So bad, I can't keep track of it anymore without losing it.

Sorry, I can't do it right now. Maybe soon. Thank you.

Earthquakes, storms, doom.

Obviously, the doomiest thing going is the horrible earthquake in Chile, but the storms that hit Europe are pretty unbelievable too.

"More than 40 people have been killed in France after it was battered by heavy rain and hurricane-force winds in the country's worst storm for more than a decade.
Many victims drowned in floods, while others died when they were hit by falling trees and branches or when parts of buildings broke off.

At least a dozen people were missing and around 60 others were injured in the storm, named Xynthia.

Strong gusts reached speeds of about 130mph on the summits of the Pyrenees and almost 100mph along the Atlantic Coast.

More than one million residents suffered power cuts. Worst affected was central France and Brittany, where rivers overflowed."
Link to Sky News

Despite horrific earthquake in Haiti, Doomsday clock moving backwards.

Despite the heartbreaking scenes of devastation in Haiti, the Doomsday Clock's hands are being moved one minute backwards.
"Thursday it was moved from 5 minutes to midnight to 6 minutes to midnight."

Link to ABC news story

The weather gets worse. Doom!

"Temperatures as low as -22C (-8F) have left 122 dead in Poland this winter and the main river, the Vistula, has frozen over, causing fears of flooding.

In the UK, thousands of schools are closed and travellers have been hit by major delays after heavy snowfall affected large parts of the country.

In the Swiss Alps avalanches have killed at least seven people.

Western France has issued a weather alert for 14 regions hit by heavy snow.

Extreme or severe weather warnings are still in place across the UK, which is in the grip of its longest cold snap for almost 30 years.

UK travel chaos

Its hospitals have implemented major incident plans to deal with the extreme weather.

On Tuesday up to 20cm (8in) of snow fell in parts of Scotland and northern England, causing travel chaos for millions of people.

Another 40cm (16in) has been forecast in some areas as the snowfalls spread from north to south.

Gatwick airport was closed on Wednesday morning, while Heathrow, Birmingham, Luton and Southampton were open but suffering delays and cancellations.

Forecasters at the UK's Met Office said the bitterly cold weather was forecast to continue for the next couple of weeks, with further snowfall expected at times."

Arctic chill covers most of the northern hemisphere. Doomed? Yes.

Arctic air and record snow falls gripped the northern hemisphere yesterday, inflicting hardship and havoc from China, across Russia to Western Europe and over the US plains.

There were few precedents for the global sweep of extreme cold and ice that killed dozens in India, paralysed life in Beijing and threatened the Florida orange crop. Chicagoans sheltered from a potentially killer freeze, Paris endured sunny Siberian cold, Italy dug itself out of snowdrifts and Poland counted at least 13 deaths in record low temperatures of about minus 25C (-13F).

The heaviest snow yesterday hit northeastern Asia, which is suffering its worst winter weather for 60 years. More than 25 centimetres (10in) of snow covered Seoul, the South Korean capital — the heaviest fall since records began in 1937.

In China, Beijing and the nearby port city of Tianjin had the deepest snow since 1951, with falls of up to 8in and temperatures of minus 10C. In the far north of China, the temperature fell to minus 32C. More than two million Beijing and Tianjin pupils were sent home and 1,200 flights were delayed or cancelled at Beijing’s international airport."
LINK to Times Online

Oil spill in China. 2010, still DOOMED.

"A large oil spill in northwest China has heavily polluted a tributary of the Yellow River, and threatens to reach one of the country’s longest and most important sources of water.

China’s state-run news media said late Saturday that a “large amount” of diesel oil had leaked out of a pipeline last Thursday in Shaanxi Province.

The government has not explained why the report of the spill was not released until late Saturday. But Xinhua, the official state news agency, said the leak was caused by construction work and that a crew of 700 people was struggling to contain the damage from what Shaanxi officials said was about 150,000 liters, or about 40,000 gallons, of diesel oil."

Link to NYT

DOOMED! Well, Brazil and power, anyway.

It has been a two month hiatus, during which I have gone absolutely bananas and have had more things going on in my own life than I could keep up with, but hey, I am not about to ignore our impending DOOM.

"A massive power failure blacked out Brazil's two largest cities and other parts of Latin America's biggest nation for more than two hours late Tuesday, leaving millions of people in the dark after a huge hydroelectric dam suddenly went offline.
Paraguay was also affected when the Itaipu dam straddling the two nations' border stopped producing 17,000 megawatts of power, resulting in outages in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and at least several other big Brazilian cities, Brazilian Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao said.
The cause of the failure had not been determined, but Lobao said strong storms uprooted trees near the Itaipu dam just before it went offline and could be to blame. Rio was the hardest hit city, he said."
Link to Yahoo News

How doomed are we? Very doomed, thank you.

Excellent and disturbing interactive map from teh Nature Conservancy - shows you climate change temperature scenarios based on 3 possible levels of emissions, based on the IPCC reports.

Link to Climate Wizard map

California burning

"A voracious 6-day-old wildfire that has destroyed more than 50 buildings and churned through more than 105,000 acres of mountainous brush showed only small signs of slowing Monday, and fire officials offered little hope of containment as long as hot, dry conditions continued.
The Station fire, the largest of several burning in the state, was plowing through dense hillside vegetation along the San Gabriel Mountains, cutting a remarkable swath that extended from Altadena into the high desert. On Monday, the fire advanced to the west, bringing new evacuations to Sunland-Tujunga and coming within a few miles of Santa Clarita."

Up to 90,000 expected to die from H1N1 this fall. Yeah, we're doomed.

"The H1N1 flu virus could cause up to 90,000 U.S. deaths, mainly among children and young adults, if it resurges this fall as expected, according to a report released Monday by a presidential advisory panel.
The H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu virus, could infect between 30 percent and 50 percent of the American population during the fall and winter and lead to as many as 1.8 million U.S. hospital admissions, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reported.
The report says 30,000 to 90,000 deaths are projected as part of a "plausible scenario" involving large outbreaks at schools, inadequate antiviral supplies and the virus peaking before vaccinations have time to be effective."

Go go Rhode Island, Island.

In further fabulous economic news out of Rhode Island, the state government is broke, and will close for 12 days.

" Rhode Island will shut down its state government for 12 days and hopes to trim millions of dollars in funding for local governments under a plan Gov. Don Carcieri outlined Monday to balance a budget hammered by surging unemployment and plummeting tax revenue.
The shutdown will force 81 percent of the roughly 13,550-member state work force, excluding its college system, to stay home a dozen days without pay before the start of the new fiscal year in July.
The closures come as the worst recession in decades has eliminated hundreds of millions of dollars in tax collections and pushed unemployment to 12.7 percent, the second-highest jobless rate in the nation behind Michigan.
Carcieri predicted the state's fiscal future could grow even bleaker."

Link to AP story

Rivers drying, wildebeests dying.

"The drying-up of the river, which should be at its highest point at the end East Africa's long rainy season, is one of a series of ominous signs that conservationists believe could add up to an ecological disaster.
The sun-scorched boulders that ring the shore of Kenya's Lake Baringo are cut by a sharp brown line, running horizontally, that shows the watermark of the past. Beneath the dark divide is an expanse of white stone freshly bared to the elements as the lake has receded dramatically.
A report released last week by Kenya's Water Resource Management Authority has dismissed any hopes that these phenomena could be unrelated.
In the report, Simon Mwangi, the authority's Rift Valley regional technical manager, said that the River Perkerra, which feeds Lake Baringo, and the Malewa which drains into Lake Naivasha, were at their lowest levels on record.
The picture was similarly bleak, he reported, with the Ewaso Nyiro and Mara rivers. The country's great lakes from Turkana in the north to Nakuru, and the economically vital Naivasha, home to Kenya's flower industry, were also alarmingly low.
The answer to the riddle of the Mara's dwindling waters, and the general drought conditions, lies upstream, in the Mau forest.
The Mara river originates on the Mau escarpment, eventually draining into Lake Victoria. The largest remaining forest in Kenya, Mau functions as a water tower for the East African country, feeding rivers and helping to regulate rainfall.
However shocking reports this year have a revealed that the eco-system is under siege from illegal loggers and land-grabbing farmers, as well as large and small recipients of political patronage. Many of those are smallholders receiving parcels of the forest as "land for votes", while Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper named two of the children of former president Daniel arap Moi as among the bigger owners.
There effect is a devastating fragmentation of what environmentalists call an ecological utility whose services stretch from watering Kenya's tea estates to feeding the rivers powering its hydroelectric plants, and regulating temperature and rainfall throughout an often arid land. Despite being home to the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme, Kenya has systematically ignored warnings over the importance of conserving the Mau forest. While the troubled coalition government in Nairobi has belatedly begun to recognise the problem, it has so far done next to nothing about it."


Severe storms devastate Asia, 600 missing in Taiwan

"Two typhoons in Asia have killed dozens of people, left hundreds missing and forced nearly 1 million people to flee to safety, officials and reports said Monday.
A typhoon-spawned mudslide engulfed a mountain village in southern Taiwan, burying up to 600 people, a police official and a rescued villager said Monday.
Typhoon Morakot dumped up to 80 inches of rain on some communities over the weekend before moving on to China, where it forced the evacuation of nearly 1 million people along the east coast and left at least six dead. Earlier it had struck the Philippines, leaving at least 22 dead."

Climate change leading to political instability? No kidding.

"The changing global climate will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and intelligence analysts say.

Such climate-induced crises could topple governments, feed terrorist movements or destabilize entire regions, say the analysts, experts at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies who for the first time are taking a serious look at the national security implications of climate change.

A changing climate presents a range of challenges for the military. Many of its critical installations are vulnerable to rising seas and storm surges. In Florida, Homestead Air Force Base was essentially destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and Hurricane Ivan badly damaged Naval Air Station Pensacola in 2004. Military planners are studying ways to protect the major naval stations in Norfolk, Va., and San Diego from climate-induced rising seas and severe storms.

Another vulnerable installation is Diego Garcia, an atoll in the Indian Ocean that serves as a logistics hub for American and British forces in the Middle East and sits a few feet above sea level.

Arctic melting also presents new problems for the military. The shrinking of the ice cap, which is proceeding faster than anticipated only a few years ago, opens a shipping channel that must be defended and undersea resources that are already the focus of international competition."

LINK to NYT article


Droughts in the Pacific Northwest leading to increased fire danger -
"It will be hot, dry and a bad fire year for much of the West, Forest Service researchers are predicting."

Rain in the Northeast messing with summer businesses -
"Relentless rain and cool weather since early June have sent visitors scrambling home and washed away millions of tourism dollars across the Northeast....June was the wettest on record in Atlantic City, N.J., and the second-wettest in New York City. In Portland, rain fell on 21 of the final 24 days of the month. And July hasn't been much better. Rain continued and it was chilly, failing to hit 60 three times in Portland....Businesses that cater to tourists already anticipated a slow season because of the recession. Then they got a double whammy with the raw weather."

Rhode Island keeps up it's winning streak

"Rhode Island's soaring unemployment rate is the second worst in the country, behind only Michigan, and by far the highest among the six New England states. Rhode Island's unemployment rate for June was 12.4 percent, second to Michigan's 15.2 percent."

Tomato blight spreading

"The earliest and most widespread case of a serious plant disease ever in the East is forcing the removal of tomato plants from stores in New York and New England. This infectious disease is called late blight, the same disease that caused the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s. It does occur occasionally in the Northeast, but this year's rainy weather has accelerated the spores' airborne spread. On top of that, infected plants have been widely distributed by big-box retail stores.
According to the Associated Press, the disease is not harmful to humans, but it is quite contagious. It is most likely spread on garden center shelves to plants that were not involved in the initial infection. Once plants reach gardens, both home and commercial ones, the disease can also spread."

And now there are locusts. What's next, the blood rain?

"Crops in large swathes of Ethiopia risk being destroyed by swarms of locusts coming from northern Somalia, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Tuesday.
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) "reports that locust swarms have been confirmed in seven regions in the country, including in areas where there is no previous record of infestation," a statement said.
...The vast majority of Ethiopia's 77 million inhabitants depend on subsistence agriculture and have been badly hit by successive infestations of voracious locusts that destroy every plant in their path. ."

The weather is ridiculous!

"•April and May had only 3 clear days each, and there has been none so far in June.

•The average temperature in June has been 62.6, or 3.5 degrees cooler than normal.

•In the first 18 days of June, 12 were cooler than average and 6 were warmer than average.

•Precipitation for the year was 1.32 inches less than normal as of 6 p.m. Friday.

•In the 90 days since March 20, 55 have brought measurable rain or at least a trace of precipitation. "

Link to Projo

Level 6

"The World Health Organization raised the swine flu alert Thursday to its highest level, saying H1N1 has spread to enough countries to be considered a global pandemic.
Increasing the alert to Level 6 does not mean that the disease is deadlier or more dangerous than before, just that it has spread to more countries, the WHO said.
As of Wednesday evening, the virus had spread to 72 countries, the health agency said. There were 25,288 confirmed cases and 139 deaths. The United States had 13,217 cases and 27 deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday."

Here in Rhody -

"The state Department of Health has confirmed 39 cases of H1N1 swine flu in Rhode Island as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, twice as many as a week ago.
Health officials report that the illness continues to spread around the state, with increases in isolated cases as well as clusters of flu-like illnesses. Growing numbers of children and people with chronic health problems are getting sick, and more are being hospitalized.
Most illnesses in Rhode Island have been milder than seasonal influenza, but 10 people with swine flu have required hospitalization.
Late Monday, the North Providence School Department announced that the Greystone Elementary School would close for the rest of the week because three children tested positive for swine flu.
"We are seeing more cases in schools, more hospitalizations and more individuals who have underlying medical conditions being affected," said Health Director David R. Gifford, in a statement. "Everyone needs to continue to be vigilant about handwashing, coughing and sneezing into elbows, and staying home if they are sick. We expect that this will likely continue throughout the summer and into the fall.""

Ok, here it comes.

I have a $50 bet riding on this (oil reaching $200 by 2010) (yeah, big money- and anyway, if I'm paying more at the gas station, will it really matter?) but anyway...

"The price of oil burst through the $71 a barrel mark today amid revelations that proven reserves had fallen for the first time in 10 years and predictions that the price could eventually hit $250.
The latest high – from lows of $30 only four months ago – came on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where the cost of July deliveries rose by $1.35 to $71.36.
This comes on top of a $2 rise the day before as investors rushed into the market on the back of lower stockpile figures, higher demand estimates and speculation against further falls in the dollar.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we're testing $80 in a week or two," said one analyst, while BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, questioned whether $90 could be the "right" value."


Now, what fresh hell is this?

I have been looking at this for 2 days in wonderment. That is no place for tropical storm formation.

Why people read Dan Brown - and yes, it is doom-y.

Excellent op-ed in the NYT, and I think it does explain a couple of mystifying and doom-trending aspects of American life- the absolute abandonment of any kind of moral standards, and the dreadful popularity of such a bad writer. Italics are mine.

"Brown is explicit about this mission. He isn’t a serious novelist, but he’s a deadly serious writer: His thrilling plots, he’s said, are there to make the books’ didacticism go down easy, so that readers don’t realize till the end “how much they are learning along the way.” He’s working in the same genre as Harlan Coben and James Patterson, but his real competitors are ideologues like Ayn Rand, and spiritual gurus like Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra. He’s writing thrillers, but he’s selling a theology.

...The polls that show more Americans abandoning organized religion don’t suggest a dramatic uptick in atheism: They reveal the growth of do-it-yourself spirituality, with traditional religion’s dogmas and moral requirements shorn away. The same trend is at work within organized faiths as well, where both liberal and conservative believers often encounter a God who’s too busy validating their particular version of the American Dream to raise a peep about, say, how much money they’re making or how many times they’ve been married."


Crazy Raspberry ants on the march. Flamethrowers, anyone?

"A destructive menace is heading west on Interstate 10 toward San Antonio.
It's the crazy Raspberry ant that was first spotted in Houston in 2002. No one knows where it came from or how to control it, but it reproduces faster than any insect experts have ever seen.
"This is an alien species," says Sam Houston State University Entomologist Dr. Jerry Cook. "This is in higher densities than any other insects I've ever seen. They number in the billions and cover everything around them."
"Where you'll have 200,000 ants in a big fire ant mound, you'll have billions of crazy ants in one area, in that one group. They form a carpet of ants over acres that is several inches thick."
"It's a potential ecological disaster, displacing everything in front of it, other insects. Some people think getting rid of insects is good but it's not good for the environment. Insects play a vital role. When you destroy insects, you destroy the food for birds and other animals that depend on these insect populations. It could affect our food supply, reducing the crop yield by 30 to 40 percent." "

Department of Homeland Security still out of its mind, wants to mess with hurricanes.

"More than 25 years later, despite the dubious results of past research and other concerns raised by critics, the Department of Homeland Security is attempting to establish a hurricane modification program of its own, but NOAA appears unwilling to provide the critical support the DHS program requires.
...The goals of the workshop were to understand and evaluate new approaches for modifying hurricanes, which DHS regards as a threat to national security following the death and destruction wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and to decide how best to move forward.
Despite NOAA's hosting of the workshop, NOAA has rebuffed subsequent efforts by DHS to involve NOAA in its hurricane modification research, according to high-level sources within NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.
...So far, the lack of interest from NOAA, the government agency responsible for issuing official forecasts of hurricanes through its National Hurricane Center, has not stopped DHS from developing a plan for hurricane modification research and testing. William Laska, program manager for DHS's Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), which is spearheading the department's hurricane modification efforts, outlined a suggested road ahead at an April American Meteorological Society meeting on weather modification.
The plan envisions three research tasks beginning toward the end of 2010 and ending in early 2016: Evaluation of storm modification approaches via computer model simulations, development of concepts for potential field experiments, and full-scale testing of one or two of the most viable concepts. Total cost to carry out the plan was estimated at $64.1 million."

Hello, hurricane season of 2009.

Invest 90, lurking off the coast of Florida today, two weeks before the season 'officially' opens.


Aha! Swine flu freaking man-made evil blah blah!

"May 13 (Bloomberg) -- The World Health Organization is investigating a claim by an Australian researcher that the swine flu virus circling the globe may have been created as a result of human error.
...“One of the simplest explanations is that it’s a laboratory escape,” Gibbs said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today."

Rapid icemelt practically destroys small Alaskan town.

"Temperatures in some parts of Alaska soared into the 70s this week, causing a rapid "melt-out" of ice and snow along the Yukon River and unprecedented flooding that nearly wiped out the small community of Eagle.

...Borg says the Yukon rose 30 feet over its normal level when 4- to 7-foot-thick ice pans surged downstream, choking the river and bulldozing islands and shorelines. The devastation stretches for miles up and down the river, where trees have been sheared off and muddy banks scooped away like chocolate ice cream."

jfc dude

too depressed to update. read the freaking news yourself.

You say tomato, I say tomahto... Let's call the whole thing off.

A "nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington" has renamed our problems.

"Instead of grim warnings about global warming, the firm advises, talk about “our deteriorating atmosphere.” Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up “moving away from the dirty fuels of the past.” Don’t confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like “cap and cash back” or “pollution reduction refund.”

...Environmental issues consistently rate near the bottom of public worry, according to many public opinion polls. A Pew Research Center poll released in January found global warming last among 20 voter concerns; it trailed issues like addressing moral decline and decreasing the influence of lobbyists. “We know why it’s lowest,” said Mr. Perkowitz, a marketer of outdoor clothing and home furnishings before he started ecoAmerica, whose activities are financed by corporations, foundations and individuals. “When someone thinks of global warming, they think of a politicized, polarized argument. When you say ‘global warming,’ a certain group of Americans think that’s a code word for progressive liberals, gay marriage and other such issues.”

The answer, Mr. Perkowitz said in his presentation at the briefing, is to reframe the issue using different language. "


Swine flu- this is horrendous.


"Fears of getting a killer bug are sweeping across the Mexican capital as reports erupted about an epidemic of swine influenza that is said to have killed dozens in recent weeks. The government ordered all schools and universities in Mexico City shut and advised people to pull their children out of nurseries and avoid busy places such as restaurants, bars and cinemas. Pharmacies rapidly sold out of hygienic masks and vitamin supplements. Many clinics stuck signs on their doors advising they had run out of influenza vaccines.
...News of the flu had been lingering for several days but surged to national attention late Thursday after a televised announcement from Federal Health Minister José Angel Córdova. "With the information obtained this afternoon, we have before us the threat of a new type of influenza," Cordova said, announcing the first total school closures over the urban area of 20 million since the 1985 earthquake. Mexican authorities said there had been 20 deaths confirmed from the virus in recent weeks, mostly healthy adult men and women, who were in groups not normally considered vulnerable. Then panic increased to fever pitch on Friday when the World Health Organization upstaged the Mexican government by saying that 60 deaths may have been caused by the virus."

Really interesting!

Great article about planned urban shrinkage and creation of city land banks in Flint, MI.

"Instead of waiting for houses to become abandoned and then pulling them down, local leaders are talking about demolishing entire blocks and even whole neighborhoods.

The population would be condensed into a few viable areas. So would stores and services. A city built to manufacture cars would be returned in large measure to the forest primeval.

“Decline in Flint is like gravity, a fact of life,” said Dan Kildee, the Genesee County treasurer and chief spokesman for the movement to shrink Flint. “We need to control it instead of letting it control us.”"

Hell is other people.

I know there are a million and fifty other terrible things that happened today, but, and I know it's my own damn sin for it, but this is the one that made me cry.

"First it was Quack, then Mack, followed by brother Jack. Now add Pack to the list of mallard ducklings purloined from the Robert McCloskey.
Boston Park rangers discovered the foul act yesterday at 10 a.m. They noticed the bronze sculpture was missing and had been sawed from its mount, said parks spokeswoman Mary Hines.
The duckling, number seven of eight, is part of a beloved tribute to Robert McCloskey’s prize-winning 1941 children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings.”



"People are leaving Michigan at a staggering rate. About 109,000 more people left Michigan last year than moved in. It is one of the worst rates in the nation, quadruple the loss of just eight years ago. The state loses a family every 12 minutes, and the families who are leaving -- young, well-educated high-income earners -- are the people the state desperately needs to rebuild.

...Since 2001, migration has cost Michigan 465,000 people, the equivalent of the combined populations of Grand Rapids, Warren and Sterling Heights -- the state's second-, third- and fourth-largest cities.
Population loss of that magnitude is so rare that its impact has never been studied.

..."These numbers -- my God," said Kurt Metzger, a demographer who heads a local nonprofit. "It's like a perfect storm -- the education, the income, the young people, everything is going in the wrong direction." "

But, if you stay, there's meat to be had:

"When I arrived in the office one morning, I eagerly told my co-workers about my run-in (almost, but not literally) with a pheasant that crossed my path as I cut through a Highland Park neighborhood. Turns out, such sightings are not all that uncommon.
One guy I work with says locals hunt pheasants and other small game at an east side neighborhood park and they've seen coyotes at the nearby cemetery.
Today, Detroit News writer Charlie LeDuff writes about the Coon Man, a 69-year-old licensed hunter and furrier and retired truck driver who supplements his Social Security check with the sale of raccoon carcasses that go for as much $12 and can serve up to four. The pelts, too, are good for coats and hats and fetch up to $10 a hide.
Charlie writes that a beaver was spotted recently in the Detroit River, fox skulk at the Palmer Park golf course, wild turkey roam vacant fields and bald eagle, hawk and falcon dot the city skies.
Mind you, hunting is prohibited within Detroit city limits. But with things being what they are, "Starvation is cheap," Glemie Dean Beasley says."

And now someone has died at the protests, I'm going to take a minute to think about someone who TRIED to do something.

Fuck. It's all too awful for words. What the hell.

"A man died last night during theG20 protests in central London as a day that began peacefully ended with police saying bottles were thrown at police medics trying to help him.
The man had collapsed within a police cordon set up to contain the crowds who had assembled in central London and the City to protest over the G20 summit. There were 63 arrests on the day."
Really, I don't know. I only know that this is the kind of story that breaks my fucking heart .

Even the banks can't afford the houses anymore...

This bodes ill and is infuriating. There should be pitchforks and marchings and I'm not ruling out the guillotine.

"City officials and housing advocates here (South Bend, Ind.) and in cities as varied as Buffalo, Kansas City, Mo., and Jacksonville, Fla., say they are seeing an unsettling development: Banks are quietly declining to take possession of properties at the end of the foreclosure process, most often because the cost of the ordeal — from legal fees to maintenance — exceeds the diminishing value of the real estate.

The so-called bank walkaways rarely mean relief for the property owners, caught unaware months after the fact, and often mean additional financial burdens and bureaucratic headaches. Technically, they still owe on the mortgage, but as a practicality, rarely would a mortgage holder receive any more payments on the loan. The way mortgages are bundled and resold, it can be enormously time-consuming just trying to determine what company holds the loan on a property thought to be in foreclosure.

In Ms. James’s case, the company that was most recently servicing her loan is now defunct. Its parent company filed for bankruptcy and dissolved. And the original bank that sold her the loan said it could not find a record of it.

“It is what some of us think is the next wave of the crisis,” said Kermit Lind, a clinical professor at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and an expert on foreclosure law.
...“Nobody has any idea who owns what or who’s responsible,” said Judy Fox, Ms. James’s lawyer at the Notre Dame Legal Aid Clinic. “It’s a very common story.”"