Opinion / OP Rana

Eco-road to human salvation

By OP Rana (China Daily) Updated: 2014-03-05 08:55

Eco-road to human salvationNo news is good news. Call it a double entendre, a pun or play of words, whatever you will. But the phrase has never rung so true than in these times of media blitz. The world is caught in the web of perpetual crises, with almost every attempt to end one resulting in another and perhaps deeper crisis.

Crisis seems to have become the byword from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Palestine to Syria, from Somalia to South Sudan, from Egypt to Ukraine, from the United States to the European Union, and from India to China. If some countries are battling political upheavals, others are struggling with economic problems while most are facing environmental dilemmas.

Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be the powder kegs they have been during the past decade. Somalia has been joined by South Sudan and some other African nations on the human crisis list. Egypt continues to simmer as Ukraine boils to the brim because of the tug of war between Western powers and Russia.

The US, amid its struggle to steady its economic ship, has experienced what many say is its bitterest winter. As the EU tries to employ its resources to capture lost glory, the United Kingdom has been counting the cost of storms and one of the worst winter floods in living memory. India may not be certain about its economic and political future (with the general elections round the corner), but it can be sure about the damage caused to its environment (New Delhi is now the most polluted city in the world).

And China is trying to root out corruption, end extravagance and waste and reduce air pollution to allow people to breathe more freely.

The root cause of all the problems seems to be economics, or models of economic development. For the majority of countries and regions economic development is only about their economies. But for some, it is more than that; it involves dominance over resources of other countries and expansion of private wealth.

Very few countries are free of the influence of private capital and capitalists, which is understandable given the fact that 85 of the richest people in the world own as much wealth as those in the bottom half of wealth distribution - in other words almost half the world's wealth.

Just look at some other recent findings: 1 percent of the world's population owns $110 trillion or 65 times the total wealth of half of the global population, and 70 percent of the global population lives in countries where economic inequality has increased in the past 30 years.

Given such a situation, it is not surprising to see the global economy being run according to the rules laid down by the rich, which most governments in the world are more than happy to abide by. And the rules of the rich certainly cannot be for the benefit of the poor, or the majority of the world's population. Look at how weather patterns have been wreaking havoc across the world because of governments' refusal to act to mitigate climate change in their bid to continue business as usual to fatten the already heavy pockets of the world's wealthiest.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Most Viewed Today's Top News
New type of urbanization is in the details