Today’s links to interesting news and analysis…
- “World will ‘cool for the next decade’“, New Scientist, 9 September 2009 — Summary of forecasts about decadal cooling (e.g., “Advancing decadal-scale climate prediction in the North Atlantic sector“, Mojib Latif et al, Nature, 1 May 2008) — More rebuttal to the doomsters’ forecasts of imminent doom.
- More evidence disproving the wing-nuts belief that the Community Reinvestment Act and FNMA caused the housing bubble: “Safe as houses – Compare countries’ house-price data over time, The Economist, 30 December 2009 — The housing bubble was a global event. Great interactive graphic!
- “Could the Pakistani Government Fall over Karachi Violence? What would it Mean for Obama’s War on al-Qaeda?“, Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 7 January 2010
- War advocacy becomes a self-parody: “Iran Shielding Its Nuclear Efforts in Maze of Tunnels“, New York Times, 7 January 2010 — The article speaks of hidden tunnels, despite the IAEA inspections of all operating atomic facilities in Iran.
- More fallacious pro-war propaganda: “There’s Only One Way to Stop Iran“, Alan J. Kuperman (director of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Program at U of Texas at Austin), op-ed in the New York Times, 23 December 2009 — Pro-war advocates get top billing, always, in America.
- Rebuttal to Kuperman: “Time for wiser voices to pile on: Alan Kuperman’s silly essay on Iran“, Stephen M. Walt, blog of Foreign Policy, 27 December 2009
- Rebuttal to Kuperman: “Mainstreaming the Mad Iran Bombers“, Marc Lynch, blog of Foreign Policy, 24 December 2009
- Rebuttal to Kuperman: “Iran and the Goldilocks Principle: Why Kuperman is Completely Wrong and the Leveretts are Only Partly Right and There are no Tunnel Bombs“, Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 7 January 2010
Note: article #1 is an accurate version. The article given yesterday was an exaggerated version of this research (“The mini ice age starts here“, Daily Mail, 10 January 2010).
Quote of the Day
“The Diary“, Barbara Ehrenreich, Financial Times, 8 January 2010 — I recommend reading the full article. Conclusion:
Just as I’m working up a fresh lather of economic indignation about the grim prospects for the young, the subject changes again. Someone, apparently in Yemen, presses the rewind button and we’re back to 2001, worrying about whether the passenger sitting next to us is carrying explosives in his undies. I’m not that concerned about ending up in a fine spray of body parts, which is at least a quick, clean, sort of death. But I’m terrified at the possibility, being raised in the wake of the pants-on-fire bomber, of having to fly with absolutely nothing on your lap for the first and last hours of a flight, not even the in-flight magazine. If they’re going to take away our reading material, our iPods and iPhones, they might as well sedate us for the length of the trip, like sci-fi space travellers cryogenically preserved to endure the passage of light-years.
Maybe we, in America, feel a little stuck between our wars and our murderous economy, between radical Islam and Goldman Sachs. A year ago we were talking “change” and “hope”, but the hopes have dwindled and the change has turned out to be undetectable to all but the most sophisticated wonks. I see more Spam in our future, at least for those who can afford to eat meat.
Barbara Ehrenreich is an American feminist, democratic socialist, pop sociologist and political activist, a prominent figure in the Democratic Socialists of America. She is a widely read columnist and essayist, and the author of nearly 20 books. Including Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.