Wednesday 23rd of July 2014

the never-ending story...

the never-ending story...

 

Our manic obsession with never-ending economic growth is driving our planet to ruin, writes Dr Adnan Al-Daini.

COUNTRIES' ECONOMIES ARE DRIVEN by an obsession — continuous growth in the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The absurdity of this becomes clear with a little bit of thought. Never-ending growth that relies on extracting resources from a finite planet is, of course, a mathematical impossibility, but well before we reach that point, this obsession will render our planet uninhabitable.

If our concern is the well-being of our citizens, is GDP the appropriate indicator of that?
GDP is defined as

"... the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time."

This implies that a cleaning-up operation after an environmental disaster for example gives a boost to GDP.

Dan O'Neill of the Centre for the Advancement of Steady State Economics (CASSE) makes the point that many bad things – such as family breakdown, wars, and environmental disaster – contribute to GDP, but good things, where no money is exchanged, do not — such as volunteering.

Research shows that while in developing countries there is a strong correlation between GDP per capita and people's well-being, in developed countries – such as in Western Europe and the United States – such a correlation no longer applies. For example, in the U.S. and UK, GDP per capita has tripled since 1945, but perception of happiness amongst the population has since flat-lined.

 

read more: http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-worlds-mad-obsession-with-unlimited-growth,6128


 

blah blah blah...

 

Australian shares are off around 1.4 per cent, following 2 per cent-plus falls on Wall Street overnight.

Wall Street plunged after than much weaker than expected manufacturing data triggered a sell-off of 2.1 per cent on blue chip the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 2.3 per cent on the broader S&P 500 index.

In response, Australia's major share indices have posted more moderate falls, with the ASX 200 of 72 points to 5,130 and the All Ordinaries also off 1.4 per cent to 5,114 around 11:10am (AEDT).

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah the poor get stuffed, the rich stuff themselves... blah...

Except for the blah blah, read more at : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-04/share-market-slides-steeply-on-wall-street-rout/5236976

 

class warfare from the crenels...

The politics of class warfare: from Sydney to Washington, the gulf is deepening

 

Long read: The class war has been won by the rich. Millionaires are pulling up the drawbridge behind them, evading taxation while choosing to share their anger rather than their wealth...
read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/04/the-politics-of-class-warfare-from-sydney-to-washington-the-gulf-is-deepening

more blah on the financial markets...

United States stocks rose on Tuesday, and European indexes improved after Wall Street had its worst day of the year on Monday.

European markets fell in morning trading, but stabilized and closed a bit lower. The Euro Stoxx 50 index closed down 0.5 percent, and the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares fell 0.3 percent.

Stocks in the United States opened higher, helped by corporate results. Just before 2 p.m., the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was up 10 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,752. The Dow Jones industrial average increased 54 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,427, and the Nasdaq composite had risen 33 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,030.

The Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah occurred amid continuing signs that the turmoil in emerging markets was spreading to the developed world.

read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/05/business/international/daily-stock-market-activity.html?hp&_r=0

beached billionaire in portsea...

 

Victorian Government 'not happy' about extension to Lindsay Fox's Portsea property


Mr Fox has long been fighting to extend the boundary of his property at Portsea, south of Melbourne, saying the deed entitled him to all the land to the high-water mark.The Victorian Government says it is furious one of its departments has allowed billionaire trucking magnate Lindsay Fox to expand his property on to a public beach.

The high-water mark has fallen in recent years and it has emerged the land titles office granted Mr Fox an extra 2,400 square metres on Christmas Eve.

Portsea is one of the most exclusive areas on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula and the land could be worth several million dollars.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy says the Government did not approve the extension and he is investigating whether the agreement is legally binding.

"It's clearly something the Government is not happy about," he said.

"We don't want to see public beach lost in private hands, that's not what is done in Victoria, and we don't want to see that precedent beginning."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-16/vic-govt-27not-happy27-about-fox-beachside-property-extension/5263140

 

See toon at top.

 

climate a-changing...

 

New research suggests that the main system that helps determine the weather over Northern Europe and North America may be changing.

The study shows that the so-called jet stream has increasingly taken a longer, meandering path.

This has resulted in weather remaining the same for more prolonged periods.

The work was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago.

The observation could be as a result of the recent warming of the Arctic. Temperatures there have been rising two to three times faster than the rest of the globe.

According to Prof Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University in New Jersey: "This does seem to suggest that weather patterns are changing and people are noticing that the weather in their area is not what it used to be."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26023166#

 

 

I knew that... I drew the graph a few weeks ago and it still is on my desk... I look at it daily.

sleepwalking towards disaster...

Britain is sleepwalking towards disaster because of a failure to recognise that climate change is causing the extreme weather that has blighted the country for more than a month, Ed Miliband has warned.

The Labour leader says in an interview with the Observer that climate change is now an issue of national security that has the potential not only to destabilise and cause conflict between regions of the world, but to destroy the homes, livelihoods and businesses of millions of British people.

Criticising David Cameron for appearing to backtrack on his commitment to the environmental cause, he calls on senior figures in all parties to unite behind the scientific evidence that climate change is a key factor in extreme weather. Failure to do so, he warns, will have catastrophic consequences.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/15/ed-miliband-stark-warning-climate-change

a lotta beans in tomato sauce...

Former Heinz chief executive William Johnson received $110.5m (£66.1m) for the final eight months of 2013, the food firm disclosed in a filing to US regulators.

Current boss Bernardo Hees, who joined the firm in June, received $9.2m.

Mr Hees has cut more than 3,400 positions and closed factories in an effort to boost profits.

Heinz was bought by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital for $28bn in February 2013.

The firm, whose products include ketchup, baked beans, and a variety of frozen meals, reported a net loss of $71.7m from February to December 2013.

It announced the closure of three US plants in November and two European processing plants in February this year.

Nonetheless, Mr Buffett recently said in an annual report to Berkshire Hathaway's shareholders that he expected 2014 earnings at the firm to be "substantial".

He also said the acquisition could serve as a model for future buys.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26523828