Finally Good News

Posts Tagged ‘China

Hong Kong

English: Full view of Kowloon and Hong Kong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s amazing to how the Arab Spring uprisings throughout North Africa and the Middle East are continuing to have repercussions throughout the world. The role of technology, of course, cannot be underplayed in these events – social media has been a valuable conduit and meeting place to spread this contagious notion of Democracy. And before the cynics get to the point of ‘what do you do now, once you have freedom?’ (a whole other argument), it’s thrilling to see the demands that citizens are beginning to make of their national businesses and governments.

China, and more specifically the semi-autonomous principality of Hong Kong, is now in the midst of pro-democracy fervour; raising a stout middle finger to the national powers in Beijing. The reason for this is the legislature election, and it follows weeks of protest at the government’s “plans for mandatory patriotism lessons,” according to the BBC. Read the rest of this entry »

Désert-du-Thar - Water Scarcity in the making

Desert tribes living in the Thar Desert near Jaisalmer, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just last week international new sources ran reports on Beijing’s dangerous air quality, complete with pictures on the BBC and CNN of a thick blanket of yellow smog covering the streets – apparently at record, toxic levels. This, it could be said, is the cost of China’s rapid economic expansion over the last two decades. But before cynicism takes hold, there have also been unlikely reports of new environmental agendas emerging from the most populous country on earth; positive advances in tackling water scarcity and preservation.

This may seem like an inessential area of concern, but water scarcity will emerge as one of the greatest challenges to mankind in the foreseeable future. And the BBC have just run a piece on China being the global leader in investments to protect watersheds – “preserving or reviving natural features, such as wetlands, streams and forests that can store and filter freshwater supplies.” This is good news, and also shows that governmental and private sector decision-makers are thinking much longer term, unlike the U.S. or Russia. Read the rest of this entry »

protests in chinaChina’s rapid ascent in the last decade as a new global economic superpower has taken many forms, and the once-despotic nature of the ruling class is now careful to tread lightly for fear of Prague spring-style rebellions erupting. This vast nation is a fascinating social and economic cauldron facing a new, young generation of well-informed and astute libertarians; Tianamen Square protests continue, but this time big business, regional and national governments are listening and adapting.

The last aforementioned word is really the key to the new emerging China – adaptation. Unlike Russia, which continues to move in a circular fashion, embracing only the economic spoils of democracy – still living in a repressive, draconian state – China, has inversely seen its citizens demand better pay, shorter work hours and a dismantling of the Maoist brainwashing that has dominated the landscape for so long; a recent story in the news highlights the fearless egalitarian approach to life that the Chinese public are now demanding. Read the rest of this entry »

China and India continue to command the attention of the international media, as the world watches these two emerging superpowers grow, develop and contend with increasing notions of democratization in all of its manifestations. India’s latest concern is whether or not to allow international companies to operate on native soil, vying for consumers’ money along with homegrown brands. China too, is still feeling the pangs of international pressure at what a new generation of Chinese proletariat are able and expected to earn – wages that must compete in a Western context.

The latter country’s case has been bandied around in the press ad nauseam, and for good reason. Read the rest of this entry »

Renewable Power

“the world’s biggest polluters are turning a corner and planning to spend almost $30bn on emissions reduction, renewables and much more on wind and solar power…”

The coalition government in the UK has implemented the largest, sweeping reforms to the energy sector in over twenty years. The good news is that the acknowledgment and prescient concern over the future is on the agenda, the bad news is that many are disappointed that renewable energy is taking a backseat to nuclear. As was reported in the Guardian newspaper recently, Charles Hendry, the minister of state for energy, said: “The market did a good job keeping down [energy] prices to the lowest in Europe, but it did not bring forward enough new investment. If we are going to keep the lights on in an affordable way, this is not a luxury – it’s absolutely essential.” True, but what do they propose? A fairly reasonable fixed price for carbon (higher than what is ostensibly market price) and an “emissions performance standard” stopping coal-fueled facilities from carrying on without proper carbon capture, it seems. The beef for environmentalists is the lack of investment on renewables. But, it appears a decent enough plan to provide higher prices to industry – in order to spur future investments in renewables and ensure no future shortages (this was perhaps the main impetus). The question, as is often the case with everything – where’s the money coming from? That’s a tough one to answer considering the nation’s current economic struggles.

Read the rest of this entry »


%d bloggers like this: