Emergent Futures Tumblelog

This is the Tumblelog of Paul Higgins and Sandy Teagle - Futurists from Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia. Go to Emergent Futures to see more or follow on Twitter at FuturistPaul . If you right click on the pictures, titles or links in these posts you will be able to go to the original story on the web. If you click on comments for each post you can either read what others have said or add your own comment via Disqus. If you click on the date of a post it will take you to a single post view where you can copy the web link if you want to send it to someone else. If you click on the tags it will take you to other stories from Emergent Futures with the same tag.

climateadaptation:

plantedcity:

From The Times Colonist:

A Canadian researcher is at the centre of a provocative new international study that puts an eye-popping price tag on the damage being done to the world’s oceans and fisheries - a cost that could reach $2 trillion a year by 2100 - from carbon emissions, over-fertilization, over-fishing and other human impacts.

University of British Columbia fisheries economist Rashid Sumaila, a leading critic of international fishing policies, is co-editor of the 300-page Valuing The Ocean report released last week at the high-profile Planet Under Pressure environmental conference in Britain.

The study, touted as a “unique,” monetary assessment of global ocean health and threats, is the latest attempt by ecosystem-conscious scientists to affix financial value to planetary resources taken for granted in traditional models of economic activity.

The project was coordinated by the Swedish-based Stockholm Environment Institute, which said in a statement that “the ocean is the victim of a massive market failure,” and that “the true worth of its ecosystems, services, and functions is persistently ignored by policy-makers and largely excluded from wider economic and development strategies.”

Sumaila said that “the combined global and local threats to the ocean are unprecedented in human history. Incremental change and business-as-usual will not suffice.”

But the global ocean crisis “can be rectified,” the UBC researcher added, “if the ocean and the services it provides are placed at the heart of global efforts to build a green economy for the future.”

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Photo credit: Hani Amir via David Suzuki)

Posted at 5:30pm and tagged with: Environment, economics, risk, climate change, food,.

futuramb:

Freakonomics » Is Higher Income Inequality Associated with Lower Intergenerational Mobility?

It’s striking just how closely related inequality and mobility are. And it’s political dynamite.  Why? If income inequality in one generation can be linked to unequal opportunity in the next, then income inequality can’t just be dismissed as the politics of envy. My bet is that this chart that will launch a thousand papers, as economists try to sort out just what these linkages are. Whatever the answer, it will transform our thinking about inequality.

Posted at 5:54am and tagged with: inequality, economics, politics,.

futuramb:

Freakonomics » Is Higher Income Inequality Associated with Lower Intergenerational Mobility?
It’s striking just how closely related inequality and mobility are. And it’s political dynamite.  Why? If income inequality in one generation can be linked to unequal opportunity in the next, then income inequality can’t just be dismissed as the politics of envy. My bet is that this chart that will launch a thousand papers, as economists try to sort out just what these linkages are. Whatever the answer, it will transform our thinking about inequality.

- David Barboza, Households Pay a Price for China’s Growth

So, Chinese ‘growth’ is a new ponzi scheme: using the savings of the frugal Chinese workers to inflate the value of real estate, making speculators and officials wealthy, and of course, making the country ripe for the real estate bubble to collapse.

(via stoweboyd)

Posted at 4:43pm and tagged with: china, chinese real estate bubble, economics, state capitalism, xl,.

Economists say that for China to continue serving as one of the world’s few engines of economic growth, it will need to cultivate a consumer class that buys more of the world’s products and services, and shares more fully in the nation’s wealth.

But rather than rising, China’s consumer spending has actually plummeted in the last decade as a portion of the overall economy, to about 35 percent of gross domestic product, from about 45 percent. That figure is by far the lowest percentage for any big economy anywhere in the world. (Even in the sleepwalking American economy, the level is about 70 percent of G.D.P.)

Unless China starts giving its own people more spending power, some experts warn, the nation could gradually slip into the slow-growth malaise that now afflicts the United States, Europe and Japan. Already this year, China’s economic growth rate has begun to cool off.

“This growth model is past its sell-by date,” says Michael Pettis, a professor of finance at Peking University and senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “If China is going to continue to grow, this system will have to change. They’re going to have to stop penalizing households.”

The Communist Party, in its latest five-year plan, has promised to bolster personal consumption. But doing so would risk undermining a pillar of the country’s current financial system: the household savings that support the government-run banks.

Here in Jilin City, where chemical manufacturing is the dominant industry, the state banks are flush with money from savings accounts. The banks use that money to make low-interest loans to corporate beneficiaries — including real estate developers, helping fuel a speculative property bubble that has raised housing prices beyond the reach of many consumers. It is a dynamic that has played out in dozens of cities throughout China.

John Cassidy via The New Yorker

To me, what is really, really alarming is this: a typical American male who works full time and still has a job is earning almost exactly the same now as his counterpart was back in 1972, when Richard Nixon was in the White House, O. J. Simpson rushed a thousand yards for the Buffalo Bills, and Don McLean topped the charts with “American Pie.”

The figures, which appear in Table A-5 at the back of the Census Bureau’s report (pdf), are these. Median earnings for full-time, year-round male workers: 2010—$47,715; 1972—$47,550. That’s not a typo. In thirty-eight years, the annual earnings of the typical male worker, adjusted to 2010 dollars, have risen by $165, or $3.17 a week.

If you do the comparison with 1973 it is even worse. The figure for median earnings of full-time male workers in that year (when O. J. rushed two thousand yards and Tony Orlando had a chart-topper with “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree”) was $49,065. Between now and then, Archie Bunker and Willie Loman have suffered a pay cut of more than twenty-five dollars a week.

Is it any wonder Americans are not as optimistic as they used to be?

Posted at 2:13pm and tagged with: econolypse, economics, the future of work, politics, inequality,.

stoweboyd:

The European debt crisis is like watching a drunk fall down the stairs:

Stephen Erlanger via NYTimes

Despite the fact that economists and bank analysts now widely expect that Greece will have to default on its debt, no European leader will say so, at least for the record. Instead, the countries in the euro zone are continuing to act as if measures agreed to in July to shore up Greek finances, and that slow-moving European parliaments have yet to fully approve, are sufficient to contain the crisis. One sign that Europe is preparing to address the problem might be a sudden outbreak of candor about the real condition of Greece, or an acknowledgement that leading European banks that hold sovereign debt of Greece and other troubled countries in the region will need hundreds of billions in new capital to ensure their stability.

But European leaders, especially in France and Germany, whose own banks are exposed, are reluctant to broach the inevitable. Why? Because they do not yet have in place a big pool of funds to ensure that an orderly Greek default does not lead markets to assume that the much larger economies of Spain and Italy will soon follow it into insolvency. And partly because they do not have the political will to commit those funds.

Without a trillion-plus-dollar “bazooka” in place to shock and awe increasingly skeptical markets and recapitalize banks, Europeans see themselves as having no choice but to temporize, even if that pushes up the cost of an eventual Greek default. And it renders any bad news — even bad news that has been anticipated and published in advance, like Greece’s again missing its deficit reduction targets this week — enough to send markets into a fresh nose dive.

The incremental approach of European leaders has frustrated their counterparts in the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve, who have repeatedly urged them to commit to a much bolder rescue plan. It has also done little to calm investors, who have already priced in a Greek default and are looking hungrily at Italy. “The markets need clarity,” Mr. Wyplosz said. “They have no reason to believe there’s a floor on public debt, so they fret. Once they have a floor, they can calculate their losses. Markets accept losses and can deal with them, but need a backstop.”

Ultimately, only the European Central Bank can intervene with the firepower necessary to set a floor under the price of the region’s sovereign debt. But its departing chairman, Jean-Claude Trichet, has ruled out the idea of the bank’s acting as the lender of last resort, even if it only guarantees the bond purchases of another fund, the European Financial Stability Facility.

Germany, the Dutch and the Finns, too, are against allowing the bank to make unlimited bond purchases from sovereign states.

The reluctance blocks even obvious moves, like marking down the value of Greek debt to something approaching the market price, which is now only 40 percent of its face value.

The markets have priced Greek debt down, but not all banks have taken write downs, and no one knows how far Italy and Spain will fall. But if the European leaders can’t get Greece behind them, how can they clean up the bigger messes to come?

Posted at 3:42am and tagged with: debt crisis, econolypse, economics, eurozone, greece, italy, risk, politics,.

climateadaptation:

Obama is right on both fronts. Clean policies not only offer necessary protections, they stimulate jobs.

From Scotland to Shanghai to Sao Paolo, the world is moving decisively toward a clean technology conversion and the jobs that come with it for urgent environmental, security and…

Posted at 4:31am and tagged with: obama, regulations, facts, environment, policy, jobs, economics, stimulus, climate change, energy, coal, GHG, carbon, careers,.

climateadaptation:

Looks like we’ll reclaim our Number 1 spot for the first time in 40 years. Story is paywalled at The Sunday Time, but a blogger copied the nut, HERE. And here’s Dow Jones’s clip:

LONDON -The U.S. will soon become the world’s top oil producer, The Sunday Times reported Goldman Sachs as…

Posted at 4:18am and tagged with: opec, oil and gass, oil, drilling, goldman sachs, london, USA, climate change, commodities, economics, economy, economic development,.

Soaring Poverty Casts Spotlight on ‘Lost Decade’


Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, and the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing figures on it.

Full Story: New York Times

Posted at 8:58pm and tagged with: economics, politics,.

Soaring Poverty Casts Spotlight on ‘Lost Decade’

Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, and the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing figures on it.
Full Story: New York Times

stoweboyd:

Waidi ren, or ‘outsiders’, are the rural unskilled who migrate to China’s booming cities illegally, and are forming a permanent underclass:

Andrew Jacobs, China Takes Aim at Rural Influx

According to the Beijing Bureau of Statistics, more than one-third of the capital’s 19.6 million…

Posted at 7:21am and tagged with: china, civil unrest, economics, hukuo, policy, rural migration, underclass, urbanization, waidi ren, future unrest,.

smartercities:

Start Up Street - What will you start up?

I absolutely love the ambition of this! It’s a very commendable example of using local skills, knowledge and assets to make something bigger!

Architecture+Design Scotland have launched ‘Start Up Street” in Stirling (Scotland), in response to an ideas workshop attended by the members of the local community, business owners and the Council, to examine how to generate sustainable economic activity and employment opportunities locally in Stirling.  

The ‘start up street’ in Stirling is a local street that currently has 7 empty shops. They plan to use the underutilised assets to set up a hub to explore creative solutions that could stimulate and develop local enterprise and economic activity and deliver positive outcomes. To set the ball rolling the video also gives some great examples of various projects that could be launched that focus on health and well-being.

The High Street is a key element of our settlements. Its role as the central space of villages, towns and cities has been challenged by changes in the pattern of retail, of leisure, and living. In many High Streets in many settlements there are vacant and underutilised assets. In some cases the High Street is under pressure. It is an issue of concern for many, from businesses, to citizens, to investors.

Meeting the challenge of how to re-think the High Street as a central place requires creative thinking about how we make the best of what we already have. The communities in Stirling City Centre recently participated in a co-design exercise to re-think the centre of the City. The Urban Ideas Bakerybrought together citizens, officers of the Council, businesses and other stakeholders to look at how the people resources of the city and the spatial resources might be managed differently. Out of this thinking emerged an idea to re-consider King Street as a ‘start up street’, which enables business start ups, scaling of small business and curating events and activities in the public space. The proposal is to explore how people with ideas, talents and capabilities in the city can be matched with the available spaces in the city, supported by a community of interest. This idea is being tested in a prototype phase to engage a wide range of interests in exploring how the idea works, what is feasible, what is not. The objective is to use this practical method of testing the idea to develop a live project, to start small and build up a sustainable, self supporting enterprise.

The project is open to anyone with an interest in High Streets, how they work, and how they can be enhanced. This short video explains the thinking behind ‘Start Up Street’, whats involved and how you can get involved.

via irishboyinlondon:

(Source: buildbettercities)

Posted at 9:01pm and tagged with: urbanism, urban acupuncture, urban planning, urban living, urban development, urban space, city life, city planning, economy, economics, community, community engagement, community regeneration, community development, Architecture, liveable cities, vitality, localism,.