Early Bird Headlines 04 July 2015
Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.
- New report: the chance to rescue the world’s oceans from climate change is drifting away (The Conversation) The ocean system could not be more important: it regulates the global temperature and atmosphere, feeds 3 billion people, and largely determines our weather. The ocean also has lots of “inertia” – which means that getting the ocean to change takes a lot of energy, but once it begins to change, slowing it down becomes more or less impossible. A paper published today in Science has issued a warning that our window of opportunity to save the oceans from major changes is in danger of slamming shut, bringing with it the risk that we will encounter planetary-scale tipping points in the behavior of the climate.
- California’s 50,000 Pot Farms Are Sucking Rivers Dry (Scientific American) Each marijuana plant requires five gallons of water a day which is taken legally and illegally from “water diversions“. California’s freshwater fisheries are threatened with extinction as key habitats have been drained dry.
- Atlantic City’s downfall provides lessons for the nation (Al Jazeera) Those who fail to invest and strategize long term are doomed to fail when the economic winds change. Atlantic City went deep into debt to build the gambling palaces that are now nearly unused. Likewise, David Cay Johnson says:
Across the country, thousands of so-called economic development agencies are throwing tens of billions of dollars each year at corporations, often without evidence they created or even saved a single job.
- France Loses Enthusiasm for Nuclear Power (Scientific American) France, one of the world’s leaders in low-emissions nuclear energy production, may soon diverge from the path that brought it there. The French get more than 3/4 of their electricity from nuclear power, the largest share of any country in the world. This atomic largesse from its 58 reactors-second only to the United States’ 100 reactors-has made France the largest net electricity exporter on Earth and provided cheap electricity to its residents. But now the country plans to cut nuclear’s share of generation to 50% by 2025 in an effort to diversify France’s energy production as it continues to seek lower carbon emissions.
- Germans count cost of propping up Greece (BBC News) Ask most individual Germans about Greece and they express sympathy for its people, but impatience and irritation with its government. In fact 68% of Germans blame the government for escalating the crisis, according to a new poll. The same research reveals that Germans are split over Greek membership of the eurozone – 45% think Greece should stay in, 45% think Greece should go. It’s a shift in perception. In February, 51% thought Greece should stay in. Econintersect: Imagine New York, Texas and California asking if they should continue supporting Mississippi.
- Greece: The Solution (Bert Dohmen, Forbes) Dohmen compares the Greece situation with that of the U.S. (“How long will it be before the US begs its creditors, like China (over $1 TRILLION) for debt forgiveness?“) . He also characterizes the Greek leadership as “a leftist radical from his college days” (Prime Minister Tsipras) and a “self-declared communist” (Finance Minister Varoufakis). Further he characterizes the work of the Greek government as a “scorched earth policy” by people who “don’t care about the millions of people suffering and losing their savings“. In fact, Dohmen says that the Greek government leaders “may even like that. After all, poor people are the support base for leftists everywhere. Therefore, the left has an incentive to make people poor.” Dohmen’s solution: “Change the leadership at the top.”
- Greece and the BRICS Bank, A Forgotten Scenario? (The Red Team Analysis Society) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. Because of Greek shipping and shipbuilding dominance, Greece is considered a key element in the new “One Belt, One Road” Silk Road initiative spearheaded by China. With this in mind, the role of the BRICS Bank, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and other resources available to China and its partners is examined in this article. Could Greece leave the EU and join a new federation centered to the east? See next article.
- Grexit: Why even ‘yes’ could see Greece leave (CNBC)
- The Greek Vote (Steve Keen, Forbes) Steve Keen has contributed to GEI. Prof. Keen says the Greek referendum is a mistake because you never call for a vote unless you are sure of the outcome – and the Sunday balloting could go either way. A close “No” vote, he says, will not strengthen the government’s negotiating position that much, but if there is a “Yes” vote by any margin “Syriza will have to capitulate to the Troika and accept its unbending policy of austerity“. Econintersect: The judgment on calling the referendum was made at a time when polling indicated a 2:1 margin for “No” – a situation that existed just 6 days ago. And then the banks closed and everything changed.
- Rockets land in Israel, Egypt’s IS affiliate claims responsibility (Reuters) Militants in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula fired rockets into southern Israel on Friday in an incident that caused no casualties but appeared to be linked to fighting between Islamist insurgents and Egyptian security forces. An Israeli military source earlier said the rockets had been fired from Sinai, which borders Israel, the Gaza Strip and the Suez Canal. No damage or casualties were reported. On Tuesday Islamic State militants released a video threatening to turn Gaza into another “fiefdom”, as in parts of Iraq and Syria. It also said in the video that it will uproot “the state of the Jews” (Israel) and secular Palestinian movement Fatah, headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
- An emerging renewables superpower: China’s climate pledge guns for green growth (The Conversation) The world’s greatest polluter is making great strides in driving to more aggressive carbon abatement commitments.
- Canada’s latest oil extraction methods put new pressures on environment (Al Jazeera) Steam injection exploits previously untapped reserves, but at what cost? Experiences with leaks and pollution from bitumen deposits during attempted recovery have raised alarms about the dangers of expanding the operation.
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