At the risk of appearing callous given the very real destruction Hurricane Sandy is wreaking on the eastern seaboard of the United States, today’s link dump has a catastrophic theme. I hope if any readers are experiencing “Frankenstorm’s” wrath, above all be safe, and that they would share with others their testimonies with other survivors.
While the news media have been covering Hurricane Sandy around the clock, little attention has been paid to the possible connection between the storm and climate change. Scientists have long warned how global warming would make North Atlantic hurricanes more powerful. Just two weeks ago, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a major study on the connection between warmer sea surface temperatures and increase in stronger Atlantic hurricanes. The report said, quote, "In particular, we estimate that Katrina-magnitude events have been twice as frequent in warm years compared with cold years."
"Our study shows that the robustness or fragility of an ecosystem under duress depends very much on both the number of species present, as well as the types of species," he said, referring to their ecological function. The study also shows that more is not necessarily better, because simply having many species does not insure against ecosystem collapse. (Science Daily)
What would you get if you were able to mix Red Dawn with both a Civil War battle reenactment and Disneyland, and then translated the whole thing into Chinese? At the Eighth Route Army Culture Park in Shanxi province, named after the Communist military unit that fought behind Japanese lines in the 1940s, visitors can dress up as either Chinese or Japanese troops and pretend to blast away at each other with toy guns. (The Atlantic)
That’s right: The county that gave you the butterfly ballot is back. An error by the county’s printer caused ballots to go out to absentee voters with a typo, and as completed votes roll back into the supervisor’s office by mail, volunteer workers have to copy the votes by hand onto new ballots to ensure they’re counted by the county’s tabulation machines. (Mother Jones)
If the U.S. really intends to sustain its power in the Asia-Pacific into the latter part of the current century, it needs to be the region’s main force for stability. But more than that, it needs to be a non-threatening power that is a willing partner in the realization of local aspirations, be that military or otherwise. By expanding its military-to-military contacts and training frameworks, the U.S. is making a good case for seeing its military forces in Asia as a help, not a hindrance. (The Diplomat)