of the tech company’s ties to Israeli military projects. Thousands of attendees waiting to enter Google I/O were redirected to another entrance, and the event started on time.

Groups including the No Tech for Genocide coalition and other groups from across the Bay Area held a sign reading “Google stop fueling genocide”. They chanted “we won’t stop til Nimbus gets dropped,” referencing a $1.2bn project supported by Amazon and Google that provides provides artificial intelligence and cloud computing services to the Israeli government.

Speaking before the crowd, a protester said people have gathered in Mountain View to attend Google’s highly anticipated annual conference, but that protesters were there to share “the real story”.

Google is slated to announce major updates to its products at the conference today, most of them focused on AI.

“What you will not be hearing from today’s speakers is that right now, as I stand here before you, the state of Israel is using Google technology to execute history’s first AI-powered genocide,” they said.

Foreign Agents Registration Act for me but not for thee:

US warns Georgia not to side with Moscow against the west

Georgia has been warned by the US not to become an adversary of the west by falling back in line with Moscow, as its parliament defied mass street protests to pass a “Kremlin-inspired” law. Washington’s assistant secretary of state, Jim O’Brien, spoke of his fears that the passing by Georgia’s parliament of a “foreign agents” bill on Tuesday could be yet another “turning point” in the former Soviet state’s troubled history.

In comments that appeared to signal a conviction in the US that the Georgian government was once again aligning with Russia, O’Brien suggested funding could soon be pulled.

Billions of dollars had been spent by the US on rebuilding Georgia after the fall of the Soviet Union and hundreds of millions more were planned for the country’s economy and military, he said. “All that has to be under review if we are now regarded as an adversary and not a partner,” O’Brien told reporters at a press conference in Tbilisi.

The US official was speaking as a controversial “foreign agents” bill was backed by 84 MPs to 30 in defiance of demonstrations that have brought hundreds of thousands on to the streets of Tbilisi.

Disaster Day Kiev, Rus Takes Rabotino, Ukr Tactical Retreat Kharkov, Blinken Guitar, Putin to China

Blinken Justifies Zelensky’s Decision To Cancel Ukrainian Elections

Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Tuesday and delivered a speech where he justified President Volodymyr Zelensky’s decision to postpone elections.

Presidential elections were due to be held in March, but they weren’t, and Zelensky will remain in office after his term ends on May 20. Ukrainian parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held last year in October, but they were also canceled.

Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials have justified the decision by pointing to Ukraine’s constitution, which prohibits elections during martial law. Martial law was first declared when Russia invaded and has been extended since. However, at one point, Zelensky made it clear that he could hold a vote if he wanted to.

Last year, Zelensky said that he could hold elections if the US and other Western countries paid for them and if Ukrainian legislators agreed to amend the constitution. He later ruled out the idea and there’s been no pressure from Ukraine’s Western backers to hold a vote despite the claims that the proxy war is a fight for democracy.

Ship in Baltimore bridge collapse lost power hours before leaving port - report

Investigators examining the March collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore said in a preliminary report on Tuesday the cargo ship Dali experienced an electrical blackout about 10 hours before leaving the port of Baltimore while undergoing maintenance.

The power outage was caused by a crew member mistakenly closing an exhaust damper, causing the ship’s engine to stall, the report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board said. The ship lost power again and crashed into one of the bridge’s supporting columns shortly after leaving the port on 26 March, which brought the bridge down in seconds.

A full investigation could take a year or more, the agency said.

the horse race

Biden, Trump AGREE To EXCLUDE RFK Jr From Presidential Debates

US court hears Texas case that threatens to erode Black and Latino voters’ rights

The most rightwing appeals court in the country has heard a case over discriminatory electoral maps in Galveston, Texas, which threatens to puncture a fresh hole in the already battered 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The US court of appeals for the fifth circuit, which has six of 17 active judges appointed by Donald Trump, heard a clash of views over whether Black and Latino minority voters could have their combined electoral voice protected.

The case, Petteway v Galveston County, risks removing the right of minority groups to join forces in so-called “coalition districts” to elect representatives of their choice.

In October, a federal district judge threw out new electoral maps drawn up by the Republican-controlled county, which eviscerated the only district out of four in which African American and Latino voters collectively were in the majority.

Judge Jeffrey Brown ruled that the eradication of the majority-minority district was a “stark and jarring” violation of the Voting Rights Act, describing the revised maps as “mean-spirited” and “egregious”. The county appealed the judgment.

AIPAC BUSTED Smuggling Cash To Pro-Israel Candidate

the evening greens

House Democrats launch investigation into Trump’s alleged offers to oil executives

House Democrats have launched an investigation into a meeting between oil company executives and Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago home and club last month, following reports that the former president offered to dismantle Biden’s environmental rules and requested $1bn in contributions to his presidential campaign.

Democrats on the House oversight committee late on Monday evening sent letters to nine oil executives requesting information on their companies’ participation in the meeting.

“Media reports raise significant potential ethical, campaign finance, and legal issues that would flow from the effective sale of American energy and regulatory policy to commercial interests in return for large campaign contributions,” the Maryland congressman Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the committee, wrote in the letters.

The investigation comes after the Washington Post broke the news of the dinner meeting, where Trump spoke in front of more than 20 fossil fuel executives from companies including Chevron, Exxon and Occidental Petroleum.

It was reported that Trump said steering $1bn into his campaign would be a “deal” for the companies because of the costs they would avoid under him. The former president offered in a second term to immediately end the Biden administration’s freeze on permits for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, while auctioning off more oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico and reversing drilling restrictions in the Alaskan Arctic, among other promises.

‘Magical thinking’: hopes for sustainable jet fuel not realistic, report finds

Hopes that replacement fuels for airplanes will slash carbon pollution are misguided and support for these alternatives could even worsen the climate crisis, a new report has warned. There is currently “no realistic or scalable alternative” to standard kerosene-based jet fuels, and touted “sustainable aviation fuels” are well off track to replace them in a timeframe needed to avert dangerous climate change, despite public subsidies, the report by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive thinktank, found.

“While there are kernels of possibility, we should bring a high level of skepticism to the claims that alternative fuels will be a timely substitute for kerosene-based jet fuels,” the report said.

Chuck Collins, co-author of the report, said: “To bring these fuels to the scale needed would require massive subsidies, the trade-offs would be unacceptable and would take resources aware from more urgent decarbonization priorities. “It’s a huge greenwashing exercise by the aviation industry. It’s magical thinking that they will be able to do this.”

In the US, Joe Biden’s administration has set a goal for 3bn gallons of sustainable aviation fuel, which is made from non-petroleum sources such as food waste, woody biomass and other feedstocks, to be produced by 2030, which it said will cut aviation’s planet-heating emissions by 20%. Globally, flying accounts for about 2% of all emissions, with the world’s wealthiest people the prime instigators of this form of pollution.

This sustainable fuels target will require an enormous 18,887% increase in production, based on 2022 production levels, this decade, the new report found. “It’s just not scalable,” said Collins.

Heat exposure of older people across world to double by 2050, finds study

The heat exposure of older people will at least double in all continents by 2050, according to a study that highlights the combined risk posed by a heating world and an ageing population.

Compared with today, there will be up to an extra 250 million people aged 69 or above who are exposed to dangerous levels of heat, defined as 37.5C. The paper warned this is likely to create biological and social vulnerability hotspots with increasing concentrations of older adults and high temperature extremes.

The impact on health systems and global inequality will be huge, the paper published in Nature Communications warned, because older people are more vulnerable to high temperatures and the populations that will be worst affected tend to be in the hotter, poorer global south.

The global population is ageing at an unprecedented pace. By mid-century, the number of people aged 60 or above is forecast to double to 2.1 billion, which will be more than one in every five people on the planet. “Two-thirds of them will live in low- and middle-income countries where extreme climate events are especially likely,” the paper predicted.

In most continents, there is a noticeable north-south divide with the hotter, poorer southern hemisphere affected more severely than the cooler, richer northern hemisphere. In terms of total population, Asia will experience levels of older adult heat exposure nearly four times higher than other regions due both to its large population and hot climate. But every region will see enormous increases. Compared with today, exposure will rise threefold in South America and Europe by 2050, and nearly double in Oceania, North America and Africa.

Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Arsenal of Genocide: The American Weapons Destroying Gaza

Israel's Deadly Bombing of World Central Kitchen Convoy Was No Anomaly: Report

The Attack on This West Bank Village by Jewish Settlers Was Anything but Spontaneous

More than 100 acts quit Great Escape music festival in solidarity with Palestine

I Criticize The US Power Alliance Because It’s The Most Destructive Force On Earth

Craig Murray: The Ignorance of Islamophobia

Ukraine SitRep: An Army And Country At Their End

Using Comparative & Absolute Advantage To Explain China’s Rise

‘What if we built our own?’: young Amsterdammers fight housing crisis with cooperative build

"A Racist, Criminal Project": Palestinian Historian on 1948 Nakba, Israel's War on Gaza & U.S. Role

Drop the Charges: Demands for CUNY to Divest from Israel Met by Violent Police Repression

Dems FREAK OUT over DISASTROUS Biden Polls, Jonathan Chait BLAMES The Left

UNC DEFUNDS DEI After Campus Protests

A Little Night Music

John Lee (Sonny Boy) Williamson - Shake the boogie

John Lee (Sonny Boy) Williamson - Mellow Chick Swing

Sonny Boy Williamson I - She Was a Dreamer

Sonny Boy Williamson - Good Morning School Girl

Sonny Boy Williamson I - Sugar Mama

John Lee Williamson - Whiskey Headed Blues

Sonny Boy Williamson I - Elevator Woman

Sonny Boy Williamson I - Rub A Dub

Sonny Boy Williamson - Sloppy Drunk Blues

9 users have voted.


enhydra lutris's picture

today, lots of updates about Fico. [ ] Among other things, he is stable and his surgery was a success. One report, howeverm has him in an artificially induced coma to speed his recovery/healing. A long list of suspects from NATO/EU because, with Orban, Fico blocking arms and aid to the Ukies makes delivery of weaponry to the Ukies a lot more difficult, those two states are the easy routes. Ex US psyop dude Scott Bennett hypothesizes NATO, US-Serbian journalist Nebojsa Malic says smells like Gladio and further, per Sputnik

"I wouldn't be surprised at all if some Gladio structures persisted," Malic said, adding that the West has a record of eliminating elected officials that oppose its policies.

There's a lot more, but that's sort of the gist of it.

Meanwhile there is a funny, ir arguably one-sided about the failure of the Vulcan project, ineptitude by ULA, Boeing, and Lockheed-Martin, at least in the eye of the USAF entitled

Vulcan Program’s Delay Shows US Can’t Even Copy, Much Less Replace, Russia’s Rocket Engine Know-How

. Article also takes a poke at Bezos and Musk and very likely explains why our space effort is faltering. Who knows, maybe we ratlined the wrong Germans when we bagged Von Braun et al. [ ]

be well and have a good one

6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

thanks for the update! when i heard about fico today, my first thought was that some ukronazi had tried to do him in. i wouldn't be surprised to see any number of 3-letters involved and denials all around with all sorts of spin and cover stories.

have a great evening!

4 users have voted.

be in control of all aspects in the US.

Just a few examples:

California State University placed Sonoma State campus President Mike Lee on leave Wednesday after he agreed to protesters’ demands to involve them in university decision-making and pursue divestment from Israel.

Lee sent a campus-wide memo Tuesday indicating that he had made several concessions to occupants of a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus. The memo was sent “without the appropriate approvals,” CSU Chancellor Mildred García said in a statement, adding that she and the 23-campus CSU system’s board are “actively reviewing the matter.”

“For now, because of this insubordination and the consequences it has brought upon the system, President Lee has been placed on administrative leave,” García said.

The punishment marks perhaps the harshest disciplinary action against a campus chancellor or president in California over the handling of protests of the war in Gaza. It also underscores an unwillingness to divest from Israeli weapons manufacturers — as pro-Palestinian protesters across the country have increasingly demanded the last few months — among leaders of the CSU system and its sister University of California system.

Sarah Elfreth, a state senator backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, won the crowded Democratic primary for an open congressional seat in Maryland on Tuesday — a major win for the pro-Israel group.

Elfreth defeated 21 other candidates, including former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn, in the race to replace retiring Rep. John Sarbanes in Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District. Dunn, a first-time candidate, was seen as a formidable contender because of his personal story defending the Capitol against the violent mob on Jan. 6, 2021 — which he relied on as part of a campaign message focused on protecting democracy, drawing millions of dollars from across the country.

6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


Wow. Who was he being insubordinate to? Israel is my guess. This election no matter who you vote for Israel will still control the government. We can’t vote our way out of this shitshow.

After 5 years of Russia Russia Russia and Trump colluded with Putin even though 2 investigations cleared him of the charges and direct evidence of Hillary, Obama, Biden and the intelligence agencies just making the whole damn thing up you’d think that with obvious evidence of Israel buying our government and telling it what to do shitlibs would be livid over it. Instead I’m seeing people saying that 1 issue voting means you are privileged.

Ahh well as Sachs and Ritter say Israel might not be the world’s problem much longer since its economy is in the toilet.

7 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

snoopydawg's picture


her position and she was the first Jew confirmed to her post. I wonder how many people in his administration will not vote for him either because of his complicity in genocide and famine? Add them to the 13% or pepper who voted for him last time and his chances of getting re-elected goes down.

Hey Schumer good luck finding those blue collar republican voters switching to your side. His own officials see him complicit in the famine.

“This is not just turning a blind eye to the man-made starvation of an entire population, it is direct complicity,” former State Department official Josh Paul, who resigned over US support for the war, told The Independent.

A lot of the kids experiencing famine will not recover from it even if food is sent in tomorrow. Their bodies have been damaged already and it’s unknown how many are shutting down. But if Biden doesn’t give a crap about the children here at home then why would he give one about brown children across the pond? Most empathic president my left buttock! He has always been a cruel A-hole.

9 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

joe shikspack's picture


i guess it's not surprising that with hundreds of millions of dollars to spread around the israeli lobby is able to get its favored candidates elected.

on the other hand, the good news in maryland voting yesterday was that uncommitted came in with 10.3% of the vote against genocide joe. my county came in a little above that with more than 11% voting uncommitted. when i went in to vote, mid-afternoon the polls were pretty empty. i am guessing that it was a pretty low turn out primary.

5 users have voted.

as usual.

Edited to add this.

7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


they are working hard to earn their designation as a pariah state!

6 users have voted.

There are some who are under the impression that it is Blinky who is actually running the US.

6 users have voted.

5 users have voted.

Thanks for that, and thanks for the ebs, and thanks for all that you do, dear friend.

5 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

yep, max is great at serving up the red meat.

have a great evening!

3 users have voted.