Tuesday, February 16, 2016

angst kindling

The sense that despite all rosy prognostications to the contrary the global financial picture is far from rosy got a boost this morning:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Eight years after the financial crisis, the world is coming to grips with an unpleasant realization: serious weaknesses still plague the global economy, and emergency help may not be on the way.
Sinking stock prices, flat inflation, and the bizarre phenomenon of negative interest rates have coupled with a downturn in emerging markets to raise worries that the economy is being stalked by threats that central banks - the saviors during the crisis - may struggle to cope with.
Yup ... we're probably going to get screwed again by the people whose manicured education and lifestyle brought us the first "Great Recession" in 2008. The masters of sweet talk and bitter pills are not responsible, of course: Suck it up.

But, as if financial instability were not enough, a friend sent along this far more agitating thesis the other day: Finances are not the number one global catastrophe waiting in the wings. Water is.
When the World Economic Forum, a Swiss non-profit dedicated to “improving the state of the world,” released its annual Global Risks Report last year it cited “water crises” as the number one global risk in terms of impact. This is significant because for the past 8 years, the number one global risk in terms of impact had been financial in nature (either asset price collapse, fiscal crises, or major systemic financial failure), but 2015 was the first year that saw a climate related issue top the list of risks....
According to the results of the Twente study, the water scarcity crisis is significantly worse than previously assumed.
Since my body is at least 60 percent water and since water has a tendency to evaporate, the scarcity of water combined with the buying up of water resources (that's what a manicured education and lifestyle can encourage the buck-savvy to do) puts a high flame under my neurotic and forward-looking tea kettle.

It may be consoling and/or infuriating to think of families dying of dehydration, but generally, I suspect, it is my 60 percent that rules the politically-concerned roost when it comes to resources that might benefit something called "mankind."

1 comment:

  1. I remember public water fountains. But because of germs, we have to buy the water now. I think, 'don't we have a right to water and air?' But then i suppose rights have little to do with anything.