Gore’s speech enumerates well-documented scientific evidence that the global climate is changing significantly — and fast. Here are a few data points:
Global CO2 levels are way outside what have been historical norms over several hundred thousand years.
All ten of the hottest years on record, globally, have occurred in the last 15 years.
Last summer, all-time heat records were set in both the U.S. West and East.
Global ocean temperatures are far outside of historical norms.
Even after last year’s devastating Hurricane Katrina, the subsequent Hurricane Wilma was briefly the most severe hurricane ever recorded.
Last year Japan hit an all-time record for typhoons –10. The previous record was 7.
The largest downpour ever seen occurred last summer in India.
Thirty-five years ago there were an average of 225 days when Alaska’s tundra was frozen enough for trucks to drive. Today there are only 75.
The Click That Broke a Government’s Grip, Washington Post
The government has sought to control what people read and write on the Web, employing a bureaucracy of censors and one of the world’s most technologically sophisticated systems of filters.
DKo: Only when the government has determined there is a danger to national security. If you are not guilty, you have nothing to worry about.
In 2004, “radical Shiite Muslim cleric” Muqtada Sadr took control of the holy places in Kerbala and led a bloody, extended anti-US uprising there. In the end, the US military was compelled by Shiite leaders to allow Sadr’s Mahdi Army to leave the city under the protection of a cease fire. However, the US still vowed to crush Sadr in the future.
I posted this on Edgewise on 11/11/04…
The Iraqization Program
DKo: The apparent reliance on former Kurdish militia as backup is explosive…. All of which tends to make Moktada al Sadr the tipping point, hence the kingmaker. Will the US accept that? Can Bush sell it as the success that vindicates the war?
And sure enough, per the NYT this Wednesday, 2/15/06…
Radical Cleric Rising as a Kingmaker in Iraqi Politics
Late Saturday night, on the eve of a crucial vote to choose Iraq’s next prime minister, a senior Iraqi politician’s cellphone rang. A supporter of the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr….said that there’s going to be a civil war among the Shia if Mr. Sadr’s preferred candidate was not confirmed….The widely favored candidate lost by one vote, and Ibrahim al-Jaafari…was anointed as Iraq’s next leader.
“Everyone was stunned; it was a coup d’etat”….It was a crowning moment for Mr. Sadr….The man who led the Mahdi Army militia’s two deadly uprisings against American troops in 2004 now controls 32 seats in Iraq’s Parliament, enough to be a kingmaker. He has an Islamist vision of Iraq’s future, and is implacably hostile to the Iraqis closest to the United States–the mostly secular Kurds, and Ayad Allawi, the former prime minister.
So, there’s the first irony.
And, per the LA Times today, 2/16/06
Iraqi Shiite Bloc Showing Cracks
Leaders of [Muqtada Sadr’s] party threaten to break away if the alliance doesn’t reach out to Sunnis and restrain paramilitary groups.
And there’s the second.
Rice Asks for $75 Million to Increase Pressure on Iran, Washington Post
“…including expanding radio and television broadcasts into Iran and promoting internal opposition to the rule of religious leaders….'[W]e are going to work to support the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom in their own country,’ Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee…”
DKo: At last! A voice for “the aspirations of the Iranian people.” For far too long, we have just stood by and left Iranian politics to be dominated by special interests.
(The Post article)
“In civilized Europe [i.e., the USA of his day], with its highly developed machine industry, its rich, multiform culture and its constitutions, a point of history has been reached when the commanding bourgeoisie, fearing the growth and increasing strength of the proletariat, comes out in support of everything backward, moribund, and medieval …”
(V. I. Lenin, “Backward Europe and Advanced Asia,” Collected Works, Vol. 19, pp 9pff. Quoted from Against Method, Paul Feyerabend, page 147)
Disaster Response Changes Promised
Administration Admits Katrina Flaws, Moves to Retool Homeland Security
[A] government-wide review due later this month…[will] make more than 100 recommendations…”
DKo: I think this calls for at least 200 recommendations.