Situation in Venezuelan Prisons Worsens

Situation in Venezuelan Prisons Worsens 

From the Editors of VenEconomy

Venezuela’s penitentiary system has been ravaged by the revolutionary "marabunta"  (wolf spider) for many years now.

Recent events include those that took place at the Rodeo I and II prisons (Guatire, Miranda state) in 2011 that left 16 dead and more than 20 people wounded, as well as other detention centers such as Uribana (Lara state), Tocorón (Aragua state) or La Planta (Caracas). The latter was shut down in 2012.

Wounded Uribana prisoner, from Reportero 24.com, 
which reported over 100 prisoners were massacred by 
the venezuelan National Guard in January 2013. 


Highly Recommended Article about the Cuban dictatorship

The following  is a quote from an article by  Miriam Celaya at 14 y medio:

After the demise of the Soviet Union and of socialism in Eastern Europe, the regime managed, with relative success, an unprecedented economic crisis in Cuba, euphemistically known as the “Special Period”, thanks to two key factors: foreign investment from a group of adventurous entrepreneurs who believed that a virgin market and a system in ruins were sufficient conditions for bargaining advantageously  and the forced establishment of  opening enterprise in the form of small family business, two elements that had been demonized for decades, since the nationalization, in the early sixties, of foreign capital businesses, and seizing of small businesses later, during the so-called Revolutionary Offensive of 1968.

Hugo Chávez with his mentor, Fidel Castro. Today
 Cuba is ruled by Fidel´s younger brother, Raul, who 
in turn is grooming his eldest son  to take over power 
when he retires (photo from Natl Geographic) 

In the late 90’s, however, a new possibility for subsidies appeared on the scene, in the form of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez. His deeply populist and egotistical government assumed the maintenance of the Castro system based on the exploitation and ruthless squandering that country’s oil. At the same time, he sustained the Cuban sovereignty myth. This myth is the foundation of the revolutionary anti-imperialist tale (David vs. Goliath), played endlessly in this ignorant and superstitious region by a host of leftist opportunistic intellectuals that thrive in Latin America.


Obama-China + Europe CO2 Plan Results

The CO2 emissions as per the USA, China, and EU stated goals have been estimated to yield a 0.2 degree C temperature reduction by 2050. This figure was estimated assuming all other nations followed either the USA or the Chinese commitments (I assumed the EU commitment is too stupid to be copied by other nations). 

The USA China agreement is soft, Obama celebrated the deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week. He seemed really happy he got the Chinese to stop growing their emissions after 2030. 

Obama toasts the big deal with Xi Jingping 

If we follow my method then we have three sets of CO2 emissions  commitments:

i. EU commitment, 40 % reduction by 2030.
ii. USA commitment, 28 % reduction by 2025.
iii. China commitment, continued growth and no more increases beyond 2030.

Given the lack of stated commitments by other nations, I used my judgment and placed them in one of the three groups above. I also extrapolated these commitments assuming all nations except for Africa would continue reducing their CO2 emissions by 2.1 % per year. This happens to be the reduction the USA has to use to achieve Obama´s pledge to the Chinese.

The Chinese and other Asian nations (except Japan and South Korea)  are the gorillas in the CO2 emissions scenarios. Because they, as well as minor players (Latin America, former Soviet Union, and so on) do not reduce emissions growth until 2030 the total world´s emissions will continue to rise and peak at 20 % above today´s level, as shown in this graph:

CO2 emissions if all nations participate 
in CO2 reduction efforts in three classes…

However, if we assume 50 % of the CO2 emissions do not stay in the atmosphere (this is roughly what happened over the last century), then CO2 concentrations reach 493 ppm by 2050 (versus 536 ppm if we use my estimate of fossil fuel burn rate, documented in a previous post).


We can blame the USA for low oil prices

World oil prices have been dropping recently, from over $100 per barrel to less than $80 per barrel in November (I expect they will be around $40 to $50 for a while, then start climbing and return to the $80 level by early 2016). 

Low oil prices benefit consumers, hurt tax collectors, and really hurt economically  weak OPEC members like Venezuela, Ecuador, and Iran. Lower oil prices also hurt USA producers, who are the ones causing the oil price drop, as you´ll see below...

Drilling rig 

Oil prices are dropping because US oil producers are drilling and fracking a large number of horizontal wells, and this has caused a hefty increase in US oil and other liquids production. However, I should clarify that production from those fracked horizontal wells tends to include a large fraction of very light hydrocarbons, which aren´t real crude oil. These light hydrocarbons are ethane (C2H4), propane (C3H8) and butane (C4C10). These liquids can´t really be considered crude oil.

The USA production increase is also due to higher condensate production (condensate is found in the gas phase in the reservoir, but will turn into a liquid phase at surface conditions). Condensate production statistics are hard to get, but my guess is that a significant fraction of production increases we are seeing are condensates and not crude oil.


The Global Warming Pause doesn´t exist

The denial propaganda machine has been spreading the idea that global warming has "paused" or is on “hiatus”.   This is seen mostly on Fox News and other extremists media.

This right wing propaganda ignores the scientific basis for global warming, which as President Obama explained is supported by 97 % of the scientists who are scared by this whole issue.

To reinforce your faith I´d like to  quote my fellow warmist Graham Redfern at The Guardian:

There never was a "pause" in global warming or climate change. For practical purposes, the so-called "pause" in global warming is not even a thing.”

I´d like to add a quote from Emily Atkin at “Think Progress”, who wrote:

“It’s one of the most oft-used arguments put forth by climate deniers: that there has been “no global warming” for the last 17 years, as evidenced by a supposed lack of increase in global average surface temperature.”

Dear readers, when it comes to global warming the key is to focus on real data, use the long term trends, and have faith in the climate models. Denialists are like demons, they  like to trick you into losing your faith. They do it by “cherrypicking” the data.

To make you immune to their trickery I´m going to show you a plot of the lower atmosphere temperature published by Dr Mears at RSS:

Temperature plot from Dr. Mears at RSS showing
 there´s  no hiatus if we ignore the flat temperature
 trend after the year 2000.