Tag Archives: China

Greenpeace Says Ban Deep-Sea Mining, Not Our Right to Protest Against It

“How can Greenpeace’s activists paddling on kayaks be a threat to the environment, but the plundering of the oceans be a solution to the climate catastrophe?”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 3-18-2024 by Common Dreams

Greenpeace kayaktivists hold up a sign reading “stop deep-sea mining” during a November 2023 protest near a Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. exploration ship in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo: Martin Katz/Greenpeace/X)

As the International Seabed Authority kicked off its annual summit in Jamaica on Monday to discuss rules for extracting minerals from the ocean floor, Greenpeace—which could be expelled from the United Nations body over a demonstration targeting a mining company—is urging the ISA to “stop deep-sea mining, not protests.”

Representatives of 167 nations are gathering in Kingston to draft the regulatory framework for deep-sea mining, which ISA member states agreed to work out by July 2025. Although there are no current commercial deep seabed mining operations, the ISA has issued exploration licenses to state-owned companies and agencies in China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, and South Korea, and to private corporations including U.K. Seabed Resources, a subsidiary of U.S. military-industrial complex giant Lockheed Martin.

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Bombings Kill Dozens in Pakistan on Eve of Contentious Elections

As Pakistanis prepare to head to the polls with the country’s most popular politician behind bars on dubious charges, human rights groups sounded the alarm on a wide range of election-related repression.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-7-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: YouTube

Dozens of Pakistanis were killed Wednesday in two bombings targeting political offices on the eve of highly contentious parliamentary elections from which the country’s most popular leader—who is jailed on what critics say are politically motivated charges—is banned.

The blasts both occurred in the southwestern province of Balochistan, homeland of the nomadic Baloch people, who also inhabit a large swath of southeastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. Government officials said the first bombing, which targeted independent candidate Asfandyar Khan’s office in the Pashin district, killed 18 people. A second blast approximately 80 miles away then killed at least 12 people at the Qilla Saifullah office of the Sunni fundamentalist Jamiat Ulema Islam party, which has close ties to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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Business of War Is Booming as Orders Surge at Top Global Arms Firms

“The order books of the world’s biggest defense companies are near record highs,” a new Financial Times analysis reveals.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 12-28-2023 by Common Dreams

The event, which is held at the ExCeL London exhibition center, is the world’s largest defense and security event. Screenshot: YouTube

Orders at many of the world’s biggest arms companies are “near record highs” due to rising geopolitical tensions in recent years, an analysis published Wednesday by Financial Times revealed.

The London-based newspaper analyzed the order books of the world’s 15 top arms makers and found their combined backlogs were $777.6 billion at the end of 2022—a 10% increase from 2020.

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‘Baby Steps’ Will Not Avert Climate Catastrophe, UN Warns

The United Nations assessment coincided with the release of “the world’s most comprehensive roadmap of how to close the global gap in climate action across sectors.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 11-14-2023 by Common Dreams

A resident holds a sign asking passing drivers to slow down to reduce wakes that exacerbate flooding in a suburb of Houston, Texas, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Glenn Fawcett)

“The world is failing to get a grip on the climate crisis.”

That’s how United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres began his Tuesday remarks about a new U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) report on nationally determined contributions (NDCs), or countries’ plans to meet the goals of the Paris agreement, including its 1.5°C temperature target.

The UNFCCC analysis “provides yet more evidence that the world remains massively off track to limiting global warming to 1.5°C and avoiding the worst of climate catastrophe,” said Guterres. “As the report shows, global ambition stagnated over the past year and national climate plans are strikingly misaligned with the science.”

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Panama Canal drought: Rolling ecological crisis is raising prices everywhere

Climate change and El Niño are causing global shortages of everything from Barbie dolls to natural gas

By James Meadway. Published 9-21-2023 by openDemocracy

The Agua Clara (Clear Water) Locks at the Atlantic (Caribbean Sea) end of the canal. Photo: Dan Lundberg/flickr/CC

It’s been another summer of extreme weather and the relentless drumbeat of climate change syncopating with the warm-water Pacific Ocean cycle of El Niño has reverberated across the globe.

Floods in the Balkans and North Africa have killed thousands, wildfires have raged across much of the Mediterranean, India’s rice crop has been hit by drought and Canada’s wheat harvests by floods. Meanwhile, in Central America, the driest weather in decades is menacing one of the most important transport arteries on earth.

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Nuclear weapons on rise in a world where ‘peace through deterrence’ is a myth

Powerful nations are prepared to use nuclear weapons first. This is why their proliferation is worrying analysts

By Paul Rogers. Published 6-16-2023 by openDemocracy

A B61 tactical nuclear weapon, probably an inert training version. U.S. AIR FORCE

The world is “drifting into one of the most dangerous periods in human history”, according to a leading security research centre, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). At the root of its concern is that, though the number of nuclear warheads is still far lower than during the Cold War years, nuclear modernisation and development programmes in the nine nuclear-armed states are leading to an expansion in the number of warheads held.

The numbers are small, according to the SIPRI Yearbook 2023: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, just 86 more warheads than in January last year in a global inventory of 12,512. So why the concern? Who has the warheads and why is the number increasing rather than decreasing?

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Big Oil Shill Tells Fox Viewers There Is ‘No Health Risk’ From Inhaling Toxic Smoke

Fox News brought on a contributor with a history of downplaying the dangers of secondhand smoke and dismissing climate science to tell viewers that particulate matter is “innocuous.”

By Jake Johnson Published 6-8-2023 by Common Dreams

Steve Milloy, a senior policy fellow at the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, speaks during a Fox News appearance on June 8, 2023. (Photo: Fox News/Screengrab)

As smoke from massive wildfires in Quebec blanketed much of the eastern U.S., forcing millions to stay indoors as state governments issued code-red air quality alerts, a longtime shill for the fossil fuel and tobacco industries falsely told Fox News viewers late Wednesday that there is actually “no health risk” associated with inhaling such polluted air.

“Look, the air is ugly, it’s unpleasant to breathe, and for a lot of people, they get anxiety over it. But the reality is there’s no health risk,” Steve Milloy, a senior policy fellow at the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, told Fox‘s Laura Ingraham. “We have this kind of air in India and China all the time—no public health emergency.”

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Could Iran’s new nuclear bunker increase the risk of an Israeli attack?

If Israel keeps its far-right government and Trump returns, chances of an attack on Iran will increase

By Paul Rogers. Published 5-26-2023 by openDemocracy

Former President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Reports that Iran is constructing a very large, deep bunker as part of its nuclear programme mean there is a renewed risk of an upsurge in tension, and the potential for conflict, most likely involving Israel but always with risk of it spreading much wider.

Context here is important.

During Barack Obama’s second term in the White House, countries including the UK, France and Germany, worked hard with the US to forge an agreement with the Iranian regime to avoid Iran developing nuclear weapons. A powerful motivation was the risk of Israel otherwise taking unilateral action.

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Chinese Immigrants Sue Florida Over DeSantis’s Discriminatory Law Banning Home Purchases

“All Asian Americans will feel the stigma and the chilling effect created by this Florida law, just like the discriminatory laws did to our ancestors more than a hundred years ago.”

By Julia Conley. Published 5-22-2023 by Common Dreams

Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Accusing Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of enacting an unconstitutional law that would not have been out of place at the turn of the last century, a group of Chinese American immigrants on Monday filed a lawsuit against the state over S.B. 264, which restricts most Chinese citizens from purchasing homes in Florida.

The law is set to take effect on July 1, but the plaintiffs and the groups representing them—including the ACLU, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), the Chinese American Legal Defense Alliance (CALDA), and the ACLU of Florida—hope to block the measure in the courts.

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‘What the Climate Emergency Looks Like’: Extreme Heat Busts Records Across Asia

Sweltering temperatures have devastated numerous Asian countries this month, eliciting demands for lifesaving climate action.

By Kenny Stancil. Published 4-19-2023 by Common Dreams

The European model shows temperatures across Southeast Asia rising well above normal Monday. Image: WeatherBell.com

Hundreds of millions of people throughout Asia are suffering Wednesday as a deadly heatwave turbocharged by the fossil fuel-driven climate crisis continues to pummel large swaths of the continent, with little relief in sight—reigniting calls for immediate action to slash greenhouse gas pollution.

Record-high temperatures have been observed in several Asian countries this month, including at 109 weather stations across 12 Chinese provinces on Monday. Scorching heat in India, meanwhile, has killed more than a dozen people and forced school closures this week.

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