Morning News - Zero Emissions Edition

Mar 10, 2008

In a dramatic escalation in the race for scientific funding, a new report indicates that the world must emit zero carbon within the next few decades in order to prevent a dangerous rise in global temperatures.  By presenting the most pessimistic view to date, the scientists have ensured that theirs will be the paper most quoted in the media.  It must be anticipated that in order to stay in the funding race other scientists will introduce new variables into their models to push the zero emissions date into the past.  I forecast that within two years we will see a study which shows that the course for climate catastrophe was set with the exhalation of the first man's first breath.  Ironically the introduction of this fatalist forecast will cause people to stop caring altogether.  This approach will henceforth be known as "saving the village in order to destroy it".

Coming off his win in Wyoming and eager to shift the media storyline, Sen. Obama amped up his criticism of his rival’s campaign tactics.  Charging Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton with attempting "to deceive the American people just so that they can win this election.” Obama's camp sent out a memo to supporters titled "Doing Whatever It Takes to Win.", stating that Clinton's strategy for victory is "tearing Barack Obama down" and said her campaign "should stop telling the American people things that they know aren't true."

Having sewn up the Republican nomination Senator John McCain is using the lack of competition to “get our own house in order,” while trying to stay visible in the horse race obsessed coverage.

In financial news the Wall Street Journal is reporting that:

Even optimistic commercial-property developers are stacking sandbags to hold back a financial deluge in the market for office towers, hotels, shopping malls and other commercial real estate. The consolation is that it looks like commercial property in the U.S. faces a once-every-25-year flood, not the once-a-century inundation facing the nation's housing market. In recent weeks, sales of commercial property have nearly hit a standstill. And the market value of such properties -- and the mortgages on them -- have declined as the spreading fallout from the crisis in risky, or subprime, mortgages has made credit practically evaporate. Developers are putting the brakes on new projects, cutting deals with tenants to keep space occupied and, if possible, extending the terms of their existing debt when it comes due. Some owners, like New York's Harry Macklowe and Centro Properties of Australia, a big investor in U.S. shopping malls, are under siege by creditors, forcing them to put properties on the block. On the bright side, however, the commercial-property downturn isn't expected to be nearly as steep as the current slump in the housing market, where recent data showed foreclosures rising to the highest level on record in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Dow Jones Newswire reports:

A two-week string of record oil prices has left prognosticators at banks and brokerage firms struggling to keep pace. With crude futures trading firmly above $100 a barrel, oil economists are revising their forecasts -- up. Oil has traded at an average price of $95.12 a barrel this year on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 65.5% from the start of last year. That has left many analysts' forecasts in the dust…A team of Goldman Sachs equity analysts, who three years ago made waves by predicting a price "super spike" to as high as a then-unheard of $105, weighed in again last week. They suggested prices could rocket as high as $200 a barrel if the U.S. economy regains momentum or a wrench is thrown in the world's oil supply.

In international news Spanish PM Joes Luis Rodriguez Zapatero Socialist Party won a reelection battle Sunday.  In China a passenger jet that departed Friday morning from the heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang was forced to make an emergency landing after crew members apprehended at least two passengers who the authorities said intended to sabotage the airplane, the state news media reported Sunday.

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