(People Against Globalisation Association)
3rd 10th July 2012
Headline News : International
· Nuclear update
· Fallout from nuclear war between Pakistan and India in 2005
are still being felt.
· The Israeli -Palestinian question - a solution at last?
· World religious tensions have eased. Christians and Muslims
view a brighter future.
· Is the war on drugs succeeding?
· International drug control and co-operation agreed in 2006
continues to move ahead.
· The Russian Legacy
· Is Communism finally dead? Is China is on the road to consumerism?
· Crime down at last
· European Union legal harmony is taking effect
· Jobs and immigration
· Latest details on working conditions.
Science and technology
· Information technology
· Telecommunications and IT are now one and the same.
· Major medical breakthroughs
· Keyhole surgery reduces public healthcare costs.
· The environment.
· Global Warming taking a heavy toll on the planet.
· Climatic changes continue.
· Editors Comment
· Dumb animals are we.
INTERNATIONAL Dateline June 2012
The Americans and the Russians ironed out their differences and both
built their mega umbrellas to protect themselves from invisible aliens.
Neither has dared to throw a dart at each other since. Luckily they
had been sensible enough to sign an agreement to reduce their nuclear
arsenals. Nevertheless, both superpowers had been too interested in
the Middle East and Europe that they forgot about a couple of other
heavyweights that had been breathing fire at each other for years. As
we all know, nuclear bombs did go off.
Seven years ago, Pakistan and India finally tried to blast each other
The world powers were aware that both countries had nuclear capability.
They did not know of their intentions, or of any strategy of attack.
As it so happened, both India and Pakistan had already prepared military
plans including the use of devastating bombs years in advance. The question
mark, was, who would be the first to push the button.
India had a problem. Pakistan's major cities, Karachi and Lahore were
too near the Indian border. Immediate repercussions would affect their
own population. It was politically unacceptable to aim their missiles
other than at the centre of the country. Pakistan took similar precautions.
Calcutta was too near the Bangladesh border, and any attack on Delhi
would automatically bring China into the conflict.
Nagpur, in the heart of India was the first city to be hit. Pakistan
fired the first shot. India reacted immediately with a smaller bomb
on the city of Multan, far enough from theirs and Afghanistan's borders.
There was immediate international reaction. The war was stopped in its
tracks but the damage had already been done.
Millions dead. Devastation in the Indian Ocean area. We can all remember
the dramatic scenes broadcast on world-wide television screens with
helpless governments and astonished media asking the same questions
over and over again: Why? Why does mankind continue to chastise itself?
How can we stop it? The radiation fall out alone has caused hundreds
of thousands of people to suffer from leukaemia, despite the fact that
medical advances have been able to reduce the mortality rate from this
type of cancer. We continue to suffer from the effects to this very
Thank God the bombing was all over within weeks. The sheer enormity
of the tragedy brought the world to its senses. For days it was at a
standstill. However, the global apocalyptic aftermath that could have
turned into an extraordinary world war never happened. The clean up
of the devastation in the area and the build up of humanitys confidence
in life itself was another matter.
The Israeli Palestinian issue
Ever since Arafat, the Palestinian leader and Saddam Hussein of Iraq
had died; a strange cloud of peaceful apathy had fallen on the Middle
East. The USA had backed Israel from the start and between them had
managed to contain the boiling pot from exploding. Today, the Palestinians
have established their own nation, albeit on paper, with the assistance
of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, whilst Iran is too busy indulging in newly
found consumer delights. The Ayatollahs had ceased to breath Jihad fire
towards the west as they realised it was counter productive. The country
had also signed up many development projects ranging from energy to
biochemistry with the European Union, particularly with their old ally,
France. Thanks to the lifting of UN sanctions, Libya and Iraq were able
to return to moderate stable states and would hopefully follow Irans
Jerusalem was the key factor to this peace. Under pressure from the
US government the city was placed under UN supervision, although much
resentment was caused at the time. There was no other alternative.
The accommodation of the Muslim world did not come about by chance.
It had been carefully orchestrated for more that a decade. Although
the nuclear blasts in the Indian Ocean area had had a dramatic effect,
it was not the only influencing factor. The death of Pope Paul II and
the naming of the new South American Pontiff eight years ago prepared
the way for a shake up of the Catholic Church. One of the key issues
was the reconciliation with other religious faiths in the world. Although
there are essential hurdles still to be overcome, Christians and Muslims
have at least agreed to disagree in peace. This was a vital move forward.
Having partially overcome a 'near miss' holocaust on the Indian continent,
the rest of the world appears to be at ease with itself, by invoking
peace and prospect brought about during the post-nuclear war years.
Although the Bush, Blair and Putin show had lost some of its charm,
people have become more concerned with their immediate surroundings.
Some argue this has always been the case. What happens in Cambodia is
of no concern to the local publican in a village in Dorset.
Is the war on drugs succeeding?
Over in Latin America things had also calmed down. In 2006 the USA administration
had tackled the drugs issue head on. New legislation was now in place
to ease drug usage by addicts. This brought down the price of the hard
stuff on the black market. Although controversial and contrary
to some wishes in the war against drugs, it did dramatically curtail
the illicit trade of heroin, cocaine and the likes. The barons were
having a hard time. Colombia, the pivot of trouble in the area, was
at peace but its economy had to be reshaped. However, aid programs with
the international finance institutions such as the World Bank and the
IMF had been agreed over a long period of time. More people in the world
may now drink more coffee but the poverty battle is not yet over.
The drugs issue had been a catalyst for other important world agreements.
We now have international tax evasion control between the major economic
players of the G8. Co-operation between governments, especially Europe,
USA and Russia has brought about a dramatic reduction in money laundering
through tax heavens. The knock on effect was obvious. Illegal
trading of arms around the world became more difficult; hence further
agreements on gun control were reached. This did not necessarily cut
down on sporadic maniac terrorism attacks around the world. International
criminal tribunals are now firmly in place in the International Courts
of The Hague.
The remains of Communism
Cuba is still a sore on democracy's doorstep. Although Fidel Castro
was exiled due to ill health to the land of his ancestors, Galicia,
Spain, the new authoritarian government that took over persisted in
continuing with the socialist revolution. However, the USA government,
is no longer imposing severe sanctions as, Fidel, their archenemy of
all times, had gone. Besides, the Organisation of American States (USA's
major trading partners in South America), had long advocated to ease
restrictions on the Caribbean Island. The 'little Havana' community
in Miami has come to terms with their old relatives on the island. Freedom
of speech continues to be non-existent.
China is another matter. Being deprived for years from entering the
World Trade Organisation, the key to their future development, in 2009
they finally came to terms with Taiwan. This has now allowed them to
sit at the next round of talks. It poses an interesting question on
the future distribution of world resources. Having moved towards acceptance
over human rights issues, China still has to be assisted in adapting
the modern and efficient techniques of today's Eco-conservation programs.
A major issue for the future of planet (see Feature's story).
Crime is also down
Sexual harassment, child criminality, disorderly behaviour have all
been in decline due to stricter criminal legislation. USA role models,
such as zero tolerance are now part of law enforcement procedures.
Police have been given more financial powers as more advanced technological
Voluntary euthanasia is now law throughout the Union. Humans are allowed,
similar to organ donors, to sign off on their fate in case of terminal
illness. On the other hand, insurance companies are still locked in
feuds with the governments regarding the effect on life insurance policies.
Future immigration laws will help reduce illegal movement of foreign
workers (see next issue).
Jobs and immigration update
Average unemployment throughout the Union continues steady at 7%. Two
factors have influenced the consistency over the past few years. Fixed
jobs, or jobs for life as they were known in the previous
century, have been on a downward trend since all states finally agreed
to move towards more flexible working conditions. Trade unions were
persuaded to change their belligerent ways to those with more worker
industry participation. Major social policy reforms in France and Germany
have helped towards this goal. On the other hand, increase in cheap
freelance work, has escalated.
Global poverty is still an issue, specially those communities that live
in countries governed by dubious democracies or dictatorships. Mass
illegal immigration into Europe has taken place over the past two decades
for various reasons, ranging from poverty to persecution. The lure of
a better life has attracted masses of human beings to cross into the
continent. Many unscrupulous businesses have been quick to take advantage
of this tragedy.
After years of discussions in Brussels, a breakthrough has been achieved
and a common policy on immigration will finally come into effect this
year to control the number of foreign workers entering the continent.
Those without a legal permit will be automatically returned to their
homeland. Authorities will be able to freely exchange information on
details such as identity and work permits. Nevertheless, due to the
continued increase of an ageing population and a general decline in
European birth rates, several million new immigrants will be needed
in the Union over the next several decades.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Telecommunications and information technology have now officially
merged. Massive supply of cheap bandwidth controlled by a handful of
carriers under international regulation, coupled with maximum flexible
switching capabilities allow users to control their own requirements.
On demand tailor made mega software packages are available at supermarket
prices. This means that all end user services such as the Internet,
telephone, media and other new innovative ones are accessible at reasonable
prices. There is greater legislation in place to cover illegal usage,
rampant in the previous century.
Major medical breakthroughs
Medical advances have leapfrogged. Keyhole and robot surgery is commonplace
and has dramatically reduced medical post operation costs. Major changes
have taken place in the medical profession. Nurses and other lower graded
personnel now deal with minor surgery and other simple complaints. These
are backed by Internet connections to global medical centres for guidance
and advice. More sophisticated drug investigation has paid off with
specialist and cheaper medicines, specially vaccines, for patients world-wide.
This has had a tremendous humanitarian breakthrough for continents like
Africa and Latin America who had been deprived for so long of good medical
care. Illnesses such as Aids and certain forms of common cancer are
now under control, although not eradicated. On the negative side, however,
is obesity, considered a major health hazard. Life expectancy has dropped
to 1980 levels. Cjd victims are now appearing at an increasing rate
throughout Europe. Despite rapid diagnosis a cure has yet to be found.
What about the effect of global warming? This has been a
serious issue ever since many world-wide environmentalists raised their
concerns during the previous century. Contamination of the atmosphere
due to CO2 and other toxic emissions is nothing new. But in order to
understand today's predicaments it is worth recapping what occurred
only a decade ago, at the turn of the century.
Despite Dr. John Christy's UN report at the time, temperatures have
been rising as predicted and many after effects throughout the world
are now being felt. He quoted: 'the world is in much better shape than
this doomsday scenario paints'. This prominent professor of Atmospheric
Science at the US University of Alabama was wrong.
Although there were numerous reports on the subject, many of the worlds
leading governments chose to ignore, in some cases, the over pessimistic
future climatic predictions of the planet. A conference way back in
1997 held in Kyoto, Japan, had laid down certain protocols, goals and
actions that were necessary in order to reduce the effect of global
warming for generations to come. Most representatives of the major nations
signed off in agreement, but nothing was done about it until this century.
The climax came when an independent team of experts from the United
Nations, in February 2001, confirmed the findings expressed at Kyoto.
Mr. John Prescott, Environmental Minister of the British Government,
stated in the House of Commons in February, 2001, that he was hopeful
of an international agreement in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The world was, in effect, heading for climatic problems if something
wasnt done about it over the next century. This time, the new
US government, headed by George W. Bush accepted the findings and supported
the moves to reduce the effect. The British Government under Tony Blair
Oil versus renewable energy
To start with, the multinational oil companies were continuing to explore,
and were successful in finding, new oil deposits throughout the world.
This created a glut of oil reserves that in essence prolonged the usage
of oil as an energy source. Hence continuing to pollute the earths
atmosphere. The environmentalists were furious and increased their campaigns
to save the earth. However, five years into the new century,
accords had been signed between the powerful oil companies and the influencing
governments of the G8 to combat the deteriorating situation of the planet.
Joint co-operation was in place.
These were based on sound research and development that would gradually
increase the percentage of renewable energy of total world consumption.
Efforts were focused on the developing areas, in particular, the emerging
new economies in South East Asia and Latin America. This entailed the
construction of wind generated electricity to be connected to national
grids. It also consisted of suburban housing estates and rural areas
having their stand-alone supplies of non-fossil fuel generated power.
Transport a never ending problem
Another extremely toxic culprit of global warming is the worlds
road transport system based on the internal combustion engine. Thus,
similar to the oil companies, car manufacturers are assisting by designing
and developing more efficient engines coupled with new non-gasoline
powered vehicles. Today, major public transport in overpopulated cities
is being replaced by non-petrol fuelled vehicles thereby reducing heavily
concentrated atmospheric pollution. This is noticeable in the USA, being
the largest single consumer of oil in the world. The program is continuing
throughout the world, albeit with varying degrees of success.
Present stage of international pollution control
If agreements of co-operation between governments and the private sector
on pollution control were not reached, the economic and political upheavals
would have been catastrophic. The Kyoto protocol would never have got
off the ground. We would not have reached the reduction level at which
we are today. Although not the agreed amount of a decade ago, nor those
desired by the greens, we are just under 4 percent of CO2
and other toxic emissions over 1990 figures. At least it is a major
breakthrough for, hopefully, a brighter climatic future. Conversion
to renewable energy was another matter.
Enter renewable energy sources
The tapping of natural energy resources such as the wind and sun was
not new and had been around for many years. Technology was well advanced.
The problem was economic. The chicken and egg situation was between
the initial massive investment required by multinational power suppliers
in order to meet company financial targets and the urgent demands of
consumers. Nevertheless, independent studies, some hopelessly optimistic,
allowed certain progress to be made.
The greens movement had demanded that by 2020, 10% of the worlds
electricity should be supplied by wind power. This would involve huge
amounts of investment by governments and energy companies the world
over. Solar power on the other hand consisted mainly of individual or
group solar panel installation to minor and medium size communities
throughout the world. In order to be economically successful, a massive
increase in the production of solar panels could act as a catalyst for
energy programs in the third world.
Todays universal energy consumption includes large-scale solar
power programs in China and South East Asia supplying electricity to
over 500 million human beings, 100 million in Africa and 50 million
in Latin America. Numerous international wind power farms have been
built both on and offshore and are supplying 3 % of the major world
electricity grids. Investment has been helped through co-operation by
aid-assisted organisations, international banking and government funding.
This is allowing private enterprise to develop the programs over a longer
period of time.
Climatic changes continue
Nevertheless, on the downside, the world climate is taking its time
to react. As predicted, we now have an increase of 1º C in average world
temperatures. The continuing melting of the Greenland and Antarctic
ice sheets has caused a rise in sea level by just under 1 metre. The
problems caused by the effects are being felt the world over.
The alteration of the Gulf Stream has taken its toll by changing the
world ecosystems. This is most noticeable in the changed patterns of
sea life. Traditional fishing banks have moved to the extent that the
fishing industry is in decline. The good news is that fish farms are
growing at an alarming rate. Although the rain forests, vital contributors
to world climatic stability, are now under control and saved from historical
over exploitation, weather problems continue. Hurricanes, floods, and
general geographic disruption are increasing. Migration of coastal populations
is causing severe social problems throughout the world. Many islands
have now disappeared particularly in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean;
Many cities such as Venice in Europe are in danger of becoming submerged
Remember the old cliché: 'Man is the only animal that stumbles
over the same stone twice'. Summarising present events and comparing
them with those of previous decades, a repetitive pattern can be observed.
Nevertheless, and despite the daily persistence of pessimistic news,
a glimmer of light can be seen at the end of the tunnel. We have come
a long way to realise that Mother Nature has at last issued a simple
and strong warning at today's world administrators. The planet is in
danger of extinction unless common sense and harmony prevails in the
future of international government policies.
© James Skinner