27 September 2018   Leave a comment

A new study published in Science suggests that the warming of the Atlantic Ocean caused by climate change will likely lead to an increase in major hurricanes in the future.  The Abstract of the study states:

“…..we show that the increase in 2017 major hurricanes was not primarily caused by La Niña conditions in the Pacific Ocean, but mainly by pronounced warm sea surface conditions in the tropical North Atlantic. It is further shown that, in the future, a similar pattern of North Atlantic surface warming, superimposed upon long-term increasing sea surface temperature from increases in greenhouse gas concentrations and decreases in aerosols, will likely lead to even higher numbers of major hurricanes. The key factor controlling Atlantic major hurricane activity appears to be how much the tropical Atlantic warms relative to the rest of the global ocean.

The Washington Post places the projection in this context: “Considering the toll of the 2017 hurricane season, which unleashed 10 hurricanes in 10 weeks, and three of the five costliest hurricanes on record in Harvey, Irma and Maria, it is difficult to fathom the implications of similar circumstances repeating with even greater frequency.”  It remains to be seen whether this projection will come about, but it is something to worry about and it is probably better ti try to avoid it then to hope that it does not transpire. 

The US has asked the UN Security Council to maintain the sanctions on North Korea in order to force it to initiate the process of denuclearization, but China and Russia have pushed back.  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to walk a fine line in the discussions, simultaneously backing President Trump’s claim that real progress had been made at the summit meeting with Chairman Kim Jong-un while pushing for harsh sanctions.  China and Russia have taken the position that since progress has been made that the sanctions should be eased.  According to The Guardian:

“However, Wang Yi, the foreign minister of China, whose cooperation is essential to enforcing sanctions, said that ‘given the positive developments’ China believed the UN ‘needs to consider invoking in due course this provision to encourage [North Korea] and other relevant parties to move denuclearisation further ahead’.

“His Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, backed the call for loosening the sanctions, arguing: ‘Any negotiation is a two-way street. Steps by the DPRK toward gradual disarmament should be followed by the easing of sanctions.’”

It seems like the US will lose this round.  It also seems clear that both Russia and China have already eased the sanctions on their own

One of the fundamental assumptions of imperialism, regardless of the time period, is that there are “civilized” and “uncivilized” societies and the the civilized societies have an obligation to bring the uncivilized into the blessings of modernity.  Often powerful societies use the label of “primitive” to justify their interventions.  The more we learn, however, of these so-called “primitive” societies is that they were incredibly complex and sophisticated.   Recent research in Mexico and Central America indicate that the Mayan society was an advanced civilization for its time.  The use of a technology called lidar has revealed some stunning archaeological finds:

“From the data, the team estimates there may have been about 7 to 11 million people living in the central Maya Lowlands during what was known as the Late Classic Period, which lasted from about 650 A.D. to about 800 A.D.”

Posted September 27, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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