China

Urumqi: World’s Remotest Large City (The Evolving Urban Form)

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Urumqi (alternate spelling “Wulumuqi”) is the most remote large city in the world from a seacoast. Urumqi is approximately 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) from the Bay of Bengal, in the Indian Ocean, just south of Dhaka, Bangladesh (Image 1). It is farther from Beijing, China’s national capital than to India’s national capital, Delhi.  read more »

Across the Gobi Desert by Train

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In recent years, China has substantially increased the size of its railway system and has overtaken long-standing leader India in total passenger travel. As a result, it has become far more convenient to travel longer distances by train.  read more »

Watch Out! Here Come the ‘Woke’ Tech Oligarchs

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Once the rich protected themselves by aligning with Republicans who would protect their property from high taxes and their firms from regulation.

Some still do—notably the Koch brothers—but this breed of right-winger is gradually losing out to more progressive tilted plutocrats.  read more »

Lessons from the Oakland/San Francisco Dismissal

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Federal District Court Judge William Alsup dismissed the "global warming" lawsuits of the cities of Oakland and San Francisco against large oil and gas companies, In so doing, the Judge provided important lessons in history, logic and public policy.  read more »

Is This the End For the Neoliberal World Order?

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Whatever his grievous shortcomings, President Trump has succeeded in one thing: smashing the once imposing edifice of neoliberalism. His presidency rejects the neoliberal globalist perspective on trade, immigration and foreign relations, including a penchant for military intervention, that has dominated both parties’ political establishments for well over two decades.  read more »

Trump in China and the Limits of Authoritarianism

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As President Trump visits China, the contrast between the president — at war with the national media, the corporate establishment, almost all of academia and even his own party — and the sure-handed Xi Jinping seems almost unbearable. Xi has consolidated power to an extent not seen since Mao’s time, while directing a global expansion of Chinese power, notably in central and south Asia as well as Africa.  read more »

Subjects:

Is America Now Second-Rate?

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President Donald Trump’s recent renunciation of the Paris climate change accords has spurred “the international community” to pronounce America’s sudden exit from global leadership. Now you read in the media aspirations to look instead to Europe, Canada, or even China, to dominate the world. Some American intellectuals, viewing Trump, even wish we had lost our struggle for independence.  read more »

The 37 Megacities and Largest Cities: Demographia World Urban Areas: 2017

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Many of the world’s biggest cities are getting bigger still. In 2017, the number of megacities --- urban areas with better than ten million people ---   increased to 37 in 2017, as the Chennai urban area entered their ranks. Chennai becomes India’s fourth megacity, along with Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkota. These are among the major findings in the just released 13th annual edition of Demographia World Urban Areas, which provides population, land area and population density estimates for the 1,040 identified built-up urban areas (cities) in the world.  read more »

The End of the Asian Era

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For the past 40 years, the Pacific Rim has been, if you will, California’s trump card. But now, in the age of President Donald Trump and decelerating globalization, the Asian ascendency may be changing in ways that could be beneficial to our state.  read more »

California: The Republic of Climate

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To some progressives, California’s huge endorsement for the losing side for president reflects our state’s moral superiority. Some even embrace the notion that California should secede so that we don’t have to associate with the “deplorables” who tilted less enlightened places to President-elect Donald Trump. One can imagine our political leaders even inviting President Barack Obama, who reportedly now plans to move to our state, to serve as the California Republic’s first chief executive.  read more »