By J Mulraj
June 10-16, 2023


… can lead to disaster

A question for readers – is the image above showing a pretty, young woman, or an old hag? Reader response to this optical illusion would be pretty much divided, equally. You see what you wish to see. Look hard, and you can see both.

The lyrics of the song ‘Nights in White Satin’ expresses this beautifully, as it describes the moon as a

cold heart orb that rules the night,

 removes the colors from our sight,

red is gray, and yellow, white,

but we decide which is right,

and which is an illusion’

Sadly, a lot of decisions are being taken, not on the basis of a reasoned analysis, but for ideological, emotional, personal reasons, in order to drive a pre-determined agenda. An agenda which a pliant mainstream media then propagates.

Environmental concerns are driving a lot of the policy agenda. As, indeed, they should, but only after considering and analyzing the facts and the alternatives.

It is environmental concern that is giving a policy thrust towards electric vehicles, or EVs. But the fact is that EVs also harm the environment. Honda, for example, is going slow on EV adoption. In this video it says (see 6:54) that, in order to make a 450 kg battery, the producer has to dig up 200,000 tonnes of material. Producing 1 battery results in 10-40 tonnes of carbon emissions! So, the fact is that, although the final product, viz. the electric vehicle, emits less carbon than an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle, the process of manufacturing the EV and components, and the process of finding the raw material, generates a lot of carbon emissions.

That is why the #2 largest auto producer in the world, Toyota, is also going slow on EVs, preferring an alternative, hydrogen powered cars. The exhaust of these cars emit no carbon, but just water! To be sure, there are some challenges, such as in transporting and storing, hydrogen, but the jury is still out there. If all cars were EVs, the power generated, globally, would be enough for about half of them.

EVs also need a lot of material, such as rare earths, that are produced in countries considered hostile. Depending on such countries poses a risk to the supply chains.

Government mandates to stop ICE vehicles and move completely to EVs by a certain date need to be thought through, so as not to deprive consumers of choices, so as not to, perhaps, worsen the problem, as a full adoption would need more electricity generation to charge them, and to allow alternatives, maybe better ones, to emerge.

It was concern for the environment which dictated Biden’s policy of discontinuing grant of federal leases for the fracking industry. That, in turn, led to America losing its energy independence and once again relying on OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, for crude oil imports. Biden’s attempts to get Saudi Crown Prince, MBS, to increase production, so as to bring down petrol prices before the January mid term election, failed. The fact that Biden had called Saudi Arabia a pariah state (due to the killing of Adnan Khashoggi in its embassy in Turkey) did not help him push his case.

Nor were environmental concerns atop Biden’s mind when he literally pushed Putin (by disregarding Putin’s call for talks to allay his apprehensions about admitting Ukraine into NATO, an existential threat to Russia). The incessant firing of artillery shells and dropping of bombs has harmed the environment, as has the blowing up, (likely, says Seymour Hersh, by USA) of the Nordstream pipelines. This act released huge quantities of harmful methane, much more damaging than carbon dioxide.

Nor yet the increased use by Germany, of the worst polluting coal, lignite, to produce the power it was deprived off by its own, myopic, action of stopping gas supplies from Russia.

So, the push by the collective west, to Russia, to militarily intervene, as they didn’t deign to talk with it, was a decision based, not on a reasoned analysis of the consequences, but on ideological, emotional and personal reasons.

What has the collective west achieved?

* the destruction of Ukraine. Ten million citizens have migrated. Perhaps 300,000 have died/been injured. Its infrastructure has been destroyed. It has been bankrupted. It has lost territory and is unlikely to get it back.

* Europe has been starved of energy, oil and gas from Russia, which was cheap and environmentally friendly. Germany has reverted to using lignite, the dirtiest coal. Most of Europe has had to overpay to get expensive LNG, and American exporters have gained from high prices.

* German industry has been rendered uncompetitive by the high energy prices and has entered recession.

* Europe faces continuing high inflation and ECB just raised interest rates by 0.25%, to a 22 year high. The US Fed has paused, and not raised rates.

* The collective west has depleted its own weapons pile, giving arms to Ukraine. Both EU and the West, highly indebted themselves, have given financial help to Ukraine to prolong a war it cant win. The longer the war stretches, the more Ukranians will die. There are no public protests in the West, since no body bags are coming home.

* Ukraine has not joined NATO.

So, what, exactly, have you achieved, Joe?


Red is gray, and yellow black,

But we decide which is right,

And which is an illusion.

Alas, the drums of war keep beating, and countries keep developing deadlier weapons in their quest for an edge. Iran boasts of having developed a hypersonic missile, one which available technologies are unable to stop. China and Russia boast of them, too. The US has developed laser weapons to be able to stop hypersonic missiles. Insanity is limitless.

Last week the BSE sensex closed at 63384, a new high, up 759 points over the week.

Investors need to look out for the effect on agriculture from the delayed monsoon. At the moment, the delay has resulted in a 50% shortfall, so far. Unless the monsoon catches up, agricultural output, therefore GDP, can be hit.

Investors must also watch out for July 19, when the grain deal is set to expire. If, till then, the global polity has its head in the clouds, and refuses to address mutual concerns to settle the issue, there can be a global famine.

Then, of course, there is the political slugfest in USA, the largest economy. Trump has been indicted, and arrested, for holding classified documents, unmindful of the fact that Presidents Obama, Clinton and Biden also took, and still hold, classified documents. The Republicans are investigating, and could possibly impeach, on corruption charges after discovering a trail of payments to Joe and Hunter Biden.

What is the true picture? Moody Blues has given the answer –

Red is gray, and yellow white,

But we decide which is right,

And which is an illusion.


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