16 September 2016   Leave a comment

Michael Klare, our colleague at Hampshire College, has written a provocative essay for  Le Monde Diplomatique.  It is entitled “Sleepwalking into a big war” and Michael assesses the likelihood that the world is paying insufficient attention to the forces that the major powers are cultivating that could culminate in an unexpected great power war. I don’t think the situation is as serious as Michael apparently does, but there is no question that we are moving in that direction.

Scientists believe that the sea ice in the Arctic reached its minimum extent on 10 September and it appears to have tied 2007 as the second lowest level recorded.  2012 remains the smallest sea ice ever recorded by far.  The sea ice is far below the median levels recorded between 1981-2010.  The Arctic continues to be the area of the world most affected by climate change.

Figure 1. Arctic sea ice extent for September 10, 2016 was 4.14 million square kilometers (1.60 million square miles). The orange line shows the 1981 to 2010 median extent for that day.

The International Monetary Fund has done an analysis of the conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (there will not be any questions on the quiz about the report specifically) and, not surprisingly, found that the costs are devastating, not only for the countries directly involved, but also for surrounding countries.  The proposition might seems obvious, but it is very important to quantify the costs so that we can speak more intelligently about what happens when the world decides to resort to violence to solve problems.

Advertisements

Posted September 16, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: