Showing posts with label Peace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peace. Show all posts

May 1, 2014

Irish Sinn Fein Pres, Gerry Adam Arrested by Brits on Murder

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has been arrested by detectives investigating the murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville in 1972, it is confirmed.

Mr Adams, who has vehemently rejected the allegations made by former republican colleagues that he had a role in ordering the notorious IRA killing, voluntarily presented himself for interview at a police station in Antrim.
No one has ever been charged with the murder. But after years without progress in the criminal investigation there have been a series of arrests in recent weeks.
A veteran republican, 77-year-old Ivor Bell, was charged last month with aiding and abetting the murder.
In the wake of the recent developments in the case, last month Mr Adams, who has always denied membership of the IRA, said he would be available to meet with detectives if they wished to speak with him.
Mr Adams, 65, a former MP for West Belfast and now a representative for Co Louth in the Irish Dail, presented himself at Antrim police station by prior arrangement with officers.
I believe that the killing of Jean McConville and the secret burial of her body was wrong and a grievous injustice to her and her family.Gerry Adams
He issued a statement minutes after the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) announced an arrest had been made.
"Last month I said that I was available to meet the PSNI about the Jean McConville case," he said.
"While I have concerns about the timing, I am voluntarily meeting with the PSNI this evening.
"As a republican leader I have never shirked my responsibility to build the peace. This includes dealing with the difficult issue of victims and their families. Insofar as it is possible I have worked to bring closure to victims and their families who have contacted me. Even though they may not agree, this includes the family of Jean McConville.
"I believe that the killing of Jean McConville and the secret burial of her body was wrong and a grievous injustice to her and her family.
"Well publicised, malicious allegations have been made against me. I reject these.
"While I have never disassociated myself from the IRA and I never will, I am innocent of any part in the abduction, killing or burial of Mrs McConville."


A PSNI spokesman said: "Detectives from the serious crime branch investigating the abduction and murder of Jean McConville in 1972 have arrested a 65-year-old man in Antrim. The suspect is currently being interviewed by detectives at the serious crime suite in Antrim police station."
Mrs McConville, a widow, was dragged away from her children in her home in the Divis flats, west Belfast, by an IRA gang of up to 12 men and women after being accused of passing information to the British Army in the city.
An investigation later carried out by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman rejected the claims that she was an informer.
She was shot in the back of the head and buried 50 miles from her home. The IRA did not admit her murder until 1999 when information was passed to police in the Irish Republic.
She became one of the so-called Disappeared, and it was not until August 2003 that her remains were found on Shelling Hill beach, Co Louth.

April 27, 2013

A Library Dedicated and Accolades Given to A Failed President, Meanwhile We are Fighting a Religion and People Wanting to Die to see Us Die

A woman walks by a controversial ad in a New York subway station last fall. The word
Does this nation have the time now to figure out were is we screw up and continue to. A real discussion on any high level that admits mistakes and sets a plan of correction, which need to include some justice and self defense. Both together, not one following another 4 or 8 yrs apart.    adamfoxie*

This week on The Big Three, we tackled the George W. Bush library opening, frustration over flight furloughs (complete with congressional finger-pointing) and Dean Obeidallah's column, "I'm a Muslim and I hate terrorism," which seems sadly necessary in the wake of Boston.

The opening of a presidential library is supposed to be a time for national unity. All the living presidents attend, standing together for a photo op and offering complimentary speeches about the newest inductee to the ex-presidents' club.

But during all the same pageantry in Dallas at the opening of Bush's library, a less civil debate on the Big Three
Former president George W. Bush speaks during the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center Thursday, April 25, 2013, in Dallas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (and across the country) was going on about 43's legacy. Margaret Hoover is a proud Bush administration alumna and attended the opening in Dallas. Dean, it is fair to say, is not a Bush fan. At all.

And so the debate raged, with Margaret citing his investment in foreign aid to stem the tide of AIDS in Africa and keeping the nation safe from terrorism after the attacks of 9/11. Dean acknowledged that Bush might be a nice guy to hang out with but asked whether the library would consist primarily of coloring books. As the card-carrying centrist in the group, I try to find common ground. And so it goes.
President Barack Obama laughs with former first lady Barbara Bush during the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center Thursday, April 25, 2013, in Dallas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
At the time of our discussions, the sequester cuts were kicking in, and airline travelers were feeling the pain, with 40% of flights delayed this week because of the furlough of air-traffic controllers. Congress has since overwhelmingly approved a measure to get the air travel system up to speed again after the delays provoked a round of the blame game on Capitol Hill, with conservatives accusing the president of "playing politics" with these particular cuts. Margaret agreed with this assessment. I ain't buying it.

The sequester was supposed to be so dumb and painful that it would compel Congress to reason together and find deficit and debt reduction to more strategic means. It didn't. And while the rhetoric of cutting government spending is popular, the reality is predictably less so. And so we're being treated to the absurdity of conservative activist groups such as Americans for Prosperity -- whose sole purpose is to argue for cuts in government spending -- complaining about the practical effects of those very cuts on which they insisted. This is the old dynamic we see too much of -- cuts for thee but not for me.

Finally, in the wake of the Boston terror attacks, America and the American Muslim community have navigated the tricky territory of confronting the ideology of radical Islam that apparently inspired the attacks without engaging in group blame.

Dean's excellent column tries to clarify some of the bigoted myths by making the point that American Muslims might hate jihadis even more than typical Americans do because the murderers claim to represent their faith and cause a massive backlash against this growing American community. Read the column -- and then listen to our conversation, tackling subjects such as why extremists of other faiths tend not to blow things up.
Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.    John Avlon, Margaret Hoover, Dean Obeidallah

April 10, 2013

Iraq War Cost Dividend Could Get Us Renewable Energy for Half The Country

cost of war solar
I am giving you all the specifics because I don’t want to hear people say that such is not possible. Not only is that possible, that is just one of the elements  that we would get from the war dividend. This is not meant to be political but to bring forward information. Information for the next time. Information that one of those dead beats in DC wants to cut the cost of living on vets, disables and seniors, I am asking to think about ONE bomb. One high explosive cluster bomb, or a Tomahawk Missile and how many millions ONE cost. I don’t want to hear that talk again even if it comes from the Democratic President. I hope you believe that too or at least think about it.  Adam


Opportunities Forsaken: The Iraq War and Renewable Energy

For the Amount Spent on the Iraq War the US Could be Generating 40% to 60% of its Electricity with Renewable Energy

The US is noting a somber milestone this year: a decade of death and destruction following its invasion of Iraq.
As the country continues struggling with the moral dimension of its action, what has become clear is the staggering cost to future Americans and the opportunities forsaken here at home.
For it is future Americans who will pay for our rush to war—a war that was financed with debt. And it is this enormous debt that has laid siege not to Baghdad but to Washington, DC, where Austerians shout that the nation can no longer afford to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure because of the mounting interest on this debt.
On 4 July 2005, I posted the first in a series of articles on the lost opportunity for the massive development of  sources of energy in the US--lost because of our invasion of Iraq. See Beating Swords into Wind Turbines–or Solar Panels if You Like. The money we spent--or the debt we incurred--for war was money we would not invest in our own country to make the transition to a renewable future.
Now, after a decade, that bill has come due. What have we lost? What have we forsaken?
Disregarding the human cost, and disregarding our “other” war in Afghanistan, how much renewable energy could we have built with the money we spent? How far along the road toward the renewable energy transition could we have traveled?
The answer: shockingly far.
Cost of the Iraq War
The war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion through fiscal year 2013, according to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. That’s trillion, with a “t”. Including future costs for veteran’s care, and so on, raises the cost to $2.2 trillion.
Because the war was financed with debt, we should also include a charge for interest on the debt. The Iraq war’s share of cumulative interest on the US debt through 2053 will raise the total cost of the war to $3.9 trillion.
To weigh what opportunities we lost, we’ll consider two conditions: the direct cost, and the direct cost plus interest.
Renewable Energy Assumptions
In my previous assessments, I considered only wind or only solar. For this evaluation, I will use a mix of wind and solar.
Why a mix? Because if we want to develop an integrated system that will replace the mix of fossil fuels and nuclear power we use today, we will need a mix of renewable resources as well. Ideally, we would develop our wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass resources simultaneously. However, it is wind and solar that will provide the bulk of new generating capacity. So I’ve simplified this analysis by only considering a mix of wind and solar.
What should that mix look like? Research by French renewable authority Bernard Chabot concludes that the optimum mix requires that 60% of the generation—not of the capacity—must be from wind, and 40% of the generation from solar. Recent studies in Germany and Australia have confirmed Chabot’s work.
While the cost of solar has declined dramatically, it remains far more expensive than wind generation. Including solar as part of a mix of resources reduces the effective penetration of renewables, but is more realistic and, hence, more conservative than simply estimating how much wind could have been built.
I’ve liberally rounded the assumptions to indicate that these are all gross approximations.
The US consumes roughly 4,000 TWh of electricity per year.
Wind can be built for approximately $2,000 per kW of installed capacity.
In my initial calculation, I’ve assumed that a fleet of wind turbines will collectively generate 2,000 kWh per kW of installed capacity per year. This is conservative, as will be explained.
Solar photovoltaics can be installed in the US for anywhere from $3,000 per kW to as much as $10,000 per kW. I’ve assumed a conservative estimate of $5,000 per kW of installed capacity.
The yield from solar—again on average—is significantly less than that from wind. I’ve used an average yield of 1,000 kWh per kW of installed solar capacity.
Robert Freehling, a renewables consultant in California, has pointed out that these assumptions are much too conservative.
            Wind Yield 
The yield from wind turbines has steadily risen since I first began tracking the industry 30 years ago. This is due to a number of factors: the turbines work better than before, we install them on taller towers than before, and we’ve begun to use larger rotors than before relative to generator size.
Today, yields can range from less than 2,000 kWh per kW for inland locations like those in Germany, to more than 2,500 kWh per kW for windy locales like those in Ireland and Great Britain.
Germany represents a mature market. The country’s feed-in tariff policy provides tariffs for wind energy that are differentiated by resource intensity. This was intended by the country’s politicians as a way to move wind development away from the windy North Sea coast to the less windy interior. In doing this, Germany also opened up opportunities for its citizens living in the interior to develop their own wind energy. The policy has been a resounding success. Not only is 60% of all new wind development in the interior, less windy part of the country, but also more than 50% of all wind energy development is owned by local citizens.
France adopted a similar policy for the same reasons.
The yields in these two markets are more representative of places where policy moves wind turbines to the load, as opposed to moving the wind turbines to where it is most windy.
Freehling suggests 2,250 kWh per kW is a more representative yield.
            Solar Yield & Cost 
Solar yields in Germany vary from a low of 900 kWh per kW of DC capacity in the north to nearly 1,100 kWh per kW in the south.
Similarly, yields in the US vary widely from 1,000 kWh per kW in rainy Seattle to 1,800 kWh per kW in the blistering sun of the desert Southwest. Freehling believes a more representative yield for the US market is 1,200 kWh per kW.
Solar costs continue to plummet. If the US market ever becomes as competitive as the German market, we can expect that average installed cost of ground mounted and roof-mounted systems across the country will fall far below the $5,000 per kW I’ve assumed. Freehling suggests that the cost for a representative cross-section of installation types over the next decade is $3,350 per kW of DC capacity.
What We Lost in Renewable Opportunities 
Based on a conservative estimate, the US could have built between a quarter-million to nearly a half-million megawatts of wind energy, and 300,000 to 600,000 megawatts of solar capacity.
For comparison, today there are only 60,000 MW of wind in the US, and a paltry 7,000 MW of solar.
If we had invested the $2.2 trillion in wind and solar, the US would be generating 21% of its electricity with renewable energy. If we had invested the $3.9 trillion that the war in Iraq will ultimately cost, we would generate nearly 40% of our electricity with new renewables. Combined with the 10% of supply from existing hydroelectricity, the US could have surpassed 50% of total renewables in supply.
However, this is a conservative estimate. If we include the reasonable assumptions suggested by Robert Freehling, the contribution by renewables would be even greater.
Freehling’s assumptions raise to as much as 60% the nation’s lost potential contribution by new renewables to US electricity supply by going to war in Iraq. With the addition of existing hydroelectric generation, the opportunity to develop as much as 70% of our nation’s electricity with renewable energy was lost.
And unlike the war in Iraq, which is an expense, the development of renewable energy instead of war would have been an investment in infrastructure at home that would have paid dividends to American citizens for decades to come.

December 2, 2012

2050 is Future Without Wars / No Garden of Roses Either

There’s war in Afghanistan, a crisis in theGaza Strip and percolating conflicts across sub-Saharan Africa. But for politicial scientists, that’s actually the good news.
The fact is, global conflicts have been on a downward trend for the last half-century. And now, a group of researchers in Norway says their data indicates that the future could be even more peaceful.
In a paper soon to be published in International Studies Quarterly, Håvard Hegre, a professor of political science at the University of Oslo, claims that the number of ongoing conflicts will be halved by 2050 —  
Hegre, along with his colleagues at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, put together a statistical model that took into account factors such as infant mortality, education, youth population, ethnic make-up and conflict history. They ran the conflict simulation program 18,000 times before drawing conclusions.
The group focused on internal armed conflicts between governments and organized groups; as Hegre tells TIME, “internal armed conflicts kill more people and last longer.” While the general trend shows a tendency towards peace, it’s not all good news. Owing to development factors and conflict histories, some countries will see a greater risk of conflict as time goes by. Between now and 2017, India, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Uganda and Burma will all be at greatest risk of internal conflict. By 2050 that list will narrow down to India, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia and Tanzania.
Regionally, all continents should expect to see a decline in the risk of conflict, except for sub-Saharan Africa, a region that will be home to 41% of the world’s youth population in less than three generations’ time.
Given the carnage on your average evening news broadcast, the idea that humans are resisting our violent impulses would appear to be a fantasy. However, despite the apparent prevalence of war, it is in fact in decline. In 1992 every fourth country was involved in an armed conflict; by 2009 that number had fallen to every sixth country.

The question that remains unanswered is why. Hegre explains that while it is difficult to emphasize one factor over another, education is key. “India is on the list because it is so large and it has a history of conflict in the North, but if they made an effort to expand education, they will reduce their risk of armed conflict,” says Hegre.
Another factor is economic development. Europe, despite its current economic troubles, is nevertheless still at low risk for armed conflict. This is because “developed economies tend to have invested a lot in exchange between different networks,” explains Hegre, “violence destroys those networks.” In other words, the more you have to lose, the less appealing war is. 
What is missing from the study, Hegre acknowledges, is the consideration of the existing political conditions within a country. When the study was first completed in 2009, researchers predicted the Middle East to be at a low risk for war. The Arab Spring, however, changed that equation by upending many of the region’s governmental systems. “We underestimated the risk of conflict in the Middle East because we didn’t see how dependent middle income countries are on the nature of political systems,” says Hegre. He is hoping to focus on expanding on this in future studies

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