Emerging Powers vie for Influence in Africa

May 4, 2012 by

The end of the Cold War resulted in the strategic disengagement of western countries, including the United States, from Africa. They continued their trade, aid and assistance relationship with Africa, but once the threat of communist expansion disappeared, the West interacted with the continent in a different way. This change permitted an opening for a variety of emerging countries to expand their ties with Africa.

Water Crisis in Africa

April 16, 2012 by

Remarks by Ambassador David H. Shinn before the GWU International Affairs Society on 9 April 2012.

Social Business and the Environment

April 15, 2012 by

Our environment is in serious crisis. As sea levels continue to rise due to global warming, Bangladesh faces an existential threat. Social business must be implemented along with existing initiatives that are in place to save the environment. In doing so, not only will we be able to save our environment, we will be able [...]

Is this Progress? Watering Down the Millennium Development Goals

March 30, 2012 by

Did you hear about the latest success for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)? Don’t be ashamed to say no – most of the world missed it with you. So what happened? You’ll remember that the MDGs are the promises made by world leaders to dramatically improve the plight of the poor by 2015. To track progress, they signed up to eight goals (the MDGs), with 18 targets and 48 measurable indicators.

Assessing China’s Role and Influence in Africa

March 29, 2012 by

The most important difference between the United States and China is the very structure of the American and Chinese governments and the way their respective systems engage in Africa. American commercial activity (trade, investment and bidding on contracts) in Africa is conducted by private companies with limited involvement by the U.S. government. If two or more private U.S. companies are competing for the same project, the U.S. government must be impartial, providing essentially equal help to all U.S. interested parties. When this situation occurs, my experience was that the role of the U.S. government diminishes even further.

We should have been prepared for the Fukushima tsunami

March 11, 2012 by

A year ago yesterday the Tōhoku-Oki earthquake and resultant tsunami hit the Japanese coastline, triggering the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster. A year on, many questions are being asked about how bad conditions really are one year after the disaster, and how long it will be before Japan truly recovers.

Zimbabwe’s Ongoing Energy Nightmare

March 9, 2012 by

In the 32 years of his benighted rule, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has done more damage to the country than its white-led minority government ever did. With the exception of the smuggling of “blood diamonds” the country’s economy, once the “breadbasket of Africa,” resembles nothing so much as a slow motion train wreck. One of the foundations of modern nations’ economic prosperity are reliable sources of power and here too, Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union cronies have managed to screw things up.

Amy Greeson: A Pharmacist and Healer

March 7, 2012 by

In Western cultures, people go to a pharmacy for medicine. But in far flung places around the world—the Amazon, Belize, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea—natives depend upon village healers and shamans for medicinal substances. Amy Greeson, a pharmacist and educator, is working to bring the two together. “My team and I have begun to realize, that through our global expeditions, we were acquiring invaluable knowledge about indigenous cultures and people,” Greeson said. “We were determined to tell their stories. And to work to preserve them. And, finally, to inspire a new generation.”

Review of the BBC’s ‘This World: Inside the Meltdown’

February 29, 2012 by

The BBC documentary, “Inside the Meltdown,” on the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant is oddly powerful in its depiction of the savage destructive nature of the environment as it battered and subsequently caused the meltdown of the Fukushima plant.

Africa, Nuclear Security and the 2012 Summit

February 29, 2012 by

Many hold a view that the terms Africa and nuclear security have no correlation. This is a false and dangerous perception. South Africa’s Energy Minister Dipuo Peters announced on Tuesday 28 February 2012 that her country plans to use nuclear energy as part of diversified mix to help cure South Africa’s energy crisis and to take a step closer to cleaner energy.

Post-Fukushima Japan’s Energy Market

February 28, 2012 by

In a few weeks it will be the one year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster, which had all but soured the Japanese public’s appetite for nuclear energy. What once supplied 25% of the country’s energy needs, nuclear power plants are being decommissioned one by one. As of February 2011, only two of the country’s 54 commercial reactors remained functioning.

Geopolitics of Technology and the Hydrocarbon Status Quo

February 21, 2012 by

The unrest in the Arab world, which has continued for over a year now, implies one important conclusion beyond any ongoing regional struggle for democracy. It is a reflection about globally important technologies, and even more about a crucial geopolitical breakthrough – an escape from the logic of a hydrocarbon status quo, which – after Copenhagen 2009 – failed again in Durban 2011.

Protecting Progress: South America’s Battle with Chevron

February 19, 2012 by

The oil spill 230 miles off Brazil’s coast last November was, when compared to other international environmental disasters, relatively small and easily contained. What captured the world’s attention was not the spill itself, but the Brazilian government’s reaction. Domestic and international criticism concerning the penalties levied against Chevron focused primarily on the disparity between the leak’s size and the nearly $20 billion in fines currently being fought over in civil court.

The American Revolution for Energy Independence

February 17, 2012 by

You wouldn’t know it, but according to recent reports the United States is on the road to energy independence. That’s the same “energy independence” that American political leaders have been promising the electorate for years, lambasting America’s addiction to foreign oil. And thanks to a relatively unknown sedimentary rock called shale, it seems that true energy independence may very well be within arms reach.

Going Green in New York

January 23, 2012 by

After months of monitoring the disasters in Japan, it is a refreshing change to cover a story about a positive energy vision. Filmmaker, Antonio Saillant, and his friends and mentors, Ron Kamen and Ted Kotcheff, are committed to making the movie business sustainable and are working towards a greener world through clean, green and sustainable energy in the energy hungry movie industry.

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