When it comes to air pollution, we’re good. And now , so is India where people – especially in the Punjab can see the Himalayas –for the first time in decades. Researchers believe that the dramatic improvement in the country’s air pollution was caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns see https://www.iqair.com/world-most-polluted-countries.
These and improvements have prompted Pulitzer Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz, and a group of leading economists, to says that this is a make or break moment CNN reports.
“The recovery packages can either kill these two birds with one stone — setting the global economy on a pathway towards net-zero emissions — or lock us into a fossil system from which it will be nearly impossible to escape,” they wrote earlier this month in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy.
It wasn’t the best of starts for the National Party this week after a leadership coup which promoted Todd Muller to the position of Opposition leader. First there was the unfortunate Trumpian signal of a MAGA cap in his office. Then a revealing interview with Radio New Zealand’s Catherine Ryan in which he seemed to linger in managementspeak, using PR twaddle like better ‘crafting of the message’.
To be fair he had only been in his new job for 72 hours, but he sounded as if he was still living in the 20th century, at a time when the Corona virus has turned the world upside down; when people are searching for new, green solutions to help save the planet.
And finally came accusations that his cabinet lacked ethnic diversity which prompted some wags to refer to this by calling the Nats’ the Far White Party…! But joking aside, one of the real questions following his elevation, was why does National consistently believe that businessmen can lead a country, when they so clearly favour business over societal issues?
For Muller the challenges lie in curing homelessness, and, among other social problems, bridging our social divides. By comparison fixing the already pampered Economy should be a doddle. He has yet to show his mettle as leader though he does have to overcome one significant problem: how can he defeat Jacinda Ardern, the most popular PM in a century?
Corona virus is invisible, does not discriminate and nobody is immune from it says The Donald. Yes, this time the man (with an estimated 18,000 falsehoods to his name according to the Washington Post) is right.
Some though, are less immune than others – the elderly. Stat.com estimates that the virus kills 13.4% of patients aged 80 or older, compared to 1.25% in their 50s and 0.3% of those in 40s. The sharpest divide comes at age 70. Although 4% of patients in their 60s died, more than twice that, or 8.6%, of those in their 70s did, according to the Imperial College’s Neil Ferguson and his colleagues in their paper, published in Lancet Infectious Diseases. So, is this reaper a case of survival of the youngest?
And on the subject of Trump, his former social media pal Twitter, has for the first time prompted readers to check the facts in tweets sent by the U.S. President. Reuters reported this week that Twitter had warned those in the Twitterverse that Trump’s claims about mail-in ballots were false and had been debunked by fact checkers.