A collection of news items on the current (April 2015) situation in Yemen <br> <br> Global Politics - as in the IB Diploma course of that name (although this page is not connected to the IBO directly in any way)
NOW is probably a watershed moment for the climate change debate. A concise summary of a section of the long-awaited 5th assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change came end-September this year, asserting that scientists are 95 per cent convinced that humans are the ‘dominant cause’ of global warming since the 1950s. The report makes that claim despite observing an inexplicable ‘pause’ in warming since 1998, which it conspicuously downplays. This has brought the pitched battle between the climate sceptics and the climate evangelists to a new crescendo. To put more fuel to the fire, there has been a sharper polarisation of a new North-South divide on another popular debate, i.e. why should the most vulnerable countries in the South suffer because of the major polluters in the North. To make things even more interesting, everyone is watching China, the wild card that is sure to tip the equilibrium in this geopolitical posturing.
THAT old-time religion is strong in America. To take just one measure, for decades more than 40% of all Americans have consistently told Gallup pollsters that God created humans in pretty much their current form, less than 10,000 years ago. They are embracing an account of man’s origins promoted by Young Earth Creationists who lean on a painstakingly literal reading of the Scriptures, swatting aside the counter-claims of science (fossils are a relic of Noah’s flood, they argue, and evolution is a myth peddled by atheists). In a recent poll 58% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats backed creationism. The glue that underpins such faith is the principle of Biblical inerrancy—a certainty that the Scriptures are infallibly and unchangingly true.
One thing that bothers me about this whole debate is the human energy that is taken away from solving the real and evident problems that the world faces today.
The real world - the one outside the window - the one with people in it.
With so many people in the world facing hunger, or with no easy access to safe drinking water; with all the forms of physical, psychological, and political violence that surround us ... does it really make any difference what we believe about how life started?
Do an atheist and a theist arguing about evolution and creation make the world a better place?
Does scoring points in a debate help feed a child? Dig a well? Build a school?
And if they don't, what IS the point?
As a friend of mine used to say: "Don't tell me what you believe - tell me what you DO"
Almost three quarters of British parents believe their children will be worse off than they were, a study has found (Britons are 'less optimistic for their children than parents in Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda' http://t.co/PUDGfoA7Ks)...
Rafael Behr: An etiquette guide to rewriting history.
The Conservatives have tried to expunge from the internet all speeches and press releases dating from the time before David Cameron became prime minister.
This naturally led everyone on the internet to remind themselves of all the things Cameron once said, compare them to things he had done, and so understand immediately why he would want them deleted. This demonstrates the first rule of rewriting history – it only works if people don't notice that you've done it.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida warned Sunday that "unpredictable events" could follow China's unilateral declaration of an air defence zone over waters including disputed Tokyo-controlled islands.
They could throw a big party for the Chinese government, with games, and balloons, and ice-cream, and cake - THAT is the only thing that would be unpredictable.
When cloud formations take physical shape, neither their scale nor duration has an upper bound: We may begin to see cloud towns, then cloud cities, and ultimately cloud countries. At first this sounds rather implausible.
Call me a reactionary old Luddite (and don't think you'd be the first) - but is anyone else just a little bit scared by all this?
In Sir John Chilcot’s diplomatic shorthand, they are the “difficult documents”.
For the rest of us – those looking to brand Tony Blair and George Bush as war criminals, or those who believe the pair saved Iraq from the excesses of Saddam and the world from a potential WMD catastrophe – they are the communications that will reveal how close Washington and Whitehall were in the run-up to the 2003 war.
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