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Bait and Switch: Climate Alarmists have “Religious Conversion” to pro-nuclear

A New Generation of Nuclear Reactors, the logical “Solution” for the Climate Scare

Stephen Tindale

The “Switchers” and assorted prominent pro-nuclear climate activists:

George Monbiot – columnist with The Guardian newspaper in the UK, and author of Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning. “Atomic energy has just been subjected to one of the harshest of possible tests, and the impact on people and the planet has been small. The crisis at Fukushima has converted me to the cause of nuclear power.”

Tom Wigley – of Climate-Gate infamy, he’s a senior scientist in the Climate and Global Dynamics Division of the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research. “We need nuclear power to solve this problem … people don’t realise just how bad climate change is.”

James Hansen – author of Storms of My Grandchildren.

Barry W Brook – is the Director of Climate Science at Adelaide University, and Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change, is on the board of the Science Council for Global Initiatives and the International Awards Committee of the Global Energy Prize.

Gwyneth Cravens – novelist and journalist, author of Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy.

Ted Nordhaus – Chairman of the Breakthrough Institute, political strategist and author of Break Through, Why We Can’t Leave Saving The Planet To Environmentalists.

Mark Lynas – author of The God Species: How the Planet Can Survive the Age of Humans, also a frequent speaker around the world on climate change science and policy. “Let me be very clear. Without nuclear, the battle against global warming is as good as lost.”

Tom Blees – author of Prescription for the Planet (the seemingly “intractable” problem of nuclear waste is “nothing of the kind”) has “probably done more than anybody to move people to the cause of nuclear power.” Tom also heads the Science Council for Global Initiatives.

Professor Gerry Thomas – of the Imperial College, London, “I am very pro-nuclear as I realise that we have an unwarranted fear of radiation.”

James Lovelock – celebrated father of the Gaia principle.

Fred Pearce – an environment writer with The Guardian newspaper in the UK, and author of The Last Generation: How nature will take her revenge for climate change.

Stewart Brand – a prominent pro-nuclear “environmentalist” and author of Whole Earth Discipline: Why dense cities, nuclear power, transgenic crops, restored wildlands and geoengineering are necessary.

Ken Caldiera – with the Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution, recently co-authored an open letter to the environmental movement urging them to bring their support behind the development of new nuclear power.

Kerry Emmanuel – with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is known for his work on attribution of climate change to hurricane events.

Rachel Pritzker – is the founder and president of the Pritzker Innovation Fund. Rachel currently chairs the advisory board of the Breakthrough Institute.

Suzanne Hobbs-Baker – the brain behind Pop Atomic Studios, an organisation which uses the power of visual and liberal arts to “enrich” the public discussion on atomic energy.

Ed Davey – UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, “When I have listened to the arguments of pro-nuclear Liberal Democrats in recent years, the one argument I found increasingly difficult to answer is the climate-change argument, because climate change poses a real and massive danger to our planet. Not keeping a genuinely low-carbon source of electricity as an option looks reckless when we don’t know the future.”

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 5 Comments

Spain’s Unfinished Revolution and Its Minorities

By Dani Marinova | Dissident Voice | November 13, 2014

Spain’s deeply rooted distrust of popular participation in democratic processes is reminiscent of the swift, top-down transition some forty years ago. As such, it is a painful reminder of Spain’s unfinished revolution.

Spain’s peaceful transition to democracy has been extolled as a model to emulate for democratizing nations across the globe. Following the death of General Franco in 1975, King Juan Carlos transformed the authoritarian regime into a European democracy, and did so without shedding a drop of blood. And yet Spanish democracy nowadays is not without its critics. The Catalan movement for independence unveils just what’s amiss in Spain’s celebrated democratic transition.

In Berlin last week, constitutional scholar Bruce Ackerman singled out the Spanish transition to democracy as one lacking in authenticity and, ultimately, in legitimacy. The transition was negotiated between elites behind closed doors. Franco’s heir, King Juan Carlos, essentially preempted a revolt by co-opting opposition leaders Adolfo Suarez and Santiago Carrillo. A new constitution was drafted and passed through a popular referendum in 1978. Unlike the constitutional referenda in Spain’s northern neighbor France, however, the new law of the land was not subject to political debate. The public was never fully mobilized.

This peaceful yet ‘unauthentic’ transition to democracy planted the seeds for grievances from Spain’s regional minorities. In its cultural and linguistic diversity, Spain resembles modern-day Switzerland and Belgium — a fact that Catalans are quick to point out. Yet this heterogeneity is not reflected in the Spanish constitution. The law of 1978 granted minorities broader powers than were in place, including a regional government, a state police force and recognition of minority languages. As has become clear in the decades to follow, and again in recent months, the same constitution also impedes minorities’ right to self-determination.

Spain’s brisk constitutional process did not do justice to its regional minorities. Ethnically diverse democracies often thrive on complex power-sharing arrangements. A number of European countries, including Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and, more recently, Bosnia, can attest to this. History has taught us that in ethnically diverse states, identity ought to take center stage when constitutions are drafted, or significant portions of the population will feel unrepresented and may eventually wish to jump ship, or worse.

The tense standoff between Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the president of Catalunya’s regional government Artur Mas has revealed Spain’s unbudging resistance to a democratic resolution of Catalans’ grievances. Madrid blocked not only the official referendum but also an unofficial consultation on Catalan independence through Spain’s Constitutional Court. (And it takes any opportunity to block social and economic legislation passed by the Catalan government.) Rajoy has refused to negotiate with the Catalan region and has called the recent referendum – which the region held in defiance of the Court’s ruling – an act of political propaganda.

Spain’s intransigence is but a symptom of a deeper problem. Recall the brutal repression of high school students and teachers demonstrating in Valencia three years ago. The use of pain-inducing sound cannons, batons and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters is common practice in Spain. A bill introduced by the conservative Partido Popular in 2013 proposes to fine protesters up to 30.000€ for civil disobedience, videotaping the police or for simply gathering in front of parliament. Excessive use of force against demonstrators and repressive laws that restrict freedom of expression and assembly ignited a public statement by Amnesty International in 2011 (and again in 2013 and 2014). Spain’s deeply rooted distrust of popular participation in democratic processes is reminiscent of the swift, top-down transition some forty years ago. As such, it is a painful reminder of Spain’s unfinished revolution.

While Spain’s elite — and particularly its conservative Partido Popular under Aznar and Rajoy — continues to practice politics old style, a new generation of politically active citizens gives reasons for hope. The peaceful and well-organized referendum in Catalonia last week is the culmination of a years-long grassroots movement, on which Artur Mas piggybacked two years ago. The rise of Podemos in the recent European elections is yet another example of grassroots at work. The far-left party rose not out of the Socialists but out of the indignados movement which itself gave rise to Occupy and numerous other social movements across the globe. A new generation of Spanish citizens is demanding inclusion in its state’s governance.

Modern-day Spain made its first steps to democracy thanks to one leader’s political will. Franco’s heir invited outsider elites to take part in shaping Spain’s future in 1975. It is high time that Spain extend decision-making privileges once again — this time to its citizens. Spanish citizens, Catalans included, should determine their own future — be that a new constitutional arrangement or the breakup of the Spanish monarchy.

Dani Marinova does research on political representation and democratization at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. In 2011-2012 she was a visiting researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and attended several peaceful protests in Catalonia.

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

South Africa Marikana Massacre Defense Blames Victims

teleSUR | November 13, 2014

The defense team of the South African police who dispersed a demonstration by killing 34 miners on August 16, 2012, said on Thursday that the surviving demonstrators should be charged with treason.

The Marikana Massacre happened after the Lonmin mine workers started a strike to demand better wages.

Prior to the massacre, two police were killed by the miners during clashes outside the Lonmin compound; however, the legal representatives of the miners union asserts that the police were killed by one or two workers and that not everybody was violent or even armed at the time.

Ishmael Semenya, who is representing the South African Police Service (SAPS), says that the miners were planning to attack the police, a state organ, so they should be charged with treason.

However, lawyer Dali Mpofu, who represents the miners, said that the tension was caused by the police, who failed to advise the demonstrators that they were planning to disperse the rally.

Police assert that the miners, some of whom were armed with spears and sticks, tried to kill them; however, the union legal advisers assert that the police reactions were a result of the anger of their two colleagues’ death.

Mpofu also said that the police acted on political considerations and rushed to end the strike, fearing Julius Malema, a controversial politician who is popular among the poorer sectors of the population, could interfere and worsen the situation.

Malema said he was with the workers and urged them to maintain their strike. He has served in different public positions with the African National Congress party administration, but he was expelled from the party on 2012 over a hate speech accusation.

Now he is commander-in-chief of his new party, the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Both sides’ arguments were submitted this week, marking the final phase of the investigation being carried out by the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, which was ordered by President Jacob Zuma.

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , | 1 Comment

Jerusalem child shot by Israeli forces loses eyesight

Ma’an – 14/11/2014

JERUSALEM – An 11-year-old Palestinian child shot in the face by a sponge bullet during clashes in al-Issawiya on Thursday has been left blind in one eye, a local official said.

Member of a local neighborhood committee, Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, told Ma’an that Saleh Samer Attiyeh Mahmoud, 11, was shot in the face at close range by Israeli forces firing sponge bullets in al-Issawiya during clashes.

He was hit directly between the eyes, causing severe bleeding to his nose and the loss of sight in his left eye. The vision in his right eye is also severely damaged.

Villagers in the East Jerusalem neighborhood were protesting the closure of three out of four entrances to the village by Israeli forces when the incident took place.

Sponge rounds are made from high-density plastic with a foam-rubber head, and are fired from grenade launchers.

Israeli police have been using them in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem since the use of rubber-coated metal bullets was prohibited, but protocol explicitly prohibits firing them at the upper body.

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel Has Banned Renowned Doctor and Human Rights Activist Mads Gilbert from Entering Gaza for Life

By Ben Norton | Dissident Voice | November 14, 2014

Israel has banned Norwegian doctor and human rights activist Mads Gilbert from entering Gaza for life.

Gilbert, a professor at the University Hospital of North Norway, where he has worked since 1976, earned international renown for his philanthropic work in late 2008, during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, an attack that, according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, killed roughly 1,400 Gazans, including almost 800 civilians, 350 of whom were children.

The aid worker, along with fellow Norwegian doctor Erik Fosse, decided to volunteer in Gaza as soon as he heard that bombing had started, on 27 December 2008. Thanks to diplomatic and economic support (in the sum of $1 million dollar of emergency funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the two physicians managed to arrive in the strip by 30 December.

The Israeli government prevented all international press from entering Gaza during Cast Lead (a documentary, The War Around Us, was made about the only two foreign reporters in the strip at the time), in what Gilbert called Israel’s insidious “PR plan.” The doctor, as one of the only international aid workers in Gaza, thus devoted considerable time to speaking with local Palestinian news outlets, some of whom were reporting on behalf of foreign networks including BBC, CNN, ABC, and Al Jazeera.

BBC aired an interview with Gilbert, conducted in the hospital. The questions asked, and the answers garnered, were eerily similar to those he would give just five years later, during Operation Protective Edge. The interviewer began asking him to respond to Israel’s claims that it was not targeting civilians, that it was only attacking Hamas militants. Gilbert called the claim “an absolutely stupid statement” and explained that, among the hundreds of patients he had seen at that point, only two had been fighters. The “large majority” were women, children, and men civilians. “These numbers are contradictory to everything Israel says,” he reported.

Gilbert drew attention to the fact that the overflowing hospital did not have enough supplies to treat all of its patients, and censured the international community for doing nothing to assist them. Israel would not let in foreign doctors, and yet Palestinians were “dying waiting for surgery.” “This is a complete disaster,” he remarked, calling it “the worst man-made disaster” he could think of. “There are injuries you just don’t want to see in this world.”

Operation Protective Edge

In 2008 and 2009, Gilbert treated Palestinians who had been grievously wounded by Israel’s use of experimental and illegal chemical weapons, including white phosphorous, dense inert metal explosives (DIME) munitions, and flechette shells. In July 2014, in the midst of Israel’s most recent attack on Gaza, Gilbert spoke with Electronic Intifada, revealing that he saw indications of renewed use of DIME weapons and flechettes.

While volunteering in Shifa hospital, Gaza’s principal medical facility, Gilbert penned an open letter, lamenting the unspeakable horrors the Israeli military was instigating.

[Israel’s] “ground invasion” of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying… All sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent.

The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza’s hospitals are working 12 to 24‑hour shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment in Shifa for the last four months). They care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. Humans!

Ashy grey faces – Oh no! not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding. We still have lakes of blood on the floor in the emergency room, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out – oh – the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes, cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away… to be prepared again, to be repeated all over.

More than 100 cases came to Shifa in the last 24 hours. Enough for a large well-trained hospital with everything, but here – almost nothing: electricity, water, disposables, drugs, operating-room tables, instruments, monitors – all rusted and as if taken from museums of yesterday’s hospitals. But they do not complain, these heroes.

Now, once more treated like animals by “the most moral army in the world.”

The doctor directed one heart-wrenching passage to President Obama, writing “Mr Obama – do you have a heart? I invite you – spend one night – just one night – with us in Shifa. I am convinced, 100 per cent, it would change history. Nobody with a heart and power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.”

Israel later attacked Shifa hospital. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) “strongly condemn[ed]” the incursion, saying it “demonstrate[d] how civilians in Gaza have nowhere safe to go.” MSF director Marie-Noëlle Rodrigue stated, in an official statement, “When the Israeli army orders civilians to evacuate their houses and their neighborhoods, where is there for them to go? Gazans have no freedom of movement and cannot take refuge outside Gaza. They are effectively trapped.” Shifa was one of the over 10 medical facilities Israel bombed in its 50-day offensive.

Human Rights Work

In 2000, Gilbert made headlines for saving the life of a skier who had been trapped in sub-zero water. She had been pronounced clinically dead, with a body temperature of 57 °F, but Gilbert managed to revive her. For his service, Gilbert was awarded the Northern Norwegian of the Year award.

Before Operation Protective Edge commenced in early July 2014, Gilbert toured medical and health facilities and individual homes in Gaza, researching for a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) report on the dire state of the strip’s health sector. He wrote of “overstretched” health facilities, widespread physical and psychological trauma, “a deep financial crisis,” a lack of needed medical supplies, and a “severe energy crisis.” He also noted the “devastating results of the blockade imposed by the Government of Israel,” with rampant poverty, a 38.5% unemployment rate, food insecurity in at least 57% of households, and inadequate access to clean water. All of these already extreme ills were only exacerbated by the July-August Israeli assault on Gaza, an onslaught that left roughly 2,200 Palestinians dead, including over 1,500 civilians, more than 500 of whom were children.

Gilbert is not the only one Israel has recently prevented from entering Gaza. In August, just after the end of its military assault, Israel refused to allow Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the world’s leading human rights organizations, from entering the strip, impeding them from conducting war crimes investigations. The organizations had been requesting access for over a month, before Israel had even begun its ground invasion of Gaza, yet were continuously prevented from doing so, Israeli journalist Amira Hass reported in Haaretz, “using various bureaucratic excuses.”

Israel has banned Human Right Watch investigators from entering Gaza since 2006; Amnesty International has been refused access since 2012. Dr. Mads Gilbert is the latest esteemed persona non grata to be added to this growing list.

Solidarity, Not Pity

Other aid workers and medical professionals have faced even worse consequences for volunteering to help Palestinians. In August, Israeli occupation forces killed a social worker. In the same month, as the Israeli military engaged in a campaign to target and openly murder Palestinian civilians who spoke Hebrew, Israeli forces assassinated volunteers working with the Palestine Red Crescent, a non-profit humanitarian organization, part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

A common myth suggests that Israel ended its occupation of Gaza with its 2005 disengagement. The state’s ability to ban, and even kill, internationally recognized human rights organizations and doctors—not to mention food, construction equipment, and medical supplies—from entering Palestinian territory, however, demonstrates that Gaza is by no means autonomous. Israel’s siege of the strip is clearly a continuation of its 47-year-long illegal military occupation.

As legal scholar Noura Erakat explains

Despite removing 8,000 settlers and the military infrastructure that protected their illegal presence, Israel maintained effective control of the Gaza Strip and thus remains the occupying power as defined by Article 47 of the Hague Regulations. To date, Israel maintains control of the territory’s air space, territorial waters, electromagnetic sphere, population registry and the movement of all goods and people.

Palestinians have yet to experience a day of self-governance. Israel immediately imposed a siege upon the Gaza Strip when Hamas won parliamentary elections in January 2006 and tightened it severely when Hamas routed Fatah in June 2007. The siege has created a “humanitarian catastrophe” in the Gaza Strip. Inhabitants will not be able to access clean water, electricity or tend to even the most urgent medical needs. The World Health Organization explains that the Gaza Strip will be unlivable by 2020. Not only did Israel not end its occupation, it has created a situation in which Palestinians cannot survive in the long-term.

In his July interview with Electronic Intifada, Gilbert made it clear that his work as a medical professional cannot be done—the Palestinian people cannot live healthy, yet alone free, lives—while Israel continues its illegal siege and occupation. “As a doctor, my prescription is very clear. Number one, stop the bombing, and that means stop Israel from bombing civilians and indiscriminately hitting families. Number two, lift the siege. And number three, find a political solution,” he stated.

In a late October discussion with the Daily Targum, Gilbert encouraged Americans to do what they can to speak out against Israel’s illegal occupation and blockade of the Palestinian territories, and to pressure their government to stop its indefatigable support for Israeli crimes.

At present, the US provides Israel with over 3.1$ billion of military aid per year. In the past 52 years, over $100 billion US tax dollars have been given to the country in military aid alone.

“You are the change-makers,” Gilbert told American readers. “The key to the change when it comes to the occupation of Palestine lies in the United States.” “Solidarity, not pity,” he said, is the solution.

Ben Norton is an activist, artist, and freelance writer. He can be found on Twitter at @HeartsMindsEars.

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , | 3 Comments

Palestinian activists cross separation wall in protest action

Ma’an – 14/11/2014

303511_345x230RAMALLAH – Dozens of Palestinian activists crossed Israel’s separation wall on Friday near Qalandia checkpoint as part of a series of non-violent protest actions to demonstrate solidarity with Jerusalem.

Activists used makeshift ramparts, ladders and cut through barbed wire to climb over the separation wall near Qalandia military checkpoint, which is at least six-eight meters in height.

The action was part of a campaign entitled #On2Jerusalem that was organized by the Popular Resistance Committees.

Coordinator of the popular committees, Salah Khawaja, said they attempted to enter Jerusalem but were prevented from doing so by Israeli forces, who deployed heavily in the area.

Israeli forces used live fire, tear gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse the march.

Dozens of Palestinian activists also gathered near the village of Hizma carrying Palestinian flags and shouting slogans in support of Jerusalem.

Several youths were injured as Israeli forces opened fire at them to prevent them crossing the checkpoint. The activists managed to close the road, with Israeli forces preventing settlers from traveling to the area.

Dozens of activists also demonstrated by the entrance to Maale Adumim settlement waving Palestinian flags.

“They attempted to detain us for carrying Palestinian flags,” Khawaja said. “What we did today was to emphasize that we do not have a choice but popular resistance and clashing with Israel is a part of our fight to stop Israeli crimes against Palestinians”

An Israeli army spokeswoman said there was an “attempt” to cross the wall, without providing further details.

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Economic isolation breach of international law: Putin

Top 5 takeaways from Putin ahead of G20

RT |  November 14, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Klementiev)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Klementiev)

Vladimir Putin says the G20 must address global imbalances together, and economic isolation, especially in the case of sanctions, which not only leads nowhere but is a crude violation of international economic law.

Here are the Russian president’s top takeaways ahead of the G20 summit being held in Brisbane, Australia from November 14-15.

G20 great for ground work, but decisions often just hot air

Putin believes the G20 is still a good and relevant platform for world leaders, however, decisions at the summit are often nothing but words. Decisions made there are only carried out when they are in line with the interests of certain global players, like the US.

Decisions are neglected if they don’t fit the agenda of an individual power, Putin told TASS ahead of the summit.

An example is when US Congress blocked the IMF quota, which was intended to enhance the role of developing economies and redistribute quotes. That move was counterproductive, Putin said.

“The very fact that US Congress has refused to pass this law indicates that it is the United States that drops out of the general context of resolving the problems facing the international community,” the president said.

“Everyone must understand that the global economy and finance these days are exceptionally dependent on each other,” Putin said.

US sanctions violate the very system they created

Sanctions levied against Russia are against the norms of international trade and the core principles of the G20, as they can only be introduced via the United Nations, Putin said.

Sanctions are “against WTO principles and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the GATT. The United States itself created that organization at a certain point. Now it is crudely violating its principles,” Putin explained

Interconnected economy: What hurts us hurts you

Sanctions against Russia have targeted the finance, energy and weaponry sectors of the economy. Russia’s retaliatory sanctions to ban agricultural imports are having a colossal ripple effect on jobs, social sectors, and growth.

This is especially pertinent to Europe, which is feeling the squeeze of the agricultural export ban to Russia, one its biggest markets.

“Everyone must understand that the global economy and finance these days are exceptionally dependent on each other,” Putin said.

Germany’s economic growth is an example of financial blowback from sanctions with Russia.

US-led trade pacts will create global imbalance

Putin believes that the creation of the 2 US-led trade pacts – one Transatlantic and the other Transpacific – will only create more global imbalance. The US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) doesn’t include China or Russia.

“Of course, we want to get rid of such imbalances, we want to work together, but this can be achieved only through joint efforts,” Putin said.

New economic associations should complement existing institutions

All new emerging economic blocks like BRICS and the so-called ‘new G7’, which in addition to Brazil, Russia, India and China also includes Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico, should come as something complementary to the existing groups, Putin said.

According to purchasing power parity (PPP) BRICS nations have a combined GDP $37.4 trillion, more than the G7’s at $34.7 trillion, Putin said. However, its economic girth doesn’t give it the right to start running its own policy.

“And if we go and say, ‘No, thank you, we are going to do this and that here on our own, and you can do it the way you want it,’ this will only add to the imbalances,” Putin warned.

The Russian president also said that all regional integrations like the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan shouldn’t isolate, but complement, global institutions.

Full speech: Putin on G20: Russia sanctions contradict club principles

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments