By Jen Alic of Oilprice.com*
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – As Washington hunts ill-defined al-Qaeda groups in the Middle East and Africa, and concerns itself with Iran’s eventual nuclear potential, it has a much more pressing problem at home: Its energy grid is vulnerable to anyone with basic weapons and know-how.
By Shastri Ramachandran*
NEW DELHI (IDN) – In the weeks, and months, ahead, there will be tomes written on the significance of the change in China’s leadership with 62-year-old Xi Jinping succeeding Hu Jintao as the new helmsman. The import of the epochal shift, like all things Chinese, may unravel rather slowly.
The obvious text, replete with promises of political reform, more equitable economic development, fighting corruption and the great renewal of the Chinese nation, would be read closely for underlying meaning by the world, including India, for the likely impact, big and small, of the new spearhead of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN | VIENNA (IDN) – Before World War II broke out in 1939, German-born Nobel laureate Albert Einstein recommended President Franklin D. Roosevelt to begin research on a nuclear weapon since Germany under Adolf Hitler might be developing such a destructive tool. The result was the Manhattan Project, which culminated in the U.S. dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Einstein deplored use of the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon, and signed with the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, highlighting the danger of nukes.
By Vicente Paolo Yu III*
BRUSELS (IDN) – Developing countries have long been at the frontlines of climate change and bearing the brunt of its impacts on sustainable development prospects and even, in many cases, physical survival and territorial integrity. The impacts of Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean, the droughts that are afflicting Africa, the cyclones and typhoons that lash South and South East Asia and the Pacific islands, are all harbingers of what could become worse if no action is taken quickly and effectively by the global community with respect to climate change.
By Roberto Savio*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint | Other News
Hamas, Israel, Egypt and the Obama Administration have all emerged as triumphant heroes in the latest episode in clashes between the Hamas and Israel. Palestinian National Authority (PNA) president Mahmoud Abbas played hardly any role. As scenes unfolded in this ‘Gaza Drama’, the mainstream media offered a one-for-all menu to readers worldwide.
By Eric Walberg* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
Revolutions are never tea parties. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) have a clear vision and, along with the Salafis, represent the overwhelming majority of Egyptians. The fractious secular liberals and socialists plus the Christians represent only a quarter of Egyptians, and are united only against Mubarak and now against the MB. They include Mohamed ElBaradei, whose long international career, we should remember, was in the service of the imperial world order.
TORONTO (IDN) – At last Egyptian politics is moving. President Mohamed Morsi is slowly building on his summer ‘coup’, when he stared down Egypt’s generals and put his men in the top army and defence positions, following terrorist attacks in Sinai which the army, so old and bumbling, so involved in Egyptian internal politics, failed to prevent.
By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
GENEVA (IDN) – If governments around the world pay heed to some major stakeholders spanning the globe, the UN climate change conference in the Qatari capital Doha will endorse decisive actions leading toward a world all sensible human beings want for themselves and generations to come. Viewed from that perspective, December 7, the last day of the conference, will be a historic day.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
BERLIN (IDN) – The 27-nation European Union should target 30 percent, instead of the agreed 20 percent, lower emissions by 2020, in order to send an important signal to the global climate change conference from November 26 to December 7, 2012 in the Qatari capital Doha, according to experts.
By Luc Gnacadja*
BONN (IDN) – It is human development, or at least the quest for it, which caused the conversion of billions of hectares of forests into man-made deserts. It prompted, in the middle of the 19th century, the French novelist Chateaubriand to state that “forests precede civilizations, deserts follow them”. In other words, human beings are the only desert making species.
To reverse the tide and change such an inherent habit, we must think and operate outside of the “forest” box. We must look beyond the rainforest horizon and embrace holistic approaches to the entire landscape if we want to make sustainable forest management a green pathway for human development.
A spate of lawsuits triggered by transnational corporations against Argentina, Ecuador, India. Indonesia, Uruguay, Vietnam, Australia and Canada, involving compensation worth billions of dollars is causing grave public concern and preparing the ground for reviewing so-called bilateral investment treaties.
By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
GENEVA (IDN) – A growing number of international law suits has highlighted an emerging global crisis: the nature and effects of investment treaties signed between governments, which are allowing private companies and investors to sue countries for millions or even billions of dollars.