An ice bridge linking a shelf of ice to two islands in Antarctica has shattered “and may herald a wider collapse caused by global warming.” Scientists say the collapse could mean the Wilkins Ice Shelf — which is about the size of Connecticut — is on the brink of breaking up. It would be the largest slab of ice so far to disintegrate and retreat in the Antarctic. “The rapid retreat of glaciers there demonstrates once again the profound effects our planet is already experiencing — more rapidly than previously known — as a consequence of climate change,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. An international meeting of Antarctic and Arctic scientists will report in Baltimore tomorrow that “up to one-third of all Antarctic sea ice is likely to melt by the end of the century, seriously contributing to dangerous sea level rises.”
An Iraqi defense ministry official reports that at least six gay men have been shot dead in two separate incidents during the past 10 days in a Shia-controlled part of Baghdad. The official said today that three bullet-riddled bodies of gay individuals have been identified in Sadr City:
“Three corpses of homosexuals have been recovered in Sadr City. Two of the bodies, found on Thursday, had pieces of paper attached on which was written the word ‘Pervert.’ The third body was retrieved on Friday,” the official said.
Other dead bodies had the word “puppies” written on their chests. Puppy is a derogatory word used by residents in Sadr City to refer to gays. Witnesses told CNN that a Sadr City cafe, which was a popular gathering spot for gays, was also set on fire.
Declining commodity prices in the face of the global recession mean that any oil-based polity is going to need to reevaluate its posture in the world, and it seems that with Barack Obama in office, Hugo Chavez has concluded that anti-American bluster isn’t the asset it once was.
As Neil Sinhababu says the US-Venezuelan conflict of the Bush years had remarkably little content to it beyond the cycle of hostility and mutual recriminations. There aren’t really much in the way of concrete disputes. So improved relations should be relatively easy to achieve as long as both countries see a “reset” as suiting their own preferred approach. Unlike with Iran, there aren’t a ton of thorny issues on the docket.
“Republicans [sic] For Environmental Protection: ‘Conservatives, Of All People, Should Not Ignore Basic Principles Of Economics’ ” is the guest post today, from Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson. I know what you’re thinking — there are Republicans For Environmental Protection? But of course there are — at the state level. Indeed, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a genuine leader in climate action. But this is a national organization and given the number of national Republicans who honestly support climate action — as opposed to the number who, say, work 24/7 to dishonestly appease polluters (see “”MIT Professor tells GOP to stop ‘misrepresenting’ his work and “House GOP pledge to fight all action on climate “and “Hill conservatives reject all 3 climate strategies” — at the very least REP should consider dropping the ‘s’ from their name.
Why are so many Republicans in Congress lying about green economy legislation? Republicans for Environmental Protection have no idea. In a sharply worded press release, this organization of conservation-minded conservatives criticize the Hill Republicans’ $3100 light-switch-tax lie, which is based on a deliberate misinterpretation of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis of carbon pricing. They describe the GOP pattern of lying about energy as “a disservice to American citizens” and “a dangerous unwillingness to learn the right lessons from the election debacles of 2006 and 2008″³: