Monday, March 16, 2020

Toast

Shortly after 6 am, I make a toast with Port Salut cheese and some Scottish orange and ginger marmalade. Being down with a cold that I picked up from the boys, I have decided to play it extra safe this spring and only run when I am feeling 100%.

Toasters, yes, one can expect that the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic will further accelerate the biotech revolution, opening new vistas of hopes but also fears, all deepening our ambivalence towards modernity. A friend wrote, “I’m still working, but it’s like being in a sci-fi movie”.

New data suggests that industrial production in China was down 13.5% in China in January and February as retail sales plummeted by more than 20% in the first contraction since 1990, so we are clearly entering a period of global “degrowth”. Yet, the core of the world’s economies remains as fossil as ever and the low oil price will make renewable energy even less competitive. But as long as emissions are going down, it will be pedagogically difficult to explain that we are on a road to nowhere. In addition, when the storm eventually settles, I expect there will be strong political pressure to restore labour and financial markets by whatever means necessary.

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