Along with its warning that delaying action on climate change would cause enormous economic losses, the White House has announced a series of data-related initiatives to prepare U.S. food and water supplies - along with the industries and jobs that rely on them - for climate challenges.
"There are some horrible working conditions; kids as young as seven making surgical instruments; people losing limbs. It's horrendous," says Mahmoud Bhutta, consultant surgeon and founder of the British Medical Association's (BMA) Medical Fair and Ethical Trade Group, established in 2007. "Many of the companies [which supply the NHS] have been burying their heads in the sand."
In a post-Rana Plaza world, one can only wonder how best to gauge the ethics and worker safety behind our garment-manufacturing industry. The Goliath that the fashion industry has become begs the question whether it's even possible to ensure suppliers do the right thing.
In many ways, the fateful episode of the Costa Concordia provides a metaphor for the international shipping industry as a whole. Its image is hardly the best. Huge tankers plying the sea, belching noxious gases into the air from low-grade crude and pumping out invasive species when emptying their ballast-water tanks on shore. Oh, and a catastrophic oil spill every now and then. But that's not the whole story.
When it comes to e-waste recycling, most electronics retailers aren't just struggling; they're downright failing. At least according to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, which took the industry to task in a recent report.