We're looking at carbon for this post. First off, what is carbon? From WIKIPEDIA:
Carbon (from Latin: carbo "coal") is a chemical element with the symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Carbon makes up only about 0.025 percent of Earth's crust. Three isotopes occur naturally, 12C and 13C being stable, while 14C is a radionuclide, decaying with a half-life of about 5,730 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity.
Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth's crust, and the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen. Carbon's abundance, its unique diversity of organic compounds, and its unusual ability to form polymers at the temperatures commonly encountered on Earth enables this element to serve as a common element of all known life. It is the second most abundant element in the human body by mass (about 18.5%) after oxygen.
The atoms of carbon can bond together in diverse ways, resulting in various allotropes of carbon. Well-known allotropes include graphite, diamond, amorphous carbon and fullerenes. The physical properties of carbon vary widely with the allotropic form. For example, graphite is opaque and black while diamond is highly transparent. Graphite is soft enough to form a streak on paper (hence its name, from the Greek verb "γράφειν" which means "to write"), while diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material known. Graphite is a good electrical conductor while diamond has a low electrical conductivity. Under normal conditions, diamond, carbon nanotubes, and graphene have the highest thermal conductivities of all known materials. All carbon allotropes are solids under normal conditions, with graphite being the most thermodynamically stable form at standard temperature and pressure. They are chemically resistant and require high temperature to react even with oxygen.
The most common oxidation state of carbon in inorganic compounds is +4, while +2 is found in carbon monoxide and transition metal carbonyl complexes. The largest sources of inorganic carbon are limestones, dolomites and carbon dioxide, but significant quantities occur in organic deposits of coal, peat, oil, and methane clathrates. Carbon forms a vast number of compounds, more than any other element, with almost ten million compounds described to date, and yet that number is but a fraction of the number of theoretically possible compounds under standard conditions. For this reason, carbon has often been referred to as the "king of the elements".
The carbon that concerns us is carbon dioxide. Again, WIKIPEDIA:
Carbon dioxide (chemical formula CO
2) is an acidic colorless gas with a density about 53% higher than that of dry air. Carbon dioxide molecules consist of a carbon atom covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. It occurs naturally in Earth's atmosphere as a trace gas. The current concentration is about 0.04% (412 ppm) by volume, having risen from pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm. Natural sources include volcanoes, hot springs and geysers, and it is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution in water and acids. Because carbon dioxide is soluble in water, it occurs naturally in groundwater, rivers and lakes, ice caps, glaciers and seawater. It is present in deposits of petroleum and natural gas. Carbon dioxide has a sharp and acidic odor and generates the taste of soda water in the mouth. However, at normally encountered concentrations it is odorless.
As the source of available carbon in the carbon cycle, atmospheric carbon dioxide is the primary carbon source for life on Earth and its concentration in Earth's pre-industrial atmosphere since late in the Precambrian has been regulated by photosynthetic organisms and geological phenomena. Plants, algae and cyanobacteria use energy from sunlight to synthesize carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water in a process called photosynthesis, which produces oxygen as a waste product. In turn, oxygen is consumed and CO2 is released as waste by all aerobic organisms when they metabolize organic compounds to produce energy by respiration. Since plants require CO2 for photosynthesis, and humans and animals depend on plants for food, CO2 is necessary for the survival of life on earth.
It is returned to water via the gills of fish and to the air via the lungs of air-breathing land animals, including humans. Carbon dioxide is produced during the processes of decay of organic materials and the fermentation of sugars in bread, beer and wine making. It is produced by combustion of wood, peat and other organic materials and fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. It is an unwanted byproduct in many large scale oxidation processes, for example, in the production of acrylic acid (over 5 million tons/year).
It is a versatile industrial material, used, for example, as an inert gas in welding and fire extinguishers, as a pressurizing gas in air guns and oil recovery, as a chemical feedstock and as a supercritical fluid solvent in decaffeination of coffee and supercritical drying. It is added to drinking water and carbonated beverages including beer and sparkling wine to add effervescence. The frozen solid form of CO2, known as dry ice is used as a refrigerant and as an abrasive in dry-ice blasting. It is a feedstock for the synthesis of fuels and chemicals.
Carbon dioxide is the most significant long-lived greenhouse gas in Earth's atmosphere. Since the Industrial Revolution anthropogenic emissions – primarily from use of fossil fuels and deforestation – have rapidly increased its concentration in the atmosphere, leading to global warming. Carbon dioxide also causes ocean acidification because it dissolves in water to form carbonic acid.
So what happens? If we don't stop climate change, we stop. The University of Cambridge notes:
Scientists from Cambridge University and NTU Singapore have found that slow-motion collisions of tectonic plates drag more carbon into Earth's interior than previously thought.
They found that the carbon drawn into Earth's interior at subduction zones—where tectonic plates collide and dive into Earth's interior—tends to stay locked away at depth, rather than resurfacing in the form of volcanic emissions.
Their findings, published in Nature Communications, suggest that only about a third of the carbon recycled beneath volcanic chains returns to the surface via recycling, in contrast to previous theories that what goes down mostly comes back up.
One of the solutions to tackle climate change is to find ways to reduce the amount of CO2 in Earth's atmosphere. By studying how carbon behaves in the deep Earth, which houses the majority of our planet's carbon, scientists can better understand the entire lifecycle of carbon on Earth, and how it flows between the atmosphere, oceans and life at the surface.
So that could prompt some possible answers. There are other issues as well. Now SCIENTIFIC AMERICA notes:
Climate scientists and marine advocates are calling on governments worldwide to look beyond green policymaking when it comes to climate change. They say a critical shade is missing in the fight against global warming.
Countries must recognize the important role that oceans have in limiting climate change and enact policies to protect marine ecosystems, the U.K.-based Environmental Justice Foundation said yesterday in a report endorsed by environmental experts and advocates.
More than half of the world’s biological carbon is captured by animals and plants living in or around the oceans, but this so-called blue carbon and its associated ecosystems are mostly neglected in climate policy, says a letter accompanying the report.
The report highlights studies showing that mangrove forests store up to four times more carbon per hectare than tropical rainforests. Seagrass meadows store nearly 20 gigatonnes of carbon worldwide. According to Conservation International, up to 10 times more carbon is stored in coastal habitats than in tropical forests.
That means the oceans could soak up large quantities of atmospheric carbon if their ecosystems are restored and protected, the report says. Up to 200 million metric tons of CO2 could be captured annually by blue carbon sinks like mangroves, seagrasses, salt marshes and kelp forests, according to the report.
I wish the White House got that we are in a climate emergency. They seem to be struggling with the fact that the pandemic is not over.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, July 27, 2021. The media serves up more lies, very little truth.
Yesterday, the White House issued the following:
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met today with Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi of Iraq to strengthen bilateral coordination under the Strategic Framework Agreement. Together they discussed expanded initiatives on climate, energy, education, and combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. They committed to a continued security partnership to ensure that ISIS can never resurge and to allow communities recovering from terror to rebuild with dignity even as the United States shifts to a purely advisory role. The leaders reaffirmed their respect for Iraq’s democracy, the rule of law, and promoting a secure environment for Iraq’s upcoming elections in October. The leaders agreed on the vital importance of holding these elections on time, and welcomed the UN monitoring mission to support their full transparency and fairness.
Together, they discussed the important role of Iraq in the region and the significant diplomatic efforts led by Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi to improve and strengthen Iraq’s relationships in the region. They lauded the historic visit of Pope Francis to Iraq earlier this year, the trilateral summit with Egypt and Jordan, and the important role Iraq plays in promoting interfaith tolerance and the common bonds of humanity in the Middle East. They agreed that Iraq’s stability was central to the stability of the entire region.
And from Joe's Twitter feed:
Yesterday, US President Joe Biden met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. It was the rollout for Mustafa's re-election campaign. As AFP observed this week, Mustafa is a "weakened leader." He's a failure who has been a gross disappointment. He came into office promising early elections and insisting that he'd serve one brief term. Now he wants a second term.
He failed at everything. You could even argue that he failed at early elections. Elections were supposed to take place right away, he was supposed to be sworn in and begin the process. Grasp that Adil Abdul-Mahdi was run out of office because of his inability to address the needs of the Iraqi people. Also grasp that the election that brought Adil to power took place in 2018. In October, 'early' elections are supposed to take place. That's over three years later -- two more months of postponing and they'd be four years later. Which is pretty much what the cycle already was.
Mustafa is a failure.
The Iraqi militias ignore him unless they're trying to intimidate him -- like storming the Green Zone and circling his compound. They make public remarks insulting him and accusing him of treason, etc. Grasp that these militias are part of the Iraqi forces -- officially. And that they are supposed to be under the command of the prime minister. But they aren't.
He can't deliver electricity. Potable water? Another summer where Iraqis are being told in some areas to boil water before drinking it. No jobs. No protections. No acknowledgment of COVID 19 -- students have complained about the exams -- specifically, the inability to social distance. Activists are assassinated and no one is ever put in prison.
Mustafa's a failure.
He's been to Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc, in recent weeks. He's attempting to pose as a leader in the hopes that this will garner him votes. Leaders in the protest movement have stated that they will sit it out and so has Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's former prime minister and forever thug, remains a formidable rival.
Is a photo op really supposed to change all of this?
A photo op and a lie?
US forces aren't leaving Iraq. And Barack Obama publicly sent them back in when Joe Biden was Vice President. He didn't call it combat, if you missed it. This was a security mission. But now that weasel word "combat troops" is yet again being used. A number of us remember calling out Barack during his second term because he kept denying they were combat troops. We'd note, for example, that a US service member in a plane carrying out a bombing mission was engaging in combat.
How meaningless are the statements from Mustafa and Joe?
Let's see . . . Joe's claiming that he's ending the Afghanistan War (he's not). That's this month hat he's claiming it.
We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year. Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.
Those aren't Joe's words. They're Barack Obama's. September 10, 2014, then-President Obama delivered those remarks. So 'combat' ended later in 2014? Hmm. And Joe just 'ended' the Afghanistan War in . . . 2021?
It's all word games and distractions,
Ruth Sherlock, yesterday on NPR, managed to get in some truths -- a rare thing for US journalism. We noted her report yesterday but we'll again note it today. Nothing is changing, per the military brass she spoke with and "Analysts say this is actually more about politics and diplomacy than any real change on the ground for now. They see this as almost window dressing to help the Iraqi prime minister with domestic politics back in Iraq."
These are basics. And it's not just the corporate press that can't note them, read the garbage Dave DeCamp's written for ANTIWAR.COM -- no link, not linking to lies. See Saturday's "Lies don't help anyone" which addresses some of the big lies in ANTIWAR.COM's coverage of Iraq. I'm not in the mood to rehash and, yes, he's still misleading people about the vote in Parliament.
Once upon a time, people pretended to care about Iraq. There was a lot of money to be made in pretending. Ask Amy Goodman who used it to sell books (yes, briefly, she was able to sell those clip-jobs) and herself. Ask any of them. They all made money off the war while decrying the money made by the weapons industry. PACIFICA RADIO raised millions off the Iraq War. They blew the money -- on whores like Amy Goodman who does not dserve the millions she gets and especially does not deserve them if PACIFICA does not own the final product (and they don't, think closet case Leslie Cagan for that and wonder how she got away with misuing her board position and especially wonder why, since we all know about it, I'm the only one who can ever call her out publicly). They'd offer a film 'about' Iraq or book or this or that and they'd pretend the war was appalling and had to be stopped. PRetend until their boredom was too much.
That is what happened.
The war did not end but their interest in it did.
Iraqis continue to suffer because of the 2003 US-led invasion. But watch everyone pretend, day after day, that there are so many other, more important things to address.
Like a certain singer? I'm glad so many people are such experts on mental health. That was sarcasm. I really think this playing out in the courts means that it has a chance of fairness and we don't need the press 'oversight' of a woman's troubles. I really think the world could back the hell off right now and stop obsessing over her. I think Ronan's TMZ posts demonstrate that he was never really a journalist. Her 911 call? We needed to know about that? She had no right to privacy regarding that? THE NEW YORKER has no standards, clearly.
Or the equally absurd press fascination with Meghan Markle. I know Meghan, have for years, I like her. I'm not interested in reading about her. I'm not interested in pretending that there's any news value in covering her.
The Iraqi people?
The October Revolution started in the fall of 2019. The Iraqi people took to the streets. Few bothered to note that. Few have ever noted how the were attacked at protests or how they were harassed after protests or how they were assassinated outside of protests. They just want to end corruption and have a representative government.
It's so poorly covered that we still get e-mails accusing me of covering it because I love "those Sunnis" protesting. I don't have a problem with the Sunni people and they are victimized in Iraq. Deborah Amos wrote a whole book about that -- one of the best books written on Iraq by an American author. But The October Revolution is a Shi'ite led movement.
Yet people honestly confuse the movement with a Sunni movement because there's so little coverage of it for US news consumers. You get more coverage about the bi-sexual actor and the lesbian actress pretending that they're getting back together to get headlines than you do about the Iraqi people.
The press fails us -- All Things Media Big and Small. They can preach their agendas, they just can't cover reality. They can misuse their positions and betray their profession, they just can't, you know, report. It's too hard for them. Not a new development in the US press but the consolidation craze has meant fewer and fewer outlets so less and less chance of reality. Now you have YOUTUBE and others censoring speech. Less and less chance of reality getting out or of actual reporting being done.
Where is anyone noting in the JOE BIDEN ENDS COMBAT MISSIONS IN IRAQ! hysteria noting that he was vice president when Barack did the same thing?
That's why the mission in Iraq switched from DoD to the State Dept or do we all not remember that as well?
There's no context, there's no analysis and we won't get it from the corporate media or from Pandhandle Media (media's that always got their hands in your pocket begging for 'donations')
If we want a better world, that's on us. If we want wars to end, that's on us. If we can't focus, that's on us.
Ashford & Simpson's "Til We Get It Right" first appeared on their album LOVE OR PHYSICAL.
We'll close with this from Restore The Fourth:
It's legal for NSA to vacuum up billions of communications a year without a warrant, including "incidental" collection on Americans who are one or two "hops" from a target. Those Americans could be a journalist writing on terrorism, an immigration lawyer, a Catholic priest opposed to legal abortion, or an organizer of pipeline protests in touch with people in Canada; we don't know, and NSA won't tell.
Congress declared this gigantic warrantless suck-machine legal because
it was for "foreign intelligence collection purposes" and therefore,
they reasoned, shouldn't be subject to the same Fourth Amendment
The FBI started wondering about what was in that massive data mountain. After 9/11, the FBI asked for, and got, permission to dip into NSA data for evidence of federal crimes - again, no warrant required. So the Bush administration loosened the rules, and eventually the Obama administration gave them pretty much free access, trusting to the FBI's discretion. Critics call these searches "FBI backdoor searches."
The secretive FISA Court revealed in 2019 that the FBI was taking this dipping a little far. In fact, the FBI accesses NSA data on Americans over three million times a year. And, thanks to "parallel construction", criminal defendants typically never know that the evidence against them originates with a warrantless search of NSA data. The Court could have imposed penalties, or barred them from doing this altogether, but chose not to.
That leaves Congress. And for the first time in years, members of Congress have introduced an amendment to an appropriations bill to prohibit such searches without a warrant. The cosponsors, Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Warren Davidson (R-OH), differ greatly in their politics, but come together in their concern about this issue. The House passed versions of this prohibition in 2014 and 2015, and failed to pass one in 2016. Now, for the first time since 2016, we have another shot.
The floor vote on the Commerce Appropriations bill is currently expected for Thursday. Before then, please call, email or tweet at your member of Congress, urging them to vote Yes on this amendment.
Here's our coalition letter on the topic that is going out to Congressmembers:
The following sites updated: