Our daily conveniences are somebody else’s suffering

Jain nun

I grope my way up the stairs in near-complete darkness, unaccustomed to the uneven concrete floors and unexpected corners of the building I first entered only a few hours earlier, following a seven-hour bus ride from Jaipur, India. My only guide through the dark, labyrinthine hallways is the flowing, spotlessly white robe of the young Jain nun walking ahead of me. Finally she leads me onto a … [Read more...]

Letter from India: It takes a village

Gurgaon office tower

If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India. - Max Mueller Returning to the world's second-biggest nation after seven years away, it's … [Read more...]

Lowering the speed limit for world economic growth

stop slow down sign

It seems everywhere you look these days economies are gearing down to much slower speeds. Indeed, some economies are already at a standstill (or even moving in reverse) and it’s likely more will soon follow. Whether it’s North America and Europe or even China and India, the story is much the same — the world’s largest economies are running out of gas. Despite the best efforts of central banks … [Read more...]

Abandoning the middle class, governments lose legitimacy

Susan Sarandon

People who care about climate change and peak oil have long despaired of convincing their national governments to take decisive action or even, in some cases, to acknowledge that there's a problem. Now, the world's democracies seem to be losing the confidence of their citizens to deal with the economic crisis too. Following on the Arab Spring, the ouster of Gadaffi and unrest in Britain, … [Read more...]

China syndrome hits Japan

Umbrella

The meltdown of three reactor cores at Tokyo Electric’s Fukushima nuclear power station in the tsunami and earthquake devastated area of northeastern Japan is already reverberating around the world’s nuclear power industry. Just as many countries were looking for nuclear power to play a growing role in meeting their future energy needs, the world is suddenly looking at the biggest nuclear … [Read more...]