1. “Godzilla Carbon Emissions in 2010 Unprecedented
The spike in carbon emissions in 2010, a 6% increase over 2009, was so humongous that the scientists measuring it initially thought that there must have been a mistake somewhere in the measurements.
tom Boden, head of the Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center in Oak Ridge National Liboratory, Tennessee, is quoted by AFP: “It’s big… Our data go back to 1751, even before the Industrial Revolution. Never before have we seen a 500-million-metric-ton carbon increase in a single year.” 512 million metric tons, to be precise.
Well, if it hasn’t been done since 1751, it has never been done by human beings. The last time this happened was 55 to 40 million years ago, in the Eocene. When India went plowing into Asia and threw up the Himalayas, the impact heated up the crust and released massive amounts of carbon dioxide. That happened, likely, over a long period of time, but the effect was an increase in the average surface temperature of the earth of 4-5 degrees Celsius. Antarctica became a tropical jungle.”
2. “Syria and Iran: The Great Game
This summer a senior Saudi official told John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, that from the outset of the upheaval in Syria, the king has believed that regime change would be highly beneficial to Saudi interests: “The king knows that other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself, nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria.”
This is today’s “great game” – losing Syria. And this is how it is played: set up a hurried transitional council as sole representative of the Syrian people, irrespective of whether it has any real legs inside Syria; feed in armed insurgents from neighbouring states; impose sanctions that will hurt the middle classes; mount a media campaign to denigrate any Syrian efforts at reform; try to instigate divisions within the army and the elite; and ultimately President Assad will fall – so its initiators insist.
One of the sad paradoxes is the undercutting of moderate Sunnis, who now find themselves caught between the rock of being seen as a western tool, and the hard place of radical Sunni Salafists waiting for the opportunity to displace them and to dismantle the state. What a strange world: Europe and the US think it is OK to “use” precisely those Islamists (including al-Qaida) who absolutely do not believe in western-style democracy in order to bring it about.”