A World Bank study has projected that the global financial crisis and resulting recession will plunge some 53 million people across “emerging markets” —like China and India— into absolute poverty, in 2009 alone. In China, tens of millions of people have lost jobs related to the export-dependent manufacturing sector. Such a collapse in private fortunes … Continue reading 53 Million in ‘Emerging Markets’ Plunged into Poverty by Great Recession
The new administration in Washington, DC, has taken notice: climate change is not about a mild 1º increase in temperature on any given day; it is about a sweeping destabilization of global climate patterns, which could undermine the entire layout of civilization across the world. Building the infrastructure necessary for implementing and sustaining a green … Continue reading Global Climate Destabilization is Major Security & Economic Threat
Yemen may be where the Arab spring, this sweeping current of democratic upheaval in the Arabic-speaking world, takes a turn definitively toward violence or toward civic solutions. The regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, a tribal dictatorship using feudal power tactics, based in the capital Sanaa, is now waging one war against extremist Islamists and another against non-violent pro-democracy protesters.
Yemen is an intensely poor country, likely to see its dwindling fresh water resources 100% depleted before any nation in the world, and could be the global home-base for jihadist extremists. Yemen could also, however, be a sparkling example of how peaceful democratic change can bring sustainable prosperity and security to an otherwise impoverished society ruled by feudal warlords and kleptocratic dictators.
There is mounting concern the ongoing flow of oil from the damaged BP Deepwater Horizon well in the Macondo field may be the result of one or more serious structural breaches in the cement well casing below the sea bed. Statements made on 7 June by Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, suggest the well casing has ruptured, there are multiple points of seepage across the surrounding sea bed, and the well can likely only be closed from below, if or when the two relief wells connect with the damaged well.
The news is gravely important, because it would mean that 1) efforts to seal or cap the well from above will not work and 2) the cement lining of the well itself may have been structurally flawed from the outset. Firedoglake has been reporting on this issue, in an effort to bring to light information that has apparently been included in private briefings to members of Congress but never disclosed to the public.
The potential for broad-scope “electronic agents” —preprogrammed service aggregators and self-organizing databases with proactive marketing capability—, aiding in everyday information-related activities, will require a new security standard to prevent identity theft, which could become one of the gravest threats to economic performance and individual liberty.
Due to the science we already have, the laws we have to govern our own activity and to force government to act for the public health, we face the real possibility of being forced, in American courts, in the future, to pay for damage done to the most affected populations in other parts of the world, as a result of inaction by our government. And if not in court, then as a matter of the de facto urgencies of international political stability.
If we do not find a way to work to mitigate global climate change, future generations will look back and will see clearly that a zeitgeist of selfish convenience and primitive disregard for the wellbeing of our fellow human beings led to a reckless attitude with regard to this snowballing crisis. The public voice, and those campaigning for the level of public respect needed for election to office, should bring this issue to the fore, push for real initiatives to tackle the problem boldly, in a collaborative way, now.