ECHOES OF NOSTRADAMUS: OUR TIMES, WHERE ARE WE HEADED?

Rather than concentrate on one specific topic today I thought I would give a cross section of our times and the various issues affecting our lives. The majority are rather ominous but that is the current state of affairs worldwide. I chose the title for its iconic value as people would more easily relate to it. Many will probably comment on the relationship between his name, the material below and the approach of 2012. I will not dwell on that topic, 2012 that is, since there are over 24,900,000 pages ( at last count ) that you can browse through in the Google search engine:
I will just point you towards indicators of our times and let you think about their repercussions on our lives. These are just a handful of the articles that I chose from the thousands that are out there. I wont even touch on the topics of wars, famines, epidemics, etc., etc.

 

U.S. Stocks Decline; Citigroup Retreats on Dividend Concern

By Eric Martin

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks tumbled, led by the steepest drop in financial companies in five years, after analysts said Citigroup Inc. may be short of capital and advised investors to sell the shares.
Citigroup, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, slid the most since 2002 after CIBC World Markets said its dividend may be cut and Credit Suisse Group reduced its rating. Bank of America Corp., the second largest bank, had its biggest decline in four years. Retailers fell, led by Target Corp., after consumer spending slowed more than economists forecast.

USA: Threatening Water Shortage

In the USA concerns are growing because of regional water shortages, caused by the booming ethanol industry. The newspaper «The DesMoines Register» reports that in the federal state of Iowa, which is the biggest producer of biofuel in the USA, the demand for water, required by the ethanol producers adds up to an estimated 28 billion litres per year. Some authorities and legislative bodies of the federal state make an effort to check the existing laws. If necessary, the operating companies of ethanol facilities should be obliged to purify and reprocess the water.

Not all wet

As we in water-rich countries take our daily showers, water the lawn or laze about in the pool, it’s easy to forget that fresh water is a life-or-death issue in many parts of the world.


Southeast drought leads to spat over lake

Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:04pm GMT
By Matthew Bigg

LAKE LANIER, Georgia (Reuters) – A large, man-made lake in north Georgia is at the center of a political storm over how to distribute water resources between three states in the face of the region’s worst drought in decades.

 

Oil prices retreat after hitting record over 96 dlrs

NEW YORK (AFP) — Oil prices retreated Thursday after New York prices had earlier rocketed to a record 96.24 dollars per barrel on worries over tight supplies, dealers said.
“The market is quite volatile, it is pretty choppy,” BNP Paribas analyst Harry Tchilinguirian said in London.

 

Foreclosure rates across the U.S.

U.S. foreclosures jumped 45% year over year in January 2006. Texas, Florida and California had the largest total number of foreclosures, but Georgia, Nevada and Colorado lead the pack on a per capita basis .

More Americans are losing their homes

By Melinda Fulmer
Risky borrowing is catching up with a number of homeowners across the U.S. Foreclosures rose 45% in January compared to a year ago, and experts only expect the pace to accelerate.
That was in 2006.
This is now:

U.S. foreclosure rates double

Alex Veiga
Associated Press
Nov. 1, 2007 08:04 AM

LOS ANGELES – A soaring number of U.S. homeowners struggled to make mortgage payments in the third quarter, with properties in some stage of foreclosure more than doubling from the same time last year, a mortgage data company said Thursday.

 

Nevada, Florida, and California Top State Foreclosure Rates

Foreclosure Filings Up 99 Percent From September 2006
RealtyTrac(R) the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its September 2007 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows a total of 223,538 foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported during the month, down 8 percent from the 32-month high in the previous month, but still up 99 percent from the number reported in September 2006. The national foreclosure rate for the month was one foreclosure filing for every 557 households.

Global Warming

Political view:

Senator Inhofe Exposes Costly Global Warming ‘Solutions’

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, delivered a more than two-hour floor speech on October 26, debunking fears of man-made global warming. Below is an excerpt of his remarks about the economics of so-called global warming “solutions.”

 

Scientific view:

Global warming ‘is happening faster’

By Paul Eccleston and Charles Clover

A weakening in the Earth’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere means that global warming is happening faster than we thought, scientists said yesterday.
Scientists thought that concentrations of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere would grow in line with the world economy.
The latest figures show, however, that over the past seven years CO2 concentrations have grown 35 per cent faster, partly because the ability of the Southern Ocean and other carbon “sinks” such as vegetation and forests to take it up has been reduced.

 

Environment and US policy top global fears

Simon Tisdall in Washington
The Guardian

Thursday June 28 2007
Growing numbers of people worldwide view environmental problems, pollution, infectious diseases, nuclear proliferation and the widening gap between rich and poor as the most menacing threats facing the planet, according to a 47-nation survey published yesterday by the US-based Pew Global Attitudes Project.

Discrimination Trends in U.S.

This topic is so large that all I can do is point you to the search page and you pick your choice.

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