22 April 2015   Leave a comment

Human smuggling can be a very lucrative business.   Voyages from Libya cost each refugee between $1,000 and $2,000:  the trade is facilitated by the total chaos in Libya.  To go from Senegal to Libya could cost an additional $1,000 and from Ethiopia, another $2,500.  Prices vary by the type of transport:  the riskier travel by inflatable dinghy costs less than if one wishes to travel on a wooden boat.  But in all cases, the smugglers do not guarantee safe delivery, and do not even care if the refugees make the trip alive.   These prices are a lifetime of income for many of the refugees, and simply reflects their total desperation.  Nonetheless, the head of the EU border agency, Fabrice Leggeri, is quoted in the Irish Times to have said that “that saving migrants’ lives in the Mediterranean should not be the priority for the maritime patrols he is in charge of.”  Leggeri believes that rescuing the refugees on a regular basis would only encourage more to undertake the risky trip.

The Gallup poll has done a survey on which groups in the US believe that global warming will occur in their lifetimes.   The results are fascinating.  The pollsters identified five political leanings:  liberal Democrats, conservative/moderate Democrats, non-leaning independents, liberal/moderate Republicans, and conservative Republicans.   By substantial majorities, the first four groups all believe that global warming will occur in their lifetimes.   Conservative Republicans, however, reject that possibility and 40% of that group do not believe that global warming will ever happen.    What the poll does not tell us is what percentage of the electorate is comprised of conservative Republicans.

Over the last few weeks, 40 farmers in India have committed suicide, and about 300,000 farmers have killed themselves over the last twenty years.  Despite its impressive economic growth in the last few years, India still has a very large agricultural sector which is quite precarious.  The heavy rains over the last few months have destroyed many crops and the farmers, who are usually heavily in debt are the beginning of the growing season, find themselves in an impossible financial situation if the crops fail.


Posted April 22, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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