The Case Against a New Concert of Powers

Demographic, Wild Cards

The Case Against a New Concert of Powers

Global politics today is a mess, and it can be tempting to turn to history for clues about how to clean it up, as Richard Haass and Charles Kupchan did recently in “The New Concert of Powers” (March 23). But one must be careful to learn the right lessons. Haass and Kupchan argue that the nineteenth-century Concert of Europe provides a model for managing great-power relations, avoiding major wars, and balancing an imbalanced world. These are worthy goals, but the Concert of Europe failed to achieve them—and so would any new organization inspired by it.

In 1815, Austria, France, Prussia, Russia, and the United Kingdom founded the concert to maintain their power and stabilize a continent roiled by wars and revolutionary uprisings. The concert is sometimes depicted as producing a golden age of diplomacy: a time when diplomats and statesmen fostered mutual respect, maintained a balance of power, avoided one another’s spheres of influence, and eschewed war in favor of joint sorties to the opera and late-night discussions over whiskey and cigars.

Read More

 

The controversial future of nuclear power in the U.S.

Energy, Policies

The controversial future of nuclear power in the U.S.

As the climate crisis worsens, the discussion intensifies over what role nuclear power should play in fighting it.

Cold War on Trial: Truth Commission details horrible crimes akin to Native American genocide and slavery

Other Atrocities, State War, Threats

Cold War on Trial: Truth Commission details horrible crimes akin to Native American genocide and slavery

With a new Cold War heating up between the U.S. and Russia and China, Witness for Peace Southwest, Addicted to War and CodePink organized a Truth Commission on the original Cold War on March 21st, which brought together the testimony of historians, activists and others who lived through the period.

Following a hearing three years ago, the Zoom event was hosted by Frank Dorrel, publisher of the popular anti-war text Addicted to War, and Rachel Bruhnke, a high school Spanish teacher and member of Witness for Peace Southwest.

In her opening remarks, Bruhnke emphasized that the Cold War should rank as one of three great crimes in U.S. history, the first two being the genocide of the native Americans, and enslavement of African-Americans.

Read Full Article

 

This crisis is different’: the dramatic rebound in the global economy

Economy, Policies

This crisis is different’: the dramatic rebound in the global economy

From an economic point of view, it is almost as if the last year was just a bad dream.

As recently as October, the IMF was warning that coronavirus will cause “lasting damage” to living standards across the world with any recovery likely to be “long, uneven and uncertain”.

Yet the forecast it released this week is very different. By 2024, the IMF now believes, the US economy is likely to be stronger than it had predicted before the pandemic. For most advanced economies, it says, there will be only limited scars from the crisis.

Read More

 

8 Events that Led to World War I

State War, Threats

8 Events that Led to World War I

World War I, which lasted from 1914 until 1918, introduced the world to the horrors of trench warfare and lethal new technologies such as poison gas and tanks. The result was some of the most horrific carnage the world had ever seen, with more than 16 million military personnel and civilians losing their lives.

It also radically altered the map, leading to the collapse of the sprawling Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and Russian empires that had existed for centuries, and the formation of new nations to take their place. Long after the last shot had been fired, the political turmoil and social upheaval continued, and ultimately led to another, even bigger and bloodier global conflict two decades later.

Read More

 

Do privileged US citizens have better health outcomes?

Health, Policies

Do privileged US citizens have better health outcomes?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, privilege—or the lack thereof—and its effects on health have taken on considerable importance.

Privilege can manifest in disparities related to wealth, race, gender, and more. In the pandemic, for instance, the wealth gap between Black and White Americans remained strong, as White families held 84% of total household wealth in the United States. Analysts for the Brookings Institution claim that this gap placed Black families in a less desirable position when COVID-19 struck.

Read Full Article

 

Solutions To America’s 7 Biggest Problems For We, The People

Policies, Society

Solutions To America’s 7 Biggest Problems For We, The People

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Our central thesis is that as a nation, we are divided and stalled out by deep, cynical, fully paid for partisanship at a time when the stakes of delaying pragmatic decisions to address the Five Fates could not be higher. What is to be done?

Read More

 

‘If This Task Was Urgent Before, It’s Crucial Now.’ U.N. Says World Has 10 Months to Get Serious on Climate Goals

Ecology, Threats

‘If This Task Was Urgent Before, It’s Crucial Now.’ U.N. Says World Has 10 Months to Get Serious on Climate Goals

The language of diplomacy rarely allows for a true sense of emotion or urgency. But reading between the lines of the latest report commissioned by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)—the body representing the 197 member nations of the Paris Agreement to minimize a global average temperature rise this century—the message is clear.

The world has precisely ten months to get our act together if there is to be any hope of staving off a climate catastrophe by the end of the century.

Read More

 

Waste To Energy Technologies to Watch in 2020

Energy, Policies

Waste To Energy Technologies to Watch in 2020

The worldwide waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies market is expected to grow by 6.54% by 2025. WTE can be described as a process of using organic waste material into heat or electricity, which is used to power vehicles while saving the environment at the same time.

The primary reason that WTE technology is so popular is the fact that it converts solid waste substances – including paper and plastic – into energy, cost-effectively and sustainably.

Read More

 

China: Fragile Superpower: How China’s Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise

China, Demographic

China: Fragile Superpower: How China’s Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise

Once a sleeping giant, China today is the world’s fastest growing economy–the leading manufacturer of cell phones, laptop computers, and digital cameras–a dramatic turn-around that alarms many Westerners. But in China: The Fragile Superpower, Susan L. Shirk opens up the black box of Chinese politics and finds that the real danger lies elsewhere–not in China’s astonishing growth, but in the deep insecurity of its leaders. China’s leaders face a troubling paradox: the more developed and prosperous the country becomes, the more insecure and threatened they feel.

Shirk, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for China, knows many of today’s Chinese rulers personally and has studied them for three decades. She offers invaluable insight into how they think–and what they fear. In this revealing book, readers see the world through the eyes of men like President Hu Jintao and former President Jiang Zemin.

Read More