Johann Hari

Johann Hari

Johann Hari was a columnist for the London Independent until 2011. He reported from Iraq, Israel/Palestine, the Congo, the Central African Republic, Venezuela, Peru and the US, and his journalism has appeared in publications all over the world. 

Articles by this author

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Monday, December 21, 2009
After the Catastrophe in Copenhagen, It's Up To Us
Buried deep in our subconscious, there still lays the belief that our political leaders are collective Daddies and Mummies who will - in the last instance - guarantee our safety. Sure, they might screw us over when it comes to hospital waiting lists, or public transport, or taxing the rich, but when it comes to resisting a raw existential threat, they will keep us from harm. Last week in Copenhagen, the conviction was disproved.
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Saturday, December 19, 2009
The Truths Copenhagen Ignored
So that's it. The world's worst polluters – the people who are drastically altering the climate – gathered here in Copenhagen to announce they were going to carry on cooking, in defiance of all the scientific warnings. They didn't seal the deal; they sealed the coffin for the world's low-lying islands, its glaciers, its North Pole, and millions of lives.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009
It's the Protesters Who Offer the Best Hope for Our Planet
At first glance, the Copenhagen climate summit seems like a Salvador Dali dreamscape. I just saw Archbishop Desmond Tutu being followed by a swarm of Japanese students who were dressed as aliens and carrying signs saying "Take Me To Your Leader" and "Is Your Species Crazy?". Before that, a group of angry black-clad teenage protesters who were carrying spray cans started quoting statistics to me about how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can safely absorb.
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Friday, December 11, 2009
Leaders of the Rich World Are Enacting a Giant Fraud
Every delegate to the Copenhagen summit is being greeted by the sight of a vast fake planet dominating the city's central square. This swirling globe is covered with corporate logos - the Coke brand is stamped over Africa, while Carlsberg appears to own Asia, and McDonald's announces "I'm loving it!" in great red letters above. "Welcome to Hopenhagen!" it cries. It is kept in the sky by endless blasts of hot air.
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Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Twelve Days to Save the World
Mohammed Nasheed knows what global warming means, because he sees it every day. He survived years of imprisonment and torture to lead his country - the Maldives - to democracy. But now, as its President, he is being forced to watch as his homeland is wiped from the map. With each year that passes, the rising sea claims more land, and at the current rate it will claim everything. He knows why. We know why. It is because we have released massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and we aren't stopping. Unless we turn around - fast - the Maldives will be gone.
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Friday, November 27, 2009
Dubai: A Morally Bankrupt Dictatorship Built by Slave Labor
Dubai is finally financially bankrupt - but it has been morally bankrupt all along. The idea that Dubai is an oasis of freedom on the Arabian peninsular is one of the great lies of our time. Yes, it has Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts and the Gucci styles, but beneath these accoutrements, there is a dictatorship built by slaves. If you go there with your eyes open - as I did earlier this year - the truth is hidden in plain view. The tour books and the bragging Emiratis will tell you the city was built by Sheikh Mohammed, the country's hereditary ruler.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009
Corporations: The Real Reason Obama is not Making Much Progress
Almost a year after Barack Obama ascended to the White House, many of his supporters are bemused. His healthcare bill is a hefty improvement but it still won't provide coverage for all Americans, and may not provide a public alternative to the over-charging insurance companies - if it passes at all. His environmental team is vandalising the vital Copenhagen conference by saying the US - the single biggest emitter of warming gases - will not sign up to any legally binding restrictions there.
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Monday, November 16, 2009
Renouncing Islamism: To the Brink and Back Again
Ever since I started meeting jihadis, I have been struck by one thing - their Britishness. I am from the East End of London, and at some point in the past decade I became used to hearing a hoarse and angry whisper of jihadism on the streets where I live. Bearded young men stand outside the library calling for "The Rule of God" and "Death to Democracy".
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Three Fallacies That Have Driven the War in Afghanistan
Is Barack Obama about to drive his Presidency into a bloody ditch strewn with corpses? The President is expected any day now to announce his decision about the future of the war in Afghanistan. He knows US and British troops have now been stationed in the hell-mouth of Helmand longer than the First and Second World Wars combined – yet the mutterings from the marble halls of Washington DC suggest he may order a troop escalation.
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Monday, September 28, 2009
Can One Woman Save Africa?
When does planting a tree become a revolutionary act - and unleash an army of gunmen who want to shoot you dead? The answer to this question lies in the unlikely story of Wangari Maathai.
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