Thursday News And Notes

With foreign policy, particularly Syria, casting a shadow over discussions, the world’s leaders gathered to address the most pressing economic concerns at the G20 meeting in Russia.

“Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price – it will cause a hike in the oil price,” Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told a briefing before the start of the G20 leaders’ talks, reports Reuters.

Before the opening of the G20 conference, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stressed the need for nations to engage in cooperative actions to tackle some of the pressing issues.

“This is a vital month for global cooperation. Around the world, human rights are at risk. Democracies are threatened. Legitimate voices and movements of dissent are being stifled. People everywhere are worried about the future and wonder whether institutions and decision-makers will hear their pleas and act on them,” said Ban.

Cooperation Needed To Spur Growth Stewart Patrick of the Council on Foreign Relations says that despite the progress made by the G20 to repair the wounds opened by the financial crisis, cooperation will be required by the nations involved to both prevent a second recession and to spur further economic growth.

“At the same time, the benefits of unconventional monetary policy, as pursued by the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, and the Bank of England, appear to have run their course. Getting the world moving again will require reinvigorating multilateral cooperation within the G20,” writes Patrick, who says the G20 has “lost momentum” as its “solidarity has eroded [and] as economic trajectories and preferences of its members diverge.”

“St. Petersburg offers a chance for G20 leaders to regain their mojo and restore global confidence. They must throw their collective political weight behind credible, practical policy initiatives that go well beyond central bank cooperation to address the chronic obstacles to global growth and employment,” he adds.

Shaping The Far Future: Lecture By Nick Beckstead
Nick Beckstead delivered a lecture in August on the importance of shaping the “far future” during an forum hosted by the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute (GCRI).

Addressing the question of how to impact future generations in the most positive manner, Beckstead, Research Fellow at the Oxford University Future of Humanity Institute, favors focusing on a long-term approach that comes from “an impartial perspective which gives proper weight to everyone’s interests.”

The talk also touched on issues of artificial intelligence, space exploration and how technology is impacting the longevity of the human race.

Participants also raised a related issue about tradeoffs between the interests of present and future generations. If future generations are so much more important, then does this mean that people today should sacrifice greatly for the future?

The post-lecture summary can be read here.





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