Linda and Carl will do a tag team opening presentation and they are both trying to get other people who know Brazil to attend.
This country gets almost no media attention because it’s not engulfed in war or easily-filmed catastrophe. But Brazil is rising. These days it rates its own acronym, BRIC. BRIC is shorthand for a group of nations — Brazil, Russia, India, and China — with growing power and influence. (You could add Mexico and a few others, too). Brazil has made huge strides in recent years in nurturing its democracy, encouraging economic growth, reducing its vulnerability to external economic shocks (a very big deal), and just generally modernizing.
Yet, they still have enormous problems down there. Among the obvious are vast poverty and inequality. [Update: And a racial divide — see here for quickie summary] Think the favelas/slums of Sao Paulo, a metro area of over 20 million people — five times larger than San Diego County. Also, huge looming environmental problems, especially Amazon deforestation, The Amazon has been called the “lungs of the world” for its ability to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere, and it has shrunk by 20% in the last 30 years. This affects us and the whole world. Crime remains high, etc.
- Article: “Will Success Spoil Brazil?”
- Article on President Lula: “Poster Child for Globalization Goes His Own Way”
- CIA World Fact Book entry on Brazil.
- U.S. State Department Backgrounder on Brazil. Note the brief sections on economy, politics, and U.S.-Brazilian relations.
- UPDATE: Paper on How to Save the Amazon.
Should be interesting, and let’s show up to support Linda and Carl.