World roundup: November 9 2022
Stories from Jordan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, and elsewhere
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
A new carbon emission tracking tool unveiled at the United Nations’ COP27 summit in Egypt has found that emissions caused by the production of oil and natural gas could be upwards of three times higher than previously believed. The tracker has found that the 14 biggest carbon emitting sites on Earth are all related to oil and/or gas extraction, the biggest of all being Texas’s Permian Basin. “Don’t mess with Texas” is a cool slogan, but in this case it would be nice if Texas stopped messing with the rest of us. Much of the damage is being done by methane leakages from oil wells, along with the energy industry standard practice of “flaring,” or burning off excess natural gas generated during the extraction process. The US and European Union teams at COP27 are reportedly circulating an international pledge to Do Something about methane leaks, but pledging to do something and actually doing something are two very different things and domestic political considerations make any serious action in this area unlikely.
The death toll from Tuesday night’s airstrike in eastern Syria is still unconfirmed, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is now putting it at 14 or more. The strike targeted a truck convoy carrying fuel and weapons bound for eastern Syria and/or Lebanon (there are competing accounts here and both could be accurate). Given the combustibility of much of the cargo it wouldn’t be surprising to see the death toll rise. There may be Iranian personnel among the dead and Iranian-backed paramilitaries seem to have been involved with the convoy so speculation continues to revolve around either the US or Israel in terms of responsibility. The US military has maintained that it wasn’t involved, and while the Israelis tend to strike targets in western Syria they have carried out attacks along the Syrian-Iraqi border in the past. Assuming it was the Israelis, there’s of course a reasonable possibility that they had US logistical help.