Daily Archives: April 19, 2014

Thomas Piketty: Capital


Forum Network

Published on Apr 19, 2014

Harvard Book Store welcomesd Paris School of Economics professor Thomas Piketty for a discussion of his seminal new work Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. His findings will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.

Piketty shows that modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge have allowed us to avoid inequalities on the apocalyptic scale predicted by Karl Marx. But we have not modified the deep structures of capital and inequality as much as we thought in the optimistic decades following World War II. The main driver of inequality—the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth—today threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values. But economic trends are not acts of God. Political action has curbed dangerous inequalities in the past, Piketty says, and may do so again.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Rime of a Modern-day Mariner | Tufts Now

Heidi

“A good way to spend a life” is how marine ecologist Heidi Weiskel describes her work to preserve the world’s ecosystems


Heidi Weiskel at Fern Ridge Reservoir west of Eugene, Ore., where she is a scientist for the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide. Photo: Robbie McClaran

By Linda Hall   January 30, 2013

One of the most exhilarating things Heidi Weiskel hears before a business trip: Pack your boots. That means fieldwork, and whether it’s studying snails in San Francisco Bay or trying to protect endangered mangroves in Panama, the sights, sounds and science of habitat exploration and preservation are more mission than job for this marine ecologist.

A trip to Buenos Aires Province in 1999, while she was a graduate student at the Cummings School, was the hook. Weiskel joined a research team studying the impact of local fishing on Franciscana dolphins, a threatened species that were ensnared and killed by fishing nets.

“That experience made me realize how much I love the detail of keeping data, doing background research, figuring out what a species is doing in its own habitat—and why,” she says. “The fact that you could have an entire career out with these animals and in these habitats—it seemed like a gift.”

After graduating from Tufts with a master’s degree in animals and public policy in 2002, Weiskel quickly decided she “wanted to be the scientist offering the expert opinion.” She earned a Ph.D. in ecology at the University of California, Davis, and in 2012 started work as one of three scientists at the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, a nonprofit based in Eugene, Ore., that provides science-based evidence and legal advice to lawyers and activists in 70 countries working to protect endangered environments and the people who depend on them.

Already Weiskel has traveled from Baja to Belize to Panama. In Baja she advocated for measures to protect marine organisms from the brine and cleaning substances that would have been discharged from a large desalination plant proposed to support mining operations.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

German countryside under threat from coal use

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p5tug1w8aU

Al Jazeera English

Published on Apr 19, 2014

A medieval village in Germany faces destruction because of plans to expand coal production. Atterwasch, near the country’s border with Poland, is around 700-years-old. Its residents and those of neighbouring villages want to stop coal producers from uprooting their communities. Evironmentalists also oppose increased coal use, as it blamed for higher emissions than other forms of energy. Al Jazeera’s Nick Spicer reports from Atterwasch near Germany’s border with Poland.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Chinese scientist seeks to make land more fertile

E120, e130, e145,