Poverty

According to Mahatma Ghandi, “poverty is the worst form of violence”.

  • What is poverty?
  • Try to make up your own definition of this term
  • Who are the poor?
  • Why does poverty exist?
  • Will we ever be able to eradicate poverty?

Take 10 minutes to write down your thoughts on these questions, and then discuss with a classmate.

Today we will discuss the documentary The End of Poverty  What is the main message of the documentary?

We will also look at this TedTalk. What new perspectives are essential in order to begin eradicating poverty, according to Efosa Omojo?

Finally, we will read the short story “Robert and the Dog” by Ken Saro-Wiwa and discuss how this story is relevant to the topic of poverty.

The Refugee Crisis

Today’s refugees

According to UNHCR, there are 70,8 million refugees in the world today. The biggest refugee camp is in Bangladesh and houses the approximately 630,000 Rohingyas who are considered one of the most persecuted people. A people with no future, little hope and a life in limbo.

In the “Ultimate Safari”, Nadine Gordimer tells a story of a group of people that has to flee because of war and conflict.

We have also heard about the people of West Sahara and their sufferings, being forced from their homes to live in refugee camps since the invasion of West Sahara by Morocco in 1975.

Write a blogpost in which you summarize the impressions you are left with after working with both fact and fiction.  What do you think the UN can do to solve/improve the situation for the refugees/the refugee challenge? What can the world do?

 

Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax5f9KsGfv8&feature=emb_title

“The Ultimate Safari” by Nadine Gordimer

https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/refugees/index.html

https://www.nrc.no/perspectives/2019/trapped-in-the-worlds-largest-refugee-camp/

https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9wb2RjYXN0LnBvc3R0di5jb20vaXR1bmVzL3Bvc3QtcmVwb3J0cy54bWw&episode=NWRiMzJkMjVjOWU3N2MwMDA4NTMzYTc2&hl=no&ved=2ahUKEwjq29bE4IfnAhVklYsKHf74BJQQjrkEegQIBxAE&ep=6

 

 

Climate changes affect indigenous cultures

Watch this 15-minute video produced by the Guardian and read this article from the same news source detailing how some indigenous peoples experience changes to their culture due to effects of climate changes.

What challenges and benefits do the people on Greenland experience because of climate changes? And while Aboriginal Australians may have the same core problem, given their vastly different physiography the effects are even more devastating. Add governmental obstructions, for instance when it comes to infrastructure, into the equation, and it is hard to see any benefits from climate changes like the Greenlanders do. So what challenges do the people of Australia’s Northern Territory face because of climate changes?

Hilde

Sources:

In the news:  New species, some under threat even before they were discovered

Kew scientists have officially given 110 new species scientific names in the course of 2019, this Guardian article reveals. Among these 102 plants and eight fungi are species that can change medicine. One has the ability to trick our taste buds. Another has been used for centuries to treat arthritis. It has only this year been given a formal scientific name, and seems also to have abilities to combat cancer.

According to the article, “[t]here are almost 400,000 known species of plant, and about 2,000 new species are named every year”. Yet with their habitats being under threat due to a variety of dangers, the world is at risk of losing them before the species are even discovered, registered, named, or measures being taken to protect them.

Reflecting on all the undiscovered species still out there and all the potential they hold, particularly within medicine, should we not do more to protect them from becoming extinct? Should we not rage against the forest fires raging in several parts of the world, whether or not the destruction is deliberate? Should we not protest dam projects that could potentially wipe out an entire species? Should we not reflect around our own and our governments’ values and actions (or inaction), in the hopes of preserving nature?

In the news: Time Person of the Year 2019

Time Person of the Year is annually awarded to the person who “for better or worse […] has done the most to influence the events of the year.” Could there be a more deserving winner for 2019 than Greta Thunberg? Time Magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said in his announcement: “She became the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet this year, coming from essentially nowhere to lead a worldwide movement.”Time magazine cover with Greta Thunberg

Congratulations!

 

 

COP25

For two weeks civil servants, activists and some politicians are meeting in Madrid for the 25th summit of the UN’s conference of the parties – COP25. By Friday, 13 December 2019, they will have debated issues concerning the climate – once again. Will it help? Hopefully, but only time will tell. The Guardian has compiled an excellent overview of what to expect before the climate conference started on 2 December. Read it, but also do your own research, for instance on COP25’s own website. For instance, how many did Norway send to Madrid during these two weeks? Did the UK send anyone, or were they too busy campaigning ahead of the general election on 12 December? Has COP25 actually achieved anything now that there are only days left, or are they postponing most things until next year and COP26, since most countries has 2020 as one of their deadlines, whether for attaining the previous targets, set in Copenhagen, or revising the objectives set in the Paris Accord.

Hilde

Press freedom for everyone?

Press freedom and journalistic independence are values that democratic societies cherish. Unfortunately, too many countries do not respect these values.  Today we will look at press freedom in the world. You will each be allotted a country. Spend the rest of the lesson doing research on this country’s treatment of the media, and condition and status of free press.

Write 2-3 paragraphs on your blog about this (the country’s treatment of their media, and the condition and status of a free press in the country). No evaluation- but you should be prepared to discuss your findings in class.

Use the websites Reporters Without Borders (https://rsf.org/en) and Committee to Protect Journalists (https://cpj.org/). You may use other sources as well. If you come across specific stories about journalists/bloggers/ others who have somehow been punished for their involvement in and use of media, tell us!freedom-of-speech-e1448890859820-jpe

Hong Kong

-IN THE NEWS-

What is going on in Hong Kong?

Every day, the situation in the former British colony Hong Kong seems to be escalating. Today you are going to find out why there have been so many demonstrations, what the latest development is and how the protesters have organized themselves. You should also comment on the election results- what does it say, and how do you think this will affect Hong Kong’s future?

Look at two various English-speaking media to find information about this. Write a blog post in which you write about your findings, using your own words.

 

 

Water

You have read two texts about water, showing how water is essential not only to maintain life but to experience quality of life. Choose one or more of the areas that the texts discuss, whether they are social, environmental or economic issues, and write a blog post about how water is an integral part of your chose area(s).

Hilde

In the news – Ebola: Attackers kill DR Congo journalist shining light on virus

Last week you worked to help enable youth in DR Congo choose education over working in mines. But did you know that that is only one issue the country is facing? Another is Ebola, and an epidemic has plagued the country since August 2018. Sadly, people working towards spreading information and trying to prevent the disease from spreading further are becoming targets… Read this short update from BBC for the current situation and yesterday’s violent attack on a journalist and his wife.