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ContentsNew Internationalist january/february Issue 429

At a political meeting recently, one woman got up and told us what rubbish ‘the media’ was and how you could not trust it. Others agreed. It gradually became clear that their idea of ‘media’ consisted of the corporate big fish in the mainstream. Not independent minnows like the New Internationalist.

It’s no secret that print media is struggling in these straitened times. Newspapers are worst hit. But magazines too are feeling the pinch. New Internationalist is no exception. In some ways we are fortunate in that we never relied too much on the now collapsing advertising market. Nor have we had a sugar daddy or mummy in the background that could cut us off without a penny.

Our business model is based on people like you subscribing to the magazine, buying the books we publish and the fair trade and ethical products we stock in our shop ( And it’s thanks to you that the media does not consist entirely of just a few mass circulation titles in hock to corporate power. I’d love to hear from you ( if there is anything you think we should be covering or could be doing differently.

This issue’s main theme is the hot topic of population. Is the mounting panic about increasing human numbers reasonable? There’s an on-the-ground special report from the recent Copenhagen climate talks by Jess Worth. And we tell the inspiring story of an against-all-odds friendship between Rami Elhanan, an Israeli, and Bassam Aramin, a Palestinian, who feature in our best-selling book Nine Lives. As usual at this time, we present The Unreported Year 2009, a round-up of the best films, music and books, and the NI Jumbo Crossword.

Vanessa Baird for the New Internationalist Co-operative i t B ek t a s / R e u t er s main FEATURE :


4 Too many people?

Vanessa Baird wonders why the demographers aren’t panicking. 8 Blame the coffee

Why tiny Timor Leste is undergoing a baby boom. 9 Ageing – 7 myths

12 Sex action i m K y u n g H o o n / R e u t er s U m

Populations are ageing.

How bad is that?

How ‘abstinence’ is pushing up the abortion rate. 14 When sperm didn’t meet ovum

China and Iran: two ways to do family planning. 15 Frontline Bangladesh

The climate refugees of tomorrow. 17 Population and climate change

10 A brief history of population Includes a murky past.

Jonathon Porritt and the Corner House offer two very different perspectives on one of the big debates of the day. 19 The missing pieces

Is hell really other people? Vanessa Baird concludes with some sobering facts and ref lections on equality.


Regular Features 2 Letters

Now is not the time to scorn socialism; boycott blood garments from Sri Lanka; and having a laugh at British law. PLUS: Big Bad World Rich World hypocrisy in Polyp’s cartoon. 3 Letter from Cairo

The dawn of a new decade has Maria Golia pondering the past. 21 Making Waves

Maryam Bibi works tirelessly to empower girls and women in Pakistan. 26 Currents

Harsh treatment of Kashmiri youths fuels conflict; a student campaign success; and one man’s mission to clear landmines in Cambodia. 27 Only Planet

Gort and Klaatu puzzle over the seamier side of life in Marc Roberts’ cartoon. 29 Mixed Media

The best of 2009; personal empowerment Hollywood-style; plus how not to run an economy, and how not to write a ‘novel’, in this month’s book reviews. 32 NI Jumbo Prize Crossword 33 Worldbeaters

Geert Wilders, the lying Dutchman. 34 Essay: Afrikaners hit bottom

22 Copenhagen: Blood on the summit floor Jess Worth witnessed the Denmark débâcle first hand. This is her report.SPECIAL Features

Front cover: Nicki Pardo / Getty Images. Magazine design: Ian Nixon. All monetary values are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise noted.SPECIAL Features

24 Brothers in peace Israeli Rami Elhanan and Palestinian Bassam Aramin forged an unlikely friendship through a terrible tragedy. They share their story.

Photo-journalist Dean Saffron documents life in a South African squatter camp. 36 Country profile: Sierra Leone