Sunday, 17 April 2016

There Is No Such Thing as a Green Product ?

Authors Trevor Zink and Roland Geyer  suggest that here is no such thing as a “green” product. The corporate sustainability gospel—that green companies sell green products, and green products have some absolute and well-defined environmental attributes—evaporates on closer inspection. According to the authors the environmental benefits of green products are not that they somehow fix the environment or have zero impact, but rather that their environmental impacts are less than those of similar products. Products can have an impact on the environment during one or more stages of their life cycles, which are production, use, and end of life. A natural step is therefore to tally up the environmental impacts of similar products throughout their life cycles and compare the results. Read more at SSIR here .

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Economics, in the last decades, has been harmful for most people?

As Chang  had put it in Guardian: “Economics, as it has been practised in the last three decades, has been positively harmful for most people.” !! “Economists are not some innocent technicians who did a decent job within the narrow confines of their expertise until they were collectively wrong-footed by a once-in-a-century disaster that no one could have predicted.” Far from being an inward-looking, hermetic discipline, economics has been a hugely powerful – and profitable – enterprise, shaping the policies of governments and companies throughout much of the world. The results have been little short of disastrous” . A great book, a must read, for all thought leaders. Ha-Joon Chang, Prof at the University of Cambridge,  is one of the leading heterodox economists and institutional economists specialising in development economics . 

A Professor at Cambridge that  is analytically debunking the myths of capitalism in his book “23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism”. A must read.
See more here

Friday, 1 April 2016

Monsanto: Strong Ties, Strong Media and the challenge of editorial integrity and independence

According to Huffpost , the media and partnerships division of the venerable magazine Scientific American hosted a panel Thursday at the National Press Club featuring journalists and scientists. The event, cosponsored by a group called GMO Answers, focuses on whether science is “explained fairly in the media.” What might be less apparent is that GMO Answers requires some explanation itself: The group is a project of agricultural biotech firms meant to buttress the industry’s reputation.
GMO Answers, which was launched in the summer of 2013 to help improve the impression of genetically modified foods in the U.S., is a project of PR giant Ketchum. Funding for the effort comes from agricultural biotech companies, including Monsanto and Syngenta.
Monsanto, which sells seeds that have been genetically altered so crops can survive the company’s glyphosate weedkiller, was facing pressure in many states to label foods containing GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. GMO Answers was created as a website where people could have questions answered by supposedly “independent” scientists.
The New York Times reported in 2013 that GMO Answers would embrace a more “transparent” approach in addressing critics, who accuse big agricultural companies of “purposely hiding information.” Around the same time, Politico reported that Monsanto shook up its internal PR shop and began a “charm offensive,” visiting newsrooms across Washington.