Why the WTO's Doha Round Failed Mohau Pheko discusses the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Doha Development Round of trade talks which failed in 2006. The talks were designed to correct injustices in the current agreements on global trade and agriculture. She says that Western governments tried to impose unacceptable conditions, especially for food subsidies.
Running time: 196 seconds
How Global Trade Agreements Fail African Economies Mohau Pheko discusses global trade and globalization in the context of economic development in Africa. She says the World Trade Organization (WTO) and world trade agreements are not helping development. Farm subsidies in the US and EU create surplus food production; excess food is dumped on the African market at artificially low prices.
Running time: 236 seconds
How Parliaments Can Work Together for Sustainability Nicholas Dunlop argues that global treaties and other decision-making processes for international issues are too slow to deal with issues such as climate change. He says that we need a way to link up national legislators who have the power to make laws and set budgets and agendas. Through coordinated domestic action, Dunlop believes legislators can achieve a lot without the need for decades of negotiation through international treaties.
Running time: 161 seconds
The e-Parliament Initiative Nicholas Dunlop explains what the 'e-parliament initiative' is. The internet and other electronic forms of communication are being used to allow democratic legislators from around the world to exchange and implement good policy ideas. He argues that as domestic policy agendas converge, parliaments must share best practice, effective solutions and to jointly assess priorities for the future.
Running time: 242 seconds
The Purpose of the United Nations Giscard d'Estaing sets out the purpose of the United Nations. The UN was established to secure peace in the post-war period and the UN still has a peacekeeping role. It is important as a forum for international debate. However, UN reform is long overdue.
Running time: 158 seconds
Strategies for Sustainable Development in China Sir Peter Hall says that 20% of the world’s population lives in China and sustainable development in China – particularly sustainable urban development – will have an impact on climate change. He looks at the geographic, ideological and political factors involved in effective sustainable development strategies for China.
Running time: 326 seconds
Susan George on the WTO, World Bank and IMF Susan George explains what the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are and how they work. They operate in the interests of rich nations at the expense of the poor. She cautions against the current trend to privatize public services such as transport, health and water.
Running time: 422 seconds
How to Fix the Global Debt Crisis Susan George says that debt relief is an essential step in achieving social justice. Third World debt is crippling many poorer nations. Sustained debt relief activism in the global north is the only way to change the global debt crisis.
Running time: 268 seconds
How Third World Debt affects the West Does Third World debt affect the global north? Susan George says the global debt crisis does affect creditor nations. Structural adjustment and lack of economic opportunities is a direct cause of immigration, both economic and illegal. Debt also causes exploitive environmental policies which can exacerbate climate change.
Running time: 394 seconds
The Problems of Third World Debt Susan George explains what’s wrong with Third World debt. Rich nations, the IMF and multinationals keep poor countries handicapped by structural adjustment programs and debt, which she calls a form of colonialism. Creditor nations drag out the debt crisis. Debt relief campaigns have made some headway in cancelling debt, but more debt relief is needed.
Running time: 333 seconds
Terry Tamminen on the True Cost of Oil Terry Tamminen examines the true cost of oil in America. America’s oil industry should factor into its oil prices external costs such as military investment in oil security, healthcare costs and the cost of fighting pollution. Oil is a scarce and valuable resource that should be used sparingly.
Running time: 163 seconds
Thom Hartmann on the Move Towards Autocratic Governance Thom Hartmann describes the historic shift towards autocratic governance in Europe and North America. Conservative think-tanks in the USA prompted a shift towards the deregulation of trade, growth of multinational corporations and the privatization of public utilities in the 1970s. Only now do we find that deregulated trade sidelines the socio-economic needs of local communities.
Running time: 253 seconds
Thom Hartmann Explains the Commons Thom Hartmann describes what ‘the commons’ means. He defines ‘the commons’ – the commonwealth – as the idea that certain assets should be in public ownership. Services vital to our collective survival, like water, must remain in the public sector and not be privatized.
Running time: 165 seconds
The Problem with Political Lobbying Thom Hartmann believes political lobbying has led to a rise in the power of unelected and unaccountable figures within Western governments. Corporate lobbyists have a huge influence on government and law, particularly in the US.
Running time: 262 seconds
What Real Democracy Would Look Like What is a real democracy? Dr Shiva describes the current systems of democracy worldwide as a sham. Representative democracy has been hijacked by an 'economic dictatorship', led by a handful of multinational corporations. She calls for a true democracy which recognizes the value of all living systems.
Running time: 199 seconds
The Risk of a Nuclear Disaster Dr Ashok Khosla believes that many of the assumptions that form the basis of modern economic thought are wrong. First, economic thought fails to factor in important ecological and environmental constraints and natural limits. Secondly, economists tend to reduce individuals to the role of the rational consumer.
Running time: 194 seconds
The Global Environment Outlook and Sustainable Living Are we living more sustainable lives? Achim Steiner says the UN’s report on the state of the planet, The Global Environment Outlook, shows little progress to sustainable living. However, businesses, governments and individuals are all seeking sustainable and eco-friendly solutions, so we are trying to live greener lives.
Running time: 187 seconds
Questioning the Ethics of Corporate Social Responsibility The late Dame Anita Roddick looks at the origins of social responsibility in business and questions the integrity of corporate social responsibility. She believes that since business management consultants took the CSR movement mainstream, it is now a profit-driven system of corporate behavior analysis. The core values that shape ethical business practices are compromised.
Running time: 309 seconds
Sun Microsystems Bill Joy on America and Climate Change Sustainable business venture capitalist Bill Joy advocates limiting carbon emissions in the United States through financial incentives, such as carbon credit schemes. Joy says preaching sustainability to Americans is difficult; he mentions Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth (Gore is his partner in venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers).
Running time: 171 seconds
Bill McKibben on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol Environmentalist Bill McKibben talks about the Kyoto Protocol, before the Copenhagen climate change conference. To stop global warming, the US must reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel use. Industry in China and India must be more sustainable as their rapid economic growth increases greenhouse gas emissions.
Running time: 97 seconds
Christopher Flavin on Clean Coal and Renewable Energy Christopher Flavin, international expert on energy and environmental issues, says energy companies should be required to make clean coal. However, we must also invest in green technologies such as solar energy to stop global warming.
Running time: 98 seconds
The Risks of Nuclear Proliferation Judge Weeramantry talks about the dangers of nuclear war and nuclear proliferation, both of nuclear weapons and the knowledge to build them. Nuclear knowledge is now so readily available on the internet that a PhD physics student can make a nuclear bomb. This nuclear expertise is sold to the highest bidder, which could well be a terrorist organization.
Running time: 234 seconds
The Economic and Political Impact of Peak oil Colin Campbell is a former oil executive who worked with BP, Shell, Esso, Texaco and several governments. He is a peak oil expert. He discusses energy security in the context of oil imports from the Middle East to the US and China. Oil scarcity increases the risks of oil wars; energy security relies on reducing use of fossil fuels.
Running time: 382 seconds
Why Big Business Should Pay for Environmental Harm Dorothy Mackenzie argues that environmental sustainability and economic growth are compatible. While industry survives on growth, society is more open to non-material consumption, for example of events and experiences. Sustainable economic growth is more likely in a less material culture.
Running time: 82 seconds
How Regulation Can Stop Greenwash Dorothy Mackenzie argues that business should pay for past environmental damage - the polluter pays principle. Sustainable business will help reduce future ecological footprint, but businesses also have a remedial and restorative task. The natural resources sector in particular is working towards an overall positive impact.
Running time: 90 seconds