30 October 2018   Leave a comment

The Pew Research Center has conducted a poll in 14 countries on political engagement and the results suggest that “in many nations around the world, much of the public is disengaged from politics.”  However, there are some issues in the countries–health care, poverty and education–that tend to stimulate higher levels of engagement.  In most of the countries, older voters are more engaged than younger voters, but that finding is mediated by the degree to which engagement can take place online.  It will be interesting to see whether avenues for engagement can begin to become more institutionalized through social media–a dramatic change from traditional forms of engagement but perhaps not at all inconsistent with the idea of direct democracy.

 

Chart showing that many are likely to take political action on poor health care and poverty.

 

The World Wildlife Federation has issued its annual Living Planet report and it carries a grim assessment of the health of wildlife on the planet:

“The Living Planet Index also tracks the state of global biodiversity by measuring the population abundance of thousands of vertebrate species around the world. The latest index shows an overall decline of 60% in population sizes between 1970 and 2014. Species population declines are especially pronounced in the tropics, with South and Central America suffering the most dramatic decline, an 89% loss compared to 1970. Freshwater species numbers have also declined dramatically, with the Freshwater Index showing an 83% decline since 1970. But measuring biodiversity – all the varieties of life that can be found on Earth and their relationships to each other – is complex, so this report also explores three other indicators measuring changes in species distribution, extinction risk and changes in community composition. All these paint the same picture – showing severe declines or changes.”

The issue, however, does not seem to be high on the list for many politicians since only humans vote.  It is hard to see the necessary action to avert further extinctions.  Reutersstate of the world’s oceans has a similarly distressing article on the .

Posted October 30, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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