The year is 2100 and the world looks nothing like it did when global leaders gathered for the historic climate summit in Paris at the end of 2015. Nearly 8.8 billion people now crowd the planet. Energy consumption has nearly doubled, and economic production has increased more than sevenfold. Vast disparities in wealth remain, but governments have achieved one crucial goal: limiting global warming to 2 °C above pre-industrial temperatures. The United Nations meeting in Paris proved to be a turning point. After forging a climate treaty, governments immediately moved to halt tropical deforestation and to expand forests around the globe. By 2020, plants and soils were stockpiling more than 17 billion tonnes of extra carbon dioxide each year, offsetting 50% of global CO2 emissions. Several million wind turbines were installed, and thousands of nuclear power plants were built. The solar industry ballooned, overtaking coal as a source of energy in the waning years of the twenty-first century. Read
As with other mechanisms supported by “world climate governance”, we doubted from the beginning that the Reduction of Emissions caused by Deforestation and the Degradation of Forests (REDD) mechanism would be likely to resolve the global climate crisis, ever since it was introduced in discussions on climate change. Now more than ever, the hidden face of this mechanism is revealed with the new market mechanism that is being devised and that may be adopted at the COP 21 in Paris in December 2015. The ground is a good place to sequester carbon, and speculators, businesses and multinationals see a great opportunity to make money and increase their profits. This time, real damage can be done. Very serious damage, because this time, the stakes are high; agriculture has become another target of the carbon trade. Agriculture, which has been relegated to a minor role in these negotiations on climate change for some years, has reappeared, obviously not to the advantage of the people but to benefit the carbon trade and the world financial system. A few welcome the renewed focus, but it poses a problem for the rest of us. Read
On 18th October 2015, Zahid Ahmed Bhat succumbed to his burn injuries in New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital. Bhat, a resident of Batengoo, Anantnag district, was a nineteen year old cleaner of a truck that was set on fire on the night of 9th–10th October 2015 by a Hindu mob in Udhampur town on suspicion of cattle smuggling and cow slaughter. A petrol bomb was hurled inside the truck, on its three sleeping inmates. While the driver, Rameez Bhat, managed to escape, Zahid Ahmed and Showkat Ahmed sustained severe burn injuries and they were also thrashed by the mob. As of now, Showkat is battling for his life. The truck was returning to Kashmir carrying coal after it had unloaded a harvest of apples in Delhi. Read
American ‘exceptionalism’ exists in the minds of super-patriots who are more than willing to overlook their own faults as they place themselves above other people. The only question may be which of their self-serving hypocrisies is most outrageous and destructive. 1. Corporations Hoarding $2 Trillion in Profits, Asking Taxpayers to Pay Their Employees’ Wages Citizens for Tax Justice  just reported that Fortune 500 companies are holding over $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore for tax purposes, with estimated taxes due of over $600 billion. But high-profile businessmen Peter Georgescu and Warren Buffett both recently recommended  that government subsidies be used to increase worker wages, and Marco Rubio agreed, suggesting that government should pay the sick leave for corporate employees. Read
Suprabha Seshan has lived and worked for twenty-two years at the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary in the Western Ghat mountains of India. The Sanctuary is a centre for plant conservation, habitat restoration and environmental education and also a community. In 2006, on behalf of the Sanctuary she won the Whitley Award, UK's top prize for nature conservation. She is an Ashoka Fellow. Her current focus is the restoration of one of India's most endangered ecosystems: the high elevation shola grasslands.
Andrew Harvey is an internationally renowned religious scholar, writer, teacher, and author of over thirty books. He is the founder of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization dedicated to inspiring people to become more involved in challenging our global crises and commit themselves to peace and sustainability Andrew was born in India, studied at Oxford University, and has taught at Oxford, Cornell, the California Institute for Integral Studies and other institutions over the years. He is perhaps best known for having explored all the different religions in depth, particularly Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sufism, and interpreting them in a passionate manner that preserves their meaning and significance for our own time. Andrew has received many awards for his writings including the Benjamin Franklin Award. Among his many books are “The Hope: A Guide To Sacred Activism” which won the Nautilus Silver Award for Social Change, and “Radical Passion: Sacred Love and Wisdom in Action”. His website is AndrewHarvey.net
It’s Your Special Day, “Free Your Mind” Friday!
Celebrate the joy of free thinking on “Free Your Mind Friday,” an open forum for the exchange of information, opinions and ideas. It’s the best in “talk” radio!
Add your intellectual flavor to this delicious brew. Share your views about the news events or issues of the day, or about anything you think is worthy of consideration.
It’s your call—at 888-874-4888.
“It was the terrific leader of India, Gandhi, who said, ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, and then you win.’ Well we won, didn’t we?” That’s how President Donald John Trump began his inaugural address, that clear morning in January of 2017. The fact that Gandhi never said these words was among the very least of our problems. Besides, the line drew rapturous applause from the crowd. According to a joint statement released by the White House and Nielsen, the Trump Inaugural drew the largest television audience in human history. As President Trump himself pointed out in his second press availability that afternoon, the numbers would only go up, once you factored in DVR. It’s amazing isn’t? How adaptable we are as human beings? It was only a year earlier that Trump was a punch line. Obviously, everyone knew, he could never actually get anywhere once the votes were cast. American democracy was too robust to let that happen. He was too dangerous to win, and to win would be too dangerous. It couldn’t happen because it couldn’t happen. Read
Population growth and fossil fuel use, seen on a time-scale of several thousand years. The dots are population estimates in millions from the US Census Bureau. Fossil fuel use appears as a spike-like curve, rising from almost nothing to a high value, and then falling again to almost nothing in the space of a few centuries. When the two curves are plotted together, the explosive rise of global population is seen to be simultaneous with, and perhaps partially driven by, the rise of fossil fuel use. This raises the question of whether the world’s population is headed for a crash when the fossil fuel era has ended Optimum population in the long-term future What is the optimum population of the world? It is certainly not the maximum number that can be squeezed onto the globe by eradicating every species of plant and animal that cannot be eaten. The optimum global population is one that can be supported in comfort, equality and dignity – and with respect for the environment. Read
Updates on China's currency moves, UK'S Corbyn like US Sanders, adjuncts unionize, Pepsi and Coke offer self-serving health advice, Rand Paul's misunderstanding of economics. We answer questions about what happened to US real wages from 1974 to 2014. We analyze why no consensus about global warming, what are toxic effects of rising inequality, and role of psychologists in advertising.