Notes nov 6 2007

November 6, 2007 § Leave a comment

Fom Juan Cole

See also Barnett Rubin’s final posting in his series from Islamabad, in which he explains the puzzlement of the Pakistani populace as to why the Pakistani military is leaving alone, even encouraging radical Muslims striving for a caliphate in the tribal north, while rounding up lawyers, judges and other secular people in the urban areas.

As the Musharraf dictatorship arrested 200 members of the Pakistan People’s Party on Monday, their leader, Benazir Bhutto said she would lead a mass demonstration on Friday. Musharraf also imprisoned
400 members of the Muslim League (N) loyal to exiled leader Nawaz Sharif, and 2000 members of the fundamentalist Jama’at-i Islami.

From Scott Horton No Comment (Harper’s Magazine)

Musharraf’s moves were crafted to echo Bush’s own rhetoric: his denigration of lawyers, courts and judges, and his steady erosion of constitutional rights in order to bolster his own war-making powers. If Bush can play this game, Musharraf thought, why can’t I? But apart from his religious salutations, Musharraf’s speech could almost have been given by Dick Cheney at his next visit to a Whites-only country club. Musharraf’s main speech even evoked Abraham Lincoln in language that could have been taken straight from the pages of the Weekly Standard. They hit their target.

 

And From open left

Further Thoughts On The Enormity Of The Electricity Problem We Face

by: Chris Bowers

 

I don’t write about energy policy very often but I would like to share with you some numbers that have been going through my head on electricity production, numbers that led to my post from earlier today.

  1. Total electricity production in the United States for 2002: Between 3,867 terra watt hours and 4,050 terra watt hours (TWh)
  2. Percentage of electricity production in the Unites States from thermal (fossil fuel) plants in 2002: between 70.6% and 71.1%
  3. Desired reduction in carbon emissions in the United States by 2050: 80% minimum

Now, given all of these numbers, in order to meet current electricity consumption demands in the United States and reduce carbon emissions by 80% in this sector by 2050, it will be necessary to produce a minimum of 2,184 TWh of electricity from non-thermal sources over the next 43 years. And that is at minimum, if our electricity consumption habits remain at 2002 levels, instead of an expected, significant expansion. We probably need something more like 4,000–5,000 TWh of renewable electricity. If we fail to do this, either electricity costs in the United States will skyrocket, or we will fail to reach the targeted emissions reduction goal. Either conclusion in unacceptable, the former for political reasons and the latter for reasons related to global catastrophe. And so, we need to produce this electricity somehow.

So why no mention of Amory Lovins and Oil: the end game?

Web 2.0 and communication.

Web 2.0 is a concept without a definition. Think of it as wikis and blogs, collective intelligence, multidirectional communication. Technology often innovates faster than businesses can adapt, and Web 2.0 is no exception. Find out how you can benefit from Web 2.0. For more details, visit here. http://www.stc-siliconvalley.org/

and, population, from worldwatch

Baby in fieldAccording to the United Nations’ “medium-scenario” projection, the human population is on track to reach almost 9.2 billion by 2050, up from 6.6 billion today. This assumes a continuing decline in fertility rates. But if fertility rates stop falling—as is occurring in some countries today—the world population could reach 11.9 billion over that same period!

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