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Cover of The Triumph of Doubt by David Michaels

The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception by David Michaels

A government insider exposes the industry playbook for undermining evidence-based policy Sheril Kirshenbaum Science February 10, 2020
His book offers account after account of unethical bad actors working against the public good on issues ranging from asbestos to climate change. Powerful firms and individuals seeking personal gain repeat the tactics of a well-worn playbook of denial and misdirection proven effective by Big Tobacco more than 50 years ago. Michaels pulls no punches, naming the corporations and people responsible for fraud, deception, and even what he terms “climate terrorism.” He reveals the dirty ways that industries have succeeded at shaping their own narratives regarding safety and health by producing articles and diversions designed to deny and distort science while confusing the public.

Cover of The Triumph of Doubt by David Michaels Credit: Oxford University Press

Human Development Report 2019 Credit: UNDP

Human Development Report: new inequalities must be addressed

United Nations Development Program December 9, 2019. The demonstrations sweeping across the world today signal that, despite unprecedented progress against poverty, hunger and disease, many societies are not working as they should.

The connecting thread, argues a new report from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is inequality.“Different triggers are bringing people onto the streets — the cost of a train ticket, the price of petrol, demands for political freedoms, the pursuit of fairness and justice. This is the new face of inequality, and as this Human Development Report sets out, inequality isnot beyond solutions,” says UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner.

The 2019 Human Development Report (HDR), entitled “Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st Century,” says that just as the gap in basic living standards is narrowing for millions of people, the necessities to thrive have evolved.

A new generation of inequalities is opening up, around education, and around technology and climate change — two seismic shifts that, unchecked, could trigger a ‘new great divergence’ in society of the kind not seen since the Industrial Revolution, according to the report. In countries with very high human development, for example, subscriptions to fixed broadband are growing 15 times faster and the proportion of adults with tertiary education is growing more than six times faster than in countries with low human development.

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Measuring exploitation and oppression 2019

Global Trends: Forced displacement in 2018 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees June 19, 2019

World military expenditure grows to $1.8 trillion in 2018 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute April 29, 2019

Gender Development Index 2018 United Nations Development Program “The GDI measures gender gaps in human development achievements by accounting for disparities between women and men in three basic dimensions of human development—health, knowledge and living standards using the same component indicators as in the HDI…. It is a direct measure of gender gap showing the female HDI as a percentage of the male HDI.”

Gender Inequality Index United Nations Development Program The  GII  is  designed  to  reveal  the  extent  to  which  the  realization  of  a  country’s  human  development  potential  is  curtailed  by  gender  inequality. The 2018 GII can be downloaded as an Excel file from this site. A fuller explanation of the GII is provided by UNDP Measuring Key Disparities in Human Development: The Gender Inequality Index, especially pp 8-14.

The Committee to Protect Journalists tracks Journalists killed, missing and imprisoned under CPI Data. There were 50 journalists killed during 2019, with 64 missing and 250 imprisoned at the end of 2019, according to their records. CPJ Alerts reported over 380 specific attacks on journalists and publications in 2019.

Cover of How to Be a Dictator

How to Be a Dictator: The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century by Frank Dikötter

The field guide to tyranny Adam Gopnik The New Yorker December 23, 2019
Dictators tend to share the same ugly manner because all seek the same effect: not charm but intimidation.

Cover of How to Be a Dictator Credit: Bloomsbury