US Senator attacks the system that sets minimum wage below a living wage, in effect welfare subsidising a corporation’s wage bill. It features Robert Reich, also seen in Income mobility or stickiness? (Horwitz, Reich and Pew).
The documentary is lengthy and repetitive, but it presents interesting recent examples of technologically-driven unemployment. These could be used as updates to New Technology: Whose Progress? (Frank Morrow), an older (but in my view clearer) documentary on the effects of automation and new technology on workers and the workplace. An even older documentary, Valley Town (Educational Film Institute of New York University), shows us that this process has been going on for a very long time.
Global meat production rose from less than 50t in 1950 to about 275t in 2010. This growth has caused unaccounted environmental and social damage (see the $200 Hamburger (Raj Patel)). Recently, the most expensive hamburger in the world was produced by extracting stem cells from cows. Muscle tissue was grown in laboratories with the hope that this will someday solve the problems of growing meat consumption. The total cost of the project: €250,000. In the $200 Hamburger (Raj Patel), we saw that the environmental costs of a 50-cent fast food hamburger was 400 times its price at the register. It makes you wonder about the true price of the new synthetic hamburger. Are we solving problems or just trying to dig ourselves out of the hole that we created?
Dr David Suzuki presents the 2013 Jack Beale Lecture on the Global Environment, on the topic of Imagining a sustainable future: foresight over hindsight. In a wide-ranging talk the Canadian scientist and broadcaster discusses the environmental movement’s successes and failures, explores human evolution and the threats to our future, outlines the problems of a globalised economy, criticises the Australian government’s climate change policies, and points to a sustainable way forward.
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 Reef. Here’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.
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.
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.
The gap between rich and poor in China (measured as GINI coefficient) is reaching unacceptable levels (see also Wealth Gap Rising Sharply in China (LinkAsia)). But let’s not single out China. This is also happening in India, many OECD countries and globally, for example: The 99.99% versus the 0.01% (The Guardian).
Many governments are seeking to make ‘aid’ benefit their own private sectors. Do they risk harking back to the dark days of tied aid, when countries were forced to buy certain goods and services in exchange for ‘aid’ money?
Interesting interview with Michael Manley (1924-1997), Jamaican politician who served three terms as prime minister of Jamaica (1972–1980 and 1989–1992) and a powerful champion of Third World issues. His defence of sovereignty for ex-colonial countries made him an outstanding figure in world politics. Interviewed by Gil Noble in 1977.