Will Global Sustainability Ever Be Possible?

by John Brian Shannon

If you haven’t seen these two short videos on demographics and sustainability from Professor Hans Rosling take the time to do it now. Hans at his best!

If you prefer to watch video 1 at www.ted.com click here>> “Hans Rosling Shows the Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen”

If you prefer to watch video 2 at http://www.ted.com here>> “Hans Rosling on Global Population Growth”

Bonus video from The Economist: “VideoGraphic: Global Fertility”

Bonus article from The Economist: “Go Forth and Multiply a Lot Less”

John Brian Shannon

John Brian Shannon

ABOUT JOHN BRIAN SHANNON

I write about green energy, sustainable development and economics. My blogs appear in the Arabian Gazette, EcoPoint, EnergyBoom, Huffington Post, United Nations Development Programme, WACSI — and other quality publications.

“It is important to assist all levels of government and the business community to find sustainable ways forward for industry and consumers.”

Green Energy blog: http://johnbrianshannon.com
Economics blog: https://jbsnews.wordpress.com
Twitter: @JBSCanada

 

Off and Out With Mitt Romney — MY COMMENT

by John Brian Shannon

MY COMMENT ON PROFESSOR PAUL KRUGMAN’S ARTICLE BEGINS…

Although I take pains to not indulge in partisan politics especially the internal politics of other nations (which is just bad form for a Canadian citizen), I just couldn’t help myself this time around.

Professor Paul Krugman has written another astonishingly logical article in the New York Times describing how the neo-cons in America keep giving all the jobs to China AND THEN they tell all the NON-neo-con people how good it is for them! Read Professor Krugman’s article here…

Of course, no one on Earth can seriously dispute the fact that corporations make more profits when they send American jobs to China. And, to be fair, eventually those profits DO come back to America. All good there.

The trade-off here is that instead of millions of Americans collecting a decent paycheque, contributing to the economy, paying taxes and living the American dream – what we get from this change-down is comparatively few thousands of corporate stock-holders receiving better corporate dividends.

Compare that to the huge overall boost the American economy gets when everyone IS working.

Since the 1970’s this paradigm-shift has been at work in the U.S. and has constantly – and at an ever-increasing rate — greatly enriched a small number of American people — at the expense of making significant millions of Americans less wealthy.

No leading economist seriously disputes this trend.

Nowadays, Europe is now only slightly behind the U.S. when it comes to off-shoring jobs to China – and is experiencing the same, predictable result that has plagued America for the past 30 years.

The point of confusion is that there is simply no “bad-guy” in this equation. Something is definitely wrong, so there must be a bad-guy. But we are told there is no bad guy. How can this be?

For one, corporations exist to make profit. That is their raison d’être and that is what we and the government have empowered them to do.

Two, who could blame corporate leaders for wanting to make more profit? That is what our system was, and is, built on.

Three, it’s not China’s fault. They are simply doing what our corporations are asking them to do. And frankly, they need the money. Developing nations are growing exponentially these days, which means they need money to build roads, schools, effective legal systems – and so much more.

It’s profoundly in our best interests for developing nations to become more stable, better governed and for them to eventually raise up a middle class able to purchase our decidedly up-market Western goods and services in heretofore undreamt-of volumes. Ka-Ching!

All of which takes time. Maybe a decade or two. In the meantime, we are supposed to suck it up and not complain.

With me so far? If you are, you must be thinking similar thoughts to mine. “There must be a better way to accomplish our shared goals.” And, there is.

It’s a given that our corporations must make profit, off-shoring production can improve profits for corporations, that the profits eventually do come back to the U.S. and that relatively few share-holders benefit from this change-down — when compared to the vast numbers of employable Americans who have become unemployed by virtue of the present paradigm.

How to make it work for the millions of unemployed and under-employed Americans you ask?

There are ways. It should be the next big discussion that we, as a society should be having — and soon.

My next few posts will discuss those very topics. There are a few examples of nations that have dealt with similar challenges and have done so successfully.

John Brian Shannon writes about green energy, sustainable development and economics from British Columbia, Canada. His articles appear in the Arabian Gazette, EcoPoint Asia, EnergyBoom, Huffington Post, the United Nations Development Programme – and other quality publications.

John believes it is important to assist all levels of government and the business community to find sustainable ways forward for industry and consumers.

Check out his personal blog at: http://johnbrianshannon.com

Check out his economics blog at: https://jbsnews.wordpress.com

Follow John on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/#!/JBSCanada

What Has Peter Worthington Been Smoking?

Peter Worthington, I have been a fan of yours since the 1980’s. You, Eric Margolis and Andrew Coyne are on most days, Canada’s best print journalists.

Which is why it pains me to totally and completely destroy the argument you have made in your March 30, 2012, Huffington Post article: “Iran: How to Behead the Threat”.

I’m sorry, I just can’t let this pass unchallenged.

First off, it is illegal in every country and under the auspices of international organizations such as the UN and the Criminal Court of Justice in the Hague, for any member of a government or military to suggest or conspire to commit murder – for that is what assassination is. It is murder for a political gain.

Second, it is illegal for any nation-state to kill any leaders of any other nation-state. It is a feature of international law – which is an integral part of what we here on Earth, call civilization.

To murder a citizen of a foreign country, a country which is not at war with our country or any other country for that matter, is barbaric – falling below the standards of people like Genghis Khan, who although barbaric, had certain standards (a warrior’s code) to live by.

I fully realize that President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad says many things that the West does not like to hear. But words are only words – and those words are aimed to have the desired effect on his domestic audience. As our leaders do here in the West.

The West needs to stop being so thin-skinned as to react in horror at each utterance of Ahmadinejad. Such over-reaction borders on paranoia which betrays a controlling mind-set… itself a sign of weakness.

We all remember the reasons given for justification for the Iraq War:
1) Iraq had weapons of mass-destruction
2) Iraq had links to terrorist’s (before the war, that is)
3) Iraq was complicit in the 9/11 terror attacks

Anyone over the age of majority in 2003 who believed any of that nonsense were gullible in the extreme – and in fact, the American Iraq Study Group itself concluded in 2006 that all of those reasons were invalid and totally without merit.

To those American’s who are trying to whip up another war in the same region, we already know what you are up to. You are trying to again humiliate, embarrass and cause a loss of prestige to America and her allies – just like you did the last time.

But this time… you’ll go to jail for it.

John Brian Shannon