Re: What I think about through recent news (55) August 5, 2022

I comment what I feel, when I watch recent movements in the world.

■Worldwide extreme weather by global warming:
In addition to the seventh wave of COVID-19, heatstroke is occurring at a high level due to record-breaking heat wave every day. And record heavy rain, which is too intense to say “the return of rainy season”, is attacking various places, and big damage is occurring. In Japan, in addition to this, there are volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occurring somewhere almost every day. It can be said that Japan is surely the world largest “country with a lot of natural disasters”.
On the other hand, in the United States, demand for air conditioning has increased rapidly due to record heat wave, and natural gas prices are soaring. And a poor harvest of rape seed is concerned, and its price becomes 40 % higher. And in Nevada and Arizona, a water level of Lake Mead which is the largest reservoir of the United States has dropped, and drinking water supply for close to 25 million Americans is threatened. And in California, massive wildfires are also happening frequently.
Europe was also hit by fierce heat waves widely in the middle of July, and in Portugal, the maximum temperature reached 47 degrees centigrade on July 14, and also in Spain it reached 45 degrees. In both countries, more than one thousand people centering on the elderly have been dead till July 17.
And not only in developed countries but also in emerging countries, according to WMO (World Meteorological Organization), 45 ~50 degrees were observed across India in the middle of May. Also in Pakistan, the temperature reached 50 degrees, and glaciers broke down in mountainous areas.
According to IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the average temperature in the world has already risen 1.1 degrees compared to before the Industrial Revolution (1760~1840). According to the data of Japan Metrological Agency, the average temperature in Japan has risen 1.5 degrees. IPCC’s report in August 2021 estimated and warned to various countries that the possibility of heat waves that occur once every 50 years increased by 4.8 times, and the possibility of the drought threatening agriculture and ecosystem increased by 1.7 times. Like these, a bad influence by global warming is becoming actual in various forms in the world.
There is a movement toward reducing emissions of CO2 where the momentum was building up, but oil prices are soaring and natural gas is in short supply due to Russian’s invasion to Ukraine, and then the ratio of thermal power generation burning coal is rising. Although we are in abnormal situation now, measures against global warming are urgent.

■Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House in the United States, visited Taiwan:
Nancy Pelosi, who is the Speaker of the House aged 82, and the third high-ranking official following the President, and the Vice President, visited Taiwan and had a talk with Tsai Ying-wen, the President of Taiwan amid a whirlwind of pros and cons. My impression is a signal where that is the United States never yielding to “threats”. Some said that this visit would bring about destabilization between the United States and China, and thus not only destabilization in Asia but also in the world. However, diplomacy is, so to speak, “chicken game” or a last-minute scuffle. The one who flinches is the one who loses. In particular, China recently presents an appearance of hegemonism, expansionism or imperialism, and is trying to get not only the Asian Seas but also Pacific Island Countries. Moreover, China is also plotting to expand its power into East Asia and Africa, under the banner of “Belt and Road Initiative”. When I look at a response of China’s side this time, China is obviously different from the last time when two countries were nervous in 1996, and showing its face as a military super power. Asian countries, based on their respective national interests, their distance with the United States and China is wobbling. This time, I think it should be evaluated that the United States showed resolute attitude. However, from now on, it seems that China and Russia will get closer increasingly, and the confrontation between totalitarianism/despotism and liberalism/democracy will be radicalized. An outlook of world economy and society is getting to be much unclear. We have to assess a severe reality of global situation splitting and conflicting from unipolar system by the United States to bipolar or tripolar system, and Japan has to get out an illusion such as “One- Country Pacifism” too.

■The United States killed a leader of Al-Qaeda:
The U.S. Government announced that the United States killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, a leader of international terrorist organization “Al-Qaeda” that carried out simultaneous terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 by drone missiles. He was a successive leader of Usama bin Ladin suspect who was a ringleader of the said attack killed in 2011. I felt awesomeness of the U.S. intelligence chasing the target relentlessly and power of high-tech weapons or drones.
The U.S. Government seems to think that “taking revenge on the victims of terrorism” and “rescuing hostages for political purposes” are obligations of the State. Through this incident, I recalled a movie titled “Saving Private Ryan” (rescue drama of a soldier) which I watched in the past.

(P.S.) “Nebuta festival in Aomori” suspended by COVID-19 was held for the first time in the last three years. When I watch dancing people and the bright looks of the audience through television, I feel that “festival” is “an irreplaceable culture” and “the source of regional power” after all.
Four years ago in August, I took part in a tour of the four major festivals in the Tohoku region, which are “Nebuta festival in Aomori”, “Kanto festival in Akita”, “Hanagasa festival in Yamagata”, and “Tanabata festival in Sendai”. Each one of them was emotional and wonderful, but above all the others, a figure where small children controlled heavy “pole lamp (kanto)” with all their might made a strong impression on me. And in the past, I visited “Awa-Odori”, “Owarakazenobon in Etchu”, “Gujo Odori in Gifu”, “Yamaga Lantern festival in Kumamoto”, and so forth. We have more traditional festivals throughout the country. I would like to take a second look at the joy of domestic travel, and continue to look around them as much as possible.

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