Canadian Dimension: A Murderous History of Korea

Photo by Stephan More than four decades ago I went to lunch with a diplomatic historian who, like me, was going through Korea-related documents at the National Archives in Washington. He happened to remark that he sometimes wondered whether the Korean Demilitarised Zone might be ground zero for the end of the world. This April, ...

Things Are Good: Renewables Had a Record Year in 2016

Renewable energy production is growing more every year and 2016 was no exception to that growth. In 2016 capacity of renewables increased by 8.7% and for the first time solar growth outpaced wind energy. Unsurprisingly the majority of the growth occurred in Asia seeing 58% of global growth happening in that one continent. Africa saw ...

The Wandering Joe: Oil Oil Everywhere, and not a Barrel to Burn

There has been a lot of hand-wringing over the recent crash in crude oil prices. Ironically, both environmentalists who want people to stop buying oil and many of the producers who need people to buy more are both challenged by the current price point. To be honest, I couldn’t give a tinker’s damn about the ...

Canadian Dimension: South Korean Protests Growing

Photo by Workers Solidarity For the sixth straight weekend, hundreds of thousands of Koreans came out in Seoul (and with other Korean cities estimates approaching 2 million people on the streets) to demand the resignation of President Park Geun-hye. This Saturday December 3, the protests marched on the Presidential Blue House. The three opposition parties ...

Things Are Good: The Aral Sea Rises Again

The Aral Sea was once one of the largest lakes in the world, but today all that remains is just two small lakes. Insanely bad environmental practices killed the lake which has had negative impacts on nature (obviously) and on humans who used to live on the shore. Since the sea was declared dead years ...

Canadian Dimension: Corporate and military plunder in the Philippines

Photo by Keith Bacongco For many in the Global North, certain countries only appear on our radar screens as discount winter vacation hotspots. Other times, when natural disaster strikes, these countries serve as empathy-building backdrops to raise millions for charities that, after skimming some off the top, may distribute some of the contributions for the ...

Canadian Dimension: China: Reformers and Compradors

18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, November 2012 • Photo by 东方 China’s wealthiest classes have secured their recent fortunes through various means, both legal and illegal: These include (1) the privatization of public enterprises; (2) the savage exploitation of cheap labor after destroying workers rights, protections and social welfare legislation; (3) ...

The Disaffected Lib: Asia’s Dreadnoughts

Dreadnoughts.  The first modern battleship – big guns and steam turbine power. Prior to WWI these new super-warships triggered a major naval arms race between Britain and Germany. Something similar is underway today across Asia and the South Pacific only this time its a naval arms race focused on submarine superiority.  We don’t hear much ...

The Disaffected Lib: When the Shooting Starts, It’ll Probably be Here

Sure this is a bummer to start the new year but arms races are a major cause of war, often unintended and undesired.  It’s not just the country buying all the new hardware that starts this sort of war but also the country that fears it will be even more vulnerable in the years ahead ...

Canadian Dimension: China’s Second ‘Cultural Revolution’

Photo by Daderot Introduction China is in the midst of its second ‘cultural revolution’ in a half century. While the first (under Chairman Mao Tse Tung) was intended to ‘revitalize socialism’, the current is directed to ‘moralizing’ capitalism. The first cultural revolution was a frontal attack on the hierarchy of power and privilege inside and ...

The Disaffected Lib: The Tibetan Plateau – Asia’s Armageddon?

To Asia’s three nuclear powers, the Tibetan plateau represents life or death. China, India and Pakistan are all dependent on the headwaters of rivers that are fed by the glaciers in Tibet.  The geo-political enormity of these rivers drove China to invade and occupy Tibet in 1950. What happens in the Himalayas powerfully impacts the ...

Canadian Dimension | Articles: A dangerous lurch to the extreme Right: India’s new Prime Minister

This piece was originally published on Dissident Voice and was republished here with permission. The landslide election earlier this month of Narendra Modi does not bode well for the 800 million or so Indians living in destitution, or the 120 million minority Muslims in the country, or the Adivasi (indigenous) people and Dalit groups sitting ...

The Wandering Joe: Crimea and Misdemeanours

Bad puns aside, the recent intrigue in Crimea has been responsible for more nonsensical political blustering than any single international incident in the past decade. It has been a curious exercise to sit back and watch everyone work themselves up and deliver half-baked analyses based on laughably outdated assumptions. Please note that all of my ...

Bill Longstaff: U.S. feeds Japanese militarism

China, with its paltry aid to the Philippines and its announcement of a new air-defense zone over the East China sea, has not been making friends in its region these days. But the country to worry about in the Far East is not China. It is Japan. Countries such as China and South Korea that ...

Polygonic: Old Entish Soldier

Along the base of Emeishan in Sichuan Province, a network of forest trails connect temples, pavilions, and spots of tranquil contemplation (despite the heaving crowds!). This solitary figure continues to stand tall – though the tree has died, it’s a home to lots of other new life.

The Canadian Progressive: Human Rights Watch To Thailand: Investigate Environmentalist’s Murder

Prajob exposed toxic waste dump; more than 30 activists killed since 2001 By: Human Rights Watch (Press Release)| Feb. 27, 2013: BANGKOK – Thai authorities should immediately investigate the murder of Prajob Nao-opas, a prominent environmentalist in Chachoengsao province, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s measures to protect human rights defenders, including environmentalists, who stand up ...

The Disaffected Lib: The Jewel in the Crown – India

India has nothing but friends these days, that is if you leave out Pakistan.   Russia’s her friend, has been for generations.   China wants to be India’s BFF.   And America is also courting India’s affections. US Def-SEc Panetta was in New Delhi, laden with roses and chocolates, to proclaim India the “linchpin” in America’s new strategy ...

The Disaffected Lib: Why Tibet Will Never Be Free

This map says it all: The Tibetan plateau is key to controlling the headwaters of just about every major river in East and South Asia.   China controls Tibet, it controls most of the water that it and its neighbours depend upon. As written on this blog for years, it was always going to come down ...

Polygonic: The emperor’s new clothes: North Korea keeps on marching

Sometimes, you just want to give them a hug. Pyongyang put on this earnest show of transparency around its rocket launch, inviting foreign journalists into the heart of their futuristic Space Control Centres (SCCs). Witness the marvels of our microcomputers and our, umm, extraordinarily large antennae! It was one part quaint, one part chilling. The ...