By Barney Frank
HERE’S a statistic you may not be aware of: about 50 percent of the world’s uncultivated, arable land is in Africa. This abundance of potential farmland offers Africa the opportunity to feed itself and to help feed the rest of the globe. But consider another statistic: because of poor roads and a lack of storage, African farmers can lose up to 50 percent of their crop just trying to get it to market.
His inventions from 50 years ago enabled cell phones, laptops, and flat-screen TVs. Now, at age 88, he’s aiming to make solar power cheaper than coal.
If you thought that America’s financial sector had gotten enough of bad publicity, think again. The insider-trading trial of Raj Rajaratnam, a billionaire hedge-fund manager, has now begun. It is likely to provide an especially lurid exposé of the corrupt underbelly of the financial world.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Bank marking World Water Day today at the bank’s Washington headquarters. The MOU will strengthen support to developing countries seeking a water secure future, the State Department said.
Water is a paradoxical commodity: It seems free and plentiful, yet its supply is under tremendous strain. Use of fresh water has more than doubled in the past 50 years, and many fear that we are coming close to a frightening breaking point, a world where chronic water shortages for farmers, businesses and people are the norm. Some experts even see international conflict emerging over access to dwindling supplies.
By 2050, the world's cities will have to support 3 billion more inhabitants, mostly in developing countries, with crucial investments needed in three areas: water, energy, and transportation. Several of the planet's top city planning and environmental business experts gathered at Harvard Business School earlier this month to discuss available options.
Key concepts include:
What the United States can learn from the tiny island nation of Mauritius. Suppose someone were to describe to you a small country that provided free education through university for all of its citizens, transportation for school children, and free health care—including heart surgery—for all. You might suspect that such a country is either phenomenally rich or on the fast track to fiscal crisis.
This will be a very short diary. I just wanted to get this chart out there. I originally received it as a post by the Facebook group "The Christian Left."
Does great wealth bring fulfillment?
An ambitious study by Boston College suggests not. For the first time, researchers prompted the very rich—people with fortunes in excess of $25 million—to speak candidly about their lives. The result is a surprising litany of anxieties: their sense of isolation, their worries about work and love, and most of all, their fears for their children.