The impacts of climate change are not evenly distributed - the poorest countries and people will suffer earliest and most. And if and when the damages appear it will be too late to reverse the process. Thus we are forced to look a long way ahead.
Globalization, or trade liberalization more specifically, walks a fine line between improving our overall quality of life and costing large groups of people their jobs. Just ask the automakers in Detroit. We know that people who lose their jobs to trade pay a higher economic penalty than those who lose them for non-trade reasons.
Peter Haas and his nonprofit AIDG have an excellent idea to bring low-tech solutions to basic problems of energy, water and sanitation in developing countries. Their first project is a 10-man shop in Guatemala that will build a 40-home microhydroelectric system as part of a UNDP contract. Since the workers are locals, they'll be around to fix it later. Haas envisions a network of self-sustaining businesses that build and repair low-cost technologies. Hats off.
(Adapted from Debraj Ray in Understanding Poverty, 2006)
Visit Christian Science Monitor for a thoughtful profile of a Rwandan coffee cooperative that bridges the Hutu-Tutsi divide. Cooperatives like it are helping absorb the tens of thousands of prisoners being freed after serving time for acts of genocide, while contributing to Rwanda's 7% annual growth in GDP.
A recent paper on the very much debated linkages between Globalization and Poverty, by Ann Harrison:
UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2006 is out, and it shows that 2005 was a banner year for foreign direct investment. Notable inflows went to: