Earth Policy Institute : Still Searching for a Meaningful Holiday Gift?

Consider a gift of hope . . .

a new book by Lester R. Brown

There is a mounting tide of public concern about where the world is
heading and a growing sense that we need to change course. The high prices
of gasoline and home heating oil and growing competition for the world's
dwindling oil resources are feeding this concern.

So, too, are the various manifestations of climate change, such as ice
melting, rising sea level, and more destructive storms. When Hurricane

Not enough done for physically disabled in Taiwan

Welfare groups urge more help for disabled people:

Hsieh Dong-ru (謝東儒) the Secretary-General of the League of Welfare Organizations, said "What we have cared most about is which cities and counties have made the most effort to get rid of obstacles for the physically disabled."

He also said that cases such as Yen Hsu-nan (顏旭男) showed that the nation needs to do much more for the disabled. Yen suffered from a genetic disorder in which the bones break easily. Yen died earlier this year from injuries sustained after a student who was carrying him on his back accidentally slipped and fell.

Urban design and transportation: Seoul, an example for Taiwan.

Seoul's way sets a good development precedent: Seoul destroyed a highway in order to free a river flowing through the city. In taiwan, however, "incessant construction is seen as the only indicator of political achievement".

Taiwan is [by comparison to Seoul] backward in its approach to transportation. One example of this is the Huanhe Road project that is to follow the course of the Xindian River in Taipei County. Despite years of public opposition, both Taipei County and the Ministry of the Interior's Construction and Planning Agency are still hoping to build the elevated expressway.

About the personalization and the externalization of evil.

Remember those claims that the only obstacle between Irak and Peace and Democracy was Saddham Hussein?
Do you still believe this?

Here's another myth: Yasser Arafat as troublemaker.

Clinton underwrote then Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak's portrayal of Arafat as a terrorist and an obstacle to peace in order that Barak could be re-elected. The myth instead gave rise to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, as the Israeli public felt only a Sharon could deal with that mythical monster Arafat. (...)

Violence is sometimes caused by our failure to listen...

Using the recent riots in France as an example, Gary Younge writes in the Guardian that Riots are a class act and sometimes the only alternative. In fact, it seems that the ends justifies the means and that some form of violence is ok as long as the end result is what was wanted all along:

By the end of last week it looked as though the fortnight of struggle between minority French youth and the police might actually have yielded some progress. Condemning the rioters is easy. They shot at the police, killed an innocent man, trashed businesses, rammed a car into a retirement home and torched countless cars (...).

Children helping children (Children's Rights)

Here is one little peace of good news: the 2005 World Children's Rights Summit was held in Taipei, Taiwan, with 89 children attending:

"Last year the topic was environmental protection, but this year the summit focuses on poverty, war and child abuse," Verall said. "To me, the most important children's right is a sense of security -- that children can feel and be safe wherever they go."

So much must be done before we can offer our children a true sense of security...

Ignoring suffering for a few more eggs

Sadly, this could be the continuation on a theme started yesterday (Ignoring suffering for a few gold coins).

The article linked below is about factory chicken farming and its effects on the chickens themselves, the environment and of course on the human who eat their eggs and their meat:

It isn't called "factory farming" merely because those sheds look like factories. Everything about the production method is geared towards turning live animals into machines for converting grain into meat or eggs at the lowest possible cost.

Ignoring suffering for a few gold coins

Lenin once said that capitalists were so cynical that they would sell the Soviets the rope with which they would hang them. Lenin and communism have passed away, but that cynical indifference to suffering when profits are involved remains.

So does the article start, that carries on blaming Europe business and political leaders for their hypocrisy in treating Belarus despot Lukashenka as a favored business partner while the EU Parliament denounces him as being Europe's last dictator.

Two (very) young men to inspire us all

Martin Halstead is a 19 years old British boy.
Michael Sessions is 18 and hails from Michigan, USA.

Both appeared in two very different stories in today's newspaper. Their achievements are different, but they both could claim the ability to inspire us.

Martin is just starting his own airline company, using money he's made selling his computer software business he'd started a few years earlier (at age 15!).

Michael just got elected mayor of his home town of Hillsdale, Michigan. He promissed to revive the local economy.

Cooperation among like minded web sites

This site aims to work in cooperation with scores of like-minded other sites.

Many web sites that have been existing for a long time are a great source of information on topics much more narrowly defined that at Wechange. Just to give two examples:

  • in very informative on the field of better urban design and backed by a small but active community.
  • presents in a compelling way both scientific and spiritual arguments for a healthier type of sexuality.