2 June 2017   Leave a comment

For those who listened to US President Trump’s speech on withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, he used a lot of evidence to back up his claims that the agreement would damage the US economy and give other countries an advantage over the US.  Many of those claims should be contested, and PolitiFact has done a good job of checking Mr. Trump’s data.  PolitiFact has an excellent reputation (it won the Pulitzer Prize) and I regard it as essentially non-partisan.  It is disappointing that a policy would be based upon such loose interpretations of information.  It is also unusual for a policy on a climate change agreement to be based entirely on economic interpretations.  Nowhere in the speech did Mr. Trump address the costs of climate change on the economy–he simply assumed that climate change will not occur.  

Visual Capitalist produced this graph which shows what countries are growing economically as a percentage of total global economic growth.  China and the US still contribute more than 50% of economic growth in the world, but India is now growing faster than the European Union.  Growth patterns change quite rapidly, so one should treat this graph as simply a snapshot in time.  But it reveals a great deal about global economic growth.  For example, there are no African countries in the list of growing economies.

Chart: Where is Global Growth Happening?

One of the largest ice shelves in the world, Larsen C in Antarctica, is close to shedding an iceberg the size of the US state of Delaware.  A massive crack has been growing on the shelf for some time, but the crack has grown 11 miles between 25 and 31 May indicating that it is close to breaking off.  Since it is a shelf and floats on the water, the melting of the expected chunk of ice will not raise sea levels at all.  But the loss of that ice means that the glaciers on the Antarctica continent will likely starting retreating faster as warmer ocean water penetrates under the glacier itself.

Posted June 2, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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