How will the UK change when its people live to 100?

Recent reports suggest that half the children born in the UK today can expect to live to 100.

This will place different demands on our healthcare, social care and pension systems. But the full extent of the changes are unknown.

Will the UK remain a place where older people are valued or might they come to be viewed as a burden on society? Whatever the outcome, the socail fabric of the UK will change significantly in the coming decades as our population ages.

 

 

How does climate change cause migration?

Climate change, whether anthropogenic (man made), natural or both can accelerate processes such as desertification, coastal erosion and flooding. Here are some pictoral examples of where this is happening around the world:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/earthpulse/enviro-migration-gallery?source=email_photo_20090917

Mudslides in Uganda lead to planned mass migration: a natural or man made phenomenon?

In early March 2010, a series of landslides in the hilly Bududa region of Uganda caused devastation: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8545005.stm.

Whilst the landslides themselves were triggered by heavy rain, it is thought that the removal of vegetation by human activity, e.g, clearance for farming, has contributed to the vulnerability of the slopes. Some areas were descried as being like giant cemeteries after the mud swept through: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8549909.stm

The landslides were big enough to be seen on satellite images: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=43130

This radio report helps explain the grief people are experienceing: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/2010/03/100305_uganda.shtml

The government thinks that the area is too dangerous to live in and intends to resettle half a million people: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8556669.stm. It will remain to be seen whther this is a better response than trying to make the area less vulnerable to landslides in a country with a growing population and pressure on land.

Are Mexican migrant workers in the USA “superheroes”?

One project has attempted to change the way Americans look at their large Mexican migrant workforce. Often working in difficult conditions, in less popular and often poorly paid roles, they also send large amounts of money (known as remittances)back to their home countries. You can see the superheroes of New York here:

http://www.dulcepinzon.com/en_projects_superhero.htm

Is Dubai an “impossible place”?

Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has seen a massive boom in construction and investment since the 1990s. Many major projects have been built here, creating impressive landmarks, but there are some questions over whether Dubai is viable in the long term, as  there is limited oil money and much of the rest of the growth is funded by debt…..

The world’s tallest building is under construction in Dubai:

http://www.burjdubai.com/

Update from 2007:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6910536.stm

Update from 2009:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7798943.stm

In June 2008 there were plans for a rotating skyscraper:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7472722.stm

In November 2009, markets were rocked when Dubai revealed that it may not be able to service its debt:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8382103.stm

Could sewage bring a sticky end to Dubai’s miracle expansion?

The city state of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, has experienced incredibly rapid growth in past decades. The infrastructure of Dubai, including the sewage system must also be improved to cope with the increased demand on these services, but will it happen in time?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7663883.stm

What is a suitable age for retirement?

There have been ongoing arguments over whether people should be forced to retire and at what age. Many older people want the right to carry on working. The argument has become legal and recently the argument has swung in favour of the employes who want to keep working:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7629384.stm