China, Economics, Environment, Korea

The Mineral Rush

Entrepreneurs and adventurers have long traveled the world in search of gold. European empires looted Latin America for its silver and tin. Diamonds attracted the rapacious to Africa. Oil has built enormous empires of wealth in the Gulf states. Today, an entirely different scramble for natural resources is taking place. These “critical raw materials” play… Continue reading The Mineral Rush

Economics, Environment

How to Rapidly Reduce Fossil Fuel Use

The burning of fossil fuels—oil, coal, natural gas—is responsible for nearly 90 percent of global carbon emissions. Despite almost-universal recognition of the need to reduce the use of those fossil fuels, the industrialized world is having the hardest time breaking its addiction. The economic rebound from the COVID-19 shutdowns generated the largest ever increase in… Continue reading How to Rapidly Reduce Fossil Fuel Use

Economics, Environment

Free Trade or Just Green Trade

The global economy hit a new milestone in 2022 by surpassing $100 trillion. This expansion, which has experienced only the occasional setback such as the 2020 COVID shutdowns, has been accelerated by trade. The world trade volume experienced 4,300 percent growth from 1950 to 2021, an average 4 percent increase every year. This linked growth… Continue reading Free Trade or Just Green Trade


Turning People into Corporations?!

You’ve heard about corporations being treated like people. It’s one of the outrages of the Citizens United decision some years back by the Supreme Court, that corporations have a right to free speech just like individuals and therefore can contribute unlimited money to candidates running for office. Bye-bye, democracy. Now there’s a movement afoot to… Continue reading Turning People into Corporations?!

Economics, Environment

The “Selling” of Degrowth

Over the last three decades, a growing number of scientists and ecologists have argued that economic growth has long outstripped the capacity of the planetary ecosystem. They have developed numerous sophisticated models to demonstrate their point. They have boiled down the technical information—about the availability of mineral resources, the limits of energy generation, the constraints… Continue reading The “Selling” of Degrowth


New Neighbors, New Economy

Russia is disappearing. So is Japan. Europe is next to go. It’s not the rising waters of global warming that threaten these parts of the world. The problem is more basic. The Russians and Japanese, as well as large numbers of Europeans, are not having enough children to replace themselves. The birth rates across a… Continue reading New Neighbors, New Economy

Economics, Russia and Eastern Europe

Restructuring East-Central European Economies

Key Problems Structural adjustment has been pitched as the only acceptable economic reform model. This unpopular reform has created political and economic instability. In promoting structural adjustment, the U.S. has concentrated on short-term profits for businesses and narrow diplomatic gain. In 1990, after the collapse of its communist governments, East-Central Europe confronted a daunting challenge:… Continue reading Restructuring East-Central European Economies