The Environment 2020 Elections Inequality

President Trump’s four year long war on science needs to come to an end

The past four years have been irreversibly affected by efforts from the Trump administration to limit the use of science in policy making. During this administration’s tenure all of the progressive climate reforms made by its predecessors have been reversed – the United States removed itself from The Paris Agreement and the wildfires raging across the West Coast have doubled in size causing the forced evacuations of more than 90,000 residents. To make matters worse, these fires show no sign of slowing down as increased emissions from heat-trapping gases have led to warmer and drier conditions in the area. The flames which have torn across the West Coast thus far in 2020 indicate the most active fire season on record. As the climate warms, the wildfires will continue to grow larger and more frequent. Still, President Trump denies the enormity of the threat presented by climate change. Our nation cannot afford another four years of his environmental inaction.

Both presidential debates last month included questions regarding climate change, prompting the candidates to speak on their plans to rectify the situation. But here’s the thing—there is no rectifying it. Global warming has worsened with every passing year since at least 1950. The only viable option left—apart from laying in the grave which has been dug for all living beings—is to try to slow down the progress of global warming and not allow the earth to become entirely unlivable for the future generations. Perhaps this is a classic case of too little, too late.

Since taking office President Trump has invalidated the well-known fact that carbon dioxide emissions are caused by human activities, labeling it “alarmist.” Instead, he has held onto the American coal industry as well as domestic oil production for dear life, therefore accelerating fossil fuel development. On the debate stage a few Thursday’s ago, the president proudly stuck up his faux green thumb and proclaimed that his fervent solution to save the environment is to plant more trees.

On the other hand, Joe Biden’s plan is only a little less ashy. His campaign promises a strict reduction of net carbon emissions through the creation of new energy-efficient homes and electric vehicle charging stations—but there is a big discrepancy. The former vice president cites support of the promotion of clean energy while simultaneously assuring voters that the jobs associated with natural gas production will remain secure. So, he must be lying to someone. A real transition from fossil fuels toward renewable energy will inevitably result in the elimination of the oil and coal industries. At the rate in which the world is warming, this elimination might need to come sooner than we’d expect, leaving millions of working class Americans out of work. But, at least it’s a step away from immediate and total destruction of the earth.

The hottest year ever recorded was in 2016, with 2019 coming in a close second place by less than one-tenth of a degree Fahrenheit. Right now, there is an increased urgency to implement real change because doom is impending. Whoever winds up in the Oval Office next must plan for the economic pitfalls that will come along with such a change—but nonetheless ensure that the change happens, and fast. That is why it is imperative that all U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote do so today. In more ways than one, we hold the fate of the world in the palms of our hands. 


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Tech Now + Beyond

Ecuador just won our hearts by protecting the U.S. elections in the most badass way possible

We might waffle back on forth on our opinions about Julian Assange (whistleblower or spy? journalist or national security threat?), but we definitely have strong opinions about the U.S. elections. And one of those opinions is that there has been far too much hacking influencing the election from foreign governments and security organizations.

WikiLeaks Julian Assange Image

Barely a week after the United States denounced the Russian government for hacking into the Democratic National Committee, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks fame released more documents–this time regarding the election. These documents included over 10,000 emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but surprisingly didn’t make that big of a wave in U.S. news (especially not when compared with #TrumpTapes and #RepealThe19th).

However, WikiLeaks’ continued interest in the U.S. elections, alongside fears of Russian and other external hacks, has worried many. Including government’s beyond the United States. The lastest? Ecuador.

Ecuador Office Image

On October 17, WikiLeaks announced over Twitter that Julian Assange, who has been living in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid persecution and punishment from the U.S., had his Internet access cut off by the Ecuadorian government.

Though Ecuador has provided Assange with asylum since 2012, it drew a line in its support this week out of concern that his actions might negatively influence the U.S. elections.

In an official statement, the Ecuadorian government reaffirms its commitment to Assange and his asylum, but explains:

The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate. Accordingly, Ecuador has exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom. This temporary restriction does not prevent the WikiLeaks organization from carrying out its journalistic activities.

Amongst “fears” of a “rigged election” and foreign hacking, it’s nice to know there are a few countries out there rooting for the U.S.

Though WikiLeaks activists have argued that Ecuador only responded after pressure from the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Ecuador has denied any external influence in their decision.

Lightning the mood after weeks of intense debates, Canadian comedian Bobby Mair took to the streets outside the London embassy this week as “Julian Assange’s Personal Internet Service.” Since the WikiLeaks leader has no Internet access, Mair has been shouting headlines through a bullhorn to keep Assange up-to-date.

We can only hope that the news Mair announces to Assange is more light-hearted than recent headlines, especially as we head into the final weeks of the U.S. election.

Politics The World

14 fabulous comebacks to being called a #NastyWoman

Last night’s U.S. presidential debate reached a whole new level of nasty. Quite literally.

While the last two presidential debates made headlines because of one candidate’s incivility (cough, Trump, cough), the third and final debate nearly broke Twitter.

After Donald Trump angrily called Hillary Clinton a “Nasty Woman,” feminists took to the Internet to reclaim the derogatory statement. Women have been called far worse for far less, after all.

1. Women immediately reclaimed their “nastiness”

Watch out, we’re heading to the polls.

2. Call us what you want, it’s not gonna change who we are

3. Seriously, we’ve been called worse

And we know to take it as a compliment. Bitches. Get. Stuff. Done.

4. We just channeled our inner Michelle Obama

When they go low, we go high (and head to the polls).

5. And Janet Jackson

6. A LOT of Janet Jackson

7. It’s Madame President, if you’re nasty

8. If there could ever be too much Janet Jackson, this would be it

Fortunately, no such thing exists.

9. Nasty women just get to work

Friendly reminder, that you’re name-calling at voters.

10. We’re not afraid to be called tough

11. If anything, we’re excited for a new generation of “Nasty Women”

Teach your daughters that they don’t have to put up with abuse and bullying.

12. Haters gonna hate

We’ll just move along.

13. While we’re at it, why not raise some money for the Nasty Women at Planned Parenthood?!

14. Calling us names might just make us stronger

Whether we’re Nasty Women, bitches, sluts, or worse, we’re not going anywhere. Besides the polls, that is. We’re definitely heading to the polls.

Tech Now + Beyond

Russian hackers might be the biggest threat to America now

If you’ve been following the election, you know that there have been a few hacks (including the big one against the Democratic National Committee) and some hints at Russian involvement. You may even remember last July when Donald Trump dared Russian hackers to try and break into Hillary Clinton’s private server. But you probably didn’t expect the U.S. government to publicly call out Russia (we know we didn’t).

After months of suspicious information leaks, this past Friday, the U.S. government accused Russia of cyber attacks intended to influence the election.

Russians Hacked Image

A statement released by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence very directly accuses Russia: “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.”

In response, Russian officials have rejected claims that their government is at fault for these hacks. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov commented on his department’s website that: “This whipping up of emotions regarding ‘Russian hackers’ is used in the U.S. election campaign, and the current U.S. administration, taking part in this fight, is not averse to using dirty tricks.”

Data Breach/ Cyber Attack Image

If you’re asking yourself why the U.S. government is concerned enough about these hacks to publicly condone the Russian state, hang on, we’ll explain:

It’s a pretty big deal that a foreign nation might be trying to influence U.S. politics (I mean, that’s not good in anyone’s world). But it’s an even bigger deal, because U.S.-Russian relations haven’t been the greatest of late.

Another heated topic of conversation during presidential debates is, of course, Syria. Clinton and Trump disagreed over Syrian policy for many reasons (of course), but one of those central concerns was (unsurprisingly) Russia.

The U.S. and Russia have gone head-to-head over support of the Syrian state and its people over the last several months. Tensions rose this past month in particular as the U.S. and Russia agreed to a cease fire which ended abruptly with worsened attacks. To many, Syria has felt uncomfortably like a proxy war with Russia backing the Syrian state and the U.S. supporting Syrian rebels as the two sides fight out their political views over innocent civilians.

Syrian Attack Image

This past Friday, (as the U.S. released statements accusing Russia of cyber attacks) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that Russian actions in the Syrian civil war “beg for” a war crimes investigation. That’s what we like to call a double whammy.

That’s not to mention the reports that Russia has moved short-range nuclear-capable missiles into Kaliningrad or the likelihood that Russia has supported WikiLeaks members in releasing more leaked emails from Clinton.

The announcement just formalized what many already knew: Cold War-era tensions are on the rise once again.