Jobs WDR out today; BRICs and pieces; UK aid fight; climate change -> US drought; grabbing Cambodia; post-2015 circus; high level panel-ology; a renewable Dr Strangelove: links I liked

October 1, 2012 2 By admin

The World Development Report 2013 (the World Bank’s flagship publication) is on jobs and is launched today. My backgrounder here. India rural v urban popPlease send links to any decent reviews/critiques.

Some nice BRICS and pieces in the Economist this week: India is reaching peak peasant: rural v urban population to 2050 (see chart). Plus interactive graphic on India’s economic stats by state, (GDP per cap, growth, pop). Finally, the tale of Li Peng, a (successful) grassroots rural activist in China.

Where are we at on the increasingly heated UK aid debate? The ODI’s Andy Norton summarizes and links; the Guardian digs out the data and gives some more background on the rows. Lots at stake here.

The US drought has been made 20 times more likely by climate change. Tom Mitchell on the attribution revolution.

Cambodia is in the grip of a land-grabbing crisis that has seen more than 2m hectares (5m acres) of land transferred mostly from subsistence farmers to agribusiness. A chilling Global Witness infographic shows it spreading.

Claire Melamed tries to make sense of the Post-2015 circus

Alex Evans lists the 5 types of people you find on high level panels (what a networker!)

This guy is either about to save the planet, or will turn out to be deluded and/or evil. Mike Cheiky of Cool Planet Energy Systems, describes a new generation of biofuels that allows you to use the food parts of food plants (like sorghum, corn) direct for food, then take the rest – 75% of the plant – as stems, stalks etc – and put it through a new-tech ‘biomass fractionator’ (Ooooh!)  to produce abundant fuel (gasoline). The residue (biochar) is long term sequestered carbon that can transform barren soils. Mike says he can solve global warming and get 100 million people out of poverty – and has the investors to back it (Google to start, then Conoco, BP, NRG, General Electric). Mike also has some of the best science-speak around (he should write scripts for Dr Who) – ‘’sub nano meter quantum wells’ anyone? No power and politics of course, this is a tech ubergeek after all. Do people know anything about this? [h/t John Magrath]