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FRAW image M
In 'communications mode' at the Green Gathering, Chepstow, August 2013

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My problem with 'the news' is that it often lacks a basic critical analysis, choosing to allow opinion to dominate over evidence. And both politicians and pundits know they can get away with this because, in the many months it takes to get any complaint heard, if at all, the initial disinformation has stuck.

I've created this blog as a space to post critical observations so that others may share them.



"Not News"
a selection of news items that are not fit for mainstream broadcasters to lead with!

ThinkProgress, 12th April 2018:
Dangerous climate tipping point is ‘about a century ahead of schedule’ warns scientist
New research provides strong evidence that one of the long-predicted worst-case impacts of climate change has already started. The system, also known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), brings warmer water northward while pumping cooler water southward. "I think we’re close to a tipping point," climatologist Michael Mann told ThinkProgress in an email.

The Verge, 12th April 2018:
The Pentagon is getting serious about AI weapons
‘We must see to it that we cannot be surprised,’ says the Pentagon’s top scientist

Science, 10th April 2018:
European Union debates controversial plans to limit cadmium in fertilizer
High-stakes talks on European plans to cut levels of cadmium, a toxic heavy metal, in phosphate fertilizer are on the agenda in Brussels tomorrow. And science has been lost in the fray…

Permaculture Association, 10th April 2018:
Insects are disappearing. Why should we care? What can be done?
Insects are disappearing. Remember how in the '90s when you went for a drive down a country lane on a summer evening, you'd end up with hundreds of splatters on the windscreen? No more does that happen. We are seeing fewer insects in everyday life, whether you realise it or not. Studies suggest insect numbers have declined by around 50%.

DeSmogBlogUK, 8th April 2018:
How Climate Science Deniers Prop Up the Tory-DUP Alliance Threatening the Good Friday Agreement
…The DUP's new found power also amplifies the influence of a network of Brexiteer climate science deniers with ties to the party. Together, this network is pushing to roll back the UK's climate commitments through a 'hard' Brexit, while also threatening Northern Ireland's fragile governing arrangements.

The National Interest, 7th April 2018:
The Marine Corps Is Taking Cyber Warfare to the Front Lines
Hacking isn't a job for programmers at their desks anymore. The U.S. Marine Corps is taking cyber warfare to the front lines. Recognizing that the Digital Age has fundamentally changed the battlefield, the Marine Corps is in the midst of a full-scale overhaul, integrating cutting-edge technological capabilities at every level from the tip of the spear to headquarters.

Reuters, 7th April 2018:
Keystone pipeline leak in South Dakota about double previous estimate: paper
The Keystone crude oil pipeline leak in November in rural South Dakota was nearly double the original estimate, making it one of the largest U.S. inland spills since 2010, a newspaper report on Saturday said.

India Climate Dialogue, 4th April 2018:
Forests burn across India as temperatures rise
India’s forests have become increasingly vulnerable to fires due to hotter summers, erratic rainfall and longer dry spells triggered mainly by climate change

DeSmogBlogUK, 4th April 2018:
New Internal Shell Oil Climate Documents Revealed
Newly unearthed internal documents from Shell Oil Company provide new insights into what they knew about climate change and when they knew it.

PhysOrg, 5th April 2018:
1.5 bn sensitive documents on open internet: researchers
Some 1.5 billion sensitive online files, from pay stubs to medical scans to patent applications, are visible on the open internet, security researchers said Thursday. Researchers from the cybersecurity firm Digital Shadows said a scanning tool used in the first three months of 2018 found mountains of private data online from people and companies across the world.

Drill or Drop, 5th April 2018:
Oil company withdraws key clauses in protest injunction
Opponents of oil drilling in southern England have claimed victory after an exploration company dropped what they described as "the most draconian" clause in an injunction against protests. UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) is no longer asking the High Court to outlaw campaigners "combining together using lawful means where the predominant intention is to injure the claimant's economic interests".

Red Pepper, 4th April 2018:
Where's the 'eco' in ecomodernism?
A techno-green future of limitless abundance sounds great, writes Aaron Vansintjan, but it's totally unsustainable.

The Canary, 4th April 2018:
'100 women' just took on a corporate giant… by throwing their bras at it

FastCoDesign, 3rd April 2018:
Smartphones Are Killing The Planet Faster Than Anyone Expected
Researchers are sounding the alarm after an analysis showed that buying a new smartphone consumes as much energy as using an existing phone for an entire decade.

{posts are in reverse chronological order}

Monday 23rd April 2018:
blog-20180423 Normalising tiredness
Economists seem to look at the "always on" society as a boon to human productivity. More than work now being a 24/7 opportunity, the advent of wearable technology – from mobile phones to activity trackers – means that we're wired into 'doing' permanently; we can never just 'be'. The cost of that, of not 'being' but always 'doing', is that you can quickly lose agency over the events and the things around your life. And if we are not agents of our own conscience, then what are we?

Wednesday 18th April 2018:
blog-20180418 Do You Trust This Computer? – a review
The new documentary highlighting the great political, economic and ecological issue of our Age
I have been lucky enough to have seen the new US documentary, "Do You Trust This Computer?". It's well worth the effort of finding someone with the ability to stream from the US, as it takes a prescient look at the issue of our Age (and yes, I do mean more important than Brexit).

Saturday 14th April 2018:
blog-20180414 The Henry Jackson Society and the 'Darknet' scare
The right-wing security wingnuts providing a political pretext for government repression of free expression
If you delve into my 'deep' past, you'll find that from the late 1990s until the late 2000s I worked with human rights groups, journalists and on-line activist groups. I still consult on these matters, and keep a watching brief around the issues I worked on two decades ago. And every now and then little things pop-up that are worth remarking upon.

Tuesday 10th April 2018:
blog-20180401 In a year's time will we all be April's fools?
Question: What if Brexit isn't about the EU, or immigration, but about rolling back the powers of 'the state' to enable corporate interests make more money?
Roughly this time next year, Saturday 30th March 2019, the world will be a very different place. Or not. That's the thing. As someone who has spent the best part of their working life manipulating regulatory processes to help campaign groups and communities, I look at Brexit and appear to see something wholly different to the vision portrayed in the media – by either side!