The Obama administration has overreacted to the Gulf oil spill by suspending most new offshore drilling and moving to expand liabilities for future accidents, with implications for U.S. energy security, says Jack Coleman, an energy industry official and legal expert.
"What happened in Atlanta this week is not a matter of Southerners blindsided by unpredictable weather. More than any event I've witnessed in two decades of living in and writing about this city, this snowstorm underscores the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it."
"New research suggests that space rocks as large as the one that fell over Chelyabinsk -- about 19 meters (62 feet) across -- are three to five times more numerous than scientists had realized. The study, led by Peter Brown at the University of Western Ontario, also found that larger and more dangerous ones are unexpectedly abundant. In other words, alien projectiles pose a serious threat. Is it a manageable one?"
Almost a year after the Fukushima disaster, fifty-two of Japan's fifty-four nuclear power plants have been shut down. The reactor explosion destroyed the population's trust in nuclear energy. But the atomic lobby--and the country's industrial needs--could block a possible phase-out, writes Wieland Wagner at Der Spiegel.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 caused the world's largest offshore oil spill. It has also led to a mammoth legal action, as tens of thousands of plaintiffs--and the US government--fight for compensation, writes Ed Crooks.
Before a historic earthquake-tsunami combination killed thousands and triggered a partial meltdown at one of its nuclear power plants, Japan won a reputation around the world for being extraordinarily prepared for disaster. In the aftermath of Fukushima Daiichi, Washington must now evaluate if the United States could do any better than – or even as well as – Japan in similar circumstance.
Tom Zeller Jr. explains the system of a Mark 1 nuclear reactor, like the one currently failing at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. He reveals that experts had long cautioned about the weak design of these reactors and predicted a possible nuclear disaster.
This report from the U.K. House of Commons expresses confidence in the government's regulatory ability over the oil drilling sector, while conceding that some proposed expansions in regulation should be adopted in light of the B.P. spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Steve Coll argues that Pakistan's political leaders have undermined the country's potential for success, and says coming to Pakistan's aid is a strategic and humanitarian necessity for the United States.
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Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
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