Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Saturday, February 24, 2018 08:21:10 PM
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 »

Indian Army Chief`s allegation means complicity of government of Bangladesh


REMARKS by Indian Army Chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat on Thursday that a 'planned influx' of people from Bangladesh into India's north-east is underway as part of a proxy war by Pakistan with support from China, so to keep the area disturbed. Moreover, he also said migration from Bangladesh are happening ...

Sports »

Bronze medalist in the women`s Big Air snowboard Synnott Zoi Sadowski of New Zealand, poses during the medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Thursday.


.

Entertainment »

Priyanka Chopra terminates contract with Nirav Modi, not suing him yet


Priyanka Chopra has decided to cut ties with billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi's brand following the news about the alleged banking fraud carried out by him. "In the light of recent allegations, Priyanka Chopra has chosen to terminate her contract with the Nirav Modi brand," a spokesperson of Priyanka, who ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a protest rally organised by Khaleda Zia Mukti Parishad at the Jatiya Press Club on Friday demanding release of BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia.


.

International »

Ex-Trump campaign associates face more charges


AP, Washington  :Dramatically escalating the pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.The filing adds allegations of tax evasion and bank fraud and significantly increases the legal jeopardy facing Paul Manafort, who managed Trump's campaign ...

Front Page »

Amnesty accuses President Trump of HR violations


Human rights group Amnesty International has accused Donald Trump of "hateful" politics and of being a threat to human rights. "President Trump takes actions that violate human rights at home and abroad," the group said. Amnesty put Mr Trump in the same group as the leaders of Egypt, Russia, China, ...

Editorial »

Serving people not making money must be the motto


PHYSICIANS must provide treatment, President Abdul Hamid said to common people at affordable cost so that no one remained deprived of receiving treatment for lack of money. He made the call while addressing the third convocation of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in the city on Monday. He has also ...

Sports »

Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic celebrates after she beats Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain during the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.


Entertainment »

Alicia Vikander loves `big adventure films`


Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander said she loves "independent and arthouse" cinema, but is also attracted towards the big adventure films.The actress, who will be soon seen as Lara Croft in the forthcoming film 'Tomb Raider', also shared that she found training and muscle-building exercise for the role, empowering. "My mother, ...

International »

Merkel calls for Europe to step up to global challenges


Reuters, Berlin  :The European Union must develop a response to growing global political and economic pressures and this will be the spirit of an EU summit this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.Merkel pointed to the crisis in Syria and the growing importance of Asian economies as needing ...

City »

SNAPSHOTS ON AMAR EKUSHEY OBSERVANCE


Editorial »

Ekushey tells us to be free and fearless against injustice


THE Nation celebrates 'Amar Ekushey' today with due solemnity and colourful festivities to remember the Martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement. It is a landmark occasion and a day of awakening in the history of Bengali people that gave us the clear realization that we have our own language and ...

Cricket »

Captain of Bangladesh National Cricket (ODI) team Mashrafe Bin Mortaza handing over a crest of honour to Hafiz Yasin Arafat at the Bashundhara International Convention Centre in the city recently. Yasin Arafat became Hafiz-e-Quran in 86 days. He was a student of Tanjimul Ummah Hifz Madrasah of Cox's Bazar. Ahlul Huffaz Foundation Bangladesh arranged the reception programme.


Sports »

Medalists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating (from left) : Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, of France (silver), Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada (gold) and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the United States (bronze) pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Tuesday.


International »

Trump backs improved background checks on gun buys


US President Donald Trump signaled support Monday for improving background gun checks amid mounting pressure for reform in the wake of the Florida school shooting, as the accused gunman appeared in court.Nikolas Cruz, charged with killing 17 people, sat silently with his head bowed during a procedural hearing in Fort ...

 
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