Global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades

Nafeez Ahmed, “Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’?,” 14 March 2014, Guardian

A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
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Corruption is by far not the main factor behind persisting poverty in the Global South

Jason Hickel, “Flipping the corruption myth,” Al Jazeera, 1 February 2014

Many international development organisations hold that persistent poverty in the Global South is caused largely by corruption among local public officials. In 2003 these concerns led to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which asserts that, while corruption exists in all countries, this “evil phenomenon” is “most destructive” in the global South, where it is a “key element in economic underperformance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development”.

There’s only one problem with this theory: It’s just not true.
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‘Factivism’ and Other Fairytales from Bono

Harry Browne, “‘Factivism’ and Other Fairytales from Bono,” CounterPunch, 19 March 2013

So what on earth is the Beshaded One talking about this time? Only the TED blurb (almost certainly penned by the man himself) can begin to do justice to Bono’s message: “Human beings have been campaigning against inequality and poverty for 3,000 years. But this journey is accelerating. Bono ‘embraces his inner nerd’ and shares inspiring data that shows the end of poverty is in sight… if we can harness the momentum.”

Bono, who is accelerating humanity toward the end of its long anti-poverty journey, allegedly loves data. He called his first lobbying organisation DATA (Debt Aids Trade Africa), and told the appreciative California audience that he’s a “factivist” who gets sexually aroused by numbers. But Bono’s “inner nerd” really needs to meet my outer skeptic, because in fact his optimistic message about the trajectory of poverty eradication, and the reasons for it, is a flimsy tissue of truths, half-truths and statistics, conveniently skewed to suggest that he and his Western partners in Africa (governments, corporations, foundations) have been doing a great job entirely.
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80 Percent Of U.S. Adults Face Near-Poverty, Unemployment

Hope Yen, “80 Percent Of U.S. Adults Face Near-Poverty, Unemployment: Survey,” AP, 07/28/13

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend. …
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Solving malnutrition through business and science?

Graham Harrison, “Solving malnutrition through business and science?“, Progressive Development Forum, 8 July 2013

There is in this hunger agenda a salient reshaping of how hunger is perceived and also how it is embedded into a broader model of political economy. The meeting fed into a broader process of elite institutionalisation of the ‘hunger problem’. In essence, the schema outlined above depoliticises hunger and positions international capital as the central agency in the solution to hunger. This, to say the least, requires some critical reflection.
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“It is an insult to claim that poverty is caused by people choosing unemployment” – the Archbishop of York

Poverty Is Not About Scroungers Versus Strivers, Church Of England Bishops Say“, The Huffington Post UK, 08/07/2013

Presenting poverty and unemployment as a question of “scroungers versus strivers” is both inaccurate and an insult, Church of England bishops have said.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, called for the Church to resist “rhetoric” that accuses people of choosing a life of idle dependence on the welfare state.

“It is an insult to claim that poverty in this country is caused by people choosing unemployment,” he told members of the General Synod.
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