“Of course I’m afraid!” she bursts out in a heavy French accent when asked about the risk of a terror attack. “You never know what could happen!”
During the World Economic Forum, advertisements aren’t the only things that transform the city of Davos. With more than 3,000 soldiers from the Swiss Army and Police, the city turns into a heavily guarded fortress. And if this was not enough, helicopters and fighter jets will be controlling the Airspace.
QINGDAO, China – While it is common knowledge that China’s air is bad – The New York Times, reported in January that “On scale of 0 to 500, Beijing’s Air quality tops ‘Crazy Bad’ at 755” – the deteriorating quality of water has gotten less attention. Yet there is plenty of evidence that China’s waters are just as endangered as its air. Just ask Mr Liu, one of the many millions of Chinese who have watched the deteriorating water quality along the Chinese coast. He has lived his whole life in Qingdao, a popular Chinese beach resort. Now he’s 66 and retired, and enjoys a cigarette as he looks out over the water and the crowded beach.
However, according to Dambisa Moyo and her new book “Winner Take All”, China has shown no signs of similarities with European colonialism, such as religious conversion, use of military force, or handpicking the local political leadership. On the contrary, China seems highly uninterested in taking on sovereign responsibilities or political control. Indeed, China’s ‘No Strings Attached Policy’ confirms its disinterest of interfering in other countries domestic affairs. My colleague, Sina Blassnig, explores this angle more deeply in her article. Nonetheless, even if China is not engaged in a type of new colonialism, there is yet a reason why the rest of the world should worry – China’s recent quest for natural resources.
Dr. James Bradfield Moody was the last, but far from the least, speaker at the panel session of the opening day of the 2012 World Resources Forum, which included Rocky Mountain Institute Chairman and Chief Scientist Amory Lovins and Yale Professor Thomas Graedel. Many important topics were addressed, from resources efficiency and recycling to societal values. However, being the youngest speaker of the day, Dr. Bradfield Moody, not only connected brilliantly with the audience but he managed to make the boldest prediction about the future. Dr. Bradfield Moody is presently on a sabbatical from his position as Executive Director, Development at the one of the world’s largest and most diverse global research organisations, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). He is also Australian National Commissioner for UNESCO and on the Advisory Council of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
One of the most common misconceptions about the green economy is that there is an inescapable trade-off between environmental sustainability and economic development. In addition, that environmental concern would be a luxury that only the developed countries can afford. However, throughout the conference so far, we have seen multiple arguments that incorporating sustainability into the development process is a vital key to alleviate poverty and increase economic growth. In a session today organized by the Global Research Forum on Sustainable Consumption and Production, Nobel Prize Winner Mohan Munasinghe argued that there are some third world countries that still believe the increased focus on sustainability and the green economy to be “a trick by the western countries to keep down their development process”. Nevertheless, the gap between the north and south on this issue has been narrowing and the world seem to be reaching a general consensus that sound environmental management is vital in order to achieve economic growth, not only in the long run but also in the short run.
What happened to the “paperless office”? Despite being surrounded by smartphones and computers, the myth seems not to have become reality. The Economist reports that, since 1980, global paper consumption has increased by half, leading to many of the world’s vast ancient forests being chopped down. The World Resource Institute (WRI) has estimated that only one-fifth of the earth’s original forest remains untouched in relatively natural ecosystems, which WRI calls frontier forests. These forests are necessary to regulate the earth’s climate, storing over 430 billion metric tons of carbon.