3 November 2019   3 comments

Residents of New Delhi, India, and nearby areas are suffering from pollution levels that can only be described as hazardous. Pollution levels rise at this time of year as farmers burn the stubble from their harvests and also because of the use of fireworks to celebrate the Diwali holiday. Visibility was so poor that flights into the New Delhi airport were diverted to other cities. India accounts for seven of the ten most polluted cities in the world, a record that was once held by many Chinese cities. We should not, however, think that the pollution is only due to burning stubble and shooting off firecrackers. Those activities only account for about a third of the pollution, the other two-thirds are caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Many countries in Asia are still using coal for their energy needs because it is cheap and available. But the price for this economic activity is early death for many of the most vulnerable members of the population.

I have posted several times about the many protests that are going on in the world today. The causes of the unrest seem to be clear: growing income and wealth inequality, pervasive corruption in governments, and the growing fear of climate change. But one interesting feature of these protests, particularly the protests in Hong Kong, is that they seem to be leaderless. Organized political institutions, such a political parties, have been unable to harness this discontent, except in the very interesting case of the US where Donald Trump has essentially remade the Republican Party into his personal political party. Some new political parties such as Macron’s en Marche in France, also seem to be personal creations. The danger of leaderless protests is that they are susceptible to hijacking by opportunistic politicians.

Posted November 3, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

3 responses to “3 November 2019

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  1. “The danger of leaderless protests is that they are susceptible to hijacking by opportunistic politicians.”

    Excellent point!
    and people get really frustrated when even that doesn’t work.

    I mean take trumps example, he may have pleased his voter base but what about those americans that didn’t vote for him (remember he lost the popular vote)

    This kind of sway in politics gives rise to a mandate someone can use. But in much of the third world, It’s an opportunity for the same people to grab power and nothing else.

    James A. Robinson in his book “Why nations fail” gives a very good argument on it and blames institutions and colonial rule.

    Anyway, a very good example of that would be my country nowadays (Pakistan). Where an effectively dead party used the public frustration to bring itself back to life.

    Like

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