Monday, April 03, 2023

Heat Waves In India

Petteri Orpo defeats Sanna Marin in Finland election. Now what? Center-right leader faces tricky path to build governing coalition. ....... The National Coalition Party (NCP) secured 48 of 200 parliamentary seats versus 43 for the Social Democrats, with the anti-immigration Finns Party securing second place with 46 seats. ........ For the European left, waking up to the loss of Marin was a blow. As a high-profile Social Democrat, she earned widespread praise over the past four years for her handling of the pandemic and adept response to the Ukraine crisis, including Finland’s dramatic pivot toward NATO. .......... But her ultimate failure to sell left-leaning economic policies to the Finnish electorate — for example, seeking growth through investment rather than cuts — will be noted in Europe. Swedish Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson failed to secure a second term in elections last fall, while Denmark’s Mette Frederiksen only won reelection in November after a series of sharp-right policy turns. ........... Even before the election was settled, some colleagues in Finland were suggesting she could seek a new challenge at the European Commission, possibly even as the Left group’s candidate for president. ....... a Finnish convention that offers the winning party the first chance to form a coalition — even if that lead consists of only two seats. .

Global warming is killing Indians and Pakistanis Annual heatwaves on the poor and crowded Indo-Gangetic Plain are a horrific consequence of climate change ............ In the opening scenes of “The Ministry for the Future”, the novelist Kim Stanley Robinson imagines what happens to a small Indian town hit by a heatwave. Streets empty as normal activity becomes impossible. Air-conditioned rooms fill with silent fugitives from the heat. Rooftops are littered with the corpses of people sleeping outside in search of a non-existent breath of wind. The electricity grid, then law and order, break down. Like a medieval vision of hell, the local lake fills with half-poached bodies. Across north India, 20m die in a week............. The Indo-Gangetic Plain, which extends from the spine of Pakistan through northern India to the deltas of Bangladesh, is home to 700m people and exceptionally vulnerable to the heat pulses that climate change is making more frequent. It is one of the hottest, poorest and most populous places on earth .......... Between 2000 and 2019, South Asia saw over 110,000 excess deaths a year due to rising temperatures .......... Last year’s hot season, which runs from March until the arrival of the monsoon in late May or early June, was one of the most extreme and economically disruptive on record. This year’s could rival it. ......... above-average temperatures and heatwaves until the end of May. ......... Despite a relatively cool March, the coming weeks could be perilously hot. ........ Scientists record heat stress as a combination of temperature and humidity, known as a “wet-bulb” measurement. As this combined level approaches body temperature, 37°C, it becomes increasing hard for mammals to shed heat through perspiration. At a wet-bulb temperature of around 31°C, dangerously little sweat can evaporate into the soup-like air. Brain damage and heart and kidney failure become increasingly likely. Sustained exposure to a temperature of 35°C, the level Mr Robinson imagines in his book, is considered fatal. ........... India could become one of the first places where wet-bulb temperatures routinely exceed the 35°C survivability threshold. ......... The magnifying effect of the built urban environment, which can be 2°C hotter than nearby rural areas, is often especially pronounced in India’s concrete jungles. Those living in slum housing, which offer little air circulation and often use heat-sucking materials such as tin, suffer the worst of it. ........... “vast regions of South Asia are projected to experience [wet-bulb temperature] episodes exceeding 31°C, which is considered extremely dangerous for most humans” ........

India loses 101bn man hours per year to extreme heat, and Pakistan 13bn

......... In 2017, heat-exposed work accounted for 50% of India’s gdp and employed 75% of the labour force, or some 380m. ......... warn people of extreme temperatures, advise them to stay indoors and drink lots of water, and put emergency services on high alert.

The Indian Premier League is taking over global cricket India’s lucrative domestic contest is strangling international contests .

We are living through a trillion-dollar rebalancing Beneath a veil of silence, a hugely dramatic and powerful episode of financial repression is ongoing ...... There is nothing more inevitable than death, taxes and bank failures. But what about the bailouts? ........ we have entered a new era, one in which thoroughgoing liquidation of financial bubbles is politically unthinkable and so moral hazard and zombie balance sheets pile up. ....... Put them together and you have a vision of ever larger balance sheets, inevitable crisis and no less inevitable bailout, opening the path to even greater leverage and risk. ......... mega-quantitative easing in response to the truly unprecedented shock of the Covid-19 lockdowns. ............ We would not be here but for the pandemic. ..........

the trillion-dollar balance sheet shift from bond investor to bond issuers triggered by the post-Covid pile-up of inflation and interest rate rises.

......... We need public investment so as to escape the reactive cycle we are locked in and to begin anticipating the challenges of the polycrisis, whether in public health, climate change or destabilising geopolitics......... Those in the bottom half of income and wealth distribution are bystanders in the great balance-sheet reshuffle. They hold few, if any, financial assets and pay relatively little tax. They have lived the drama of Covid and its aftermath as a shock to jobs and a cost of living crisis. Unlike bondholders or investors, their interests are not represented by lobbyists. Their households are not too big to fail.

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