Monday, February 19, 2007

And I thought it was Brazilians who held their nieces under such care

Free exchange is debating the World Economic Forum in Davos:

DAVOS is all about blithe generalisations, even down to its motto: “committed to improving the state of the world”. As if there were a rival meeting committed to worsening the state of the world.

But sometimes generalisations are useful, especially when you are dealing with something as enormous as that Davos perennial, globalisation.

This year there is a weird imbalance here between thinkers and doers.

Usually you can count on a healthy tension between the dreamy thinkers (for these purposes, anyone who writes or talks for a living, such as economists, journalists and most politicians) and the pragmatic doers (in Davos, business people).

The former come up with wild theories and grand plans. The latter say it will never work in practice.

But now, not least in Davos, it is the eggheads who are fretting and the men in Brioni suits who are looking on the bright side.

In the dinners and the discussions, the journalists and economists and politicians raise all the questions about inequality between winners and losers, deplore the absence of political leadership and compare this age of globalisation gloomily with the one that collapsed with the first world war.

The business people reply, by and large: “Come off it”.

It is not that they are being complacent, the business people say. Far from it. They are realists. They see things from the ground up. They see progress in each shampoo bottle bought in eastern Europe, in improvements to Africa's health care, in the broadening of choice everywhere.

The dividing line between glum thinkers and brisk doers runs deepest through Russia, and through the part of Russia which has come this year to Davos. After keeping a low profile for a couple of years here the Russians are back. No party is complete without several deep-voiced men in dark suits and black turtle-neck jerseys, accompanied surprisingly often by a doting niece (or two).

And I'm thinking that it was the Brazilians who held their nieces under such care.

Anyway, the discussion obviously somehow went towards global warming. And what really makes your day is to find such an enlightened piece in the comments:

Global warming? I'm sure the Lord intended for every glacier to eventually reach the end of it's run. But when I see people like Al Gore, (who invented glaciers by the way,) using pictures of MT. Kiliminjaor taken in the peak of the summer heat, and then compare it to a photo taken in the dead of winter and claim the earth is warming so much it has melted the snow there.......It makes me wonder.....if the Earth is heating up so rapidly where are all the studies showing a co-equal expansion of the Worlds deserts? They exist to reflect, and radiate the Earth's heat back into space after all. Man will never be able by any means economicaly, sociopoliticaly, or industrially manipulative to acheive controling dominion over God's creation. We simply cannot usurp God's function, or confound his purpose for this world. If Satan cannot do it, we definitly never will. Face it, we live in a fallen creation. The sooner we start to deal with our lives from that perspective, the sooner the Lord will be able to actually use us effectually to initiate positive cahnge according to his will.
It has already been written.
Posted by yiddishlion at February 10, 2007 10:15 PM

H.G. Wells wrote nearly 50 years ago that "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." It's very hard to know who's winning; there are a host of potential catastrophes looming, most of which were pointed out in LTG's scenarios. Yet, the explosion of the internet in all its new forms just might put education a step ahead in the race.

I wonder whether the yiddishlions out there wouldn't be better off taking care of their nieces.