International Herald Tribune New York Times

Afghan Oil Fields Not a Curse — Yet

I visited the northern oil fields of Afghanistan.

Read about it at the IHT Global Opinion site.

Atlantic Monthly

The Battle for the Skies

Judging by James Fallows’s latest photos, Beijing’s skies are the color of rice water, and they aren’t trending in the direction of clarity. The public pronouncements of the weather-bureau spokesmen, once bold and Promethean, are now humbler: “The Beijing Olympic weather center will issue monitoring and weather warning and will update the weather information on a rolling basis,” said Wang Jiangjie, who just last January boasted of having a team of weather modifiers to clean up the skies for the Games. Her colleagues allude vaguely to techniques that are supposedly still up the Chinese meteorological sleeve, but even they note that these techniques are “only on the stage of experimentation.”