January 2007


power_station_cooling_tower.jpg As we all know, coal is a non-renewable energy source, but enough of it can be found in the United States, which at today’s level of consumption can last for over 200 years. But coal burnt gives off carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas responsible for global warming.

Coal-based power plants in the United States have been using 100 billion gallons of cooling water daily in the production of energy. A joint research is being conducted between the Nalco Company and Argonne National Laboratory to develop technologies in re-using and recovering cooling water used by these power plants.

Reserves of petroleum, another source of energy will be at current consumption levels, depleted in the very near future. There are other alternatives such as wind and solar energy, geo-thermal, and by far the most promising environment-friendly alternative, bio-fuel, a renewable energy source.

Coal-based power plants is probably the most harmful of energy sources for the environment.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
The Kyoto Protocol
Planet Under Pressure: Guide to Climate Change
The Big Emitters
Investigation Reveals Widespread Suppression of Federal Climate Research
Germany Plans CO2-Free Power Plant

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via: Another Day in the Empire

The Coming Iran War: Resource Information

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“We never see the smoke and the fire, we never smell the blood, we never see the terror in the eyes of the children whose nightmares will now feature screaming missiles from unseen terrorists… known only as Americans.” — Martin Kelly

‘Listen more’ is world’s message to US: A new BBC international opinion poll reveals widespread disquiet about the United States’ role in Iraq and its other foreign policy priorities.

What is striking in this survey is how negatively the US is seen across a range of diverse countries. Indeed the same policies are, in many cases, even unpopular in the US itself.

This, then, raises an obvious question. Is it simply the Bush administration’s foreign policy or the whole image of America that is unpopular?

Comparable surveys suggest that there is still strong support around the world for the values enshrined in US society. But it looks as though America itself is seen to be living up to those values less and less.

As a result, America’s soft power – its ability to influence people in other countries by the force of example and by the perceived legitimacy of its policies – is weakening.

And in a turbulent, globalising world, where the US – rightly or wrongly – is associated by many with the disruptive effects of globalisation, soft power matters more than ever. It is a resource that once squandered is very difficult to build-up again.

Scores killed in Iraq bloodshed

Bush by the Numbers

A Fool’s Errand in Baghdad

Number Of Iraqi Civilians Slaughtered In America’s War On Iraq: ≥ 655,000

Uruknet: Information from Occupied Iraq

che-guevara.jpeg Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was a young medical student who, together with a friend, travelled by motorbike across South America in the 1950’s. During this adventure, which strongly shaped the ideas of Guevara, they came in direct contact with poverty. Che Guevara decided that only revolution was the solution to economic inequality.

I have come across a similar poverty in the Philippines, on trips I have made to the countryside in the last three years. I, for one had strongly believed in social equality, that all men are to be regarded in unbiased terms. I looked down on the Filipino upper class who treat with abject contempt those economically lesser off than themselves.

But my latest trip to the Philippines has drastically changed my ideas about the poor and the lower social class, and I now strongly believe that they should be treated with utter apathy. Education-wise and character-wise, they are positively simian.

Guevara died in the hands of the lower class, betrayed by those whom he vainly attempted to improve economic and social status for. They are an ungrateful lot and clearly belong in the dirt that is their life.

In the countryside of this once great nation, I came across the very people so many of us student idealists had fought for. We could not condone their exploitation by landlords who paid them a pittance for goods and services, and the exploitation by American capitalists who regard the natural resources of the nation as their national interests.

But are the poor grateful? Do they realise it when kindness is bestowed upon them? Do they see that they are being exceptionally treated well with heartfelt sympathy by someone among so many better off than themselves do the opposite of?

No. Perhaps there are some exceptions, but no, they show no gratitude nor do they realise their good fortune.

They will not hesitate to bite the hand that feeds them. They will abuse your goodwill and your trust. They will harm you if you so much as withdraw just a bit, what they normally should not have, wanting more and more and more. You offer a helping hand, they want the entire arm.

I am so very disappointed. I will no longer treat them with consideration and thoughtfulness, but I shall not treat them with contempt. This has been an eye-opening experience and I choose for now, to be ambivalent to their plight. For those who wallow in mud, instead of stepping out of it, deserve no charity from me.

What good comes out of the truth, if it is beyond our imagination or power to act on it?
— Dave Pollard of How to Save the World

Un Autre Monde est Possible