Newsletter No. 33.

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As the world bade farewell (or ill) to Trump it welcomed Biden as the new POTUS. Two days later, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) came into force. There is no doubt that in popular perception Biden, with his prominent dentures, intends to present a more acceptable public face to American policy.

Much has been written on the subject of what the world should now expect. As far as foreign affairs and global conflicts go, little looks set to change. The TPNW will be ignored and its expansion actively hampered. The stakeholders in the US Military Industrial Complex still have a living to make and still own the US political system. Perhaps US domestic policy will become less overtly racist and, dependent on the extent of Republican resistance, more repressive.

The big policy change that all humanity should welcome looks to be in regard to the environment and climate change. To mark his intentions in this direction, among Biden’s first acts on assuming authority was to announce the USA was going to rejoin the Paris Agreement. At the same time he has set about repealing all of Trump’s multiple regulatory decisions made to delight his religious-right constituency by hastening the environmental Apocalypse.  As a further demonstration of intent, Biden, not lacking in chutzpah, told China to be more ambitious in its climate goal setting!  No matter superficial appearances,  the US/China, US/Russia confrontations will intensify and New Zealand will be expected to pull its weight.

Global Governance

Regime change Nicaragua has a left-wing government that last year, shock/horror, de-privatised the electricity grid.  The socialist Sandinista government has long faced unrelenting hostility from the USA. This is a Sandinista description of how the USA sets about destabilizing leftist leaning regimes in Latin America and replacing them with its ’freedom-loving’ compradors.  5 minute read – and then another 5 minutes (if you want more background.)

Social Media  The democratic implications of decisions on social media censorship being exercised by private USA plutocrats. 3 minute read

AI Regulation   A call for UN participation in the regulation of AI (Artificial Intelligence.) 3 minute read

Environment & Climate Change

Climate policy Australia’s no hope climate change policy. “It seems governments have been relying on hope for decades; the hope that someone else will fix the problem. The history of climate policy is a catalogue of missed opportunities. Now action cannot be avoided.” 4 minute read.

Deforestation  Australia’s environmental record is even worse than New Zealand. (this section in the next Newsletter will concentrate on NZ problems) 3 minute read.

Future vision Chinese support for an ecological civilization. 2 minute read.

Human Rights & Justice

Apartheid  Al Jazeera: freedom of speech in Israel’s Apartheid state. 2 minute read.

Terrorists Al Jazeera: A new weapon for the USA in the allied assault on the Houthi independence movement in Yemen. 3 minute read.

Statistics for all A novel look at the statistics for the global population. 3 minute read.

Peace & Conflict resolution.

Good thinking  Commentary on an article in ‘Foreign Policy’ proposal to proliferate nuclear weapons among the USA’s Asian allies in its struggle to contain China.  4 minute read.

ResolutionI have recently viewed ‘Soldiers without Guns’, a New Zealand documentary  about New Zealand’s extraordinarily successful conflict resolution in Bougainvillea’s civil war. This article is a recent report on developments following the outbreak of peace.  4 minute read.

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