ASP is hosting an event on American Competitiveness and National Security featuring former Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman and business leader Raj Fernando this Wednesday, November 28th at 8:30am. Join us for a fact-based discussion about America’s competitiveness and how policy and business decisions made presently may influence American competitiveness well into the 21st Century.
Be sure to rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible!
What We Are Reading
Jeffrey Ball / Slate
In the United States, a mature economy where electricity consumption is basically flat and domestic natural gas is newly plentiful, “clean coal” has been reduced to a political totem—a symbol to environmentalists and industrialists alike of the elusiveness of whiz-bang technological fixes for global warming. But in China, power demand is growing at double-digit annual rates, and most of that juice is projected to be squeezed from the black rock for years to come.
Brad Plumer / Washington Post
Twenty years ago, it would have been difficult to find a single wind turbine looming over the hills and plains of the United States. Things have changed since then — and dramatically so. Thanks to a series of tax credits from Congress as well as ambitious state-level mandates, wind power has taken off. But now that rapid expansion is about to come to a halt, or at least slow down dramatically.
John Broder / The New York Times
The meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change this year, which opened Monday in Doha, Qatar, promises to be a more staid affair than the three previous sessions — in Copenhagen in 2009; Cancún, Mexico, in 2010; and Durban, South Africa, last year.
Chris Collins/AOL Energy
It was stunning to see just how fast Sandy shut down the northeast’s electrical systems, leaving people powerless in more ways than one. The storm’s flip of a switch effect was because our electrical generating systems are so centralized.
Stick or twist’ sums up the changes of political power in America and China in November 2012. President Obama won another four year term in Washington, while Xi Jinping assumed stewardship of China. This intricate ‘Chimerican’ relationship is fundamental to the global outlook anywhere you care to look, and nowhere more so than the Middle East.
BBC News Europe
The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg — the top court in the EU — has ruled that the new European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is legal after a challenge from an Irish MP on the grounds that it altered the EU’s fundamental powers. The ESM was launched in October 2011 and by 2014, will hold 500 billion euros to assist nations facing economic hardship.
The government of Tajikistan has blocked domestic access to Facebook, alleging that users are being paid to post negative comments about President Imomali Rakhmon. The move comes a year ahead of an election that could see Rakhmon’s two-decade rule extended once more.
The “political leader” of the M23 rebels occupying Goma in the DR Congo has said the group will not leave the city until the government holds national talks and dissolves the electoral commission set up by President Joseph Kabila. These preconditions, among others, are said to be “pretty tough,” and unlikely to be met.
In the News
Andrew Holland wrote an article for The Christian Science Monitor on the prospects for LNG exports from the U.S. Currently, the Department of Energy has only issued one permit for natural gas exports, but, according to Holland, the Obama administration will likely issue more in the coming years.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Read about the new IAEA report on Iran, the status of future negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, Myanmar’s pledge to sign the Additional Protocol, and more.
In an era of fiscal constraint and shifting national security challenges, the United States nuclear security strategy should not be informed by anachronistic Cold War assumptions. A smaller nuclear arsenal would more effectively address today’s security threats and free up resources for critical defense capabilities.
Hurricane Sandy cost New York roughly $42 billion dollars. Action must be taken to mitigate future climate change damage and to prepare for the next storm