Saturday 25th of May 2019

cheap oil — high price...

clash

After the discovery of oil in the 1930s, the Gulf monarchies—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Bahrain—went from being among the world’s poorest and most isolated places to some of its most ostentatiously wealthy. To maintain support, the ruling sheikhs provide their subjects with boundless cheap energy, unwittingly leading to some of the highest consumption rates on earth. Today, as summertime temperatures set new records, the Gulf’s rulers find themselves caught in a dilemma: can they curb their profligacy without jeopardizing the survival of some of the world’s last absolute monarchies?

In Energy Kingdoms, Jim Krane takes readers inside these monarchies to consider their conundrum. He traces the history of the Gulf states’ energy use and policies, looking in particular at how energy subsidies have distorted demand. Oil exports are the lifeblood of their political-economic systems—and the basis of their strategic importance—but domestic consumption has begun eating into exports while climate change threatens to render their desert region uninhabitable. At risk are the sheikhdoms’ way of life, their relations with their Western protectors, and their political stability in a chaotic region. Backed by rich fieldwork and deep knowledge of the region, Krane expertly lays out the hard choices that Gulf leaders face to keep their states viable.

 

Read more:

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6423/132?rss=1

 

 

traveling on the planet like flying white-ants

Obama’s remarks were an eloquent reminder that travel forges connections, inspires transformation and builds empathy.

What is the most memorable travel experience you’ve had and why?

I’m pretty well-travelled, so it’s hard to pick one. I think it’s fair to say that, for me, travelling now with my children is what’s most memorable. There’s something spectacular about seeing a place, experiencing a different culture, being exposed to new ideas. Travel makes you grow. But as a parent, when you are able to watch that sense of discovery in your children’s eyes, that is more special than anything else.

So, I’d say that the most memorable trips that I’ve taken have been the ones with the girls. Some of them have been spectacular – like us walking through the Kremlin when I was president and Sasha was about seven years old and she had, like, a trench coat on so she looked like an international spy. That was a great trip because we went from Russia and then went to Italy. I was there for the G20, but they went to Rome and they were able to also go to the Vatican and meet the Pope. Then we went to Ghana and there was dancing on the tarmac.

So, to see a 10 year old and a seven year old be able to experience that sweep of the world, to some degree for the first time, is something I will always remember. But you know, it’s also fun travelling with them now at the ages of 20 and 17. In some ways, travelling with them now is more precious because one’s already left the house and the other one’s about to leave the house, so if you can entice them with a really nice trip, they’re spending more time with you – because they can’t afford it.

 

Read more:

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20190425-barack-obama-on-why-travel-matt...

Termites are among the most successful groups of insects on Earth, colonising most landmasses except Antarctica. Their colonies range in size from a few hundred individuals to enormous societies with several million individuals. Termite queens have the longest lifespan of any insect in the world, with some queens reportedly living up to 30 to 50 years. Unlike ants, which undergo a complete metamorphosis, each individual termite goes through an incomplete metamorphosis that proceeds through egg, nymph, and adult stages. Colonies are described as superorganisms because the termites form part of a self-regulating entity: the colony itself.[3]

The non-reproductive castes of termites are wingless and rely exclusively on their six legs for locomotion. The alates fly only for a brief amount of time, so they also rely on their legs.[46] The appearance of the legs is similar in each caste, but the soldiers have larger and heavier legs. The structure of the legs is consistent with other insects: the parts of a leg include a coxatrochanterfemurtibia and the tarsus.[46] The number of tibial spurs on an individual's leg varies. Some species of termite have an arolium, located between the claws, which is present in species that climb on smooth surfaces but is absent in most termites.[51]

Unlike in ants, the hind-wings and fore-wings are of equal length.[4] Most of the time, the alates are poor flyers; their technique is to launch themselves in the air and fly in a random direction.[52] Studies show that in comparison to larger termites, smaller termites cannot fly long distances. When a termite is in flight, its wings remain at a right angle, and when the termite is at rest, its wings remain parallel to the body.

Read more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Termite#Life_cycle

Unlike termites, humans do not have many natural predators, except diseases, and decoding such as cancers which are often degeneration of the human body itself — or each other fighting for oil, territory and supremacy. According to some scientists, Homo sapiens should be considered as a pest on planet earth.