Showing posts from December, 2015

2015: What Went Wrong, What Went Right and What Next

Year end is the traditional time for stock-taking. It is also a special moment for getting together and getting in touch with all those we've lost sight of...I can't do a full stocktaking in a blog post, but at least I can try to share with you, my friends, what stayed with me this year and what we shall soon put behind us - and what may be in store. Hopefully, something good...
First, what went wrong. This is not an exhaustive list, just what was most striking:

theocratic terrorism: in Syria and attacks abroad - at Charlie Hebdo first and the Paris attacks in November, but not only. Attacks were experienced everywhere, in the US, in Libya, in Lebanon, in Africa, not forgetting the tragic war in Yemen, the list is long;a tsunami of refugees: 4 million Syrians fleeing their homes, one million headed for Europe and among them, "economic migrants" from places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, desperate people looking for jobs; "European Project" slowdown:  E…

What Really Happened at the Paris Climate Conference - and What Next

Impakter just published one of my articles about the United Nations - this one about the results of the Paris Climate Conference:


After the Copenhagen fiasco in 2009 when no agreement was reached, the subject of climate change looked dead and buried. Yet, this time in Paris, something positive happened at COP21. That’s the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP), i.e. the countries that have signed onto the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) back in Rio, at the 1992 Earth Summit. It took twenty-three years to get from there – in Rio – to here in Paris. So, was COP21 a success or yet another failure? Actually, it was both On Saturday, December 12th, at 7:30 pm, after 11 days of negotiations between 195 countries, including a 24 hour delay and a last minute panic caused by a typo in the text that suggested that one sentence in the agreement was binding when it was intended to be voluntary, an agreement was reach…

Mass Shootings and Gun Violence in America

Following the San Bernardino massacre, the Washington Post has published on its Wonkblog an article with the arresting title: "We’ve had a massive decline in gun violence in the United States. Here’s why." 
And just in case you thought this would be a general analysis of gun violence in America unrelated to mass shootings, leave that thought behind. The article explicitly starts off with a tragic picture of the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting (my screenshot):

This is counter-intuitive and it really muddles up the issue: mass shootings are on the INCREASE in the US and this is a fact nobody should lose sight of. American society as a whole may be less violent than it was 20 or 30 years ago, but it's a helluva more dangerous place to live for the average citizen.
According to this article, there are 5 reasons why gun violence has declined over the past three decades:
1. More police officers on the beat;
2. Police using computers to collect data on crime and to dire…