Monday, November 16, 2015

empowering women may not save the environment

The United Nations has published its latest projections for world population. It predicts that the current 7.3bn people on the planet will reach 8.5bn in 2030, and could be 11.2bn at the end of the century. India is expected to overtake China as the most populous country.

The annually updated forecasts are fuel for a strengthening argument that growing population is a critical environmental issue. The logic is simple: increasing numbers of people multiplied by higher average consumption from wood fuel to mobile phones and intensively farmed meat is a double whammy for the environment. The results are depleted raw materials and polluted soil, water and air. Greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, specifically carbon dioxide, are the common measurement of this relationship. So persuasive is the strand of thought that it has attracted backing from respected public figures such as Sir David Attenborough, Jonathon Porritt and Chris Packham. But it is flawed.

Population growth and climate change: fewer people does not mean more CO2
Letters: Your editorial’s argument about a causal link between slowing population growth and increased economic growth is dangerously out of date
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If expanding population is a problem, campaigners on the subject advocate action to slow and stop the rise, if not reverse it. (The UK group Population Matters, for example, says it is “responsible” to have one or two children – below the replacement rate at which population would be stable.) This presents challenges. The first is that much of the rise in population is due to people living longer. Nobody is credibly suggesting that society should cease trying to find cures for disease or stop stepping into disaster zones to save lives.

Any reduction in population rates, therefore, falls on women having fewer children. This has happened – average fertility has been falling for years, even in Africa, which continues to have the highest number of children per woman. But the second challenge for population campaigners is that biodiversity loss and pollution continue apace.

The fact is that it is in the very poorest countries where women have the most children, on average. And where population growth slows, generally economic growth speeds up, and carbon emissions rise faster. This happens on a global scale and even within countries – certainly within the poorer ones where there is most scope for population control, and where, also, the potential for industrialisation is greatest. It is unclear which is cause and which is effect: it is likely that they play off each other. And in some cases, perhaps, population policies go hand in hand with economic reforms. Only in the wealthiest countries, though, which already have lower fertility rates, are these links weakened or even broken.

This phenomenon raises the counterintuitive possibility that curbing population growth could generate higher global emissions than would otherwise be the case. There are good reasons for addressing birth rates: empowerment of women is a major one. And education, birth control clinics and popular soap operas in Brazil and radio programmes in Africa have all been successfully used to this end. But as an environmental policy, reducing the number of people is questionable. It provides a convenient distraction for richer nations with lower birthrates from the pressing need to reduce or decarbonise consumption. Worse, focusing on population growth could actually accelerate the global environmental problem it claims to address.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Visitors are flocking to the PDO booth at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) 2015. The stand features a range of the Company’s achievements and activities, such as the deployment of technology and In-Country Value to retain more of the oil and gas industry’s wealth in Oman.


The best way to celebrate Veterans Day? To hire more veterans. That's what 200 companies are pledging to do. Expect 1 million more job openings for those who have served at these companies:

Friday, August 14, 2015

Is This the India We Can Be Proud Of?

The recent disruptive Parliament standoff between the Congress-led Opposition and the ruling NDA is undemocratic and unconstitutional. Preventing the Parliament from functioning is a profound governance issue.
India’s progress depends on laws passed at the supreme legislative assembly viz. the Parliament. The moves by a group of parliamentarians to block the right to debate and seek resolution are in violation of the fundamental tenets of the Constitution.
The argument of the Congress-led Opposition that their action is justified as a ‘tit for tat’ to what the BJP did in the past is immature and counter-productive.
Not only are they holding the Parliament hostage, but the whole country as well. India is at a point in time when we need a plethora of new legislation to propel us into the next phase of economic development.
Today’s global economy is being built on a New Age technology platform that needs new and innovative policies to deliver economic inclusion and sustainable employment and growth. India is challenged with an archaic economic model that has little or no relevance to the present and the future. We need to urgently legislate for ushering in reforms in taxation, legal issues, labour, land, education, healthcare, social welfare, industry, agriculture and infrastructure in order to eradicate poverty and deliver broad-based economic development.  
The current standoff is irrational and only serves to impede economic and social progress. The action of the Opposition parties is therefore anti-national and anti-progress. 
The CII has spearheaded a petition with over 15,000 signatories prevailing upon parliamentarians to carry out their legislative responsibilities so that the country can move ahead with urgently needed economic reforms. GST is one such key legislation, which needs to be enacted. The implementation of this crucial tax reform can add 1% to India’s GDP growth. Apart from this, there are a number of other legislation that are urgently needed to kick-start our economy. 
Every day lost in Parliament is costing the country millions of jobs and billions of investment dollars. Who is answerable and accountable to the poor, the needy, the voiceless and the downtrodden who are being denied the right to participate in economic development by the stalemate in Parliament? 

Winning new investment in East Africa

Tanzania Mines Gas and Oil Company Limited, we view trade agreements as a key plank in our plan to see growth and new jobs beyond the mining boom; a critical part of our microeconomic reform agenda in East Africa especially Tanzania where reform is not easy.

If we look at China alone, last year, 100 million Chinese travelled abroad yet by 2020, that figure is expected to double.

This enormous scale of demand presents incredible opportunities but also real challenges such as the ongoing need for major investment in quality tourism infrastructure – hotels, integrated resorts and other attractions – to help cater for increasingly discerning visitors in East Africa.

Harnessing our resources potential along with our other areas of strength such as food and agribusiness aligns with the Government’s trade and investment agenda. Already we have concluded Free Trade with Korea, Japan and China is what would be the world’s largest regional trade deal in East Africa.

For many people, innovation is something intangible, yet it is within the power of everyone to innovate. The role of government is to create an environment that fosters an endless search for improvement in whatever we do.

The true strength of Tanzania and East Africa in General is the potent combination of the old and the new sectors, growing and developing together. It is in our great, traditional primary industries agriculture, mining, energy that we often see examples of technological innovation.