What’s New February 2007

This page lists changes to this site for February 2007.

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It seems there has been a recent interest in associating climate change/global warming with “over population” and that countries such as China and India have to do more to help contain global warming. Yet rich countries have a lot to do themselves. There were agreed reasons why developing countries were exempt from initial greenhouse gas emission targets: it was the emissions from rich countries that accumulated in the atmosphere for so long to trigger climate change. At the same time, the rise of countries such as China and India require an urgent look at the need for alternatives to fossil fuel burning.

In wealthier countries, pharmaceutical companies have tried to use fear and anxiety to sell drugs. This has been needed because wealthier countries have generally healthier societies (though this is changing too). The media strategies employed by pharmaceutical companies have come under criticism for they portray common ailments and problems as diseases, or even highlight obscure problems as common diseases, all to create a need for their products.

When China recently blew up one of its aging satellites in space with a medium range ballistic missile, it raised concerns about China starting an arms race in space. Some have said that this is China’s response to the Bush Administrations announcements earlier in 2006 that it would seek to dominate space and be against a global treaty to ban weapons in space (which most countries—including China—have been pushing for). China’s actions are complicated by the fact that it did not inform others it was going to do this, leading many to wonder whether China’s insistence and support for a global space weapon ban treaty is genuine or just to buy-time as it enters a new Cold War with the US. The US has already been strengthening and creating various alliances in the region, in addition to building up its naval and military presence in the region quietly. While much of this is claimed to be in response to the so-called War on Terror, others see this as part of an attempt to check China.

Prompted by fears that Iran is able to make nuclear weapons in about 2 years time, Israel has devised a plan to use tactical nuclear weapons to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities. Such plans have been revealed before and denied, as has this one. The Iran section has been updated with further information on this.

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