"In that context we put a special focus on empowering girls and women, who bear the greatest brunt of poverty, but who are also our greatest hope for bringing long lasting prosperity to their families and communities. As the saying goes, if you educate a girl, you educate a nation."
Two nightmare scenarios -- a global scarcity of vital resources and the onset of extreme climate change -- are already beginning to converge and in the coming decades are likely to produce a tidal wave of unrest, rebellion, competition, and conflict.
Last time I checked, Earth is the only place we have to live, and what kind of future am I providing for my daughter if I am not cognizant of how my life, and the decisions of my government, effect our environment?
The basic equation of how much there is to go around is hard to avoid, and the inflationary bubble we've been living in during the age of abundant energy inputs (primarily through fossil fuels) is bound to burst.
Many countries blessed with natural resources have failed to convert those resources into tangible development. The sovereign wealth trust fund makes for sound revenue management and puts the interests of the people first.
We are now in the early stages of the first global revolution: It is a values revolution that is saying, instead of having money values rule over the life cycle, we must have life values rule over the money cycle.
Global growth will likely increase the demand for food, water, and energy by 35, 40, and 50 percent, respectively, by 2030. Add continued climate change to the equation, and the struggle for resources only becomes more intense.
If leaders do not have the courage to imagine the future, they won't play a part in shaping it. But if the future is so elusive, where do we start? First, ask what high-level trends tell us about where we might be headed.
Say that your country is blessed with natural resources. Oil, gas, minerals -- it has it all. New technologies are leading to even more discoveries. The future looks good. But deep down you worry that the bonanza could turn into a bust -- how do you know that's not going to happen?
A number of state constitutions explicitly gives legislators the responsibility for stewardship of natural resources for the benefit of future generations. Let's make a New Year's pledge to the future. Let's work towards wider adoption of this simple idea.
If the benefits of living in a city are diminished because the Internet brings access to the world to you, then why deal with the high real estate prices, traffic, crime, pollution and difficulty of living alongside millions of other people?
The Natural Resources Defense Council, a leading environmental group, predicts drivers will save an aggregate of $69 billion a year in fuel costs by 2030 because of new gas mileage standards in cars, or $1.7 trillion at the pump during the life of the program.
Our natural environment and the resource base for the world economy are inexorably linked. Therefore these two crucial parts must come together for the house to remain standing, as our species is now heading toward 8 billion by 2025.
The United States has moved from a strategy of appeasement toward one of detente. For long-time Indochina observers, the developing story is one full of irony, and a signal for a major shift in the long, if arduous, U.S.-Indochina relations.
I frequently make the argument that a more profitable economy is one based on sustainability principles: Minimal use of finite resources, minimal environmental impact during consumption and production, and maximum use of renewable and recycled resources.