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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Resource Based Economy
Posted: July 25, 2020 at 10:08 am
A detailed analysis of environmental research has revealed the greatest threat to the world: affluence.
Thats one of the main conclusions of a team of scientists from Australia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, who have warned that tackling overconsumption has to become a priority. Their report, titled Scientists Warning on Affluence, explains that true sustainability calls for significant lifestyle changes, rather than hoping that more efficient use of resources will be enough.
We cannot rely on technology alone to solve existential environmental problems like climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, writes the reports lead author, Professor Tommy Wiedmann from Australias University of New South Wales Engineering, in an article on Phys.org. We also have to change our affluent lifestyles and reduce overconsumption, in combination with structural change."
Sustainable lifestyles are situated between an upper limit or environmental ceiling and a lower limit or social foundation.
A growing global challenge
There is widespread acceptance that the planet faces an ecological tipping point. To care for humanity, we must care for nature, said United Nations Secretary-General Antnio Guterres on World Environment Day in June. He stressed the importance of making changes as the world recovers from the recent pandemic: As we work to build back better, lets put nature where it belongs at the heart of our decision making.
Approximately half of global GDP is bound up in the natural world, according to the UN. In addition to the many millions of jobs dependent on nature, there are also billions of people intimately connected to and wholly reliant upon natural remedies and medicines.
Plus, the use of tree-planting and reforesting programmes could reduce the impact of global emissions and help meet the Paris Agreement target to keep global temperature increase below 1.5C.
The first global pandemic in more than 100 years, COVID-19 has spread throughout the world at an unprecedented speed. At the time of writing, 4.5 million cases have been confirmed and more than 300,000 people have died due to the virus.
As countries seek to recover, some of the more long-term economic, business, environmental, societal and technological challenges and opportunities are just beginning to become visible.
To help all stakeholders communities, governments, businesses and individuals understand the emerging risks and follow-on effects generated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Marsh and McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, has launched its COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications - a companion for decision-makers, building on the Forums annual Global Risks Report.
The report reveals that the economic impact of COVID-19 is dominating companies risks perceptions.
Companies are invited to join the Forums work to help manage the identified emerging risks of COVID-19 across industries to shape a better future. Read the full COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications report here, and our impact story with further information.
Call for systemic changes
The threat of human-made environmental harm was highlighted in the World Economic Forums Global Risk Report 2020, where it is in the top 10 of both the most-likely and the greatest-impact risks.
The chief problem outlined by the report is that any gains in resource efficiency and environmental protection offered by technology-based solutions have been outrun by the growth of consumption. The report also posits that it might be time to rethink traditional ideas about supply and demand
In capitalist societies, the theory goes that consumer need drives the rest of the economy businesses will only produce things for which there is a demand. But the reality of 21st-century global capitalism is a little more complex than that some economists argue that growth itself is the problem.
Global emissions, shown as the green dotted line, keep pace with the rise in production (purple) and global GDP (orange).
Writing shortly before World Environment Day, the Forums founder and executive chairman, Professor Klaus Schwab, called for a great reset of capitalism in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. His vision of the great reset includes creating a stakeholder economy, where the market pursues fairer outcomes for all, underpinned by changes to tax, regulatory and fiscal policies, and new trade arrangements.
Schwab also calls for investments that advance shared goals, such as equality and sustainability. This is something that is already taking place in parts of the world where economic-stimulus programmes are being enacted.
In addition, Schwab urges us to address health and social challenges with the innovations made possible by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. That means more public/private collaboration in pursuit of the public good.
Many other leading figures from around the world have rallied to this call, including His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.
The pandemic has devastated families and brought major economies to a standstill. But by directing resources into new and improved systems and processes, rather than shoring up the existing ones, Schwab believes a lasting change for the better is possible.
That belief is echoed by the scientists report, which shows that affluence is actually dangerous and leads to planetary-scale destruction, says co-author Julia Steinberger, Professor of Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds. To protect ourselves from the worsening climate crisis, we must reduce inequality and challenge the notion that riches, and those who possess them, are inherently good.
Catch up with the latest thinking on the world after COVID-19 in our weekly World Vs Virus podcast:
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Be a Weed Detective July 25th: An Introduction to Local Invasive Plants, Their Impacts, and How to Identify, Map, and Control Them – Tillamook County…
Posted: at 10:08 am
Did you know that many invasive plant species have taken hold in this area changing the plant communities along our coastline?
Chrissy Smith with the Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS said these invaders, often introduced as ornamental plants, can take over an area making it hard for other plants to grow and impacting the ecosystem.
These plants have the ability to shift soil composition, change the available food source for local animals and create less than desirable habitats, Smith said.
Under normal circumstances, WEBS would be hosting an in-person event this July in conjunction with the Explore Nature Series to help people identify invasive plants and map out areas of the coastline where invasive plants exist.
Last year we piloted an effort to map invasive plants with a small group of volunteers, Smith said. This year, we launched a larger program in February but it never truly had time to get off the ground before the pandemic hit.Due to restrictions with COVID-19, WEBS is hosting a virtual presentation on July 25th instead.
While we cant go out on the trails and actually look for these plants, we still wanted to give people an opportunity to learn about local invasive plants, their impacts, how to identify them and what you can do to help including volunteering in the future with the new Weed Detectives community mapping effort, said Smith.
Smith added that if you have participated in past Weed Detectives volunteer training events, this is a great opportunity to review and learn about new plants as they emerge during different seasons.
This virtual presentation on July 25th at 10 a.m. is a part of the Explore Nature Series. Explore Nature Series events are hosted by a consortium of volunteer community and non-profit organizations, and are meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the areas natural resources and natural resource-based economy. They are partially funded through the Tillamook Coast Visitors Association and the Travel Oregon Forever Fund.
To learn more or register for Weed Detectives, visit http://www.netartsbaywebs.eventbrite.com. And be sure to follow the Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS and the Explore Nature Series on Facebook and Instagram.
Date: July 25, 2020Location: VIRTUAL Register online at explorenaturetillamookcoast.comTime: 10amQuestions: Contact Director @ NetartsBayWEBS.org or call 541-231-8041.Register: http://www.netartsbaywebs.eventbrite.com
Posted: at 10:08 am
The gig economy is constantly evolving, becoming more deeply entrenched in certain areas of the economy while looking to expand into others. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend by forcing changes in the behavior of individuals and businesses that is certain to outlast the health crisis.
Many gig workers saw a significant increase in work opportunities and hourly pay beginning in mid-March, while many traditional workers had their hours or pay reduced, were laid off, or furloughed. One example is the recent shift to exclusive online learning by traditional primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools which has introduced computer-based learning to many for the first time. This will likely increase demand for freelance teachers and educators which has been growing consistently for many years.
A recent article in SmartCompany predicts the gig economy will boom in the post-COVID-19 world. The author opines that post-COVID-19, business organizations will retain a leaner structure and turn to freelance professionals as their go-to resource for services including brand, creative and digital marketing. A recent article in Forbes, 6 Trends That Will Shape the Gig Economy the 2020s, offers a similarly upbeat assessment and identifies several important changes that are likely to occur over the next 10 years. While automation will continue to impact opportunities for gig workers, the author predicts some traditional management jobs will become gig work and that stigma associated with gig work will diminish. In addition, the author predicts more gig-worker-friendly legislation and regulations will be enacted (see our March 3, 2020 post for a discussion on this point) to form a changed legal landscape permitting gig workers to unionize, while allowing greater business services targeting of gig workers.
Read more here:
Posted: at 10:07 am
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the range of on-demand solutions and options available to budget-minded business owners is increasing,thanks to the rise of online marketplaces, affordably priced cloud apps and freelance gig sites.
Now, at a fraction of typical costs and sometimes even for free, you can getvirtually anything you need, from video to SEO or marketing help:Graphic design services starting at $5. Email marketing for a handful of cents. Sprawling libraries full of stock photos, free for commercial use. Professionally crafted websites that anyone can quickly get up and running beginning at $2 a pop.
The gig economy's moment has arrived, and all those pennies now flowing to nontraditional sources are quickly adding up to create many more opportunities for businesses as well as everyday working professionals, especially those seeking a new side hustle.
More than 57 million Americans (representing 35% of the US workforce) freelanced last year, per nonprofit advocacy organization Freelancers Union. Likewise, over 6 million skilled gig workers are now operating just in America's top 30 cities alone, according to online freelance marketplace Fiverr.com's annual Freelance Economic Impact Report, conducted in partnership with Rockbridge Associates.
According to the report, 6 in 10 freelancers expect to earn as much or more than they did in 2019, which amounted to a collective $150 billion.
Freelance Economic Impact Report 2020, Fiverr.com and Rockbridge Associates
Coupled with the continuing rise in remote work prompted by Covid-19, along with industry growth that's compounding by double or even triple digits in select global territories, it's not only clear that gig work now enjoys greater prominence than ever before, it's also becoming increasingly apparent that outsourcing is quickly becoming the new in-house.
"I don't know why anyone would build most business platforms or websites [from scratch] anymore," says Joseph Olin, executive director for the Video Game Bar Association, which represents legal practitioners in the interactive entertainment space. "The biggest challenge for most businesses is simply deciding which solutions provider to choose from."
As a result, working professionals and organizations seeking on-demand alternatives to traditional business arrangements and solutions are finding it increasingly simple to collaborate and connect. "With the expansion and globalization of gig platforms, talented professionals from around the world can offer their services to a much wider audience of potential clients," says Brie Weiler Reynolds, career development manager for FlexJobs, which has created a guide to popular freelance and gig economy job platforms. "These platforms can allow for much quicker transactions and collaborations and have a streamlining effect on the whole [project development and innovation] process."
Freelance marketplaces and the gig economy are becoming part of the new normal.
"In the future, we'll think in terms of 'platform economies' [vs. marketplaces]," says Hugh Durkin, director of product development for marketing, sales and customer service software provider HubSpot. "Because of the much lower costs [associated with using these solutions], it's not uncommon for bootstrapped, self-funded businesses to become more meaningful in terms of revenue."
It's not just budding entrepreneurs who are finding creative ways to assemble ragtag teams of freelance superstars and stretch every dollar further. Perhaps the most telling signs of sea change lie in corporate America's growing embrace of on-demand and outsourcing practices, with the share of gig workers at U.S businesses having ballooned 15% since 2010, according to the ADP Research Institute.
During the pandemic, it's provided an easy way for many clients, including Fortune 500 firms, to fill in creative gaps and source specific film footage that would otherwise be tough to produce while under stay-at-home orders.
founder of marketing communications firm AKA
Over 30% of 1099-MISC contractors doing gig-based work now are over age 55, pointing to growing opportunities for working professionals in every category and age group. But nowhere is the growth potential in the space greater than for small businesses, who are increasingly turning to freelance marketplaces and online sites to outsource (or crowdsource) common day-to-day tasks for pennies on the dollar. And whether they need help with social media management or professional voice-overs, drop shipping or app development, countless entrepreneurs across the globe are quickly adding these solutions to their list of go-to resources.
"Although we're a 22-year-old business, we consistently use stock image, music and video providers," says Andrew Krause, founder of marketing communications firm AKA. "During the pandemic, it's provided an easy way for many clients, including Fortune 500 firms, to fill in creative gaps and source specific film footage that would otherwise be tough to produce while under stay-at-home orders, let alone quickly."
Krause cautions, though, that while freelance creatives provide solutions and are a great way to outsource time-sensitive work or fill in any specific skills gaps that your company may have, results can vary. "It takes a skilled hand to assemble and watch over people."
The key to being successful, he says, is simply to be clear with freelance providers about what your project needs are. Likewise, it's important to vet freelancers' capabilities and work portfolio upfront, establish clear deadlines and milestones, and keep a close eye on project management.
Andrew Vine, head of professional speaking agency The Insight Bureau, said his company uses freelance marketplaces, off-the-shelf templates and online tools to outsource and streamline many aspects of its operations. "We use Upwork.com [freelance] staff to take on ad hoc projects in a way that temporary agencies could never accommodate, sites like SurveyMonkey to source customer feedback, and Zoho CRM [sales software] to handle customer relationship management," he says. "Similarly, we use solutions such as Calendly to [manage our schedule] and avoid the Ping-Pong match involved in setting up appointments. There are plenty of affordable, web-based solutions that help us remain agile."
Michael Morgenstern, senior vice president of marketing for expert witness provider The Expert Institute says they relied on several free resources to grow and scale their business. "We use Trello to manage our projects, Brainlabs' open-source scripts to automate certain high-tech actions, and Unsplash.com is our go-to resource for free, high-quality stock imagery."
Agile and affordable solutions such as these can often be a vital go-to resource for start-ups and other, bootstrapped ventures, helping lower barriers to market entry and offer the tools needed to compete with larger firms. Ironically though, with so many outsourced and on-demand options now available, and just a click away, the biggest challenge for many businesses is simply picking the right ones.
Happily, say many executives, it's a good problem to have, even if the options can sometimes prove overwhelming.
If you're looking to get started yourself, some online marketplaces where you can find freelancers or on-demand services includeFiverr,FlexJobs,Freelancer.com,Guru,Toptaland Upwork. Yet there are a few things to keep in mind when starting out, says Brent Messenger, vice president of public policy and community engagement at Fiverr. Knowing these willensure a more successful outsourcing experience.
If you're looking for help with online automation, or stock assets such as photos, images and plug-and-play solutions, the following sites can also be of service. Some may offer assets and solutions for free, others for a nominal fee or on a subscription basis.
Email and newsletter marketing: AWeber, Constant Contact, Drip, GetResponse, HubSpot, iContact, MailChimp, SendInBlue
Photos and videos:Unsplash, Shutterstock, StockSnap.io, DepositPhotos, Videezy, VideoHive
Logos, graphics and branding:Crowdspring, 99Designs, Behance, Canva, Easil, Adobe Spark
Web design and development:Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, GoDaddy, TemplateMonster, ThemeForest
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Maine Forest Products Coalition selects Bangor marketing firm to lead industry growth and awareness campaign – Bangor Daily News
Posted: at 10:07 am
$8.5 billion forest-based industry poised for investment, innovation and workforce advancements
BANGOR A statewide forest products coalition has awarded a two-year contract for marketing, public relations and coalition building to Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications of Bangor.
Maines Forest Opportunity Roadmap, or FOR/Maine, released an action plan in September of 2018 with a goal of creating actionable steps to grow Maines forest-based economy. The plan included a combination of transportation, community outreach, workforce development, and strategic investment attraction. A federal grant from the U.S. Department of Commerces Economic Development Administration was awarded to the Maine Forest Products Council to help fund the communications and public relations effort.
FOR/Maine is very pleased to be working with a Bangor firm with a full deck of capabilities and long-standing relationships with multiple natural resource and forestry firms, stated Steve Schley, chair of FOR/Maines Executive Committee. Sutherland Weston understands the very broad, diverse goals of FOR/Maine and its partners and has the capacity to integrate all the elements into packages that will inform the public and excite potential investors.
Sutherland Weston has a 15-year history of working with businesses, organizations and causes throughout Maine. The firm will utilize that experience to develop strategies to increase awareness, participation, and collaboration among the key audiences outlined in the FOR/Maines initial report.
Were honored to be selected by this respected coalition, said Cary Weston, partner at Sutherland Weston. We look forward to sharing the many positive stories of innovation happening right here in our state. Our collective goal is to help build a strong and diverse forest products industry for Maines future.
The forest products industry accounts for more than $8 billion in economic activity in Maine. Despite trends in paper mill closures in recent years, the industry is poised for growth as new innovations, global opportunities and consumer trends to bio-based products grow.
More details on the FOR / Maine initiative can be found at formaine.org.
Here is the original post:
Posted: at 10:07 am
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. Middlebury College faculty and staff authors have again put forth a slate of books representing a diversity of interests and scholarship. Although the annual reception celebrating the authors could not take place this year, Jim Ralph, dean for faculty development and research,notes the importance of recognizing the dedication of those who have published books.
This years list of books, published in 2019, points to the remarkable imaginative and analytical powers of Middlebury Colleges faculty and staff, said Ralph.This listwith titles on topics ranging from history to geochemistry to pressing contemporary issuescould serve as a terrific starting point for readers seeking to expand their liberal education.
Books continue to be an important vehicle for conveying knowledge and stimulating insight on a topic, says Ralph. I know I speak for our community when I say how proud we are all of their achievements. The publication of these books also shines a light on the intellectual and creative vitality of our community.
Following is a list of books published by Middlebury faculty and staff in 2019:
Tara Affolter,Through the Fog: Towards Inclusive Anti-Racist Teaching.Charlotte, NC: IAPInformation Age Publishing, Inc, 2019.
Drawing from over 20 years of teaching experience in the U.S., ranging from prekindergarten to postgraduate, Affolters work illustrates personal, practical, and theoretical ways for teachers to grapple with the complexities of race and racism within their own schools and communities and develop as inclusive anti-racist teachers.
Matthew Dickerson,The Voices of Rivers: On Places Wild and Almost Wild. Boston, MA: Homebound Publications, 2019.
This work of creative narrative nonfiction interweaves elements of nature writing, personal narrative, outdoor writing, and environmental writing. In 2017, Dickerson was selected to be artist in residence at Glacier National Park (Montana) for the month of June, and then in 2018, he was selected to be artist in residence at Acadia National Park (Maine) for the month of May. This collection contains essays written in those times and places as well as essays set in some national forests, national parks, and state parks of Alaska from 2015 to 2018.
Elizabeth Endicott,Mongolia 19782017: Memoirs of a Part-Time Mongolist.Manchester Center, VT: Shires Press, 2019.
This memoir is a personal account of the authors 14 trips to Mongolia spanning the years 1978 to 2017. The book offers observations on the Mongolian way of life as it has evolved from the socialist period to a new post-socialist reality. Over 150 of the authors photographs document the social and cultural transformations in the Mongolian countryside and in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city.
Natalie Eppelsheimer,Roads Less Traveled: German Jewish Exile Experiences in Kenya, 19331947. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2019.
Drawing on archival sources in Kenya, Great Britain, Germany, and the U.S., as well as other literary, governmental, journalistic, and historical sources,Roads Less Traveledexamines the experiences of German Jews who managed to escape from Nazi Germany to the British colony of Kenya. This study explores the historical background of Jewish emigration to Kenya, analyzes first-person accounts of former refugees and descriptions of life in the colony, and pays special attention to the experiences of refugee children in Kenya.
Irina Feldman,P. Baker, F. Lagos, and R. Pareja(Eds).Latin American Marxisms in Context: Past and Present.Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019.
The opposition to neoliberal development patterns in Latin America has gone beyond social-democratic reformism to a revival of Marxist theoretical perspectives and political practices in the beginning of the 21st century. This book provides an insight into the rich diversity of Latin American Marxism, historically and contemporarily. Given the global interest in the revival of radicalism in Latin America, it should appeal to non-Marxist as well as Marxist scholars with interests in topics from political economy to cultural theory.
Irina Feldmanand A. M. Lopez-Zapico(Eds).Resistiendo al imperio: Nuevas aproximaciones al antiamericanismo desde el siglo xx hasta la actualidad.Madrid, Spain: Slex Ediciones, 2019.
This volume revisits discourses and practices from Latin America, Spain, and the United States labeled as anti-Americanist, analyzing these political and cultural phenomena as practices of resistance in the face of imperial advances of the United States in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Felicia A. Grey,States and Non-participatory Memberships in the WTO.London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.
This book examines non-participatory memberships, or why states choose not to use the benefits of international institutions to which they belong. To investigate this question, the author explores why states choose not to litigate within the World Trade Organizations Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). The research contributes to the literature on global governance and institutions generally, and of the WTO specifically. Additionally, the project includes comparative case analysis of WTO agreements and international disputes: China and Jamaica; Guatemala and Mexico; the United States and Mexico. This volume will interest policy makers, trade professionals, academics, and anyone who is interested in development studies.
Christian Keathley, Jason Mittell,Catherine Grant,The Videographic Essay: Practice and Pedagogy.Online:http://videographicessay.org, 2019.
This digital open-access book, adapted from a print version previously published in 2016 and revised for 2019, collects a series of writings, conversations, and examples of videographic criticism that emerged out of the ongoing Scholarship in Sound and Image summer workshops that have been offered at Middlebury since 2015. In recognition of the pedagogical work discussed in this online resource, Keathley and Mittell were awarded the Society for Cinema and Media Studies inaugural Innovative Pedagogy Award in 2020.
Gary Margolis,Time Inside.Peterborough, NH: Bauhan Publishing, 2019.
A book of poems.
Michelle McCauley,J. J. Dickinson, N. Schreiber Compo, R. N. Carol, B. L. Schwartz (Eds).Evidence-Based Investigative Interviewing: Applying Cognitive Principles.Routledge Press, 2019.
Evidence-Based Investigative Interviewingreviews the application of cognitive research to investigative interviewing, revealing how principles of cognition, memory, and social dynamics may increase the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. It provides evidence-based applications for investigators beyond the forensic domain in areas such as eyewitness identification, detecting deception, and interviewing children.
Bill McKibben,Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?Henry Holt and Co., 2019.
Falteris an account of our current peril on a hotter planet, and the way that rampant inequality, spurred by libertarian market fantasies, has left us in a particularly weak place to meet the crisis. It argues that nonviolent social movements might offer a way out. A New York Times bestseller, it was named by the Washington Post as one of the 10 best books of the year.
Laurie L. Patton,Who Owns Religion? Scholars and Their Publics in the Late Twentieth Century.Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 2019.
Who Owns Religion? focuses on a periodthe late 1980s through the 1990swhen scholars of religion were accused of scandalizing or denigrating the very communities they had imagined themselves honoring through their work. While controversies involving scholarly claims about religion are nothing new, this period saw an increase in vitriol that remains with us today. Authors of seemingly arcane studies on subjects like the origins of the idea of Mother Earth or the sexual dynamics of mysticism have been targets of hate mail and book-banning campaigns. As a result, scholars of religion have struggled to describe their own work to their various publics, and even to themselves.
Lana Dee Povitz,Stirrings: How Activist New Yorkers Ignited a Movement for Food Justice.Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019.
In the late 20th century, government cutbacks, stagnating wages, AIDS, and gentrification pushed ever more people into poverty, and hunger reached levels unseen since the Depression. In response, New Yorkers set the stage for a nationwide food justice movement, organizing school lunch campaigns, establishing food co-ops, and lobbying city officials. Stirrings uses the political history of food advocacy organizations to explain why such groups focus almost exclusively on feeding hungry people rather than on addressing the root cause of that hungerpoverty.
Peter Crowley Ryan,Environmental and Low-Temperature Geochemistry, Second Edition. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978-1-119-56858-2, 2019.
Environmental and Low-Temperature Geochemistrypresents conceptual and quantitative principles of geochemistry in order to foster understanding of natural processes at and near the earths surface, as well as anthropogenic impacts and remediation strategies. It provides the reader with principles that allow prediction of concentration, speciation, mobility, and reactivity of elements and compounds in soils, waters, sediments, and air, drawing attention to both thermodynamic and kinetic controls. The scope includes atmosphere, terrestrial waters, marine waters, soils, sediments, and rocks in the shallow crust; the temporal scale is present to Precambrian, and the spatial scale is nanometers to local, regional, and global.
Paula Schwartz,Today Sardines Are Not for Sale:A Street Protest in Occupied Paris.
Oxford University Press, 2020. (This book was intended for release in late 2019, so it is included on this years list.)
Based on a rich documentary record, together with the oral testimony of surviving participants and witnesses, Today Sardines Are Not for Saleuses a microhistorical approach to probe multiple dimensions of a single short-lived event and its repercussions over time. The author shows how gender shaped an illegal public protest action under a French collaboration government and German occupation.
Yoko Ogawa.The Memory Police.Stephen Snyder, trans. New York: Pantheon, 2019.
The Memory Policeis a fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss. The English-language edition was a 2019 National Book Award finalist, was named one of the New York Times's100 Notable Books of the Year, and is currently a finalist for the Booker International Prize.
Allison Stanger,Whistleblowers: Honesty in America from Washington to Trump.New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019.
Winner of the Association of American Publishers PROSE award in the category of Government, Policy, and Politics.
Max M. Ward,Thought Crime: Ideology and State Power in Interwar Japan. Durham: Duke University Press, 2019.
Thought Crimeexplores the development of the Japanese Peace Preservation Law (Chianijih) from its initial passage in 1925 to suppress communism and anticolonial nationalism to its expansion into an elaborate system to ideologically convert thousands of political criminals throughout the Japanese Empire in the 1930s.The book illuminates the complex processes through which the law articulated imperial ideology and how this ideology was transformed and disseminated through the laws application over its 20-year history.
Richard Wolfson,Essential University Physics, 4th edition. Pearson, 2019.
This is the fourth edition of the less is more calculus-based physics textbook thats designed to give students a concise, progressive text with a lively writing style and real-life applications; it costs less and weighs less than standard university physics texts.
Posted: at 10:07 am
As I write this article, the threat of continued COVID-19 spread and subsequent disruption to our economy persists. As face-covered individuals continue to scramble to grocery stores to stock up on needed supplies, stores are challenged with keeping stocked shelves. While shelves are being emptied, growers and dairies are forced to dump certain commodities because restaurants, hotels, and schools are shuttered, creating ripples in the wholesale/retail supply chain.
The situation has improved compared to this spring, but many question whether or not there will be a food supply shortage in the near future. Based on observations at North Carolina Cooperative Extension, there has been an increase in home food production and preservation.
According the United States Department of Agriculture, There are no nationwide shortages of food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the U.S. and there are currently no widespread disruptions reported in the supply chain (https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus/food-supply-chain).
This is great news for now. But it also highlights the importance of a stable food supply in the future.
Many farmers would argue the challenges have outweighed the successes in recent years. Lets not even mention the 2020 growing season! There is one challenge that I keep seeing, lurking around somewhat quietly in the background, waiting to one day rear its ugly head and threaten our stable food supply. land.
According to the 2017 United States Department of Agriculture Ag Census, 50-59% of the land in Robeson County for agricultural production is rented or leased by farmers. This means that nonfarming landowners have a significant control to the access of needed land to support our food system. With the average age of Robeson County farmers at 58 many with no successor and a downward trend in young farmers following this career path, a significant challenge awaits. At the same time, generational land is being transferred at a rapid pace to vacant landowners. I receive phone calls frequently at the office from children or grandchildren of deceased landowners inquiring about what to do with inherited farmland, lease agreements, and how to find someone to rent their property. Unfortunately, many turn to the option of selling for nonfarming development. Connecting landowners and interested farmers is critical.
To address this issue, NC State Extension has developed a valuable resource called NC FarmLink. This program is focused on connecting landowners, farmers, and service providers across North Carolina to help maintain our $89 billion agricultural industry. You can find a database of available farmland or farmers, much like a classified ad. Whether you need to find someone to take over your farm operation, find a new tenant, or find resources to help guide you through the process, NC FarmLink is here to help.
As a landowner, you will play a critical role in our future food supply. If you were concerned about the empty grocery store shelves recently, think about what it could be like in a decade or more as farmers continue to feed a growing population with less land and available resources.
Lets start making some connections. You can find out more about the program at https://ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/.
For assistance or more information, call 910-671-3276, send an email to [emailprotected], or visit http://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu/.
Mac Malloy is an Extension Field Crops agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center. He can be reached by calling 910-671-3276 or by email at [emailprotected]
Posted: at 10:07 am
Covid pandemic is unprecedented in human history. Any disaster including the Spanish Flue of 1918 which infected 500 million people and claimed about 20 million lives, did not affect so many countries. The Second World War saw the death of about 70 million people, but did not involve every country in the world. The covid-19, despite lower death rates, about half a million so far, disrupted social lives and national economies in countries and regions of the world.
Disruption of lives in multiple dimensions and of such huge magnitude has forced a serious rethinking on how we run our lives, states and societies. The debate between lives and livelihoods is raging in many countries. Before the pandemic, the focus of economies has been on enhancing GDP, as a measure of a countrys growth and power. In developing countries, ensuring ease of doing business was the priority of planners. That has now to be replaced by ease of living. Such shifts in approaches call for a change in roles of the institutions that govern as well as serve the people.
There are three kinds of institutions in any country-state or government, market or business, and civil society. The state produces citizens, the market creates consumers, and the civil society comprises communitarians. The roles of running people lives have been handled either by state or market, or jointly, whereas civil society has been a bystander. Under globalization, in the last three decades, the market has dominated peoples lives more than the state. Consequently, we have had more consumers than communitarians or conscientious citizens. The practices of individualism and consumerism overrode the values of compassion, solidarity and interdependence.In fact, the state has been in retreat since the heydays of Ronald Reagan in USA and Margaret Thatcher in UK. Reagans wisecrack in 1986, I am from the government and I am here to help would not generate any ridicule today. As covid-19 delivers shocks to systems of unparalleled magnitude, people would like their governments to turn up and rise to the challenge of this pandemic.
Reagans approach of diluting the state and according primacy to the market became an orthodoxy that coincided with globalization. The idea that gained currency worldwide was, the state should roll back and reposition itself, it should not try to control inequality and help the disadvantaged.
Admittedly, we have been on such a trajectory for over 30 years. Only a few social democratic states like those in Scandinavia tried to maintain some role of the state in minimizing inequality and in providing safety nets for the less fortunate and the marginalized. Or else, the individual consumer preceded the collective interest. But this pandemic tells us to go backs to the community-ness where people pulled together.The passion for high-growth led by the market has let us down massively. Nature, bio-diversity, ecological balances have been destroyed. In the pursuit of profit, the critical services like healthcare, sanitation and education have been neglected, which, in turn, has diminished the prospects of people earning sustained livelihoods.
The development economists like E.F. Schumacher, in his pioneering work, Buddhist Economics strongly advised looking after the people not the capital. This is where we need the state. Elected by the people and representing them the state should retrieve and re-assert it role.
India, like other developing countries, put emphasis on ease of doing business. Now it should shift to promoting ease of living. People would like first to live before they become richer through higher growth. The debate between lives and livelihoods is sterile. Both are complementary. People cannot survive without livelihoods, and likewise, unless they are healthy and skilled, they cannot eke out a living. Depending on doles which come in dribs and drabs or not come at all, is not an option.
At the same time, not all activities are best run by the market model. Many professional spheres like education, science, or medicine need not be run as commercial enterprises, suggested by economists like Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek, or Milton Friedman. The former socialist French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin once famously said, We are not against the market-based economy, but market-based society.
Remember, the states with stronger healthcare systems managed the covid epidemic better-Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan etc. Also countries with special universal safety nets like those in Scandinavian region and Germany dealt better with poorer sections of their societies than the countries without such welfare schemes.Now, in the wake of this system- threatening pandemic, people demand from their states rights to lives and livelihoods, the natural and constitutional human rights. The states can provide those only with people-centered planning and strategies. Needs of human beings must precede the needs of business. Societal well-being must be the goal of economies, not the size of GDP.
There have been initiatives and experiences of putting people first. The Bhutanese king Jigme Singye Wangchuk coined the concept in 1979 of GNH in lieu of GDP. Gross National Happiness (GNH) should the measure of a countrys development, he suggested. Recall Helena Norberg Hodges experience in Ladakh based on dependence on local resources than global technology. Her books, Local is our Future: Steps to an Economic Happiness (2019), and Ancient Futures: Lessons from Ladakh, published in 1991, which speak for localization, not globalization, are models to look at. She forcefully argued that globalization has no future, climate chaos is intensifying, stress and anxiety disorders are of epidemic proportions. Why are we in thrall to the global market? Why do we cling to the wreckage? These are the questions we must address after the horrifying trail of panic and pain left the world over by covid-19.
A call for greater role of the state may give rise to statism of another kind, more a big brother state than a great society. The governments may want greater control of civil liberties and political rights and entrench themselves in power, like Victor Orban did in Hungary. Chinas response to criticism of mishandling covid has been suppression of dissent, and elimination of dissenters. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has ignored the Opposition in dealing with the pandemic. Therefore, in redefining the role of the state, we should talk about state capacity, not state power.
Furthermore, the Government as the representative body of the people having their mandate should play as team leader, not the leader. The society is greater than the government which comprises the majority of a certain party or an alliance. It is again a procedural majority, not an absolute one. At any time, we advocate a partnership between the government, the market and the civil society and the partnership is needed more in such emergencies as the present pandemic. The state has limited outreach and its resource is stretched in disaster situations, hence it must rope in the business for augmenting resources and the CSOs for reaching out to the unreached.
Finally, one would advocate a state based on pluralism-technological, economic, social and political. Switching back to local leading to isolationism or dirigisme is not the antidote. The state should play the role of a balancer or reconciler of multiple ways of planning and living. Such pluralism as well as synthesis have been our heritage, and let us preserve them.
Prof. D.K.Giri is the Secretary General of the Association for Democratic Socialism (ADS), New Delhi. ADS is a non-party political think tank doing research and advocacy on progressive politics.
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Posted: at 10:07 am
The UKs capability to manufacture vaccines has received a substantial boost today (Thursday 23 July), as the government announces an additional 100 million to ensure that any successful COVID-19 vaccine can be produced at scale in the UK.
The investment will fund a state-of-the-art Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre to accelerate the mass production of a successful COVID-19 vaccine in the UK. Due to open in December 2021, the Centre will have the capacity to produce millions of doses each month, ensuring the UK has the capabilities to manufacture vaccines and advanced medicines, including for emerging diseases, far into the future.
Located in Braintree, Essex, the government initiative will upgrade an existing facility to create a fully-licensed manufacturing centre. Doing so will increase the UKs ability to respond to diseases like coronavirus and to prepare for potential future pandemics while creating new, high-skilled jobs to fuel the UKs economic recovery.
The new centre will complement the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC), which is currently under construction in Oxfordshire thanks to a 93 million investment from the government. Once complete next year, the facility will have the capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to serve the entire UK population at scale.
While the centre is under construction, the government has invested an additional 38 million to establish a rapid deployment facility, opening later this summer, that will support efforts to ensure a successful vaccine is widely available to the public as soon as possible.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:
We are taking all necessary steps to ensure we can vaccinate the public as soon as a successful COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.
This new Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre, alongside crucial investment in skills, will support our efforts to rapidly produce millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine while ensuring the UK can respond quickly to potential future pandemics.
To support these enhanced vaccine manufacturing capabilities, the government will invest an additional 4.7 million for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult to ensure that the UK has the best skills and expertise through the development of virtual and physical national Centres for Advanced Therapies Training and Skills, in partnership with industry.
The facilities and online training platform will provide industry-standard skills and experience in advanced gene therapy and vaccine manufacturing, including sterile techniques for Good Manufacturing Practice which is the minimum standard that a medicines manufacturer must meet in their production processes.
Employment in the cell and gene therapy sector is predicted to reach over 6,000 jobs by 2024, with over 3,000 in manufacturing and bioprocessing.
Matthew Durdy, CEO, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult commented:
This commitment from government through the Vaccines Taskforce will enable continued growth and productivity in the cell and gene therapy sector, as well as providing vital resource for vaccine manufacturing and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are delighted to be able to deploy the specialist capabilities of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in such an important initiative. Accelerating the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, increasing skills and employment, and facilitating growth of the advanced medicines industry will make a valuable contribution to the recovery of the economy.
Kate Bingham, Chair of the Vaccines Taskforce said:
Todays announcement is another important milestone for us. The work of the Vaccines Taskforce is focused on protecting the UK against COVID-19 through vaccination as quickly as possible.
In order to vaccinate our high-risk populations at the earliest opportunity, the government has agreed to proactively manufacture vaccines now, so we have millions of doses of vaccine ready if they are shown to be safe and effective. The acquisition of this state-of-the-art manufacturing centre will not only help us with this, but also ensures we are well-placed as a country to be able to cope with any pandemics or health crises in the future.
As well as addressing the immediate need to produce a COVID-19 vaccine, the new Cell and Gene Therapy Centre, developed with Innovate UK and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, will be at the forefront of the growing UK cell and gene therapy industry. Scientists and researchers based in the centre will accelerate the time taken for new treatments to be delivered to patients by developing cutting-edge therapies to treat life changing diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The UK is at the forefront of international efforts to research and develop a COVID-19 vaccine and has provided 131 million funding to University of Oxford and Imperial College London to accelerate their work on 2 vaccine candidates.
This follows news on Monday (20 July) that the government secured early access to 90 million vaccine doses from the BioNTech/Pfizer alliance and Valneva as part of its strategy to build a portfolio of promising new vaccines to protect the UK from COVID-19. In addition, treatments containing COVID-19-neutralising antibodies have been secured from AstraZeneca to protect those who cannot receive vaccines.
The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult was established as an independent centre of excellence to advance the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry, by bridging the gap between scientific research and full-scale commercialisation.
With more than 230 employees focusing on cell and gene therapy technologies, it works with partners in academia and industry to ensure these life-changing therapies can be developed for use in health services throughout the world. It offers leading-edge capability, technology and innovation to enable companies to take products into clinical trials and provide clinical, process development, manufacturing, regulatory, health economics and market access expertise. Its aim is to make the UK the most compelling and logical choice for UK and international partners to develop and commercialise these advanced therapies.
The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult works with Innovate UK. For more information please visit the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult or Innovate UK.
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Posted: at 10:07 am
"From day one, any discussion of herd immunity or survival of the fittest or, you know, 'Say farewell to the elderly,' are the things that just did not sound right for us," Jordan's Prime Minister Omar Razzaz tells NPR. "So we went for a very different model in Jordan, based on social solidarity."
Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz sits in the front room of his family home in a middle-class Amman neighborhood of traditional white stone houses with small gardens and low walls. Unusually, in a region where senior officials typically live in gated compounds far from public view, the residential street has been kept open to traffic to minimize disruption to Razzazsneighbors.
Razzaz, an MIT and Harvard-educated economist, was appointed by Jordans King Abdullah II to head a new government two years ago, following anti-government protests that were sparked by IMF-mandated tax increases seen as bypassing the rich. Although hed served previously as education minister, Razzaz was seen as a relativeoutsider.
The small, resource-poor kingdom is surrounded by dangers from neighboring countries: a war in Syria, conflict between the U.S. and Iran in Iraq, and Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank it occupies something Jordan says poses a danger to the entireregion.
But those issues have taken a back seat to controlling the coronavirus a feat Jordan has accomplished with an early and severe lockdown. The country of roughly 10 million has registered 1,131 coronavirus cases, with 11deaths.
Razzaz sees vulnerable groups in other countries paying a disproportionate price for policies that dont prioritize them, and says Jordans approach from the start was to protect the mostvulnerable.
From day one, any discussion of herd immunity or survival of the fittest or, you know, Say farewell to the elderly, are the things that just did not sound right for us, Razzaz tells NPR. So we went for a very different model in Jordan, based on social solidarity, in fact, helping the weakest. We did everything we can to make sure our children, our elderly, our refugees you know, the haves and the have-nots areprotected.
In mid-March, Jordan was one of the first countries in the region to shut its airports and borders for all but essential goods. Arriving passengers were sent into compulsory quarantine. All but emergency workers and security forces were confined to their homes, with even grocery stores shut and the army distributing bread to poorneighborhoods.
The government cut public sector salaries and allowed businesses to reduce workers wages, but banned them from laying offemployees.
Razzaz says in the last four months, almost half of Jordans population received some form of governmentassistance.
This week, the country announced it would reopen its airport to flights from a dozen countries where coronavirus rates are also low. With no cases of local transmission on most days, Jordan has stopped enforcing mask wearing and reopened restaurants and shoppingmalls.
Razzaz says industry production is now back to pre-coronavirus standards, and Jordan is exporting pharmaceuticals and food to othercountries.
Jordan took a chance with the lockdown, he says, but felt it had little choice, given the prospect of its health care system being overwhelmed with COVID-19cases.
When we took the steps that we took, we did that not because we were certain about the outcomes. So theres always hindsight But were very, very glad we did what we did. And a lot of countries that waited longer, including the U.S., are having a harder time containing the coronavirus, hesays.
Razzaz and health officials note Jordan remains on guard for a possible resurgence of the virus as its airportreopens.
The longer-term challenge is an already fragile economy in which unemployment is rising sharply. Tens of thousands of Jordanians have lost their jobs in the Arab Gulf states, as those economies decline due to the pandemic and a plunge in oilprices.
The official unemployment rate for the first quarter of the year had already topped 19%. Some economists expect the real rate could reach 30% by the end of the year, with many of the unemployed youngpeople.
Razzaz says, though, he is not worried by the prospect of renewed demonstrations that could be sparked by the economiccrisis.
While some countries worry a lot about social unrest, we see it as people expressing views about that hardship, he says. Were going to be proactive with employment and job creation. And if you get frustrated and want to shout, we have a constitution and set of laws and institutions that allow that to happen in democraticways.
The other wild card facing the kingdom is Israels annexation threat. Jordan, along with Egypt, is one of only two Arab countries in the region to have signed a peace treaty with Israel. Jordans king says he might suspend the 26-year-old treaty if Israel takes unilateral steps to claim sovereignty over parts of the WestBank.
Israel cites Jewish ties and a strategic need for it, but most of the international community opposes such a move, which could doom Palestinian hopes for an independentstate.
Jordan, where a majority of citizens are of Palestinian origin, would be the country most affected by Israels move, and instability could ripple across theregion.
Razzaz says Jordan has not changed its insistence on the need for an independent Palestinian state alongsideIsrael.
If you dont provide a just solution for the Palestinian people and sovereignty, you are pushing them and the region towards despair and extremism. So will there be conflict under such conditions? Yes, there will be, definitely, he says. I think what His Majesty and Jordan have been doing is sounding the alarm bells.
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