Archive for the 'Globalisation' Category

28
Sep
07

Our Moral Footprint

As such, my blogger friend Michele Roohani connected the thread to my earlier post on Globalisation :by the same author: to under noted article of published in recent New York Times..

By VACLAV HAVEL :Prague

OVER the past few years the questions have been asked ever more forcefully whether global climate changes occur in natural cycles or not, to what degree we humans contribute to them, what threats stem from them and what can be done to prevent them. Scientific studies demonstrate that any changes in temperature and energy cycles on a planetary scale could mean danger for all people on all continents.

It is also obvious from published research that human activity is a cause of change; we just don’t know how big its contribution is. Is it necessary to know that to the last percentage point, though? By waiting for incontrovertible precision, aren’t we simply wasting time when we could be taking measures that are relatively painless compared to those we would have to adopt after further delays ?

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Maybe we should start considering our sojourn on earth as a loan. There can be no doubt that for the past hundred years at least, Europe and the United States have been running up a debt, and now other parts of the world are following their example. Nature is issuing warnings that we must not only stop the debt from growing but start to pay it back. There is little point in asking whether we have borrowed too much or what would happen if we postponed the repayments. Anyone with a mortgage or a bank loan can easily imagine the answer.

The effects of possible climate changes are hard to estimate. Our planet has never been in a state of balance from which it could deviate through human or other influence and then, in time, return to its original state. The climate is not like a pendulum that will return to its original position after a certain period. It has evolved turbulently over billions of years into a gigantic complex of networks, and of networks within networks, where everything is interlinked in diverse ways.

Continue reading ‘Our Moral Footprint’

07
Sep
07

Globalisation’s human cost

Pl care to read and ponder speech by Václav Havel on human and socio-economic cost of Globalisation..

Václav Havel, (born 1936 in Prague) is a Czech writer and dramatist. He was the ninth and last President of Czechoslovakia (1989-1992) and the first President of the Czech Republic (1993-2003).

“The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.”

Václav Havel: A Speech on the UPS / Longitudes 04 Conference Living in a Synchronized Global Economy”

Paris, Intercontinental Le Grand Hotel, October 26, 2004

Ladies and Gentlemen, & Honoured guests,

Quite recently I happened to spend a day that caused me to do a bit of thinking once more about so-called globalisation, or more precisely, about the evolution of our present-day civilisation and the many dangers it poses.

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In the afternoon I went shopping at a supermarket. It was as big as a railway station and I got a bit lost and marvelled, as I always do, at the incredible variety of foods on offer and how they artfully entice shoppers to buy far more groceries than they intended. I succumbed too, of course. Although I had originally only gone there for a kilo of apples I carted off a trolley full of interesting things. There was one item, however, that I didn’t cart off, even though I put it in my trolley at first. It was an oven-ready product made of seasoned ground meat of some kind that you just stick under the grill and you have a hamburger. An older shop assistant who was standing near the meat display, had recognised me, and quietly advised me not to buy the item. He told me it wasn’t one of their products but was brought in – apparently to the entire chain – from God knows where and God knows what went into it. So I put the item back on the shelf, chiefly, I expect, out of politeness. I asked him where in that particular town I might find a normal butcher’s where they would grind up exactly what I chose on the spot. The man looked around conspiratively and then said softly: “They wiped us out.” So he must have once been a butcher, and I expect he found it somewhat humiliating at his age having to stand by a display cabinet with products he hadn’t helped prepare.

I know that supermarkets also have counters were meat is cut and ground according to the customer’s wishes. However it occurs to me that these chains are slowly and imperceptibly driving many of small shops and businesses out of the towns and villages. From the purely economic point of view – in other words, in terms of productivity and profit – it is no doubt an advantage to concentrate the bulk of production and distribution under the umbrella of large supranational organisations that have the money and the “know-how”. But there are other considerations besides purely economic ones – considerations that are equally important, if not more so.

Continue reading ‘Globalisation’s human cost’




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