Mother’s Day Gifts That Make a Difference

Granted, Mother’s Day may be a “Hallmark Holiday” (or not), but that doesn’t mean that the holiday can’t be used fro good.

OneWorld US has launched a gift guide for Mother’s Day that let’s you purcahse gifts that can make the world a better place!

If you have any ideas on gifts for Mom that make the world better, leave a comment to let everyone know!

Now for the Good News

Steve tells us about how The Reason has an article about how life has improved for the majority of people around the world. Despite the nay-sayers, things are good!

These improvements haven’t been restricted to the United States. It’s a global phenomenon. Worldwide, life expectancy has more than doubled, from 31 years in 1900 to 67 years today. India’s and China’s infant mortalities exceeded 190 per 1,000 births in the early 1950s; today they are 62 and 26, respectively. In the developing world, the proportion of the population suffering from chronic hunger declined from 37 percent to 17 percent between 1970 and 2001 despite a 83 percent increase in population. Globally average annual incomes in real dollars have tripled since 1950. Consequently, the proportion of the planet’s developing-world population living in absolute poverty has halved since 1981, from 40 percent to 20 percent. Child labor in low income countries declined from 30 percent to 18 percent between 1960 and 2003.

(On a personal note I find it ironic that the article teaser says “mankind.” This is saying that only half of the world’s population has improved. Apparently women have been left behind.)

Chavez Helps Poor Eat

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has launched programs that subsidize things that poor people need using oil sales from the oil generated in Venezuela. Chavez wants to use the oil wealth for positive social change that will help the country develop. People living in poor parts of Venezuela seem to agree with Chavez. The above link points out some of the weaknesses of Chavez’s plan and at the same time shows how his plans are helping those in need.

“Drawing on billions of dollars in oil revenues, Chavez has started a long list of social programs, called “missions,” which offer everything from job training to cash assistance for single mothers.”

Economic Incentives to Fight Climate Change

graphI don’t think we need another reason to do all we can to curb climate change, but Sir Nicholas Stern a British economist has found one more. Climate change is obviously going to hinder economic progress, yet large corporations argue that there is nothing to worry about – well Stern is predicting massive economic repercussions if we don’t act on curbing climate change. The BBC reports that Stern argues “global warming could shrink the global economy by 20%.”

So, what is this story doing on a good news website? Well, there is good news in all of this. The Stern report can hopefully influence those who decide policies to act in favour of the environment and sway those who still doubt climate change is going to hurt us. British PM Tony Blair is already arguing for action.

We also have time to react to climate change according to Stern. He said “That’s why I’m optimistic – having done this review – that we have the time and knowledge to act. But only if we act internationally, strongly and urgently.”

Seven Hybrid Concerns?

People seem to not like change and changing from a car that produces smog to a car that produces less smog is shocking for some. They don’t know what is true and what isn’t true when it comes to information about hybrid vehicles. CNN has tried to clarify what people should consider when buying a hybrid car and other points that aren’t that important.

Of their list below only three are “legitimate” concerns.

  1. Hybrids have complicated technology that is difficult or expensive to fix
  2. Hybrids have limited battery pack life
  3. Hybrids have technical problems like stalling and sputtering
  4. Hybrids do not pay for themselves to justify their premium cost
  5. Hybrids do not offer the driving performance needed
  6. Hybrids will not hold resale value
  7. Hybrids do not get the level of mileage promised
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