12 de março de 2010

É assim...

Foram 2100 notas. Foram as suficientes.

É assim: ainda hoje enviava a um amigo uma mensagem onde referia a possibilidade de colocar no blogue material relativo ao que se passou na Madeira, mas decidi, no entretanto, que era tempo de terminar com esta experiência - já há algum tempo me ponha essa possibilidade. Foi uma experiência gratificante, esta de ter um blogue. No entanto, já ultrapassou a sua utilidade, e por isso dou-a por terminada.

Não encerro o blogue porque tem muita informação e poderá ser ainda útil a alguém. Mantenho a ligação à minha conta do Delicious, e por essa via, poderá ter, também, alguma utilidade.

Agradeço às pessoas que foram frequentado o "Notas" ao longo deste tempo.

A conjuntura (portuguesa)

Programa de Estabilidade e Crescimento: 

O documento.
Opiniões a propósito da conjuntura: 

A conjuntura (europeia)

  • Roubini Global Economics - RGE Monitor -- Europe EconoMonitor:Hanging in the Balance over at the ECB "[...] So, [...] despite the apparent success of the EU Commission in obtaining agreement on a further €4.8 billion package of austerity measures Greece is still far from receiving the all-clear. Ironically, market concerns will in all probability now shift to worries that Athens has gone too far in slashing budgets and raising taxes, and that the fiscal measures announced will simply act as a massive brake on economic activity. The risk is that Greece is now in a vicious circle in which fiscal austerity sends the country ever deeper into recession - and Athens has to react even more aggressively to bring down the public sector deficit as a share of GDP.[...]"
Opiniões e qualificações:
  • Greece, the Latest and Greatest Bubble - Economix Blog - NYTimes.com: "By the end of 2011 Greece’s debt will be around 150 percent of its gross domestic product. (The numbers here are based on the 2009 International Monetary Fund Article IV assessment.) About 80 percent of this debt is foreign-owned, and a large part of this is thought held by residents of France and Germany. Every 1 percentage point rise in interest rates means Greece needs to send an additional 1.2 percent of G.D.P. abroad to those bondholders. Imagine if Greek interest rates rise to, say, 10 percent. This would be a modest premium for a country with the highest external public debt/G.D.P. ratio in the world, a country that continues (under the so-called “austerity” program) to refinance even the interest on that debt without actually paying a centime out of its own pocket, at the same time as struggling to establish any backing from the rest of Europe. At such interest rates, Greece would need to send at total of 12 percent of G.D.P. abroad per year, once it rolls over the existing stock of debt to these new rates (nearly half of Greek debt will roll over within three years)."
Países: Alemanha. 
  • European trade: Keeping up with the Germans | The Economist: "Germany is rightly proud of its ability to control costs and keep on exporting. But it also needs to recognise that its success has been won in part at the expense of its European neighbours. Germans like to believe that they made a huge sacrifice in giving up their beloved D-mark ten years ago, but they have in truth benefited more than anyone else from the euro. Almost half of Germany’s exports go to other euro-area countries that can no longer resort to devaluation to counter German competitiveness." 
  • German Exports and that Looming Double Dip | afoe | A Fistful of Euros | European Opinion: "Firstly, the Bundesbank’s forecast for growth of 1.6 percent in 2010 is looking rather optimistic at this point, even though GDP was at a very low level last year, so in theory getting some growth should not be that hard. And secondly, that German recessionary “double dip” that I mentioned back in November does not look so implausible at all at this point. All that is needed is a very slight downward revision to the Q4 2009 data, and Axel Weber’s own prediction for very slight negative growth in this quarter to be confirmed, and there we will be, back in recession. Which would only leave us with the French economy - among the EU majors - showing any sign of a robust recovery." 
Países: Grécia.
  • Walker's World: Running out of ammo: "There are four reasons why the Greek crisis is not over, despite the $7 billion it was able to raise last week in 10-year bonds paying a steep 6.3 percent interest. Three of those reasons bode ill for the global economy. The fourth is that Greece's domestic political crisis will continue for many years, with Saturday's riots and tear gas in Athens just a prologue. Greece will this year cut its public spending by 4 percent, mainly through public sector pay cuts and delayed retirement."
  • Greece Braces for Long, Deep Recession - Real Time Economics - WSJ: "Greeks are bracing for a long and deep recession ahead as it begins to dawn on them that the cost of fixing the country’s public finances will entail years of economic hardship and high unemployment. In recent public opinion polls, but also in the media, the business community, and even in ordinary dinner conversation, the feeling is that it will take several years for the Greece to emerge from its economic crisis and that there is much pain to come before things improve."
PS: E mais estas:
  • The Portuguese Economy: Fiscal consolidation at the zero interest lower bound: "if fiscal multipliers are larger when interest rates are close to the zero lower bound, fiscal consolidation should be performed during times when the economy is far from the lower bound. Wait, it becomes worse: at the zero interest rate lower bound, the larger contractionary effect of fiscal policy increases the probability of maintaining the interest rates at zero, making it more difficult to escape from the trap. There are many caveats, the most obvious regard interest rates payments on national debt (the longer we wait the larger are the payments) and credibility. Let me conclude by suggesting that the escape from near-zero interest rate lower bound in a monetary union necessarily involves an increase in aggregate demand in the monetary union. This would suggest to have fiscal consolidation plans contingent with the EMU recovery and monetary policy normalization."

E continua...

Ciência do clima - o verdadeiro escândalo:
Ciência do clima - o combate:
Práticas denegacionistas:

11 de março de 2010

Espaço e FC: leituras

Conjecturas sobre o número de planetas terrestres existentes na nossa galáxia: 
Opiniões sobre a Ficção Científica, e a propósito do Avatar:
  • Ecuador: Avatar Downfall a Blow for Indigenous Communities|Climate Ark: "Science fiction blockbuster Avatar was the big loser in the Oscar awards ceremony - not only a blow for director James Cameron but also seen as a symbolic reverse in the struggle to recover Amazon rainforest areas in Ecuador from the effects of oil pollution. Several environmental organisations, like the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and the Amazon Defence Coalition, had asked Cameron to 'let his legions of fans know that while Pandora is fictional, what is happening to (indigenous) communities in Ecuador is as real as it gets.'"


Wunder Blog : Weather Underground: "The unnamed South Atlantic tropical/subtropical cyclone (90Q) off the coast of Brazil continues to spin slowly out to sea, and is not a threat to any land areas. The storm, just the 7th tropical or subtropical cyclone on record in the South Atlantic, 

Morning visible satellite image of the Brazilian unnamed tropical/subtropical storm

[...] When compared to similar systems that have developed in the North Atlantic that have been named, I definitely think today's storm deserves a name. [...] South Atlantic tropical storm history Brazil has had only one landfalling tropical cyclone in its history, Cyclone Catarina of March 2004. Catarina is one of only six known tropical or subtropical cyclones to form in the South Atlantic, and the only one to reach hurricane strength. Today's storm is probably the fourth strongest tropical/subtropical storm on record in the South Atlantic, behind Hurricane Catarina and an unnamed February 2006 storm that may have attained wind speeds of 65 mph, and a subtropical storm that brought heavy flooding to the coast of Uruguay in January 2009.. 

Tropical cyclones rarely form in the South Atlantic Ocean, due to strong upper-level wind shear, cool water temperatures, and the lack of an initial disturbance to get things spinning (no African waves or Intertropical Convergence Zone exist in the proper locations in the South Atlantic to help spawn tropical storms). Today's storm is located close to where Catarina formed. Climate change and South Atlantic storms It is uncertain whether climate change may cause an increase in South Atlantic tropical storms in the future. While today's storm formed over waters that were about 1°C above average in temperature, Catarina in 2004 formed over waters that were 0.5°C cooler than average. Sea surface temperature is not the main limiting factor inhibiting these storms, wind shear is. How climate change might change wind shear over South America has not been well-studied."

Pois, é uma leitura, excessivamente, interessante...

Life After Growth| post carbon institute: "In late 2009 and early 2010, the economy showed some signs of renewed vigor. Understandably, everyone wants it to get 'back to normal.' But here's a disturbing thought: What if that is not possible? What if the goalposts have been moved, the rules rewritten, the game changed? What if the decades-long era of economic growth based on ever-increasing rates of resource extraction, manufacturing, and consumption is over, finished, and done? What if the economic conditions that all of us grew up expecting to continue practically forever were merely a blip on history's timeline?"

Para ler, reflectir, e ter como elemento incontornável de qualquer cenário!

Da New Left Review, duas leituras interessantes

  • New Left Review - Ho-fung Hung: America'sHead Servant? The PRC's Dilemma in the Global Crisis: "The subprime mortgage crisis and ensuing global downturn led many to speculate whether any challenger might emerge to replace the us as the dominant player in the capitalist world economy. [1] Because the financial crisis in the us and global North had originated in high indebtedness, low productivity and overconsumption, it seemed natural to look to their polar opposites—the East Asian exporters’ huge holdings of us debt, productive capacity and high savings rates—to identify likely candidates. Immediately after last year’s collapse of Lehman Brothers lifted the curtain on the global recession, there were proclamations of the final triumph of the East Asian, and above all Chinese, model of development; American establishment commentators concluded that the Great Crash of 2008 would be the catalyst for a shift of the centre of global capitalism from the us to China. [2] But by the spring of 2009, many had realized that the East Asian economies were not as formidable as appearances had suggested. While the sharp contraction in demand for imports in the global North had led to crash landings for Asia’s exporters, the prospect of either the us Treasuries market or the dollar bottoming out presented them with the difficult dilemma of either ditching American assets, and hence triggering a dollar collapse, or buying more, preventing an immediate crash but increasing their exposure to one in future. State-directed investment, rolled out late last year under the prc’s mega-stimulus programme, fostered a significant recovery for China as well as its Asian trading partners, but the growth generated is unlikely to be self-sustaining. Chinese economists and policy advisers have been worrying that the prc will falter again once the stimulus effect fades, as it is unlikely that American consumers will be picking up the slack any time soon. Despite all the talk of China’s capacity to destroy the dollar’s reserve-currency status and construct a new global financial order, the prc and its neighbours have few choices in the short term other than to sustain American economic dominance by extending more credit. In what follows, I will trace the historical and social origins of the deepening dependence of China and East Asia on the consumer markets of the global North as the source of their growth, and on us financial vehicles as the store of value for their savings. I then assess the longer-term possibilities for ending this dependence, arguing that, to create a more autonomous economic order in Asia, China would have to transform an export-oriented growth model—which has mostly benefited, and been perpetuated by, vested interests in the coastal export sectors—into one driven by domestic consumption, through a large-scale redistribution of income to the rural-agricultural sector. This will not be possible, however, without breaking the coastal urban elite’s grip on power."Penso que já tinha referenciado este artigo antes, mas não se perde nada em referenciá-lo de novo.
  • New Left Review - Susan Watkins: Shifting Sands: "Correlations between anniversaries and historical conjunctures are likely to be ironic. When nlr was launched in London fifty years ago, in January 1960, it was one of myriad small harbingers of left renewal. Anti-colonial forces were registering victories in Africa, Asia and the Arab world; the Communist movement was emerging from the stranglehold of Stalinist orthodoxy; in North America, Western Europe and Japan a new generation chafed at the conformism of Cold War culture. By the mid-60s the Review had staked out a programme of mapping these three world zones in a series of comparative studies of national social formations—not least its own. Strongly oriented towards Continental theory and practice, the journal played its part in the intensive debates within Marxism that accompanied the heady days of 68. It helped to pioneer work on women’s liberation, ecology, media, film theory, the state. By the 1990s, the journal survived within an international landscape that would have seemed a sci-fi dystopia in 1960: the Kremlin’s economic policy run by Friedmanites, the General Secretary of the ccp lauding the stock exchange; Yugoslavia, the most pluralist and successful of the workers’ states, decimated by imf austerity policies and subjected to a three-month nato bombing campaign, cheered on by liberal opinion in the West; social democratic parties competing to privatize national assets and abolish labour gains. Neo-liberalism reigned supreme, enshrining a model of unfettered capital flows and financial markets, deregulated labour and internationally integrated production chains. On its fortieth anniversary, at the high noon of globalization and American supremacy, nlr was relaunched by its editorial committee in a spirit of uncompromising realism: ‘the refusal of any accommodation with the ruling system, as of any understatement of its power’. [1] Ten years on again, the continuation of the neo-liberal era itself has been thrown into question by the eruption of an epic financial crisis at the heart of the system. During the grandes journées of September 2008 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant us institutions at the centre of the mortgage-backed securities market, were taken into government stewardship after their shares had plunged by 90 per cent. Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, Merrill Lynch was forced into a shotgun marriage with Bank of America, hbos with Lloydstsb; a tottering Citigroup, whose stock value had fallen from $244bn to $6bn, was shored up by government funds, Washington Mutual pulled from receivership by JPMorganChase. Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Société Générale were saved by massive Treasury transfusions into their bankrupt insurer, aig. In the months that followed, world output, trade, equity, credit and investment ground to a halt, while unemployment soared towards double digits across the Northern hemisphere. Running into trillions of dollars in direct and indirect support, the bailouts of the financial institutions will weigh on domestic economies—above all in the us and uk—for years to come. But did the massive state interventions also signal the end of the neo-liberal model? Ideologically, the wealth-creating prowess of big finance has been one of its central legitimating claims. There was a feeling, not just on the left, that the crisis could not but leave the paradigm itself discredited; it might even have dealt a body-blow to American hegemony. The humbling of the Wall Street giants—us Treasury Secretary Paulson offering to go down on his knees before Congress on their behalf—seemed to suggest that the world stood on the brink of a new era. Since then the financial system has been stabilized, although none of its underlying problems have been resolved. But despite the torrent of literature on the crisis, its historical meaning remains obscure. What ended, and what did not, in September 2008?"


The Irish Economy » Blog Archive » The Irish “Masculinity Ratio”: "The current issue of The Economist has a leader on the growing imbalance between males and females in birth cohorts in China and India and some other countries. The sex ratio at birth, or “masculinity ratio”, is normally about 1.05. Amartya Sen and Ansley Coale drew attention to the high ratios emerging in China and India some twenty years ago. The ratio has continued to rise in these countries and has now reached 1.30 in some Chinese provinces."

10 de março de 2010

E continua ... as responsabilidades e os sucessos na contenção do CO2 não são o que parecem (à primeira vista)

"“Instead of looking at carbon dioxide emissions only in terms of what is released inside our borders, we also looked at the amount of carbon dioxide released during the production of the things that we consume,” says Caldeira (press release). “Just like the electricity that you use in your home probably causes CO2 emissions at a coal-burning power plant somewhere else, we found that the products imported by the developed countries of western Europe, Japan, and the United States cause substantial emissions in other countries, especially China.” carbon outsource.

In some wealthy countries, including Britain and France, more than 30% of consumption-based emissions are imported; in the United States, the figure is 11%. Caldeira thinks that the UNFCCC’s production-based inventories should be supplemented with figures that track where the carbon is ultimately being consumed. Dieter Helm, an economist at the University of Oxford who has previously published papers showing that much of the UK's carbon footprint is produced overseas, says that the new study “highlights that Europe and the US are flattered by their CO2 production numbers”."

Climate Feedback: Extent of ‘carbon outsourcing’ revealed

Notícias (potencialmente) boas, mas que outros qualificam

Seria muito bom uma corrida (estilo do que se passou entre a URSS e os EUA, no espaço, nos anos 60) entre os EUA e a China no domínio das renováveis e da eficiência energética:
  • Smart Grid Arms Race? U.S., China Face Very Different Challenges | SolveClimate.com: "Talking about a green revolution as a competition between China and the U.S. is like putting two teams on the same field that play different games. Yet, this has been the popular spin on news that China’s spending on smart grid technology will exceed that of the U.S. by $200 million. It has also been the spin on high-speed rail and the so-called 'clean tech arms race.'"
As notícias (potencialmente) boas...:
... e as qualificações feitas por outros (respectivamente):

9 de março de 2010

E continua ... Naomi Oreskes, de novo

O vídeo que mais reproduzi aqui, neste blogue, a propósito das "guerras" sobre a gravidade e responsabilidade do aquecimento global, foi o de Naomi Oreskes sobre a história de todo esse processo (ver aqui - se não viram, recomendo, vivamente, que o façam). O Climate Progress, ontem, remete-nos para  uma outra intervenção da mesma, que reproduzo abaixo - e isso, mesmo antes de a ver, com a certeza de ter toda a qualidade científica e pedagógica que tem aquela (é longa, mas, é possível vê-la por troços, recorrendo ao relógio do vídeo).  PS: Já o vi - o som não é o melhor, mas vale a pena persistir.

8 de março de 2010

E continua ... posições, mais posições, metano, e a Terra - é bom não esquecê-lo - é redonda

  • RealClimate: A mistaken message from IoP?: "The Institute of Physics (IoP) recently made a splash in the media through a statement about the implications of the e-mails stolen in the CRU hack. A couple of articles in the Guardian report how this statement was submitted to an inquiry into the CRU hack and provide some background." 
Como a ciência se defende, ou porque razão as pessoas pensam como pensam (ver aqui, também):
  • Should Scientists Fight Heat or Stick to Data? - Dot Earth Blog - NYTimes.com: "Some leading lights in environmental science have been pushing their colleagues, and institutions like the National Academies, to come out swinging against the ongoing barrage of assaults from organized opponents of restrictions on greenhouse gases and climate skeptics/contrarians/denialists/realists (pick your label depending on your worldview). The debate over a climate communications strategy was disclosed when a string of e-mail messages was leaked to the Washington Times and Greenwire (the Greenwire story was also published online by The New York Times). Here’s one of the most trenchant comments, not surprisingly from Paul Ehrlich, a battle-hardened veteran of such fights: Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules."
  • Debate the controversy! « Climate Progress: "The serial misinformers and misrepresenters demand equal time for their misinformation and misrepresentations. What should climate science defenders and the media do?"
  • The trouble with trusting complex science | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian: "The attack on climate scientists is now widening to an all-out war on science. Writing recently for the Telegraph, the columnist Gerald Warner dismissed scientists as 'white-coated prima donnas and narcissists … pointy-heads in lab coats [who] have reassumed the role of mad cranks … The public is no longer in awe of scientists. Like squabbling evangelical churches in the 19th century, they can form as many schismatic sects as they like, nobody is listening to them any more.'"
Qualificações sobre o perigo do metano:
  • New observations find underwater Arctic Shelf is perforated and venting methane|Skeptical Science: "One of the positive feedbacks from global warming is the thawing of Arctic permafrost. This releases methane, a greenhouse gas over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. Investigations into Arctic methane have tended to focus on land permafrost. However, there are also vast amounts of methane held underwater in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS). This encompasses over 2 million square kilometres, three times as large as the nearby Siberian wetlands, which have been considered the primary Northern Hemisphere source of atmospheric methane. Underwater permafrost acts as a lid to restrain methane stored in the seabed. Until now, it was thought the permafrost was cold enough to remain frozen. However, recent observations have found that over 80% of the deep water over the ESAS is supersaturated, with methane levels more than eight times that of normal seawater (Shakhova 2010). More than half of the surface water is supersaturated also. The methane venting into the atmosphere from this one region is comparable to the amount of methane coming out of the entire world’s oceans."
  • RealClimate: Arctic Methane on the Move?: "Methane is like the radical wing of the carbon cycle, in today’s atmosphere a stronger greenhouse gas per molecule than CO2, and an atmospheric concentration that can change more quickly than CO2 can. There has been a lot of press coverage of a new paper in Science this week called “Extensive methane venting to the atmosphere from sediments of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf”, which comes on the heels of a handful of interrelated methane papers in the last year or so. Is now the time to get frightened? No. CO2 is plenty to be frightened of, while methane is frosting on the cake. Imagine you are in a Toyota on the highway at 60 miles per hour approaching stopped traffic, and you find that the brake pedal is broken. This is CO2. Then you figure out that the accelerator has also jammed, so that by the time you hit the truck in front of you, you will be going 90 miles per hour instead of 60. This is methane. Is now the time to get worried? No, you should already have been worried by the broken brake pedal. Methane sells newspapers, but it’s not the big story, nor does it look to be a game changer to the big story, which is CO2."
  • The ‘Real’ Take on Methane and Warming - Dot Earth Blog - NYTimes.com: "With a valuable reality check on Arctic methane in the climate context, Realclimate.org (in this case David Archer) illustrates the value of having scientists step into the uncomfortable, but unavoidable, arena of direct public communication. In the post, Dr. Archer, who has tested his chops with a couple of books for general audiences (I forgive him for recycling “ Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast,” the title of my 1992 book on climate ;-) , tries out a nice analogy relating carbon dioxide and methane emissions to various troubles that can endanger a driver"
Anomalias, ou de como, nomeadamente, alguns dos "opinion makers" portugueses se esqueceram que a Terra é redonda (existe - estou a ser pedagógico - o hemisfério norte, e o hemisfério sul, e quando está frio em Conpenhaga, faz calor, e de que maneira, na Austrália):

Para perceber o tempo pelas nossas bandas...

"Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) in the Atlantic's Main Development Region for hurricanes were at their highest February level on record last month, according to an analysis of historical SST data from the UK Hadley Center. SST data goes back to 1850, though there is much missing data before 1910 and during WWI and WWII. The region between 10°N and 20°N, between the coast of Africa and Central America, is called the Main Development Region (MDR) because virtually all African waves originate in this region. These African waves account for 85% of all Atlantic major hurricanes and 60% of all named storms. When SSTs in the MDR are much above average during hurricane season, a very active season typically results (if there is no El Niño event present.)" 

Wunder Blog : Weather Underground

7 de março de 2010

E continua ... Avatar

Post-Apocalypse Now: Though flawed as an eco-pic, Avatar deserves Best Picture award « Climate Progress: "James Cameron: 'We need to mobilize like we did during World War II' to fight global warming. The threat to our country and children is 'that severe.'"

... por causa de muitas coisas, mas, em particular, por causa do que é referido abaixo (vejam o vídeo)

"The movie, a clash of corporate-led mercenaries and giant blue tree worshippers, has been interpreted variously as anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-Marine and simply anti-human. 

The environmental and cultural clash at the heart of the story prompted a host of environmental groups and human rights groups to seek Mr. Cameron’s support for efforts to preserve the planet and its endangered cultures. Survival International saw particular resonance between the plight of the Na’vi and that of the Dongria Kondh tribe of Orissa, India: [leiam a entrevista e vejam o vídeo]"

"The Message from Planet Jim - Dot Earth Blog - NYTimes.com

A minha escolha para os Óscares ...

The Message from Planet Jim - Dot Earth Blog - NYTimes.com

5 de março de 2010

E continua ... O ensino da ciência nos EUA, mais estudos, e o metano, ou como Krugman poderia dizer: scary things, indeed

O ensino da ciência nos EUA:
  • 'Darwin Foes Add Warming to Targets' by Leslie Kaufman - The New York Times - RichardDawkins.net: "Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools. In Kentucky, a bill recently introduced in the Legislature would encourage teachers to discuss “the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories,” including “evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning.” [...] Last year, the Texas Board of Education adopted language requiring that teachers present all sides of the evidence on evolution and global warming. [...] The linkage of evolution and global warming is partly a legal strategy: courts have found that singling out evolution for criticism in public schools is a violation of the separation of church and state. By insisting that global warming also be debated, deniers of evolution can argue that they are simply championing academic freedom in general. [...]"
 Mais um estudo:
  • Leading article: Climate change is not a matter of faith - Leading Articles, Opinion - The Independent: "If opinion polls are right, fewer people 'believe' in climate change now than a few months ago, prior to the leak of emails from the University of East Anglia and the emergence of embarrassing errors in one of the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The science of global warming, it seems, has taken a severe hit in terms of the public's credulity. Yet as the latest scientific research makes clear, the evidence is, if anything, stronger than it ever was about the role of humans in the observable increase in global temperatures seen over the past half-century. For scientists it is not a question of 'belief', it is a question of observable fact and reasonable inference based on a wealth of scientific data. The latest study by an international team led by the Met Office's Hadley Centre reaffirms this position. The world is warming, it is observed on every continent, and there is no natural explanation that can account for it."
As mais recentes sobre o metano:
  • Arctic Seabed Methane Stores Destabilizing? - Grasping Reality with All Six Feet: "Matthew Yglesias tells us to go read: Arctic Seabed Methane Stores Destabilizing: It’s a good thing this is all part of some giant conspiracy, because if I thought scientists at the University of Alaska were undertaking good-faith scientific research I’d be really worried about this: A section of the Arctic Ocean seafloor that holds vast stores of frozen methane is showing signs of instability and widespread venting of the powerful greenhouse gas, according to the findings of an international research team led by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov. [...]"

  • Study Says Undersea Release of Methane Is Under Way - NYTimes.com: "Climate scientists have long warned that global warming could unlock vast stores of the greenhouse gas methane that are frozen into the Arctic permafrost, setting off potentially significant increases in global warming. Now researchers at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and elsewhere say this change is under way in a little-studied area under the sea, the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, west of the Bering Strait."
  • Methane releases from Arctic shelf may be much larger and faster than anticipated|Climate Ark: "A section of the Arctic Ocean seafloor that holds vast stores of frozen methane is showing signs of instability and widespread venting of the powerful greenhouse gas, according to the findings of an international research team led by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov. The research results, published in the March 5 edition of the journal Science, show that the permafrost under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, long thought to be an impermeable barrier sealing in methane, is perforated and is leaking large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming." 
Mas, talvez, não haja [para já?] razões para entrar em pânico - atenção, que é uma atrás de outra, e há sempre as fotografias como as apresentadas acima:   
  • The Heat Over Bubbling Arctic Methane - Dot Earth Blog - NYTimes.com: "[...] But are these emissions new, or simply newly observed? Does this mean that the Arctic system is coming unglued, and that a great outpouring of this heat-trapping gas is about to upend the global climate system? Despite portentous headlines — including one on the news release from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, saying “ Arctic seabed methane stores destabilizing…” — there is no evidence (yet) that what is happening is fundamentally new or destabilizing, at least according to some of the scientists most closely tracking levels and sources of this gas from the poles to the tropics.[...]"
Um dos cientistas desta história do metano, explica-se:

Leituras sobre a Grécia, Portugal, sindicatos e por aí adiante

Sobre a Grécia:
  • É hora da Europa mostrar o que vale | Económico: "Ao longo das últimas semanas ou mesmo meses, a Grécia sofreu rudes ataques dos mercados financeiros. Muito por culpa do desleixo e mesmo da desonestidade orçamental grega dos últimos anos. Mas também porque estes ataques à Grécia são também ataques a uma união monetária que nasceu sem os instrumentos económicos que lhe permitissem funcionar como tal e que empurram para a primeira linha das balas os mais fracos dessa pretensa união. Não é, no entanto, apenas por falta de instrumentos económicos que esta União não funciona. O que o caso grego e as declarações de alguns dos mais altos responsáveis da Alemanha vieram mostrar é que esta união monetária e económica não é mais do que isso mesmo. Não há qualquer tipo de co-responsabilização entre os Estados quando um dos seus parceiros se encontra em apuros. Ou quando esta solidariedade funciona, funciona apenas num sentido. Foi, aliás, esta estranha espécie de solidariedade que se verificou ao longo dos últimos anos. A Alemanha, por exemplo, sempre muito zelosa da disciplina orçamental, nunca revelou preocupações quando os países do sul, através de um consumo interno insustentável, importavam e importavam da Alemanha permitindo à economia que serve de locomotiva à Europa crescer. Com esse crescimento, a Alemanha puxava o resto da Europa e também os países do sul que, dessa forma, iam conseguindo esconder a trajectória para o abismo em que se encontravam. Mas o ciclo virtuoso fechou-se. E agora volta-se à disciplina orçamental."
Sobre os sindicatos:
  • arquivo: A miséria do sindicalismo: Pedro Adão e Silva, A miséria do sindicalismo 'A greve na função pública é apenas a preparação da ampliação da luta.' Foi assim que Carvalho da Silva antecipou a greve de ontem, em entrevista ao 'Diário Económico'. Não espanta: na mesma entrevista classificou o acordo tripartido alcançado na Irlanda como resultante de uma 'cultura diferente' e classificou o apelo à negociação como uma 'treta' (sic)."
  • A greve | Económico: "Partamos de um PIB de 100 que subiu para 105 e admitamos que os factores produtivos apenas justificam uma subida de 3. Os outros 2 são ganhos de produtividade. Do capital ou do trabalho? Não se sabe. Sabe-se que são ganhos comuns aos factores. Mas há uma forma indirecta de resolver o problema, que é medir o peso dos salários no PIB. Se o peso relativo se mantém é porque os salários incorporam os ganhos proporcionais. Sucede que, entre nós, este peso está a subir e atingiu 53% em 2009 - o mais alto da Zona euro. Conclusão: os salários subiram de mais. Estes números referem-se ao universo do país. Mas, de acordo com um estudo recente do Banco de Portugal, que compara remunerações médias com níveis idênticos de qualificações, os trabalhadores do sector público auferem em média 17% mais do que os do sector privado. É um cenário injusto. E teria bastado ao Governo igualar os dois sectores para reduzir em dois pontos percentuais o défice previsto para 2010. A greve foi de uma enorme falta de senso."
Sobre nós (e os outros):
  • Hoje somos todos gregos | Económico: "Ser comparado à Grécia – a deficitária e endividada Grécia – era o pior pesadelo que poderia acontecer a uma nação valente e imortal como a nossa. Era, mas já não é. De um dia para o outro, a Grécia tornou-se um modelo de disciplina orçamental e coragem política. O primeiro-ministro grego anunciou que vai congelar pensões, cortar 5% em todo o investimento público, aumentar impostos e cortar 30% nos salários do 13º e 14º mês. A contestação na rua não demoveu a liderança política. 'É um esforço impressionante', clamam os analistas, perante os sinais de aprovação da Comissão Europeia. A nós, que só queríamos distância dos gregos, convinha-nos agora o mesmo reconhecimento do mercado. E, já agora, a mesma fibra dos políticos gregos. A dias da apresentação do PEC, oxalá possamos ser comparados com eles."

4 de março de 2010

Leituras sobre o espaço

No sistema solar, há água por todo lado, e isso é uma boa notícia:
Especulações sobre outras espécies inteligentes e sobre a melhor metodologia de descobrir, de modo eficiente, planetas Terra à volta de estrelas anãs M:
  • Human Compulsions Among the Stars|Centauri Dreams: "What are the odds for survival of a technological society? We don’t know yet, having but one example to work with, but it’s interesting to speculate, as Ray Villard does in a recent online post, about the kinds of intelligence that may evolve in the universe. All too often we equate technology with intelligence, which may skew our view of projects like SETI. Energized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Diego last week, Villard is thinking that intelligent life may have appeared on our planet not once but twice, and one of those life-forms is never going to be found by listening to radio wavelengths."
  • Targeting Nearby M Dwarfs|Centauri Dreams: We’ve been talking for the last six years (since Centauri Dreams‘ inception) about finding a terrestrial world in the habitable zone of another star. It’s an exciting prospect, but the reality about space missions like Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin, each designed to make such identifications, is that the budget ax has fallen and we don’t know when they might fly. Indeed, we still face a host of technological difficulties that call for much work if the aim is not only to find a terrestrial world but also to study its atmosphere for possible biomarkers.

Dez coisas que não se sabe sobre os orgasmos (Vídeo) - TED

The Big Picture » Blog Archive » 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm


O momento da Zona Euro (VIII)

No livro de Dulce Neto sobre os anos em que Marçal Grilo foi Ministro da Educação [Difícil é sentá-los - A educação de Marçal Grilo, Oficina do Livro, 2001], diz aquele, a dada altura, a p.53, sobre o papel dos sindicatos (no caso, da educação, mas é acho que é possível generalizar): "Quando eles têm uma actuação exclusivamente corporativa e, em vez de considerarem a escola [e tudo o resto] como uma estrutura e uma instituição que tem um projecto, a considerarem apenas como um local de trabalho, nessa altura, eles fazem parte do problema [...]". Obviamente, os sindicatos constituem parte do problema português. Na Irlanda, face a um programa de estabilização das contas públicas, durissimo, a resposta dos sindicatos foi a de que seria possível contrariar a situação com outras medidas, e o que é relevante, é que apresentaram mesmo um programa de reformas de todo não descabidas. Cá, isso seria impensável, ou porque isso seria entendido como colaboracionismo, ou porque não existe capacidade de fazê-lo. Cá, faz-se greve para aumentar o quadro de pessoal.

Nota: Obviamente, que todos nós, eu incluído, fazemos parte do problema.

Como é vista a situação social e sindical na Europa do Sul:
  •  Europe's pampered strikers: Take a close look at who is on strike in Europe | The Economist: "My point is political. For the moment, newspapers across the world are full of pictures of strikes in Greece, Spain and France, and photographs of anarchists punching policemen in Athens. You could easily get the impression that the ordinary workers of Europe are about to explode in rage, making it impossible for their governments to push through the painful austerity measures that are, alas, needed in so many European countries. But for the moment the reality on the ground is different. An awful lot of people on the streets are those who cannot lose their jobs, which makes them a privileged minority in a nasty recession, and they are protesting to defend perks and pay that others can only dream of. I hope European politicians are watching, and concluding that they have an opportunity here, to tell the truth to their voters about the mess they are in, and what needs to be done to fix it. I think most European voters know this is a big crisis, and though they are angry about bankers and speculators and what have you, they also know that everyone has been living beyond their means. As long as the burden is seen to fall fairly, we may get through this yet."
    • The Euro's Final Battleground: Spain - WSJ.com: "Greece set off the crisis rattling the euro zone. Spain could determine whether the 16-nation currency stands or falls. The euro zone's No. 4 economy, Spain has an unemployment rate of 19%, a deflating housing bubble, big debts and a gaping budget deficit. Its gross domestic product contracted 3.6% in 2009 and is expected to shrink again this year, leaving Spain in its deepest and longest recession in a half-century."
    Apontamentos de análise:
    • The agonies of the eurozone reflect a far more significant hidden deficit | Timothy Garton Ash | Comment is free | The Guardian: "To survive and prosper, a European monetary union must develop at least a stronger element of economic union, and that in turn requires a stronger element of political union. Which, by the way, was one of the main motives for some of the chief political architects of what was then deliberately called "economic and monetary union", including François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl. This was not just, as is often said, Europe putting the (monetary) cart before the (political) horse. It was an attempt to use the cart to bring on the horse. It was the last big fling of the so-called ­"functionalist" approach, by which you build a politically integrated Europe through economic integration. Broadly speaking, that worked for half a century, from the 1950s to the 1990s; but in this case, it has not. Not unless this crisis catalyses further steps of integration, as earlier crises sometimes have." Para perceber o quadro geral, esta é de leitura absolutamente obrigatória.
    • FT.com / Columnists / Gideon Rachman - Greece threatens more than the euro: "As Greece’s financial crisis rumbles onwards, it has become commonplace to argue that the roots of the problem stretch all the way back to the design of Europe’s single currency. Actually, it is worse than that. The Greek crisis is about the very basis on which European unity has been built for the last 60 years. It threatens not just the euro but the entire edifice of the European Union. The risk for Europe now is that if the EU does not move forward politically in response to the Greek crisis, it will move backwards – and the long process of European integration could start to unravel. The EU has always proceeded by creating economic “facts on the ground”, which were intended to trigger political effects. Ever since the 1950s this has worked admirably, as a modest coal and steel community turned into a common market and finally into a Union of 27 nations, with its own parliament, supreme court and foreign policy. Jacques Delors, the European Commission president who presided over the creation of a single market in the 1980s, said frankly: “We’re not here just to make a single market – that doesn’t interest me – but to make a political union.” The creation of the single market involved a huge expansion of European law and therefore deep erosions of national sovereignty."
    E já agora, uma nota (antiga) sobre o impacto do Euro nos preços ao consumo:
    • Les choses de la vie - La parole est à la dépense - François Reynaert - Chroniques - nouvelobs.com Mais peu importe ces péripéties, seules comptent les conclusions du livre, étonnantes mais sans appel : en fait, si l'on fait une moyenne entre ce qui a monté et aussi tout ce qui a baissé (la technologie, les vêtements), l'Insee a raison, depuis l'euro, les prix n'ont pas tant bougé. C'est une moyenne, par définition, injuste. La hausse de la nourriture pénalise les pauvres, la baisse de l'écran plat ne les concerne pas : quand on n'a pas à bouffer, on ne se commande pas une télé pour la finir avec les restes des steaks hachés d'hier. Evidemment, en parlant de façon globale, on oublie un peu vite les quelques-uns qui se sont scandaleusement goinfrés sur le dos du changement de monnaie : si vous commandez parfois un jambon-beurre ou un café, vous voyez de qui je parle. Mais en moyenne, donc, le pouvoir d'achat est resté stable, le pauvre euro est hors du coup, et pourtant vous savez que vous vous êtes appauvri. Pourquoi ? Tout simplement parce qu'entre tous les nouveaux produits qui sont entrés dans votre vie, les abonnements free truc et les téléphones box machin, vous achetez toujours plus et vous ne vous en rendez pas compte. Ne vous étonnez pas de ce paradoxe, il est à la base même d'un système qui ne rêve que de cela : vous faire consommer encore et encore et, dans le même temps, être sûr que vous en soyez frustré pour que vous dépensiez encore plus. Ce système s'appelle le libéralisme. Sans prétention et chiffres en main, ce petit livre en a mis à nu ce rouage pervers. Pour le coup, c'est sans prix.

    3 de março de 2010


    "The issue is not which type of leader we need, but the very notion of leadership. We need to see leaders less in heroic terms of command than in terms of encouraging participation throughout an organization, group, nation, or network."

    "A good leader helps us define who we are, rather than just reinforcing what we used to be." 

    Joseph Nye, Jr. for Democracy: A Journal of Ideas

    'The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    The certainty epidemic - Mind Reader - Salon.com:

    2 de março de 2010

    E continua... desabafos, leituras a fazer, exemplos a seguir, e mais evidências

    Há sempre muito para dizer sobre isto, mas confesso que para mim é mais fácil despejar o que vou lendo, e quem quiser, que faça o seu trabalho de casa, lendo aquilo que achar que deve ler. 

    O tom ressaibado do comentário tem a ver com o facto, de muita gente, alinhar as suas convicções nesta matéria do aquecimento global, não em termos do que os factos e o processo científico (digo, deliberadamente, processo científico) nos vão confirmando, mas em função das suas simpatias ideológicas. 

    Margaret Tachter (ver abaixo) prova que a aceitação da responsabilidade humana nas alterações climáticas não deveria decorrer de ser de direita ou de esquerda - é tão irónico ver intelectuais de direita, do centro-direita, e mesmo da esquerda democrática, portugueses, caírem na mesma tipo de cegueira ideológica de que acusavam, com razão, os intelectuais comunistas e afins, em tempos idos. Existe, contudo, uma diferença: estes tinham mais desculpas das que têm aqueles agora (a qualidade dos memes criados pela história e pela experiência dos países comunistas era superior à dos memes criados, nos dias que passam, pela extrema -direita norte-americana, e pelos serviços de marketing da Exxon e quejandas).

    Artigo de Marty Weitzman:
    • Freakout-nomics - Paul Krugman Blog - NYTimes.com: "If you think conservatives are freaking out over the growing prospects that health care reform will, in fact, happen, wait until you see the freakout over climate change. You see, a snowy winter in the northeast United States was supposed to have proved the climate skeptics right, after all. But a funny thing happened while they were celebrating: globally, this is shaping up as the warmest winter on record"
    • Australia has hottest-ever summer|Climate Ark: "Western Australia has sweated through its hottest ever summer, recording average temperatures just shy of 30 degrees Celsius, officials said on Monday. Weather officials said the giant, dusty state roasted at an average of about 29,6 Celsius during the southern hemisphere summer, 0,2 degrees over the previous high in 1997-1998. The state capital Perth also endured its driest summer since records began in 1897, with just 0,2 millimetres of rain falling in December, January and February. State-wide information is only available since 1950."
    • New research sheds light on Antarctic ice melting|Climate Ark: "Jane Ferrigno is the lead author of that new report. She says scientists have known for a while that some of the peninsula's ice shelves are breaking up. Ms. JANE FERRIGNO (Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey): That started at least a decade ago in the northern part of the peninsula, but we looked at all the ice fronts on the peninsula from north to south. In the southern area, we're finding that all the ice fronts are retreating. In the northern part of the peninsula, the majority of ice fronts are retreating, and that's something we neither expected but we're highly interested in finding that out. RAZ: At a peninsula, the area where this research was focused on, is sort of like a canary in the coal mine, right? I mean, what does it tell us about larger trends? Ms. FERRIGNO: The fact that the ice shelves are changing on the peninsula is a significant signal that global change, climate warming, is affecting the ice cover of Antarctica. It's affecting first the area that's towards the north, that's slightly warmer, but the effect of the warming has traveled from the northern part of the peninsula to the southern part of the peninsula, where it's colder. Our next concern is to see exactly what's happening in the continent itself. We've seen some changes there, but we need to look closely and see what else might be happening. RAZ: Give us a sense of how much ice has been lost over the past, say, 10 years. Ms. FERRIGNO: I think I'll go back 20 years, and in the last 20 years, I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that's comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska. RAZ: So about the size of the state of Texas in terms of ice has been lost in the past 20 years."
    • Tempestade na Madeira é "mais um sinal de um mundo que está em mudança" - Local - PUBLICO.PT: "Portugal “vai viver muito as alterações climáticas” e a violenta tempestade na Madeira é apenas mais um sinal de uma tendência global, defende António Baptista, director do centro norte-americano de Ciência e Tecnologia para a Observação de Margens Costeiras." “Não é possível voltar ao passado nas zonas costeiras. É preciso antecipar agora, tomar as medidas necessárias para ter zonas saudáveis, que permitam aos animais ser saudáveis e aos homens também. Não há ambiguidade ou dúvida. É profunda e irreversível a mudança”, afirma. “Pode discutir-se qual é a grandeza das mudanças climáticas a nível global, mas não há dúvida de que os gases com ‘efeito de estufa’ estão a aumentar de forma espetacular. (...) A questão agora não é julgar a sociedade pelo que fez para que chegássemos a isto, mas olhar para o futuro e perceber o que fazer para gerir melhor os recursos”.
    As diferenças:
    • Senator Inhofe's attempt to distract us from the scientific realities of global warming: "There has been a shift in the climate debate over recent months. It seems people are talking less about the science and more about the alleged actions of a small group of climate scientists. Senator Inhofe is an extreme example with his recent attempt to criminalize 17 leading scientists. These accusations are largely based on stolen private emails that are being quoted out of context and/or without understanding of the science involved. Unfortunately, this is shifting the focus away from the most important element of the climate debate: the scientific reality of global warming. The empirical evidence that global warming is happening and that humans are the primary cause has been and continues to be observed, measured and documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature."
    • James Inhofe, Senate’s top skeptic, explains his climate-hoax theory | Grist: "Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), one of the world’s most vociferous climate skeptics, is practically giddy these days. He’s argued since 2003 that global warming is a massive “hoax” being played on the American people, and now he believes he’s got more backing than ever before for his claim, from “Climategate” emails to errors in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the recent blizzards in Washington, D.C. (He gleefully hyped an igloo built by his grandkids as “Al Gore’s new home.”)"
    • Misinterpreting a retraction of rising sea level predictions: "A new skeptic argument has emerged that upon close inspection, is a polar opposite to the scientific reality. This week, scientists who published a 2009 paper on sea level rise retracted their prediction due to errors in their methodology. This has led some to claim sea levels are no longer predicted to rise. This interpretation was helped no doubt by the unfortunate Guardian headline 'Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels'. However, when you read the article and peruse the peer-reviewed science on future sea level, you learn that the opposite is the case."
    Evidência doutro tipo de coisa:
    Já existe tradução para português, dos argumentos da Skeptical Science  contra as alegações denegacionistas do aquecimento global:

    Notas sobre a economia portuguesa

    Existe um novo blogue português dedicado à nossa economia: The Portuguese Economy - tem como colaboradores economistas nacionais que escrevem em inglês, como modo de serem lidos lá fora. Referencio as notas de que gostei mais:

    The Portuguese Economy

    • The Portuguese Economy: Data on Portugal "The deficiencies concerning the production and distribution of data have an important impact on the quality of the discussion of many topics in Portugal, including economics. So this is a field where institutional reforms and investment are needed." Obviamente que isto se aplica à Região.
    •  The Portuguese Economy: Tying our hands is not enough "[...] There were great expectations for the long run [com a entrada no Euro]. Price stability and low interest rates would favour a better allocation of resources and promote higher rates of economic growth. Additionally, microeconomic long run efficiency gains, namely more efficient labour and capital markets, were also expected – the integration in one of the most competitive regions of the globe was expected to trigger the structural changes that would make the Portuguese highly productive. However, as Álvaro’s post shows, tying policymakers’ hands was not enough to reach those long run objectives. Something is missing."
    Aspectos a ter também em conta, e que não negativos:
    • A economia é fixe - Opinião - DN: "Portugal tem problemas político-institucionais e grave situação financeira, com dívida crescente ao estrangeiro. Uma das poucas coisas que sustentam a situação é a economia, que está muito mais saudável do que se diz. Há velhas distorções e atrasos, mas elas não explicam o mal, porque já cá andavam quando a situação era boa. Vivemos uma recessão conjuntural e o desemprego disparou, como em qualquer economia saudável, mas apesar disso o aparelho produtivo vive um intenso desenvolvimento e reestruturação, que passa despercebido no meio da trovoada."
    • O mal e as aldeias - Opinião |António Perez Metelo| DN: "Predominam as afirmações avulsas, geralmente não quantificadas, de que os sacrifícios a exigir aos portugueses terão de ser terríveis. Mas elas não se dão ao trabalho de ao menos discutir o impacto dos mecanismos estabilizadores do Orçamento, que passaram a funcionar de há uns quatro anos a esta parte. A saber: 1) o grosso das despesas sociais - as pensões de reforma - cresceu agora de forma muito mais moderada, já que estas foram 'atadas' ao desempenho real da economia (taxa de crescimento real do PIB) e ao factor de sustentabilidade (ajustamento anual ao aumento da esperança média de vida); 2) as despesas com pessoal do Estado têm vindo a diminuir graças à regra de 'uma só entrada por cada duas saídas'. Juntemos a isto um crescimento real acumulado do PIB de 6,5% até 2013 - o que implica uma progressão moderada de 2%, em 2012 e 2013 (mal de nós, se nem isso conseguirmos!): com esse impulso, o peso das receitas no PIB (sem aumento de impostos!) vai assegurar, no mínimo, o regresso à situação de 2008." 
    Para quando a grande iniciativa para obter ganhos de eficiência (significativos) na Região, na sua adminsitração pública, e no seu sector empresarial?

    • Competitividade e PEC | Vítor da Conceição Gonçalves|Económico: "Um estudo publicado muito recentemente, pela PWC, sobre actuações estratégicas de empresas, a nível mundial, relata algumas conclusões interessantes. Quando se pergunta aos presidentes das empresas que actividades de reestruturação levaram a cabo o ano passado e quais as que planeiam iniciar em 2010, a ênfase na eficiência tem predominância nas respostas, pois 69% dos CEO planeiam iniciativas de redução de custos. Quando se questiona sobre os planos de investimento para os próximos três anos, 78% dos responsáveis referem iniciativas para realizar eficiências de custos. Investimentos em desenvolvimento de talentos, em pesquisa e desenvolvimento, em desenvolvimento de novos produtos, em infra-estruturas tecnológicas, vêm a seguir nas opções a implementar." 
     Documento a ler: 
    • S E D E S : "Documento de Grupo de Reflexão da SEDES: Estabilidade e crescimento 10-13 17-02-2010 Estabilidade e crescimento 10-13 Este é um ano de viragem em que deixamos, lentamente, para trás uma das mais severas crises económico-financeiras que afectaram o mundo desenvolvido. Todos os países procuram iniciar uma nova página nas suas políticas económicas e orçamentais. Em Portugal, o Orçamento para 2010 foi uma oportunidade perdida e os mercados internacionais penalizaram severamente a falta de ambição da politica orçamental para este ano. O Programa de Estabilidade e Crescimento (PEC) terá, assim, que mostrar determinação do Governo e do País na resolução dos problemas económico-financeiros ao longo de 4 anos. O PEC será não só avaliado em Bruxelas mas também rigorosamente escrutinado pelos mercados."  via DIVAGANDO: A TRIPLA INCAPACIDADE.

    Outras realidades insulares, outras percepções, outras competências - exercícios de "benchmarking"

    "The trouble with modernity is how efficiently it obliterates the troves of age-old knowledge otherwise known as wisdom. The good news from Palau, a Pacific island nation near the Philippines, is that some wise old ways have reasserted themselves to the great benefit of that tiny republic’s fish and reefs, and the people who depend on them. 

    Under an ancient system of laws known throughout the South Pacific as tabu or kapu, rulers would forbid fishing in certain areas to let them recover from overuse. Their decisions relied on deep knowledge of seasons and of the habits of fish and plants, and were strictly obeyed by islanders, who understood that depletion of fisheries meant death. 

    Overfishing by local fishermen, commercial boats and poachers using dynamite has been as much a problem in Palau as elsewhere in the Pacific. Then elders in Ngiwal, a state of Palau, banned fishing on a small section of reef in 1994. It took only a few years for fish to return. 

    Palau now protects 460 square miles of reefs and lagoons, and its reputation for recreational diving is unmatched. In 2005, Palau’s president, Tommy Remengesau Jr., issued the “Micronesian challenge,” calling on the region to conserve 30 percent of coastal waters and 20 percent of land by 2020. Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have created hundreds of “no take” zones. [...].”"

    Pacific Miracles - New York Times: Mais sobre este tópico neste blogue (pesquisa - canto superior direito - sob "reservas", ou sob a etiqueta "mar").

    E não é que não consigo deixar de referir o Avatar? A direita estado-unidense (mais alguns cá) é que entenderam o filme.

    "“I wanted to do a film that had a deeply embedded environmental message ... but do it in the form of a science fiction action adventure,” Cameron told local public radio host Elvis Mitchell. “My feeling was if we have to go four light years away to another planet to appreciate what we have here on earth, that’s okay.” He wanted, he said, to pack such an emotional wallop that by the time the film’s giant, sheltering tree is felled, everyone in the theater would feel moral outrage. Further, after the triumph of nature’s creatures over evil military contractors, he wanted the audience to feel hopeful enough to do something.[...] “

    "[...]Cameron seems pretty well positioned to take on right-wing climate deniers, having made “The Terminator” for Fox when Rush Limbaugh was a California cow town radio host. At the NRDC event, he refused to debate about Fox News commentators, however, noting he works for a different division, though he confirmed studio executives asked him to “tone down the tree-hugger crap.” 

    Cameron: I’m the greenest director of all time! | Grist

    Astronomy Picture of the Day - 2010 March 2: M78 e poeiras em Órion

    M78 and Reflecting DustClouds in Orion 
    Credit & Copyright: Ignacio de la Cueva Torregrosa

    Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

    Explanation: An eerie blue glow and ominous columns of dark dust highlight M78 and other bright reflection nebula in the constellation of Orion. The dark filamentary dust not only absorbs light, but also reflects the light of several bright blue stars that formed recently in the nebula. Of the two reflection nebulas pictured above, the more famous nebula is M78, in the image center, while NGC 2071 can be seen to its lower left. The same type of scattering that colors the daytime sky further enhances the blue color. M78 is about five light-years across and visible through a small telescope. M78 appears above only as it was 1600 years ago, however, because that is how long it takes light to go from there to here. M78 belongs to the larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex that contains the Great Nebula in Orion and the Horsehead Nebula."

    Astronomy Picture of the Day, NASA (Archive, 2010 March 2)