Scientists declared this past year as the warmest year on Earth since record-keeping began in 1880, and a series of scientific reports found glaciers melting and extreme weather events intensifying. There can be no doubt that this year world leaders must commit to transforming their economies to combat climate change.
In a couple of days, I’ll join leaders from the worlds of business, governments, politics, arts, and academia at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The Forum is one of the premier events for discussing global risks. Many if not most of these risks are identified in the Forum’s annual Global Risks report.
So what is the story about regional inequalities in Turkey?
The young boy stood before his father’s corpse, wailing. He could not believe that his father, who had gone out for breakfast, had ended up dead. He was blown up by a suicide bomber in one of Baghdad’s busiest restaurants in 2005.
I was covering the bombing attack for The Washington Post when I saw the boy becoming another digit in the count of war victims. In the news, he might be a number but in reality he became an orphan whose loss would add to the obstacles of achieving sustainable development.
When I was a reporter in my war-torn country of Iraq, I saw death every single day, in schools, markets, buses, and even worship areas. What is worse is that this is still happening, not only in Iraq but also in many other countries. Conflicts, wars, sectarianism, and racism have become a daily occurrence in the news, and it is just too disturbing.
Peki, bunun ardında yatan hikaye nedir?
The halving of world oil prices over the last six months raises questions about the implications for food prices and the welfare of poor people.
Do lower oil prices mean lower food prices? To a certain extent. But for low-energy cropping systems common in most developing countries, and in areas where food is not transported far, the impact will be dampened. For large oil exporters, however, food prices may increase. In general, lower oil prices should lower the cost of moving food from producers to consumers and reduce on-farm fuel and fertilizer costs. But a countervailing factor is that cheap oil may also induce people to drive more, and as fuel ethanol mandates link biofuel use to overall fuel use, ethanol use and the volume of maize used to produce it would also go up. In countries where oil is a large share of exports, real exchange rates may depreciate, which will disproportionately increase the price of traded goods like grains relative to other prices.
Is the downturn in agriculture commodity prices necessarily bad for farmers who produce food? A major downturn in commodity prices would not be great for farm incomes, and high crop yields would be needed to help dampen the effect on farm profits. Lower fertilizer and transport costs may help mitigate any negative impacts.
How long will oil prices remain low? While there is no certainty in forecasts, current estimates suggest fuel prices will remain low for 2015, increasingly slightly in 2016. There are three main drivers of the oil price decline which are structural: Significant increases in US shale oil production, receding concerns of oil supply disruptions in the Middle East, and a change in OPEC policy to maintain rather than cut production.
Without concerted action, the world will one day see a megadisaster—a disaster resulting in over 1 million casualties.
The forces of population growth and rapid urbanization are dramatically increasing exposure to disaster risk. Over 600 million people, for example, live in the Ganges Basin of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Due to the meeting of the tectonic plates with the Indian subcontinent shifting under the Eurasian continent, this area is at a large risk of seismic activity. And indeed, the Ganges Basin has seen earthquakes over magnitude 7.0 in the past 500 years, as illustrated by the graphic above.
As practitioners, we can help reduce disaster risk and build resilience to potential catastrophes through smart development practices. These practices, however, require targeted research that can inform which levers to move, and how to move them. Sadly, this kind of research is difficult to come by in the disaster risk management community, and harder still to communicate to those that need it most.
After the riots following Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968, Georgia Avenue and its surrounding neighborhoods in Washington D.C. were stuck in time. Houses and businesses looked run down, and there weren’t many visitors—unless you counted the traffic along Georgia Avenue, one of the main roads to connect Maryland and Washington D.C. Fast forward to 2015 and brand new condo buildings tower over 100-year old houses. Shiny new restaurants pop up next to ones that have been in the same family for generations. I see longtime residents and millennials waiting for the bus. It seems the only thing that’s stayed the same is the traffic. Some call these recent changes revitalization, others gentrification.
No matter where in the world you live, you see and experience things every day that make you think; that upset or inspire you; that you wish were different; or that give you hope. Instead of walking past, ignoring, or pretending there’s not an issue, we want you to capture an image and share it to help raise awareness of the issues where you live.
Today the World Bank turns to you—global citizens—to give faces to the seemingly insurmountable issues you experience, like access to clean water, corruption, clean stoves, sanitation, gender inequality, or any number of other real challenges your community faces. We’re launching the #EachDayISee contest on Instagram to share photos of the world around us, to help draw attention to the myriad of economic and social issues facing communities all around the world.