David Adam: Too late to save the climate? Why Scientists Say We Should Expect the Worst

9 December, 2008

At a high-level academic conference on global warming at Exeter University this summer, climate scientist Kevin Anderson stood before his expert audience and contemplated a strange feeling. He wanted to be wrong. Many of those in the room who knew what he was about to say felt the same. His conclusions had already caused a stir in scientific and political circles. Even committed green campaigners said the implications left them terrified.

Despite the political rhetoric, the scientific warnings, the media headlines and the corporate promises, he would say, carbon emissions were soaring way out of control – far above even the bleak scenarios considered by last year’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Stern review. The battle against dangerous climate change had been lost, and the world needed to prepare for things to get very, very bad.

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Yuriy RUBTSOV: NATO in Ukraine and Georgia: out the door, back through the window

At the meeting between the NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on 2-3 December it became apparent that the outgoing US administration would use all means to persuade the alliance accept Ukraine and Georgia bypassing the Membership Action Plan (MAP) status.

The ministers achieved a compromise to turn down Ukraine’s and Georgia’s bids for NATO membership for some time and offer them the so-called annual national NATO integration programs containing no schedules or deadlines. The sides agreed to work within the already existing NATO-Ukraine and NATO-Georgia commissions.

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UN attacks Israeli rights ‘crimes’: The delivery of essential aid to Gaza has been stemmed by the Israeli blockade

Israel’s policies against the Palestinians are tantamount to a “crime against humanity”, the United Nations’ human rights rapporteur has said.

Richard Falk said in a statement on Tuesday that the UN must “implement the agreed norm of a responsibility to protect a civilian population being collectively punished by policies that amount to a crime against humanity”.

The statement came on the same day that the UN Human Rights Council urged Israel to implement 99 measures to improve its rights record.

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Solidarity, not charity, for the people of Gaza By Ewa Jasiewicz

December 10th is International Human Rights Day, and it’s time we turned our rhetoric on human rights into reality. Together with the Free Gaza Movement, I’m commemorating Human Rights Day this year in Gaza, a tiny strip of land wedged between Israel and Egypt, home to 1.5 million human beings, and subject to an increasingly brutal war being waged against its civilian population by the state of Israel.

We mounted this mission to give our solidarity to the people of Palestine and to highlight the strangulating conditions Israel causes in besieged Gaza. The inhumane effects of this siege threaten to stunt an entire generation – both in terms of physical and mental growth due to malnutrition, terrorisation by bomb attacks, incursions and the use of sonic booms – but also in terms of the generation of students which have won places at academic institutions around the world but cannot fulfill them, and those undermined on the ground in Gaza by a lack of food, medicine, electricity, materials, and the peace and space to make good use of them in.

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Russia Today: Was US anti-missile test aimed at Russia and China?

9 December, 2008

anti-missile.jpgWas US anti-missile test aimed at Russia and China?
A consultant to the head of Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces has said that a simulated anti-missile test by the U.S. was not aimed at stopping a North Korean threat as Washington had claimed.

Colonel-general Viktor Yesin said last Friday’s test had China and Russia in mind.

He said: ‘To avoid agitating public opinion, U.S. Missile Defense Agency officials say the test was aimed at intercepting North Korean and Iranian rockets. But we missile specialists understand that it was in fact aimed at stopping Russian and Chinese intercontinental missiles.’

During the test last Friday an interceptor rocket was launched from California to knock down a missile launched from Alaska.

America spends some $US 10 billion a year on an anti-missile network claiming it’s necessary to counteract growing threats from ‘rogue nations’ such as North Korea and Iran.

Related links:

U.S. tests missile defence shield

‘US concept of uncontested nuclear strike not feasible’

New move in the ‘Star Wars’ arms race

Source: Russia Today