Candidate Biden scared of climate debate, stops it

This 29 August 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Sunrise leader has a message for [chairman of the Democratic party National Committee] Tom Perez

Sunrise Movement‘s Lauren Maunus shares her disappointment at the lack of DNC [Democratic National Committee] sponsored climate debate.

From Senator Bernie Sanders‘ group Our Revolution in the USA, 29 August 2019:

Despite overwhelming support from Democratic voters and activists, and many presidential candidates, last weekend the DNC voted against hosting a debate dedicated to the climate crisis — a crisis that threatens the survival of every living being on earth.

And amazingly, a senior advisor to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign actively campaigned against a climate debate.

While it’s understandable why the Biden campaign wanted to kill it (after all, he’s publicly supported fracking in the past), our democracy is weaker thanks to the Biden campaign’s efforts to oppose a dedicated climate debate.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that we continue our mission of challenging the stranglehold that centrists and their big-money donors have on our politics.

We can’t allow the so-called “centrists” (an odd name for a group of people most known for holding unpopular, corporate-friendly opinions) and their allies in the media to distort the science of the climate crisis. That’s why we need your help to continue organizing inside the Democratic Party and outside for real change as we fight the climate crisis.


The whole team at Our Revolution

BIDEN’S APPEAL WANES Former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, has maintained a comfortable lead over his fellow Democratic presidential candidates. But his campaign has become plagued by doubts over his age, fitness for office and whether, as a moderate, he can be a standard-bearer for a party that has grown increasingly liberal. [Reuters]

BIDEN ‘DIDN’T REALIZE’ FUNDRAISER’S FOSSIL FUEL TIES Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said at CNN’s forum on climate change that he was unaware that a fundraiser he’s slated to attend on Thursday is being co-hosted by a founder of a fossil fuel company. [HuffPost]

DEM CLIMATE FORUM EXPOSES FAULT LINES At CNN’s marathon climate crisis town hall, the top 10 candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination united on some key issues. But fault lines opened on fossil fuels, fracking, nuclear energy and the Senate filibuster, suggesting a debate on these differences should be at the forefront of the nomination process, not relegated to a sidebar. [HuffPost]

Shame on CNN and the New York Times moderators for ignoring the climate crisis. By Kate Aronoff, 16 October 2019. Virtually every area of politics will be affected by global heating. So why couldn’t moderators be bothered to ask Democratic candidates about it?

Hungry vultures in Gambia, video

This 2018 video says about itself:

In this report we see that the body of a herbivore is used by griffon vultures, hooded vultures, white-backed vultures, Rüppell’s vultures, lappet-faced vultures and white-headed vultures, to relieve their hunger in the Occipitalis Station (Gambia).

I saw a big group of vultures of various species eating a dead herbivorous mammal in the Gambia as well. In my case, it was a donkey. In the video, it is a goat.

Nazi massacre at Fivizzano, Italy, 1944-2019

This 2015 video about Italy, in Italian with English subtitles, says about itself:

A documentary about the nazi massacre on Montesole (Marzabotto), which was committed during the second world war.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

German President Steinmeier and the Nazi massacre at Fivizzano

29 August 2019

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Social Democrats, SPD) participated alongside Italian head of state Sergio Mattarella last Sunday in the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Fivizzano massacres.

Between the beginning of May and mid September 1944, the Fivizzano district in northern Italy with its six villages, Sassalbo, Mommio, San Terenzo, Bardine di San Terenzo, Vinca and Tenerano, was the scene of a number of massacres, during which members of the Waffen-SS, Wehrmacht, and air force slaughtered some 400 residents, including pregnant women and children.

The atrocities committed in Vinca between 24 and 27 August, 1944, which cost the lives of more than 160 people, were carried out by the 16th Armoured Reconnaissance Division of the Waffen-SS and units of the Italian fascist Black Brigades. In the name of “combatting banditry and partisans”, the military units killed everyone they came across on their way to Vinca. In the village itself, the troops literally exterminated the residents with handguns, bayonets, and flamethrowers.

The killings in Fivizzano were part of a larger series of massacres by the Nazis across northern Italy. Just a few weeks after the destruction of Vinca, the 16th Armoured Division of the Waffen-SS under the command of Sturmbannführer Walter Reder murdered 1,836 residents, above all elderly men, women and children, in the Apennine community of Marzabotto near Bologna. Further massacres with more than 100 victims took place in Sant’Anna di Stazzema and Civitella, where Steinmeier delivered a speech five years ago.

This 2012 Italian video is about the Civitella massacre.

At the time, we remarked that there is hardly anything more repulsive “than representatives of the German ruling class recalling their past crimes even as they are in the process of preparing the next catastrophe.” In his speech in Vinca, Steinmeier stated that it was “an incredibly difficult journey for me as a German and as German President to come here and speak to you.” He added that he “cannot comprehend the hatred that drove the Germans here in Fivizzano 75 years ago.”

The reality is that there is a clear explanation for the horrific crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime, the Wehrmacht, and the Waffen-SS in Italy and many other countries. In the final analysis, they arose out of the striving of the ruling class to subordinate Europe and the world to its leadership and satiate German imperialism’s appetite for markets and raw materials. In order to put Germany on the path of war after the mass slaughter of the First World War and suppress all opposition, the ruling elite brought Adolf Hitler to power in 1933 and established the Nazi terror regime.

Steinmeier cannot and does not want to speak about this issue, because the ruling class is in the process of returning to an aggressive and imperialist foreign policy, and rehabilitating its fascist traditions.

In this, Steinmeier is playing a key role. Addressing the Munich Security Conference five years ago as foreign minister, Steinmeier—together with his predecessor as president, Joachim Gauck, and Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen—demanded, “Germany must be ready to engage in foreign and security policy earlier, more decisively and more substantially.” He railed against a “culture of restraint”. and declared, “Germany is too big just to comment on world politics from the sidelines.”

Only a few weeks later, Steinmeier aligned with fascist forces in Ukraine to put this programme into practice with a coup sponsored by Berlin in Kiev. He welcomed to the German embassy in Kiev Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of the fascist Svoboda Party, who until then had maintained ties with the German neo-Nazi NPD. Tyahnybok is notorious for his anti-Semitic tirades, during which he rages against “Jewish swine and other vermin”. His heroes include Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych, who participated in massacres that claimed the lives of thousands of Jews and Poles.

Since then, the ruling class in Germany has begun openly drawing upon its fascist traditions. With the Alternative for Germany (AfD), they are building up a right-wing extremist party, whose leader, former Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician Alexander Gauland, has glorified the Wehrmacht and described the Nazi regime as “bird poop in over a thousand years of successful German history.”

The grand coalition of the CDU and SPD not only made the AfD the official opposition party in parliament, but is also implementing its policies with the full support of all of the established parties. This is shown above all in the mass deportations of refugees, the toleration and encouragement of right-wing extremist terrorist networks in the police, army, and intelligence services, and the whitewashing of German imperialist crimes at the universities.

Significantly, the federal government recently backed right-wing extremist Professor Jörg Baberowski in an official statement. The Humboldt University professor has trivialised the Nazi regime (“Hitler was not vicious”), and advocated the use of methods like those employed by the Wehrmacht and SS in Fivizzano to combat terrorism. “If one is not willing to take hostages, burn villages, hang people and spread fear and terror, as the terrorists do, if one is not prepared to do such things, then one can never win such a conflict and it is better to keep out altogether,” stated Baberowski during a panel discussion entitled “Germany: an interventionist power?” at the German Historical Museum in October 2014.

Steinmeier’s appearance in Vinca, which was featured prominently in the media, was aimed at concealing the extremely concerning and dangerous implications of the return of German and European militarism and fascism. “Our united Europe [is] founded on a promise, never again unrestrained nationalism, never again war on our continent, never again racism, agitation and violence”, he claimed. “We have to remember this at a time when the poison of nationalism is once again seeping into Europe.”

Coming from the mouth of the German head of state, these statements sound like a cruel joke!

The reality is that the ruling class is actively spreading the poison of nationalism across the continent. It employs racism, agitation, and violence to divide the working class and enforce its policies of militarism, the strengthening of the repressive state apparatus at home and abroad, and social spending cuts in the face of mounting opposition among the population. Right-wing extremist parties are currently part of the government in nine EU member states. Leading European politicians, like French President Emmanuel Macron and outgoing Italian Foreign Minister Matteo Salvini, praise the fascists Philippe Petain and Benito Mussolini.

As in the 20th century, there is only one way today to prevent the rise of the far-right and a relapse into capitalist barbarism and war: the independent mobilisation of the working class on the basis of a socialist programme.

Saving bees from Bayer pesticides and mites

This 28 August 2019 video says about itself:

How Close Are We to Saving the Bees?

Correction: Our Interview with Dr. Villalobos & scenes at the University of Hawaii at Manoa were filmed by Jonathan Keao, whose name was misspelled in the credits. We apologize for this error. Find more of Jon’s work here.

Beekeepers are losing 40-45% of their colonies each year, so scientists, farmers, and engineers are foraging for answers and creative solutions to save the bees. But how close are we?

A lack of bees would impact more than just our ability to access honey. Without bees, up to 1/3 of crops could be affected. A world sans bees could jeopardize our entire economy, health, and your second cup of coffee.

The last time you heard about bees in the news, it might have been connected with colony collapse disorder, or CCD. CCD was a series of strange, sudden disappearances of entire colonies––where workers left behind a queen, some young, and plenty of food.

And while scientists haven’t pinned down what the cause of CCD is, researchers agree it is a combination of the perilous Ps.

The perilous Ps (parasites, pathogens, pesticides, and poor nutrition) combined are a major threat to bee health.

While being able to monitor beehives in real time with sensors like Nectar is helpful in uncovering which one of the four Ps is potentially affecting the colonies, we also need to figure out how to prevent the problems from happening in the first place.

Some ideas include helping bees fight off different viruses by providing them with a super vitamin and improving bees’ nutrition.

Learn more about the perilous Ps, the technology being created to monitor hives, and what is being done to help save the bees, on this episode of How Close Are We?

Pesticides can impair brain growth in baby bumblebees, affecting their ability to perform a simple learning task as adults, according to a new study.

On-the-job exposure to high levels of pesticides raised the risk of heart disease and stroke in a generally healthy group of Japanese American men in Hawaii, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the open access journal of the American Heart Association: here.