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What We Read Today 22 March 2017

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every day in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).

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Topics today include:

  • Global Government Bond Rally Continues

  • A wider partisan and ideological gap between younger, older generations in the U.S.

  • For Climate Change and Energy Policy, Knowledge Influences Democrats Much More than Republicans

  • Global CO2 Emissions Decline for Third Consecutive Year

  • CO2 Emissions Have Decoupled from Growth

  • Donald Trump’s communications may have been ‘monitored’

  • Scarborough: GOP should remove Nunes as Intel chairman

  • Defying Trump, Freedom Caucus insists it'll oppose GOP ObamaCare replacement

  • U.S. farm heartland lobbies to steer Trump away from Mexico trade war

  • Affordable water may soon dry up in many parts of the U.S.

  • Deadly Attack Near U.K. Parliament; Car Plows Victims on Westminster Bridge

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world

Global

  • Oil plunges to fresh 4-month lows as crude stocks rise by 5M barrels (Investing.com)  Oil prices extended overnight losses during North American morning hours on Wednesday, plunging to a fresh four-month low after data showed that U.S. crude supplies rose more than expected last week, underlining concerns over a global glut.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories increased by 5.0 million barrels in the week ended March 17.  Market analysts' expected a crude-stock gain of 2.8 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reported a supply-increase of 4.5 million barrels.  Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the key delivery point for Nymex crude, increased by 1.4 million barrels last week, the EIA said.  Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at an all-time high of 533.1 million barrels as of last week, which the EIA considered to be at the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

  • Global Government Bond Rally Continues (Twitter)

Click for larger image.

global.gov.bonds.2017.mar.22

U.S.

  • Scarborough: GOP should remove Nunes as Intel chairman (The Hill)  The Republican Party should remove Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, the host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" said in a tweet on Thursday.  Scarborough is a former conservative Republican congressman from Florida.

  • GOP lawmaker: Donald Trump’s communications may have been ‘monitored’ (PBS News Hour)  The chairman of the House intelligence committee said Wednesday that the communications of Trump transition officials — possibly including President Donald Trump himself — may have been “monitored” after the election as part of an “incidental collection”.  Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the intercepted communications do not appear to be related to the ongoing FBI investigation into Trump associates’ contacts with Russia. He said he believes the intelligence collections were done legally.

  • Defying Trump, Freedom Caucus insists it'll oppose GOP ObamaCare replacement (The Hill)  The conservative House Freedom Caucus said it remains opposed to the House GOP's ObamaCare replacement legislation Wednesday despite pressure from President Trump.  Speaking to reporters outside a Freedom Caucus meeting after a White House meeting, the group called on leaders to start over on ObamaCare, saying the replacement bill does not have the votes to pass Thursday.

  • U.S. farm heartland lobbies to steer Trump away from Mexico trade war (Reuters, Investing.com)  Farmers in the U.S. agricultural heartland that helped elect Donald Trump are now pushing his administration to avoid a trade dispute with Mexico, fearing retaliatory tariffs that could hit over $3 billion in U.S. exports.  The value of exports at risk is based on a Reuters analysis of a tariff list which Mexico used in a trucking dispute six years ago and which Mexican officials have said could serve as a model if President Trump sets new barriers to Mexican goods.

  • Affordable water may soon dry up, especially if you live here (PBS News Hour)  Remember this number: $120. It’s the average monthly water bill in America.  Researchers at Michigan State University predict this figure will rise by $49 over the next five years. And if it does, water may become unaffordable for one-third of American households, according to a study, published recently in PLOS ONE, that maps the U.S. areas due to be hit hardest based on local incomes.

Click for large image.

UK

  • Deadly Attack Near U.K. Parliament; Car Plows Victims on Westminster Bridge (The New York Times)  An attack outside Parliament traumatized the seat of British power on Wednesday in a confusing swirl of violence that left at least four people dead — including an assailant and police officer — injured 20 and prompted the hasty evacuation of the prime minister.  The police said they were treating the attack as terrorism, which appeared to make it the most serious such assault in London since the deadly subway bombings more than a decade ago.

Other Scientific, Health, Political, Economics, and Business Items of Note - plus Miscellanea

  • How much does science knowledge influence people’s views on climate change and energy issues? (Pew Research Center)  Many in the scientific community believe that if the American public were more informed about the science behind climate change and energy issues, people would hold views that aligned more closely with those of scientific experts. But how much people know about science only modestly and inconsistently correlates with their attitudes about climate and energy issues, while partisanship is a stronger factor in people’s beliefs, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center survey.  Even when it comes to facts, there is a big divide between how they are interpreted by Democrats and Republicans.

Global emissions from the energy sector reportedly stood at 32.1 gigatonnes in 2016, the same level as it was in 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, the global economy grew 3.1% in 2016 — compared to 3.4% in 2014 and 3.1% in 2015. Carbon dioxide emissions fell in both China and the United States — the planet’s two largest emitters — and held steady in Europe, the three regions together helping to offset the increases found throughout the rest of the world.

The United States actually managed to decrease its emissions by 3%, or around 160 million tonnes, while the country’s economy grew by 1.6% (though try telling Donald Trump that). According to the IEA, the decline in emissions was driven primarily by a surge in shale gas supplies and more available and attractive renewable energy, together displacing the use of coal.

  • A wider partisan and ideological gap between younger, older generations (Pew Research Center)  The generation gap in American politics is dividing two younger age groups, Millennials and Generation X, from the two older groups, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation.  In 2016, as in recent years, Millennials and Gen Xers were the most Democratic generations. And both groups had relatively large – and growing – shares of liberal Democrats: 27% of Millennials and 21% of Gen Xers identified as liberal Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents.  See first graphic below.  Overall, the U.S. electorate is becoming more liberal, but not at the expense of conservatives who have also added strength, although less so.  The middle has lost ground.  See the second graphic below.


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