Corruption, morality and religion
Arthur Lyon Dahl
International Environment Forum
The world is becoming a more dangerous place, with a loss of shared values, the rise of unpredictable leaders, the increasing concentration of wealth and power, the rejection of science, logic, expertise and even truth, increasing xenophobia and polarization, a disregard for the needs and desires of the young and of future generations, the headlong destruction of environmental resources and life-support systems, the destabilization of the climate, and a debt-driven economic and financial system raping the planet for short-term profit. These contrary winds are sweeping away many hopeful signs of progress from the past, and seem to be leading us to a catastrophe of multiple dimensions and unimaginable consequences. The parallel with the 1930s is frightening.
Ultrasociety (book review)
Peter Turchin. 2016. Ultrasociety: how 10,000 years of war made humans the greatest cooperators on earth. Chaplin, Connecticut: Beresta Books. 266 p.
Book review by Arthur Lyon Dahl, International Environment Forum
Peter Turchin continues his scientific exploration of history and the rise and fall of civilizations in his new book: Ultrasociety. I have previously reviewed his 2006 book War and Peace and War and his significant paper published in Nature in 2010 Political instability may be a contributor in the coming decade which warned of the kind of problems we see emerging in many countries today and which predicted a major crisis by 2020.
The cover story in a recent issue of New Scientist provides an objective scientific basis for dispelling many of the myths and lies about the migration crisis, and substantiates many of the points that IEF has raised for years. Debora MacKenzie, in "On the Road Again: From our origins in Africa we've conquered the world by migrating. Can modern immigration really be a crisis" (New Scientist, 9 April 2016, Vol. 230, No. 3068, pp. 29-37) shows the historical importance of migration for the human race.
Don't Even Think About It (book review)
Don't Even Think About It: Why our brains are wired to ignore climate change,
by George Marshall (New York and London: Bloomsbury, 2014) 261 p.
Reviewed by Arthur Dahl
Alexander von Humboldt 1769-1859
Book review and commentary
Maurice Strong, on of the great leaders of the environmental movement in the 20th century, has just passed away. It is rare to find someone who is successful as a businessman, a diplomat and a visionary leader over such a long period of time.
Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change: A Review
Arthur Lyon Dahl
International Environment Forum
After drafting work by a group of leading academics, and wide circulation for consultation, an Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change was adopted at an international Islamic Climate Change Symposium, held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 17-18 August 2015(1) (see ANNEX). The document is a significant addition to other religious declarations on this critical issue for the future of humanity, alongside those of the Bahá'í International Community's statement in 2008: Seizing the Opportunity: Redefining the Challenge of Climate Change (2) and the Pope's June 2015 encyclical Laudato Si': on care for our common home (3) reviewed on this web site (4), among others.
Meaning, Religion and a Great Transition
by Michael Karlberg
a review and commentary by Arthur Dahl
The Great Transition Initiative is an international collaboration for charting pathways to a planetary civilization rooted in solidarity, sustainability, and human well-being. It operates an on-line forum of leading intellectuals moderated by the Tellus Institute in Boston. Papers are commissioned for discussion, and then published. A couple of IEF members take part in these discussions, which have been largely on scientific, political and institutional themes. In November, for the first time, the topic was "Meaning, Religion and a Great Transition" with a paper prepared by Michael Karlberg which has now been published on line. The discussion was lively and controversial, with the more secular scientists contesting that religion could be considered a knowledge system or be anything more than subjective and not worthy of serious consideration, while others welcomed this as an essential part of any transition. At the end of the month, Michael responded to the debate, and his commentary is also on line.
The Oneness Principle and 4 Other Essential Steps to Eradicate Extreme Poverty
2052: A GLOBAL FORECAST
Book review by Arthur Dahl
Jorgen Randers has written "2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years" (Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, Vermont, 2012) from a unique perspective. This report to The Club of Rome commemorates the 40th anniversary of "The Limits to Growth", the famous set of computer-generated scenarios that showed that economic growth could not continue forever in a finite world and would lead to the collapse of civilization, and that major changes from "business-as-usual" would be needed to put the world on a sustainable course. Randers was one of the authors of the original report and its updates, and after struggling for forty years to convince the world to make the necessary changes for its own good, he decided to analyze why they had failed and what that said about the next forty years ahead. This book in the result. It is not another scenario, but a forecast of the most probable future projecting the trends observed since 1972.