Proving that the in-your-face reality of unfettered climate change is not about to recede in the new year, a national disaster is unfolding only days into 2013 in Australia, where rampaging wildfires are burning huge swaths of the country. Australians are used to the annual “bushfire season,” but the recent string of massive fires that have charred millions of acres and killed dozens of people are unprecedented and only getting worse thanks to climate change. Now the nation faces a fire “catastrophe”; not just a lurid term of description, it is an official designation of the most destructive and serious level of wildfire. This year’s violent eruption of blazes are fueled by temperatures quite literally never seen before in Australia, with all-time record heat baking the country.
Holding nearly 100 percent of the world’s glacier ice, Greenland and Antarctica are the “air conditioners” of Earth and also a ticking time bomb of potential devastation. This is because of climate change and the rapid polar warming now being recorded that has surpassed many previous estimates of what was possible. With temperatures rising faster and instances of massive ice melt already experiences this past year, scientists now say that global sea level rise from ice loss in these two regions has been “seriously underestimated.” The total melting of Greenland and Antarctic ice would boost global sea levels by over 200 feet. While no one expects that apocalyptic catastrophe, experts now confirm a sea level rise of several more feet than previously anticipated is likely by 2100, causing immeasurable damage and disruption across the world.
Leading shareholders of the multinational insurance company AIG, considered to be one of the most memorable victims of the 2008 financial and housing crises, are pursuing a lawsuit against the federal government for $25 billion. That the company was saved from certain liquidation during the height of the financial panic by a nearly $200 billion taxpayer-funded government bailout is actually at the center of the suit. Far from reciprocating government’s controversial generosity, former AIG chief executive “Hank” Greenberg and numerous other wealthy AIG investors allege that regulators were too hasty in stepping in and rescuing the company. They present an alternate reality in 2008, one where the insurance giant was bullied into accepting a bailout that deprived shareholders of billions in stock value. Most financial experts call the case laughable and an example of the ingrained ideology of greed that brought down companies like AIG.
PREDATORY “BANKING “WOLF” ORDERED TO GUARD “HENHOUSE” OF WRONGED HOMEOWNERS IN LOPSIDED GOVERNMENT FORECLOSURE FRAUD SETTLEMENT
Homeowner advocates and those personally affected by abuses committed by financial institution at the height of the nation’s housing crisis are about to fed to the proverbial “wolves” in a hastily assembled settlement between government regulators and the banks at the center of the scandal. Instead of facing an unbiased and independent process to dole out billions of dollars in restitution due tens of thousands of homeowners that wrongfully faced foreclosure, federal officials gave full control of the compensation program to the banks themselves. Government regulatory agencies deemed the process of determining how much homeowners should get of the nearly $3.5 billion paid by at-fault banks too complicated, handing over authority to the very perpetrators of mass foreclosure fraud in the first place. Advocates for homeowners are not optimistic about if any victims will ever see settlement cash owed to them.
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