Weekend Roundup: Work With Nature, Not Against It


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

Since Earth Day, which will be marked on April 22, was first commemorated 45 years ago, we have learned a lot about the planet’s ecology. Above all, we have begun to understand the biological intelligence of nature itself that, for millennia, has managed to continually regenerate and stabilize that narrow band of a livable climate that has enabled our species and others to thrive.

Working with nature, not against it, to combat climate change is the message of the Leo DiCaprio-narrated short video documentary, “Restoration,” we publish this week. As senior Chinese diplomat Wu Jianmin writes from Beijing, we are also learning to work together as nations through geo-environmental cooperation, as exemplified by the recent U.S.-China agreement to jointly reduce carbon gases.

Such cooperation, though, is not yet in the cards for India, writes Chaitanya Kumar, who scores the contradiction between Prime Minister Modi’s high rhetoric but official inaction on climate change.

Our Singularity University series this week asks what might happen as the advance of technology enables humans to “rewrite nature.” Princeton’s Charles Rubin says it is high time to move beyond ethical qualms about artificial intelligence and set real standards. “Without ethical standards,” he writes, “there is no progress — only change.” Fusion examines whether human and machine intelligence are indistinguishable.

This week European Commission officials filed a landmark complaint against Google for what they regard as the monopolistic abuse of its search engine for shopping sites. Wharton School Professor Eric Clemons declares “it’s about time” Google was brought to heel. In an interview, Noam Chomsky tells Seung-yoon Lee that “I don’t look at Twitter because it doesn’t tell me anything.”

As Greece runs out of money and its European partners are unrelenting on debt relief, Theodoros Arapis expects the Greek reforms will fail. Writing from Berlin, Hertie School of Governance Professor Mark Dawson, referring to recent riots against austerity policies, asks why Europeans are trying to burn down their Central Bank. Writing from Paris, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy calls the familial feud within the National Front a “pathetic farce” since nothing in its far-right and racist character has changed. Lee Daniel Kravetz reflects on the memory of the German novelist and activist, Gunter Grass, who died this week. Aurélie Ponthieu of Médecins Sans Frontières writes that countries around the Mediterranean must urgently ramp up their joint rescue efforts as the humanitarian crisis of migrants drowning at sea escalates.

Writing from Jerusalem, Stefan Ihrig argues that denial of the Armenian genocide brutalizes the world.

Ilaria Parogni takes the West to task for driving a dangerous wedge between it and Russia by embracing the misplaced narrative of aggression against Crimea. Associate World Editor Charlotte Alfred reviews the five most bizarre moments of Vladimir Putin’s recent marathon call-in program.

Writing from Moscow, Georgy Bovt argues that Ukraine’s historical identity is so tied to Russia that a return to its past can only be empty.

The Lausanne agreement on Iran’s nuclear program continued to twist in the wind this week as the U.S. Congress — which Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed as irrelevant — passed legislation that required its approval to lift sanctions. To navigate the complex political and technical contours of this issue, The WorldPost this week publishes the definitive guide, “Decoding the Iran Nuclear Deal,” prepared by scholars from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard.

As the U.S. presidential campaign gets underway with Hillary Clinton’s announcement of her candidacy, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich calls on her to take power “out of the hands of those with great wealth and put it back into the hands of average working people.” In this week’s “Forgotten Fact,” in light of Clinton’s announcement, we look at when the rest of the world elected their first female leaders.

Analyzing the huge demonstrations against corruption and impunity that have recently rocked Brazil, Ricardo Sennes calls on President Dilma Rousseff to do what “she least enjoys: build consensus and mediate in order to solidify a ruling coalition.” In a photo essay, we document the thousands of South Africans who marched against a recent wave of xenophobic attacks against immigrants.

In an exclusive investigation, the Huffington Post and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists expose how World Bank projects around the world have displaced local populations, leaving “a trail of misery.”

Associate World Editors Nick Robins-Early and Charlotte Alfred ask what has happened to #BringBackOurGirls a year later.

As chaos continues to rock Yemen, The WorldPost talks to analyst Dr. April Longley Alley to find out what’s really behind the war. Renowned Islamic scholar Akbar Ahmed reflects on the history of the tolerant Muslim civilization of Andalusia as a way to remind non-Muslims and Muslims alike that peaceful coexistence is possible today as well.

Writing from Hong Kong, Chandran Nair says that the West has much to learn from the rising rest and need not be in conflict with the emerging economies. Nobel Laureate Joe Stiglitz slams U.S. authorities for not welcoming the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Noted scholar Zheng Yongnian writes from Singapore that while China needs a strong leader like Xi Jinping to get things done, it also needs a Singapore-style independent judiciary and rule of law. Writing from Beijing, Zhao Qizheng promotes China’s ancient concept of “he” — or non-confrontation and reconciliation — as its most important contribution to the world.

Thubten Samphel looks at the Dalai Lama’s long history with the Chinese authorities and the “open secret” of a Buddhist following among China’s “super-rich communists.” WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan reports this week from Suzhou about cutting edge technology that enables the 3-D manufacturing of affordable housing. He also tells the touching story of how local police departments in the U.S. and China exchange sympathies with officers suffering from cancer.

Finally, we begin a new photo essay series, “The Other Entrepreneurs,” on everyday small businesses around the world, starting this week with Raymond Lun’s fashion shop in Hong Kong. In two other photo posts this week we capture Tanzania’s breathtaking landscapes and meet a Bangladeshi photographer on a quest to capture the world’s stories.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is the National Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s editorial coverage. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s Senior World Editor. Charlotte Alfred and Nick Robins-Early are Associate World Editors.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.