RSS

Tag Archives: Energy

The mysterious ‘sabotage’ of Saudi oil tankers is a dangerous moment in Trump’s pumped up feud with Iran

Saudi Arabia’s claim that two of its oil tankers have been sabotaged off the coast of the UAE is vague in detail – but could create a crisis that spins out of control and into military action.

Any attack on shipping in or close to the Strait of Hormuz, the 30-mile wide channel at the entrance to the Gulf, is always serious because it is the most important choke point for the international oil trade.

A significant armed action by the US or its allies against Iran would likely provoke Iranian retaliation in the Gulf and elsewhere in the region. Although the US is militarily superior to Iran by a wide margin, the Iranians as a last resort could fire rockets or otherwise attack Saudi and UAE oil facilities. Such apocalyptic events are unlikely – but powerful figures in Washington, such as the national security adviser John Bolton and secretary of state Mike Pompeo, appear prepared to take the risk of a war breaking out.

 

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 14, 2019 in Middle East, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

On the road in the Karakoram

The snowed-over Khunjerab Pass, at 4,934 meters, stands eerily silent on a freezing late autumn morning.

On the Pakistani side, a wooden house serves as a small customs office fronted by “the highest ATM in the world” – though you try a foreign credit card at your peril. The Chinese side boasts an intimidating, metal-plated James Bond-esque structure with no humans in sight.The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia – directly to your inbox

This is ground zero of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the point where the revamped, upgraded Karakoram Highway – “the eighth wonder of the world” – snakes away from China’s Xinjiang all the way to Pakistan’s Northern Areas and further south to Islamabad and Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea.

From here it’s 420 kilometers to Kashgar and a hefty 1,890 km to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. But going south is where the fun really begins.

http://www.atimes.com/article/on-the-road-in-the-karakoram/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 22, 2018 in Asia, Economy

 

Tags: , , ,

The new Great Game on the Roof of the World

On top of the graceful Baltit Fort, overlooking the Hunza Valley’s Shangri-La-style splendor, it’s impossible not to feel dizzy at the view: an overwhelming collision of millennia of geology and centuries of history.

We are at the heart of Gilgit-Baltistan, in Pakistan’s Northern Areas, or – as legend rules, the Roof of the World. This is an area about 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) crammed with spectacular mountain ranges and amidst them, secluded pristine valleys and the largest glaciers outside of the Polar region.

http://www.atimes.com/article/the-new-great-game-in-the-roof-of-the-world/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 22, 2018 in Asia, Economy

 

Tags: ,

How the New Silk Roads are merging into Greater Eurasia

The concept of Greater Eurasia has been discussed at the highest levels of Russian academia and policy-making for some time. This week the policy was presented at the Council of Ministers and looks set to be enshrined, without fanfare, as the main guideline of Russian foreign policy for the foreseeable future.

President Putin is unconditionally engaged to make it a success. Already at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2016, Putin referred to an emerging “Eurasian partnership”.

I was privileged over the past week to engage in excellent discussions in Moscow with some of the top Russian analysts and policymakers involved in advancing Greater Eurasia.

https://thedailycoin.org/2018/12/16/pepe-escobar-how-the-new-silk-roads-are-merging-into-greater-eurasia/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 17, 2018 in Asia, Economy, Europe

 

Tags: , , ,

The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?

Coal, the fuel that powered the industrial age, has led the planet to the brink of catastrophic climate change.

Scientists have repeatedly warned of its looming dangers, most recently on Friday, when a major scientific report issued by 13 United States government agencies warned that the damage from climate change could knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end if significant steps aren’t taken to rein in warming.

An October report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on global warming found that avoiding the worst devastation would require a radical transformation of the world economy in just a few years.

Central to that transformation: Getting out of coal, and fast.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

Pakistan in the middle of Saudi, Iran and rival pipeline plans

A tweet roared like announcing a blockbuster premiere and sanctions did engulf Iran on time – despite opposition from Russia, China and the EU-3 (France, Germany and the United Kingdom), who still support the United-Nations endorsed Iran nuclear treaty.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called this an economic war waged by a “bullying power”.
The US has imposed sanctions on Iranian shipping, finance and energy exports, blacklisting 700 people. They target the EU special mechanism to facilitate purchases of Iranian oil, a sort of alternative international payment system, and threats persist about cutting Iran completely off the Swift system (although several Iranian banks are already suspended).

https://thedailycoin.org/2018/11/09/pepe-escobar-pakistan-in-the-middle-of-saudi-iran-and-rival-pipeline-plans/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 22, 2018 in Middle East

 

Tags: , , ,

Massive solar and wind farms could bring vegetation back to the Sahara

Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy is an important and necessary step towards averting climate change. However, in our efforts to go green, we also need to be mindful of other consequences, both intended and unintended – and that includes how a mass deployment of renewable technology might affect its surrounding climate.

What if the Sahara desert was turned into a giant solar and wind farm, for instance? This is the topic of new research published in Science by Yan Li and colleagues. They found that all those hypothetical wind turbines and solar panels would make their immediate surroundings both warmer and rainier, and could turn parts of the Sahara green for the first time in at least 4,500 years.

https://theconversation.com/massive-solar-and-wind-farms-could-bring-vegetation-back-to-the-sahara-102745

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 17, 2018 in Africa, Reportages

 

Tags: , ,

Donald Trump’s Extract-Everything Energy Policy Dooms Us All

The new US energy policy of the Trump era is, in some ways, the oldest energy policy on Earth. Every great power has sought to mobilize the energy resources at its command, whether those be slaves, wind-power, coal, or oil, to further its hegemonic ambitions. What makes the Trumpian variant—the unfettered exploitation of America’s fossil-fuel reserves—unique lies only in the moment it’s being applied and the likely devastation that will result, thanks not only to the 1950s-style polluting of America’s air, waters, and urban environment, but to the devastating hand it will lend to a globally warming world.

https://www.thenation.com/article/donald-trumps-extract-everything-energy-policy-dooms-us-all/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 15, 2018 in North America

 

Tags: , ,

Who Owns the Wind?

“He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.”

That’s the warning in Proverbs 11:29, advice that relies upon common knowledge that there is no tangible value to the wind. One cannot hold or possess moving air, after all, and even if one could, too much gas moves in too many places to give it value. The Mistral, Scirocco, Santa Ana, and Nor’easter have never been scarce. But on the Spanish side of the Strait of Gibraltar, where I conduct ethnographic fieldwork, the Levante and Poniente power multiple wind farms, generating electricity for the region of Andalusia.

https://bostonreview.net/science-nature/david-mcdermott-hughes-who-owns-wind

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 9, 2018 in European Union

 

Tags: ,

The Petro-Yuan Bombshell

The new 55-page “America First” National Security Strategy

(NSS), drafted over the course of 2017, defines Russia and China as “revisionist” powers, “rivals”, and for all practical purposes strategic competitors of the United States.

The NSS stops short of defining Russia and China as enemies, allowing for an “attempt to build a great partnership with those and other countries”. Still, Beijing qualified it as “reckless” and “irrational.” The Kremlin noted its “imperialist character” and “disregard for a multipolar world”. Iran, predictably, is described by the NSS as “the world’s most significant state sponsor of terrorism.”

Russia, China and Iran happen to be the three key movers and shakers in the ongoing geopolitical and geoeconomic process of Eurasia integration.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/25/the-petro-yuan-bombshell/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 31, 2017 in Asia, Economy, Europe

 

Tags: , , , , ,