You are currently viewing archive for July 2007
You can't outsource forever on a small planet.

For several years now we have been outsourcing our pollution. Why do you think MADE IN CHINA is cheaper than MADE IN USA? Wages are only a part of it. A much bigger part is that China manufactures without the concern for the environment we have. With no need for expensive pollution control equipement (and worker safety practices) products are cheaper.

We have been outsourcing pollution.

But, on a small planet, you can't outsource forever. From the science section of the Wall Street Journal:

One tainted export from China can't be avoided in North America -- air.

An outpouring of dust layered with man-made sulfates, smog, industrial fumes, carbon grit and nitrates is crossing the Pacific Ocean on prevailing winds from booming Asian economies in plumes so vast they alter the climate. These rivers of polluted air can be wider than the Amazon and deeper than the Grand Canyon.

"There are times when it covers the entire Pacific Ocean basin like a ribbon bent back and forth," said atmospheric physicist V. Ramanathan at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif.

On some days, almost a third of the air over Los Angeles and San Francisco can be traced directly to Asia. With it comes up to three-quarters of the black carbon particulate pollution that reaches the West Coast, Dr. Ramanathan and his colleagues recently reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
Full story here. Link from Drudge.

Nearly thirty-five years ago I read a science fiction story in which air pollution from Asia finally reached North America, signalling an end to breathable air on the planet. ("East Wind, West Wind?) Since the early 70s we have made considerable progress in our country in cleaning up the air. Now we are losing the results of our efforts thanks to the American consumer preference for cheap at any price. Buy American.
We cannot fight the war against militant Islam by ourselves. We need allies. The allies we can count on most will have their own reasons to fight militant Islam. One such nation is India. They have been on the frontline for centuries, and will continue to be as long as this war lasts.

Recognizing their own needs, the Indian military has quietly begun developing a military presence in Central Asia. The Times of India has the story on the patient military buildup by India in Tajikistan.
MSN has this article online entitled "Broken China: A dysfunctional nation." According to the analysis offered, China may never become a true economic superpower due to structural problems in its economy. And, may face increasing social problems as a result.
This article from the Chicago Tribune highlights persecution of Hindus. Most of the persecution, and almost all the vicious attacks, occur in Muslim lands.

A new report from the Hudson institute surveys religious freedom and unfreedom.

From Frontpage

The greatest persecutors of religion are Islamist and communist regimes, according to a just released report from the Hudson Institute's Center on Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. Regimes that respect religious freedom also have more civil liberties, more prosperity, better health for their people, and less militarized societies.
John Updyke has a new book, The Terrorist. Well, in truth it was released last year but I only became aware of it recently.

I've not yet gotten a copy, but intend to. Updyke writes with immense power, including spiritual power. Perhaps no one has been better at portraying the moral wasteland of middle age when divorced from religious truth.

In his new novel, according to the review I read, Updyke writes of a young man, of mixed Irish-American and Egyptian origin: a young man estranged from his American surroundings, who longs for something deeper. This hunger drives him to a local mosque where he comes under the tutelage of an imam who shapes his longing into a desire for purity. Meeting jihadis, their vision of purification through violence begins to make sense to him.

It sounds like this novel provides a needed corrective to the notions, given by our secular society, that "root causes" of terrorism are always to be found in material circumstances such as poverty and politics. Humanity's deepest needs are religious.