6 February 2018   Leave a comment

Visual Capitalist has a stunning video on the growth of human population over time.  The video quite dramatically demonstrates how unusual the growth rate over the last 200 years has been.  And also how unsustainable that rate is.

 

 

Coal is one of the dirtiest fossil fuels we use in the world.  Its primary use right now is to produce electricity and it is both cheap and reliable as a source of energy.  Many countries are choosing to phase out their coal-fueled sources and to replace them with either renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar, nuclear energy, or natural gas.  But many countries continue to use coal and the pattern of usage is quite striking in Europe.  Many of the countries that used to be behind what we once called the “Iron Curtain” because they were allied with the former Soviet Union.  Some of these countries, such as Poland, have made it clear that they have no ambitious intentions to phase out coal and the effects of these decisions are apparent in the air quality of Europe as the map below indicates.

 

Polish President, Andrzej Duda, has signed a very controversial bill which bans anyone from making statements about Polish participation in the Jewish Holocaust during World War II.  According to the Washington Post:

“Once in effect, it will essentially ban accusations that some Poles were complicit in Nazi crimes committed on Polish soil, including in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, where more than 1.1 million people died. Germany operated six camps in Poland where Jews and others whom the Nazis considered enemies were killed. Once the legislation is enacted, anyone convicted under the law will face fines or up to three years in jail.”

The law is truly extraordinary.  Not only does it violate the right of free speech guaranteed by Polish membership in the European Union, it also engages in historical denial of basic facts.  Poland did not, in fact, have a collaborationist government that worked with the Nazis and there was an active resistance to the German occupation of Poland.  But there are numerous documented cases of Poles rounding up Jews  and working with the Nazis.

 

Posted February 6, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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