Rio de Janeiro
Don’t believe it when you read that Oscar Niemeyer, the Brazilian architect who died this week only days before he would have turned 105, was the one who took the chill off modernist design with his flamboyantly curving, white thin-shell concrete buildings. That’s the sort of nonsense that gets peddled in obituaries and haigiographies, particularly when a charismatic charmer distorts the historical record to inflate his own contribution, takes credit for the innovations of others, and outlives—by decades!—his competitors.
In anticipation of this week’s Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, a group of 22 scientists from a variety of disciplines collaborated to complete a sobering—that is to say, terribly frightening—new study of the global ecosystem.
Not one, not two, but three different Olympic Games are in the news today. In California, a Sacramento group has announced a bid to bring the 2022 Winter Games to Lake Tahoe. Meanwhile, south of the equator, the government of Rio de Janeiro has launched an international contest to choose who will build its Olympic Park for the 2016 Summer Games. Most importantly, though, today is the final day for fans to purchase tickets to the 2012 Summer Games in London.
Newt Gingrich's recent interview with National Review is the most recent maker in the slowly disappearing line between the conservative mainstream and the paranoid fringe.
Last week at the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro, the Citistates Group unveiled what promises to be an engaging and provocative new online forum, Citiscope. Citiscope aims to be the “go to place to find the latest news and trends on fresh ideas, approaches, and ways to help the world’s cities work better for all their people.” Stories are written by a global network of locally-rooted journalists, with expert viewpoints and analyses accompanying each one. Users are free to comment, share stories, and submit their own ideas.
Analysts are still mulling over the Copenhagen accord, trying to figure out what it means for the fate of global climate politics. The humdrum answer is that it all depends—we'll have to see how individual nations tackle their CO2 emissions in the months and years ahead, and then watch how the next round of international talks shake out. But if it's specifics you want, check out Harvard economist Robert Stavin's analysis. First, a recap of the negotiations that led to the deal: From all reports, the talks were completely deadlocked when U.S.
There’s no doubt that the IOC’s decision last week marks a huge symbolic victory for Brazil, South America, and the rest of the developing world. But could the arrival of the 2016 Olympics do more harm than good for Rio de Janeiro’s poorest residents? It could depend, in part, on how the Brazilian government plans to beef up security in advance of the Games. Security crackdowns in Rio de Janeiro have often amounted to police raids on the sprawling shantytowns, home to a third of the city’s population, where drug traffickers have ensconced themselves.
SOMETIME AFTER THE release of An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, environmentalism crossed from political movement to cultural moment. Fortune 500 companies pledged to go carbon neutral. Seemingly every magazine in the country, including Sports Illustrated, released a special green issue. Paris dimmed the lights on the Eiffel Tower. Solar investments became hot, even for oil companies. Evangelical ministers preached the gospel of “creation care.” Even archconservative Newt Gingrich published a book demanding action on global warming. Green had moved beyond politics.