Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Good On You, China!

China had a word with Russia, made America look bad...all told

Putin frozen out as the West unites over Crimea

President Obama: 'We’re united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far'
AFP/Getty Images

RUSSIA was ejected from the elite club of leading economies yesterday as world leaders turned their wrath on President Vladimir Putin for his landgrab in Crimea.
The West united to threaten tougher sanctions aimed at throttling the Russian economy if Putin took further military action in Ukraine.
Crisis talks between President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan ended with Russia being formally frozen out of the G8 club. The countries will boycott this year’s planned G8 summit in Sochi, which Putin was due to chair, and instead meet as a group of seven in Brussels in June.
As world leaders convened an emergency summit in The Hague, Moscow announced that its military takeover of Crimea was complete. Ukrainian forces had surrendered, joined Russian forces or been ejected from all military bases.
The Pentagon warned that the buildup of Russian forces on Ukraine’s eastern border continued. ‘‘They’re still growing in numbers. They’re still in a hot state of readiness,’’ a senior US officer said.
The decision to call time on the G8 was the most concerted diplomatic effort yet to isolate Moscow.
Russia shrugged off the punishment as meaningless. Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, said it was no tragedy, and that Russia would wait a year or two before deciding whether it was worth pushing again for membership.
He added that most important decisions were taken by the larger club of G20 countries, which includes China, Brazil and India.
Western diplomats have also been trying to mobilise G20 countries into a wider condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and troop buildup.
The Western response so far has been divided, with the US issuing punitive sanctions against
‘If our Western partners believe that this format has no more future for itself, well so be it. We’ll wait a year or two and see how it goes, whether we really need it.’
Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister
Putin’s inner circle while Europe has targeted more junior figures with travel bans and asset freezes, in part because of splits within the EU about how harshly to respond.
William Hague said the UK was prepared to go further, suggesting the government was ready to bar Russian capital even if it hurt the City of London.
The foreign secretary said: ‘‘Every country would have to do what is necessary if more farreaching sanctions were applied, accepting that that would affect different economies in different ways. The United Kingdom is certainly prepared to do that.’’
G7 leaders made clear that they did not accept Putin’s actions, criticising Russia’s ‘‘illegal attempt to annex Crimea’’. A joint statement warned Moscow that it would face severe consequences unless it changed course.
‘‘This group came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities,’’ the statement added. ‘‘Russia’s actions in recent weeks are not consistent with them.’’
Lavrov said: ‘‘If our Western partners believe that this format has no more future for itself, well so be it. We’ll wait a year or two and see how it goes, whether we really need it. Many people actually believe that the G8 has already played its role because now that the G20 exists all the matters of global economy are discussed within that forum and the G8.’’

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Our climate is becoming more chaotic

Arctic Ice Is Melting - it would seem due to the greenhouse effect. But Antartic ice is growing. 

Antarctic sea ice extent at the end of July was the highest on record for that day, growing to 18.077 million sq km. The previous record of 17.783 was set in 2010, whilst the 1981-2010 average was 16.869.

Fascinating Doco. GLOBAL WEIRDING http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b01f893x/

The State Of Humanity Is Imporving

humanprogress.org is a website dedicated to tracking the progress of humanity across the globe

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Congratulations mankind. Most things for most people on the globe were never better than in 2013!!!.

RAHN: Most things are better now

The good old days were not so good for most people

If you think things are bad, you might be consoled in knowing that most things for most people on the globe were never better than in 2013.

The good news is that most people are living longer with more real income and more security than they did a year ago, a decade ago, or at any time in history. Global personal safety is at a record high. The number of people killed in wars last year was at most a few thousand — a tragedy, but only for a minuscule portion of the world’s population — unlike the tens of millions killed per year during the world wars of the last century. Violent crime and murder rates are declining almost everywhere in the world.

Life expectancy is highly correlated with economic well-being and the quality of medical care. Global poverty is diminishing at a very rapid rate, and very few now starve to death, but when they do, it is almost always caused by incompetent or venal governments. It is estimated that average inflation-adjusted global per-capita income was only $712 in 1820, but now is about $8,000 per year, a more than tenfold increase.

Average global life expectancy, which is now 68 years, hovered around age 30 from the beginning of recorded time until about 1900. The United States was relatively rich by 1900, but even so, women often died in childbirth, and there were no modern medicines and antibiotics to treat infections and other diseases. Many occupations were dangerous, and men were frequently disabled or died in industrial accidents. Mass epidemics were common, such as the famous influenza epidemic of 1918 that killed millions. Travel was inconvenient, slow and dangerous. Those who managed to live through childhood could often expect to live to their 60s, but maladies that come with aging and are now successfully treated were death sentences then.

If things are really getting better, which they are, then why so much pessimism? The scientist and writer Matt Ridley explained it well in his book “The Rational Optimist”:

“The airwaves are crammed with doom. In my own adult lifetime, I have listened to implacable predictions of growing poverty, coming famines, expanding deserts, imminent plagues, impending water wars, inevitable oil exhaustion, mineral shortages, falling sperm counts, thinning ozone, acidifying rain, nuclear winters, mad-cow epidemics, Y2K computer bugs, killer bees, sex-change fish, global warming, ocean acidification and even asteroid impacts that would presently bring this happy interlude to a terrible end. I cannot recall a time when one or other of these scares was not solemnly espoused by sober, distinguished and serious elites and hysterically echoed by the media. I cannot recall a time when I was not being urged by somebody that the world could only survive if it abandoned the foolish goal of economic growth. The fashionable reason for pessimism changed, but the pessimism was constant.”

It is no surprise that newspapers and their electronic equivalents hype bad news and scares — because they sell. Al Gore made headlines when he told us in 2007 that the Arctic Ocean sea ice would be gone by 2013. Oops. The Arctic ice sheet actually grew by 29 percent in 2013, and the Antarctic ice sheet now covers more ocean surface than since measurements began. The global-warming crowd is still inventing excuses as to why none of their models failed to forecast the fact that the world has not warmed for the past 17 years. This year was supposed to be a very active year for Atlantic hurricanes, particularly destructive ones hitting the U.S. coast — which got big headlines. However, you may have noticed that there were only two small, short-lived hurricanes far out in the Atlantic that never got close to the coast. This year was also supposed to a big year for tornadoes, but again, thankfully, they were near a record low.

The fact is, despite Obamacare and the Federal Reserve, most Americans did live a little bit better in 2013. The world economy grew faster than the American economy, which means most people’s lives improved, particularly for those who live in the high-growth economies of Southeast Asia.
To bring a better balance about the real state of mankind, the Cato Institute has created a new website: HumanProgress.org, under the direction of Marian Tupy. The website is a tool for understanding what institutions, policies and forces have caused, or are impediments, to human progress. It will be no surprise when you look at what has been happening that most of the advances were made by private institutions and individuals, and most of the problems have been caused by governments.

Finally, researchers at Harvard Medical School last week reported the really good news that they have “discovered a cause of aging in mammals that may be reversible.”

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.