Thursday, May 19, 2005

A New Way to Combat Global Warming?

CNN reported on a new way to cut down on global warming: by storing carbon dioxide emissions underground, in old oil fields.

Carbon dioxide could be buried underground as a means of combating climate change, scientists have suggested.

The scheme could see millions of tons of the greenhouse gas, which environmental experts say is the main cause of global warming, pumped into exhausted oil and natural gas reservoirs such as those underneath the North Sea.

Now that we have written off the Kyoto Treaty, new ways to combat global warming will need to be found. Aside from the obvious solution of using renewable energy sources, this solution might just work. It has the added benefit that big oil companies such as BP are already interested in it, as they can actually profit from it! Further proof that protecting the environment and running successful business don't have to seen as mutually exclusive goals.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

French Lose a Holiday, but Many, Angry, Take One Anyway

I saw this amusing article in the New York Times about a bunch of French protesting a loss of a holiday. It just goes to show how impotent labor is in this country. I just can't imagine this many people mobilizing over a labor issue. It's too bad labor has declined so much in this country.

I also think it has a lot to do with American values. We place so much emphasis on work that we lose sight of other values like leisure. Granted, the French sometimes take things to the opposite extreme, and perhaps why their economy is so stagnant. But I still think we place far too much emphasis on competition and work and not enough on other, less tangible values.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Iraq Smoking Gun

Several weeks ago, The London Times published a leaked British memo that shows Blair and Bush met in July 2002 to plan for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. The contents of the memo are quite disturbing, showing that the UK and U.S. agreed long before the invasion to "create" conditions to justify the invasion invasion. Today CNN reported on the memo and the White House refutation of it:

According to the minutes cited by the Times, a British official identified as "C" said that he had returned from a meeting in Washington and that "military action was now seen as inevitable" by U.S. officials.

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the
policy," the memo said, according to the newspaper.

Predictably, the U.S. press has been dragging its feet on publicizing this. But the Mainstream Media(MSM) are beginning to pick this up, after pressure from the blogosphere. On May 5,
Raw Story reported that John Conyers sent a letter signed by 88 members of Congress asking for Bush to explain the memo. The letter can be read here.

The LA Times finally picked up the story 11 days after it came out,
reporting growing U.S. indignation over the memo.

The fact that the White House took the time to deny the memo shows that they at least care about it mildly. And it is important to note that White House Press Spokesman Scott McLellan said he has not actually read the memo. It will be interesting to see if this story has legs. It is possible it will be the smoking gun on Iraq. But it is just as possible that it will simply get lost in the shuffle.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

"When you take your next trip to Iraq, I would be glad to get together with you."

Bremer loses his cool at a college lecture.

So it has been well over a month since the Bremer lecture. My, how time flies.

So it turns out my post before-hand was pretty much right on the money. If you'd like to read about how the event went, check out the article in The Bowdoin Orient. The Brunswick Times Record wrote an article about the event, which is no longer online. However, you can find the article here, at this site I found by googling my name.

I won't go into great lengths here on how the lecture went, but I will say this: Bremer is a much bigger jerk than I ever thought he would be.

There, I said it. It's completely true. I went into the lecture with an open mind, I asked him a reasonable question, and his response was obnoxious. Not to mention the fact that it didn't answer my question!

If you didn't read the articles, here's the recap:

I asked a question about U.S. corporations' role in Iraq, bringing up the fact that he established a number of new laws specifically to make Iraq a great place to do business. I also brought up the fact that he declared Iraq "open for business" soon after arriving.

The point of my question was basically asking him why U.S. corporations had so much control in Iraq, and why it wouldn't be better to involve Iraqis more in the reconstruction of their own country in order to make their economy sustainable.

In his response, Bremer actually had the gall to say, "When you take your next trip to Iraq, I would be glad to get together with you."

Well obviously I haven't been to Iraq, you idiot! That's why the school wasted over $25,000 on your joke of a speech!

I could go on and on about this, but the point is this: Bremer basically delivered a White House press conference at Bowdoin's expense. In addition to being snippy with me, he said "read my book" when a student asked him what he would have done differently.

Talk about a missed opportunity for Bremer. He failed to convert many in the audience by failing to be very persuasive or answer questions very directly.