Europe in 2015 faced its most severe migration crisis in centuries as an estimated one million people, mostly Muslims, fled war in Syria and poverty in other countries of the Middle East and Africa for western European nations. With another three million people expected in 2016, the mass migration has raised questions about the future of Europe. VOA Europe Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
From the archives: You might say organic farmer Steven Schwen plows a different path through life. One built of a strong connection to the land without many of the trappings we normally would associate as modern-day necessities.
Jacques Martin Barzun (November 30, 1907 – October 25, 2012) was a French-born American historian. Focusing on ideas and culture, he wrote about a wide range of subjects, including baseball and classical music, and is best known as a philosopher of education. In the book Teacher in America (1945), Barzun influenced the training of schoolteachers in the United States.
He published more than forty books, was awarded the American Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was dubbed a knight of the French Legion of Honor. The historical retrospective From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present (2000), widely considered his magnum opus, was published when he was 93 years old.
John Jay Chapman (March 2, 1862 – November 4, 1933) was an American author.
He was born in New York City. His father, Henry Grafton Chapman, was a broker who eventually became president of the New York Stock Exchange. His grandmother, Maria Weston Chapman, was one of the leading campaigners against slavery and worked with William Lloyd Garrison on The Liberator. He was educated at St. Paul’s School, Concord and Harvard, and after graduating in 1884, Chapman traveled around Europe before returning to study at the Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1888, and practiced law until 1898. Meanwhile he had attracted attention as an essayist of unusual merit. His work is marked by originality and felicity of expression, and the opinion of many critics has placed him in the front rank of the American essayists of his day.
George Bancroft (October 3, 1800 – January 17, 1891) was an American historian and statesman who was prominent in promoting secondary education both in his home state and at the national level. During his tenure as U.S. Secretary of the Navy, he established the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1845. He was a senior American diplomat in Europe. Among his best-known writings is the magisterial series, History of the United States, from the Discovery of the American Continent.
THE EVOLUTION OF EVERYTHING: HOW IDEAS EMERGE, Matt Ridley’s brilliant and ambitious new book in which he explores his considered belief that evolution—in biology, business, technology, and nearly every area of human culture—trumps deliberate and intelligent design. Like his other big ideas books, The Rational Optimist and Genome, he presents his concepts in accessible and elegant prose, presenting a thesis which is sure to stir controversy and stimulate conversation.
Curtis Ellis, Obamatrade/American Jobs Alliance joins Thom. The full text of the Transpacific Partnership – or SHAFTA as I like to call it – was released early in November. There wasn’t much coverage of the agreement before the text was released – but between Donald Trump’s outrageous campaign and the fact that it’s the middle of the holiday season – news about the agreement has completely fallen out of the public eye. But the agreement hasn’t disappeared – and opponents are still fighting to get the message out that this deal would be a massive corporate handover that would ship more jobs overseas – and also undermine our democracy and American sovereignty. And according to some critics – the consequences of this agreement would go far beyond trade – it could fundamentally alter how Americans are able to express themselves under the first amendment. According to Curtis Ellis – executive director of the American Jobs Alliance – a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel that happened last year would technically be illegal under the TPP. That’s because the hotel is owned by the Sultan of Brunei – and the Sultan would be able sue the United States in a special international court for damages caused by a boycott – according to provisions in the TPP.
Global climate negotiations, COP21, have produced a new agreement in Paris, France. Over the past two weeks, 196 countries along with observers from around the world have been working towards a final agreement that would create a roadmap to a decarbonized economy that would mitigate future climate disaster and while allowing the world to adapt to a warmer climate. After the failure to achieve agreement at COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, the UN negotiating parties chose the 2015 talks as the next goal-line to solidify a deal. With the original text over 140 pages long, and several highly contentious issues to overcome, many have been skeptical that the parties could transcend years of gridlock and produce an agreement.
“As cities, regions, businesses, investors, civil society groups, trade unions and other signatories, coming from every sector of society and every corner of the world, we realize that dangerous climate change threatens our ability and the ability of future generations to live and thrive in a peaceful and prosperous world.We also realize that taking strong action to reduce emissions can not only reduce the risks of climate change but also deliver better growth and sustainable development.
As a result, we the undersigned, affirm our strong commitment to a safe and stable climate in which temperature rise is limited to under 2 degrees Celsius.
In support of this, we welcome the adoption of a new, universal climate agreement at COP21 in Paris, which is a critical step on the path to solving climate change. We pledge our support to ensuring that the level of ambition set by the agreement is met or exceeded.
We will do this by taking concrete steps now, and without waiting for the entry into force of the agreement in 2020, both individually and cooperatively, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a safe level and build resilience against those changes already occurring.
We will look back at this moment as our turning point, when the transition to a low-emission and climate resilient economy became inevitable, irreversible and irresistible. We must, we can and, together, we will solve climate change.”
The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership brings together business, government and academia to find solutions to critical global challenges. It deepens leaders’ insight and understanding through education and creates opportunities for collaborative enquiry and action through its business platforms.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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