I want to flag and discuss two articles. The first, Saudi Royal calls for regime change in Riyadh, is a report in the Guardian by Hugh Miles. He describes the four immediate factors that have stimulated the now famous letters by the anonymous 3rd generation prince calling for the replacement of King Salman and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: (1) the double tragedy at Mecca that killed 800 people, (2) the collapse of oil prices, (3) the war in Yemen which, according to Miles, few Saudis support, and (4) King Salman’s elevation of his young son, the inexperienced and impetuous Mohammed bin Salman to the peculiar but powerful post of Deputy Crown Prince, making him second in the line of succession.
Attached below this introduction is a very important report describing the problem of water depletion in Saudi Arabia and California. This report is interesting and important, both for what it says and for what it does not say. Note that there is no mention of global warming or climate change, although some of the papers hot linked in it do mention it. The problem of water depletion — over pumping of non-renewable deep aquifers to irrigate water-intensive crops in arid areas subject to periodic droughts is described in the report.
Forecasting that there is an 80 percent chance of an extended drought in the area between 2050 and 2099 unless aggressive steps are taken to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the researchers said their results point to a challenging – and remarkably drier – future.
Tip of the Hat to Jim Ellsworth at LinkedIn.