The Council on Foreign Relations’ International Institutions and Global Governance program has released its 2014 report card, a cute but I think effective assessment of how well international governments and institutions worked together to coordinate responses to the world’s most pressing problems.
We didn’t do very well.
CFR gives the world a D on climate change, a B-minus on global finance, a C-minus on nuclear nonproliferation, a B-minus on armed conflict, a C-plus on public health, and a C-plus on terrorism.
In total that’s about a 2.1 GPA. A not-so-gentlemanly C.
The CFR experts evidently don’t share Al Gore’s new optimism on the climate, singling out the United States in particular for its lack of leadership. (To be fair, the report is based on 2013, so doesn’t take into account the Obama administration’s new carbon regulations for power plants or some encouraging recent rumblings out of China.)
The C-plus on public health actually seems generous given signs that polio is making a global comeback.
I would guess that next year’s marks on armed conflict are going to be a lot lower following recent events in Ukraine, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Iraq.
The entry on terrorism, which highlights Nigeria and Iraq as countries that “failed to contain the rising threat of terrorism within their borders, and actually exacerbated sectarian instability by marginalizing minorities,” is certainly borne out by events this year.
Might be time for the world to start looking at safety schools.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.