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Geo-engineering is no solution to climate change Tinkering with our entire planetary system is not a silver bullet. It's an expression of political despair, writes Greenpeace's Doug Parr - While the real climate solutions are blocked by vested interests seeking big bucks from coal, runways and forest destruction, our government tells us that it is taking "tough decisions" by cosying up to them. The scientist's focus on tinkering with our entire planetary system is not a dynamic new technological and scientific frontier, but an expression of political despair. (London Guardian)
Geo-engineering: The radical ideas to combat global warming Artificial clouds and creating colossal blooms of oceanic algae are among the ideas scientists say must now be considered - "We are now, or soon will be, confronting issues of whether, when and how to engineer a climate that is more to our liking," argues Ken Caldeira, a leading climate scientist based at the Carnegie Institution in Stanford, California. If a decision is made to move ahead with climate engineering, he says, then it will be essential to understand the point at which the risks and costs of geo-engineering outweigh the impacts of global warming. (London Guardian)
Thousands gather for RNC protest About 10,000 protesters waving peace sign flags rallied at the state Capitol on Monday before an anti-war march to the Republican National Convention site. Hundreds of police wearing bulletproof vests and carrying billy clubs stood by. (Associated Press)
Federal government involved in raids on protesters So here we have a massive assault led by Federal Government law enforcement agencies on left-wing dissidents and protesters who have committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever, preceded by months-long espionage efforts to track what they do (Salon)
Carbon tax a threat to farming viability Hororata farmer Gavin King would rather slaughter his sheep and cattle than pay an estimated $168,000 a year in carbon tax for belching and farting livestock.
He said few farmers seemed to realise the full implications for their farm business of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to reduce global warming.
Many farms would fall over depending on the final tax rate and it would severely hurt service industries, he said.
"We could survive, but I am not going to pay carbon tax on my animals farting and burping.
"I will kill all of them before I do that if it goes to that level, too right."
King said he was prepared to pay carbon tax for greenhouse emissions from fuel used on the farm, but not for livestock emissions of methane and nitrous oxide. "I cannot accept a tax on animals doing a natural thing," he said. (Stuff.co.nz)
Is Travel Destroying the Planet? Planes, trains and automobiles are playing havoc with the earth’s climate. Is it still possible to see the world’s marvels without creating lasting harm to the environment?
Travelers hold a unique perspective on the global environment. They go to great lengths—literally—to climb to the snows of Kilimanjaro, snorkel around the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef, cruise to Antarctica, walk among giant redwoods or lounge on the exotic beaches of Southeast Asia.
So they are among the first to notice when things go awry. Not just awry in the sense of a thunderstorm that ruins a day’s excursion, but in the sense of a lengthening and strengthening hurricane season that threatens to destroy entire cities like New Orleans. Awry in the sense of a yearlong drought that increases the risk of wildfires, limiting chances to hike through large swaths of the western U.S. Awry in the sense of glaciers that are slowly melting away. (MSN)
Passengers test new face scanners A further 30 million people living in the European Economic Area (which incorporates the EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland, have biometric passports. (BBC)
Most firms pay no income taxes -Congress: Study finds that the majority of domestic and foreign corporations in the United States avoid paying federal income taxes. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. companies and 68% of foreign corporations do not pay federal income taxes, according to a congressional report released Tuesday.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined samples of corporate tax returns filed between 1998 and 2005. In that time period, an annual average of 1.3 million U.S. companies and 39,000 foreign companies doing business in the United States paid no income taxes - despite having a combined $2.5 trillion in revenue.
The study showed that 28% of foreign companies and 25% of U.S. corporations with more than $250 million in assets or $50 million in sales paid no federal income taxes in 2005. Those companies totaled a combined $372 billion in sales for the largest foreign companies and $1.1 trillion in revenue for the biggest U.S. companies. (CNN)
Watching the waistline--the thickening of the Canada-U.S. border: the difficulty of convincing the United States that Canada can September 11, 2001, was a seminal date in the young 21st century. The attacks on and collapse of the World Trade Centre in Manhattan was the seed from which grew America's preoccupation with the security of its homeland above all other national policy objectives. Canadians were justifiably proud of their immediate response to this crisis faced by their neighbour and closest ally. They opened their homes to thousands of air travels forced to land on Canadian soil and rallied in impressive numbers on Parliament Hill that same week to visibly demonstrate our nation's support. Within three months of the attacks, both countries issued the Canada-U.S. Smart Border Declaration, leading to the Canada-U.S. Smart Border Accord in 2002--aimed at improving security and border efficiency. In the aftermath of 9/11, however, Canada acquired a new imperative in its vitally important relationship with the United States--trust in a secure 49th parallel is a condition precedent for trade and further trade liberalization between both countries.
Almost seven years later, it is clear that the historical low-maintenance approach to managing the border is over. Security trumps trade for Canada's largest trading partner. This has contributed to what is commonly referred to as the "thickening" of the Canada-U.S. border, characterized by increased wait times, direct border crossing fees, additional and duplicative border programs, inconsistent regulations, and increased inspection times. (Entrepreneur)
EXCLUSIVE: To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal To Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians And Shoot At Them Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh — a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker — revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran.
In Hersh’s most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The “meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. ‘The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,’” according to one of Hersh’s sources. - HERSH: There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.
Might cost some lives. And it was rejected because you can’t have Americans killing Americans. That’s the kind of — that’s the level of stuff we’re talking about. Provocation. But that was rejected.
Hersh argued that one of the things the Bush administration learned during the encounter in the Strait of Hormuz was that, “if you get the right incident, the American public will support” it.
“Look, is it high school? Yeah,” Hersh said. “Are we playing high school with you know 5,000 nuclear warheads in our arsenal? Yeah we are. We’re playing, you know, who’s the first guy to run off the highway with us and Iran.” (Think Progress)
Picture yourself in full-body scan O'Hare security system to show everything -- that's Everything - The scanners coming to O'Hare will be set up initially in terminals served by United Airlines and American Airlines as well as in the international terminal, said Kathleen Petrowsky, the federal security director at O'Hare. (Chicago Tribune)
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