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David Hodgson
Accelerating World Changing Initiatives
Accelerating World Changing Initiatives


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[T]hat obscures what is in many ways a much truer, historically meaningful and telling comparison: high murder rates as a phenomenon of the Americas.
This brings us back to the US crime rate and particularly the Southern murder rate. Why has the South always had a much higher murder rate than the rest of the country? The answer seems obvious: slavery. The role of violence and labor is much, much more similar to the Greater Caribbean than any other part of the United States. And when we look at the relatively high rates of violent crime among African-Americans, though this is a highly fraught and complex question, the sort of alienation from police authority, which goes far, far back into our history, is in my mind almost certainly a central part of the story.

In any case, let's circle all the way back to what are still the relatively high rates of violence and murder in the US versus Europe and some other parts of the world. Some of the mystery is simply that our frame of reference is wrong. The United States is part of the Americas and not just in the obvious geographical sense. While it is distinct in many ways, the US (and not just the South) had its fundamental origins as a settler society, which created basic patterns which are still with us today.

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100,000 Paraguayans flee capital city of Asuncion as flood water levels continue to rise paraguay latin south america amazon rainforest december 2015 january 2016

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The United States did it once, but could we do it again? The Manhattan Project in World War II pulled together some of the smartest minds in the country to work together in a very short time to solve a huge challenge to America and the world.

Today, could we fundamentally repurpose the Los Alamos National Lab and the other two national nuclear weapons labs, and redirect some of the smartest minds in the country in a short time to solve other huge challenges? This roundtable will look at alternative roles the labs could play that would help redirect the United States from our default strategy of developing next-generation nuclear weapons systems. 

Participants include:

Adam Steltzner - Engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
+Peter Schwartz - Renowned Futurist & Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning at
Elizabeth (Libby) Turpen - Executive Vice President at Octant Associates & Non-Resident Adjunct at the Institute for Defense Analyses
Gregory Benford - Professor of Physics at UC Irvine & Sci-Fi Author
+Paul Carroll - Program Director at Ploughshares Fund

More more info. on the roundtable, visit:

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Recurring growth theme

As recent reports by various organizations conclude persuasively and authoritatively that the world is running out of time -- fast! -- to solve the climate challenge and save humanity from calamity, one question that keeps popping up is whether we can pull it off in a way that will allow companies and economies to keep growing, though sustainably.

Here's one article that presents quite a bit of evidence showing that we can. And indeed, we have no choice to but approach the 10-15 years we appear to have left to fall short of 2C, from this perspective. One of the contributions of this particular piece that I find quite novel is the author's statistical correlation of growth, environmental performance and inequality.

From the conclusion: "There are two paths nations and cities can take when it comes to economic growth, environmental performance and inequality. There is a low road, taken by nations like the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, where economic growth comes hand in hand with higher levels of inequality and poorer environmental performance. But there is also a high road, taken by Northern European and Scandinavian nations, where economic growth goes along with lower levels of inequality and greener environmental outcomes. If we want a future where the rapid development of emerging nations and cities is sustainable and continuous, we’re all better served by taking that high road."

Here, here!

#sustainability   #climate   #climatechange   #globalwarming   #carbon  

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