Edition for 13 April 2020

Top Stories

OPEC, Russia approve biggest-ever oil cut to support prices amid coronavirus pandemic (Reuters)

  • OPEC and allies led by Russia agreed on Sunday to a record cut in output to prop up oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic in an unprecedented deal with fellow oil nations, including the United States, that could curb global oil supply by 20%.
  • Trump had threatened OPEC leader Saudi Arabia with oil tariffs and other measures if it did not fix the market’s oversupply problem as low prices have put the U.S. oil industry, the world’s largest, in severe distress.
  • Three OPEC+ sources said the International Energy Agency (IEA), the energy watchdog for the world’s most industrialised nations, would announce purchases into stocks by its members to the tune of 3 million bpd in the next couple of months.

News that deal to cut global oil production has been finalized is welcomed in Canada (660 News - Calgary)

  • News that a deal was finalized by OPEC and other oil producing nations to cut production by nearly 10 million barrels per day is being welcomed in Canada, where provinces have suffered drastic revenue losses due to rock-bottom crude prices.
  • Mexico’s energy minister tweeted that the group of nations agreed to cut 9.7 million barrels a day to begin May 1, and energy officials from other countries shared similar information Sunday.

The US has a collective action problem that’s larger than the coronavirus crisis (Yale Program on Climate Change Communication)

  • Data show one of the strongest predictors of social distancing behavior is attitudes toward climate change.
  • Containing the spread of the coronavirus requires collective, unified action, but data on social distancing makes it clear this isn’t happening everywhere.
  • To get some hints, I put together several sources of data from US counties focusing on economic and demographic characteristics, voting patterns, civic engagement and social capital, and even attitudes toward climate change from Yale’s Climate Change in the American Mind survey.

Facebook comments manifest into real world as neo-luddites torch 5G towers (ZDNet)

  • If science says it isn't a thing, and the government backing that up also says it is a conspiracy, then there is a trust deficit that cannot be overcome.
  • An inquiry into 5G in Australia recently heard from a number of anti-5G groups, who -- amongst stretching analogies about 5G being a ship and stating everyone was going to get scurvy -- said exposure was cumulative and people were being threatened by small cells and nano-satellites.
  • If you want an example of how this could play out, examine the situation of dealing with climate change in nations like the US and Australia, where an impervious denying minority can stall, wreck, or roll back any progress made by those who agree with the science.

As the going gets tough, America returns to experts for help (News 1130 - Vancouver)

  • But those whose warnings of pandemics and other disasters, particularly involving climate change, have gone unheeded see a “told-you-so type of moment” unfolding.
  • As Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe puts it, “Every disaster movie starts with a scientist being ignored.”
  • “Americans have been subject to a lifetime of anti-scientific, anti-expertise, and anti-government propaganda.
  • Against that backdrop, climate scientists in government agencies and universities have been besieged by political and pundit types who reject the research and don’t want to deal with the scary long-term consequences.

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