Wednesday, December 07, 2005

For Your Consideration

Export Control Blog on a rather dramatic example of how U.S. sanctions affect Iran. Be sure to click through to ECB's post on Iranian aviation woes, written in June of this year.

Next time you board an airplane and immediately start grumbling over the lousy legroom or indifferent attitude of the (now probably pension-less) cabin crew, spare a thought for the poor Iranian air passenger. A quarter-century of more-or-less steadily escalating US sanctions prohibiting sales of aircraft and aircraft parts have taken their toll on commercial aviation there. Iran is now one of the most dangerous places in the world to fly – not in absolute terms but certainly compared to your chances in other countries.

(Link via Arms Control Wonk.)
Peak Energy on biofuels.
Sadly, the goal of bio-diesel being competitive with gasoline will be just perpetually out of reach, like a carrot on a string.
Tom Philpott on Monsanto.
The idea that this engineered form of overproduction is going to "feed the world" is fanciful. Today, literal mountains of unsold field corn dot Iowa's landscape; meanwhile, much of the world goes hungry.
Defense Tech discusses the war, on drugs.
BZ or "Agent Buzz" is the military name for 3-quinuclidinyl benzillate, an extremely powerful hallucinogen. After experimenting with a whole stash of mind-altering substances including cocaine, heroin and LSD, the Pentagon selected BZ for weaponizing. Its major advantages are that it can easily delivered in an aerosol cloud, and it is very safe.

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