11 January 2017   Leave a comment

Professor William Nordhaus, an economist at Yale University, has just published a paper (“Projections and Uncertainties About Climate Change in an Era of Minimal Climate Policies“) that “it was no longer practicably feasible to keep the level of warming to within two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the point at which climatologists believe the world will start to experience particularly dangerous climate change”.  The paper argues that “A target of 2.5º C is technically feasible but would require extreme virtually universal global policy measures.”  The conclusions fly in the face of the goals of the recent Paris Agreement which seeks to limit temperature increases to 1.5º C, a level that current temperatures are already close to achieving.

Rex Tillerson, President-elect Trump’s nominee for the Secretary of State, stated in his Senate confirmation hearings that “China should be denied access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea”.  Statements at a confirmation hearing do not constitute policy and one should be careful not to over interpret Tillerson’s comments.  But there is little question that Beijing is likely to regard the comments as especially provocative and worrisome.  One should also not be surprised that the former CEO of ExxonMobil would have strong views on the South China Sea given that many believe that the region contains huge reserves of oil and gas.

Image result for oil deposits in the south china sea

Spiegel has published a staff report on how Chancellor Merkel is preparing for German-US relations under a Trump Administration.  Merkel made very few direct comments about Mr. Trump during the American presidential campaign, but many of her public statements have made reference to the need to protect “liberal” institutions and values.  The article suggests that Merkel anticipates great difficulties in working with the US, particularly on the issue of Russian activities in eastern and central Europe.

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Posted January 12, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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