Showing posts from June, 2020

Post-pandemic Russia. By Irina Borogan, Andrei Soldatov

Vladimir Putin’s anger and jealousy has taken down many proactive leaders throughout Russia – and left the country vulnerable to crisis. The oil price war against Saudi Arabia backfired, and a recession was already in motion when coronavirus hit the country. Back when 2020 began, everything looked great for the Kremlin as it decided to freeze Russia for the next twenty or more years under Putin’s rule. The two chambers of Russia’s parliament speedily approved the amendments and pro-Kremlin media, as usual, provided favourable coverage celebrating the forthcoming change. The Russian people showed no visible dissent to Putin’s desire to stay in power after 2024. But some of Putin’s friends were irritated by falling oil prices. These friends were in charge of the biggest Russian oil company, and they had the ear of the president. As a result, the Kremlin got into a price war with Saudi Arabia, refusing to reduce oil production. To teach the Russians a lesson, the Saudis dropped

Bethan McKernan - Ayasofya: the mosque-turned-museum at the heart of an ideological battle

For 900 years, Muslim caliphs and sultans took it upon themselves to fulfil the Prophet Mohammed’s prophecy that a great conqueror would one day bring the holy city of Constantinople into Islam’s embrace.   In 1453, when Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II finally succeeded in breaking through the Byzantine city’s walls, he immediately made his way to the largest cathedral in Christendom.  As sunlight glittered off gold mosaics of the Virgin Mary and incense smoke drifted up into the building’s vast dome, he fell on his knees and prayed.  The young conqueror’s decision to convert the  Hagia Sophia  (Holy Wisdom) in Greek, now known as  Ayasofya  in Turkish – into an imperial mosque was a powerful symbolic act, as was a move nearly one hundred years ago by the Turkish Republic’s secular founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, to turn the place of worship into a museum.  Today, the Ayasofya is still at the heart of a potent ideological battle.  Converting  Istanbul’s  crowning architectural treasure ba

Rebecca Gordon: The U.S. is in free fall - and at risk of becoming a failed state

...that feeling of falling and knowing it’s too late ... reflects a sensation many people in the United States might be having right now, a sense that time is moving slowly while we watch a flailing country in a slow-motion free fall.  It has taken decades of government dereliction to get us to this point and a few years of Trumpian sabotage to show us just where we really are. To have any hope of pulling back from the brink, however, will take the determination of organizations like the  Movement for Black Lives .  That national descent, when it came, proved remarkably swift. In less than six months, we’ve seen more than 2.5 million  confirmed Covid-19 infections  and more than 125,000 deaths. And it’s not slowing down. June 24th, in fact,  saw  the biggest single-day total in new U.S. infections (more than 38,000) since April and that number may well have been superseded by the time this piece comes out.  During this pandemic, we’ve gone from an economy of almost full employ

Man shot at in Russia in Argument over Kant

MOSCOW (Reuters) - An argument over the theories of 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant ended in a man being shot in a grocery store in southern Russia.  RIA news agency quoted police in the city of Rostov-on-Don as saying a fight broke out between two men as they argued over Kant, the German author of “Critique of Pure Reason”, without giving details of their debate. “In the course of the fight, the suspect took out a pistol firing rubber bullets and fired several shots at his opponent,” it said, adding that one man was detained and the victim was taken to hospital. His life was not in danger.  Kant lived in Koenigsberg, which is now the Russian city of Kaliningrad, and is a central figure of modern philosophy. Many Russians love to discuss philosophy and history, often over a drink, but such discussions rarely end in shootings.

Tom McTague: The Decline of the American World

It is hard to escape the feeling that this is a uniquely humiliating moment for America. As citizens of the world the United States created, we are accustomed to listening to those who loathe America, admire America, and fear America (sometimes all at the same time). But feeling pity for America? That one is new, even if the schadenfreude is painfully myopic. If it’s the aesthetic that matters, the U.S. today simply doesn’t look like the country that the rest of us should aspire to, envy, or replicate. For the United States... cultural dominance is both an enormous strength and a subtle weakness. It draws in talented outsiders to study, build businesses, and rejuvenate itself, molding and dragging the world with it as it does, influencing and distorting those unable to escape its pull. Yet this dominance comes with a cost: The world can see into America, but America cannot look back. And today, the ugliness that is on display is amplified, not calmed, by the American president.

Palestinian Farmers Struggle against Annexation and the Pandemic // Ahmed Erekat was Killed at Israeli Checkpoint in Palestine on way to Sister’s Wedding

By Salena Fay Tramel–   It has not been an easy year for Palestinians, if there ever was such a thing. With the turn of a new decade in January, the U.S. administration unveiled the paradoxically branded “deal of the century” plan—calling for Israel to unilaterally annex about a third of the West Bank. Then the coronavirus slipped through the checkpoints into Bethlehem in March, sending millions of Palestinians into lockdown. And in April, Israel formed a unity government with an eye on the immediate annexation of the Jordan Valley in direct violation of international law. Today, just weeks before that land grab is set to be pushed through in July, many Palestinians worry that it could go largely unnoticed with the world’s attention focused squarely on defeating the virus and curbing its economic fallout.  Palestine is often presented as an anomaly in global politics. Apologists of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories have been able to effectiv

René Magritte's The Empire of Light

The Empire of Light  (  L'Empire des lumières ) is a series of paintings  René Magritte  covered more than a dozen times from 1947 to 1965. They depict the paradoxical image of a night-time street, lit only by a single street light, beneath a daytime sky. In this case the artist was inspired by the works of  John Atkinson Grimshaw , an English painter from the  Victorian era , who had delighted in his time to paint urban views at sunset. see images here

The humanities: the importance of being rounded

The acronym Stem – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – was coined in the US in 2001. The idea of integrating and promoting skills seen as key to turbo-charging American prosperity had been around for a while, but as Smet, which is far less catchy. Stem quickly took root and spread beyond the US, not least because of its power as a metaphor: it makes the subjects sound foundational, central, while everything else is edging.  In a climate of rickety job prospects, high tuition fees and a correlation of degrees with starting salaries, Stem subjects are equated with employability, good incomes and stability. Nicky Morgan was not unusual when, as the UK’s education secretary, she said: “[In the past] if you didn’t know what you wanted to do … the arts and humanities were what you chose because they were useful … We now know this couldn’t be further from the truth. The subjects to keep young people’s options open are Stem subjects.” Last year, the number of British stu

Facebook policy changes fail to quell advertiser revolt as Coca-Cola pulls ads

Facebook  has announced changes to its policies around hate speech and voter suppression, but the measures have done little to quell the wave of companies pulling advertising from the platform amid backlash over how the company handles hate speech online. The CEO,  Mark Zuckerberg , on Friday announced tweaks to a number of policies, hours after the multinational Unilever said it would pull its advertisements from the platform for the next six months. Zuckerberg’s announcements, however, did not halt companies’ demands for change. On Friday afternoon, Coca-Cola, Honda, the chocolate brand Hershey, and the apparel companies Lululemon and Jansport joined the more than 100 brands boycotting advertising on Facebook...

Pratap Bhanu Mehta: How did India manage to lose its neighbourhood? Answers lie at home

As the border stand-off with China deepens, India will have to think of all possible strategic options that give it leverage in this crisis. One element often discussed in this context is new arrangements with a variety of powers. Many strategic experts are salivating at the prospect of an even closer alliance with the US. This is a propitious moment to mobilise international opinion on China. The degree of global alienation with the Xi Jinping regime is unprecedented. But can this be translated into concerted global action to exert real pressure on China? India should pursue all  possible avenues. But we should also have a clear-eyed view of the limitations of what new alliances or arrangements can do for India. It is important to remember that international relations are formed in the context of a country’s development paradigm. India’s primary aim should be to preserve the maximum space for its development model, if it can actually formulate one. India is not unique in this

Coomi Kapoor: Everyone who succumbs to authority is no less guilty

Most commemorate the Emergency on June 26 as a reminder of the bleak 21 months when democracy was derailed. Actually, the Emergency came into effect on June 25 at 11.45 pm when then President, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, signed the proclamation, even though he was alerted by his secretary that it would be constitutionally untenable. The president is expected to act only on the advice of the council of ministers.  Indira Gandhi ’s cabinet met the next day at 6 am as a formality. President Ahmed was the first in a chain of constitutional authorities and autonomous institutions in our democracy that caved in, betraying their oath of office and abandoning professional integrity. While holding Mrs Gandhi, Sanjay and his henchmen guilty for the Emergency, we generally forget to apportion blame to the others who succumbed when push came to shove. Mrs Gandhi’s cabinet fell in line without a murmur. In Parliament, the entire Congress party, barring two expelled dissidents, meekly raised hands to

Siberian Heat Wave Is A ‘Warning Cry’ From The Arctic, Climate Scientists Say

Pine trees are bursting into flames. Boggy peatlands are tinderbox dry. And towns in northern Russia are sweltering under conditions more typical of the tropics.  Reports of record-breaking Arctic heat, registered at more than 100 Fahrenheit in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk on June 20 are still being verified by the World Meteorological Organization.  But even without that confirmation, experts at the global weather agency are worried by satellite images showing that much of the Russian Arctic is in the red.  That extreme heat is fanning the unusual extent of wildfires across the remote, boreal forest and tundra that blankets northern Russia. Those blazes have in turn ignited normally waterlogged peatlands. Scientists fear the blazes are early signs of drier conditions to come, with more frequent wildfires releasing stores of carbon from peatland and forests that will increase the amount of planet-warming greenhouse gases in the air....

Coronavirus: International Education in the Time of Global Disruptions Conference

CFP: Coronavirus and its Impact on International Students: International Education in the Time of Global Disruptions Conference by Catherine Gomes The year 2020 will go down in history as the year that got cancelled due to a global pandemic that disrupted global and local systems in an unprecedented and rapid manner. In a relatively short time, the COVID-19 coronavirus became a pandemic with devastating effects on societies, governments and economies world-wide as it challenges the normality of everyday life. Starting out in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus’ lack of discrimination about who and where it infects has had an exceptional impact on international education as destination countries and service providers were some of the early casualties of this evolving health crisis.  The result has been almost daily decisions being made about course delivery options with online delivery being the best possible teaching and learning route in the wake of travel bans, self-quaran

Baragaon Weaves Flier: Avail Discount & Support Our Weavers in Lockdown Times

Dear Friends Greetings from all of us at Baragaon Weaves.  We hope you are safe and healthy in these troubled times. Livelihoods of handloom weavers in Barabanki, UP, like the rest of India, have been badly hit by the pandemic and lockdown. We are trying to assist them in our own modest way. We now offer you a MINIMUM Retail Price, which not only gives you an opportunity to make a contribution but also to get a discount.  Click on the following link to buy a duppata and support our weavers. We request you to spread the word and continue to encourage us like you have always done. Warmly Baragaon Weaves

David Edgerton: Britain's persistent racism cannot simply be explained by its imperial history

To make empire the dominant story in British history is to misunderstand the nature of Britain, its elite and its exploitative power, and its persistent racism. The racism of Oswald Mosley and Enoch Powell, for all its roots in the past, was a self-consciously post-imperial nationalist one.. The question of empire has become central to discussions of Britain’s national past. Some see residual imperialism as the prime element in a deficient, delusional, racist culture. Others think emphasising the dark underside of empire is an attempt to erase British history. The problem is that although long historical tradition sanctions criticism of imperialism, national history has proved far more resistant. Talk of empire is now omnipresent, but it was previously  written out of history . In the 1940s the unashamed imperialist Winston Churchill didn’t offer an imperial history of the second world war, or even a national one, but an Anglo-American, cold-war version of events in his six-vo

Anil Nauriya: The making of Gandhi in South Africa and after

As the Black Lives Matter protests have spread, statues of prominent figures have been defaced or brought down for their racist pasts. It is unfortunate that amidst this, some have also pointed fingers at M K Gandhi.   Anil Nauriya charts the evolution of Gandhi’s attitude on the race question as well as his views on the African struggle for rights during the latter's stay in South Africa that spanned 21 years. It was in 1893 that M K Gandhi (1869-1948) went from India to Natal in South Africa as a young lawyer, not even 24 years of age. He was not yet 45 when he left in July 1914. Except for a few interludes, mainly in India and England, Gandhi's  stay in South Africa spanned 21 years. The widening of Gandhi’s outlook on racial matters goes back to his South Africa years and was not merely a later occurrence as is sometimes erroneously assumed.  The purpose of the struggle against racism is to get people to shed any ethnic or related prejudices they might have. Gandhi i

Thomas Meaney: The Idea of a Nation

Here’s to my countrymen, wherever they happen to hail from!  Wojciech Chojnicki, in Joseph Roth’s  The Emperor’s Tomb A generation ago, when Benedict Anderson was asked on Dutch television what country he would be prepared to die for, he hung his head in silence. “It would depend very much on the circumstances,” he finally said. A leading left thinker about nationalism in his generation, Anderson was born into an Anglo-Irish family in the collapsing Republic of China, and raised in the Republic of Ireland and the United States, where he made his academic career. He devoted much of his life to studying Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, where he died in 2015. He was not a provincial person. Yet the credo of post-nationalism ascendant in the 1990s found no place in his affections.  For Anderson, the force of nationalism was not a dark phantom. Like other domains that sometimes seem to be exclusive property of the right—the market, the military—the “nation” was ideologi

Yoginder Khandari on the plight of Non-Migrant Kashmiri Pandits / Hindus living in Kashmir Valley

NB : Forwarded to me by Sanjay Tickoo, President of  Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti ( KPSS ), Srinagar. Sanjay has fought bravely for justice for many years, but refused to entertain fear or bitterness. More of us need to listen to him. DS To a Kashmiri Pandit (KP) who refused to migrate out of the Valley atthe onset of the bloody insurgency in the 1990s, the paradox is apparent whenever union ministers reiterate their commitment to safe and honourable return of KPs to the Valley. Non-Migrant KP has seen it all; his lot remains ignored. Adversity has taught him to sift sincerity from the political bluster. When Pravesh Sahib Singh Verma exhorts Delhi to vote for BJP to avoid the fate that befell KPs in Kashmir, non-migrant KP doesn't miss exploitation of his tribe in the electoral rhetoric. Having gone through the rough and tumble of hate and appeasement, the Valley-based KP finds himself to be the butt of pathetic neglect and ridicule by his own.    Post-migration, a pleth

Pyotr Verzilov: Anti-Putin activist ‘disappears’ from Moscow flat

A prominent Russian opposition figure vanished from his apartment on Sunday morning after messaging colleagues to say that his door was being broken down.  Pyotr Verzilov , occasional manager of punk collective  Pussy Riot  and publisher of the independent  Media-Zona  publication, went incommunicado after sending the message at 7.16am.  A short while later, his landlord arrived at his Moscow home to find that locks on the door had been destroyed, with no one inside.  Speaking to Russian media, neighbours reported seeing approximately 10 men attempting to gain entry to the apartment. Two of the men were wearing police uniform, they said. The local police service has denied sending anyone.  Shortly after midday, a pro-Kremlin social media network published a photo that seemed to show Mr Verzilov in his home looking through documents, with an unidentified man sitting alongside him. “A doctor dropped by to see Verzilov, but he didn’t want to open the door,” read the caption.. T

Bharat Bhushan: China sizes up PM Modi and India // Mohan Guruswamy: Why the Chinese are laughing at us

The PMO has clarified, “ As regards transgression of LAC, it was clearly stated that the violence in Galwan on 15 June arose because (the) Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions .” The unthinkable implication is that Indian soldiers had themselves transgressed the LAC and thus opened themselves to the attack with nail-spiked batons by the PLA ...  The “Akhand Bharat” bombast of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has also been exposed Even before the Ladakh crisis, China must have already had a measure of the man; after all Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met President Xi Jinping eighteen times and visited that country five times - more than any other Indian prime minister. Now after the PM has said there were no Chinese incursions into Indian territory in Ladakh, they may have sized up India too - as a country hesitant to take on its might. Modi blows hot air a

Hari Sankar Vasudevan (1952 – 2020). A tribute by Madhavan K. Palat

Hari Sankar Vasudevan 1952 – 2020 [Biblio, April-June 2020, p. 38] We have lost to Covid-19 a fine historian of Russia and Europe, a gifted institution builder, and a person of exceptional warmth and goodness. He took his undergraduate and doctoral degrees respectively in modern European and Russian history from Cambridge in the early 1970s, taught at the University of Calcutta, had a stint at the Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, headed the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDSK), both in Kolkata, contributed to social science pedagogy and text books at the NCERT, gave his time and expertise to sundry government committees, and frequently travelled to the centres of scholarship in the USSR / Russia, Europe, and America.  In the midst of all these commitments he regularly attended seminars and delivered lectures at various universities and research institutes all over India, but especially in West Bengal. However

Khaled Ahmed: New coercive order spreading over Muslim society is not political, but intellectual

Professor Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy, who teaches physics and math at Lahore’s Forman Christian University, has been told that his contract will not be renewed in 2021. In the  same week, the Punjab governor announced that all universities of the province would be required to teach the Holy Quran as a compulsory subject. Hoodbhoy holds a PhD in nuclear physics and he objects to acts of state and society against reason. His book, Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality, explains the source of his trouble with the ideological state of Pakistan. It is not that he  hates religion — he objects to acts of irrationality in the name of religion. The two scientists he most admires, S Ramanujan and Abdus Salam, were deeply religious. He protested, however, when the Governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer was murdered by his police guard when he defended a Christian woman accused of insulting the Holy Prophet under Pakistan’s Anti-Blasphemy law. Living under Gener

How Exactly Do You Catch Covid-19? There Is a Growing Consensus

Six months into the coronavirus crisis, there’s a growing consensus about a central question: How do people become infected? It’s not common to contract Covid-19 from a contaminated surface, scientists say. And fleeting encounters with people outdoors are unlikely to spread the coronavirus.  Instead, the major culprit is close-up, person-to-person interactions for extended periods. Crowded events, poorly ventilated areas and places where people are talking loudly - or singing, in one famous case - maximize the risk. These emerging findings are helping businesses and governments devise  reopening strategies  to protect public health while getting economies going again. That includes tactics like installing plexiglass barriers, requiring people to wear masks in stores and other venues, using good ventilation systems and keeping windows open when possible.  Two recent large studies showed that wide-scale lockdowns—stay-at-home orders, bans on large gatherings and business closures—pr

Tom Engelhardt: The Invasion of America

The American century is ending decisively with a pyromaniac in the White House Hey, what the hell else is there to do as the president of these disunited states, except tweet, watch  Fox News , and disunite them further?.. So take my word for it, more or less 75 years after it began, the American Century is over. So long!  Au revoir !  Arrivederci! Zaijian ! From the second the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 to the spread of Covid-19, developments on this planet have been remarkably inconceivable and yet strangely predictable. Can you even remember that distant moment, almost three decades ago, when a stunned Washington political establishment (since its members had never imagined a world without the other Cold War superpower) suddenly found themselves alone on Planet Earth, freed to do their damnedest in a world lacking enemies of any sort? The globe seemed to be there for the taking, lock, stock, and barrel. Their promised post-Cold War “peace dividend,” however, would involve

Asia's richest man gets $1.5 billion from Saudi Arabia for his tech war chest

In less than two months, Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani has amassed more than $15 billion in investments to  fuel his technology ambitions  from   the likes of  Facebook  and top Silicon Valley investors Silver Lake and TPG. Now he has attracted a powerful new investor with deep pockets: Saudi Arabia.  The kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), will pay $1.5 billion for a 2.3% stake in Jio Platforms, the digital technology arm of Ambani's sprawling conglomerate Reliance Industries. The deal, announced on Thursday, values Jio Platforms at close to $68 billion. Jairus Banaji on the history of Indian capitalists More posts on  Saudi Arabia Saoussen Ben Cheikh: Middle East Governments are using Covid-19 as a Pretext to Crush Human Rights // Palestinians to be “subjects,” not Citizens in Israeli Annexation Leading Saudi activist dies in detention, say campaigners It's the tenth major investment in Jio Platforms since April, when Fa

Justice in India: UP Police Files FIR Against Scroll Journalist For Report On Modi's Adopted Village // Four Months After Viral Video Of Policemen Beating Man To Death, FIR Says No Suspects

Reporters Without Borders, an international outfit which tracks the status of press freedom worldwide,  condemned  the FIR calling it an “attempt to intimidate one of India’s most resilient reporter”. The Committee to Protect Journalists, another international organisation that works on press freedom, also  condemned  the FIR against Sharma.  The FIR against Sharma is only the most recent instance of a journalist being targeted by a government. According to a recent  report  titled ‘India: Media’s Crackdown during COVID-19 Lockdown’ prepared by the ‘Rights and Risks Analysis Group’, at least 55 journalists were targeted in different ways during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, with the state of Uttar Pradesh targeting the highest number of journalists (11). Before Sharma, the Uttar Pradesh police recently grabbed headlines for registering an FIR against Siddharth Varadarajan, co-founder of online news portal The Wire.  The Uttar Pradesh police have filed an First Information Repo

Sanjay Jha's Defiant Tweet After Being Dropped From Congress Post

NB : Jha is right, to be disciplined for speaking critically is a sign of grave intolerance. Both the Congress and the country are in a dangerous situation, and mature political leadership is called for. You cannot defend democracy unless you yourselves are democratic. DS Sanjay Jha, removed as Congress spokesperson after a searing takedown of his own party in an article, doubled down on his criticism today in a tweet referring to Congress icon Jawaharlal Nehru. The Congress had "drifted far" from its democratic, tolerant and liberal values, he said.  "Pandit Nehru once wrote a self-critical piece anonymously in a newspaper warning against becoming autocratic. That is the true Congress; democratic, liberal, tolerant, inclusive. We have drifted far from those values. Why," Sanjay Jha tweeted, adding that he remained a "committed, fearless ideological soldier" of the party. Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday removed Sanjay Jha as spokesperson and appointed Abhish

Delhi Riots: How The Police Is Using FIR 59 To Imprison Students And Activists Indefinitely // Four FIRs, 20 Crimes: The Price Of Protesting The CAA For Sadaf Jafar

On March 6, ten days after Delhi’s worst communal riots in a generation, Arvind Kumar a sub-Inspector of the Narcotics Cell of the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch filed a complaint that would come to be known as FIR 59/2020. Kumar claimed to have information that the riots were a conspiracy by former JNU student  Umar Khalid  and his associates who had given provocative speeches and collected arms and ammunition, while staging protests.. India: End Bias in Prosecuting Delhi Violence In the three months since it was first filed, FIR 59 has morphed from naming two people for four serious but bailable offenses of rioting, being armed with a deadly weapon, unlawful assembly, read with criminal conspiracy, into what appears to a roving witch-hunt against students and activists who protested against the  Narendra Modi  government’s controversial citizenship law in the months preceding the  Delhi riots . As things stand, FIR 59 now accuses at least 14 people, including Safoora Zarg

Meetu Jain: Sardar Patel statue, Made In China (2015)

NB : The RSS/BJP government installed a Chinese Sardar Patel to advertise their 'militant' nationalism. Ironic, because Patel had warned Jawaharlal Nehru about Chinese expansion into Tibet in 1950. Why not pull it down Modiji?  DS ‘Make in India’, take a break! While Narendra Modi trots around the globe exhorting the suited-booted people of the business world to use India as a manufacturing hub, China still rules- even when it comes to a project close to the prime minister’s heart. The ‘Statue of Unity’, Modi’s 182-metre tall salute to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is being smelted and cast into existence not on the soil that was dear to the Sardar—and is, to Chhote Sardar Modi - but has been outsourced to a foundry 96 hours and 6,132 km to the east of Ahmedabad, in the People’s Republic of China.

World has six months to avert climate crisis, says energy expert

The world has only six months in which to change the course of the climate crisis and prevent a post-lockdown rebound in greenhouse gas emissions that would overwhelm efforts to stave off climate catastrophe, one of the world’s foremost energy experts has warned. “This year is the last time we have, if we are not to see a  carbon rebound ,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency. Governments are planning to spend $9tn (£7.2tn) globally in the next few months on rescuing their economies from the coronavirus crisis, the IEA has calculated. The stimulus packages created this year will determine the shape of the global economy for the next three years, according to Birol, and within that time emissions must start to fall sharply and permanently, or  climate targets will be out of reach . “The next three years will determine the course of the next 30 years and beyond,” Birol told the Guardian. “If we do not [take action] we will surely see a rebou