27 September 2017   Leave a comment

As the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is being renegotiated, the US just slapped a 220% tariff on a new line of Bombardier jets produced in Canada.  The US claims that the Canadian company has received unfair government subsidies from its government and from Great Britain where some of the plane’s components are produced and has placed the planes produced by American jet makers (Boeing) at a competitive disadvantage.  There are fears that the action could precipitate reciprocal action from Great Britain which is a big buyer of Boeing planes.  This sequence of events is the way a trade war starts and trade wars always end very badly.

Bombardier C Series Plane


Researchers have modeled the effects of a 1.5°C increase in global temperatures on the high mountain glaciers in Asia and have found that the effects could be quite dramatic:

“….realistic scenarios show an ice loss between 49% and 64%. Finally we show that there is great variation in the region in glacier response to climate change, which is caused by differences in glacier characteristics and projected local climate change.”

The findings are especially troubling since a very large percentage of humanity relies upon the fresh water released by the slow melting of glaciers.  The Himalayan plateau is the site of the headwaters for some of the great rivers in Asia, such as the Yangtze, Brahmaputra, Mekong, Indus, Salween, and Yellow Rivers.  These rivers serve almost half of the world’s population.

Rivers that Originate in the Tibetan Plateau


FiveThirtyEight is a highly respected polling company and it has compiled information on how global attitudes toward the US have changed since the election of Donald Trump as President.  As shown bythe graph below, the change as been dramatic.  The polls show widespread disapproval of five of President Trump’s foreign policy proposals, such as withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, building the wall between the US and Mexico. withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear agreement, withdrawing from major trade agreements, and restricting visitors from primarily Muslim-majority countries.

Posted September 27, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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