“Tradeable pollution permits” are a symptom, not a cure.
En Passant: Russia sent two of its cosmonauts to the space station yesterday in a Soyuz rocket. Also aboard was an American astronaut who hitched a ride because his country can no longer afford to have its own space program.
Be Careful What You Wish For: In the face of increasing US sanctions, Iran says it will stop exporting oil if the sanctions become any more severe. Iran is OPEC's second largest oil producer and the world's third largest petroleum exporter. Sure hope our buddies in Saudi Arabia can pick up the slack.
Frequent Fleers: There are now 101,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, more than 100,000 in Turkey and another 100,000 in Jordan. Pretty soon this civil war thing is going to get serious.
Bath Time: After two years of shopping their bad credit card debt around, Target finally found a taker, getting $5.9 billion for it, which was described as “equal to the gross value of the outstanding receivables...” Value is an interesting word.
Heresy: Canada apparently didn't get the memo – the Bank of Canada says that they intend on keeping the bank overnight rate at 1% and contemplate “some modest withdrawal of monetary policy stimulus” in the near future. Don't tell Krugman.
Faithfully Yours:The Koch Brothers have put together a database that matches your on-line shopping history with your church records in order to better target those who might oppose anything the Kochs want to do to us.
Wells, Now: Geologists report that the earthquake in southeastern Spain in 2011 that killed 9 people and injured about 100 while leaving thousands homeless was caused by the massive extraction of groundwater. The massive injection of fracking wastewater reportedly has had the same effect.
Justification: Journalist, columnist, etc. Joe Kline, defending America's use of drones in Pakistan despite the large numbers of civilian casualties explained those deaths were acceptable because “the bottom line in the end is - whose 4-year-old get killed? What we're doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror” by the Pakistani children we kill.
Perspective: A new study predicts that the current drought is one of the worst in the last 600 years – if not longer. And they're not talking about 'the drought of 2012'. The current drought in the American Southwest “began in the late 1990s lasted through the following decade and could become one of the worst, if not the worst, in history." They expect that by 2050 “we will see worse drought and increased tree mortality than we've seen in the past 1,000 years."
Job Openings: In South Africa, gold miner Gold Fields has fired 8,500 striking workers at the KDC East mine after they refused to return to work. Some 11,000 miners at the KDC West mine caved in to the company's ultimatum and returned to work.
Deficit, Smeshimit: It's not the deficit, stupid! It has become abundantly clear that the adverse economic impacts of austerity in a depressed economy are so severe that austerity is self-defeating. Yet deficit fever demands for spending cuts has dominated policy discussion for almost three years, with all very few of Our Betters ignoring the evidence. It's the demand, and it needs stimulating.
The Parting Shot.