Posted by: Tony Carson | 7 December, 2009

COP15: ‘power to save the world.’ But will it?

Will there be a strong and reliable political agreement?

Here are the top three challenges facing the conference, according to Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a talk to the BBC.

What is the developing world willing to commit to by 2020?

What kind of guaranteed funding will be available to them?

What access to technology can be widely facilitated?

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Posted by: Tony Carson | 7 December, 2009

Dream vacation, your choice

First choice, a trip for two to some secluded beach in the Caribbean. Nice.

Second choice, a trip for two on board the Allure of the Oasis, the largest cruise ship afloat with 16 decks, 5,400 people you don’t know and 50 ways to get fat.

Your choice.

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Posted by: Tony Carson | 7 December, 2009

On land mines and the international criminal court

Why won’t the US sign the international treaty to ban land mines?

Maybe it’s because they can’t be dragged in front of the international criminal court. They refused to be a member of that, too.

U.S. Land Mine Policy is Shameful, by Peace medalist Jody Williams

Posted by: Tony Carson | 7 December, 2009

Totally screwed in Afghanistan until negotiations

The longer U.S. forces wage war in Afghanistan, the more the conflict will spread into Pakistan, where 15% of its people and 25% of its military are Pashtuns who sympathize with their beleaguered fellow Taliban Pashtuns in Afghanistan.

A grimmer view is that Obama has become a captive of the military-industrial complex, Wall Street and Washington’s rabid neocons who seek permanent war against the Muslim world. Obama’s “surge” may only expand, intensify and prolong the Afghan conflict.

In the end, there will be a negotiated peace that includes Taliban. But how many Americans, allies and Afghans must die before it comes?

Read Eric Margolis America’s ‘Surge’ May Only Expand, Intensify and Prolong the Afghan Conflict

Posted by: Tony Carson | 7 December, 2009

56 newspapers, 1 message

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In an unprecedented consensus, 56 newspapers in 45 countries around the world are publishing one front-page editorial on the urgent need to address climate change now.

“The politicians in Copenhagen have the power to shape history’s judgment on this generation: one that saw a challenge and rose to it, or one so stupid that we saw calamity coming but did nothing to avert it.”

Let’s get together and feel all right

Posted by: Tony Carson | 7 December, 2009

37 cages await Warmers

How full are these babies going to be?

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A police officer opened one of 37 metal cages in a former beer depot in Copenhagen to house protesters arrested during the climate conference. – From NT Times.

Posted by: Tony Carson | 6 December, 2009

On the butt

Sometimes one article can inform, entertain, amaze, revolt and amuse — all at the same time.

Leah McLean’s Let’s get to the bottom of our butt obsession does all of that.

Posted by: Tony Carson | 6 December, 2009

Journalism: where’s Walter?

The new journalism: “Rachel, have you slept with a lot of celebrities?”

The video.

Posted by: Tony Carson | 6 December, 2009

Dealing with global warming and with terrorism: one approach

The impulse, particularly in the US, is to throw everything at a problem, particularly the military.

The US has ‘declared war’ on everything from poverty to drugs and has gotten … nowhere. Might, the US may eventually figure out, is not right, or at least, not effective.

Take the war on terrorism, for instance. Sending 100,000 troops into Afghanistan to deal with what is estimated to be ‘less than 100’ al qaeda is, not to put too fine a point on it, patently absurd.

As has been correctly pointed out, terrorism isn’t just an American fight, it is a world-wide fight. So, rather than put all the energy and bucks and blood into fighting un-winnable wars, why not put the same resources into creating a truly integrated world-wide intelligence community focused specifically on terrorism?

Ya, I know, there is such a net-work now, but we also know that even within the US one agency won’t talk to another, never mind international antipathies. The challenge would be to create international intelligence systems that actually work.

An effective international, wholly integrated intelligence net-work is the only solution to terrorism. If there is a terrorist ‘country,’ sure, deal with it, conventionally.

The point is to move from using military power to using brain poweer to win our battles.

Same thing with global warming.

Rather than, in effect, declaring war on climate change by spending gazzillions of dollars painfully reducing carbon emissions to thereby reduce the impact on global warming, why not spend a fraction of that devising ways to move into an entirely new energy paradigm?

Sure, do what we can now to address our problems, but immediately institute a world-wide net-work of research and development, properly mandated and funded, that will create new, effective and clean ways to power the planet.

Ya, I know, this is being done now, but not really, not in any inter-connected way with a clear target and aggressive funding.

Green technology development is being handled now in about the same way that international intelligence is being handled: poorly.

It’s time to change the way the planet works. We will all suffer to one degree or another from intelligence and global warming failures but if we act together, responsibly and with proper funding, we can all profit together.

Naive? Probably, but we had better start working our brains; brawn has done nothing but create the problems we’re now facing.

And we had better start working together with as much bucks as we can find, properly focussed.

Tall order? Ya, well, look at the extent of the problems.

Posted by: Tony Carson | 6 December, 2009

Robots: out of control and not off the drawing board

As if we aren’t fat enough, robots are planning to play a far greater role in our lives, becoming a $5 billion industry in just five years.

They’re going to pick up after us, carry our groceries, stock your fridge, clean, entertain and they will be programmable so they may become the business end of the next iPhone store, with 10,000 apps all coaxing our bots to do what we want most.

Interesting article on the ethics and morality of something that, like military drones and bots, have no regulations circumscribing their behaviour — or the behaviour of those operating them.

Posted by: Tony Carson | 6 December, 2009

Woods: the tuneful backlash

“The question everyone in America wants to ask you is, how many white women does one brother waaant?” — The Grinch’s Theme Song.

Posted by: Tony Carson | 6 December, 2009

Cameron to troops: play up, play up and play the game

‘Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun.’

Ya, I know it’s Afghanistan and not India and it’s winter, not summer but David Cameron couldn’t appear more out of place, de-suited, in mid-speech to a gaggle of Afghan forces with their guns corked, just in case. What could he possibly have to say to them but “play up, play up and play the game.” What, what.

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Britain’s opposition Conservative Party leader David Cameron meets Afghan National Army soldiers at the Kabul Military Training Centre in Afghanistan, where he saw British soldiers training new Afghan recruits, Saturday Dec. 5 2009. Cameron is on a three day visit to Afghanistan where he has visited Kandahar, Laskar Gah and Kabul. British troop withdrawals from Afghanistan are unlikely to begin next year, David Cameron warned. President Obama the previous week set a timeline for starting US troop withdrawals in July 2011. — from daylife

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