14 March 2018   Leave a comment

The Guardian is reporting on new research which suggests that current policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are unlikely to forestall serious changes to many parts of the world.  According to The Guardian:

“The world’s greatest forests could lose more than half of their plant species by the end of the century unless nations ramp up efforts to tackle climate change, according to a new report on the impacts of global warming on biodiversity hotspots.

“Mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds are also likely to disappear on a catastrophic scale in the Amazon and other naturally rich ecosystems in Africa, Asia, North America and Australia if temperatures rise by more than 1.5C, concludes the study by WWF, the University of East Anglia and the James Cook University.

The article contains several graphs which dramatically show how the current reductions designed to limit temperatures to 1.5°C are profoundly insufficient to protect these ecosystems since the actions taken fall far short of meeting that goal.  In the worst cases, almost half of the plant and animal species in the Amazon forest will die off.

 

FDD Long War Journal is reporting that the US has been actively launching attacks against suspected terrorist groups in Yemen.  There has been little reporting on US military actions in Yemen.  The blog states:

“The United States’ air campaign in Yemen has shown no signs of slowing down. US forces conducted 12 airstrikes against terrorist groups in Yemen over the last month that were not publicly announced, FDD’s Long War Journal has learned.

“Maj. Josh T. Jacques at US Central Command Communication Integration said yesterday in an email that “U.S. forces have conducted twenty-two (22) strikes against AQAP and ISIS-Y terrorists in Yemen 2018.” The US had conducted 10 counterterrorism strikes in Yemen when CENTCOM last issued a press release updating figures in early in February.

“The latest data put this year’s number of strikes on-pace to fall just short of last year’s record surge. In 2017, the United States conducted a record 131 strikes in Yemen.”

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is one of the worst in the world.  It is also a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the US has weighed in heavily on the side of Saudi Arabia.  Unfortunately, very few Americans are aware of how deeply involved the US is in this balance of power struggle.

 

There are reports that US President Trump is seeking to reduce the trade deficit with China by $100 billion (out of $375 billion deficit with China overall) and invoking penalties on alleged theft of intellectual property seems to be part of his strategy.  The tariffs would be based on Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, a law that has been invoked very infrequently since the creation of the World Trade Organization which is supposed to adjudicate such matters.  Needless to say, China has a dim view of Mr. Trump’s proposals. An editorial in China Times is quite blunt:

“China won’t allow itself to be trampled upon. Perhaps it is China’s destiny to struggle with the US only in order to teach Washington a lesson. In which case, so be it.”

Unfortunately, any trade war between the US and China would have serious consequences for the rest of the world.

Posted March 14, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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