Monday, November 05, 2007

Monday miscellany

You know you're busy when you start work on a Sunday morning and keep going until 4:00am the next morning. I really don't have time to focus on this, unpaid, blogging for the moment, probably for about a week. It's a shame, because some interesting points were being addressed and my conversation with DK about monarchy was being picked up by various people like LMWN, Mr E. and Matthew Sinclair. But it'll have to wait.

As will my exploration of the way the right now includes those fighting for the freedom of individuals from tyranny, but that this was the definition of the left two hundred years ago, whereas now the left spends most of its time fighting for the greater oppression of the individual by the state. I think this matters because the old purpose of the left is used to defend the new.

But anyway. here's an account of the DARPA Urban Challenge.

And, via Benny Peiser's mailshot, a tale of water shortages and the evil West. Reuters reports that China has blamed water shortages on western-generated global warming:

China suffers a water shortage of nearly 40 billion cubic metres a year which Water Resources Minister Chen Lei blamed largely on global warming, state media reported on Monday.

"The changes have led to a combination of both frequent drought and flooding," the China Daily newspaper quoted Chen as saying.
That's terrible. But wait! What's this? A study that analyses Chinese rainfall:
for the period 1951-2000... The results indicate that there is little trend in total precipitation for China as a whole
No trend? It is true that there have been variations of the scope and intensity of rain throughout China, but this might not be the whole story. The Reuters report hints at some other possible factors in China's situation:
... rising consumption both by farmers and booming cities, as well as severe pollution, have compounded shortages.

Decades of heavy industrialisation have made water from some lakes and rivers so polluted it is no longer useable, and tonnes of untreated waste are pumped directly into water sources.
Ah, severe and large scale water pollution. Don't I remember that from somewhere else... some other large communist country?

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