- Dire Warnings from China's First Climate Change Report "Temperatures in China will rise significantly in coming decades and water shortages will worsen, state media has reported, citing the government's first national assessment of global climate change. "Greenhouse gases released due to human activity are leading to ever more serious problems in terms of climate change," the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement.
- US Buries the Truth- Saddam's Execution Eliminates the Main Witness against Accomplices "Saintly Winston Churchill authorized the RAF to bomb Iraq's rebellious Kurdish tribesmen with poison gas -- exactly as Saddam later did. Saddam's most brutal repression of Kurds and Shia occurred when they revolted during Iraq's wars with Iran and the U.S.
Saddam should have faced trial for his unprovoked 1980 aggression against Iran that ended up causing one million dead and wounded.
But in this crime, Saddam was covertly backed by his principal accomplices, the U.S. and Britain. Donald Rumsfeld even went to Baghdad to offer Saddam arms, finance and intelligence. Hanging Saddam eliminated the main witness.
Saddam was helped into power by the CIA, which stood by while he slaughtered Iraqi communists and Nasserites.
The U.S. and Britain, as I discovered in Baghdad in 1990, supplied Saddam with poison gas and germs to make battlefield weapons (these were not "weapons of mass destruction." The germs were never successfully weaponized). "
- CNN and the New York Times Execute a Denial of History "Reading and watching the kind of mainstream coverage provided by CNN and the New York Times during the last 48 hours, one could be forgiven for believing that the relationship between Saddam and the U.S. had always been one of enmity and violence. Yet as Juan Cole and others have tirelessly pointed out, the U.S. government began "enabling" Saddam as early as 1959 when the CIA enlisted his help in undermining the government of Abdul Karim Qasim.
The cozy relationship, which it now appears included U.S. support for the coup that put Saddam in power in 1968, continued into the 1980s. The infamous Rumsfeld visit symbolized the U.S. policy of providing military and diplomatic assistance to the Iraqi regime in its catastrophic war with Iran. Cole points out that Secretary of State George Shultz even went so far as to shield Saddam from a possible UN condemnation for Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Iran."
- He Takes His Secrets to the Grave. Our Complicity Dies with Him "The moment Saddam's hooded executioner pulled the lever of the trapdoor in Baghdad yesterday morning, Washington's secrets were safe."
- Saddam Execution Set to Destabilise Iraq Further
Climate Change: The Crack of Doom?
by Raymond Hainey
Published on Saturday, December 30, 2006 by The Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Its collapse was so violent that it was picked up by earthquake monitors 150 miles away - a thundering warning to the world that the Arctic was heating up faster than scientists had imagined.
This handout photo provided by NASA shows a Modis (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) Image showing the Ayles Ice Shelf collapse, center, in the early afternoon of Aug. 13, 2005. Within days of breaking free, the Ayles Ice Shelf drifted about 30 miles offshore before freezing into the sea ice.
A giant ice shelf, covering 41 square miles, had broken off from the Canadian mainland and floated off into the sea.
Yet for 16 months, experts were unaware that the Ayles ice shelf - just one of six remaining in the Canadian Arctic - had drifted off until a scientist began examining old satellite images.
Yesterday, scientists said the dramatic discovery capped a year of new studies, which have revealed that the world is heating up faster than had been thought.
From the slowing Gulf Stream, to the warmest British summer on record, to unusually warm water in the Caribbean, researchers have mapped our rapidly changing climate.
Scientists were yesterday still coming to terms with the im-portance of the Ayles ice shelf collapse.
"This is a dramatic and disturbing event," said Dr Warwick Vincent, an Arctic ice expert at Laval University in Quebec.
"It shows we are losing remarkable features of the Canadian North that have been in place for many thousands of years. We are crossing climate thresholds and these may signal the onset of accelerated change ahead."
Dr Vincent added that he had never seen such a dramatic loss of sea ice, a chunk the size of the Hebridean island of Rum or 11,000 football pitches, in a decade's study of the Arctic.
He said: "It is consistent with climate change. We're not able to connect all the dots, but unusually warm temperatures definitely played a major role."
The Canadian view was backed by Dr Ian Moffatt, a Stirling University climate-change expert, who warned that the Earth appeared to be warming faster than had been thought.
Dr Moffatt called for a massive international effort to develop new, green energy sources before it was too late.
Dr Moffatt said that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had predicted an increase of one to five deg C over the next 50 to 100 years, but it was beginning to appear that temperature change was at the upper end of the IPCC predictions.
"This ice loss is a serious problem, because it's indicating a bigger breakdown than was predicted," Dr Moffatt said.
But there are solutions, Dr Moffatt stressed: "The key feature is we start looking at alternative energy sources, rather than just talking about it."
Dr Moffatt said the cost of developing cleaner energy could be high, but not as high as once feared. And he warned: "If we don't pay these costs, it will cost us the Earth."
Extensive ice loss could also lead to the extinction of animals such as the polar bear, Dr Moffatt predicted.
And he said that global warming could plunge Scotland into a deep freeze, because huge amounts of fresh water trapped in ice could melt into the Atlantic and kill off the Gulf Stream, which passes past the UK and Ireland and keeps the land temperature up.
Dr Moffatt explained: "If we get a large quantity of ice going into the North Atlantic and it begins to melt, salinity is reduced, it cools the sea and turns off the great ocean currents.
"We could see Edinburgh, which is on the same latitude as Moscow, becoming very cold."
Duncan McLaren, the chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said the future of the planet looked bleak - but he pointed to rays of hope in 2006.
He said: "This year will go down as the year that the vast majority of people woke up to climate change. People are now seeing the reality of climate change."
THE HEAT IS ON AS ICE MELTS AND ISLANDS VANISH
GLOBAL problems attributed to climate change in 2006 include:
INDIA: Lohachara in the Bay of Bengal, submerged by rising sea levels, was the first inhabited island to be wiped out by global warming.
UK: Britain notched up its highest average temperature since records began in 1659.
EUROPE: The skiing industry in the Alps looks bleak after the warmest successive period for 500 years.
AFRICA: The Sahara desert continues to expand, turning farmland into sand and fuelling civil war in Darfur, Sudan.
US VIRGIN ISLANDS: The Caribbean island group lost nearly half the coral reefs in study sites.
GREENLAND: Glaciers are melting, with a 250 per cent loss of ice.
AUSTRALIA: The bushfire season is starting earlier and burning more fiercely.
"I don't give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell."