Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State testified before the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee about the critical issue of climate change, and the importance of building on the progress from the Paris Climate Conference.
A unforgettable video by director and composer, Kenji Williams, compiling views from NASA and other sources of the Bella Gaia, the beautiful Earth.
The video was supported by NASA, the Baum Foundation, the Foundation for Global Community, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and is a production of Remedy Arts, LLC.
Please share this wonderful and unique view of the Earth and its environment.
Source: Earth Sciences Institute, Columbia University
|Erbil (Arbil) Citadel of Hewlêr|
Iraq's Kurdish Autonomous Region
Photo: Jim Gordon
Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government, has issued an urgent warning that falling oil prices, combined with the costs of war and of housing refugees, is threatening the Kurdish Peshmerga's ability to fight ISIS (Daesh).
"The world is focused on the war against ISIS but nobody wins a war bankrupt," Talabani states. "I think this is something the coalition against ISIS really do need to factor into the equation."
The Kurdistan Autonomous Region (KRG), the front line against Daesh (ISIS) in Northern Iraq, which has seen ongoing gains by their Peshmerga with coalition air support, recently cut Daesh's supply line between Mosul and Raqqa. This makes the Peshmerga a key ally in the fight against the Islamic State, and our "boots on the ground" in Northern Iraq. However, as Talabani warns, "The most dangerous impact [of the oil price crash] it can have is on morale. We are getting desertions. People are leaving their posts -- it will increase."
ISIS is fighting back with booby traps and car bombs, including an attack in Beirut that has killed dozens, with offensives against Kurds in Syria, with, potentially, the downed Russian airplane over the Sinai, with the twin bombings recently in Turkey, and with jihadist planned attacks in Europe. But the war has changed. The Syrian tragedy seems to have come into focus for Russia, Assad and their Hezbollah allies, for the U.S., their Kurdish allies, and for the Iraqi and Syrian Arabs who are fed up with ISIS and who now may be working together.
In Iraq, 7,500 Kurdish Peshmerga, along with U.S. Special Forces and Coalition air support, have moved to retake the town of Sinjar from ISIS. This is significant because the road (called Road 47) that runs through the Yezidi town is ISIS's supply route between their "capital" of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq that ISIS controls.
SINJAR, Iraq — Supported by U.S.-led airstrikes, Kurdish Iraqi troops on Thursday seized part of a highway that is used as a vital supply line for the Islamic State group, a key initial step in a major offensive to retake the strategic town of Sinjar from the militants.In Syria, the Kurdish YPG and YPJ (the female brigades) have marched on a town of in northeastern Syria to cut off the same highway on the Syrian side of the border. This will support the march toward Raqqa after their capture of the most of the Syrian northern territories. This is the Kurdish group that recently received U.S. Special Forces trainers and support.