What’s New February 2005

This page lists changes to this site for February 2005.

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Research has shown that air pollutants from fossil fuel use make clouds reflect more of the sun's rays back into space. This leads to an effect known as global dimming whereby less heat and energy reaches the earth. At first, it sounds like an ironic savior to climate change problems. However, it is believed that global dimming caused the droughts in Ethiopia in the 1970s and 80s where millions died, because the northern hemisphere oceans were not warm enough to allow rain formation. Global dimming is also hiding the true power of global warming. By cleaning up global dimming-causing pollutants without tackling greenhouse gas emissions, rapid warming has been observed, and various human health and ecological disasters have resulted, as witnessed during the European heat wave in 2003, which saw thousands of people die. A new page has been created describing this in more detail

The recent tsunami disaster has brought aid issues back to the fore. Rich governments have long been criticized for not keeping their aid promises and international obligations. While a lot of money is often pledged for emergencies, long term development aid has long been declining. Furthermore, aid is often tied to political objectives that benefit donor countries, and not always the recipient. In some countries, private contributions are more than their government's. Yet, factoring issues other than how much people or countries give shows that there is much that needs to improve in aid. Figures and graphs have been added regarding private contributions when factored into aid. Notes were also added regarding private remittances as some people add that to aid numbers. In addition, findings from an insitute which ranked countries based on a variety of factors was also added.

Public relations and spin is often very professional and effective. Governments, military institutions, organizations and individuals can contract PR firms to sell some issues to the public. Techniques are numerous, including, planting faked stories in the press to even paying off journalists. The ramifications for a nation or even the wider world can be enormous. A short subsection has been added to the propaganda page

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