by Gal Kirn
For the past two decades, the political class of Slovenia has been congratulating itself for undertaking the most successful transition from socialism to a market economy in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. But this success story has also brought about the dismantling of the welfare state and rising levels of poverty and unemployment. The solid reputation of the Slovenian success story began to shake dramatically at the end of 2012, when mass protest spread throughout the whole country. This social unrest began in November 2012, in the country's second largest city, Maribor.
by Simone d'Antonio
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Along the narrow streets on the banks of the Ljubljanica River, the only sounds you’re likely to hear are the patter of shoes on cobblestones, the voices of people out walking and the clanking of glasses at sidewalk cafes.
It’s much changed from ten years ago, when these streets were clogged with traffic. There was little room for pedestrians then. Those who dared to walk had to dodge cars and buses and breathe fumes from their tailpipes.
Although teen pregnancy rates have declined considerably over the past few decades in the United States and in most of the other 20 countries with complete statistics, the teen pregnancy rate is still highest in the United States (57 per 1,000 15–19-year-olds), followed by New Zealand (51) and England and Wales (47). The lowest rate was in Switzerland (8 per 1,000), followed by the Netherlands (14), Slovenia (14) and Singapore (14). Rates were higher than the highest rates mentioned above in some former Soviet countries with incomplete statistics and in developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America for which estimates could be made.
by Edward O. Wilson
During the summer of 1940, I was an 11-year-old living with my family in a low-income apartment in Washington, D.C. We were within easy walking distance of the National Zoo and an adjacent strip of woodland in Rock Creek Park. I lived most of my days there, visiting exotic animals and collecting butterflies and other insects with a net that I had fashioned from a broom handle, coat hanger and cheesecloth. I read nature books, field guides and past volumes of National Geographic. I had already conceived then of a world of life awaiting me, bottomless in variety.
by Karen Lynn Allen
First the good news: great progress has already been made! It turns out women around the world are on board with zero population growth! It turns out zero population growth is not all that difficult or expensive to achieve! The bad news: the people with wealth and power in the world are largely uninterested in funding it.
Ok, let’s back up. The rapid expansion of human population past the finite limits of what our planet can support is a messy business if there ever was one, full of politics, religion, and basic human needs and desires. People worried about the fate of the planet like to despair about population growth to the point of paralysis. Why lift a finger to avert the climate and energy-depletion disaster ahead of us when overpopulation will do us in however much we insulate our homes, change out our light bulbs, ride our bikes, etc.
by Jennie Wetter
A woman’s reproductive health and rights should not depend upon her zip code, but increasingly they do. The Population Institute last week released its annual 50-state report card on reproductive health and rights, and it points to alarming disparities. Four states received an A (California, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington), but 19 states received a failing grade and the U.S. grade fell from a C to a D+.
What accounts for all this? Attacks on Planned Parenthood, including physical assaults, are jeopardizing the ability of women to access contraception and other reproductive health-care services. At the same time, there are efforts to cut comprehensive sex education in schools and threats to the progress we’ve made in reducing teen pregnancies. It was a bad report card for 2015, but it could get much worse in 2016 as Congress inches ever closer to cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood, slashing support for sex education programs, and eliminating Title X, the federal program that funds many family-planning clinics serving low-income households. Also, the U.S. Supreme Court could uphold Texas abortion restrictions that have devastated clinic access in the state, thereby encouraging other states to infringe upon the reproductive rights of women.