Keeping Informed No 4

Paddle Now www.paddlenow.org.nz

Newsletter No 4.      2/12/19

The times are indeed changing at an increasing pace. How long ago was it that Peak Oil was the subject of alarm that mayhem was about to descend to Earth as the reserves of oil, on which our civilisation depended, were about to run out? Now, the oil industry is fretting that it is the demand for oil that is about to peak. (See article from oilprice.com) Alas, this ‘disaster’ is still far too far in the future! (See article from The Guardian on fossil fuel extraction.)

An illustration of the extent to which all four sectors of Paddle Now’s concern (Global Governance, Peace & Conflict Resolution, Human Rights & Justice, Environment & Climate Change) are inter-dependant, is the difficulty in determining under which sector heading an article should be placed.

For instance, should the article on the Marshall Islands, which is placed under ‘Environment & Climate Change’ be instead placed under ‘Human Rights & Justice’ or under ‘Peace & Conflict Resolution?’ Similarly, the hyperlinks on the corruption of the OPCW (Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Warfare) currently placed under ‘Global Governance,’ could just as well sit under ‘Peace  & Conflict Resolution.’ 

Environment  & Climate Change.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/IEA-Peak-Oil-Demand-Is-Less-Than-A-Decade-Away.html?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=vwo_notification_1573679320&_p_c=1  3 minute read

And herewith a good-news extract from an article from the same source. “European Investment bank ends lending to fossil fuels. The European Investment Bank announced on Thursday plans to end financing for fossil fuel projects around the world, a decision that will take effect in 2021. In the interim, only projects currently in the works will go forward. Instead, the EIB said it would unlock 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) for climate change action. “We will stop financing fossil fuels and we will launch the most ambitious climate investment strategy of any public financial institution anywhere,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer. The EIB is the world’s largest multilateral lender.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/20/fossil-fuel-production-on-track-for-double-the-safe-climate-limit  …and herewith the bad news! By themselves, enthusiastic disruption of traffic and ardent protests look unlikely to stop our rush to extinction. A pause for thought needs to be followed by political action that can only come about through a sea-change in public opinion and sentiment. 5 minute read

https://www.latimes.com/projects/marshall-islands-nuclear-testing-sea-level-rise/  – A horrifying piece of reporting from the Los Angeles Times: depending how much you want to know, 5 or 15 minute read.

Human Rights & Justice.

https://ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24665&LangID=E The UN in defence of Julian Assange. 3 minute read.

https://www.dw.com/en/india-children-grapple-with-the-aftermath-of-farmer-suicides/a-51213478  5 minute read.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/17/show-no-mercy-leaked-documents-reveal-details-of-chinas-mass-xinjiang-detentions  At least the Chinese government is not relying on mass executions! However, it was faced with a problem to which it had to respond, (see next hyperlink,)  3 minute read.

http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO5Oct2018.php  Why China has a Xinjiang problem. 5 minute read.

Peace & Conflict Resolution

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/11/article/more-accurate-attacks-on-israel-could-lead-to-war/  4 minute read.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/global/10-conflicts-watch-2019  Worth being familiar with this think tank despite its presenting a very Eurocentric, ‘Western-rules’ based interpretation of world affairs. 3, or 10 minute read.

https://thebulletin.org/2019/11/taking-erdogans-critique-of-the-nuclear-non-proliferation-treaty-seriously/  Time for a push on this front? “…the NPT has become—or many countries see it as—a means for perpetuating the division between those that have them and those that don’t.” 3 minute read.

Global Governance

https://www.worldcitizensinitiative.org/  A valiant proposal for an initial, modest UN reform. Given the current structure of the organisation, it is extremely resistant to any changes that could be seen as impinging on the sovereign rights of the permanent members of the Security Council.     2 minute read – and several more thinking about it.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/15/the-opcw-and-douma-chemical-weapons-watchdog-accused-of-evidence-tampering-by-its-own-inspectors/  Another example of the exceptional nation’s exceptional misdemeanours! At the time, It was obvious for anyone attempting to keep up with developments in the Middle East that the Syrian rebels and their western supporters were playing with false-flag gas attacks. The aim was to justify military intervention to overthrow the UN recognised Syrian regime. Ghouta was the first and most blatantly a scam, then came Khan Shaykun and finally Douma, which was used by the western allies to launch missile attacks on Syria – more to placate deliberately aroused western public opinion than for any military effect.  7 minute read.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html  On the site reporting. Robert Fisk is far too reputable and experienced a reporter of ME affairs to make a mistake in this matter. 5 minute read.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2199-head-of-chemical-weapons-agency-rolls/   Written in 2002:  preparation for the invasion of Iraq. The sad fact is that the USA gained control over the OPCW from the moment it engineered the replacement of its first Director General, Jose Bustani . From then on, as we have seen in Syria, the OPCW has become the USA’s creature. What other organs of global governance have (or have not) been similarly penetrated and manipulated? 3 minute read.

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