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Read on to know what subscribers to The Whistle are enjoying in September 2021 at The Whistle Library, when we are looking at the unravelling in Afghanistan, the demographic changes in the US decennial census, the latest IPCC Climate Change Report, the way Asia is struggling to deal with the Delta variant, reviews of books on economic debates, a celebration of New York city by well-known writers, and reviews of the latest classical music albums.
An Autumn of Disquiet
Hello subscribers and welcome back to The Whistle Library. If you’ve been holidaying this summer, you’re back just in time to catch up with a world that is both changing rapidly on the ground and staying suspended in time.
I am referring to the sudden collapse in Afghanistan, the extreme climate events around us, and the pandemic that still won’t go away. In the middle of all this, we have the hybrid world of work that everyone seems to be talking about as well as changing demographics to deal with.
Let’s begin with the fast-unravelling situation in Afghanistan, where India has been investing heavily in infrastructure for the past couple of decades. The International Institute of Strategic Studies brings us the views of all the regional players in the Afghan problem and how each is likely to respond to the new Taliban regime. While the West has largely capitulated and G7 countries met virtually to discuss the Afghan situation, it is good to know how countries in the region – with skin in the game – view the implications.
Next, we have an article from Brookings Institution on the changing demographics that are beginning to reveal themselves in the latest US decennial census just conducted. It was always anticipated that the US population would include more people of colour, but just how that is panning out is interesting to read about.
The UN has just released the latest IPCC Report on Climate Change and it contains dire warnings to policymakers around the world to urgently take action or face the consequences. The number of wildfires raging around the world from California to the Mediterranean and Siberia and other extreme weather events should be warning enough to alert all of us.
On the Covid pandemic, it would be interesting to know how south-east Asia which was praised for its handling of the pandemic last year is struggling to cope with the Delta variant this year. I have an article for you from The Atlantic that sheds some light on this.
The pandemic has also brought the focus back on free markets and whether government intervention is required. In this article from The New York Times, economist Paul Krugman reviews a book by Nicholas Wapshott, Samuelson Friedman, which examines the theories and debates between Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman over decades. I have not read Wapshott’s books, but Krugman informs us that he also wrote a book about a similar debate between Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes. It reminded me of a blog post I wrote just last year, Hayek vs Keynes in a Pandemic Struck World which I hope you would have read.
The New Yorker talks with Atul Gawande on the resurgence of Covid in the US, including about the new variants in this podcast.
To lighten the mood just a little, I have for you an article also from The New Yorker, that is a collection of the writings of many well-known writers about Manhattan that have appeared in the magazine over many years.
In music, I wonder if any of you managed to watch any of the summer streaming concerts that I shared with you last month. This time, I have for you a selection of new album reviews from Classic Review, that you might want to read before your next classical music purchase.
Before signing off, here’s a gif that I created on the importance of reading for social media. Just a reminder to us all, that even after lockdown relaxations we will still find time to read.
Happy reading and see you again next month. Stay well.