Global

Eat Plants, Save the Planet

While the modern agricultural system has helped stave off famines and feed the world’s 7 billion residents, the way we eat and produce food is posing a threat to future populations’ food security.

Quenching Humanity’s Freshwater Thirst Creates a Salty Threat

Starting from a few, mostly Middle Eastern facilities in the 1960s, today almost 16,000 desalination plants are in operation in 177 countries, producing 95 million cubic meters of freshwater every day - equal to about half the flow over Niagara Falls.

Davos, Inequality & the Climate Emergency

Four of the top five most impactful threats in this year’s World Economic Forum´s Global Risks report are related to climate change. The report warns that we are “sleepwalking to disaster” . But that is not true.The disaster is already here, it´s not something we are still walking towards. Climate change is no future threat, it´s a current one. We have entered a new phase, one in which the impacts are coming faster, with greater intensity.

Q&A: 17 Percent of the Problem, but 30 Percent of the Solution

From expansive evergreen forests to lush tropical forests, the Earth’s forests are disappearing on a massive scale. While deforestation poses a significant problem to the environment and climate, trees also offer a solution.

Wasting & Dining: the New Water Dilemma

Concerns about the supply side of food systems are shifting from insufficient production and supply, to issues likely to affect food production in the medium and long term, such as water risks, global warming and environmental consequences.

Survey on UN Sexual Abuse Shifts Focus on Virtual Fugitives from Justice

A survey of sexual harassment at the United Nations has uncomfortably shifted the focus to some of the senior UN officials who have either escaped censure – or punishment-- despite a rash of charges against them, including abuse and misconduct.

A Salty Dilemma

As the threat of water scarcity increasingly grows, many have turned to the Earth’s plentiful oceans for a solution. However, this has created a new risk threatening public and environmental health: brine.

Honduran Crisis Produces New Caravan

A new caravan heading towards Mexico and the United States was reportedly set to leave San Pedro Sula in Honduras on 15 January. The large number of people expected to leave Central America is a true testimony to the desperate situation for children, women and men in this poor and violence affected region.

Bridging the Infrastructure Financing Gap in the Asia Pacific Region

Infrastructure development is undoubtedly critical for a country’s long-term economic growth and competitiveness as it impacts economic activities by increasing productivity, facilitating trade, and promoting innovation.

Gloom Ahead of World Economic Storm

In light of the uncertainty caused by the US-China trade war, the IMF expects the US economic growth to slow from a three-year high of 2.9 per cent in 2018 to 2.5 per cent in 2019, while China’s expansion has already slowed in recent years, albeit from much higher levels.

Is Love an Embarrassment?

I do not understand a word of Persian and cannot determine whether these lines, taken from a German translation, are a correct interpretation of Muhammad Hāfez-e-Shīrāzī´s original poem. Nevertheless, Hāfez, who lived 1315-1390 CE, was apparently one of those great writers able to provide bemused couples with points of reference after being struck by the tumultuous sensation of passionate love.

UN Lambasted on High-Level Appointments

The world’s developing countries, comprising over two-thirds of the 193 UN member states, are complaining they are not being adequately represented in the higher echelons of the world body –- despite competent candidates with strong professional and academic qualifications vying for these jobs.

Q&A: ‘There’s a Lot More Climate Finance Available than People Think’

While growth in the green economy looks promising, government regulation and a business-as-usual approach are among the hurdles inhibiting cleaner energy production.

We Are All DukDukDiya: Humming Bird with One Drop of Water at a Time

There is a Quechan fable about a hummingbird named Dukdukdiya. During a fierce forest fire, while all other animals stood in stunned fear, Dukdukdiya alone took action by repeatedly carrying a single drop of water in her beak to the flames. When asked why she bothered with such paltry efforts, she replied that she was simply doing everything in her power to stop the fire.

Walking Miles In Their Shoes

In light of the millions of refugees escaping persecution in search of a safer, more prosperous future, a new campaign aims to raise awareness of the difficult journeys such populations take around the world.

Preventing a New Euro-Missile Race

Next month, it is very likely the Trump administration will take the next step toward fulfilling the president’s threat to “terminate” one of the most far-reaching and most successful nuclear arms reduction agreements: the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which led to the verifiable elimination of 2,692 Soviet and U.S. missiles based in Europe.

One Hundred Years of Solitude: Memories and Genocide

Denis Villeneuve´s film Blade Runner 2049 depicts a future where “bioengineered replicants” are used as slaves and killed if they misbehave. Replicants are manufactured and individualized as if they were real humans. They are even implanted with artificial memories, a measure intended to make them more “mental stable”, able to cope with their wretch existence as slave labourers. Dr. Ana Stelline, a character in the movie, explains how she manufactures memories:

Rethinking Free Trade Agreements in Uncertain Times

After US President Donald Trump withdrew from Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), involving twelve countries on the Pacific rim, on his first day in office, Japan, Australia and their closest allies proposed and promoted the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to draw the US back into the region to counter China’s fast-growing power and influence.

Time for a new Paradigm

The person most qualified to write the foreword for the latest work by Riccardo Petrella, In the Name of Humanity, would actually be Pope Francis, who, using other words but speaking of values and making denouncements, has often argued what the reader will find in its pages.

Stopping Criminals from Laundering Their Trillions

Al Capone had a problem: he needed a way to disguise the enormous amounts of cash generated by his criminal empire as legitimate income. His solution was to buy all-cash laundromats, mix dirty money in with clean, and then claim that washing ordinary Americans’ shirts and socks, rather than gambling and bootlegging, was the source of his riches.

Designer Babies can Lead to Growth of Homogenous Individuals

A Chinese researcher has claimed that he helped make world’s first genetically edited babies but the development may come at a heavy cost. A designer baby is a GM human embryo with appropriate qualities which have been shaped as per the instructions received from the parents.

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