Iran still won’t sign accord against terror finance

February 23, 2015

My cynical side wonders why Iran would ever sign an agreement that blocks Iran from doing something that benefits it. My cynical side also knows Iran very well.

Money Jihad

The International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism went into effect in 2002. Over 180 countries have signed the rather bland convention. But not Iran.

Not that we could take Iran at its word, but shouldn’t they agree to sign the convention prior to concluding a deal with Iran about their nuclear program?

Lebanon hasn’t signed it either. Other non-signatory countries with Islamist political movements include The Gambia and Chad. But they don’t have nuclear programs.

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Inconvenient study: La Niña killed coral reefs 4100 years ago and lasted over two millennia

February 23, 2015

From the article: ““It’s possible that anthropogenic climate change may once again be pushing these reefs towards another regional collapse.”

So a coral reef shutdown four thousand, one hundred years ago is a warning of the dangers from the Demon CO2 today, even though a) there was no anthropogenically generated CO2 back then and b) this all seems tied to la nina/el nino cycles? Check. (Note the weasel words “possible” and “may.”)

Watts Up With That?

From Georgia Tech and the “it’s your SUV that’s killing the coral reefs today, why can’t you get that through your head” department comes this inconvenient study.

La Nina-like conditions associated with 2,500-year-long shutdown of coral reef growth

coral-reef-panama A dead Pocillopora reef in Pacific Panamá. This image of interrupted reef growth represents what reefs throughout Pacific Panamá may have looked like when reef development shut down at the onset of the hiatus ~2,500 years ago. Credit: Lauren Toth

A new study has found that La Niña-like conditions in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Panamá were closely associated with an abrupt shutdown in coral reef growth that lasted 2,500 years. The study suggests that future changes in climate similar to those in the study could cause coral reefs to collapse in the future.

The study found cooler sea temperatures, greater precipitation and stronger upwelling — all indicators…

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When Kremlin Trolls Attack

February 23, 2015

Cold War II meets the social media age.

The XX Committee

The issue of online trolls doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin has been getting some mainstream media attention, finally. The reality that Russia buys, or at least rents, trolls by the battalion to harass, intimidate and make life unpleasant for anybody who opposes Moscow policy, while employing aggressive agitprop to further Putinist propaganda, isn’t exactly news, but it’s nevertheless welcome to see mainstream outlets doing some digging into what’s going on.

I’ve dealt with more than my share of Kremlin trolls ever since the Edward Snowden story broke in June 2013. As a major spokesman for the anti-Snowden viewpoint, as well as the only former NSA counterintelligence officer who’s talked publicly about this case at length, I’ve gotten my share of grief and then some from online Pals of Putin, with their usual modus operandi: smears, lies, slurs, and threats.

Some of these Kremlin clowns…

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