Over Easy: Around The World
Thursday tradition continues, and in the Lakeside Diner begun by Southern Dragon, today we will look at foreign media, and a perspective that doesn’t come from reportage the U.S. press usually does provide.
The carbon storage capacity which has protected the earth from greenhouse gases that the Amazon rainforest offered in previous ages has been decreasing as the rate of death of the trees that comprise it has increased by at least a third.
In the 1990s, the great forest was able to store as much as 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year, they said.
Now, though, the uptake has halved, and for the first time is being outstripped by fossil-fuel emissions from Latin America.
The work runs counter to hopes that higher levels of atmospheric CO2 are good for “sinks” – the technical term for forests that soak up the principal greenhouse gas.
As CO2 is a key ingredient in photosynthesis, more of the gas should spur tree growth, according to this theory.
But what appears to have happened is that faster growth has also translated into faster death.
The remaining nuclear power complex at Chernobyl that created the 1986 disaster that contaminated the entire area since that time will finally be contained in a giant dome now being built.
The radiation immediately above the reactor is still far too intense for the new enclosure to be built exactly where it is needed – anyone working there can only stay very briefly.
So adjacent land has been cleared and then decontaminated – a massive task in itself – to allow the new structure to be assembled before being manoeuvred into position.
Citibank in Argentina has suffered from conflicting directions from agencies it answers to, resulting in an inability to perform its functions, and it has announced that it will cease to make payments on bonds it holds.
In a statement, the bank said it was making plans to transfer Argentina’s debt payments to another entity because of an “unprecedented international conflict of laws.” The statement said the bank had notified the New York court overseeing the legal fight, but did not elaborate on its transition plans.
Last week, the bank found itself in a difficult position with few options. First, U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa ordered Citibank to stop processing payments to bondholders. A day later, Argentina threatened to revoke the bank’s operating license if it refused to process those payments.