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Showing posts from December 23, 2013


Joel Ephraim Cohen (born February 10, 1944) is a mathematical biologist

He is currently Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Populations at the Rockefeller University in New York City and at the Earth Institute of Columbia University, where he holds a joint appointment in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, and the School of International and Public Affairs. 

He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[1]


Cohen has since taught or lectured at Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, the National University of San Luis, Argentina, the Central University of Venezuela, and the University of California at Berkeley

He has also held numerous fellowships, including ones with the Harvard Society of Fellows, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the…


For an in depth analysis, listen to Professor Joel Cohen :

Social unrest in 2014 : Protesting predictions

Dec 23rd 2013, 10:20 

by M.S.L.J.

UKRAINE, Bulgaria, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey are all countries in which protests have erupted in the past twelve months. 

Even places traditionally more muted, such as Japan and Singapore, have seen demonstrators in the streets.

 Social inequalities and political discontent have spurred citizens to gather. 

Resistance can be co-ordinated with greater ease than ever in the age of the smartphone.

According to Laza Kekic from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), economic distress is almost a prerequisite for protest, but does not explain outbursts entirely:

“Declines in income and high unemployment are not always followed by unrest. Only when economic trouble is accompanied by other elements of vulnerability is there a high risk of instability. Such factors include wide income-inequality, poor government, low levels of social provision, ethnic tensions and a history of unrest. Of particular importance in sparking unrest in recent ti…

A Solar Boom So Successful, It's Been Halted

Photovoltaics proved so successful in Hawaii that the local utility, HECO, has instituted policies to block further expansion

By Anne C. Mulkern and ClimateWire

Solar panels form part of the Renewable Hydrogen Fueling and Production Station on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/US Navy


Related: A Global Transition to Renewable Energy Will Take Many Decades

William Walker and his wife, Mi Chong, wanted to join what's seen as a solar revolution in Hawaii. Shortly after buying their Oahu home earlier this year, they plunked down $35,000 for a rooftop photovoltaic system.

The couple looked forward to joining neighbors who had added panels, to cutting their $250 monthly power bills and to knowing they were helping the environment.

Their plans shifted the day after the PV panels went up in early October. The Walkers learned from a neighbor about a major change in the local utility's solar policy. It led to those 18 panels sitting dormant nearly three mo…


Daily chart
The long haul

Dec 20th 2013, 8:49 

by P.K., R.L.W., J.C. and R.J.

Flights that ferry us the farthest

THIS is your captain speaking. 

Welcome aboard Economist flight DEC20 to London. 

Today's in-flight entertainment is an infographic of the longest commercial flights—“ultra long-haul” routes that last more than 12 hours. 

We regret to announce that the lengthiest—Singapore Airlines’ flight from the city-state to Newark Airport near New York, at 15,263km—was discontinued last month. 

That now makes Qantas’ Sydney to Dallas flight the longest, at 13,790km. 

For those travelling during the holidays, spare a thought for passengers strapped into their seats for around 16 hours, the journey time for these flights. 

That’s double the duration it took Concorde to complete a similar distance (going round trip between London and Barbados). 

In the chart below, scroll down to see how these ultra long-haul flights compare. 

And thank you for choosing The Economist. 

We appreciate that there are …

What the WTO Agreement Really Means for International Trade

Pete Mento - Director, Global Customs and Trade Policy


It’s hard enough for 10 people to agree on where to have lunch. 

That’s why there’s so much buzz surrounding the unanimous agreement of the 159 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

For the first time in their 18-year history, the WTO member countries agreed on a multilateral pact. 

They pushed past the differing needs of developed and developing nations, industrialized vs. agricultural issues, and cut through the politics. 

They agreed that all members should modernize and develop a more professional process for inbound products. Besides applauding that achievement–and aside from the inconvenient fact that the WTO lacks any real enforcement mechanisms–this development is significant. 

It takes a hopeful step toward recognizing and eliminating corruption as one of the biggest barriers to global trade.

Corruption is undoubtedly widespread throughout the world, as the Corruption Perceptions Index shows.

 Since 1995, this …


US Sailors, Assisting With Fukushima Clean Up, Crippled By Cancer

Submitted by Tyler Durden

on 12/21/2013 21:29 -0500

Back in December 2012, we wrote that it was only a matter of time before Japan's criminal lying about the radioactive exposure in the aftermath of the Fukushima catastrophe caught up with it, as well as with countless numbers of people who would soon succumb to radiation induced cancers and other diseases. 

What we found surprising back then, before the full scale of the Fukushima catastrophe become clear and before even Tepco admitted that the situation is completely out of control, is that those holding Japan accountable were not its own citizens but eight US sailors who have then filed a suit against semi-nationalized energy operator TEPCO - the company which repeatedly ignored internal warnings about the ability of the Fukushima NPP to withstand an earthquake/tsunami - seeking $110 million in damages.

Kyodo reported:

"Eight U.S. sailors have filed a damages sui…

German ALDI supermarkets in $3 bn US expansion drive

December 20, 2013 11:55 AM


View gallery
A general view of a branch of British food retailer Aldi in London on February 9, 2013. (AFP Photo/Will Oliver)

Frankfurt (AFP) - German discount supermarket chain ALDI said Friday it will invest $3.0 billion (2.2 billion euros) in expanding its presence in the United States over the next five years.

"ALDI today announced a five-year strategic plan to open 650 new stores across" the US, the group said in a statement.

ALDI already operates nearly 1,300 stores in 32 states in the US and describes itself as the "leading low-price grocer."

"To reach its aggressive goal, over the next five years, ALDI plans to accelerate the pace of new store openings to an average of 130 per year, up from an average of 80 stores per year in recent years," according to the statement.

The $3.0 billion investment would be for land, facilities and equipment.

The expansion drive was expected to create more than 10,000 new jobs at ALDI stores, wareh…