Climate Change and Global Poverty: A Billion Lives in the Balance?

Brookings Institution Press
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Climate change threatens all people, but its adverse effects will be felt most acutely by the world's poor. Absent urgent action, new threats to food security, public health, and other societal needs may reverse hard-fought human development gains. Climate Change and Global Poverty makes concrete recommendations to integrate international development and climate protection strategies. It demonstrates that effective climate solutions must empower global development, while poverty alleviation itself must become a central strategy for both mitigating emissions and reducing global vulnerability to adverse climate impacts.
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About the author

Lael Brainard served as vice president and director of the Brookings Institution's Global Economy and Development program, 2006–09. She has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be under secretary of the U.S. Treasury for international affairs.

Abigail Jones is a research analyst with Brookings.

Nigel Purvis is the president of Climate Advisers and a visiting scholar at Resources for the Future. He is a former senior U.S. climate change negotiator, acting most recently as deputy assistant secretary of state for oceans, environment, and science.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Oct 1, 2009
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Pages
307
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ISBN
9780815703815
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Economic Development
Political Science / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
Social Science / Poverty & Homelessness
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In a world transformed by globalization and challenged by terrorism, foreign aid has assumed renewed importance as a foreign policy tool. While the results of more than forty years of development assistance show some successes, foreign aid is currently dispersed between many agencies and branches of government in a manner that formulation and implementation of a coherent, effective strategy. The current political climate is receptive to a transition toward greater accountability and effectiveness in development aid. Because this transition is clearly an imperative but has not yet been comprehensively addressed, the Brookings Institution and the Center for Strategic and International Studies have conducted a joint study that both assesses the current structures of foreign assistance and makes recommendations for efficient coordination. Drawing on expertise from the full range of agencies whose policies affect foreign aid, Security by Other Means examines foreign assistance across four categories reflecting the interests that aid furthers: security, economic, humanitarian, and political. As disparities in the world become more untenable, foreign aid plays a key role in not only the national interests of the U.S. but also the interconnected interests of the international community. This important new volume takes aim at critical questions in a concerted manner by assigning coherence and effectiveness to U.S. foreign aid. Contributors include Owen Barder (Center for Global Development, formerly UK Department for International Development), Charlie Flickner (former Staff Director of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations), Steve Hensch (George Washington University), Steve Morrison (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Steve Radelet (Center for Global Development)
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF "6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN" AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD

"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

Private sector activity is crucial for development. It shapes the investment climate, mobilizes innovation and financing in areas such as global health, and can either cause or mitigate social and environmental harm. Yet so far, the international development debate has not focused on the role of the private sector.

This volume—written by members of the private sector, philanthropic organizations, and academia—investigates ways to galvanize the private sector in the fight against global poverty. Using a bottom-up approach, they describe how the private sector affects growth and poverty alleviation. They also review the impediments to private capital investment, and discuss various approaches to risk mitigation, including public sector enhancements, and identify some specific new plans for financing development in neglected markets, including an equity-based model for financing small-to-medium-sized enterprises. From the top-down, the authors look at the social and environmental impact of private sector activities, investigate public-private partnerships, explore new perspectives on the role of multinationals, and discuss an in-depth case study of these issues as they relate to global public health. In addition to providing a broad overview of the current issues, this forward-looking volume assesses the action-oriented initiatives that already exist, and provides templates and suggestions for new initiatives and partnerships.

Contributors include David DeFerranti (Brookings Institution), Timothy Freundlich (Calvert Social Investment Foundation), Ross Levine (World Bank), Sylvia Mathews (Gates Foundation), Jane Nelson (Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government), Alan Patricof (APAX Partners), Warrick Smith (World Bank), and Julie Sunderland (APAX Partners).

WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE GENERAL NON-FICTION 

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America
 
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION | FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times Book Review • The Boston Globe •  The Washington Post • NPR • Entertainment Weekly • The New Yorker • Bloomberg •  Esquire • Buzzfeed • Fortune • San Francisco Chronicle • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • St. Louis Post-Dispatch •  Politico •  The Week • Bookpage • Kirkus Reviews •  Amazon •  Barnes and Noble Review •  Apple •  Library Journal • Chicago Public Library • Publishers Weekly • Booklist • Shelf Awareness
The plight of the poorest around the world has been pushed to the forefront of America's international agenda for the first time in many years by the war on terrorism and the formidable challenges presented by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In March 2002, President Bush announced the creation of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). This bilateral development fund represents an increase of $5 billion per year over current assistance levels and establishes of a new agency to promote growth in reform-oriented developing countries. Amounting to a doubling of U.S. bilateral development aid—the largest increase in decades -- the MCA offers a critical chance to deliberately shape the face that the United States presents to people in poor nations around the world. This book makes concrete recommendations on crafting a new blueprint for distributing and delivering aid to make the MCA an effective tool, not only in its own right, but also in transforming U.S. foreign aid and strengthening international aid cooperation more generally. The book tackles head on the tension between foreign policy and development goals that chronically afflicts U.S. foreign assistance; the danger of being dismissed as one more instance of the United States going it alone instead of buttressing international cooperation; and the risk of exacerbating confusion among the myriad overlapping U.S. policies, agencies, and programs targeted at developing nations, particularly USAID. In doing so, The Other War draws important lessons from new international development initiatives, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, the mixed record of previous U.S. aid efforts, trends in the U.S. budget for foreign assistance, the agencies currently involved in administering U.S. development policy, and the importance of the relationship between Congress and the executive branch in determining aid outcomes. The MCA holds the promise of substantially increasing U.S. development assistance and pioneering a new era in aid, but the authors caution against creating yet another example of wasted aid that could undermine political support for foreign assistance for decades to come. About the Authors Lael Brainard is director of the Brookings/CGD Project on the Millennium Challenge Account and holds the New Century Chair in Economic Studies and Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. Carol Graham is Vice President and Director of the Governance Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, where she also directs the Global Poverty Reduction Initiative. Steven Radelet is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. Nigel Purvis is a senior scholar in Foreign Policy, Economic, and Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Gayle E. Smith is a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and formerly was senior director for African affairs at the National Security Council.
An honest, intimate look at the lives of today's teens—told through the true experiences of friends at a New England prep school

Established in 1798, Milton Academy has a proud history of achievement. It has educated artists and CEOs; it has produced a long line of distinguished scholars and dignitaries; and it has shepherded students through the world of high-pressure academics for generations. Since its founding, the public face of Milton had always been one of integrity and pride . . . until a sex scandal rocked the campus and made headlines in the spring of 2005. The offense? Teenagers doing no more than what others had done before them—except this time they got caught.

Restless Virgins is the riveting real-life story of a group of seniors who were there as the "incident" (as it came to be called) unfolded: Whitney, the athletic and sensual beauty every girl wants to be; Annie, who craves acceptance but is torn between the desire for peer approval and musical success; Jillian, the smart one who is sick of high school drama and desperate to go to college; and Reed, a "hockey god" who has it all but whose charisma masks a secret insecurity.

From "friends with benefits" to STDs, today's teens face a wider array of social and sexual opportunities—and pressures—than ever before. Through its eye-opening yet sensitive depiction of a group of normal kids with normal struggles, Restless Virgins offers an important look at contemporary adolescence no teen, parent, or educator can afford to miss. And it is written by two recent Milton graduates who know this world—and these students—like no others.

The fight against global poverty has quickly become one of the hottest tickets on the global agenda—with rock stars, world leaders, and multibillionaires calling attention to the plight of the poor at international confabs such as the World Economic Forum and the Clinton Global Initiative. The cozy, all-of-a-kind club of rich country officials who for decades dominated the development agenda has given way to a profusion of mega-philanthropists, "celanthropists," and super-charged advocacy networks vying to solve the world's toughest problems. Supporting the development glitterati is a sizable rank and file made up of the mass public—as evidenced by the abundance of "Make Poverty History" wristbands, an Internet-enabled spike in charitable giving at all income levels, and record involvement in overseas volunteering. While philanthropic foundations and celebrity goodwill ambassadors have been part of the charitable landscape for many years, the unprecedented explosion of development players heralds a new era of global action on poverty. Global Development 2.0 celebrates this transformative trend within international aid and offers lessons to ensure that this wave of generosity yields lasting and widespread improvements to the lives and prospects of the world's poorest. Contributors include Matthew Bishop (Economist), Joshua Busby (University of Texas–Austin), J. Gregory Dees (Duke University), Vinca LaFleur (Vinca LaFleur Communications), Homi Kharas (Brookings Institution),Ashok Khosla (Development Alternatives Group), Mark Kramer (FSG Social Impact Advisors), Jane Nelson (Harvard University), Joseph O'Keefe (Brookings Institution), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Brookings Institution), Darrell M.West (Brown University), and Simon Zadek (AccountAbility).
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