Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Market, Energy, and Political Page, Part 2, T+50 -- April 19, 2018

This article really caught my attention, from I posted it earlier as one story among many. Needs to be re-posted/discussed. From the article:
China National Offshore Oil Corporation sold two liquefied natural gas cargoes on a local exchange for the first time, just as China emerged from severe gas shortages this winter, during which industrial gas users had to divert supplies to residential customers.
CNOOC could hold another LNG auction next month, according to the official at the Shanghai exchange.
The Chinese drive to burn more gas instead of coal left residents in the north freezing in a cold snap in early December, prompting China to backpedal on the coal ban in some areas to ease natural gas shortages.
Ahead of the longest holiday period in China—the Lunar New Year in the middle of February, [China] was gobbling up LNG cargoes from all over the world as it was trying to avoid severe natural gas shortages.
This resulted in China becoming the world’s second-largest LNG importer in 2017, outpacing South Korea and second only behind Japan.
Chinese LNG imports surged 46 percent last year.
Wow, talk about so many story lines. Just that last line, for example: Chinese LNG imports surged 46 percent last year.

I immediately thought of this article posted just a few days earlier:
Now, today, from

Oh, well.

Yes, to answer the question, India was a signatory to the Paris climate accords.

The accord: only words.
The History Page: Corfu

About a month ago, I posted a bit about the Crusades.

A bit more background, this time from 1434, Gavin Menzies, page 64, going back to the "Middle Ages,"
... the three major seafaring powers of Europe -- Aragon (Spain), Genoa (Italy), and Venice (city-state), exploited [the geography of the Mediterranean and the weather influenced by the mountains that surround the Sea] to conduct trade with the east through Alexandria and Cairo. Venice and Genoa were entirely dependent on trade for their huge wealth.

Venice's wealth was rooted in her capture of Byzantium. In 1204 a Crusade had been launched to take Jerusalem. Financing for the Crusade was hard to come by until the [Venetian] Doge Dandolo offered support -- provided the Crusaders would capture Zara (contemporary Zadar in Croatia) on their way south. The Crusaders agreed, becoming mercenaries in the process.
From my note at the link above:
  • the Fourth Crusade: 1202 - 1204; military forces sailed to the East; diverted to Constantinople, which the crusaders took, together with much of Greece
  • the Fifth Crusade: 1217 - 1219; ended with the recovery of Jersualem by treaty 
Back to Menzies (see also Zheng He),
The temptation to capture Byzantium for Venice, as well, proved irresistible to the Crusaders, who initiated the sack of the Orthodox Christian capital by another Christian state. [I have always wondered about this  -- the dots now connect.]

When Byzantium fell, her empire was divided amongst the victors. Venetian spoils, exemplified by the four bronze horses and marble on the facade of Saint Mark's Basilica, included Byzantine islands and ports from the Black Sea through the Aegean to the Ionian Sea. Venetian galleys thus had friendly harbors all the way to Byzantium and Alexandria.

Venice now controlled the Adriatic. In 1396, six years after she had defeated Genoa and fourteen years after the Cretan revolt, she acquired Corfu. To Venetians, Corfu was of vital importance due to its strategic location. Corfu was of vital importance due to its strategic location. Corfu became the fortified base from which Venetian galleys policed the strait leading to the Adriatic.
Corfu: the second largest island in the Ionian Sea; including its small satellite islands, forms the northwesternmost part of Greece.

With regard to the four horses and St Mark's Basilica, from wiki:
The Horses of Saint Mark were installed on the balcony above the portal of the basilica in about 1254. They date to Classical Antiquity, though their date remains a matter of debate, and presumably were originally the team pulling a quadriga chariot, probably containing an emperor. By some accounts they once adorned the Arch of Trajan.
The horses were long displayed at the Hippodrome of Constantinople, and in 1204 Doge Enrico Dandolo sent them back to Venice as part of the loot sacked from Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade.
For another day, completely unrelated but showing up about now in Menzies' book, I will leave you with this question: what was the origin of the name, the Croatans, for a Native American tribe along the Roanoke River in Virginia (US)? I assume there is much written on the etymology of that name but I just haven't taken time to research it. While living in Virginia some years ago I often visited the area under discussion and was always fascinated by the word (Croatan) but never went down that etymology path.

John Barth might have provided an answer. I see from my storage list The Tidewater Tales, John Barth, c. 1987 is in box #6011 in storage. I started [reading] that book some years ago; lost interest, but now, might find it very interesting.

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