New York Times: The Nuclear Agenda
The paper argues President Obama set an ambitious goal in his first term when he endorsed the vision of an eventual world without nuclear weapons. After some early achievements, namely the New Start treaty mandating cuts in deployed strategic weapons, the effort stalled for two years until he picked up the theme again in the State of the Union address this month. Now he needs to follow through with a more sustained commitment.
Iran Claims to Find Uranium Deposits, Plans More Nuclear Plants
Ramin Mostaghi/Los Angeles Times
Iran announced Saturday that it had designated 16 sites for new nuclear power plants and also had discovered substantial new uranium deposits in its territory.
Giant laser needs a revamp to achieve nuclear fusion
Jeff Hecht/New Scientist
There’s more than one way to spark a star. Although the world’s biggest laser missed a key target date on the road to producing clean energy via nuclear fusion, an independent review panel says the technology holds enough promise to continue the quest – with a few modifications.
Hotter, wetter climate slashes labor capacity by 10 percent: U.S. study
Earth’s increasingly hot, wet climate has cut the amount of work people can do in the worst heat by about 10 percent in the past six decades, and that loss in labor capacity could double by mid-century, U.S. government scientists reported on Sunday.
Syria says ready to talk with armed opposition
Thomas Grove and Steve Gutterma/Reuters
Syria is ready for talks with its armed opponents, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Monday, in the clearest offer yet of negotiations with rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
Rare countrywide power blackout hits Pakistan; authorities blame technical failure at plant
Associated Press/The Washington Post
A rare countrywide blackout has left Pakistan without electricity for almost two hours overnight. The authorities blamed technical problems for the breakdown early on Monday, insisting it was not caused by sabotage.
Embracing a Dignity Agenda in the Middle East
Michel Dunne and Barry Pavel/The Atlantic
The challenge facing the United States is how to lead without dominating, and how to protect and promote U.S. interests without absolving other actors of responsibility. Thus, the task for this administration is to develop a strategy to match the President’s positive rhetoric with real follow-up in diplomacy, assistance, and security cooperation
An Unlikely Reformist Joins Iran’s Presidential Field
Golnaz Esfandiari/The Atlantic
Ali Fallahian, a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts who served as intelligence minister under former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been accused of involvement in the killings of Iranian dissidents and is on Interpol’s wanted list for alleged participation in the 1995 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.
Why Innovation Alone Isn’t Enough to Win the Climate Fight
If the government can’t get itself together to deal with the much more immediate threats of sequestration, properly responding to a long-term and highly complex challenge like climate change has basically entered the realm fantasy. This is especially true when one of two political parties refuses to acknowledge the problem exists.
The Mathematics of Climate Change
Climate change is arguably the most important issue humanity has ever faced. The Earth’s average surface temperature continues to climb and weather is increasingly volatile. Our current trajectory looks perilous.
ASP Recently Published
PERSPECTIVE: Cause and Effect – U.S. Gasoline Prices
Andrew Holland and Nick Cunningham
This paper examines the causes of America’s soaring gasoline prices. The paper underscores that the price of gas is intimately interconnected with crude oil prices, which are set by global markets. The paper cautions that although America’s oil production has surged in recent years, it has not lowered gas prices.
For the United States, oil dependence represents a serious national security threat. While the United States is drilling more oil than ever, consumers are not seeing lower prices at the pump. Still, the notion of “energy independence” has persisted in American political discourse, leading some to believe that the U.S. can solve its energy problems by producing more oil.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Here Comes the Sun: Israel and Solar Energy
Following the 1970’s oil crisis, Harry Zvi Tabor, the father of Israel’s solar industry, developed the prototype of the solar water heater now decorating 90% of Israel’s rooftops.
Fuels America Advises Task Force to Continue With Renewable Fuels
Congressman Henry A. Waxman and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse have formed a bicameral Task Force on Climate Change. This task force will be dedicated to shifting congressional and public attention to climate change and developing effective policy responses.
American Competitiveness and National Security – Podcast
Experts on American Competitiveness discussed the key issues involved and how we can overcome the challenges we face.