Archive for January 1st, 2019


Worse than the “Worst” Oil Leak in the Gulf of Mexico: 14 Years and Counting

Human Wrongs Watch

By Silvia Swinden*

London, 30 December 2018 (Pressenza)* – When talking about fossil fuels disasters we are running out of superlatives.

Worse than the “worst” oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico: 14 years and counting
Deepwater Horizon explosión that killed eleven staff (Image by Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

The Deepwater Horizon operated by BP discharged an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

After several failed efforts to contain the flow, the well was declared sealed on 19 September 2010. Reports in early 2012 indicated that the well site was still leaking.

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Global Arms Industry: US Companies Dominate the Top 100; Russian Arms Industry Moves to Second Place

Human Wrongs Watch

Stockholm (SIPRI)* —  Sales of arms and military services by the world’s largest arms-producing and military services companies—the SIPRI Top 100—totalled $398.2 billion in 2017, according to new international arms industry data released on by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Global arms industry: US companies dominate the Top 100; Russian arms industry moves to second place

The F-35 produced by Lockheed Martin. Photo: Flickr/ Forsvarsdepartementet| Photo from SIPRI.

The total for the SIPRI Top 100 in 2017 is 2.5 per cent higher than in 2016 and represents an increase of 44 per cent since 2002 (the first year for which comparable data is available; figures exclude China).

This is the third consecutive year of growth in Top 100 arms sales.

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Towards Zero Deforestation – How to Reconcile Development, Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts

Human Wrongs Watch

By UN Environment*

The human population is still growing and needs space and resources. It is, therefore, not easy to reconcile development, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation efforts. Which areas can be allocated for development and what should be off-limits to conserve forests and biodiversity? And how do we ensure that stakeholders, including governments and the private sector, respect minimum standards for land use planning processes?

High Carbon Stock by Calibas wikimedia gc.jpg
Photo by Calibas, Wikimedia | Photo from UN Environment.

Reflections on 2018, Forecasting 2019

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service

In many ways it is painful to reflect on the year 2018; a year of vital opportunities lost when so much is at stake.


Robert J. Burrowes

Whether politically, militarily, socially, economically, financially or ecologically, humanity took some giant strides backwards while passing up endless opportunities to make a positive difference in our world.

Let me, very briefly, identify some of the more crucial backward steps, starting with the recognition by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in January that the year had already started badly when they moved the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight, the closest it has ever been to ‘doomsday’ (and equal to 1953 when the Soviet Union first exploded a thermonuclear weapon matching the US capacity). See ‘It is now two minutes to midnight’.

This change reflected the perilous state of our world, particularly given the renewed threat of nuclear war and the ongoing climate catastrophe.

It didn’t even mention the massive and unrelenting assault on the biosphere (apart from the climate) nor, of course, the ongoing monumental atrocities against fellow human beings.

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On the First Day of 2019, Over 395,000 Babies to Be Born Worldwide; a Quarter in South Asia Alone – UNICEF

As the calendar flips to 2019, about 395,072 babies will be born around the world, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on 31 December 2018, adding that a quarter will be born in South Asia alone.

UNICEF/UN0269241/Chute | Baby girl who was born at the stroke of midnight 2019, on 1 January in Fiji. Losena was one of two mothers who gave birth between 12.00 am and 12.01 am at the Colonial war memorial hospital, Suva Fiji.

As revelers say ‘hello’ to 2019 with great festivities, the world welcomes its newest residents. In a press release issued on the first day of the year, UNICEF said that globally, over 395,000 children are expected to be born on 1 January.

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