Venezuela Returns to ‘Middle Ages’ During Power Outages

By Maria Lorente – Re-Blogged From Yahoo!

Walking for hours, making oil lamps, bearing water. For Venezuelans today, suffering under a new nationwide blackout that has lasted days, it’s like being thrown back to life centuries ago.

El Avila, a mountain that towers over Caracas, has become a place where families gather with buckets and jugs to fill up with water, wash dishes and scrub clothes. The taps in their homes are dry from lack of electricity to the city’s water pumps.

A man carries drums with water he collected from a stream at the Wuaraira Repano mountain, also called El Avila, in Caracas

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US Pulling Last Diplomats from Venezuela Amid Power Crisis

By The Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The U.S. said late Monday that it is pulling its last remaining diplomats from Venezuela, saying their continued presence at the country’s embassy in Caracas had become a “constraint” on U.S. policy as the Trump administration aggressively looks to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

The announcement came from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a tweet shortly before midnight comes as Venezuela struggles to restore electricity following four days of blackouts around the country.

The U.S. has led an international effort to replace Maduro with opposition leader Juan Guaido, who vows to hold a new presidential election. Guaido is backed by some 50 countries, while Maduro maintains support from countries such as China, Russia and Cuba.

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Wall Street is Chasing Ghosts

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Pento Portfolio Strategies

Wall Street’s absolute obsession with the soon to be announced most wonderful trade deal with China is mind-boggling. The cheerleaders that haunt main stream financial media don’t even care what kind of deal gets done. They don’t care if it hurts the already faltering condition of China’s economy or even if it does little to improve the chronically massive US trade deficits—just as long as both sides can spin it as a victory and return to the status quo all will be fine.

But let’s look at some facts that contradict this assumption. The problems with China are structural and have very little if anything to do with a trade war. To prove this let’s first look at the main stock market in China called the Shanghai Composite Index. This index peaked at over 5,100 in the summer of 2015. It began last year at 3,550. But today is trading at just 2,720. From its peak in 2015 to the day the trade war began on July 6th of 2018, the index fell by 47%. Therefore, it is silly to blame China’s issues on trade alone. The real issue with China is debt. In 2007 its debt was $7 trillion, and it has skyrocketed to $40 trillion today. It is the most unbalanced and unproductive pile of debt dung the world has ever seen, and it was built in record time by an edict from the communist state.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #347

The Week That Was: February 9, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week:On specific energy and climate issues I’m guided by what the data tell me, not by claims made in the scientific literature. This is why you will find me disagreeing with most of the ‘consensus’ views on climate change but not all of them. My main concern for the future of my three grandchildren isn’t climate change, but that the misguided efforts of the people who want to save the world from it will leave them freezing in the dark.” – Roger Andrews, RIP.

Number of the Week: 1.4 million barrels per day (b/d)

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Venezuelan Socialists On Track to Eliminate Their Nation’s Oil Industry

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Despite oil accounting for a whopping 90% of Venezuela’s export earnings, President Maduro, a fervent supporter of the Paris Agreement, has courageously put principle before profits by implementing his version of a new green deal. Maduro has eliminated the capitalist exploiters from his nation’s oil industry, and replaced them with loyal army officers who are rapidly dismantling the infrastructure left behind by the capitalists.

Soldiers are taking over Venezuela’s oil industry, and the country with the world’s biggest oil reserves is falling further behind

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #341

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President

Quote of the Week: “On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?” – Lord Macaulay, [H/t Matt Ridley]

Number of the Week: Up to a 50% increase in efficiency?On to Chile: Some seem to be disappointed with the outcome of the 24th Conference of Parties (COP-24) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Katowice, Poland, in a coal mining district. Rather than adopting hard, fast rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the delegates adopted vague generalities and promised to do more. Reading through the “bureaucratic speak,” of the concluding remarks by the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, read by Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, the stated goals were not accomplished. The Secretary General wrote:

“I’d first like to thank the Presidency of the COP for the enormous efforts it deployed to organize this 24th session in Katowice, Poland.

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