A report from the Guardian on China’s growing consumption of resources, and what can be done to maintain growth and improve the lot of people in the developing world without devastating the planet. It’s inspiring stuff, and worth a read. For our part, Britain is ranked fifth best in the world at tackling domestic and global environmental problems, in the first global league table of its kind.
Less positively, Google has agreed to accept Chinese government restrictions in order to set up a Chinese version of its search engine. I was privileged to hear a talk on China’s internet censorship at Kansai Gaidai last semester, and learned that the regime has developed an ingenious system for suppressing dissent, based in part on offering companies access to China’s enormous (and profitable) market, on condition that they help censor the Internet. Google’s latest move is another nail in the coffin of the theory that the Internet will help spread democracy and transparency througout the world. George Monbiot has written brilliantly on the flaws in this argument.