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Gathering Stormclouds

Okay, maybe Tantek’s right and the CSS I devised yesterday wasn’t the greatest (note to self: avoid writing journal entries at 4:45am).  And yes, it would be more elegant, at least on the markup side, to use the href values to determine how to style links.  It feels a touch clumsy, for some reason, maybe because the selectors end up being so long and I’m used to short selectors.  Go check out what he has to say and suggestions for better selectors, and while you’re at it go take a look at substring selectors to get ideas for how to do even better.  (I don’t think anyone supports *= yet, so you’re likely to have to use ^= instead.)

Back in high school, my best friend Dave and I devised a scenario where water shortages in the American southwest became so severe that states literally went to war with each other over water rights and access, fragmenting the United States in the process.  It never really went much of anywhere, just an idea we kicked around, and that I thought about trying to turn into a hex-based strategic wargame but never did.  It’s always lurked in the back of my head, though, the idea of climate-driven warfare.

According to Yahoo! News, a Pentagon report asserts that climate change is a major threat to national security; well, actually, to global security.  And that if the global climate crossing a “tipping point,” the changes will be radical and swift.  In such a situation, economic upheaval will be the least of our concerns—we’ll be more worried about adding to the climate shifts with the aftereffects of nuclear exchanges.

I actually read about this on Fortune.com a few weeks ago, and although now you have to be a member to read the full article at Fortune, there’s a copy at Independent Media TV.  The Fortune article characterizes the report as presenting the possible scenarios if global climate shifts occur, but not claiming that they are happening or will happen.  It also says that the Pentagon agreed to share the unclassified report with Fortune, whereas the Yahoo! News article says the report was leaked after attempts to hush it up.  For that matter, the Yahoo! News article makes it sound like the report claims that The Netherlands will definitely be uninhabitable by 2007, and so on.  According to the Fortune article, that was one aspect of a scenario, not a concrete prediction.  This is probably due to the Yahoo! News article being a summary of an article in The Observer, which is a production of The Guardian and claims to be the “best daily newspaper on the world wide web.”  Uh-huh.

So I guess I’m saying read the Fortune article, as it gives more information and takes a more balanced tone—not that it sounds any less disturbing, really.  The fact that the report was commissioned at all suggests that the subject is being taken seriously at the Pentagon, which is not exactly a gathering place for leftist wackos.  I’ll be very interested to see what reaction, official or otherwise, is triggered by this report in the weeks to come.  My fear is that it doesn’t matter any more, that whatever accusatory words might get thrown around will just be insignificant noise lost in the rising wind.

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