In early December, the nations of the world are poised to take an historic step forward on nuclear weapons. Yet most Australians still haven’t heard about what’s happening, even though Australia is an important part of this story – which is set to get even bigger in the months ahead.
Our special edition of the New Internationalist magazine – Sierra Leone rebuilds post-Ebola – is something of a journalistic experiment. It’s the product of a collaboration with a remarkable group of Sierra Leonean citizen reporters. Trained by media advocates On Our Radar, they give us a privileged insight into the aftershocks of Ebola in this corner of West Africa.
A new app from Melbourne-based climate action group Less Meat Less Heat will have you craning your neck to see what’s on other people’s plates.
Used to having control at the swipe of a touchscreen, millenials are turning to their devices for everything from financial management to weight loss to language learning. Now there’s an app for monitoring the carbon footprint of our food choices.
The aptly named Climatarian Challenge app is scheduled for launch on 1st July, and will be free to download, thanks to a bold crowdfunding campaign to cover the cost of production.
What do children in the Central African Republic and the Australian Northern Territory have in common?
Children in both countries are likely to suffer from life-threatening wasting which means that they do not weigh enough for their height. In fact, the situation is worse in Australia – 11% compared to 7.4% in Africa. Worryingly, wasting is a strong predictor of early childhood mortality.
On this day 70 years ago, the world and the preconditions for its health and survival changed forever. A crude bomb containing 60 kilograms of highly enriched uranium exploded 580 metres above Hiroshima. Equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT, it was 2000 times more powerful than the British Grand Slam bomb, the largest produced until then.
The moral threshold of catastrophic attacks with indiscriminate weapons had already been crossed, with poison gas killing 90,000 and maiming or blinding one million men in the European killing fields of the first world war. This was followed by indiscriminate aerial bombing of cities during the second world war.
There is rarely a time when both reality and written word marry seamlessly as they do when our incumbent Prime Minister and his phonetic namesake represent more than just their respective entities, but rather an important ‘fork in the road’, one that will have long and lasting consequences. The other similar pair is Joe Hockey and the hockey stick of carbon dioxideemissions. They are both occurring at the same time. A sign?
We are currently faced with a government which – against all common sense and due diligence – is willing to turn Abbot Point into a dump for three million tonnes of dredge spoil to create one of the world’s largest coal ports, without fully understanding the effects on the Great Barrier Reef.
We need to talk about light bulbs. For years we’ve all been busy replacing traditional energy-hungry incandescent light globes around our homes and offices with those ubiquitous compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
Certainly they use only a fraction of the power, and that’s great for household budgets and as a carbon pollution reduction measure. But unless the used CFLs are diverted from landfill to a properly qualified recycler, the pollution risks are high. The main worry is mercury – a notorious heavy metal that brings with it serious health and environmental risks. Continue reading →
The New Internationalist has long been a critic of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and rightly so. A wide range of IMF and World Bank activities in the past have had dubious benefits, and in some cases have worsened rather than improved the situation for the world’s most vulnerable people. Governance has been a particular concern, with Boards of the institutions dominated by directors from rich nations.
But change has been afoot at the Bank for some time, and a more open approach has slowly emerged, particularly with regard to the data sets that the World Bank has collected since its formation in 1944. It’s a tremendously important development, because the data that is selected – and the way in which it is presented – can promote vastly different approaches to development. Continue reading →