enarhyazzh-CNzh-TWcsdanlettlfifrkadeelhihuisiditjakolvmsnofaplptruskslessvthtrukviyi

.........-----

translate arrow

search image top2

freightHub2020 BannerSMALL

 

freightHub2020 BannerSMALL

 

Swiss: we'll continue to cover global destinations
Swiss WorldCargo will continue to fly to different...

Read more

PayCargo launches corona credit facility
PayCargo Capital, a sister company of online payme...

Read more

Cargo demand driving return of Delta PAX service
Demand for air cargo is driving the return of Delt...

Read more

FedEx releases citizenship report
FedEx has released its 2020 Global Citizenship Rep...

Read more

Emirates SkyCargo now reaching 75 destinations weekly
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly schedule...

Read more

IMO endorses crew change strategy
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has endorsed a se...

Read more

Qatar ups frequency on cargo-only Scandi services
Qatar Airways Cargo has introduced additional flig...

Read more

Swiss: we'll continue to cover global destinations
PayCargo launches corona credit facility
Cargo demand driving return of Delta PAX service...
FedEx releases citizenship report
Qatar introduces Vietnam-France airbridge to aid in corona...
Emirates SkyCargo now reaching 75 destinations weekly ...
IMO endorses crew change strategy
Qatar ups frequency on cargo-only Scandi services
Emirates using overhead bins and seats as additional...

 

 

United Cargo

 

Swiss World Cargo

 

Turkish Cargo

 

 

AA Cargo

 

PLA

 

Latest News

UK Chamber of Shipping Logo
25 May, 2020

UK Chamber unveils new 5yr plan

in News
The UK Chamber of Shipping has unveiled its new five-year Strategic Plan, outlining the…
CN Railway
25 May, 2020

CN launches Moncton-Halifax intermodal route

in News
CN has announced that, in collaboration with the Halifax Port Authority, stakeholders,…
RZD Logo
25 May, 2020

RZD testing Zabaikalsk route

in News
RZD Logistics is testing transit of sanctioned goods from Europe through Russia to China…
CSafe RKN forklift
22 May, 2020

CSafe gets track and trace up and running

in News
CSafe Global has become the first cold chain packaging provider to successfully implement…
LATAM Cargo
22 May, 2020

LATAM makes modifications to mitigate Covid impact

in News
LATAM Cargo Group has made a series of modifications to its itinerary and operation to…
Abu Dhabi Workshop
22 May, 2020

Abu Dhabi hosts virtual Covid-19 workshop

in News
Abu Dhabi Ports held a virtual roundtable workshop with port operators from across the…
Astral Africa
21 May, 2020

Astral announces upturn in Africa network

in News
Astral Aviation has announced an increase in its intra-African network with cargo…
cargo partner HighTechLogistics coypright cargo partner 202
21 May, 2020

Cargo-partner launches high-tech dept. at Vienna

in News
Cargo-partner has launched a dedicated department for high tech logistics at its…
Abu Dhabi Ship2Shore
20 May, 2020

Abu Dhabi takes delivery of STS cranes

in News
Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) has taken delivery of its latest batch of Ship to Shore (STS)…

Typhoon Haiyan, Indonesian forest fires, Rana Plaza - 2013 has not been good for Asia. Unless the growth-at-any price economic model is challenged we can expect more of the same.

Now is typically the season for looking back on the year's events and reflecting on what they have taught us. A good starting point is an image, posted online in May, which provides a valuable lesson. It drew a circle centered on Hong Kong with a radius of roughly 2,500 miles (or about a four or five hour flight). Within this circle is the majority of the world's population.

population circle2013 was not a good year for the people inside this circle. They suffered through the Indonesian forest fires in June and July, the result of slash-and burn logging that destroyed vast swathes of Indonesia's tropical rainforest. These blanketed southeast Asia in the worst haze it experienced in 16 years and reduced visibility in ultra-modern Singapore to under 100 metres.

More recently, Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm ever to make landfall in recorded history, destroyed entire villages and towns and killed over 5,000 people in the Philippines alone, making it the deadliest typhoon in that nation's history.

Both of these events look like acts of nature – tragic but unpreventable. And yet they are part of a larger string of events that are in one way or another, the result of actions and decisions made by man.

Take the forest fires in Indonesia. Forest fires are nothing new, but the fires that have contributed to Indonesia losing 20 percent of its forest cover over the past two decades have little in common with the blazes in California and Australia that so often make the headlines. These fires are the product of clearance methods used by palm oil and logging companies to keep costs low and output high. Many commentators have pointed this out yet almost none have gone one step further to identify the root cause of the problem – our relentless desire globally for ever increasing quantities of cheap goods.

palm oil seals forests' fate

Palm oil – which is used to produce everything from biscuits to cooking oil to shampoo to bio-fuel and is a key ingredient in the fast food explosion – is the product that much of the forests have been cleared to produce. This, combined with the massive international demand for hardwoods, sealed the fate of the forests.

The necessity of keeping costs low requires that most important steps involved in producing goods are simply not included in their final cost. With palm oil, that includes the rapid depletion in soil quality where oil palms are planted, the acres of forest cleared to make room for them and the resulting loss in bio-diversity, and the effluent generated by processing plants that has polluted far too many rivers. Were any of these costs reflected in the final price, palm oil would be many times more expensive than it is and so would our groceries – but far fewer forests would be lost.

Raj Patel's famous example is of the $200 hamburger (£122), which takes into account the fifty-five square feet of cleared rainforest and 2,393 liters of water it can take to produce. A $200 hamburger may not sound great, but the result of under-pricing resources is that we consume vastly more than is or even good for us.

It is impossible, of course, to say with any certainty that climate change was the direct cause of any particular storm. But the fact remains that Typhoon Haiyan came the same year that CO2 levels reached 400ppm, their highest point in at least two and a half million years and possibly far longer.

A closer look reveals that the very same under-pricing and consumption habits that create incentives to clear forests and grow ever more palm oil have also warmed the planet's oceans, which, as scientists have long known, intensifies the severity of phenomenon such as typhoons. This conclusion has unfortunately been borne out time and again in countries such as the Philippines, which was hit by nearly twice as many storms this decade as it was only twenty years ago.

work was cheap

Another event that made headlines this year was the tragic collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, which killed more than 1,000 people. This too is part of the same economic logic of keeping production costs low to promote consumption. Resources are not the only thing that can be underpriced; labor is as well. The 5,000 people who worked in the building were there because their work was cheap. The textile industry is notorious for its willingness to ignore any concerns about safety, health and labor rights in search of the lowest prices but this kind of predatory behavior is a product of consumers worldwide demanding ever cheaper clothes.

Even cotton, the industry's material of choice, is often called the "world's dirtiest crop" because of the sheer volume of insecticides used in its cultivation. Despite covering only 2.5% of the world's cultivated land, cotton used a staggering 16% of its insecticides. Not only do these chemicals damage the environment; they harm the health of the often untrained and unprotected farmers who use them. None of this is paid for by the consumers of the endless supply of cheap clothing.

The model of growth through relentless consumption, which thrives on under-pricing and which has caused much of this damage, has become part of the accepted orthodoxy amongst politicians, business leaders and economists. In part, it's because of an unwillingness to confront hard truths but also because of the influence of vested interests who shape the rules to suit themselves. The more dramatic consequences of this sad reality have been all too apparent this year, but there are other equally important changes happening just out of sight.

There are no easy fixes to these problems as we have been heading in the wrong direction for too long for that to be the case. But Asian governments must step up and recognise that a growth-at-any-cost model that served the world well in the 20th century is no longer applicable and that it is far past time to stop aping western lifestyles. If the people inside the circle don't take action, it won't much matter what the people outside it do.

Chandran Nair is founder and CEO of the Global Institute for Tomorrow. He is the author of Consumptionomics: Asia's Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet.

OUTNOW

Corporate News

freightHub2020 BannerSMALL

digital-magtwitter-fw1utube-fw2loinked-fw3

- powered by Quickchilli.com -