What Will It Take For Humanity To Listen To Scientists?

What will it take for humanity to listen to scientists?

That was the question a panel of Nobel Laureates asked at Hong Kong’s Asia Society Center on April 22nd as they urged quick global action on climate change.  “We can” make the transition to a low-carbon future, said Brian Schmidt (2011 Nobel for physics), “but I’m not sure we will.” Schmidt warned that humanity is “poised to do more damage to the Earth in the next 35 years than we have done in the last 1,000.”

The seminar kicked off the fourth Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability, organized by the Asia Society Hong Kong Center and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research.

Originally published in Forbes. Can be accessed here

HK ferris

Beat The Hong Kong Smog: Outdoor Air Purifier Doubles As Bus Stop

Hong Kong’s smog is one of the biggest downsides to what is one of the world’s most dynamic and visually stunning cities. Views of Victoria Peak and Hong Kong Harbour too often are obscured by a choking haze.

Expatriates grumble, and some have moved to Singapore, while locals who want a better life for their kids simply emigrate. There’s good reason: Air pollution kills some 3,000 people a year in Hong Kong.

Now comes a novel way of at least spotlighting the problem, if not fixing it. Property developer Sino Group has teamed up with engineering-and-urban design experts Arup to develop a roadside air purifier that offers some hope of relief.

Originally published in Forbes. Can be accessed here

hong kong air purifier

Review: City of Darkness Revisited by Greg Girard and Ian Lambot

Two decades after its destruction, the Kowloon Walled City has acquired an increasingly shiny gloss of respectability. Architects of the new urbanism celebrate its dense, human, organic development. The government’s dystopian view of the Walled City as a place of “notorious… drug divans, criminal hide-outs, vice dens and even cheap unlicensed dentists,” has given way to a vision of the Walled City in the collective imagination as the lost paradise, a sort of Atlantis, Xanadu and urban Shangri-La rolled into one.

Symbolizing this re-imagined city, and helping make the gloss even shinier, is a new and dramatically expanded twentieth-anniversary edition of City of Darkness. In its earlier editions, the book was smoothing of a cult classic. It was also a book that focused very much on the people of the City, trying to de-mystify and humanize this place of urban myth.

The new edition is big and bold, a colorful heavyweight book perfectly suited for gift-giving and coffee-table viewing by people who never would have gone to the City while it was real. But it is also a far more ambitious attempt to look at the underside of the city and at its larger global and urban-architectural dimensions.

This review was originally published in the Asian Review of Books. Can be accessed here

Wealthy and Healthy: Why Asia Needs Good Cities

It is the twenty-first century’s version of the Asian Dilemma: how do we provide places for the Asian half of the world’s population to live, to work, to play as economies boom and air, water and living space are ever-scarcer?

This essay was originally published in the Asian Review of Books. Can be accessed at www.asianreviewofbooks.com/?ID=1189

Can Hong Kong Teach London and New York About Financial Regulation?

The following is a review of Reluctant Regulators: How the West Created and China Survived the Global Financial Crisis, by Leo F. Goodstadt.

As the world struggles to recover from the wreckage of the 2008 financial meltdown the appetite for regulatory reform is waning. Leo Goodstadt (顧汝德) is determined to see that the importance of sound financial regulation is learned.

Continue reading

Asia No Innocent Victim

The following is a review of From Asian to Global Financial Crisis: An Asian Regulator’s View of Unfettered Finance in the 1990s and 2000s, by Andrew Sheng

This book is wide in its ambitions and troubling in its conclusions. With the global financial system at a once-in-a-generation inflection point, Andrew Sheng (沈聯濤), one of Asia’s most experienced and international financial regulators has drawn lessons from the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

Continue reading