Third South China Sea airstrip being built, says expert, citing satellite photos

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CSIS thinktank says retaining wall and other preparations made for landing strip as Beijing continues to upset US and the region with island-building

China appeared to be building a third airstrip in contested territory in the South China Sea, a US expert said on Monday, citing satellite photographs.

Related: Asean talks: Beijing’s South China Sea island-building ‘increasing tensions’

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Too Little, Too Late

September 14, 2015 – The news just isn’t getting any better, is it?  Heroic people all over the world are working very hard to keep climate change from reaching the tipping point, but governments continue down the same road they’ve been following for decades.  Sadly, their inertia means the bill that’s coming due just keeps getting bigger.  And oh! how badly they and their super-wealthy citizens don’t want to pay it.  That’s ok.  This bill collector is never turned down.  It will all work out in due course.  After all, it’s only humankind that may face extinction.

Actually, I do believe there will be survivors.  I don’t mean that in the sense of “me and my family have this all figured out.”  I mean that in the sense that the odds favor it.  Somebody, somewhere, will get through this.  Maybe a lot of somebodies.  Humanity’s chance to influence a more favorable outcome is just about over, however.  Much as we human beings love to believe we’re in control, we have utterly sacrificed whatever control we might have had.  For money, it would seem.

None of which means we should give up.  What we have is so wonderful, we must fight for it as long as we’re able.  We know so little, it would be an awful mistake to assume that we know exactly how things will turn out.  We don’t, although the brains G-d gave us have allowed us an at least partial view of the future. If it looks like the present, we’re in a world of hurt.

Having moved West, I am particularly sensitive to the vagaries of wildfire.  Mixed with drought and wind, both of which are in plentiful supply, particularly east of the Cascades here in the Pacific Northwest, the situation quickly becomes dire.  California continues to be in the worst shape, with hundreds of homes now having been immolated.  Loss of life, due to the unflagging efforts of fire fighters, thus far stands at only one person.  Remarkable.

The typhoon (a hurricane that occurs in the western Pacific) season got off to a quick start, producing some of the strongest storms on record this year.  To date, there have been 27 tropical storms, including 19 named typhoons, of which 6 have been super typhoons.  Last week,  Japan was inundated with rain caused by a tropical storm.  Three million people were evacuated!  Insult has been added to injury with the eruption of Mount Aso today.

The leading climate change story this year concerns NOAA’s prediction of dramatic sea level rise during the coming century.  Sea level rise, due to the melting of west Antarctica’s ice and Greenland’s glaciers, has been predicted before, but never so much so quickly.  The reason for NOAA’s report was to urge immediate action.  That is certainly what is needed on all fronts.  We’ve run out of time.