Posts tagged global issues

The less Americans know about Ukraine’s location, the more they want U.S. to intervene | Washington Post
This is precisely why basic geographic knowledge is so critical for a democratic public.

The less Americans know about Ukraine’s location, the more they want U.S. to intervene | Washington Post

This is precisely why basic geographic knowledge is so critical for a democratic public.

npr:

Source: CGIAR
"Farmers Need To Get ‘Climate Smart’ To Prep For What’s Ahead"

From csmonitor:

Are the rich really getting richer and the poor getting poorer? 10 income inequality myths debunked. 

Research: Allison Terry, Graphics: Jake Turcotte/The Christian Science Monitor

From theatlantic:

Report: Global Freedom Has Been Declining for Nearly a Decade

In 2013, for the eighth year in a row, more countries registered declines in political rights and civil liberties than gains. Even as the number of electoral democracies in the world increased, nations like the Central African Republic, Mali, and Ukraine suffered devastating democratic setbacks. Thirty-five percent of the world’s population, living in 25 percent of the polities on the planet, found themselves in countries that aren’t free. As we enter a year in which more people will vote in elections than ever before, democracy appears to be in a holding pattern around the world—if not outright retreat.
Read more. [Image: Reuters/Marko Djurica]


Is the “third wave” of democracy over? That’s a question that pops up from time to time.

From theatlantic:

Report: Global Freedom Has Been Declining for Nearly a Decade

In 2013, for the eighth year in a row, more countries registered declines in political rights and civil liberties than gains. Even as the number of electoral democracies in the world increased, nations like the Central African Republic, Mali, and Ukraine suffered devastating democratic setbacks. Thirty-five percent of the world’s population, living in 25 percent of the polities on the planet, found themselves in countries that aren’t free. As we enter a year in which more people will vote in elections than ever before, democracy appears to be in a holding pattern around the world—if not outright retreat.

Read more. [Image: Reuters/Marko Djurica]

Is the “third wave” of democracy over? That’s a question that pops up from time to time.

A Real-Time Map of Births and Deaths

statedept:

Today is World Population Day. 
Did you know that about 16 million girls under age 18 give birth each year and another 3.2 million undergo unsafe abortions?
This year the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is raising awareness of the issue of adolescent pregnancy in the hopes of delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Via united-nations

statedept:

Today is World Population Day. 

Did you know that about 16 million girls under age 18 give birth each year and another 3.2 million undergo unsafe abortions?

This year the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is raising awareness of the issue of adolescent pregnancy in the hopes of delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Via united-nations

Calculating the World’s Population

From worldbank:

How do demographers figure out how many people live on Earth? Can they accurately calculate the number of people that have ever lived? You asked our data help desk these questions, and our open data whiz drew the answers in this video.

Do you have more questions about how data is calculated? Ask them at data help desk or on Twitter with hashtag #dataquestion

I’ve been happy ever since the World Bank has made its database freely available online. It’s been a great resource for my own work—but especially so for my students.

azspot:


What does that $14 shirt really cost?


A lesson in capitalism in one simple graphic.

azspot:

What does that $14 shirt really cost?

A lesson in capitalism in one simple graphic.

If you’re a kid in Finland, you don’t start school until you’re 7 years old. There’s almost no homework until you’re a teenager. You don’t wear a uniform, you can call your teacher by his first name, and you can attend class barefoot if the mood strikes you. It’s always casual Friday, and you spend fewer hours in the classroom than students in the rest of the developed world.

Despite—or because of—this leisurely approach, the Finnish educational system is one of the world’s finest. Finland’s literacy rate is 100 percent. When the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development administers its standardized reading and math exams to students from around the world, Finnish pupils regularly come out at or near the top.

What makes these results more amazing is that just four decades ago, Finland’s academic record was a mess. In the 1970s, though, the government did something extraordinary to combat lax education: It mandated that every teacher earn a master’s degree, even agreeing to foot the bills for the extra schooling. Teaching’s prestige skyrocketed; becoming a teacher in Finland is now as tough as becoming a lawyer. Only one in 10 primary school applicants makes the cut! Today, the rest of the world is scrambling to follow Finland’s example as its hyper-educated population continues to boost the country’s productivity. Maybe we should all kick off our shoes and learn a few things.

10 Contestants for Earth’s Next Superpower | Mental Floss

The Finish example is by far the most impressive (and transferable one). But the Swiss example isn’t bad, either. 

From foreignaffairsmagazine:

Why American Education Fails
Since the end of the industrial age, Americans have worried about improving their education system. But the country has never been able to make much progress. Other nations do it better, and the United States must learn from their examples if it hopes to catch up.

Yet another case for the value of comparative studies.
The idea that we can solve all our (or any) of our problems by simply thinking really hard about them (which we don’t really do) or by using abstract theories (without first testing them) is bizarre. In no other sector do we do this. In sports, coaches always study their competition to develop and refine their strategic thinking. In business, corporations always study their competitors to develop and refine their market or production strategies and goals. Shouldn’t this be common sense in public policy as well? Shouldn’t we always be asking ourselves how other countries do things, looking at their results, and then using that information to adjust our own policies?

From foreignaffairsmagazine:

Why American Education Fails

Since the end of the industrial age, Americans have worried about improving their education system. But the country has never been able to make much progress. Other nations do it better, and the United States must learn from their examples if it hopes to catch up.

Yet another case for the value of comparative studies.

The idea that we can solve all our (or any) of our problems by simply thinking really hard about them (which we don’t really do) or by using abstract theories (without first testing them) is bizarre. In no other sector do we do this. In sports, coaches always study their competition to develop and refine their strategic thinking. In business, corporations always study their competitors to develop and refine their market or production strategies and goals. Shouldn’t this be common sense in public policy as well? Shouldn’t we always be asking ourselves how other countries do things, looking at their results, and then using that information to adjust our own policies?