I realize that the beautiful spot in Switzerland is where the supposed brightest and best gather for a few sessions, yet the gathered crowd appears to grow more incapable every year at solving the globe's biggest problems. Perhaps the reason is because those gathered are not only intelligent and connected, but are, in fact, incredibly wealthy -- remote and removed from the everyday problems faced by average citizens in both developing and developed nations. There seem to be no effective solutions for growing unemployment, the decline of democracy, the yawning gap between rich and poor, and a world financial system seemingly out of control.
I am in Davos at the World Economic Forum (WEF) where the top issues that world leaders must address are: unstable global economy, eurozone fragility; and financial system instability. Climate change only ranks as the 7th issue. To me, it's like a group of business leaders and "experts" on the sinking Titanic discussing the fragility of champagne sales. I am deeply concerned about the Alice-in-Wonderland perception of the environment's big picture.
In interviewed Huguette Labelle, former head of the Canadian International Development Agency in Davos last week about her thoughts on the world's number one issue: "Corruption kills," she says. "The World Bank estimates that the cost is $1.3 trillion a year. This is in the form of bribes, tax evasion, money laundering."