How can they get away with it, again?

I have been asked many times, why I bothered to concentrate on US politics so much. I am not a citizen, I won’t be voting, my postings won’t change a thing. Shouldn’t I try to concentrate on issues over here? I asked myself the same repeatedly.

Apart from  the fact, that I am not a citzen of the country I live in and won’t be able to vote here either, I am convinced, that a large part of our future will continue to be shaped by US politics. Even more so, because we are facing global problems, that can’t and won’t be solved without the support of a great and powerful nation like yours. And time is running short.

I have monitored the Bali conference, applauded Al Gore’s speech and was hopeful, when it started to look as if Europeans first and foremost, but many third world countries, too were about to stop using conferences like the Bali conference as windowdressing and started to push for mandatory reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

And it looks like there will be a climate deal after all.

The agreement, which lays the foundation for a new worldwide treaty to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, was expected to be finalised tonight. The breakthrough comes after two weeks of torturous discussions, insults, arguments, threatened boycotts and trade sanctions, as countries fought over who should take responsibility for major cuts in carbon pollution.

A closer look at the “deal” is very disappointing, however. They caved in to the US oppositon – again. The mandatory reduction is reduced to a footnote. Or, as “The Guardian” reports:

In a move that was widely expected, Europe was reported tonight to have dropped its demands for a 25%-40% cut on 1990 levels by 2020, a proposal that was bitterly opposed by the US.

I’m tired of it and disgusted.

Stop Divorce – Save a Planet

Planning to get a divorce? Don’t! Divorce will increase your carbon footprint! But there’s a cure:

The research suggests that singletons who shack up with someone again can undo the ecological damage. Although it might be inferred that “living in sin” is also eco-friendly, the findings did not necessarily endorse the practice of unmarried couples living together.

Good Morning from Europe – Going Green?

 

US carmakers are going green. The rise of Toyota to #1 car maker worldwide makes Detroit managers green, with envy. Robert A. Lutz (total calculated compensation 2006: $ 8.1) found out recently:

 “We have since realized that letting Toyota gain that mantle of green respectability and technology leadership has really cost us dearly in the marketplace.”

Good job, Mr. Lutz! But he’s not the only one, who has seen the light. Continue reading

Good Morning from Europe – The Sunday Papers Edition

(San Benedetto del Tronto, Art on the Seaside)

The California wildfires have finally subsided and the newspapers turn back to politics, where they find another red hot issue: Iran.

While many tabloids were busy to mourn the danger to beachfront celebrity homes, the Washington Ultras have not rested their feet. The sanctions on Iran have been stepped up, but there are doubts about their effectivity, given that the sanctions are unilateral and won’t make much of a dent in the Iranian economy. So are the sanctions a diplomatic fig leaf ? Probably, says “The Times”. There are more than enough indicators which are pointing towards military action will be taken before the Bush presidency is over. Will Bush really bomb Iran? No doubt he will, or rather Dick Cheney has decided that Bush will, says Maureen Dowd.

Is Afghanistan going downhill in a hurry? Despite claims that another 80 insurgents have been killed today, the prospects are not good at all. Things are much more complicated than people are led to believe, so who are the insurgents? 

Are we allowed to know and decide on what we eat in the future? On what will be introduced into nature without any idea of the consequences? Certainly not, it’s the corporations’ planet, not ours! It’s big business and the politicians are extremely helpful, as usual! 

Turkey has put the military option back on the table again. While the US military is celebrating it’s success in Anbar province, there is a new battlefield on the horizon. A crisis that was predictable and predicted and is, of course, a direct result of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Back to the California wildfires on a more serious note. The environmental impact of the fires is far from over. There are huge amounts of noxious particles in the air and the consequences of heavy rainfall, if it should come, on the barren landscape remains to be seen.

The battlefields at home: Is a schoolteacher entitled “to pack” in school ? Shirley Katz says yes, and goes to court for her right to carry a weapon in class. 

Trendy clothing comes for a price, a price other people’s children have to pay.

And finally: This is the kind of story fit to glue me to the news channels – Which member of the Royal Family are they talking about ?? – Bets are on, it’s our ‘Arry.

…Europeanview

Good Morning from Europe

 

(Squirrel in Hyde Park – London)

Myanmar uprising: The Myanmar military has conducted raids on buddhist monasteries. Hundreds of monks have been arrested in an effort to curb the ongoing non violent protests. This morning, shots were fired again at protesters and riot police issued threats of more violence to participants in the demonstrations. Meanwhile, the UN Security council couldn’t find a majority to condemn the junta’s actions. China and Russia voted “Nay” to efforts to impose further sanctions on the Burmese military regime. Developments, as they unfold, can be followed here.

While some show an optimistic Al-Maliki, others rather point out the fact, that a division of Iraq in three parts is desired by the US Senate. Talk of different perspectives!

In his first meeting with President Bush, after the Blackwater Affair, Premier Maliki has discussed the affair in the context of Iraqi sovereignty issues, more specific talks on this subject will follow, when Al-Maliki meets with Condoleeza Rice.

The US led Climat Summit is not going down well with many Europeans. “Greenwashing” the climate summit is one perception of the show and some European diplomats are just as bluntly issueing their sentences. German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel is the highest ranking non US representative, however he doesn’t expect any results from the summit. So, why go there at all ?

Meanwhile, another ecological disaster is finally called thus, even by it’s own architects. China’s Three Gorges Dam, which was celebrated – despite the dire warnings of ecologists – as one of the greatest achievements in engineering and energy production, turns out to be every bit as detrimental to the environment as predicted.

Too late! The money to be made with it, has been made already!

Bushisms are not only a favourite with progressive Americans, Europeans like them, too. Or, getting explained why there weren’t any.

Europeanview wishes you all a very good day and take care!

Renewable Energy

The first wave farm is going to be built off the Cornish coast. Look what they do in Australia, and all over the world.

There are scores of succesful projects, that are bringing forward research and development of new energy saving and CO -neutral energy producing technologies. And it’s accomplished with only meagre funds as compared to the US “War for Oil Initiative”. (And the costs for step 2 – Iran – have not even been budgeted yet!)