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International Relations Virtual Section

International Relations Virtual Section

Communication, Community, Environment

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  • Flooded-village-of-moorla_177_

    “Government accused of failing to address effects of climate change on coastal and rural areas.” - theguardian

    Severe flooding threatens to undermine the country's food security, according to farmers and environmental groups, who today accuse the government of failing to address the effects of climate change on coastal and rural areas.

    As gales swept southern and western parts of the UK, with already drenched counties bearing the brunt of the storms, it has emerged that parliament's select committee on the environment warned in a report last year that "the current model for allocating flood defence funding is biased towards protecting property, which means that funding is largely allocated to urban areas. Defra's [the Department of the Environment's] failure to protect rural areas poses a long-term risk to the security of UK food production, as a high proportion of the most valuable agricultural land is at risk of flooding."

    "We need a response from government that recognises the importance for our long-term food security of safeguarding high-quality farmland," said Neil Sinden of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. "We need to view the countryside as more than a place for building, and value it for the food it provides."

    Defra has estimated that 35,000 hectares of high-quality horticultural and arable land will be flooded at least once every three years by the 2020s. This could rise to around 130,000 hectares by the 2080s if there is ...

  • Renewable-energy_177_

    *Crown Eco Management | *There are a lot of people who assumes that the sole technology that is now available to substitute fossil fuels is nuclear power especially when climate scientists and some energy policy analysts take a “tough-minded” look at the numbers.

    Eduardo Porter of the New York Times made that argument last week when he wrote: …nuclear power remains the cheapest and most readily scalable of the alternative energy sources.

    There are many reasons why nuclear power is a bad solution to the climate crisis. The first reason is that the technology is not available. Nuclear power plants are capital-intensive, technologically complex to manage, and difficult, if not impossible, to site. These issues are not minor, investors chose putting their money somewhere else and communities are greatly against sitting a plant in their backyard.

    As a consequence, despite our knowledge on how to use electricity this way plus our years of experience practicing it, in the U.S. these plants will never be built in enough amount to reduce global warming. There is a slight difference between the technology of nuclear power generation and the technology of nuclear bomb development. It is now hard to put things back the way it used to be, let us admit that human political systems or organizational processes cannot manage the risks of this technology.

    Other issues associated with current nuclear technologies that cause them to become problematic. For instance, the toxicity of its...

  • Geoe

    Politicians, NGOs, scientists and business executives at the Warsaw Climate Summit have failed to acknowledge the fact, amply documented, that climate can be manipulated as a result of environmental modification techniques (ENMOD).

    Discussion of ENMOD is taboo. It is an unspoken truth. Scientists dare not address it as part of the debate on climate change. While ENMOD is firmly documented, these same scientists will readily assert without evidence that global warming (resulting from excess CO2 emissions) is the cause of tropical storms.

    ENMOD technologies not only exist, they are fully operational. Confirmed by US military documents, a typhoon, a tsunami or an earthquake can be triggered by the use of ENMOD technologies. The issue, therefore, must be addressed by climate specialists. What we are suggesting is that in investigating the underlying causes of extreme weather events the issue of climatic manipulation can by no means be excluded.

    Ironically, the existence of ENMOD technologies was acknowledged more than 30 years back by the United Nations in a binding 1977 Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques.

    Look Into Green World: Eco Management , Environmental Social Hub

    The Convention defined ENMOD as “any technique for changing – through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes – the dynamics, composition or structure of the Earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosph...

  • Global_warming_carbondioxid_177_

    The Energy Collective | Over the last decade, progressives have successfully painted conservative climate skepticism as the major stumbling block to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Exxon and the Koch brothers, the story goes, fund conservative think tanks to sow doubt about climate change and block legislative action. As evidence mounts that anthropogenic global warming is underway, conservatives’ flight from reason is putting us all at risk.

    This week's release of a new United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report opens another front in the climate wars. But beneath the bellowing, name-calling, and cherry-picking of data that have become the hallmark of contemporary climate politics lies a paradox: the energy technologies favored by the climate-skeptical Right are doing far more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than the ones favored by the climate-apocalyptic Left.

    Dig Dipper into: Green Energy and Ecological Management

    How much more? Max Luke of Breakthrough Institute ran the numbers and found that, since 1950, natural gas and nuclear prevented 36 times more carbon emissions than wind, solar, and geothermal. Nuclear avoided the creation of 28 billion tons of carbon dioxide, natural gas 26 billion, and geothermal, wind, and solar just 1.5 billion.

    Environmental leaders who blame "global warming deniers" for preventing emissions reductions point to Germany's move away from nuclear and to renewables. "Germany is the one big countr...

  • Tangled_web_of_international_relation_177_

    Hilary Stauffer | Last week’s G20 summit (a periodic confab of the world’s top 20 industrialised economies, plus assorted special guests and hangers-on) was overshadowed by the spectre of Syria.

    Hosted in St Petersburg by Russia, which currently holds the rotating presidency, the summit’s key objective (per the official program) was ‘fostering strong, sustainable and balanced economic growth’. But almost all the media reports about the meeting were focused on Syria and the persistent drumbeats of war.

    The possibility of another Mideast military escapade has understandably captured the world’s attention. However, reporters and commentators couldn’t help a bit of gleeful mischief-making in highlighting the uncomfortable interactions between Russian president Vladimir Putin and his stalwart frenemy, US President Barack Obama. Russia’s patronage of Syria is presently a major undercurrent of their mutual apathetic animosity, as is Russia’s decision to offer temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

    What’s happening: Environmental News, Asia-Pacific Steam Turbines Market

    The summit ended with competing press conferences by various world leaders; prompted by sharp questions from the press corps, each leader strived to say that all other parties present shared his view on ‘what to do’ about Syria, although it was clear that nothing definitive had been decided. On the final day of the summit, the White House released a statement jointly endorsed by 11 of ...

  • TUMBLR | (KSBY.com) NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is seeking asylum all over the world, and now one of those countries is furious with the U.S. Bolivia's president was at a meeting in Russia, and had an extra-long flight home thanks to what his government calls lies from our State Department.

    The Bolivian president's plane was grounded in Austria... After France and Portugal refused to let him fly through their airspace amid rumors that Edward Snowden was on that plane. Bolivia's furious, saying the U.S. was behind those rumors. Snowden has applied for asylum in Bolivia, and nearly two dozen other countries.

    Crown Int’l relations facebook page

    The State Department has been on the phone urging them all to say no. "We have been very clear, and we feel the same way today, that he should be returned here," said State Department Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki. Analysts say pressure from the U.S. may derail Snowden's efforts. "We are the big guy on the block so if we start having sanctions[,] it could have a profound effect on those countries," said Former Ambassador to Egypt, Israel & the UAE, Edward Walker. Meantime Snowden's latest leak - that the U.S. bugged its allies' phones has led to a top-down search at the European Union.

    Technicians are checking for wires, and leaders demanding answers. "If these news are proven true, this would be very disturbing and raise serious and very important concerns," said European Commission President Jose M...

  • Haze_in_kuala_lumpur_177_

    Having just arrived in Jakarta for a joint CSIS-CFR workshop on emerging Indonesia and rising regionalism, I was greeted by hot and humid weather conditions and horrible traffic. However, this is nothing compared to the severe haze that has blanketed Indonesia’s Sumatra Island, Malaysia and Singapore, sending air pollution there to record high levels. The haze problem is nothing new. To those who live in Singapore and Malaysia, this has become an annual blight caused by farmers in Sumatra clearing forests to make land for crops. The last major regional haze outbreak occurred in 1997-98. But this time, the thick haze has broken the Pollutant Standards Index records and hit “hazard” levels in the region, and Singapore has threatened to take action. (blogs.cfr.org)

    The slash and burn cultivation can be traced to when agriculture was first developed thousands of years ago. According to historian William McNeill, this cultivation method multiplied breeding places for mosquitos and gave malaria a new, epidemic intensity. It is no wonder that malaria and dengue fever—both of which are transmitted by mosquitos—are such a major concern in Southeast Asia. The farming practice is not confined to Sumatra, either. Indeed, a similar practice is becoming a growing contributor to severe haze in some Chinese provinces. Two weeks ago, when travelling on the high-speed train to Beijing, I was struck by the sudden drop of visibility, which was caused by farmers in central Anhui province b...

  • There is something unsettling about high-level U.S.-Chinese summits. American participants must present an uneasy combination of faux bonhomie and furrowed-brow concern over the serious issues that divide Washington and Beijing. The Chinese usually look both confident and yet stiff, perhaps reflecting resentment at being browbeaten over the myriad shortcomings of their system while reminding their counterparts that their country has nonetheless had the greatest growth rates in the history of recorded economies. |>> nationalinterest.Org

    In all, there is a sense that the relationship should be going better. That, after four decades of intense diplomacy and interaction, the two sides should have developed deeper trust and some type of true working relationship. That China, which has risen above its poverty and isolation to become the world’s second-largest economy and political heavyweight in less than a generation, should not only be more appreciative of the liberal international order that allowed its economic growth but should also be far more supportive of the norms that underlie the system. And that the United States should have decided by now how to reconcile the Janus-faced reality that China is both a business partner and a strategic competitor. Rather, Washington hides behind diplomatic niceties about deeper partnership while suffering from an emotional and conceptual ambiguity, which leads to being ridden by the tiger of international relations—instead of riding...

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