Feb 10

China – from emerging power to full superpower

China’s twelfth 5 year plan, forecasts 2015 as the year China will have the world’s largest population, largest greenhouse emissions, largest army and potentially the world’s largest economy.  For three decades China’s economic formula has been – produce ultra cheap manufactured goods, export them globally and reinvest the proceeds back into the industrial sector to build more rail, ports, factories and skyscrapers. China has recently lent enormous sums to the west including $1.1 trillion to the American government.

Disaffected Chinese workers launched a wave of industrial action last year forcing large employers like Honda to grant pay rises of around 25%.  In March 2011  China’s environment minister Zhou Shengxian, said “the exhaustion of resources and the deterioration of the environment have become serious bottlenecks constraining economic and social development.”

By turning the current economic model on its head (Charlton A., The Monthly June 2011) China’s new plan seeks to dramatically lift wages in the manufacturing sector, shift ten of millions of workers to higher paid service industries and refocus the economy on supplying the domestic market. Continue reading

Jan 06

2012 another challenging year

It is time to reflect on the year gone and the year ahead.

We do live in a privileged society in Australia – it’s a beautiful country.

I am looking forward to the establishment of the new cultural precinct in Cairns and the redevelopment of Shed No. 2 next to the Cruise Liner Terminal and the ‘open space’ that has been earmarked for community.

This past festive season has been much about community – community in family, community in friends, community in thought, community period.

Cairns is about to change from a tourist town to a more sophisticated city.

Discoveries are happening as we speak in the health sector which augur well for innovation in pharmaceutical benefits derived from our regional ecology.

We are becoming more ‘green’ with the Tablelands new Agri-science hub set to become a leader in tropical science and training and JCU’s Bachelor of Sustainability drawing international students to the region.

JCU is also building the Cairns Institute – one of its research areas will be social inclusion, more on that in another blog, but all the activity is linked to sustainability and there is activity happening in Cairns and the region, slow though it is to move.

Lastly I am glad that Australia has stepped up to the mark with a carbon tax and now China…whatever China’s agenda, setting a carbon price signals environmental concerns.

China’s pricing carbon at $1.59 per tonne

A global economy based on consumerism was inevitably going to fail.  We need to concentrate on survival, water, food and sharing.

Happy New Year.

Dec 03

EBC-46

EBC-46 a new cancer drug derived from the rainforest blushwood tree is close to human trials. Worth billions if successful this new cancer drug has been developed by EcoBiotics, a Tableland based company in Far North Queensland.  The drug has been tested treating tumours in cats, dogs and horses, in some cases the cancerous tumours disappeared in five to seven days. Watch this space.  (Source: Tony Stickley tcp.newsltd.com.au.)

Oct 26

New website

At last working on new website,  with focus on social media/marketing.