US, China Pledge Cooperation On Climate Change

China, US Pledge To Work Together On Climate Change
In a speech at China’s Cummins-Foton Joint Venture Plant, Secretary of State John Kerry said China and the US “account for almost 40 percent of all of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions,” so it is important that “President Xi and President Obama have joined in agreeing that we both
have a special role to play in reducing those emissions.”

The statement added that nations would “commit to devote significant effort and resources to secure concrete results” by the Sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue later this year, and that they reaffirmed “their commitment to contribute significantly to successful 2015 global efforts to meet this challenge.”

The day before Kerry’s announcement, President Obama said the administration was proposing to dedicate $1 billion to create a fund to help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Kerry Meets With Chinese Bloggers
While in Beijing, Kerry also met with Chinese bloggers to discuss their concerns over the government’s control of the Internet and told reporters after his meeting that he and Chinese officials had a “frank discussion about some human rights challenges… and the free flow of information in a robust, civil society.”

The bloggers are seeking for the US to intervene to urge the government to lift firewalls and other means of controlling online communications.

Kerry concluded his Asian trip with a visit to Indonesia.

In a Ted Talk, Chris McKnett makes the case that large institutional investors can promote sustainability and why investors need to look at a company’s environmental, social and governance structures.

A Democratic Paradox
Doug Saunders of the Globe and Mail describes an emerging paradox in  nations from Tunisia to Egypt to Turkey – individuals in countries that protested for democratic rule and now use the term revolution to “describe protests against the governments produced by that very democracy.”

What distinguishes these protests against those in the past is that these are “mass uprisings not against dictatorships but against governments that came to power through reasonably fair elections in existing (if young) democracies, but then turned against the principles of democracy – by suppressing media and opposition forces, by rewriting laws and by altering constitutions to partisan advantage. These people are protesting against the rotten fruits of democracy.”

The other characteristic is that the people are disinterested in employing democratic politics to achieve their goals.

“In other words, sometimes the excesses of fairly elected leaders require extra-democratic responses. This has been a pattern in many countries: Protest for democracy, then protest against the results of that democracy. Fair enough, as there have always been more Robespierres than George Washingtons. But at some point, you need to find someone fresh to step up to the plate – or someone far worse will fill the vacuum,” he concludes.

Does Technology Abet Holocaust Deniers?
Technology is largely seen as a positive, as means to enhance interaction among individuals globally, but what happens when it is used to spread hate? Israeli journalist Nog Gur Arieh opines that those seeking to deny the Holocaust are using the Internet to achieve their goals.

In particular, he cites movies that propose the notion that Hitler never sought to exterminate the Jews and other minorities.

“The technology of the 21st century allows haters to deny the occurrence of the Holocaust with a simple editing program and some viral push in social networks. By doing so, and adding some dramatic music in the background, creators of those films fool thousands of unaware people every day. Lies that are easy for us to detect can seem as reliable facts to the many people who are not surrounded by the memory of the Holocaust,” he writes.

 

 

 

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