When you’ve fully bought in to the neoliberal “there’s no such thing as society” mantra, it’s not a great surprise that a good chunk of your population insist on doing whatever they like regardless of the consequences for others.
“We keep losing 1,000 to 2,000 a day to coronavirus. People get used to it. We get less vigilant as it very slowly spreads. By December we’re close to normal, but still losing 1,500 a day, and as we tick past 300,000 dead, most people aren’t concerned.”
With the US response to C19 being a complete shambles on its own soil, and non-existent internationally, China is making the most of the vacuum to enhance its global power.
Are we witnessing a shift in global power relations? Beijing is seizing the moment to increase its influence, particularly in the South China Sea, where China – to the annoyance of the U.S. and many neighboring countries – is becoming increasingly bold and cementing its territorial claims. A confidential situation report from the German Defense Ministry states: “The U.S. Navy assumes the Chinese navy will make use of the, albeit temporary, COVID-19-related absence of all U.S. aircraft carriers in the Pacific to deliberately increase military pressure on countries in the entire region.” The report is apparently referring to the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which has experienced an outbreak of the coronavirus infecting nearly 1,000 crew members.
The fact that China is finally managing to become a superpower – not just economically, but also geopolitically – during the tenure of U.S. President Donald Trump is not without irony. After all, it was Trump who promised during the election campaign that he would put China in its place.
Carbon Emissions Drop
Despite the World’s economies going into a semi-coordinated hibernation, CO2 emissions have only dropped around 8%. Sounds great, but, if we’re to stay under 1.5C, our emissions need to drop by that amount every year (plus, stay down!) So, where are all the emissions coming from?
So where are all those emissions coming from? For one thing, utilities are still generating roughly the same amount of electricity — even if more of it’s going to houses instead of workplaces. Electricity and heating combined account for over 40 percent of global emissions. Many people around the world rely on wood, coal, and natural gas to keep their homes warm and cook their food — and in most places, electricity isn’t so green either.
Even with a bigger proportion of the world working from home, people still need the grid to keep the lights on and connect to the internet. “There’s a shift from offices to homes, but the power hasn’t been turned off, and that power is still being generated largely by fossil fuels,” Schmidt said. In the United States, 60 percent of electricity generation still comes from coal, oil, and natural gas.