The world’s largest, fastest-emerging industrial economies are posing grave questions for the coming generation: for how long will the inequalities produced by the unending pursuit of economic growth remain sustainable, for how long will our finite natural resources last if they continue to be rapidly commercialised, and can the environment stand the future demand of several billion new consumers?
Over-exploitation of India’s groundwater, thanks to the so-called ‘Green Revolution’ in agriculture, has created a water famine. To counter this growing crisis, the government should support biodiversity-based, organic farming systems, says Vandana Shiva.
Officials in Beijing claim that a new free trade deal with ASEAN nations will be mutually beneficial, but a second look reveals worrying trends. China’s neighbours may end up locked into a process where the benefits only flow in one direction, writes Walden Bello.
Communities living in south-west Orissa – already one of the
poorest areas in India – are facing the further expansion of Vedanta’s bauxite
mining project. The mine is already causing air and water pollution that
threatens the health of local people, finds a report by Amnesty International.
Media accounts of the Copenhagen climate change talks depict China as the ‘new villain’ in environmental politics, with Wen Jinbao’s spoiler tactics leading to one of the biggest diplomatic disappointments in decades. But is this portrayal either accurate or fair? By Walden Bello.
While many commentators regard China and India as the ‘success stories’ of economic globalisation, growing inequalities in both countries reveal there has been little ‘trickle down’ effect for the poor, finds a report by UN DESA.
India’s economic growth over the past 25 years has come at a
cost. Cuts in expenditure on public services and unsustainable use of natural
resources has left the majority of the population poor and surrounded by
environmental degradation, says Frontline magazine.
The Indian government recently announced a military
operation, purportedly against Maoist rebels in the mineral rich hills of Orissa. But the real beneficiaries of this violence will be the mining
companies driving India’s economic growth rather than local people, writes Arundhati Roy.