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The Economist (January 12)

2019/ 01/ 14 by jd in Global News

“Analysts reckon that the number of smartphones sold in 2018 will be slightly lower than in 2017, the industry’s first ever annual decline.” “Peak smartphone” may be “bad news for Apple shareholders,” but the apparent “levelling off at around 1.4bn units a year is good news for humanity.”


The Economist (August 4)

2018/ 08/ 06 by jd in Global News

“Earth is smouldering. From Seattle to Siberia this summer, flames have consumed swathes of the northern hemisphere.” And humanity is not rising to the challenge. Three years following the Paris Accord, “greenhouse-gas emissions are up again. So are investments in oil and gas. In 2017, for the first time in four years, demand for coal rose. Subsidies for renewables, such as wind and solar power, are dwindling.” While “it is tempting to think these are temporary setbacks and that mankind, with its instinct for self-preservation, will muddle through to a victory over global warming. In fact, it is losing the war.”


Time (January 22)

2018/ 01/ 24 by jd in Global News

“Four out of every five dollars of wealth generated in 2017 ended up in the pockets of the richest one percent, while the poorest half of humanity got nothing,” according to a recent report by Oxfam, which “highlights a global system that rewards the super-rich and neglects the poor.”


The Economist (May 27)

2017/ 05/ 29 by jd in Global News

“Earth is poorly named. The ocean covers almost three-quarters of the planet.” While “the ocean sustains humanity. Humanity treats it with contempt.” One sign of this contempt is that “scientists expect almost all corals to be gone by 2050,” a time when “the ocean could contain more plastic than fish by weight.” Our very survival now hinges on successfully answering the question, “How to improve the health of the ocean?”


The Economist (March 9)

2017/ 03/ 12 by jd in Global News

“The spread of exotic grains is evidence that globalisation works.” You may mock quinoa and other hip foods, but they are welcome sign “of rising prosperity and expanding choice. The spread of better farming techniques has raised yields, helping humanity feed itself despite a rising population.” In contrast, “plans to erect trade barriers and possibly start a trade war” deserve derision. They “would make the world poorer and hungrier.”


USA Today (May 25)

2016/ 05/ 26 by jd in Global News

President Obama is right to visit Hiroshima and also not to apologize. “The bombings, as horrific as they were, saved the lives of millions of civilians and soldiers who surely would have died had the United States gone ahead with an invasion of Japan. Many of those lives were Japanese.” Instead Obama “should present an America that, while not apologetic, is empathetic. There is something appealing about the world’s only true superpower…showing a bit of humanity.”


New York Times (April 19)

2016/ 04/ 20 by jd in Global News

“Civilization’s understanding of Earth has expanded enormously in recent decades, making humanity safer and more prosperous.” But a new “dark age is a growing possibility” as our ability to predict future weather patterns is disrupted by climate change. Without the ability to accurately forecast long-term phenomena, “we will face huge challenges feeding a growing population and prospering within our planet’s finite resources.”


The Economist (May 9)

2015/ 05/ 10 by jd in Global News

“Powerful computers will reshape humanity’s future.” Many experts warn artificial intelligence could also threaten humanity’s existence. We must and can “ensure the promise outweighs the perils.” This will require putting constraints “in place without compromising progress. From the nuclear bomb to traffic rules, mankind has used technical ingenuity and legal strictures to constrain other powerful innovations.”


Financial Times (December 24)

2014/ 12/ 26 by jd in Global News

“The triumph and tragedy of space flight, manned and unmanned, have been on full view over the past year.” Funding both types of space exploration is essential, as each provides benefits. “Space exploration is a worthy activity for our modern industrial civilisation. It is the ‘manifest destiny’ of humanity to move beyond Earth.”


New York Times (April 6)

2014/ 04/ 07 by jd in Global News

“In reality, slower population growth creates enormous possibilities for human flourishing.” Japan may be at the forefront of graying societies, but the nation is hardly alone. Most developed countries are already shrinking. Many developing countries, like China, are soon forecast to contract. This is fueling “dark prophecies” and causing alarm over the future. It shouldn’t. “Population doom of one kind or another is a recurring fad. Like most fads, this one can be safely ignored. Humanity has many legitimate problems to worry about. Falling fertility is not one of them.”