Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 02:29:29 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Opinion

All for a good crisis manager

Erick Vasconcelos

By
07th-Feb-2015       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

After years of subsidizing power consumption, something that curiously benefits capital-intensive manufacturing, Brazil's government has decided to raise electrical bills by 30% in 2015. Indeed, 30% is Mines and Energy minister Eduardo Braga's most optimistic projection. Hikes will more likely average 40%. Braga, however, as has become standard procedure for the Dilma administration, prefers to navigate through meaningless promises until reality catches up and the government narrative crumbles permanently.
The increases are already in the bills, signaled by so-called "flags" indicating extra costs for power generation in each region in Brazil.
Large chunks of Brazilian territory are now "red flag" areas, which informs us that the power supply is being supplemented by thermal plants, whose higher costs require us to cough up more money.
Besides the price increases, Brazil now lives with frequent nationwide blackouts. It is as if we have gone back in time to 2001, when for an hour every day for several months power supply was cut. In 2005, then president Lula stated - in another of his megalomaniac speeches ridden with sentences claiming "never before in this country" - that Brazil would never suffer another blackout.
His foresight did not extend even to the end of his own administration. In 2009, almost the whole country shut down and Lula stated that new power outages depended only on "God's will." Since then, God has apparently ordered several blackouts each year.
In 2015, the party in power, the Workers' Party (PT), still thinks the divine will provide for everything, making it rain so that hydroelectric plants can generate power for the people.
This is not surprising for a government whose minister of Science, Technology and Innovation believes that global warming is a tool used by imperialism to control the poor countries. For the current government, any intervention by man in nature seems mysterious and unpredictable in its consequences.
Brazil's power crisis is compounded by a water supply crisis. The drought in Sao Paulo has already led to government rationing of water.
What is curious, though, is that 70% of the water from the ever-drying reservoirs goes directly to heavily subsidized agriculture. And 22% of it goes straight to Sao Paulo's heavily subsidized manufacturing sector. The remaining 8% goes to private homes, which are always the ones compelled to cut consumption.
Agriculture subsidies also have indirect effects on the water supply. Cultivation of cerrado (tropical savanna) lands that require intensive use of water, and the appropriation of Amazonian lands, limiting tree transpiration, also influence the Sao Paulo drought.
Evidently, PT, which solidified its alliance with the agribusiness by appointing ruralist Katia Abreu to the Ministry of Agriculture, means to do nothing about it.
What impresses most in government pronouncements is their view of nature as indomitable and wholly unpredictable.
Any measure involving future projections is absolutely absurd and unfeasible for the government, which works in cycles of four years (up to the next election). If hydroelectric plants run out of water, we can only pray for rain to restore the dams to their usual levels. If potable water runs out, only nature can replenish the reservoirs.
Like tribesmen for whom any human interference in climate is anathema, every solution proposed by the government is an appeal to fortune and divine grace.
Brazilian politicians should be wary, however. Divine grace periodically answers the call for rain.
And with the gift of rain, periodically Brazilian cities are flooded, hundreds die and thousands are displaced. Even though that happens anually, without fail, for the government floods are absolutely unpredictable, too. Well, what can we do? Let's pray for rain. But not a lot.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

We welcome Islamabad for awarding Bangladeshi-origin refugees Pakistan`s nationality


PAKISTAN government has decided to grant nationality to all Pakistan-born refugees of Bangladeshi and Afghan origins staying there for decades. Prime Minister Mr Imran Khan on Sunday made this announcement during his maiden visit to Karachi, saying the Bangladeshi and Afghan refugees who were born in Pakistan would get National ...

Sports »

Argentina's Facundo Conte (left) and teammate Alexis Gonzalez celebrate during the Men's World Championships' volleyball match between Argentina and Slovenia, in Florence, Italy on Monday.


Football »

FIFA president Infantino has doubts about La Liga match in Miami


AFP, Barcelona :FIFA president Gianni Infantino has expressed concern about La Liga's proposal to stage a fixture between Girona and Barcelona in the United States.The two clubs have each approved a request submitted to the Spanish Football Federation for the match to be played at the Hard Rock Stadium in ...

Entertainment »

Annie Sekhon all set to shine in Bollywood


Actress Annie Sekhon who has worked in many television shows and Punjabi films is having the time of her life. Off late she's been enjoying the success of her latest Punjabi film, 'Punjab Singh' opposite Gurjind Maan. The hangover of this film hasn't even faded yet and she's taking a ...

Entertainment »

2018 Emmy winners list


Best Drama Series: Game of ThronesBest Comedy Series: The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselBest Actor, Drama Series: Matthew Rhys, The AmericansBest Actress, Drama Series: Claire Foy, The CrownBest Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Peter Dinklage, Game of ThronesBest Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Thandie Newton, WestworldBest Writing, Drama Series: Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, ...

Business & Economy »

Md. Momin Ud Dowlah, Chairman and Managing Director of Eon Group of Industries Limited, inaugurating its 18th anniversary celebrating programme by cutting cake at Eon Convention Center in the city on Sunday. Major ABA Mesbah Ud Dowlah, Vice-Chairman, ABA Shahid Ud Dowlah, Executive Director, Sayeeda Dowla, Director and Dr. Tamim Ud Dowlah, Group Director were also present.


City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a discussion on 'Voting Rights-Fair Justice and Human Rights: Present Bangladesh' organised by Bangladesh Jatiya Manobadhikar Parishad at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday.


International »

US slashes refugee admissions to 30,000 for 2019


Reuters, Washington :U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday the United States would cap the number of refugees allowed into the country at 30,000 for fiscal year 2019, a sharp drop from a limit of 45,000 it set for 2018."We proposed resettling up to 30,000 refugees under the ...

Editorial »

Journalists` concern for free speech should not be ignored


EDITORS' Council on Saturday expressed its surprise, dissatisfaction, and shock at the final report of a parliamentary standing committee on the draft Digital Security Act which totally ignored the concerns expressed by journalists. Following disapproval from journalists, rights campaigners and foreign diplomats in Dhaka, the Law Minister earlier had admitted ...

Sports »

Japan's Osaka blames US Open tears on 'notorious' nerves


AFP, Tokyo :Naomi Osaka has put her US Open tears down to shredded nerves and her natural awkwardness, rather than the tantrum thrown by Serena Williams that overshadowed a historic Japanese win.The 20-year-old melted hearts when she burst into sobs as boos rang out following her emphatic 6-2, 6-4 thrashing ...

International »

Floodwaters rise as killer storm stalks southeastern US


AFP :Catastrophic floods raised the threat of landslides and dam failures across the southeastern United States on Monday, prolonging the agony caused by a killer hurricane that has left more than a dozen people dead and caused billions of dollars in damage.Downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence crept over South ...

International »

Imran Khan pledges citizenship to Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees


Al Jazeera News :Karachi, Pakistan - Prime Minister Imran Khan has pledged to implement existing Pakistani laws that would grant citizenship to all Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees who were born on Pakistani soil, a major departure from previous policy.Pakistan is home to more than 1.39 million registered Afghan refugees, according ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a protest rally organised by Nasir Uddin Ahmed Pintu Smriti Sangsad at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday demanding release of BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia and other leaders of the party.


Entertainment »

Radhika Apte turns adviser for AndhaDhun director


AndhaDhun director, Sriram Raghavan holds Radhika’s opinion in high regard when it comes to working on a project. Radhika being an omnipresent character in the entertainment world, the filmmaker feels that seeking advice from the actress always works in favor of him. According to sources, Sriram Raghavan said, “Since Radhika ...

Editorial »

DUCSU election is desirable but subservient party politics must end


ACADEMICS and former student leaders have emphasised favourable environment and immediate announcement of schedule to hold the long-awaited election to Dhaka University Central Student Union (DUCSU). While Dhaka University authorities initiated a discussion with student organisations over the issue yesterday, the participants welcoming the DU's move pointed out that flexing ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news