Parisians Share Electric Cars
Hot on the trail of Paris' bicycle sharing scheme comes Autolib, a car-sharing idea that the city claims is a world first. Owning your own car, says the transport authority, is just so passé.
What's the Latest Development?
Paris has begun testing an electric car-sharing program designed to decrease automobile ownership in the French capital. Called Bluecars, city officials envision 5,000 of the little electric vehicle to be shuttling citizens around Paris by 2013. "Private cars are expensive and people are using them less and less in cities," said Annick Lepetit, in charge of transport at city hall. "We're moving into another culture, the culture of car sharing. It's the same principle as [the city's bicycle sharing program]: you use the car, leave it and that's it. Simple."
What's the Big Idea?
While skeptical Parisians call the program a back-scratching scheme hatched by President Nicolas Sarkozy and his business friends, the official line—one which would perhaps be no less controversial in the U.S.—is that the program is meant to discourage private car ownership. Still, with over half the world's population already living in cities, and that number climbing, car ownership must be curbed if metropolitan areas are to resemble anything like pleasant living spaces. Will car-sharing catch on elsewhere just as Paris' bike-sharing program did?
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The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
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