“How did humans get to the brink of crashing climate?
“…Previous centuries created the right conditions for human-caused climate change, but the last few generations made it a reality. In 1960, humans put about 9 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air; in 2021, they produced more than four times that amount, according to the Global Carbon Project.
“Energy use skyrocketed as cars, air travel and technology became more affordable in many North American and European countries. Other nations such as China, Japan and India were assembling their own energy regimes based on fossil fuels. And this all happened amid growing understanding and concern about heat-trapping gases.”
“Green growth or degrowth: what is the right way to tackle climate change?
“…to avoid ecological collapse, sectors such as fossil fuels, fast fashion, industrial meat farming, air travel, plastics and many more need to draw down their economic activity. Meanwhile, other sectors need to grow. These include clean energy, obviously, but also biodegradable materials, green steel and pesticide-free agriculture.”
“Buyers worldwide go for bigger cars, erasing gains from cleaner tech…
“The negative impact on the climate from passenger vehicles, which is considerable, could have dropped by more than 30% over the past decade if not for the world’s appetite for large cars, a new report from the Global Fuel Economy Initiative suggests.”
“We cannot afford to have a bad COP…
“Backsliding and inconsistency on national climate commitments is deeply troubling… The need for collective action is urgent, and the cost of inaction catastrophic. Yet leaders have not done enough.”
“American spending has kept the economy going since the pandemic. It may finally be stopping, in charts…
“Some experts think the combination of high housing costs, rising credit card debt and shrinking savings could mean the end of post-Covid splurges, maybe even as soon as this year’s holiday shopping season.”
“Solution Badly Needed As Migrants Shuttled Here And There [US].
“In a disturbing trend that is gaining momentum across the United States, political leaders are increasingly transferring undocumented migrants to other states and even exporting them abroad… The danger being discussed here lies in the unsustainable nature of shuttling migrants from one place to another.”
“Dublin riot highlights ‘far-right’ agitation over Ireland immigration…
“The country’s chronic affordable housing shortage, a cost-of-living crisis and the role of social media in amplifying disinformation have all been cited as helping to fuel right-wing hostility to the new residents.”
“Scots health chiefs warning on social unrest over refugee homes crisis.
“Health and social care chiefs have warned of social unrest in Scotland over moves to accelerate the clearance of a backlog of asylum claims by the Home Office… Scotland’s biggest council is considering legal action against the Home Office as it fears it will breach the law through being unable to cope with moves to clear the backlog.”
“Mortgage Debts Higher Than 2008 Financial Crisis [UK]…
“It’s no wonder more of us are feeling the pinch in 2023. The cost of mortgage rate rises within the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) Autumn Statement documents have been reported to be much higher than expected. The OBR has forecast total household servicing costs to rise from £73bn in 2023 to £151bn in 2026.”
“UK families are paying £605 more for their food than they did two years ago, with climate change being the main reason for the high prices, according to researchers…
“Recent flooding in the UK left cereal, potato and other crops rotting underwater, farmers have said, while extreme heat and drought in Spain has damaged olive harvests and pushed up the price of olive oil by around 50%.”
“Global scramble for Uranium spells trouble for UK’s nuclear plans…
“Over the last week, the price of Uranium concentrate – commonly known as U308 or yellowcake – has risen to a 15-year high of $80.25/lb. The $139/lb high reached in 2017 came shortly after the world’s largest undeveloped uranium deposit flooded, driving panic around short-term supply.”
“Germany faces threat of creeping deindustrialisation, warns steel boss…
“Gunnar Groebler, who joined Germany’s second-largest steelmaker two years ago, told the Financial Times that if manufacturers of materials needed by industry, such as steel or chemicals, were to leave the region due to high energy costs “you run the risk of losing the whole value chain” of production.”
“Charting the Global Economy: Euro-Area Recession Looks Likely.
“Europe… S&P Global’s purchasing managers’ index was in contraction again in November, hitting 47.1… it marks the sixth consecutive month below the 50 level that marks expansion. Readings for both manufacturing and services showed a similar trend.”
“More than a thousand people gathered in Amsterdam on Friday in support of groups facing discrimination in the Netherlands, after major gains for a far-right political party this week.
“In Amsterdam’s central Dam Square people lit candles or held up cellphone lights in a mostly silent protest, two days after the general election in which the Freedom Party of anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders won the most seats.”
“Japan has lodged a “strong protest” with South Korea after a court in Seoul asked Tokyo to pay compensation to wartime comfort women.
““Reiterated Japan’s objections to the court ruling,” top government spokesman Matsuno Hirokazu said. However, he stressed the “importance of cooperation between Japan and South Korea as tensions in the region rise,” Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.”
“China warns South Korea not to politicise economic issues.
“Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned his South Korean counterpart on Sunday not to politicise economic and tech issues as the two prepared to meet Japan’s top diplomat on the sidelines of a trilateral meeting aimed at boosting cooperation.”
“China police launch probe into troubled financial conglomerate Zhongzhi.
“Troubles besetting one China’s biggest privately-owned financial conglomerates have deepened with… The police said Zhongzhi was suspected of committing “illegal crimes” and has enforced “mandatory criminal measures” against a number of suspects…”
“China wielding ‘bargaining power’ with Russia over Power of Siberia 2 natural gas pipeline…
““[Beijing] understands really well their bargaining power and the country is in a much stronger position… It’s a specific presidential-level of pressure. It’s about cheaper payment. They can demand deep discounts.” …Putin is under “enormous pressure” to build the pipeline or otherwise “a huge amount of gas” will be wasted and Russia will lose money.”
“India plans to triple underground coal mining to meet energy demand…
““India is on a high-orbit growth trajectory, expanding industrially and economically,” Amrit Lal Meena, a senior official at India’s coal ministry, said in a statement to the Financial Times. “Coal continues to play a key role in India’s economic growth and development.””
“Crime in South Africa; blackouts giving criminals cover…
“Deputy Gauteng Police Commissioner Tommy Mthombeni says criminals are taking advantage of power cuts… Mthombeni says police are working with municipalities to be proactive during blackouts.”
“‘No choice but to borrow’: Nigerians resort to emergency loans as austerity and inflation bite.
“Nigerians are turning to expensive emergency loans to cover the cost of essentials, as the country’s economic woes push more people into poverty and fears grow of a consumer debt crisis… “You become enslaved,” said Samuel, the owner of a small dry cleaning company in Lagos who declined to give his surname…”
“Sierra Leone imposes nationwide curfew after armed clashes in capital…
“The authorities said calm had been restored but made no further comments about the attackers’ motives. The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) issued a statement underlining “its zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government”.”
“‘The people don’t want the Americans’: Gaza war fuels tensions in Iraq…
“Even as a tenuous truce takes hold in Gaza, the pace and intensity of clashes in Iraq has picked up, highlighting the risk of spillover in a country that has long been mired in conflict. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the US targeted fighters it believed were responsible for dozens of attacks carried out on American troops in Iraq…”
“Iran-backed Houthi rebels have fired missiles at a US Navy destroyer off the coast of Yemen in a ‘significant escalation’ with American forces in the Middle East.
“The USS Mason had responded to a distress call on Sunday from an Israeli-linked chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden that had been seized by armed rebels.”
“Iran unveils new hypersonic missile ‘capable of beating Israeli defenses’…
“Iran has unveiled a new hypersonic missile which it claims can fly 15 times faster than the speed of sound and defeat Israeli air defences. The hypersonic Fattah II rocket – which means conqueror in Persian – is an updated version of the original Fattah that was announced in June…”
“The wars shaping the new world order…
“The crises, conflicts and wars that are currently raging highlight just how profoundly the geopolitical landscape has changed in recent years, as great-power rivalries have again become central to international relations.”
“Russia-Ukraine standoff disrupts global shipping, sparks crew shortage crisis…
“These two countries control a good portion of the world’s seafarers, which has led to an already tight situation in the supply of seafarers, adding to industry’s woes. Besides, he said the stringent rules that come into force following the European Union emission norms will likely impact the global shipping sector.”
“Why the debate around global debt will not disappear any time soon…
“…what would happen if another black swan event were to appear? What if we were to have another global financial crisis or another pandemic, or a large-scale military conflict? …The choice would be between letting inflation rip and effectively forcing the financial system to hold government bonds on less than advantageous terms.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
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