Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Global Issues

Paperback | October 3, 2013

byJames Harf, Mark Lombardi

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The Taking Sides Collection on McGraw-Hill Create™ includes current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. This Collection contains a multitude of current and classic issues to enhance and customize your course. You can browse the entire Taking Sides Collection on Create, or you can search by topic, author, or keywords. Each Taking Sides issues is thoughtfully framed with Learning Outcomes, an Issue Summary, an Introduction, and an Exploring the Issue section featuring Critical Thinking and Reflection, Is There Common Ground?, and Additional Resources and Internet References. Go to McGraw-Hill Create™ at www.mcgrawhillcreate.com, click on the "Collections" tab, and select The Taking Sides Collection to browse the entire Collection. Select individual Taking Sides issues to enhance your course, or access and select the entire Harf/Lombardi: Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Global Issues, 8/e ExpressBook for an easy, pre-built teaching resource by clicking here. An online Instructor's Resource Guide with testing material is available for each Taking Sides volume. Using Taking Sides in the Classroom is also an excellent instructor resource. Visit the Create Central Online Learning Center at www.mhhe.com/createcentral for more details.

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The Taking Sides Collection on McGraw-Hill Create™ includes current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. This Collection contains a multitude of current and classic issues to enhance and customize your course. You can browse the entire Taking Sides Co...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:10.9 × 8.5 × 0.6 inPublished:October 3, 2013Publisher:McGraw-Hill EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0078139635

ISBN - 13:9780078139635

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Table of Contents

UNIT: Global Population

Issue: Is Global Aging a Major Problem?

YES: Neil Howe and Richard Jackson, from "Global Aging and the Crisis of the 2020s," Current History, 2011
NO: Calestous Juma, from "Why We Need Innovation to Prepare for the Global Aging Society," Forbes, 2012

Neil Howe and Richard Jackson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies argue that global population aging is likely to have a profound and negative effect on global economic growth, living standards and conditions, and "the shape of the world order," particularly affecting China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, and countries of the West. Harvard Professor Calestous Juma suggests that while technology alone will not be adequate to address elderly needs, utilizing technological advances in fields like engineering and medicine will likely result in allowing the elderly to be an asset rather than a burden.

Issue: Does Global Urbanization Lead Primarily to Undesirable Consequences?

YES: Divya Abhat, et al., from "Cities of the Future: Today's 'Mega-Cities' Are Overcrowded and Environmentally Stressed," E/The Environmental Magazine, 2005
NO: United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, from "Productivity and the Prosperity of Cities," in State of the World's Cities 2012/2013, 2012

Divya Abhat, editor of E/The Environmental Magazine, and colleagues suggest that the world's cities suffer from environmental ills, among them pollution, poverty, fresh water shortages, and disease. The 2012 UN-Habitat report suggests that as countries become more urbanized, national productivity increases, particularly in high- and middle-income countries. Particularly important is managing urban growth in such a way as to avoid negative consequences for future economic growth.

UNIT: Global Resources and the Environment

Issue: Should Environmentalists Continue to Be Alarmists?

Yes: Paul B. Farrell, from "The Coming Population Wars: A 12-Bomb Equation-Can Gates' Billionaires Club Stop These Inevitable Self-Destruct Triggers?" MarketWatch, 2009
No: Ronald Bailey, from "Our Uncrowded Planet," The American, 2009

Paul Farrell, an investing and personal finance columnist for CBS MarketWatch, describes 12 global time-bombs put forth by Jared Diamond, an environmental biologist. The two biggest are the overpopulation multiplier (population will increase 23 percent before it peaks) and the population impact monitor (third-world citizens will adopt much higher first-world consumption patterns). Ronald Bailey, Reason magazine's science correspondent, takes Farrell to task on each of his 12 time-bombs, arguing that current trends do not "portend a looming population apocalypse."

Issue: Will the World Be Able to Feed Itself in the Foreseeable Future?

YES: H. Charles J. Godfray, et al., from "Food Security: The Challenge of Feeding 9 Billion People," Science, 2010
NO: Lester Brown, from "The Great Food Crisis of 2011: It's Real and It's Not Going Away Anytime Soon," Foreign Policy, 2011

Charles Godfray, Oxford University professor, and his team suggest that the proportion of the world's population that is hungry has decreased over the past half-century as a consequence of food production increases, thus boding well for the next 40 years despite a number of important challenges. Lester Brown, founder and president of Earth Policy Institute, argues that unlike in the past when weather was the culprit, the spike in food prices is now caused by trends on both sides of the food supply/demand equation that are causing higher food prices.

Issue: Is the Threat of Global Warming Real?

YES: Bill McKibben, from "Think Again: Climate Change," Foreign Policy, 2009
NO: Richard Lindzen, from "A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action," The Global Warming Foundation, 2011

Bill McKibben, author of numerous books on ecological issues, addresses seven myths about climate change, arguing that the global community must act now if it is to save the earth from a climate catastrophe. Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT, cautions us not to act too hastily in addressing assumed climate change as the evidence does not support such a conclusion or the need for hysteria.

Issue: Can the Global Community Successfully Confront the Global Water Shortage?

YES: William Wheeler, from "Global Water Crisis: Too Little, Too Much, or Lack of a Plan?" The Christian Science Monitor, 2012
NO: Stewart M. Patrick, from "The Coming Global Water Crisis," The Atlantic, 2012

William Wheeler, in The Christian Science Monitor cover story, while spelling out the factors contributing to global water shortage, concludes that these pessimistic scenarios may be avoided, particularly by increased agricultural efficiency and better economics. Stewart Patrick of the Council on Foreign Relations discusses why the "simultaneous ubiquity and scarcity of water" is one of today's ironies, pointing to dramatically increased demand, particularly in the poorer regions of the globe, while acknowledging that solutions to the problem lie in better water management.

UNIT: Expanding Global Forces and Movements

Issue: Can the Global Community "Win" the Drug War?

YES: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, from World Drug Report 2012, United Nations Publications, 2012
NO: Global Commission on Drug Policy, from "War on Drugs: Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy," 2011

This 2012 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime suggests that efforts are paying off as the world's supply of the two main problem drugs, heroin and cocaine, continues to decline. According to the Global Commission on Drug Policy, the "global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world," and thus other approaches such as ending the criminalization of no-harm-to-others drugs, implementing new governmental models of regulation, offering health and treatments services, and also focusing on preventing initial use by young people should be considered.

Issue: Is the International Community Adequately Prepared to Address Global Health Pandemics?

YES: The Council on Foreign Relations, from "The Global Health Regime," The Council on Foreign Relations Issue Brief, 2013
NO: Heath A. Kelly, et al., from "We Should Not Be Complacent About Our Population-Based Public Health Response to the First Influenza Pandemic of the 21st Century," BMC Public Health, 2011

The Council on Foreign Relations' overall assessment suggests that the global health regime has an "unprecedented focus and funding," as the institutional landscape has an array of new players who are more diverse and better funded than before, yet several major weaknesses are apparent. Heath A. Kelly et al., at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, suggest that the lessons of the global community's dealing with the H1N1 virus in 2009 show that its strategies "could not control the spread" of the virus.

Issue: Do Adequate Strategies Exist to Combat Human Trafficking?

YES: Luis CdeBaca, from "A Decade in Review, A Decade Before Us: Celebrating Successes and Developing New Strategies at the 10th Anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act," Speech at 2010 Freedom Network Conference, Washington, DC, U.S. Department of State, 2008
NO: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, from Global Report of Trafficking in Persons 2012, United Nations Publications, 2012

Luis CdeBaca, ambassador-at-large for the U.S. Department of State, reported in a speech at the Freedom Network Conference that "appreciable progress" has been made in understanding the issue of human trafficking and thus the global community is in "the early stages of positive change" in addressing the issue. This 2012 UN report suggests that while progress has been made in creating awareness of the problem of human trafficking throughout much of the globe, only limited progress has been made in convictions of those guilty of trafficking.

Issue: Is the International Community Making Progress in Addressing Natural Disasters?

YES: The United Nations, from "Risk and Poverty in a Changing Climate: Invest Today for a Safer Tomorrow," Summary and Recommendations: 2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Publications, 2009
NO: David Rothkopf, from "Averting Disaster: Calamities Like the Haiti Quake Aren't Just Predictable-They're Preventable," Newsweek, 2010

The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat, a unit within the United Nations, suggests that countries are making "significant progress" in strengthening their capacities to address past deficiencies and gaps in their disaster preparedness and response. At the center of progress is the plan, Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015, which is aimed at reducing human and nonhuman disaster losses. David Rothkopf, president of Garten Rothkopf (an international consulting agency) and a member of former president Bill Clinton's international trade team, argues that the efforts of international organizations to prevent natural disasters from escalating into megadisasters "have fallen short of what is required."

Issue: Is the International Community Making Effective Progress in Securing Global Human Rights?

YES: The Council on Foreign Relations, from "The Global Human Rights Regime," The Council on Foreign Relations, 2012
NO: Amnesty International, from Amnesty International USA, Amnesty International, London, 2012

The Council on Foreign Relations, an independent nonpartisan and essentially American think tank, in an Issue Brief summarizes the development of an elaborate global system of governmental and nongovernmental organizations developed primarily over the past few decades to promote human rights throughout the world, while recognizing that the task is still far from complete. Amnesty International's annual report on the state of human rights around the world suggests major failures in all regions ("Failed leadership has gone global in the last year ."), with specific restrictions on free speech in at least 91 countries and cases of torture and other ill-treatment in over 101 countries.

UNIT: Economic and Social Aspects of Globalization

Issue: Is the Global Economic Crisis a Failure of Capitalism?

YES: John Bellamy Foster, from "A Failed Economic System: The World Crisis of Capitalist Globalization," Monthly Review, 2010
NO: Dani Rodrik, from "Coming Soon: Capitalism 3.0," Taipei Times, 2009

John Bellamy Foster argues that the global financial and economic crisis of 2008 till today is a function of real structural contradictions and issues within the capitalist order and it is manifested in many countries including China. He does not surmise that capitalism is dead but he does postulate that it must undergo fundamental change to address the problems that currently plague it. Dani Rodrik, a professor of international political economy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, contends that the current economic downturn is not a sign of capitalism's failure but rather its need for reinvention and adaptation. Rodrik argues that this is precisely why capitalism will survive and thrive, because it is so changeable based on new trends and conditions.

Issue: Does Globalization Increase Inequity?

YES: Vandana Shiva, from "Globalization and Poverty," an interview with Gary Null of NPR, Global Research, 2008
NO: Laurence Chandy and Geoffrey Gertz, from "With Little Notice, Globalization Reduced Poverty," YaleGlobal Online, 2011

Dr. Vandana Shiva argues that globalization increases poverty and inequity because the rules of the game are rigged in favor of those countries and corporations who produce products and extract resources. She contends that only through significant change can that reality be altered and addressed. Laurence Chandy and Geoffrey Gertz contend that by looking at objective data as it relates to poverty rates and the availability of food and resources, poverty rates across the globe are falling and more people are being elevated into lower and middle class than ever before.

Issue: Is Social Media Becoming the Most Powerful Force in Global Politics?

YES: Clay Shirky, from "The Net Advantage," Prospect, 2009
NO: Malcolm Gladwell, from "Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted," The New Yorker, 2010

Clay Shirky argues that social media has and will empower individuals and groups in profound ways giving political movement's power, reach, and access. He contends that it will change the power dynamic between these groups and the state (often the object if not adversary of political action) and make insurrection and revolution more likely to occur and potentially to succeed. Malcolm Gladwell contends that social media, while intriguing and fast, is another tool of social activism and is not revolutionary. He argues that its presence does not mean that revolutions will sprout up everywhere nor does he believe that when they do they will be successful. A host of other factors are just as if not more important.

UNIT: The New Global Security Dilemma

Issue: Are We Headed for a Nuclear 9/11?

YES: Brian Michael Jenkins, from "Terrorists Can Think Strategically: Lessons Learned from the Mumbai Attacks," Testimony Series, Rand Corporation, 2009
NO: Graham Allison, from "Time to Bury a Dangerous Legacy-Part I," YaleGlobal Online, 2008

Brian Michael Jenkins, senior advisor to the president of the Rand Corporation, in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, posited that a team of terrorists could be inserted into the United States and carry out a Mumbai-style attack as terrorism has "increasingly become an effective strategic weapon." Graham Allison, Harvard professor and director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, affirms that we are not likely to experience a nuclear 9/11 because "nuclear terrorism is preventable by a feasible, affordable agenda of actions that . would shrink the risk of nuclear terrorism to nearly zero."

Issue: Will China Be the Next Superpower?

YES: Jonathan Watts, from "China: Witnessing the Birth of a Superpower," The Guardian, 2012
NO: Minxin Pei, from "China's Not a Superpower," The Diplomat, 2010

After living and reporting on China for over a decade, Jonathan Watts argues that China is becoming the next superpower. He cites its economic growth and expansion, government policies, and growing international influence as signs of this emerging status. Minxin Pei argues that the political and economic situation in China is not as stable and robust as we believe. He contends that there are structural economic concerns and growing political unrest that will mitigate China's ascension to superpower status and for the foreseeable future.

Issue: Have Al-Qaeda and Its Jihad Against the United States Been Defeated?

YES: Fareed Zakaria, from "The Jihad Against the Jihadis: How Moderate Muslim Leaders Waged War on Extremists-and Won," Newsweek, 2010
NO: Scott Stewart, from "Jihadism in 2010: The Threat Continues," STRATFOR Weekly Terrorism Intelligence Report, 2010

Fareed Zakaria argues through the acts of moderate Muslims across the Islamic world, "We have turned the corner on the war between extremism and the West and . now we are in a new phase of clean up and rebuilding of relationships." His argument rests on the actions of Muslim regimes in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Indonesia who are fighting back against jihadism, engaging in military and political policies that are marginalizing extremists and consequently winning the war. Scott Stewart contends that despite Western victories against Al-Qaeda based in the Afghan-Pakistan border region, regional groups and cells have taken up the slack and the threat of extremism and jihad is still strong and ominous. He focuses on the work of these groups in Somalia, Yemen, and North Africa to illustrate this continued fight.

Issue: Is the Middle East Undergoing a Democratic Revolution?

YES: Fareed Zakaria, from "How Democracy Can Work in the Middle East," TIME, 2011
NO: Daniel L. Byman, from "After the Hope of the Arab Spring, the Chill of an Arab Winter," The Washington Post, 2011

Fareed Zakaria argues that there are strong strands within the Egyptian polity and around other parts of the Middle East to indicate that the Arab Spring is truly a democratic revolution. Although he cautions that democratic results are dependent on a host of complex factors, he sees several reasons for optimism, including a strong and secular military and an independent judiciary system. Daniel L. Byman argues that the initial hopes for democracy in the Middle East are now tenuous at best. He points out that various groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have moved toward renewed authoritarianism and not real democratic reforms and participation.

Issue: Should Israel Preempt Against Iran's Nuclear Program?

YES: Elliott Abrams, from "Israel and Iran: The Grounds for an Israeli Attack," World Affairs Journal, 2012
NO: Colin H. Kahl, from "Before Attacking Iran, Israel Should Learn from Its 1981 Strike on Iraq," The Washington Post, 2012

Elliott Abrams argues that a nuclear-armed Iran represents a unique and existential threat to the survival of the state of Israel and therefore is unacceptable. He contends that some states when faced with such a threat should act to prevent destruction since the approach and policy of the Iranian regime is clear and unequivocal in its hostility to Israel's very existence. Colin H. Kahl argues that Israel's attack on the Osirak reactor in Iraq had the reverse impact it wished. Saddam Hussein became even more determined to acquire nuclear weapons. Given the greater strength and resiliency of the Iranian regime, its geographic position, and its resources, an Israeli preemption on Iran would merely galvanize hard liners to regroup and continue the work toward nuclear weapons. And this is something that Israel or the United States cannot ultimately stop.