Sunday, September 30, 2012

Israel finance minister says Iran economy on verge of collapse

Israel finance minister says Iran economy "on verge of collapse"

Israel finance minister says Iran economy "on verge of collapse"

  •  73

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Iran's economy is edging towards collapse due to international sanctions over its controversial nuclear program, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Sunday.

Israel regards the prospect of its arch enemy developing nuclear weapons as a threat to its existence, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that, although sanctions are taking their toll, they are not yet forcing Iran to abandon work that could soon lead to a nuclear warhead.

However, Israeli officials appear increasingly ready to acknowledge the effect of recent American and European sanctions designed to restrict Iran's lifeline oil exports.

"The sanctions on Iran in the past year jumped a level," Steinitz told Israel Radio, noting that as finance minister, he follows Iran's economy.

"It is not collapsing, but it is on the verge of collapse. The loss of income from oil there is approaching $45-50 billion by the year's end," Steinitz said.

The United States, Israel's main ally, says it will not allow Tehran to produce the bomb, but sanctions should be given more time to work before force is considered.

American and Israeli commentators say a military strike to destroy Iran's nuclear plants, which Iran says are designed only to develop a nuclear generating capacity, could trigger a regional war with unforeseeable consequences.

In Israel too, some prominent political and military figures question Netanyahu's warning that Iran is so close to the threshold of nuclear capability that military action will soon be the only way to stop it.

But there has been no open split in his coalition over the issue. Steinitz praised the prime minister's speech to the U.N. General Assembly last week in which he used graphics to underscore the perceived Iranian threat.


An Israeli Foreign Ministry document leaked last week said sanctions had caused more damage to Iran's economy than at first thought and ordinary Iranians were suffering under soaring inflation, although this did not appear to be changing policy.

On Saturday, the Iranian currency slumped to an historic low of about 28,400 rials to the dollar, a fall of about 57 percent since June 2011, meaning a sharp rise in the price of imports.

"The Iranians are in great economic difficulties as a result of the sanctions," Steinitz said.

Parliamentary opponents of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad say sanctions are not a major cause of Iran's economic problems and accuse his government of mismanaging the economy.

"The first approach today is that authorities accept their mistakes and failures, second, that they not blame their mistakes on others, and third, that they invite all the pundits and experts to find a way to solve the problems of the economy," Iranian legislator Ezzatollah Yousefian was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Saturday's Haaretz daily that he believed Iran's Islamic theocracy would be toppled in a revolt like the one that toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak last year.

"The opposition demonstrations that took place in Iran in June 2009 will come back in even greater force," he told the paper. "In my view, there's going to be an Iranian-style Tahrir revolution. The young generation are sick of being held hostage and sacrificing their future."

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovich in Jerusalem. Additional reporting by Yeganeh Torbati in Dubai; Writing by Douglas Hamilton; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

end quote from:

Israel finance minister says Iran economy "on verge of collapse"



This has been a very strange year on the northern California Coast where I live. First in about January we got more sun from January to June than we had had in the past two years. Then starting about June it was like the sun almost never came out and it was only fog all summer long. That part wasn't unusual. What was unusual is that usually we get high fog of about 600 feet or higher that could just be mistaken for total cloud cover to someone not used to it. But this summer every evening almost the fog came down sort of like mist. Once in a while that isn't unusual but almost every day for 3 months? Finally, today it was at least 81 degrees with full sun and the ocean waves were very loud with water coming in in unusual ways with unexpected rises in ocean depth at the shore. So, hopefully the weather will be sunny for awhile like it was in the late winter and spring. That was nice. Fall and Spring is usually our best weather with summer being almost as cold as the winter only without the sometimes severe storms off the ocean. Usually at least once a year we get waves not to far from here of 20 to 35 feet high. And then Surfers who like waves that high come with Jet skis to tow them into the waves and then to save them before they crash onto the rocks after their rides. You really have to be expert to do that but it is fun to watch so the locals gather in this spot while sometimes the seaweed scatters on the porches of homes nearby from the foamy surf. But, usually water doesn't go inside any homes. As the ocean rises this might become a problem though for some houses during the big wave days of the year. So after weather not going above 65 degrees Fahrenheit all summer long and some nights being in the high 40s and low 50s we finally had one day of over 80 degrees. Absolutely everyone was at the beach because the skies were clear from the wind off the Pacific Ocean and you could see forever!

A normal summer here was spoken of by Mark Twain, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco!" This is what we also had only with mist a part of almost every day this summer. But, at least the plants liked it and it made the streams run until the fall and the rivers run a little deeper. But usually, there are not smaller streams running here during the summers because they usually dry up. Strange weather!

Wave of bombings across Iraq leaves 26 dead

Wave of bombings across Iraq leaves 26 dead

AP News

Wave of bombings across Iraq leaves 26 dead

By Lara Jakes on September 30, 2012
BAGHDAD (AP) — A series of coordinated bombings shattered Shiite neighborhoods and struck at Iraqi security forces Sunday, killing at least 26 in attacks that one official described as a rallying call by al-Qaida just days after dozens of militants escaped from prison.
The blasts brought September's death toll from sectarian violence to nearly 200 people — a grim, above-average monthly total for the period since U.S. troops left last year. The steady pace of attacks has worked to undermine confidence in the government.
"The people are fed up with the killings in Iraqi cities," said Ammar Abbas, 45, a Shiite and government employee who lives in a Baghdad neighborhood near one of the bombings. "The government officials should feel shame for letting their people die at the hands of terrorists."
Police said the wave of explosions stretched from the restive but oil-rich city of Kirkuk in the north to the southern Shiite town of Kut, wounding at least 94 people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but bombings are a hallmark of al-Qaida in Iraq, the Sunni insurgency that has been struggling for years to goad Shiite militias back toward civil war.
A key Shiite lawmaker said the bombings likely sought to galvanize al-Qaida in the wake of a prison break last Friday in Saddam Hussein's northern hometown of Tikrit. Scores of inmates escaped — including as many as 47 convicted al-Qaida militants — in a massive security lapse that the government acknowledged had help from inside.
"Al-Qaida leaders have no intention of leaving this country or letting Iraqis live in peace," said Hakim al-Zamili, a Shiite member of parliament's security committee. "The jailbreak in Tikrit has boosted al-Qaida's morale in Iraq and thus we should expect more attacks in the near future."
"The situation in Iraq is still unstable," al-Zamili added. "And repetition of such attacks shows that our security forces are still unqualified to deal with the terrorists."
Spokesmen for the government and Baghdad's military command could not immediately be reached for comment.
Sunday's deadliest attack struck the town of Taji, a former al-Qaida stronghold just north of Baghdad. Police said three explosive-rigged cars in a Shiite neighborhood went off within minutes of each other, killing eight and wounding 28 in back-to-back blasts that began around 7:15 a.m.
At almost the same time, in Baghdad, police said a suicide bomber set off his explosives-packed car in the northwest Shiite neighborhood of Shula. One person was killed and seven wounded. Police could not immediately identify the target.
"So many people were hurt. A leg of a person was amputated," lamented Shula resident Naeem Frieh. "What have those innocent people done to deserve this?"
The chain reaction of blasts continued throughout the morning, petering off around noon.
Another suicide bomber drove a minibus into a security checkpoint in Kut, located 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad. Maj. Gen. Hussein Abdul-Hadi Mahbob said three police officers were killed and five wounded.
A military patrol hit a roadside bomb in Tarmiyah, about an hour north of Baghdad, killing two soldiers and wounding six passers-by, officials said.
And car bombs exploded outside the northern city of Kirkuk, the northeastern towns of Balad Ruz and Khan Bani Saad in Diyala province, and in the town of Madain outside Baghdad. In all, seven people were killed.
Also in Baghdad, a double car bomb struck the mostly Shiite neighborhood of Karradah in the most recent episode of an all-too-familiar insurgent tactic. The first explosion came as a security patrol passed, killing a police officer and a bystander, and wounding eight other people. As emergency responders rushed to the scene, the second car blew up, killing three passers-by and injuring 12, according to officials.
An Associated Press cameraman was knocked to the ground in the second explosion and an AP photographer was slightly injured.
All of the casualties were confirmed by Iraqi security and health officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to release the information.
Earlier this summer, the Iraqi wing of al-Qaida, also called the Islamic State of Iraq, launched a campaign dubbed "Breaking the Walls," which aimed at retaking strongholds from which it was driven by the American military after sectarian fighting peaked in 2007.
        1      2       

end quote from:

Wave of bombings across Iraq leaves 26 dead

I think what we are witnessing here in Iraq is the sectarian war spilling out of Syria into Iraq in addition to Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and other countries now. Iraq is majority Shia and Iran is majority Shia. All other middle eastern countries are Majority Sunni Muslim. Since Sunnis are the ones in Syria that are being massacred by the Alawite Shia minority Government of Syria this sectarian divide will show itself wherever there are Shias and Sunnis in the same area it appears throughout the middle east. So, the wave of bombings in Iraq might spread to wherever there are Shia and possibly even into Iran which is sending it's troops to massacre Sunnis in Syria. So, to be prepared for all this might be useful at this point for everyone here on earth.

One has to question the motives of Russia, and China? The only explainable explanation I can think of is that Russia and China must want Sunnis and Shia throughout the middle east to kill each other off. I can think of no other rational explanation for it otherwise. Since there are many more Sunni Muslims than Shia Muslims unless Iran gets an A- Bomb who do you think will win?  I think it is very cynical on Russia and China's part to be allowing this to happen.

In sectarian wars where countries have always lived by "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", the vendettas from allowing this to happen will continue for hundreds if not thousands of years by the survivors of the families of those who are massacred now and in the the near future.  


The Chinese have reached or exceeded the limits of their Agricultural system

The United States produces 1,481 kilograms per year of agricultural products for each American, while the Chinese food supply averages only 785 kilograms per year per capita (mostly grains in both cases). Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute has suggested that by all available measurements the Chinese have reached or exceeded the limits of their agricultural system. The Chinese reliance on large inputs of fossil fuel-based fertilizers to compensate for shortages of arable land and severely eroded soils, combined with their limited fresh water supply, suggests severe problems looming ahead. Even now, China imports large amounts of grain from the United States (which also relies heavily on fossil inputs for agriculture) and other nations, and is expected to increase imports of grains in the near future.

end quote from:

This I find troubling because of Russia's Drought and fires and having decided not to ship grains anywhere because of this outside of their country. On top of this 80% of the U.S. tillable land has been affected by the drought in the last 12 months greatly compromising our normal breadbasket of crops to the U.S. and world. Though the present shortages of food basically started with the 2006 extreme drought in Australia and the reduction of grains by this from 130% of worlds needs down to about 100% of world's needs this created a worldwide panic which I believe now led to the present World Economic crisis since panic tends to start with the poor and then move up the line to the rich who then begin to make bad decisions because of panics like this. Once again, the droughts and fires in Russia and the U.S. in addition to other droughts and fires and floods throughout the world could bring world grains (which are 80% of the food consumed worldwide) to a very difficult place in the next 12 to 24 months worldwide. I haven't found figures yet about how much we are growing worldwide in relation to actual worldwide needs. But likely it might be time for everyone who has water and soil to start their own Victory Organic Garden worldwide who can just like Americans did during World War II to have enough food to survive while all our soldiers were gone and couldn't farm the fields as a result.

Begin further quote regarding soils worldwide:

The decline of per-capita cropland is aggravated by the degradation of soils. Throughout the world, current erosion rates are higher than ever. According to a study for the International Food Policy Research Institute, each year an estimated 10 million hectares of cropland worldwide are abandoned due to soil erosion and diminished production caused by erosion. Another 10 million hectares are critically damaged each year by salinization, in large part as a result of irrigation and/or improper drainage methods. This loss amounts to more than 1.3 percent of total cropland annually. Most of the additional cropland needed to replace yearly losses comes from the world's forest areas. The urgent need to increase crop production accounts for more than 60 percent of the massive deforestation now occurring worldwide.
Erosion losses are critical because topsoil renewal is extremely slow. It takes about 500 years for 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) of topsoil to reform under agricultural conditions. Soil erosion rates on cropland range from about 10 metric tons per hectare per year (t/ha/yr) in the United States to 40 t/ha/yr in China. During the past 30 years, the rate of soil loss throughout Africa has increased 20-fold. A 1996 study in India found that as much as 5,600 t/ha/yr of soil were lost under some arid and windy conditions.

end of second quote from:

Since 1.3 percent of tillable cropland is lost every year to erosion and the rate of world population increase is about the same, we soon will be at a cross over point (and may already be there) where 1.3 percent or more people less will be able to be fed every year. So, instead of a 1.3 percent increase in population it is likely this year or very soon it will become a 1.3 or more percent decrease in world populations because of starvation. It is possible that the correlation cannot be perfect but the general trend is still there and likely within 5 to 10 years we will see it manifest because of tillable soil loss worldwide.

Earth: The Being

The Garden of Eden:
Earth: I wonder what these new human creatures will do here on Earth?

Earth regarding Jesus on the Cross: I wonder why they killed this fine young man who could talk to me and who really understood what life was all about?

Earth in 1945: I don't like nuclear weapons at all. This is the first time I'm actually worried about my ongoing survival. I already lost my brother who was blown up by these things who now is the Asteroid belt. Humans have finally become a threat to my ongoing survival. I'll have to think about what I can do to protect myself from them.

Earth in 2012: Well. I have to either thin humans out or eliminate them completely. There are just too many of them and if there is anything I have noticed it is that when they get desperate they will do almost anything to themselves or each other. I have no choice but to increase weather and earthquakes to thin them out or eliminate them completely, one or the other. The balance of nature here on my body where I live must be re-established. I wish they were mature enough to do this for themselves so I wouldn't have to.

87 weather events between 1998 and 2011 each over 1 billion in damages

National Geographic reports that between 1998 and 2011, there have been 87 severe weather events in the U.S., and each caused at least $1 billion in damages, though they were comparatively modest economically compared to Hurricane Katrina, which topped out at $146 billion. The total disaster price tag nearly doubled the cost of the previous 16-year period.

end quote from:

Al Gore rallies citizen deputies to break through climate-change denial while there’s still (a little) hope.

To me, the most remarkable thing is not the 87 weather events of 1 billion dollars or more in damages. To me, what is remarkable is that the total damage of this 16 year period is double the previous 16 year period when you include Katrina in the dollar damages.  That 80% of all tillable farmland has been affected by the drought in the U.S. and because of Russia's drought and fires they have stopped shipping all grains means the richer nations "U.S., Russia, China, Canada, Europe, Brazil etc. will be able to pay a higher price for almost any grain than third world nations will be able to. Since grain is sold between countries to the highest bidder in reality, the rich nations will get the quality grains and the poor nations unless they grow it won't have it.

Understanding what's happening to the weather all over

Al Gore rallies citizen deputies to break through climate-change denial while there’s still (a little) hope.


Crossing the Line: Satellite data reveals how the new record-low Arctic Sea ice coverage, from Sept. 16, compares to the average minimum coverage over the past 30 years (in yellow). Sea-ice maps use data from NASA's Nimbus-7 satellite and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program.
Crossing the Line: Satellite data reveals how the new record-low Arctic Sea ice coverage, from Sept. 16, compares to the average minimum coverage over the past 30 years (in yellow). Sea-ice maps use data from NASA's Nimbus-7 satellite and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. NASA/Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio

We are almost completely f%#&ed

Al Gore rallies citizen deputies to break through climate-change denial while there’s still (a little) hope.

If Al Gore’s environmental truth was inconvenient before, now it’s outright uncomfortable.

Last year was the earth’s hottest on record. Ever. 

That triggered extremes: A drought-generated dust storm reached 50 miles wide and 6,000 feet tall, engulfing Phoenix, Ariz. Tropical Storm Irene hit Killington, Vt., which has a ski mountain tall enough to see Canada – and it’s not too often you see the words “tropical” and “Canada” in the same sentence. Typhoon Megi dumped 45 inches of rain on Taiwan in 48 hours, forcing more than 350,000 people to evacuate.

And this year has scorched 2011. Over a recent month-and-a-half stretch, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 1,692 counties disaster areas due to drought, with about 80 percent of the country’s agricultural land affected. This comes after Russia stopped exporting food due to weather-related crop failures and resulting shortages. The worst drought in more than 100 years hit both North Korea and South Korea. On July 15, Kuwait hit an all-time high of 128.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

National Geographic reports that between 1998 and 2011, there have been 87 severe weather events in the U.S., and each caused at least $1 billion in damages, though they were comparatively modest economically compared to Hurricane Katrina, which topped out at $146 billion. The total disaster price tag nearly doubled the cost of the previous 16-year period. 

Severe weather events, like stronger hurricanes, harsher droughts, wilder floods and fiercer firestorms, are happening with greater frequency. Scientists have been warning us that this – the wallop of planet warming hitting harder and more frequently – was coming.

Only leaders and policymakers have failed to put up a fight. In the presidential dialogue ahead of November’s election, the environment is most conspicuous by its absence.

Last month former vice president and Inconvenient Truth creator Al Gore spoke in San Francisco to a select group of Climate Reality Project volunteers about that pattern of disaster and silence. The private event – designed to train people how to debunk environmental myths, educate communities on the current crisis and share solutions – drew participants from 46 states and 47 countries.

“Down in Tennessee we have an old saying: ‘If you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be pretty sure it didn’t get there by itself,’” Gore said. “‘If you see a turtle on top of every 10 fence posts, something’s going on.’ 

“These are turtles on the fence posts. These are the once-in-a-thousand-year events which come along every two years now. These are the kinds of conditions that are associated with the droughts and the big floods and the fires and stronger storms. This is reality. This is happening now.”

Seven years have passed since Gore’s Truth shared a reality about climate change, aka global warming, that most of the public knew very little about. There was shock, outcry, and… fizzle. Gore’s message seemed to evaporate, like boiling water forgotten on a stove, even as the crisis gets worse and urgency grows. 

Just this week, Grist energy and politics reporter David Roberts paraphrased the results of a study by the United Kingdom’s National Weather Service, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the Grantham Institute. 

“The most extreme climate ‘alarmists’ in U.S. politics are not nearly alarmed enough,” he writes. “The chances of avoiding catastrophic global temperature rise are not nil, exactly, but they are slim-to-nil, according to a new analysis prepared for the U.K. government.”

So the question for Gore seems self-evident: What now?

“Even beginning the conversation about climate change can be challenging,” he says. “With blogs, social media, 24-hour cable news and well-funded denial campaigns promoted by the fossil fuel industry, it’s difficult to know what to believe or how to begin to solve the crisis.

“Because of this, one of the most important things you can do as an individual is to learn the facts about how the climate crisis is impacting your community. Then reach out to family, friends, and neighbors to tell your story, and together, demand that your local leaders take action.”

Coming to the world of freelance writing from a background in science and engineering, I understood the real and factual threat of global warming early on. But I still wanted to see its effects for myself. 

I left my Monterey home on a 2006-07 expedition to Antarctica led by an ecological safari company filled with naturalists, a Honolulu Zoo veterinarian, hardcore birders and nature photographers who contribute to publications like Time and National Geographic. 

That December, the month before I arrived in Antarctica, a king penguin was spotted on the Antarctic Peninsula very near Palmer Station, one of three U.S. research bases in Antarctic bases.

This was strange. King penguins live in warmer waters and islands hundreds of miles north of Antarctica. They are nothing like the emperor penguins we all know from March of the Penguins, which thrive in the abominable temperatures at the South Pole. Antarctica was opening its freezer door, becoming warm enough for some warmer-weather animals to step inside.

Before arriving at Palmer, we island-hopped by Zodiac, observing skuas, Weddell seals and blue-eyed shags. But it was the little chicks of another species of small penguin – a typical inhabitant of the area, the gentoo – that made my heart drop.

It was so hot they panted like dogs. Their little wings stretched and trembled at their sides. Their beaks sagged open, exposing their normally hidden red tongues. Each miserable short breath they took seemed a rush.

Born with thick down feathers, the chicks couldn’t even dip in the ice-cold water because they would drown. They were left to wait as many as seven weeks in the heat until their swimming feathers matured.

After the trip, I got word from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories adjunct professor David Ainley – a penguin expert who has logged time in Antarctica since the early ’70s and helps run – that “panting” is normal for penguins when temps rise. Gentoos are adaptable enough to adverse conditions, he added, that they won’t be on the front lines of species lost to the radically changing world.

But the good news was short-lived.

Warmer air over the cold, mountainous continent holds more moisture, which means more precipitation. This can wet gentoo chicks’ down feathers and – followed by a frost – prove fatal. Antarctic Peninsula winter temps have increased by 16 degrees Fahrenheit since Ainley started visiting, and mid-ocean Antarctic temperatures have ticked up.

“For that to happen,” he says quietly, “even less than a degree centigrade, that requires a mind-boggling amount of heat. That’s the most scary thing.”

This summer, I interviewed activist, author and climate-change scholar Bill McKibben, the man credited with first bringing global warming from the scientific community to wider audiences with the book The End of Nature. When asked why so little progress has been made by governments and citizens to stop global warming, his response was blunt: “Because the fossil-fuel industry is more powerful… They’re the richest industry the planet has ever seen, and they like things the way they are.”

A couple of weeks later, McKibben published an article in Rolling Stone about three numbers that tell a terrifying story about global warming: 2; 565; and 2,795.

“The official position of Planet Earth at the moment is that we can’t raise the [average global] temperature more than 2 degrees Celsius,” he wrote. That number came from a under-attended 2009 Copenhagen climate conference in which global leaders estimated this temperature rise was safe enough. 

Scientists, however, were dubious of the limit. McKibben quoted NASA climatologist James Hansen: “The target that has been talked about in international negotiations for 2 degrees of warming is actually a prescription for long-term disaster.”

To stay below this limit of 2 degrees Celsius – and average global temperature is up about 0.8 degrees in the industrialization era, so our cup of manageable global warming pollution is already nearly half full – the total mass of global warming pollution in the atmosphere would need to stay below 565 gigatons. 

The fossil fuel industry has an existing reserve with enough coal, oil, and natural gas that, if burned, would produce 2,795 gigatons of pollution. That’s enough to fill up five cups.

“This number is the scariest of all,” McKibben writes.

Gore understands that this news is hard to hear. 

“We are all vulnerable to denial,” he says. “If something is unpleasant to think about – and the potential end of future civilization qualifies as an unpleasant thought – then people don’t want to think about. And if somebody will throw them a little lifeline and say, ‘Hey, you don’t have think about it. It’s not real, or it probably isn’t real,’ then people grab hold of that thing. ‘Thank goodness I don’t have to think about it. Thank goodness I don’t have to do anything about it.’ So, in other words, these deniers don’t have to win the argument; all they have to do is to create enough doubt in order to convince people that it is premature to come to a realization that it is real.” (See sidebar, this page.)

Right now, Gore adds, there are four lobbyists trying to suppress climate – change solutions for each member of Congress. That’s a lot of firepower: 2,795 gigatons of fossil fuels can buy a lot of allegiance.

“The Koch brothers have a combined wealth of $50 billion, meaning they trail only Bill Gates on the list of richest Americans,” McKibben says. “They’ve made most of their money in hydrocarbons, they know any system to regulate carbon would cut those profits, and they reportedly plan to lavish as much as $200 million on this year’s elections.” 

It is not negligence that’s preventing solutions to climate change; it is greed.

“We need to view the fossil fuel industry in a new light,” McKibben says. “It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on earth. It is public enemy number one to the survival of our planetary civilization.”

Forget Occupy Wall Street. It’s time for Occupy Exxon.

The day after my Palmer Station visit, I took a hike at Neko Harbour. I was sweating like a melting glacier, even without a jacket. The expedition leader was shirtless. 

When my companions returned to the landing site, I stayed back on top of bare rock where the ice had long since melted away from the glacier. I couldn’t stop thinking, This was Antarctica. It was supposed to be the coldest place on Earth.
I watched the glaciers around me tumble in the sea. When ice breaks apart like that and comes crashing down, it sounds like cannon during battle. 

The freshly revealed faces of ice behind the falling chunks glowed electric blue, the natural color of ice after pockets of air in glaciers are pressed out over the eons it takes glaciers to form.

I felt the air being pressed out of me. It was the loneliest and most helpless I’ve felt. But unlike those gentoo penguin chicks stuck in their down coats, I was able to take off my jacket. And I was able to raise my voice.

Telley Madina knows the feeling of helplessness. 

For an hour he didn’t know if his sister had been claimed by Hurricane Katrina’s unflinching flood waters. For an hour there was nothing he could do. Then two. Then the hours stretched into a day, then another. And another.

He didn’t sleep. He didn’t eat. But he did pray.

“It was the longest four days of my life,” he says. “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”

His sister was rescued and packed into the New Orleans Convention center. But the deaths and anarchy that accumulated meant the rescue didn’t make him feel that much better. Work as the coastal communities program officer for Oxfam America in New Orleans hasn’t done much to ease a frustration that sent him to the Climate Reality conference.

“It feels like it is out of sight, out of mind,” he says. “And I don’t know why that is the case, because every storm season, we get our butts kicked.” 

He’s scared to lose his home and his city, and thinks it might be irresponsible to raise his 4-year-old son there.

“If you’re gonna live here, and not do anything, I don’t know how long we can have a reasonable expectation to stay and be safe,” he says. 

The Louisiana governor’s office reports that a football-field-sized piece of wetland is inundated every 38 minutes, which means weaker storms have stronger impacts. This year’s Hurricane Isaac, though only a category 1, still flooded places Katrina couldn’t. “Any given day, the severity of any hurricane can increase,” Madina says. “We need to be very, very clear on how climate change is affecting environment.”

Susan Beckett of Boulder, Colo., and Jim Poyser of Indianapolis, Ind., didn’t need to travel to hear Gore say, “We’ve broken more records this year just in the first eight months [than] last year. The hottest month ever measured in the U.S. was last month. Globally, this is 327 months in a row, I believe, that have been hotter than the 20th century average.” They had already felt it.

Beckett, energy program manager at the Environmental Center of the University of Colorado, has repeatedly offered her house to those threatened by drought-fueled firestorms statewide. Experts estimate these fires are seven times as likely in the western states now that their average temperature has gone up 3 degrees Fahrenheit, extending fire season by 75 days since the 1970s.

In Poyser’s state, crop failures and water rationing have overtaken farmlands. He fears life in America’s heartland will be irreparably changed. As an editor for two independent newspapers, Indiana Living Green and Nuvo, he has written headlines like “Extreme Heat: the New Normal” amid a maelstrom of similar news around his state.

As Gore says: “There’s been no year like this year.” 

Climate Reality Project President Maggie Fox gets it. After working on climate change for more than two decades, it came home to her in Colorado.

“To see a fire coming over the top of a mountain less than a mile from your house that you can look directly at from your porch… ” she says, choking up.

But she finds hope in the 1,000 newly minted leaders who came from as far away as Argentina and Australia to attend the Gore-led training – and committed to giving at least 10 of their own talks.

“People exhibit leadership in a magical myriad of ways,” she says.

Fox and Gore are hoping it’s those citizen stories – told person-to-person by those who have felt them personally – that will affect audiences in ways photographs of distant polar bears and impassioned speeches by environmental activists cannot.

Or the truth goes from inconvenient to uncomfortable to irreversible. 

Mark C. Anderson contributed to this report.

Request a free Climate Reality Project talk by visiting
end quote from:

Al Gore rallies citizen deputies to break through climate-change denial while there’s still (a little) hope.

The human race doesn't tend to be a unified whole yet in it's decisions or actions. We are still tied to country rather than to the world which gives everyone of us life. And without which we might be trying to breathe in space somewhere or having to live underground and air condition or manufacture our own air and food somehow. So, not having a habitable planet will really reduce populations of every type of living thing as this thing goes on longer and longer.

I think my favorite fact is that the average temperature at one  time at the north pole was 76 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature. Then listen to the next part, "It took 1 million years of ferns absorbing the CO2 that lived from the North pole to the equator to get back to a climate like we knew it to be during the 1900s in the 20th century once again. This is at the macro level that we actually are dealing with.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that once we get to a certain stage the human race might go extinct before we ever get back to anything like the 1900s ever again in regard to glaciers on mountains, ice caps and snow being something that is normal anywhere on earth. In that world Hawaii would be at the north pole in climate and the rest likely would be pretty unbearable.

IT is difficult to say when the tipping point in regard to people worldwide mobilizing themselves in regard to trying to make real changes. Likely that time will be reached when instead of thousands dying in weather disasters it moves to millions at a time in a weather disaster. And when we reach a number like 100 million dying in a year from the weather which is about how many died in World War II maybe then people will take this more seriously. But I hope the actual tipping point is much lower. Because who wants to see 100 million people die in a year from awful weather events? However, the way things are going it is eventually inevitable over time if nothing serious is done. However, even if things are done it could happen anyway because we might have had to start this a century ago to actually stop it in time.

I wonder if other space faring civilizations like ours ended this way from the weather and were driven  back to the stone age before this in our prehistory?



Saturday, September 29, 2012

Head of House Subcommitee blocks Aid to Egypt

Begin quote:
The head of the House subcommittee that oversees foreign aid said Friday she was blocking $450 million in emergency U.S. assistance to Egypt sought by the administration. The decision by the subcommittee head, Rep. Kay Granger (R-Tex.), to halt the funds adds to the delay in normalizing aid after protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy in Cairo earlier this month.

end quote from:

Egypt, Yemen challenge some US ideas

Though I completely understand why a likely very Christian Rep. Kay Granger (R-Tex.) would halt 450 Million dollars in funds I'm not sure whether this will help the situation in Egypt or just make it much worse. Though this might play very well to her constituents in Texas and other very Christian areas of the U.S. other people who are Americans who actually do business in countries like Egypt as well as U.S. Diplomats could also be hurt or killed directly by her actions. We are dealing with a complete cultural disconnect and our government (both Republicans and Democrats must vote) and decide what they are going to do. This action by a single Congresswoman might do something really crazy now like causing secret Egyptian hit squads sent to the U.S. or something equally terrible. Just because witholding money feels good doesn't mean doing so is actually wise even though to a Christian Secular point of view it is exactly what we have always done in cases like this before. And like then we will likely be called a Bully for it as well as ugly Americans for it and likely several to many Americans might die or be injured in multiple middle Eastern nations because of this one action. The problem is for them is that this is like rubbing salt into their perceived wound from the movie. They do not perceive reality at all like Americans do and that is a given. Because of this I wouldn't want to be in President Obama's shoes because this now might get a lot nastier as far as deaths and wounded people in the middle east especially Egypt that are Americans and Europeans. And we may because of this be on a slippery slope to an adversarial relationship with the President of Egypt right now in more ways than one. This is the problem as I see it right now. However, without money Morsi's government likely will collapse within a year or two. But, Turkey is already loaning him money to stay in business to replace the money that may be withdrawn now by the U.S.

The other problem with this is that Egypt and it's U.S. trained army may be soon turned against Israel because of all this as well. So, the tides are turning to something new and different. So, Maybe one question is, "Is Iran more of an enemy to Egypt than Israel is?"

This one question might be pivotal to Israel's ongoing survival than any other. Remember the Middle eastern saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." 

Life isn't a Plan It's an Experience

Have you ever heard the saying, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans?".

This actually is the truth about life. Life is spontaneous and cannot be confined or contained into your conception of it. It is ALWAYS more than any of us ever expect it to be. This is why making plans most of the times is disappointing because we didn't have enough information to be able to make the plans we make to actually have them turn out the way we wanted them to.

However, if we start by realizing from the get go that our lives will be different that we expect them to be. And that God in all his (or her or it's or their) wisdom has made it this way then we are ahead of the game. And this is why I like a Spiritual path that some call "Crazy Wisdom" which is the path of the Wisdom beyond Logic. Because this path allows for infinite unexpected opportunities to do good with one's life.

No Man may See God and Live

This statement is out of the Bible but what does it really mean?

I think I can shed some light upon this because I have had this experience. This is not just an intellectual experience because once you see God you die and this is a given. The man or woman or child that you were before ceases to be and if you don't physically die through the experience then you will have to learn to live with God living inside your body from then on as long as you live. This is how it works.

When I was 10 to 15 years of age I had what I now realize was blunt Trauma childhood epilepsy, which my son who is a nurse tells me is the only kind of epilepsy you can grow out of as you skull grows as a child into an adult and makes more room for the brain to be okay in even with a concussion or dent your skull. So long about age 14 my father said to me, "You need to get some religion under your belt, son, if you are going to survive this." And he was right, so within one year of him telling me this when a seizure came on me I screamed to God, "I AM in command here" while I was desperately experiencing myself and God as one being in order to survive what turned out to be my last aura because as soon as I did this the seizure stopped and didn't manifest because God had heard me and joined me in my body. What I saw was all the armies and energies arrayed against me suddenly instead of attacking me and killing me become my armies from then on. Because God had joined me everything attacking me became My armies and God's armies from then on. I not only stopped a seizure (something I had never been able to do before) I never had another one the rest of my life. I was 15 at the time and within 2 months my complete physical appearance changed and I got my front teeth capped by a dentist (which had broken in half when I hit a car on my bicycle at age 9).

However, my experience of what it was like to have God live inside my body with me 24 hours a day was basically kind of terrifying at first. It was the opposite kind of terror of something bad. This was only a Good kind of terror but something so incredibly powerful I felt I had a Tiger by the tail and that if I ever let go of the tail of the Tiger that the tiger would eat me in one gulp. So, I couldn't ever be free of this incredibly powerful tiger that would either save me and protect me or it would eat me and my soul and I would disappear forever completely into God and lose my identity forever. So, I was struggling to stay alive in a body while God lived with me in my body. It wasn't that it wasn't natural for God to do this. I just knew my only way to stay alive was to be (married to God) in my body and this was very difficult at first because I was as much a boy as a man. I had just been forced into a man's decision at age 15 by God and life.

So, I guess I would put it this way. I asked God to come live in my body and to save my life and he did but the consequences of that request was more than any boy could cope with. So, I very quickly had to become a man to fully accept this responsibility that would never leave me as long as I lived in a body on Earth.

I think this is also where the statement "One with God is a majority" comes from because it is my experience that anything both you and God Agree on manifests. So because of this it is a very great responsibility to be just and true and correct and compassionate so God and you can agree which causes manifestation which is not limited in any way after you SEE God.

So this is my interpretation of what "No Man may SEE God and Live" and also "One with God is a majority" actually means.

So, if you have this experience please remember what I wrote here so you can actually physically and psychologically survive it because at that point you might become a blessing to all life in the universe over time as you learn to agree with God as he manifests things for you and all life around you by His Grace.

Was Jesus Married?

My Take: I don't know if Jesus was married (and I don't care)
September 21st, 2012
09:28 AM ET

My Take: I don't know if Jesus was married (and I don't care)

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
A few years ago I wrote a book about Jesus in the American imagination. What I learned along the way is that the American Jesus is a Gumby-like figure who can twist and turn in almost any direction.
Our Jesus has been black and white, gay and straight, a socialist and a capitalist, a pacifist and a warrior, a civil rights activist and a Ku Klux Klansman. Over the American centuries, he has stood not on some unchanging rock of ages but on the shifting sands of economic circumstances, political calculations and cultural trends.
Part Proteus, part Paul (who called himself "all things to all men"), he became during the Victorian period a sentimental Savior. During the Progressive era of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, he flexed his muscles and carried a big stick. During the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, he grew his hair long and strummed his guitar for peace.
Now, in an era in which Americans are debating who can marry and have sex with whom, we are given a Jesus who has given his body and soul in marriage, at least if we are to believe the scrap of ancient papyrus soon coming, via Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King and the Smithsonian Channel, to a television set near you.
“Jesus said, ‘My wife,'” this Coptic papyrus reads, and since King announced her finding at a Coptic studies conference in Rome on Tuesday, the world is trying to imagine not only what manner of man (and god) this might be, but what sort of woman he might have taken into his marriage bed.
As for the question everyone is asking — was Jesus married? — the only correct answer is that we do not know.
There are all sorts of reasons to be skeptical about this find. First, according to King it is owned by an anonymous dealer who is willing to give the fragment to Harvard, but only if it buys other parts of his collection.
Second, we don’t yet know anything about where this fragment was supposedly found or by whom, and the world of ancient Jewish and Christian manuscripts is replete with fakes and fakers.
Third, even if the papyrus is genuine, it points only to one author quoting Jesus as referring to his wife. Perhaps that author was simply trying to push the early Christian tradition away from a preference for celibacy over marriage.
Or perhaps the reference is to some symbolic or spiritual “wife,” rather than one of the flesh-and-blood type. (In the New Testament Jesus already refers to himself as the bridegroom.)
In the end, what intrigues me about this tiny fragment (it measures roughly 1.5-by-3 inches) is the huge hype. The original Belief Blog piece on this story has over 4,000 comments and counting. And a Smithsonian documentary is in the works for September 30.
Jesus may be one of the best attested figures in the ancient world, but we still know hardly anything about him. And because he is the key figure in the largest religion in the world, we are keen to fill in the blanks.
The Jewish tradition has a name for this: midrash, which refers to a way of storytelling that fills in the gaps. This is what Americans have been doing for centuries with Jesus. Not sure where he was during his “lost years” from the end of his childhood to the beginning of his ministry? Send him off to India. Not sure how he looked? Draw a painting or carve a statue.
What is going on here, as I see it, is a reluctance to say, “I don’t know.”
The truth of the matter is that we don’t know what Jesus looked like. We don’t know where he was or what he was doing when he turned 18. And we don’t know if he was ever married or divorced.
What we do know is that we live in a country besotted with Jesus and in an age obsessed with marriage and sexuality and the body, which is why this tiny papyrus is making such big waves.
As for me, I don’t much care what Jesus thought about marriage, or whether he engaged in it. I think we as a society tend to collapse religion far too readily into bedroom questions, as if Jesus came into the world to tell us with whom we should be having sex, and how.
I’m more interested in what Jesus has to say about wealth and poverty, the rich and the poor. And there is plenty in the available record to read and heed, "if only we have ears to hear."
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

end quote from:

If Jesus was married his most likely wife was Mary Magdelene. Even though in many scriptures Mary Magdelene was someone Jesus greatly respected at one point (about 1000 years ago) some translator or Pope decided one word had a different meaning because of multiple translations through languages that Mary Magdelene was a Harlot) and this unfortunately stuck to her. So, for the first 1000 years Mary Magdelene was someone in scripture (like Jesus' best friend: wife?) which many also felt he had children with (he was 33) and people then married as was expected of all male jewish men then in that culture by  15 or 20 years of age. So, if he was married and had children it is likely that Emperors and potentates would not want to recognize Jesus' children and might want to eliminate them if they could discover them because they might be a threat to all   monarchies as potential Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses. So, it makes complete sense that Jesus' wife and children were left out of the picture and that Jesus was deified so no one could become like him.  This would naturally be done  by all Monarchies wanting to stay in place with their own rulers and genetic ascendance intact ongoing.

But, potentates having done this have disrespected and disenfranchised all Christians since the time of his birth when Herod tried to kill every child in his country (and did) when Jesus' family took him to Egypt so he wouldn't be murdered with the rest of the babies his age in Israel who all were killed unless they were whisked away to another country like Jesus was. So, basically all babies from uneducated and unwealthy families likely were killed at that time by Herod's soldiers if they weren't taken out of the country beforehand or whisked away in some fashion. So, Herod's intended victim escaped but thousands of babies in Israel did not. Did Jesus' wife Mary Magdelene and his children escape the wrath of Christian potentates by going eventually to India and and did Jesus after resurrecting himself from the tomb go to India with Mary Magdelene to become Saint Issa a very famous Guru there at that time along with all his children? If you will notice Jesus in Aramaic Jesus' native language which is Yeshua or Yesu is almost exactly Issa if you allow for people slightly pronouncing his name differently in a foreign language?

Cloud Atlas: The Movie

Poster of Cloud Atlas


'Cloud Atlas' explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future.
end quote from:
I saw the preview to this one today as I was watching Looper with my family in a movie theater. It Stars Tom Hanks and many other really excellent actors. I got the feeling that it might vaguely be about reincarnation. But, the synopsis explores possibly more about how one person's life affects and another or many along the way. I got sort of a good feeling about it and generally Tom Hanks is in pretty good movies almost always.

Here is the release date:
Coming Soon to Theaters
Opening Friday, October 26th


If Time Travel is Real

If time travel is real earth isn't likely the first time it was invented. It is much more likely that it was invented in the past, present and future and is something sort of like worse than nuclear weapons. For the same reasons that terrorists and Mafias of the earth don't have nuclear weapons, likewise Governments of Earth and beyond would see to it that the common people didn't even believe in time travel pretty much so  disinformation campaign would be present much like the one here on earth now. However, all intelligent people who can think both technically and logically and who have good common sense and instincts would eventually come to the same conclusion that I have, which is that time travel was here on earth before humans existed on earth. And for that matter time travel was all over the universe in deep past, present and future before humans ever were on earth. So, this point of view gives a completely different perspective. So, humans at most could then be either introduced to time travel or reinvent it starting with Einstein and Nicola Tesla. Because both were the first kinds of geniuses to get to the math, logic and Physics of the possibility of time travel right. Though many thought about this before they were the first to actually think about making it possible through what was done through the U.S.S. Eldridge around 1942 in Philadelphia Harbor.

So, my personal conclusion is that the only reason humans have not nuked themselves out of existence since World War II is time travel by World Governments starting with the United Nations after World War II, United States, Russia, China etc. So, it is fairly obvious at this point that the only reason we haven't nuked ourselves out of existence so far is time travel to prevent nuclear explosions after they happened. By undoing nuclear explosions after they happen (so the general public is unaware of nuclear explosions and wars) we still have a pretty good life here on earth even if we are presently overpopulated in relationship to natural resources the way they are presently used and developed by today's world governments, corporations, Technologies, and cultures.

Friday, September 28, 2012

China seeks to discredit Bo, supporters cry foul

China seeks to discredit Bo, supporters cry foul

China seeks to discredit Bo, supporters cry foul

  •  0

BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese government pressed ahead on Saturday with an effort to discredit fallen politician Bo Xilai, drawing an outcry from leftist supporters of the former leadership contender in a sign of the rifts that his prosecution could inflame.

Once a charismatic yet divisive star who stood out on China's stolid political stage, Bo is almost sure to face trial and jail eventually after the ruling Communist Party announced his expulsion on Friday and issued a list of sordid allegations: bending the law to hush up a murder, taking huge bribes, and engaging in "improper sexual relations with multiple women."

The party issued the damning accusations at the same time that it announced a November 8 for a congress that will anoint a new generation of top leaders - a lineup that Bo held barely disguised ambitions to join.

Bo's downfall has unsteadied preparations for that leadership succession, and exposed revelations of high-level abuse of power after his former police chief briefly took refuge in a United States consulate and exposed allegations that Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, murdered a British businessman.

State media tried to draw a clear line between Bo and the party elite he once belonged to, casting his fall as a victory for the party's determination to fight corruption.

"No matter how high a position, no matter how influential, anyone who violates party discipline and state law will be sternly pursued and punished," said a commentary on the case issued by the official Xinhua news agency.

"As a senior party official, Bo Xilai should have been a model of obedience to party discipline," it said. "But instead he monopolized power and behaved recklessly, doing as he pleased and gravely violating discipline," added the commentary, which was widely distributed by state media websites.

"His misdeeds deserve their punishment."


The party could face trouble, however, convincing skeptics that it has only recently awoken to Bo's crimes, which it traced way back to his years as a city official in northeast China. Bo's leftist supporters have already revived charges that Bo is the victim of a plot to eradicate him and his populist policies.

"Last night, one of the core members of the ruling party's leadership was suddenly turned into a demon," said one commentary on "Red China", a far-left Chinese-language website that has issued a torrent of commentary defending Bo.

"Unlike other ousted senior officials, Bo Xilai's downfall has triggered two diametrically opposed reactions in society - one of elation and relief, and the other of outrage and regret."

The "Red China" site has been blocked to the many Chinese users who do not know how to evade censorship barriers. But China's version of Twitter, "Weibo", has also echoed with debate about Bo's dramatic downfall.

Public support for Bo is unlikely to creep into the heavily regimented party congress, but the effort to disgrace him could foster deeper public disillusionment with the party by showing that one of its formerly favored officials was steeped in corruption. Bo, 63, is the "princeling" son of a Communist Party official who served alongside Mao Zedong.

"He won support from the underdogs of society and the radical intellectuals, and maybe even some within the party and the military," said Lai Hongyi, who teaches about contemporary China at the University of Nottingham in Britain. "That's probably quite polarizing because you are not talking about just a few people but a segment of the whole of Chinese society and the establishment."

After arriving in Chongqing in 2007, Bo turned it into a showcase for pro-growth economics, and ran a campaign against organized crime, policies welcomed by many of the city's 30 million residents, though his brash self-promotion irked some leaders in Beijing.

Bo's wife Gu Kailai and his former police chief Wang Lijun have already been jailed over the scandal stemming from the murder in November of British businessman Neil Heywood.

The official statement carried by Xinhua said that in the murder scandal, Bo "abused his powers of office, committed serious errors and bears a major responsibility." That charge appears to reflect accusations from Wang's trial that suggested Bo tried to stymie the murder investigation.

The government also accused Bo of taking huge bribes and other unspecified crimes. Before Bo is charged and tried, investigators must first complete an inquiry and indict him, but China's prosecutors and courts come under party control and are most unlikely to challenge the accusations.

(Additional reporting by John Ruwitch in Shanghai; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

end quote from:
China seeks to discredit Bo, supporters cry foul

China's lines around islands suggest more conflict

China's lines around islands suggest more conflict

China's lines around islands suggest more conflict

              In this Sept. 19, 2012 photo, a costumer picks copies of newly-published maps of disputed islands, called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, at a state-owned book store in Beijing, China.  China hastily published the map to help maintain public outrage over the Japanese government’s purchase of some of the islands from their private Japanese owners. Beijing also has engaged in another type of mapmaking that may end up escalating the conflict.   (AP Photo)  CHINA OUT
                  In this Sept. 19, 2012 photo, a costumer picks copies of newly-published maps of disputed islands, called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, at a state-owned book store in Beijing, China. China hastily published the map to help maintain public outrage over the Japanese government’s purchase of some of the islands from their private Japanese owners. Beijing also has engaged in another type of mapmaking that may end up escalating the conflict. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT
By LOUISE WATT Associated Press  / September 29, 2012
Text Size:
  • +

BEIJING (AP) — One of the hottest items in bookstores across China is a map for a place that is closed to visitors, home only to animals such as goats and crabs, and the reason China’s relations with Japan are at their lowest point in years.
China calls them the Diaoyus; Japan, the Senkakus. The new map shows a satellite image of a kidney-shaped main island with splotches of green, and a list of 70 affiliated ‘‘islands’’ that are really half-submerged rocks.
China hastily published the map to help maintain public outrage over the Japanese government’s purchase of some of the islands from their private Japanese owners. Beijing also has engaged in another type of mapmaking that may end up escalating the conflict.
It has drawn new territorial markers, or baselines, around the islands, and submitted them to the United Nations. That could lead to a more serious attempt to claim the islands, and broad swaths of valuable ocean around them.
‘‘The status quo has been broken in the last month by Japan’s purchase and China’s publishing of the baselines,’’ said Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt of the International Crisis Group. She said friction is likely to reach its worst level since the 1980s when China and Japan tacitly agreed to set aside the dispute in pursuit of better overall relations.
More than lines on paper are at stake. By submitting the baselines to the U.N., China is spelling out its claim to the waters, the fish in them and the oil, gas and other minerals beneath them. Up until now, China has sought to jointly exploit resources with Japan through negotiation.
Japan says it bought to islands to maintain stability, noting that the nationalist governor of Tokyo had been pushing a more radical plan to not only buy the islands but develop them. China, however, was outraged, and considered Japan’s move a violation of their earlier agreements.
The dispute has brought nationalism and patriotism to the fore, and sparked sometimes violent protests in China targeting Japanese businesses, restaurants and cars. A Chinese man driving a Toyota Corolla was beaten unconscious by a mob in the tourist city of Xi'an and left partially paralyzed, according to state media. Chinese and Japanese coast guard vessels have been facing off in the contested waters.
The dispute is testing perhaps the most important economic relationship in Asia, between the world’s second- and third-largest economies.
Japan has claimed the islands since 1895. The U.S. took jurisdiction after World War II and turned them over to Japan in 1972. China says they have been part of its territory since ancient times, and that it opposed and never acknowledged the deal between Japan and the United States. Taiwan also claims them.
The islands make a strange setting for a potential conflict zone. The largest is less than 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles). It is home to a growing population of goats — the offspring of a pair brought there by right-wing Japanese activists in 1977 — as well as moles, crabs, Okinawan ants, albatross and lizards, and plants including azalea.
The islands themselves are remote, ‘‘intrinsically worthless features’’ that were largely forgotten for decades, said Clive Schofield of the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security at the University of Wollongong.
‘‘The reason why there is uncertainty over the ownership, sovereignty is because they have essentially been ignored over a large period of time,’’ Schofield said.
A U.N. survey in the 1970s that said oil and gas may lie beneath the surrounding waters changed that. Then, the Law of the Sea Convention introduced the idea of 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones, or EEZs, which give coastal countries sole exploitation rights over all natural resources contained within.
China’s new baselines are a prelude to defining that exclusive zone. It has drawn straight lines around the main group of islands and a separate set around isolated Chiwei Island, some 50 nautical miles to the east.
It also plans to submit a document outlining the outer limits of its sea bed — those that stretch beyond 200 nautical miles from land — in the East China Sea to a U.N. commission. The move is a way for China to underscore its claim, but has little real impact. The commission, which comprises geological experts, evaluates the markers on technical grounds but has no authority to resolve overlapping claims.
‘‘That puts a line in the sand, but it doesn’t have any legal impact,’’ said Ian Townsend Gault, director of the Centre for Asian Legal Studies at the University of British Columbia in Canada.Continued...

end quote from:
China's lines around islands suggest more conflict