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Less of What We Don't Need
Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.
For many, cooperatives represent the past, not the future. But young people around the globe are challenging that notion. At the International Cooperative Alliance Conference, held in November in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, members of the Youth Network, a multilingual, diverse, global initiative to connect and empower youth to join and create cooperatives around the world, spoke passionately about why it is imperative to invest in a youth-driven cooperative future. The role of young people is crucial to the future of cooperatives, which are being increasingly seen as critical to not only addressing income inequality, but meeting sustainable development goals.
Eighty-four percent of the population of Uganda are rural subsistence farmers. They are resisting both rampant land grabbing and US ally General Yoweri Museveni’s attempt to rule for life. I spoke to Phil Wilmot, an American-born activist who now lives in rural Uganda.
Ann Garrison: Could you tell us how you came to live in northern Uganda?
As of January 1, China effectively banned imports of plastic recyclables from other countries. The change represents a major policy shift: In 2016, China took 51 percent of the 15 million tons of plastic recyclables in trade globally, including a whopping 40 percent of US citizens’ plastic recycling. So when China announced that it was shutting its doors to our plastic, it was a wake up call for the US recycling industry.
Oil flows through the veins of Venezuela, accounting for 95% of exports. It dominates national politics and influences foreign representations of the country, as it has since its first discovery. Extensive studies on oil in Venezuela deal with either the scientific and technical aspects of production or the political, economic, and—more recently—the cultural and social conditions generated by the industry. Yet despite the oil industry's prominence in the national political discourse, its environmental consequences have received limited attention.
A few months ago, Google announced that they will achieve their goal of being 100% powered by renewable energy in 2017 . They are not the only corporation with such lofty goals. Google is joined by GM, Apple, Coca Cola, and more than one hundred companies who have also pledged to go “100% renewable” .
Robots will take over the world, maybe soon. This is a view held by eminent scientists like Stephen Hawking and James Lovelock.
Physicists and engineers are building artificial intelligences (AIs) that are smarter than we are, but they’re still computers. Will they be able to develop consciousness and a sense of their own self-interest? If our AI scientists are going to stave off robot rebellion, they’ll need to use whatever edge they still have over their creatures to program them with goals that are reliably, permanently aligned with human goals.
Fifteen thousand scientists have issued a dire warning to humanity about impending collapse but virtually no-one takes notice. Ultimately, our global systems, which are designed for perpetual growth, need to be fundamentally restructured to avoid the worst-case outcome.