Coral reefs under rapid climate change (Ove Hoegh-Guldberg)

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg has studied oceans from Mexico to Antarctica and is leading the creation of an online virtual diving experience into the Great Barrier ReefHere’s a short 6-minute TED talk. For more details see this review article of the scenarios for coral reefs under rapid climate change or his more elaborate video presentation here.

Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement (Dr Ariyaratne)

The Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement is the largest people’s organization in Sri Lanka. Sarvodaya is Sanskrit for ‘Awakening of All’ and Shramadana means to donate effort. It began in one village and has grown to more than 15,000. Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, the founder-president of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement speaks about the ideologies behind the movement.

Farmers autonomy and winning the battle against poverty (Periyapatna Satheesh)

A very interesting interview (28 minutes) with Periyapatna V. Satheesh, director of the Deccan Development Society commenting on: Farmers autonomy, Defeating hunger, Food security, Hope for a better life, Desperation in search of better agricultural methods, Exhaustion of mother earth, Lost relations between crops and pests, Winning the battle against poverty…

Some of the footage is used in A new future for small farmers. Produced and directed by Paul Enkelaar, Jan Paul Smit and Manuel Reichert.

Extremely ridiculous extreme poverty lines (WFP)

In a previous video post, we discussed uncertainty in World Bank data and methodology measuring extreme poverty (see What is happening to poverty? (Rammelt and Surace)). The Bank (and the UN) overestimate progress towards reaching the first Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty. In our video, we made the point that the $1, $1.25 or $2 poverty lines are extremely low (especially considering the rise in food prices). Here is a simple illustration of this point. Melese Awok, World Food Programme Public Information Officer in Ethiopia, finds out what he can buy for a dollar at a food market in Addis Ababa.

Note that Melese is using the official exchange rate ($1 = Br16 in 2011, when the video was made). However, $1 buys a lot more in Ethiopia than it does in the US. For the purposes of comparing international poverty levels, this difference in purchasing power has been accounted for in World Bank estimates of global poverty (We explain this in our video, and in our article for AIDWATCH here). In 2011, $1 adjusted to purchasing power in Ethiopia was not Br16, but less then Br6 a day (see conversion factors here). Melese should have asked: “what can I buy for $0.37?”

Challenging our measure of progress (Robert Kennedy)

In 1968, Robert F. Kennedy challenged the basic way progress and well-being is measured through Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This has only become more relevant since then. See similar arguments here Economists must learn to subtract (Adbusters). An alternative to GDP is proposed here The Genuine Progress Indicator, an alternative to GDP (Ron Colman).