Doomsday Clock: can we really predict the end of the world?

ANDERS SANDBERG, University of Oxford January 23, 2015 The second hand of the Doomsday Clock is now only three minutes to midnight. This is the closest to apocalypse we have come since 1984 – the coldest of Cold War years, just a year

When will the penny drop at Davos?

  It’s not unusual for environmental risk to come up at the World Economic Forum, held this month in Davos, notes Natural Security columnist Chris Wood. “What appears to be harder for the high-net-worth and high-power-quotient individuals meeting in the Alps to accept, is

Davos: Pantomimes of Concern From the One Percent

  CHRIS WOOD: NATURAL SECURITY January, 2015 The one percent are meeting in Davos, Switzerland, this week—or at least, that fraction of the one percent that retains either a trace of social conscience or an instinct for personal survival that entails more than

Militant workers China’s new nightmare

China’s workers are not convinced by their government’s new stance, that low economic growth is “normal.” It’s a nightmarish scenario for China, warns International Affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe in his new column, Labour unrest surges as China’s economy slows. An excerpt: As China’s economy slows

Labour unrest surges as China’s economy slows

  JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs January 23, 2015 As China’s economy slows to a crawl, the Communist Party is facing one of its worst nightmares: a militant labour movement. The Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin, which collects data on strikes and lockouts in

The Saudi King, Abdullah, is Dead

The death today of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia sets in motion what will be one of the most important successions in that country and the Middle East for many years. It is an involved and complex process involving at least two

Noteworthy: Davos, Ebola, media matters

The World Economic Forum, AKA the “annual summit for the one per cent,” kicks off in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, tomorrow. Subjects range from bicycles for African kids to global trade, Ebola to climate change, “honey laundering” to oil markets. Switzerland’s tourism industry is delighted

WHO report takes aim at Grim Reaper of “lifestyle”

  By Alessandro R Demaio, Harvard University January 19, 2015 The World Health Organization (WHO) has just released its Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases, the second in a series tracking worldwide progress in the prevention and control of cancers, lung disease, diabetes

New Facts, and some Opinions

A spat of major new global reports on health, climate, and inequality contain warnings that can be met only by  joint action, the kind of community response that has fallen out of favour lately in much of the West.  Today Oxfam released, in

Human survival in danger zone, study confirms

By James Dyke, University of SouthamptonJanuary 16, 2015 The Earth’s climate has always changed. All species eventually become extinct. But a new study has brought into sharp relief the fact that humans have, in the context of geological timescales, produced near instantaneous