Enter the Dragon: China’s Crucial Role in Winning Syria Peace

The United Nations estimates that the war damage to Syria’s infrastructure amounts to be at least $250 billion. China could be the ideal partner to rebuild the country. Russia and Iran certainly were crucial to President Assad’s forces winning the military war. But now it is China which is becoming crucial to winning the peace.

Astute News

China is stepping up its involvement in Syria, not with its military, but with cash – and lots of it. For Beijing, war-torn Syria is a golden opportunity for reconstruction business. For Damascus, prosperity means peace.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem have shown through their cordial discussions that Beijing and Damascus are on the same page when it comes to envisaging the rebuilding of Syria through partnership.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also recently backed the Russian-brokered peace talks held in Sochi and Astana. When Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an urgent shift to diplomatic efforts to stabilize Syria and the Middle East region, Beijing appears to have answered that call with ambitious reconstruction plans.

Firms from China are reportedly queuing up to win contracts for rebuilding entire towns and villages, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and communication networks devastated by nearly seven years of…

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Analysis: Can Chinese cities leave the car behind?

Plagued by congestion and air pollution, China’s cities are exploring models of transportation that are more sustainable in terms of their social, environmental and climate impacts.

A greener life, a greener world

Article imageEncouraging bicycles and investing in public transport are just some of the ways Chinese cities are trying to minimise car use Photo credit: chuyu.

By Liu Shaokun

For years, Chinese city planners have prioritised cars, but they’re now taking a different route, writes Liu Shaokun.

Plagued by congestion and air pollution, China’s cities are exploring models of transportation that are more sustainable in terms of their social, environmental and climate impacts. Some have emerged as global leaders, such as Hangzhou, south-west of Shanghai, which in 2017 won an international award for its municipal bike sharing scheme. More recently Shenzhen, a major city north of Hong Kong, electrified its entire fleet of public buses, gaining worldwide recognition.

Over the past 40 years, China has undergone rapid urbanisation. In the 1980s, the one-time “kingdom of the bicycle” saw economic reforms and the transition to motorised transportation. The country is now…

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Warning that 5G electromagnetic radiation could greatly harm insect and bird orientation

An analysis of 97 studies by the EU-funded review body EKLIPSE concluded that radiation is a potential risk to insect and bird orientation and plant health.

Antinuclear

Electromagnetic radiation from power lines and phone masts poses ‘credible’ threat to wildlife, report finds  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/05/17/electromagnetic-radiation-power-lines-phone-masts-poses-credible/ Electromagnetic radiation from power lines, wi-fi, phone masts and broadcast transmitters poses a ‘credible’ threat to wildlife, a new report suggests, as environmentalists warned the 5G roll out could cause greater harm.

An analysis of 97 studies by the EU-funded review body EKLIPSE concluded that radiation is a potential risk to insect and bird orientation and plant health.

However the charity Buglife warned that despite good evidence of the harms there was little research ongoing to assess the impact, or apply pollution limits.

The charity said ‘serious impacts on the environment could not be ruled out’ and called for 5G transmitters to be placed away from street lights, which attract insects, or areas where they could harm wildlife.Matt Shardlow, CEO of Buglife said: “We apply limits to all…

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Prime minister to meet with oil industry for first time since ban

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, will meet with oil industry representatives to discuss the future. (Photo: NZ Herald)
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will meet with oil industry representatives to discuss the future. (Photo: NZ Herald)

The Prime Minister is heading to New Plymouth today to meet with representatives from the oil and gas industry.

It’s the first time she’s been to the region since the Government banned on any future offshore exploration permits.

Jacinda Ardern says the focus of her meetings today will be on what needs to be done to help the industry transition.

“There are decades left of work and exploration in this industry. What we need to think about is what happens in the 30 years after that, and that’s why we’re going to Taranaki to talk about that.”

The industry has been very critical, saying they weren’t properly consulted by the Government, but Ardern maintains that’s not the case.

“There have been changes in this industry for some time and anyone who listened to what we’d been saying about there not being a future for fossil fuels would not have been surprised by this move at all” . . .

Source: PM to meet with oil industry for first time since ban

A 100% renewable grid isn’t just feasible, it’s already happening

The ongoing debate around whether it’s feasible to have an electric grid running on 100 percent renewable power in the coming decades often misses a key point:  many countries and regions are already at or close to 100 percent now.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there are seven countries already at, or very, near 100 percent renewable power: Iceland (100 percent), Paraguay (100), Costa Rica (99), Norway (98.5), Austria (80), Brazil (75), and Denmark (69.4).

The main renewables in these countries are hydropower, wind, geothermal, and solar.

A new international study, which debunks many myths about renewable energy, notes that many large population regions are “at or above 100%” including Germany’s Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Hostein regions, New Zealand’s South Island, and Denmark’s Samsø island. In Canada, both Quebec and British Columbia are at nearly 100 percent renewable power.

Last summer, China’s State-run Xinhua News Agency reported that “Qinghai Province has just run for seven straight days entirely on renewable energy … only wind, solar and hydro.” This was part of a test by the country’s State Grid Corporation to show a post-fossil-fuel future was practical.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has projected that by 2040, Germany’s grid will see nearly 75 percent renewable penetration, Mexico will be over 80 percent, and Brazil and Italy will be over 95 percent.

BNEF was not looking at what could theoretically happen by mid-century if countries pushed as hard as required by the Paris Climate Accord. They were just looking at business as usual over the next two decades.

A study out earlier this month found, “Indonesia has far more than enough pumped hydro storage sites to support a 100% renewable electricity grid.” Storage is one of the most straightforward ways to integrate wind and solar power into the grid,  to account for the times when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. . .

Source: ThinkProgress.

Source: A 100% renewable grid isn’t just feasible, it’s already happening

Israel Independence and the Forced Eviction of 700,000 Palestinians

Al-Naqba: The Palestinian Catastrophe Part 4

Al Jazeera (2013)

Film Review

Zionist leaders proclaimed the independent state of Israel on May 14, 1948, the day British occupation of Palestine ended (see Brits Look On as Jewish Terrorists Ransack Palestinian Villages). By July, more than 400,000 Palestinians had been forcibly evicted from their homes. This final episode of the Al-Nakba documentary includes poignant testimony from Palestinian refugees whose families lived in the open for months without access to food or water. One man describes his mother feeding the family a mixture of hay, oil and onions.

The Swedish mediator the UN appointed to negotiate a peace settlement called the plight of Palestinian refugees a humanitarian disaster. He also put forward a peace proposal granting Palestinian refugees the right of return and was promptly assassinated by the Stern Gang.*

By the end of 1948, more than 700,000 Palestinians had been driven from their homes. Despite a UN Security Council resolution calling for Israel to guarantee their right to return to their villages, Ralph Bunche, the new UN mediator omitted this requirement from the separate peace agreements he negotiated between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria in early 1949.

Based on these peace accords, the West Bank of the Jordan River was annexed to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt. In this way, Israel succeeded in their goal of totally erasing Palestine from history. The European and US media fully colluded in this endeavor.

In the end, only 15% of Palestine’s 1.3 million Arabs were allowed to remain within Israel’s borders. Owing to its strong link with the Vatican, the Arab population of Nazareth was allowed to remain.

Israel offered Christian and Druze Arabs the right to remain in Galilee. Instead, standing in  solidarity with Muslim neighbors who had been evicted, they opted to emigrate.

At present six million Palestinian refugees (and their descendants) live outside Israel. Two million if them still reside in desperate conditions in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. Approximately 8.3 million live in Israel proper (1.8 million) or the Israeli occupied West Bank (4.5 million ) and Gaza (2 million).


*The Stern Gang was a prominent Jewish terrorist/paramilitary organization formed during the British occupation of Palestine. See1947: British Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine

Strict curbs on global warming would buoy world economy: study

Study shows reducing catastrophic weather events would greatly boost global economy.

peoples trust toronto

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May 23, 2018

By Alister Doyle

OSLO (Reuters) ? Stringent limits on global warming would bolster the world economy by averting tens of trillions of dollars in damage this century from heat waves, droughts and floods, a U.S. study said on Wednesday.

The report, among the first to assess the economics of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, said the toughest temperature curbs would benefit 90 percent of the world?s population, especially in poor nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The world?s biggest economies ? the United States, China and Japan ? would also gain if the world achieves the toughest targets, according to the study led by researchers at Stanford University and published in the journal Nature.

Russia, Canada and Nordic countries, where rising temperatures could boost farm output and limit deaths from winter cold, would be among a few nations to suffer economically from tough curbs on…

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