View Full Version : The End of the World

Gregory Tenenbaum
August 23rd, 2006, 05:56 AM
...as some people know it.

Remember the End of the World cults from the 90s? Seems like yesterday but I personally forgot about them.

Remember the mass suicides, the people who thought that the world would end on a specific date?

This is one of the most interesting documentaries I have ever seen:


Make up your own mind.

Gregory Tenenbaum
August 28th, 2006, 05:45 AM
Ladies and Gentlemen

We only have 2 weeks left to live, at least 1/3rd of the population.

Nuclear War will take place on 12 September 2006. Watch it and see:


This is the effect of Nuclear War


I wish you all luck in constructing your shelters before this dreadful occurence.


August 28th, 2006, 09:20 AM
blah ^^ ... blah ^^ ... blah ^^ ...

How come this guy Hawkins can't even properly pronounce the word "nuclear" (using instead the GWB phrasing of "nu - KU - lar") ??

If this event comes to pass it will show yet another benefit of living in Manhattan: Gone in a flash rather than having to deal with the nasty aftermath of firestorms and fall-out.

And will save me from having to make that quarterly Estimated Tax Payment due September 15.

Suggested alternative viewing:

You Tube: What to do on September 13, 2006 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgFwVB3eHk4&mode=related&search)

August 30th, 2006, 12:02 AM
13 Days and counting ...

Gathering nuclear storm

Washington Times (http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20060828-101129-4021r.htm)
By Arnaud de Borchgrave
Published August 29, 2006


Just days before the United Nations Security Council deadline for Iran to cease and desist enriching uranium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave the West the Iranian bird. By inaugurating a "heavy-water" reactor, Iran instantly doubled its chances of acquiring nuclear weapons. Adding insult to injury, the military mullahs test-fired a new long-range missile -- the Thaqeb, or Saturn, a submarine-to-surface weapon.

The new reactor runs on natural uranium mined by Iran and skips the difficult enrichment phase to produce plutonium, which gives nukes the power to obliterate entire cities. Of course, all these efforts, says Iran's president, is to treat and diagnose AIDS and cancer patients. And -- we almost forgot -- to generate more power to improve agriculture. The fact Iran has sufficient oil reserves to generate electric power for generations to come is conveniently overlooked.

Iran is now confident neither Russia nor China will go along with meaningful economic sanctions. Moscow says sanctions have never worked, ignoring those that collapsed South Africa's apartheid regime. The handwriting on the geopolitical landscape has convinced Israel and its core support in the U.S., from the neoconservatives to the Christian Right, that a military solution is inescapable.

Leading conservatives have said World War III -- the ultimate clash of civilizations -- has been under way since September 11, 2001. Some neocons say it started when the mullahs forced the shah into exile and seized power in Iran in early 1979 -- and that President Bush and Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair are treading water among the appeasers. They remind Mr. Bush he vowed not to leave office without first ensuring that "the worst weapons will not fall into the worst hands" and thus Iran cannot become a nuclear power.
Their ideological guide Richard Perle goes so far as to accuse Mr. Bush, who knows Iran has pursued a secret nuclear weapons program for the last 19 years, of opting for "ignominious retreat."

Overlooked in this calculus is Mr. Bush's burden of two wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, and a much-diminished U.S. military. A third front against Iran, an ancient civilization of 70 million with global retaliatory capabilities (e.g., Hezbollah), is a frightening prospect that conjures up the nightmare of a return to the draft.

Mr. Bush believes deeply that Iran poses an existential threat to close ally Israel. Congress recently voted a resolution that said an attack on Israel is an attack on the United States. Mr. Bush also believes Iran is determined to sabotage American hopes of establishing a new democratic Middle East.

In Iraq, clandestine Iranian aid, from sophisticated "Improvised Explosive Devices" to funds and weapons to the two main Shi'ite militias, may be designed to maneuver the U.S. into a humiliating, Vietnamlike withdrawal from Iraq.

Given Mr. Bush's overarching dedication to "winning the Global War on Terrorism," said one former senior intelligence analyst, the neutralization of Iran has become a sine qua non, "equal if not higher on his list of priorities than 'victory' in Iraq, another impossibility that he is unwilling to recognize, even privately, much less acknowledge publicly."

Mr. Bush's national security advisers have also pointed out that an escalating danger of U.S.-Iran military confrontation automatically intensifies internal and regional opposition to U.S. objectives in Iraq. The president keeps reminding private interlocutors to think of how history will judge this critical period 15 to 20 years hence. He sees personal and national humiliation if he were to leave office having acquiesced to an embryonic Iranian nuclear arsenal.

So odds makers bet sometime before the end of his second term President Bush will order a massive air attack on a wide range of carefully selected targets in Iran, in partnership with Israel, and against the advice of many of his advisers. Mr. Bush is convinced a nuclear Iran would pose an intolerable threat to U.S. national security and, as one former intelligence topsider put it, "he is firm in his faith that God agrees with him on that point, and certain that history will eventually recognize and properly appreciate his courageous and visionary leadership."

This raises the question of congressional approval. As George Will said to CBS' George Stephanopoulos two Sundays ago, when was the last time this president ever worried about getting approval in advance from the Congress or the public?

In any event, Israel is not taking any chances. Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said last week Israel would not be the first to attack Iran. Other Israeli voices say Israel will have to do just that. Israel recently added a new command to the IDF -- the "Iran Command." Its new commander is Maj. Gen. Elyezer Shkedy, Israel's Air Force chief. He is responsible for all conflicts with countries "not bordering Israel." The Jewish state's strategic thinkers and military planners take the diminutive Mr. Ahmadinejad at his word when he says Israel must be "wiped off the map."

Most worrisome for Israel is Hezbollah's recent military performance against the Israeli Defense Force in Lebanon. The perception is this Iranian surrogate resisted and repelled a mighty foe. The reality is Iran's new-mown conviction Israel can be defeated. So Israel will now have to prove, yet again, that it cannot.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

Copyright © 2006 News World Communications, Inc.

August 30th, 2006, 01:06 AM
Yup world coming to an end.

August 30th, 2006, 07:07 AM
Yup world coming to an end.
Doesn't sound good, that's for sure.

August 30th, 2006, 04:58 PM
If it's not one thing, it's another ...

Too Hot to Handle

A Potential Supervolcano in Our Backyard

abcnews (http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Science/story?id=2366987)
Aug. 29, 2006

What could cover the globe in ash, plunge Earth into an ice age and end life as we know it?

The answer is found in what lies beneath: supervolcanoes. Supervolcanoes are very rare. There is no need to run out and buy duct tape and plastic sheeting for this one. The last known supervolcano was about 74,000 years ago. But they are real, and one potential supervolcano lies right here in the United States, in one of America's most profound areas of natural beauty.

Just 20 miles beneath the earth's surface lies a pressurized ocean of molten rock looking for a way out. And a massive release of that molten rock would create a supervolcano — arguably the largest natural disaster humanity would ever face ...

Good old abc & 20/20 even lets you chime in on the impending doom ...

http://a.abcnews.com/images/site/popup/popup_h1_abcnewslogo.jpg (http://abcnews.go.com/) WHAT WILL END OUR DAYS ON EARTH?

Which doomsday scenario will most likely end our days on Earth?
__ An asteroid

__ A black hole

__ A supervolcano

August 30th, 2006, 05:08 PM
Even a message from ELVIS!

The 12th it is!


August 30th, 2006, 05:50 PM
Which doomsday scenario will most likely end our days on Earth?[/B]
__ An asteroid
__ A black hole
__ A supervolcano

Can I write "Bush" as a fill-in?

September 1st, 2006, 07:31 PM
you know the world is coming to an end. :cool:

Man breaks into McDonald's to cook, eat burgers

Associated Press
Aug. 30, 2006 08:15 AM

LAKE HAVASU CITY - Lake Havasu City police are looking for a real-life Hamburglar.

A man broke into a McDonald's early Sunday morning through a roof vent.

Surveillance video shows the man turning on the grill, cooking and eating a couple of burgers before fleeing. http://www.azcentral.com/imgs/clear.gifOAS_AD('ArticleFlex_1')http://www.azcentral.com/imgs/clear.gif

When he fled, the burger bandit triggered a door alarm that a morning shift manager heard when she pulled into work nearly two hours later.

She found a piece of drywall on the kitchen floor, and another employee noticed the grill was greasy.

Damage to the McDonald's is estimated at $150.

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September 2nd, 2006, 12:13 AM
I hope it doesn't end, I just got a new job.

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 2nd, 2006, 06:07 AM
I thank this gentleman who has kindly placed comprehensive instructions on how to build a fallout shelter



Thank you sir! Now mind giving me a hand with the shovel? :eek:

September 7th, 2006, 04:13 PM
keep Dr. Bloodmoney sedated and everything will be OK!

September 7th, 2006, 06:36 PM
How to PREPARE (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=118890&postcount=38)

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 9th, 2006, 04:49 PM
Fred Phelps has your friendly end of the world message.


Some would say - "What a complete nut". :rolleyes:


Gregory Tenenbaum
September 12th, 2006, 03:53 AM
Im glad to say, that it looks like we made it.

Sunny day too! :)

Shall we all send an email to the doomsayer and ask for an explanation, or wait at least until midnight tonight?

September 12th, 2006, 07:44 AM
there's no need to wait. we're safe.

a statement of such grave magnitude like "september 12 will be the end of the world" should be a true statement for the entire planet, right - and not just for any number of time zones. but there is only a one-hour time frame in which it is september 12 everywhere. in new york we are five hours behind greenwich mean time and 7 hours ahead of the date line (i think), so the window during which it was september 12 on the whole planet was between 6am and 7am eastern standard time.

it is now 7:42am and for all i can tell i am still alive. ergo, the statement "september 12 will be the end of the world" is not true. end of discussion.

September 12th, 2006, 08:17 AM
Reporting in from Rome:

Over here it´s total chaos, everything´s in ruins.

September 12th, 2006, 08:44 AM
Over here it´s total chaos, everything´s in ruins.
Come sempre.

September 12th, 2006, 01:04 PM
Wouldn't want Rome any other way ;)

September 15th, 2006, 01:06 PM

Majority Of Americans Unprepared For Apocalypse
"All in all, America gets an 'F' for end-of-the-world preparedness."the onion (http://theonion.)
September 13, 2006 |
Issue 42•37 (http://www.theonion.com/content/index/4237)

WASHINGTON, DC — Over 87 percent of Americans are unprepared to protect themselves from even the most basic world-ending scenarios, according to a study released Monday by the nonpartisan doomsday think-tank The Malthusian Institute.

Despite "more than ample warning" for the most likely means of worldwide destruction, less than one million American households have taken even the simplest precautions against nuclear shockwaves, asteroid impact, or a host of angels bearing swords of fire, the study concluded.

Millions remain vulnerable to the all-devouring terror of Jesus' wrath (file photo).

"Our survey of households in seven U. S. regions demonstrated that few citizens have bothered to equip themselves with fireproof suits and extinguishers to deal with volcanic upheaval, solar flares, or the Lord's purifying flame," Malthusian Institute director James Olheiser said.

"Almost no one is prepared for a sudden shift in the Earth's polarity or the eating of the Sun and moon by evil wolves Skol and Hati during Ragnarok."

Olheiser added: "All in all, America gets an 'F' for end-of-the-world preparedness."

The study examined nearly 1,200 doomsday scenarios and detailed the most glaring gaps in average Americans' ability to survive them. One of the few survival measures that fulfills the Institute's recommendations for most catastrophes — natural, manmade, or spiritual — is a mile-deep, lead-lined subterranean vault built to shield a pre-selected breeding group of humans until they can safely return to the planet's surface. However, only two American citizens, both in Idaho, were found to have begun even the most cursory planning stages of this kind of race-preserving chamber.

"Even assuming someone eventually developed an above-ground super-house able to withstand the 1,200-degree temperature and massive force of lava and ash rain that would result from a globe-shattering asteroid impact, its occupants would be unprepared for the ensuing radical climate change," Olheiser said. "By the same token, the average household lacks the 1.2 million gallons of heating oil needed to withstand the prolonged sub-zero temperatures of another protracted Ice Age—perhaps the most shocking of the public's many oversights."

In the years after World War II, fallout shelters and stocks of canned goods were common in many American homes. However, as Malthusian Institute figures suggest, while public fears of world-ending scenarios grew more sophisticated, the level of preparation inexplicably dropped.

"America is at its lowest level of apocalyptic preparedness since the early 1950s," Olheiser said.

"Naturally, we're very concerned about the safety of our city's residents," said Billings, MT mayor Ron Tussing whose city was faulted in the study for lackadaisical endtimes-response policy. "But people can't expect the government to do everything. In the event of, say, the eruption of the supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park, or a torrential rain of boiling blood, citizens realize they're on their own."


However, many Americans consistently point to the same two factors that they say hinder their ability to respond to the end of the world: time and money. The study found that many apocalypse-preparedness measures are cost-prohibitive. With virtually no tax incentives in place, many Americans share the "dangerous perception" that only the richest few can afford to survive the extinction of humanity.

"I just renovated my house with cantilevered leaden cofferdams for increased earthquake and radiation protection, and I'm working on a pantheistic altar to appease the god or gods most likely to return to this world with an insatiable wrath," said Seattle resident Tim Hanson, whose actions were praised in the study as a "highly rare display of prescience and vigilance."

"I installed solar panels and a generator so I could live off the grid for a while," Hanson added. "But it cost so much that now I might not be able to have the altar properly gilded. At least not in time."

Not only are Americans unprepared physically, but spiritually as well. The study found that fewer than one thousand Americans regularly monitored space for signs of an approaching hostile alien ship, and only one percent were aware that an all-red bull and an all-white buffalo had recently been born and that plans were underway to rebuild Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.

"We're advising parents to read this vital information, to take it to heart, and to share it with their children before it's too late," said Olheiser, who also called for the formation of more doomsday cults.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff sharply disagreed with the report's findings.

"This study is inaccurate and misleading," Chertoff told reporters on Tuesday. "Americans are a resilient, can-do people. We are more prepared than ever to survive a gigantic tsunami, a major gravitational disruption, or any other heretofore non-prophesied calamity."

Chertoff added: "As for Armageddon borne out of God's heavenly wrath, I can say with assurance that this nation has never seen a presidential administration that has given more thought to this very scenario."

© Copyright 2006, Onion, Inc. All rights reserved.

September 21st, 2006, 12:39 AM

What happens when the world runs low on water -- the one thing critical to our survival?


Water -- The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century
Beacon Press, 320 pp., $26.95

nrdc.org / onearth (http://www.nrdc.org/onearth/06fal/reviews.asp)

Maybe the Apocalypse will arrive all at once. AIDS, avian flu, and tuberculosis will flourish. The Chinese and Japanese will call in their debts. The glaciers will melt and the oceans rise. Breast milk will be poisonous. Religious fundamentalists will swap nuclear salvos. Jungles and forests, rivers and swamps-all will shrivel and die. Rats, crows, and cockroaches will inherit the earth.

Many of these events are already unfolding, yet it is the particular fate of early twenty-first-century Americans to have installed leaders who notice only armed threats to our welfare. The government's inability to ward off the September 11, 2001, airplane assaults is often attributed to a "failure of imagination," but the phrase applies far more portentously to our leaders' obliviousness to the most serious security dangers we face. A nuclear attack against the United States is possible, but barring dramatic changes in the organization of human societies, environmental calamity is a certainty.

Not that doom need arrive with perfect-storm profligacy -- the occurrence of even a couple of the disasters commonly forecast by re-spected scientists would bring about at least a rough approximation of Armageddon. Indeed, part of the astonishing dilemma that hu-mans now face is the abundance of canary carcasses in our metaphorical mineshafts. The plenitude of potential disasters prevents us from reacting forcefully to any of them. Torpid, secretly despairing, we set our sights on near-term satisfactions.

Instead of taking on all the menaces at once -- likely a self-defeating task -- we might rouse ourselves by focusing on water, the one substance all organisms require. Water's availability is so taken for granted that its scarcity is probably the leading unacknowledged catastrophe waiting to happen. The world's quotient of available freshwater has remained constant since the last Ice Age, while the human population and the ingenious uses to which we've put water have grown exponentially. Now, faced with our vast overcon-sumption of groundwater and the destruction of countless rivers, lakes, and wetlands by damming and diverting, we have perhaps a couple of decades to reconfigure our relationship to water or else experience a highly disagreeable convulsion as one major nation after another loses the capacity to feed its people.

To be sure, revitalizing the bodies of water around us is a thoroughly daunting proposition, yet water is so central to our well-being that restoration would take us far down the path toward recovery of the entire planet. To restore rivers, we must stop cutting down trees in watersheds: Healthy forests reduce soil erosion, promote biodiversity, and mitigate global warming. If farmers in Mexico's Río Grande valley were to shift from water-guzzling alfalfa and cotton to less thirsty crops, fewer farmers would find themselves driven by the desertification of northern Mexico to immigrate illegally to the United States. In Pakistan, reducing upstream diversions of the Indus River to irrigate cotton fields would enable downstream farmers to stay on their land instead of abandoning it for desultory existences in Karachi slums, where militant Islamists recruit. Water's links to an intricate web of social and environmental consequences underline its centrality: Wars and coups upend regimes, but the absence of water ends civilizations.

Water at last is attracting the attention of writers and journalists -- call that the first baby step toward water restoration. Each of four useful books published on water this year depicts a facet of the burgeoning crisis. Karen Piper's Left in the Dust: How Race and Politics Created a Human and Environmental Tragedy in L.A. describes how the decision in 1920 by Los Angeles officials to further their city's growth by diverting water from Owens Lake, 200 miles to the north, concentrated tens of millions of tons of arsenic, cadmium, and other naturally occurring heavy metals in the desiccating lake bed. Once the lake was dry, winds funneling through the Owens Valley kicked up blinding dust storms, dispersing toxic dust over 1940s Japanese internment camps, across Paiute Indian reservations, and throughout the American West, causing pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer, lupus, asthma, and other diseases. William Ashworth's Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains deftly portrays the ongoing draining of the Ogallala Aquifer beneath the American Great Plains and the agricultural, social, and political upheaval likely to occur when enough farmers' wells go dry. One possible consequence of the Ogallala's emptying, the diversion of water from the Great Lakes to keep the farmers in business, is the subject of yet another book, The Great Lakes Water Wars, by Peter Annin, which limns the intensifying interest in transporting Great Lakes water as far away as Asia and the death of the lakes' ecosystem that could result.

The most ambitious of the four books is Fred Pearce's When the Rivers Run Dry: Water -- The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century, a brisk, alarming primer on water scarcity. Pearce has assembled a compendium of international water debacles, intertwined with occasionally glib expositions on climate change, international disputes over rights to dam and divert rivers, and the link between water scarcity and diminished food production. The book's biggest assets are Pearce's willingness to travel to the far-flung sites of nearly all the world's water crisis regions, from the Aral Sea to the Yellow River, and his capacity to describe what he has found in succinct, 10-page chapters.

The idea of mastering water is inherently grandiose, often delusional, and the structures humans have built to perpetrate their conceits account for many of the world's largest edifices. This lends the structures' stories a larger-than-life, stranger-than- fiction aura. In Libya, Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi has so far spent $27 billion on the Great Manmade River, a 2,000-mile network of giant underground tunnels intended to connect a vast aquifer beneath the desert to the agricultural fields along the country's Mediterranean coast. To construct what ranks among the world's largest civil engineering projects, Qaddafi hired none other than Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary that also delivers logistical support to the U.S. military in Iraq. Perhaps fittingly, the Great Manmade River has been no more successful than the Iraq reconstruction, as its cost and scant flow have so far produced some of the most expensive wheat ever grown. For a fraction of the homegrown grain's cost, Qaddafi could have imported wheat and saved Libya's unreplenishable groundwater for emergencies. As a British water expert tells Pearce, "It is madness to use this water for agriculture."

But water madness is pandemic. Irrigation has picked up the salt that once was harmlessly borne down rivers to the sea, and instead has spread it across at least one-fifth of the world's agricultural land, gradually poisoning the soil. Thanks to dams and other water diversions, Central Asia's Aral Sea, once the world's fourth-largest lake, has shrunken into three pools that together hold just one-tenth of the Aral's former volume; Africa's Lake Chad has shriveled from 10,000 square miles to 200; the three lakes along the Iran-Afghanistan border fed by Afghanistan's Helmand River entirely dried up in 1998, causing havoc among 250,000 residents of the region; even the world's largest freshwater ecosystem, South America's Pantanal, is likely to succumb to a vast canal project. So many once-powerful rivers no longer flow all the way to their mouths -- the Nile, Yellow, Indus, Colorado, and Rio Grande among them -- that hydrologists have devised a deceptively bland term for them: "closed basins."

Most urgently, humans face a groundwater crisis. Water tables are plunging as farmers in China, India, Pakistan, and the United States draw from irreplaceable sources of underground water to irrigate their crops; in many instances they are pumping water with government-subsidized energy to grow water-guzzling crops such as rice, sugarcane, alfalfa, and cotton, which are themselves sometimes subsidized. The water is starting to run out. In rural western India, Pearce reports, "half the traditional hand-dug wells and millions of tube wells have dried up," and residents are abandoning whole districts. Pearce finds a farmer who has given up growing crops because he can make more money simply by selling the increasingly dear groundwater beneath his land. He tells Pearce, "We are all trying to make as much money as we can before the water runs out." Substitute for "water" such words as "oil," "timber," and "minerals" and the statement neatly sums up globalization's fatal flaw.

Through the past half-century, the green revolution boosted food production with copious applications of fertilizer and water, but as more countries scrape the bottom of their aquifers in coming decades, those gains will be threatened. By the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's calculations, water shortages already limit production on a third of all agricultural land. Affluent countries may ward off hunger by importing "virtual water" in the form of grain, but poorer countries will not have that option.

Like many environmental books, When the Rivers Run Dry is more persuasive in delineating the looming crisis than in prescribing solutions. Pearce is surely right to call for a return to traditional water-gathering technologies that have been underrated. In the sere Indian state of Rajasthan, the use of ponds and small dams to harvest rainwater is at the heart of a social movement that has replenished aquifers and revived abandoned springs on about 2,500 square miles of land. But to head off the Apocalypse, we need to think in a more encompassing way. We'd be wise, for instance, to quit obstructing rivers in developing nations with monumental dams and to invest in energy alternatives to hydroelectricity. Justice requires that we acknowledge the right of all people to cheap access to water for basic needs, but beyond that, water should be priced to reflect its scarcity. In such a realm, farmers who now use an astounding 3,000 gallons of water to grow enough feed for a single quarter-pound beef patty would likely shift to less thirsty crops, and meat consumption would decline. Conservation and all it entails, from the elimination of suburban lawns in dry regions to the expansion of drip irrigation in agriculture, would reign. The hope is that a blue revolution will follow the green one -- that humanity's deepening environmental crisis will prompt a change in the collective consciousness, which on its way toward reviving the natural world begins by valuing water.

Copyright 2006 by the Natural Resources Defense Council

November 24th, 2006, 08:35 PM
There is a Day of Judgment for all mankind!

November 25th, 2006, 02:14 AM
The following article does not sit well with me. Looking into the future, I see the potential for a world of all very poor people and a few rulers with seemingly unlimited wealth -- just because they own the water supply.

Luckily, this apocalypse is one that probably can be avoided with enough foresight and action on the part of world leaders.

For starters, considering how much water Canada owns (see below), the U.S. should start taking its neighbor more seriously.

How to profit from the world's water crisis

Saturday 25th November 2006

by Annunziata Rees-Mogg (http://www.moneyweek.com/file/227/rees-mogg-annunziata.html)

(http://www.moneyweek.com/file/227/rees-mogg-annunziata.html)The lack of pure water is the greatest killer on the globe. Four children die each minute from illness caused by a lack of drinking water. That’s the equivalent of 30 fully loaded Boeing 747s crashing every day – far more than are killed by Aids and malaria combined.

Yet the world is not running out of water. In fact, there is exactly the same amount of water as there was a million years ago. The problem is the soaring world population, the runaway urban sprawl and the rocketing cost of food production. The levels of waste are phenomenal. “A typical meat-eating, milk-guzzling Westerner consumes as much as a hundred times their own weight in water every day,” says Fred Pearce, former New Scientist news editor and author of When The Rivers Run Dry.

That’s because it takes between 2,000 and 5,000 litres of water to grow one kilogram of rice, 11,000 litres to grow the feed for enough cow for a quarter-pound hamburger, 50 cups of water for a teaspoon of sugar and 140 litres of water to produce just one cup of coffee.

In the 1960s, the planet’s population was predicted to double in a generation and there were fears that there would simply not be enough food to feed the world. The result was the ‘green revolution’ – a new generation of high-yielding crop varieties such as rice, wheat and maize. The world today grows twice as much food as it did then – but uses three times as much water to grow it. Two-thirds of all the water taken from the environment goes to irrigate crops. “This is massively unsustainable, and has led many people to conclude that the apocalypse wasn’t averted, only postponed,” says Pearce.

Across the world, millions of small farmers are drawing water from underground to irrigate their crops. India, China and Pakistan pump out around 400 cubic kilometres of underground water each year, according to Tushaar Shah of the International Water Management Institute, a worldwide research network funded by the World Bank. Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Iran and Bangladesh are following suit. Even the US is emptying its underground reserves to grow grain and beef for export.

Investing in water: the virtual water trade

And the over-use of water doesn’t just apply to food production. Every T-shirt you wear will take 25 bathtubs of water to produce. Every small car uses 450,000 litres. If what you wear or drive is imported, you in the West are helping to empty rivers across the world. Water used for growing food and making products is called “virtual water”. Every tonne of wheat arriving at a dockside carries with it, in virtual form, the 1,000 tonnes of water needed to grow it, explains Pearce.

The global virtual-water trade is estimated at around a thousand cubic kilometres a year, or 20 river Niles. Two-thirds is in crops, a quarter in meat and dairy products, and just a tenth in industrial products. The biggest net exporter of virtual water is the US, which exports in grain and beef around a third of all the water it takes from the environment; Canada, Australia, Argentina and Thailand are all net exporters too.

Some importers of virtual water, like Japan and the EU, are not short of water – but for others, including Iran, Egypt and Algeria, it is vital, explains Tony Allan of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, who invented the term ‘virtual water’. The Middle East ran out of water years ago, and Jordan imports 80%-90% of its water in the form of food.

Global warming means that the UK has not escaped the worldwide drought phenomenon. London’s long-term average rainfall has now dropped below that of Istanbul, Dallas and Nairobi, points out Juliette Jowit in The Observer. The Government is considering proposals to introduce drought orders banning ‘non-essential’ use of water. Australia is suffering severe droughts, exacerbated by the El Niño effect. India’s water table is at an all-time low and dropping fast; in some areas, it has fallen from 20 to 285 feet below ground level in the last decade. China is suffering from annual droughts, with Peking besieged by sand storms blowing down from the ever-expanding Gobi Desert. Southwestern America is struggling to find enough water for its growing population. California and Nevada are being particularly hard hit. “And the shortage is getting worse,”Rick Rule of Global Resource Investments, a leading natural resource broker, told MoneyWeek.
Rivers are running dry across the world, from the Rio Grande in Texas to India and Northern Nigeria, and the Aral Sea in central Asia, where a thriving fishing industry died as the sea was drained to feed the cotton farms, and where now the population is being poisoned by dust storms of salt. Governments who concentrate on building yet more dams and draining subterranean aquifers need to look for other solutions, according to Pearce. We could grow crops with a quarter of the amount currently used, he told MoneyWeek. Most people don’t pay an economic price for water because Government subsidies keep prices artificially low. “Until there is a price incentive, they won’t cut back.”The supply side mentality has bedevilled the industry. Water engineers have “an obsession with building dams, laying pipes and pouring concrete. They want to supply ever more water… and they are deaf to calls for investment in demand management… This supply-side fixation is creating a global hydrological crisis”.

Investing in water: supplying the solutions

But where there is a problem, there must be a solution. And where there is a solution, there must be the opportunity for profit. So where can investors make profits from an industry that is the third-largest in the world? The solution lies in investing in solving the problems caused by decades of over-use and mismanagement of water.

In summary, there’s a supply problem – so prices will rise. The world’s water pipes are crumbling – and not only in Britain, where much of our water leaks into the ground before reaching us – so there will be repair and replacement projects. There will be more privatisation. Municipal utility operators often do not have the resources to maintain the water systems up to regulatory standards.

Climate change will mean more extreme weather conditions and more water in the sea. Alternatives, such as desalinisation, are set for sustained growth. Southern Spain’s Andalucia, one of Europe’s most arid regions, is also the continent’s most productive agricultural area. Intensive irrigation has seriously depleted resources. Now the city of Almeria collects and recycles all of its water, using it for agricul¬ture. And the newly created Programa Agua will supply desalinisation facilities all along the Mediterranean coast.

This is an alternative that has long been considered too expensive. But that state of affairs is changing, says Dr Stuart Downward, lecturer in geography and environmental science at Kingston University and a specialist in water resources. “Huge volumes of power are needed to drive the pumps, but so many people are investing that the unit costs are coming down.

“Now cities are looking at their spreadsheets and say it’s beginning to stack up. The traditional players have been in the Middle East, such as Dubai, and island communities. Malta and the Canaries have been using desalination for four to five decades because it’s been their only source of water. Big cities are beginning to take it seriously. Perth has given the go-ahead for a big desalination plant.”

Investing in water: new technologies

New water-quality standards are being put in place in countries such as China and India, which will drive major new investments in water treatment and purification. There will be new investments in water supply and other infrastructure projects. China, in particular, has water supplies that are very badly managed. There are massive shortages, and more than 70% of its industrial waste water is simply dumped into its rivers and lakes. Now China is trying to solve its problems, charging consumers and companies for water consumption, and allowing foreign companies.

There are countries that have an over-abundance of water – and here there are opportunities for sale to other countries. Canada, for example, has the same amount of water as China, but just 2.3% of its population. Brazil has far less need of its water than manyof its neighbours. As the value of water rises, countries like these will start to export their spare reserves to those more in need – and willing to pay. Pipelines will spring up, connecting states and countries. Tankers will transport water across the sea as often as they do oil. Water will be on the move. And those who can transfer it will be there to benefit.

Already, Turkey exports water to Israel and Cyprus in large balloons that can hold up to five million gallons of water. Singapore buys 10% of its water from private-sector suppliers who have built desalinisation plants in order to reduce its reliance on Malaysia. Companies in Scandinavia are investigating the ways in which they can profit from their watery landscapes, such as one company that intends to ship the equivalent of 1,000 Olympic swimming pools of water to Iran every day.

This company is not listed. But there are still plenty of opportunities for investors. The profits will come from companies that help nations improve the water that they already have. Right now, many of these firms are small companies that most analysts, let alone the public at large, have never heard of. But some of them will soon be giants. After all, with the global water industry valued at $300bn a year by the UK Trade & Investment ministry, it can’t be long until investors finally catch on.

For more on this topic, read "When The Rivers Run Dry" by Fred Pearce, published by Eden Books, Transworld, £18.99

Investing in water: the best stocks to buy

To profit from the world’s shortage of water, you might think that water utilities are an obvious way in. But companies such as Thames Water are highly regulated and have infrastructure up to 150 years old. There are better ways to profit from the “looming crisis,” says Derek Moorhouse in the Fleet Street Letter. “One company we particularly like is Halma (HLMA, 200p),” which is active in leak detection and water-quality analysis. Not only has this diversified engineer “identified water as a key long-term growth market,” but it has delivered an increased dividend every year for the last 26 years. Halma’s shares have risen strongly in the last six months, but they are still on a price/earnings to growth ratio of 1.6, with a yield of 3.6% forecast to rise to 3.8% by 2008.

A less well-known company is Pico Holdings (PICO, US$34.9). Pico spotted a potential gap in the market and started buying up water rights in Nevada and Arizona. Though it’s not a pure water play, it has been “consistently profitable,” says Rick Rule of Global Resource Investments.The region is already suffering from water shortages, which are getting worse. The Colorado River supplies Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California with water – and the competition is fierce. That gives private water rights “a huge premium,” says Rule. By holding a substantial number of water rights, Pico “is turning water into money.”

Another, even more obscure company, is Boswell Land and Farming. It is the largest farm owner in California – and with its farmland comes one of the area’s largest aquifers, or underground lakes. The Tulare Lake is now a cotton field. But underneath there is still lots of water – an estimated 400,000 to 2,000,000 acre feet (the amount that would cover one acre a foot deep) a year that could be drawn up without damaging the environment. At the lowest estimate, that’s enough water to service 800,000 Californian families every year.The Californian municipal water agency values water at $10,000 per acre foot if it is easy to get to (Boswell’s aquifer runs next to the main canal), making it worth at least $4bn. Its shares are $745, giving a market cap of just $750m. The company is also building 50,000 homes. That could end up being worth another $5bn and make its shares soar. (Boswell is a family owned company, but it has 500 shareholders who trade on the OTC market. It is highly illiquid, but if you want to buy the stock, Rick Rule says: “Give me a call.”)

One great water firm that “is yet to hit British investors’ radar” is Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, says Edward Lam of Lloyd George Management. They invested in the company “partly as a water play, but also because it’s a great company.” The South Korean firm makes desalination plants – indeed, it is “the world’s largest maker of plants that purify seawater,” says Keejin Koo on Bloomberg. It already has massive plants all over the Middle East and is constantly winning new projects. Alongside its desalination plants it also builds power plants – so as our energy needs grow, it gets a second kick. The company is currently on a forward p/e of 15.9, which is cheap for such a good growth story.
Small stocks are higher risk than their bigger counterparts and investors ought to investigate them thoroughly before handing over their cash. One lower-risk option is a US-listed water ETF (exchange traded funds). ETFs are a basket of shares that you can buy and sell like a normal share.

The PowerShares Water Resources Portfolio is based on the Palisades Water Index, which identifies companies that focus on the provision, treatment and technology of water. It is up more than 39% in the last year (compared to the S&P 500, which is up just under 12%).


January 13th, 2007, 04:11 PM
Doomsday clock to move closer to nuclear Armageddon

This 2002 photo shows the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist's Doomsday Clock. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has kept a Doomsday clock since 1947 as a reminder of the dangers of nuclear proliferation. The clock will be moved forward Wednesday at simultaneous events in Washington and London.(AFP/File/Scott Olson)

January 13, 2007

The world is inching closer to nuclear Armageddon, a group of prominent scientists and security experts said.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has kept a Doomsday clock since 1947 as a reminder of the dangers of nuclear proliferation.

The clock will be moved forward Wednesday at simultaneous events in Washington and London whose speakers will include physicist Stephen Hawking, the Chicago-based periodical said in a statement.

The Bulletin warned that the world had entered a "Second Nuclear Age marked by grave threats."

It cited the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea; escalating terrorism; unsecured nuclear materials in Russia and elsewhere, the continuing "launch-ready" status of 2,000 of the 25,000 nuclear weapons held by the United States and Russia, and "new pressure from climate change for expanded civilian nuclear power that could increase proliferation risks."

First set at seven minutes to midnight -- a phrase that has become part of pop culture -- the clock has been moved 17 times in response to global events.

The most recent shift was in 2002 when it moved two minutes forward because the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and terrorists were known to be seeking nuclear and biological weapons.
It currently stands once again at seven minutes to midnight, the closest to danger since the end of the Cold War.

Founded in 1945 by scientists who had helped develop the atomic bomb and were deeply concerned about the use of nuclear weapons, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists counts 17 Nobel laureates among its boards of directors and sponsors.

Here are the dates and reasons for previous changes:

- 2002: Seven minutes to midnight

The United States rejects a series of arms control treaties and announces it will withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Terrorists seek to acquire and use nuclear and biological weapons.

- 1998: Nine minutes to midnight

India and Pakistan "go public" with nuclear tests. The United States and Russia cannot agree on further deep reductions in their nuclear stockpiles.

- 1995: Fourteen minutes to midnight

Further arms reductions stall while global military spending continues at Cold War levels. Risks of nuclear "leakage" from poorly guarded former Soviet facilities increase.

- 1991: Seventeen minutes to midnight

The United States and the Soviet Union sign the long-stalled Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and announce further unilateral cuts in tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.

- 1990: Ten minutes to midnight

The Cold War ends as the Iron Curtain falls.

- 1988: Six minutes to midnight

The United States and the Soviet Union sign a treaty to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear forces; superpower relations improve; more nations actively oppose nuclear weapons.

- 1984: Three minutes to midnight

The arms race accelerates.

- 1981: Four minutes to midnight

Both superpowers develop more weapons for fighting a nuclear war. Terrorist actions, repression of human rights, and conflicts in Afghanistan, Poland and South Africa add to world tension.

- 1980: Seven minutes to midnight

The deadlock in US-Soviet arms talks continues; nationalistic wars and terrorist actions increase; the gulf between rich and poor nations grows wider.

- 1974: Nine minutes to midnight

SALT talks reach an impasse; India develops a nuclear weapon.

- 1972: Twelve minutes to midnight

The United States and the Soviet Union sign the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

- 1969: Ten minutes to midnight

The US Senate ratifies the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

- 1968: Seven minutes to midnight

France and China acquire nuclear weapons; wars rage in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and Vietnam; world military spending increases while development funds shrink.

- 1963: Twelve minutes to midnight

The US and Soviet signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty "provides the first tangible confirmation of what has been the Bulletin's conviction in recent years -- that a new cohesive force has entered the interplay of forces shaping the fate of mankind."

- 1960: Seven minutes to midnight

Growing public understanding that nuclear weapons made war between the major powers irrational amid greater international scientific cooperation and efforts to aid poor nations.

- 1953: Two minutes to midnight

The United States and the Soviet Union test thermonuclear devices within nine months of one another.

- 1949: Three minutes to midnight

The Soviet Union explodes its first atomic bomb.

- 1947: Seven minutes to midnight

The clock first appears on the Bulletin cover as a symbol of nuclear danger.

Copyright © 2007 Agence France Presse (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/afp/SIG=122dhv7qk/**http%3A%2F%2Fwww.afp.com%2Fenglish%2Flinks%2F%3F pid%3Dcopyright). All rights reserved.


January 13th, 2007, 04:53 PM
Maybe this would help ease the tension.


January 13th, 2007, 06:27 PM
Who's winding the clock???


January 13th, 2007, 06:37 PM
I like Zippy's clock. It reads 10:00.:D

January 13th, 2007, 06:39 PM
fittingly optimistic ^^^ (or perhaps in denial :confused: )

January 15th, 2007, 10:05 AM
fittingly optimistic ^^^ (or perhaps in denial :confused: )


January 15th, 2007, 11:14 AM
I meant "fittingly optimistic" in regards to the "Don't Worry, Be Happy" smiley face.

January 15th, 2007, 11:31 AM
I meant "fittingly optimistic" in regards to the "Don't Worry, Be Happy" smiley face.


/me gets REM stuck in head after reading title.

January 15th, 2007, 11:49 AM
I like Zippy's clock. It reads 10:00.:D
Maybe it's 10:00 AM, and the clock is glad we're all gone.

January 18th, 2007, 06:27 AM
Recap: Yesterday the Doomsday Clock time was moved up from 11:53pm (set in 2002) to 11:55pm. For the first time since the Clock was instituted in 1947, global warming was added as a threat.

Doomsday nearer, says Prof Hawking

WARNING BELLS: Prof Hawking says climate change is
as great a threat to humankind as nuclear annihilation.

January 18, 2007

New Delhi: Professor Stephen Hawking has warned that the “Doomsday” has come nearer for planet earth as a result of climate change. "Climate change is as great a threat to humankind as nuclear annihilation," he warned.

Speaking at a conference organized by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists at the Royal Society in London on Thursday, the Cambridge cosmologist said climate change stands alongside the use of nuclear weapons as one of the greatest threats posed to the future of the world.

"We stand on the precipice of a second nuclear age and a period of exceptional climate change, both of which could destroy the planet as we know it," he said.

As a result of this, the world's scientists have decided to move the minute hand of its "Doomsday Clock" forward to five minutes to midnight to reflect the increased dangers faced by the world. Scientists devised the "Doomsday Clock" in 1947 as a way of expressing to the public the risk of nuclear conflagration following the use of the atomic weapons that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.

Explaining the move, the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said the threat of nuclear apocalypse was now almost matched by the environmental threats posed by climate change. "We stand at the brink of a second nuclear age. Not since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices," the board said in a statement.

"The scientists have a special responsibility, once again, to inform the public and to advise leaders about the perils that humanity faces," Prof Hawking said. "As scientists, we understand the dangers of nuclear weapons and their devastating effects, and we are learning how human activities and technologies are affecting climate systems in ways that may forever change life on Earth."

"As citizens of the world, we have a duty to share that knowledge. We have a duty, as well, to alert the public to the unnecessary risks that we live with every day, and to the perils we foresee if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change."

"We are here today to outline the results of the Bulletin's recent deliberations and to warn the public about the deteriorating state of world and planetary affairs by moving the hand of the clock," Professor Hawking said.


Gregory Tenenbaum
January 18th, 2007, 10:49 AM
Well Rapunzel, that is grim news.

And I suppose that if the end of the world is nigh, then you should



January 18th, 2007, 12:15 PM
... tied the scientists and the evangelists together. Look what happened.

Evangelical Christians and scientists call for action, saying climate change could bring about doomsday

By Bryn Nelson, Newsday
January 18, 2007

WASHINGTON — In an extraordinary display of the mounting concern over climate change, an international group of physicists and an alliance of scientists and evangelical Christians each issued calls to action Wednesday aimed at preventing a doomsday that includes global environmental catastrophe.

The independent initiatives, announced at nearly simultaneous news conferences, reflect the new bonds forged from a growing consensus that human-wrought environmental damage is a moral issue for Christians and scientists alike.

At one event, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the minute hand of its famous "Doomsday Clock" to 11:55 p.m., with midnight being the figurative end of civilization. For the first time since the clock's creation in 1947, the organization's board of directors added the threat of climate change to unresolved nuclear dangers in the decision to advance the clock.

Meanwhile, a coalition of scientific and religious leaders affirmed their commitment to protecting the environment, calling for "fundamental changes in values, lifestyles and public policies required to address these worsening problems before it is too late."

Randy Isaac, executive director of the American Scientific Affiliation, a fellowship of Christians in scientific disciplines, said the "Urgent Call to Action" signed by 28 researchers and evangelicals reflected a successful search for common ground.

"Representatives of both groups have come together to rally around a common passion: the need to preserve God's creation," he said.

Carl Safina of the Blue Ocean Institute in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., said in an interview Wednesday: "We may have slightly different perspectives of where we came from, but the intensity of the problems that we face are becoming too big and too obvious, and they are making those differences [look] increasingly trivial. We're all on this boat together."


Anybody who feels that this site does not give enough coverage on doomsday can click here:
Armageddon Online (http://www.armageddononline.org/)

Their message board looks just like this one, only it's black.

January 19th, 2007, 09:18 AM
Reset that clock again.

January 19, 2007

Flexing Muscle, China Destroys Satellite in Test


China successfully carried out its first test of an antisatellite weapon last week, signaling its resolve to play a major role in military space activities and bringing expressions of concern from Washington and other capitals, the Bush administration said yesterday.

Only two nations — the Soviet Union and the United States — have previously destroyed spacecraft in antisatellite tests, most recently the United States in the mid-1980s.

Arms control experts called the test, in which the weapon destroyed an aging Chinese weather satellite, a troubling development that could foreshadow an antisatellite arms race. Alternatively, however, some experts speculated that it could precede a diplomatic effort by China to prod the Bush administration into negotiations on a weapons ban.

“This is the first real escalation in the weaponization of space that we’ve seen in 20 years,” said Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer who tracks rocket launchings and space activity. “It ends a long period of restraint.”

White House officials said the United States and other nations, which they did not identify, had “expressed our concern regarding this action to the Chinese.” Despite its protest, the Bush administration has long resisted a global treaty banning such tests because it says it needs freedom of action in space.

Jianhua Li, a spokesman at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said that he had heard about the antisatellite story but that he had no statement or information.

At a time when China is modernizing its nuclear weapons, expanding the reach of its navy and sending astronauts into orbit for the first time, the test appears to mark a new sphere of technical and military competition. American officials complained yesterday that China had made no public or private announcements about its test, despite repeated requests by American officials for more openness about its actions.

The weather satellite hit by the weapon had circled the globe at an altitude of roughly 500 miles. In theory, the test means that China can now hit American spy satellites, which orbit closer to Earth. The satellites presumably in range of the Chinese missile include most of the imagery satellites used for basic military reconnaissance, which are essentially the eyes of the American intelligence community for military movements, potential nuclear tests and even some counterterrorism, and commercial satellites.

Experts said the weather satellite’s speeding remnants could pose a threat to other satellites for years or even decades.

In late August, President Bush authorized a new national space policy that ignored calls for a global prohibition on such tests. The policy said the United States would “preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space” and “dissuade or deter others from either impeding those rights or developing capabilities intended to do so.” It declared the United States would “deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests.”

The Chinese test “could be a shot across the bow,” said Theresa Hitchens, director of the Center for Defense Information, a private group in Washington that tracks military programs. “For several years, the Russians and Chinese have been trying to push a treaty to ban space weapons. The concept of exhibiting a hard-power capability to bring somebody to the negotiating table is a classic cold war technique.”

Gary Samore, the director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said in an interview: “I think it makes perfect sense for the Chinese to do this both for deterrence and to hedge their bets. It puts pressure on the U.S. to negotiate agreements not to weaponize space.”

Ms. Hitchens and other critics have accused the administration of conducting secret research on advanced antisatellite weapons using lasers, which are considered a far speedier and more powerful way of destroying satellites than the weapons of two decades ago.

The White House statement, issued by the National Security Council, said China’s “development and testing of such weapons is inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area.”

An administration official who had reviewed the intelligence about China’s test said the launching was detected by the United States in the early evening of Jan. 11, which would have been early morning on Jan. 12 in China. American satellites tracked the launching of the medium-range ballistic missile, and later space radars saw the debris.

The antisatellite test was first reported late Wednesday on the Web site of Aviation Week and Space Technology, an industry magazine. It said intelligence agencies had yet to “complete confirmation of the test.”

The test, the magazine said, appeared to employ a ground-based interceptor that used the sheer force of impact rather than an exploding warhead to shatter the satellite.

Dr. McDowell of Harvard said the satellite was known as Feng Yun, or “wind and cloud.” Launched in 1999, it was the third in a series. He said that it was a cube measuring 4.6 feet on each side, and that its solar panels extended about 28 feet. He added that it was due for retirement but that it still appeared to be electronically alive, making it an ideal target.

“If it stops working,” he said, “you know you have a successful hit.”

David C. Wright, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a private group in Cambridge, Mass., said he calculated that the Chinese satellite had shattered into 800 fragments four inches wide or larger, and millions of smaller pieces.

The Soviet Union conducted roughly a dozen antisatellite tests from 1968 to 1982, Dr. McDowell said, adding that the Reagan administration carried out its experiments in 1985 and 1986.

The Bush administration has conducted research that critics say could produce a powerful ground-based laser weapon that would be used against enemy satellites.

The largely secret project, parts of which were made public through Air Force budget documents submitted to Congress last year, appears to be part of a wide-ranging administration effort to develop space weapons, both defensive and offensive.

The administration’s laser research is far more ambitious than a previous effort by the Clinton administration to develop an antisatellite laser, though the administration denies that it is an attempt to build a laser weapon.

The current research takes advantage of an optical technique that uses sensors, computers and flexible mirrors to counteract the atmospheric turbulence that seems to make stars twinkle. The weapon would essentially reverse that process, shooting focused beams of light upward with great clarity and force.

Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center, a group that studies national security, called the Chinese test very un-Chinese.

“There’s nothing subtle about this,” he said. “They’ve created a huge debris cloud that will last a quarter century or more. It’s at a higher elevation than the test we did in 1985, and for that one the last trackable debris took 17 years to clear out.”

Mr. Krepon added that the administration had long argued that the world needed no space-weapons treaty because no such arms existed and because the last tests were two decades ago. “It seems,” he said, “that argument is no longer operative.”

Mark Mazzetti contributed reporting.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

January 19th, 2007, 09:26 AM
In late August, President Bush authorized a new national space policy that ignored calls for a global prohibition on such tests. The policy said the United States would “preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space” and “dissuade or deter others from either impeding those rights or developing capabilities intended to do so.” It declared the United States would “deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests.”

Um, yeah.

Good to know we still have our "rights" to do whatever we want in space and still call "no-fairsies" on China for doing the same.


January 19th, 2007, 09:32 AM
As long as they were going to do it, they should have targeted the Fox News satellite.

April 4th, 2007, 12:12 AM
I was about to post this in the Global Warming topic (News Forum), but somehow it seems more suited to this thread.

Wars of the world: how global warming puts 60 nations at risk

As scientists deliver a detailed report on the impact of climate change this week, an 'IoS' investigation shows it will spark a major rise in conflicts

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
The Independent (UK)
Published: 01 April 2007

Scores of countries face war for scarce land, food and water as global warming increases. This is the conclusion of the most devastating report yet on the effects of climate change that scientists and governments prepare to issue this week.

More than 60 nations, mainly in the Third World, will have existing tensions hugely exacerbated by the struggle for ever-scarcer resources. Others now at peace - including China, the United States and even parts of Europe - are expected to be plunged into conflict. Even those not directly affected will be threatened by a flood of hundreds of millions of "environmental refugees".

The threat is worrying world leaders. The new UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, told a global warming conference last month: "In coming decades, changes in the environment - and the resulting upheavals, from droughts to inundated coastal areas - are likely to become a major driver of war and conflict."

Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, has repeatedly called global warming "a security issue" and a Pentagon report concluded that abrupt climate change could lead to "skirmishes, battles and even war due to resource constraints".

The fears will be increased by the second report this year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The result of six years' work by 2,500 of the world's top scientists, it will be published on Good Friday.

The first report, released two months ago, concluded that global warming was now "unequivocal" and it was 90 per cent certain that human activities are to blame. The new one will be the first to show for certain that its effects are already becoming evident around the world.

Tomorrow, representatives of the world's governments will meet in Brussels to start four days of negotiation on the ultimate text of the report, which they are likely to tone down somewhat.

But the final confidential draft presented to them by the scientists makes it clear that the consequences of global warming are appearing far sooner and faster than expected. "Changes in climate are now affecting biological and physical systems on every continent," it says.

In 20 years, tens of millions more Latin Americans and hundreds of millions more Africans will be short of water, and by 2050 one billion Asians could face water shortages. The glaciers of the Himalayas, which feed the great rivers of the continent, are likely to melt away almost completely by 2035, threatening the lives of 700 million people.

Though harvests will initially increase in temperate countries - as the extra warmth lengthens growing seasons - they could fall by 30 per cent in India, confronting 130 million people with starvation, by the 2050s.

By 2080, 100 million people could be flooded out of their homes every year as the sea rises to cover their land, turning them into environmental refugees. And up to a third of the world's wild species could be "at high risk of irreversible extinction" from even relatively moderate warming.

International Alert, "an independent peace-building organisation", has complied a list of 61 countries that are already unstable or have recently suffered armed conflict where existing tensions will be exacerbated by shortages of food and water and by the disease, storm flooding and sea-level rise that will accompany global warming, or by the deforestation that helps to cause it. The list forms the basis of the map on the opposite page.

Four years ago the Pentagon report concluded: "As famine, disease and weather-related disasters strike... many countries' needs will exceed their carrying capacity. This will create a sense of desperation, which is likely to lead to offensive aggression."

Many experts believe this has begun. Last year John Reid, the Home Secretary, blamed global warming for helping to cause the genocide in Darfur. Water supplies are seen as a key cause of the Arab-Israeli conflicts. The Golan Heights are important because they control key springs and rivers and the Sea of Galilee, while vital aquifers lie under the West Bank.

John Ashton, the Government's climate change envoy, says that global warming should be addressed "not as a long-term threat to our environment, but as an immediate threat to our security and prosperity".


Actually... the last I heard, global warming would put many more than 60 nations at risk.