Monday, March 23, 2015

Report: World faces water crises by 2040

Source: Al Jazeera America

Globally, there has been a three-fold population increase in the past century and a six-fold increase in water consumption, the report said. If trends in population and energy use continue, it could leave a 40 percent gap between water supply and demand by the year 2030.
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Only wind and solar voltaic energy production require minimal water.
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Growing water scarcity “means that we’ll have to decide where we spend our water in the future. Do we want to spend it on keeping the power plants going or as drinking water? We don’t have enough water to do both,” Sovacool said in the release.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Venezuela is no threat to the United States

Source: Democracy Now

[translated] "It makes no sense whatsoever to think that Venezuela constitutes a threat to the United States. If there is a country that is a threat in the Americas, it’s the United States, because it has permanently invaded countries, societies in Latin America. It has created coups d’état. It has invaded countries, such as Grenada, the Dominican Republican, Panama. And it promoted dictatorships." --Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The FAA Says You Can't Post Drone Videos on YouTube

Source: VICE Motherboard

Earlier this week, the agency sent a legal notice to Jayson Hanes, a Tampa-based drone hobbyist who has been posting drone-shot videos online for roughly the last year.

The FAA said that, because there are ads on YouTube, Hanes's flights constituted a commercial use of the technology subject to stricter regulations and enforcement action from the agency.

What 47 Republican senators may not understand about Iran

Source: Aljazeera America

the open letter by 47 Republican senators ... warns that, with respect to “your nuclear negotiations with our government ... any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress” could be revoked by the next president “with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”
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The key element missing from the GOP Senators’ letter, however, is that the deal is not being negotiated between Iran and the United States; it is being negotiated between Iran and the P5+1 group, in which the U.S. is joined by Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.
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This was likely in the mind of Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, who dismissed the letter as “of no legal value” and a “propaganda ploy.” Zarif noted that the deal would indeed be an international agreement adopted by the U.N. Security Council, which a new administration would be obliged to uphold — and that any attempt by the White House or Congress to abrogate, unilaterally modify or impede such an agreement would be a breach of U.S. obligations.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Why Islamic Reform is Delayed

Below are just a few excerpts from this article that provide great historical context and description of several catalysts for terrorism such as 9/11 and Charlie Hebdo.

Source: CounterPunch

Resistance to change is not limited to Muslims or the Muslim world; change almost always generates resistance. In fact, the Christian Church’s nearly 400-year resistance to capitalist transformation in Europe was even more traumatic than that of the Muslim world.
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... covert and creeping pressure exerted from the more subtle market forces and agents such as the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and credit rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
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U.S. and European interventions in the internal affairs of many countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Jordan, Turkey, and Nigeria far from facilitating the process of reform or helping the forces of change in these countries, are actually hurting such forces and delaying reform as they plays into the hands of their conservative opponents and strengthens the forces of resistance.
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... the largely US-sponsored industrialization and development programs in the Muslim (and other less-developed) countries were highly selective, extremely uneven and mostly geared to the interests of transnational corporations and their elite comprador allies in the host countries.
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The recent resistance to Western values and the quest for a return to the Islamic ethos—and the concomitant delay in the Islamic reformation—are therefore more the product of interventionist geopolitical policies of Western powers than the purported rigidity of Islam.