22 November 2018   Leave a comment

The Turkish Press is reporting that there is a recording of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Salman speaking to his brother, the Saudi Ambassador to the US, with instructions to “silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon as possible.”   The report indicates that the US CIA recorded this call, but there is, as of yet, no independent verification of that claim.  If true, then the recording belies the claim made by US President Trump that the Crown Prince had no knowledge of the murder of Khashoggi.  The claim raises an extraordinary issue.  A US intelligence agency has evidence that directly contradicts the claim of the President:  should that evidence be made public?  The President has made an issue of how dependent the US is on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.  A more precise statement would be that US defense industries are dependent on Saudi Arabia.  The Washington Postthe reaction of the defense industry has a very detailed article on to Khashoggi’s murder.  President Trump also credits Saudi Arabia for lower oil prices.  Saudi Arabia is the third largest producer of oil in the world following Russia and the US and the Saudis have a budget that depends upon $80 a barrel, which is considerably higher than the price today.  The Saudis restricted production in order to force higher prices, but they have been stymied by Russia which wants $40 a barrel oil to prevent the US from taking its market away in Europe.  So Trump should be thanking Russia for low oil prices. We will see what the December OPEC meeting yields.  Saudi Arabia is a member of OPEC, Russia is not.  If OPEC cuts production, then oil prices will go up in line with Saudi interests.

 

Greenhouse gases are now concentrated in the atmosphere at levels similar to those 3-5 millions years ago.  The Guardian reports:

“Levels of CO2 rose to a global average of 405.5 parts per million in the atmosphere in 2017 – almost 50% higher than before the industrial revolution.

“Levels of methane, a potent greenhouse gas responsible for about 17% of global warming are now 2.5 times higher than pre-industrial times owing to emissions from cattle, rice paddies and leaks from oil and gas wells.

“Nitrous oxide, which also warms the planet and destroys the Earth’s protective ozone layer, is now over 20% higher than pre-industrial levels. About 40% of N2O comes from human activities including soil degradation, fertiliser use and industry.”

Nonetheless, US President Trump tweeted this, this morning:

Donald J. Trump

There is no question, however, that over the long term, global temperatures are rising.

World Meteorological Organization Graphs of Greenhouse Gas Concentrations

            

 

Posted November 22, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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