Today, around 21,000 children died around the world. This daily tragedy, from poverty and other preventable causes, rarely makes headline news.

Latest World News

World

  1. Digital Agriculture Benefits Zimbabwe's Farmers but Mobile Money is Costly

    Wednesday, May 27, 2020

    HARARE, May 27 (IPS) - In recent years, Zimbabwe has witnessed a rapid growth in the use of digital agriculture but uptake of modern technology is capital intensive for farmers.

  2. [email protected] & the Future We Want

    Wednesday, May 27, 2020

    BERLIN, May 27 (IPS) -Crises make us think smaller. When everything is uncertain, we turn inward: to our families, our communities, the immediate needs around us. We focus on the essential and the immediate; we survive.

  3. SDG Setback 'Tremendous' as COVID-19 Accelerates Slide

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    May 26 (IPS) - Crucial global goals to reduce hunger and poverty and curb climate change have gone backwards or stalled, the United Nations Secretary-General warns in a new report, as the COVID-19 outbreak moves from being a health crisis to becoming the "worst human and economic crisis of our lifetimes".

  4. Ensuring Biodiversity Now will Prevent Pandemics Later

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, May 26 (IPS) - A future repetition of the current COVID-19 pandemic is preventable with massive cooperation on international and local levels and by ensuring biological diversity preservation around the world, experts recently said.

  5. No Woman Should Ever Die Giving Life

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 (IPS) - Consider this. 24 women, children and babies were murdered at a hospital in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Even by standards of a country as accustomed to bloodshed as Afghanistan, the May 12 attack on a Kabul maternity clinic was an event of unmitigated horror.

  6. Innovation Is an Imperative - for Sustainable Food Systems

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    ROME, May 26 (IPS) - Hunger and food insecurity continue to rise. The official 2019 statistics refer to 821 million people suffering from hunger all over the world. According the recently launched Global Report on Food Crisesthere are further 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse.

  7. Women are Often an After-Thought in a Humanitarian Crisis

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 26 (IPS) - In an interview*, Bina Pradhan, an independent researcher, focuses on gender, macroeconomics and emerging issues of inequality.

    She is affiliated with the Federation of Business and Professional Women, Nepal (FBPWN), and has been working on the promotion and advancement of women in enterprise development and trade, post-earthquake community reconstruction, and rebuilding people's lives and livelihoods with a focus on sustainability.

    In this interview, Ms. Pradhan shares her views on the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically on women and excluded groups in Nepal.

  8. Politics, Profits Undermine Public Interest in Covid-19 Vaccine Race

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 (IPS) - With well over five million Covid-19 infections worldwide, and deaths exceeding 340,000, the race for an effective vaccine has accelerated since the SARS-Cov-2 virus was first identified as the culprit.

  9. Kenya's Adolescent Women Left Behind As More Married Women Access Contraception

    Monday, May 25, 2020

    NAIROBI, May 25 (IPS) - Complications of pregnancy and child birth are a leading cause of preventable deaths and ill health among adolescent women in Kenya. But research shows a combination of modern contraceptives for all adolescents who need it, and adequate care for all pregnant adolescents and their newborns, would reduce adolescent maternal deaths by 76 percent. So what needs to be done to prevent this?

  10. Education Post-COVID-19: Customised Blended Learning is Urgently Needed

    Monday, May 25, 2020

    May 25 (IPS) - Many well meaning education benefactorsand commentators in South Africa have expressed that in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic online self-guided learning could solve some of the current teaching problems and address the educational backlog. What learners need, the reasoning goes, is to get free internet access to educational support materials on offer online.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. SDG Setback 'Tremendous' as COVID-19 Accelerates Slide

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    May 26 (IPS) - Crucial global goals to reduce hunger and poverty and curb climate change have gone backwards or stalled, the United Nations Secretary-General warns in a new report, as the COVID-19 outbreak moves from being a health crisis to becoming the "worst human and economic crisis of our lifetimes".

  2. No Woman Should Ever Die Giving Life

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 (IPS) - Consider this. 24 women, children and babies were murdered at a hospital in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Even by standards of a country as accustomed to bloodshed as Afghanistan, the May 12 attack on a Kabul maternity clinic was an event of unmitigated horror.

  3. Innovation Is an Imperative - for Sustainable Food Systems

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    ROME, May 26 (IPS) - Hunger and food insecurity continue to rise. The official 2019 statistics refer to 821 million people suffering from hunger all over the world. According the recently launched Global Report on Food Crisesthere are further 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse.

  4. Women are Often an After-Thought in a Humanitarian Crisis

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 26 (IPS) - In an interview*, Bina Pradhan, an independent researcher, focuses on gender, macroeconomics and emerging issues of inequality.

    She is affiliated with the Federation of Business and Professional Women, Nepal (FBPWN), and has been working on the promotion and advancement of women in enterprise development and trade, post-earthquake community reconstruction, and rebuilding people's lives and livelihoods with a focus on sustainability.

    In this interview, Ms. Pradhan shares her views on the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically on women and excluded groups in Nepal.

  5. Politics, Profits Undermine Public Interest in Covid-19 Vaccine Race

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 (IPS) - With well over five million Covid-19 infections worldwide, and deaths exceeding 340,000, the race for an effective vaccine has accelerated since the SARS-Cov-2 virus was first identified as the culprit.

  6. Kenya's Adolescent Women Left Behind As More Married Women Access Contraception

    Monday, May 25, 2020

    NAIROBI, May 25 (IPS) - Complications of pregnancy and child birth are a leading cause of preventable deaths and ill health among adolescent women in Kenya. But research shows a combination of modern contraceptives for all adolescents who need it, and adequate care for all pregnant adolescents and their newborns, would reduce adolescent maternal deaths by 76 percent. So what needs to be done to prevent this?

  7. Education Post-COVID-19: Customised Blended Learning is Urgently Needed

    Monday, May 25, 2020

    May 25 (IPS) - Many well meaning education benefactorsand commentators in South Africa have expressed that in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic online self-guided learning could solve some of the current teaching problems and address the educational backlog. What learners need, the reasoning goes, is to get free internet access to educational support materials on offer online.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

  8. Unite Behind Environmental Science: Transforming Values and Behaviour is as Important as Restoring Global Ecosystems

    Friday, May 22, 2020

    BONN, May 22 (IPS) - Restoring damaged ecosystems is vital to avoid the collapse of nature's most valuable contributions to people, but International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 should also be a wake-up call about the importance of addressing our social, economic and systemic values, because it is these that are driving the destruction of nature.

  9. Why More Must be Done to Fight Bogus COVID-19 Cure Claims

    Thursday, May 21, 2020

    May 21 (IPS) - Fake and bogus cure claims are a longstanding, but neglected public health problem. Throughout recorded history, plagues have inspired anxiety and desperation. Time and again, this public nervousness has proved a fertile ground for false cures and claimants to thrive. In this sense, recent claims of COVID-19 cures and antidotes are no exception.

  10. COVID-19 Pandemic and the Pacific Islands

    Thursday, May 21, 2020

    CANBERRA, Australia, May 21 (IPS) - As of 11 AM (AEST) on 20th May 2020 the incidence of COVID-19 virus (henceforth virus) on the Pacific Islands was limited. Active cases (deaths) in some of the Pacific Islands were Australia 7,072 (100), New Zealand 1,503 (21), PNG 8(0), Guam 154 (5), Fiji 18 (0), Timor-Leste 24 (0), French Polynesia 60(0), and New Caledonia 18(0).1

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Innovation Is an Imperative - for Sustainable Food Systems

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    ROME, May 26 (IPS) - Hunger and food insecurity continue to rise. The official 2019 statistics refer to 821 million people suffering from hunger all over the world. According the recently launched Global Report on Food Crisesthere are further 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse.

  2. Politics, Profits Undermine Public Interest in Covid-19 Vaccine Race

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 (IPS) - With well over five million Covid-19 infections worldwide, and deaths exceeding 340,000, the race for an effective vaccine has accelerated since the SARS-Cov-2 virus was first identified as the culprit.

  3. Crisis Hits Oil Industry and Energy Transition Alike

    Friday, May 22, 2020

    MEXICO CITY, May 22 (IPS) - While it attempts to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Latin American and Caribbean region also faces concerns about the future of the energy transition and state-owned oil companies.

  4. Unite Behind Environmental Science: Transforming Values and Behaviour is as Important as Restoring Global Ecosystems

    Friday, May 22, 2020

    BONN, May 22 (IPS) - Restoring damaged ecosystems is vital to avoid the collapse of nature's most valuable contributions to people, but International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 should also be a wake-up call about the importance of addressing our social, economic and systemic values, because it is these that are driving the destruction of nature.

  5. COVID-19 Pandemic and the Pacific Islands

    Thursday, May 21, 2020

    CANBERRA, Australia, May 21 (IPS) - As of 11 AM (AEST) on 20th May 2020 the incidence of COVID-19 virus (henceforth virus) on the Pacific Islands was limited. Active cases (deaths) in some of the Pacific Islands were Australia 7,072 (100), New Zealand 1,503 (21), PNG 8(0), Guam 154 (5), Fiji 18 (0), Timor-Leste 24 (0), French Polynesia 60(0), and New Caledonia 18(0).1

  6. Mexico's Development Banks Fuel the Fossil Energy Trade

    Wednesday, May 20, 2020

    Since 2012, Teresa Castellanos has fought the construction of a gas-fired power plant in Huexca, in the central Mexican state of Morelos, adjacent to the country's capital.

  7. EXCLUSIVE: In the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic We Are Only as Strong as the Weakest of Us

    Tuesday, May 19, 2020

    GENEVA, May 19 (IPS) - When the COVID-19 virus travelled from Wuhan, China halfway across the world through Europe, the Americas and beyond in the space of a few weeks, it gave us proof, if one was ever needed, of how tightly interconnected we all are.

  8. Africa Needs a DOVE Fund: Or Should We Starve So We Can Pay our Debts?

    Tuesday, May 19, 2020

    JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 19 (IPS) - ub-Saharan Africa has a debt problem. According to the most recent World Bank debt statisticsin 2018 the region had about $493 billion in long term external debt.

  9. Covid-19 Straw Breaks Free Trade Camel’s Back

    Tuesday, May 19, 2020

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 19 (IPS) - Economic growth is supposed to be the tide that lifts all boats. According to the conventional wisdom until recently, growth in China, India and East Asian countries took off thanks to opening up to international trade and investment.

  10. The Hotting-Up of the Sino-American Spat: Most Dangerous Side-Effect of Covid-19?

    Monday, May 18, 2020

    May 18 (IPS) - When the United States and China signed the First-Phase of their Trade Agreement in January this year, President Donald Trump called it a "momentous step", and the world believed they had stepped back from a dangerous brink. But, alas, to cite an idiom that is so current today, it was but a ‘false positive'. As the globe reels from the surgoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that the rapid deterioration of US-China relationship can become one of the worst side-effects of this raging virus.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Ensuring Biodiversity Now will Prevent Pandemics Later

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, May 26 (IPS) - A future repetition of the current COVID-19 pandemic is preventable with massive cooperation on international and local levels and by ensuring biological diversity preservation around the world, experts recently said.

  2. Innovation Is an Imperative - for Sustainable Food Systems

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    ROME, May 26 (IPS) - Hunger and food insecurity continue to rise. The official 2019 statistics refer to 821 million people suffering from hunger all over the world. According the recently launched Global Report on Food Crisesthere are further 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse.

  3. Crisis Hits Oil Industry and Energy Transition Alike

    Friday, May 22, 2020

    MEXICO CITY, May 22 (IPS) - While it attempts to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Latin American and Caribbean region also faces concerns about the future of the energy transition and state-owned oil companies.

  4. Unite Behind Environmental Science: Transforming Values and Behaviour is as Important as Restoring Global Ecosystems

    Friday, May 22, 2020

    BONN, May 22 (IPS) - Restoring damaged ecosystems is vital to avoid the collapse of nature's most valuable contributions to people, but International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 should also be a wake-up call about the importance of addressing our social, economic and systemic values, because it is these that are driving the destruction of nature.

  5. Biological Diversity is Fundamental to Human Health

    Friday, May 22, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, May 22 (IPS) - Today, May 22, marks the International Day of Biological Diversity. Experts say that conservation efforts have actually strengthened under the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's International Day of Biological Diversity falls amid the coronavirus pandemic and the slow easing, in some nations, of a global lockdown. While the lockdown has forced most people to stay at home, there have been reports of more wildlife being spotted - even in once-busy city centres. 

  6. COVID-19: Global Supply Chain Resilience Relies on Soap & Water for Workers

    Friday, May 22, 2020

    LONDON, May 22 (IPS) - Ruth Romer is Senior Private Sector Advisor, WaterAidAs COVID-19 lockdown restrictions across the globe start to be relaxed, the collective conversation has shifted towards plans for a ‘new normal.'

  7. Cyclone Amphan – ‘We Didn’t Expect Devastation of Such a Scale’

    Thursday, May 21, 2020

    HYDERBAD, India, May 21 (IPS) - Amid the social distancing measures posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, coastal communities of Bangladesh and India face a double threat while the record-breaking storm Cyclone Amphan made the landfall yesterday (May 20).

  8. Mexico's Development Banks Fuel the Fossil Energy Trade

    Wednesday, May 20, 2020

    Since 2012, Teresa Castellanos has fought the construction of a gas-fired power plant in Huexca, in the central Mexican state of Morelos, adjacent to the country's capital.

  9. To Restore Forests, First Start With a Seed

    Wednesday, May 20, 2020

    HUYE, Rwanda, May 20 (IPS) - How did Rwanda manage to restore more than 800,000 hectares — almost half of its original pledge — in less than a decade? In 2011, when Rwanda committed to restoring 2 million hectares of land in a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested areas by 2020 — it seemed like a big ask. 

  10. Where Will Global South Rank in New Green Economic Order?

    Tuesday, May 19, 2020

    May 19 (IPS) - With widespread calls for green transitions in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, developing countries are predicted to remain at the bottom of the global economic ladder, a study claims.

  11. More stories…

More news by World, Economy, Environment, Geopolitics, Health, Human Rights, More news topics

Issues In depth

Latest

Action on climate change is cheaper than inaction

Posted Monday, February 02, 2015.

Many are afraid that tackling climate change is going to be too costly. But increasingly, studies are showing action will not just be cheaper than inaction, but could actually result in economic, environmental and even health benefits, while improving sustainability.

Read “Action on climate change is cheaper than inaction” to learn more.

Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction

Last updated Sunday, February 01, 2015.

The climate is changing. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing.

Many are agreed that climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing the planet. Recent years show increasing temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns.

This section looks at what causes climate change, what the impacts are and where scientific consensus currently is.

Read “Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction” to learn more.

COP20—Lima Climate Conference

Posted Saturday, January 24, 2015.

An overview of the Climate Change Conference (also known as COP 20), held in Lima, Peru in December 2014.

While it seemed like it was a successful meeting, because developing nations were committed to drawing up their own plans for emissions reductions for the first time, a number of important issues were left undecided such as how financing would work.

This page is an overview of the Lima Climate conference.

Read “COP20—Lima Climate Conference” to learn more.

Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

Posted Saturday, September 27, 2014.

An overview of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa that has been described by the World Health Organization as the largest, most severe and most complex outbreak in the history of the disease.

The epidemic began at the end of 2013, in Guinea. From there it spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. Many of the affected countries face enormous challenges in stopping its spread and providing care for all patients.

Thousands of people have died and many are at risk as the fatality rate from this virus is very high. As the crisis worsens, as well as the enormous health challenges involved, the social and economic consequences may set these countries back, reversing some gains a number of these countries have made in recent years.

Read “Ebola Outbreak in West Africa” to learn more.

Foreign Aid for Development Assistance

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

In 1970, the world’s rich countries agreed to give 0.7% of their gross national income as official international development aid, annually.

Since that time, billions have certainly been given each year, but rarely have the rich nations actually met their promised target.

For example, the US is often the largest donor in dollar terms, but ranks amongst the lowest in terms of meeting the stated 0.7% target.

Net ODA in dollars and percent of GNI

Furthermore, aid has often come with a price of its own for the developing nations. Common criticisms, for many years, of foreign aid, have included the following:

  • Aid is often wasted on conditions that the recipient must use overpriced goods and services from donor countries
  • Most aid does not actually go to the poorest who would need it the most
  • Aid amounts are dwarfed by rich country protectionism that denies market access for poor country products while rich nations use aid as a lever to open poor country markets to their products
  • Large projects or massive grand strategies often fail to help the vulnerable; money can often be embezzled away.

This article explores who has benefited most from this aid, the recipients or the donors.

Read “Foreign Aid for Development Assistance” to learn more.

Nature and Animal Conservation

Last updated Sunday, January 19, 2014.

Preserving species and their habitats is important for ecosystems to self-sustain themselves.

Yet, the pressures to destroy habitat for logging, illegal hunting, and other challenges are making conservation a struggle.

Read “Nature and Animal Conservation” to learn more.

More updates

Most Popular

Poverty Facts and Stats

Last updated Monday, January 07, 2013.

Most of humanity lives on just a few dollars a day. Whether you live in the wealthiest nations in the world or the poorest, you will see high levels of inequality.

The poorest people will also have less access to health, education and other services. Problems of hunger, malnutrition and disease afflict the poorest in society. The poorest are also typically marginalized from society and have little representation or voice in public and political debates, making it even harder to escape poverty.

By contrast, the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to benefit from economic or political policies. The amount the world spends on military, financial bailouts and other areas that benefit the wealthy, compared to the amount spent to address the daily crisis of poverty and related problems are often staggering.

Some facts and figures on poverty presented in this page are eye-openers, to say the least.

Read “Poverty Facts and Stats” to learn more.

Global Financial Crisis

Last updated Sunday, March 24, 2013.

Following a period of economic boom, a financial bubble — global in scope — burst, even causing some of the world’s largest financial institutions have collapsed. With the resulting recession, many governments of the wealthiest nations in the world have resorted to extensive bail-out and rescue packages for the remaining large banks and financial institutions while imposing harsh austerity measures on themselves.

Some of the bail-outs have also led to charges of hypocrisy due to the apparent socializing of the costs while privatizing the profits. Furthermore, the institutions being rescued are typically the ones got the world into this trouble in the first place. For smaller businesses and poorer people, such options for bail out and rescue are rarely available when they find themselves in crisis.

Plummeting stock markets at one point wiped out 33% of the value of companies, $14.5 trillion. Taxpayers bailed out their banks and financial institutions with large amounts of money. US taxpayers alone have spent some $9.7 trillion in bailout packages and plans. The UK and other European countries have also spent some $2 trillion on rescues and bailout packages. More is expected. Much more.

Such numbers, made quickly available, are enough to wipe many individual’s mortgages, or clear out third world debt many times over. Even the high military spending figures are dwarfed by the bailout plans to date.

Taxpayers are paying for some of the largests costs in history

This problem could have been averted (in theory) as people had been pointing to these issues for decades. However, during boom, very few want to hear such pessimism. Does this crisis spell an end to the careless forms of banking and finance and will it herald a better economic age, or are we just doomed to keep forgetting history and repeat these mistakes in the future? Signs are not encouraging as rich nations are resisting meaningful reform…

Read “Global Financial Crisis” to learn more.

Causes of Poverty

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

Poverty is the state for the majority of the world’s people and nations. Why is this? Is it enough to blame poor people for their own predicament? Have they been lazy, made poor decisions, and been solely responsible for their plight? What about their governments? Have they pursued policies that actually harm successful development? Such causes of poverty and inequality are no doubt real. But deeper and more global causes of poverty are often less discussed.

Read “Causes of Poverty” to learn more.

Climate Change and Global Warming

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

The climate is changing. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing. Many are agreed that climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing the planet. Recent years show increasing temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns.

This section explores some of the effects of climate change. It also attempts to provide insights into what governments, companies, international institutions, and other organizations are attempting to do about this issue, as well as the challenges they face. Some of the major conferences in recent years are also discussed.

Read “Climate Change and Global Warming” to learn more.

Environmental Issues

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

Environmental issues are also a major global issue. Humans depend on a sustainable and healthy environment, and yet we have damaged the environment in numerous ways. This section introduces other issues including biodiversity, climate change, animal and nature conservation, population, genetically modified food, sustainable development, and more.

Read “Environmental Issues” to learn more.

Racism

Last updated Sunday, August 08, 2010.

Racism is the belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributed to people simply on the basis of their race and that some racial groups are superior to others. Racism and discrimination have been used as powerful weapons encouraging fear or hatred of others in times of conflict and war, and even during economic downturns. This article explores racism from around the world.

Read “Racism” to learn more.

More articles

Topical

Global Financial Crisis

Last updated Sunday, March 24, 2013.

Following a period of economic boom, a financial bubble — global in scope — burst, even causing some of the world’s largest financial institutions have collapsed. With the resulting recession, many governments of the wealthiest nations in the world have resorted to extensive bail-out and rescue packages for the remaining large banks and financial institutions while imposing harsh austerity measures on themselves.

Some of the bail-outs have also led to charges of hypocrisy due to the apparent socializing of the costs while privatizing the profits. Furthermore, the institutions being rescued are typically the ones got the world into this trouble in the first place. For smaller businesses and poorer people, such options for bail out and rescue are rarely available when they find themselves in crisis.

Plummeting stock markets at one point wiped out 33% of the value of companies, $14.5 trillion. Taxpayers bailed out their banks and financial institutions with large amounts of money. US taxpayers alone have spent some $9.7 trillion in bailout packages and plans. The UK and other European countries have also spent some $2 trillion on rescues and bailout packages. More is expected. Much more.

Such numbers, made quickly available, are enough to wipe many individual’s mortgages, or clear out third world debt many times over. Even the high military spending figures are dwarfed by the bailout plans to date.

Taxpayers are paying for some of the largests costs in history

This problem could have been averted (in theory) as people had been pointing to these issues for decades. However, during boom, very few want to hear such pessimism. Does this crisis spell an end to the careless forms of banking and finance and will it herald a better economic age, or are we just doomed to keep forgetting history and repeat these mistakes in the future? Signs are not encouraging as rich nations are resisting meaningful reform…

Read “Global Financial Crisis” to learn more.

Climate Change and Global Warming

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

The climate is changing. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing. Many are agreed that climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing the planet. Recent years show increasing temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns.

This section explores some of the effects of climate change. It also attempts to provide insights into what governments, companies, international institutions, and other organizations are attempting to do about this issue, as well as the challenges they face. Some of the major conferences in recent years are also discussed.

Read “Climate Change and Global Warming” to learn more.

Food and Agriculture Issues

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

Food and agriculture goes to the heart of our civilizations. Religions, cultures and even modern civilization have food and agriculture at their core. For an issue that goes to the heart of humanity it also has its ugly side.

This issue explores topics ranging from the global food crisis of 2008, to issues of food aid, world hunger, food dumping and wasteful agriculture such as growing tobacco, sugar, beef, and more.

Read “Food and Agriculture Issues” to learn more.

Foreign Aid for Development Assistance

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

In 1970, the world’s rich countries agreed to give 0.7% of their gross national income as official international development aid, annually.

Since that time, billions have certainly been given each year, but rarely have the rich nations actually met their promised target.

For example, the US is often the largest donor in dollar terms, but ranks amongst the lowest in terms of meeting the stated 0.7% target.

Net ODA in dollars and percent of GNI

Furthermore, aid has often come with a price of its own for the developing nations. Common criticisms, for many years, of foreign aid, have included the following:

  • Aid is often wasted on conditions that the recipient must use overpriced goods and services from donor countries
  • Most aid does not actually go to the poorest who would need it the most
  • Aid amounts are dwarfed by rich country protectionism that denies market access for poor country products while rich nations use aid as a lever to open poor country markets to their products
  • Large projects or massive grand strategies often fail to help the vulnerable; money can often be embezzled away.

This article explores who has benefited most from this aid, the recipients or the donors.

Read “Foreign Aid for Development Assistance” to learn more.

Tax Avoidance and Tax Havens; Undermining Democracy

Last updated Monday, January 07, 2013.

Through tax havens, transfer pricing and many other policies — both legal and illegal — billions of dollars of tax are avoided. The much-needed money would helped developing (and developed) countries provide important social services for their populations.

Some tax avoidance, regardless of how morally objectionable it may be to some people, is perfectly legal, and the global super elite are able to hide away trillions of dollars, resulting in massive losses of tax revenues for cash-strapped governments who then burden ordinary citizens further with austerity measures during economic crisis, for example. Yet these super elite are often very influential in politics and business. In effect, they are able to undermine democracy and capitalism at the same time.

As the global financial crisis has affected many countries, tackling tax avoidance would help target those more likely to have contributed to the problem while avoid many unnecessary austerity measures that hit the poorest so hard. But despite rhetoric stating otherwise, it does not seem to high on the agenda of many governments as you might think.

Read “Tax Avoidance and Tax Havens; Undermining Democracy” to learn more.

World Military Spending

Last updated Sunday, June 30, 2013.

World military spending had reduced since the Cold War ended, but a few nations such as the US retain high level spending.

In recent years, global military expenditure has increased again and is now comparable to Cold War levels. Recent data shows global spending at over $1.7 trillion. 2012 saw the first dip in spending — only slightly —since 1998, in an otherwise rising trend.

After a decline following the end of the Cold War, recent years have seen military spending increase

The highest military spender is the US accounting for almost two-fifths of the world’s spending, more than the rest of the G7 (most economically advanced countries) combined, and more than all its potential enemies, combined.

Read “World Military Spending” to learn more.

More issues

“If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence.” — Bertrand Russell, Roads to Freedom