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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

be used. Drax insists that all of it will be sustainably sourced.”666

Tim Harford confesses in the FT where he went wrong on the credit crunch: not paying attention. He fears his errors are “fairly representative of the economics profession.” The near-collapse of the banking system demonstrated that governments are indispensable – but indispensable klutzes nonetheless. The various interventions were botched” but “I am still profoundly grateful that governments did something rather than nothing.” “I thought that the details did not much matter. Derivatives sounded like a sensible idea in principle and that was all I needed to know. I said very few silly things about banks only because I said very few things about banks, full stop. I wasn’t paying enough attention. This is a failing that comes naturally to economists. … I didn’t know anything about banking when the credit crunch began, at least the people running the banks didn’t know anything about banking either. The joke always gets a laugh. I wonder if it is really that funny.”667

BP oil spill confirmed as ‘world’s worst’ as US government scientists estimate 4.9m barrels escaped in all. 3.3m barrels in the Ixtoc 1 spill of 1979, which had previously been estimated to be the world’s biggest leak. BP managed to capture about 800,000 barrels of the estimated 4.9m in its containment efforts.668

4.8.10. BP oil spill mostly cleaned up, says US government, as static kills looks like working. 75% of the oil has been captured, burned off, evaporated or broken down. FT: “BP said it had reached a significant milestone overnight when mud forced down the Gulf of Mexico well – the static kill operation – held back the flow of crude.”669

5.8.10. Scientists say it is 'just not true' that the vast majority of oil from the BP spill has gone. For example, John Kessler, of Texas A&M University, who led a National Science Foundation on-site study of the spill: “Recent reports seem to say that about 75% of the oil is taken care of and that is just not true. The fact is that 50% to 75% of the material that came out of the well is still in the water. It's just in a dissolved or dispersed form.” Rick Steiner, a former University of Alaska marine biologist: “It seems that there was a rush to declare this done, and there were obvious political objectives there. Even if there is not a drop of oil out there, and it had truly magically vanished, it would still be an environmental disaster caused by the toxic shock of the release of 5m barrels of oil.”670

Cement finally seals the Macondo oil well after oil is forced back down into reservoir by drilling mud. Thad Allen says the well cannot be considered permanently killed until a relief well was completed later this month when the relief well will pump cement into the bottom of the well to ensure it is sealed at both ends.671

More than 4 million caught in Pakistan flooding: Sindh braces as water envelops southern Punjab. In Punjab, Pakistan's bread basket, over 1m acres of crops have been destroyed.672

Gas industry should heed NY moves against shale boom technology, Sheila McNulty argues on FT.com. “This week, the New York state Senate voted by a wide margin - 48 to 9 - in favour of a temporary suspension through May 15, 2011, on new drilling permits for the fracturing of shale rock deep under the ground … The New York Senate effort must be approved by the entire State Assembly to become law. The body is not expected to consider the matter until September. If it is not pushed through quickly, a new governor will be elected in November, and it is unclear if he or she will be more in favour of developing the resources or protecting the environment. There are a lot of uncertainties there. But it is certainly an issue the industry must keep its eye on. … If New York does pass a bill against hydraulic fracturing, it might get others to rethink the process.”673

6.8.10. Smoke from Russian fires blankets Moscow. Visibility is down to 50 metres in some areas, with flights cancelled and people advised to stay at home.674

8.8.10.Russian troops dig a five-mile canal around Sarov nuclear base as wildfires grow. Emergency action is reported to have 'stabilised' the threatening situation at Sarov, the closed town where first Soviet nuclear bomb was built, and still the main nuclear weapons site. All explosive and radioactive material are removed from the nuclear site as a precautionary measure.675

Russian farmers on brink of bankruptcy as unprecedented heatwave and drought scorch grain crops. The wildfires add to their fears. Ft “Russia banned grain exports last week in a move to ease panic on domestic markets caused by the failing harvest.”676

UN says up to 6m affected by Pakistan floods as rising Indus waters spread south. Anger is rising at the government for the low level of assistance.677

Senior insurers say insurance can help accelerate the adoption of green energy by assessing, quantifying and spreading risk. Blooberg: “They are backstopping warranties on solar panels, helping start-up companies with short track records offer multidecade guarantees on their products and win over skeptical customers and project financiers.  … They are advising companies on how best to incorporate renewable energy systems into their factory operations and offering property insurance that will pay not just to rebuild a structure in the event of a loss like fire but reconstruct it in a more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient way. …. Nikolaus von Bomhard, chief executive of Munich Re, says climate change should not just be an opportunity for insurance companies to sell more policies for loss prevention. Insurance, he argues, can play an important “pace-making” function, helping accelerate the adoption of green energy by assessing, quantifying and spreading risk.” 678

Three years after the financial crisis, financial reforms have failed to address fundamental problems. The credit crunch began on 9 August 2007¸the history books record, and led to much talk of change. But now? Guardian:  “Many are beginning to question whether anything has really changed at all; others maintain that things have simply got worse, that the old hegemony has been reinforced rather than loosened, widening the disparity between the wealthy and the rest.” Sir John Gieve, former deputy governor of the Bank of England. "But in two big respects, I don't think it did change the world. First, the speed of globalisation, the integration of the global economy, including finance, is continuing, and second, it is continuing around broadly a free-market model. There have been far fewer repercussions than there were after the 1930s,. Then there was a real contest in the world about what was the right model for a modern society, and the crash convinced many people that capitalism and free markets were not the right way forward, but there has been no echo of that this time. Maybe India and China have slowed down on deregulating their financial industries, but broadly speaking, the direction the world had been moving in is continuing. It reflects an end of ideology. Capitalism is still the only game in town.” Guardian: “John Varley, chief executive of Barclays, underlined that point this week. From his point of view, banks are considerably less risky and more liquid. In the year of the credit

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