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Know your NEM: Liddell plans could be washed away by Snowy 2.0

Renew Economy - 49 min 41 sec ago
AGL's plans for Liddell are vague and lacking, most likely because the company is waiting to see what the Coalition aims to do with Snowy Hydro.
Categories: Renewable Energy

Pesticide's Reprieve Met With Relief From Farmers, but Fear on Health Front

Organic Consumers Association - 1 hour 42 min ago

Even though farmers must follow strict rules in applying chlorpyrifos, it is nonetheless polluting the state’s waters. About 10 of Minnesota’s lakes and streams are or soon will be listed by state regulators as impaired by chlorpyrifos, a number that could grow. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has named it one of three “pesticides of concern” because of its powerful toxicity to wildlife.

Categories: Food and Farming

Has Our Government Spent $21 Trillion of Our Money Without Telling Us?

Organic Consumers Association - 1 hour 42 min ago

A new report indicates that for fiscal year 2015 the Army failed to provide adequate support for $6.5 trillion in journal voucher adjustments. "Journal vouchers are summary-level accounting adjustments made when balances between systems cannot be reconciled. Often these journal vouchers are unsupported, meaning they lack supporting documentation to justify the adjustment or are not tied to specific accounting transactions."

Categories: Food and Farming

The Importance of Electromagnetic Field Remediation in the Treatment of Chronic Disease

Organic Consumers Association - 1 hour 42 min ago

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are one of the most pernicious threats to your health. Exposure to EMFs is linked to many health problems such as Alzheimer’s and infertility, and autism. The question is, how do you limit your exposure to healthier levels?

Categories: Food and Farming

State Group: USDA Mulling Big Changes to Food Stamps, Including Allowing States to Impose Soda Ban

Organic Consumers Association - 1 hour 42 min ago

The USDA is considering proposals to let states impose new restrictions on purchases of soda and candy and require SNAP candidates to apply in person, according to the Secretaries Innovation Group (SIG), which represents state social service secretaries from 20 Republican administrations. The agency is also considering a proposal to allow states to reduce payments to some groups of people, including undocumented immigrants' citizen children.

Categories: Food and Farming

First Aboriginal mine opens in Northern Territory

Mining.Com - 2 hours 37 min ago

Photo of bauxite by Goxxy via Flickr Creative Commons license.

Sunday was a proud day for Aboriginal people in Australia's Northern Territory, with the opening of a new bauxite mine.

At a ceremony marking the official mine opening, Gumatj leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu poured a handful of bauxite into the hands of two Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) workers, Sky News reported on the weekend.

The occasion was historic because it's the first mine in Australia that will be owned and operated by Aboriginals. The bauxite will be sold to Rio Tinto for export to domestic and international customers.

"As the first indigenous bauxite mine, fully owned, all through the supply chain, this is world breaking," Rio Tinto Gove Operations general manager Linda Murry said in a news video on the opening.

The mine, located at Gulkula in Northeast Arnhem Land, is expected to provide around 65 full-time jobs for indigenous employees, with the goal to reach a staff of 100 employees by 2018. Two of the mine's new employees are among 10 new graduates from the Gulkula Training College.

"I feel more proud than ever before," Dr Yunupingu told Sky News, adding that the mine was only possible because his people had been allowed to make their own decisions about the use of their land.

Meanwhile in Queensland, a native title agreement between indigenous communities in the Gulf of Carpathia (the Gulf Communities Agreement (GCA)) and New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) will stay in place, ABC News reported on Sunday.

The CGA, which made the Century Mine responsible for providing social and economic development for gulf communities while protecting and promoting cultural heritage, was considered landmark at the time it was negotiated.

"We won't be seeking to make any changes to that agreement, so all the clauses that ceased operation when the previous owners stopped mining at Century will be renewed," said New Century Resources head of corporate affairs, Shane Goodwin. The company expects to start production in the third quarter of 2018.

The Century zinc mine will open again thanks to a $52.9 million private placement raised by owner New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ).

The mine was the third largest zinc mine in the world prior to its closure in 2016. New Century acquired its interest in 2017 and undertook a feasibility study into the recommissioning of the existing processing plant. The results of the feasibility study, which included conversion of the Century tailings deposit from measured resources to reserves, was published on Nov. 28. It shows proven ore reserves of 77.3 million tonnes at 3.1% of zinc-equivalent. The plant is designed to process 507,000 tonnes per annum of zinc concentrate, or 264,000 tpa zinc metal.

The post First Aboriginal mine opens in Northern Territory appeared first on MINING.com.

Categories: Coal and Mining

Fracking companies feature on new “climate disinformation database”

DRILL OR DROP? - 3 hours 53 min ago

Map of connections on the DeSmog database. Source: DeSmog UK

Two shale gas companies and their executives are on a database launched today which aims to reveal lobbying in favour of fossil fuels and against climate change action.

The database, from the website DeSmog UK, is designed to be a live log of activities and actions by key players who are said to be “pushing climate science denial and disinformation”.

The almost 70 entries include Cuadrilla and INEOS, companies behind shale gas exploration plans in northern England and the East Midlands, along with their executives, Francis Egan and Jim Ratcliffe.

DeSmog said the database was intended to help the public, journalists, researchers and policymakers check who they are dealing with on climate science and policy.

It gives background on companies and individuals, their connections, stance on climate change, quotes on energy and climate issues and climate lobbying activity.

DeSmog said today:

“Despite the UK posturing as a climate change leader on the global stage, there remain many issues on which it needs to further, faster, if the government is to meet its own high standards.

“Behind each climate policy failure is a network of politicians, corporate lobbyists and shadowy think tanks pushing to preserve the fossil-fuelled status quo.”

DeSmog said many of the actors in the database were connected through funding, business relationships, personal connections and ideological origins. These links are portrayed on an updated map.

Industry section of the DeSmog UK map of key players

What the database says about shale gas Cuadrilla

The database describes Cuadrilla as being “at the vanguard of efforts to exploit Britain’s shale gas resources”.

It charts the progress of the company’s planning applications in Lancashire for shale gas exploration.

It also includes Cuadrilla’s efforts to change rules to suit its activities, revealed in a DeSmog UK investigation.

During the summer, vehicles making deliveries to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool deviated from the preferred route more than 100 times. This week, the company is seeking to bring deliveries into the site outside agreed times. It has also sought to remove the chair of the Preston New Road Community Liaison Group, who it described as not suitably impartial.

Francis Egan

DeSmog lists public statements and actions by Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, related to climate change.

They include his appearance in front of a House of Lords committee when Mr Egan said fracking could be “squared” with the UK’s emissions reduction goals, that it was “remarkably difficult” to get through planning processes to the point of production, and that UK shale gas would largely be competing with imported US liquefied natural gas at around $6 per unit.

INEOS

INEOS describes itself as “the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry. It has partnerships with other UK shale gas companies, including IGas. In November, it was granted a wide-ranging injunction against anti-fracking protesters although two campaigners have said they are seeking an appeal against it.

The database includes the quote by INEOS Shale’s operations director, Tom Pickering, that Scotland’s decision to ban fracking “beggars belief”.

It also refers to accusations made in April 2017 by Friends of the Earth that the INEOS group was exploiting an opportunity in Brexit to seek further exemptions from environmental regulations.

Also on the database is a meeting in April 2015 between INEOS and Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, on the day the original moratorium on Scottish fracking was announced. A month earlier, according to the database, INEOS and IGas agreed a £30m deal to expand fracking operations in England.

Jim Ratcliffe

Mr Ratcliffe, co-founder and majority owner of INEOS, described shale gas as a “saviour” of the UK economy.

The database said:

“He is known for his aggressive pursuit of industrial assets in the UK, including the Grangemouth petrochemical plant and refinery, Forties pipeline and fracking licences.”

On hearing that Ratcliffe’s INEOS was set to purchase the Forties pipeline from BP, an industry insider told Scotland’s Daily Record:

“Holy sh*t. This would be like giving a monkey a machete … Letting Jim Ratcliffe loose on all the operators who feed into that pipeline is a dangerous, dangerous ploy.”

In 2013, in a comment for the Daily Telegraph, Jim Ratcliffe accuses unions of intimidation, running counter to the values of society, in which freedom of speech is cherished.

In 2017, INEOS Shale sought an interim national injunction against anti-fracking protests to its activities.

Bitcoin's mania parabolic

Mining.Com - 3 hours 54 min ago

Bitcoin’s meteoric skyrocketing this year has been astonishing, captivating traders across the globe.  This once-obscure cryptocurrency has exploded into the world’s hottest market.  With fortunes being won on paper, everyone is talking about bitcoin.  But with its price shooting parabolic, unfortunately this wild ride has all the hallmarks of a classic popular speculative mania.  And those all end badly, totally collapsing.

In the annals of financial-market history, the word “mania” is never used lightly.  These are very-rare events where some market blasts higher so radically that it captures the popular imagination.  The dictionary definitions of mania include “an excessively intense enthusiasm, interest, or desire” and “a pathological state characterized by euphoric mood, excessive activity or talkativeness, and impaired judgment”.

The seminal book on popular speculative manias is Charles Mackay’s “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”, first published way back in 1841.  Manias are certainly nothing new, they have been periodically erupting for many centuries if not millennia.  Mackay’s incredible work is one of the few must-read books for every investor.  I’ve read it several times in my life, starting back in college.

Mackay’s title is brilliant, perfectly summing up manias.  They are truly extraordinary popular delusions, illustrating the madness of crowds.  Objectively, this year’s extreme bitcoin action definitely fits that bill.  I say this as a lifelong student of the markets.  Like the objects of lust in past popular manias, bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology have real potential to change the world.  But that doesn’t justify its price.

As a techie, I started getting interested in bitcoin about 5 years ago, well after its birth in January 2009.  It was intriguing as the world’s first decentralized digital currency, an Information Age end run around the established government fiat-money systems relentlessly being inflated away by central banks.  Bitcoin’s never-unmasked creator going by Satoshi Nakamoto was a marketing genius, wrapping bitcoin in gold terminology.

The “coin” suffix implied bitcoin is money, rather than a virtual fiction with artificial scarcity.  And it used a novel distributed-ledger technology called blockchain.  That is a record of all bitcoin transactions that is broadcast and validated by the entire bitcoin network.  This ensures that bitcoins can be transferred with no counterparty risk, trust is irrelevant.  Maintaining the blockchain is called “mining”, again bringing gold to mind.

The countless computers all over the world participating in recordkeeping for bitcoin’s blockchain work to simultaneously solve complex cryptographic problems, or hashes.  This mining guarantees that all new bitcoin transactions are legitimate.  While it is computationally-intensive which requires much electricity, bitcoin ingeniously awards participating miners with newly-created bitcoins.  That’s a heck of an incentive today!

Somewhat like gold, the bitcoin supply grows at slow and ever-decreasing fixed rates.  Today there are around 16.7m bitcoins in circulation.  12.5 new ones are created every 10 minutes and distributed to the miners maintaining the blockchain.  That supply-growth rate will be gradually halved again and again until the bitcoin supply hits its hard-coded maximum of 21m bitcoins after 2110.  So bitcoin’s supply is artificially limited.

Repurposing old computers to mining is what sparked my initial interest in bitcoin.  I run a small financial-research company where we must periodically replace our high-end computers.  So I investigated putting some of our old put-out-to-pasture ones to work mining bitcoins, but at the time the electricity cost well exceeded the resulting bitcoins’ value.  Back then bitcoin mining didn’t require specialized custom-made rigs.

When bitcoin was younger, normal computers could solve the necessary cryptographic hashes to keep the blockchain up to date.  As this distributed ledger grew, more-powerful high-end computer-graphics cards were needed.  Today bitcoin mining requires computers with processors designed from scratch to do nothing but grind on the blockchain, called application-specific integrated circuits.  They get very expensive.

Truly bitcoin and its brilliant blockchain distributed-ledger system are amazing technologies.  They will ultimately reshape how we buy and sell goods and services, shifting the balance of power in currencies back away from centralized governments.  It’s hard not to be a bitcoin enthusiast.  That being said, it’s critical for traders to divorce bitcoin’s extreme mania price action from these technologies’ future potential.

For 18 years now, I’ve written  HYPERLINK "http://www.zealllc.com/essays.htm" an essay like this nearly every week.  Wednesday mornings I decide on a market topic, research it, and build any charts.  So our Zeal charts are always current to Wednesday’s close.  Then on Thursday I write and proof each essay before publishing it Friday morning.  Normally that day-and-a-half between finalizing the data and releasing an essay doesn’t matter, but bitcoin’s mania is crazy.

Bitcoin trades nonstop around the world, with transactions always happening and the blockchain always being updated.  Around the normal US stock-market close this Wednesday, each bitcoin was priced at $12,968.  So all the data, charts, and analysis in this essay is based on that ancient price.  Merely 18 hours later as I pen this essay, bitcoin has rocketed another 18.6% higher to $15,379!  Its ascent is meteoric.

So who knows how high bitcoin will be when you read this.  But the higher bitcoin skyrockets, the more it emphasizes the extreme danger inherent in this popular speculative mania!  Bitcoin is absolutely deep in a monster bubble, defined as “an increase in the price of a market that is not warranted by economic fundamentals and is usually caused by ongoing speculation in the expectation that the price will increase further”.

This first chart looks at bitcoin prices over the past couple years or so.  Bitcoin has rocketed parabolic in 2017, soaring vertically in what looks exactly like a popular mania blowoff top.  Vertical parabolic gains are mathematically impossible to sustain for long, as they would soon suck in all the available money on the entire planet!  If this chart doesn’t terrify you, you should go read Mackay’s mania book before it’s too late.

Bitcoin was no slouch in 2016, soaring 123.6% higher in what looked like a late-stage bull market.  That is hardly a blip on today’s chart though, as that morphed into a full-blown popular speculative mania this year.  As of Wednesday’s sub-$13k price, bitcoin had skyrocketed 1251.9% higher year-to-date and a mind-boggling 1565.6% higher since its early-January low!  These mania technicals are extreme beyond belief.

Like gold and many other investments including lots of stocks, bitcoin produces no cash yields and thus can’t be valued with conventional valuation analysis.  So no one has any idea what it’s worth.  The range of guesses is vast, running from zero to hundreds of thousands of dollars per bitcoin!  But even in the absence of any fundamental valuation, bitcoin’s price action itself proves it’s exceedingly expensive today.

Obviously Wednesday wasn’t this bitcoin speculative mania’s peak, but let’s assume it was to use as a reference point for analysis.  Bitcoin’s “terminal gains” as of the middle of this week were astounding.  In the past month alone it had soared 87%, nearly doubling!  It had skyrocketed 197% in 2 months, 280% in 4 months, and 459% in 5 months.  This left bitcoin radically overbought, trading at 3.70x its 200-day moving average.

The problem with such extreme mania price gains is they soon collapse under their own weight.  Over the past week ending Wednesday, bitcoin was surging an average of 5.9% per day.  Two of those days had 9.7% gains.  Literally nothing can rally 5% to 10% per day for long, as the math is truly impossible.  Think of that old rule of 72, which is used to approximate how long it takes for any investment to double in price.

It is normally applied to years, where 72 is divided by the average annual return to figure out about how many years it will take to grow 100%.  72 divided by 7% for example works out to about a decade to see 100% gains.  But at 5% or 10% compounded daily as bitcoin is doing, its total value will double in just under 14.3 and 7.3 trading days respectively!  Even to a casual observer that sounds absurd, wildly unsustainable.

Early Thursday morning, the total market value of all bitcoins in circulation was already around $250b.  If bitcoin doubles again over the coming weeks and months, that would soar over $500b.  Just one more doubling after that would take it to a staggering market cap of $1t!  While anything is possible, that seems wildly improbable.  For comparison, the Fed’s latest read on its total M1 money supply is running near $3.6t.

When anything shoots parabolic in a popular speculative mania, exponentially more capital inflows are required to sustain such extreme gains.  It doesn’t take many doublings in price and market cap to suck in all available money on the planet!  While bitcoin certainly enjoys a popular niche, there’s zero chance that global investors will sell sizable fractions of their bond, stock, gold, and cash holdings to buy bitcoins.

Thus extreme gains are never sustainable, as the collective buying power of even populations caught up in manias soon exhausts itself.  Eventually everyone interested in buying bitcoin has already bought, drying up their pools of available capital.  When those massive bubble-fueling capital inflows peak then taper off, market gravity reasserts itself and the stratospheric price starts plummeting back down to terra firma.

Unfortunately naive speculators don’t realize how extreme doublings and quadruplings within a matter of months truly are.  That makes it easier for them to get sucked into mania psychology.  They read about the blistering gains, everyone is raving about the bubble market, so they throw caution to the wind and buy in super-high.  Even worse, many traders rushing to buy into parabolic bubbles borrow money to do it with!

At that point all rationality is thrown out the window, it’s an extraordinary popular delusion as Mackay wisely wrote 176 years ago.  The price is totally disconnected from reality, and the sole reason capital is flooding in is because it is soaring.  That becomes self-reinforcing for a season, buying fueling gains and greed which leads to even more buying.  While exciting, vertical parabolic blowoffs are exceedingly dangerous.

Every popular speculative mania in history has failed spectacularly, the bubbles bursting and crashing, since capital inflows can never grow exponentially for long.  That’s going to happen to bitcoin too, without any doubt.  The deluded speculators who succumb to the temptation to buy in high, especially if they use leverage, are going to get slaughtered.  An infamous past bubble helps illustrate bitcoin’s extreme dangers today.

This final chart again assumes Wednesday was this bitcoin bubble’s peak for the sake of analysis.  The past couple years’ bitcoin action is superimposed over the notorious silver bubble that crested in January 1980.  Both datasets are indexed at 100 at their respective peaks to render them in perfectly-comparable percentage terms.  The bottom axis shows time elapsing before and after the peaks measured in months.

The parallels between bitcoin’s extreme parabolic price action over the past 6 months or so and silver’s in its bubble’s final 6 months are uncanny.  While very rare, popular speculative manias are nothing new.  The terminal gains of bitcoin and silver are remarkably similar as the table above shows.  If these data series were not labeled, today’s bitcoin bubble and the 1979 silver bubble would literally be indistinguishable.

As of Wednesday bitcoin had rocketed 87% in its latest month compared to 104% for the silver bubble in its terminal month.  At 2 months out they were identical at 197% and 196% gains.  The same was true at 3 months with 181% and 179% gains.  In their final 5 months, they skyrocketed 459% and 417% higher.  Their terminal 6 months saw 366% and 402% gains.  This bitcoin bubble is behaving just like the silver bubble!

While bubbles are incredibly exciting and fun when they shoot parabolic, the aftermath is catastrophic for traders who buy high.  Bubbles always burst, leading to full-on crashes that proceed long busts.  Just a month after silver peaked at $48.00 per ounce in January 1980, it plunged 35%.  In the first 2, 3, and 4 months post-peak, silver plummeted 54%, 73%, and 76%!  Bitcoin faces similar extreme downside risks today.

Once this mania bitcoin bubble bursts, and it will, the odds are very high that bitcoin will lose 50% to 75% of its value within a few months on the outside!  Everyone owning bitcoin today must be prepared for brutal near-term downside proportional to this year’s bubble upside.  When a bubble bursts it rapidly destroys most of the paper wealth that bubble created, which was really an illusion all along if not cashed out.

And once popular speculative manias inevitably fail, prices don’t return to those extreme bubble-peak levels for an awfully-long time.  That silver bubble peaked 37.9 years ago, and there are still many silver enthusiasts today.  Like the hardcore bitcoin faithful, plenty of people love silver with a religious-like zeal believing it is the ultimate investment.  In nominal terms, silver didn’t exceed that bubble peak until April 2011.

After taking a staggering 31.3 years to regain January 1980’s high, silver held it for a single day and has never returned since.  And in real inflation-adjusted terms based on the US CPI, silver’s bubble peak in today’s dollars was over $152 per ounce!  Obviously silver has come nowhere close to trading near  HYPERLINK "http://www.zealllc.com/2013/cpisilv4.htm" those same real levels again.  Prices are so extreme after popular speculative manias they may never recover.

A far-milder bubble than both bitcoin and silver arose in the stock markets in late 1999 and early 2000.  Like bitcoin, the technology of the Internet was amazing and would forever change our world.  Yet stock prices got so extreme then that the NASDAQ didn’t revisit its March 2000 closing peak for the first time until April 2015, fully 15.1 years later!  And that only happened because NASDAQ’s components greatly changed.

The history of popular speculative manias proves that even if bitcoin and its underlying blockchain are here to stay, it will likely be many years or decades until bitcoin prices regain their bubble peak wherever that happens to be.  Once this bitcoin bubble inevitably pops, there’s virtually no chance its traders will be made whole again.  They’ll hold through the burst in hopes bitcoin will rebound, but bubble poppings are final.

And it’s not just bitcoin’s extreme price action that reveals it’s in a bubble fueled by a popular speculative mania.  Anecdotal stories abound showing a huge influx of young and naive “investors” who have never lived through a bubble.  The leading bitcoin broker in the US is Coinbase.  Its accounts are exploding as people rush to pour money into this bitcoin mania.  By late November, Coinbase’s active accounts had hit 13.3m!

This is staggering growth, as Coinbase reported just over 5m accounts as 2017 dawned.  13.3m is way bigger than stock broker Charles Schwab’s 10.6m at the end of October, and threatening to rival the 24.9m accounts stock broker Fidelity had at the end of June!  As in all manias, the vast majority of these new bitcoin “investors” have drank the Kool-Aid and believe bitcoin’s technology justifies its extreme price gains.

When markets soar so high all rationality is thrown out the window, the only reason to keep buying is the greater-fool theory.  Late-stage traders buy super-high in the hopes they’ll find an even greater fool to sell even higher to later!  Soaring prices can entice in big new capital inflows for a season, but eventually the price levels get so high that it’s impossible to sustain exponential buying.  Then the bubble bursts, prices crash.

Even if bitcoin and blockchain forever change currencies in the future, nothing justifies doublings and quadruplings in bitcoin prices in a matter of months.  Such extremes are never sustainable, all popular manias fail spectacularly even though the technology investors were excited about lives on and indeed changes the world.  I’m really excited to see bitcoin and blockchain applied to digital gold in coming years.

Gold has been universally valued across the world for millennia, yet it’s impractical to use as money for most transactions.  But if bitcoin-and-blockchain technologies were applied to gold, this metal could easily be subdivided into the tiniest of increments and traded globally.  A gold version of bitcoin would have to be 100% physically backed by gold held in secure vaults in safe, trusted countries.  It’s already being worked on.

But the great value of bitcoin-and-blockchain technologies doesn’t make bitcoin immune from the natural consequences of this year’s bubble.  Bitcoin is far too large now to keep doubling on a monthly basis, it’s impossible.  And there’s never been a past bubble where prices stop soaring but don’t crash, instead just rallying on from there quasi-normally.  Greedy traders start selling when the parabola stalls, driving the burst.

One of the reasons bitcoin has skyrocketed is there are virtually no sellers relative to the great herds of new buyers flocking in.  That is all going to change soon, which presents big risks of popping this bubble.  Both the CBOE and CME are set to launch actual bitcoin futures in the next week or so, which will allow professional speculators to not only buy bitcoin but short sell it at scale.  That alone may very well slay this bubble.

Bitcoin is pretty inefficient too, with transactions taking up to 10 minutes to process as the blockchain gets bigger and bigger.  Transaction costs are also skyrocketing, leading some major businesses like the Steam online video-gaming service to stop accepting bitcoin as payment.  Its owner Valve says it now costs about $20 to process a single bitcoin payment, far too expensive for this company’s massive 67m users.

As bitcoin grows, the blockchain itself is getting ever-more unwieldy.  That ledger recording every single bitcoin transfer ever is requiring progressively more computing power to process, making mining for the network much more expensive.  Recent estimates place bitcoin-mining electricity usage at 0.13% of the world total.  A single bitcoin transaction now requires enough electricity to power an American house for a week!

As long as bitcoin prices are sky-high, large-scale mining operations to process bitcoin’s cryptographic hashes are profitable.  But when bitcoin crashes after this bubble, computers tasked to mining will likely plunge in parallel.  While the hashes are dynamically adjusted to account for network mining power, this could still increase transaction times as blockchain grows.  That would make bitcoin less attractive as a currency.

As a professional speculator over the past two decades or so, I wouldn’t touch bitcoin with a ten-foot pole today.  Buying into a popular speculative mania that’s already rocketed parabolic is the height of folly, guaranteeing massive losses in the near-future.  If you were shrewd enough to buy bitcoins before the last 6 months, you should be scaling out and taking profits.  One bitcoin expert calls it a “consensus hallucination”.

At Zeal we’ve spent decades studying and trading the markets, building wealth normally and consistently through profitable real-world trading with a contrarian bent.  This means buying low and selling high, so bitcoin is off the table.  But as of the end of Q3 we’ve realized 967 stock trades recommended in real-time in our newsletters since 2001, which averaged stellar annualized realized gains of +19.9% over that long span!

The key to this success is staying informed and being contrarian.  That means buying low when others are scared, not when they are euphoric like in bitcoin’s mania.  An easy way to keep abreast is through our acclaimed  HYPERLINK "http://www.zealllc.com/speculator.htm" weekly and  HYPERLINK "http://www.zealllc.com/intelligence.htm" monthly newsletters.  They draw on my vast experience, knowledge, wisdom, and ongoing research to explain what’s going on in the markets, why, and how to trade them with specific stocks.  Easy to read and affordable, they’ll help you learn to think, trade, and thrive like contrarians.   HYPERLINK "http://www.zealllc.com/subscribe.htm" Subscribe today, and build lasting wealth instead of getting obliterated when bitcoin’s bubble bursts.

The bottom line is this year’s bitcoin popular speculative mania has gone parabolic.  Such extreme gains are never sustainable, as they require exponentially-growing capital inflows.  Once this greed-drenched bubble stage is reached, it’s only a matter of time until the burst inevitably follows.  The resulting selling from panicking traders is so violent that most of the mania gains are fully annihilated in a matter of months.

While bitcoin and its blockchain distributed-ledger technologies are amazing and will indeed likely change the world, they don’t justify bitcoin’s extreme vertical gains.  Plenty of past bubbles were based on great new technologies too, but those prices still collapsed once the supply of greater fools exhausted itself.  After skyrocketing so darned fast, bitcoin is certainly the riskiest major investment in the world.  Caveat emptor!

Adam Hamilton, CPA

December 8, 2017

Copyright 2000 – 2017 Zeal LLC ( HYPERLINK "http://www.ZealLLC.com" www.ZealLLC.com)

The post Bitcoin's mania parabolic appeared first on MINING.com.

Categories: Coal and Mining

Thanks To Popular Pressure, The Senate Left Electric Car Tax Credit Alone (For Now)

CleanTechnica - 4 hours 15 min ago
2017 has been an interesting year for electric vehicles (EV). We've seen more EVs on the road and at auto shows internationally, but affordability hasn't changed that much. Worse yet, in the US, the new administration has been on a rampage returning to the good old polluting days, with carmakers colluding and allowing the environment to be further damaged. This is a story of what can happen when enough people get together and tell politicians enough is enough. Next: Net Neutrality and other environmental topics
Categories: Renewable Energy

Industry and government a mine of misinformation

Papua New Guinea Mine Watch - 4 hours 23 min ago

The much championed size and importance of the mining sector in Papua New Guinea is really all smoke and mirrors; an elaborate charade crafted through a mine of misinformation generated by industry and the government – and repeatedly broadcast by an unquestioning and compliant media.

The favourite line is that the mining sector generates of 50% of Papua New Guinea’s revenue – a statistic spouted by everyone from the Mining Minister, Johnson Tuke, down, at the recent Mining and Petroleum conference in Port Moresby.

GREAT! But what does this figure of 50% really mean and who benefits from that revenue?

Well it is certainly not the government or people of PNG!

Government revenue is generated by taxes and the mining and petroleum sector contributes but a small percentage of tax revenues, as revealed in a recent article from Nelson Atip Nema. His analysis shows that the revenue to government generated by mining and petroleum taxes is currently just K100 million a year, and that figure is still falling, despite Tuke telling everyone at the mining conference revenues were UP 13.4 % last year…

Mining and petroleum tax revenues. Nelson Atip Nema and Stephen Howes | DevPolicy Blog

In contrast to the K100 million paid by the mining industry, personal income tax, the money paid by us, the workers, to the government every year, is a whopping K3,000 million. In addition, the corporate taxes paid by the non-mining sector are over K2,000 million a year and tax collected on GST is almost K1,500 million a year, as shown in the graph below.

Graph by Nelson Atip Nema and Stephen Howes | DevPolicy Blog

So, for the government, non mining taxes generate over K6,500 million and mining and petroleum sector just K100 million. So rather than ‘over 50% of revenue’, in truth the mining and petroleum companies provide just 1.5% of government revenue.

Funny we never hear the Minister, MRA or the mining companies telling us that!

It is not that their ‘over 50%’ figure is not true it is just that it refers to ‘export revenue’, that is all the money extracted from Papua New Guinea every year – not government revenue. The mining and petroleum industries account for over 50% of all the MONEY TAKEN OUT OF PNG EVERY YEAR, much of it to be stashed away in off-shore tax havens.

Great for the foreign owned mining companies, but not for us!

The employment numbers we also hear so much about also don’t stack up to much when subjected to basic scrutiny.

The industry claim the sector employs as many as 17,000.

GREAT! Sounds like a big number right, 17,000, but remember that is just a TINY 0.2% of our population!

In contrast, 82% of our population over the age of ten is engaged in small-scale farming, according to the 2010 census and the United Nations.

Three million famers or 17,000 employees, which sounds more important?


Categories: Coal and Mining

The Mobility Conference — Join Us For EV Revolution In Abu Dhabi

CleanTechnica - 4 hours 53 min ago
Just one year ago, electric vehicles were a rare sight on the roads of the UAE. Today, after a range of government initiatives and electric vehicle product launches from manufacturers, the electric vehicle industry in the UAE is looking to be one of the most promising in the region, and demand for EVs is expected to soar
Categories: Renewable Energy

Conspiracy Theorists, Climate Change Deniers, & The Rejection of Science

CleanTechnica - 5 hours 59 min ago
The USA especially is in a challenging place right now. A significant portion of the populace although not a majority believes a variety of things which are provably false and appear immune to reason and fact. They are supported by a President who has ridden their willful ignorance to a powerful position, and in turn he continues to feed their warped world view. The USA was built as much on engineering and science as on capitalism. Rejecting it will only hurt a great country, and by extension, the world
Categories: Renewable Energy

Bougainville landowners back rival consortium to take over controversial Panguna copper mine

Papua New Guinea Mine Watch - 6 hours 24 min ago

People supporting a rival mining consortium hold anti-BCL signs at the Panguna mine site. (Facebook: Me’ekamui)

Eric Tlozek | ABC News | 11 December 2017

The Bougainville Government is holding a crucial mining warden’s hearing at the abandoned copper mine which sparked a decade-long armed insurgency against the Papua New Guinea Government.

Key points:

  • RTG Mining chairman Michael Carrick says a proposal by the Central Me’ekamui Exploration Limited consortium is more realistic and “for the benefit of the people of Bougainville”
  • But BCL company secretary Mark Hitchcock says the consortium’s conduct is “less than honourable”
  • Bougainville’s Mining Secretary Shadrach Himata says all landowners will be asked for their views

The hearing will help determine if the company Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), which was forced to abandon the Panguna mine in 1989, should retain an exploration licence for the site.

The Bougainville Government now owns part of Bougainville Copper Limited and wants it to redevelop the mine, but a rival consortium is challenging their bid, and said it has the support of key landowners from Panguna.

That consortium, Central Me’ekamui Exploration Limited, includes ASX-listed RTG Mining.

RTG’s chairman Michael Carrick said the group’s proposal was more realistic and better-supported by the people of Panguna.

“[It’s] a sensible and well-supported and economically deliverable proposal to develop the mine for the benefit of all the people of Bougainville,” he said.

RTG Mining has told the Bougainville Government that BCL’s exploration licence for Panguna has expired and legally cannot be renewed.

It wants the Bougainville Government to consider its application instead, saying the landowner association for the mine pit, the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA), backs its bid and would present a 2,000-signature petition in opposition to BCL.

“For the first time in 30 years a mining company has been endorsed and supported by the SMLOLA,” Mr Carrick said.

RTG Mining said longstanding resentment against BCL over the conflict and the ongoing environmental problems caused by their sudden withdrawal would prevent the company from being able to operate the mine again.

“The legacy issues for BCL are insurmountable,” Mr Carrick said.

He said the landowners would present a 2000-signature petition in opposition to BCL.

There is a legal dispute over who rightfully chairs the landowner association.

RTG Mining said the dispute had been settled with their preferred candidate, Philip Miriori, in charge; the Bougainville Government said the mediation had failed and that the matter is still before the courts.

PHOTO: The Panguna mine was abandoned in 1989 after an armed uprising known as the Bougainville Crisis. (AAP Image: Ilya Gridneff)

The Bougainville Government has also criticised the consortium for paying landowners who support them and implied it is not respecting the approval process.

“The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) will not entertain companies who use the back door or break and enter through the window using self-centred individuals who think they have a monopoly over the people’s resources or represent their interests,” Mining Minister Raymond Masono said in a statement.

“… The ABG rejects companies that think they can bribe their way into people’s resources by giving certain individuals money to gain landowner consent.”

The ABG has had the PNG Government ban the key executive from Central Exploration, Sydney lawyer Renzie Duncan, from coming to Papua New Guinea.

Michael Carrick from RTG Mining says the consortium has been dealing openly with the Bougainville Government and that landowner payments are wages for its employees.

“The wages paid are in respect of services rendered to the joint venture,” he said.

“The joint venture is a commercial operation and landowners, like anyone else, are able to work and to get paid for their services.

“Our dealings with landowners have been completely transparent and professional.”

Mr Carrick said the intent of the travel ban against Mr Duncan appeared to be to help Bougainville Copper Limited.

“It is clear the ABG, on the appointment of the new mining minister, supported BCL and the temporary banning of Renzie, I assume, is designed to limit the support that could be afforded to the landowners of Panguna,” he said.

Bougainville Copper Limited is deeply unhappy with RTG Mining and its partners.

“We think they’re less than honourable in how they’re carrying on their conduct and their activities in the area,” BCL company secretary Mark Hitchcock said.

He said BCL’s licence application was legal, and wasn’t processed on time because the Bougainville Government wasn’t ready to implement the processes of its new Mining Act.

“The department didn’t have the resources to manage the application at the time it was taking place,” he said.

“It now has all those facilities in place.”

Landowners set to weigh-in on hearing

Mr Hitchcock said many landowners do support BCL, but are not being properly represented.

“From what we’ve seen, there is widespread support for mining in Panguna and mining with Bougainville Copper,” he said.

Bougainville’s Mining Secretary Shadrach Himata said all landowners will be asked for their views as part of the approval process, not just the leaders of the association.

“The warden’s hearing is a process that will engage the views of all the landowners in the resource areas,” he said.

“It won’t be affected by the leadership tussle of the SMLOLA landowners.”

Crucially, Mr Himata, said BCL is the only company currently being considered by the Bougainville Government.

“Right now, the only legal applicant on the exploration tenement is BCL,” he said.

“Until that process is completed, there are no other applicants or applications over the same tenement. That’s the position of Government.”

The eventual decision on the exploration licence will be made by the Bougainville Executive Council, the regional government’s Cabinet, probably sometime in 2018.


Categories: Coal and Mining

MappAir — New UK-Wide, Online, High-Resolution Air Pollution Map

CleanTechnica - 6 hours 40 min ago
A new UK-wide, online, high-resolution air pollution map known as "MappAir" has been developed and launched by EarthSense Systems, a joint-venture between the aerial mapping firm BlueSky and the University of Leicester
Categories: Renewable Energy

Tropos Technologies Closes Oversubscribed Seed Fundraising Round Of $1.2 Million

CleanTechnica - 7 hours 20 min ago
With the aim being to develop its dealer network for the rollout of its electric low-speed fleet vehicle (E-LSV), Tropos Technologies has in a period of 10 days closed an oversubscribed seed fundraising round of $1.2 million, according to an email sent to CleanTechnica
Categories: Renewable Energy

China Green Licence Plate Scheme Going National

CleanTechnica - 7 hours 46 min ago
On the 20th of November, it was announced that China's green new energy license plates would be rolled out across the nation in three stages. Previously, the green licence plates had been implemented in Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuxi, Jinan, and Shenzhen on the 1st of December of
Categories: Renewable Energy

2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

Skeptical Science - 10 hours 14 min ago

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... SkS Spotlights... Video of the Week... Reports of Note... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...

Story of the Week...

A Spectacle At The Coliseum — US To Hold Public Climate Change Debate As Soon As January, EPA Head Says

 

 

Much of modern politics amounts to nothing more than spectacle and entertainment at this point. Getting people to actually think about anything, rather than to stare blankly while taking part in whatever scapegoating or lynching frenzy is in effect at the moment, is essentially a lost cause. It’s so much easier, after all, to just assume that one knows everything, that one’s peers speak the unvarnished truth, and that everything that goes wrong is someone else’s doing/fault than it is to live in the highly nuanced and unpredictable world that everything actually resides in. And anyway, someone has to be wrong, and it’s not you, right?

With that background haze firmly in mind, the new head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, has announced that the EPA may launch a “public climate debate” as soon as January. In other words, rather than dealing with the issue in any real way, the idea is that some monkeys can get together on TV and yell past one another — and that can substitute for an actual discussion of the civilization-wrecking issues now facing the world.

A return to the coliseum, in other words. Though, observing the nonsensical but gore-filled visual noise that passes for entertainment nowadays, it appears that the coliseum has been with us for quite a while now. To the credit of the Romans, though, at least the violence of the coliseum was real in its way and made some kind of sense (even if it was essentially intended as tribute to the foreign Carthaginian god Ammon, established as part of the evocatio preceding the Punic Wars). The depictions of violence seen in popular culture nowadays have about as much to do with reality as a child’s make believe does. 

A Spectacle At The Coliseum — US To Hold Public Climate Change Debate As Soon As January, EPA Head Says by James Ayre, Clean Technica, Dec 8, 2017

Also see: Scott Pruitt’s terrible plan to “objectively” assess climate science by David Roberts, Energy & Environment, Vox, Dec 7, 2017

Toon of the Week...

 

Quote of the Week...

Top US firms including Walmart and Ford oppose Trump on climate change

Several of the country’s corporate giants, including Walmart, General Motors, Ford and Mars, appeared this week at the second annual Companies v Climate Change conference in Miami to showcase their progress and reinforce their belief that sustainability and other green targets can be achieved irrespective of the policies and purpose of the White House.

“We were disappointed [the] US pulled out of Paris, but what’s so great is what companies can do to make a difference,” said Zach Freeze, senior director for strategic initiatives in sustainability at Walmart, the first retailer to announce science-based targets for emissions reductions and a key signatory to the We Are Still In declaration that followed Trump’s Paris withdrawal.

“We all have a lot we can do and should do, it’s becoming more and more of an imperative. We’ve been working on this for a long time, prior to this administration [and] we’re thinking about 10 years from now where we’re going to be. Regardless of what’s happening, this is something we believe in. If we do it the right way we will see progress.”

Top US firms including Walmart and Ford oppose Trump on climate change by Richard Luscombe, Guardian, Dec 1, 2017 

SkS Spotlights...

 

Faith and science are two of the most influential forces in global society. The United Planet Faith & Science Initiative (UPFSI) unites prominent religious figures and leading scientists to speak out together and mobilize action for ecological sustainability.

The UPFSI is a project that holds low-impact, web-based meetings of eminent scientists and faith leaders from across the globe.  These meetings are edited into short, powerful videos and disseminated through social media and news outlets to promote public awareness, political will, policy, and action. The UPFSI also holds public events featuring presentations by these leaders.  Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and prominent climatologist Dr. James Hansen are among the founding members of this Initiative. (Click here for a full list of founding members.)

The UPFSI also reaches out to the world’s youth as they are at greatest risk from the ecological crisis. The Initiative uses social media to help replace the unsustainable paradigm that has created many of our environmental problems with new inspiration, intention, and action.

UPFSI aims to shift the consciousness of humanity and the momentum of global society in a more sustainable direction in such critical areas as climate change, environmental protection, and biodiversity. The Initiative is an outgrowth of the Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change (IDCC), which was seminal in coalescing the interfaith ‘constituency’ within the UN FCCC process in 2009.

Coming Soon on SkS...
  • From the eMail Bag: Carbon Isotopes - Part 1 - The Basics (David Kirtley)
  • Guest Post (John Abraham)
  • Analysis: How developing nations are driving record growth in solar power (Zeke)
  • New research this week (Ari)
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50 (John Hartz)
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Waming Digest #50 (John Hartz)
Poster of the Week...

 

Climate Feedback Reviews...

Climate Feedback asked its network of scientists to review the article, "STUDY: Satellites Show No Acceleration In Global Warming For 23 Years" by Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, Nov 29, 2017. 

Five scientists analyzed the article and estimate its overall scientific credibility to be 'low'.  

A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: .

Review Summary

This article in The Daily Caller describes a recent study published on the University of Alabama at Huntsville satellite temperature dataset. The study claims that, after removing the cooling influence of two large volcanic eruptions in 1982 and 1991, the rate of warming is slower than simulated by climate models.

While The Daily Caller story accurately describes the study, it fails to include comments from other scientists in the field or to provide necessary context for readers, as the scientists who reviewed the story explained. For example, the study fails to account for more recent volcanic activity, and does not support its conclusion that climate models are overly sensitive to CO2.

In addition, the story’s headline emphasizes that the study shows “no acceleration in global warming for 23 years” and this is presented as a challenge to model simulations. This is misleading, as no acceleration of the warming rate is expected to be seen in such a short timeframe.

See all the scientists’ annotations in context

Daily Caller uncritically reports poorly supported conclusion of satellite temperature study, Climate Feedback, Dec 4, 2017 

SkS Week in Review...  97 Hours of Consensus...

 

 

Richard Somerville's bio page and Quote source

High resolution JPEG (1024 pixels wide)

Categories: Climate Change

Free Dizolve is back this holiday!

Sierra Club Canada - 11 hours 26 min ago

You love it. We love it. And it's back!

We are letting you in on our great Dizolve promotion, just for Sierra Club Canada Foundation members and donors.

► We’ll send you 2 packs of Dizolve laundry strips when you donate $50 (that's 64 loads of laundry!)

► We’ll send you 4 packs when you donate $100! (that's 128 loads of laundry!)

Make a gift to Sierra today and we’ll send you your free gift of Dizolve!

Consider your laundry on us for the next year (folding and ironing not included!)

These make great eco-friendly gifts. And for those of you who hang stockings, they're handy stocking stuffers, too!

Don’t miss out on this great offer! Donate today!

With thanks from the Sierra Club Canada Foundation team!

♦ Sorry, but limited quantities available ♦

Categories: Green News

Life through a Filtered Lens

The Revelator - 11 hours 53 min ago

A group of tourists ran up to a lanky ball of fur curled up on a sidewalk at our resort in the Riviera Maya.

“Look! It’s a monkey!”

Phones and cameras took over the scene and snapped away for a few seconds. People shrieked and giggled, and then they continued walking.

That same monkey kept showing up, and the tourists loved it. I was with them. More than 50 New World monkey species live in Latin America, and that’s exciting when you come from a place like Texas — home to plenty of wild rattlesnakes, but not a single monkey.

One evening, I saw a woman slowly walking around the premises, scanning the area like she’d lost something.

“Have you seen a monkey around here?” she asked me.

I described the one that had been hanging around the resort.

“Ah, yes. He must be getting depressed. He escaped from our monkey sanctuary about five months ago, and it’s getting cold.”

Slightly disappointed that my monkey encounters weren’t actual wildlife encounters, I asked what species it was. She described it as a subspecies of spider monkey.

Turns out they’re not even native to the region. Little did all the tourists know, the monkey fulfilling exotic expectations wasn’t even from around here. And he seemed to miss his tribe.

For my wife and I, it was the first of many encounters with nature throughout our nine-day honeymoon in Mexico’s haven of tourism, ranging from odd to uncomfortable, contrived and unexpected, and — in the end — glorious.

The ferocious jungle

Finding nature was easy, but there was often something about it that felt a tad sterile. Even the “Jungle Maya Tour” we did — which was supposed to be an up-close encounter with the jungle — almost felt more like a stereotypical movie jungle set than raw nature. I looked around at the trails and they were clear of any scattered foliage. Picturesque palm branches looked groomed to symmetry.

And then something else hit me: Where were the bugs?

I asked our guide, a burly guy with rosy cheeks, a red beard and thick Austrian accent.

“Oh they cleared them out about five years ago,” he explained. All it took was sprinkling an “all-natural” powder in the park’s ponds where mosquito larvae hatched and it wiped them all out at once.

Effective, yes, but wouldn’t this mess with the ecosystem?

He insisted that it had no negative effect since it was in such an isolated area.

I also wondered about snakes — after all, I’d heard that 52 species live in the region — and he told me about huge fer-de-lance vipers they used to find. But they also posed too much of a risk to visitors, so they had them relocated.

By this point, I’m sure he sensed that I felt a little uneasy about the whole situation and perhaps even a tad gypped. Then he told me a story about how he had trekked deep into the jungle a few weeks ago for some conservation work, and within minutes he landed in thick patches of ticks that ended up clinging to his entire body. He was also covered in mosquito bites. The jungle isn’t for anyone.

The thing is, everyone loves the idea of nature, but once we see the reality of its pure ferocious majesty, we all beg for that tame Hollywood set again.

Perhaps the jungle just wasn’t the right place to start.

The mighty sea

As I write this, I’m stretched across a beach chair, watching tourists wade in the calm, shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea. A couple hundred feet out, a line of buoys stretches around the bay with huge, perfectly rounded rocks stacked just beyond them, each one covered in some type of netting that catches the full brunt of choppy whitecaps. It was a dividing line — the only thing standing between thousands of miles of raw nature and the wee sliver of tamed nature we called “the beach” — like a wall to our safe little cage.

I also found out that many beaches in the area don’t even have natural sand — or, it may be real, but it’s brought in by the truckload from somewhere else. The practice is quite common around the world. That’s because beaches don’t exactly maintain the same shape when they’re being slammed by waves all day. Multiply that process across years and decades, and entire coastlines may soon be unrecognizable. Meanwhile, man-made buildings and other structures are plopped beside these malleable lands. To make that work in the long-run, you’re gonna need some backup sand.

Plus, let’s be honest — humans like their sand fine and free of jagged rocks, and you just don’t find that everywhere. So if you’re the owner of a resort, and your beach isn’t sandy, what are you gonna do?

When we went on a snorkeling excursion on one of the days, we saw a different side of the ocean, beyond our beach’s wall of buoys. A small boat brought us a couple miles out to drop our tiny bodies into the vast open water to explore the world’s second largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

For some reason, I expected something calm and crystal-clear, like our resort’s aquarium of a beach, but instead, tall waves carried us back and forth and up and down as we tried to keep our focus on the colorful fish and coral below us (which some people complained weren’t colorful enough). I inhaled water a few times and almost vomited twice. Everyone else seemed to get by just fine, but it certainly wasn’t what we expected.

I was starting to get the impression that raw nature didn’t really want us there.

Hidden time-capsules

As we continued our excursions, we learned that some raw habitats are better-suited for exploration than others. The most memorable experience of the trip was a snorkeling venture through the Sistema Sac Actun, the second longest underwater cave in the world that slithers beneath earth’s surface for 143 miles, extending hundreds of feet deep in some parts. The Mayas considered it an entrance to the underworld.

On the surface, it was a scene that would make anyone a little claustrophobic — with only one or two feet between us and the stalactites above — but after dipping my face in the water it was like opening up fantasy’s favorite wardrobe, where you’re suddenly granted access to a vast, magical world (but with far fewer lions and witches). Rays of light from the guide’s headlamp shone through turquoise waters, illuminating walls of underwater stalagmites that zig-zagged in every direction, and some parts opened up like the floor had dropped beneath us. I effortlessly floated along, propelled by the gentle wiggle of my feet, and I gazed, wide-eyed, at the beauty around me.

Besides my goggles, there was no filter to the scene. It was about as pristine as nature gets, encapsulated in the earth to keep it that way. In 2007, divers explored the cave system’s depths and found bones of giant sloths, mastodons (similar to elephants), and even the oldest complete human skeleton ever discovered in the Americas — that of a teenage girl who had apparently fallen down its chambers about 13,000 years ago. And she was still down there all this time, preserved in ancient waters.

To be fair, it wasn’t entirely natural — after all, wooden steps led us into the water, and small lights were installed near the entrance — but wow, am I glad humans interfered with this one. My echolocation isn’t quite up to par with the colony of bats we saw, and it would have been a dark and scary swim without lighting.

Back home in the sky

When nine days were said and done, I hadn’t seen a single wild monkey.

Back on the plane, I sat down in my chair in the sky — my second home — and reflected on the trip, looking out the window at the gradient of natural environments below us. I saw strips of land in all shades of greens and blues, which molded into seas and warped with underwater sand dunes that occasionally peaked out as little islands. I saw miles of jungle, and hundreds of resorts carved out of its materials, roads crisscrossing the land, and beaches with shared sands.

I knew that somewhere down there were manatees and dolphins, jaguars and tapirs, snakes that can take you down in minutes, tree frogs and salamanders, and surely, thousands of monkeys — vast webs of life tucked away in ferocious jungles and swimming through mighty seas that simply aren’t suited for man. You can see it through screens, and you might catch glimpses in the parks, or even escaped from the zoo, but without our little filters — without the gear, without the walls and groomed environments — nature’s truly “exotic” side would swallow us whole.

For, at our own natural core, we are only human.

© 2017 Doug Stienstra. All rights reserved. Originally published at Life on a Planet.

The opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Revelator, the Center for Biological Diversity, or their employees.

The post Life through a Filtered Lens appeared first on The Revelator.

Categories: Green News

Bitcoin Power Problem Seeks Renewable Energy Solution, May Not Find It Fast Enough

CleanTechnica - 12 hours 9 min ago
Bitcoin fans will have to try harder if they're serious about a renewable energy solution for the cryptocurrency power problem
Categories: Renewable Energy

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