Archive for November 7th, 2012

07/11/2012

‘Can China Get Old and Rich at the Same Time?

Human Wrongs Watch

“China has already done a lot to adapt labour markets and social protection systems to an ageing society. But it will have to do more to balance its economic and social needs.”

**Photo credit: © timquijano | Source: ILO

By Aidi Hu, senior ILO* social security expert — In 2013, there will be more than 200 million people aged 60 or over in China. This is more than the total population of countries like Indonesia, Japan, Brazil or Russia, which are some of the world’s most populous nations.

By 2050, the number of elderly people in China is expected to reach 487 million or about one third of the entire population. The challenge does not only come from the sheer size of the elderly population, but also from the increasing pace of ageing in Chinese society.
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The latter is the result of two combined factors: the baby boom between the 1950s and 1970s, and the abrupt introduction of the one-child policy in the late 1970s.

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07/11/2012

Over Two Billion People Now Connected to Internet But …

Human Wrongs Watch

While citing the rapid development and growth of the Internet, a top UN official urged greater efforts ‘to bridge the ongoing digital divide” and ensure that everyone around the world can harness its benefits.

*Routing paths through a portion of the Internet as visualized by the Opte Project | The Opte Project

There were 2.3 billion Internet users worldwide at the end of 2011, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, said on 6 November 2012 in his address to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which opened in Baku, Azerbaijan.

In addition, mobile broadband reached more than 1 billion subscriptions, while the use of fixed broadband was estimated at 590 million subscriptions.

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07/11/2012

Hurricane Sandy Shows What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic

Human Wrongs Watch

By Travis Nichols, Greenpeace* — This week, Shell finally put its 2012 Arctic drilling season out of its misery.  After a summer of snafus and false starts, the window for drilling closed on the global oil giant–until next year when it plans to try once again to exploit Arctic ice melt for profit.

Fires burn in Lavallette in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on the New Jersey coast | Greenpeace

The company has been up there rolling the dice with our global future, betting against the odds that it won’t fail as miserably at Arctic execution as it has at Arctic preparation–that it won’t, for example, accidentally break the equipment it plans to use in case of a spill during a trial run.  

While this may seem like a remote, snowy problem for polar bears, native  Alaskans, and environmental hand-wringers, Hurricane Sandy has shown us this week that what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic.

While corporate interests invested in burning fossil fuels have tried to keep Arctic destruction out of sight and out of mind for years in the lower 48, extreme weather like this week’s frankenstorm shows us in a visceral and immediate way that Arctic consequences are coming for us.

And it isn’t going to be pretty.

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