4 December 2016   Leave a comment

The American Museum of Natural History has produced a fascinatsing video on human population.  It took humanity about 200,000 years to year one billion people; since then, it has taken 200 years to reach 7 billion.  The explosive growth of population is unquestionably the most important reality governing world politics today event though we are only dimly aware of it.

 

Robert Walker is former chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and he is slated to be appointed high up in NASA, the US space exploration agency.  By all accounts, he is a gifted scientist and strongly supportive of space exploration.  But he also a skeptic when it comes to NASA’s role as a monitor of the earth.  In an op-ed for Space News last October he criticized NASA’s monitoring role:

“NASA was formed in the crucible of Sputnik and took this nation to the moon and stars. Today, it has been largely reduced to a logistics agency concentrating on space station resupply and politically correct environmental monitoring.

“NASA’s core missions must be exploration and science – and inspirational! These are the fundamental underpinnings of a Trump civilian space program.

“NASA should be focused primarily on deep space activities rather than Earth-centric work that is better handled by other agencies.”

Many scientists disagree with this view, arguing that the earth as a unified system can only be studied from space.  Without NASA’s information, much of the research on climate change would be severely compromised.

Italian voters turned down a proposal to alter the Italian constitution and the Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, resigned after the votes were tallied.  The Italian government now faces a serious crisis. Rnezi’s party still controls a majority in the Parliament and elections are not scheduled until 2018.  But if Renzi cannot be persuaded to create a caretaker government, then Italy faces the prospect of a major government change–the 63rd government in the last 70 years.  The most likely candidate for a coalition government is the 5 Star Movement, an anti-establishment party, an outcome that will likely frighten the very fragile financial industry in Italy.

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Posted December 5, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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