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Politicians and protesters in Washington today for the first Climate Crisis Action Day would do well to remember that global institutions have a potentially valuable role to play in addressing global warming.
In U.S. jurisprudence, the standard for conviction in a criminal proceeding is "beyond a reasonable doubt" -- at least 90% certain, in the conventional understanding. The prevailing standard in civil proceedings is the "preponderance of evidence" -- more likely true than not -- which implies greater than 50% likelihood.
Randall Tobias, the first U.S. director of foreign assistance, had back-to-back hearings last week with the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations.
The founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, has named a new leader for his personal philanthropy, Omidyar Network, as he explores ways to play a bigger role in shaping public policy, the NYT reported yesterday.
President Bush is going to Latin America, and that has inspired a round of commentary in the mainstream press. A New York Times editorial urges the President to focus on democracy, human rights and social justice, and applauds the recent doubling of U.S. aid to the region. Democracy and social justice and a dollop of aid (the current budget of $1.6 billion is barely 1 percent of spending by Latin governments on health and education) are good things.
**This post is co-authored with CGD senior fellow David Wheeler
Today's Washington Post column by David Ignatius finally inches popular understanding in the U.S. a bit further in the right direction on why climate change could be so costly to human society. It isn't just the direct costs of seawalls and more destructive hurricanes that climate change will bring. It's the risk that institutional arrangements to deal with those costs will not be resilient and will collapse under the resulting pressure--so that, as Chinua Achebe suggested about post-colonial West Africa, things do literally "fall apart".
"Countries know where they want to be, but they may not know the best way of getting there. We would like to see the development of a new institution which can help us generate and use impact evaluation findings and help build capacity within our country to develop evidence and answer some of our enduring questions." --Margaret Kakande, Ugandan Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development