The Dragon’s Shadow

The Chinese government announced that it will increase its stakes in the four largest commercial banks, which are already largely public-owned. The move is designed to ”support the healthy operations and development of key state-owned financial institutions and stabilise the share prices of state-owned commercial banks”. But why was this move considered necessary at all? […]

Environmentalism Lost and Found

Mainstream environmentalism is preoccupied with giant technofixes – from windfarms to ‘sustainable consumption’ – and pays almost no attention to the underlying cultural reasons why our civilisation is destroying the planet. Somewhere along the way of observing and experiencing the degradation of the planet, environmentalism morphed from being a project designed to protect the wider […]

Caution urged to resolve food crisis

  The world has faced food crises twice since the latter half of the 20th century. The first one took place in 1973. The world end of term grain stock ratio, which had been on the decline for some years because of the worldwide grain failure, sank to a record-low of 15.4% in 1972. In […]

Is the World Becoming a Better Place?

  It has been ten years since the September 11 terrorist attacks shocked the world. Over these past ten years, the world has been swayed by the ‘war on terrorism’ through events such as the attacks on Afghanistan and the war with Iraq, triggered by 9.11. Obama’s having assumed the presidency has not changed the […]

Occupying planet earth

As you can gather from our cover feature which appears on Page 3, we are focussing this issue on the differences which are making living intolerable for people around the world. The Occupy Wall Street movement which is now in other countries highlights a whole raft of issues which really do show the imbalances on […]

BOOKS: Boomerang

  By Michael Lewis Penguin Books $RRP $47 Having made the U.S. financial crisis comprehensible for us all in The Big Short, Michael Lewis realised that he hadn’t begun to get grips with the full story. ÊHow exactly had it come to hit the rest of the world in the face too? Just how broke […]

Protests can paint the picture

Every single thing we do on this planet can bring about protest. For every decision we make, there can be another person who disagrees with it. Fair enough, itÕs called freedom of speech, freedom of thought or democracy. There are times when protest occurs because of discrimination and the evil that men do. And there […]

BOOKS: Her Fearful Symmetry

  By Audrey Niffenegger Random House $38.99 Her Fearful Symmetry is a great book for a dark winter night. It takes place in and around London’s Highgate Cemetery and deals with love, obsession and ghosts (real and metaphoric). The book is quietly suspenseful, slowly drawing readers into the lives of an unusual set of characters before […]

The Global Oil Price Story

It may seem hard to believe now, but for more than half a century, world oil prices have not moved much around the average figure of US $27 per barrel in 2007 price terms. The occasional shifts away from this average have been few and the periods of oil price spikes were relatively short, with […]