11 August 2017   Leave a comment

Researchers have published a paper in the journal World Development that attempts to quantify the amount of money used to subsidize the production of fossil fuels.  The subsidies come through various tax mechanisms and other government policies that create incentives to produce fossil fuels.  The Guardian does a very good job of outlining the expansive definition of subsidies used by the researchers, many of which are totally hidden from the eyes of consumers of fossil fuels.  The subsidies globally come to about $5.3 trillion in 2015 or about 6.5% of global GDP.  According o the summary of the article:

“Undercharging for global warming accounts for 22% of the subsidy in 2013, air pollution 46%, broader vehicle externalities 13%, supply costs 11%, and general consumer taxes 8%. China was the biggest subsidizer in 2013 ($1.8 trillion), followed by the United States ($0.6 trillion), and Russia, the European Union, and India (each with about $0.3 trillion). Eliminating subsidies would have reduced global carbon emissions in 2013 by 21% and fossil fuel air pollution deaths 55%, while raising revenue of 4%, and social welfare by 2.2%, of global GDP.”

If all these subsidies were taken into account, we could more accurately compare the costs of renewable energies which are often heavily subsidized as well.

US President Trump indicated that there is a “military option” among those available to the US with respect to the constitutional crisis in Venezuela.  Presumably, the President believes that there may be an effective role for the American military in the event a civil war breaks out in Venezuela.  What that option might be is beyond me.  What intervening in Venezuela has to do with “America First” is also beyond me. An American intervention in a Latin American civil war would in all probability make the situation significantly worse.  If there is a humanitarian crisis and civilians need to be evacuated, there are other regional militaries that would be less intrusive.

A meeting between top military representatives from India and China to resolve the stand-off over the border dispute near Bhutan ended inconclusively.  India is sending more troops along its entire eastern border.  According to the Times of India:

“The Army has steadily but stealthily moved troops to their “operational alert areas” on the borders with China in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, while also maintaining high operational readiness of its other formations and units all along the 4,057-km long Line of Actual Control stretching from Ladakh to Arunachal, as was reported by TOI earlier.”

There are press reports that suggest that the failure of the negotiations leaves few options to both sides other than open conflict.

Doklam Plateau

     

 

 

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Posted August 11, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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