Publisher’s note: “The Week in the Charts” summarizes the weekly edition of The Economist in five clear graphs.
There is increasing understanding of the real truth of what climate change is doing to the planet. Climate scientists are increasingly proving that they are more adept at making reliable and detailed estimates of what is happening because of rising emissions. Unfortunately, real evidence, along with more accurate models, shows the increasingly devastating effects of a rapidly warming world. What can you do about this? It is expected that many more people will install more air conditioning systems in the coming decades, which will increase the demand for electricity. One controversial option is to talk about conscious climate change through geoengineering. Politicians should also work more aggressively to reduce methane in the atmosphere. This can bring benefits relatively quickly. Politicians will always weigh any climate action against the will of hesitant voters. For example: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is keen to maintain his popularity among motorists.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping is attacking his country’s biggest tech giant. The impact is terrifying and could damage his country’s economy. For example, look at how investments in Chinese startups stagnated while American startups continued to thrive. Meanwhile, the Communist Party is betting that the country’s future prosperity will be followed by an increase in productivity. But can the government really encourage that? There is a group of workers where a lot is at stake, and they are the many hard-working immigrants in China’s huge factories.
Joe Biden, the president of the United States, had a remarkably good week indoors. The Senate passed a bipartisan infrastructure package many doubted, then immediately began work on a larger budget package. Together, they could represent more than $4 billion in additional public spending. On the outside, however, Biden should be concerned. With US forces leaving Afghanistan, the Taliban are increasingly seizing provincial cities at a pace many would not expect. Kandahar and Herat, Afghanistan’s second and third largest city, fell on August 12. Most neighbors are appalled by the Taliban’s successes. It’s not too late for America’s help, but the situation looks appalling.
Angela Merkel, who has been Federal Chancellor for 16 years, will step down next month. The current election campaign of his successor is not entirely inspiring. Germany deserves the best from its various political leaders. Who will take responsibility? We weigh the options in a broad selection and explain how our election prediction model provides clarity. It will be updated regularly until Election Day on September 26.
Travel restrictions in most countries due to the Covid-19 virus are unnecessary and illiberal. It must be cancelled. Because of them, international travel has fallen sharply and is once again reserved for the privileged few. In some places, like Sardinia, even billionaires miss their regular pitches, but their mega yachts remain.
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