Happy African World Heritage Day!

If anybody is a real DPA-head and has some free time and wants to make summaries of his Ukraine war updates then that would be cool.

Link back to the discussion thread



  • The OPEC Secretary General says there is no spare capacity to replace Russian oil. src

“From the oil market perspective, however, what is clear is that Russia’s oil and other liquids exports of more than 7 million barrels daily cannot be made up from elsewhere. The spare capacity just does not exist. However, its potential loss, through either sanctions or voluntary actions, is clearly rippling through energy markets,” Barkindo said.

  • A Russian politician claims that EU nations will use third countries to continue buying Russian oil after any embargo. Uh, yeah, that math checks out if the previous article is to be believed. src

  • Russia’s Oil Output Is Plummeting, And It May Never Recover src

  • OPEC+ states produce 1.45 mln barrels per day of oil lower in March than planned src

  • US sanctions not to attain their goals, Russia’s economy is stable, says Russia’s embassy to the US. src

  • Moscow stopped sending gas to Poland, but Italy and France are plugging the gap with rerouted Russian supplies, says Gazprom. src

Poland is still receiving Russian gas despite being cut off last week by Moscow for failing to meet its demand that payments be made in rubles. That’s because Italy and France have stepped in to supply Poland, according to Russian energy giant Gazprom. Spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told Bloomberg that buyers in Italy and France are ordering Russian gas and passing it on via pipelines in Poland.

Gazprom made a statement a bit ago that if Poland or Bulgaria took gas supplies intended for other countries from the pipeline, then the gas supply would be reduced by that amount (i.e. punishing European countries down the line for Poland/Bulgaria’s theft), but as France and Italy are paying for it and then gifting it to Poland, I assume it’s fine by Gazprom?

  • Switzerland preparing for possible ‘severe’ electricity and gas shortages. I prefer to think of it as them going gas- and electricity-neutral. src

  • Gazprom supplied record-high gas volumes to Russian consumers on May 2 due to low temperatures in Russia. src

  • China’s zero-Covid rules, Ukraine war creating ‘severe challenges’ for European businesses src. Also: China’s Covid Policies Have European Companies Wary of Investing src

Some 23 per cent of European companies are considering shifting current or planned investments out of China due to Covid-19 controls, a new survey shows

  • Europeans Are Shifting Toward Cheaper Clothes as Inflation Bites src

  • Shell profits nearly triple as oil prices surge src

  • UK law firm says employees can work from home full-time – but only if they take a 20% pay cut src

Asia and Oceania

  • Millions in Beijing urged to work from home to fight Covid src

  • China and the Maldives signed a FTA years ago, but the Maldives still hasn’t completed its preparations, worrying Chinese enterprises. src

  • China has been speaking about potential entry to the CPTPP, having submitted a formal application last year, and while Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada are open to it, they have raised concerns about China’s ability to comply with the reforms required. src

The CPTPP could increase China’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.74 to 2.27 percentage points and its exports by 4.69 to 10.25 percentage points, according to a model developed by Li Chunding, a professor at the school of economics and management at China Agricultural University.

There are strict provisions banning data localisation and prohibiting the forced transfer of source code, according to Carrai, which conflicts with China’s restrictive data laws

  • India Wants To Buy Russian Oil, At Below $70 A Barrel. src

If India and Russia agree on such a hefty discount – with Brent over $108 a barrel early on Wednesday – state-owned refiners in India could import as much as 15 million barrels of Russian oil in May, Bloomberg’s sources say. This would be equivalent to around 10% of all of India’s oil imports.

  • Energy purchases from Russia remain minuscule: India src

  • India’s coal troubles due to lack of coordination and planning: Experts. I swear, every other day we get an article saying that India’s got great coal reserves, then that it doesn’t, then that it does, then that it doesn’t… src

  • China’s independent oil refiners are buying Russian supplies on the cheap, report says src

  • Domestic timber key to a sustainable industry in Vietnam src

  • Japan not planning to refuse from importing Russian oil immediately src

  • DPRK mobilizes white-collar workers to fight drought src

  • IMF urges Nepal to tighten monetary policy to bolster forex reserves src

  • Cambodia asks France for tramway feasibility study in Phnom Penh src

Middle East

  • Is Saudi Arabia Quietly Trying To Help Europe’s Oil Consumers? To me, this sounds like Europe going through bird entrails. src


    Recent differentials could signal an intent to quietly steer crude into Europe to replace Russian supplies given growing refusal of European companies to purchase Russian oil—without publicly taking sides in a dispute that involves a critical OPEC+ partner. Other Middle-Eastern suppliers may also be playing ball: The UAE is similarly, and quietly, shipping more crude to Europe.

    On one level, that’s how things should work. The oil market is massive, and traders are very creative. The global system is constantly adjusting regional prices and flows to accommodate ever-changing local supply-demand balances. It’s reassuring that things are working as they should. But the pricing decisions being made by Saudi Arabia also indicate this this isn’t just happening organically—rather, it is a deliberate choice being made by the Kingdom.

    And admittedly, this is not a policy of adding extra barrels to the market. But it does appear to be a policy of helping European buyers adjust more smoothly in their efforts to reduce purchases of Russian oil. In that sense, it seems to be more of an effort to avoid further price volatility than about lowering prices.


  • Malawi, Mozambique sign trade pacts src

  • Nigeria: Phone Companies in Nigeria Propose 40 Percent Tariff Increase src

  • Zimbabwe: Wheat Pre-Planting Producer Price Announced src

  • Zimbabwe: British American Tobacco Sees Volumes Up in First Quarter src

North America

  • Fed announces highest interest rate hike since 2000 src

“Inflation is much too high,” Fed chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday afternoon, adding that “we have both the tools we need and the resolve it will take to bring it down.”

“We can’t allow a wage-price spiral to happen,” Powell said, referring to the phenomenon where higher wages drive up prices of goods and services.

“There may be some pain” for Americans as the Fed gets inflation back to 2%, but not dealing with it would be even worse, Powell said, arguing that everyone will be better off in the medium-to-long term.

  • Jamie Dimon says the Fed only has a 33% chance to avoid a recession src

  • ‘We’re in danger of running out of food.’ Higher prices and demand squeeze food banks src

About 65% of the 200 food banks in the Feeding America network reported seeing a greater demand for food assistance in March compared with the previous month, with an average increase of 15% more people, according to the latest data from the nation’s largest hunger relief organization. About 30% of food banks said they had served the same number of clients. The share of food banks experiencing increased demand has more than doubled since December.

  • College graduates believe they’ll earn $103,880 at their first job — about twice the average starting salary src

  • East Asian Firms Are Critical to America’s Semiconductor Success src

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting global chip shortage, which hit automakers especially hard, shows no sign of easing despite manufacturers’ efforts to meet skyrocketing demand.

Japan has made a $6.8 billion investment, the EU is vowing to double its global market share by the year 2030, and the United States, too, is striving to achieve chip self-sufficiency. To that end, the U.S. is strengthening its domestic semiconductor ecosystem through legislation, including the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act

  • U.S. Trade Deficit Widens to Record $109.8 Billion as Imports Surge src

Inflation, supply imbalances and strong demand for imported goods widened the U.S. trade deficit to a record in March, with clothing, computers, and vehicles driving the surge.


  • Russia’s War In Ukraine Is Fueling A Spike In Fertilizer Prices src

Fertilizer makers are on track to record their biggest profits in years due to the supply squeeze of essential crop nutrients sparked by the Ukraine crisis.

Unfortunately, high fertilizer costs will negatively impact world food supplies, and almost inevitably lead to high food prices.

  • Diesel Prices Hit New Record On Wednesday src

Diesel prices hit yet another new record on Wednesday at $5.43 per gallon, now some $1.2 more than a gallon of gasoline, according to AAA.

  • US Monetary Policies Could Bankrupt Developing Countries. This article by Telesur is based on our boy, Michael Hudson. src

  • World will face a food crisis, says Brazilian minister src

  • UN: Record number of people without enough to eat in 2021 src

  • Human catastrophe, flowing from Ukraine and across the globe src

  • Bearish News Is Quietly Piling Up In Metal Markets src

Diplomatically and Politically

Involving Ukraine or Russia

  • Russian Jewish organization puts forward suggestion in wake of Lavrov’s recent remark src

“Even if not meant to hurt anyone, such remarks can become the most powerful catalyst for further damage. The Jewish community will under no circumstances betray the sacred memory of the Holocaust, nor will it forget those responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent victims or the heroes who defeated the death machine,”

  • About 500 Russians transfer from foreign universities, with 1300 applications received by Russian universities from students expelled from foreign countries. src

  • Russia bars entry for 63 Japanese, including Prime Minister Kishida src

  • Russian Cosmonaut Quits Space Program to Avoid Working With Americans src

“It would have been nothing if the program included interesting work on the Russian segment, but most of the time I would have to work for the Americans, that is, to help them carry out their experiments,” Skvortsov said.

  • Russia doesn’t consider Central Asia to be its geopolitical rival, Lavrov says src

  • Russia getting prepared for re-signing agreement on Millimetron project with China. src

  • ‘He is the best’: Ukrainians praise Boris Johnson as town names street after ‘hero’ British prime minister. src


    “He is a very strong and clever and brave man,” 62-year-old Alex Lerner told The Telegraph. “It is wonderful that this street has been named after him, as it is important for us Ukrainians to know not just our own heroes but those from overseas who helped our country.”

    “Winston Churchill too was considered a freak in his day, drinking brandy and smoking cigars all day, and so is Boris Johnson,” Lerner said, according to The Telegraph.

    A woman named Raisa Stayanova was also full of praise, saying: “Boris Johnson’s hair is very cool, and he is a cool person and he has a good soul,” per The Telegraph.

    The same woman told The Times of London that Johnson was “the absolute bomb.”

    “I don’t really follow politics,” she said. “But he is my favourite person in the whole world.”

    I don’t know about this birthday party. That seems to be normal human behaviour," she said, apparently referring to the London Metropolitan Police’s £50 fine for Johnson for attending a birthday party that breached UK COVID-19 lockdown rules at the time.

    “But he was the first man who stood with us and helped us in our struggle. He is the best, I tell you, the best, the best, the best.”

  • Russian arms sales to S-E Asia take a hit from Ukraine war src


  • French Socialists, Communists and Greens to ally with Melenchon for a left majority and ‘radical programme’ src

  • UK intensifies crackdown against Russian media src

The UK is forcing social media, internet service providers and app stores to block content from state-sponsored Russian media outlets – RT and Sputnik news agency. “For too long RT and Sputnik have churned out dangerous nonsense dressed up as serious news to justify Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” Tech and Digital Economy Minister Chris Philp said on Wednesday.

  • Finland, Sweden to become space for confrontation with Russia if they join NATO src

“In case Finland and Sweden join the alliance, they will turn into a space for confrontation of the North Atlantic bloc with Russia will all the ensuing consequences, including for our time-tested good-neighborly relations. Is it what the peoples of Sweden and Finland are seeking?”

  • Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats divided on decision to join Nato, after the women’s wing says that Sweden should be militarily non-aligned and stand outside NATO. src

  • As tensions rise in Moldova, separatists denounce Kyiv, EU src

  • UK Parliament summons Elon Musk src

British lawmakers have called on billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk to give testimony about his planned $44 billion purchase of Twitter, asking him to detail his vision for the social media giant.

Asia and Oceania

  • United Nations On A Visit To Xinjiang, China. This article is designed to prep people for if the UN says that there hasn’t been a genocide then that’s because of Chinese propaganda and they’re lying, and if they say there has been, then they’re actually telling the truth. src


    This is the first time in over a decade that China is to host the U.N. human rights chief. Reportedly, a part of the investigative team has now been deployed to the region. However, as it stands, the visit is causing more concerns than it could provide solutions.

    Among the concerns is the issue of the missing U.N. report on the situation in Xinjiang, China. In September 2021, Michelle Bachelet said at the opening of the U.N. Human Rights Council that her Office was “finalizing its assessment of the available information on allegations of serious human rights violations in that region, with a view to making it public.” This was also confirmed in December 2021. However, the report has not been published to date. The reason for the delay is not clear, especially after the assurances of the upcoming publication. In the meantime, the U.N. team is proceeding with a fact-finding visit to Xinjiang, China.

    While a step forward, after the U.N. has been blocked from visiting the region for three and a half years, the visit is expected to be less of a fact-finding visit and more of a propaganda trip. Despite the fact that the U.N. team is arriving in China, there are several question marks in relation to the scope of the inquiry, the powers of the investigative team, and terms of reference, among others. Furthermore, it is not clear whether the U.N. team has been or will be meeting with the survivors of the atrocities, whether in China or abroad.

    If the visit to Xinjiang, China, is to deliver on anything, the concerns raised must be taken seriously and addressed as a matter of urgency. The evidence of egregious human rights violations in Xinjiang cannot be neglected with what is to be a perfectly designed propaganda trip that will show the United Nations only so much as the Chinese regime wants it to see. Also, if the United Nations is serious about taking a victim-centered approach, the voice of victims cannot be silenced during this visit. How the United Nations handles this visit will define whether victims will have any trust in the United Nations processes.

  • China’s Communist Youth League the latest state-backed group to embrace NFTs, with tokens marking its centennial src

On Wednesday, the organisation issued 54,000 of the centenary NFTs for free, but labelled them “digital collectibles” as Beijing officially bans cryptocurrencies.

  • Marcos comeback bid shuns norms, recasts history src

  • Solomon Islands ‘rebellion’ against Australia may happen in Papua src

The in-depth survey helps explain the decision of the Solomon Islands to sign a security pact with China because Australia treats smaller neighbors in the Pacific as “colonies” and demands their absolute loyalty in exchange for economic aid it has poured abundantly on them. They have to follow what Australia wants.

  • South Korea joins NATO cyber defense src


  • In Kenya, a record 46 presidential candidates are running for the August 9th general elections. src

North America

  • Donald Trump’s 2020 team poll-tested idea of expelling all Chinese scientists with Chinese citizenship from US, new book This Will Not Pass says, as they “sought to find a policy that sparked the kind of reaction like his 2015 plan to ban Muslims from entering the US”. src

  • Antony Blinken tests positive for coronavirus after the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, and has mild symptoms and is working remotely. src

  • Mexico will take back more Cubans and Nicaraguans expelled by US src

Mexican authorities have agreed to take back more Cuban and Nicaraguan migrants expelled by the United States under the Title 42 public health order, according to two U.S. officials with knowledge of the arrangement.

  • Over 5 Million People March On May Day In Cuba, A Country Of 11 Million src

  • Cuba Notes Below 100 Daily COVID-19 Cases First-Ever This Year src

  • Mexico Rejects Sanctioning Russia Over Ukraine Conflict src

South America

  • Lula says that Zelensky wanted war src

“He did want war. If he didn’t want war, he would have negotiated a little more,” da Silva, who served as president from 2003-2010, said in an interview to Time magazine that was published on Wednesday.

Da Silva said he doesn’t know the president of Ukraine but thinks he’s acting weird. “It seems like he’s part of the spectacle. He is on television morning, noon, and night. He is in the U.K. parliament, the German parliament, the French parliament, the Italian parliament, as if he were waging a political campaign. He should be at the negotiating table,” the Brazilian politician said.

  • Migrants From Venezuela Say It Is Time to Return src


General News

  • Russia warns NATO: transport carrying weapons in Ukraine is a ‘target’ src

  • Bulgaria approves repairs to Ukrainian military equipment, not military aid src

  • Sikorsky anti-submarine helicopters ‘too expensive for Taiwan’ src

  • Ukraine says that Russia has concentrated up to 40 helicopters near border with Kharkiv region src

  • “The conflict with Russia will be long and bloody”, says Zelensky’s representative.

  • The SBU found that the leadership of the “Ukrainian Railways” leaked top-secret information about the routes of movement of Western military aid.

Eastern Ukraine

  • Ukraine is shelling border villages in Russia’s Belgorod region. No casualties, but five houses destroyed. src.

  • A factory was destroyed in Kramatorsk.

  • LPR and Russia takes the settlement of Svetlichnoye, and is moving past it, according to Kadyrov.

  • LPR is saying they’ve “taken control” of Rubizhne, and that “forces” are concentrated at the Zarya gunpowder factory on the outskirts of the city.

  • DPR is saying they’ve taken the village of Troitskoye.

Southern Ukraine

  • Russia says that they are grinding down the militants in Azovstal by firing at them when they try and get to gun emplacements, but “there is no assault” on the complex itself. src

  • Ukrainian commander at Azovstal plant says “enemy” broke into the plant complex during battles src

  • Russian telegram is saying that the militants who settled in Azovstal offered to exchange the detained civilians for food and medicine under the scheme of fifteen hostages per ton of food.

  • There was a shooting incident at the border of Tranistria and Ukraine, with telegram saying that it intiated from the Ukraine village of Pavlovka.

Dipshittery and Cope

  • Top US military official relays ‘worst thing’ Russia did before invading Ukraine. Take a guess at what it is. As a hint, it’s a very American thing to say. src


    A top U.S. military official in charge of joint training between American and Ukrainian troops in Germany relayed a message Wednesday that “the worst thing the Russians did was give us eight years to prepare” for its invasion of Ukraine.

  • Putin is likely to use Russia’s ‘Victory Day’ on May 9 to reveal plans for the future of his struggling Ukraine war, experts say src


    May 9 is traditionally when Russia celebrates “Victory Day,” commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, having repelled them from Russian lands at a cost measured in tens of millions of lives. Russia marks the occasion with a military parade in Moscow, and Putin — who has a penchant for symbolic, Soviet-style events — delivers a speech.

    “That muscular, martial image of Russia is one Putin loves; but it’s also a unifying myth for Russia and Russians (i.e. the people and the state) under Putin,” Simon Miles, a Russia expert and professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at Duke University, told Insider," adding, “WWII is tantamount to a state religion there.”

    “He is probably going to declare on this May Day that ‘we are now at war with the world’s Nazis and we need to mass mobilize the Russian people,'” Wallace added. “To mass mobilize the Russian reserves is an admission of failure from a man who thought he would have got Ukraine in a couple of days.” [by British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace]

    He never said that. Why do these people keep repeating this? Who first authoritatively claimed that Putin thought he was going to walk in as a liberator and be welcomed with open arms by Ukraine and the country would fall in days? That’s some pretty hard cope for the west, who constantly talks about invading countries for people who “yearn to be free”, and those people never seem to materialize in significant numbers.

    “The ties between defeated (real) Nazis and fighting (imaginary Ukrainian) Nazis are powerful rhetoric, especially for an audience which has only been consuming Russian state TV’s alternate reality,” Miles said.

    Those Nazi tattoos are a trick of the light.

    There’s also been speculation that Putin could use May 9 to declare victory in some capacity or an end to the invasion. Pope Francis recently said that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, one of the most pro-Putin NATO leaders in Central Europe, told him in April that “the Russians have a plan, that everything will end on May 9.”

    The war has been fairly disastrous for Russia so far. The Russian military has struggled to make major gains, failing to take Kyiv, and has now focused its assault on the Donbas.

    Well, other than occupying 25% of Ukraine’s territory, the largest country in Europe, there hasn’t been major gains.

  • Why Japan and Germany Are Ready to Fight Again. I went into this anxiously awaiting what takes would await me. It was only slightly better than my rock-bottom expectations. src


    Germany and Japan emerged from their catastrophic wartime defeats with strong pacifist inclinations. Most Japanese were content with a constitution, written by Americans, that outlawed the use of armed force. (The 1954 formation of the so-called Japan Self-Defense Forces was not strictly constitutional but was deemed a necessity, especially by the U.S.) Germans preferred to think of themselves as a nation of peaceful carmakers and businessmen, leaving soldiering to others.

    The contrast to the Cold War years is remarkable. Then, hawks in Germany and Japan were mostly on the right. Anti-Communism, not liberal democracy, was their main concern. Japanese militarists were also often keen to revise history textbooks that mentioned Japanese wartime atrocities. Their goal was to revive a patriotic spirit and greater reverence for the emperor, as well as to change the constitution.

    Today, less worrisome figures are advocating a stronger defense for sounder reasons. No one worries that the Greens’ push to support freedom and democracy in Ukraine will revive German expansionism, for instance, and the much-feared far right is on the side of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s harder for Japanese to argue against defending Taiwan now that it’s a model democracy, rather than a military dictatorship.

    Ideally, Germany and Japan would take leading roles in the defense of democracies in Europe and Asia. There are reasons why this may not happen soon. Even though the Taiwanese would welcome a more assertive Japan, some Asians might still hesitate to trust the Japanese. Europeans are less wary of a Germany that has publicly atoned for its murderous past.

    So, it is good news that that Germans and Japanese are waking up from their postwar slumber, for it should help to make Europe stronger and Asian democracies feel more secure.

  • Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s supply lines are intensifying. Ukraine’s national railway hasn’t buckled. src

Mayor Kiral downplayed Russia’s attempts, saying he believed it would not have “any significant effect” on supplies coming from the West.

However, he did concede the attacks could hinder Ukraine’s trade with the outside world. “It may affect the exports of the Ukrainian commodities, which is very critical in these times of the year because we need to take out more than five million tons of grain in order to be ready for the new harvest.”

“Yeah, don’t worry about the important stuff, like getting heavy artillery to the front line, there’s no significant effect on the railways. The only thing it could affect is grain, which is, well, I guess that’s important but, well…"

  • Retired US major general: What it will take for the Ukrainians to win. Nothing, surely? They’ve already basically won and it’s just mopping up the remaining Russian forces at this point? The media has made this pretty clear to me. src


    The former commander of the US Special Operations Command in Europe, retired US Army Maj. Gen. Mike Repass, says the international community has to greatly increase its support for Ukraine if the embattled nation is ever going to be able to drive the Russians out.

    He says the Ukrainian supply chain for military equipment is inefficient and that additional military forces are required to drive the Russians out of Ukraine.

    No, you’re wrong, there was literally just an article that told me how great the Ukrainian railways were.

    “You need to have the US, French, Poles, UK and the Germans each build a brigade’s worth of Ukrainian combat power. Those nations have significant military capacity and could generate forces by equipping Ukrainian units and then training them in their own nations. So, that would be five brigades, in five operational sectors. And you would need probably six to eight months to implement that. These five brigades would have Western equipment fighting in Western ways, an integrated air-land battle approach where you have all the means available to you, to include NATO-interoperable tanks, close-air support and air defense.”

    Awesome idea, we’ll see these soldiers in 6-8 months.

  • China won’t repeat Putin’s Ukraine mistakes in Taiwan. Another one of these articles. Why do I do this to myself? src

First, given that Putin failed to achieve his goal of conquering Ukraine in days, Xi is likely revising his plans to ensure that any invasion would begin by bringing down overwhelming force on Taipei and possibly other key Taiwanese cities. According to Clarke, Xi is probably thinking to himself, “I’ve gotta do this fast. I have to accomplish this quickly, because the Russians did not. … And in order to accomplish it fast, I have to seize the capital city.”

Next, a Chinese attack on Taiwan would likely be a surprise. Xi would likely not repeat Putin’s months-long buildup of forces on his side of the line, because that gave the international community too much time to get organized, Clarke said. Third, Xi is also likely making moves to preemptively counter any economic sanctions or isolation the West might bring to bear as punishment after an attack, he said. Lastly, according to Clarke, Xi sees Putin losing the information war and therefore would likely spend more resources to control the information space before and after any attack.

  • U.S. Officials Warn of New Nightmare as Putin Hits Peak Desperation. Another one… src

  • Putin Ally Warns Russia May Use Concentration Camps for Enemies, ‘No Mercy’. And another… src


  • Here’s how higher rates will impact you src

Americans will experience this policy shift through higher borrowing costs: No longer will it be insanely cheap to take out mortgages or car loans. And cash sitting in bank accounts will finally earn something, albeit not much.

“Money will no longer be free,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US.

Thank god for that, I was drowning it the stuff, didn’t know what to do with it.

The Fed’s rescue worked. There was no Covid financial crisis. Vaccines and massive spending from Congress paved the way for a rapid recovery. However, its emergency actions – and their delayed removal – also contributed to today’s overheated economy.

Today, unemployment is at a 50-year low, but inflation is very high. The US economy no longer needs all that help from the Fed.


  • China’s Coal Capital Could Emerge As A Green Energy Poster Child src

  • Africa: New Plan to Accelerate Clean Energy Access for Millions Globally src

  • US is recycling just 5% of its plastic waste, studies show src

  • Officials worry Southern California won’t have enough water to get through summer without unprecedented cuts src

  • Philippine banks still enabling coal projects src

  • Biden approves disaster declaration for wildfire-hit New Mexico src

  • Why Capitalism Can Make A Big Impact On Climate Change. A confluence of climate and dipshittery, but there’s enough dipshittery up there for today. Enjoy 15 paragraphs of idiocy. src


    If the pursuit of corporate profits led to the paradox now posed by climate change, then the same precept applies if global leaders want to reach net-zero. That’s a cornerstone of the proposed securities rules — requiring companies to disclose their climate-related market risks.

    Roger Ballentine explained the logic, a climate capitalist who is the > president of Green Strategies Inc. Cheap fossil fuels have powered the globe’s remarkable economic growth. But times have changed, and now is the moment to align profit-seekers with climate-friendly businesses. The market will reward companies that embrace the challenge, while those that do not will get sidelined.

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would require companies to reveal their climate risks — part of the agency’s “core bargain” with investors. The proposal was issued for comment on March 21, and a final rule is coming.

    “Climate is a business issue. Like any other, it should be proactively incorporated into a business strategy. That means mitigating new risks and adding value,” says Ballentine. “The capital markets are asking an increasing number of questions. When your largest institutional shareholders seek better answers, that moves the needle. It is central to creating value. The SEC proposal could put climate capitalism on steroids.”

    Ballentine spoke at Green Builder Media’s Sustainability Symposium. The global renewable energy market was valued at nearly $900 billion in 2020, and it is projected to reach almost $2 trillion by 2030, says Allied Market Research. That’s an 8.4% compound annual growth rate. The global clean energy industry has a wealth of opportunities. Trillions have yet to be invested. The increase in renewable energy demand and government incentives are driving the trend.

    Ballentine points to Tesla TSLA 0.0%, which went a long time without making a profit. Still, Wall Street highly valued the carmaker because it got out ahead of the climate dilemma by ushering in quality electric vehicles. The lesson for others is that they, too, want to be on the side of climate change.

    Markets will view climate-conscious corporate leaders as competent — ones with a strategy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate risks. Those shakers are also recruiting executives and engineers with an eye toward the future, realizing they must attract and retain a qualified workforce by building sustainable businesses.

    “Climate change is not waiting for political change,” says Ballentine, who also served as Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force under President Clinton. “Any company that is not managing these risks will lose to companies that are.”

    It’s an urgent need: Temperatures hit 115 degrees in Siberia last summer, and there’s been a 400 percent increase in the number of natural disasters since 1980. “There’s a certain amount of carbon we can emit in 30 years,” says Ballentine. “The bad news is we are on pace to empty that in 10 years.” What now?

    He sees the insurance sector as having a significant role to play. Europe’s four biggest insurers have now placed restrictions on coal. Allianz, Generali, and Zurich Insurance Group are the continent’s biggest carriers, and they are proactive. Meantime, Reinsurance giants Swiss Re, Munich Re, and SC SC 0.0%OR have underwriting restrictions on heavy emitters. Industry losses are in the hundreds of billions.

    The green movement now eyes the biggest banks, pressuring them to quit lending money to coal companies and get the major pension funds to sell off their shares of coal companies. Already, Bank of America BAC 0.0% Corp., Citigroup C 0.0% Inc., Goldman Sachs Group GS 0.0%, Morgan Stanley MS 0.0%, and Wells Fargo WFC 0.0% have altered their lending practices. Most of those are also disclosing their climate risks, and so are Barclays, Lloyds Banking, and TD Bank Group.

    “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society,” says Larry Fink, chair of BlackRock BLK 0.0%, which manages $6 trillion for pension and investment funds. Succumbing to short-term profit goals will result in inferior returns, and a failure to be sustainable could impact the brand.

    Enter the SEC, which would require companies to track their CO2 emissions and how much energy they consume. It would also require them to monitor the emissions of those within their supply chains — a more complicated task. Yet, Walmart WMT 0.0% oversees its suppliers, monitoring their climate policies. The policy works because companies want to be on the retailer’s shelves.

    No doubt, there’s pushback. Much of that is coming from the supply-chain portion of the proposal. But Ballentine emphasizes that environmental causes and corporate profits are linked. The SEC is merely the catalyst that will unleash the profit motive on climate change — a rulemaking that must wend its way through the comment period and the eventual bevy of lawsuits it will face.

    Under any set of circumstances, companies can’t evade the stark reality that markets will reward them for their climate actions and penalize them for the roadblocks they throw up. The good news is that the transition to a low-carbon economy is a multi-trillion opportunity. Some enterprises are ahead of the curve while others are playing catch up — a race spearheaded by the SEC and one that better arms investors.

I Thought I’d Mention

  • Omicron as severe as previous COVID variants, large study finds src

  • A Statement on Ukraine from the Black Liberation Movement src


    Dismantle NATO Now! Rescind the $16B US Allocations to the Ukraine War! US Imperialism is the Main Danger to Peace, Sovereignty, and Justice for Peoples all Over The World!

    The ongoing crisis and war in Ukraine threatens to pull the world into a disastrous nuclear confrontation. Disinformation, lies, and propaganda from the US and other western media are aimed at confusing millions of people inside the US and around the world to view Russia as the aggressor, while hiding the US role in the evolution of this conflict. One major example of this manipulation is that western media has not been honest about the massive role that the US played in facilitating a 2014 coup in Ukraine that overthrew the country’s democratically elected president, and funneled support to neo-Nazi forces who were favorable to US/EU interests, helping them rise to power in Ukraine.

    We, the undersigned organizations and individuals of the Black Liberation Movement and the various mass organizations and movements fighting for justice inside the US, call on all peace loving, Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities to condemn and oppose US involvement in the Ukraine and across Europe through its various corporate and political interests and its military arm, The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

    We, Black people living in the United States, are a people of African descent oppressed inside the United States. We have been barred from the right to housing, to food, to medicine, to clean air, healthy environments, education and livable wages. Our grandmothers make difficult decisions monthly between keeping on the lights or being able to afford insulin. As 13% of the US population, we face disproportionate levels of violent police repression and make up 40% of US prisoners. Those corporate and elite ruling class forces in the US who are making the policies to expand NATO across the 12,500 miles of Russia’s borders from Central Asia to Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, are the same ruling elites that maintain the oppressive policies inside the US that leave our communities in the racist economic and political peril we have suffered here for hundreds of years.

    We further condemn the blatant hypocrisy of the US government as a capitalist, imperialist, patriarchal predator power that has invaded and undermined numerous countries for regime change and other schemes, in order to control the politics, wealth, and natural resources of those nations. The United States is the strongest and largest imperialist power in the world and has repeatedly invaded other nations such as Grenada (1983); Afghanistan (2001); Iraq (2003); Libya (2011); and at least 21 others since 1945. The US military arm on the African continent is known as AFRICOM, a force that breeds violence and instability in maintaining US corporate interests across Africa.

    In these imperialist wars, it is the Black, Brown, Indigenous, working and poor families who suffer the losses of dislocation, the deaths of loved ones, and other forms of agony. Black people in this country have fought in every US war while our families and communities continue to suffer the ravages of hatred, discrimination, poverty, disease, and death. In the Ukraine conflict, racism is showing its ugly face in the denial of immigration rights to African and other non-white people’s seeking to escape the degradation and violence of this conflict, like all others living in Ukraine.

    We join with Black and Brown people in other countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America who uphold the right of all nations to sovereignty and security, including Russia, who has historically been invaded by the forces of imperialism and fascism across its borders several times in the 20th century. The Russian people lost millions of lives to defeat fascism during WWII, fighting Hitler’s Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941. This history of invasions of Russia also lies at the root of the Russian concerns about its security and the Ukraine/NATO expansion scheme that has provoked this war.

    We call upon every community and organization fighting for justice and peace to adopt and sign this statement calling for the Dismantling of NATO, an end to US Support of the War in Ukraine, and to Rescind the Billions of Dollars in military aid to Ukraine. Those military funds sent to Ukraine should be reallocated to the needs of people inside the US for universal healthcare, universal childcare, affordable housing, education, liquidation of all student loan debt, minimum incomes and other human needs.

    Signed by:

    NBLM National Unity Initiative New African People’s Organization Black Workers for Justice Mapinduzi Black Alliance for Peace All African People’s Revolutionary Party New African Independence Party Lowcountry Action Committee Spirit of Mandela Cooperation Jackson Pan-African Community Action Hood Communist Imam Jamil Action Network Parable of the Sower Intentional Community

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