Although the details of global warming were foreign to most people in the 1980s, among the few who had a better idea than most were the companies contributing the most to it. Despite scientific uncertainties, the bottom line was this: oil firms recognized that their products added CO2 to the atmosphere, understood that this would lead to warming, and calculated the likely consequences. And then they chose to accept those risks on our behalf, at our expense, and without our knowledge. By Benjamin Franta
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Results for Opinion
Thursday 13 September 2018
Tuesday 11 September 2018
London, United Kingdom
This year, extreme weather conditions have ravaged our planet, subjecting vulnerable communities around the world to the ever-increasing impacts of climate change. With each passing day, we learn more about – and experience directly – the dangerous consequences of extracting and burning fossil fuels. Floods, droughts, and wildfires are becoming deadlier, and weather patterns more severe. By Christiana Figueres and May Boeve.
Wednesday 29 August 2018
There is unprecedented global momentum to build a low-carbon, climate-secure future. However, in fact, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are still accumulating at a rate that will soon take us well above the 1.5°C threshold, beyond which some of the worst effects of climate change cannot be staved off. Extreme weather already is becoming more common, as exemplified by record-high temperatures worldwide this year. On current trends, average global temperatures could well rise by 3°C, imperiling vital natural systems like coral reefs, rainforests, and the polar regions. All relevant stakeholders need to strengthen their climate commitments. By Patricia Espinosa and Anne Hidalgo
Saturday 25 August 2018
As Australia watched its democratically elected government self-destructing in a morass of self-interest and narrow-sightedness, visions of Dorothy journeying through the Land of Oz repeatedly came to my mind. Australia’s leaders need to show more brains, heart, and courage, Sharon Bessell writes.
Wednesday 22 August 2018
Kofi Annan deserves to be remembered as a near-exemplary United Nations secretary-general (SG). Great chief executives need a guiding vision for the exercise of authority, and all the more so when that authority is international civil authority. Annan’s success was based on his ability to combine pragmatism and humility with an enduring vision of human progress and solidarity. By Ramesh Thakur.
Wednesday 15 August 2018
These are hard times for international cooperation. With rising protectionism, burgeoning trade disputes, and a troubling lack of concern for shared interests like climate change, the world seems to be turning its back on multilateralism. In an era when the benefits of multilateralism are being questioned precisely as we draw closer to the planet’s ecological limits, income inequality is growing, and innovation and technology are transforming how people learn and work, the world needs a more equitable and cooperative approach to globalization. And one of the best ways to deliver it is with a sustainable development model that leaves no one behind. By Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, Stefano Manservisi, and Mario Pezzini.
Tuesday 14 August 2018
New York, USA
This summer's fires, droughts, and record-high temperatures should serve as a wake-up call. The longer a narrow and ignorant elite condemns Americans and the rest of humanity to wander aimlessly in the political desert, the more likely it is that we will all end up in a wasteland. But instead of a Moses guiding humanity in this new and dangerous wilderness, a gang of science deniers and polluters currently misguides humanity to ever-greater danger. We are all climate refugees now and must chart a path to safety. By Jeffrey D. Sachs.
Tuesday 14 August 2018
A group of leading economists recently criticized aid to the poor for failing to address poverty's root causes. But while we wait for politicians to act – and it could be a long wait – it is important to concentrate our spare resources on effective aid that helps poor people lead the best lives they can. By Peter Singer.
Wednesday 25 July 2018
Brighton, United Kingdom
For now, I share the excitement of many that a new tool to tackle HIV may be on the horizon. This prospect will be a topic of much discussion when prevention strategists gather in Amsterdam this week for the 22nd International AIDS Conference. But, no matter what becomes of this latest vaccine-related discovery, the world will still have a long way to go before HIV is eradicated. To increase our chances of success, prevention programming must remain at the top of the agenda.
Thursday 19 July 2018
Since the Paris climate agreement was signed in 2015, too many policymakers have fallen for the oil and gas industry’s rhetoric about how it can help to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Tall tales about “clean coal,” “oil pipelines to fund clean energy,” and “gas as a bridge fuel” have coaxed governments into rubber-stamping new fossil-fuel projects, even though current fossil-fuel production already threatens to push temperatures well beyond the Paris agreement’s limit of well below 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels. By Lili Fuhr and Hannah McKinnon
Tuesday 19 June 2018
According to an old African proverb, “When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” The same is true for full-blown trade wars: when major economies clash, developing countries will be among the hardest hit.
Saturday 16 June 2018
In the middle of the twentieth century, people feared that advances in computers and communications would lead to the type of centralized control depicted in George Orwell’s 1984. Today, billions of people have eagerly put Big Brother in their pockets. By Joseph S. Nye
Wednesday 13 June 2018
The United States has disinvited China from this summer’s 26-country Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise. The move has been played up as a potential indication that the US may finally be adopting a tougher approach toward China. Mattis himself has called the decision an “initial response” to China’s militarization of the South China Sea. ... The Pentagon has flaunted its capability to demolish China’s artificial islands, whose creation Chinese President Xi Jinping has cited as one of his key accomplishments. “I would just tell you,” joint staff director Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie recently said, “the US military has had a lot of experience in the western Pacific taking down small islands.” By Brahma Chellaney.
Monday 11 June 2018
It is very sad to read your recent articles reporting arrests for the cultivation of marijuana. Unlike alcohol, which is toxic and leads to both violence and chronic health problems, marijuana has proven useful for the treatment of many medical conditions.
Monday 11 June 2018
Has North Korea’s ruler, Kim Jong-un, made a strategic decision to trade away his nuclear program, or is he just engaged in another round of deceptive diplomacy, pretending that he will denuclearize in exchange for material benefits for his impoverished country? There are of course no guarantees that Donald Trump’s upcoming summit with the North Korean leader will succeed. What is clear is that successful denuclearization will require a combination of bold political decisions. By Yoon Young-Kwan.
Thursday 7 June 2018
In many parts of the world, there are simply no more conventional freshwater resources available to meet growing demand. Beyond limiting economic development, the lack of sufficient freshwater resources threatens the wellbeing of billions of people by causing conflict, social unrest, and migration. The only way to address this challenge is by radically rethinking water-resource planning and management in a way that emphasizes the creative exploitation of unconventional water sources. By Manzoor Qadir and Vladimir Smakhtin
Friday 1 June 2018
London, United Kingdom
A big reason why Western politics is in such disarray is voters’ pessimism about the future. Today’s naysayers come in three shades: Accepting pessimists; Anxious pessimists and ...finally, Angry pessimists – often populists and their supporters – who think economies are rigged, politicians corrupt, and outsiders dangerous. They have no desire to manage decline; they want to destroy the status quo. And they may pursue lose-lose outcomes simply so that others will suffer. What these groups have in common is a dearth of viable solutions. Philippe Legrain.
Thursday 31 May 2018
London, United Kingdom
It has been nearly two years since the United Kingdom narrowly voted in favor of leaving the European Union. As the march toward Brexit – formally set for the end of next March – proceeds, fundamental questions about the nature of the future UK-EU relationship remain unanswered. As the reality of Brexit sinks in, members of Britain’s cabinet and leading Brexiteers have turned on one another, while attempting to cast blame on everyone but themselves. The UK must plunge ahead, they insist, because that was “the will of the people," while they prepare their excuses for the impending debacle. By Chris Patten.
Monday 28 May 2018
The abrupt cancellation of next month's planned meeting between the North Korean and US leaders should surprise no one. Developments in recent weeks exposed three factors that doomed the initiative to collapse. By Ramesh Thakur.
Monday 21 May 2018
The composition of Tonga's Cabinet and Parliament remains in the most disordered state we have witnessed since the nation embarked on a democratic reform process in 2010. While uncertainties remain in the forefront, the big task ahead for cabinet and parliament is the National Annual Budget to be passed before 1 July. For historical reasons, this year it's no ordinary budget.