What do You Want from Rio?

It’s now exactly one week until the Rio+20 conference – and 19 hours for you to make your voice heard.

I have been writing extensively on the upcoming Rio+20 conference and the likeliness that it won’t bring the solutions we want. (Read: The Sword of Damocles for an overview). Continue reading

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Free Tibet!

Tibet is not free. It’s not even autonomous even if that’s part of it’s official name. Who is going to do something about it?

My blog is already censored in China (meaning inaccessible) for which reason I don’t think this title will be much of a problem. How can it be anyway? It could be if I was Chinese and living in China. There, the topic Tibet is still as hot as anything and you better don’t mention it. Luckily, I’m not Chinese because I happen to be thinking about that little mountain region with the famous monks. Continue reading

The Sword of Damocles

Why Rio+20 will not solve the environmental challenges the international community is facing and why the Green Economy is not the solution.

We are currently living in a civilization that, as far as we can determine future risk, looks unsustainable” (Giddens 2010, p. 10). A look at the news confirms this: islands are disappearing, monsoon patterns are changing and deserts are growing. Pandora’s box has been opened. Solutions to this energy-environment conundrum exist. But hydropower-dams, biofuels and nuclear energy bring, according to my view, more harm than good. What we need are political solutions which accept and act upon the following: Continue reading

Changing Sides

Do you know what the revolving door refers too?

It describes the miracolous way in which people change from important positions in politics to others in the private sector or vice versa. At worst, they might even be involved in both areas at the same time. Continue reading

Dreaming is Allowed This Year

In the US there are two parties you can choose from. Neither cares about the environment.

What was democracy again? Is it that you can choose between chicken and pork? Personally, I wouldn’t want either. And no, that’s not democracy. Continue reading

Sorry But We Gotta Help Ourselves Now

After books like Deadaid and  The White Man’s Burden we are aware that development aid is not just something inherently good.

But if the rich countries in the North suddenly make huge cuts in their aid-budgets that can only lead into even worse situations. That is because the aid industry has created a system of dependency over the last years and aprubt cuts of these supplies – possibly combined with even more protectionism – can have serious impact for the poorest. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening right now. Continue reading

Biopirates Ahoy?

Did you know that Basmati Rice and Rooibos are owned by companies?

To you and me they seem like well-known types of rice and tea which grow in Asia and Africa. Nowadays, however, their ownership is claimed in the US and Switzerland. How so? Continue reading

Crime Against the Environment

Companies – and governments –  are full of empty promises and nobody seems to be able to hold them accountable.

Catastrophic oil spills and big speeches on what we should do are on the order of the day. Little action follows them. Sometimes, however, justice is done.

Continue reading

Before the Elections

That is probably not how they imagined it. Before the elections, Burma is in turmoil.

In a week, on April 1st, the Burmese vote for the next government. In the meantime, more and more bad news come out of the conflict-riddled country. Continue reading