Tuesday, March 25, 2008

News In Brief (And The Usual Opinionated Commentary)

The news shows have been saturated with Obama and Hillary destroying each other (and the Democratic Party), while John McCain has been traveling the world (looking Presidential, staying out of the crossfire). As a result, there hasn't been much else to focus on.

But here are a couple of things that have less to do with the race for the White House, and more to do with the issues that the candidates will likely face should they get there:



Scientists Question Use Of Biofuels

Gordon Brown is preparing for a battle with the European Union over biofuels after one of the government's leading scientists warned they could exacerbate climate change rather than combat it.

In an outspoken attack on a policy which comes into force next week, Professor Bob Watson, the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said it would be wrong to introduce compulsory quotas for the use of biofuels in petrol and diesel before their effects had been properly assessed.

"If one started to use biofuels ... and in reality that policy led to an increase in greenhouse gases rather than a decrease, that would obviously be insane," Watson said. "It would certainly be a perverse outcome."

Slowly, information about the earth cooling has been coming out and yet, I find it quite ironic that this story comes out under the pretense that warming is still a consensus. During the advancement of this junk science theory, we have found the push for biofuels, especially in areas which produce the crops that go into the making of these fuels. Indiana has led the push, because Indiana farmers stand to make a fortune off of them.

Very little attention has been given to the fact that this transition toward biofuels is not a good idea (for so many reasons). Now we have scientists that are rethinking this strategy, albeit for the wrong reasons. Never mind the sound reasoning that people like John Stossel, Mustang, and myself have put forth, these guys are backtracking because they believe that it will increase warming (despite the fact that this is still not a proven theory).

Whatever the rationales put forth by Professor Watson, the fact remains that the production of ethanol is leading to a rise in food prices across the board. Not only is there less corn for you and I to eat, there is less for livestock. Not only is the price of corn itself going up, the price of beef and pork is going up. If this (alone) is not enough for the junk scientists, maybe a faulty theory about a faulty theory will dissuade the world from jumping on this bandwagon.



China Continues Crackdown On Tibet Protests

Paramilitary police opened fire on hundreds of monks, nuns and Tibetans who tried to march on a local government office in western China yesterday to demand the return of the Dalai Lama.

Residents of Luhuo said that a monk and a farmer appeared to have been killed and about a dozen people wounded in the latest violence in Tibetan areas of China. Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, said that one officer was killed when police confronted a “lawless mob” in Luhuo.


With China on the world stage through the hosting of the Olympics in Beijing this year, the movement for Tibetan independence has flared up. And from the looks of their response, China doesn't intend to allow them the opportunity to share a part of that stage. But China may be shooting themselves in the foot, as the EU is already debating a boycott of the opening ceremony.

If China continues on this bloody path, it may be that the idea of an all-out boycott will be brought up and implemented soon. If this ends up being the case, China could be left holding the bill, for which they will not be able to recover.


6 comments:

Mustang said...

LA:

As I recently pointed out to John Press, Xizang (Tibet) has been a province of China since the mid-1700s, even if since then variably regarded as a somewhat autonomous region. No Chinese official has ever acknowledged Xizang’s 1911 proclamation, and indeed most other nations of the world continue to recognize Chinese sovereignty over that region. The Dalai Lama does not reject Chinese dominion; he only wants greater autonomy.

China has a traditional disdain for the western concept of individual liberty; there has never been “a right” of assembly or free press in either China or Tibet. Individuals or groups who protest in China do so with the understanding of the likely consequences. In spite of what I think, however, the US government’s protestations vis-à-vis the so-called Chinese crackdown on dissent is no more than bluster, and the Chinese know this as well as we do. Imagine how we might react to a stern note from the Chinese during the Rodney King riots.

That said, pissing into the wind has no effect on China whatsoever. But let me also observe how uncanny it is that a television crew “just happens” to be present when Chinese police are beating the crap out of Ding Cho Demonstrator. I suspect these events are “staged,” and that China isn’t handling them very well. No, the only responsible action “western nations” can and should take, is to boycott the Olympic Games. I should add, however, that the international community has seldom acted responsibly, and one need only look to the genocide in Kampuchea and recognition of Kosovo as two glaring examples. Nonetheless, a good post (as always), and thank you for the referral. Did you know that the link to your earlier post is not working?

Semper Fi,

LASunsett said...

//The Dalai Lama does not reject Chinese dominion; he only wants greater autonomy.//

This what I understand based on the recent reports I have read. But I have also read reports that there some within Tibet that are pushing for full independence.

//But let me also observe how uncanny it is that a television crew “just happens” to be present when Chinese police are beating the crap out of Ding Cho Demonstrator. I suspect these events are “staged,” and that China isn’t handling them very well.//

The leftist media stage something? Never.

Good point though. And it does beg certain questions, most prominently, how is there always a camera crew in place?

The other lesser question I have, would this be such a big deal if the Hollywood Buddhist community wasn't so enamored by the Dalai Lama? Many of them deify this man.

Pedro Morgado said...

Is China running for Olympics?
Click here to see!!! ;)

LASunsett said...

Hi Pedro,

I saw that cartoon yesterday, in one of the newspapers. Thanks for the link.

Greg said...

I don't pretend to understand the nuances of the conflict, but it seems to me that the biggest problem with China in Tibet is that the Commies won't allows the tibetans to practice their traditional religion. Falon Gong is another example of China's paranoid repression of non-threatening religious movements. So, China reaps what it sows. A gov't that won't allow it's people basic freedoms can't last for long. Either the Commies will grant more religious freedom, or the people will rebel.

Now Pelosi. Does anyone think she'd be willing to put her money where her mouth is and call for some actual concrete response to the repression? Like, could Congress discuss MFN status? Could we discuss boycotting the Olympics? I bet even a discussion on the floor of Congress would get the Commies' attention.

LASunsett said...

//Now Pelosi. Does anyone think she'd be willing to put her money where her mouth is and call for some actual concrete response to the repression?//

One of her Senator friends (can't remember if it's Boxer or Feinstein) has a husband that does a lot of business in China. What will you bet, she gets talked to when they cross paths?