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.

robertreich:

The economy has stalled.

Friday’s jobs report for April was even more disappointing than March. Employers added only 115,000 new jobs, down from March’s number (the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the March number upward to 154,000, but that’s still abysmal relative to what’s needed). We…

Posted at 8:21am and tagged with: USA, economic, risk, politics,.

Expert warns world needs to move ‘rapidly’ toward ‘population shrinkage’

The optimum population of Earth – enough to guarantee the minimal physical ingredients of a decent life to everyone – was 1.5 to 2 billion people rather than the 7 billion who are alive today or the 9 billion expected in 2050, said Ehrlich in an interview with the Guardian.


Full Story: The Raw Story

Posted at 1:52pm and tagged with: population, environment, risk,.

Expert warns world needs to move ‘rapidly’ toward ‘population shrinkage’


The optimum population of Earth – enough to guarantee the minimal physical ingredients of a decent life to everyone – was 1.5 to 2 billion people rather than the 7 billion who are alive today or the 9 billion expected in 2050, said Ehrlich in an interview with the Guardian.

Full Story: The Raw Story

Be afraid, exultant Greek neo-Nazis warn rivals



Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn warned rivals and reformers Sunday that “the time for fear has come” after exit polls showed them securing their entry in parliament for the first time in nearly 40 years.

"The time for fear has come for those who betrayed this homeland," Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos told a news conference at an Athens hotel, flanked by menacing shaven-headed young men.

"We are coming," the 55-year-old said as supporters threw firecrackers outside.

According to updated exit polls, the once-marginal party will end up winning over six percent of the vote and sending 19 deputies to the 300-seat parliament on a wave of immigration and crime fears, as well as anti-austerity anger

Full Story: France24

Posted at 7:02am and tagged with: politics, risk,.

Be afraid, exultant Greek neo-Nazis warn rivals


- Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn warned rivals and reformers Sunday that “the time for fear has come” after exit polls showed them securing their entry in parliament for the first time in nearly 40 years.
"The time for fear has come for those who betrayed this homeland," Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos told a news conference at an Athens hotel, flanked by menacing shaven-headed young men.
"We are coming," the 55-year-old said as supporters threw firecrackers outside.
According to updated exit polls, the once-marginal party will end up winning over six percent of the vote and sending 19 deputies to the 300-seat parliament on a wave of immigration and crime fears, as well as anti-austerity anger
Full Story: France24

parislemon:

John Gruber thinking out loud about John Battelle’s assertion that Apple could cut the company off by restricting necessary iOS remote access:

But I think the way Apple could most hurt Pebble is not by changing the SDK, but by releasing its own linked-to-your-iPhone wristwatch gadget. (Imagine, say, an iPod Nano with Pebble-like features and a LunaTik-style strap.)

At first, it’s sort of strange to think about how many of the huge tech-related Kickstarter projects have revolved around watches and iOS devices in some way. (Remember that LunaTik started with Kickstarter at first also.) But actually, it’s not that strange at all. 

These successes say that there’s clearly a big demand for something along these lines. Add to the equation products like the Jawbone Up and the Nike FuelBand and things start to get really interesting.

Will Apple make a wrist device? I don’t know. But they should at the very least be thinking about it.

All I know is that at least 50 times a day I reach in my pocket to see why my phone just buzzed. A new email? A DM? An iMessage? Some sports score alert? Instagram? Path? Facebook? Foursquare?

I reach into my pocket, pull out my iPhone, turn on the screen, see the notification, then turn off the screen, then put the phone back in my pocket. 

Imagine if I could just look at my wrist? 

Pebble gets us close to this dream (which is why I bought one and you should too), but not fully there. Maybe Apple opens up new device APIs, or maybe they build that new device themselves. I’d be fine with either.

Posted at 5:31pm and tagged with: tech, technology, risk, business models, smartphone, crowdfunding,.

climateadaptation:

“In a survey conducted by Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors and environmental groups, more than 75% of insurers acknowledged the existence of perils stemming from climate change.
 
“Yet despite widespread recognition of the effects climate change will likely have on extreme events, few insurers were able to articulate a coherent plan to manage the risks and opportunities associated with climate change,” the Ceres report states.
 
The Ceres study found that out of 88 U.S. insurance companies, only 11 had formal climate change risk policies and more than 60% had no dedicated management approach to assessing climate risks.
 
Ben Schiller at Yale’s Environment 360 noted that while American insurance companies have been slow to prepare for global warming’s ramifications, their European counterparts have been getting ready for a potentially costly future.”
Via AllGov

Posted at 9:50am and tagged with: risk, Environment, climate change,.

robertreich:

Europe is in recession.

Britain’s Office for National Statistics confirmed today (Wednesday) that in the first quarter of this year Britain’s economy shrank .2 percent, after having contracted .3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. (Officially, two quarters of shrinkage make a recession). On…

Posted at 5:29pm and tagged with: economic, risk, politics,.

climateadaptation:

“The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction today launched a new initiative to help cities across the world manage risk following the worst year on record for economic losses caused by disasters.

The initiative – the ‘Local Government Self-Assessment Tool’ – is part of the campaign to help cities establish baselines, identify planning and investment gaps for risk reduction and climate change adaptation, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) said in a press release.

“Cities and towns are on the frontline of disaster risk reduction and bore the brunt of insured economic losses from disasters last year of $380 billion,” said Helena Molin Valdés, the Director of the ‘Making Cities Resilient’ campaign, which aims to reduce urban risks from climate-related disasters.

Ms. Valdés said the new tool would greatly enrich understanding of the challenges ahead as the world considers a new blueprint for disaster risk reduction once the existing plan, the Hyogo Framework for Action, expires in 2015. The Framework – a global blueprint for disaster risk reduction efforts – was adopted by governments in 2005 and aims to substantially reduce disaster losses by 2015.

Some 133 countries have been reporting at the national level on their progress on disaster risk reduction priorities agreed on in the Hyogo Framework. The new local government tool would enable municipalities to submit data for national progress reports for the first time. The tool has been tested in over 20 cities around the world.

UNISDR also announced that over 1,000 cities have now joined the ‘Making Cities Resilient’ campaign, which is creating a widening network of alliances for disaster risk reduction. There are currently 25 partners working with UNISDR to support the campaign, including the Local Governments for Sustainability, which has a membership of over 1,200 cities, towns, counties, and their associations worldwide.”

More at UN News Centre

Posted at 1:51pm and tagged with: risk, cities,.

stoweboyd:

Stephanie Strom via NYTimes.com

Researchers have found that climate change is likely to have far greater influence on the volatility of corn prices over the next three decades than factors that recently have been blamed for price swings — like oil prices, trade policies and government biofuel mandates.

The new study, published on Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that unless farmers develop more heat-tolerant corn varieties or gradually move corn production from the United States into Canada, frequent heat waves will cause sharp price spikes.

More critical than short-term spikes is relatively high growth rates for food stuffs across the board, and especially for building blocks like corn and soy in the industrial food chain.

(Source: underpaidgenius)

Posted at 12:01pm and tagged with: Environment, climate change, food, agriculture, risk, economic,.

climateadaptation:

Threatens millions of lives. Possible government corruption. China has 87,000 dams and reservoirs, many used for hydropower and thousands already on fault zone. Dam breaks from earthquakes exacerbate environmental destruction.

“More than 130 large dams built, under construction, or proposed in western China’s seismic hazard zones could trigger disastrous environmental consequences such as earthquakes and giant waves, finds a new report from the Canadian watchdog group Probe International.

The report shows that 98.6 percent of the dams being constructed in western China are located in high to moderate seismic hazard zones.

The location of large dams near clusters of recorded earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 4.9, and especially when the earthquake focal points are also close to the surface, “is cause for grave concern,” said the report’s author geologist “John Jackson.”

John Jackson is a pseudonym for a geologist with detailed knowledge of western China who wishes to remain anonymous to protect his sources.

In a worst-case scenario, Jackson reports, dams could collapse, creating a giant wave that would inundate everything in its path, including downstream dams, causing great loss of life and property.

Should a dam suffer catastrophic collapse, says Probe International Executive Director Patricia Adams, Chinese citizens could direct their anger to the hydropower industry for threatening their lives with dangerous dams.

To pierce the Chinese government’s secrecy over its dam building, the Probe report overlays a Chinese map of dam locations with U.S. Geological Survey earthquake data and a United Nations’ seismic hazard map.”

More at Environmental News

Posted at 5:30pm and tagged with: risk, environment, China,.