The Great Barrier Reef Is "Dead," The CIA Wants To Embarrass The Kremlin, Plus More
Yesterday, 170 countries signed on to a climate change deal that’s received quite a lot of media attention for its significance. A week-long meeting came to a head with the decision to end the use of hydrofluorocarbons worldwide. Hydrofluorocarbons are found in air conditioners and refrigerators and, though they create a smaller amount of greenhouse gasses, they trap heat up to 1,000 times better than carbon dioxide emissions. The agreement requires the world’s richest nations, such as those in the European Union and the United States, to stop production and use of hydrofluorocarbons by 2018. A large majority of the world will stop in 2024, with the poorest countries, many in Africa and the Middle East, following suit in 2028. It’s expected to result in the reduction of about 70 billion tons of carbon dioxide.
“It is likely the single most important step we could take at this moment to limit the warming of our planet and limit the warming for generations to come,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.
In other climate news, you may have seen recent media with headlines claiming that the Great Barrier Reef has been pronounced dead. This comes after an Outside Magazine piece wrote, “The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old.” The article detailed the reef’s struggle against coral bleaching. However, scientists are being quick to assure readers that the Great Barrier Reef is, in fact, not dead at all, and the very tongue-in-cheek article published by Outside Magazine should not be taken at face value, as so many individuals are on social media. Though combating the claims of death, scientists additionally warn readers that, while not dead, the reef is in serious trouble, with 93 percent of the reef affected by bleaching.
Yesterday evening, talks on Syria in Lausanne ended after four hours without any real progress. The mission is to come to some sort of peaceful solution, after failing to accomplish a Russian ceasefire. In reference to the meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he had no particularly special expectations, but he did tell Russian press that talks would continue later in an effort to end the Syria crisis.
WikiLeaks made public Hillary Clinton’s paid Goldman Sachs speeches Saturday. The emails were retrieved from John Podesta’s email account and include full text copies of three private paid speeches to the company. In regards to a no-fly zone in Syria, she’s quoted as saying, “To have a no-fly zone you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk — you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians. So all of a sudden this intervention that people talk about so glibly becomes an American and 15 NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.”
However, in late September, Clinton called for a no-fly zone following Russian bombings. Then, she gave an NBC interview in Boston and said that now she is “advocating for a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors to try to stop the carnage on the ground and from the air, to try to provide some way to take stock of what’s happening, to try to stem the flow of refugees.”
Lastly, the Obama administration told reporters they are “contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action” in response to Russian hacks and supposed Russian interference in the upcoming election. The CIA is giving the White House various options for cyber operations that will “embarrass” the Kremlin. However, exactly what will happen has not been announced, but all have a goal of giving Putin a little taste of his own medicine. For the most part, though, it seems that the operation is being kept hush-hush.
One former CIA officer told NBC News that, “we’ve alway hesitated to use a lot of stuff we’ve had, but that’s a political decision. If someone decide, ‘We’ve had enough of the Russians,’ there is a lot we can do. Step one is to remind them that two can play at this game and we have a lot of stuff. Step two, if you are looking to mess with their networks, we can do that, but then the issue becomes, they can do worse things to us in other places.”