Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Look Back At The Week Before Christmas, 2009

T'was the week before Christmas 2009, and the blogs were all settling in for a short winters respite to remember, peace on earth and a pause before plunging ahead into 2010.

With the Copenhagen climate summit wrapped up, two sites had articles that caught my eye and are worth a look. Yale Global focuses this next post on how China the worlds top polluter emerges as green tech leader.

BEIJING -- Xu Shisen put down the phone and smiled. That was Canada calling, explained the chief engineer at a coal-fired power plant set among knockoff antique and art shops in a Beijing suburb. A Canadian company is interested in Mr. Xu's advances in bringing down the cost of stripping out greenhouse-gas emissions from burning coal.
Steve DeAngelis of enterprise resilience blog wrote this post last week as the meetings were struggling to find common ground.

As the climate summit in Copenhagen continues, all eyes remain on the world's two great polluters -- the U.S. and China -- for a breakthrough. The U.S. has shown some willingness to compromise, but China remains reluctant ["U.S. pledges billions; China says climate pact is doubtful," by Juliet Eilperin and Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, 17 December 2009]. As disheartening as China's position might be, Armond Cohen, executive director of the Clean Air Task Force, a Boston-based green advocacy group, claims that in some "cleantech" areas, "China is now more advanced" than the United States ["China's Surprising Clout in Cleantech," by Adam Aston, BusinessWeek, 30 November 2009 print issue]. China has partially climbed aboard the environmental bandwagon along with the U.S. and India because it now sees opportunities where it once saw roadblocks to development.
Read more:
China and the globes green future

Continuing his successful run of excellent blog posts, Mark of Zenpundit offers this to amuse and get you brain cells going.
History is an empirical profession based on standards of evidence - in part. It is also an art of crafting a narrative that can effectively communicate the meaning of the evidence of an event that is known to exist. Leopold von Ranke, one of the founders of the modern historical method, admonished his students that history should explain ”wie es eigentlich gewesen ist” ( “Tell it how it really was” or “how it actually has been”) and eschew grand theories in seeking causation. These are difficult objectives to balance.
Read more:
The Weakness of the Historical Method

Turning to the war in Afhanistan. Michael Yon files this brief report.
20 December 2009
Arghandab, Afghanistan
As Christmas approaches, many people are thinking about the troops, who in turn are thinking about loved ones at home. Cards and letters are tacked up on many walls. The favorites are from the little kids, with questions like, "How do you go to the bathroom?" "Can you eat dinner?" "Does it hurt to get shooted?" It goes on.
I emailed to Command Sergeant Major Jeff Mellinger, asking if he had any words for the troops this Christmas. Jeff came right back with this awesome letter

Read CSM Mellingers letter:
As Christmas Approaches

On that note take a few minutes and read about our world and how it has been studied. Then pause and think about Sargent Major Melingers words.

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