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MacroScope

A Diet of Social Change

A Diet of Social Change

Stunted growth in children, a prominent sign of malnutrition, is often associated with stunted economic growth. Today, the problem is largely confined to low-income countries. One long-standing anomaly, however, is that India, despite having a higher GDP per capita than over 60 countries, ranks fifth in stunting....

A Unified Civil Society Voice for Systemic Change

A Unified Civil Society Voice for Systemic Change

The concentration of power in elite social strata and large corporations stands as the principal impediment to creating just and inclusive societies. So asserts the joint call to action issued on the eve of the recent World Social Forum in Tunis by the leaders of major civil society organizations:  ActionAid, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, Civicus, Greenpeace, and Oxfam....
Ban the Bomb Redux

Ban the Bomb Redux

The tentative agreement with Iran notwithstanding, international progress on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament has stalled in recent years. Last month, Pakistan test-fired a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to any part of India. India and Israel, which like Pakistan are not signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, are also flexing their nuclear muscles....
Low-Wage Workers of the World Unite!

Low-Wage Workers of the World Unite!

The "Fight for 15" campaign began in the US as a struggle of workers at McDonald’s and other fast food chains for a $15 minimum wage, a true living wage unlike the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Now the campaign is showing signs of becoming a transnational force with coordinated strikes and actions in 35 countries....

Gender Equity: A Long Way Still to Go

Gender Equity: A Long Way Still to Go

The 1995 Beijing Declaration, adopted at the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women, promulgated an action plan for women’s empowerment. How far have we come in the twenty years since? The UN has taken stock in a new report and concludes: not far enough....

Waste Not

Waste Not

In a world where too many go hungry and resources grow scarce, fully one-third of food production ends up as waste. Food waste is generated at every point in the production chain: farming, transportation, storage, and consumption. The monetary cost is huge—over $400 billion per year—and so are all of the other costs involved...

The Heat of Conflict

The Heat of Conflict

The ongoing crisis in Syria offers tragic confirmation of the long-feared link between climate volatility and social volatility. Syria has never experienced a drought as severe as the one that ravaged the country from 2006 to 2010. According to a new study, global climate change disrupted long-term precipitation, temperature, and storm formation patterns, increasing the likelihood of extreme droughts threefold....
Smart Money: Fossil Fuel Divestment Comes of Age

Smart Money: Fossil Fuel Divestment Comes of Age

Fossil fuel divestment–the diversion of investments away from oil, gas, and coal companies— may be approaching a tipping point. Moral and financial arguments are coalescing as concern continues to grow about the risks of climate change. On the moral side, students have been demanding that their universities’ endowments be made compatible with their missions...

Prelude to the Next Crash?

Prelude to the Next Crash?

After the twentieth century ended with the bursting of the dot-com bubble, the twenty-first began with a hollow recovery financed largely by growth in public and private debt. Driven primarily by a huge increase in home mortgages and mortgage-backed securities, global debt rose by a whopping $55 trillion between 2000 and 2007....

Another Internet is Possible

Another Internet is Possible

Last month, in the snowy Alps of Davos, Switzerland, the global political and financial elite gathered for the latest installment of the World Economic Forum. Although recent years have seen greater acknowledgement of the need to mitigate climate change and reduce growing economic inequality at the WEF, it remains largely wedded to neoliberal globalization and top-down decision-making....