It's well-known that the United States and China are the two biggest greenhouse-gas polluters in the world. But relatively few people can name number three on that list. It's Indonesia, thanks to heavy deforestation: It is that frenzied rate of deforestation that has propelled Indonesia, home to 237 million people, into its top-three spot in the global league table of climate change villains.
The Susan in question is Susan Rice. And, according to a New York Times article by Neil MacFarquhar, it's Stewart Patrick who gives her the good grades. Rice is U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. So who is Patrick? He is one of those hundreds of I.R. wonks in Washington who moves from fellowship to fellowship, eating up foundation money, and ends up being an expert in what actually amounts to nothing or maybe, just maybe, the same thing: "multilateral cooperation in the management of global issues; U.S.
At the Non-Proliferation Treaty meeting beginning today in New York, Iran will try to shift the discussion to Israel’s nuclear weapons by proposing that the Middle East become nuclear-free. As historian Jeffrey Herf wrote at TNR Online last October, this is similar to a ploy the Soviets used in the 1980s: Our negotiations with Iran are not off to a good start. After the initial meeting in Geneva on October 1--with Iran on one side and Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the United States on the other--Iranian representatives said they had agreed to send processed uranium to Russia.
Over at the Council of Foreign Relations' site, Michael Levi's got a useful explainer-type thing on the ins and outs of the global climate talks. This part, for instance, is a succinct explanation of what members of Congress want to see from China: Members of Congress seem to have made the legal form of a Chinese commitment their overarching priority. They want to see China make commitments that are technically legally binding in the same sense that U.S. commitments would be legally binding under an international agreement. And if that's not forthcoming then they would want symmetry. So U.S.
This was the maiden sally of the United States at the U.N. Human Rights Council, a resolution under the rubric of "promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development." Phew! The measure was introduced by the U.S. and by Egypt, which, of course, has a long and sterling record as an insurer and defender of civilized liberties.
Maurice Bowra: A Life By Leslie Mitchell (Oxford University Press, 385 pp., $50) As warden of Wadham College in Oxford, president of the British Academy, the author of well-known books on ancient Greek literature, and a conversationalist of legendary brilliance, Maurice Bowra seemed, in the middle of the last century, the very embodiment of Oxford life. Enjoying a huge international reputation as a scholar, a wit, and an administrator, he was duly elected into prestigious academies and awarded honorary degrees in both Europe and America. George VI knighted him in 1951.
The Iranian regime has made headlines this week with its announcement that it will allow inspections into its recently discovered enrichment site in Qom, and its agreement, albeit ambiguously, to allow enrichment to be handled by Russia or France.
While this year has become best known as the fortieth anniversary of Woodstock, it was also forty years ago that the first African-American Studies department was established, at San Francisco State University. Forty-one fall semesters later, there are hundreds of such departments. Has what they teach evolved with the march of time? I explore that question here at the Minding the Campus site sponsored by my think tank.
There’s a growing consensus that the U.S. needs to export more, and import less. The basic argument here is that huge recent imbalances between the consumption-mad U.S. on the one side and exporting China, Japan, Germany, and the Persian Gulf on the other can’t go on and that we need to “rebalance” the global economy. And it sounds good, especially when Larry Summers says it. The only problem is, it’s not clear to whom we would do all this new exporting.
Our oceans have been the victims of a giant Ponzi scheme, waged with Bernie Madoff–like callousness by the world’s fisheries. Beginning in the 1950s, as their operations became increasingly industrialized--with onboard refrigeration, acoustic fish-finders, and, later, GPS--they first depleted stocks of cod, hake, flounder, sole, and halibut in the Northern Hemisphere.