Dead or Red ?
Last updated: August 07, 2008
March 22, 2007
The Economist has its doubts about how much red is better than dead. In its 'Better red than dead' the 'Economist' struggles to find anything sensible about the latest costly Shimon Peres' project of saving the Dead Sea. The sea, losing about one meter of its level each year, is expected to stabilize only at the levels that spell disaster for the environment and for the tourism and spa industry flourishing around the sea.
The mega-projects, envisioned by the last Peres 'make peace, save the Dead Sea' initiative, include a plan to build a 200km-long conduit to bring water from the Red Sea to stabilize the water level of the Dead one. The costs of just the conduit itself may go as high as $5 billion. According to The Economist:
Environmentalists, though, are sceptical. Research by the Geological Survey of Israel suggests that sea brine added to the hyper-salty, denser Dead Sea will float on the surface, mixing in only over years or decades. If so, what draws the tourists in will be lost, and algal blooms could turn the water from blue to reddish-brown.
The economics are also dubious. Red Sea water would have to climb 125m before running downhill to the Dead Sea. Once desalinated, it would have to climb again by up to 1.4km to reach Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian cities. The cost of all this pumping, according to one American study, might outweigh the energy gains from the downhill run.
Finally it appears that despite the fact that apparently Shimon Peres managed to convince World Bank officials to use some very dubious variables in their study, he does not see himself in any way obliged to comply with its conclusions.
And in any case, says an adviser to Mr Peres, the plan's progress is “not dependent” on the World Bank study. So what exactly is the study for?
The chief architect of the failed Oslo process is obviously still living in his socialist past of a few decades ago and retained much of his enthusiasm for huge Soviet style mega-projects that never fail to astonish one by their magnitude and almost as much by their impracticality. Among other projects, Peres' visions include creating a huge pan Arab - Israeli economic common market spanning continents, establishing silicon valleys and biotechnology steppes at the border between Israel and Jordan and planting every inch of the Negev desert with flowers.
The most ambitious of all Peres' visions was of course the Oslo process, which he envisioned as the first step towards creating a new Middle East. The new Middle East of Shimon Peres was Middle East in name only, while in substance it was supposed to be a replica of the European Union in which Peres planned to unite the Israeli democracy with the Arab dictatorships and Sharia states. The Oslo process happened to be a mistake of colossal proportions and Shimon Peres as a chief architect of the whole thing bears much of the responsibility for its unhappy end, which he never really admitted.
September 18, 2007
Tue Sep 18
JERUSALEM (AFP) - President Shimon Peres touted Israel as a future think thank for solutions to global warming, quipping that the sun was a more reliable resource than oil from Saudi Arabia.
"Israel in my judgment can and should become a laboratory, or a pilot plant, for most of the solutions which are necessary in our time," he told a news conference with foreign journalists.
"More than a think tank, a pilot plant in Israel," Peres said, adding that his country was seeking to produce environmentally sound cars in cooperation with foreign countries and to develop solar power.
"We have decided that we should try to be the first country to use cars based on batteries totally. We can do it because from a transportation point of view, our smallness is on our side.
"We are very close to concluding an agreement to build battery cars here. It will be done with a French company, an American company. We will do it together with the Jordanians. It will provide 50,000 jobs," Peres said.
Government officials in Amman told AFP they had no information about the planned project. (!!! ? מה יהיה אתך,פרס)
. . .
"We want to go from oil energy to solar energy. We feel that the sun is more reliable than the Saudis. The sun is more permanent, more democratic and... more objective (!!! NB)," he said.
September 20, 2007
RIYADH - Following the surprising announcement by president of Israel Shimon Peres that the sun is more democratic than the Saudis, the Saudi king has convened an urgent meeting of the Ulema (the supreme counsel of Islamic scholars) to discuss possible ways of abolishing Sharia courts and establishing a true multi-party parliamentarian democracy in Saudi Arabia.
Source: The Happy Arab News Service
August 07, 2008
Half way through 2008, Shimon Peres seems to be still struggling to find understanding with the Saudis. An Israeli commercial promoting use of electric cars caused outrage in the Gulf. Presumably the ad hinted at Saudi displeasure with the latest advancements in electric cars technology.
The Saudis are shown leaving a hotel and encountering the new, fuel-efficient vehicle. One man pounds his fists on the car and is then held back by his companions as he shouts at it, "Hawks should peck at you day and night."
At the end of the commercial, the voice-over says, "It's clear the oil companies won't like you."
"It's my opinion that Nissan made a huge error by igniting these [racist] instincts," official Hani al-Wafa told MBC TV, a Saudi-run station headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. "We need to apply punishments... against these things. In order for Nissan to keep its interests in the region, it must apologize."
Source: Jerusalem Post
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