Monday December 19, 2016 saw three unrelated tragedies. Then there was a fourth.

In Ankara, an off-duty Turkish policeman shot and killed Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, who was making a speech at an art gallery. The perpetrator was heard to shout “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and “Don’t forget about Syria, don’t forget about Aleppo. All those who participate in this tyranny will be held accountable.” The killer died in a shoot-out shortly afterwards. The assassination of the Russian Ambassador is unforgivable. So too are the war-crimes that Russia is perpetrating in Aleppo.

In Berlin, a truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market, killing 12 and injuring 49 more. The suspect, Anis Amri (24), was reportedly monitored previously on suspicion of planning a robbery in order to pay for guns but surveillance was lifted for lack of evidence. Before entering Germany, he had served four years for arson in Italy. He is still at large.

In Zurich, a 24 year old Swiss man opened fire on the congregation at a Somali-Islamic centre close to Zurich station. His body was found a soon afterwards, a short distance away from the centre. At the time, the man was being sought for a murder perpetrated the previous evening.

Donald Trump’s reaction to these events was to tweet “Today there were terror attacks in Turkey, Switzerland and Germany – and it is only getting worse. The civilized world must change thinking!”.

Trump’s team released a statement expressing condolences to Karlov’s family, also saying “radical Islamic terrorist” violated “all rules of civilized order.”

In a later statement, referring to the Berlin massacre, Trump released a statement saying “ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad.” Of the three attacks, only one was on a place of worship, and there the victims were Muslim.

The residents of the asylum are in control.

More at:
An ambassador’s murder may push Russia and Turkey together
Berlin attack: Tunisian fugitive ‘had been under surveillance’
Donald Trump Says ISIS & Other Islamist Terrorists Continually Slaughter Christians
Mevlut Mert Altintas: Turkish policeman who shot Russia’s envoy
Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov shot dead in Ankara
Swiss shooting: Gunman found dead near Zurich Islamic centre
Trump Condemns ‘Slaughter’ Of Christians In Berlin
Trump quick to blame terrorists for attacks in Ankara, Berlin, Zurich
Trump Suggests Berlin Attack Affirms His Plan to Bar Muslims

Good or evil

Since 1973 much of world politics has been dominated by oil.

America’s dependence on oil imports is reducing, driven by the reduction in consumption, and increased production at home. American oil consumption fell from 2005 to 2010 as a result of spiking prices and recession, and it is projected to do little more than return, very slowly, to the pre-recession peak over the next two decades.

Meanwhile, America’s shale oil boom is turning the country into one of the world’s dominant energy producers (with Canada rapidly assuming a position just behind). An enormous share of the world’s oil may soon be produced in North America, in other words, potentially altering the economics and politics of oil in dramatic ways.

Fracking, a method of extracting gas from shale is a hotly debated topic. The technique, also called Induced hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping a mix of water, sand, and chemicals down the perforated still pipe and into the reservoir at ultra-high pressure to create small fractures in shale/tight formations which free up the oil and gas to flow up the well.

Hydraulic fracturing has raised environmental concerns and is challenging the adequacy of existing regulatory regimes. These concerns have included ground water contamination, risks to air quality, migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, mishandling of waste, and the health effects of all these.

In Britain the resistance is founded on the belief that minor earthquakes had been caused by fracking that was being performed close by.

New York, Maryland and New Jersey have imposed temporary bans on fracking and Vermont may follow, but everywhere else in America the gas flows unimpeded.

Europe, with its high energy costs and its dependence on Russia for most of its gas, would benefit greatly from exploiting the shale bound reserves. Belief that the ecological risks have not been solved prevents that from happening.

Economic realities might soon force everyone to sort fact from fiction.

More at:
Oil: The Next Revolution
American oil
A world of plenty
An unconventional bonanza
Gas works
Landscape with well
Sorting frack from fiction
A better mix
Keeping it to themselves