Sunday, January 02, 2011

Reframing poverty and where it is

This article by Andy Sumner (The new bottom billion) makes a good case for reframing the way we consider poverty and its distribution.  An emergent issue from the analysis is that it brings into focus growing income inequlity in all nation states.  Different framings require different policies and actions.  As Sumner argues:

'The new bottom billion has reshaped the demographics of poverty. This calls for a renewed development narrative, one that focuses on inequality and shared responsibility.'
Joining up the dots on climate change - yet still contested

I was impressed by the article by Age journalist Adam Morton which joins up 'many of the dots' in an accessible way that allows a reading of what is happening across the globe on the weather front.  For example Morton writes:

'"The climate is changing," the National Climatic Data Centre's Jay Lawrimore told the paper. "Extreme events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity."

Munich Re reported that its database of natural catastrophes showed the number of extreme weather events such as windstorms and floods had tripled since 1980 "and the trend is expected to persist".
Not everyone working in the area is comfortable with linking the current shift in extreme events with greenhouse gases. There is disagreement in the scientific literature over whether extreme weather disasters have started to worsen.'

Scepticism remains strong, however meaning that this year is likely to be difficult politically in Australia in terms of achieving a price on carbon.   The Independents and Greens together ought to manage to tip the balance in transitioning towards a post-carbon society, after all it is more than climate change per se.