'In researching and writing this book over a decade ago, I sought to better understand the challenges facing our present age by examining the ethics and governa...nce of one of India’s—and humanity’s— archetypal figures, Ashoka.'
Read more in this excerpt from 'Ashoka in Our Time' by Bruce Rich http://bit.ly/2rYUIvW
January-February column in Environmental Forum (for full article see https://files.acrobat.com/…/6cdb42a2-9ee0-495c-ac4a-748099c…)
highlights the inextricable link between conservation and human needs in India’s Kaziranga National Park. Occupying the grasslands and marshlands of the south bank of the mighty Brahmaputra River, World Heritage listed Kaziranga hosts some 2400 Asian one-horned rhinos (nearly 80% of the planet’s surviving population), 2000 wild elephants, 57% of ...the world’s Asian wild water buffalo, nine primate species, abundant deer, birds and reptiles. But Kaziranga is a protected enclave among millions of impoverished tea plantation laborers and dependents. According to recent reports of the World Bank, the tea plantations are plagued by chronic, wide-spread malnutrition, with 60% of preschool children underweight, 12% of workers infected with tuberculosis, and 96% of girls anemic. On a crowded planet, environmental protection and social equity are inextricably related. Attempting to achieve either alone will ultimately fail without pursuing the other.
Latest column in Environmental Forum on Conservation Fads, Environmental Markets, and Climate Change. Some seek the utopion grail of market-based instruments that aim to make conservation economically competitive with habitat-destroying extractive activities. But the main obstacle to conservation in many parts of the world is lack of robust governance and institutions, starting with the need to reduce rampant corruption. Meanwhile, the Group of Twenty Largest Economies continues to fail to agree on any deadline or effective plan to phase out $444 billion in annual fossil fuel subsidies, a commitment the G20 made in 2009 and reiterated at the 2015 Paris climate summit. To download and read the article, go to this link: https://files.acrobat.com/…/a30ea80b-a17d-4faa-aad8-06ce939…
Annals in the history of globalization--"Mortgaging the Earth" put to music: My 1994 book "Mortgaging the Earth" discussed a leaked memo from the World Bank in which then World Bank Vice President for Economics Larry Summers advocated 'welfare enhancing'economically efficient' trade of pollution and waste from industrialized polluted nations to poor "underpolluted" Third World countries. I received the leaked memo during the preparations for the 1992 United Nations Rio Eart...h Summit, and and had it forwarded to Brazil's then environment minister, the late Jose Luztenberger. Lutzenberger wrote Summers that his proposals were "perfectly logical" [according to the logic of neoliberal economics] and 'totally insane.' Summers went on to be U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration, a prime advocate of the one sided globalization that has provoked a populist--and perhaps contrary to the expectations of some progressives, often virulently right wing and nationalistic--reaction which we are witnessing in many countries today. Bard College and former Yale Music School composer John Halle composed a piece based on the words of the memo, which has been publicly performed over 20 times since its premier in 2008. This eight minute or so composition, with youtube images, is more relevant than ever, and deeply engrossing, though disturbing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG7xONmZz0Q
Recent column in Enviromental Forum on the renaissance of Medellin, Colombia from the city with the highest murder rate on earth two decades ago to a leader in environmental and social urbanism. To download the article, go to this link: https://files.acrobat.com/…/6c43a82b-e9df-48b2-8fa0-eda799b…
Boston public TV video of public forum at Harvard at the time of publication of "To Uphold the World: A Call for a New Global Ethic from Ancient India," with Amartya Sen and Homi BhaBha (head of the Harvard Humanities Center), sponsored by the Harvard South Asia Initiative. What can ancient Indian thinkers Ashoka and Kautilya tell us about how to think about the dilemmas of globalization in the 21st Century? What are the ethical limits to use of force and to prioritizing the economy? What kind of global ethic do we need for a globalized world? Amartya Sen talks in the first 12:34 minutes, minute 12:34 to 41:48 is my talk, then 25 minutes or so of questions and discussion with the audience, Amartya Sen, Homi Bhabha and myself.
A review/interview from several years ago in the Indian magazine "Verve" on "Iconic India" (together with two other authors), and what we can learn from ancient India......(just click on one of the images to access the article....)
The United Nations Green Climate Fund is a critical element in the upcoming Paris climate negotiations. It is supposed to provide funds from richer industrialized nations to developing countries and emerging economies to subsidize climate change mitigation and adaptation. But because of pressures from various governments, it risks supporting projects that not only do not contribute to reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions, but may even subsidize new GHG emission sources such as coal fired electric plants. Scandalous!
to download the article go to: https://files.acrobat.com/…/3432d482-9d06-4a10-9455-2fab95e…
Two recent columns from Environmental Forum, the policy journal of the Environmental Law Institute. The first reviews ongoing, controversial World Bank efforts to weaken its environmental and social safeguard policies, spurred in significant part by anxiety over
losing relevance from competition with new public lending agencies, for example the Chinese Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank ('BRICs bank'). The second piece, on the United Nations Green Climate Fund, is posted in a separate post to follow....
to download the article: https://files.acrobat.com/…/368a06c0-315b-429b-b575-1740cbb…
Foreclosing the Future cited in excellent London Guardian article February 19 on the ongoing weakening of World Bank environmental and social polices--
"Foreclosing the Future" San Francisco Bay Area Book Events November 5 and November 6: At the Sierra Club, 85 Second Street, San Francisco, 2nd Floor, Wed. Nov. 5, 5:30 p.m., and at the David Brower Center, Tamalpais Room, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, at 6 pm.
Lively Panel Discussion at the World Bank last week on "Foreclosing the Future," with Steve Lintner (far left), former WB Senior Technical Adviser on environmental and social safeguard issues, myself, Charles Di Leva, Chief Counsel, World Bank, Environmental and International Law, and Werner Kiene, former Chairman of the World Bank Independent Inspection Panel. Followed by a book signing, courtesy World Bank Info (book) Shop!