(Picture courtesy of mhaithaca at flickr.com.)
Good morning, did you know there’s a crucial conference on pollution going on in Doha? You wouldn’t if all you read is the U.S. news. The end of Kyoto Protocols is approaching, which will be the halt of all the international cooperation ever reached on carbon emissions. As dire as that may sound, it has not produced any effort to strengthen controls of our climate.
The U.S had rejected the Kyoto Protocol the first time around because it didn’t impose any binding commitments on major developing countries like China and India– and China is now the world’s No. 1 carbon emitter. The U.S and other Western countries insist that that be changed. They want a treaty in which everybody has to make binding pledges to reduce their emissions. The U.S., in fact, refuses to sign any treaty unless China also cuts its emissions.
China and other developing countries, however, want to maintain the status quo.
Of course, Doha, Qatar, is itself an off choice for the conference, as its emissions level is itself overwhelming.
Doha’s skyscrapers, vast shopping malls, its lavish apartments and swanky hotels are among the most energy-inefficient in the world. Each Qatari is responsible for nearly 50 tonnes of carbon emissions a year. That compares with 17 for the US, 1.4 for India and 0.1 for Uganda. Meanwhile, scientists have warned that on current form, the world will be in for between 4C and 6C of warming.
Such a joker, that U.N. Even when there are controls against practices such as illegal logging, as in Brazil, violations are hard to prosecute. There, falsification of papers is routine.
Circuitious routes and falsified papers appear to be part of the method used by Russia to arm Syria’s war in documents released by Anonymous last week.
“It’s getting to Syria by the back door,” says Hugh Griffiths, an arms trafficking expert at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which operates an air-trafficking surveillance project on behalf of the European Union. Griffiths, who says the leaked flight plan appears to be genuine, sees it as the latest step in Russia’s effort to repair and then deliver Assad’s fixed-up helicopters by any means necessary.
The killing of its own people by Syria’s government is just good business to the arms industry.
That industry has come to DR Congo, as M23, the rebel force, has taken over Goma.
Kinshasa and the UN have called on M23 to withdraw from Goma.
However, the rebel fighters seem to be on a roll.
Their control of Goma has given them a dangerous sense of confidence. They are now advancing on the town of Bukavu, more than 200km from Goma, and recruiting in every village and town they capture.
The government forces are overwhelmed, far from any power center and dismally trained.
In developed countries, obstacles to economic progress are presented by the ‘troika’ of ‘the European Central Bank (ECB), the IMF and the European Union. Their main problem is not profligate government spending, as fans of data everywhere have long known; the problem is an imbalance in relative prices between the crisis countries and Germany and other northern countries.’
Dean Baker presents a few possible ways to get around the resistance to ‘inflation’ that economic powers fear ‘ with the same vehemence as fundamentalist Christians in the United States resist the theory of evolution. Their view of the danger of moderate rates of inflation will not be changed by evidence.’
In Egypt, a court condemned producers of that offensive film to death.
An Egyptian court has sentenced seven Egyptian Copts and one American pastor to death, despite all of the defendants living outside the court’s jurisdiction. The team of eight were convicted on charges related to the anti-Islam film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’, which sparked chaos across the Muslim world.
An outbreak of silliness has made a place for the ‘gangnam style’ throughout the world.
Psy – short for Psycho, real name Park Jae Sang – made the original as a take-off on the flashy, pretentious, fashion and celeb-driven wealthy of Seoul.
Now the celebs and the fashionable of the world have appropriated Gangnam as some deeply thought artistic and political message.
Well, last I heard, it’s South Korea’s tourism authorities who are laughing all the way to the bank, and those wannabes living in Gangnam are getting just the kind of global attention they’ve craved.
Profits are soaring for many involved. The rest of us can enjoy the verve, and glitz. As this year of crises draws down, we can at least dance to the sound of its finale.