7 December 2015   Leave a comment

After 16 years of socialist rule under Presidents Chavez and Maduro, Venezuela overwhelmingly voted for opposition parties giving them total control of the country’s parliament.  Voter participation was very high at nearly 75% indicating that the election reflects a rather deep and wide sentiment.  The outcome means that Venezuela will be faced with a difficult transition as high rates of inflation have to come down and the government will have to reduce much of its spending.  Where the government cuts will determine which sectors of the population will suffer the most.

For the first time in many years, CO2 emissions globally declined slightly from the previous year.  The decline likely stems from an economic slowdown in China as well as concerted efforts within China to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  The news is certainly good, but the future really depends on the use of coal which has been staging somewhat of a comeback as its price has declined considerably.  India appears to be increasing its use of coal significantly and even in countries such as Germany which has made a sustained effort to boost solar and wind power, the use of coal has been creeping back up.  Interestingly, ExxonMobil has released its own report on the future.  Its own research indicates that “without government action” temperatures by the end of the century may rise between 7 and 12 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unfortunately, for the first time ever, China has released its first “red alert” for smog levels in Beijing signalling profoundly unhealthy air for the next three days.

Average daily Air Quality Index categories for Beijing 2008 to 2015

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Posted December 7, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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