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Arquivo para a ‘Economia’ Categoria

Natural disasters and society

09 Dec

Although science still has difficulties in predicting natural catastrophes, unpredictability is a major current theme for several fields of study, human action on which the problem of these catastrophes can be expanded must be rethought.

It’s not just about interfering with earthquakes, asteroid routes, weather problems and changes in the planet’s magnetic field, the problem is the social dimension that each catastrophe can take, like the Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma, which does not have fatal victims, but the problem of air quality, the displacement of families, the loss of family income, among others, what worries us is the possibility of a social catastrophe, at the moment, the government there declares that the volcano can go to sleep.

The Semeru catastrophe in Indonesia, which counted 34 dead until yesterday, and whose predictability was not possible is a fatality, but the tsunami in Fukushima in 2011 that affected an atomic plant and made an entire region uninhabitable has the human recklessness of building plants in disaster-prone areas warns of a serious and long-standing problem: the nuclear plants, the millions of liters of water used to cool the now inactive but radioactive plant, was dumped into the sea.

European countries are the ones that most use nuclear power plants, and a fossil fuel supply crisis, mostly coming from Russia, is a related problem, which aggravates the social danger even more. Looking at the map (figure) we also notice that many plants they are on the waterfront and the risk of tsunamis is even more serious, Fukushima taught.

In the world, 17% of the energy used is nuclear, 40% is still coal, the oldest fuel typical of the first industrial revolution, fossil (oil) is 40%, hydraulic and wind power is only 2% with a forecast of 3% for 2024 , a growth too small to be considered an effort that could reveal a change of scenario, of course there are associated economic interests.

The serious problem of nuclear power plants, which can themselves have accidents like the one at Chernobyl, cannot be underestimated the serious problem of some natural catastrophe that could affect the power plant’s problems, with huge social losses (generally only economic , which are associated of course) that a disaster could cause.

In the world, there are 440 plants in operation and 23 under construction, Europe has 207 plants and 7 under construction, the map shows the huge number by the sea, in inhabited regions and subject to earthquakes (tectonic faults for example), after the Europe follows North America with 123 plants, Japan, China and Korea with 82 and 7 under construction.

Natural disasters occur, Germany decided that it will not install new reactors and that the current ones will be deactivated after their useful life (32 years in your case), Turkey also abandoned the idea of ​​building its first plant, in the opposite direction Brazil after the inauguration of Angra-2 (located by the sea) is already discussing Angra-3.

A complete social conscience must also foresee serious problems that a nuclear catastrophe could cause, and the consequences would be harsh for humanity.

 

Time to change and rethink

26 Nov

The Pandemic did not cause changes in our behavior, most want to go back to the old normal: rushing, a nervous and complex day to day, ambitions that are mixed up with healthy and possible goals, in short, what the philosopher Sloterdijk called “frivolities”, however the crisis did not pass and a 4th one is already admitted. wave.

Of every 100 new infections reported in the world, 62 are in Europe, according to the news agency Reuters, the region registers 1 million infections every two days.

The wisdom that involves an entire universe of human life, from health to politics, the true well-being that includes justice and empathy, even with a pinch of nature was not enough, the result is a crisis that approaches and swells, look at the infinity of the universe and its mysteries should become humility, but arrogance is everywhere from unbelievers to skeptics, from low culture to bookish and encyclopedic cult, a real change of thought, as Morin wants, has not happened.

All this that should have inspired greater feelings of love, solidarity and peace did not happen, the Pandemic did not give a truce of hostilities and radicalizations, the result cannot be other than a catastrophe, regardless of elected governments and trends, since the polarization always leads to two extremes and does not let up.

There is anything in the air, the human spirit knows when things are out of place, they do not always know exactly where they are due to lack of harmony and spiritual evolution, material human development is not enough, it is important if it is sustainable, it is necessary that the human soul follows this evolution and it is not what you see, you see “frivolities”.

Several European countries are thinking of lockdown, an energy crisis is also in the sights of many European countries, dependent on external suppliers, according to data from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, the increase in gas has caused inflation to rise in 19 countries of the euro zone, and it impacts everything but mainly energy since 90% of the gas comes from Russia, and a fifth of the electricity is produced using gas.

Remember that it is winter in Europe and this consumption tends to grow for heated environments and longer stay indoors.

In the Christian liturgy, Advent begins on the weekend, it is not just the celebration of Christmas, the first week is the waiting for a new coming of Jesus, called Parusia, and it is not just the end of the world, but also the great crises God is not indifferent, of course to those who believe, his intervention is always possible in an unexpected way.

Hope is thus an engine of our lives, but we need to be attentive as the liturgy of this period says (Lk 21:34): “Take care that your hearts do not become insensitive because of gluttony, drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day do not suddenly fall upon you, for that day will fall like a trap on all the inhabitants of our land”.

 

 

Injustice and arrogance

03 Nov

Those who practice injustices need to deviate life from its natural course, they need to change humanism to turn it into something perverse, it is necessary to influence the culture, remove from it what is beautiful and pleasant, disrespect the poor and helpless and confuse the soul with desires for power and greed.

Few men seek to deviate from these traps, with this the idea that a “successful” person means they were lucky, blessed or fought a lot dominates common sense, but they ignore people and perverse structures that favor them, and perhaps the majority of them is the power structure, that is why it is a source of polarization.

Throughout history, only the winners told their glories, “to the Winner the potatoes” says the character Quincas Borba (picture) in Machado de Assis’ novel, where he develops the idea of ​​humanitas, which sees war as a way of selecting the fittest, thus it justifies the oppression and impoverishment of the wronged.

The character Quincas Borba is a kind of atheist philosopher, who became rich when he inherited the property of an old uncle, a resident of Barbacena, State of Minas Gerais, where he spent some time in this city before dying.

The one who will enjoy the fortune left by Quincas Borba will be Rubião, a modest inhabitant of the interior of Minas Gerais, who receives his fortune and decides to live in Rio de Janeiro. who go in search of work, but of the rich who go in search of a good life.

Rubião goes to the city and will try to apply the philosophy of Humanitas developed by Quincas Borba and this is actually the theme of the book.

In addition to the literary and historical aspect of the novel, characteristic of the time (the novel Quincas Borba was first published in 1891), Rubião, while enjoying an easy fortune, is a victim of the provincial credulity of which his friends who welcome him in the “big city” they will enjoy.

The theme is universal, even if painted in Brazilian historical colors, in addition to the injustices towards the poor and the destitute, the tricks and machinations that also take away the possessions of people who, having earned easy money, do not know how to use it well and get lost in the traps set by miserly false friends.

Among the Christian beatitudes is that dedicated to those who hunger and thirst for justice, “because they will be satisfied” (Mt 5:6).

 

 

The Falling Virus as New Concerns

01 Nov

The number of cases in Russia that remained high, new cases emerging in China attributed to the Delta variant, according to data from the country’s own National Health Commission, accused 32 cases in Inner Mongolia, in the north of the country and which has already spread throughout In 11 provinces, cases have been confirmed in Guizhou in the South, Shandong in the East and in Gansu near Inner Mongolia, three cases in Beijing and two in Yinshou, in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

In Brazil the moving average of deaths continues to fall, now in the range of 260 deaths, with 75% having already taken the first dose, and 55% the necessary doses, it is possible to predict a Christmas and a milder end of the year of the Pandemic in the country, many collective events are already released, games with 100% of the fans and parties and public shows.

The concern now turns to social problems arising from the pandemic, unemployment, impoverishment and rising prices. Even if some social aid does come, it will be insufficient to contain the spread of the crisis.

The closing of downtown offices, the mandatory use of masks and the restrictions imposed on restaurants have transformed landscapes into cities around the world, and are likely to continue in the long term, such as rethinking urban space, what to do with office buildings , closed stores and restaurants in the city centers, smart cities showed paths with a trend, apparently only electronic, now it seems inevitable, in Singapore even policing is done by robots (photo).

The immense empty spaces must be preserved and cared for, without robots the cost is high for a small population, so in many cities they will either remain abandoned centers or they will have to develop more computerized forms of maintenance and policing, in addition to the existing cameras.

It is likely that a reasonable number of people return to the routine of agglomerations in large centers, but there is a tendency to go to smaller cities or leave urban centers and work at home.

 

 

Good news and caution

11 Oct

Five Brazilian states did not register death by Covid 19 in the last 24 hours, but it has already exceeded 600,000 deaths and accounts for 21,575,820 infections, the moving average is below 500 deaths and more than 60% of the adult population has already received both doses or single dose of the vaccine.

The main danger is that the stress of the period of sanitary measures causes a relaxation in the population, sanitary measures are still mandatory and this is the right time not to relax and be resilient.

The precaution is due to the worldwide problem of the pandemic, the WHO global data indicate 52,929 infections yesterday with a weekly drop of 17.64% and a total of 818 deaths (more than 42 in the week) with a weekly drop of 21.26% (see chart), both more pronounced than in previous weeks.

In many countries there is already a relaxation in sanitary measures, it is necessary to be aware that this affects the whole world, as flights and global mobility start to be relaxed, and without the precautionary measures taken by everyone, it can make the fall more slow, and it is also necessary to remember late autumn and early winter in the northern hemisphere.

Sanitary precautions such as washing your hands and continuing to wear masks and alcohol gel, avoiding crowds and distances when in collective activities (public transport remains a problem), and avoiding the usual end-of-the-year consumerism problem.

A more dignified and less sumptuous Christmas will be more worthy of the date and will avoid the desperation of traditional spending and consumption at the end of the year.

May the return to normality also be a return to serenity, empathy and solidarity.

 

 

 

Renouce privileges and provide conditions for the poor

08 Oct

Alongside the problem of poverty and extreme poverty, the world lacks solidarity and compassion for the poor, according to Amartya Sen, another Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998, “poverty is the deprivation of capabilities”, so it is not about the disabled. or some system of privileges, but access to education, social and financial status, health, etc.

The contribution of Kremer, Barnerjee and Duflo (see previous post) is revealing because it addresses the multidimensional aspect, which goes beyond the lack of resources of poverty, and even further points to the ineffectiveness of government poverty, and among these measures they address that even microcredit has limitations.

The survey was conducted in 13 countries in The Economic Lives of the Poor study, the authors demonstrate that microfinance cannot increase investment, consumption, health and education conditions or empowerment. of women, so what is the solution pointed out.

They point to effects of strengthening and improving specific aspects related to poverty, such as education and infrastructure, and point to a study done in Kenya 2009 (Additional Resources versus Organizational Changes in Education: Experimental Evidence from Kenya), and another one done in India in 2007 (Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India), 2007.

Developed countries are also in line with these proposals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) plans, but there will be no lack of polarized arguments that will say that it is about welfare or it is a proposal of the radical left, it is about overcoming the selfish and make sure that globalization has not looked at the social problem of humanity.

As it is difficult to overcome this vision, and this comes from afar, overcoming the vision of agreement of the rich and the poor and looking at the poor is also a Christian teaching, says the passage of the evangelist Mark (Mk, 10:21-23) to a rich young man who followed all the commandments and wanted very much to follow Jesus, He looked at him with love and said: “You only need one thing: go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me”, the young man is dejected and leaves, because he was very rich.

 

Erasure, invisibility and politics

07 Oct

It is not ignored in history the fact that the state, being a “possible” solver of conflicts, has taken for itself the right to violence, which in the last instance is the right to kill.

Cameroon philosopher Achille Mbembe took this extreme of state power to develop his thesis on the state’s right to kill, calling this policy “Necropower”.

The essay was translated into Portuguese in 2018, and at the heart of this essay is a question about who can live or die in the contemporary world? Mbembe denounces that the role of States should have the defense of the lives of the most vulnerable as a principle, and not what is structurally done, which is the erasure of memory and the conditions of these lives.

We see that, beyond the erasure, there is a permanent invisibility of these people, by a layer that is linked to power, reaching the limit of not having civil registration and cultural rights.

Approached with regard to the forgetfulness (or social invisibility) and silencing made by the State regarding the historical past of these vulnerable groups, it is beyond the academic field, the social, cognitive and identity memory of what was experienced in the past and which is shameful not only through oblivion and invisibility, but made from a narrative opposite to its memory.

If we look from complex thinking, which etymologically means tissue together (complexus), the biological term “necrosis” refers to issues involving the biological death of bodily tissues or part of them, thus, one cannot think of the death of a part without let the whole body suffer, even though it does not look to see the tissue that is failing.

It is important to address the complexity of this concept of necropolitics and invisibility, because only it can address the problems involving racism, sexism and the erasure of different cultures (such as the indigenous, but there are many others in the contemporary world), the already known and unresolved economic dimension, which is access to social goods and services, joins the political dimension (the spaces of power), the construction of narratives and historicity of subjugating cultures (the psychological dimension) and the comprehensive cultural dimension.

Starting from the misery and invisibility of peoples, cultures and races, it cannot deny structural factors that are strong and prevent a more sustainable change of peaceful and harmonious coexistence.

 

 

Erasure, invisibility and politics

06 Oct

It is not ignored in history the fact that the state, being a “possible” solver of conflicts, has taken for itself the right to violence, which in the last instance is the right to kill.

Cameroon philosopher Achille Mbembe took this extreme of state power to develop his thesis on the state’s right to kill, calling this policy “Necropower”.

The essay was translated into Portuguese in 2018, and at the heart of this essay is a question about who can live or die in the contemporary world? Mbembe denounces that the role of States should have the defense of the lives of the most vulnerable as a principle, and not what is structurally done, which is the erasure of memory and the conditions of these lives.

We see that, beyond the erasure, there is a permanent invisibility of these people, by a layer that is linked to power, reaching the limit of not having civil registration and cultural rights.

Approached with regard to the forgetfulness (or social invisibility) and silencing made by the State regarding the historical past of these vulnerable groups, it is beyond the academic field, the social, cognitive and identity memory of what was experienced in the past and which is shameful not only through oblivion and invisibility, but made from a narrative opposite to its memory.

If we look from complex thinking, which etymologically means tissue together (complexus), the biological term “necrosis” refers to issues involving the biological death of bodily tissues or part of them, thus, one cannot think of the death of a part without let the whole body suffer, even though it does not look to see the tissue that is failing.

It is important to address the complexity of this concept of necropolitics and invisibility, because only it can address the problems involving racism, sexism and the erasure of different cultures (such as the indigenous, but there are many others in the contemporary world), the already known and unresolved economic dimension, which is access to social goods and services, joins the political dimension (the spaces of power), the construction of narratives and historicity of subjugating cultures (the psychological dimension) and the comprehensive cultural dimension.

Starting from the misery and invisibility of peoples, cultures and races, it cannot deny structural factors that are strong and prevent a more sustainable change of peaceful and harmonious coexistence.

Of course, the panorama is not just national or Latin America, the brake on economic activities and mainly disorganization, facing the crisis in the economic aspect, when there was one, was just adopting emergency measures and not senatorial or preventive measures.

It is expected that there will be living forces capable of recovering social levels, without forgetting the aspects of distribution and preservation of the environment, which ultimately are the means for production and food and economic development.

 

A different view of inequality

05 Oct

Speaking of simple and wise people cannot exclude poor people either.

In September, the book by Abhijit V. Baneriee and Esther Doflo was published in Brazil. They seek to understand the specific problems that arise from poverty and find solutions around the choices that people in these conditions make.

They went to villages, slums and asked questions, collected data and listened to history. The Economy of the Poor (Zahar, 2021) seeks to present a coherent narrative with the stories and options of people in extreme poverty to get out of their current condition. , it may seem small or meaningless, but it restores human dignity and the right of choice for these people.

Government policies and solidarity actions fail, as the authors think, because they are based on clichés and mistaken assumptions, the worst of which is to consider them inferior.

Changing expectations and preconceptions about these people is no simple task, concrete examples and successful experiences made with patience and willingness to learn from these people can make more significant progress in combating poverty.

In 2019, together with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, Abhijit received the Nobel Prize in Economics, and in another work also addressed with Esther Duflo “Good economy for difficult times” (Zahar, 2020) where, in addition to inequality, it deals with problems such as deceleration of the growth, climate change, work automation, income distribution and artificial intelligence.

Thomas Pickety, author renowned for updating the question of Capital for our time, said of these authors: “Not all economists wear ties and think like bankers. Banerjee and Duflo unravel new research, challenge conventional views on issues ranging from commerce to high-income taxation and social mobility and offer avenues to address them.”

It is worth looking at this new perspective, still little known in Brazil.

 

 

The wisdom of pure thoughts

01 Oct

Simplicist is naive thinking, while simplicity is pure thinking, pure noesis.

It is not in the capacity for theoretical elaboration, in the bookish culture that resists wisdom, it unites simplicity (which is not simplistic) and complexity in the sense of putting everything under the cloak of nature and the universe and understanding that there is original knowledge that is not simplistic, but they were elaborated in real contact with nature, so I reject the idea of naturalization.

Culturalization is what has taken over the natural and perverted it, said philosopher, writer and indigenous leader Ailton Krenak of the current pandemic crisis: “Earth is speaking to humanity: ‘silence.’ This is also the meaning of withdrawal.”

Much of Western culture is in crisis, because it has brutally seized nature and does not want to understand it and has difficulty understanding visible and clear signs, this crisis comes from before the current technological revolution, many philosophers at the beginning of the century XX pointed to her, and the silence asked by Krenak can also be what Theodor Adorno identifies as true contemplation: “The bliss of contemplation consists in disenchanted enchantment.” Theodor Adorno, I remember that this philosopher is neither mystic nor religious.

Ailton Krenak wrote “Ideas to postpone the end of the world” (Cia. da Letras, s/a), within an indigenous cosmovision, but aware that this is a planetary problem, he said in an interview with Daily Estado de Minas (03 /04/2020): “I don’t understand where there is something other than nature. Everything is nature. The cosmos is nature. All I can think of is nature”, denouncing that the way we live is artificial and not in keeping with human nature.

Interpreting the book by Davi Kapenawa, another indigenous leader, Viveiro de Castro and Danowski also see that our “cultured” and Western thinking is concentrated in the world of merchandise, and Kapenawa says: “white people dream a lot, but they only dream of themselves”, that is, with its own culture without being able to contemplate a wider world, where everyone is present.

These worldviews may seem naive, but they mean that we must always think beyond our culture, also the Christian worldview calls for this effort, and after teaching his apostles what the master himself should go through, and they still don’t understand, Jesus will make use of of a new metaphor for them to think in a purer and less culturalized way.

In chapter 10 of the Gospel of Mark, seeing that they wanted to keep the children away from him, He says (Mk 10:14-15): “Let the children come to me. Do not forbid them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like them. Truly I say to you: whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a child will not enter it”.

The world to come, in different worldviews, even if they seem childish, shows the crisis and exhaustion of cultural thought in our time, and the exhaustion of natural means.