Weekly ReadingDecember 28, 2007 By Rachel Weisshaar
U.S. President George W. Bush signed a $550 billion appropriations bill into law on December 20, 2007, which included $300 million to improve water and sanitation in the developing world under the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act. Inter Press Service investigates the dangers of fetching water in Malawi, which include crocodiles and cholera.
On December 26, 2007, the Chinese government issued “Energy Conditions and Policies,” a white paper outlining the country’s energy use and plans. The government maintains that China’s history of greenhouse gas emissions gives it the right to grow its economy on fossil fuels, as did most of today’s developed countries, but also pledges China’s strong commitment to renewable energy sources.
Pope Benedict XVI called for better environmental stewardship in his Christmas homily this year, delivered during the traditional Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. According to The New York Times, “He expanded on the theme [of environmental protection] briefly by saying that an 11th-century theologian, Anselm of Canterbury, had spoken ‘in an almost prophetic way’ as he ‘described a vision of what we witness today as a polluted world whose future is at risk.’”
Along with other experts, Fred Meyerson, a professor of demography, ecology, and environmental policy at the University of Rhode Island—and a former Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar—is currently participating in an online discussion of population and climate change for The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a nonprofit organization that focuses on nuclear proliferation and other global security threats.
The World Bank recently released a Poverty Assessment Report for Yemen, which it produced with assistance from the UN Development Programme and the government of Yemen. IRIN News summarizes the findings.