Political policy on climate change is run like Congress


Climate change analyzed by our national academies

More than 100 fossil fuel companies are understood to have sent 500 lobbyists to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, more than any single country at the summit, according to the environmental campaign group Global Witness.

The group analyzed the UN’s provisional list of named corporate attendees and found at least 503 people linked with coal, oil and gas companies were at the conference. Fossil fuel use is the biggest driver of human-made climate change…

“The presence of hundreds of those being paid to push the toxic interests of polluting fossil fuel companies, will only increase the skepticism of climate activists who see these talks as more evidence of global leaders’ dithering and delaying,” said Murray Worthy, gas campaign leader at Global Witness…

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN’s climate agency, said that the UN did not invite or acknowledge any official delegation of fossil fuel companies, but that the agency had no control over which people each country registered as a delegate. “It is really the sovereign right of every government to accredit every representative as part of its delegations, persons it deems appropriate…”

The analysis comes amid growing criticism from civil society groups that the event is not as inclusive as promised. COP26 President Alok Sharma has pointed to the need for social distancing as the reason some people, including those with observer status, have been unable to enter rooms where negotiations are taking place.

Lobbyists from fossil fuel interests recognize the strength and danger to their profit structure in the reaction among folks around the globe. They also understand their own history of manipulating law and policy in just about every nation producing fossil fuels for energy generation. Too public a battle can lead to negative publicity. Perhaps provide voters with more incentives to oppose their industrial blueprint.

Anyway, politicians generally have a lower purchase price than the sum needed for a PR campaign to validate continuing to pollute and poison our planet.

Former Pentagon official says China has won AI battle


Nicolas Chaillan/USAF

The Pentagon’s former software chief said he quit because China has already won the tech war guaranteeing global dominance — with some US government systems mere “kindergarten level” in comparison.

Nicolas Chaillan, 37, told the Financial Times on Sunday…“We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over, in my opinion…”

Chaillan — who was the Pentagon’s first chief software officer — said China will dominate the future of the world by controlling everything from media narratives to geopolitics.

He claimed that the US, like Beijing, should have prioritized artificial intelligence, machine learning and cyber capabilities over traditional military spending like building new fighter jets.

“At this point, I am just tired of continuously chasing support and money to do my job,” he said of the pioneering Pentagon job that was “probably the most challenging and infuriating of my entire career.”

His analysis of our military bureaucracy, mated with a Congress stocked by its anachronistic 2-party game show, has next to no likelihood of positive reform.

Taliban Thanks American Taxpayers for all the Presents

How much U.S. military equipment does the Taliban now control?

We’ve made the Taliban into a major U.S. arms dealer for the next decade,” said Andrzejewski. “They now control 75,000 military vehicles. This is about 50,000 tactical vehicles, 20,000 Humvees they control about 1,000 mine-resistant vehicles, and even about 150 armored personnel carriers…”

“We found a Federal Audit that detailed up to $200 million worth of drones that had disappeared,” said Andrzejewski. “We don’t know where 600,000 weapons are within the country.”

The military-industrial corporations have all been paid-off. We picked up the tab for that plus shipping. Maybe we could get UPS to pickup every Congress-critter who voted to spend all this money and deliver them to Kabul. Leave them to wander around and try to find an honest job.

Congress thinks “broadband” is a new style of cummerbund

The Federal Communications Commission broadband standard that was implemented under then-Chairman Tom Wheeler in 2015 and never updated by Ajit Pai is now “likely too slow,” according to a government report issued last week.

The Wheeler-led FCC in January 2015 updated the agency’s broadband standard from 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream to 25Mbps downloads/3Mbps uploads. The increase was opposed by broadband-industry lobbyists and Republicans, including Ajit Pai, who was then a commissioner and later served as FCC chairman throughout the Trump administration…

Consumer advocates have frequently called the 25Mbps/3Mbps outdated, and the nonpartisan US Government Accountability Office (GAO) agreed in a report based on a review of research and interviews with small businesses.

So much of this political incompetence and malingering is old hat. I’ve been online since 1983…simply because I took on a sales position that required uploading orders and info from my day’s travel and sales-work – direct to the computer system in the company’s main sales office. This so-called broadband standard was next to useless, then. It’s even worse, now.

Add together all the work and private needs in the article and, then – include what’s happening minute by minute throughout North America with the conversion of domestic television to include many more sources and channels. All being streamed over systems regulated by your hot dog Republican or Democrat in Congress.

Is Alzheimers drug Aducanumab a breakthrough or a boondoggle?

Patients and their families may see hope in the news that the Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug to slow the pace of Alzheimer’s disease. Aducanumab is the first medicine authorized to treat what might be an underlying cause of the disease: amyloid beta clumps that accumulate in the brain. Yet the evidence from clinical trials that this drug reduces Alzheimer’s is incomplete; it may be only minimally effective, if it works at all. The FDA’s own expert panel strongly objected to the drug’s approval.

All of which makes the FDA’s announcement both perplexing and wrong. It threatens to mislead millions of Alzheimer’s patients. At the same time, because Biogen plans to price the drug at $56,000 a year for the average patient, it also stands to cost Medicare and other insurers a bundle. This underlines the need for two kinds of reform. First, the FDA needs to rethink its processes for approving drugs. Second, the rules controlling how Medicare chooses and pays for medicines need a thorough overhaul.

The FDA has failed to fully explain why it overruled the almost unanimous advice of its advisory panel on aducanumab. The agency didn’t deny that the clinical-trial evidence was poor. It simply ignored that problem and used different reasoning to grant the drug “accelerated approval.”…In fact, it’s a more limited endorsement than ordinary approval, indicating that the drug has not proven a “real effect on how a patient survives, feels or functions,” in the FDA’s words, but nevertheless acts on an underlying disease process in a way that might predict such a benefit…

Despite that, Biogen will sell aducanumab — under the brand name Aduhelm — at an exorbitant cost…The nonprofit Institute for Clinical and Economic Review has said that even if the drug works as well as Biogen suggests it can, it would be cost-effective at a price of $2,600 to $8,300 a year…

But, hey…Congress apparently thinks Biogen should get every penny they can squeeze from us, our tax dollars and anything else they lay their greedy hands on.