IDSB01 - Lecture 1

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31 Mar 2011
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IDSB01 Lec 1
Worlds Biggest Challenges (Discussion)
-Global Warming and other environment problems (totally new, all the other ones in this list have always
existed somehow)
oEvidence is overwhelming that we are undergoing global warming
oPossible that human activity had to do with it (presumption), but even if not then its still a concern
-Wealth (Income) Distribution / Inequality
oIf we compare the top 10% of the worlds population (top decile) and compare them to the bottom
decile (approx. 50 million people). You can assume people in the top decile to be focused in
Japan, US, Europe etc and a scattering of people otherwise.
oThe ratio of people in the top decile to the bottom decile is about 65 or 70:1.
oHuge difference that its obviously true; the kind of extra money people in the top decile have are
used to relatively useless things (i.e. 5th car, 3rd yacht) as opposed to benefitting people in the
bottom decile.
oTake net disposable income difference in Canada between top and bottom decile: 7:1 (moderate,
not as bad as Africa but not as good/utilitarian as Sweden)
-Human Rights Problems (Wrongs)
oMuch more severe in some countries than others
oIssue comes into this course is that human rights are causally related to economic situations
-Challenge of Change in Distribution of World Power [New World Order” (too general)]
oNeed a New World Order (political sense) in light of ongoing changes
i.e. block American invasion of Iraq
-Population Growth
oThreat of overshooting Earths capacity in terms of inhabitation
oHistorically (in last 200 years), people started to say population is growing too fast. Malthus:
population is outrunning the resources we have (classical economists)
oMilitary leaders in South America like population growth (dont want shortage of soldiers)
o20th century saw the highest growth of population EVER. 6.5 billion people now, 100 years ago =
1 billion. As population accelerated to its peak around middle of last century, it was about 4% a
year in Africa, 3% in Latin America and generally high in developed world. New concern of not
just national population, this is WORLD population.
oRising inbalance in population vs resources
oLast 50 years show major fall in population growth. Current (Canadian) birth rates dont even
cover to replace current population. China had a one-child policy which slowed down population
oNature has changed because population growth has slowed but now in 2nd wave of concern. 1st
wave of concern is whether or not there is enough food production; 2nd wave of concern is
whether or not food production is adequate, its high levels of consumption (India, China,
Indonesia) by massive populations. Its because more and more of people around the world are
now having access to a very high standard of living which is very intensive in energy use,
pollution, etc
-Energy Crisis (related to Global Warming)
-Health Challenges
oIncomplete health system, lack of knowledge
oMany old diseases (some making a comeback such as malaria) revamping itself, AIDS, etc.
oReaction to epidemic crisis handing epidemics
oMatters alot to economic growth
oAffects ones standard of living direction (if you cant read, not really a part of life)
What happened in the 20 th
-2 world wars
oRussia lost 10s of millions
Accidental and unnecessary
States of people tried to correct and prevent happening again
Some condition of that pact actually fed the cause of WWII
Allies mistake by Keynes Allies imposed reparation on Germans. Because they
lost, they had to pay so much to Allies that it created an economy that was
struggling, kept people in poverty, created opportunity of Hitler.
Increased technology, more devastating
- Many near wars (Cold War)
-Great Depression
MEH SIDE (Ambiguous?):
-Demise of Communism and related ideology
-Technological advances
oCommunication / medical advances
Average life expectancy of world = 70 (used to be about 30 100 years ago)
Average life expectancy of Canada = 80
Average life expectancy of people in undeveloped countries = 40 (tends to be in AIDS