Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Mixed Bag: Netanyahu, as he saw his future crumbling at the polls, warned Israel that the country's Arab voters were going to overthrow years of Right wingerism and doom the country to peace – confusing his future with that of the country. He claims that the Arab voter turnout was due to US money, which is pretty strange coming from a man who got upwards of 90% of his campaign funding from Americans. His unexpected victory guarantees continued agony for the Middle East.
Eternal Strife: The US and Germany have resolved to maintain the Crimea-inspired Russian sanctions until Moscow retreats or until the 12th of Never.
Stage Directions: The position that got the current Greek government elected cannot be reconciled with the demands of the EU/ECB/IMF. The troika isn't going to concede anything and the government cannot. The endgame looks ever more like a Greek exit, stage left. Maybe if the EU were interested in resolving Greece's economic and fiscal problems instead of washing money from EU taxpayers through Greece to German banks, some progress might be made. Or some other unlikely miracle.
Take No Notice: Canada's universal drug plan will save the nation billions. Just think what the combined power of Medicare, the VA and Medicaid could do if the drug companies didn't own enough politicians to prevent common sense from prevailing in the US.
Slip Sliding Away: Responding to China's establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Bank established by China, the British, French, German and Italian governments have announced “their intention to become... founding members.” This is viewed, with very good reason, to be a direct affront to the American-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Rats/ship?
On The Up and Upper: Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels reached 400 ppm in February for the first time in 23 million years. Ain't you proud of us? We – Homo sapiens sapiens – have spent at least the last 200,000 years on a planet that has oscillated between 170 and 280 ppm. The race from 280 to 400 ppm has taken about 200 years, accelerating greatly, to a 2ppm yearly rise, over the last few decades.
This has already caused global average temperatures to rise 0.8 degrees, with much more to come as the environment responds to the added greenhouse gases.
We now pretend we can stop at 450 ppm (and an associated 2C temperature rise), but it is far more likely – inevitable, actually - that we will reach 550ppm (and 6C) by the end of the century, and continue on from there. Best guess is that these levels will preclude the continuation of human civilization.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 6:51 AM