World Issues / Global politics

World Issues not limited to PCT that may have an indirect connection.

Bush's proposals for global meeting on climate change counter-productive

A Reuters article distributed by CNet talks about how Bush opposes the "cap and trade" system that would internalize carbon into a free market economy. Instead he supports cuts in tariff barriers to encourage sharing environmental technology.

This would be a joke if it were not so dangerously serious an issue. US companies have many patents on environmental technologies, with a reduction of tarrifs being counter-productive compared to the better option of compulsory licensing of these patents.

WTO Ruling: The U.S. Lost Again. What are the best remedies?

An article by Hartley Henderson for Majar Wagar talks about yet another case where the US has lost a WTO case, but seems likely to ignore the ruling. Fortunately there is discussion of what to do as a punishment against the USA, something that the Canadian government didn't seem to want to follow through with.

Please sign the Climate Crisis wake-up call for world leaders!

Not sure how many people read my personal BLOG rather than the site headlines. This is off-topic for the site, but the climate change crisis is something that is important to me personally. There is an Online Petition hosted by to send a message to all our leaders. They will be presenting this petition to the chair of this meeting, German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel at 4pm on Thursday 15 March in Potsdam.

Climate change is happening and we need to take urgent action now.The leaders of the world's most polluting countries will be meeting in Germany this June. The priorities for this summit are being decided right now.

World Voices Choir CD release: Ubuntu

(republished on p2pnet)
Friday evening I attended the CD release of Ubuntu from the World Voices Choir from Brookfield High School. While I was there as I had heard them before, and because my wife teaches at Brookfield, the choice of the name made the evening extra special.

Kyoto, Climate Change Deniers, motions, Bill C-288

I have been participating in Kyoto and environmental related conversations on Nik Nanos website, specifically under the topic Environment as an Issue - Is it over-hyped?.

This issue is very important to me. I'm also finding my tolerance for climate change science deniers (Note the negative connotation of the word -- like holocaust deniers) is at a minimum. While I believe there is a time for academic discussion, those opposed to action seem to be doing it based on such entirely bogus ideas (One University student confused by simple mathematics about average temperature). I'm all for discussing this issue with people who don't think Kyoto goes far enough, but no time for those who deny the science.

The Canadian political parties have spoken on climate change

While there has been considerable finger-pointing about the past from all parties about Kyoto, a vote last night has clearly stated the current position of each of the parties. There is really no more need for debate about what parties will help do Canada's share in ensuring a future for our planet and our children, and which will not.

Outrageous Behavior by The Gates Foundation

There is a growing number of articles, including this BLOG article by Allison Fine, that are frustrated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

A new approach to pharmaceutical innovations

I am always amazed by the people who read this BLOG. I have received phone calls from people like David Basskin, president of CMRRA, with thoughts on postings to this BLOG. Today I received an email from Professor Thomas Pogge at Columbia University Political Science Department, possibly in reply to a recent comment about the World Health Organization (WHO) and the USA's tunnel-vision views on patents.

He sent me links to an article in Australia's ON LINE Opinion, as well as an article authored by the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) that was published by the WHO as part of ongoing public hearings (PDF). These articles discuss an alternative to patents (which he simply called patent-2) to provide incentives for pharmaceutical innovators. The incentive model sounds like something right out of the FLOSS world: you provide for fixed one-time payments, and allow the marginal licensing costs to be zero. In this case the fixed payment would come out of public funds, in proportion to the health impact of their invention. Like FLOSS you are not speculatively innovating for some unknown royalty reward, but for a known and far easier to collect fixed payment.

Perspective: Ignoring an inconvenient truth

An article by Charles Cooper in CNet is a bit off-topic for this BLOG, but I thought it was very telling of a shift in politics. Charles Cooper is CNET's executive editor of commentary, and stated he feels "compelled to devote the final column of the year to the lunacy that's clouding our collective future as a species", which is global climate change.

While I strongly disagree with what came out of Al Gore's National Information Infrastructure Task force that gave us the backward-facing 1996 WIPO treaties and the USA DMCA, I agree with him on the importance of climate change. I am happy with how much environmental issues seem to be on the minds of Canadians, with this being a major factor in federal politics in recent months.

United States attacking pragmatic World Health Organization policy work.

An IP-Watch article by Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen includes:

The United States has busily negotiated bilateral free trade agreements with a variety of developing countries in recent years, and now appears to be using these to influence those countries’ positions in multilateral bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO).

I find it frustrating that the US is concerned that WHO work "could potentially harm the patent system", but has absolutely no concern that the current patent system could have (and many say already has) a harmful effect on health. I think someone's priorities are completely backwards!

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