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February 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.    Wishing You All a Happy New Year.       February 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:January' 2018

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Concern over climate change

M. R. Dua

Climate chang Intermittent worries emerging out of the constantly dipping temperatures over major parts of Europe and the Americas since early January leading to below-freezing point temperatures are causing serious concerns over the likely climate change that could spell disastrous consequences globally, beginning in the early 2020s itself.
Though these apparent signs of climate change have been pooh-poohed by US President Donald J. Trump, who derisively branded the climate change as the "greatest hoax", the fact remains that so many concerned private parties and law groups have been consistently focusing on this looming threat to our planet in the very near future.

Most insightful are aware of this threat. In the United States, a populist pro-climate change movement, the ‘Green New Deal’ (GND), is fast gaining widest approval to comprehend this change. As of now, at least four leading Democratic Party nomination contenders and the 2020 probable presidential contestants have already endorsed this Green New Deal.

Besides, many other organizations also have lent spirited support to this swelling movement. Some of the eminent individuals and core groups include the new young US lawmaker, the recently-elected New York Democrat member of the House of Representatives, 29- year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Massachusetts Democrat Senator Ed Markey, also known as the "livingsymbol of the 2008-era-thinking of climate change." The Green New Deal is believed to be named after the 1930s national icon FDR’s ‘New Deal’ that spelt economic prosperity during his presidency.

Now this is being termed just as ‘a resolution of an intergovernmental panel on climate change’, and just ‘an idea’ and ‘not a policy.’ The panel resolution’s biggest goals have elicited wide interest, and have been favourably supported in numerous political and social circles. The resolution’s major purposes: making the US carbonized-neutral by 2030, and turning the country into a global leader in renewable energy... a completely cut fossil fuel emissions.

The India-origin US House of Representatives member, Washington Democrat Pramila Jayapal, too, has averred that "we cannot combat climate change if our politicians are still being influenced by the fossil fuel industry. It’s time for our public servants to prioritize the health of our families, climate and democracy and overlining the pockets of fossil fuel executives."

The Green New Deal (GND) has informally laid out its goalposts, aspirations and specific schemes calling for a fuller involvement of the US government for solution to climate change, that are broad enough "to respond to the devastating impacts of sealevel rise, droughts, fires and major storms -- the issues that have been overlooked by the Trump administration."

As India too is no unfamiliar with dangers such as earthquakes, floods, cyclones or other natural emergencies, leading to untold miseries, it has reportedly shown interest in some of the GND’s projects and programmes. Particularly so, because this year India’s winter has witnessed excessive snowfall in Kashmir and upper areas of Himachal Pradesh. And, in summer months when these snows start melting, India’s coastal areas in Andhra, Telangana and Odisha as well as Chennai are severely affected, causing huge losses of life and property, but during droughts approximately 15 per cent of India’s groundwater sources begin to dry up.

Incidentally, a climate change scientist of the University of Hawaii has also forecast that by the year 2100 in India, precipitation and the resultant floods and cyclonic storms could ‘occur concurrently’.

In fact, climatic changes are already taking place in India. A research study has found that some ‘27 aspects of human health are impacted by climate change leading to increasing suicidal ideas among farmers’ particularly, and several health hazards that can happen in a single year – drought, heat wave, storms and floods. Also, many agricultural crops are hard hit by severe climate fluctuations, studies have found.

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Kamala Devi Harris America’s presidential election is nearly 20 months away. Over a dozen likely combatants have surfaced so far, five women among them, and at least two of Indianorigin : Democratic Party California Senator Kamala Devi Harris (born Oct. 1964) and Tulsi Gabbard (born April 1981), the only Hindu member of the House of Representatives from Hawaii. When Harris announced her candidature for the 2020 presidential race, current President Donald Trump, characterized her as ‘the most credible opponent’. Some Republicans see Harris as the ‘more moderate candidate’. A New York Times editorial called Kamal ‘an amazing amalgam of different elements – highly educated elite, meritocrat, Oakland (her constituency in California state) street fighter, crusading, roughelbow prosecutor.’

Tulsi Gabbard Tulsi Gabbard doesn’t figure among the top in her own party hierarchy. America’s two-party system provides primaries before the final choice of the respective party candidates -- Republican and Democratic — for nation-wide voting. The primaries are likely to start on February 20 next year.
An American billionaire businessman, Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks, is also said to be eying the 2020 White House race.

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Ilhan Abdullahi Omar During the November 2018 US mid-term elections, a surprise winner for a House of Representatives seat was from the state of Minnesota, Democratic Party’s Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (born October 1981), a n a t u r a l i s e d American citizen of the Somali-origin. She was elected as the Democratic Party - FarmerLabour member. Incidentally, she was also the first h i j a b - w e a r i n g Muslim member in the 181-year history of the American Congress.

Rashida Harbi Tlaib From the state of Michigan, and a second Muslim woman to win for the House was Rashida Harbi Tlaib (born July 1976) of Palestinian origin. The personal histories of their marriages, divorces, raising of children and faith-based remarriages of both of them are complicated, and not deemed politically relevant or affecting their membership of Congress.
Omar has been in the eye of a storm. She created a controversy by m a k i n g s t a t e m e n t s against the Jews of Israel. P r e s i d e n t Trump was reported to have demanded that Omar resign her seat in Congress ‘for i n s i n u a t i n g tweets deemed a n t i - S e m a n t i c about Jews and money that he (Trump) trafficked in for years as a candidate and president.’ Omar has profusely apologised. The President has termed her apology ‘lame’ one and declined to accept it, saying her apology was ‘terrible’, and that ‘she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.’