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Geopolitics

From DC To Euro Debt To Iran War: A Year Of Living Dangerously Lies Ahead

Essay: The world probably won’t end in 2012, as some apocalyptic theorists predict. But things still look a bit scary, even from the relatively stable confines of Latin America, as an ever-interconnected global map sizzles with conflict.

From DC To Euro Debt To Iran War: A Year Of Living Dangerously Lies Ahead
Rodrigo Lara Serrano

BUENOS AIRESA convoy of hearses left the cemetery in Thessaloniki, Greece and made its way to the government's nearby regional headquarters. To the relief of the civil servants watching from the windows, the vehicles were empty – except for the drivers, who arrived en masse to protest a recent tax hike. Hearse costs have recently shot up in Greece thanks to a government decision to upgrade them to the "private car" category, alongside luxury brands like Ferraris or Aston Martins. Athens, as the late December demonstration underscores, is keen to exploit even the smallest source of income in its desperate – and possibly futile – effort to remain in the euro zone.

Europe has other serious concerns as well, including the fact that its "fairy godmother," otherwise known as the European Central Bank (ECB), has proven to be overly stingy, refusing to offer Eurobonds to secure national debt, which could otherwise be an egalitarian way to share the debt burden. Indeed, the euro could become a global time bomb in 2012.

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Economy

The Bogus Concept Of "Carbon-Neutral" Oil

The Colombian president recently said that the country had exported one million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset oil. But in an unregulated carbon market, such a claim is pure greenwashing.

People walk in the streets of Bogotá

María Mónica Monsalve Sánchez

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ - In March this year, various national and corporate leaders met in Houston, Texas, for CERAWeek, an annual conference to discuss the world's energy challenges. Colombia's President Iván Duque took the opportunity to remind participants that his country produced just 0.6% of the world's carbon emissions even as it had raised crude production to one million barrels a day.

He said oil should not be seen as an enemy, since the fight was really against greenhouse gas emissions. He also revealed at the event that the country's national oil firm, Ecopetrol, had sold the Asian market its first million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset crude, consisting of the entire extraction, production and exportation chain.

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