If Edward Snowden’s revelations about the United States’ global surveillance activities taught U.S. allies anything, it’s that on the world stage, even your closest friends can’t be trusted. The United States has recently been feeling the sting in a similar way – not because of espionage, but because its allies are hemorrhaging valuable defense technology to China. Recent reports suggest that the United States’ European allies and Israel have exported or had made plans to export sensitive defense technology to China.
According to Reuters, “If the People’s Liberation Army went to war tomorrow, it would field an arsenal bristling with hardware from some of America’s closest allies: Germany, France and Britain.” Reuters substantiates this claim – Chinese advanced surface warships largely field French and German diesel engine designs under the hood; Chinese destroyers field French sonar technology, as do anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters and surface-to-air missiles; British propulsion technology and airborne early warning radars can be found in several PLA fighters, bombers, and anti-ship aircraft. Additionally, “some of China’s best attack and transport helicopters rely on designs from Eurocopter, a subsidiary of pan-European aerospace and defense giant EADS.”
What happens when a superpower dies? What happens when the geopolitical order that has stabilized the world for several decades crumbles?
We are all about to learn firsthand.
For most of the past century, the United States of America has been the world’s single greatest guarantor of global stability. Without American might in World Wars i and ii, Britain, France and the rest of Europe would have been trampled under the boot of a German-led military takeover. After the Second World War, America stimulated the fastest period of growth in Europe’s history, providing massive aid that propelled the ravaged continent toward cooperation and prosperity. America rebuilt and stabilized war-torn Asia, significantly helping Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, China, India, Taiwan and other neighboring nations recover. Simultaneously, America checked the spread of communism in Eastern Europe and throughout Asia, countering Soviet aggression and eventually bringing down another totalitarian empire with globalist ambitions.
It’s called Pax Americana: the period of relative world peace that dominant American power has produced. It prevailed in the Western Hemisphere for most of the 20th century. It reigned throughout the Western world since World War ii in what is also felicitously referred to as “the Full Article Here
As of Friday August 9th, the heat wave in eastern Asia continues but in central Europe it has subsided. Some of the highlights below.
This map illustrates quite well where the core of the heat wave in China has taken place. It is dated August 1st, so you can now add 9 more days to number of days of “continuous high temperatures” which means days of 35°C+ (95°F+). Map from the Chinese newspaper ‘Global Times’.
On Wednesday August 7th Shanghai once again broke its all-time heat record with a 40.8°C (105.4°F) temperature, besting the record set just the day before (40.6°C/105.1°F), and also on July 26th. Prior to this summer, the record for Shanghai was 40.2°C (104.4°F) during the summer of 1934. Records in Shanghai date back to 1872. On August 8th the Read more…
Governments worldwide are failing to do enough to tackle drought, which lacks the headline-making punch of a hurricane but can have an equally devastating human and economic impact, the UN weather agency warned Thursday.
“A flood or hurricane is over within hours or days. A drought can last weeks, months, a season, a year. But droughts can cause as many deaths over time as any other natural disaster,” said Robert Stefanski, head of World Meteorological Organisation?s (WMO) agriculture division.
Droughts in recent years have struck regions ranging from the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, China, India, Mexico and Brazil to the United States, Russia and southeastern Europe.
Droughts are estimated to affect tens of millions of people and cause tens of billions of dollars in economic losses every year.
They are expected to increase in frequency, area and intensity due to climate change, yet Read more…
The last decade has produced record-breaking heat waves in many parts of the world. At the same time, it was globally the warmest since sufficient measurements started in the 19th century. Here we show that, worldwide, the number of local record-breaking monthly temperature extremes is now on average five times larger than expected in a climate with no long-term warming. This implies that on average there is an 80 % chance that a new monthly heat record is due to climatic change. Large regional differences exist in the number of observed records. Summertime records, which are associated with prolonged heat waves, increased by more than a factor of ten in some continental regions including parts of Europe, Africa, southern Asia and Amazonia. Overall, these high record numbers are quantitatively consistent with those expected for the observed climatic warming trend with Read more…
Image: Jenny Downing/Flickr
By Stephen Leahy, the Guardian
The record loss of Arctic sea ice this summer may mean a cold winter for the UK and northern Europe. The region has been prone to bad winters after summers with very low sea ice, such as 2011 and 2007, said Jennifer Francis, a researcher at Rutgers University.
“We can’t make predictions yet … [but] I wouldn’t be surprised to see wild extremes this winter,” Francis told the Guardian.
This year’s ice melt has broken the 2007 record by an an area larger than the state of Texas.
Polar ice experts “thought that it would be many years until we again saw anything like we saw in 2007″, said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.
The unprecedented expanse of ice-free Arctic Ocean has been absorbing the Read more…