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The Politics of Security and the Environment

Whoever said that the environment doesn’t involve security? And here I’m talking about real politick, those issues that involve honest to gosh boots on the ground. Environmental scarcity or environmental disasters are quite capable of involving national security issues.

August 28th

Car-sharing Website under Threat from Bus Company

Canadian website PickupPal is a ride-sharing “service [that] is providing a venue for either passengers or packages to find or be matched to a driver—typically already travelling in a certain direction or destination.” PickupPal uses its own software to match travelers and drivers, and then it’s up to them to negotiate prices, since PickupPal makes its money through advertising on the website itself.

August 21st

Drilling in the Amazon

Unlike the debate occurring over exploration in the ANWR, the Western Amazon is located in a remote part of the South American continent, rather than in one of America’s states. As a result, while there is immense pressure on local leaders to open the region up for drilling, as these can be important sources of government revenue for nations that are part of the global South, there rarely is the same level of pressure to avoid actions with potentially huge environmental costs as there is in the U.S.

August 19th

Georgian Situation Continues the Quest for The Prize of Oil, Money and Power

One of the more important things to understand about Georgia – the small country that recently engaged in a deadly struggle with Russia – is that it is one of the hosts of a relatively new, 1 million barrel per day capacity oil pipeline called Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC). That pipeline was constructed with the active encouragement of the EU and the US starting in the late 1990s despite strenuous objections from Russia.

If you take a look at a map of the pipeline, you will begin to understand the geopolitical importance of the effort to provide a path out of the Caspian Sea region.

August 18th

Putin, Russia and the North

By claiming the Lomonosov Ridge as Russian territory, Russia has claimed the Arctic seabed up until the North Pole, effectively planting a Russian flag on the vast oil, gas, and diamond reserves in this ecologically-sensitive region of the world.

August 15th

Northwest Passage; Myth or Reality?

This year, for the first time in years, the Holy Grail of northern shipping will be a reality for a few weeks. With a Europe to Asia transit length that is 5000 nautical miles shorter than that of the Panama Canal; the opening of the Northwest Passage may signal the start to a sovereignty fight in the Arctic that has nothing to do with oil, gas, or any other kind of mineral exploration.

August 14th

Global Seafood Consumption Up: Is Aquaculture the Answer?

According to this year’s report, Americans consumed a total of 4.908 billion pounds of seafood in 2007, slightly less than the 4.944 billion pounds in 2006. The average American ate 16.3 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2007, a one percent decline from the 2006 consumption figures of 16.5 pounds. But what most concerns scientists is the growth in imported farm-raised seafood coupled with declines global fishstocks.

August 14th

A US Blockade of Iran Would Cause an Energy Crisis

The recent naval deployment in the Gulf comes on the heels of both House and Senate resolutions calling on the President to take action against Iran, which could only be accomplished through a naval blockade, an act of war under international law. Such a blockade in the Strait of Hormuz would cause oil prices to skyrocket and cause an energy crisis greater than we are experiencing currently.

August 13th

Why High Gas Prices can be Good for the Environment

While high gas prices are not the most effective way to combat environmentally degrading driving patterns – unless you grow all your own food, chances are likely that high gas prices are going to translate into higher food costs – high gas prices are starting to encourage the sorts of commuter behaviours that environmentalists have been attempting to mainstream for years. But if gas prices start to decrease, are we going to witness a return to the behaviour that brought about these high prices in the first place?

August 8th