2011 GLOBAL PEACE INDEX RELEASED

The Global Peace Index (GPI) is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) that ranks 154 countries by their peacefulness and seeks to identify the determinants of peace.

The new index reveals that the world is less peaceful for the third consecutive year and that this decline has come at a high price, with violence costing the global economy $8.12 trillion in 2010.

Read more on www.visionofhumanity.org

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FOOD PRICES ARE ROCKETING TO HEIGHTS NEVER SEEN BEFORE
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SUSTAINABLE FARMING CAN FEED THE WORLD?
From Mark Bittman, The New York Times

The oldest and most common dig against organic agriculture is that it cannot feed the world’s citizens; this, however, is a supposition, not a fact.
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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO “ECODEVELOPMENT” ?

The word “ecodevelopment” (1) was first coined in 1972 around the time of the first international environmental UN Conference in Stockholm. In those days, it was a matter of emphasising the need to protect nature against the impact of human activity, e.g. pollution, resource overuse, etc. Environmental degradation was still predominantly a local problem although it soon was to become a global challenge.
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GDP OR NOT GDP? IS THAT THE QUESTION?

It seems to be a good question, but maybe it is not. As an indicator of progress, GDP has a number of well known shortcomings. But why should we replace GDP by a different indicator? Yes, I agree, the objections against GDP are justified. However, it appears using GDP makes our politicians happier. It is the oldest and most widely used indicator. It’s hard for them to say goodbye to GDP. So why not keep it as an indicator of what is going on in the market economy, as far as money is involved? Let’s not waste our time and energy by fighting against GDP. We’d better spend efforts in finding other, better indicators to measure the actual level of wellbeing and to monitor progress over time. Not as an alternative to GDP, but as another, complementary indicator, that will achieve more attention every year.  Maybe even more than GDP in the long run.

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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OR D2S?

Sustainability is a more or less worn out notion. It seems that nowadays everything has to be sustainable:

  • sustainable economy, i.e. an economy which shows a steady and continuous growth (which is not the same as an economy that functions within the limits of sustainability),
  • sustainable wall plaster, i.e. plaster that may last a couple of years (which is quite different from plaster that has been produced in a sustainable way). Continue reading
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THE ASSAULT ON SUSTAINABILITY IN 2010

Reading the news has not been easy for champions of sustainability in the past year, at least in the Western World. That means the news has not been kind to the interests of future generations, to new economic thinking, to accelerated innovation, to long-term prosperity, or to life on Earth, for that matter. It almost feels as though sustainability itself is under assault, at least from some national governments — just when its value in economic terms has been solidly established, and the need for it in environmental and social terms has risen dramatically.

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WELLBEING DIMENSIONS ON COLLISION COURSE?

In the opinion of many people it is more or less useless to put efforts in development towards sustainability. “Imagine what will happen when China achieves the same wealth, the same consumption level as people in the very rich countries,” one often asks themselves.  It is assumed that Human Wellbeing and Economic Wellbeing on the one hand are unavoidably on collision course with Environmental Wellbeing on the other hand. “So why bother? It will not help us from the disasters that may come. The only solution can be found in technology. Fortunately people are very clever.” So the common opinion of many of us. Continue reading

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SSI 1975 – 2008, FINLAND AND TEH NETHERLANDS

Finland and The Netherlands have done an extensive survey of the developments with respect to sustainability over the years 1975 – 2008.  The survey, done in the first half of 2010, is based on the new framework of the SSI. Continue reading

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ARE WE BACKING THE WRONG HORSE?

Three of the thousands of numbers in the World Energy Outlook 2010, despite their disparity, are worth putting alongside each other: Continue reading

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